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RE: I hate dinettes

I like dinettes. Granted the foam in many is inferior, but with a couch and a dinette, I sit at the dinette. I use the couch to pile stuff on (clothes, laptop, etc). I despise recliners, don't own one at home and never will, and eating off a flimsy TV table or similar sucks. Plus, as someone noted, the storage area underneath is great. Aside from the weak foam in the cushions, the fact that they slide around is a pain. Solved the Motorhome's issue with sliding cushions by sewing velcro across the back edge of the bottom, and putting a matching strip on the wood bottom, stapled it in place, in addition to the adhesive. Need to do the same to this trailer. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/15/19 03:00pm General RVing Issues
RE: Roof repair

Just finished completely replacing the roof on my Thor Freedom Spirit 180. It had leaked at the TV antenna and damaged the forward most roof panel. After lots of anguish and research, I bit the bullet and stripped the roof entirely (I have a shop to work on it in, so no weather issues) and since the adhesive needs fresh wood for the water in it (water based adhesive) to leach into so it can cure, I was faced with two alternatives. Overlay the entire roof with a thin layer of Luan (and screw up the spacing at the corner trim overlaps) or simply replace ALL of the roof sheeting, which is what I did. While the roof was open, I reinforced the trusses with 3/8 plywood that was glued with construction adhesive and stapled to the trusses. Put the new wood down with screws. It was a LOT of work, but it came out nice. The antennas are now in the scrap pile. I removed both the radio and the TV, so no need for the antennas. Awning was weathered but serviceable but since it was removed, I replaced the vinyl. I also installed a new Maxxfan Deluxe in the place of the no-fan vent, and installed new waste tank vent caps. Did I say it was a LOT of work? I have a good stable 8 ft ladder and an electric scissor lift, plus a couple of articulated ladders (little Giant) so the job is doable with the right stuff. Been working like a madman on it trying to get it ready for a trip out west in a couple of weeks. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/14/19 08:45pm Travel Trailers
RE: Cairo IL bridges

I crossed both of those bridges (in a car) several years ago. They are 10 ft lanes. I was following a semi that had a trailer that wasn't tracking straight. Trailer wheels were scrubbing the curb and the tractor wheels were nearly on the white line. I *think* they have finally banned trucks on those two bridges. i try to find different ways to cross the Big Muddy just to say I did. You didn't say which way you are headed or what type of vehicle. Heading East,If you cross on I-57 get off at Cairo Junction, exit 1 and go a block or so over to OLD US 51 (AKA Ohio River Scenic Byway or S Vienna Rd), now Illinois 37 and follow it until you turn right on Illinois 169 and follow it till you turn right on US 45 and continue to Metropolis. This is a scenic and enjoyable ride and is good road all the way. Stop in Metropolis at the courthouse and say Hi to Superman. Be aware that many of the river crossings on the Mississippi and the Missouri are still closed, including the new bridge at Cape Girardeau. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/14/19 08:29pm Roads and Routes
RE: Upper, lower, and heater hose replacement

The reality is that belts and hoses last considerably longer than they did even in the 1980's and 1990's, but all it takes is one pinhole to leave you stranded who knows where! If you have not yet done so, it is time for a coolant change, so swapping out the belts and hoses may provide you with a lot peace of mind. One thng to be certain is that there are a lot of cheap after market auto parts that have flooded the market, so be wise and specify OEM parts. Some cheap hoses available from 3rd party (read Chinese) suppliers may be worse than your existing hoses. For years, I changed hoses ever two or three years on my cars. I did use the red or blue jacket heater hose, and never changed it. As you have noted, hoses have become much better quality. I think I am rather conservative but somwhere around 7 to 10 years or 80K to 100K miles is more than enough on GOOD quality hoses. Whenever possible I use OEM hoses, even at twice the price. If they are no longer produced, I use Gates, or possibly Dayco. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/09/19 01:17pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Old truck vs new truck

Depends on the condition of your present truck. If NO rust, and basically near pristine (no dents, damage, parts falling off, etc) then spend the money to fix the issues and do some pre-emptive maintenance an parts replacement. Consider adding a lift pump and filter kit ($745)(such as from Kennedy Diesel), and possibly go ahead and replace the pressure regulator (new Bosch, $185), and relief valve ($195), and you will be good to go for many miles. I do lots of pre-emptive maintenance on vehicles, so I don't have to worry about problems cropping up at a bad time. If you are one who runs a vehicle into the ground and doesn't fix anything, even minor cosmetic or interior issues, then just go ahead and trade it in. Someone like me will pick it up, do the research, and go through it from front to rear and get all fluids and hoses replaced, do upgrades that improve reliability, and put many miles on it. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/09/19 01:10pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Uncle Frank gave me a 2006 32 ft Thor Wanderer

Federal law requires that the manufacturer place placards on the LH side, forward of the camper with VIN, make, model, tire and wheel size, tire pressure, MGVWR, and some other info. I have a 2008 Thor Freedom Sprit that has the sticker but much of the unreadable, faded to white. If I get the light just right, then I can read it. There is a placard inside also. Mine is on the back wall of one of the overhead cabinets. Sometimes they are on the inside of a closet door. Search thoroughly till you find it. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/08/19 10:52pm Travel Trailers
RE: Advice for first time RV rental and experience

Check list: ------------------------- 1. Check for hidden costs as cleaning fees, full tank fees, mileage, etc. absolutely 2. Remember to buy provisions before starting. The American west is huge, however, so is Wal-Mart, so yes, buy enough to get by a few days, but never hesitate to stop at a Wal-Mart to get whatever you missed. 3. Remember snacks for little ones (we may not be able to stop when they are hungry). kids are a huge consideration, and that is why I suggested the Less Junk, More Journey videos, as they have a small child, you will pick up on a lot of what they do. 4. Consider renting a car nearby or consider renting mountain bikes? 5. We should not go on US holidays: higher prices, lesser choice. 6. Ask for TV with Netflix/Hulu?Vudu 7. Class A rides nicer than C 8. Pots & pans, utensils, flat ware, bowls, etc. 9 How do we launder clothes? Camps have these facilities. Remember to plan for it 10. Grilling equipment 11. Ask for an RV with rack for bicycles 12. Plan for sleeping/parking (RVParky+AllstaysApp+ParkadvisorApp) Looks like you have that covered, but also add Campendium, Next Exit (for fuel and services), RV Life Apps campground review section (which replaced RVParkReviews). Also, The Allstays app is no longer updated, only the online website has the latest info. 13. Check driving license requirements (https://www.motorhome-usa.com/driver-license-rv-rental-usa) Motorhome rental people will be extremely familiar with this and their web sites may help or you can email them for details of your situation. In the US, I don't think any states require a special license for RV's of the size you are considering, but being international, it may be different. 14. Downhill: use the driving cautions of my age (low gear, not brakes) If the Motorhome has a TOW/HAUL switch on the gear shift lever, use it all the time. You will probably have to reactivate it each start up. It should gear down with a touch of the brakes, but don't hesitate to if it fails to gear down. 15. Mountain bikes: check rental vs purchase prices: Walmart or Target or online and then gift them to a Church. 16. Racks for bicycles must fit 2 inch receivers, not adjustable (flimsy). RV rental companies will be able to help on this, from what I have read, there are no bike racks approved by the rack manufacturer for use on RV's (due to vibration) and the RV may not even have a hitch receiver, to prevent the rental from being used to tow. Check carefully with the rental companies. 17. Two days between water refill and waste disposal 18. It will take a day to get the RV provisioned and ready and then another day to return it and get to the airport.
CharlesinGA 07/08/19 02:08pm Beginning RVing
RE: Advice for first time RV rental and experience

A Class C with a rear corner bed and a front cab over bed is doable. Two adults in the cab over, and two in the rear bed, and convert the dinette to a bed at night for the kids. Biggest issue is having enough SAFE seats and seat belts for everyone. Few Class C's are set up for six, and both of the kids will be required by law in most states to be in car seats. These will be very important issues when you begin looking at RV's There are smaller rental companies and even individuals that own several motorhomes to rent, but you need the security of a well maintained motorhome and a company that can resolve problems should they arise. I highly suggest you going on Google Maps (desktop or laptop) and finding some of these locations and using it to determine distances. This will quickly be an eye opener for you. (I say use the windows/browser version as I cannot get the Android version of Google Maps to let me pick to random points to determine distances, but only figures distance from present location to a single point). Also switch from default to satellite view, and also try terrain view. Its an eyeopener. You will be at much higher elevations than you are used to, so breath deeply and take it easy till you get accustomed to the altitude. Spend some evenings reading up on the national parks on their web sites, and elsewhere, and watch some good Youtube videos of some of these parks to see what it is like to visit them and get an idea of time. I highly suggest, since we are talking small children, watching Less Junk, More Journey and their National Park videos. They have several playlists of videos and one is of their various National Park visits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1tVkUkfkM4&list=PLsbCfw4A0PRpFgUEpkqt6w12XaBt6yxE9 Also do not miss out on National Monuments, which are also managed by the National Park Service. There are many of them, and all are well worth seeing. You will see National Parks abbreviated at NP and National Monuments as NM (not to be confused with the US state of New Mexico) when people are discussing them online. Lots of good online info to allow you to plan a doable trip that will not wear you out. You need at least one day a week to take a break and reset, do laundry, etc. Plan on limiting your trip, there is always another year to come and visit. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/08/19 01:50pm Beginning RVing
RE: Do Alabama RVs require state inspections

Do you live in Alabama? If so, did you do any tests or inspections in order to get a registration for the vehicle you drive now? It will be the same (if any) for the Van. I live in Georgia, but am one county outside of the metro area where emissions tests are required, so I do not have to do any emissions testing. Georgia eliminated safety inspections years ago, as it really was ineffective at decreasing accidents or doing anything else to improve the public safety. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/08/19 01:28pm Beginning RVing
RE: Need new tires

Need to replace the 5 year old tires on my TT and need some advice about upgrading. The trailer is 38 feet and has a GVWR of #9975 and currently has Load Range D tires from the trailer manufacturer. I want to upgrade to Load Range E for a little extra comfort level (no extra weight) but do not know if the rims are suitable for the additional pressure. I pulled a tire and looked on the back of the rim for some sort of psi marking, but nothing that simple to be found. The rim has 5 spokes and these are what what on the spokes: 1) Tire max load #2150 2) Tire max load #2830 3) A960 15x6J 4) 5H-1143 and 6H-1397 5) Made in Taiwan Around the center ring there were several QA stamps and the letters DOT-T ET0 I have tried researching the numbers on the 4th spoke and found nothing related to rims. I am a little confused as to why the rim would have 2 Tire max load markings. Any advice on these rims or do I need to bite the bullet and get some new rims to go with the tires? Thanks in advance Ken Are the wheels stamped steel wheels, or aluminum alloy wheels? Do these wheels, by strange chance, have two different sets of lug holes. One set being five lug, and a larger diameter 6 lug set? It would help to tell us what size the tires are. It will be clearly marked on the tire, something like ST225/75R15 Did you find the tire max load markings on the TIRE or the WHEEL? As far as the two different loads marked on the tire, read closely, one, the higher number is for single wheel use, and the other is for dual wheel use (two wheels on the same spindle, just like the duals on the rear of a truck). Never seen or heard of two different ratings on wheels, possibly for single vs tandem axles? but again, never heard of such thing. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/02/19 04:39pm Travel Trailers
RE: Will my load limit handle this

Look carefully at the tires you have on it now, and see what the weight @ tire pressure, is listed to be. You door placard shows that the truck came with Passenger tires originally, If you are in a position to replace them, I would consider a real Light Truck tire, an example being MICHELIN® AGILIS® CROSSCLIMATE® LT275/65R18/E 123/120R BSW MSPN 57222........... or the MICHELIN® DEFENDER® LTX® M/S LT275/65R18/E 123/120R BSW MSPN 09200 Be aware the Defender is being discontinued and some sizes are either old stock or in short supply. Also realize that if the tire does not have LT directly in front of the size, it is NOT a light truck tire. Michelin does make a LTX Defender in this same size, p/n 36986 which is NOT an light truck tire, despite being in the LTX Defender lineup. Look at the max pressure on the sidewall. true LT tires will be 80 psi, others will be lower such as the one above that is 44 psi. Get tires that are way overrated, you cannot go wrong. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/02/19 01:14pm Travel Trailers
RE: Water leak inside RV from HVAC running

Roof A/C is generally not centered over the hole, but rather, offset, so there is a good overhang of the heaviest part of the unit, aft of the hole. Usually, there are two or more rubber blocks, the same fairly dense material the gasket is made from, glued to the bottom of the A/C. If these blocks are not present, the heavy overhang will sag and can touch the roof. It sounds like the OP installed wedges to space the unit up level, like the original rubber blocks would have. They must be missing. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/30/19 07:25pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Carlyle Lake near Centralia and Carlyle Illinois

Well, you are correct, virtually nothing on the internet. I looked at Google Maps and there is a S Campground Road in Raccoon Lake Park, but no evidence of a campground, There is nothing on the City Parks and Recreation web site about it at all and on https://seecentralia.com/raccoon-lake/ which I think is a city owned web site, it does not mention camping. Possibly the campground road is named after a old (1800's church campground). Jumping over to Carlyle and Carlyle Lake, there is clearly a campground on the east end of the dam (McNair Campground), with paved sites and you can even see the shadows of the power pedestals on each site, yet the city parks and rec web site does not mention camping at all, HOWEVER, Carlyle Lake is Army Corp of Engineer owned, and on a COE CD-ROM I have of all Corp owned lake recreation areas, it shows campground, water hook ups, electricity, showers, etc. Another campground shows adjacent to the spillway, in the Spillway Recreation Area. Recreation dot Gov shows a campground with 109 sites on the west side just north of the marina, https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233483 Spillway east side has 15 sites. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233478 The McNair Campground has 32 sites. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233478 Campendium has this to say about campgrounds on Carlyle Lake https://www.campendium.com/illinois/carlyle It is 11 to 15 miles from the campgrounds in Carlyle to Kaskaskia College (US 50 east to State 5 south at Shattuc.) Hope this helps. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/28/19 01:46am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Not charging from alternator

If a solenoid, it is probably failed, and if you replace it consider the Cole-Hersee 24213 as it is 200 amp continuous rated and has silver-tungsten plated contacts. Much better than the cheap ones the RV manufacturers install. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/26/19 11:27pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Roof fan

Need to replace the OEM fan in RV, any ideas on which fan is the best to us as a replacement 14x14 What do you have now? Is it the vent with the tiny fan in it? or is it a basic model Fantastic? If a fantastic, you can get upgrade kits to replace everything but the frame and it all just screws in. If it is the metal frame with the tiny fan in it, the Hengs others have mentioned is the easiest as you do not install a new frame. If you are going to install a complete new fan, frame and all, my vote is for the MaxxFan Deluxe which has its own built in hood and can be left open in the rain, ans also driven with the fan open. Only issues is that the roof needs to be clear for 7 to 8 inches behind the existing vent. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/26/19 11:22pm General RVing Issues
RE: 2018 TT has been deemed Total Loss by insurance company

My rule is never leave city/park water on. Use it to fill the tank, use the pump. When the tank is low, refill off the hose. And make sure the pump is turned off unless you are using the water. You are very likely to hear the pump cycling. City water usually has more pressure, and unless you are using a GOOD pressure regulator, bad things are more likely to happen. Yes, mistakes do happen, sorry for your loss, but thankfully you have a good insurance company. Trailer will show up at Coparts shortly. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/23/19 04:49pm General RVing Issues
RE: Bottom damage

Springs look way too flat. Should have a lot more curve/arch in them that what I see in those. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/23/19 04:24pm Travel Trailers
RE: Please confirm what I think I already know

Yesterday was running air, water heater and micro. 30amp main blew. of course it did. bumpy Why do you say of course? RV should be designed for full load? Are you being sarcastic? Sorry can't tell. EDIT: if you read the review I posted I think this personal nailed it. In my coach the 30amp main and 20amp AC are combined into one breaker. the heat created likely causes the main to pop early since it is sitting on top and taking the heat from the AC. NO, they are not designed for a full load. A microwave is 750 to 1000 watts. the A/C is 1500 to 1600 watts, the water heater is about 1400 watts, and the fridge, when running on AC current is an intermittent load of 500 watts or so. You also have a power converter using 120v AC to make 12v DC to charge the batteries and run the light. These can be drawing several hundred watts also. Basically, you need to pick what you want to use, and turn off the rest. If running the AC, then its OK to run EITHER the water heater or the microwave, but NOT both. In fact my motorhome, now sold, had an automatic load switch that allowed the water heater to run, until it saw load on the microwave circuit, at which time it shut off power to the water heater. When the microwave stopped, it again turned on the water heater. KEEP stuff turned off if you are not using it. Water heats very quickly in the tiny water heaters RV's have, so don't leave it on, turn it on, let it heat, use it, shut if off. 30 amps at 120 volts is 3600 watts. National Electric Code considers anything running continuously and anything that generates heat, such as an electric water heater to be a continuous load. Your total continuous load should never exceed 80% of your total, thus anything over about 2900 watts is too much, and you will eventually burn up your power plug on the end of your shore cord, and also have other issues in the electric system. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/19/19 08:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Towing with Jeep Wrangler

Consider a hybrid trailer if you must tow with the Jeep. They will be shorter and lighter for what they will sleep and hold (fold out sleeping platforms on the ends) Its like having the beds of a popup with the body of a regular travel trailer in between. Hybrids are not allowed in certain areas and parks, due to bears. Same areas will not allow tent camping either. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/13/19 06:18pm Travel Trailers
RE: What am I missing on GVWR??

Tires are 265/70R17E 2731 lbs. So does that mean for the pair of rear tires I have 5462 lbs of capacity? Well under what the axle can handle... what a flaw of initial design... You do not have Light Truck tires. What you have are NON-LT, possibly P series tires. Were they original to the truck? or did you install them. LT265/70R17E tires will be rated 3195 lbs at 80 PSI. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/12/19 06:40pm Truck Campers
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