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 > Your search for posts made by 'DougA' found 6 matches.

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RE: Should I get a new Tow Vehicle or a Bigger Gas Tank?

Ok, my beautiful new EcoDiesel Ram arrived January 28. But, get this, it was put on the carrier without the manufacturer's statement of origin paperwork or any other paperwork either! My truck was given to a carrier in Michigan with nothing but the keyfob. Oh, and as an added bonus the dealer was being sold and couldn't transact anything for days after it arrived. But, while I couldn't take legal possession of the truck for nearly a week, we did manage to take for "test drives" and put 700 miles on it in four days. It was the most bizarre automotive purchase of my 59 years. Ordered in mid November, COVID delays, then dealer screwed up the initial order and had to reorder. He got an extra red ecodiesel as a result. He sold the other a few days after it arrived. Then this: on January 28 FCA tells me its built, and I'll get on about Feb 15. Within an hour, my dealer calls and says: "Doug your truck's here, but I can't give it to you yet." Say WHAT???!!! Anyway we are in Texas now. 4,200 miles on the odometer. When towing at 65-70 MPG varies between 11 and 13, far better than the Frontier. Far more power and far steadier riding. When under hard acceleration its far, far quieter than the Frontier, and quieter than the 5.7 Hemi I had 8 years ago in the Durango (which I loved BTW). When towing the truck goes 350 miles when it reads 1/4 full, and that's as far as I've gone on a tank while towing. When not towing we are getting 25-30 MPG. We took a ride out yesterday along the Texas coast without towing. We went 200 miles at speeds of 60 to 80 MPH. The dash computer was telling me we got 31 mpg. Not believing it, I filled it up: it took 6 gallons. Quiet massive pulling power, MPG that's amazing and a nice toy: reverse steering system for backing up a trailer. We've also been on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore. Oh, on sand with the tires at only 20 psi, the mpg computer reads only 15 mpg. I've never calculated MPG while driving on sand, so I've no idea if this good or bad. So far we love it.
DougA 03/04/21 07:47pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Keeping pets safe in travel trailer while “home alone”

We have left Leo, our 5 year old spaniel mix, alone for up to 5 hours. We have a routine. Before we leave him, we take him for a trip to the dog-park where he retrieves his Piggy toy until he's tired and had enough, as shown by his standing by the door to leave whatever dog park we're in. This is about half an hour to hour. We take him back to the trailer, leave him a bit of food and lots of water, turn on the AC with the fan running constantly and the radio, and leave open a roof vent or two. When we return he's usually where we left him... on the couch under the Murphy bed. He jumps up, well rested and wants to go to the dog park again. We've asked neighbors to tell us if there is any barking. As far as we know, the only time he barked is when a neighbor's dog came sniffing around our trailer because it escaped its leash. That got Leo riled up. Yes, we lock the door. No we don't have a camera or monitoring equipment. We leave him his toys of course. We do put the toilet paper and wastebasket out of reach, but we have to do that at home too. Leo's a very melo traveling dude who will endlessly sleep on the truck's back seat, as we drive from state to state.
DougA 11/21/20 12:14pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Should I get a new Tow Vehicle or a Bigger Gas Tank?

After our trip thru VT, NH and Maine I decided to upgrade to a bigger more powerful truck instead of a bigger tank in the Frontier. A bigger tank won't make the Frontier quieter or give it more power for the hills, which makes for a really tedious long drive. I've ordered a nice Ram 1500 with Ecodiesel, crew cab, short bed, 33 gallon tank and tow package. Why? More power, mileage, torque. The generation 3 ecodiesel has been on the road for two years and is getting great reviews and better reliability ratings. Crew cab gets me the larger 33 gallon diesel tank. Can't get a 33 gallon diesel tank on the Quad Cab because there isn't enough room for the DEF. Now if only COVID doesn't close down production.
DougA 11/21/20 09:57am Tow Vehicles
Should I get a new Tow Vehicle or a Bigger Gas Tank?

After driving to up and down the east coast from Maine to Alabama a couple of times, I've decided that my wife and I don't need a bathroom nearly as often as our truck needs gas. Our TV's gas tank is only 20 gallons. It's a 2019 Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab 4WD with a 4 liter engine and 5 speed automatic. We pull the smallest, lightest Grand Design trailer they've made: an 18RBE Imagine XLS that weighs, fully loaded with fresh water for dry camping and all our stuff, 5,700 pounds, while the Frontier is rated to tow 6,100. Since there is only a generator, fuel, my wife, me and the dog in the TV, the truck carries only 930 pounds, well under its 1,360 payload capacity. We are safe, but we often get down to about 1/8 of a tank at around 150 miles. I am lucky if the rig gets 10 MPG, sometimes its only 7 - 9. Obviously I could get a half ton truck with a bigger tank. I've looked at the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500, and the Toyota Tundra. The Nissan Titan and Titan XD have small tanks and lousy mileage. I don't trust Ford's turbos. I have been watching a mechanic friend working on one that's got 110,000 miles. He's skeptical of high mileage reliability and engine parts are expensive. He says for most reliability, stick with a Tundra, an F-150 5.0 gasser (or 3.0 diesel). He also likes the new Ram 1500 3.0 Ecodiesel and the mighty 5.7 Chrysler hemi. Much to my annoyance, it seems that to get the maximum tow capacity from a half ton, I have to order it. I have not been able to find either a new or low mileage truck that has the special axle ratio for maximum towing linked up to either a diesel or a V-8 gaser with a 30+ gal tank. Special ordering one that I like is a minimum of $42,000, plus untold taxes, fees and whathaveyou... The other option? Swap out the Frontier's 21 gallon tank for a 38 gallon tank. This would cost $2,300 (delivered from California and installed here). Yikes! The way I see it: Pros of New Tank/keep the Frontier: - Frontier has 35,000 miles, lots of life left. - Frontier is as reliable as a wood stove - Frontier keeps up with traffic even on the steepest highways. It only revs up to 5,500 (redline is about 6,500). Even using cruise control. - Frontier is big enough but not intimidating to wife and family when they drive it. - I don't have to buy $1,000 of new snow tires. - $2,000 is a lot less than a new or even a used truck. - 38 gallons of gas means range of 260 (@7 MPG) to 380 (@10 MPG) miles. - Frontier is safely towing the trailer now. Why get a new truck? - I figure that my modified Frontier will get slightly better range than any of the V-8s, even with their larger optional tanks. The best V-8 is the Ram at about 350, the Frontier would be 380. Points for buying a half ton: - The Ford and Ram diesels, even with their smaller 26 gallon tanks get better range than the Frontier, especially the Ram diesel. -- Non towing mileage would be much better with either diesel, especially the Ram, and this is about 60% of the time. - More comfortable ride, torque and power. The Frontier has to rev up to 5,500 to keep up on the steeps. To say its loud is an understatement. - A bigger tank in the Frontier adds +130 pounds towards the back of the truck, and I don't know how it would affect performance. (note the spare tire is not relocated.) - Adding 18 gallons of gas and heavier steel tank weight to Frontier would cut the margin for safety for both tow and payload by at least 100 pounds. - The half tons can tow and carry about a third more than the Frontier can, increasing the safety margin. So there you have it... get a bigger truck or bigger gas tank in the current one?
DougA 10/28/20 11:29pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Good Sam Trip Planner question

Depending on where you are, and what you drive, it can matter a great deal what you use for routing software. Near big cities and along the east coast you can get into a lot of trouble if you don't account for a rig's height, width, weight, propane, and type. From Richmond VA to Portland Maine. For example, one of the most beautiful roads in NY, the Taconic State Parkway. It was built to allow easy travel to and between some of NY's most beautiful parks and campgrounds. DO NOT use it with anything other than a small van size or truck camper. You'll be lucky if a sheriff or state trooper pull you over before you crash into, or have to try to turn around before, one of its beautiful stone archway bridges. Trailers are also not allowed. Not even small cargo trailers. And the fine is substantial. But guess what road most GPS's will select for "avoid tolls" when headed to or from the Adirondacks and NYC. Yeah, the Taconic. Bottom line: a good GPS, designed for RVs will add to your peace of mind. But even if you do have one, they are not fool proof. You still have to be alert. It seems as if every year, some idiot slams into the only low bridge on the Onondaga Lake Parkway, outside Syracuse, on a road that is less than 5 miles long, with plenty of alternative routes as well as warning signs, lights that blink if you are over height, and even chains that hit the top of your vehicle half a mile before the bridge. "Be Careful Out There" Updated question: We'll be going from Branson, MO to Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton, OK. I'm not interested in points of interest type things, just how the roads are. So if using the Good Sam trip planner is it going to give me the best roads to use for a RV/trailer? Hi, I use the Good Sam's planner all the time. I especially like that I can download the planned trip into my Garmin GPS. One important hint: if you want to use a certain road, like if you wanted to follow Old RT 66 across the country, you have to enter more waypoints directly on the route number you want to take. Otherwise the routing software which usually looks for the shortest or fastest time will take you off the route. Google will not allow enough waypoints on one trip to do this, especially if you are planning a multiple day trip with lots of waypoints. Bottomline, if you use Good Sam and indicate you are driving an RV and input its height, it will try to route you on a "safe" route. There are a few faults though. The data is not rapidly updated for road closures and traffic. This is why I like to download the Good Sam planned route into my Garmin, which is updated with immediate as you go road closures and traffic information. The Garmin can reroute us around these things if necessary. Ok thank you for that info. Unfortunately we don't have the Garmin..we use Waze on my phone.
DougA 10/28/20 07:37pm Travel Trailers
RE: Good Sam Trip Planner question

Updated question: We'll be going from Branson, MO to Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton, OK. I'm not interested in points of interest type things, just how the roads are. So if using the Good Sam trip planner is it going to give me the best roads to use for a RV/trailer? Hi, I use the Good Sam's planner all the time. I especially like that I can download the planned trip into my Garmin GPS. One important hint: if you want to use a certain road, like if you wanted to follow Old RT 66 across the country, you have to enter more waypoints directly on the route number you want to take. Otherwise the routing software which usually looks for the shortest or fastest time will take you off the route. Google will not allow enough waypoints on one trip to do this, especially if you are planning a multiple day trip with lots of waypoints. Bottomline, if you use Good Sam and indicate you are driving an RV and input its height, it will try to route you on a "safe" route. There are a few faults though. The data is not rapidly updated for road closures and traffic. This is why I like to download the Good Sam planned route into my Garmin, which is updated with immediate as you go road closures and traffic information. The Garmin can reroute us around these things if necessary.
DougA 10/22/20 05:59pm Travel Trailers
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