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RE: getting a tow vehicle

If I were to buy a suv with good gas mileage with automatic transmission as you state in your OP that is flat towable I would look at the escape hybrid. Should get 40 mpg all around driving. I have the RAV4 hybrid now and I average 44 mpgs but it is not flat towable. The only issue with towing the hybrids is keeping the 12 v battery charged but a charge line from the MH can fix that.
Gjac 12/17/20 02:00pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Gulfstream BT Cruiser Quality

I was interested in these also. I will be following your thread. I could not find WB or any weight ratings on their web site. FW is only 33 gals on the 5240 but 41 gals on the 5210. Like the low profile, front and rear caps, 7.3 engine, smaller doghouse and 7500 tow capacity. Like to know the OCC. Looks a lot better on paper than the sprinters. Have you test drove any yet?
Gjac 12/17/20 12:06pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Toad or No Toad ?- Grand Canyon road trip in a 23' class A

I think what a lot of people are missing is the MH is 23 ft, not 33 ft which I have and pull a toad. Some other things to think about, if you are basically travelers staying in NP's, NFS, SP's without hookups and not camping for several days to a week, much less need for a toad. When I went to Alaska many nights I did not even disconnect just explored the area on my bike once we stopped for the night. Once I got to when we were going, driving a small car vs a 33ft A was much better. A 23ft camper would allow you to always have all you stuff with you such as food, bathing suits etc. which some times I would forget to pack in a my toad. In a older GMC I think you would be limited to a small car and 4 people in a small sedan would be cramped, kids would be more comfortable laying on the bed playing video games when there are no bears or buffalo's to see. What is the tow rating for that MH? Look at your GVWR and weigh your MH before you go to see how much stuff you can take with you. Also note the weight from front to rear and try to redistribute weight to stay under your axle weights. Make sure your front end and suspension is good. I know you said it was completely restored not sure what that really means but I would make several long trips first to see what is actually needed before you make the trip out west. I have a friend that is a mechanic, owned a CG and restored a GMC. He is retired now but drives his GMC from Florida up to Ct without a toad he said it drove better than his big dully truck he had to tow 5th wheels. Let us know how it goes.
Gjac 12/16/20 09:10am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

This has been very informative to me and have formed some conclusions based on your comments. Most people reported that a WDH or anti sway bars are not required for a 3500 lb or less TT. I have no problem backing a 19 ft boat down a ramp so I can't see a 19 ft TT being much harder. As far as ride quality after reading on this forum all the handling issues of the F-53 chassis and these short 24 ft Class C with light front ends a truck and TT combo should ride better. One thing not mentioned a lot on here, is each tire carrying the same load for a good ride. My old P-30 chassis has this and I drive it with one hand like a car even with passing trucks without all the suspension addons people buy to fix the ride. My only concern was the added tongue weight from the TT causing the front end to be lighter. Only one person said a special HD package was needed most said any 1/2 ton truck would be fine. My right arm is still good so I can crank the tongue jack on my boat now, not sure how much different the TT would make. As far as leveling it would appear easier than a small C because you only need blocks for one tire vs 3 for a C(one for front tire 2 in rear for dual wheels). I fully realize setup was going to be more difficult than my Class A with auto levelers and in over the last 15 years and 100k miles I can only remember a few times setting up in the rain, because when it was raining it was much easier and safer just to pull into a WM for the night than to pull into an unfamiliar CG in the dark. So have I come to the right conclusions am I missing anything?
Gjac 12/16/20 07:30am Travel Trailers
RE: Roof type - leaks

No matter what type of roof you have there is the same number of cut outs for vents, AC's, skylights etc, this is where leaks occur. I have a 24 year out MH with a rubber roof(EPDM) it has never leaked through the membrane. I recaulk and inspect at least once a year and never had a roof leak. I have resealed most of my windows due to water leaks because butyl rubber tape dries out. I have seen MH's with FG roofs with a lot of water damage because caulking cracked and water got in. So I would be more concerned how the roof was maintained rather than the material the roof was made of.
Gjac 12/15/20 07:34am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

Gjac I don’t know your age or health. I can tell you this. Since 2004 when I bought my first 19’ TT. Not a single item associated with any RV has managed to stay the same weight. With time they all seem to gain weight. Funny how that works. The same is true with steps. The fewer the better now days. Now if you are still using a P30 I know the cost of maintenance of one those chastises. I had one. Nothing is cheap. That was one of the reasons I went to class Cs. First a Ford & now a Chevy. Good mechanics can service them at reasonable prices. Also fewer steps and more doors. I now tow a car. None of the “towing” accessories necessary for hitching up on the road weigh more than a pound each. You know that if you tow with your P30. With age getting off of my knees has become more of a task. I am not up to getting leveling gadgets off of the ground anymore. I like pushing a button to level. I also like the holding tanks sizes I have now. My two TTs had smaller tanks. I do not miss banging a shin bone on a hitch. Nor do I miss grease on my pants. Or mucking around with the weight distribution bars on my second TT on a nice day. I will be 74 in Feb and yes have knee arthritis and a torn meniscus in left knee, 3 torn rotator cuff tendons in left shoulder. I can pull, just can push 3 lbs over head. And yes spent a small fortune on that IFS front end, that is what also caused me to look at a small Class C or small TT. My wife never liked the large A or how it leaned when traveling mountainous roads out west. Two front end failures did it for her. I think a C would be somewhat better but would be almost the same HT as my A. Some like the BT Cruiser or Phoenix Cruiser have a lower profile and I hear owners say they like the way they handle. The real trade off for me now, is the RV will probably be used less and less as we get older, having a truck as a DD,(see above post to Gdetrailer) vs a MH that sits on the side of my house most of the time. Does that off set the difficulties of a TT set up? Also will the truck TT combo handle better that a 24 ft Class C? I am trying to determine those answers.
Gjac 12/14/20 08:12am Travel Trailers
RE: Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

To make the set up a little easier can't stronger jacks be added that would lift the TT high enough to level it? Just thinking a small TT would weigh much less than a large one. The jacks look similar to scissor jacks used to jack up cars that weigh about the same but actually lift the tires off the ground. Trailer frames are not really designed to have the weight supported via jacks on the corners only. Doing so is going to tweak the frame in ways it shouldn't be, sometimes enough to make it difficult to open/close the trailer door. Trailer frames should be supported mainly by the axles, basically you will need to put a board or plastic lego things under the wheels on one side to get the side to side fairly level. Then you use tongue jack for front to back leveling, then you can use the stabilizers to stop the up/down bounce. While you could use "stronger" jacks or stabilizers, it is not recommended. To make life a bit easier some stabilizers are bolt on so all you need is a cordless drill to run them up and down.. You can get a electric tongue jack.. A trailer can be a bit more work to setup and tear down than a motorhome with fully automatic powered levelers. Hitch/unhitch plus manual leveling a trailer can be some work but once you get a feel for it, it goes quickly. But to me, I would rather use a trailer.. If my tow vehicle has problems I can have the the tow vehicle towed to a repair shop and I can camp in my trailer.. A MH,well you might be camping in the repair shop lot or end up in a Motel/Hotel.. I can replace just the tow vehicle and not the entire RV as the tow vehicle wears out.. And replacing the tow vehicle in most cases is considerably cheaper than replacing an entire MH.. We can also replace the trailer and keep the same tow vehicle.. I don't mind getting out of the tow vehicle at a rest stop to get into the trailer, gives me the chance to walk around and stretch before getting in the trailer.. Snacks, well, we pack a few chips and water in the tow vehicle so we do not have to stop if we want to snack. Backing up with trailer is not all that of a problem, just requires some practice. Just need a empty parking lot that has some room to practice to get the hang of it. Depending on the size of MH you are moving from, a trailer may be even easier to park, backup and fit into small spaces. Thanks for your explanation I just thought a pair of scissor jacks would solve the problem not realizing the frames were not strong enough. When considering smaller units the TT's main advantage to me over larger TT's or 5 wheels is the truck can be used as a DD. I would not want a dully as a DD. Also having had two major breakdowns while out west I found few places have lifts to handle large class A's and the truck stops that do want to work on trucks not class A's. Your right about having to overnight in a repair facility, had to do that once and once had to drive home from Mt in my tow car and hotel it along the way the fly back 3 months later to dive the MH back home, not fun. I figure any Ford place can work on a F-150 truck if there is a problem. When I looked at TC's and 5th wheels you lose the truck bed for storage. The other trade off is a 24 ft Class C without a tow car but you still need blocks to level and have less storage than a truck TT combo and I think after a while I would miss not having a tow car. I don't have a truck now so a truck TT combo would probably cost more than a 24 ft class C but the truck could be used as a DD. I was looking at the Ford hybrid power boost which is about $1900 over the ICE but is suppose to get 20% better fuel economy or about 26 mpg which is more than my older Honda CRV gets, so to me that looked like a good option. Every RV is a trade off and there is no perfect solution.
Gjac 12/14/20 07:37am Travel Trailers
RE: 5 Star Tune

How much more HP do these tunes add or how many secs faster does it take you to go from 40-60 mpgs at WOT? Most reviews say it helps but never quantify how much performance is actually gained by actual users.
Gjac 12/13/20 11:43am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advantages of diesel pushers

OP said: "Seems the go to for the most of everything was a diesel pusher in past, but maybe not any more, and wonder if I intend to stay on East Coast and out of mountains, would a gasser with new Ford V8 be a reasonable option? I am a senior, single and no pets. I have pulled a car on a dolly and with my arthritis that was very hard on me to hook it up and unhook, so know I need a better solution for toad. Seems the ideal would be a 400hp+ diesel pusher. Newmar would be my first choice particularly since I'm focusing on used rigs. The DP turned me off because it was not in good shape and was a real slug, I think a 300-330hp model and had very poor acceleration." In reading your posts I think most DP's compared to your 27 ft A would be real slugs. Remember your A was 1/2 the weight and more HP than the DP's you tested. If you plan to stay on the east coast you don't need a 400 hp Super C or DP. With arthritis towing flat is a lot easier than a dolly on you hands and knees. I would defiantly look at the newer 7.3 V8 engines in a 32-35 ft Newmar if that is your first choice, there are suppose to be a lot of chassis improvements in the new 7.3 eng chassis combo also for a better ride. Look for a better WB/l ratio over your 27 ft A. You can add always extra insulation to the dog house if needed. There is no perfect MH everything is a compromise based on your particular situation. Hope this helps with your decision.
Gjac 12/13/20 11:27am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

To make the set up a little easier can't stronger jacks be added that would lift the TT high enough to level it? Just thinking a small TT would weigh much less than a large one. The jacks look similar to scissor jacks used to jack up cars that weigh about the same but actually lift the tires off the ground.
Gjac 12/13/20 10:22am Travel Trailers
RE: Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

Coming from a class A you are asking for a lot more work to set up and tear down. Also rest stops will be very different. Wish you well on your move to a 3k TT. That was part of my question what is the lot more work or other difficulties that I am not seeing?
Gjac 12/12/20 08:42pm Travel Trailers
Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

I have traveled over 100K miles since retiring in a Class A and thinking about downsizing to a small TT towed with a F-150 or equivalent 1/2 ton truck and have several questions. Would any special hitch be required like a WDH or any anti sway device on a small TT weighing 3500 lbs or less? Secondly I was told the stabilizing jacks on the larger TT's were not strong enough to level and blocks under the tires were required, is that the same for a small TT? Having never towed before other than a boat are there any other difficulties that I should be aware of?
Gjac 12/12/20 10:17am Travel Trailers
RE: Some musings on future power trains

For $1900 more than the ICE engine the power boost F-150 makes a lot of sense to me, not so much when towing up hills but for the rest of the time when you are not towing which is most of the time. I think an optional battery pack that fits in the bed of the pickup that would make it a plug-in hybrid to use when electric is free or lower cost than gas regeneration would make it even better. For a couples TT that weighs 4000 lbs or less I think it would be ideal. If you need to tow more, the heavy battery pack can be removed to increase the capacity. Each year the payload and towing capacity seems to increase anyway through weight reduction and chassis improvements.
Gjac 12/12/20 09:21am Class A Motorhomes
RE: One 6V battery discharging really fast

We are all just guessing that you may have a shorted cell you won’t know for sure until you check it either with a hydrometer or multi meter like wopachop described. That is how I do it I have not had good luck with hydrometers. It is not uncommon as batteries age that some cells read less than others. Equalization usually fixes that. I have brought mine back several times using that function on my charger. Try the test first, if it is totally shorted it’s time for new batteries if one cell is low try to equalize it and see if it holds a charge.
Gjac 12/11/20 11:01am Tech Issues
RE: Tire/wheel change on the road

We live in America and everyone things differently. But the way I look at it in over 100k miles of travel I never had to change a tire on the road. I got a large screw crossing back into the US from CA. I used a plug kit and a 12 v compressor to pumped it up to 50 psi and drove to gas station to top it off. I carry a breaker bar and pipe over the breaker bar for an extension and a 6 point deep socket. As far as getting older the 19.5 in tire has gotten heavier in the last 15 years since I retired, so to me breaking the lug nut with the extension is the easy part getting the tire off and back on is the hard part which I have had to do many times in my drive way for brakes, lubing the calipers etc. So yes if I had to I could still do it on the road but if I had a blow out on the hiway I would feel safer calling road service so I see no need to carry a expensive impact gun that takes up more space than my breaker bar and extension based on my experience.
Gjac 12/10/20 07:37am General RVing Issues
RE: Some musings on future power trains

I have a hybrid Rav4 now, it averages 44mpgs compared to my older CRV that averages 23 mpg. One thing that is not often mentioned when comparing pure EV to hybrids is the cost of electricity. Where I live electric costs are $.22/kwh which is higher than most of the US. At $2/gal of gas it is cheaper to drive my hybrid than an EV or plugin hybrid. Having said that, when you try to scale that up to a small RV the mpg improvement over an ICE engine will go down. So if you compare the 3.5 ecoboost ICE to the hybrid in a F 150, the projected mpg is about a 20% improvement. With a TC or small TT you might see 1/2 or 10% improvement due to the increased weight but that may make a lot of sense, because when not towing, the truck can be used as your DD and you would recoup the added cost of the hybrid in several years of driving. I can also see it scaled up to a small Class C say 24 ft if you can do some weight reductions that Groover mentioned in his OP like eliminating the genset etc. Once you start eliminating things you not only eliminate the weight of those things but also the weight of the support structure. Just look at the weight of a DP compared to the same size gas MH, the gas MH will be 40% less weight. Smaller engines will have smaller transmissions and less supporting structure etc. I think a front wheel drive ICE with a rear wheel drive electric eng with a 180 in wheel base would also save weight and improve the ride quality. The electric engine would get it moving and the ICE eng would take over once it gets to max torque. This MH would do much better on mountainous roads out west due to regenerative braking than on straight highway driving. I don't know how much solar would add back to the batteries with flexible panels covering the MH. It would take a lot of engineering to scale this up to a DP weighting 30k lbs but I guess as batteries become more efficient and affordable it could happen but by then I would be out of the market.
Gjac 12/08/20 08:27am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Floating vs Storage Voltage Question

Bear in mind that there are two types of battery users on this forum: experts and the rest of us. Experts will (correctly) lavish attention on their batteries, getting maximum performance and longevity. And for that audience, it makes sense to carefully adjust the voltage of the charging system while the batteries are not in use. For the rest of us, it is enough that we put the batteries on a trickle-type charger when they are not being used, and monitor the water. The manufacturers of the chargers pre-set those units -- there is no way for the end user to alter them, as far as I know. The "set it and forget it" approach is not perfect but it is adequate for most RVers. But if your life depends on your batteries, you have to take a more hands-on approach. Then, of course, there are the "do nothing at all" people who just let their batteries sit there and rot and then recharge them before each camping trip. (I used to be one of those folks before I learned how expensive that method really is.) The "do nothings" are not even reading this thread. But they will, eventually. ;) All true. Another thing is that most chargers that drop to float after a time at 14.x do so before the battery is completely charged. So if you disconnect after the charger says they are full, you miss the following time at 13.6 when the batts might get a little more charging towards true full. I am not clear how long on float you need to be after a time at 14.x to finish the recharge so you can disconnect. It might not even be happening. There is SG lag, so the apparent improvement in SG next day after being on Float since the recharge might just be that the SG has caught up, not from more actual charging. I think this is very true, I don't have any sophisticated equipment to check this but I have noticed over the years of dry camping if I float my batteries at 13.2v after my "Smart Charger" says full, for 3 days before I go camping I can go 2 more days before my 2 6v GC batteries get to 50% SOC. I don't often stay in the same CG for 7 days but I have done this about 15 times on these batteries. From 5 to 7 days to me is significant. Now granted maybe I was more careful about light usage but I firmly believe that 13.2-13.6v constant charge helps.
Gjac 12/07/20 09:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Complaints about Cost of Mhs vs Motels

My wife and I have this discussion all the time she says you can by a lot of hotel rooms for what you pay for a MH, and depending on what you pay for the MH she is right. However if you already own the MH and you prefer to fish, ride bikes hike etc. in remote areas vs playing golf and staying at RV resorts, I think it is much cheaper in your MH. I tracked all my trips when I first retired and bought the MH and they varied from $69/night in the lower 48 states to $107/night for a 3mo trip to Alaska. Short stays with a lot of mileage it doesn't pay to take the MH, low miles and longer stays it becomes very cost effective. I don't think you could fly/drive to Alaska and stay in hotels and eat out every night for $107 per day. It is also not the same trip to me if I didn't have all my stuff like my raft and fishing equipment, bike and hiking stuff. I have visited NP's when I was still working stayed in hotels outside the park and did day trips into the parks but it was just not as enjoyable. They only problem is we are 16 years older now and some things change, and I am afraid my wife will eventually win that argument.
Gjac 12/07/20 05:46pm General RVing Issues
RE: How to Fix a Squirrelly Front End?

You got a lot of good advice so far and Bobsyouruncle summarized it nicely, there are two things I would add to this thread is you don't say how long your MH is or the WB, but from your photo it looks short and looks like you carry a motor cycle or scooter on the rear. Short MH's with short WB tend to be heavier in the rear tend and have a light front. The added weight to the rear of the cycle will make the front end lighter and ride squirrely. The brake pulling is another issue, another thing to check after calipers are greased and piston is free is the rubber brake lines. After years of use the inside rubber swells and where it attaches to the frame it goes through a little metal tube with a clip. The metal tube restrains the rubber and the ID of the hose is decreased as the rubber swells creating in affect a check valve which in turn causes the MH to pull when brakes are applied. If you have never changed these lines and the MH is 15 to 20 years old with this pulling problem I would just change them.
Gjac 12/03/20 09:08pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Is there any difference in DRIVING a gas class A vs diesel?

map40 wrote: "I had at least 26 different RVs. Somehow I never found the diesel to be more powerful than the gas". This is very true. When people say a diesel is more powerful than a gas MH it is not an apples to apples comparison. For example 38-40 ft DP will weight 30K lbs or more and have maybe 300-380 HP. A gas MH on Ford chassis may weigh half the weight at 15-18K lbs and have 362HP. The gas MH will have the same 362 HP eng in any length while a DP will usually have a smaller eng in the shorter lengths. So a 32ft gas chassis will have a much higher HP to weight ratio than a 40 ft DP. Quality in general, soother ride and more living and cargo space would be better reasons to buy a DP.
Gjac 11/30/20 07:33am Class A Motorhomes
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