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RE: Lights

If this is a Forest River product, they got a bunch of LEDs that failed. If you contact the dealer, they would replace for free. In our fifth wheel, we had 8 out of 14 go out within about 2 months. We had another issue and when we took it to the dealer, they replaced them. A month after that, several other original lights went out. Again, I called the dealer and they just shipped us the remainder of the lights that replaced ALL the originals.
Merrykalia 01/22/20 08:27am Tech Issues
RE: Composting Toilet

If you ever plan to sell it, you are really limiting your potential purchasers AND it will take a bunch of $$ off the resale price. Just something to think about. I can tell you that one of the reasons I purchased an RV was to have a fully funcioning PRIVATE bathroom that I can take with me.
Merrykalia 01/20/20 04:13pm General RVing Issues
RE: Traveling through the Appalachian Mountains

I live IN the Appalachian Mountains. Again, we don't know exactly where you want to go in Ohio, but I-64, I-77 and down is not a bad drive. Yes, there are mountains, but in order to get to the coast, you HAVE to drive over mountains to get there. If your setup is decent, ie not pulling a 27' trailer with a Chevy Colorado or other small pickup or SUV, you should be fine. Interstate highways cannot be over a 7% grade and most aren't even that. Thousands of people pull trailers up/down those mountains everyday with no problem. The mountains in WV are no different than the ones in NC. There are a couple of higher peaks, but you aren't going to be driving across the peaks unless you take a really bad turn!! Pull up your big girl panties and take off. The scenery through there is fantastic and I think you will appreciate it. It's not one big mountain all the way through WV. You will go up a 5 mile grade, then down for several flatter miles, then up another grade. It will give the transmission time to cool off and you to take a big breath. If you feel like you have to pull off at the next exit, DO IT! You are giving the mountains much more power than they deserve. If you find that you are not comfortable, take the next exit, turn around and go home. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Merrykalia 01/18/20 09:10am Beginning RVing
RE: Would I ever be happy towing with a half ton truck

We towed a 9,800 lb fifth wheel with our 2012 F-150 that I spec'd out and hand built. It had the MAX TOW package, which is easy to find, but I also had the HD pkg. installed. That combination is really hard to find, but it had more payload than the F250s sitting on the lot and it was a beast pulling that fifth wheel. After 50K miles, we started wondering how it would do in the long haul and we traded it for a 2017 Ford F-350 DRW 4X4 crew cab with the 6.7L diesel engine. We also upgraded campers to a 43' 14K lb one. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. As I said, the F150 handled it perfectly, but those trucks are very, very hard to find. You won't find one just sitting on a lot somewhere.
Merrykalia 01/18/20 09:00am Tow Vehicles
RE: Pigeon Forge and Nashville

Anchor Down is about 45 minutes from Pigeon Forge, according to how bad the traffic is. River Plantation is also on the other side of Sevierville, so it's a rather long drive (through awful traffic during the season). It's always "the season" there. We prefer Pine Mtn RV Park for it's location. It is at traffic light #6 and is about 2 blocks from the turn-off to Dollywood. It's also almost at the end of town closest to Gatlinburg and the GSMNP. There is no PERFECT RV Park for everyone. It's according to what you want. Sites will run you in excess of $50/night at the least. This is one of the places that you get what you pay for, so be advised.
Merrykalia 01/17/20 06:46pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Rearview camera hardwired on fifth wheel

I would look for ways to run it inside under cabinets, etc. If that doesn't work with your layout, I would run it right beside the support beam that runs front to back. Encase it in a piece of PEX tubing (water line) to keep it out of the rain, mud, snow, salt, etc. that you are likely to encounter. If it is within the tubing, it will be easier to zip-tie to other components that are underneath the trailer. I would have another connection at the front to tie in to the wiring from the truck.
Merrykalia 01/16/20 09:56am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Pops RV - confused

I just googled the company and got plenty of reviews on them. They are a broker who sell on consignment, but the reviews are mostly all good. It's not going to be a big deal to drive an hour away to check them out. If you get any weird vibes when you get there, get back in your vehicle and head out. The most you will lose is a couple of hours of your time.
Merrykalia 01/13/20 05:49am General RVing Issues
RE: First trip with new baby advice

Both of my daughters went on their first camping trip in a popup in the late fall, when they were 2 months old. We used a pack n play for their bed, which we sat up in one of the bed areas, used a baby bathtub for baths in the camper, used the pack n play for outdoor time (used a mosquito net over it when the bugs dictated it). They have continued to love camping and they are now teenagers. They each bring someone with them.
Merrykalia 01/13/20 05:44am Family Camping
RE: Dark interiors

If you are not wanting to buy new, find a used camper with the floorplan that you like and paint the cabinets a really nice off-white or white, change out the awful window valances (who in the world designed these nasty things) and you will have exactly what you want. Take the doors off, lightly sand the cabinet and spray them. Use light coats and spray them numerous times. Finish them off with a coat or two of polyurethane. Yes, this will take you a while to do, but when you get a new camper, you will always want to do some things to it to make it yours. Just my suggestion.
Merrykalia 01/05/20 11:14am Travel Trailers
RE: Looking for a camper

Less than 2K will not get you much of a camper - a popup is about your only choice. The smallest RPOD is about 2,500 lbs. Some of the smallest popups are 1,500 lbs with the larger ones weighing in about 3K. You will not get one with a bathroom (if that is a consideration) for less than 3K. My suggestion is that if you are wanting to pull any type of camper, buy a larger tow vehicle and check the specs. You would expect that any truck would be able to pull a decent size camper, but you must CHECK THE SPECS of the truck you are wanting to purchase. Most of the "on the lot" trucks, brand new will not tow much more than a medium size pull-trailer.
Merrykalia 12/26/19 12:25pm Camping World RV Sales
RE: What Portable Propane Gas Grill Do You Use?

We have an LL Bean O Grill that we purchased when we were in Maine (at original store) about 10 years ago. At the end of each camping season, we use the pressure washer on it to get the accumulated junk off of it. It's still in great condition.
Merrykalia 12/10/19 03:03pm Truck Campers
RE: Pigion Forge TN

Love the Smokies, as we average two trips a year. Will be there again in two weeks. We go for the tourist stuff. Could care less about the park as we rarely visit it when we go. Are two go to campgrounds is Archor Downs and River Plantation. This is why they have different things for different people. We DO NOT enjoy the touristy stuff and these are our least favorite campgrounds. I'm NOT a shopper, so the outlet malls are places I avoid like the plague. Our two teens enjoy the go-carts and all that, but we only do that one day, usually a day at Dollywood and then we head into Gatlinburg and walk the downtown streets for a few hours. That's what makes life interesting....different outlooks on the same thing.
Merrykalia 12/04/19 08:36am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: thanksgiving 2020

Several of us have spent Thanksgiving at Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, TN; about 20 miles NE of Dandridge. A couple years ago, we decided to stay closer to home and made reservations at Natural Tunnel SP in Virginia. They have lots of activities during the week and on Friday and Saturday, they have the "lighting of the Tunnel" with Christmas lights, Santa Claus, popcorn, hot chocolate, cappuccino, cider and coffee and small firepits sitting around and marshmallows to roast. It is a really fun time and even though our kids are teens, they enjoy the atmosphere. There is always some kind of live music. If you decide to head down next year, we will all be there and we cook a complete Thanksgiving dinner and share with others that are camping.
Merrykalia 12/02/19 01:40pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Anyone gone on a Cruise?

I've been on 26 cruises so far with #27 scheduled for February 2020. Eastern or Western Caribbean is negligible in difference other than the Atlantic is a bit rougher than the Caribbean UNLESS you hit a storm, which are common in the late winter in the Caribbean. We've been on most all of the "regular" cruise lines. Not Oceana, Silversea, Seabourn or some other of those. If you want to know which ones they are, google: upscale cruise lines. With that being said, here is MY rankings. Also to consider, I am 55+, retired, but do have teenage kids. 1. NCL 2. MSC 3. Princess with Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Caribbean being pretty equal, but with VERY different price tags. NCL is my all-time favorite because of their service, cleanliness, food quality (all have food quantity) and price for what you get. MSC is very European and there are lots of Europeans on the cruise. It is one of the top-ranked cruise lines in and about Europe, so it is familiar with Europeans wanting to see the Caribbean. Carnival is full of kids.. young kids, middle kids, older kids and usually lots of college age kids that are of the age to drink. They utilize that function extremely well. I explain it as the Walmart of cruise's for everybody and everybody is on board. Entertainment is kinda cheesy and again, it's for the masses. Royal Caribbean is about the same as Carnival. They have lots of gadgets on their ships, but I'm not going to go try to climb a wall; I'm not going to play mini-golf, nor try a Wave Rider. I don't want to pay for stuff I'm not going to use. These also attract younger cruisers. I want peace and quiet, good food, good service, clean areas to lounge around in, some spa time (Extra $$) and a good show occasionally. My best advice is to get on Trip Advisor and look at the available tours that would be in the locality you might want to go to. This will help you decide on East vs West. They are both good, but some are better for some people. Our crew (6 couples each have favorite ports and they are NOT the same one.) Now, since you are in Illinois, unless you are going to fly, New Orleans is your closest cruise port. They have some wonderful cruises out of there. The last 3 years, we have gone out of NOLA. It goes smoothly, but not as smooth as in Miami. The other ports, Ft Lauderdale, Tampa and Port Canaveral go as well as NOLA, but not as well as Miami. We have not been out of Mobile, nor Galveston. They have the smaller to medium ships. I like the medium size ships, but the last few have been on the larger ships. They have more people, a few more amenities and usually newer ships. Any cruise line will be good the first trip, but try out others to see which one fits YOU. Also, if you are going in February, do not go out of NOLA if it is the week of Mardi Gras. LA schools are usually out of school during that week and the ship will be full of young kids. (Ask me how I know!!) Don't overpack when you go. You will not need lots of outfits. One pair of khaki pants with a couple of golf shirts will work for dinner at night, no matter which line you choose. Change right before and then after dinner and those two will last for a week. I take a black jersey skirt and a couple of tops along with a sundresses that can also be used as a swimsuit coverup. A dressy pair of sandals and I wear a good pair of walking shoes and flip flops to wear around the ship on sea days. I have done this so much that I can pack 8 days of clothing in a backpack that will fit under my seat on the airplane. I then have a large pocketbook for meds, travel papers, passport, etc. If you have specific questions, you are welcome to PM me.
Merrykalia 11/22/19 10:39am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Tesla Cybertruck

Both of my teenage daughters think it is "awesome looking". Me, not so much. The $100 down payment, which is refundable, will get lots and lots of hits and will make him look like the Emperor HE THINKS HE IS! That's a great commercial gimmick for something that might or might not ever become available.
Merrykalia 11/22/19 10:01am Tow Vehicles
RE: height? / good wide folding stool for pop up truck camper

We carry 2 18" drywall benches with us, one in the inside and one in our outside compartment. We got them at Lowe's on Black Friday about 10 years ago. They have them every year or two for $25 each. This is the one we use.
Merrykalia 11/21/19 06:15pm Truck Campers
RE: Thanksgiving

We are camping with friends at a park about 30 minutes from home and we will have a full Thanksgiving dinner "on the grounds", no matter what temp it is. We have 2-10 X 20 tents that we L shape. We had 35 in attendance last year and had plenty of food. There will be turkey, dressing, gravy, twice baked potatoes, cranberry salad, green bean casserole, pineapple casserole, some sort of sweet potato dish, deviled eggs and sausage balls and a couple of other appetizer foods. We eat the leftovers on Friday (if there are any). Dinner is at Natural Tunnel State Park in Virginia at 2:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day and we will be in sites #13 and #14. If you are in the neighborhood, you are invited to eat with us. Give us a heads-up that you are coming so we can make sure we have plenty of vittles.
Merrykalia 11/19/19 06:35pm General RVing Issues
RE: Pigion Forge TN

If you are wanting to be right in Pigeon Forge, stay at Pine Mountain RV Park. You can't beat it for the close vicinity, but off the parkway, so the sound is not quite as loud. The shuttle runs to most campgrounds, but this one is about a mile to Dollywood, 2 blocks to the Old Mill and is easily walking distance to the parkway and restaurants. Others are further away or RIGHT ON the parkway and the sound, up until LATE in the night, is awful. If you are wanting to get out of the main drag, Anchor Down is great, but extremely pricey. The Douglas Headwater Campground is just across the lake from Anchor Down, has water/electric and a dump, along with decent bath houses. I think their cost is $30/night compared to $65+ at AD. There are many, many campgrounds - Riverside, Rivers Edge, Clabough's, Misty Meadow, Jellystone, Adventure Bound, Twin Creek and many more. We have stayed at most of them, but Pine Mtn is our favorite IN Pigeon Forge.
Merrykalia 11/19/19 06:27pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Midsize car for towing

Back in the day (80s), I towed a small popup with my Subaru Impreza. It had a 2500 lb tow rating at that time. The 2019 and 2020 Subaru Foresters (their mid-size) has a 1500 lb tow rating and something called their TSA (trailer safety assist), which I'm not sure what it is. I've had other cars, but my 4 Subarus have been my favorites. Just purchased a new Outback Touring model that is FABULOUS!
Merrykalia 11/16/19 10:58am Tow Vehicles
RE: 4 sec 0-60 in an EcoBoost F150

We had an F150 Ecoboost and I dearly LOVED it! We just decided to get a larger RV, so had to go the F350 diesel dually route. I still miss that truck and it was as comfortable as any vehicle I've ever ridden in, including Mom's Cadillac Deville and my Benz. My DW said the same thing when we had a loaner F150 last Nov. Think tho that had the lil Ecoboost motor. We had the 3.5L EB and it had as much torque and power we could ask for. When I ordered it, I spec'd it out. I had the Max Tow Package, but also got the HD package in a 4 X 4 Crew Cab. It had more payload than any F250 on the lot and within 100 lbs of the F350s. We had 50K on it and were just worried that it might not be in for the long haul. Someone locally bought it and we still see it towing a 30' long trailer filled with two side by side 4X4s. I saw him at Lowe's a few months ago and he said he had 125K on it now and it was still towing away.
Merrykalia 11/13/19 06:48pm Tow Vehicles
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