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RE: Additional fuel tank

FWIW, when I towed a 39' FW, I found the added aux tank (mine was a 65 gallon) was just about the best investment I made for RV'ng. Since we would almost always go out to dinner on overnight stops, never had to worry about stopping for fuel and would just fill up each evening. IIRC, I had (based on stock tank, extra tank, towing mileage) about 1300 miles that I could go between fillups. Made for a very pleasant 5-6-700 mile day, which was about the limit of what I wanted to drive in any case.
PA12DRVR 01/16/22 06:06pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Truck of the Year

It's actually a fairly impressive vehicle...but even recognizing that most pickup trucks don't leave pavement, I don't know how well this would work for Billy Joe Bob in Fruita to drive through the muck with a load of feed, then back through the muck with a load of fenceposts, then drive 60 miles to Dove Creek for a baseball game, then on to Bayfield to see Grandma and Grandpa. If a truck isn't suited for the needs of the "truck users", can it be "Truck of the Year"? ...but I could be all wet, maybe there's lots of charging stations in rural areas.
PA12DRVR 12/14/21 05:18pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Early Television

Growing up in Los Anchorage, it was always a special treat to go with the parents to Seattle for a trip. Not only was it cool to travel ("Look, this has 4! propellers"), but back in those days of taped shows, one would see all the shows in Seattle, fly back to Anchorage a few days later, just in time to see the same episodes. The signal graphic, the flag waving in the breeze, and the ubiquitous white static or repeating dots / "off air" were all a staple of television in those early days.
PA12DRVR 11/24/21 10:34am Around the Campfire
RE: Renting out a parking spot on my property...?

OP: That's the correct choice. Lots of little things that can add up to big things: i) a contract would need to be drafted to ensure a lease is being entered, not a bailment; ii) most jx have specific provisions on abandoned vehicles that don't allow self help; and iii) not only the "generic" liability, but catastrophic liability (i.e. leading to a total loss of the vehicle) would likely not be covered without specific addenda to your insurance policy. All the risks aren't worth the relatively minor revenue.
PA12DRVR 11/24/21 10:29am Around the Campfire
RE: Calling weight police - help

"I have ordered the same King Ranch with a dually from the same dealer. Price is just about the same plus or minus $1000. I get a 48g tank, an 8 ft bed, no need for helper springs, room to carry a bit more w/o worry, room for a cargo box, an extra pair of tires in case of a tire issue and peace of mind. Worse case, we keep it for a season. Best case, we love both the truck and 5th wheel as much as dually owners here seem to like theirs..." FWIW, which is about $0.02, I believe you made the right choice. I no longer RV, but for a few years, we pulled a 38' 5th wheel with an F350 crew-cab, long bed dually in KR (years ago). We had to carefully pick camping spots sometimes (i.e. older state parks don't like 60' or so of combined setup), but we really enjoyed the room of the big truck and trailer....and we always made a point of using the truck to see the local sights: it didn't take long before we were both relatively comfortable driving the truck, although it didn't replace the Prius as our commuter vehicle.
PA12DRVR 11/16/21 09:56am Tow Vehicles
RE: Dragging a Trailer Up a Mountain to Snowmobile Camp

Wish I could afford a couple of dozers....I'm sure the guy in the video uses his equipment for more than hauling RV's, but it rubs me the wrong way to see equipment being used in, as stated, such a "Hold my beer" way.
PA12DRVR 11/15/21 10:43am General RVing Issues
RE: Place your bets now!

I see noone is placing their bets, other than 12V who thinks I need a built trans and a re-gear on the truck that ISN'T broken...lol. So I'll provide an update. Dealer says module(s) not the issue, replaced whatever modules and no fixey the issue. Say its NOT the trans and it's engine related. Shcecked spark plugs and injectors and they're grrrreat! (I could have saved them that effort, lol) Now they're heading into the innards of the engine! :( I'm not actually sad, but I will be if they turn a perfectly good engine into a leaky pos with issues by taking stuff apart that they can't put back together right) Seems the known 5.3/6.2 lifter issue could be the culprit. Will see! Entirely different engine, entirely different dealership, ultimately different problem, but same brand on my older truck: once the stealership got into the "diagnostic engine teardown", the truck was never the same. It runs, it pulls more or less like it used to, but it just ain't the same. Not quite at the POS stage, but not the dependable vehicle it was, even if part of that is my gut feel. That stealership lost (since then) two new vehicle purchases and maintenance on 5 vehicles from me. I hope your problem is soon identified and falls in the dealership's wheelhouse.
PA12DRVR 11/15/21 10:37am Tow Vehicles
RE: basic driving skills

FWIW, I presume the discussion is about putting the spare rim w/tire on instead of the rim with flat tire, not actually changing tires? (I have a friend who runs a mobile tire service and often gets asked why he charges so much to change tires...at which point he has to confirm what's being requested since he does both rim swaps and tire changes). Back to topic....I do as the OP suggested for all of my vehicles. Nice sunny day, beverage of choice nearby, walk through the process of getting the spare setup, switching rims, putting the bad rim/tire where the spare used to be, etc. ...and all my vehicles have a 4-way spinner. I can bust loose the lugs on all my vehicles (except the F550) with the factory lug wrench, but easier with the 4-way. ....and although I know how to do it, between circa October and May, if I'm in the general Los Anchorage area, it's worth the $50 to me (assuming a good response time) to have my buddy send out a guy to swap the spare.
PA12DRVR 11/12/21 11:56am Tow Vehicles
RE: Planning summer 2022 trip to Alaska Fly/Rent

Lots of good advice so I'll only touch on one point. You had asked about length and if there'd be any limitations going longer. In general, no. Alaska is one of the easiest places you'll find to drive your rig at least from a size perspective. There is lots of room. Would agree / confirm the above...with a couple of caveats - everything depends of course, but if the intent is to stay in an RV park IN Los Anchorage or Squarebanks, size could limit things....but not really likely with a rented Class C. - Similarly size would impact some of the State CG's and the like. - Size doesn't prohibit travel through or eliminate parking in, again, Los Anchorage or Squarebanks, but if the rented MH is your only vehicle, you may find that you need to park at spot one and walk a ways if you want to do much downtown visiting....but heck, I'd rather park the F250 a few blocks away anyway than fight for limited parking in the heart of either Anchorage or Fairbanks. - For the likely smaller spots to visit (Talkeetna, Girdwood, Hope, Seward, Homer,....Kenai / Soldotna not so much) the "park here ....walk to see the sights" paradigm swings between extremes w/o much middle ground, in my experience. Either you'll be able to park very close to things that you want to visit / see or you'll need to go to "the parking area" and walk from there. It's been mentioned previously, but check and double check the "attractions / tours" that you would like to go on. Strictly anecdotally, but the tourist activities for next year seem to be all over the map: I have one tour guide client who is already overbooked for 2022, while another flight service client is taking deposits but won't decide until February if he'll open up for 2022. Still interesting times.
PA12DRVR 11/12/21 10:25am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Place your bets now!

If the sound of choice had been Zeppelin and AC/DC, the tranny would not have had to make its objections known. :)
PA12DRVR 11/10/21 10:03am Tow Vehicles
RE: Winter battery maintenance

I pull all of my batteries out of the vehicle and put the batteries inside if the vehicle (or cabin as the case may be) they're in won't be used in the winter. Admittedly, I've got a hangar to put them in but I much prefer to swing by and check the status, plug in the trickle charger, switch what's charging, inside a warm building than doing the same checks or activities out in the cold. At a minimum, suggest a good charge and a complete disconnect (i.e. unclamp the leads, etc).
PA12DRVR 11/10/21 10:00am General RVing Issues
RE: A cappuccino, a cruller and a life decision

At my last (and the last real) employer, I was sort of a big deal, but I worked for Mr. Big. He pulled the plug with XX,XXX,XXX in his portfolio...and a lifestyle to match. He had determined that Aspen Colorado was his dream retirement place. 2 years later, he decided that the Texas Hill Country was really what he meant....2 years later, it was Taos that was the ultimate location (then a sidestep to Santa Fe), then back to Houston and so on. He's own place Number 6 (IIRC) since 2012. Each stop along his journey required (remember, this is Mr. Big) a circa 2.5MM home...which is fine...but the repeated real estate fees, loss on sale, furnishing and refurnishing (I mean, Late Kit Carson motif just WOULD NOT work in Houston!...) to the point where he's probably lost (or at least spent) $6-7MM in the past 10 years that he won't get back. I suspect the OP knows this and is likely to avoid anything like Mr. Big's silly approach of course, but renting in an area for a year or two before pulling out of the previous area or before sinking costs into long term assets would probably be a good approach.
PA12DRVR 11/10/21 09:55am Around the Campfire
RE: Should I cover my tires?

FWIW.... In Alaska, we don't get much of the sun and heat that folks elsewhere experience. On my vehicles that get used on a regular basis, I don't cover them at all, winter or summer. My ATV trailer and Sno-go trailer get tires covered in the Summer when they aren't used much. FWIW, even up here in the cool climate, most of my pilot acquaintances, who fly airplanes with $1500 - $2000/per tires on them, go to great lengths to fabricate covers that get put on anytime the 'craft will sit for more than a day or so.
PA12DRVR 11/04/21 04:49pm General RVing Issues
RE: Planning summer 2022 trip to Alaska Fly/Rent

When we have visitors from Outside, we typically recommend the 26 Glacier Cruise as a must-do for everyone, if they're not going to Southeast. Even in bad weather, it's a great experience and while it might be a bit of a long-ish day, it can be done as a day trip from Los Anchorage. If the visitors are going to focus on Southcentral, we also recommend the Kenai Fjords Tour for the 2nd "should do it if there's any way you can" activity. If one is going North of Los Anchorage, we always suggest: i) a flightsee of Denali..but since that's always weather dependent: ii) drive up and see the Alaska range from the road on the Parks Highway past Trapper Creek to Healy; and iii) on the drive to Talkeetna (the most likely spot for Denali sightseeing if one is not staying at the Park), be sure and stop on the way in to town..often the mountain is visible from the wayside when it's not visible closer to the Park.
PA12DRVR 11/04/21 04:32pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Planning summer 2022 trip to Alaska Fly/Rent

To me there are at least three distinct Alaskas. Southeast Alaska is the cruiser's Alaska, where the only access is by sea. Southern Alaska, which includes Kenai Denali, Fairbanks, basically where the paved roads are, belongs to the RVers. The rest of Alaska you had better have wings to get there. For lots of purposes...including suggesting where to go...this is about as good a breakdown as it gets. FWIW some general suggestions: - As noted by others, no matter the duration of your trip, don't pack it so full you can't slow down and enjoy the visit: as an example, I can make the drive to Fairbanks in about 6 hours on the Parks, but I prefer to plan on 10-12 hours on the Glenn and Richardson highways just to enjoy the scenery more, so whenever I drive to Fairbanks, I plan a full day.....given how slow the ol PA-12 flies, I also plan a full day to fly there as well ;) - While the OP has ruled out flying, I'd just suggest that, no matter which region, there is an order of magnitude more scenery (including wildlife) to see from the air than on the surface... - Again, almost...almost regardless of region, look for opportunities and sights to see that are a short (30 min) or longer (couple of hours?) hike or walk off the road: i.e. Exit Glacier in Seward, Matanuska Glacier in the, strangely enough, Matanuska Valley, etc.
PA12DRVR 11/03/21 11:22am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Solar flare -- more auroral activity?

...since Mr. Murphy likes to hang out with the aurora, of course it was cloudy (at least in my part of Alaska) over the entire 28th - 31st stretch. ...and even though one internet prognosticator was bold enough to post "This aurora is so large it will burn through the clouds", that didn't happen and no visible aurora for me (from South Anchorage to North Big Lake) this past weekend.
PA12DRVR 11/02/21 09:33am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Planning summer 2022 trip to Alaska Fly/Rent

"To us Fairbanks was interesting but not the best and not so impressed with the North Pole city with Santa. Agree with North Pole not being that interesting but the Christmas shop there is fun. Fairbanks was a bust for us this year-they have been hit hard by COVID and a lot of things were not operating or had really reduced schedules. Websites were not accurate, either, so call ahead. Anchorage isn't the city it used to be as they've been hit fairly hard as well but does have some great shops. For Denali I'd take a bus tour. You can only go in 13 miles without doing so and parking for RVs is limited when you get to the end. There isn't all that much on that portion of the road, either. The Kenai Peninsula and Seward will satisfy the whales/glacier issues. Whether to spend more time in the city or exploring is up to me. I'd explore. Anchorage itself is good for a day but there are places to go not far outside the city like the reindeer or musk ox farms. If you like museums there are some there also plus the Alaska Native Heritage Center. It's a matter of what your preferences are." I'd have to agree with all of the above and I live here. Ditto on the "check everything"...both Squarebanks and Los Anchorage have lots of impacts, including a variety of "they're blaming that on covid?" impacts, that have changed the landscape for visitor activities. For me, for a 10-day trip, I'd probably skip going North and focus on the Kenai: Glacier tours from Whittier, whale / wildlife tours from Seward. Hope and/or Whittier for hiking and local flavor. Kenai and Slodotna if you are here when the reds or silvers are running. FWIW, if it was me, I'd take the time to drive to Valdez and to drive the Denali Highway (Paxson-Cantwell) but either of those trips is at least 2 days to do, more likely 3-4 and probably not worth doing on this short trip....gives you a reason to come back.
PA12DRVR 11/02/21 09:29am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Hello

"So much for tow vehicles. Please rename as Fishing Tales." I used my F550 to tow the boat the last time I went dipnetting. I used the F250 several times this year to tow the boat to the lake for fishing and sightseeing. I didn't tow anything with the Jeep Wrangler, but have towed a 4-place sno-go trailer with the Toyota Sequoia.
PA12DRVR 10/26/21 12:13pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Hiring Bernie Madoff as a trust company??

An RV forum is the LAST place I would come for advice on this matter. ^^^ Absolutely true. ...that being said, I always recommend my local bank as the successor trustee and would suggest the same for the OP: but it needs to be a bank with a known presence, an actual physical presence, and a viable trust department. Don't use an "only-on-the-internet" bank.
PA12DRVR 10/26/21 12:10pm Around the Campfire
RE: Hello

It is often interesting to dipnet up here (Alaska) for salmon....not really sport fishing, more of a meat haul, but one always runs the chance of missing the run during the 1-3 day opener. Anyway...when you bring in a limit of 30-60 fish (not many silvers, but reds and some kings), it is interesting to see just what tribulations the salmon can survive and still make it upstream: lots of faint striations? That one got out of a net; just flat missing a chunk? Bear or seal escape artist. Odd notch or missing small fin? Hatchery fish that got confused. Deep regular gouges; again, bear, seal, possibly Beluga escape artist. (infrequently on the dipnet areas): Salmon with a hook embedded in it's back or even in the underside? Got out of a snagging situation. Again, salmon are tough: surviving those situations and retaining enough strength and drive to make it several days upriver from the saltwater.
PA12DRVR 10/25/21 09:55am Tow Vehicles
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