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RE: Salt Lake City to Spokane Wa.

Done SLC to Tri-Cities at least 20 times and Tri to Spokane a zillion; so for that reason I agree with Y-guy's tips even though I've never personally done the Idaho side north. So I may be wrong or uninformed. SLC to Twin Falls, Boise, Kennewick, Ritzville, Spokane, my guess 12 hours in a car at the speed limit and on modern divided-highway the whole time.
PatJ 06/14/21 10:01pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Towing Disaster-AAA

I've had good service from AAA over the years for regular vehicle issues but never had an RV plan. I've heard so many RV horror stories about ALL roadside assistance companies recently that I no longer maintain an account as I'm usually in my RV when out of town. I agree with the group that says carry some cash, as well as a credit card. I plan to call a local tow in the unlikely event I have an issue, and pay whatever they ask. I'm not carrying thousands of dollars or anything, but a little bit might be helpful. What if there is no breakdown, but your 500 miles from home with 1/4 tank and the card machines are down state/nationwide or they don't take checks? Everyone should carry enough cash to get you home or >500 miles down the road in that situation. I can't imagine any police issues over a couple hundred dollars.
PatJ 06/06/21 09:54pm General RVing Issues
RE: Buy new now or wait until end of summer

If you have to sell yours in the same time frame as when you buy then what’s the difference? You sell/buy at higher price now vs sell/buy lower price later. I guess the advantage to doing it now is you know what the market is, if you wait until later, you hope you know what the market will be. I used to be like you and try to figure out what the best timing is to get that slight advantage. You win some you lose some. Now I do things when I want and don’t worry about if I could have saved down the road. I must be getting old. Good on you Tom, life is too short. Agree 100%, we traded in and bought brand new in spring (the "worst" time by conventional wisdom) and got an amazing beautiful rig 10 days off the assembly line with brand new fresh tires/hoses/belts/everything. No one ever walked through it at an RV show, etc. It has been essentially flawless the whole time we owned it. We could have dicked around and saved a few bucks, but how many summers do you have left? What's it worth? So we could have waited until fall and bought a rig that's been sitting on the lot all summer and saved what, $1000, $5000, $7500? Pick it up just in time to winterize it for fall and lose that summer? No thanks; life's too short. We aren't rich, we didn't get top money for the trade and possibly overpaid for the new rig and we have zero regrets. Buy what you want, when you see it. It may not be there in fall, or you may be dead in fall.
PatJ 05/17/21 10:04pm General RVing Issues
RE: Yellowstone Next Week - Freezing Temps Concern

I was worried my first few cold nights in my "new" (2019) rig as I do not have tank heaters or anything fancy like that. I have since spent many nights below 30 and two nights where I woke up to 20f and no issues so far. So far I have pictures in 5 states with snow all around my rig. I didn't try to flush tanks at 20f, but nothing broke dropping down there for a few hours late night/early morning and we used the rig normally. My drain/flush valves are what I was most concerned about.
PatJ 05/17/21 09:54pm General RVing Issues
RE: Coach House 272 First Impressions

Thank you for the report, for something in a price class likely a few years off for us. Very good to get this info from an experienced RV'er. Thank you again.
PatJ 05/17/21 09:38pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tire Recommendations

My 2019 class C came with the exact Hankook tires you mentioned. We are up to about 15k miles and don't have anything negative to say about them, If I had to replace them today and they were competitively priced I would probably buy them again. We camp a lot and will still probably age them out before 45k. Something I want to share: I also wanted to add a spare as my C did not come with one, so I purchased an OEM Ford wheel as specified by Ford for my chassis by VIN (~$380,) which appeared identical to the factory installed wheels, and a Hankook tire identical to the OEM installed tires ($170.) The factory installed tires are made in Korea and the spare I purchased was made in USA but were otherwise identical. I purchased a steel valve stem from Napa and had it mounted and balanced at the local tire shop. My rig has an interior spare tire storage bin so I tossed it in and didn't give it another thought. At the end of year 1 (spring 2020) I decided to rotate tires and put the spare on the rear. My FORD brand spare wheel with the identical part number to the chassis-cab wheels installed by factory RUBBED ON THE REAR BRAKES. It would NOT drive with the spare installed on the inner dual. I have to run the "spare" on the outer dual (I did not try it on the front, but the front brakes are even bigger than the rear.) So now I have one of the factory installed tires in the spare box and am running the "spare" I purchased on an outer dual. Reading online, I am not the first one with this problem. The FORD replacement wheels you purchase from FORD parts are different than the ones installed at the factory despite the identical part #. My advice: If you choose to build a spare tire/wheel I recommend you either try it first or just go ahead and mount it on an outer dual position so a factory-installed wheel is your spare (assuming it will work anywhere.)
PatJ 04/22/21 09:39pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Thor Majestic 23A

We have a 2019 23H "Freedom Elite" which is Camping World's version of the Thor 23U, which we purchased new in 4/2019. We have many miles on gravel roads and very well maintained dirt roads with no issues. I do not think this unit would do well at all on soft dirt/sand roads, mud, or even slightly off-camber. I see an issue with overhang and clearance, even though this is a relatively short rig with a proportional wheelbase it is still relatively low compared to a (CC/LB) pickup. Tail dragging being the biggest weakness IMO. I don't see how brand could affect its handling or capability assuming length and wheelbase being equal (minus an optional locking differential or something, which as far as I'm aware no class C manufacturer offers.) My Ford chassis has F and R sway bars standard. This is my third RV and by far the tightest so dust hasn't been a major issue for me so far. But pnichols' thoughts on dust mitigation are definitely worth considering and we will for sure be trying that in the future.
PatJ 04/12/21 10:13pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 1987 Winnerbago LeSharo

We had a LeSharo in our family - brand new around this time (1987ish.) I was middle-school age, and I clearly remember my aunt and uncle picking this up new and how much they loved it (at first.) Their LeSharo had the Renault diesel engine with FWD and manual trans. (I purchased my first RV in 1996 so I was a bit behind them :) The box portion of their unit was fantastic. Very well thought out by Winnebago who clearly had a lot of experience in this area. The expanding bathroom was a very good idea. The floor plan was very efficient. The appliances and fittings are all mid 80s RV standard; thoroughly de-bugged with no major glaring issues beyond any other RV from this era. The LeSharo issues I'm aware of were all due to the chassis, and the issues were MANY. Anyone looking at a LeSharo should do some research in this area. I know there are now options to swap out the horrifying Renault drivetrain with something less apocalyptic. If you could put a reliable drivetrain up front, and replace the rear bearings with parts made from something other than warm chocolate and wax; you would have a fantastic RV.
PatJ 04/04/21 10:24pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Is a toad necessary with a small motor home?

We have a 2019 "23'" no-slide class C which measures 24'10" bumper to bumper. We are just weekenders and still work full-time, but we did 39 nights last year and over 10k mi. We have been over Snoqualmie pass twice TODAY for a doc appt in Everett (we live in eastern WA.) So we went through some big cities and ~700 mi within last 24 hrs. I'm gonna say no toad for us, we can explore any town or big city basically the same as if we were driving a Surburban or similar. This is our third RV and all were similar sized, we stick with this size range because it works well for us. But as was said, everyone travels very different.
PatJ 03/12/21 09:48pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: ..Looking for a new air compressor for the MH tires etc..

I run the tiny Senco from Home Depot, it was the smallest 120v I could find at the time. I don't use it an awful lot but it has aired up several tires to 80psi for me over the past few years so I can't complain. It is quiet. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Senco-1-Gal-1-2-HP-Portable-Pancake-Electric-Air-Compressor-PC1010N/205513089 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Senco-1-Gal-1-2-HP-Portable-Pancake-Electric-Air-Compressor-PC1010N/205513089 Model PC1010N
PatJ 02/15/21 09:35pm Tech Issues
RE: 6 liter V8 Chevy Vortec question

I've had two Chevy RVs with 1G small blocks (admittedly not the 6.0 or LS.) Currently on my third RV which is a 2019 V10 class C with the 6 speed and 4.56. At work daily I run a 2017 6.0 Chevy pickup with the 6 speed at 12,000 lbs. In my opinion, apples to apples weight and having extensive experience with both, the V10 beats the 6.0 at 12k, but not by much. Neither is going to smoke the other, but the V10 will take 12k down the highway quicker and quieter than the 6.0, with less fuel used and less down shifting/hunting. Slightly better, but not by much. I am a die hard Chevy guy, my wife and I each DD LS Tahoes, and our pickup is a Chevy. The 5.3 and 6.0 win all day long as daily drivers hands down, but the Ford V10 is the better Class C motorhome engine in my humble opinion (since you asked.)
PatJ 02/15/21 09:24pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tire Valve Stems and Monitoring Class C

I have 2" steel stems on my rear tires which allow me to use a straight dually Milton gauge and similar inflation chuck (from Napa) which I carry with me. I would use an actual quality American made gauge before each trip no matter what type of monitoring system I had. Just my opinion.
PatJ 02/15/21 08:58pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Spare on Class C

We purchased a class C brand new in 2019 and it did not include a spare. Like many here I would lean towards roadside assistance if I ever needed to replace on the road, but I travel many places with no cell service so I need to be independently prepared. Immediately after buying the new rig I purchased a new Ford wheel and an exact match Hankook tire which I had mounted up. My C has an enclosed spare tire compartment so I threw the new mounted spare in there and paid it no mind. I moved the jack and breaker bar from the old rig to new. End of first year as an experiment I tried to mount the spare using tools I haul with me, just to make sure I could do it. I tried worse-case-scenario - an inner dual failure on the driver's side. I was able to install the spare fairly easily with no issues. BUT I learned was that even though I ordered a Ford wheel supposedly identical to the OEM wheels installed on my rig, the new wheel does NOT clear the rear brakes on the inner dual. It rubs and makes noise when mounted (SO CLOSE.) I did not try on the front. So what I did was put the "spare" I purchased after buying the rig on the outer dual and put a factory wheel as the spare. Now I know the "spare" will work in any position. I would have not known of the brake clearance issue had I not tried to replace in the driveway. So that was very much worth my time. I encourage everyone that carries a spare try to install it in their driveway using only tools they carry with them, if they intend to be able to install it themselves. It made me feel much better trying it myself and it was not any more difficult than any regular tire replacement as long as you have a long breaker bar and the correct 6pt socket. Just the fact it made me feel more confident made it worth it, and what I learned about the brake clearance was definitely best learned in your own driveway.
PatJ 01/27/21 10:00pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: RV Magazine

Agree, junk mail trash now. They may still send it to me for free after I cancel, but even for free its not worth reading and will go straight from the mailbox to the round file. So many good magazines from years ago have completely gone to ****. Get on Google books and look at a Popular Mechanics from 40ish years ago. So sad those days are gone.
PatJ 01/23/21 06:40pm Beginning RVing
RE: Adding Heat Strips

I added a heat strip to my 2019 Coleman roof AC and in my opinion it was totally worth it. Was a very simple plug and play install, the wiring was all there already from the factory. If you have a newer rig you don't need to mess with wiring or breakers or any of that, it is a simple plug-and-play to existing wiring/plugs with stupid-simple instructions and will work with your existing thermostat. It does not blow out "hot" air to the touch, but if it runs for a short while your rig will be warmer. If we have hookups, we use it as our only source of heat down to roughly 40f OSA and it easily maintains that temp. In my opinion it is superior to portable electric heaters (which we carry in case of emergencies) because it is the same heat power yet it works with the existing hard-mount thermostats. Also, we often ran our roof air fan at night for background noise anyway, so adding heat was a no brainer. Just my experience. It works great for us.
PatJ 01/21/21 08:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Honda 2000i tips and tricks for changing oil.

Have a pair of EU2000 since 2005 with a bazillion hours and oil changes once annually each fall. I put the gens on 2x4 blocks on edge (which I have laying around) and tilt to drain into a dollar-store cat litterbox (basically a roughly 9x12x3" plastic container.) The EU2000 already has the little trough to direct the drainage. No extra parts purchased. I use a tiny (cheap) funnel to refill, I think it was from WalMart or similar. I tilt it to the non-fill side and grossly overfill, then tilt level and drain the excess in to the litterbox via the built-in trough. There is very little waste overall but it works well for me. I am over 1k hours for both EU2000 gens and they run like new. You're overthinking it.
PatJ 01/21/21 08:25pm Beginning RVing
RE: Best tire inflator for dually tires

I used the Milton inflator tool on the right for a couple of years until it started leaking air. I have the same ~10" straight dually Milton tool I've used for my last two class C's (17 years-ish.) It has and does work great. I had to replace valve stems with longer units to be able to check pressure and add air with the cheap simulators in place on the rear, but it was worth it for about $20/wheel, one time expense. Extensions would probably work too.
PatJ 01/18/21 06:45pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Changing Spare Tire

Seems the best advice is to have a spare and the tools required to change a spare and decide whether to do it by yourself based on the situation. I agree with this 100%. If I get a flat in the real world, I am going to drive slowly to somewhere safe if at all possible (even if I ruin a rim.) I would then call roadside assist and let them place my mounted spare. But I go too many places with no cell phone service, so I carry a ~$40 HF bottle jack, 4x cheap HF rubber chocks, a 30" HF breaker bar, extension, and socket; and a Autozone 4-way. This past summer I picked up a nail for a slow leak in the driver's side inner dual. At the end of season I swapped with my spare in my driveway before taking the leaker to the tire shop for repair. I also practiced pulling/swapping the front. I feel more confident having installed the spare in both front and rear position using tools I carry, a worst-case-scenario tire situation. It was not physically difficult in the driveway, but would be very stressful to do on the side of the highway.
PatJ 01/02/21 06:53pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Reliability of older Class C’s?

I'll comment as someone with 120k+ miles experience with "older RVs." Search my posts for more info to validate. I LOVE older RVs. 1st - I'm jealous of your trip and wish I had the guts to do it when I was your age. IMO you will never regret it regardless of any mechanical issues you may have along the way. Don't forget that. 2nd - IMO The most likely thing to leave you stranded is tires. Other rotating things may fail (alternator, tensioner, idler, etc) but they are less likely to fail catastrophically without warning and leave you stranded. So in my opinion I would focus on tires. Other rotating thing will most likely give you some warning (noise, slop, etc) as they fail. Listen for that whenever possible. Make sure you have a good spare with you as well as the jack/lug wrench/compressor required to replace if needed in the middle of nowhere. If you have 16.5 tires make sure you understand they are rare these days and most tire shops will not stock spares. 3rd - I've been doing this for a while and I wouldn't hesitate to take a well-maintained older class C across country, any day of the week. Good luck!
PatJ 11/25/20 09:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Rear gear ratio

I'm on my third RV which is a 2019 Ford C with 4.56 and a 6 speed with double overdrive, so NA. My previous RV was a SB Chevy with 4.56 axle and a Chevy TH400 (the GM version of a C6.) It was exactly as you describe. It did really well at 55 MPH (even with light towing,) but dropped off hard above or below that speed. When I had that rig I fantasized about re-gearing or adding an OD trans, but in reality I probably didn't have the power to support it (stock SB Chevy roughly 175 HP.) My first RV was also a small block Chevy but 3.73 axle. IMO this was the ideal ratio for a non-lockup 3 speed trans with 3rd direct. This was my shortest and lightest RV of the three, but also was the oldest (1975) had the least HP of the three. But still it did very well on the highway 60-65 MPH and was a joy to drive even by modern standards. If you re-gear keep stock size tires and a direct-3rd trans I would shoot for 3.73ish. That's with me assuming Ford and Chevy from the same vintage are roughly equivalent. Just my opinion
PatJ 11/09/20 07:43pm Class C Motorhomes
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