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RE: Towing a 2 wheel drive automatic transmission

Larrysr1957, You CAN tow some 2WD automatics four down. Our Honda Odyssey is just one example out of many. However, as the years go by, the selection of models seems to be dwindling. Can you tow a vehicle with the engine running and in neutral? Sure. Should you? THAT, I'll leave up to you. I wouldn't do it with my vehicle. What if the engine stalls? There are other options. There are tranny fluid circulation pumps which can be installed and there are driveshaft disconnects which can be installed, to name two. Of course the tranny fluid circulation pump could fail and the driveshaft disconnects can sometimes be temperamental to get them to engage/disengage. I've read about both of these issues, though rare, on these forums over the years. Or if you're not going to tow too frequently, there are some who just crawl under their vehicle and disconnect the drive shaft for the trip. OR, and my suggestion, find a vehicle which CAN be flat-towed and trade your current vehicle in for one of those. Follow the towing instructions TO THE LETTER and you should be able to tow about as "worry free" as possible. If you weren't aware, there is a Dinghy Towing section on these forums. Have a look to see if that helps give you some ideas. Good Luck, ~Rick
Rick Jay 05/07/21 04:26pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Would you switch from Class A to Travel Trailer

way2roll, I absolutely agree with what you added, as well. In our case, back in 2004, we had 4 kids (ages 8, 4, 3, 1), wifey & I, plus a plump Golden Retriever. While we certainly entertained the TT options, it would have required us to get rid of the minivan, buy a full size VAN, and use that. Wifey didn't want to give up the minivan and didn't want a full-size van as her daily driver. So we would've had to acquire another vehicle (the full-size van) anyway. Pick-up trucks were out because 6 in a pick-up truck is not comfortable....especially with 90 lbs. of Golden Retriever sitting on your lap! LOL So that's when we looked at C's, and then ultimately the A's. Which has been about as close to ideal as possible for us. Plus, I personally like the physics of a big vehicle towing a smaller vehicle, rather than the other way around. That's just me. Plus, I know I can get wifey to slide behind the wheel of the class A once in a while, but she told me flat-out she wouldn't feel comfortable towing. Our workhorse gasser is a bit noisier inside than the minivan or a full-size van, but the drivability, in my opinion, is darn good for a 22,000 lb. vehicle. I don't find it fatiguing at all. When people ask what it's like to drive it, I tell them it's like driving my living room down the road. Unless it's windy....then it's like driving a sail boat! LOL ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/23/21 08:36am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Would you switch from Class A to Travel Trailer

I already have a Jeep if I want a toad. Forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but did you double check to make sure your Jeep was flat-towable? I'm not a Jeep expert by any means, but I believe many models can be towed with all four wheels down, but there are some that cannot. I believe this is especially true with later models. But again, I know little about Jeeps, just what I remember reading on these forums. If you haven't looked into it, I'd just double check that because that might play into your decision. And, while I've never owned a Travel Trailer (our Class A is our first ever RV, we bought in 2004), I can tell you that the "vacation" seems to begin as soon as I pull out of the driveway. I really think that the comforts afforded the passengers while travelling in a motorhome cannot be equaled by any other form of transportation. Especially if you have kids travelling with you. Having all of the conveniences of home right at your finger-tips while travelling down the road is pure luxury. The example I like to use is that when we're travelling, sooner or later you hit construction, or an accident, or some other tie-up which brings you to stop & go traffic for a good period of time. In the motorhome, we use that time for potty breaks, snack/drink/lunch breaks. I've even had wifey slip behind the wheel and I've taken a bit of a break. (This is in STOP and go traffic only!!! LOL) Then, when the traffic clears, we just keep on truckin'! Many of the other vehicles on the road are heading for the next exit/Rest Stop. We made 100% use of that time. Plus we have about a 400 mile range on our rig, but I usually start looking for convenient fill-ups around the 300 mile mark. That's about 6-7 hours of potential solid travelling time, if need be. Obviously, my vote is for the Class A! Good Luck, ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/23/21 07:25am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Would you switch from Class A to Travel Trailer

I drove back home and grabbed the MH. I wasn't 5 miles down the road and was asking myself what the heck was I thinking. This forum REALLY needs a "LIKE" button! :-)
Rick Jay 04/22/21 08:15am Class A Motorhomes
RE: How to get a loan for RV

et cetera, If you are still tuning into this thread, and I do know you're investigating other options based upon other threads, but, I did have one other thought. With the income you said you are making, I'm assuming you should have some sizable amount in savings. I know you said you had a lot of "charity contributions", but I'm assuming you're taking care of your own financial needs as well and setting aside a comfortable portion. So, if that's the case, have you considered getting a secured personal loan on say $20,000 worth of savings? My wife's niece needed a personal loan several years ago to help pay some legal fees as a result of her divorce. The loan rates were unbelievably high for a personal loan. I contacted my credit union, and we ended up transferring $10k to an account, and she borrowed against that for about 3% interest. Just wondering if that would be an option for you to consider? Obviously, you need to have some money available that you don't need access to. But as you pay off the loan, you have access to the principal that you've paid off. Good Luck, ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/11/21 09:51am Beginning RVing
RE: replacing luggage bay latches

I echo johnsonbert's recommendation for stainless steel hardware. If I might make another suggestion: Once you are sure you have the hardware in the proper location and everything is aligned properly, I might recommend that you put some Loctite Purple (or possibly Loctite Blue) on the threads of the screws. I'd remove each nut, one at a time and put a dab of the Loctite on it so you don't cause anything to misalign. Then, with the Loctite on, snug each one up securely. Or, if you're comfortable with a rivet gun, that's fine too. ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/10/21 01:21pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: How to get a loan for RV

toedtoes, EXCELLENT POST!!! This forum really needs a "Like" button!!! :) ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/09/21 05:19pm Beginning RVing
RE: sewer odor

Plenty of water will keep the black tank clean and odor free... Um...OK...I don't have the healthiest diet, but I would be curious to know what you and your family eats so that there is no odor in the black tank? I mean, if the vent system is working properly, you shouldn't smell it, but it WILL be there. I also never quite reasoned out the "plenty of water" concept, though I know many do it. I didn't want a rig with a large black tank so that I could fill it 3/4 full with fresh water. I want the capacity for "stuff"! I NEVER add any additional water to the black tank. I mean most people pee much more than they poop, so why add pure water? The pee will do the job, basically. No problem. I DO use black tank chemicals to help break things up a bit because there may be times the rig might go several weeks between dumpings, depending upon use. I also use my black tank rinse just about every single time I dump. 99% of the time I dump I use my SewerSolution, too, which doesn't allow for that great "Whoooosh" of stuff out of the tank that a normal sewer hose allows. Anyway, been doing it that way for about 15 years and have never had a problem with the black tank. odor, huh? :) ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/09/21 05:16pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: sewer odor

kemer, You've gotten some great advice so far. I, too, think it's probably gray tank odor you're getting. Funny story, though not at the time. One time when we were travelling,it was one of those days when it wasn't quite warm enough to run the A/C, so we decided that we'd open up the slider windows on the driver & passenger side and I opened one of the windows in the back bedroom. The thought being is that there would be a natural draft of nice, cool air from the front to the back. I may have popped open the roof vent a bit, as well. The kids were mid-ship at the dinette, playing some games. It sounded like a good plan. We had been travelling and after about an hour or so, every once in a while one of the kids would say "Ewwww, what stinks?" Well, wifey and I were up front where the nice, cool, fresh air was coming in so we didn't smell anything. We told them it was their imagination. LOL Then when we finally stopped at a rest stop and I walked back there, I could smell the very foul smell towards the middle of the motorhome. Let's just say, it WAS NOT their imagination! What I figured had happened is that with the air moving through the RV, there was a lower pressure created in the RV than in the gray water tank. This, coupled with the sloshing around, caused the water in the sink traps to eventually splash out enough so that the low pressure inside the RV was able to draw the gray tank odors into the rig. Before hitting the road again, I put water down all of the drains and firmly installed the stoppers in the two kitchen sinks and the bathroom sink. That seemed to have solved the problem. I do that as a matter of course before we travel now, and we haven't had the issue since. I wasn't sure if one of the air admittance valves might also had been faulty, so I replaced those as well when we returned home, just in case. I like the idea of dumping Pinesol into the gray tank before your next trip. That should help you pin down which tank odors you're getting. Good Luck! ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/09/21 05:06pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: STOLEN Tiger Adventure Vehicle

So sorry to hear this. I hope you recover it soon! ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/09/21 04:12pm General RVing Issues
RE: How to get a loan for RV

et cetera, My apologies for this comment. I know you've been a long-time member here on the forums and I have to agree with the others that things don't seem to be adding up. One thing that came to mind is that you wanted to find a piece of property (5 acres?) and park your RV on it. It's my understanding that many towns won't allow that, and I can only imagine that being close to D.C. the likely hood is pretty good that it would not be allowed. But who knows? And I mean no disrespect, but perhaps you should consider changing the Topic of this thread to "How NOT to get a loan for an RV", because it seems like you've done a number of things which have prevented you from getting the loan you seek. Good Luck, I hope you are able to arrive at a solution that works best for you. Perhaps getting/keeping an apartment for a year to give you time to sort things out isn't such a bad thing? Just a suggestion. ~Rick
Rick Jay 04/09/21 04:08pm Beginning RVing
RE: 2004 Dynamax Sport Sedan 220 mileage

I don't know much about the chassis that particular motorhome is based upon, but a couple of things come to mind which might have skewed your number to the lower side. Though, I'm tempted to say that 12-14 MPG is probably pretty optimistic if this is a gas engine motorhome. That said, how long was your trip? Did you have to fill the tank several times, or are you basing your calculations on a half-tank of fuel? The more times you "fill the tank" you tend to average out the fact that tanks don't always fill to the same level everytime. If you base it on a single fill, you the pump may have kicked off early when you topped it off to leave, and then didn't kick off early when you refilled. Also, what terrain were you travelling over? A lot of mountains, or mostly level? Was your trip recent? If it was during a cold snap (we've had a few in recent weeks), your mpg will be lower in the colder weather. Can you tell us any more about what chassis the rig is built on? Again, I think 12-14 might be optimistic, but I would think 9-12 could be within reason. So you getting about 8 isn't that far off. But, rather than dwell on MPG....HOW DID YOU LIKE THE RIG!!! :-) I've seen some Dynamax's and they looked nice! Whatever the MPG, Good Luck on your new RV! ~Rick
Rick Jay 03/18/21 05:22pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2006 Hurricane is this a great deal or a big headache

I think the price is way over the line. I know prices are currently up, but I think if you give it 6 months, when gas prices will be up even further, I think the bloom will leave this rose pretty quickly. I think you run the risk of the rig losing half it's value in the next 6 months. If you're OK with losing half your money if you have to sell it, then so be it. Personally, I agree that I'd look for a good Tiffin or Newmar rig. Winnebago or Itasca would be on my short list as well. I think the best advice I can give at this time, considering this is your first RV purchase, is to TAKE YOUR TIME!!! Learn as much as you can. There are ALWAYS more rigs becoming available, and I suspect prices will adjust in the not too distant future. Good Luck, ~Rick
Rick Jay 03/17/21 04:01pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Interesting RV Concept

No bathroom?
Rick Jay 03/11/21 05:09pm General RVing Issues
RE: Recommendations Needed!

I agree that I think it's better to fill your RV fresh water tank with the city chlorinated water. That's what I have done and have never had a fresh-water issue. I did plumb in a dedicated water filter inside the RV and I installed two "drinking water" faucets, one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, which are connected to these two faucets only. All of the other water in the RV is unfiltered. ~Rick
Rick Jay 03/04/21 09:11am General RVing Issues
RE: Tesla is thinking of making a Van. B plus MOHO?

Battery should last 20+ years and currently prices are still dropping. I know this is an apples to oranges comparison, but if those "20+ years" of expected battery life are anything like the "22+ years" some of my LED replacement light bulbs promised me on the package, we're going to be in trouble. LOL I've changed probably 20-25% of the LED bulbs I've installed since I converted our sticks & bricks house to LEDs about 4-5 years ago. And they didn't get bounced around on New England's famous pot-hole filled roads for 6 months of the year! Just saying! :) ~Rick
Rick Jay 03/02/21 02:41pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Fulltime 5er to MH - Help?

TheTripp, Looks like you're getting lots of good feedback. As I said, when we started looking, the folks on this forum were very helpful. It's nice to see that hasn't changed. Ivylog, That floorplan you posted is an example of a bathroom layout I would recommend against with much more than 2 people in the rig. When someone is in the shower, isn't the front of the rig separated from the back? If the fam is getting ready to go out to dinner or some such after a day out, those closed doors form a bottle neck and other people can't freely pass from front to back to get dressed or whatever. My recommendation is for a bathroom in which the sink, shower & john are all on one side. A definite PLUS IF the john is located so when you're sitting on it, you face the rear of the rig. Why? So IF someone was on it while travelling down the road and hard braking was required, you're pushed back against the wall. I guess you could install seatbelts on the john! LOL That was one of those things we didn't think about when we were purchasing, but it was a nice bonus. We told the kids that everyone sits to pee when rolling down the road. Ok...enough potty talk! LOL Ah man, as much as I like our rig and a "new" one isn't in our immediate future, I made the mistake of doing a bit of searching on and doing a bit of day-dreaming. Hmmmm...if only I could retire THIS year! LOL ~Rick
Rick Jay 02/24/21 06:16pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Fulltime 5er to MH - Help?

TheTripp, Welcome to the forums! First of all, I can tell you that there is NO BETTER WAY to travel with children than in a motorhome. When we got ours (ordered new from the factory) our children were 8, 4, 3 & 11 months. We researched over 2 years looking for our "ideal RV". Note, this was also our FIRST RV, and I wanted to get it right the first time. I spent A LOT of time on this forum, and the folks here were VERY helpful in guiding us to our final purchase. (Just to put things in perspective, we started out looking at small trailers to tow behind our Honda Odyssey, and ended up with a 36' gas Class A that we use to TOW the Odyssey. Yes, we were fortunate that I could increase the budget from $15k to $100k. Hey! It's only money! LOL) We took our time, investigated all options, and ended up with the RV & floorplan that fit our lifestyle and expected use the best. Seventeen years later and we STILL like it better than just about anything else we're ever seen. Ours is the rare (for a gasser) dual-sofa layout. As you know, travelling with youngsters in a car/pickup truck for any length of time is a challenge. I can tell you that we travelled for long days in the motorhome with the kids, and it was a breeze. Whenever we'd run into traffic, the kids did they're potty breaks and the wife would break out snacks/lunch/drinks. Heck, a few times wifey and I even switched places in stop & go traffic allowing me to hit the restroom. The great thing about it is when the traffic clears, we just keep right on cruising down the road. Most of the other cars are headed for the next exit or rest stop. We might not travel as fast as a car, but the fact we rarely had to stop, other than for gas, allowed us to keep pretty near a 50 mph average speed when on the road. Again, NO better way to travel with the kids. You WILL need counter space to prepare food for a family. Make SURE that counter space and everything else in the rig is accessible when the slides are IN. If you're pulled over in a rest area, you generally don't want to have to put out your slides, and sometimes you can't if there isn't any space. Bathroom(s): while more than one would be nice, we made do quite well with just one. I WOULD recommend that if there is a bathroom in the middle of the rig, make sure it is all on one side of the rig or the other. Some mid-ship baths use both sides of the aisle and if someone is in the bathroom, you have now completely isolated the front of the RV from the rear. NOT a good idea with kids. It's also not convenient when you're trying to get ready to go out and people need to get clothes, etc.. Oh, you WILL need LOTS of storage, as you already know. I've never been a fan of the bunk model Class A's, and they really were not much of a "thing" back when we were buying. But if our rig had bunks, they would take up space which would cause us to lose more than 50% of our clothes closets & drawers plus our utility closet (plumbed for a washer & dryer, but we never installed one). NO WAY could we live that way. Heck, just in shoes, with the 6 of us, there were at least 3 pairs of shoes per person....that's 18 shoes...and the water shoes were kept in the bin underneath the rig! LOL Oh, the Washer/Dryer setup. We thought we'd want one so we had the rig prepped for it (plumbing and electrical). But after seeing how small of a load it could handle and that we'd have to give up our utility closet, the wife decided we'd just use campground facilities. Which we have done. Now, the longest trip we ever took when the kids were young was about 5 weeks on the road when the kids were about 11, 7, 6 & 4. Not full timing by any stretch, but we lived very comfortably during the trip. I do carry a good assortment of tools and some spare parts, but we still had sufficient storage in our rig. While travelling, we often overnight at Walmart Supercenters where we pick up supplies, spend the night and get breakfast from their bakery. We ruled out the few bunk models that were available because we decided that "living space" was more important then "sleeping space" for the kids, and that really was true for our clan. Having those two sofas and dinette up front gave the entire family enough relaxing room to play games or watch a movie when the weather was bad, or if it was too cold out. (We fairly frequently camped well into the Fall, early Spring, and sometimes even in the Winter here in the Northeast.) Wifey and I got very efficient at the evening/morning ritual of prepping the sofas and dinette as needed. Probably 5 minutes at most. Bedding and pillows were stored directly above each sofa & dinette. As the kids got older, they helped. (OK....sometimes with them helping it actually took us LONGER...but they enjoyed "helping".) Oh, when they're young like yours, you can fit atleast 2 on the dinette, and three on a fold-out sofa. As they grew, then we needed to deploy both sofas & the dinette. But they loved it. The kids got the front of the RV at night and mommy & daddy had the back to ourselves, with some decent space in between. With the A/C's running and/or heaters or fans and the front TV on, that even allowed a bit of "privacy time" for wifey and I. (My gripe with most bunk-model class A's is the bunks are a paper-thin wall away from the adult bedroom.) Our rig has an RV Queen bed in it and it's good for us. I'm 6' about 250 lbs., wifey is a bit over 5' and NO WAY will I put her weight on here! LOL It works find for us. I've seen King size beds in RVs and always thought that was an inefficient use of space. You already know about outdoor storage. You should know that some rigs have basement AC's instead of roof mounted units. There might be some advantages to those, but understand they use up a fair amount of storage space. With a family, you'll need the space. Heck, you'll need a fair amount of space just for tools and things, assuming you do your own work. For what you want to tow, I think you will be looking at a rig with a tag axle. I'm assuming you have plans to home-school your children. If so, GREAT! We did that with our kids and it worked out VERY WELL for them. The curriculum we used was not cheap, but it was VERY rigorous and complete. Send me a PM if you want to know more. looks like you've got a few years before that's much of a concern! :-) I think at this point I'd be tempted to advise you to look for high-quality rigs from the early 2000's or so, well kept and low mileage. In this way, most of the depreciation is gone and if in 3-5 years you decide that you need a different floorplan, then you won't lose much by selling this rig. You're undoubtedly going to learn some things as you go, and as the children get bigger, you might find a different floorplan to be preferable. For instance, a bath and a half instead of a single bath. While we still enjoy our rig and I don't see changing it anytime soon, I think if I ever did I'd be looking for a 20-25 year old, top of the line, class A which has been gently used and nicely kept. Buying new has some advantages, but you take a hit on the depreciation if you have to sell or trade. We knew we'd be holding onto ours for a long time and with a growing family, I had to (sort of) watch the budget. But I've seen some REALLY NICE classic Prevost's and Newmars in campgrounds and I could possibly see myself being tempted in a few years after I retire. Oh, the other thing, be sure to check for seatbelted positions. Our rig came from the factory with 12 belted positions: 3 on each sofa, 4 on the dinette, passenger & driver. In addition, I installed three across our bed so that when we travelled at night and the kids were young, we put all four of them in the bed and put the straps over them loosely. Just enough so that if I had to lock up the brakes they wouldn't go all rolling out on top of each other! LOL Anyway many rigs only have 4 or 5 belted positions. You can always add more yourself, just be aware that you might have to do that. The advantage of having more belted positions than butts to put in them is that the kids had the option to move around and change seats throughout the trip. And along those lines, try to find a rig that has a lot of windows up front. The huge windshield of the class A and some nice glass area on the sides gives the kids the opportunity to see the sights too! OK...I think that's most of what I wanted to tell you. ON EDIT: Oh, one other thing...when you say "fulltime", do you mean that you don't have a physical home someplace that you can retreat too on occasion? The reason I ask is because there would be a big difference for me between packing the rig for being out on the road knowing I can come back home if needed, and packing it with everything I own that I want to keep with me. I bring a cross-section of tools with me in the rig when we travel, but no way could I bring everything I wanted to have. I guess it depends upon individual preference, but I've amassed quite a selection of tools over my life (60 yrs. old now) and I'm not ready to part with any of them now. IF wifey and I become full-timers when I retired, I plan on keeping the house. I'm sure at least one of the kids will be interested in living in it while we're away. But to pare down EVERYTHING...THAT would be real tough for us. Good Luck in your search. Take your time and please don't hesitate to ask us questions! ~Rick
Rick Jay 02/23/21 05:02pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Winterizing the coffee maker

Well...I don't use a Keurig, and I'm sorry to hear you had that issue. One thought...perhaps your last "cups of coffee" for the season should be made with Vodka instead of water? LOL And I have NO IDEA if heating up vodka would cause it to catch use this advice carefully...maybe brew it out over the firepit? ;) ~Rick
Rick Jay 02/19/21 02:32pm General RVing Issues
RE: Braking system required?

Whenever this issue comes up, there's always a good banter of legal, required, tested, etc. Many good points are raised and made by most. My personal thoughts are that additional braking is a good idea, and having a break-away system makes sense. But that's just me. So...when it was time to equip our Odyssey to flat-tow behind our gasser Class A, I did my own research and here is what I found. For the model year of our motorhome, both Ford and Workhorse said in their owner's manual that auxiliary braking systems were REQUIRED on anything being towed over 1,500 lbs. Our Odyssey is about 4,450 lbs. So we were way past THAT. At that point, it didn't matter to me what any individual State requirement was, the manufacturer of the chassis of my motorhome said that auxiliary brakes were needed. So I installed them. And yes, I can tell a difference in stopping whether the brake controller is on or off. While I'm not one to be easily "spooked" by "what ifs" and "going to court", etc., I did figure it would be pretty easy for even a dysfunctional lawyer to find the same statement I did in the manual. So, my answer is, check the owner's manual for your chassis and/or motorhome and see what the manufacturer says. But in my personal opinion and thoughts, auxiliary braking systems are just a good idea. Period. Stay safe! ~Rick
Rick Jay 02/10/21 12:49pm Dinghy Towing
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