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RE: Blue Ox Tow bar for Jeep Wrangler JK

I have towed several Wranglers and CJs (and a Datsun pickup) with a Reese stiff-arm adjustable width towbar ($165 at Walmart the last time I looked) for many years. In spite of the doom and gloom from the telescoping arm aficionados, it has worked just fine for me, I even hook it up by myself! Several years ago, I bought a Roadmaster telescoping towbar (6000 lb. capacity) to tow a Dodge 1500 pickup. Never did like that thing. When I got another Jeep, I went back to the Reese towbar. It simply works for me.
mowermech 09/22/19 08:24am Dinghy Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

No word on the truck yet. None on the motorhome, either! Took the "vintage" 14 foot riveted aluminum boat I recently acquired out to the lake the other day. My electric trolling motor seems to be draining the battery rather rapidly. I'll have to check the battery, and if it is good the motor probably needs replaced. Found a couple of seeps near rivets, so will have to get some rivets and practice my skills in removing and replacing rivets. It has been years, I hope I can still do it...
mowermech 09/18/19 11:19am Around the Campfire
RE: School me in public parks camping...

United States Forest Service campgrounds in Montana rarely accept reservations. There are a few near Red Lodge, MT that do, but they also have some sites set aside for first come, first served. Most FS campgrounds have vault or pit toilets, and one water faucet for each 5 sites. A "water thief" can not be used on most of those faucets; you will not be able to hook up a hose. There is no electricity. Most campgrounds do not have dump stations. In fact, the nearest dump station can be many miles away. Conservation of water is a way of life! Very few campgrounds will allow emptying your RV tanks into the vault toilets. This is a very good guide to National Forest Campgrounds:
mowermech 09/13/19 05:28pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Tow Dolly VS flat tow

IMO, there is no "better" or "best", there is only what YOU are willing to do, and what YOUR vehicle requires. we towed our PT Cruiser on a dolly from Billings to Chattanooga and back. We did not experience much of what the naysayers and doomsayers tend to say. we tow our Jeep Wrangler four down, and don't experience much of what the doomsayers and naysayers say. For instance, if anyone mentions using a fixed arm adjustable width Reese towbar ($165 at Walmart), there will be many negative comments, the first of which will be "You can't hook it to the motorhome by yourself, you WILL need help!" UMMM... Golly... I do that frequently, no problem. Just keep in mind that there may be a huge difference between what others say can't be done, and what YOU can do! Another "for instance" (aimed at me); if you want an inexpensive non-steering dolly, go for it. Personally, I will never own one. I want king pin steering (Demco KarKaddy, expensive) or a turn-table steering (American Car Dolly, Mastertow, etc., comparatively inexpensive). Regardless of which way you go, there are many used ones available, often at half the price of new. Good luck.
mowermech 09/11/19 11:34am Dinghy Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

Oh, goody! Rain! Cooler temperatures! We needed that...
mowermech 09/07/19 07:53am Around the Campfire
RE: Need TOAD advice ........................

I, too, am in "The Jeep Wrangler isn't all that bad!" camp. Mine has nearly 200K miles, and has been fairly trouble free. Yes, J-E-E-P DOES stand for "Just Empty Every Pocket", but that is because of all the aftermarket accessories that are available to put on a Wrangler. I know of people who bought new Wrangler Rubicons and wound up with over $50,000 in accessories on them! However, since the OP is not at all interested in any Jeep, and wants a toad that will have few problems (there is NO vehicle that never has a problem), I can only recommend what used to be considered the ultimate towed vehicle: A Volkswagen Beetle, the original. A towbar designed specifically for the car is readily available, for less than $200. The car is light, with no towing restrictions. There are various iterations that can be found, with a little searching: The standard Beetle, the Super Beetle, a 2 seat Manx or similar vehicle, a 4 seat Manx or similar, the Thing (expensive), the Karmann Ghia (hardtop or roadster), etc. Any of the above can be found fully restored to better than factory new condition, with a little searching. Good luck.
mowermech 09/07/19 07:43am Dinghy Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

The truck may get totalled. The dent repair guy at the body shop says the roof can not be repaired, the entire panel must be replaced. I hope they tell me soon, so I can remove the inverter, winch, trailer brake controller, front bumper, etc. Maybe even the new lights I installed! Or, perhaps just buy it back from the Ins. company, if the price is right. Salvage title? Don't care!
mowermech 09/05/19 02:20pm Around the Campfire
RE: CO poisoning.

Seems to me a properly functioning furnace combustion chamber should not be emitting CO, it should be emitting CO2 and water vapor. If it is putting out CO, the burner isn't getting enough air (oxygen) for complete combustion. But then, I are jus' a dum ol' retired mek-a-nik, I know little about that there kemistrey stuff...
mowermech 09/03/19 07:09am RV Lifestyle
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

The weather has been great; a few sprinkles, but no storms. There was a wildfire Northwest of town, near the town of Molt, but they got it under control. the last I heard, no structures were damaged. It looks like my truck might get totaled due to hail damage that will require the replacement of a huge body panel. I guess it depends on what the insurance company thinks the truck is worth. Right now it is a waiting game. I went nutso and bought a 14 foot boat and trailer. Now I have to go to the RV service center and get the fishing gear out of the MoHo so we can take it to the lake this weekend. Oh, yeah, it is possible we can have the MoHo back by the end of September, all hail damage repaired. We might be able to squeeze in a trip or two before snow flies.
mowermech 08/30/19 08:27am Around the Campfire
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

ro_sie, by the time we went out to the coach, the storm had passed on through, so it was pounding people East of us. When it became obvious that power would be out for a while, we packed up our CPAP machines and moved out to the MoHo. Then I realized I had not fueled up after the trip to the Hamfest, so I only had 1/4 tank of fuel. I shut the generator down and went to bed.
mowermech 08/14/19 10:37am Around the Campfire
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

We survived the storm. The vehicles and the house didn't do so good, though. Both skylights on the coach are broken, the bathroom vent cover is broken, 4 or 5 clearance lights are broken, both airconditioner housings are broken, and the solar battery maintainer on the front A/C is smashed. I have the remains of an old weather station on the corner of the house. The cups on the anemometer are gone. The newer weather station has no anemometer rotor. the whole thing is gone! The PT Cruiser has a few dimples. The Subaru Forester haws lots of dimples on the hood. The Jeep has very few dimples. The Dodge truck has almost no dimples, but the door window vent shade on the passenger side is smashed. The passenger side tailight is broken. The little flatbed ATV trailer has a broken side light on the right side (yeah, the new one I just installed), and both taillights are broken. The 7X14 box trailer has dimples in the rear door, the vent cover is broken, and a couple of lights are broken. Both translucent fiberglas panels in the roof of the shop have holes in them. The roof and upper walls from the neighbor's barn is in my pasture. At least it missed the truck. However, a chunk of it hit my son's suburban and smashed the right rear door and glass. The roof of the house and gazebo looks like a flock of woodpeckers attacked. They were right about the hail. It varied from pea sized to dime sized to marble sized, and on up to ping pong ball and golf ball sized. They say the wind was 71 MPH. I believe it! No windows were broken. Power was out for several hours. We slept in the motorhome so we had power for our CPAP machines (they run on 12VDC). It was an interesting night!
mowermech 08/13/19 09:05pm Around the Campfire
RE: RVCampsite only 30amp - can we run AC in the Class A

Our coach has two air conditioners. It also has a 30 amp power supply cord. We run both A/C units at the same time frequently.. We also have a selector switch so we can run either the water heater or microwave, but never both. It works just fine.
mowermech 08/13/19 04:15pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Does Your State Require a SBS

Here's another point of view; Considering the current demands for the safest possible equipment, and the current desire to file a lawsuit for nearly anything, isn't it likely that if the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety thought that in any way a braking system on a towed vehicle was absolutely necessary for safety, they would be demanding that all states pass a law requiring one, and the existing ones available would be required to be tested and given the Good Housekeeping or IIHS or CR Seal Of Approval? No way would insurance companies pass up an opportunity like that!
mowermech 08/12/19 12:05pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

the Skywarn Net was activated about an hour ago; "severe weather" warnings, thunder storm warnings, and tornado warnings in counties all around us, but not much for us. That is just a statement, not a complaint! Some of the warnings may last until 9 tonight. Update: New severe thunderstorm warning for Yellowstone County (my county) until 7:30 PM. Also Rosebud county. Weather is very unsettled all across South Central Montana! EGG sized hail has been reported North of Reed Point!
mowermech 08/11/19 06:23pm Around the Campfire
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

ro_sie, I can vaguely remember watching and "helping" my grandmother render lard, wash ashes to make lye, mix it all together to make soap. Now, how accurate the memories of a 5 or 6 year old can be 70+years later, I can't say. Not to mention how much "help" I really was back then! Just heard on the Ham radio that a tornado watch has been initiated for the entire area! No Skywarn Net has been started at this time, however. It looks like the predicted thunderstorms for this afternoon are worse than expected.
mowermech 08/11/19 02:16pm Around the Campfire
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

Thanks for the reference, gs. I found an adequate replacement amber light assembly at TSC for $4.95 each. A little smaller than the original, but they worked just fine. Our Amateur Radio Club picnic Saturday went quite well. About 16 people showed up. It was a pot-luck, so a agreat variety of good food. The weather was great, sunny with light breezes, but not too hot. One gentleman gave a good presentation on digital modes on 2 meters/70 centimeters. Maybe I do have to think about getting a digital capable radio. He made it sound very interesting. After the picnic, we helped the sponsor clean up, then headed for home. About 7 miles from home, we ran into a rip-snorter of a thunderstorm! Lightning, heavy rain, but no hail. We knew it was there, I had the 2 meter radio in the Jeep on, listening to a Skywarn Net from the Billings National Weather Service office. The Ham operators tracked that storm minute by minute. Of course, it helped that as we came over the Bull Mountains we could SEE the storm! They said we could have the same excitement this afternoon... Now the lawn (and weeds in the pasture) will grow, and I'll have to mow it all again. I guess I better go fill the gas cans so I have enough fuel. Let's see... Where is the bottle of Sta-Bil??
mowermech 08/11/19 06:36am Around the Campfire
RE: Does Your State Require a SBS

That's why, if you drive your Jeep to Moab, UT with large, wide tires that stick out beyond the fender flares, you just might get a ticket that requires you to fix it or park it. That's laughable,, Have you ever been to Moab? Off road Jeeps run the streets with tires that stick out a foot beyond the body, and there are no fenders. I ran 31" X 1200 that were legal here and was never stopped by any other state. I'm gone, you have no idea of the subject. Yes, I have been to Moab several times, usually with the ROF group (Rubicon Owner's Forum), but occasionally independently. IIRC, one of our group actually got the ticket I described. As for the braking system for towed vehicles, I did extensive research on the issue, looking up state laws, because I did not believe what companies that sold towing equipment were saying in their "List Of Towing Laws". I found that more often than not, they were completely wrong when they talked about braking requirements, towing length, trailer width, trailer length, towing two trailers, etc. when you compare what they say in their list to the laws of various states. Is a braking system a "good idea"? Yes, of course. Is it required by law? Probably not. Has any system been tested by an independent testing agency (Consumer Reports, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, etc.)? Not that I am aware of. Is any system approved for use in any state by the DOT of the state? Again, not that I am aware of. Seems like that would be an advertising ploy; "Approved for use in Washington State by the State DOT!" IIRC, North Carolina specifies in State Codes that a braking system must be approved "by the Administrator". I haven't been able to find out which systems are approved. If any.
mowermech 08/08/19 09:50pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Does Your State Require a SBS

Wisconsin statute 340.01 (71): "(71) “Trailer” means a vehicle without motive power designed for carrying property or passengers wholly on its own structure and for being drawn by a motor vehicle, but does not include a mobile home." A vehicle "without motive power designed for...being drawn by a motor vehicle" is a trailer. That description does not fit my Jeep.
mowermech 08/08/19 07:11pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Does Your State Require a SBS

No such message in my owners manual ,, I simply say how much I can tow. (15.000#) AS long as you are below your legal gross vehicles weight and legal in your home state the lawyer can touch you. (for that ) News Flash! Home state speed limit 80, speed limit where you at 55, 80 will get you big ticket. If your Blood alcohol is over the limit where you at, they don't care what it is at home. You legal towing 2 trailer at home, but the state you are in does not allow? You better have a plan, 'cause adjustments will be made. Over length? Many do not understand, if your drivers license is good at home for the vehicle you are driving, then you have no DL issues. But if the vehicle is not legal in the state you have no right to drive it.stay on topic speed limits have nothing to do with the OP's question. states have reciprocal agreements that allow other state vehicles to operate legally . Reciprocity Agreements often only apply to driver licensing, registration, and insurance. That's why, if you drive your Jeep to Moab, UT with large, wide tires that stick out beyond the fender flares, you just might get a ticket that requires you to fix it or park it. Legal equipment in your state might not be legal in the state next door! It is a good idea to research the laws in your state, and any state you plan to visit. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out what is or is not covered by law. Remember, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse!"
mowermech 08/08/19 07:00pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Does Your State Require a SBS

In Montana, the law is very clear: A towed motor vehicle is NOT a trailer, and trailer brake laws do not apply. MCA 60-1-101 Definitions Montana also has a braking performance law: MCA 61-9-312 "Most states it's a law..." Please tell us what the actual laws are. If nothing else, tell us what the law is in YOUR state!
mowermech 08/08/19 09:53am Dinghy Towing
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