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RE: Should I go back to OEM size tires?

Howdy Langley neighbor! We've towed our TT around 7 western states and I thought we've been on some pretty challenging mountain roads. Then last month we towed our TT from Langley BC to Banff & Jasper in Alberta and back. Now that was a very mountainous road trip!! I would go back to the OEM sizes but I would say it depends on the tire design. Up until last month, we had an F250 for 7 years. Then we bought a 2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD which came with 265 wide 17" tires and needed replacing. After talking to a local retired tire dealer owner with 30 years exp. in the biz, we bought 245 wide Goodyear Wrangler tires which have a stiff kevlar sidewall and are LRE OEM size. He showed me what the sidewall is like in Michelins we used to have on the F250 - very flexible in comparison. The Sierra now tows our 29' TT like it was on rails. Waaay better than the F250 with Michelin LTX 245 wide (18") tires. Don't know how much the kevlar sidewalls help but I sure like the new setup. I don't know much about stiffness of tire sidewalls but it might be something to look into. I run our rear tires at 80 psi and front at 75 which helps with handling. I don't think the slightly smaller dia. will make much of a difference but will help, not hinder. The guy we bought the tires from in Langley races cars at Mission and sells and installs tires out of his home shop in Murrayville. If you want to check out what he might have for your Suburban, send me a PM.
myredracer 07/21/19 01:01pm Towing
RE: Power Cable Extension options ??

So anyway, on to the 1194 Standards there are as I pointed out a few areas where our fellow RVer from BC is quoting the 1194 Standards as being enforceable in the USA where he is wrong and why. Actually, all I did in response to someone who said he doubts such codes/standards exist, is quote out of 1194 & art. 551 to show such codes & standards do exist. I would be interested though to see a link to something that shows that NFPA standards aren't enforceable.
myredracer 07/16/19 12:22pm Travel Trailers
RE: Power Cable Extension options ??

I highly doubt that there is a code that makes this statement? I have been in to many campsites where this is not true! I was just in a County Park and the power post was on the right side of the site! Happy campingFrom NFPA 1194: The water and electrical assemblies shall be located on the left rear half of the site (left side of the recreational vehicle) within 6 ft (1.8 m) of the stand. From NEC: 551.77 Recreational Vehicle Site Supply Equipment. (A) Location. Where provided on back­in sites, the recreational vehicle site electrical supply equipment shall be located on the left (road) side of the parked vehicle, on a line that is 1.5 m to 2.1 m (5 ft to 7 ft) from the left edge (driver’s side of the parked RV) of the stand and shall be located at any point on this line from the rear of the stand to 4.5 m (15 ft) forward of the rear of the stand. For pull ­through sites, the electrical supply equipment shall be permitted to be located at any point along the line that is 1.5 m to 2.1 m (5 ft to 7 ft) from the left edge (driver’s side of the parked RV) from 4.9 m (16 ft) forward of the rear of the stand to the center point between the two roads that gives access to and egress from the pull­through sites. The left edge (driver’s side of the parked RV) of the stand shall be marked. There could be older CGs that predate 1194 and the NEC. We stay in mostly older CGs and very few pedestals aren't at the left rear in back-in sites.
myredracer 07/15/19 05:47pm Travel Trailers
RE: Power Cable Extension options ??

If you were in the US, by code, pedestals are supposed to be at the left/rear of sites and you will rarely need a longer shore power cord. Canada doesn't have those codes and pedestals can be a long distance away. I've heard of up to 100' in some Ont. CGs. We carry a spare 30 amp shore power cord with twist-lock connector on it. Also have a 30 amp generator adapter like in this photo. Allows the two cords to be connected together. Have rarely needed to do that but when you do, you really need it! Tip: Always keep your shore power cord blades clean and shiny with sandpaper or emery cloth. Never plug into a pedestal (or at home) unless the power is turned off otherwise you will cause pitting & dirt on the blade surfaces and inside the cord connectors where you can't see what condition they're in, which can lead to overheating. width=150
myredracer 07/15/19 11:28am Travel Trailers
RE: Help!!! Frame broke

So sorry to hear that. A photo or two might help. Hard to comment here without any. A frame failure can usually be repaired. If the A-frame separated from the main frame, it's a straightforward repair. This happened to someone on this forum and he welded it back together. Can't find his photos at the moment. We had a brand new TT a number of years ago and discovered a frame problem the day after we owned it. At first, Lippert said "it was within spec.". I knew it was total BS so took it into a gov't certified frame & axle shop. After getting a report and submitting it, we ended up getting the whole TT replaced under warranty without a whimper from the TT manufacturer. Telling someone that they overloaded their TT is a common tactic by Lippert. Before they even know what the problem is, you'll hear that. If you had taken the TT through a scale when fully loaded, that would have helped. I HIGHLY recommend you get a reputable frame & axle shop inspect it. They will be able to tell you what it will take to do the repairs. It might even be that it's not as bad as you think. What type of frame? There is one type that has I-beams made from 3 pieces of 1/8" mild steel welded together lengthwise. These look like a regular cold-rolled I-beam but you can feel the continuous welds and see them. These 3-piece I-beams flex a LOT more and are a poor design and are more susceptible to problems. If you have this type, that's a major factor to start with. When we had our TT inspected, they also found a number of other issues with it that we hadn't expected. They ended up saying it was the worst frame they'd ever seen and that it could never be corrected to what it ought to have been like from the factory to start with. It had the 3-piece I-beam design. If the TT manufacturer didn't say anywhere you can't tow with one or more full holding tanks, you shouldn't have a problem with doing that and folks do that all the time. If anything happens, it's normally just the tank supports that fail. However, note that some TTs have a low cargo carrying capacity and just one full holding tank could put you over the GVWR, which would happen with us. Depends on how much you load into the TT though. Interestingly, frames do not have any ratings or specifications and there are no industry standards/codes they have to comply with. There are no specs on how heavy or long a TT "box" can be that sits on a frame. As a result, Lippert can build frames however they want and answer to no one. Axles on the other hand have ratings, specs and detailed info. available online. People have been having frame issues for years and Lippert continues to crank out the same frames with the same build quality. Don't believe any of Lippert's BS. Despite what they or anyone else may say, their frame quality can leave a lot to be desired. Their welds can often be substandard. Some never have issues. Frame failures happen more often than people think. (One reason is that if a TT gets replaced, the owner has to sign an NDA agreement.)
myredracer 07/15/19 11:11am Travel Trailers
RE: Tow Vehicle Tire Pressure

Do others increase / decrease the tire pressure in their tow vehicle when they are pulling the trailer? My truck specs say 35 psi for all 4 tires, but nothing about adjusting when towing. What are you towing? Something short & light or long & heavy? Must have a 1/2 ton? P rated tires aren't very good compared to E rated, esp. as you get into longer and heavier trailers. For towing you want stiffer, not Cadillac soft. 35-40 psi is Cadillac soft and will result in more sway/poorer handling. Recently got a '12 GMC Sierra 2500. Sticker says pressure should be 80 psi on the rears and 65 front. I'm using 75 psi on the front. We put a set of LRE Goodyear Wranglers on it which have stiff sidewalls with a kevlar belt. We tow a 29' 7K lb TT. The truck tows the TT as if it was on rails. Zero sway. I never thought towing could be so good! Had an F250 for 7 years, towing the same TT. It had LRE Michelins on it and ran 80 psi rear & 75 front. Sidewalls are a lot more flexible compared to the Wranglers. I thought that towed pretty good, but wow, the Sierra tows so much better. Difference has to be in the tires and maybe the heavy duty trailer package on the Sierra. When I first got our F250, I experimented with different pressures on the front & rear tires and settled on the 80 rear & 75 front for best handling & sway control. Can't recall what Ford said the psi should be but was a fair bit less than this. Some people are shocked at running such high pressures but only downside is maybe a harsher ride which doesn't bother me in the slightest. I reduce the pressure over the winter months. FWIW, tire pressure in a TV is just one of a number of factors to consider when looking at reducing sway and improving handling, and they all work together as a "package".
myredracer 07/15/19 10:08am Travel Trailers
RE: Add second air conditioner to 30 amp RV

.BTW - I don't understand why manufacturers are still building larger RVs with 30A service.Up until 2005, the NEC only required 5% of a CG/RV park to have 50 amp sites. Then in 2002, it was changed to 20%. In 2017, it was increased to 40% of CGs required to have 50 amp sites. Finding 50 amp sites can be very difficult. Some CGs and RV parks may have built above the min. code requirements such as casinos and some gov't facilities for ex. Unless we had a larger RV, I'm quite happy with 30 amps. There's been a few times when one AC unit hasn't been quite enough but wouldn't want 50 amps and have to plug into 30 amp pedestals with adapters most of the time. I see 50 amp RVs all the time using 30 amp pedestals including very expensive large MHs. One thing for sure, you won't find dealers or RV manufacturers telling potential buyers that 50 amps may be hard to find.
myredracer 07/14/19 07:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Weight Distributing Hitch BENT

The alleged "expert" at etrailer is wrong on the Reese dual cam 66084 WDH. Doesn't matter if you are moving forward or backing up, all the happens is the "crooks" in the ends of the bars ride up on the cams. There is friction between the bar ends and the cams which is part of how it works but the direction of movement has zero impact. I would hate having to remove the spring bars before backing up and would mean blocking the road in a CG while you do that. I have been backing up with our Reese DC for years. It can be quite noisy when going forward or reversing when doing tight turns and there'll be LOUD pop/bang sounds. Can be startling to people nearby! :) width=500
myredracer 07/14/19 04:09pm Towing
RE: Add second air conditioner to 30 amp RV

I would add that ALL pedestals require a 20 amp receptacle by code. But the NEC does NOT require the wiring to a pedestal to be sized for the 20 plus 30 amp receptacles to be used simultaneously and may be only #10 wire protected by a 30 amp breaker in a CG panel. You won't have 50 amps (30 + 20 @ 120 volts) available unless you're in a newer CG with loop-fed pedestals or a pedestal has 50 amps. You would have no problem using a 30 to 50 amp adapter along with a separate connection to the 20 amp recept. other than monitoring the voltage.
myredracer 07/14/19 03:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Add second air conditioner to 30 amp RV

Some comments: - Running two AC units on 30 amps is a bad idea. You're looking at 2 units at 13 amps, plus at least a few amps for the converter, plus whatever else might be running on 120 volts. While a 30 amp breaker (in your RV or pedestal) technically speaking can run indefinitely at 30 amps, it will get very hot due to the thermal elements in breakers. To make it worse, RV panels have the 20 amp AC breaker right below the 30 amp main breaker. Besides the heat, the breakers can eventually trip. - AC units have a 20 amp breaker which is sized to ensure it won't trip on the momentary startup inrush current, it's not based on the full load running current. - Momentary startup inrush current is in the 50-60 amp range. - Voltage is extremely important when running AC units. If the voltage gets down to 105 volts or less, that will cause damage to the motor windings. AC units will draw more current as the voltage goes down which will exacerbate voltage drop. - Voltage may *look* okay when running, but can drop very low during startup and lead to AC damage. - AC unit damage is cumulative over time and it can fail prematurely one day for no apparent reason. AC units are expensive to replace. - Running a 2nd AC unit off the 20 amp breaker in pedestal may or may not work. "Modern" CGs have loop-fed pedestals on large amperage wire (like say 200 amps) and the possibility of excessive voltage drop is significantly reduced. Older CGs have distribution panels spread around the property with small gauge wire to pedestals, which can be as small as #10 wire and thus voltage drop can be high plus wiring runs to the pedestals can be long, further increasing voltage drop. - If you plan to travel around a lot and not stay exclusively at newer CGs/RV parks with loop-fed pedestals, do not expect running a 2nd AC unit off the pedestal 20 amp breaker to work. - Installing a permanently mounted voltmeter inside an RV is highly recommended. An EMS unit is also recommended. - Choosing a site close to a pad-mounted transformer in a CG can help in some cases.
myredracer 07/14/19 12:55pm Tech Issues
RE: Opinions on Keystone Hideout

Thanks. I'm actually on Vancouver Island so we are not far from each other. Once again thanks. It's a big purchase for us. Going from a tent trailer to this :) I lived in Saanich & Victoria for 20 years (miss it a lot). As I recall, the RV dealer in Sidney is reputable. The Victoria area sure is a lot drier than the mainland while other parts get high annual rainfall. At least you won't be towing it millions of miles like you might on the mainland. I wish we could take our TT to the Island but the ferry fare is so prohibitively expensive.
myredracer 07/10/19 09:27am Travel Trailers
RE: 5th wheel suspension question

Shocks on our 7K lb TT made a HUGE improvement - less bouncing at the rear and better handling. Helped prevent things in our rear kitchen from bouncing around and doors opening in transit. I installed Monroe shocks on ours and Monroe says to install them at an angle. Monroe, Mor-Ryde, LCI and Joyrider all want their shocks to be at an angle and compression/rebound rates are designed for being at an angle. It has more to do with shock travel and overall length, especially if mounting on the inboard side of the I-beams and if the axles are under-slung or over-slung. Ours are mounted between the tire and I-beams. I don't recall ever seeing photos with the shocks being vertical. I highly recommend having shocks on a trailer. I also recommend Dexter EZ-flex equalizers and wet bolts. First photo is a Lippert shock installation. Second photo is a Mor-Ryde installation. Third is a Joyrider installation. Fourth & fifth are photos of our Monroe setup. I had a set of tie plates modified to sandwich between our 3" axle tubes and springs for the lower mount. I had the upper mounting brackets welded to the I-beams by a certified welder at a frame shop. I needed the upper mounting points just above the bottom flange of the I-beams in order to clear the slide out shaft on the other side. width=200 width=200 width=200 width=300 width=400
myredracer 07/10/19 09:06am Tech Issues
RE: A poll: What does 2 blinks of the left signal mean to you?

#1 - I've had a few truckers in the US do it to me when I couldn't tell if it was clear ahead of them to execute a pass, usually on an uphill. Hard to imagine any driver being that courteous. Thing is, most vehicles these days come out of the factories with broken turn signals. Functioning ones aren't always used correctly either. One violation of the rules I see a LOT is when people change lanes in an intersection, turn signal or not. You can get away with it until you're in an accident. Once most drivers get their licence, they seem to forget the contents of their motor vehicle act in it's entirety. Drives me crazy. I expect drivers around me to play by the same rule book, but apparently I expect too much.
myredracer 07/10/19 08:37am General RVing Issues
RE: Go 5 miles over in Indiana and foreit your vehicle width=500
myredracer 07/10/19 08:19am General RVing Issues
RE: Opinions on Keystone Hideout

When you google Keystone, add "quality" & "problems"... Met a couple in a CG who bought a new Keystone TT for their retirement years. It leaked like a sieve from day one. Dealer could not fix it and it got sent to the factory who only made it worse. He ended up repairing it himself. Know a couple with a Keystone. The quality of the cabinetry was atrocious. I repaired the dinette seating which was falling apart and cabinet drawers and doors for them. Below is a photo of the roller catch on one of their cabinet doors. The 2 pieces of the latch are over an inch apart! Also a photo of a bent catch and another showing a dealer repair on a catch. Have seen Keystone TTs at RV shows and the cabinet doors & drawers were wonky and not closing properly. Hard to imagine they put them on display like that for all to see. I do think though, that there is a difference in quality between the one manufactured in the east vs west. In some fairness, quality can be hit and miss and vary a lot between brands. We had a previous TT that ended up being replaced under warranty. I would either take someone with you to look at TTs that has been around them for a while or even hire an independent RV tech or at least go talk to one, on a used or even new TT. Could save a lot of grief in the end. width=200 width=200 width=300
myredracer 07/10/19 07:53am Travel Trailers
RE: Manufacturers offering Barrel Ceilings?

"Vaulted" or "arched" ceilings. Our KZ Spree has one. Also Jayco and Outdoors RV and probably many others. I wouldn't own a TT now if it didn't have a vaulted ceiling. Does make it seem more spacious for sure. Won't be quite as well insulated though because the roof trusses taper down to almost nothing at the outer edges.
myredracer 07/09/19 06:14pm Travel Trailers
RE: Any tips for installing a cover, without a roof ladder?

We have an Addco cover for our 29' TT. I lean an extension ladder against the side with a folded up blanket or something behind it to protect the edge of the roof. The ladder needs to be extended above the edge of the roof a couple of feet. Then I joist hoist the whole cover in it's bag on a shoulder, climb up and toss it onto the roof. We roll it up so that I can start at the rear of the roof and roll it towards the front. I push the sides over as I roll it out forward. Then I go down the ladder and tug it down all around until it hangs right. Usually takes around 30 minutes to get it up and all rolled out. This is my method and others will have their own versions. The Addco covers aren't very heavy. I'd sure hate to have to climb a vertical RV ladder with a cover. If you look up specs on your make & model, it should say if it's a walk-able roof. Ours does at least.
myredracer 07/09/19 06:07pm Travel Trailers
RE: 4WD or 2WD

I hate 4WD trucks and we live in the Great White North. Have never once needed it. If we get snow here on the west coast, which we we rarely do anymore, the truck just stays in the driveway. DW's Subaru will get us around if needed. Never needed 4WD anywhere with the TT either. With 4WD, I don't like the fact they're up to 5-6" higher off the ground, there's more stuff to leak and need maintenance and you lose payload cap. Problem is, 2WD trucks are very hard to find unless you order a new one. The marketers have done a great job of convincing everyone you've gotta have 4WD. OMG, our newly acquired 2012 Sierra 2500HD is so high off the ground, I can barely make it into the bed and almost need a stool and I'm not exactly short at 5'-8". It's higher than our old F250 and I thought that was bad enough. I would think a lower center of gravity of 2WD would handle better.
myredracer 07/09/19 11:11am Tow Vehicles
RE: Saw my first 2020 GMC HD camping this weekend

We just got a "new" 2012 Sierra 2500HD. Last 2 trucks have been Ford. Never thought I'd like a Sierra, looks or otherwise but I do. I don't like what they've done with the 2020 tho. If I had the cash in my pockets for a new truck, I think I'd pass on the new ones. Besides wanting to out-feature the competition, they always seem to be trying to make trucks look meaner, tougher and more appealing to the testosterone crowd. Yes, it looks fugly. The mirrors are super fugly. The only thing that could be fuglier is a 2020 Silverado.
myredracer 07/09/19 10:58am Tow Vehicles
RE: Spare Tire Rack Failure - Third trip out with new RV.

Pretty flimsy and poor looking design with welding to match. The rear of trailers bounce up and down like crazy and sometimes enough to fling things into orbit. I cringe when I see people with generators, dirt bikes and the like at the back, especially where you can't see it. Even going over speed bumps in a CG at low speed will make things want to jump off the rear. Good call on the BAL hide-a-spare carrier. We have one and it has been great.
myredracer 07/09/19 07:39am Travel Trailers
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