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RE: Portland OR to Milwaukee WI

A 30' Class A is like driving a car! You should be able to handle that anywhere... :) If new to RV-ing with a Class A, you might want to stay off I-84, it's got a bad reputation for accidents on part of it (Deadman's Pass area) and has some twisty and steeper sections. Very busy route and is the only hwy in Oregon going east - west across the entire state. Google it if you're considering it. Wonderful scenic drive otherwise. Not a problem for me towing a 29' TT. Hwy 26 is a pretty easy drive past Mt. Hood and very scenic - we were just there. One of my favorite routes. Grades aren't that bad and in the 6-7% range IIRC. Could take you farther south than you want at first tho. Watch for aggressive drivers and speeders east from Sandy. Could go north to near Chehalis and take hwy 12 over to Yakima and then the I-90 over to Spokane and beyond. The I-90 route is many miles of open grassland and easy driving. Besides possibly hot in Aug., not a whole lot of scenery IMHO to get excited about. Can be very windy too. I would take hwy 26 east out of Portland over hwy 12. Can't help east of the WA/ID border but have heard hwy 2 which runs all the way eastward near the Can/US border is a nice route.
myredracer 08/08/19 10:27am Roads and Routes
RE: Modifying an RV toilet to fit your RV

If you can get to the underside without removing the coroplast (if present) and a lot of other work, an offset flange would work. You *might* be able to do it from above if you're careful and make a clean cut in the pipe into the tank. I'd use a die grinder with saw blade on it, but if you don't have one, a dremel tool may work but would be slow. A flex shaft on a Dremel may help. Another solution would be to create a recess in the wall the thickness of whatever the studs are - 1-1/2" or 2-1/2" if the wall has a vent pipe in it. Then trim it out to make it look nice. If the vent pipe happens to be behind the toilet, this wouldn't be possible.
myredracer 08/07/19 12:08pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Water Filters

I have yet to see a dog that didn't like Stinky Anything.The thing about dogs is that their digestive system is very different than humans and can tolerate things humans can't. They can eat rancid meat and even their own poop. Try eating your own poop, lol!! They will sometimes drink water out of a toilet because it's cooler, oxygenated from flushing and can have less bacteria than water that's been sitting in a dirty dish for a day or two. Anytime our dog has a sip out of our toilet, I still go eeewww that's digusting... Some humans have recently been reported as having no potable water provided and being forced to drink from toilets. Now that is disgusting.
myredracer 08/07/19 11:59am General RVing Issues
RE: Towing speed

One thing about Interstate highway travel is you rarely if ever find someone driving at the exact speed you want to drive. You inevitably come across someone who is poking along just slightly slower than you are, and need to pass. As soon as you pull out to pass, that person matches speed with you so you've either got to punch it to bet past, or fall back in behind. If you pass, they zoom on by, slip in in front of you, and slow down. If you fall in behind, they slow down. In short, your speed is often dictated by the jerk in the right lane who is either being a jerk on purpose or is such a sheep that they set their speed by what they see in their peripheral vision.Exactly! Happens all the time when I'm towing on the interstates. Gets very tiring on long trips and is so annoying. Some drivers think just because you're an RV you can't drive and they've gotta get around you no matter how dangerous a maneuver they try to do or what you're speed is. I just don't like being in the right lane on multi-lane freeways so I often run in the next one over unless there's little traffic. On-ramp merging traffic can be a real problem sometimes and it can be difficult to move left so you won't have to slow down and then speed up again. Semis often run at around the same speed but not always and some pass slow right lane vehicles and some will chug along at slow speeds. It can be a zoo out there. For anyone who's driven through or around Seattle, you'll know what I mean. I'm always amazed at how many drivers are out there that are oblivious to other traffic around them and can drive for miles at the same speed as someone in the next lane and you just can't get around no matter what your speed is. Also hate the small cars that cut in front of you because you leave some space from a vehicle ahead of you for safety. First thing IMO, is never tow above the speed rating of your ST tires (if so equipped). Have had 65 mph rated tires on our current TT for 5+ seasons so that's what I've maxed out at unless I've absolutely needed to get around someone. Heat is a killer on ST tires and doing over 65 in hotter weather isn't a good idea either. I always use our GPS as a speedo. DW likes to glance at it and tell me when I'm speeding tho. :( Going slower doesn't seem to help gas mileage a whole lot, esp. if we do a lot of towing in the mountains. MPG and the cost of fuel is what it is... 65 mph is what I've gotten accustomed to because of our tire's rating. But we just installed a set of Endurance tires a couple of weeks ago which are rated for 87 mph. Got to do a little towing in the 70-75 range on the way home on the I-5 from near Portland back to BC. It was actually pretty nice to be able to tow a bit faster to get around slow traffic and not worry about popping a tire. Max speed when towing in CA is 55 mph. OMG, it feels like a crawl! It's sooo hard to do that. I've done 65 much of the time and have never seen a single cop. On interstates there, I stay at or near the same speeds as semis which often stay at 65-ish. Towed through Utah once and their 80 mph limit is insane! If you're doing 65, most vehicles fly past you at light speed! When we're not on an interstate and battling all the crazy traffic and drivers, 60- 65 is a nice max speed, depending on road type, condition and posted limit.
myredracer 08/07/19 11:48am Towing
RE: RV toilet paper

Been using Costco Kirkland brand for years. It passed the 30 second in jar test and breaks down easily.Same here. In the beginning, we bought a few household and RV branded TP and did the jar test. The Kirkland breaks down nicely into little pieces. Same with a regular household brand or two (can't recall, Scotty maybe?) Interestingly, one RV TP brand broke into small pieces and one didn't, Thetford IIRC. Thing is, there is no industry regulation on RV TP grading and specs so they can call it whatever they want and charge mafia prices for it. :M Same with "septic safe" labeling. Does it matter if it breaks down into little pieces or not? Dunno and I think opinions are divided equally. For us, the Costco TP is cheap and breaks down so that's what we use. If you have a clear elbow on your sewer hose, you can see blobs of white stuff flowing through it and I doubt it matters if the blobs are a mass of individual little pieces or made up of continuous sheets attached together. One thing for sure, it's never in there long enough to biodegrade like in a septic tank.
myredracer 08/07/19 11:03am Beginning RVing
RE: TT brake performance after rewiring + shoe/drum replacement

Thanks for posting. If I remember right you are into electric type stuff. For me elec sometimes a mystery. I'm going to do mine soon I hope. Your upgraded wire size, how did you determine the size? And what connections did you go with? (I was thinking of Soderling and shrink tube. ThanksDexter has the wire gauge table below. I didn't know it existed until someone posted in my earlier thread. I used automotive brake cable and the only place I could find #12 was at the local hitch shop. Not the most elegant method, but I tie wrapped it to the axle tubes and the propane pipe. The cable was way too large to pull into the axle tubes and I didn't want to pull down the coroplast. For splices, I soldered them and used shrink wrap and then tape over that. I also securely tie-wrapped the splices at the backing plates so they wouldn't get damaged from vibration. I'd rather see the backing plates designed so that the splices are inside the drum instead. width=400
myredracer 08/07/19 09:58am Tech Issues
RE: Do you contribute ?

I once posted a long and well-deserved critique of an RV resort org. that we used to belong to operating in WA & OR, on RVparkreviews. Never got posted because unbeknownst to us, it was our first post there. Waste of time and would have been useful info. for somebody. Haven't posted since. I understand they've since changed that. Also not impressed with their format for rating/reviewing CGs/RV parks. Some perfectly good or excellent CGs we have been to sometimes get terrible reviews, some of which seem to be from newbies with little experience in different CGs and RV-ing or snobbish types who can't stand a little dust, kids, campfire smoke, etc. Can't keep everyone happy 100% of the time but some comments can really skew a rating unnecessarily.
myredracer 08/07/19 04:04am General RVing Issues
RE: Are these stickers needed??

Any need for the "Certified Green by TRA" and "RVIA" stickers on the side of my trailer? They both have ID #'s on them. I usually remove any decals and pin striping from my vehicles and now my trailer. I prefer the clean and advertisement free look. Thanks BrianIs there an easy way of getting rid of the "ghosting" after removing decals? I removed the name of our dealer they stuck on our TT. 4+ years later I can still see the outline of the letters. Only reason to leave them on would be if you ever wanted to sell it into Canada which I would guess unlikely... Are you thinking of removing the graphics too? Ours are starting to deteriorate slightly in a few spots at the edges due to shrinkage of the vinyl. I've seen a few RVs with graphics removed but it doesn't seem to look right without them. I wish I could remove ours because I know they're just going to get worse over time. We could have ordered painted on graphics when we ordered our TT at the dealer but we didn't want to spend the $$ at the time. Kinda wish we did now.
myredracer 08/07/19 03:26am Travel Trailers
RE: Extended warranty

Just bought a new 2019 TT.. Great! But what is it? I assume you got a good "last year" model price that cinched the deal?
myredracer 08/06/19 09:54pm Travel Trailers
RE: Extended warranty

If you have money to burn and don't know one end of a screwdriver from the other, spend the $$. Otherwise read the fine print in close detail. Typically things that don't break are covered and things that do, aren't. Best thing is to stock up on some basic tools and some spare supplies (plumbing fittings, electrical connectors, screws, tape, etc., etc.) and fix things yourself. Even if something is covered, your TT could sit on the dealers lot for many weeks while they fix it to suit their schedule, not yours. Not good in the height of the camping season. And too many dealers are inept and can't fix things properly it at all, even if you tell them what is wrong. (BTDT too many times.) Doesn't matter if it's the factory warranty or extended warranty. If you happen to be far away from home in the middle of nowhere, you're going to have trouble getting to a dealer that will work on it - another reason to have some tools with you. You just never know what will go wrong while you're away on a trip, and it does. I'd keep your $$ and buy some nice RV accessories instead. :) Or put it towards a good roadside policy. What would happen if your TV broke down far away from home? Would towing be covered for the TT and/or TV? Not something we thought about much until recently when the engine in our truck blew up 5 hours from home. The insurance policy we had at first was a premium one with some nice extras. If any appliance needed repairs, the TT manufacturer's warranty (2 year) was doubled, so we got 4 year's worth of warranty on appliances. Never once had a single issue with them and never needed the extended period. No wonder they can do that. Appliances aren't something that routinely break.
myredracer 08/06/19 07:20pm Travel Trailers
RE: Engine Reduced Power

Maybe went into "limp mode"? Had a previous V10 do that near home. Got a mobile mechanic to look at it and it turned out to be just a loose wire on a connector. Limp mode is designed to protect an engine against a number of issues and will reduce power a lot. Pretty unnerving when it happens. Running the engine codes would be the thing to do. OBDII readers are pretty inexpensive and a good tool to have handy. Got one from HF after the above incident and have used it 2 or 3 times since.
myredracer 08/06/19 04:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Closet/shelf suggestions

I made new drawers from scratch for beside each side of our bed. I got the drawer fronts from our dealer so they'd match the rest of of our interior. The drawers are quite deep - 22" IIRC. I used Knape & Vogt "stay close" drawer slides. The 2nd photo shows the drivers/left side. I also built drawers for the under-bed storage. The TT originally came with just a cubby hole opening on one side and the other was blocked out with a piece of luan plywood. A cubby hole is useless. The drawers are very useful. You'll need at least a table saw or access to one. A chop saw would be helpful but can get away with just a table saw. I made the drawer fronts for the under-bed drawers from scratch because I needed custom dimensions. For the drawer fronts beside the bed I walked around the dealer's lot and found some from another model that were the right size. width=200 width=300
myredracer 08/06/19 12:51pm Travel Trailers
TT brake performance after rewiring + shoe/drum replacement

I reported in June here what I found the brake wiring to be like as the couple of examples in the photos below. Shockingly terrible factory splices and the OEM wire was only #18. I re-wired all of the brake wiring on all 4 wheels from magnets up to the A-frame with #12 awg where it's spliced to the umbilical cord. When I went to do a bearing repack, I found the shoes and drum on one wheel were in really bad shape - Al-ko made in China parts. The shoes on the other end of the axle were in bad shape too. I installed two new Dexter backing plate assemblies and one new Dexter drum. I could have saved a few $$ by buying offshore parts, but no thanks. WOW! The braking improvement is a night and day difference. Every time I touch the brakes, I can definitely feel them kick in. It's almost as if the old brakes never worked, which is after 5+ seasons on them. When I first did the work, I couldn't see a big improvement but now after 600+ miles, the shoes/drums are burnished/seated and working like they should. I have the gain on the P3 brake controller adjusted down too now and the boost at B1. I last had the drums off 3 seasons ago and the shoes and drum deteriorated over around 15K miles and lots of towing in the mountains. I highly recommend to everyone with trailer brakes to do a regular inspection on them and not assume they're fine. It always surprises me how many whine & complain about blowouts on their Chinese tires but don't give their brake wiring and Chinese brakes a 2nd thought. You definitely don't want poorly working brakes when you may need them the most or cause the TV to do more of the braking. width=150 width=150
myredracer 08/06/19 12:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Wheel Bearing Repacking question

After how many miles should wheel bearings be repacked? What does that actually entail? Well, according to Dexter, bearings should be inspected and repacked annually or every 12K miles, whichever comes first. If this happened to be your own trailer, yes you might want to follow that. Many let it go longer than that. But 500 miles?? That's just plain ridiculous. Just an upcharge for nothing. Doing a proper repack on 4 wheels is hours of work, and not possible to do for $55. As mentioned, just how would they know your mileage? 500 miles is a pretty short road trip. It would be interesting to ask how they track it. Another important reason to pull your drums off is to do a brake inspection. That's just as important as a routine bearing inspection/repack, if not more so. As for tire speed rating, there's more of a choice now for higher than a 65 mph speed rating. Just had a set of Endurance installed with an 87 mph rating and have a few hundred miles on them. Nice to have ST tires that you don't have to restrict to 65 mph all the time. While I rarely want to or have a need to go above 65, I did get up to 75 or so on the interstate with them a couple of times and they sure run nice and track straight as an arrow.
myredracer 08/06/19 11:54am Tech Issues
RE: Bad city connection check valve cause low water pressure?

A city water has a threaded "swivel" fitting on the interior side. Often inside a cabinet or behind a bank of drawers. You could get access to the interior side of the inlet and punch out the check valve. They're just cheapo plastic gizmos. I removed ours and replaced it with a commercial grade brass one. Perhaps that would help you? AFAIK, check valves inside city water inlets are an integral part and you'd need to replace the inlet. That would require caulking it. I'd opt for a separate new one inside. Is the filter screen still in the city water inlet? They can sometimes plug up with silt & debris. Same thing can happen to the check valve. A regulator is always a good idea. CG water pressure can get very high and I've heard of it getting as high as 200 psi. We've seen as high as 140 psi. If you travel around much, you won't know what kind of pressure you'll have. Also, sometimes pressure can be at an acceptable level but there can be a surge that could possibly cause damage.
myredracer 08/04/19 03:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Installing 120v Fridge Element--Jury Rig- UPDATE

Note that heating element ratings will be rated at nominal 120 volts. Heat output varies as the square of the voltage. *If* the kill-a-watt is accurate and no losses in any of the circuit wiring, 286 watts would theoretically indicate the voltage was 113. Also, heating elements have an inrush current, kind of like motors and capacitors. Nichrome heating elements can take several seconds for the resistance to stabilize because the resistance goes up slightly as it reaches an operating temp. Unimportant factoid: Can be an issue for power utility companies after the power goes out for a period and then they bring a large geographical area back online. Vancouver Island used to be like that when many homes & buildings were heated by electric before a natural gas line to the Island was built.
myredracer 08/02/19 01:28pm Tech Issues
Curious how RV sales in Canada are doing these days?

The dollar exchange rate has been up at around a 1/3 more for us for a number of years now. That adds a huge premium to RV buyers in Canada. We bought our TT when the Can and US dollars were close to par. Today that would have added going on $10K Can on our purchase. Seeing that most RVs are built in the US, are sales in Canada down much? Are dealers here eating some of that or passing it all onto buyers? When I drive by our local RV dealer, I see a LOT of shiny new RVs out on their lot. Maybe they're just languishing and not getting sold? Having bought a used 3/4 ton truck in June, what we learned is that a lot of used trucks are being bought by US buyers due to the exchange rate and good used ones are harder to find here now.
myredracer 08/02/19 01:02pm General RVing Issues
RE: Goodyear Marathon Class Action Suit

Well, we got 5-1/2 seasons out of Chinese Marathons and just installed a set of Endurance. I've been anal about checking pressure regularly and never going over 65 mph. We've also had a high reserve load capacity at around 30% due to installing LRD instead of the OEM LRC. IMHO, many blowouts on ST tires can be attributed to not treating them like they need to be - never tow under-inflated, overloaded or over their speed rating and have at least 15% reserve load capacity. Lawyers could never prove that was followed. Plus, I would think each failed tire would have to be dissected and inspected by a tire engineer to confirm the cause of a failure which would never happen. Trial lawyers are always looking for ways to line their pockets. Article said they were investigating to see if a class action lawsuit "could be filed". If it's a year old, this is the first I've heard of it and probably didn't go anywhere. Some lawyer probably had a blowout and decided he wanted to get even, lol! If anyone is to blame, I would say it is RV manufacturers and dealers failing to advise/educate owners on how to treat ST tires.
myredracer 08/02/19 12:23pm Travel Trailers
RE: Water Filters

10" filter housings with 5 micron string wound sediment cartridge followed by a Doulton 1 micron ceramic cartridge would be a very good setup. Doulton ceramic filters can be cleaned repeatedly with a scotchbrite pad and will last a long time. String-wound cartridges are quite inexpensive. Could do this for around $100 -$150 or so including a few fittings. A regulator before filters is recommended as they can be damaged by high pressure in some cases, but recommended regardless. Pressure can be very high in some RV parks. Depends on exactly what you want to achieve and remove from the water tho. Carbon block filters remove chlorine but that can leave piping inside an RV unprotected. A POU (point of use) carbon filter at a sink is a solution if you want to improve taste & odor. Chlorine can be on the high side in some locations and bothersome to some people. Filters with KDF or silver prevent bacteria growth in it but will still pass bacteria through it. Pleated paper sediment filters encourage bacteria growth. A filter with a 1 micron will remove parasites and some bacteria. I would get filters that are NSF listed otherwise the manufacturer can make unfounded claims or filters may not have any specs provided for them and you won't know what the performance is. Physically larger cartridges will generally last longer. Some are rated in gallons of use. Quality filter cartridges will have detailed specs. Doulton has info. on filtration for RV-ers here.
myredracer 08/01/19 06:36pm General RVing Issues
RE: Trailer Feels Heavier After Hauling for Period of Time

Suggestions: - take truck into a reputable independent shop for an assessment. Lack of power and/or intermittent loss of power could be a number of things. - take truck & trailer to a scale to get actual weights. I suspect the actual TT wt. is higher than you think. I would go by the GVWR until you confirm it's actual weight. - when was the last time you pulled the drums to inspect the brakes? Should be done every year or two depending on mileage. You could be shocked at what the condition of the drums, shoes and magnets are in. I'd also inspect all the brake wiring, including splices in A-frame. While you have the drums off, if you haven't done it for some time or at all, you should do a bearing inspection & repack. My BIL owns a large auto wholesale/retail parts shop in Spruce Grove and would know some good auto shops in Edmonton if you would like a recommendation or two.
myredracer 08/01/19 12:32pm Travel Trailers
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