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RE: Key West or Out West

Well, I have been on here before dreaming about a trip out west. I got VERY good feedback. Didn't imagine I'd be trying to do it right now with COVID restrictions but here we are. We are a family of 5. Kids are 15, 13, and 10 and we are ready for an adventure before our oldest is gone. We have the time and money to actually take a trip out in our 5th wheel to either key west or out west. I prefer out west but a lot of things are closed due to covid so I'm apprehensive about going. I also HATE to book something a year out. I'd love to book it right now and be able to go mid may time frame. Any suggestions on where I should look right now?Apr/May is the start of the off-season in the Keys, so it will be less crowded. I'd have to agree with others that the Keys are hot (85-88) and humid from May through almost Nov. For some it's an issue. We haven't found it to be all that objectional. Mid-May can be a good time to visit many locations "out-west". During the summer, most of the popular places are extremely hot and crowded. You do have the option of limiting your visits to higher elevations (4000+ ft.) to negate most heat issues. Keep in mind, some of the higher mtn passes can still be closed up through May-Jun in some locations. As for your comment about places being "closed" out-west, we took two 1500+ mi. trips through SD, WY, ID and CO back in Aug/Sep and found very little closed. We were able to make reservations at 3 different campgrounds at Yellowstone a week prior to departure, and had very little problems staying at most first come, first serve state/federal campgrounds. Admittedly, this took a number of hours of online research, phone calls, and some luck, but it was doable. If you're able to travel during the winter, hands-down, the Florida Keys is your destination of choice. Temps hover between 70-80 throughout the winter. Perfect weather to do nothing, or everything. As I mentioned in another thread, the Fl Keys are unique. Nothing like it anywhere else in the US. Good luck!
otrfun 01/30/21 09:18am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: You have 13 yrs 11 mths left to buy a GM gas or dsl vehicle

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otrfun 01/29/21 04:50pm Tow Vehicles
RE: SRW 3500 Dodge work with a Arctic Fox 811

We considered the AF 865 (basically a slightly lighter, non-slide version of the AF 811) for our '16 Ram 3500 SB SRW. Had a 2019 865 scaled at a dealer and was shocked to find it weighed over 3,500 lbs. completely dry and empty (no propane, batteries, etc.). Would have probably scaled in around 4,500-4700 lbs. loaded for the road. In any case, too much weight for us, our truck only has ~4000 lbs. of payload (FWIW, all of it available on the rear axle: 7000 lb. RAWR minus 3000 lb. empty rear axle weight equals 4000 lbs.). Went with a lighter 2,700 lb. camper instead (approaching 4,000 lbs. loaded). More or less leveled the truck with just lower Stableloads. Still went ahead and installed airbags because we also needed to level our truck from side-to-side (camper is heavier on one side). Lastly, lower Stableloads may not provide quite the lift that airbags do, but they do offer more stability (at least on our truck) due to the fact they operate/mount more outboard than the airbags. Airbags (on our truck) tend to induce sway when they're inflated much more than 30-35 psi. IMO, lower Stableloads and airbags compliment each other well.
otrfun 01/29/21 02:02pm Truck Campers
RE: replacing Brake Pads

Back in the day, I never did anything to the brakes except swap out pads when I was absolutely forced to. Do things differently now. In addition to a total flush every 3-5 years, we also drain and fill the entire contents of the brake reservoir on our Ram Cummins once a year using the vacuum line on our brake bleeder. Literally takes less than 3 min. Both the larger containers of brake fluid and the brake reservoir on our Ram hold exactly 32 oz., so no waste. When we started doing these D&F's, I did it as long-term preventative maintenance, with no expectations it would provide any noticeable improvement in braking performance. Was pleasantly surprised to find the brakes became distinctly more firm after every D&F.I believe there's a bit of placebo effect going on here. Not that I disagree with the merits of periodic brake fluid flush/change, the fluid would have to be really bad to have a noticeable difference in feel.As I mentioned, I had no expectations it would do anything except be a good, long-term ROI for 3 min. of my time. If I hadn't done this 3-4 times with the same results, I'd be right there with you saying it was probably a placebo effect. However, the same thing happens every time. I can honestly say I never anticipate an improvement, but as soon as I use the brakes a few times I'm reminded there is one.
otrfun 01/27/21 11:45am Tow Vehicles
RE: replacing Brake Pads

Back in the day, I never did anything to the brakes except swap out pads when I was absolutely forced to. Do things differently now. In addition to a total flush every 3-5 years, we also drain and fill the entire contents of the brake reservoir on our Ram Cummins once a year using the vacuum line on our brake bleeder. Literally takes less than 3 min. Both the larger containers of brake fluid and the brake reservoir on our Ram hold exactly 32 oz., so no waste. When we started doing these D&F's, I did it as long-term preventative maintenance, with no expectations it would provide any noticeable improvement in braking performance. Was pleasantly surprised to find the brakes became distinctly more firm after every D&F.
otrfun 01/27/21 07:57am Tow Vehicles
RE: Northern Lite.

You may want to make an ISO 9-6 post in one of the two Facebook Northern Lite Owner/Enthusiast groups. They typically let folks in the research phase of purchasing a NL join. Always somebody on the edge about making a decision to sell. Your post could bring them out. Sales of NL's have increased quite a bit in the last few years. More times than not, used, late model NL's can be found on rvtrader.com; however, the vast majority of these will be located at dealerships. Older NL's in good shape are scarce. IMO, you'll need to keep your search nationwide if you want to find something sooner rather than later. Good luck!
otrfun 01/26/21 09:12am Truck Campers
RE: FLKeys suggestions

We've visited the FL Keys and Key West so many times we've lost count. If you're a first time visitor, just the drive from Key Largo to Key West is a treat. A drive like no other in the US. Commercial RV spots in the Fl Keys are pricey---typically $100-$150 a night (some like Bluewater even higher). The best overall value is the Bahia Honda State CG's with a number of scenic tree-lined FHU sites right on the water for only ~$40. Unfortunately, they're typically booked up solid almost a year in advance. There is no one "ideal" RV park in the FL Keys---there are major pros and cons to all (price, availability, location, accommodations, etc.). To my knowledge, there are no public RV parks located on Key West (NAS KW CG is currently closed due to Covid). However, there are several located on Stock Island (less than a mile from Key West). High tourist season runs Dec-Mar. IMO, you can get a very good feel for what each offer by visiting their websites, viewing the premises via satellite and reading reviews. If you can find accommodations for your camper, I'd say a visit to the Fl Keys would trump a trip to the panhandle. The panhandle's nice, but IMO it's more or less a replay of the entire eastern seaboard. Good luck!
otrfun 01/25/21 11:12am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: iPhone AT&T Watch TV App - Cast Without Internet??

Thanks, Martyn, MrWizard, and pyoung47. Looks like the Apple HDMI lightning adapter may be worth a try. Asked whether it would work with the iPhone AT&T Watch TV app in the Amazon Q&A section for the adapter. Received no replies from anyone who had personal experience with the app. Surprising since there's 36,000 reviews and over 1,000 Q&A's already. The impression I'm getting with the Apple HDMI lightning adapter is that it does "work" with all the major streaming apps. However, the catch is, some of the individual networks like the Discovery Channel have the ability to independently block their content on Hulu, Netflix, etc. when the adapter is used. To clarify, when a user uses the AT&T Watch TV app on their iphone, they can stream 24/7 for free using cellular data. If a AT&T user streams with the Hulu, Netflix apps, AT&T deducts the data used from their monthly cap. Even on AT&T's so-called "unlimited" data plan, AT&T starts throttling data at 22gb. Wouldn't take more than a few days of streaming to use up the 22gb.
otrfun 01/25/21 09:04am Technology Corner
RE: My truck has a winter beard!

Admittedly, I haven't dealt with snow/ice up north for any significant period of time. I would assume in some areas, all that snow/ice on the OP's truck could be totally saturated with salt or other corrosive. Can't imagine that being a good thing--especially if it's stuck on the truck for a few days/weeks.
otrfun 01/24/21 03:18pm Tow Vehicles
RE: iPhone AT&T Watch TV App - Cast Without Internet??

Not sure about the watch. But you should be able to use Chromecast on your TV to cast from any compatible app on your phone as long as you are on the same wifi router/connection.Yup, that's what I hear. Unfortunately, haven't been able to get specifics on how to do it. It won't mirror from the iPhone AT&T Watch TV app, Hulu, etc. if I unplug the internet connection on our wifi system. Mirrors fine with an internet connection. Just to clarify I was using cellular data (not wifi) to stream the AT&T Watch TV app on our iPhone when we tried this.
otrfun 01/21/21 12:03pm Technology Corner
RE: iPhone AT&T Watch TV App - Cast Without Internet??

Thanks for the replies. Good to know the iphone HDMI adapter works with Prime. From what I can gather it's blocked by all the other major streaming services like Hulu, ATT Watch TV, etc. It is usually blocked on them, which is why the only proven one to work (I know, as I have one)is the Apple one I linked to. Now I admit, I have only used Prime on mine, so can't speak for the others. :) It still does act like it's blocked if you connect to the TV and then try to start a video. It gives you an error message. I get around that by starting the video on the phone and then plugging in the lightning connector from the 'dongle'. Works every time. Hope this helps.It does, thank you. Just read some of the Q&A's and reviews and it certainly appears some folks are able to mirror some of the major streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, etc. with this Apple version. Just posted a question in the Q&A area to see if anyone has had luck mirroring the iOS AT&T Watch App. Fingers crossed we get good news.
otrfun 01/21/21 11:57am Technology Corner
RE: iPhone AT&T Watch TV App - Cast Without Internet??

Thanks for the replies. Good to know the iphone HDMI adapter works with Prime. From what I can gather it's blocked by all the other major streaming services like Hulu, ATT Watch TV, etc. We used to pay $7 a month to activate our Dish receiver in our camper when we had a Dish home account. Unfortunately, when we cancelled Dish and went with Hulu (a big improvement BTW) we now have to pay $55 a mo. to activate our camper receiver even if we only need it for a 2-3 days--it's no longer pro-rated. Since we have free, unlimited streaming of ATT Watch TV on our iphones, it would be really nice to mirror this to our TV in our camper.
otrfun 01/21/21 07:59am Technology Corner
iPhone AT&T Watch TV App - Cast Without Internet??

This topic has been moved to another forum. You can read it here: 30193264
otrfun 01/19/21 08:13pm Tech Issues
iPhone AT&T Watch TV App - Cast Without Internet??

Any iPhone AT&T users found a way to cast from their AT&T Watch TV app to the TV in their camper without an internet connection? Supposedly there's a way to do it using Google Chromecast via an in-house wifi or a hard-wired ethernet connection? Thanks!
otrfun 01/19/21 08:13pm Technology Corner
RE: TCs and Covid Vaccinations

I won't waste my time waiting in line for an unproven vaccine with questionable side-effects, kind of like not buying a new car in it's first production year until the kinks are worked out. I'll give it some time to prove itself before I partake. Even with the vaccine, people still have to wear masks and follow the protocols.Wow! With that mindset Covid will be around a long time for some people.In the healthcare community they are of a mindset where somewhere between 30% to 40% of healthcare workers are refusing to take the vaccine, now what?Those who share this mindset will hopefully free up vaccine for those of us who do want it. By saying this I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but in all honesty maybe a little selfish. If I can help these folks make peace with their decision to take the vaccine or not, I don't mind.
otrfun 01/15/21 08:21am Truck Campers
RE: Arctic Fox 865 Short Bed

Curious whether some folks have found the need to use the Torklift Camper Anchor Relocation Kit (TLA7004) with a short bed camper mounted on a Ram Megacab DRW/dually. Supposedly, if the distance between the front and rear camper tie-downs is less than 90" they're needed to allow the turnbuckles to clear the dually fenders.
otrfun 01/15/21 07:57am Truck Campers
RE: 60a DC-to-DC Charger Powered by 220a Alternator

otr - check on line for Ford’s upfitter or body builder manuals - I believe the electrical manual is separate from the chassis manual. There should be alternator output information there and/or a phone number to call. I have a Renogy 40amp DC-DC charger on the project parts shelf. The literature for it states the input draw of the charger can be up to 1.5 times the output (60 amps for a 40 amps out model) and to size wiring accordingly. Ray on the Love You RV u tube channel installed one and showed current measurements. This device is connected to the starting battery not directly to the alternator.Thanks, noteven! Good to know info. I saw Ray's demo/review of the Renogy dc2dc charger last week. Based on his vid the Renogy would appear to offer a good bit of good value for the money.
otrfun 01/15/21 07:43am Tech Issues
RE: Trailer too long for truck?

. . . the length of the trailer has no affect on the tow vehicle . . . Definitely disagree. A 33 ft. TT has a lot of real estate on each side. Acts like a big sail when there's high side winds. The only thing that counters that twisting/swaying motion brought on by high side winds is the sheer weight of the truck. The heavier the TV the more stability. We've towed a few 30+ ft 8k-10k TT's with a 1/2-ton (5.5k weight) and 1-ton SRW truck (8.2k weight). The 1-ton SRW truck's almost 3k of additional weight brings a lot more stability to the table when there's high winds. Lastly, even a trailer that only weighs 8k-10k could be handful for 1-ton SRW truck with a tow rating of 16k **IF** the side surface of the trailer is extremely high with high side winds. At some point excessive side surface area on a trailer can easily make the truck's tow rating completely moot.For a 33' travel trailer, the side force with a wind of 30 mph blowing perpendicular to the travel direction is about 2.3lbs/sq ft. Side area of the trailer is about 264 sq ft, so 264 x 2.3=(approx) 600 lbs of force. An increase of 10 mph to 40 mph will cause a side force of 1080 lbs on that same trailer. From www.engineersedge.com The formula is 0.00256 x V^2 (in mph)= lbs/sq ft where V is wind velocity and 0.00256 is a constant. Just sayin............:)Thanks. I believe p=mv addresses the weight differential between the TV and trailer. This differential and the wind force determines the final outcome :)
otrfun 01/15/21 07:18am Tow Vehicles
RE: Trailer too long for truck?

. . . the length of the trailer has no affect on the tow vehicle . . . Definitely disagree. A 33 ft. TT has a lot of real estate on each side. Acts like a big sail when there's high side winds. The only thing that counters that twisting/swaying motion brought on by high side winds is the sheer weight of the truck. The heavier the TV the more stability. We've towed a few 30+ ft 8k-10k TT's with a 1/2-ton (5.5k weight) and 1-ton SRW truck (8.2k weight). The 1-ton SRW truck's almost 3k of additional weight brings a lot more stability to the table when there's high winds. Lastly, even a trailer that only weighs 8k-10k could be handful for 1-ton SRW truck with a tow rating of 16k **IF** the side surface of the trailer is extremely high with high side winds. At some point excessive side surface area on a trailer can easily make the truck's tow rating completely moot.
otrfun 01/14/21 01:03pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 60a DC-to-DC Charger Powered by 220a Alternator

I have a digital volt meter to keep track of the truck voltage, it runs between 14.4 and 14.6 volts, I have driven up to about five hours straight and it never changes.The battery voltage on our '16 Ram 3500 Cummins drops down to 13.9 - 14.0v once the batteries are fully charged. It typically takes at least an hour or so of steady freeway driving to get the batteries fully charged. Around town (which typically results in more battery loading and less charge time) the battery voltage hovers between 14.3 - 14.4v indicating the batteries are receiving a fair amount of charge current.
otrfun 01/14/21 08:33am Tech Issues
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