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RE: 7.3 Ford vs 6.0 Chevy cockpit room

I really do not know why I found so much of a difference. The 4500 seems to have a softer ride. I would think that would cause more push from big rigs to be felt. That does not happen. I know the Ford road handling was significantly improved by going to +5 castor. What I do know is the stock Chevy with now 48kmi on the clock drives better than the Ford I had with 25kmi on the clock. I really enjoy not having to have both hands on the wheel all the time. I smile every time if I notice that the engine wanted a lower gear on a hill. It is so quiet compared to the Ford. I am a life long Ford guy. Heck I even put up with the infamous early 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel for 100kmi. After driving the 4500 and my mechanic saying the Chevy 6.0 was a solid motor. I could not pass up the floorplan. Yes, this camper is a bit heavier than the last one. I really do not think that is making the difference. If three or even five more of "me" sitting in the center of a truck made it better in cross winds. I would say the truck has a design flaw. I was finally happy with the Ford chassis until I drove the Chevy. I hope this was helpful. I found this thread very helpful. I know from driving my old Class A on a Chevy chassis for 100k miles I drive it with one hand like a car even when trucks pass by. My belief is if you can get each tire to carry the same load and a good alignment the MH should ride well. Each of my ties carry the same load within a 100 lbs or so. Many complain about a white knuckle ride on these old chassis. If you spend any time on the Class A forum you can now see more complaints with the F53 ford chassis and how bad it rides without suspension mods. What I have been trying to figure out is how do you find the actual weight distribution from front to rear of these small class C's. Not on the MFG web sites or door stickers. I called Coachman and asked a tech not a salesmen and he had no idea. I think when you have a 158 in WB the weight distribution front to rear become more important. Does anyone know how to get this info besides asking forum members if the weighed their MH front and back and side to side? You could do what we did ... pull off at a truck scales spot. Park it with the front wheels on the scales and get the reading. Then do the same with the rear wheels on the scales and get the reading. :)
pnichols 04/02/21 12:32pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Battery & electrical questions

DrewE's post above is why I have this boondock camping non-sun-dependent Plan C: If for some completely unforeseen and unfortunate reason both the coach battery bank and chassis battery should be low at the same time, we carry along a small portable generator that is pull started and can be used via a small stand-alone charger to charge coach and/or chassis batteries. Being stranded way out there in a MH with no tow vehicle would be no fun. I've never yet experienced it, but don't have to in order to not want to.
pnichols 03/28/21 06:21pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: DFW Class C Sevice

We are looking to get our first Ford Class C and have heard it is sometimes hard to find Ford dealers to do warranty work on motorhomes. We are in Arlington and would appreciate any advice on nearby Ford dealers who service motorhomes . Thanks I use mobile mechanics who come to my house to work on my Class C motorhome. One mechanic can fix anything on the coach and another mechanic can do an awful lot on the Ford E450 chassis right there in my yard. Their prices are reasonable and of course they come on the scheduled day and get the job done.
pnichols 03/28/21 04:00pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Boondocking in the sand -- how soft is too soft??

Sand driving...know your limitations and stop before you get in over your head. I have taken a 4x4 driving course, thank you US National Parks Service, and the lesson to be learned...get out and go look...don't just drive into something hoping for the best. I read you are towing a trailer...if you are going to be driving thru a creek bed..a dry river course? Be aware of the angle of approach and exit. Will your trailer tongue get caught going down or the back of the truck get hung up, going up/out. Best tool is a shovel. More than one. And a proper weight rated tow line for the person that comes to help, but doesn't have one. Just a note...if a person has duallies, unless they have spacers, they do not air down. Can't let those tires rub or pick up rocks that will tear the tires to shreds. And, not every tire set-up allows for spacers...mine, for instance. a 99 E350. Gary Haupt Good advice Gary! Regarding duallies, that's one reason I have tires on my Class C (215 size instead of 225 size) that are slighty narrower - to help reduce the chances of rocks wedging in between or sidewall rubbing on the rear duals without having to use spacers. (The other reason I use them is that the 215's are taller tires, which provides more ground clearance all around.)
pnichols 03/28/21 12:53pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Boondocking in the sand -- how soft is too soft??

pnichols 03/28/21 12:40pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Boondocking in the sand -- how soft is too soft??

Here's a tip I read about years ago - for maximum traction for those of you who have a 2WD drive motorhome or tow vehicle with a regular differential (one that doesn't lock up): In poor traction situations use 2nd gear to better keep both rear wheels pulling. This prevents or greatly reduces - the tendency for one wheel to stop spinning while the other wheel gets all the axle torque. I starting using this trick in my PU when going up our steep driveway in wet weather. It indeed does help keep one rear wheel from spinning with the other doing nothing. It's the application of overly strong driveshaft torque from the engine that switches a standard differential into allocating torque to only one wheel. A low gear plus heavy gas pedal application triggers this. Use of 2nd gear plus a gentle throttle helps keep both wheels engaged and pulling via a standard differential. I'm guessing that this technique may also help in soft sand situations.
pnichols 03/28/21 12:33pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Battery & electrical questions

I'm thinking that POSSIBLY the generator starts off the chassis battery--because one day I couldn't get the generator to start (think I just didn't prime it enough the first time) and cranked it multiple times with no luck. Then the chassis battery turned out to be dead, as in it wouldn't start the vehicle. As soon as I got the chassis battery jumped, and the engine going, the generator started right up. So my thinking was that I ran the chassis battery down in attempts to start the generator. Still not sure if that's what happened. FWIW, I think that my Itasca's coach batteries start the built-in Onan generator ... not the Ford's chassis battery. Sometimes I charge the coach batteries via a little portable generator powering an external charger. I attach the charger's output cable allligator clips onto the Onan's starter power lugs that have 8 gauge cables on them leading underneath the coach floor headed straight for the coach batteries on the other side of the coach. When I start the little generator the coach battery bank ammeter jumps right up, indicating that the coach batteries are receiving current from the external charger being powered by the portable generator. Hence, the coach batteries are wired to the Onan's starter via the 8 guage cables.
pnichols 03/25/21 11:30pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Battery & electrical questions

Here's the continuous duty solenoid with silver contact surfaces that I installed in our Itasca to replace the stock solenoid ... as I was not happy about arriving at campgrounds with coach batteries that hadn't been charged by the alternator because the stock solenoid had failed. ;) : This is the product line for the solenoid above:
pnichols 03/25/21 12:12pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: WB longer than 159 ins in a 23-25 ft Class C

I guess I still don't understand it. A 24 ft sprinter chassis has the same layout as a 24 ft 350/450 chassis and a longer WB. What am I not seeing? Gary ... it may have something to do with whether or not any given 24ft. Class C coach is, or isn't, built as a "basement" type. For instance our 24 footer is of a basement type design ... and hence has a step up of 4-5 inches into the coach from the cab. This means that our coach floor does not rest directly down on the top of the chassis frame rails, hence the rear dually wheel wells don't protrude as much up into the coach's interior. FWIW, it also means that all of our exterior storage cabinets are taller inside so as to provide more storage volume and - two of our storage cabinets go laterally clear across the width of the coach tucked between the top of the frame rails and the underside of the coach floor. These two long storage boxes are excellent for fishing poles, shovels, beach umbrellas, etc..
pnichols 03/23/21 11:28am Class C Motorhomes
RE: I can't figure out how to use

Glenn or Toni, That website leaves A LOT to be desired regarding using it for campsite research and reservations! I've been around computers and the Internet for around 30 years and I have seen a lot of poor, non-intuitive, and not-user-group-input designed computer screen layouts and websites. In my opinion ... that website is one of the worst. Sure, I have learned how to get around on it - but it took WAY TOO MUCH EFFORT to figure out ... and even after finally knowing how to use it ... it's still very frustrating and "klunky" to use!!
pnichols 03/22/21 09:05pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Battery & electrical questions

*Does the chassis alternator charge the house battery? If so, how well? Almost every RV is set up to allow the chassis alternator to charge the house battery. (it's a beautiful thing that comes almost for free). I have a 2015 Thor Majestic 28a...In my experience, the chassis alternator does a great job charging the house batteries. I have a battery monitor on my house battery bank. When the house batteries are at ~50%, I have seen my chassis alternator pumping 50+ amps into my house batteries when the engine is running (even just idling). -Chris Chris ... the same here. Our Class C's Ford alternator boost charges our coach batteries very well. I often just idle the V10 engine for awhile at a campsite to partially charge the house batteries. It idles very quietly and with no vibration felt inside the coach - unlike V8 powered trucks I've owned in the past. Other nearby campers should not be able to hear it running when I top up the batteries this way because we can hardly hear the engine idling when we're in camp right beside it. I have a digital ammeter mounted on the dash that shows current flow into and out of the coach batteries, and I've seen up to 70-75 amps from the alternator going into the large AGM coach batteries with the engine idling. A complete charge of the coach battery bank by the alternator takes about three hours when driving. When the ammeter on the dash shows the coach batteries accepting only around 1 or 2 amps with the engine running, I know that the coach batteries are fully charged. Our first motorhome (a 1969 model built on a GMC chassis) was bought from my father-in-law and for years that was his only way of charging it's coach batteries when drycamping. He thought nothing of just idling it's gas V8 engine for awhile each morning. Now ... what has happened twice in 15 years regarding our current motorhome's batteries getting charged by the Ford alternator ... is this: The 12V solenoid that connects the engine alternator to the coach batteries whenever the ignition key is turned on has failed, such that we arrived at our destination with coach batteries that did not get charged by the alternator. This above situation was probably due to corroded contacts of the solenoid - because I could still hear the failed solenoid engaging when I would turn on the ignition key. I now have an after-market heavy duty 12V solenoid with silver plated contacts inter-connecting the engine alternator and coach battery bank. I also have digital voltmeters on the dash for showing both the terminal voltage of the coach battery bank and the voltage on the chassis 12V system. If these meters ever DO NOT show nearly the same voltage on both systems (i.e. 12.XX volts on the coach batteries, but 13-14.XX volts on the chassis system) with the engine running ... then I know that either the inter-connect solenoid has failed to engage, or has highly corroded contacts -> and that I'm going to arrive at my destination with coach batteries that haven't been charged while traveling.
pnichols 03/22/21 11:10am Class C Motorhomes
RE: WB longer than 159 ins in a 23-25 ft Class C

One more... Leisure Travel Wonder all is on the 178" wheelbase: Note that of course (and unfortunately? :( ) Leisure Travel doesn't seem to offer any Class C models on the Ford E-Series chassis anymore.
pnichols 03/21/21 12:26pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: WB longer than 159 ins in a 23-25 ft Class C

If Ford offers the E-Series factory-built with the 176" wheelbase - as carringb says - then the coach builders don't have to incur the additional cost to extend anything themselves in order to build a small Class C on the long wheelbase cutaway chassis. I for one would not want our 24 ft. Class C to be on a 176" wheelbase for one other reason -> we can make a U-turn on most residential streets with our Class C's E450 158" wheelbase. ;)
pnichols 03/21/21 10:33am Class C Motorhomes
RE: WB longer than 159 ins in a 23-25 ft Class C

Of course the longer the wheelbase, the more the chance of high-center scraping of stuff underneath when traveling on rough road surfaces. With the longer rear overhangs that can result from short wheelbase lengths, taking dips at an angle can prevent scraping of the road surface. However, there is no way to avoid high-center scraping of objects on the road surface due to longer wheelbase lengths -> other than via part of the RV structure being held higher via a frame lift ... or via large diameter tires lifting the entire RV. I guess one has to pick their poison - a less rough ride, or more flexibilty in choice of road surface.
pnichols 03/19/21 09:29pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Coachmen Freelander Laundry Chute

Our Coachmen Freelander has NO real good place to put the "dirty" laundry. I fixed that this weekend. I installed a laundry chute on the passenger side of the rear bed. The chute opens to the "basement" and the stuff falls into a laundry basket. The basket already has the washing & drying supplies and a bag of quarters. All we have to do is to lift the basket out and head for the laundromat. Tim Tim, way off topic, but ... does your Healey have that great electric overdrive ON/OFF button on top of it's gearshift like my BL's Healey did? The overdrive button on our Class C motorhome's V10 gearshift sure reminds me of that great Healey feature from decades ago!!
pnichols 03/15/21 06:33pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Truly towable with 1/2 ton?

We are looking for a lightweight 5th wheel that can truly be towed by a 1/2 ton truck. I would buy a 3/4 ton if I could find one, however they seem to be hard to come by these days, unless you want one that has been well used, or was a Fleet/Rental truck. A number of the lightweight trailers (we like the Rockwood Ultralight) are pushing the limits of 1/2 ton trucks and require "max trailering" packages, which most trucks don't have. The trailer will be for two - no pets. I would love some ideas on trailers from this experienced group! Time is of the essence, as we would like to get one before summer. TIA Here's another small 5th wheel that most likely can be towed safely and easily with a 1/2 ton PU:
pnichols 03/13/21 12:05am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Is a toad necessary with a small motor home?

I do have a question concerning the fridge. While breaking down the Rv and going somewhere is not a problem what are the chances of finding a level parking place to keep the fridge level within limits. I do travel with pets so I am not sure leaving them in an RV while visiting a location would make me feel comfortable. The fridge is the big concern. I sometimes wish I had pushed to have a compressor fridge installed instead of the 3 way. I live in Florida and my trips always stress me some concerning the fridge temp. Thanks For temporary seriously off-level parking spots when away from a campsite shopping, sight-seeing, etc. - you can just shut off the refrig for a few hours so as to keep it from not-cooling and/or otherwise damaging itself.
pnichols 03/12/21 04:39pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Is a toad necessary with a small motor home?

The same here ... we don't need or want the expense and hassle of dragging a toad along. With our 24 foot non-slide Class C, not using a toad offers the flexibility to make spur of the moment decisions to camp at spots like this:
pnichols 03/10/21 02:08pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Ford 2022 Super Duty

That link seems to be mostly about looks and gadgets. What about details on the guts of the truck ... for us folks that like to keep our vehicles for 15-20 years by "buying it once and buying it right"?
pnichols 03/08/21 11:20pm Tow Vehicles
RE: HarvestHost......anyone using it?

Hmmm .... from what I can see - Harvest Hosts does show a zoomable map window at the link below, where you even can filter the types of hosts you want to see by clicking on the map filter icons at the bottom of the map window. You don't have to be a member to see this map that's available right on their general website. What you can't see - unless a member - is specific details on each host, but you do know where each host is located on the map for trip planning. If you're a member, you can see specific host details on each host by clicking on each host location symbol on the map. Here's the link:
pnichols 03/08/21 11:08pm Class C Motorhomes
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