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RE: Towing My Boat Behind My Fiver'

The forum really is slow when you have this few of comments on what is always a hot topic that causes many to get their panties in a bunch. I've towed a boat tandem behind my 5er since about 1999. I have not towed through the states that you mention, but I'll share my experiences and you can take them for what they are worth. Probably goes without saying, but towing tandem isn't for everyone. You really need to think ahead (stopping for fuel can be challenging), backing up is very difficult, and it is very hard on your equipment. I had a hitch custom fabricated to the back of my 5er, and then had it re-enforced later. I am sure I have towed tandem for over 50,000 miles. During that time I had the shackles holding the axles of my first 5er fail, I had the first hitch on the back of my 2nd 5er crack, and the weld on my fold away tongue on my boat crack. Maybe some of that would have happened without towing tandem, maybe not. Moral of the story, keep a close eye on all your components. Towing tandem also degrades the ride within your truck. When you add the boat tongue weight to the back of the trailer you lose some pin weight (which never really was a problem), but you also create a fulcrum, and every bump you hit is magnified. Truck hits a bump, it bounces, then the 5er hits and it bounces, which bounces the truck, then the boat hits which bounces the 5er which bounces the truck. A good bump will go through the train a couple of times. I can pretty comfortably tow the 5er solo 12 hours a day, but add the second trailer, and at the end of a 12 hour day I am really wiped out. I have not towed through any states that prohibit the practice, but I have been over length in most states. What my personal experience is (at least regarding that) is that LEO do not enforce that regulation. The boat that I towed the most was a 21' sterndrive that I kept for about 10 years. It was about 5500 pounds going down the road, and is the most that I personally will tow. To me, the limitation isn't what the truck is capable of towing, it is the limitation of the strength of the frame on the 5er. I sold that boat back in 2014, replaced with a 23' inboard that weighs 7000 pounds, which I towed tandem once, and won't do again. When we go camping at the lake with that boat now, we take two vehicles. I do have a 17' Ranger fishing boat that weighs somewhere around 3000 pounds that I still tow tandem (which really is a LOT easier and much less noticeable). To me, at least with a 5000 pound or less boat, towing tandem is still worth the trade offs of either not taking the boat, or taking a 2nd car. But, like I said, it isn't for everyone. And to those that will tell you that you are at risk in an accident, and your insurance will deny a claim, I simply say read your policy. Insurance is regulated, and if there is a peril that is not covered it needs to be listed as an exclusion. I have never seen a policy exclusion of either towing a trailer tandem, or something that would deny a claim for an accident while breaking a law. Quite simply, insurance covers accidents, and it doesn't matter if you are towing tandem in a state that doesn't allow it, or towing over the weight rating of your truck, or speeding, or drunk (or all the above), an accident will be covered up to your limits of liability. Trailer brakes on that 5000# boat rig?
richclover 07/22/21 09:01pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Can tires be off ground on auto leveling system?

when we pulled into our campground yesterday, the auto-leveling system was off a bit. I had to raise one side a bit and then noticed that two of the tires on one side were between 1/4 and 1/2 inch off the ground. I don't feel comfortable with this, but since this is the third time out with our 5th wheel, I wanted to know if this is acceptable, or if I need to make some adjustments. Mine does the same when leveling parked diagonally in my driveway. Left tires are both lifted an inch or two off the ground. Several days at a time and no problems noted. I’ve seen class A coaches with front wheels off the ground when leveled on some of the spots at our winter runaway park for extended periods.
richclover 06/22/21 07:08am Tech Issues
RE: Bonehead Blunder, I'm an idiot!

Something I learned from flying, always use a checklist and ALWAYS do activities in the same order. If something gets out of order, START OVER and do it again. Even that's not perfect. Friend was a 747 check pilot and watched an experienced crew got things out of order, and they missed a major check item, landing gear down and locked. He told them to run the checklist again, and sat there in amazement when they "mouthed" the words and missed it again. They went back for recurrent training. I've tried to maintain the same walk around discipline, what am I supposed to be checking here, and actually touch the item to confirm it's correct. I've never done complete mental walk around when stopped for a short period of time, but given the example above that someone took the clip off, maybe I should change that up. Right, the checklists were mandatory. Using the instrument panel, or camper/hitch, as the checklist works, too. Five items to check when hooking up my 5’er. Then an unhurried walk around, twice, looking for extended jacks, open windows, unlatched doors, slides and awning fully retracted, lights and rear camera working. When the inevitable campground neighbor comes by to chat (distraction), the process starts from the beginning. I do the same checks during every stop along the way. Happy Trails and Safe Travels!
richclover 06/22/21 07:00am Towing
RE: Bonehead Blunder, I'm an idiot!

I have done some stupid things in my time, made some serious mistakes, but this one is really a major screw up on my part. Went to grab the TT from storage, the gate broke, I couldn't get in, called the owner, they came in and got the gate open. said they would wait and make sure I could get out. Now I am in a hurry to hitch up and get out of there. Grabbed the TT and away I go. Got home, usual pre-trip loading etc and the next morning we are off for a few days at a lake. Cool! :C 230K, 143 miles of highway later we get to our destination. I got out, walked by by hitch and saw this: My heart nearly stopped dead, I literally broke out in a panic sweat when I realized that I DID NOT put the pin in the hitch. How could I have done such an idiotic thing? Where was my head? I have a process, a method I follow for this and I failed, big time. Unbelievable that I drove that far, towing about 7500 - 8000 pounds and the thing didn't fall out of the receiver. I am astounded beyond words at my stupidity and the fact it stayed there all the way. Wow, just wow. I know we all do some dumb things, but this takes the cake for me. Yes, you were lucky! You’re not the only one who’s done the same thing. There was a lady hooking up her camper at my storage lot last summer. She was done and pulled out shortly before I left. A half-mile later I found her rig blocking one lane of a 4-lane city street. Trailer hitch on the ground and trailer held by safety chains from rolling backwards downhill. Another driver and I got the trailer chocked and the hitch jacked up so she could reconnect. A city police officer happened by, parked his truck behind us with lights on, and helped with the “rescue”. The lady reached into the pickup, retrieved the hitch pin and placed it properly. She just got in a hurry and forgot.
richclover 06/21/21 05:15pm Towing
RE: Good rest area arounf Buffalo Wyoming

Hey everyone. Part of our upcoming trip will be to drive from Sturgis to Cody Wyoming. Is there a good rest area around Buffalo,Wyoming? It will be s long drive and i know we will need to rest,eat and fill up with diesel.Thanks! There’s a Cenex on 16, across from the Holiday Inn Express. $ 3.19/gl, cheapest in Buffalo according to GasBuddy. Review says there’s room for larger RV’s. GasBuddy is my friend, given the increases in fuel prices. Wife and I just got home from a 3000-mi road trip to N WI. Diesel prices from $2.95 to $3.70. We had a fuel stop planned on I-90, Murdo, SD. Until I checked GasBuddy. 20 miles further east to Vivian and I saved $17.00. Happy Trails and Safe Travels!
richclover 06/16/21 06:37am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Black tank stench won't go away

We have a 2017 Jayco 34RSBS. We have been living in it for the last 20 months while we have been dealing with a house being built. Within the last 6 weeks, we have had the bad experience of the black tank smell inside the camper. On occasion I can smell it around the front of the camper outside and in the front storage. I don't know what the issue is. There is no crack in the tank. I can't find a leak in the camper. I flush it at least several times when I empty it twice a week. Has anyone had this issue? Amy ideas? Thanks Tom Do you have a tank flush system? Or a flush wand to put down the toilet? Lotsa flushing, fresh water from a full tank will help. Assuming the trailer hasn’t been moved for some time the last resort might be a cup of Pinesol, along with 10-15 gallons of water and a short road trip to break “things” loose. Same thing happened to me after 6 months parked in a seasonal spot. My plan was to haul it home (400 miles), with Pinesol in the tank, then fill and drain until clean. I traded in the trailer for a new fiver instead. The dealership techs dealt with it. I bought one of these after a recommendation from an RV tech: Got mine from Amazon. I like the clear plastic. I’ve found that it can take 3 full-tank dumps (2 with a filled tank from the tank flush system), to get a nearly clean water dump. No problems with being parked for 6 months of stationary use. Good luck!
richclover 05/29/21 05:41pm Travel Trailers
RE: Newer 5ers, Slider Hitch Required For Short Beds?

I keep reading that the newer 5ers have a redesigned nose with curved sides so that you don't need a slider hitch on a short bed truck. My Ram has the 6.5 bed so I was wondering if I need a slider with certain models or if the newer ones eliminate the need for the slider hitch. Mine is no slider. Andersen hitch on a B&W Turnover Ball mounted to my frame. Ram Cummins short bed. My Coachmen 5’er has “Turn Tec Engineering”, but the front bedroom still has a full king bed and a washer/dryer in the middle of the front wardrobe ;)
richclover 01/16/21 06:15pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Washer/Dryer combos

In the ballpark of 12-15 gallons per load. That is doable for boondocking.... Occasional use. I'm not sure I would run it while boondocking- I haven't measured the electricity usage while running the washer cycle and I would definitely line dry anything vs. using the dryer. No way I would use mine while boondocking. Water use is one thing, generator time is another. Pack clothes necessary and take Navy showers ;)
richclover 12/28/20 04:35pm Travel Trailers
RE: Washer/Dryer combos

Looking at a washer/dryer combo (24"). I have read a ton on these and understand how small they are, how you can only load 1/2 way etc... What is the general consensus about the brands available? Splendide, LG and Equator seem to make decent models. Any opinions about which to get? I am also thinking about how to avoid leaks with whatever unit I get. One of the features we wanted in our new 5’er was the washer/dryer. The camper was delivered pre-wired and plumbed for a ventless washer dryer in the forward bedroom wardrobe. It takes up about a third of the space, but well worth it. Right, small loads and it’s programmable to wash then dry over a several hour cycle. Ours is ventless so it drys using steam heat. Clothes come out clean but a little damp. A short time on a folding rack and they’re ready for the drawer. It’s very convenient since our winter runaway RV park in NV has closed the clubhouse due to the virus and takes in laundry by appointment. Otherwise it’s a laundromat in town. Downside is power usage. Our metered electric bill for a chilly November, running propane furnace, electric fireplace and washer/dryer, came to about $75. Well worth it for us. The dealer ordered one of these and installed it:
richclover 12/16/20 07:39am Travel Trailers
RE: Keeping pets safe in travel trailer while “home alone”

We’re at our winter runaway rv park. Dog friendly with the usual rules. Campers next door have 3 dogs and are in the habit of leaving them unattended for several hours at a time. Wow! Those critters can be heard all over the park! So last evening the lady walked by with her 3 dogs and my Wife struck up a conversation since we had not yet met. Very friendly, so we let her know that their dogs bark constantly while home alone. She had no idea and thanked us for telling her. We’ll see what happens. No complaints from us. We’re dog people too. But ours go with us.
richclover 11/14/20 08:00am RV Pet Stop
RE: Battery questions for boondocking

Hello all, Per my other posts, we started getting heavier into boondocking this year. As such, I quickly noticed the importance of good batteries. We always bring a portable inverter set but when we are deep in the woods we really prefer to use it as little as possible. This past weekend the nights got down to upper 30's and apparently the furnace fan eats a lot of battery because it was dead by morning. Currently we have the battery that came on our camper 2 years ago which is a single deep cycle. I have read many threads about batteries including 6v vs 12v, Optima / high end battery, etc etc. My question, specific to boondocking is bang for the buck. I'm not interested in spending $700 on batteries at this point. So would I be better off buying 2 12V batteries from Wal mart (or wherever)to replace my single, or a single "high end" battery such as Optima or similar? Or, is the 6v difference so big that it makes it worth it? My guess for next year is we will boondocks 5 or 6 weekends total (2 or 3 nights each time). With that said, what would you do keeping cost in mind? Not trying to find the literal cheapest way, rather I'm looking for "bang for the buck". Thanks! You’ll need a pair of batteries. Marine/RV deep cycle. Mine are 12V. And a way to charge, too. A battery status indicator will help. Solar panels help, too, but you’ll need to run your generator every day. Up to 4 hours total based on experience. A couple of hours in the morning and another hour and a half in the evening got me through a 6-day camp 10 days ago with nighttime lows ranging from 20’s down to 10. I have a pair of deep cycle Interstate batteries and a 15 watt solar panel. Champion remote start generator took care of the morning coffee and burned through most of a 5gl jug of gasoline. I emptied a full 7gl, 30 lb, propane tank and went through most of the second setting the furnace thermostat at 58 degrees overnight. I was surprised and happy that nothing froze up in my 5’er. Good luck, safe travels and have fun!
richclover 10/28/20 04:54pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Maximum towing

Published truck capacity is one thing. Engine performance is another. Lotsa discussion about half ton trucks towing at capacity. My concern would be engine performance. I’ve been loaded heavy in a Dodge 2500, gas 5.7l, doing 25 mph in the right lane, engine “screaming”, getting passed by 18-wheelers doing 35. On the hills, I-80 in WY. There is no substitute for power. 7000# and up trailer, I’ll take the diesel. Cruise control set 65-70, long hills on I-15, UT, and watch it run. JMHO. PS My next truck will be a 3500 4x4 Ram Cummins ;)If you had the 1500 with same engine you would be 1000/1500 lighter and would be keeping up with the loaded semis. Doing 35...
richclover 10/25/20 06:28pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Maximum towing

Published truck capacity is one thing. Engine performance is another. Lotsa discussion about half ton trucks towing at capacity. My concern would be engine performance. I’ve been loaded heavy in a Dodge 2500, gas 5.7l, doing 25 mph in the right lane, engine “screaming”, getting passed by 18-wheelers doing 35. On the hills, I-80 in WY. There is no substitute for power. 7000# and up trailer, I’ll take the diesel. Cruise control set 65-70, long hills on I-15, UT, and watch it run. JMHO. PS My next truck will be a 3500 4x4 Ram Cummins ;)
richclover 10/25/20 05:47pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Maximum towing

Hello. It's been awhile since I've been here and I had forgotten how much fun this forum can be. Awhile back we decided to buy another travel trailer and we picked out one that weighed #5700 with a tongue weight of just under #800. We purchased a new half ton Hemi crew cab with every available towing option including 3.92 gears, Ram rates it to tow #11,400 with a bed capacity of almost #1800. Since we got this truck we started thinking maybe we could tow a little bigger camper and are wondering what would be a comfortable match to this particular vehicle. If you are towing with a 3.92 Hemi truck I would love to hear your story. I am not into anything approaching it's maximum values as I don't want to hear the engine screaming up every hill, just wondering if #7000 or even #8000 trailer was a reasonable option. I will say when I'm towing my small tractor and bush hog on a #1550 tandem trailer (total weight of about #4500) you can barely tell it's back there. Thanks in advance for your help. We traded our Coleman bumper pull camper last spring. I hooked it up to our Ram Hemi half ton to haul it to the dealership about 2 miles away. It was unloaded, but still at least 900# on the WD hitch and close to 7000# gross. No way I would be happy towing that rig with the half ton. Behind my Ram 2500 Cummins... no worries. The Hemi does very nicely towing the flatbed, loaded with the CanAm, total weight about 3300#. Well under limits, FWIW. Have fun and, as always, YMMV! PS. The only way to know what you are really towing is to load it all up and weigh it. Published numbers are... just that.
richclover 10/23/20 05:35pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Time to Prep the 5er

Yep, the best time of year to be boondocking! In just a week from now will be getting ready for a few weeks in the mountains! It looks like it may be a little cool when we “de-winterize” for our trip. With the weather, a lot can change over a few days.....we have lows predicted below zero F next Monday morning....will be loading the camper with gear/food and water on Wednesday. Hopefully, it will be 20’s or a bit warmer when I’m playing with the water hose! ;) memtb Hi, Todd! We put a test on the new 5’er last week. Boondocking near Cokeville. A couple of nights at 10degF. Went through more propane (house is bigger), but nothing froze. Happy campers! Winterized today, cold forecast, but loading up in 2 weeks for the season in Mesquite, NV. No boondocking there ;) Good luck with your hunt. We had 3 tags, cut all 3. Wife’s cow dressed 280. Lotsa meat in the freezer. Hunting buddies without tags got the other 2. Ps Wife’s the better shot ;)
richclover 10/21/20 05:31pm General RVing Issues
RE: Do propane fire pits put out any heat?

I like the heat and ambiance of a good wood fire when camping. But after more than 35 years of camping I'm finding that I'm starting to not enjoy constantly moving around the fire pit to stay out of the smoke. So I've been considering a propane fire pit, but I'm concerned about the heat output. What are your thoughts? Do the propane pits put out a decent amount of heat compared to a modest wood fire? The RV park where we “snowbird” doesn’t allow open wood fires but propane fire bowls are okay. Ours will burn for 5-7 hours (5gl tank), with a medium flame. It’ll burn your boots if you’re not careful ;),of%20a%20cozy%20campfire%20with%20you%20anywhere%20outdoors. EDIT: I made your link clicky so it doesn't break the page.
richclover 10/19/20 06:33am General RVing Issues
RE: AV gas for the generator

A Facebook friend just posted a spot hes getting AV gas at. Runs it in his generator. Any of you old school guys have advice on slight tuning changes? Lean out the altitude screw maybe? Different plug? I'm mostly just curious. Enjoy topics like this. Next camping trip maybe I will finally try AV gas. I've heard about people using it for offroad toys. Quite a thread! Yes, off road toys. Around here it’s custom built, turbocharged, high horsepower high compression snowmobile engines. There are a few guys who show up at the local airport with 5gl jugs every winter. Word is they go play in the snow at 10,000’ above sea level.
richclover 10/07/20 07:26am Tech Issues
RE: AV gas for the generator

older airplanes were built for leaded gas. Newer ones do not use leaded gas. if you can still get leaded gas it will be ONLY for those airplanes that HAVE to burn it. There are substitutes now, and I can't remember the details. The AV gas is color coded. I doubt u can get leaded gas for your generator, only the modern blends. I’m not aware of any substitutions for 100LL (aviation gasoline aka avgas), in my immediate area, but since I sold my last airplane 2 years ago, I’ve had no need. Yes there are some newer aircraft engines designed to run on unleaded Mogas (car gas), and certain conventional aircraft engines can be modified to use it but not many. The higher displacement/horsepower aircraft engines, 360 to 540 cubic inches and up to 350 hp, must use 100LL gas. That’s most of the light, general aviation fleet and it’s sold at all airports with fuel service. For now. Research on substitute fuel continues. $3.99 low to $6.85 high. That’s the price range for 100LL at airports in my area. Most from $4.50 - $5.50. Why anyone would pay that for a mower, generator, whatever, when non-ethanol gas is readily available, is beyond me. As always, JMHO.
richclover 10/07/20 07:21am Tech Issues
RE: AV gas for the generator

A Facebook friend just posted a spot hes getting AV gas at. Runs it in his generator. Any of you old school guys have advice on slight tuning changes? Lean out the altitude screw maybe? Different plug? I'm mostly just curious. Enjoy topics like this. Next camping trip maybe I will finally try AV gas. I've heard about people using it for offroad toys. Unless it’s an old generator I wouldn’t run 100LL in it. “Low Lead” is still leaded. All my small engines are designed to run on unleaded gas. I found a station in town that sells clear gas (ethanol free). That’s what I use in my small engines now. It’s cheaper than avgas at my local air patch ;)
richclover 10/04/20 06:30am Tech Issues
RE: Winter travel

I am planning to leave Massachusetts in late December (Covid permitting) for a 2 month vacation in Florida, returning in early March. I recall seeing a recommendation to leave the heat on in the trailer while traveling. I’m wondering if I can sleep in the trailer at night on the way down rather than a hotel. One concern that comes to mind is operating the slide in (possibly) freezing weather. Covid-19 permitting... And weather. Assuming your rig is already winterized (late December), leave it that way until you get further south. A couple of 5-gl jugs for washing and flushing should work. Start watching the weather forecast about 10 days out and pick a favorable window for escape. Safe travels!
richclover 10/01/20 07:22am Tech Issues
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