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RE: Tire Replacement Question

Hi All. Thanks for the tire replacement recommendations. Just wanted to provide an update. I checked out Discount Tire. They have a relatively new location near me. While the lot isn't huge, they directed me to park next to the building blocking only the last bay. With two entrances to the main road, I could pull in from one end and leave from the other - no backing needed. In about 30 minutes, a crew had replaced the tires. Old tires: Westlake ST225/75R15. Load E. Speed L. New tires: Goodyear Endurance ST225/75R15. Load E. Speed N. I had them install metal valve stems as I am planning to add a tire pressure monitoring system. Tires have a six year warranty. Per tire price $134 + about $45 for installation, disposal, etc.
the e-man 02/27/21 08:08am Travel Trailers
Tire Replacement Question

We are planning to replace the tires on our travel trailer. Just doing this as a preventative step so that we can hopefully avoid any tire-related travel issues. I plan to go with Goodyear. At 34 feet, our camper is pretty long. Most tire shops seem to be meant for cars, not RVs. I replaced a set on our last camper which was smaller. We barely fit in the shop's parking area. I called an RV dealer who could do the work. But, the quoted price seemed really high. Tires were priced at $250 per tire for four tires + a spare. They wanted about $400 to mount them; an estimated 30 minutes per tire times their shop fee of $165/hour. My question is, what tips or advice do you have for finding a RV friendly tire shop? Thanks in advance.
the e-man 02/22/21 05:58pm Travel Trailers
RE: Electrical Extension Cords

Good luck with your first camping trip. I hope it is awesome. I remember our first trip. We had a lot to learn. Talking with fellow campers and asking questions here is a great way to learn. Before you know it, you'll feel pretty confident. As others have mentioned, a second 30 AMP RV power cord can come in handy. You may also want to consider a surge protector to help protect your camper. I like the ones that have an indicator to show you if the power at the pedestal is OK. One thing I have found useful is a power adapter. For example, with a 15 to 30 AMP adapter, you could power most of your camper's electric needs from a standard outlet.
the e-man 02/19/21 06:32am Travel Trailers
RE: Need Help Deciding which feature for trailer

On our camper, we tried to find one with only one entry door and with no outdoor kitchen. We ended up with a camper that had almost everything we wanted, but did have a smaller outdoor kitchen that we don't use. Here is a few thoughts. My opinions only - your mileage may vary. With our floorplan, the entry door is located mid-camper. You can access the whole camper, except for the fridge, with the slide in. You can access the whole camper even if beds are out. On some units, a second door may be added because you might not otherwise be able to access a bathroom or bedroom. For example, a rear living unit where the door is blocked if the couch is made into a bed. As others have mentioned, the second door can be an issue for a variety of reasons. But, some like having the door into the bathroom. Think about your group and how you might want to access the camper at the campground and also when taking a break at a rest area. At the RV shows last year, most units had an outdoor kitchen. They ranged from a very small fridge up to enormous pull out tables with built in grills. Some had large refrigerators, ice makers, and all kinds of accessories. I shared pictures on our blog for the shows in Richmond and Virginia Beach that would give you a sample. We use our inside kitchen. We also cook outside a lot. I have a Weber Q, Blackstone, and a Dutch Oven. From my point of view, the small two burner stoves in most RV outdoor kitchens are awkward to use. They might be useful for making coffee or to cook with a smaller round pan. I noticed that some RV makers have switched over to providing a griddle instead. How do you envision using the outside kitchen? Think about what you like to cook. Do you like to have gatherings at your site but don't want people going into the camper for a drink? Will you be at a site with electric hookups or boondocking? Good luck with whatever camper you buy. It's just great to have the chance to get outdoors.
the e-man 02/10/21 03:25pm Travel Trailers
RE: Jayco or Grand Design

We had a 2010 Jayco Jayflight 26BH. Currently have a 2019 Grand Design Transcend 28MKS. We have enjoyed both and find that they are fairly close in quality. I would feel comfortable buying either brand again. There are a few things that we prefer in the Grand Design including the enclosed underbelly and heating vents in the walls rather than the floor. We also liked the floorplan we bought, which we didn't see available from other manufacturers. Individual units may vary in quality. I would want to do a thorough pre-purchase inspection to ensure you are OK with the one you are buying. As others have mentioned, finding a good dealer should likely be part of the decision process.
the e-man 02/02/21 09:38am Travel Trailers
RE: water pressure regulators

Using a Camco Stainless Steel RV Water Pressure Regulator. I like that this one is lead-free since it is used for drinking water. There might be advantages to one with a gauge, but this simple one works well for us.
the e-man 12/13/20 09:40am Travel Trailers
RE: Which sewer hose?

Hello, I am new to the world of travel trailers (and this forum)! I purchased a 2019 Salem 26 dble. How do I know what kind of sewer hose I need? I Googled it and all these sewer hoses popped up, but none of the ads mention my specific camper. Thanks for your help! I'm looking forward to being part of this community! Hi Ruyak, Great question on the sewer hose. You are in the right place to learn. There are several brands that make good sewer hoses. Rhinoflex is a good choice. So is Thetford Titan. Since every campsite is different, I find it is helpful to have options. I currently have a Thetford Titan 20 foot kit. It has two 10 foot hoses that connect together. I also kept my older Rhinoflex 15 foot hose as a spare. Many recommend having a clear or semi-clear elbow so you can better see the flow. Most people store their hose in their bumper. However, one thing I've found is that some of the better hoses have bigger connectors which means they may not fit in the bumper. Test your hose to ensure it fits before using it. If you really like a hose but find it doesn't fit in the bumper, you can install a sewer hose storage tube under the camper. Valterra makes a good one. For a hose to work well, it needs to angle down from the camper to the sewer connection. Many people find having a support, like the Camco sidewinder, to be helpful. For pictures and a description of our setup, check out Sewer Hose Setup.
the e-man 08/10/20 06:44am Travel Trailers
RE: First barrage with the dealer

I know in 6-12 months the market will be better, but we are trying to get some trips in before a big trip in November. I am going to start looking at some campground options in the next day for our potential "shakedown" trips. Hi Raife, It seems like you are doing your research. You have picked some nice campers that meet your needs. It doesn't look like this dealer has added too many extra fees that you might have encountered elsewhere. Many of us look for the best deal we can get when shopping for an RV. It's up to you to decide how urgent the purchase is and how much you can afford. Sometimes it's good to wait. Other times, you can jump in and enjoy something now. It's a trade off. Wait for a potentially better deal later or take an OK deal now. One approach maximizes the budget while the other maximizes for current enjoyment. One other thought. Consider going to your local bank or credit union to line up a loan. You may find you can get a better deal that what is offered at the dealer. It seems like rates are pretty low at the moment - which could help you save a bit on your overall cost.
the e-man 08/09/20 11:57am Travel Trailers
RE: New TT bargaining...

Good luck with the negotiations. Before you get down to discussing price, do a thorough walk-through if you can. Identify the condition of the unit. Even a new one may have issues. You'll want to know about those and ensure they will be resolved before you take delivery. As other have mentioned, try to get the best price possible as the first step. While times may be different, the 25% off MSRP has been done by others. RV show prices have often been in that ballpark. Watch out for fees. There are some dealers that add on many extras. You shouldn't have to pay for things like a delivery walk-through. Once you get to the lowest possible price, see if you can get items included. Some dealers will say that parts is a separate department and they won't add anything. Others may give you a gift card to go shopping for what you need. Consider if you want upgraded water and sewer hoses, a Maxxair vent installed, a surge protector from Progressive Industries or Hughes, any power adapters/dog bones, checks & blocks, a hitch lock, etc. Find an RV essentials checklist online and consider what you'll need. If you can get any of it included in the deal, it's a bonus. Happy shopping.
the e-man 08/08/20 09:30am Travel Trailers
RE: Options are limted

Looks like you found some nice travel trailers. I'll bet you will be happy with any of them. I have owned a Jayco Jay Flight and a Grand Design Transcend. Both have been good quality and I would happily have either one again. Can't speak to the Kingsport. A few thoughts. Check out the heating ducts. Grand Design has ducts in the walls and cabinets. Jayco are in the floor. Technically, floor ducts are supposed to perform better. But, dirt and other things may drop into the ducts. Cleanup will be easier without floor ducts. In cool weather, you may find a small electric heater is sufficient to heat the space, only using the furnace for camping in very cold weather. Be sure to look under the camper. Things may have changed, but our Jayco had a cloth covering for the underbelly. Our Transcend has a rigid plastic material. With some heat ducted into the underbelly, it's supposed to improve three-season insulation. However also be sure that the underbelly is installed with minimal gaps. The Grand Design indicates it has a 15K AC. I don't see specs for the Jayco but it is likely 13.5K. The 15K may give you a bit more cool air, but in a small camper, either is likely sufficient. A downside we have found for the more powerful AC is that our Grand Design is set up for 50 AMP power. The heavy cord is detachable rather than contained in the camper side. Many places we camp only have 30 AMP connections which means having an adapter. You may never need a generator and most campers stay where they have hookups. For some travel planning, I've been looking at generators. A Honda 3000i says it will power a 13.5 AC but not a 15K. It may be something you never use. But, check out the outside shower. Jayco uses a pretty standard box with a shower handle and hose. Grand Design uses a quick connect with a garden sprayer. Not sure one is better. Different approaches. The quick connect is easier to keep clean. Either way, it's something you'll have to winterize if you live in a colder region. The Imagine will have fiberglass siding and an aluminum frame. The Jay Flight is aluminum over a wood frame. You can search the forums for past conversations. Neither is necessarily better. Many prefer the smoother fiberglass look. However, some have had stickers fade on fiberglass. If you ever accidentally bump something with your camper, the aluminum may be easier to repair. Water hookups on the Grand Design are inside the storage compartment. They call it a universal docking station. The Jayco likely has a more traditional external water connection. Both work well. The docking station approach might be better for cooler weather. If you go that way, you might find the water connection tips on my blog helpful. One thing to watch for, on some Jayco models, the water connection or outside shower are located near or above an electrical hookup. Just be sure to review your specific model so you are comfortable with the setup. Hope that helps. Good luck in your search.
the e-man 08/07/20 08:14am Travel Trailers
RE: Wi-Fi Booster and Range Extender??

What makes a good Wi-Fi Booster and Range Extender that doesn't require mounting it on the roof? Thanks, Griz14 I'll be interested to hear everyone's answers as I'm starting to search for a solution, too. Campground wi-fi is rarely useful, even in really nice campgrounds. I'll likely test out a jetpack or something similar to get cellular internet access. Not sure if you have found them yet, but one good source of information is Mobile Internet Resource Center. Cherie and Chris from Technomadia have guides to help people with their mobile internet. No affiliation, just find their information useful.
the e-man 07/29/20 02:46pm Travel Trailers
RE: Axle and Hub Question

Hi All. Thanks again for the assistance with my question regarding the hubs and axles on my camper. As promised, here is an update. After declining the axle replacement, I was charged significantly over the quoted price for the repack to get my trailer out of the shop. They said the extra was for shop supplies like rags and protective gear along with four bearing seals. I took the advice of the group and got a second opinion. Interestingly, they found that the repack had not been performed properly. The bearings had not been cleaned and there were two types of grease visible. And they found that the axles were in good shape - no replacement needed. I had put up the first pictures on my travel web site. I updated that post with pictures of the repack after the first shop completed their work and the repack after the second shop. I tried to capture some lessons learned from this experience. If you want to see the additional pictures, they are at Hub Axle Question Thanks again.
the e-man 07/25/20 01:04pm Travel Trailers
RE: Any Grand Design Transcend owners?...

Specific to any Grand Design Transcend owners here... what warranty issues did you run into with your units??? We have a walk-thru for a 2019 29TBS this Monday, and have yet to see it beyond dealer photos. We're buying out of state, and have one shot to get issues addressed when we take delivery. I'm mainly interested in actual defects or failures. No need to pitch me on other trailers, extended warranty or tires, thank you... Hi lane hog. I own a Grand Design Transcend. Also active on one of the other forums - pretty low volume of conversation there on Transcends but still a good resource. We really like our Transcend. So far, it has been a great camper and we have been enjoyed using it. We posted a full review and YouTube video of it on our site if you are interested. As with any travel trailer, do a thorough inspection of the unit yourself. Should be before any dealer walk-through and they should give you all the time you need. You can probably find a delivery inspection list to use as a reference. You'll want to check under the camper. Ensure the material used to enclose the underbelly is installed to your satisfaction. On ours, there were some gaps. I had them install extra screws to secure it. I should have had them use a foam sealant to close any remaining gaps. I didn't encounter this but heard from another owner that the rubber roof had bubbles. Be sure to climb on the roof and inspect the roof and all seals. I'm not sure how you would inspect the axles without removing the wheels. You can reference my recent post asking about hubs and axles. Working on an update to post soon with our lessons learned. One thing you might not think to ask about is the toilet paper holder. They don't install it. You may find it in a drawer. To be sure it gets installed where the owner wants it, they leave that up to the dealer during delivery. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have questions.
the e-man 07/17/20 02:39pm Travel Trailers
RE: Axle and Hub Question

Your profile only indicates "Virginia". If you are anywhere near Hampton take it to Hibbard's Iron Works on Aberdeen Rd. They are top notch. They specialize in trailers. I've done business with them for over 30 years. Thanks everyone for the advice. Here is a quick update. I picked up the camper. Of course, extra fees were tacked on beyond the advertised price for the repack. We all have to learn a lesson the hard way sometimes, right. I'll be getting a second opinion this week. As mobeewan recommended, I am taking it to Hibbard's. I'll let you know what they say. As for repacking the bearings myself, it sounds like a great skill to learn. I learned how to do that on bicycles last year when I rebuilt a classic Schwinn. I guess I better step up my game and do it on the camper, too. Thanks again for the assistance.
the e-man 07/11/20 11:57am Travel Trailers
RE: Axle and Hub Question

Your spindle looks fine. I would replace the bearings with Timkens and go camping..... But first tell CW to take a hike. Appreciating everyone’s feedback. Can you tell me what makes Timkens special?
the e-man 07/09/20 08:03pm Travel Trailers
RE: Axle and Hub Question

Not sure how to add images here. I just put up a temporary page with the pictures at: Hub Axle Pictures
the e-man 07/09/20 03:57pm Travel Trailers
Axle and Hub Question

Hi All, We have a Grand Design Transcend travel trailer. Really like it. At 18 months old, it is essentially new as we have done one longer trip and some local camping. Maybe 2,000 miles of travel. I decided to have the bearings repacked. It seemed like good preventative maintenance before we do any big trips. I took it to our local Camping World. They sent pictures indicating that there is some damage to the axle. Some heat marks. They recommend replacing the whole axle at a cost of $1,475. I am kind of in shock that the whole axle would need to be replaced - especially since we have hardly used it. Your insight and advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
the e-man 07/09/20 03:23pm Travel Trailers
RE: Travellogues

Hi Down Home, I agree. It's great to get first hand knowledge of a place before you visit. I like the travel blogs that share a lot of pictures. As agesilaus said, many travel bloggers are on YouTube. Another great place to discover them is on Instagram. You can search on a hashtag like #rvlife and you'll see tons of great pictures from rv and camping people. When you find one you like, you can follow them. And, most rv bloggers on Instagram also have blog sites and/or YouTube. I guess you just have to figure out if you like reading (blogs), pictures (Instagram) or video (YouTube) best. And thanks to JV for the page with all of the links. Lot's to explore.
the e-man 07/02/20 02:31pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Looking to buy, bunkhouse ~26ft, all advice welcome

We had a Jayco Jay Flight 26BH as our first camper. It was pretty much perfect for a family with 2 kids. It was a pretty standard design with no slide. That made it a good first camper for us. Standard dinette, not u-shaped, which worked well. No outside kitchen which means more room for storing things and more room for the bunks. As the kids got older and we added a dog, it started to feel a bit small. Hard to work in the kitchen and have someone pass through to the bunks or bathroom. Not enough room for us all to watch TV comfortably. Top bunk was a single which we heard some complaints about as the kids got above 15. If you want a bit more room, there are some units with a slide. Consider getting a super slide with couch and dinette in the slide. Consider ensuring there are three beds (3 bunks or 2 bunks + sofa) so each child has their own space. There are a few triple bunk campers available in the size you mentioned. To get started, take a look at a Jay Flight 26BH and Jay Feather 27BHB. When shopping around last time, we ended up getting a Grand Design Transcend. So far, it seems like a good quality unit. For what you are describing, maybe the Xplor 247BH, 261BH or 265BH. Note that there are other good travel trailer manufacturers and models. I'm just sharing our experience.
the e-man 06/01/20 03:18pm Travel Trailers
RE: Buying a new travel trailer-first time buyer

Hi Bfonner, I know you asked about price and how to negotiate. Don't feel like you have to rush in. Take your time and find something you are comfortable with. Learn from this community - you'll find a lot of information and opinions that can be helpful. You may want to consider learning about how to do a walkthrough so you know if the camper you are looking at is a good one. Even with the same brand and model, there can be big differences in how well built each unit is. At some dealerships, you may find multiples of the one you want. Before starting to negotiate price, do a thorough inspection of the actual unit you are interested in. Does it seem well made? Is the caulk where it should be? Is there rust on any parts? Price is also not the only consideration. Does the salesperson you are dealing with seem decent. Will you get support after the sale? Some RV salespeople and dealers are actually good to work with. Rather than a specific percentage discount, consider working with your salesperson to get to a mutually agreeable deal. I tried to capture some of our RV shopping lessons learned in: Seven RV Shopping Warning Signs Hope that helps.
the e-man 05/25/20 03:53pm Travel Trailers
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