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RE: Tow vehicle tire size not to spec

I'm looking to replace the tires on my tow vehicle (2010 Ford Expedition) and I was surprised to learn that my existing tires do NOT match the tires specs on the vehicle placard. I don't know when or why that happenend. Anyways... Placard specs are P255/70R18 Existing tires are P265/70R18 So my existing tires are 10 cm wider than what's specified. Is that a bad thing? Or just a "thing?" My Expedition is no champ for gas mileage, but does that extra 10 cm per tire take the mileage down significantly?It will reduce MPGS for sure, especially when towing In your opinion, should I return to specs when I replace the tires, or is there a compelling reason to stick with the wider tires?I gather you bought it used? If so, then the PO upsized the tires. It is a real popular thing to do on trucks. You should be aware that a larger tire will reduce your tow rating. The factory rated it according to the factory size. While this is of little concern to those that do not tow, it could be for those that do. Just how much it will affect the rating is anybodys guess, But the fact that it WILL decrease the row rating is not subject to debate. Since you tow, you likeley want all of the performance that you can get... That means put the factory size tires on it, Technically true but for this situation, it's a small enough change to be largely irrelevant to the OP. The radius of the tire is only 0.7cm larger than stock. This is an issue for guys with a jeep where they replace the stock tires that may be 24" outside diameter highway tread and upgrade them to something crazy like 36" outside diameter knobby balloon tires. These guys will see a big impact on MPG and tow capability.
valhalla360 07/30/21 05:58am Travel Trailers
RE: Off grid for first time, need some guidance !

Thx everyone, lots of useful info. - awning and jacks at two set ups/tear downs i will now consider - no fans, tv's,etc will be used. Only propane fridge electronics, minimal water pump, few led lights. - i have disconnected all unnecessary parasitic power loads - realized house has robust battery backup system, sump pump. Dry year, gamble and steal it for two weeks ? - seriously considering buying bigger battery, also 400w panel kit. Site has thick tree canopy :( - will give jumper idea from truck more thought, interesting. - site rules say no noise, radios, generators. How strict will i find that ? - I have a Honda 2000 :( - could go for drive with gen charging in my truck bed.how long ? - gen eco mode idle... plugged into trailer for charging is the best method ? - is there a trick to know when the charge is done ? couple hours ? - do i go for a drive with the generator charging in the bed of the truck, how long would that take ? thx again for all your thoughts ! If your usage is correct, you have very modest power usage and should be fine. - Let's say you have 50amp-hr usable. That translates to 600w-hr available. - 30 sec for the jacks & awning assuming 200w for each is around 3.5w-hr. - 5w LED lights for 2-3hr...again, next to nothing (10-15w-hr). - 2w for the fridge may be your big load...48w-hr - Water pump, is only going to be running for a few minutes per day. Assuming 100w for 10min, that's 10W-hr So you have 600w-hr and you are using less than 80w-hr...even if I overestimated your battery capacity by factor of 5, you are still OK. Take the honda along at least the first few times (it costs nothing to take along), so you have a good option if your use is higher in reality. Just plug the trailer into the generator and let the onboard charger take care of it.
valhalla360 07/30/21 05:51am Travel Trailers
RE: solar question

If you boondock a lot and have low power consumption, solar can make a lot of sense. If you stay at parks with electric or you have higher power needs, it starts to make far less sense. Shade is a killer for solar. Because of the way they are wired, even a small patch of shade on a panel almost completely kills the output. As far as cost...if it keeps you from staying at paid parks, it makes some sense but if you are boondocking regardless, the person who mentioned years/decades was correct. It's absolutely not free.
valhalla360 07/30/21 05:39am Truck Campers
RE: Tire Tread on a TT

If you figured out a set of tires and rims that match the truck...that would give you a universal spare tire, so if you lose two truck tires, you could just throw the trailer spare on the truck. But I've never seen a match like this.
valhalla360 07/29/21 09:22am General RVing Issues
RE: Solar panels

I have a Winnebago Voyage 2006 with a 10w solar panel. I was thinking of a 100w panel. Would it be easy to install with the existing system? What are solar panels like for dry camping in shaded areas? My requirements are to maintain the batteries and run some lights. Any ideas would be appreciated 10w might (iffy) stop a fully charged battery from discharging over teh winter if there are no loads on it. Most likely, they didn't bother with a charge controller as it's not enough to overcharge the batteries. It's not hard to add a 100w panel but the existing 10w system likely does nothing to make it easier. If you are in a shade area, don't bother. Solar doesn't like shade. Your basic panels can lose 90% with just a single branch shading part of the panel.
valhalla360 07/29/21 04:50am Tech Issues
RE: Switching from Florida to Arizona or Texas

Arizona is OK for a week or two...after that it's just brown. We like the Texas coast. A lot like Florida but without the masses of people.
valhalla360 07/29/21 04:47am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Toilet Tissue...

Use any toilet paper you want, RV toilet paper is a rip off.. If you are going to use a lot of water then this is good advice. However if you don’t use lots of water, and people in your RV use a roll every day, then use single ply tp. If they are going to use a roll per day, it won't matter, they will use twice as much and double it up, so they will still go thru a roll per day. If you won't or can't use a lot of water, get a small basket and put it next to the toilet for used paper.
valhalla360 07/29/21 04:44am Truck Campers
RE: Toilet Tissue...

Old-fashioned test it put chunk of paper into a jar, add some water and shake it for few seconds. If the paper breaks on small pieces it is good. We've been using Costco paper for few decades just fine. Even easier test...if your fingers go right thru it and you have to wash brown stuff off your fingers, it's RV safe. We just use normal TP and plenty of water.
valhalla360 07/28/21 01:17pm Truck Campers
RE: New vehicle - MSRP?

There seems to be a whole field of study on new car buying techniques and different people will swear by different approaches and others who will swear they don't work. If you are waiting until next summer, hopefully things will be back to a more normal situation...because right now, things are crazy with the chip shortages. Assuming you aren't set on a particular brand, look up what rebates are available from each brand. If nothing else, you can use that as a negotiating point if you want an extra grand or two off a brand that doesn't have a rebate. Used to be you could look up the invoice price to give you a starting point (haven't bought new in a long time as it doesn't make financial sense, so not sure if it's still easy to pull up). Keep in mind, the invoice price ignores what is usually a 3% kickback to the dealer, so it is possible to get it at invoice price and the dealer still makes some money. You aren't stealing the food out of the salesman's kids mouths...if your offer is too low, they won't sell. Assuming you live in a reasonably populated area, I wouldn't worry about being taken seriously. If they don't like your offer they will counter. The biggest thing you can do is if you don't like their counter offer, is walk away. They will try to play head games with you and they most likely will chase you out the door if you get up and walk away. Be prepared to walk away if you don't get the deal you want. If you are in a reasonably populated area, worst case, you go 10 miles over to the next town and talk to that dealer with a much better understanding of what the first one was willing to accept.
valhalla360 07/28/21 07:47am Tow Vehicles
RE: Power Sag/Current Issues at Seasonal Site

One other option would be to upgrade the battery charger and install an inverter sized to accommodate the loads (not cheap but effective) Get a 200amp @12v charger, a moderate size battery bank and a 3500w (peak output) inverter. - The charger will be capable of putting out around 2400w. - The battery storage can provide a boost for start up loads (continuous loads are typically much lower. They are only for a second or so...so not an issue topping the battery bank back up. - The inverter is big enough to cover the start up loads. I've seen this used on boats where they travel between 120v @ 60hz and 240v @ 50hz. They get a battery charger that can accept either input voltage and the inverter is selected to provide what the onboard appliances require. But assuming it's not really bad, the autoformer should handle the issue.
valhalla360 07/28/21 07:34am Tech Issues
RE: Power Sag/Current Issues at Seasonal Site

Some careful research MIGHT locate an inverter that will ADD power to your circuits ! Then a good solar and battery setup would be another solution. They do have inverters that can merge with shore power but MOST inverters don't and the ones that do are expensive. You CAN'T simply wire the inverter into the shore power circuit simultaneous with the shore power cable. It needs electronics that line up the sine waves or you can cause major problems.
valhalla360 07/28/21 07:27am Tech Issues
RE: Power Sag/Current Issues at Seasonal Site

In addition to Valhallah's comment, solar to charge the batteries, allowing you to turn the converter off can provide some help. Otherwise, the Autoformer. But also keep in mind, unless you let the battery get run way down and you have a big high amperage charger, this is really nibbling at the edge of the AC voltage problem.
valhalla360 07/28/21 07:24am Tech Issues
RE: Power Sag/Current Issues at Seasonal Site

It's a common problem, particularly at older parks. 1) Get a voltage meter. No point fixing something that isn't the problem. I suggest getting one that plugs into an outlet full time and put it where you can see it frequently. 2) Solar is a separate subject and largely irrelevant to if your park has low voltage. Assuming you do have low voltage, there are some options: - Pick up an Autoformer (google it). These devices will boost voltage by 10%. They aren't a cure all (if the pedestal is at 80v...that's still going to leave the air/con seeing only 88v) but it will avoid a lot of marginal voltage issues. - Switch as much as you can over to propane. So the fridge and particularly the water heater. The more amps you are drawing, the more it pulls the voltage down. If it's only one hot afternoon, you could turn off the battery charger but then you have to remember to turn it back on later. - The final solution is picking up a generator. I would suggest looking for one at least in the 3000w range. You can make some smaller ones sometimes work but it's really marginal. Some will say the campground won't allow it but we've had good luck telling them to provide the 120v power we contracted for...and they have always backed down.
valhalla360 07/28/21 04:45am Tech Issues
RE: Great Tow Capacity - Bad Payload Capacity... Increase PL?

^It might be ok if you were actually right about what you’re talking about, but alas, you’re not. So in this case, it would be better to not say anything at all. Please share your knowledge with the group. 10,000lb GVWR 7,400lb curb weight So how do those two numbers limit the payload to 1,600lb? I'll wait for you to do the math for us.
valhalla360 07/28/21 04:34am Tow Vehicles
RE: Providing my own WiFi

So taking the most oft suggested way of creating a hot spot, we decided to go with using the phone. We went to the closest Verizon store and the sales guy finally got it staight and found we all ready had 4 GB of data to use and a hot spot in my plan. It did take about 60 seconds for him to set it up and send us merrily on our way back to the campground. When I bought my phone, I did so to have bluetooth to use with my hearing aids. I never discussed the features of the plan with the sales guy as all I wanted was to be able to hear phone conversations. So thanks again for jumping in with suggestions, it helped a lot. Now to determin how much data we will be using and upgrade my plan if needed. Thanks again. Just keep in mind, you can burn thru 4GB before you turn around. So until you get a feel for your data consumption, keep an eye on it, so it doesn't shut you off at a critical point in work.
valhalla360 07/27/21 03:07pm Technology Corner
RE: Providing my own WiFi

As a with a lot of things, the answer is - it depends. If you are planning to use multiple devices, working, streaming tv/movies etc I would definitely opt for a dedicated hot spot with an unlimited data plan. If you are just browsing, checking email etc, I am sure your phone's hot spot will suffice. Why? Everything you say can be handled by the phones just fine...at least it has for us. Well, if you don't know than I doubt I can explain it in a way you will get it. Tons of articles describing the superior capabilities of a hotspot over a phone acting like a hot spot. Speed, reliability, the ability to receive a weaker signal and re-broadcast, ability to add an antenna, multiple devices, security, etc, etc. A phone is a phone that has limited hot spot abilities. A hotspot is a device dedicated to the purpose. I am glad it works for you. Someone with much higher demands - like myself who works remote - prefer a dedicated device. I work remotely, lots of uploads and downloads, conference calls with video, watching TV/movies, how much higher are your demands? We dropped the stand along device because the phones did just as well. About the only thing we lost was the ability to add an antenna but we never had much luck with that. Usually, the signal is good enough that it's not an issue or it's so bad that even with the antenna, it still doesn't get a signal (and yes, we have spent time in remote areas with marginal signal)
valhalla360 07/27/21 03:06pm Technology Corner
RE: Great Tow Capacity - Bad Payload Capacity... Increase PL?

Also that payload capacity indicates, in this case, that the Ford is 1000lbs lighter -- a heavier truck (to be fair, this is a 100% anecdotal claim I've read online, which my personal experience seems to agree with) tends to handle a heavy trailer better in adverse conditions. Much less so with a fifth wheel than a travel trailer, but still... Wow, the Dodge curb weight runs 8500lb? That's insane. I'm sure it will pull a 5000lb 5th wheel great because it's so much heavier than the trailer. 3/4T trucks are sold as class 2b, which is limited to 10K GVWR (for tax/registration purposes). The Ram is most likely heavier due to the optioning, not just the engine. The Ford could easily be just as heavy with the right trim. GVWR - weight = payload. Edit: found your Ford is a 2008, which easily explains the rest of the difference as all three competitors have gained weight in newer generations. Fortunately for most owners, they also provide axle weight ratings, which are not artificially capped. You will find the majority of newer 3/4Ts pulling fifth wheels are over GVWR, but a lot of them still under axle ratings. A 6500 RAWR on the Ram leaves around 3K to spare, where all the pin weight sits, without going over either of the axle ratings. So do what you want with that information. You have a 2008. Newer trucks have grown in almost all metrics, but still have the same 10K cap for class 2b (your truck might even be lower due to the year). The 2016 Ram would most certainly handle any trailer better than your 2008 Ford. https://roadsumo.com/dodge-ram-1500-2500-3500-weight/ According to this, the heaviest Dodge is about 7400lb curb weight...so with a 10,000lb GVWR, that would still give a 2600lb payload if it was just the GVWR...yet the OP indicates his door jamb says 1600lb...that doesn't sound like it's grown and also doesn't seem the GVWR is the limitation. Most of the 3/4 ton Dodges are in the 6000-7000lb range which if GVWR is the limit would provide 3000-4000lb of payload if your theory was correct. Again, wildly different from the OP's 1600lb limit. If you were suggesting the OP exceed payload by a couple hundred pounds, I would probably shrug it off as not too critical but recommending he exceed it by 1100lb is moving into gross negligence.
valhalla360 07/27/21 03:00pm Tow Vehicles
RE: EV's I know there are folks better versed than me in here

Some of the new Tesla's can charge at rate of 900 miles per hour with a 250kw charger....charging speeds are going up with some of the new vehicles. Any idea how much it costs to run a 250kw connection to a charging station? A 200amp @ 240v household connection peaks at around 48kw but in reality, the power company doesn't provide 48kw for each house in the neighborhood because generally, household draws never come close to 48kw. They significantly de-rate the upstream connection because they know it won't be used. A 250kw charger will be pulling it's full rating probably more like 260-280kw (accounting for losses) and it will do it continuously while charging. Now if you have a station with 10 charging stations, that means they need a supply equal to 2600-2800kw. Getting a connection on that size range in to the station can easily run into the low to mid 6 figure range. Amortize that and add in the cost of the actual power and don't be surprised when the cost is higher than gasoline. If you try to install one out away from major cities, it could easily move up into the 7 figure range. Admittedly, most charging will be slow charging at home but don't expect 250kw chargers to be common place. Most likely they will always be specialty items.
valhalla360 07/27/21 05:58am Tow Vehicles
RE: Providing my own WiFi

As a with a lot of things, the answer is - it depends. If you are planning to use multiple devices, working, streaming tv/movies etc I would definitely opt for a dedicated hot spot with an unlimited data plan. If you are just browsing, checking email etc, I am sure your phone's hot spot will suffice. Why? Everything you say can be handled by the phones just fine...at least it has for us.
valhalla360 07/27/21 05:38am Technology Corner
RE: Great Tow Capacity - Bad Payload Capacity... Increase PL?

Also that payload capacity indicates, in this case, that the Ford is 1000lbs lighter -- a heavier truck (to be fair, this is a 100% anecdotal claim I've read online, which my personal experience seems to agree with) tends to handle a heavy trailer better in adverse conditions. Much less so with a fifth wheel than a travel trailer, but still... Wow, the Dodge curb weight runs 8500lb? That's insane. I'm sure it will pull a 5000lb 5th wheel great because it's so much heavier than the trailer.
valhalla360 07/27/21 05:36am Tow Vehicles
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