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RE: Receiver Bike Racks

I just picked up a Swagman Current last week. Good for road, mountain, fat and ebikes up to 60 lbs per bike. Rock solid, the thing is a beast. It's mostly for use on our CUV but we figure we can use it on the truck when not towing or on the back of the trailer the odd time we can't get the bikes in the rear bay. We had to have the tilt feature because it'll be used on the CUV mostly, and we need to get into the back while the bikes are on. The rack folds up and can stay on the vehicle when not in use, if you like. Swagman doesn't have a rack that is "RV Approved" AND tilts but from the manual, the Current is not RV approved due to the weakness of RV bumpers. In my case we have a frame-mounted hitch with a 3500 pound tow rating and a 350 tongue weight capacity so it's a big non-issue. We've been using Thule roof racks up until now, most recently Uprides, but lifting bikes onto the roof is getting old and we want to use our sunroof without wind noise. Oh, and not have to worry about driving into garages while the bikes are on. Thanks for the replies. To be clear, the bike rack itself failed, not the bumper and hitch. Right now I tow with a f350 so don't have the option of a roof rack, might look into something that goes on my hard Undercover bed cover. Maybe break down and put them in the bed and lose all that space. Gotcha. If we ever go back to a towable RV and a pickup, the bikes would definitely be going in the bed. You'd still have a lot of usable space in the bed, even with a couple bikes back there.
willald 02/01/21 11:39am General RVing Issues
RE: Receiver Bike Racks

….. I have(had) a 5 bike Thule rack that catastrophically failed on my trip to FL. Bikes dragging on the highway behind the RV, fun. I am currently looking for a rack that is not a rear hitch rack. Don't trust them Totally understand how you feel there. I had a hitch mounted rack fail on me, also, when going over a large bump several years ago. Did a bunch of damage to the trunk lid on the car it was attached to. Was carrying 4 bikes at the time. I realized afterward that (4 bikes) was just too much for that hitch mounted rack, even though the Thule (hitch mounted) rack was supposedly designed for up to 5. Now, I wouldn't trust any hitch mounted rack, if I had to carry more than 2 bikes. After the Thule rack failed, I went to Yakima roof mounted racks. Soooo much nicer - Bikes sit on top of the car we tow behind the RV, are held in place by their front wheel, and do not touch each other. Easy to mount them up there and get them down, and they are out of the way, no longer blocking access to the back of the car like old rack did. Yes, roof mounted racks are a bit more expensive and can be a little more work to set up initially. However, you can save a ton of $$ by getting them used, off of Craigslist or ebay. I saved several hundred by going that way. I highly recommend you look into roof racks, if such will work for you.
willald 01/25/21 08:49am General RVing Issues
RE: Waste Tote Recommendations

I have a barker 42 gallon with pneumatic wheels. Works like a champ. Yes it is heavy when its full, but you don't have to pick it up! It rolls like a red wagon. You simply roll it to the truck and the truck pulls it to the dump. The 42 gallon tote holds the entire contents of my 40 gallon grey tank. I can dump everything in one trip! I second Lantley on this one. Have same 42 gallon Barker with pneumatic wheels. Had smaller Barker tank in the past, did not like it. I like being able to push/pull that tank, not have to lift one end of it. Definitely nice to be able to empty your entire tank at once, too. Makes for a lot less chance of having a nasty mess to clean up, if no water is sitting in the hoses when you disconnect. :)
willald 01/21/21 02:58pm General RVing Issues
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

Update (and resolution to this): Well, the guy I'd been working with on this (Mark) came out today, and replaced the broken fuel line, and the broken wire for that one coil. The part he got from Ford was one large assembly going from behind the engine all the way up to both fuel rails on either side of the engine. Sooo, it is now all new fuel lines going from about middle of the transmission all the way up to the two fuel rails. He also looked everything else over, and found no other evidence anywhere, of any damage. Engine runs like brand new again, we are back in business (although not planning any trips for a while). No more smell of fuel, either. Very impressed with the work he did, how knowledgeable he was, and how reasonable he was $$ wise with this. If anyone near the Denver, NC area needs any kind of RV related work, you can trust this guy, give him a call - Mark Hammill, 704-635-3265 (Yes, I got his permission to post this). He apparently does RV coach work as well, not just chassis. I got some rodent repellant spray, and sprayed it very liberally on the ground, all the way around the perimeter of the RV. That, and will also make it a point, especially in these cold months, to exercise the RV more and get it out more often so critters have less chances to mess with it. I had been doing such about once a month, but due to the craziness around Christmas, it had not been exercised in about 2 months. I think that's one of the main lessons learned here - We really, really need to get these things out and exercise them at least once a month, for numerous reasons.
willald 01/19/21 01:54pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

It is "Break" in wire caused by rodents according to the OP. Actually, its kind of hard to say if the broken wire is an internal break, or if it was done by a rodent. The break is right where the wire comes out of a long, thick conduit holding several wires for all the coils. I have a picture of it, but don't presently have a way of posting it on here. Gonna have to figure out a way to do that. The fact the broken wire is very close to the chewed fuel line, makes me think a rodent may have had something to do with it. OTOH, as I mentioned previously, this is not the first time I've dealt with wires wearing out and breaking like this on Ford V10s, so who knows. Either way, that part will be easy to fix.
willald 01/14/21 08:18am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

God job and lucky you didn't go up in flames! The lower fuel pressure definitely caused the slight misfire. How many miles? You definitely don't hear to much of those types of fuel lines rupturing. It has 27k miles. Engine, whole drivetrain has been absolutely flawless from day 1 up until now. I think, the misfire was caused more by the broken wire I found on one of the coils than low fuel pressure. Low fuel pressure probably contributed, though. This was not a fault at all with the fuel line, Ford, or the engine. This was/is a rodent infestation issue, that fuel line was very clearly chewed on. I sent pictures of it to a friend of mine who lives out on a farm and deals with rodents all the time, she said definitely looks like rat bite marks on the fuel line. Soooo, time to go get some rat traps. I'm just glad we caught this in the offseason, not on a trip, and like you said, that we caught it before it went BOOM.
willald 01/12/21 08:18am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

Man it's your lucky day! That broken wire is definitely the misfire, but had it not been for that you never would have looked under the hood and found the fuel leak! Surprised you didn't smell fuel? Fuel injection runs at very high PSI so you can't just use a "piece of hose", glad you are having the mobile mechanic fix with Ford parts. You might want to have him give the engine a "once over" to see if he sees any other developing problems. Yeah, we did actually smell fuel, but it was pretty faint, and I figured that was cause of the misfire. A cylinder not firing means some fuel is not getting burnt. Agree, no way I’d just use hose and rig this. Not with fuel injection pressure. I could get it towed to a repair shop using emergency road side service we have, but I’d have to first back it out of the driveway and get it on the road (they won’t tow it if it’s in your driveway or so I’m told). I didn’t even want to drive it the 100’ out the drive to do that, with it spewing fuel like that! Nah, it ain’t moving again til this gets fixed right. Definitely gonna have him look everything else over, yes. Does look like this fuel line rupture had some ‘help’’ and didn’t just happen. Looks like it was chewed by a rodent of some kind (can see bite marks on it), so need to make sure nothing else got chewed.
willald 01/11/21 05:04pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

Few more updates: Found a mobile repair guy, am working with him on this. Seems like a good guy. Sent him pictures of the ruptured fuel line, and gave him the VIN. He is ordering the parts from Ford now to fix it. Once he gets the parts, he will come out here and fix it. No way was I gonna drive that thing anywhere, with it spewing fuel like that. Will give his contact info on here to help anyone else that may need such help, once I get his permission to post such (and see that he does a good job and doesn't rip me off, hahaha). Noticed while looking at it again, that a wire going to one of the coil packs is broken (sounding awfully familiar, like the issue I had with the V10 Excursion many years ago, haha). Sooo, that (broken wire) also explains why it was misfiring. That's an easy fix, though, fortunately.
willald 01/11/21 12:48pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

A few yeas ago I had stopped in the area for work on my way to Florida... While there I heard a noise and went toKeith Hawthorne Fordbefore they opened.. When they arrived they asked me what was up, within 30 minutes the truck ( 6.4 diesel ) was in their shop and they diagnosed a fuel pump going bad.. It was rattling on the frame.. They did not have one in stock, nor did the warehouse BUT they found 1 at another dealer about 45 minutes away.. They sent a tech there to get I was up and running that afternoon .... Yep, know that place. Good guys there, I'm not surprised at all they went the extra mile to get you running again. However, I've found they don't want to work on Class A RVs just cause of liability concerns.
willald 01/11/21 11:00am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

Update: Just opened up the doghouse and had a look. Noticed the short rubber piece of hose (I believe its rubber) that connects main fuel line to the fuel rails on top of the engine looked a bit ruptured. Tried cranking the engine, it cranked up fine, but whoa!! Fuel squirted from that ruptured connector like all get-out!! Have a picture I took of the fuel squirting from it. If I ever find somewhere to post the picture where I can link to it here, will do such and post the picture here. Well, anyway, the problem is very obvious, haha. We got us a ruptured fuel line. I either got to fix that fuel line myself, get a mobile mechanic out here to do so, or have it towed to a shop. No way am I driving it ANYWERE like this. Has anyone ever had an issue like this, done a repair to the fuel line on a V10? Thinking I probably gonna get a mobile mechanic out here or tow it to a shop, just not sure which yet..
willald 01/11/21 10:55am Class A Motorhomes
Service recommendations near Charlotte NC - Ford V10 misfire

The V10 in our 2012 Georgetown (see signature) has developed a misfire. You can only feel it at idle and when initially accelerating, a slight vibration. Engine cranks and runs OK once you get going, and neither wife nor daughter even noticed anything was wrong until I pointed out the vibrating that occurs at idle. Seems like at least one of the 10 cylinders is not hitting. Check engine light came on after driving about 10 minutes (exercising it Saturday). The smell of unburnt fuel is very noticeable in the exhaust. Been through same thing before with a V10 in Ford Excursion that I used to own many years ago. Turned out to be a broken wire going to one of the fuel injectors. Fixed that one myself. Doubt I'll get that lucky this time. Will be looking under the 'doghouse' later today to see if I can tell whats wrong, but I'm guessing it'll be either a coil pack, spark plug, or possibly a busted vacuum hose. Any suggestions of what else to look for, would be welcome. :) Now, here's the main question: In case I do decide to take it somewhere to have this fixed, where is a good place for such near Charlotte, NC that will work on the Ford F53 chassis/V10? I've found two places I know that work on them, not sure which is the better option: 1. Classic Ford/Lincoln in Shelby, NC - Been there before for a warranty fix on the V10 years ago, they were great then. But, that was many years ago, and they've changed names/hands since then. 2. Camping World (Formerly Tom Johnson Camping) in Concord, NC - One of only RV dealers around here that has the facilities to do chassis/engine work on Class As, and they do a lot of it. Have never used them for chassis work, though, very leery of ANY Camping world for service work. Which of these seems like the better choice? Or, might anyone know of a shop around this area that would be better? I realize independent repair shops are typically better, but I can't seem to find any around here that will work on these big rigs. Many auto/truck dealers, independent repair shops, and RV dealers don't have the facilities to handle (or just don't want to deal with) chassis/engine work with these rigs. As always, all suggestions, opinions, etc. are appreciated and welcome. :)
willald 01/11/21 10:08am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Best floor plan for 6 sleepers

Rick makes some really good points. I hadn't really thought about a dual sofa model, but it could work if: 1. You can find one that has dual sofas that big, and has all the seat-belted places to sit like Rick's rig has. 2. Your kids are OK with being that close when sleeping, and not really having their own 'space' like they would with a bunk model. 3. You don't mind losing nearly all your living space when kids go to bed. 4. You don't mind having to set up, and put down all those beds every day. Personally for us, #2, 3, and 4 would eliminate this option. As far as the privacy thing goes: We have a Class A with the bunks along the 'hallway' near the back bedroom. Privacy has never really been a problem for us. Just put the jacks down to make things solid, put a lock of some kind on bedroom door, and turn on a TV or music for noise when you need to cover up other 'sounds'. Has always worked fine for us, and we are younger than most couples that own a class A, and get 'frisky' quite often, haha. :)
willald 12/30/20 07:56am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Best floor plan for 6 sleepers

If I had that many kids coming with us in the RV and wanted some privacy for the adults....I'd nix the Motorhome idea completely and start looking at larger 5th wheels or TTs Now you need a tow vehicle big enough to pull that beast, with seating for 6! True, but you're going to have challenges finding (safe) seating for 6 people in a Class A Motorhome, too. That's a whole nother topic/discussion. Only tow vehicle I can think of that might work for this would be either a really large SUV, or possibly an older E350 Ford Van with a V10. That is, assuming you can find one, Ford hasn't built those in a while. Will
willald 12/28/20 12:49pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Best floor plan for 6 sleepers

If I had that many kids coming with us in the RV and wanted some privacy for the adults....I'd nix the Motorhome idea completely and start looking at larger 5th wheels or TTs that have a large bunkhouse on one end (at least 4 bunks), and master bedroom on the other. Either that, or see if some of the kids will sleep in a tent or something. Would try to find one (bunkhouse TT or 5th wheel) that has two bathrooms, also, as Dennis is absolutely right - It aint just about sleeping area with that many people in the RV. You have to be concerned about the load put on the rest of the facilities, too. Not to mention, where are all of them going to sit/ride when you are on the road?
willald 12/28/20 12:24pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Receiver Bike Racks

Whichever one you get, read up on it carefully before you buy. Make sure it is one that is supported/recommended to be used on the back of an RV. For a lot of the hitch mounted bike racks out there, the manufacturers do not recommend it to be used on the back of an RV for various reasons. Last time I looked into this, there was only like 2 or 3 units made that would allow it to be used on the back of an RV. Agree 100% with you about ladder mounted bike racks. Not a fan of those at all.
willald 12/17/20 07:01am General RVing Issues
RE: Septic Holding Tank that's portable?

Just 30' to the septic system? Seems like you really over-complicating this. As already said, just get you 30' of sewer hose (or PVC pipe as one person suggested), and connect the trailer's sewer drain directly to your septic tank clean out. No need to make it any more complicated than that, especially if its a downhill or level run to the septic tank. If its uphill, then the macerator pump and 3/4" hose would be the way to go. Still would be way cheaper and easier than using a huge, heavy tote tank. You are fortunate, really. I have much more difficult situation at my house. RV is parked about 100' from septic system clean out, and it (RV) is at bottom of the hill, so its uphill getting to the sewer clean out. Nobody lives in the RV while parked at home, but there are times when we get back from camping trips that I need to empty the black tank. I bought a 42 gallon 4 wheel Barker tote tank for this. Works OK, but lugging that tote tank 100' up the hill when its full, is brutal! Took two of us to do it and it was not fun, haha. Have only done it once, and decided then that there must be a better way. Thinking of rigging up some ropes and pulleys to pull the tank up the hill, since there's plenty of trees around to anchor to. Still thinking on that one, but point is, your situation is much simpler than mine. :)
willald 12/09/20 08:25am General RVing Issues
RE: Best Toad Brake controller Battery

I'd go ahead and get whatever starting battery your vehicle requires. Then, wire in a 12V charge line from your Motorhome to the Tahoe so this won't be a problem anymore with the new battery. That way, you won't be using your vehicle's starting battery like a deep cycle battery, and ultimately shortening its lifespan as a result. Cars really need a starting battery, not a deep cycle. If you use a starting battery like a deep cycle and deplete it low regularly....Welll, you shorten its lifespan and end up in the spot you're in now. Find a way to run a charge line to your Tahoe, is my vote.
willald 12/02/20 01:49pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Is there any difference in DRIVING a gas class A vs diesel?

As one that has driven both, here are my thoughts: Air ride means the diesel will ride much smoother, with less body roll in the turns. Quieter, too, with the engine in the back. Definitely more power on hills, and towing is more effortless, although that depends on lot on just which diesel engine, and which motorhome. There are some underpowered diesel Motorhomes out there. In terms of throttle response, acceleration....That is where the gasser wins in most cases, hands down. When you 'step on it' with a gas engine, it will downshift, turn a bunch of RPMs, and get going quicker (although can be loud). Do the same with a diesel, and it grunts, gurgles, lugs, and slooooooowly accelerates. Sooo, yes, there are differences in how they drive. All I can say is, take each for a test drive, and decide for yourself.
willald 11/20/20 02:23pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: The price of new trucks is beyond comprehension!

$92k for a pickup truck?! Wow. I realize that's Canadian, and is a truck with tons of bells and whistles, including the extremely expensive diesel option, but...Wow. My 36' Class A Motorhome with full body paint and numerous other options (see signature), bought brand new in 2012, did not cost that much! If pickups are that expensive and will only get worse.....Welllll, makes me that much happier that we'll most likely never need to own one again.
willald 11/20/20 08:16am Tow Vehicles
RE: Experiences/Recommendations for ReadyBrute Elite System?

I too, have been towing with the ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/braking system for a very long time - 7 years now, and on 3 different towed vehicles in that time (and 3 different wives in that time, too, haha). Has worked great on every vehicle, and is only thing I'll tow with. Started using it on a Kia Sedona minivan, that later got traded for a Ford Fusion (hybrid). Towed that Fusion great for 5 years, until that car was totalled in a wreck, and I replaced it with a Ford Taurus. Taurus tows great with the ReadyBrute, too.
willald 09/30/20 02:37pm Dinghy Towing
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