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RE: Convection Microwave vs. Gas Oven

"Having a usable built-in generator sure helps to make our Class C ready for anything anywhere anytime." X10 While we use our generator very little {4 KW with 84 hours after 7 years} having it built in and ready to fire up as needed is priceless. Our 2012 Nexus came with a Generac, in 2013 they switched to Onan. When I asked why they said their concerns were for the limited parts availability from Generic down the road. Ours has been trouble free, two minor services in 7 years and happily there is a commercial generator sales and service outfit right here in Tucson {Simonson Generators} that has been great for parts and service. Noise and vibration is minimal, about like my old Honda 2,000's and it burns half a gallon or less per hour. We spend at least 65 percent of our time off of the grid and with two deep cycle group 27's can easily sit for 3 or even 4 days and still have power. We just don't use much DC. I recently replaced my old flooded house batteries at 5+ years old with a pair of AGM's which will generate a lot less maintenance {but no, they are not Maintenance free - no such animal exists}. :C
Desert Captain 09/27/19 08:37am Class C Motorhomes
RE: The best mid-size truck for 2019? Honda!

"I bought my 2019 Ridgeline about 6 weeks and 3,000 miles ago and have been nothing but delighted. This is probably due to the fact that I rarely "need" a truck but it sure is nice to have one available. I just returned from a 1,455 mile trip from Tucson to Angel Fire NM and back towing a 10' cargo trailer {14' overall} hauling my Polaris Rzr {Rzr and Trailer weighed in at 2,580#} and I got 16.1 mpg cruising at 65." From what I personally observe typical speed on the interstates today is around 80mph. The difference in mpg between 65 and 80 in my experience is very significant, generally 25 to 30%. My trailer currently has ST tires that are max speed rated for 65 mph. At some point I will replace them with LT's but until then I simply will not exceed 65. I stay in the right lane with the cruise control set at 65 this on I-10 out of Tucson and I-25 through New Mexico. Both are good roads and we had no issues with the many folks who cruise 80+. I was pleased to consistently get 16 mpg as shown by the computer and confirmed by the simple math at each fill up. Like they say... There are three kinds of people on this planet, those that can do math and those that can't. :S :B
Desert Captain 09/24/19 09:17am Tow Vehicles
RE: The best mid-size truck for 2019? Honda!

ShinerBock; Not sure why you have such a knot in your knickers... hope you feel better soon. My reported milage is supported by fuel pump/calculator numbers. By driving intelligently {operative word here being "gently"} it is no problem to get the higher end of the mileage spectrum. Over the last 6+ years and 51,000+ miles I have gotten 9.5 mpg out of our 2012 V-10 5 speed Torque Shift 24' Nexus Phantom 23 P Class C which includes a small amount {84 hours} of generator time. Disbelieve as you see fit but proper maintenance and an educated right foot can easily bring the mileage I am experiencing. If you cannot get similar mileage I can only suggest you try harder. :C
Desert Captain 09/23/19 10:22pm Tow Vehicles
RE: The best mid-size truck for 2019? Honda!

Wow, you are getting amazing mileage out of yours considering the average real world combined average on for 2017-2019 Ridgelines is 20.4 mpg. It is almost unbelievable. ;) It's almost like anecdotal reports of extremely good fuel economy aren't accurate or something. Weird. My reported fuel economy is spot on accurate. If you don't believe it {feel free BTW} maybe you should learn how to drive efficiently... it works. LMAO! :R
Desert Captain 09/23/19 06:26pm Tow Vehicles
RE: The best mid-size truck for 2019? Honda!

Interesting read no doubt. Car and Driver named the Ridgeline the Mid Size truck of the year for 2017, 18 and 19. While technically the Ridgeline is the least amount of "Truck" of the four it is no slouch when it comes to performing truck functions. I bought my 2019 Ridgeline about 6 weeks and 3,000 miles ago and have been nothing but delighted. This is probably due to the fact that I rarely "need" a truck but it sure is nice to have one available. I just returned from a 1,455 mile trip from Tucson to Angel Fire NM and back towing a 10' cargo trailer {14' overall} hauling my Polaris Rzr {Rzr and Trailer weighed in at 2,580#} and I got 16.1 mpg cruising at 65. That trip involved a lot of serious mountains, often over 9 and even 10K' and at no time did the Honda lack power - up and over Bobcat Pass at 9,820' towing the Rzr with 4 adults it maintained the speed limit easily. Since most of the time I don't need a truck the ride and handling of the Ridgeline which is a lot more like a Honda Accord is a great feature. I am getting 24+ around town and 26 - 28 on the interstates {not towing obviously}. The fit and finish of Honda is excellent and I skipped all of the nanny nonsense of lane deviation and auto Cruise control/braking. The hidden 7.3 cubic foot trunk located under the rear of the bed is one of the most innovative features I have ever come across in any truck. To the "it's not real truck" crowd I have to point out that my Ridgeline RTL has 1,477# of payload, all wheel drive and 18" wheels with the largest most functional bed of any of the others in this comparison. No I don't think the Honda is the truck for a lot of folks but if your vehicular needs are more car/SUV vs pure truck work take a look at the Ridgeline as there is a lot to like in this unique one of a kind vehicle. Nicely equipped my RTL went out the door for $39,081. :C
Desert Captain 09/23/19 03:24pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing with my new Honda Ridgeline

to each their own. I have no desire to have one but im glad you like it. for what its worth my reasoning has nothing to do with it being a "real" truck or not. It is what it is a unibody pickup truck. I don't want one because I worked on tooling for it and it was a nightmare. furthermore in the last 5 years it was the ONLY job I did for Honda compared to hundreds for the big 3. Lastly its not any cheaper or more capable than my f150 (that's build down the road) and full of my work. I simply do not need a full size truck so I went with the Honda. I drove F-150 SCab's for 15 years and loved them. Then I was towing a 22' 5,600# TT and the 5.4L V-8 handled it very well. Now the only true truck function I have is towing my Bike or Rzr and a full size truck would be overkill and a waste of money {to purchase and to operate}. Trying to compare the two is a fools errand as they are very different animals but both have their charms and a ideal functions. For the record Car and Driver named the Ridgeline the Mid Size truck of the year for 2017, 18 and 19 and that stikes me as pretty high praise. Before buying the Ridgeline I looked at Chevy Colorado and GMC Yukon's and was impressed by both. The lack of selection this late in the model year is what finally sent me down the road as neither Chevy or GMC could come up with the model and options I wanted. In the end the Colorado and Yukon were just way more turck then I needed and actually cost several thousand more than the Honda. For me about 90 percent of the time I will just be enjoying the ride, handling and economy of the Ridgeline and forgetting that it is a real truck anytime I need it to be even though that won't be often. :C
Desert Captain 09/19/19 11:00am Tow Vehicles
RE: Heading to the Rockies for 5 or 6 weeks.

"I don't know how anyone could tell that I was not using tow/haul by what I wrote." No offense intended but this is what you wrote, sounded like you weren't using Tow Haul: "On the downhill runs however, the engine is still a 3.5 liter gasser when it comes to motor braking. I have to use my brakes more than I would like on the long high speed drops. Today I came down what is probably my steepest, curviest downhill in my driving experience. This road was handled well by the EB because the speed limit was 25 and I could use first gear and had very good speed control with engine braking." If you are in TH you should not have to use your brakes much at all. A light tap of the brake pedal will downshift the trans one gear, no need to manually shift down unless that's what you like to do though it does seem a tad redundant. On a long 5 or 6 percent grade I select a speed that is appropriate for the road conditions and set cruise control while in Tow Haul. This usually gets me to the bottom of the grade without ever touching the brakes or at most doing so lightly and not often. As always... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 09/19/19 07:43am Travel Trailers
Towing with my new Honda Ridgeline

After a lot of research I purchased a 2019 Honda Ridgeline last month. My towing needs were very simple, I tow a 10' {14' overall} cargo trailer hauling either my Indian Springfield - bike and trailer 2,220# or my Polaris Rzr - Rzr and Trailer 2,580#. The keyboard commando's of the internet all wanted to tell me my new Honda was not a real truck...LMAO until I pointed out that a dodge 4 X 4 Crew Cab 1500 half ton comes with 977# of Payload and my Ridgeline comes with 1,477# AWD, 18" wheels and the 6 speed trans complete the equation for me. While I usually tow with my 2012 Nexus 24' Class C, V-10 with the 5 speed Torque Shift trans and a 4:10 differential there are often times when I do not need to have the motorhome as part of the equation. The Honda gives me options as the mileage towing is 16 vs 8.5 - 9 with the coach. For the record I m seeing 24 mpg around town {not towing} and 26 - 28 on the interstate. Just returned from my first serious shakedown trip from Tucson up to Angel Fire New Mexico {1,455 miles}. Lots of moutnains between Tucson {3,300'} and Angel Fire {9,000'} but the Honda did not even breath hard. Mostly 6th gear at 2,400 rpm to cruise 65. The low hills kicked us down to 5th gear and 3,400 rpm and an twice it actually kicked down to 4th and 4,400... boring. Up and over the pass from Taos to Angel Fire and again over Bobcat Pass {9,820' with 4 adults and and the 2,580# Rzr} on our way to Red River I actually en engaged Honda's version of Tow Haul... D-4, which holds the trans in 4th gear up and down the mountain. I had met a guy in Tombstone with a new Ridgeline towing a nice retro 19' - 2,600# TT and he loved the combo. His experience set me in motion to this equation... and thank you! I stopped at the triple T truckstop on I-10 on the way home and hit the C.A.T. Scale with the following results: Front axle: 2,680 {max 3,131} Rear Axle: 2,640 {max 3219} Trailer axle 2,580 {max 2,990} Total: 7,900 This with two adults and a weeks worth of "stuff". Obviously no need whatsoever for a weight distribution hitch as the rig sits dead level. The ride and handling towing are amazing. Take your hands off of the wheel {carefully and keeping them close} and the rig will track up the interstate straight as an arrow. I simply do not need more truck than the Honda, if I did I would have bought something else but with the AWD, 18" wheels, 6 speed trans and nearly 1,500# of payload I am good to go. Guess I will just have to learn to live with it not being a "Real Truck"... LMAO! :B
Desert Captain 09/18/19 06:11pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Heading to the Rockies for 5 or 6 weeks.

OK, I am going to reveal my ignorance -- how is tow/haul different from manually downshifting? On long steep downgrades, I select second gear and just let the compression do the braking for me. My Tacoma does not have a separate tow/haul setting, as far as I know. (Don't be too hard on this naive question -- I did say I was ignorant, right?) ;) No harm in asking... Engaging the Tow Haul, that is now found on most late model trucks and SUV's, tells the ECM to adjust the shift points making them more efficient. You will notice a tendancy to hold each gear a little longer - to a slightly higher rpm. It also locks up the torque converter eliminating any slippage which = friction, which = heat. If you manually shift to a lower gear it simply stays there whether or not that is the most efficient selection. TH will continue to shift up and down as is appropriate for your driving situation. As noted another plus is that on long downhill grades the engine compression gives controlled braking while burning no fuel... win - win. On older vehicles having a manual Overdrive button, the {off/on} accomplishes much the same thing just not as efficiently as a dedicated TH. Turning OD off locks out your highest gear. I always figured the engineers that built my vehicles have forgotten more than I ever knew about getting optimum performance so I tend to read the owners manual and pretty much do what they recommend... but then that is just me. :C
Desert Captain 09/18/19 01:08pm Travel Trailers
RE: Heading to the Rockies for 5 or 6 weeks.

It sounds like you are not using your Tow Haul so I would have to ask why? Any time you are towing or loaded heavy as in "hauling" the Tow Haul should be engaged. With TH on going down long steep grades, 5 or 6 percent, you will hardly use your brakes at all. Even better you won't be burning a drop of gas all the way to the bottom and will arrive with nice cool brakes ready to perform. When climbing even a slight grade of 2 - 3 percent you are slowly but surely cooking your transmission by running with TH off. Once in a great while I forget to turn it on and my Scan Gauge quickly reminds me to do so as the trans fluid temperature quickly climbs 12 - 15 degrees... engage TH and I watch it drop by that much in just a mile or two {this on our 2011 V-10 in a 24' Class C}. There is simply no good reason not to use Tow Haul. :C
Desert Captain 09/18/19 07:36am Travel Trailers
RE: Do you use a cargo trailer? Here is a shot I took yesterday morning before leaving Angel Fire NM of our 10' {14' overall} cargo trailer behind my new Honda Ridgeline. Inside is my Polaris RZR although I also use it often to haul my Indian Springfield. Just got the Honda but have been using our 24' Nexus Class C for 5+ years to pull a couple of different motorcycle trailers and now my ultimate trailer... the cargo. Both vehicles are rated to tow 5,000# and do so easily. Loaded with the RZR the trailer weighs 2,540# - with the Indian 2,220#. Having 7' of headrooms is a very nice feature that makes loading {with the rear drop down gate} very simple and easy. I use E Track and ratcheting tie downs to secure the load. I'll never go back to an open trailer as it is so nice to have your own portable, private garage that follows you everywhere keeping the nice toys out of not only the weather but the prying eyes of the bad guys. It also provides secure storage for the RZR {parked behind my motorhome at the secure storage yard} when my garage gets full and my snowbird neighbors have returned. :B
Desert Captain 09/16/19 06:23am General RVing Issues
Back to Angel Fire... again

We are once again enjoying a nice 4 day/night stay at our friends home in Angel Fire New Mexico. They have 3 acres at 9,000' and gorgeous does not begin to describe this amazing place. This trip we left theClass C at home electing to break in our new Honda Ridgeline to tow the RZR in our 10' cargo trailer. We don't need the C for accommodations as the guest suite in their 3,900 square foot home is magnificent and the Honda is getting 16 mpg vs the 8.5 - 9 we get towing with the motorhome. Fully loaded the trailer with the RZR weighs in at 2,540# and the Honda, like the motorhome are rated to tow 5,000. We alway do the 30 mile drive up to Red River for the mandatory Smoked brisket breakfast burrito smothered in Hatch green Chile sauce at Shotgun Willies, if you are anywhere near Red River do not miss this one. They smoke several hundred pounds of Brisket for 19 hours every day and it is hands down the most delicious I have ever eaten. While there yesterday I rented a RZR for our friends to ride and we will just tow mine up there later this morning. We have a 4 hour trail ride in the RZR's scheduled for 1:00 and the weather is perfect... temps in the low 70's and no rain in the forecast. Headed home tomorrow and will break up the 660 mile ride by stopping in Deming for the night and then home. Already making plans to return, perhaps for another white Christmas as we did last year. We have come up here 14 times in the last 4 years and never tire of this trip. For the first time we have yet to see any Elk but the deer and wild turkey's are everywhere. I'll follow up this post with more pics when we return home. Just behind and to the left of the trailer is my personal RV site complete with 30 amps, my buddy put it in for me when they built the house so I would have no excuses for not coming up... now that is friend! :B
Desert Captain 09/14/19 09:37am General RVing Issues
RE: Pulling with 1/2 ton

So what is "odd"? :h We both had rigs that towed well at or near our payload limits. What was your alleged towing capacity? I'm guessing Ford told you it was 9K# or more but we both know better. :C What is odd is that you say 6500lb "is all it could handle" which, to me, implies that anything more and the rig becomes unwieldy or unable to pull efficiently yet I'm pulling 1000lb more than that and find it all very manageable. Not saying you are wrong or anything just observing that our separate experiences are so disparate. I can't even remember what the tow rating is but I know it was way more than I'd ever want or need. What I said was my F150 was at its payload limits with a 5,600# TT. With about 750# of tongue weight and the hitch more than half of the payload (1,426#) was gone before I loaded anything. Add the 225# for the Leer shell and I was almost out of payload. I would bet that the tow capacity you have forgotten is far higher than any number you can actually tow without compromising max payload.
Desert Captain 09/11/19 07:40pm Travel Trailers
RE: Pulling with 1/2 ton

My SCab F-150 was rated for 8,600 max tow but my 5,600# 22' TT was alll that it could handle - it towed well but I was near or even at my max payload almost every trip. :C Odd... My SCrew F-150 EcoBoost has towed a 6500lb dry/7500 loaded Bullet Premiere 31BHPR, (31'), with a measured tongue weight of 940 putting me pretty much at the limit of the advertised payload just over 17000 miles in the last 4.5 years without incident. I've taken it through the Blue Ridge Mountains a few times and have no problem on the hills and sometimes, when windy - high wind warning to be accurate, the F-150 sway control kicks in which is a very benign incident where I usually just re-engage cruise and carry on. So what is "odd"? :h We both had rigs that towed well at or near our payload limits. What was your alleged towing capacity? I'm guessing Ford told you it was 9K# or more but we both know better. :C
Desert Captain 09/10/19 05:58pm Travel Trailers
RE: Pulling with 1/2 ton

I have yet to encounter any half ton truck that could actually tow at its rated maximum. The problem will be that you run out of payload long before you even get close to your max tow rating. Saw a Dodge Ram 1500 4 X 4 crew cab the other day that had 977# of payload... my Honda Ridgeline haas 1,577, go figure. :h My SCab F-150 was rated for 8,600 max tow but my 5,600# 22' TT was alll that it could handle - it towed well but I was near or even at my max payload almost every trip. :C
Desert Captain 09/10/19 08:02am Travel Trailers
RE: Thunder Storms

After having been struck by lightning at a tournament Lee Trevino was being ingterviewed the following year at that same event. When asked what he would do if thunderstorms threatened agsin Lee said he would take out his one iron and hold it up over his head. That's crazy replied the interviewer... Trevino just smiled and mused "Nah, even God can't hit a one iron." :B
Desert Captain 09/08/19 09:59am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Street eagle Side by Sides.

I recently bought a 2017 Polaris RZR which I registered here in Arizona. I am legal on or off road in Arizona {I have both strickers on my plate} but... when I leave Arizona all bets are off. It varies not only by state but often by county as well. I was up in Pagosa Springs CO last week and spoke with a guy who runs a rental outfit there and in Creede. They are not street legal {regardless of documentation} in Pagosa Springs due largely to the huge volume of traffic they have but up in Creede, if properly registered they are street legal. California does not allow them on the street in any county. New Mexico is fine if you are street legal in your home state {like me} but individual counties there can impose local restrictions. As to the earlier comment that they are not allowed in National Parks I know that is not true across the board. You will find them alll over Utah's NP's but in Utah you must have turn signals... go figure. Bottom line every jurisdiction can have its own, often nonsensical rules so you must check before you go/drive there. A violation in many areas will net you a ticket but in some {California} they might just as likely impound your buggy with substancial fees to retrieve it. I am lucky in that I can ride right out of my driveway to two of the best off road Venues in the state; Charlouleau Gap and Rail X Ranch are each about one mile from my house. For traveling I tow the RZR in a 10' {14' overall} cargo trailer behind our 24' Class C or my Honda Ridgeline. Traveling with my own private garage is awesome and a big improvement from the previous 2 open trailers both for my RZR and my motorcycle {Indian Springfield}. :C
Desert Captain 09/05/19 11:03am Truck Campers
RE: For those that have had a blowout when towing

On our 22' TT: My firts clue was the car alongside honking and pointing at my trailers rear axle. :S The left rear had grenaded but with the other 3 intact I could not feel a thing driving down Interstate 10... We were only about 40 miles out from our campsite headed home when it happend and I still don't know how far back up the road the blowout occurred. I had checked all 4 tires the morning we left, no signs of any issues and all were set to 50 psi. Pulled over and changed the tire. Fortunately the only damage to the trailer was having the brake wires severed on that wheel {Our Fleetwood Pioneer Spirit had steel lined wheel wells}. Took it to Big Tex Trailers the next day and they reconnected the wiring for free {Thanks again Big Tex!}. I immediately replaced the China Bombs with a set of Maxxis' 8008 and never had another tire issue. IMHO: China bombs are a matter of when, not if they will fail... Arrrrg! :C
Desert Captain 09/04/19 10:47am General RVing Issues
RE: Need to buy replacement battery

I just replaced my two wet group 27 Interstate deep cycles in our 24' Calss C after 4.5 years. I replaced with Duracell AGM's {$200 a piece} and purchased all 4 at Batteries +. They have good prices and service and are scattered over most of the country in case you ever have an issue. :C
Desert Captain 09/02/19 06:01pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Surge power protector- hard wire or portable?

I startred out with a simple plug in Progressive Industries Surge Guard unit and upgradced a couple of years later to thir EMS. I keep the original as a spare and have loaned it out a numberof times. About 75 percent of pedestals have a hole at the bottom of the door that will accept a small shanked padlock and secures the door. I use a combination lock, one less key to keep track of, and this setup has served me well for years. As others here have mentioned the EMS has saved us from damage on numerous occasions all across the US. I will never plug in anywhere with out the EMS on line first. :C
Desert Captain 09/02/19 08:06am General RVing Issues
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