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RE: Pick up for TC

I have a very rare TC that I would never find again, but if I were to have to buy a TC now I would strongly consider a Northern Lite or Bigfoot. Both similar and both are two-piece fiberglass shells, like an upside down boat. They can only leak at the openings as there is no seams except where they are joined, but which they overlap so cannot leak. They are also a 4-season camper which I wish I had. Keeping pipes thawed on cold nights is VERY difficult for summer campers. The TCs with basements are taller, so you lose clearance and a tad bit of mpg, but you gain space that the tanks usually take up. You said this truck had CAD, which refers to the front axle on 4x4 trucks only, so I thought it was a 4x4. Think carefully about getting a diesel. They are super powerful workhorses and will run years beyond gas engines, but the gain in mpg does not always off-set some of the expenses of a diesel. You will also nee to run 2-cycle oil in the diesel tank (one quart per fill up/ 30 gallons), so will add another 15 cents per gallon at the pump. The oil protects the injectors. 20 years ago diesel fuel had more sulfur which aided in lubracation. Some people add the oil, some do not. If you want 100 different opinions on this topic it will not be hard to find.
ajriding 11/09/19 10:38am Truck Campers
RE: Rear Hitch Bike Rack for Travel Trailer

The warning is due to a large number of the bumper receivers being so weak, and the bumper, the thin 4 inch square tube, being very weak. It is not the bike rack that is at risk, it is the trailer's hitch that could break off. A 2 inch or 1 1/4 makes no difference, it is the receiver that is at risk. The bike rack from the two mentioned companies will not break from bouncing. I carried two multi-thousand dollar bikes on a trailer hitch rack for thousands of miles with no issue. Though, this was on a twin axle with torsion springs, not leafs, so it rode smoother, but still got airborne a time or two. My trailer's hitch was sturdy steel welded to the frame, not to the flimsy sewer tube though. Ideally you would beef up the hitch to handle the load and stresses. If there is any way to tie or strap the top of the bicycle (handlebars) to something on the trailer (like a spare tire or a hook on the wall) then this will greatly reduce the bikes from swaying and keep them from acting as a tall lever. The name-brand bike-shop quality races are quite capable.
ajriding 11/09/19 10:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Pick up for TC

160,000 is very very low miles for a 20 year old truck. Unless the guy was a full-time RVer living in his 5th then Id say he drove very little ever. It probably has original everything mostly. You will need to figure that you will be replacing things at some point. If it is original injector pump then it might die tomorrow. 160 is a long time for that pump. The clutch likely has been replaced, if not then it is pretty worn likely, or maybe it an auto.. Anyway, if it is only $7,000, and only has 160,000 and there is no big issues, then it is a good price. Even if you drive straight to the shop and put in a new clutch and trans /or auto trans it is still a good price. I think you confirmed it is 4x4, if 2wd then $7k is still decent since low miles but nothing special. A dually is not necessarily needed for a TC. Yes, these 2500 trucks are ample for most truck campers. Though, TCs come in many weights. 1,800-2,500 is the normal light to medium weight. Anything heavier and you will want a dually. With this 2nd gen truck you can simply add air bags. On this truck there are leaf springs which are outside of the frame rails and the air bags will go directly on top of the springs (might need to remove the helper springs), so you do not introduce any imbalances as if the bags were to go inside the frame rails. The goal with bags is not to get the truck up to empty height, but to get is mostly level. The truck sits rear high when empty because the engineers figure when you load it with normal stuff there will be some sag, so they allowed for this. Air bags up to give some support bc a TC is a little more than the average load. The weight weak link is usually the tires and wheels. You will need, and it has Im sure, E rated tires, 10 ply. which can handle over 3,000 lbs each. Mine weighs 1,800 dry, and yes, add 1,000 lbs if you have a lot of stuff, which includes propane, water and all your food, gear, bedding, pots pans etc. and what is in the truck cab, people, dogs, tools etc. Depending on your plans for camper is what you want in it. No shower for me is a no deal. I used to have a pop up TC and though it was great driving for mpg cross the country and back in reality it did not save me enough to put up with all the negatives of a tent top. Tents are noisy and cold. I am way happier with a full size, and it might cost 100 bucks more to drive across the whole country. well worth it. If you insist on a pop up then do not get the HECO lift system. All I will say is; nightmare. In Canada, how do they enforce weight? Do they look at the truck door sticker and then look for a camper sticker? Campers are always listed dry weight, and may not even include features like AC in the weight. If they go by stickers then you should be fine, if they weigh it then everyone is over, haha. Do you have to go through highway scales?
ajriding 11/07/19 05:48pm Truck Campers
RE: Holding tank fittings

I dont know your exact plumbing plan, but yes glue is fine. Maybe you can use rubber p-traps or rubber connections after you glue the fittings on. See Homedepot shelves. The rubber pipes flex plenty and are held on with hose clamps. That said, I have done repairs and rigidly glued fiberglass holding tanks to pvc plastic pipes and driven a lot. No leaks. I used fiberglass epoxy in this case, which is more brittle than the plastic glue you will use on your ABS tanks, so I would not expect any issues on yours.
ajriding 11/07/19 05:25pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Dont discuss GS

Closed topic. I guess the site does not tolerate any negative feedback. The reason for closing the thread was that it was "due to lack of activity". Several post in just a few days, and the thread was closed the day after, just hours, the last post on a discussion. Seems disingenuous to me. I suspect there is something to hide about the GSAssistance? So, if we are not allowed to discuss, then I have my answer… the original thread: Posted: 10/27/19 10:04am Link | Print | Notify Moderator Odd that there is just one topic here… I have AAA for RVs but it does not cover what I really need. Does Good Sam offer roadside assistance insurance that is similar? My AAA mainly is to cover towing when out of town, but I have a truck camper and tow a cargo trailer. Technically aaa does not cover the trailer being towed, but just the "heavy" truck/camper which needs a big tow truck/more expensive. I need a plan to cover my entire rig. I just got towed but had to get a friend to come to the next state to tow my trailer out. It took a full day for aaa to get the right tow truck to me, they sent two small ones despite being told I was 10,000 lbs. Im not interested to repeat this. MDKMDK Canada Senior Member Joined: 10/15/2008 View Profile Posted: 10/27/19 10:11am Link | Print | Notify Moderator I think Good Sam Roadside Platinum covers your situation but one of their moderators will be able to give you the exact 411. RoadsideGuy Colorado Administrator Joined: 06/04/2015 View Profile Offline Posted: 10/27/19 10:15am Link | Print | Notify Moderator Thank you for the posts. The level of membership you are looking for is “Platinum+” which also covers cargo trailers. You can call customer service to enroll in this program at 1-866-298-2929. Thank you for your interest! MarkTwain Northern, Ca. , USA Senior Member Joined: 07/26/2002 View Profile Offline Posted: 10/27/19 12:16pm Link | Print | Notify Moderator ajriding wrote: Odd that there is just one topic here… I have AAA for RVs but it does not cover what I really need. Does Good Sam offer roadside assistance insurance that is similar? My AAA mainly is to cover towing when out of town, but I have a truck camper and tow a cargo trailer. Technically aaa does not cover the trailer being towed, but just the "heavy" truck/camper which needs a big tow truck/more expensive. I need a plan to cover my entire rig. I just got towed but had to get a friend to come to the next state to tow my trailer out. It took a full day for aaa to get the right tow truck to me, they sent two small ones despite being told I was 10,000 lbs. Im not interested to repeat this. AAA Roadside Service is totally inadequate for RVers. AAA was not designed for RVers and AAA does not have complete coverage in all cities!!!! Such a deal ajriding st clair Senior Member Joined: 12/28/2004 View Profile Posted: 10/27/19 08:09pm Link | Print | Notify Moderator aaa is different in each zone, but there is the option to request reimbursement from your home location that does cover it. I am not sure how often they do or do not cover this. Otherwise it is plenty adequate for towing as sending a tow truck is all the typical RVer would ask for, but in my case I want to cover a trailer too. So, what coverage do you people have, what do you pay and what does it offer/cover? I could call and go through a long phone conversation, but realistically that is not going to happen anytime soon. My aaa coverage is paid through the year and I likely will not be doing as much RVing the rest of the year anyway. Camper8251 Gallatin Valley MT Senior Member Joined: 08/30/2010 View Profile Good Sam RV Club Member Offline Posted: 10/29/19 06:40pm Link | Print | Notify Moderator Make sure you read the reviews about peoples experience with GS Roadside lack of assistance........... At the top of forum is a drop down box that you can adjust what messages you see. Up to 12 months in advance it defaults to last 14 days.. ...so you wont see much at this time of the year but if you go back the last 12 you will see plenty of horror stories........ They are good about following up AFTER the fact though.... When you and the family are all safe after being left to your on devices to find help Good Sam Care Team Everywhere Administrator Joined: 09/12/2012 View Profile Online Posted: 11/01/19 08:24am Link | Print | Notify Moderator Hello, I am closing this topic due to lack of activity. Thank you for your time and participating. Please feel free to open a new thread on this topic in the future if you wish. Thank you, Ella Good Sam Care Team
ajriding 11/07/19 08:59am Good Sam Roadside Assistance
RE: Pick up for TC

Listen to burningman on the 53 block 99 with long beds are harder to find, but not impossible. Autos are more abundant than the manuals. Which are you looking at? I assume by "towing a 5th" your concern is all the stress on the truck. True, but how many mile did the PO actually tow? I would be very weary of buying a truck with a 5th or gooseneck hitch in the bed. Those hitches are great for towing very heavy loads. The Cummins can tow 30,000 lbs, way over the rated limit, and there are people who will do just that. Though, my truck has a gooseneck hitch I put on and have never used it. I went another route.. Other than the 53 block, the Cummins is a great motor. The tappet cover will leak, so see if that has been replaced, the original ones just dry up and crack. You will have oil leaks, this is not detrimental, actually normal for diesels, but you also do not want one that leaks like a spigot. The injector pump is the VP44 and will fail. $1,400-1,500 for a new one plus labor, but not hard to do yourself. The stock lift pump (what sends fuel from gas tank (diesel) to the injector pump) is junk. You want to see an aftermarked one which will be installed on the frame between fender and frame in front of the left rear wheel. FASS or Air Dog is typical. There are other good fixes, but these two are best. The drivers seat cushion will be worn out. Genos (genoes) garage has all these parts. The dash board top will be non-existent or will have been replaced. If 4x4 you will want the more rare CAD front axle, otherwise the front axle spins all the time into the diff and the transfer case. Back to the trans. On manual there are a lot of issues with the NV4500 5 speed trans. The 5th gear was a major issue and cause of many trans end of life. The 5th gear nut can be fixed. Ask for proof of this. Otherwise budget the price of a new trans in what you plan to spend (about $3500-4000 installed) The trans itself is about $1.500 for a rebuilt NV4500, there are no new ones. There are a lot of bad rebuilt units out there. I got one where the KY rebuild shop welded in the 5th gear, so that one was ruined after only 80k of driving. Just avoid anything that originated from KY to be safe. If it has been "chipped" then that may or may not be good. Depends on the owner. Chips are Edge programmers or other brands that alter the CPU, mostly increase the fueling to the injectors to increase power. More power means more stress on that already stressed trans pulling a giant 5th wheeler. I see trucks pulling giant trailers up mountains blowing by me doing 70-75mph. The cummins can do that, but the trans is screaming, help me. I would not want to buy that truck. Go look at dodge cummins forums, or do internet search for info on that 2nd gen truck to get an idea what you are getting into. There were a lot of issues with the truck, but if those were fixed then would no longer be an issue. Some people fix them with upgrades, some just replace with the same problem part and hope for a few more miles.
ajriding 11/07/19 08:48am Truck Campers
RE: Mileage observations

Gear ratios for the Ford 6R140 1=3.974 2=2.318 3=1.516 4=1.149 5=0.858 6=0.674 I tow a 11,000 lb 5er at around 68 on the interstates and it runs in 6th gear. I will down shift to 5th to longer hills but doesnt on the short ones. So maybe I if lock out 6th I might get better millage??I wouldnt ever shift. Would running in a lower gear than the computer requires cause it to run hotter? Must be an automatic since there is no 1:1 Yes, always OD will create more heat in the trans. When the output spins faster than the input on the trans there is a lot of stress on the gear, and why it makes heat, OD towing is not recommended unless you are going downhill or have a decent tailwind. But, this really depends on the ability of your particular trans. Looks like you have two overdrives, but 5th will heat up less than 6th in your case. If there is a "tow mode" button, then just activate it and let the truck do the thinking most of the time. Running a low gear at the same speed… On the engine your EGTs will be lower with faster rpm due to more air running through, or maybe it is that less fuel is needed with each cylinder. My EGTs drop a few 100 degrees when I downshift (mine is a turbo, and I am not familiar with non-turbo temps). On the trans you might have lower trans temp when closer to the 1:1 gear ratio, this means that the gears are spinning less. On a manual, in the 1:1 gear, the gears are not spinning at all, so the heat will just come from the engine. In your case I suspect that 4th gear will generate the least amount of heat at a normal speed. You should not have to worry about gearing and engine heat, a good radiator should handle the engine heat, but you do need to watch the trans temps. Get a good trans temp gauge and drive according to trans temps. Heat kills transmissions. I don't want to go into explanations, better to research this on a transmission dedicated site that is specific to your vehicle. My goal is just to make you aware that there are things to watch for.
ajriding 11/04/19 09:37am Tow Vehicles
RE: Buyer Beware: Reserve America / Active Advantage

Active dot come is a legitimate company that operates a service for online sales for many industries. You probably clicked something at one time to "agree" to be charged. This would be the campground company, not the Active dot com, who was the origin to be charging you, and is the reason Active reversed the charge so quickly. The good news is that credit card purchases can be reversed. Debit card spending is much harder to reverse as it is your money gone, not theirs. I never sign up for anything that has wording for reoccurring charges, I run away fast.
ajriding 11/04/19 09:25am General RVing Issues
RE: Photo Thread - Post a Photo of Your Truck Camper Here

https://i.imgur.com/cr8YJDOl.jpg size=200 Why is this sloping up?
ajriding 11/03/19 03:57pm Truck Campers
RE: Towing on snowy roads

Most passes are cleared well to maintain travel, cross when clear. If chains are required find a place to park it's not a time to be driving. No reason to drive in that kind of weather, most 18 wheels park and they drive thousands of miles a month. This guy is forum king! He is right and insightful on all. Do not take risk. Take up knitting instead, stay at home as much as possible, and only venture out on clear sunny days and only when you need more yarn. He knows better than you.
ajriding 11/03/19 08:21am Toy Haulers
RE: How cold can you go?

7
ajriding 11/02/19 09:52am Travel Trailers
RE: fridge removal and replacement

The window. https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/29948572.cfm Post of a fridge going through window They build campers from the inside out sometimes, so the interior and furnishings are installed before the outer walls sometimes. The window might be the only hole big enough. If you have a big window that is an "emergency exit" window then you are fortunate as you can remove the window without removing the frame, often this is why there is an emergency window. Good news is that you end up replacing the butyl around the window, which is something that is a maintenance issue after 10-15 years anyway. Consider converting to the Danfoss type compressor fridge. Some propane models can be converted, or there are many chest type fridge/freezers out there. Dometic or ARB are two name brand ones, but many others on ebay that are similar.
ajriding 11/02/19 09:44am General RVing Issues
RE: Ready to Live on the Road and Excited

6 mos or a year… Who will even know you are gone? When would they start counting days? You go drive around and camp, this does not mean you renounce your MI citizenship. There are those extreme in govt that want to follow your every move, and Im sure they are able, but there is no mechanism (legality) to follow you and adjust your status based on tracking your movements. It is not against the law to be homeless, nor to take a long vacation. Do not consider yourself a full-timer for just a 6 month trip. You are just enjoying retirement. Unless you need to be at hospitals on a weekly basis, then why would your health provider need to know you are taking a vacation? This is not illegal. If you do have a need during the trip, then do what millions of Americans do when they are traveling and have a medical need. Go get help… If you have a more urgent critical medical condition, then that is a good reason to settle back into one location (MI or TN) so you have a regular doctor for the weekly visits. Full-timers live in their RV, they do this for years or decades. By your post, you will not be a full-timer and will not encounter the hardships they may or may not encounter. Go enjoy your trip.
ajriding 10/31/19 05:26pm General RVing Issues
RE: More campers than parks

everyoe's house in CA has burnt down, they are camping from necessity, though seems their plastic trash cans survive.
ajriding 10/31/19 05:14pm General RVing Issues
RE: Mileage observations

Lower rpm is usually better mpg, but there are many variables in the ECU that can affect this. If you drove a simple two cycle engine, then yes, lower equals less fuel, but on vehicles the computer changes fueling, timing, the vacuum changes, and the gears change. In general overdrive is not an efficient gear, the gear right under it is usually the most efficient gear in the transmission, and usually translates to the most efficient at the pump (assuming speeds are appropriate for the selected gear). In OD you cover more ground for the same engine rpm so you may get better mpg, but when towing you may not. Many variables. In a manual transmission, in a 5 speed for ex, 5th is an OD gear, and 4th is what is referred to as a one to on or 1:1 gearing. For every one rotation of the engine the drives shaft rotates once. This literally means that the gears in the transmission are not even used, they are bypassed, not turning. The "input shaft" is locked directly to the "output shaft", so really there is no mechanical loss from the transmission. This is why it is the efficient gear (because it really is not a gear). Similar gearing will happen in an auto trans. The biggest factor still is how the engine fuels at different rpms and at different loads. You may find you get worse mpg at too slow of a speed and this is the engine fueling differently. 55 is typically the sweet spot, but it is worth a few bucks extra to go a little faster when you do the math.
ajriding 10/31/19 05:07pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Converting to dc fridge

It would be easier to visit Homedepot and get a $200 dorm fridge, or bigger and just plug it in. Sounds like you go from house to campground and rarely anything in between. House fridges are not built for the trailer bouncing, but many do it and are fine. You might need to run a generator for power on drives longer than a few hours, but still this is cheaper than a new (and soon to fail) propane fridge. The Danfoss electric fridges really are the best option for many RVers. They use very little power and can run 30 degress off level (propane is 3-6 degrees). Most of these are "chest" type units, so convert your old fridge space to a closet, and make room for a cooler style chest. They are expensive. If you live in CA and the power goes out for the next ten years, then this will run off solar, or a car battery. There are conversions available to turn your existing propane fridge into a danfoss unit. It will work on some models, but not all. This would be the ideal solution.
ajriding 10/31/19 04:56pm Tech Issues
RE: Ready to Live on the Road and Excited

Sounds fun. So, 6 months is not really a big full timing life, more of a very long vacation. You said, maybe more, but Im guessing you do not meant 6 years… Do you plan to tow a vehicle behind? Will you be primarily traveling from campground to campground? Have you considered a trailer instead? For campground dwellers it is a huge bonus to have a trailer and take the vehicle out for sight seeing and day trips. Hauling a big motorhome around to every destination is difficult, and many nice spots you cannot easily take an RV in. For example, at Zion they will charge you more for a big vehicle, and you will need a "guide" (pay) to take you through the tunnel. At most parks you will be hard pressed to find parking spots, and even harder pressed to find a level spot so your fridge is happy. Some destinations you will just not ever find a place to park, and will be hated for taking up so much room and being so needy for just two people. Forget driving down to Boulder dam. Another plus for trailers is that there is no odometer, and no matter how far you drive you will not lose value like you will putting miles on a motor and transmission of a motorhome. Trailers do not require insurance (though you may choose to insure it if your auto does not cover it). Motorhomes do have their advantages, but consider carefully, maybe read more on this topic. And if you are only gone for 6 months, then residency should not be such an issue, they will not know you are gone. Even in terrible CA you can live there for 6 months before they start wanting residency.
ajriding 10/31/19 12:35pm General RVing Issues
RE: Ryobi 900 Watt Propane Generator

That's a cool little generator. The best part is small and that it is propane (not gasoline) you can just toss it in the living quarters with no fumes I bet. If small and fumeless are your goals then this is great. If you can upgrade to the Ryobi 2300 watt, but it runs on gas, then that is way better selection, and the 2300 will runs a 9,200BTU AC unit easily. I have the older Ryobi 2200watt and on the one gallon (0.9) it will run 10-12 hours with the AC unit cycling on and off. A bigger motor will last longer since it will be under less stress than a small motor running wide open. But, for your immediate goal, this 900 seems perfect. If, errr, when SHTF, you will wish you had a bigger one, one that can run on the more abundant gasoline, sitting there. Also, consider going solar. 200 watts solar should keep you charged up plenty , assuming you are not using an unusual amount of power each day, and are not in the shadows all the time. Just a few hours of sun is enough to keep mine topped off, and they are usually charged back before I even wake up. 200 watts panels, MMPT controller (20 or 30 amps) and your existing batteries. $200-250 shipped to your door from ebay seller - plus wire.
ajriding 10/30/19 09:53am Tech Issues
RE: Air Conditioner

You can add a mini spoiler to the rear top of the AC shroud to push air down behind the AC unit. This will create the downforce you are looking for to hold the AC wheels to the ground for better traction in turns. No modifications to the AC unit steering mechanism is necessary, this is just crazy talk, and I don't know why people keep wanting to modify the AC steering all the time. Leave that alone, it is adjusted from the factory and should never need adjusting. I once saw a guy use metal HVAC ducting to re-route air behind the AC unit, but this was a mess and required drilling into the roof. It had the desired outcome, but did make a lot of rattling noises in cross-winds. The thermos solution is still the go-to best ever way to accomplish this.
ajriding 10/30/19 09:39am Tech Issues
RE: Changes in Air Temp and Tire PSI

Absolutely, not fine and very dangerous advice. Never, ever deflate a hot tire because the pressure increases due to driving. If it is hot and you are carrying a heavy load at high speed, the solution is to slow down. Even then expect high pressure during highway driving in hot weather. Maybe so. I never deflate tires in middle of drive so do not know. The tire should be able to handle being heated up and the increased psi that goes with it. So, what happens if a tire is deflated a little bit? pizza-oven guy, 115 deg is hot to walk around in all day, but not going to burn anything. A sauna is usually 180 degrees by comparison. water boils at 212.
ajriding 10/29/19 10:26am General RVing Issues
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