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RE: Almost lost a mud flap...

FYI. Mud flaps are not to keep your toad clean. Mud flaps are there for the protection of other vehicles following you. Your rear tires, like those on trucks, pick up rocks and debris from the road and hurl them skyward looking for the windshield of some poor unsuspecting fool using the highway with you. The mud flap normally will direct that downward back toward the pavement.....Dennis ...With several feet of overhang behind the rear axles, and a towed vehicle behind that....I'm having a hard time understanding how debris/rocks thrown upward by the rear tires could hit anything but the underside of the Motorhome or your own towed vehicle. Sooo, not quite following you on how mud flaps would be for protection of vehicles other than your own. If we were talking about a dually pickup or other vehicle with very little rear overhang and not towing anything, I'd agree. That's not really the case, though. Be that as it may, I definitely will be fixing the mud flap before the Motorhome rolls again. We don't have any trips planned for a while, anyway. Will I've seen something that is pretty obvious to me, but have been vigorously debated here in the past. When you have a flap that hangs low below the rear bumper of a class A, you can do significant damage to a toad. The problem is that the coach bobs up and down, and occasionally the rear flap with touch the road and sweep the surface. This can pick up gravel and pelt the toad. On one of my many trips from the east coast to AK I was filling up on the Kenai, and noticed a guy pulling a car with an absolutely trashed windshield. He had an older gas coach that sat pretty low, and had a serious rear overhang. He also had a flap across the rear that was about 4" off the road, when everything was level. I asked about the windshield and he didn't have a clue as to why it was slowing being reduced to a pile of shards. It literally had at least five side to side cracks, and I was surprised that it wasn't bowed inward at that point. I mentioned that it was probably his mud flap doing the damage, and he looked at me like I was an idiot. Flaps that are high and tight to the duals are no issues. a giant rubber squeegee riding just above the road, and 12' or more behind the duals? maybe not the greatest idea, IMHO.
soren 10/20/19 07:11pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Black Tank--Borax?

I've gotten to the point, after two decades of RVing, that I use the toilet, occasionally watch the gauges, and see when it's getting close to full. I then close the grey valve and wait. The next day I dump the black, and chase it with a partial load of grey. No Rid-X,Geo method,expensive blue stuff from the camping store, Ice, black magic, or ancient Chinese secrets. If the RV has been parked while snowbirding, and hasn't moved an inch,after a few months it will develop the dreaded "Mount Poosovious". I then take a wand that came with the rig, hook the hose to it, and give the tank a blast. The wand was free, it has a cool brass spinning head on the bottom, and for the once a year I need it, it works great. IF, and only if, it's a hot summer and things are getting funky in the black tank, it gets a shot of straight, dollar store bleach, every so often. That's my story. No drama, no need for any fancy methods, techniques, or expensive chemicals. Poop, store, drain, repeat.
soren 10/20/19 06:48pm General RVing Issues
RE: Answer Your Phones

After 2+ decades of RVing, I gave up on wasting time trying and failing to buy parts from CW. The last straw was when I tried to buy a toilet flange from one of their stores. The toilet flange, in this case was a common ABS plastic 3" outlet piece that is also used in residential plumbing. I literally couldn't get anybody to even listen to me, including a service writer and EVERYBODY at the parts counter, unless I had the make and model of the toilet. I eventually got a young lady to pull up the schematic on a common Thetford toilet, and showed her that the piece I was looking for had NOTHING to do with the toilet manufacturer, and did not appear on their drawing. It didn't matter, if you use don't have a brand and model # they literally are unable to proceed. I then headed to another, family owned dealer down the road. Five minutes later I had my $7 part, and they had another good laugh with one of the hundreds of customers who showed up at their counter, after wasting time at CW.
soren 08/21/19 04:27pm Camping World Accessories
RE: Old Milepost travel Planner

We have been doing the PA. to AK. RV trip, about every five years, since 2000. When it comes to remote areas, like much of the Alaskan Highway, it can be difficult to imagine how fast change comes to the area, and how many businesses have failed and are fading into the bush, since our first trip. Nothing wrong with a five year old Milepost, as long you keep in mind that any privately owned road house, campground, bakery, restaurant, tourist trap,fuel stop, motel, etc... may be doing just fine this year, may of closed last season, or maybe it's somebody who paid for an advertisement in the 2014 Milepost, or is listed in that edition, but failed before that edition even printed the first copy. I have never read official figures, but if anybody had the facts, and stated that a third, or even half, of all businesses in the wilderness of northern BC and the YT have been shuttered in the last two decades, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
soren 07/30/19 05:56pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Florida Keys RV Parks in Winter

Don't know about the Keys but just north of Tampa some of the parks only accept reservations for a 4 month period. Is that Rock Crusher? That's too bad. We stayed there for a week a few years ago. Nice campground. Lots of Michiganders... I spoke with some returning snowbirds last week that stayed in Mexico Beach area. They said it was still a mess from last hurricane season. I don't know if four month minimums are necessarily bad, but it's not hard to see how events quickly shaped the market in the area. We spend our winters in the Spring Hill area, north of Tampa. We recently bought a site in the park we frequent. We made the decision to buy as it has become increasingly difficult to find a nice place to stay, in the area. Prices are constantly rising, and most places worth staying at are booked a year ahead. When we started staying at our park, six years back, you could randomly pull in, in January or February, and get a site. It was only 80-90% full at peak. By March of this year, without any extended stay requirement, the park was 100% booked from Dec 1st to April, 1st, 2020. There are supposedly 10K boomers retiring, every day of the week. Given that fact, record RV sales, and a few really nasty winters for northerners, the pressure on availability continually rises. We have stayed in several top notch parks from Tampa north to Gainsville, and have seen monthly site rentals increase in price by 20-80% in that six year span. It's possible however,to find a nice park in central Fl. north of I-4 for 75-80% LESS than top parks in southern Fl. Our park is still extremely accommodating with folks seeking short stays, but they still fill up a year ahead. I can see why others do the three or four month minimum. They have far less work and drama while running the operation, and they often require first and last month's rent, and a deposit for electric. By doing that, they not only have a fully booked facility, but they know that they will be getting paid for all four months. You can leave anytime, but you lose your last month's rent. We came through Mexico Beach and Panama City on the way north, this year, and it is still an ongoing disaster, with lots of basic clean-up still waiting for funds. Everything from homes and hotels, to the air base look like they just suffered an extended bombing campaign. Driving through three million acres of planted pine forests, that have most trees snapped clear off, at 10-20 feet off the ground, for as far as you can see, is pretty mind blowing also.
soren 06/07/19 05:25am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Any kind of spray on protection for oil pans?

Even in the saltiest of environments, it takes many decades to rust an oil pan out from the outside in. I'd tell him to not worry about it. If I was really that concerned, I'd probably clean and paint the oil pan before I'd put some kind of coating on it that'd just hold more moisture and salt. Try living in NY State or Ontario Cda with a steel oil pan. Can take less than 10 years to rot it out. I was about to type the same thing. Here in PA. a friend of mine, who owns a small fleet of pickups, was furious when his first Superduty needed a new pan. It was nowhere near a decade old, and one heck of a bill.
soren 06/07/19 04:22am Tow Vehicles
RE: Dealer Service Rant

I had new Firestone tires on my Subaru, took it in for free tire rotation a week later I open the hood and see that they took the hose clamp off of the air intake and the hose fell off. So the car was not having filtered air in the engine the whole time. So from that time on I do every thing myself. This is a result of the "free safety inspection game" A lot of these lizards want to get you in the door for any reason, and then take the time to pull engine and cabin air filters, look at tires, brakes, etc... in an attempt to sell you anything and everything you are dumb and gullible enough to buy. I had one clown who not only failed to reassemble the engine air box correctly, rendering the filter useless, but he dislocated the glove box door while hunting for the cabin air filter, and was too stupid or lazy to fix the mess. At this point the only exposure I would even have to that game is needing to have a recall done, and anymore the first thing out of my mouth, before I hand the keys over to a dealer, or other potentially sleazy shop is, DO NOT do any free inspection of ANYTHING. Do what the work I came here for, and don't touch anything unrelated to that job.
soren 06/06/19 07:19pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Dealer Service Rant

My son is in management with a fairly large construction company. One of his jobs is overseeing repairs done to their pickup fleet. He just had a bill for $2K to repair a "slams violently when placed in drive or reverse" situation on a newer truck. The dealer failed to diagnose or repair the thing, but billed for the $2k. He takes the truck to his in-house heavy truck shop, and asks a real truck mechanic to take a look. A few minutes later, he climbs under the thing and his truck mechanic shows him a driveshaft that is about to fall out, since a U-joint is in it's last stages of disintegrating. He has an ecoboost, under warranty, with a strange engine whistle. He researched and found that it was broken exhaust studs. The service writer tells him that "it's fine, the tech. says it's normal, since his personal truck makes the same noise" My kid tells him the truck stays at the dealer until they have a competent mechanic check the studs, and asks "when did the fact that a tech.is too dumb to figure out what broken head studs are become a benchmark for how a new truck should sound and run?" They find broken studs and replace them. He picks the truck up, and it has the same whistle. He circles the lot and asks WTH? The service writer tells him that they only did one side, since that side was broke. Apparently a test drive, and looking at the other side of the engine was too much to ask. My kid grabs the keys for the new Expedition he had as a loaner, and tells them to keep trying, as he continues to put a thousand miles a week on their fancy SUV.
soren 06/06/19 07:11pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Rafter J-Bar / Custer / Rushmore

If you check the traffic counts and attendance stats, you will find that the week before the rally and rally week are the when it's busiest. Traffic builds for the week before, peaks mid-week at the rally, and tapers off by the last day. Monday morning after the rally things are back to typical summer traffic. Have a great trip, there is a ton of fun stuff to do, and ten days will go fast.
soren 06/05/19 06:40pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: *UPDATE* ST tires any better nowadays?

Providers by Taskmaster.......Discount Tires and Simple Tire will get them for you or their web adds say they can. Neither of them have stores on LI There is no reason to deny yourself a good tire for anything you own because there is no local dealer. I needed new 19.5s for my motorhome. I'm surrounded by at least a dozen places in a 15-20 minute drive that could provide tires. I saved hundreds per tire by having an online provider drop ship tires to a local truck shop. The tires were name brand, a few weeks old, and I rolled out the door for less than half of the highest local quote I got.
soren 06/05/19 06:30pm Travel Trailers
RE: Selling an RV with a lien

On a related note, I would keep in mind that a lot of potential buyers will have dealt with at least a few folks in your position that have liens, owe more that what the unit is REALLY worth, and have wasted the potential buyer's time. I got to the point, while buying my last two used class A rigs, that I would cut to the chase real fast when talking to a private owner. I knew what a fair price range was, and that most will start out asking for more than that amount. Within the first couple minutes of talking to a seller, I would ask how flexible they are on their asking price? I lost track of how many folks were ask crazy amounts, sometimes well above dealer asking prices, and answered, "well, I really can't negotiate, that figure is my loan balance". There are many sellers that don't seem to comprehend that what they owe on a rig has less than zero to do with what it's worth, and they are either going to have to ride it out until they are right side up enough to sell it, or pony up the cash to get themselves out of the hole they are in. Not suggesting the seller is in this situation at all, but if you shop long enough for used motorhomes, you tend to cringe when a private seller says, "well, there is a lien, but it's no problem" For a lot of sellers it's actually a huge problem.
soren 06/05/19 06:18pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: tested the blue camco filter with a TDS meter

I have used my RV for hundreds and hundreds of nights over close to 10 years. I have never filtered the water. Only once did I encounter a problem. The water was cloudy and I did not use it. I think it had been tested and was safe but I did not want the silt in the tank and lines. I guess a filter would have been useful for that situation, but I think avoiding the water entirely was a better choice. You can spend a lot of money on water filtration devices. Some of them even remove chlorine, which is a really bad idea. Instead I just use a Brita for filtering drinking water. I installed a separate tap and large commercial grade filter at my kitchen sink in the motorhome. This allows me to end up with relatively clean and chlorine free water for ice cubes, drinking and coffee making. Works for me The cartridges are about $40 and get swapped once a year. Since the wife will not use city "swimming pool" water to make coffee, this setup is a lot cheaper than buying gallons of spring water.
soren 06/02/19 05:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Disclosure when selling

I've sold every used RV and vehicle I've ever owned with. 1. A documented and extensive maintenance history 2. The unit looking as good as it can be, washed, waxed,vacuumed, etc. 3. The complete story of everything I know about it, good and bad. What broke, what leaked, and what isn't broke yet, but probably will sometime. Everybody left with a smile, and the feeling that they got a good deal from somebody they can trust.
soren 05/31/19 12:51pm Travel Trailers
RE: Online Oil Filter Dissection And Discussion

Note the Fram Ultra is a whole different filter than the OCOD ( orange can of death) that the internet has fully villified for its fiberboard endcaps, largely unwarranted. . I had a start up death rattle on a 2.7 Dodge engine. It was concerning if the vehicle sat overnight, and horrific if it sat a few days. I was DIYing the oil changes with dino and the orange cans at 5K intervals. A mechanic suggested I lose the Fram. I literally spent a few cents more for the commodity grade Purolator and the problem disappeared. The car was the infamous Intrepid and the motor had a horrible rep. for sludging. After the Fram mess, it continues in service, nineteen years later, with over 300K on it.
soren 05/31/19 05:37am Tech Issues
RE: Can I Get Away With a Quick Brake Job in a Campground?

I would just pull into a NAPA, or similar, buy the parts, park the truck off to the side, and have at it. If there is any question, tell anybody that's bothering you that it's an emergency, you nearly went through the last light, and found fluid flowing out of the caliper. I was towing a travel trailer through Bangor Maine one summer, when a front brake pad decided to separate from the backer, and leave the scene. I did exactly what I suggest, and nobody cared. The other good part of that plan is that you are right there when you discover that you need some additional part to get the job done.
soren 05/30/19 03:20pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Red Winnebago gel coat oxidation

You got everything right except the tool. Get yourself a variable speed polisher/sander (non-orbital) from Harbor Freight and run it at its lowest speed. Make sure to keep the tool moving and you will be fine. I had the same oxidation issue. Mine looks almost new again. I'm three for three, when it comes to electric tools from Harbor Freight that were returned after a day or two, as they were unusable garbage. I'm about forty years into playing with power tools, everything from Fein and Hilti to Wen and Roybi, so I've got a bit of time spent with the whole spectrum of quality. HF stuff is well below the cheapest of homeowner grade stuff from just about anybody else I've ever used. A HF 1/2" drill that gets too hot to touch while being used lightly for drilling in softwood. The polisher you mention that randomly slows or even stops while being used. A disc sanded that would inexplicably speed up, and violently throw velcro backed discs in all directions. No, I'm done wasting my time on that ****.
soren 05/30/19 06:24am Travel Trailers
RE: This beast was parked next to us

Day Cab wouldn't be my first choice of a HD truck to pull a RV with. Must be used for business too. I was thinking the same thing. No shortage of operators in my area running rigs like this, pulling big aluminum stock trailers and goosenecks.
soren 05/30/19 03:20am Tow Vehicles
RE: FCA Proposes a Merger with Renault

Perfect fit! A loser and a loser unite to make both be bigger losers. Then they will both disappear and life will still go on and for the better. Total sales of 8.7 MILLION vehicles last year, would be the third largest vehicle manufacturer on earth the day they complete the deal. I guess we all have different definitions of "loser". The finance press is stating that Nissan is pretty well aware that they have to swallow their pride, and jump on the Renault/FCA coattails, or risk being too small to survive.
soren 05/29/19 08:35am Tow Vehicles
RE: What is the problem with Camping World?

Well, maybe I am naive, but I for one appreciate their retail inventory. Yes, the prices are high. But when you really need that left-handed door latch for your screen door (and yes, there are lefts and rights), CW has it in stock. And the sales staff often knows a lot more about the parts in question than I do. I have never taken my trailer there for service, so I can't comment about that end of the business. My attempt at buying parts was exactly the opposite. I replaced a toilet and discovered that the ABS toilet flange was cracked. I went to CW and was fairly confident that they would have one in stock. The counter help could not function without a make and model number of the toilet. I patiently explained that this was a generic flange that had nothing to do with a specific toilet, and would not be found on any information regarding the toilet. She insisted on going through parts diagrams, as I noted that the flange was not there, nor should it be. I even asked another employee at the counter, and had a quick conversation with a service manager. It became pretty obvious that all three had zero experience, or knowledge of how a toilet works, and what it is actually attached to in an RV, as they all said that you can't get the right part without knowing the brand, model and ever the serial number of the toilet.I thanked her for trying, and drove half a mile down the road to a large local RV dealer. Five minutes later I was in the parts department, and rooting through their big bins of ABS sewer fittings, until I found what I needed. The difference between the experiences is the difference between needing help at a big car parts chain, or going to see the counter guy at your independent NAPA. NAPA guy has been there for two decades, and spends his free time getting his dirt track car ready to race, or fixing his tractors. Big chain guy doesn't know his elbow from his ear, but can scroll through the parts computer for hours, finding and learning exactly nothing. Not a ding directed toward CW, just the way it is in our society at the moment.
soren 05/29/19 06:01am Travel Trailers
RE: What is the problem with Camping World?

$2,000 in extra fees? I am already gone long before those fees are paid. Yes indeed. A few years back we were just wrapping up the purchase of a new travel trailer at their store in Tampa. At the last minute they quietly added the "$795 dealer fee" to the bottom line. I just calmly said no. They tried the "it is mandatory, corporate won't let us write a deal without it" game. I then told them I understand, and the way we will be resolving this is that we will be lowering the purchase price by the same amount. They were not happy, and needed to pull the "huddle in the back office with the manager" game. They then decided that my way was better than no sale, so they took the deal. A half hour later we walked away for good, as the unit had crash damage on the front and back, including stress cracks in the front fiberglass cap, likely from smacking a street sign, or something similar. The sales manager was furious that I was so unreasonable as to refuse to purchase a new trailer with obvious damage. I laughed. Since then I will do business with them, in their store, if I really need a low cost item that I can't find easily, elsewhere. As for me buying or servicing an RV there? From all I've read, experienced and heard from past employees, no it will never happen.
soren 05/29/19 05:49am Travel Trailers
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