After many years of towing with a tow bar, I noticed that the pins would always move in one direction. Because of that I always insert my pins from the inside to the outside so that the keeper for the pin is on the outside. I know some will say that it does not matter which direction you put the pins in but I have found out differently. In any case, by installing the pins this way, it puts no pressure on the locking pin. Pin install example
We have always done it this way for a different reason - every once in a while, we manage to get the pins bound up. It is easier to hit them with a hammer and screwdriver to get them out when they are inside to outside. Glad to know it is better for other reasons.
After 2 years and 30K miles, we have not had one fail.
Do any of you name your compartments? How do you communicate which one you are talking about?
We don't name them. We communicate about them in the following manner.
HER: I need X
Me: It is in the basement on left side.
HER: Looks at me like I have a horn growing out of my head.
ME: I'll go get that.
That's how we do it. :)
Going over the passenger side: propane compartment, battery compartment, breadmaker compartment, kayak compartment, blocks compartment, chair compartment. And even then we don't remember.
Maybe naming them something shorter would help. 'Compartment' is entirely too long.
Oh, and our RV is "The Short Bus."
You can look at the 'investment' in many ways.
We full-timed and traveled constantly for 16 years = 5,840 nights.
If we had spent $100/night for a room = $584,000 for 16 years.
With the RV we averaged $10/night = $58,400
We stayed in public parks or boondocked on national forest or BLM lands or volunteered in public parks so a lot of our stays were FREE in our own house in our own bed in awesome surroundings. Food is a lot more inexpensive if you cook it yourself. RV maintenance evens out taxes and home maintenance.
RVing CAN be very inexpensive but not everyone does it like us. :)
To that, it's an investment.
I didn't see the cost of your MH, gas and maintenance in your calculations. And a lot of hotels don't cost $100/night. Plus who would full time in hotels? Your comparison is a little slanted.
Gas and maintenance are no greater than in a s&b. In fact, it can be less. Once one adds up electric, gas, water, property tax, interest on loans, repair and maintenance on a s&b, and repair and maintenance on a second car, the MH comes out ahead.
The cost of our MH was $102,000 including tax and tags. We got a really good deal. The current value of our MH is $100K. But, considering wear and tear, mileage, etc. we will say it is worth $85K. So, we are in it right now at about $17K. We have lived in it for 725 days. That works out to $23/night. Add to that the average cost we have paid for campgrounds over two years: $24, living in the RV is costing us $47/night. That works out to $1410/month for 'rent' and utilities. Where we used to live, that would get us a studio apartment, which is a fair comparison. So, living and traveling around the country in our MH has cost us the same as renting a small apartment and less than staying in our s&b.
In the two years since we sold our house, the value has gone up less than 2%. That 2% would have been spent buying a new water heater and a/c, so it wouldn't have been 'profit.' Meanwhile, the money we invested from selling the house has increased more than 7%. So, we have a bigger nest egg for an exit plan than we would have had, had we kept the house and lived in it.
We spent the summer in Alaska. It cost us about $4000 over and above our typically monthly costs, mostly for gas and increased food prices. Five years ago, when we lived in a s&b, we went to Alaska for two weeks and spent $9800 for the experience. So, for half the cost we got 10 more weeks of fun.
In our experience, the more one uses an RV, the cheaper it gets. But, the benefits of owning an RV can't be calculated solely by cost analysis. If that is the only criteria for doing something, maybe one really needs to get outside more.
We full timed for six months in a tt. We switched to a class A and have been full timing an additional two years.
The A/wrangler combo is way better for us than the F250/tt combo was. The jeep takes us where the class A can't go and where an F250 would get stuck.
We aren't thinking of going back to a tt unless we give up full timing and find one that can be pulled by a jeep.
Not for anything but, if the water isn't good enough to drink, why would I want to clean my dishes or my body with it?
We use our water tank every day, for all purposes. Occasionally it has saved us from the foul (but potable) water sometimes found in campgrounds (The water near Cooperstown was the absolute worst we have encountered in two years full time).
Take the ten minutes you need to fill it up, add bleach, then take ten minutes to empty it out when you load up. It is pretty easy.
Last year we arrived three days before our reservation and had no problems getting a site in the south lot. It was better than our reserved site though further from the launch field. If you don't mind dry camping, it is definitely the way to go.
We live in Arizona and go over these grades all the time and yes they are tough. I added a 5 Star tuner Clicky about 2 month ago. Been over those grades 3 times since going both ways and what a difference. We can pull the one at the Verde Valley and do it 58-59 mph now and that's with a 31' class C loaded to the max. I recommend it highly. And no I don't own stock.
After we hit 36,000 miles we will get one. That should be this winter or about when we get back to AZ. Did you do it yourself or go to a shop?
We are at Lake George Escape RV Park. They have a shuttle that goes to Lake George, NY.
Cherry Hill Campground in College Park, MD has a bus that will take you to metro to visit DC.
James Island County Park has a shuttle to various points in Charleston, SC.
Traveler's World in San Antonio is right next to the Riverwalk. You can walk or bike down to the city center (5 miles or so). There is also a bus right outside the entrance.
Those are off the top of my head...
We have taken our F53 over the Rockies, Sierras, Appalachians, Cascades, and all over Alaska. We run at about 26K lbs. Yes, we slow down a bit, especially on very long grades, but we get there. Our two worst experiences so far:
In the Brooks Range on the Dalton Highway we hit a section dubbed, "The Roller Coaster." The day we hit it, it was a muddy unpaved 12 percent grade mess going up. We were more afraid, if we got going too slow, that we would slide off the side of the road and into the very deep ditches. We made the top, chugging along at a quick 20 MPH. We also picked up about 200 lbs of mud between the toad and the bus.
Around Verde Valley in Arizona, on Route 17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff, there are some very long grades. We have done them both ways, a few times, and they are a slog when going up. Near the end, we are dragging butt at around 35 MPH, but so are the trucks so we always have company. Going down never seems to be a problem.
When hooked up for towing, all my lights work on the back of my motor home. On my toad, everything works but my tail lights. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to resolve this?
What kind of toad? What kind of connection? How are your toad lights rigged to the connection?
35' MH is not going to be any easier for you. You still want the truck stops when you add the car. Maybe it is 2' shorter at the end of the day? LOL.. it means nothing.. 24 inches, come on!
Towing a 43 ft 5th wheel is a lot different than a 35 ft motorhome with a small toad.
Been there done that and I find a motorhome much easier to drive and backup compared to a TT or 5th wheel.
how easy is it to back up the MH with a toad hooked on?
Not that hard, as long as we are going in a straight line. We have to unhook if we need to turn. However, in two of the three places we have ever had to unhook to get out (in 2 years of full timing), a large 5er would have been trapped - they can't unhook to maneuver.
As for driving a 35' with a toad, we rarely use truck stops. There are always gas stations parallel to the road which we find easier to use than truck stops. And, two feet can make a huge difference in parking lots, campgrounds, and city streets. We are 50' long including toad and tow bar.
After six months of full timing in a 30' tt and truck (53'), we switched to a 34' class A and toad (50'). The new set up is easier in every way. Hitching and unhitching takes 5 minutes tops. Add to that the five minutes it takes to set up (three buttons - jacks and two slides) and ten minutes after pulling into a site, we can be enjoying the scenery.
We tow our Wrangler with a Ready Brute. It has the brake integrated into the tow bar. It takes me three minutes by myself to completely hook or unhook it - the simplest towing system on the road. For the lights, I got a Mopar wiring harness (Part # 82211156AB). Much easier than messing with adding bulbs or magnetic lights - just plug it into the 7-pin.
As for a baseplate, the Ready Brute has adapters for Blue Ox and other base plates. However, if you off-road, you may not want to lose the ground clearance. In that case, you can go with a custom bumper like we did (Rockhard Bumper).
You don't post enough information to give you an answer.
But, when we consistently pop breakers, we turn off the electric water heater. This usually solves the problem. People often forget it is on and then run the microwave and a/c or two other large load appliances, overloading the system.
Check Campsite Photos for any particular sites and what they may hold. 144 would be our choice, but we have solar panels. We love the campground but be careful - if a site states "moderate slant" it will be slanted enough that quite a few leveling blocks will be needed. Enjoy! It is a beautiful place.
Cons - our bucket list manages to get longer rather than shorter the longer we travel. We started out with a plan for a six month trial run. We added a year on at the end of that. Then another year. And still, there is so much we haven't seen or done, we will be going for at least another year after this one.
In convection mode, I use regular metal pans to bake bread, pizza, cakes, muffins, etc. I use pyrex for casseroles, meatloaf, pies, etc. I love the convection 'side' of the oven. These are based on what I previously owned before going fulltime.
In microwave mode, I use paper plates, pyrex, plastic - whatever is handy and not metal. We really only use the microwave to reheat.
We were behind a guy leaving the campground the other day. He went over a speed bump maybe a bit too fast and the 3 bikes on the rack bounced so hard they hit the back of the tt. Didn't seem to do any damage (but a very loud thunk) but I'm pretty sure over time or one very good pot hole, those bikes will be toast.