Just thinking out loud - I suppose, ideally, if you put jacks in front of your tires, and behind your tires, and then used the tongue jack on the front like normal, frame deformation would have to be pretty minimal, Especially if you are only taking some of the load off the tires so your aren't bouncing as much, or minor leveling side to side...
I am new to RV-ing and would like some candid advice from some of you experienced RV-ers.
I am in the TV and TT research stage.
I plan to do some long distance towing. For example, Chattanooga, TN, to the Canadian Rockies and back (5000 plus miles). There will only be my wife and me, so we are thinking that we want a smaller ultralite TT (<= 24 feet).
I plan to tow with a Ford F-150 4x4 either with the 5.0L v8 or the v6 Eco/Boost. I am undecided at this point.
If I understand Ford's towing charts correctly, the F150 with the 5.0L V8 and a 3.55 rear-end has a maximum loaded trailer weight for towing of 7700 lbs. I have seen a recommendation that one not exceed 80% of that weight, which is 6160 lbs. I have not checked the same stats on the v6 eco/boost.
I would like to keep my TT as light as possible because I would rather be over-powered than under-powered. Consequently, I am focusing my attention on Ultralite TT's whose dry weight is in the range 3000 lbs to 4000 lbs. with a slide-out.
What experiences and advice can you give me?
You will be happy with either the 5.0 or the Eco. My personal choice would be the eco due to the awesome torque curve down low, compared to the 5.0 (yes, I have towed with both, unlike many in this thread).
Intercooler issue is few and far between on the Eco. As is the hot "tick" of the 5.0's, and the oil consumption issues.
ALL motors will have problems of one type or another. Any manufacturer. Any size motor. Any fuel type.
I HIGHLY recommend the 3.55 at a minimum, and preferably the 3.73 for towing. I HIGHLY recommend the max tow package, as it gives you the 3.73, towing mirrors, integrated brake controller, and 300# more payload (in case you ever decide to trade up), plus super engine cooling on the 5.0, and upgraded receiver hitch.
As far as fuel mileage, the eco and the 5.0 get very close both loaded and unloaded (and again, I have towed the exact trailer with both). The difference is that the eco will not shift as often as the 5.0 due to the torque curve. I can get roughly two mpg better with my eco than my dads 5.0 on the same trip.
Being as how you are going to be doing some mountain towing, I would lean toward the Eco due to altitude power loss on an naturally aspirated motor like the 5.0.
On the biggest f150 forum on line, there are 5 ecos with known blown engines. I know at least two were aftermarket programmed for more horsepower. Stay away from that for best longevity, IMO.
It will be worth it when it gets there. It's actually a slow time of the year for the industry, especially with holidays and such. They start ramping up production early in the new year for the rv shows and such.
I'll wager they will be sending you a brand new unit. Make note of your serial number and then the new number when they send it back to you.
First I've heard of these types of failures, guess I'll take a look see at my unit and my dads unit to make sure it is all OK.
We will be at Riverbend Campground, going up tomorrow. Dropped the camper there last week, so don't have to worry about the 4-8" of projected snow that's coming.
Winter storm warnings have been posted for the area, everyone be safe if you are going.
From the interstate through Sevierville it should all be just fine as the roads will stay cleared. But get off the parkway or head on up toward Gatlinburg and it might be another story.
I find it interesting that no one has mentioned calling the manufacture and asked them about using air bags and the proper adjusting procedure. I purchased and installed my Equalizer brand WDH. I called the Equalizer tech and found them to be very helpful. After three call I was satisfied that I had installed their product properly.
That's because most people don't. They would rather read all of the mis-information posted on line and then post a message asking for help because it didn't work. That's evident by the posts we read about tweaking the hitch, playing with different chain tensions, using a WD hitch to level the truck, and the list goes on.
The proper procedure for using bags is to use them to adjust the level of the vehicle to suit the user, usually level THEN adjust the WD to return the weigh to the front axle that hitching the trailer removes. Many adjust the hitch, then adjust the airbags until the truck "looks right", and then call it good. We just can't seem to get the point across that any time you change the amount of squat on the TV, you change the amount of tilt on the hitch ball and the amount of tension on the bars. Consequently, the WD is never right and we get to continue reading the entertaining posts on here.
10psi prob won't make much of a difference one way or another.
However, it is best to have the psi in the bags PRIOR to adjusting your WDH. Why?
As you add air to your bags, the angle of the truck vs the TT changes. The higher the back goes, the less weight that is transferred.
For example - adjust the WDH with no air in bags. You get it perfect. Now add 10-20psi which raises the rear of the truck back to unloaded height in the back. You now have more angle between the TV/TT, and less weight will be transferred back to the front. On lighter weight TT, it's probably not that big of a deal. But heavier units, it can cause the front to rise more than you like.
When I added bags to mine, the front of my truck raised an additional 1/2" before I readjusted my WDH. In my case, I ended up adding an additional washer to my hitch head (this was prior to my Hensley Hitch).
Anytime the angle between the TV/TT changes, the weight distribution changes. That's why we raise the TV/TT up with the tongue jack during hitch up - makes it easier to snap up the chains into position.
We do that some at our favorite campground (coincidentally, in Pigeon Forge too). We do it if we know we are going to be at the campground several weekends in a row or something. They basically let us leave it set up on our spot and plugged in. Pay a small daily fee to keep fridge running and we are golden. Saves around 15 gallons of gas, give or take.
We are a lot closer than you, though. We're only 75 miles away from PF.
In fact, it's up there right now and will be through Thanksgiving.
They also make a winterizing hand pump - basically you thread the hose on the outlet side of the hand pump onto the city water fitting. Stick inlet end of hand pump into jug of pink stuff. Then start pumping by hand while an accomplice inside manually opens each faucet/spigot.
Yeah, not near as easy as the perm winterizing setup. But can be done without electricity if needed.
Riverbend Campground in PF - right on the river, nice and quiet, and only $35/night. Not many amenities, but clean and well kept, large sites, all concrete, great staff, etc. Only half mile from parkway and right on the river, walking distance to the trolley, etc.
Have been to Pine Mountain as well - sites are a bit smaller, and not as many trees for shade and such as Riverbend. Sites are a bit smaller as well. Like both of them, but my nod goes to riverbend for the bang for the buck.
During summer months they have nightly singing under the pavilion on almost every weekend, plus church services on Sunday mornig.
I have a new to me 2013 StarCraft 2787bh. We took it out for the first time this weekend. Everything went great except I couldn't figure out how to turn on the scare lights. There is a light switch next to the master bed and there is another light switch in the main switch panel that doesn't do anything. Are these the switches and they just don't work? I have two scare lights, one on the front passenger and one on the rear driver. What am I missing
Either one of those switches control the scare lights. Each one controls the same circuit.
Sounds like you might have a breaker tripped or something isn't wired correctly. For starters, I'd pull each of those switches out and make sure all the connections are good.
By the way, I've heard them referred to as scare lights as well.