I park mine on gravel without anything between the tire and gravel with good results.
I use my rig perhaps twice a year, and it sits there otherwise.
My tires are now almost eight years old, and one of them is just now showing signs of tread "rounding" thus indicating incipient belt separation. I'll get a new set before using the RV again, and park them back on the gravel.
It seems to be working OK for me.
I've had great luck with my ST20575R14 Maxxis tires. They are approaching eight years of service (Dot codes show the 4005 time zone birth).
Now, after about eight years, I found one of the Maxxis beginning to show signs of separation in the tread (it has begun rounding a bit in the center). I found the rounding after a 2500 mile trip to Key West last week. But they always got me home and never left me on the side of the road.
Of course, I don't push the limits of either speed or weights on my tires.
I'll be getting new ones before my next trip.
Ron and hotpepperkid, thanks for the correction and information.
I was going by my Pocket Ref book, which indicates in its conversion tables that "grades" relate to "degrees" by a factor of 0.9. This seemed logical, since a 100% grade (straight upwards) would seem to equate to a 90 degree attitude (perpendicular).
But, as I indicated, I understand Degrees better than Grades, although my college Degree obviously did not come via good math Grades.
Good thing the railroads didn't have me figuring how much of a grade their locomotives could pull on steel tracks in the Rockies.
Me and Jethro, we never did cipering very well.
And Ron, yes, my driveway suddenly seems so much steeper now.
I glued one of those small bubble-type devices intended to be installed on a surface of a trailer to tell if it is level or not. I located it just above the driver's side door so I can see it easily.
It reads in degrees, which is easier for me to understand than percentages on grades anyway. If you want to know the percentage of a grade, you could use a conversion formula (divide the degrees by 0.9).
It's not a precision-reading device, but it surely gives you an idea of what your rig is facing while going up a grade. If you want a more precise reading, one of those dial-type angle finders at a hardware store could be used for about $20, but it might look a bit funny glued in your cockpit.
My little gauge indicates my rig is at a 10-degree attitude while climbing my driveway. That's about a 11% grade. Pretty steep for me to walk.
I just came through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana with all their love bugs. I didn't have anything else with me, so I got most of the bugs off with sprayed soapy water, a rag and a lot of elbow grease at the first overnight stop.
After the front end dried, I sprayed it with a little WD40 (of course, not the windshield) and left it wet. On my next stop, a plastic paint/ice scraper with a spray bottle of soapy water took them off in short order. It worked so well, I reapplied the WD40 and proceeded down the road.
For the windshield, the soapy water and plastic scraper got the job done with, of course, a generous helping of the invaluagle elbow grease.
I park my rig on gravel for long periods of time without moving. No problems.
I am just ready to change out a set of tires because of age after eight years on gravel, moving the rig perhaps twice a year.
Any water that gets on the gravel just drains down to the ground, leaving the tires high and dry, except perhaps for a wet spot on the bottom of the tire tread when the gravel is wet, but with no consequence.
I don't use boards between the tires and gravel.
Believing your mileage from what a gauge says is like believing a salesman from what his mouth says.
It takes faith.
However, the gauge can show that driving habits will have a great impact on the mileage you achieve.
I've found other gauges do that too, especially the vacuum gauge, the EGT gauge, and the boost gauge. And the speedometer.
In addition to being a great driving tool for economy as noted above, a manifold vacuum gauge is a great guide for gauging the condition of a gasoline engine.
Idling with a steady needle of about 17 to 22 inches of mercury (depending on engine and altitude) indicates normal operation. Some engines with high-lift cams and more valve overlap can have a lower and more erratic readings nowadays.
Idling with a low steady vacuum of say 4 to 9 inches indicates a vacuum leak in a line or carburetor or late ignition or valve timing. It can also indicate leakage around pistons due to stuck piston rings, or perhaps worn or scored rings, pistons or cylinder walls, and of these indicate reduced power output from a tired or damaged engine.
Needle fluctuation as an engine accelerates of say between 11 and 16 inches can indicate an ignition miss, blown cylinder head gasket, leaking valve or weak valve springs.
Regular dropping back of the needle at idle can indicate a valve sticking open or a plug not firing. Irregular dropping back can indicate sticking valves that stick irregularly.
A gradual drop in vacuum at idle after startup can indicate an excessive back pressure in the exhaust system, such as a clogged muffler or catalytic converter.
Intermittent fluctuations at idle of perhaps 17 to 20 inches can indicate an ignition miss or sticking valve.
There are other things a vacuum gauge can indicate and be used for in diagnosis of engine condition. It's a wonderful gauge to have in the instrument panel of an interested driver, and the $30 or so it costs is perhaps one of the greatest bargains out there.
I've had a vacuum gauge in my instrument cluster since becoming a teenage driver in the late 50s. Today, I've got one in my Jeep Wrangler. However, in my F250 tow vehicle with its V8 diesel, I have a manifold pressure gauge instead, because there isn't any manifold vacuum to read in that beast.
If you want maximum advantage from your charging circuit, I would recommend you install a dedicated wiring system from the tow vehicle to the trailer. That way, you can leave what's already installed in the standard seven-pin socket/wiring and not worry about trying to stuff a larger wire in it.
I've done this myself by running the following: beginning with the tow vehicle, install ~six gauge wires on the + and - battery posts, an in-line fuse very near to the battery on the + wire, an in-cab ammeter on the + wire (the meter is optional, just used to see what's actually going to the trailer), a socket at the rear of the tow vehicle, a socket on the front of the trailer, and equal size wires to the trailer's battery.
Of course, larger wires could be used to maximize current flow, depending on your needs.
The P2 is a great brake controller. I love it.
Do you love having to adjust it for city or freeway driving? Or do you love it when you forget to adjust coming off the freeway and into a campground and the brakes lock up? Or do you love it when you leave it on the lowest setting and when on the freeway hit the brakes and they hardly work?
I had one and once you use some thing much better it is easy to say you love it!
Like I thought my RBW hitch was great until I bought my B&W.
Well, somehow I manage to get by without all the fiddlin adjustments you cite. I set the controller for my rig one time, and it works well until I change the weight significantly. That's one of the things that I love about it. Plus its overall performance, reliability and price.
I don't think it's a good idea to put a truck's cargo load onto the weight-transfer bars, even though Reese is recommending it.
My main problem is the extra load put on the A-frame of the poor trailer. My trailer actually has a sticker warning against having weight-transfer bars heavier than a certain limit. The reason is that the trailer's frame is only designed to carry the trailer's weight. If the operator adds some of the truck's cargo weight too, he may overstress and damage the trailer.
I've seen a few cracked trailer frames. They usually aren't overdesigned for their own weight in the first place. Putting some of the truck's cargo load onto the trailer seems to be tempting fate.
In my case, I have an F250. Since I've added a front hitch to the vehicle, I've been carring about 200 pounds of tools etc in a front-end box when towing. This nicely balances out the hitch weight for me, thus negating the need for any weight-transfer bars at all.
I do have a couple of classic friction-pad anti-sway bars on my rear hitch. They take care of any sway problems nicely.
The whole thing works quite well together.
Toy-hauler trailers can be difficult to keep balanced because of their design, ie, the ability to put heavy objects in the rear of the trailer.
I would suggest getting a $125 tongue-weight scale so the TH owner can keep informed relative to exactly what influence any given rear cargo is having. Knowing the tongue weight with any heavy rear load, the owner would be able to add cargo (such as water ballast) in the front to maintain the desirable 10% to 15% tongue weight.
Most trailers are not so easy to get out of balance as a toy-hauler design.
Thanks for the update, but your multitasking is causing you to write it at 0231 hours?
You are a good daughter, good mechanic, good accountant, good mom, good student, and good forum member, among other things. A tip of the hat to you!
Quote: "I didn't say the transmission would blow, but a blown third brake light will smoke the transmission. My way of saying it will cause it to overheat, puke fluid and cause a failure."
Well, I hate to belabor the point, but with all due respect, this is still an exaggeration. Saying a blown brake light will "smoke the transmission" and "cause a failure" is largely misleading.
In the context of the original poster's question, no one should fear this transmission because of this characteristic.
If the torque converter were to stop locking up because of the third brake light burning out, the condition would be easily detectable by the driver long before he ruins it, and the fix is a $2 brake bulb.
I would never buy a used vehicle if there were a possibility of the previous owner using a tuner/programmer/etc.
Increasing the horsepower of an engine, especially past the manufacturer's original design, puts more stress on everything and reduces its useful life.
To me, it's equivalent to reversing the odometer. The next unsuspecting guy who comes along with expectations that all is as it appears (stock) gets the (drive)shaft in a sensitive place.
Quote: "Trailer drum brakes being fairly worthless -- and a conversion to disc may run $3k -- the exhaust brake at half that price is more than a half-step in the right direction."
Drum brake are fairly worthless. Wow.