In reply to Oregon's " Safety Law and Pumping Your Own Gas", that might be what it is called but it's not for safety, the law was and is to create jobs, Period. It is also a "Safety Law" that prohibits crushing aluminum cans and then trying to redeem them for the nickel deposit. If you believe that those are safety laws, I've got some excellent ocean front property for sale.
It's legal to pump your own diesel in Oregon. The law pertains to fuels with low flash points.
Respectfully commenting on the Smart Car.....
I feel the Smart car is ideal for taking along on a trip behind a motor home right on the ground, not on a trailer, solely for simplicity. The Smart is a much better choice over a scooter or other cycle for safety, comfort, and weather. The question you need to ask yourself is..... Does the car meet your everyday need when you are not on a trip? Is it a vehicle you would commute around town in? If your answer is "yes", then you are making a good decision.
As for me on a personal note, I would not feel comfortable driving around my home town area in a Smart car because I am not sold on it's safety. Though it's occupancy cage is well engineered to prevent penetration, the lack of mass along with it's shape has it bouncing around accident scenes like a billiard ball. I fear it would fly into other moving vehicles along with adding fatal "G" forces on occupant internal organs.
I wish I could find that early Smart car crash test video of a yellow Smart against a Civic or Corolla. The impact was a 1/3 driver side frontal test. The "other" car fared typically well with occupant safety. The Smart occupancy cage did great but the car spun multiple revolutions in the air about 5 feet off the ground and soaring away.
That scared the heck out of me. I couldn't feel comfortable with a Smart after seeing that video. Again, that is just me. Everything has risk, even driving a motor home, especially a class A. Each decides for himself what risk he is willing to accept.
"The Smart occupancy cage did great but the car spun multiple revolutions in the air about 5 feet off the ground and soaring away."
That's a safer crash than a dead stop. Energy is gradually being expended as it is used up spinning around.
The best I have seen was in Oregon at a State Park. They had one centralized trash/recycling (even a dedicated 1 lb LP cylinder bin) which was away from the sites. It made things much quieter and keeping the dumpsters away keeps wasps away.
Honda Civic is cheaper, has more room, rides better, gets better fuel mileage, and can carry 4 people and is towable. Why anyone would drive a "dumb" car is beyond me.
X10. Add to that the horrific resale of a "smart" car. Although no one pays msrp, it's almost 20k. Just checked, there's 4 of them for sale in my area. Less than 10k miles, selling at 10k. To each their own, but I don't get it.
Sounds like you're making a pretty good argument for buying a Smart car. Quite inexpensive used. I've never carried more than two people in my toad so it might be the perfect car for some folks with its size and lack of weight.
Yeah, the swivel seats in our Navion are pretty sweet. They definitely expand the usable area within the RV. They make great reading chairs to kick back in. We made an insulated curtain that snaps up in the cab to surround the seats to help keep the heat in during the winter which works well.
Weather Underground, Radar US, and Weatherbug are my favorites. WU is best for localized temps. WB is good for its lightning tracker and I like RUS for the selections of how to filter the radar display.
Right, 50 Amp-hours. I just missed typing in the zero.
LED lights all around.
Heat is generally set at 50 or 55 at night. Need to work on getting the kids to jump out of bed early and turn up the heat (and make coffee).
We have a thick polyester blanket to block the cab.
Reflectix on all windows.
We have a Catalytic heater that we use before we go to bed (Mr Heater).
Always leave home with fully charge batteries.
For the most part, I am only looking to camp for up to 4 days, not for long periods of time. So based on what I am hearing from everyone, my system is probably not ideal, but will probably work. Upgrading the converter was key, since the old converter was only charging at 5 Amps.
Worst case, we all huddle around the dog for heat.
Just remember to charge fully which may be your biggest issue. Last dry camping trip it took me about about 4 hours of generator time to get to ~90% charge after a night of furnace running.
I know this topic has been discussed many times before, but I am curious if negotiating purchase has changed at all. I'm interested in the Sprinter chassis type class C motorhomes. They are pretty pricey, but really nice. So, as an example... if the real MSRP is $125,000 as an example, what type of offer is possible while still respectable? For the sake of a simple example, keep trade-in's and financing out. Any other advice?
Thanks in advance.
First REAL MSRP --- is misleading, I'm not sure there are real MSRP's.
General rule you will hear and see is 25%-35% off the so called MSRP.
Beware, some dealers, will try to get admin fees for paperwork, transportation fees for when rig delivered to them, and PDI (pre-delivery inspection)….. Some charge them, some don’t, and some try then bargain them out to make a sale.
MSRP: can be different throughout US, although fairly close, normal is to get 25-35% off MSRP. MSRP do seem sort of made up, they will say depends on how a unit is equipped, etc….
Do your homework, through the internet, you can find what a fair selling price, can be had. There are whole-sale dealers, and some dealers that advertise discounted selling price available.
Also local dealers will also, say they will work closely through any warranty issues (usually 1 year), if you purchase from them. Many dealers, will not work on units they did not sell (warranty work that is), or not quickly work on warranty work.
So get to know service options in your area, including how competent their service department is.
Many negotiate accessories also with a new purchase.
The "real" MSRP is what is published by the manufacturer. If you get a build sheet from a dealer you can see the RV and options to total up if you were ordering from the factory. Add that up, take 25% off and there's your target.
I placed a factory order and worked 3 dealers. One local and two that are noted for having very competitive pricing. The local dealer came within several hundred dollars of another (in Ohio) onece I presented them with what I was being offered so that kept me in town.
Looks like you should have enough capacity to last overnight, and good call getting the new converter for faster charging. I will add a couple of things from my and others' experience while dry camping in the cold.
Add insulation. If you can find spots in the RV to add insulation, do it. Those bins on the outside often have nothing more than a layer of plywood between the bin cavity and the coach interior. Reflectix it easy to install. any other insulation as long as it is contained will work too (airplane insulation is great if you can get it).
Drape a blanket down from the overhead to block of the cab. The truck cab has lousy insulation and lots of heat escapes out there. You will find with a good blanket or quilt the cab side will be subfreezing while the house is comfy. We have a fairly exotic snap up cab curtain as we have swivel seats.
Insulate the windows. Lots of folks make Reflectix window covers and put them on the inside. We actually have snap on window covers made of Warm Windows fabric.
You will need to charge for a long time to bring the batteries back....like 4 hours or more. Lots of folks I know (and me) with on board generators still use a little Honda for battery charging. During the day they are constantly running. They are much quieter and more fuel efficient than on board units. There are various solutions for keeping them out of the weather. Some folks make a doghouse from a tub. I have one of those silly umbrella hats that I mount to the top. Be sure to set the generator on a) pavement, or b) a platform. They will thaw the ground (or snow) and sink in it filling the inside with yuck. A Honda EU1000 works fine for me even when my AGM batteries are in bulk charge mode. If I need more current (like for the oven) I just fire up the main generator.
Catalytic heaters work. We use a portable one during waking hours.
As others have said, convert to LEDs. They use about 20% of the power of incandescent.
When you ultimately end up buying new batteries, I highly recommend going to true deep cycle batteries which if you buy flooded means going to 6 volt batteries. Golf cart batteries are a great bargain and are meant for this kind of abuse.
We have draw string bags made of flannel kitchen towels we keep our iron in. One can keep a sheen of oil on the iron and they don't attract dust bunnies. The skillet/lid bags have a divider so they don't clank while driving.
We've been pulling a small 4x4 toad with ours without issue. It costs us about 1 MPG and a bit of speed on steep grades but nothing serious. We did a 1 month tour of the western states pulling the toad (plenty of mountain driving) without issues.
Maybe I'm missing it, but I believe the op is mainly referring to whether or not to winterize BETWEEN trips. I'm assuming op understands that he shouldn't have any problems at those temps while actually using it, with proper precautions.
Yeah, that's mostly it. I'd like to avoid the whole de- and re-winterization routine if I'm gonna be on the road again in a few weeks. I've gotten some good ideas from these comments.
In that case, here's how we operate as we use the RV year round. Between winter trips I dump the water (including water heater), blow out the lines with compressed air (40 PSI) and dump some anti freeze in the P traps and prime the (empty) waste tank valves with some. Takes about 1 gallon. When we prep for a trip, it's load with water, burp the system and go. No fuss, mo muss.
That assumes going into unplugged/unheated storage.
Lots of folks RV in those temps (including us) without issues. I throw some anti freeze down the empty holding tanks to prime the valves and that's it. Proceed as usual. Warmer clothing required and more wood for bigger campfires.
Oh, yeah....the adult beverages tend to change in the winter. Hot drinks are nice.
We have had a AE 1007 (with tandem deck, and backbone) for about 4 years now. It's been great. It has to be dry when stored or mold will start up on it from all the biological stuff that ends up on it. If we cannot dry it properly before packing up, we unpack it at home to dry it. If we use it in salt water, it gets a good rinsing with fresh water and is then dried. We suffered one puncture in the floor (easily repaired) when it was dropped while lifting it over a fallen log and a branch went through. Many of my friends now have AE boats and are quite happy with them. They are very stable. I would recommend investing in an inflatable as they work better with the style of seat in the AE boat.
Looking at used Mercedes diesels,what is the best way to check whether bio diesel fuel has been used enough to damage the engine?Newby question..
I'm not sure that question is easily answered. There's just too many variables. I think (it's a guess) that if the previous owner didn't convert it to veggie oil or use high concentrations of bio-diesel (not generally available as a road fuel) you've not much to worry about.
The older Merc diesels (5 cylinder) are likely more forgiving of fuel and oil quality. The V-6s, not so much.
If it is a V-6 and you are really concerned, I'd check the maintenance records to see what has been serviced on the engine. Might be available from Mercedes dealer... or from the owner. The key items would be oil changes about every 10K and fuel filter about every 20K. Since it is an RV, I'd not get too concerned about time intervals... they tend to 'time out' before 'distancing out' when it comes to oil changes.
I'm of the mind that 'cleanliness is next to Godliness' when it comes to fueling my Sprinters. Open the filler flap by the driver's door and look closely at the filler neck and cap. If it's nice and tidy, I'd think that the owner took some care in fueling and was using ULSD. If it's funky and filthy.... I'd be a little skeptical and start asking questions.... (Doesn't tell us squat about what's inside the tank... but it could be an indicator...)
Inspection of the fuel filter element should tell a lot about the status of the fuel system before the injection system. (Changing the fuel filter is not a DIY service item until you have some experience with the V-6. It's buried in the V of the engine block and has some fiddley plastic clamps that are easily broken. Best let one of Mother's trained mechanics break them...)
A records check should tell you what oil has been used. If a V-6, it should meet MB BEVO Specification 229.51, or now, .51 or .52. It is a LOW SAPS oil to protect the diesel particulate filter (DPF), EGR, intake manifold, etc.. In my '09, it was 5W40. That was true in my '14 up till early 2015 where it's now 5W30 but always 229.51/52 spec.
Honestly, I'd be a bit more concerned about the oil used than the fuel since it's an RV, as it is more a more likely place for the previous owner to have taken short cuts. If it was changed by Mother Benz, you can have confidence that it was the correct, LOW SAPS, oil. If the previous owner DIY'd or took it to someone ...??? Be skeptical unless they can show you a oil can or invoice.
You could also take an oil sample and send it to Blackstone Labs and ask for a TBN in addition to the regular data dump. That will tell you the quality of the oil in the machine right now as well as any wear in the engine. Both my OM-642 V-6 CRD turbo diesels return good results with Mobil Formula "M" but do show elevated iron. Normal for the engine with 10,000 miles.
I hope this is helpful.
Good info here. I've (successfully) changed the V6 fuel filter and it is not a job for the inexperienced. It will expose the turbocharger inlet and getting the water sensor out was a delicate job.
So just what oils do members of this BB use in their V6 diesels??
Brand and weight!
229.51 spec Mobil 1..... what came in it. I have enough oil for 1 more oil change (I buy it on sale) and then will likely go to 229.52 spec as the stuff I currently use is out of production.
Look at your owner's manual and proceed from there.
I read reviews about the glued on mounts. I'd be worried about those coming off, especially after wind, UV light, and the elements have weakened the glue after a while. If I were using these to attach panels into a shed, I wouldn't hesitate to use those, however, a RV moving at 60+ miles/hour is a different story.
People also use stick-on panels, but one of the biggest advantages of solar panels on frames, even though they may not have much clearance between them and the roof, there is still a gap, and that gap provides excellent insulation against heat, so it provides "shade" for the rig, no matter where it is parked. Plus, stick-on, flexible panels have a much shorter warranty than the normal flat, framed type.
A big advantage of using framed panels with a gap vs stick on is heat buildup in the panel itself. They lose efficiency pretty dramatically as temperature goes up. A gap behind them gives the ability for some cooling.
We have a 2015 Itasca Navion with that engine and my Husband loves it. We tow a Jeep Wrangler with it and my Husband said he can't even tell it's back there.
Im looking at dragging a Jeep Liberty thats slightly less than 4000
Anyone that says they can't tell they are pulling 4000 lbs with a Sprinter class C are being dishonest or are clueless. I can certainly tell when I am pulling my toad that's slightly less than 3000 lbs.