Getting back to your original post:
"so I'd like some answers that will explain what I'm experiencing and why"
IMHO: You have gotten your wish. Clearly you are maxed out in every direction. Your half ton truck, with P's was never intended to haul a 30 something foot nearly 8,000# TT, period. Your payload (or lack thereof) severely restricts what most folks take for merely normal loading.
Can you do it? Sure you can but staying on the flat and not driving far or in high winds becomes more than a little bit limiting and not doing so invites problems. I have no doubt that everyone here wishes you nothing but the best but band aid solutions are not your friend.
Keeping in mind that when you get free advice (like this), you get what you paid for....
If you want to keep it really simple buy a 250 to 300 watt (I like my 20 year old Stat Power 250), that will plug into a cigarette lighter outlet. My 250 recharges every AC gadget (I phones, Tablet, I Pod, camera, hearing aid batteries etc.), quickly and easily. It will run the 22" Vizio TV and the DVD player as well as most small power tools like my Dremel. They cost less than $100 which leaves you money to buy a coffee pot for the top of the stove.
The elephant in the room that the OP is ignoring is the trucks payload, or lack thereof. At 1,000 to 1,100# of tongue weight (don't forget that 100# WDH), not many half tons will have much payload remaining. If it is a 4X4 and/or a crew cab the problem gets larger as the payload gets smaller.
Going from P's to E rated LT's won't solve the problem (that will simply take more truck), the difference will be huge. When I went to Michelin E rated LTX M/S 2's on my F-150 the improvement was off the chart and I was only towing a 5,000# TT. Bottom line.... IMHO: that is a lot of trailer for any half ton unless it comes with a Max payload/towing package.
As always.... Opinions and YMMV.
Jim, what was it you did not like about the Rand McNally 7720? :h After 4 months and a lot of use ours has been nothing but wonderful to use and incredibly accurate.
I tried using it on some trips to the White Mountains and Petrified NP. Even though I set it up to avoid dirt roads, it tried to route me down some very primitive dirt roads several times. On a trip to Big Lake, it kept trying to reroute me because it said I wasn't even on a road.
I also didn't like the warnings about "Curve Ahead". That was a real PITA in the mountains. Although I found out later you can cheat it to not do that by setting the message duration to zero.
The display was very dim in bright sunlight, even though I purchased the optional sunshade. There were times when the sun was in the wrong spot, and I couldn't see the display on the RM. Also, the mount was unstable, and the unit had a tendency to bounce on rough roads.
I've used Garmin ever since GPS navigation came out, I'm used to the operating system and never felt comfortable with RM.
I can't explain the problems you had as I travel many of the same areas with none of them. The "Curve Warning" can simply be turned off much like the speed warning. I find both useful particularly on unfamiliar roads. When I enter a destination if there are potential dirt roads ahead it asks if I want to drive them. A simple "no" eliminates that issue. Perhaps the overhang of my C keeps the screen more clearly visible than what you experienced, never even considered the sunscreen. I have mine suction cup mounted on the windshield and it rides steady, easy to read and adjust.
I think your last statement tells the tale. I too have used Garmin for years. I still have my old Garmin A50 (the very first hand held GPS from the mid 80's), and yep it still works and still sucks up batteries like a Hoover. :B I carry my trusty dusty Garmin 12 for hiking (a left over from my boating days). Our RM is only about 5 months old, maybe you got an earlier version but ours has worked flawlessly from day one. :h
For nearly 20 years I taught seminars on GPS' and designed and sold GPS systems for boats. I would always tell my students to find a system they were comfortable with as you will simply get more out of it and I stand by that advice. The ergonomics of any system are the key as most systems have comparable accuracy. Key/button size and screen view ability along with the (hopefully), user friendly/feature rich nature of any given system are what you shop for. For the record I had a bare bones Tom Tom that was pretty much junk on every level. Hard to go wrong with Garmin or Rand McNally but...
As always.... Opinions and YMMV.
Just returned from CW where I picked a set of the emergency warning Triangles to go along with the flares I already carry. This an item you hope to never need but if we ever break down it will be a safer experience for having the Triangles. Thanks again to happy booker1 for her thoughtful gift.
A reminder to my fellow placard holders.... Always be sure you are parked properly, as in between the lines. If you are hanging over the lines you could easily be reducing the space for another handicapped parker. In California they are very happy to write up an encroachment beyond, over or just on the lines and it comes with the $375 fine.....even when you have the appropriate placard/plate. :C
I had the same sticker shock when shopping for a wheel for my spare (E-350 Class C). The dealer quoted me $417 but my local tire guy found a brand new wheel for $97. I used Fletcher Tires here in Arizona but don't know if they have any shops in Colorado. Find a good independent tire guy, if mine could get me a deal they should be able to get one for you. No need to pay more than $100.
Get the rig loaded as you normally travel and get thee to the scale. I will be surprised if that trailer doesn't weigh something north of 8,000# (never, but never believe "Dry" anything weights!). The biggest problem you probably have and like everyone else here this conjecture until you get back from the scale, but....
Five will get you ten that you are over, probably waaaay over your trucks payload. An 8,000# TT needs to generate at least 1,000#+ of tongue weight. Add in another 100# for the WDH and then start subtracting from your trucks payload (see the sticker on the inside of the door post. You probably have around 1400# of available payload or less if it is a 4X4 or crew cab.
Also.... IMHO: You need to lose the P's. They have no business on a truck that pulls as much trailer as you have. Get a set of E rated LT's (I recommend the Michelin LTX M/S 2's but I digress), weigh your rig and reload as necessary to insure at least 13% TW and I think you will be much happier.
The F-150 Ecco Boost is a great truck but towing 8,000+# with anything less than the Max Payload and towing packages is NOT what they were designed to do. Can you do it? You betcha... but just because you can do something does not mean it is a good idea. :S
Getting ready for our big trip so I took the C in to have the oil changed (pure synthetic) and the trans mission fluid changed to pure synthetic. While there, my local tire guys checked all 7 tires to be sure they were at 55 psi and they re torqued all of the wheels to 140# (they had installed my new Michelins from the recall 2 months ago). Unfortunately their transmission fluid change equipment was down so I'll have to go back in a day or two. :M I was hoping to wrap up this routine maintenance in one trip.... oh well.
When they finished I changed the oil and filter on the generator, cleaned and regapped the plug. I replaced the V-10's air filter with a nice new Fram last week. Almost time to start loading and hit the road. :B
Several years ago my daughters apartment was directly across the street from the dialysis center. Patients coming for treatment in the crowded Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego had serious access/parking issues. Accordingly about 60' of curb in front of the center was reserved for Handicapped/Dialysis Patient parking "Only".
One day three Cox Cable Vans pulled up and took all of the parking. They put out orange cones around their vans and then walked half a block down to the local Mexican fast food place on the corner to have their lunch. My bride and our daughter called it in to Cox Cable and the police and then watched as their cell phones and radios began going off. Those idiots could not get back to their vans fast enough and cleared the area in one big hurry. I sincerely hope that every one of them was fired on the spot but alas we will never know. By the time the cops arrived they were long gone but never returned. :M
I put them on my F-150 back when we were towing a 5,000# TT. When we sold it nearly 3 years and 30,000 miles later they looked and rode like new. Hands down the best tire I have ever owned and the 70,000 mile tread warranty is just icing on the cake.
Our new (to us), 2012 Class C was smack in the middle of the recall so we got 6 new M/S 2's a couple of months ago and once again the ride and performance are amazing. The C fully loaded for cruising weighs 10,050# so after crunching all of the numbers our ideal psi comes in at 55 all around and the ride is smooth and quiet.
No one can really say how the new ones will hold up. Time will tell
I bought 7 of the ltx,s a year or 2 before the recall and it seems some of them are holding up better than the others . Quality seems spotty depending on the batch it seems in my case . For the premium price tag with questionable quality ,i think i,ll shop elsewhere next time.
Also the thread pattern on these tires is really bad on picking up just about every possible piece of gravel!!! much more than any LT tire i,ve ever owned before.
Not exactly true. The Michelin LTX M/S 2's have been around for at least 3 years, I put a set on my F-150 almost three years ago and when I sold the truck 30,000 miles later they looked and rode like new. The M/S 2 was designed and built to replace the M/S which was a 20 year old design. The fact that Michelin chose to replace 1.5 million tires based up an infinitesimal number of failures speaks volumes as to their integrity.
If you have M/S's that are subject to the recall get them replaced immediately, though you may have to wait a bit for the replacement M/S 2's to come in due to high demand. The reason for the recall is there have been a few isolated incidents of tread separation coming without any overt warning signs. While the odds are low you have been warned and continuing to drive on them comes down to one simple question.... "Feeling lucky?"
As always, lots of great info here. I like the post about all of the documentation to carry and we are on the same page. With our two I phones and a tablet all sharing 4 GB of data thru Verizon wherever we go we have the internet. All of our bills get auto pay and the internet connection lets me easily keep track. I would add documentation for da pooch, copies of her rabies shots, health certificate etc.. No plans to enter Canada but will travel with our passports.
I will turn off Direct TV and internet connection at home for the two months, same for trash pickup and the daily newspaper and I expect our utility bills to drop like a stone. I have several neighbors to keep an eye on the house as well as security checks by our local community Patrol. It is nice to have ex LEO's for neighbors. ;)
Keep all of these tips coming, they are greatly appreciated. :B
I read it fast but didn't see a GPS which we find very helpful. Search this Forum for GPS for more input. Some will say a map is just as good BUT a map will not find an address!
Evelyn Wood would be proud but you missed this...
"We have the Rand McNally 7720 LM RV GPS,"
I dont know how much storage you have but it seems to be a lot for the items you describe. I would say ditch the lug wrench and get an electric one instead, the compressor is fairly large unless its a small type but a pancake takes room. Jack stands again very large items. I dont have large storage areas so I cant carry all that stuff, I do have the hydralic levelers so they can aid if I need to pull a tire. I have a HF electric lug wrench, and a 12T jack I got there on sale, I know its overkill but for $10!
Anyhow where did you get the tires, everyone tells me they are non-existant out here. I am waiting till mid next month before I make a decision to go with or change brands. We will be going just the opposite of you it seems, wife want to go to disney world! Will return via mid america route but dont plan to return till end of july. The buses I drive go 250 hrs on oil changes for generators, so 30-50 as you suggest may be overkill. I dont know what you plan on oil changes but I think the ford calls for 7500, and even with synthetic I will only go about 6 maximum. I dont care for how the v10 operates so I have a 5Star tuner yet to install. Supposed to clear the poor throttle control and the dropping into high rpm ranges as a result. It also claims to give 10% mileage improvement?? Make sure that the trans is capable of synthetic fluids. I know ford does not in some cases recommend that route but it will depend on year model, check your owners manual.
Other than that have fun.
We are lucky that there is so much storage available in our C. We have only used about 60% of the available space inside. The outside bays are fairly full. Fully loaded we are 1,500# under our GVWR of 11,500. I may have to get to HF to look at the electric lug wrenches. How much do they run? The Pancake compressor is very compact and lives under the dinette seating. Used it three times to repair tires on our old TT.
I won't get under any vehicle that is supported only by the jack so the jack stand imparts a little more security and fits easily under the dinette with the compressor. I do all of my tire (brakes, shocks and fluid change), business with Fletcher tires and they have been nothing short of amazing over the last 7 years(haven't paid for an oil change in 6 years). Got my new Michelins about 2 months ago and they had no trouble finding them. Also a call to Discount Tire confirmed their availability. I would recommend staying with the Michelin LTX M/S 2's. I put them on my truck and they are the best tires I've ever run.
This will be the first oil change for the genny and they recommend it at 25 to 30 hours so it is due. Every 100 hours after that but it will take 2 years to put that many hours as we just don't use it all that much. Fletcher always runs the vin to verify the applicability of fluids before changing any (it is a 2011 Ford E-350 Chassis), but if compatible I would like to go with full synthetic for the tranny as well as the oil.
I'm curious as to what it is that you are unhappy about with the V-10. I love mine, it is beast that runs like a swiss clock and gets pretty decent mileage. The 5 speed torque shift trans is a jewel that mates well with the torquey V-10. Forgot to mention I have the Progressive Industries 30 amp EMS system and my old 30 amp surge guard for a backup. Thanks again. :B