Our TT has the 81911 and we have the Andersen hitch last year we put on only about 2000 miles. If we still have the TT and the couple would have to be replaced at some point down the road, I would install a Bulldog hitch. We have Bulldog couplers on numerous trailers, one of which has more than 100,000 miles on it and still has the original coupler.
I do a "pre trip inspection" everytime that we are packing for a weekend. Because of the issues that some have had with the Andersen hitch and different couplers, I make sure to check the coupler just to look for anything out of the ordinary.
Well, my parents ended up making a deal on the 2013 Mesa Ridge. They are going to pick it up on Friday. I have yet to see it in person, only pictures off the dealers website. Mom and dad are both really excited to pick it up. On Oct 7th they have decided to leave for a 3-4 week vacation, a little longer shake down trip that I would do, but its up to them. The dealer said of all the 6 different brands of campers they sell they see the Open Range's the least, and most they only see for winterizing. So hopefully it all goes good for them!
My parents have always had 5ers, they bought a Lexington class B+ and sold their 34' Jayco Designer Series. Only 2 months later dad can't stand driving the V10 powered E450 Lexington compared to his F350 diesel. So now the Lexington is up for sale and they started looking for a new 5er.
The one model that has really stood out and had all the features that they want is the Open Range Mesa Ridge 316rls:
-auto leveling system
-around 30' in over all length
Does anyone have any experience with the Open Range brand, or even more specifically a Mesa Ridge? How is the build quality? Any pros/cons, any other info?
After talking with dad about this again I talked him into taking the MH to a local frame and spring shop. That why they can install or make any that they see fit for the job, and then they can do the alignment right away. It will probably cost alittle more money to have them do the work, but then if there any issues they have to deal with it and not me (since I would be doing the work for dad otherwise).
This might sound a bit out-there, but I wonder if a good wheel alignment will resolve the problem. The camber might be far off which if corrected, will raise the front end. Also worn or unevenly worn front tires and new rear tires will add to it.
For the record, determining a level rig is best checked by placing a 4 foot long carpenter's level on the floor of the house. The rig might apperar slanted, but the floor is the main reference point. Get the rig level based on that, then place a Hoppy Level on each of the 3 exterior walls. Then you always know where "Level" is for your rig. I have done so and it is very handy to determine how high the blocks need to go.
The previous owner had had said that he just had an alignment done last fall, and the tires were also put on last fall.
To find how far out of level the MH actually was I use my laser transit. I a measurement behind the drivers compartment and then shot another measurement in the back of the bedroom.
The actual measurement was 1 15/16", but its a whole lot easier to say 2"...
I put Bilstein shocks on my RV and the front raised up 2".
What series of Bilsteins did you put in? The 5100's are the only ride height adjustable shocks that I know, until you get into the really high end models, but the 5100's I thought were only for strut/coil over applications.
In my mind the a setup with the Bilsteins is the way to go. Please let me know the model/series of shock and I will check into it.
Yes most or maybe all trucks have a rake (front end down) from the factory. My F150 FX4 was 3" nose down before I lifted it, dads F350 is almost 3.5" nose down but with 4000lbs in the bed it is level.
The only things that the E450 will be towing is moms VW EOS on the dolly, dads 18' Crestliner fishing boat or his 21' pontoon boat. None of which have more than 400lbs of tongue weight, and the heaviest is the EOS which is around 3500lbs.
Already been to the scale, its under weight both front and rear. I don't have the actual weights here, dad has them. Dad has talked to the dealer and also measured another E450 B+ with the same layout. The dealer said that virtually all E450s are nose down like dads and the other B+ that dad measured was the same height in the rear and 1/4" lower in the front (both frame to ground).
So dad just wants to level/raise the MH so he doesn't have to block it up all the time.
He is not trying to compensate for a over loaded vehicle.
My parent have bought a 28' B+ on a E450 chassis, they really like it so far, but dad just wants to level/raise the front end up. Right now is sits nose down by about 2", so if he were to raise the front end with either different coils or a spacer on the stock coils the MH would sit level and would not need to the blocked up most of the time.
Has anyone done this? Does anyone know of a company that makes coils or spacers for the E450's?
Thanks for the input everyone!! Dad and I talked about it again today, we are not going to do anything right away. My wife is in China for 3 weeks for work, and I would probably be in the obituaries if were to do anything with out her knowing. But I may pick her up from the airport with the F350 just to see what she says...
The bad thing about me, I can't leave anything alone. I already have a shopping list of about $2000 for upgrades if we do the deal, wheels, trans cooler, T-stat, intake, exhaust.
If we did "share" the truck, we would title and insure it in my name since I would be the one using it probably 75-80% of the time or more. Then I would also drop the plates down a weight class, since dad has it plated heavy from when he used it for his excavating company.
We will see what happens...
As for buying their 5er, we just bought our new Grey Wolf this spring so we will be keeping that for atleast a couple of years. Plus the 5er isn't a bunk house, so it wouldn't work so well with our 3 yr daughter.
I am confused by what I should do. My parents just bought a 2007 28' Lexington B-plus (by Forest River), triple slides, 17000 miles loaded with extras. They got it for $38000, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Since they bought the B-plus they are going to sell their 2004 Jayco Designer series 5er.
Now is what I am having a hard time figuring out and want opinions on.
Being that they are selling their 5er dad doesn't need his 02 F350 SC DRW 4X4 7.3L PSD with only 65,000 miles which is in great shape and never driven in the winter. Dad mentioned about maybe trading trucks with me, I have a 2004 F150 SC FX4 with 56,000 miles in great shape and never driven in the winter. I was up for trading, just trying to talk the wife into it. Then my mom had said that since I only put about 3000 miles a year on my F150 (about 1/2 of which are towing) and dad only put about 1000 miles on his F350 (when not towing the 5er), she mentioned that maybe we should sell my F150 and keep the F350 then just "share" it (since neither one of us want to see the truck sold being a 7.3L with only 65000 miles and the condition its in).
So I am not sure what I should do...
Granted the F350 would be over kill for a TV for our little 7000lb 26'BH TT, but the F350 also wouldn't hardly know that the camper is back there. Plus if we ever upgrade to a larger camper then we would have enough truck for it.
But I have around $5K of aftermarket goodies dumped into my F150 and it has been my baby for the 7 years I have had it. And I always get complements on how nice the truck looks and I honestly really like the F150. But I also don't want to let dads truck get away, since there are VERY few 7.3Ls like this left.
We just got back from a long weekend camping and put about 200 miles on with the Andersen. The roughly 100 miles to the camp ground we were being chased down by thunder storms and had winds in the 20-30mph range with gusts higher, about 40 miles were side winds. The truck and camper were very stable and never once felt any sway that made anything feel uneasy. We also had about 20 miles of country backroads with 3 RR crossings, there was no bucking what so ever and was a smooth ride.
Honestly the truck rode and handled like the camper wasn't even back there. Except, of course when on hills, taking off from stop signs, stopping, ect. I was very impressed!
On the factory receiver hitch on my 04 F150 there are 2 holes, both 5/8" dia and roughly 1.5" apart. I have always used the hole towards the front of the truck, but this weekend a friend was looking at my Andersen WD hitch and he said that the dealership told him when using a WD hitch use the one closest to the rear of the truck.
So which one is the correct hole to use?
renojack, with as heavy as your trailer is I would try using atleast 1/4" of compression of the bushings which was roughly 9 threads. With only 7 thread you aren't getting anywhere near enough compression on the bushings to transfer the weight.
On my F150/Grey Wolf 26BH combo (with 650-700lb tongue weight), compressing the bushings 1/4" raised the rear of my truck to with-in about 1/4-3/8" of the unloaded height and dropped the front end 1/8" from the unloaded height. I don't have a scale locally, but just by taking measurements it is quiet evident that the hitch did transfer a good amount of weight on my truck.
Instead of counting threads I always measure the bushing. To me its a lot more accurate way of getting the same tension and WD with this hitch.