If you want a locker of some sort in the front, the ONLY option IMHO is to install an ARB locker or the electric Eaton locker. I would not want a locker up front for most conditions I've driven in. Some off road conditions yes. I would suspect something else is not working in the system.
If you have a GM, their is an electric solenoid that has a tendency to fail every 100K miles or so. Assuming the fronts are not turning at all! Dodge may have something equivalent up front.
As mentioned above, a locker you can engage selectively is the only way to go in my opinion, and I've installed them in over half a dozen of my off road vehicles over the years. They really change the handling characteristics of the vehicle. If you're not comfortable with the truck being basically in a drift during slick conditions, especially with crowned roads, during turns etc. you're going to hate the locker up front, and it may even result in your ending up somewhere you didn't expect to be, like the ditch. I tow in the snow and ice on a regular basis, and while I always ensure I have a locker or limited slip in the rear, I haven't ever considered a locker up front in one of my tow vehicles. If road conditions are that bad I either resort to chains, or wait until things improve. ARBs are expensive to install, and not worth the cost for the little if any use I would have for it with my tow vehicle.
"THIS" is a biggie for those with the 3500 rear air when unhitching. If you are slow about unhitching the rear air system will start trying to re level and give you a big startle when un hitching. I read on another forum of a guy thinking it was all the fault of his new to him B&W hitch.
So here is the way to unhitch and hitch if you so choose.
When backed into the spot where you want to unhitch go into "Settings" then select "Suspension" then select "Tire Jack Mode". This will keep the rear from moving while unhooking and hooking. I touch no controls after unhooking then the system goes back to Alt Ride Mode as I had it set. I leave mine in Alt ALL the time.
Hope this helps with someones frustration!
Your technique is good to know. I'm currently using an Andersen ultimate hitch with my 5er, and normally leave the engine running as I disconnect. As a result, the truck starts re-adjusting for load which can be problematic. I didn't think about your method of turning it off, but makes perfect sense.
As for not having heard of issues with the factor rear air on 3500's, mine has been into the shop a couple times for it, and hasn't been fixed. The issue is only in the cold and snow, where after you've towed and unhooked, the next time you start the truck you get a service air suspension fault that goes away by itself after driving a bit. They have re-flashed my truck for it because there is a known problem with the suspension in the cold. It still has the problem though. In looking at my truck when it has done it I think the problem is probably with the Mechanical linkages they use to sense truck suspension height. They get iced up bad with snow and slush that freezes hard when I park. My long term fix is to retire next year so I hopefully can avoid towing in the snow.
There must be something really wrong with your truck. My Ram gets 30mpg towing my 5er if I slow down to 80mph or so.....
Now that I think about it, maybe it was around 10mpg at 65, I get a little confused sometimes. That said, was your decreased mileage during the heatwave? Things I've noticed over the years that have a significant impact on fuel mileage are the normal speed, weight, wind etc. I've also noticed that fuel blend and temperature can make a noticeable impact. Towing at 90 to 100 plus degrees tends to have a significant negative impact on my truck.
As mentioned, should you try and go I80 you have a fairly long hard pull out of Heber, then a downhill on a road with more than it's fair share of idiot drivers. Coming down through Provo Canyon is generally a much nicer drive, and definitely not as steep. That said, either one are major roads used every day by numerous RV's Semi trucks and anything else you can imagine.
I've owned more than a half dozen assorted RV's prior to owning the supposed higher quality thing I now have, and it's the first one where I've ever experienced an issue like this. It's a pressurized fill system rather than the gravity I had on everything else, and it has vents coming out both sides of the frame which will dump as much as two thirds of my fresh water tank on a mountain road heading for the good hot weather spots. Of course there is no water available at most of the ones I prefer. Heartland did so many stupid things like this on my current rig to where It's almost worthless for actual camping.
I'm not understanding the question here. If the purpose of the generator is to assist the generator in charging the batteries, then you don't need to convert the DC solar output to AC, just use both sources to charge the batteries. My solar panels are putting out any time the sun is shining. If my batteries are really low, or I just need to run the generator in the morning for the wife's hair drier, or something like that, then the 80 amp DC converter/charger pretty much takes over, generally limiting it's output based on battery state of charge. When I turn the generator off, the solar controller reacts to give the batteries as many amps as they can take, or in the case that the batteries can take more than the solar can put it, it just gives the batteries everything it's got.
To parallel the batteries with the generator you'll need a fairly expensive hybrid inverter. You'd use that for big AC loads like the microwave, or Air Conditioner that may be using more power than your generator alone can provide.
The setup you're describing is how I built my combiner box. Fuse panel that holds 6 fuses put into plastic junction box with a bus bar for the negative connections, waterproof strain reliefs for the wires coming in. I currently have 5 100 watt solar panels combining in my junction box, but recently ordered a 6th panel which I'll be installing when I get the chance.
The way solar panels work, if you short the output wiring out, the current flow doesn't increase enough to where a fuse would be likely to blow anyway. On the other hand, should power feed back through the panel for some reason the fuse could be of benefit to prevent a feed from the other panels in parallel, or the battery. I debated going without fuses, but after asking for recommendations on these forums decided to go with my initial instincts of adding them in.
I don't hate my 2015 Laramie, but I wouldn't call it Love affair either. The ASIN transmission hunts more than any truck I've owned, which is especially noteworthy in that my 2011 Ram 2500 CTD had one of the better transmissions in that regard. I've had the truck in shop a couple times for factory rear air bag issues, and it needs to go in again for a fault where it keeps telling me a brake light is out. The GPS leaves a lot to be desired, and don't even try to use any of the voice control type functions. Those issues are minor though, just annoyances. The brake controller however is totally worthless, and it's even more troubling to me in that Chrysler just denies and ignores safety issues like this. Of the vehicles I've owned over the years, I'd rate this truck middle of the road, with the exception of the engine which I really like.
I'll wait a bit longer to post all the issues I'm having with my heartland bighorn until they have finished with their opportunity to make it right. That said. It is by far the worst quality rig I have ever seen. Water leaks under slides into rig if driving in rain. Metal bands over seams but under rubber bulging by inches when warm. 45 plus in fridge if over 75 outside. Whole side of bedroom slide Fiberglas only delam. Literally flexes in and out in wind. One interior wall panel pulling off wall. Bedroom door flex, latch issues. Freshwater tank vent syphons two thirds of the tank out if you try to drive with water in it slide and awning adjustment issues not yet resolved etc. etc. right looks good and appears to have decent componentry but it's all smoke and mirrors.
Yes, parallel wiring is (usually) more reliable in partial shading. Though this is a panel bypass issue, not a PWM-MPPT issue. Parallel would work with MPPT same well, if not better. Depends on location and weather pattern.
With the several series parallel type mppt setups I've looked at they all had output current drops more significant on the non shaded string than you would expect if you shaded out one leg. For instance, on a 4 panel setup, two strings of two panels if you shaded out a single panel on one leg the output drop was more like two thirds loss rather than the 50 percent or less you would expect. With single panels in parallel and mppt controller I've always seen similar loss. They seem much to require balanced panels more than the simpler PWM setups do. Some controllers may do better under these sorts of conditions based on how they are programed, but based on the ones I've observed, simpler can be better in many situations.
I always get a kick out of the judgmental attitude of so many people. You have the city vs country, blue vs white collar, east vs west, educated vs not, class a vs txt etc. just seems to be human nature to try and find reasons to feel better than others. In the end, happiness is what you find in your own life. If it works for you and doesn't hurt others, life is good.
It's been three or four years since we have been there but I really like the campground. Lots of families on the weekend and full of life. Good area to explore cedar breaks, the spot where the virgin river comes out of the mountain etc. There are a couple of lava tube caves to explore nearby as I recall and a whole lot of other outdoor adventure to be had. I have always quite enjoyed that area and it is much cooler in the summer than much of the southern part of the state. I would think you will have a great time.
Arrays larger than 400W are usually made of bigger high-voltage panels. Cheaper per watt, more expensive controller, and easier install without rooftop junction box. Though they never ship big panels for free, you have to be near some solar warehouse.
I wasn't all that concerned with price per watt as much as I simply wanted a system that would perform in the conditions I wanted. Being the guy always asked to troubleshoot and sort out generator/solar issues for others, I very much prefer the flexibility of a parallel setup and PWM controller which doesn't get "confused" as easily. That little bogart SC controller has better adjustability and controllability that anything else I've seen available right now and doesn't really care if some of the panels are not producing as well as the others because of shading, tilt or what have you. Obviously if I was setting up the system on a fixed facility roof, or a tracking system my choices would be different.
I bought 4 of these for $100 a piece a couple months back thanks to information provided by thoughtful folks on these forums. It was a 1 day sale, and I impulse bought prior to figuring out what I really wanted to install. I ended up going with a bogart SC 2030 controller and Trimetric 2030 monitor to control it. Then decided to add 1 more panel which I bought at $125, giving my 500 watts of solar on the roof..
These smaller panels work great for the way I stair step flat mounted them down the back of my 5er where it slopes from the forward bedroom are to the rear cap. I used taller home built bracket in the back than I did in the front. If the panel is too long the rear would be quite high. I didn't compensate with brackets for the slope from the curve of the rooftop, leaving that slight angle for drainage. So far I've been though hail storm with them installed while we were in Estes Park Colorado, and they held up well, and I haven't noticed any issues related to highway travel so they appear to be a good fit for my righ.
I wired my panels in parallel, combiner box with fuses on the roof, Controller etc in the fwd generator bay. I'm currently running 3 grp 24 batteries in parallel as I already had them and won't be upgrading to 4 6volt batteries till next year when I plan to retire and will be doing a whole lot more camping off grid. My summertime charging current to the batteries is generally 24 to 25 amps for an hour or two during peak sun, tapering off slowiy on either side of that. That said I have found most of the places I have camped so far have had significant shade for large parts of the day, and more often than not it starts clouding up significantly by early afternoon with more thunderstorms than I'm used to for this time of the year. I've ordered two more of the panels, one of which I will put up on top of the fiver to take it up to 600 watts of flat mount solar. I'm not the sort who can be bothered to climb up and down on the roof every time I move the camper, and I'm not really inclined to try to position the rig based solely on the best solar capture so I didn't bother with making adjustable brackets.
Would have liked to see how the 5er truck combination initially came to rest. Did the hitch separate from the truck in the crash, or was that done by the crew working to clean up the mess. Was the gas turned on and the refrigerator running when the accident took place? My 5er has propane tanks on both sides of the rig, so you wouldn't have been able to shut off the gas if it was laying on it's side like that. Never really thought about it before but it's kind of interesting that the ac units broke free and fell off. Kind of wonder if that was in initial impact with the truck, or when the rig tipped over. Would have liked to seen pictures of how the tow vehicle looked and whether or not it ended up on it's side too.
I'm also a little curious as to how the rescue folks determined where to cut that access hole into the roof. Was it random, could they see into the trailer to figure out where to cut etc.
As for the riding in the trailer debate, I don't even like riding in a motorhome because of what might happen in a crash with all the contents flying around. Can't imagine the chaos that took place in that 5er
I've developed a dislike for hwy 6 over the years, but that is because I seem to always hit snow towing the toys back from my winter excursions from the SLC area to Moab. It's a major highway, one minor uphill climb of maybe up to 6 percent grade coming out of helper for a few miles but nothing that has ever been a problem even when I've towed doubles with an underpowered truck. You'll have a lot of RV traffic going the same direction as you take that road on a Sunday, with a goodly number of boats returning from lake powell.
We just spent the last week at Elk Meadow RV Resort there in Estes Park and the cancellation Policy was very clear on their webpage, and when I called and made reservations they mentioned the cancellation Policy twice while I was booking. The policy didn't seem at all strange to me as it seems to be fairly common when booking in high demand areas. It's not as bad as many airline ticket policies, cruise ships etc.
It's a shame your trip to Colorado didn't work out for you. It's great this time of year and we had a blast for the 10 days we were there. Nice and warm in the valleys, yet many trails in the high country still have very deep snow and it was cool to cold in the mountains. Rivers are running swift and deep, full of rafters. If you can somehow take them up on the offer of visiting sometime later in the year I'd do everything I could to make it happen.
It doesn't matter how far you are going how well you plan, or how new or old you equipment is. If you travel enough things might and will go wrong. You just deal with them when they do. The vast majority of the time things work out great, and to be honest some of my most memorable trips that I think back fondly on are the ones where there were glitches that ended up making the trip all the more interesting. Quit worrying, hit the road, and enjoy the adventure.
I'm not much in the habit of defending Ford around here, given that we have the Dearborn Irregulars for that...
...but I'd worry a lot less about some dings and divots in my bed if they didn't mean the almost immediate start of rust spots. I'd take the aluminum in my truck.
Actually most aluminum alloys corrode quite rapidly. If it wasn't for all the corrosion problems with aluminum aircraft I would'nt make the money to buy the camping toys. Out of all the maintenance actions I'm involved in corrosion is probably the most costly.
I've read the book Death In Yellowstone. If and when I ever go I will NEVER leave the boardwalks. Over some of those thermals the crust is very thin.
From what I read in the book due to the altitude of Yellowstone the boiling point for the water is around 198 or something like that. So 200 is pretty darn hot.
I read that, too - pretty scary stuff. And while we were there I saw a woman ignore all the signs, hop in and frolick around in the river where there was runoff from a very active thermal feature, as if it was her personal hot tub. Didn't stick around to watch the next step in the drama (get in trouble and expect the Rangers to rush to rescue). All the signs in the world can't stop idiots.
It's been a lot of years now since they stopped it, but it used to be very common to swim in the river by the thermal features or where the runoff went into the river with there often being several dozen folks in the water at once. As I recall the practice was stopped because of bacteria or some other bug rather than concern about burns.