With my 2000 F250 7.3 diesel, I used to plug it in right when I got up in the morning. By the time I finished breakfast, coffee, reading the internet it was about 2 hours and the truck started up fine. I would plug it in from about mid December to the end of February. It wasn't necessarily needed on warmer days during the winter, but it did make a difference on starting.
I would put a work glove on the shifter when it was plugged in. Another thing to do is drape the extension cord over the driver's side mirror. Whatever is needed to remind you to uplug before driving away!
As I posted earlier, I have heard that the newest diesels don't need to be plugged in nearly as much as the older ones, if at all.
If you are in below 0F temperatures, even regular gas engines are helped by engine heaters!
Oh, do the newest diesels use engine block heaters now? I thought I heard that the newest engines are just start it and go. With my 2000 7.3 it made a big difference in the winter to plug in the engine block heater for at least a few hours in the morning before starting it.
I ran a thick extension cord from the house to my truck in the winter... and, important!, put a glove on the shifter to remind me to UNplug the truck before driving away! lol!!
I don't know about the newest diesels, but when I had my 2000 F250 7.3 I always carried a spare fuel filter in the glove compartment. It has been 8 years since I drove a diesel regularly, so I don't know if the situation has improved... but I was surprised when I filled up with "bad" fuel a couple times and had to replace the fuel filter.
Other than that, just follow the owner's manual. Make sure any fluid you add to the engine (engine oil, engine coolant, etc) is designed for diesel engines.
Sorry to hear about that! I've encountered a few people like that - they just go and take what they want, and act surprised when they are called on it. Sometimes they back down, sometimes they get riled up - embarrassed maybe? - and get into an angry rant. Then, when they "win", they brag about it later. I tend to not associate with those people.
Do you have a True Value hardware store near you? I think they still have a lifetime warranty on hand tools. Years ago I bought a bar-type torque wrench from my local store (Master Mechanic brand), broke it once, and it was replaced free of charge, no questions asked.
Others here would know more than me, but the impression I get is that the "click" type torque wrenches are more accurate than bar type?
If you are just planning on using the torque wrench for things like lug nuts, then a less expensive one will work fine. But.... if you think you might end up doing engine work with it or something similar, consider spending more money for a higher quality one.
3 separate bedrooms? I know it is common to have a "master bedroom" and then a "bunkroom" with 2-4 beds in it, but I don't think I've seen a 3 bedroom camper. For weekend camping it is common to drop the dinette table down to make an extra bed, but I don't think you want to do that for full timing.
When running antifreeze through the plumbing, I make sure plenty goes down the sink traps and down into the black and grey tanks. I've never had any issues.
Some people have said that the black and grey drain valves shouldn't be allowed to "dry" out, as that may dry the seals and ruin them. I don't know about this, but I figure having liquid in the tanks covers me for this.
The rig seems to drive just fine -- a little smoother than the F250 dually I used to tow the trailer with, and it doesn't seem to wander at all at any speed. The electronic sway control built into the F250 has not activated once in about 500 miles of towing. I have not yet driven in heavy wind.
I don't know much about the "built in" sway control on the new trucks, but I thought they wouldn't activate until it is basically an emergency situation. I would be careful depending on that. Even basic hitch sway control, like a friction bar, will help to reduce sway even starting.
I think the Ford factory hitches are very good and heavy duty, but still I would certainly get a weight distribution hitch with sway control, especially with a pretty long trailer like you have. Just because you use a WD hitch, that doesn't mean you will overload the front end. You can adjust the weight distribution however you want, more or less weight forward, for the ride and safety you are looking for.
The restaurant at Fort Wilderness is good. Last time we were there was October 2011. They have a chicken takeout dinner that is excellent, and a lot of food. Great for bringing back to the campsite.
Hoop-de-do-review, at Fort Wilderness, is definitely worth getting reservations for! It is a lot of fun.
The carriage ride at the campground is surprisingly good, especially in the evening. I know the "haunted" carriage ride in October is fun for kids, I don't know about other times of the year. A little expensive, but everything is.
As posted earlier, feel free to keep asking questions!
We've always had reservations, and planned out all our stops. Especially when traveling with kids it was one less thing to worry about.
A couple other people mentioned... make sure you are giving yourself enough time.
As posted already, using the "50 miles per hour" rule seems to work very well in planning how far you will travel per day. Of course you will actually be traveling faster than that, but when you average out miles traveled, rest stops, fuel stops, and time, it always seems to work out to about 50 miles per hour.
For me it's the actual content of the website, not the mechanics of the website. I've seen some that looked like they were done by the CG owner, nothing fancy. Had all the pertinent info along with a CG map. If it sounds and looks like what we want as long as they provide a phone number, I'm good.
So I guess I'd pick the 1st entry.
Actually.... I agree you, but I think that puts me in the #3, affects a lot, camp. I like a website that is up to date and has the info I want. Pictures help, but not critical.
Having said that; If I have not been in an area and especially know nothing about the campground, the campground website can make a big impression on me. But I do know of campgrounds that are fantastic but have terrible websites - like many state park campgrounds!
Yes, in "today's world", a good, up to date website can really help a campground.
Well, it's "towable" - you towed it home (yea, I know, but not realistically safe to tow). Anything can be repaired! Depends on how far you want to go with it. Someone will buy it - but probably not for want you want to sell it for.
"Nothing left to do but relinquish it back to lender." - So... are you planning on relinquishing it? or is that just an option? Why were you looking to sell it? If you have to spend the money to repair it, definitely look into keeping it and use it for a few more years.
You have options.
A Walmart near you may carry memory foam "toppers". We have a 2" one in our TT. As previously mentioned, just get one that is a little large and cut it to fit. Don't get less than 2 inches - the thicker you get, the better.
Our upper bunk's "mattress" is basically rock hard. I realized years ago that it is the same foam that is used for the dinette seating, harder foam than a "normal" mattress would be. Even so, our kids were fine on that mattress for years.
My new TT is the first I've ever had with a "rubber/plastic" roof, TPO.
I was under the impression TPO did not need to be cleaned, I guess I should look into this more. There must be one or two threads on interest about this, eh? LOL
But I would NEVER use dish soap, I don't care what manual says its ok. Its more aggressive than any simple car wash solution and will take the wax (and shine) right off the sides of your RV.
My TT's instruction manual, which is a 2003, says it is not actually necessary to clean the roof, but just brush off leaves and dirt. I have washed and "treated" the roof a couple times, using something similar to what DutchmenSport uses (might be the same product). I do it mostly because the roof does get so dirty, and it makes it easier to see if there are any other maintenance issues -- But...
If you want to clean the roof, I have read here and other places to NOT use car wash. The vast majority of car wash products use petroleum distillates, which supposedly will degrade the roofing material of campers. As is said on the internet -- YMMV (Your mileage may vary - or it might work fine for you)
Also on rte 9, don't worry about locals sometimes tailgating you... they are just waiting for the truck passing zones and will zoom past you.
On the other hand... sometimes you, in your motorhome / RV / TT / 5th, will get stuck behind a Vermonter poking along in their Subaru (the state car of Vermont). Vermont is quirky!
Check your window screens. On my TT, sometimes the screens can be knocked or pushed off center, leaving a 1/4 inch or so gap along one edge - including the bottom! I realized years ago that our screen on the window over the counter top had a gap along the bottom that was invisible unless you really looked.
Also, the screen door does not really close tightly against the weather stripping, so I put a bungy cord on it to hold it closed.
And the "tailgate" thing can be huge... sometimes it seems I've had a swarm of skeeters follow me inside!
Looks fine, and you sound like someone who does his homework. You are within specs, so if it feels comfortable, go camping!
Oh, and your gas mileage sounds about normal. You might get around 10mpg towing with careful driving on flat ground, but don't expect to get more than that.
Just ask, as others have said. Assuming a branch (or branches) are really in the way of a "normally" placed camper, I can't imagine a park ranger or campground host would say no to a politely (remember, polite!) asked request to remove it.