I have Innovative Creations stainless steel on my Dodge. They were already in it when I purchased.
4yrs and 60k miles more in the truck and they still look great.
I had a set of stainless on my last truck as well for over 150k and about 11 years. They were looking good when I sold it. I think they were Westin bars but not sure.
Not a TC, but I packed 6k worth of gravel in the back of an '01 Dodge (4wd quad cab dually with factory springs and rear sway bar). Scaled 14.5k with 2 people in it. Was under tire rating.
That was only once, but the rear would need help with that (near that) amount of weight if I were to make a habit of that.
You are basing your truck purchase on the ease of greasing the front driveshaft?
I marked mine with a short line of paint. I jack up one front tire and roll the shaft until I see my mark. I lube at every oil change.
The newer Rams are running a disconnecting front axle, just like they did on the 2nd Gen 94-02, so that the front shaft is not spinning while in 2wd. They are still requiring the grease needle as far as I know.
Our girls (5 and 3) just shower with us. Our shower stall is large enough for an adult and child to get clean (2 adults could stand in there but not be very productive).
Is she old enough, and do you have the room to accomplish this? Do you have the water capacity to do the bath tub idea?
We have a 6g water heater, but that is more than adequate for one adult and child to clean, let the heater come back up to temp, then let the other pair get clean.
I used the Easy-Heat heat tape on my fresh water hose for 2yrs. I bought it a little long. I started the tape about a foot from the trailer inlet (the thermostat end), went up to the inlet on the trailer, then back to the spigot, wrapping the valve and spigot. I attached it with electrical tape about every foot. I then covered the hose with 1 size too large pipe insulation (to fit the heat tape and not leave a gap at the slit). Some more wraps on the foam pipe insulation to keep it from coming undone.
I then wrapped the spigot with fiberglass insulation, then 2 heavy duty trash bags.
I survived 2 winters that experienced -20*F regularly. It was cheap and effective!
Drive to The Wedge Overlook. This is located near Castle Dale, Utah. It is accessed by a good dirt road; high clearance 4wd not required.
The Wedge Overlook
From there, you could head North back to the main road, then continue East to the Buckhorn Draw Rd. Turn South on the Buckhorn Draw. Along this road, there are a few Petroglyph Walls (with parking spots), one Dinosaur Footprint (not marked, but can be found on Google Earth, I can get you coordinates if needed), a shallow cave that you can camp in, and plenty of short spurs that you can drive/hike down.
Camping is plentiful at the Wedge or along Buckhorn Draw. If the weather is bad, get off the cliff at the Wedge and get down in the canyon along Buckhorn Draw. There is more camping available at the river as you continue South.
Continue your journey toward I-70, but just cross underneath and continue South along the dirt on Temple Mtn Rd. This will take you all the way to the entrance of Goblin Valley State Park.
Go by highway to Hanksville, and fill supplies.
Head West out of Hanksville for 18 miles to the Cathedral Rd turnoff (to the North). Drive this dirt road all the way toward Lyman.
Or take Hwy-24 from Hanksville to Torrey, then Hwy-12 and drive to Escalante. Now you drive Hole In The Rock Road (down and back). You can also go South out of Escaelante toward Smokey Mountain (on BLM 330 "Smokey Mountain Rd") and drive to Alstrom Point overlooking Lake Powell. You would return to pavement at Big Water, Utah. From here, head South to Page, Az, then to Kayenta, then North to Monument Valley, drive the Moki Dugway (North of Mexican Hat), then back toward Hanksville or to Moab.
After Escalante, continue West to Bryce Canyon. From there yo can go South out of Cannonville (near Kodachrome Basin) and continue South along the Cottonwood Canyon Rd and return to pavement near Paria approximately 30mi NW of Page, Az. A quick drive West on the highway to Houserock Valley Rd and continue by dirt to Hwy-89A, then go West to Jacob Lake, then South to the North Rim of The Grand Canyon.
Or South out of Hanksville to Monument Valley, then turn around and go toward Moab.
All of the above roads I've mentioned are 'maintained' dirt roads. You may encounter a severe set of washboards but you can run near highway speeds in sections. Washouts are common after a good rainstorm but are usually repaired quickly. Most can be traveled by a car (wouldn't do it in my car), but there are sections of soft sand on all roads, and a shallow water crossing (Cottonwood Canyon Rd). I would travel all with a 4wd vehicle, and probably never engage the front axle.
DO NOT travel the Smokey Mountain Rd and Cotton Canyon Rd areas after a recent rain storm. These areas are clay and nearly impassable after a storm.
The possibilities are endless for the Southern Utah offroad adventures! Spend a day with Google Earth following roads and looking at pictures, and get an idea of where you want to go.
I have an EBay 22" bar (double row) on my truck. Paid ~$110 for it and it drowns my headlights. Money well spent in my opinion. They are cheaper now than when I got it. It has been on my truck for about 1.5yrs and I have a tiny bit of fogging when I pressure wash the truck (I'm not careful about the light either). For what it is, it has held up very well.
This is as near as I can find to what I have on my truck.
EBay Light Bar
A buddy of mine has a little slim single row Rigid. The light output on it is close to what my bar does, and his is shorter and narrower. The Rigid costs more, and it is a smaller bar, but the quality is definitely there.
We also did some Rigid Dually pods on a 4runner along with an Ebay bar. The Rigid pods outrun the little bar that he got.
Jump power on the solenoid on the passenger inner fender. This will prove that the batteries and starter are good, and that the 'start' circuit from the ignition switch to the solenoid is bad.
You could have an issue with the ignition tumbler itself or the wiring to the solenoid.
I recall there being a passive theft device somewhere under the dash that interrupts the start circuit. It happened on a '95 psd we had. It failed, don't know how it worked. We would place the key in the 'on' position then jump the solenoid under the hood to get home. I remember it being a black box a little larger than a billfold. It was located near the steering column.
My 21' trailer A/C is not ducted. I have a little issue with the front bed (half blocked by the bathroom) getting adequate airflow, but otherwise does fine. It just takes a little longer to bring the front of my trailer down in temperature.
I don't remember there being an issue with my tc and non_ducted air.
Just stick with normal scheduled maintenance. Don't go spending a ton of money fixing something that isn't broke.
I got 244k miles out of a 1/2 ton GM when I sold it. Had original u joints and cv shafts. I've got 255k on a ford escape and it has the original cv shafts front and rear, but did require 1 u joint and a carrier bearing a few years ago.
Usually you will get a warning before something fails such as abnormal noise or a slipping transmission, but there can just be a sudden catastrophic failure.
I carry the old serpentine belt and maybe a tensioner with a noisy bearing just in case, but don't pack around spare parts, and surely don't replace something when the current something is working correctly.
Order the block heater cord if you don't already have it. Geno's Garage will be about the best cost.
I've started my '05 numerous times at -20*F when I was working out of Leadville; it would miss on a couple cylinders for a few seconds. I wish I could have plugged it in where I was staying.
At home, I plug mine in for about 3hrs before start when it gets in the 30's.
Using the block heater is easier on everything. Quicker warm up is just one of the benefits. Thinner oil from being somewhat warm, faster/easier cranking and less grid heater time (glow plugs for the other guys) puts less strain on the batteries.
Drive that route all the time to go to Moab. As mentioned, plenty of fuel at Spanish Fork, Price/Wellington, and Green River.
Watch your downhill speed as you approach Price, there are a couple 'gotcha' corners that can sneak up on you.
Just drive around with 15 gal of water in there and let it slosh around.
Seriously, full the blank tank fill and let it set for a couple days, drain, fill it about 1/3 full, then drive around, drain again.
The 2nd set of bags are going to place the 'same' amount of force on the truck frame as the single-pair that you have now.
The bag brackets are designed for their maximum capacity, don't be afraid to pump them up.
You might get a slightly better ride by running 2 pair of bags. The larger volume will contribute to this.
I worked on one of those about 11yrs back. It was a 3 axle, 4 horse unit. Some guy brought it to the shop to have us clean up the fenders and respray the whole thing. I hope he replaced the boards inside, I wouldn't trust it with my horses...
It didn't look nearly as good as the pictures you posted.
Unless it is the 'off-season', don't pull through Zion, small vehicle traffic is terrible, the road is tight, you won't be able to find parking easily, and you will be a bottleneck. Take 89 and stay in Mt Caramel or Glendale. Then drive just the truck through the park to the west side and do your running around. Then you can just continue north on 89 to Bryce.
389/59 to Hurricane is a safe and easy road. The 20 from I-15 to Panguitch is a strap pull with the sharp turns on the east side as you head downhill. It's not bad, take a 30' horse trailer that route often.
I prefer wood to a metal deck. I can't keep paint on the plate, so it looks terrible after a year.
A 16' 7k trailer would be plenty for the Miata.
My current 16x 7k has the ramps that store under the rear right side. Can't get them out if you are parked next to another vehicle, or doing a recovery on the side of the freeway and there is a wall there. Rear storage or planning ahead is a good idea.