I agree that you should get rid of the 3k HF winch. Hardly adequate for anything. I would consider using one in my garage (dry environment) to hoist my jeep top, that's about it.
A snatch block will likely only allow you to exceed cable and connector ratings anyway on that cheap winch. I've used snatch straps for years for recovery, and even moving downed trees and such. Much rather do that than use a cheapo 3k winch.
I'm buying a new warn zeon 10k winch with synthetic line (for my jeep) because I don't feel like a winch is something to cheap out on. I wanted a (more or less) American made product that was waterproof, reliable and safe. But there are some pretty good winches if you want the Chinese stuff (engo) with 9k ratings for $300 or so.
MY 2007 Ford f150 had an issue with the four wheel drive. I was getting a gear noise from the front drivers hub. When I engaged the auto 4x4 the noise would go away. As soon as I swithed back to 2wd the noise would return. Turned out to be a crack in the vacuum line going to the front hub. The mechanic told me that the Fords use the vacuum to disengage the four wheel drive and with the leak, it was letting the hub rengage. Thats why when I put it in 4x4 the sound went away. So I am to beleive that if you lost vacuum completely it would engage the 4x4. This was at the Ford dealership and they replaced 700 dollars worth of parts before they found the cracked vacuum line. I was not impressed. Dont know if this helps you or not but it has a simular ring to it, and if I can save you 700 dollar worth of parts you dont need, thats what this forum is all about. cheers
Yeah they love to immediately replace the IWE and the vacuum actuator, along with a little plastic hood over the actuar to stop rainwater from dripping between the hood and cowl onto the actuator. Typical dealership mentality, charge a bunch of money to replace parts without doing a simple diagnosis. I would have demanded a refund on the other stuff!
The newer (04+ f150) operates differently than the super duty. The f150 vacuum actuated hubs default to locked when vacuum is not applied. Shut it off and try to turn the cv joint/axle shaft. It does NOT engage 4x4, only the hubs. That grinding on the f150 was the hub trying to engage partially because it couldn't hold enough vacuum to disengage. In theory it's a better system because it defaults to locked. However if it fails it normally destroys the IWE integrated wheel end unit and hub. Plugging the lines keeps them engaged all the time like live axles.
The super duty applies vacuum to engage the hub as I understand, like the rangers use to be set up before switching to live axles (always engaged). So you switched to 4x4, the dash shows engaged because the transfer case IS engaged. However you have a vacuum leak so one (or both) of the hubs is no engaging, and the system is sucking outside air somewhere. When you lose this vacuum the hvac blend door or whatever is moving to the default location as it is always vacuum actuated.
If you still aren't convinced, raise one front tire off the ground, idle the truck in park with 4x4 engaged. Odds are you will be able to turn the tire by hand (not engaged). If you can't, raise the other one and see.
You can find and fix the leak, or plug the the vacuum lines at the actuator and use the hubs manually like a real truck. ;)
Glad to gear the new shocks helped you out! Try backing them down a bit, you'll probably find a better balance between stability and comfort, I'm sure it's rough riding with them cranked to the firmest settings!
If the tires aren't overloaded (pretty sure they are not), I would lean toward shocks.
I ran 35" Km2s (load range D) with a 2" leveling kit and hauled a 7' hardside on my f150 and it was rock solid. Air bags (with minimum psi), bilstein shocks and hellwig rear sway bar. Tires at 45 psi. Very solid on windy roads, freeways with strong winds, passing semis, towing 2800 miles across country, etc. New shocks absolutely won't hurt and they are a lot less expensive than tires.
Correct, they do sell a rain fly made by the manufacturer as well as by the SLO Sail & Canvas people that I linked in an earlier post.
I haven't seen the JK Habitat in person as it wasn't at Adventure Trailers when we picked up our Flippac but I know that quite a few people in the Jeep community are excited for them. I understand that the first models are starting to get onto peoples JK's now so I imagine that feedback from them will start trickling in soon.
I haven't seen an Ursa Minor arrangement in person either but they do look top notch. Didn't they even make a model for one of the Honda minivans? I am working the opposite direction of you in that I tend to camp with the wife and our son as well as two dogs so the extra space is gratefully appreciated.
I promised some people via PM's that I would provide more pictures and I will, yesterday was a constant rain storm and today was no stop activity. I will get them taken and uploaded for you soon.
Yes, Ursa Minor first made a top for the Honda element.
Their unit was a lot more basic clearly, but seemed much more refined and buttoned up compared to the habitat. The habitat that I saw was one of the first and had a lot of little issues overlooked on initial build install that were very disappointing, especially since they have a really good name generally. They are going to fix those items, they say, but it changed my opinion, and being in Oregon I can't just "swing by" for fixes. Seems like I've read enough horror stories from flip pac owners with broken torsions bars or hinges that I didn't want to spend $8k on a habitat only to have it break in a few years and figure out to how aquire/make a new hinge or torsion bar and install it into the fiberglass mold. Not that it's that common but it's my luck, and I tend to be pretty hard on my stuff.
Downsizing for us is kind of interesting. The thing that makes it easier is that I'm normally solo. I work 14 days on/14 off while my wife works a normal government job. For this reason, trips together are normally only a couple of nights. No dogs, planning on a kid but I don't see it being a problem, not any time soon anyway. Eventually it will be pretty comfortable with dual batteries, isolator, stove, 12v fridge etc. I travel and explore a lot more than I actually camp in one spot anyway, often just finding a place to pull over and eat/sleep, and head out early in the morning. The camper was nice for "hanging out" but we like to be outside more.
I believe adventure trailers now sells a rain cover. I really like the flip pac but living it the wet PNW I couldn't imagine packing it up wet and storing it for 2-3 weeks when I leave for work.
Adventure trailer has also been building the Habitat for new four door Jeeps. They are using nemo tent material that is supposed to be much more durable.
It was enough to convince me to sell my truck and camper last spring and buy a new Jeep. But after seeing the habitat in person I'm not sure the full tent will work that well in my conditions, and will be ordering the smaller Ursa Minor J30 top.
Should be much easier to keep clean and dry in the Pacific Northwest, usable in snow/wind/rain, and can carry items on the roof. I'm usually camping travelling solo and it will be plenty of room for me. The truck camper was comfortable but it was too much "RVing" and not enough camping. It was too big and heavy to take off road to the places I like to go.
Wow, really?! I couldn't even guess why they should care if your poo is stored in a big permanent tank or a portable tank. If there are no hook ups and no dump site, why is it any of their business? And how would they know any difference?
I've seen a handful of Dakotas with six pac campers, travel lite, and pastime campers.
I don't know anything about weight capacities of Dakotas, that's just what I've seen.
Whatever you look at, be realistic and keep it light and simple. Don't carry a bunch of junk. A small pop up camper (four wheel, Phoenix, all terrain campers) would be more appropriate. Any smaller truck is going to need some suspension/tire upgrades to handle halfway decent.