Your hitch should be two parts, the "capture" plate and the base. There should be four pins holding the "capture" plate to the base. Just take these four out and you then have two pieces, neither of which is light, but are manageable. Then release the four pins on the base and you're good to go, lift one out at a time. I'm far from strong enough to handle the whole hitch, but can manage each of the two pieces separately. It's a little bit of a pain, but it can be done and you don't have to have a rolling life sitting around in your garage. My garage isn't big enough to hold it anyway, what with the two four-wheelers, the 19' boat, the law mower, the air compressor and a car and a truck. Not to mention two work benches, a freezer and a refrigerator for beer and worms.
I don't quite understand treating water then putting it in a reservoir to be distributed. We haven't done something like that for over 40 years since the treatment plant was placed upstream from the town, water tanks were built and pipes were routed into town and into the water system. While I have a little problem with the idiot urinating into the 32,000,000 of treated water, I do believe it's foolish to drain the reservoir for that reason alone.
It's a little hard to blame this on the Government since the problem started in the early 2000s well before GM became Government Motors. However, the unions are still owners, as far as I know, and they were there through the whole thing. While some engineers may have tried to cover it up, the worker bees are the ones who installed the product, albeit at the direction of the engineers eventually. Nothing good is going to come of this for GM but I'll bet they get through it just as Toyota has.
If you can find it, you could go purchase some small "bubble wrap" type stuff and simply cut to fit to allow for nestling pot and pans together. You can get big rolls of the stuff at big box stores and it's very affordable.
Colter Bay campground, not the FHU site, does have about 10 sites on one of the loops with electricity but no water or sewer. They put them in for folks needing electricity for medical reasons and are very large and comfortable. We used one last year when our daughter-in-law visited us and she used a C-Pap machine at night. Depending on the length of your stay, not having water or sewer is not a big issue. We generally can stay there in our FW for at least a week without having the tanks get full, although we don't shower in the FW, we go up by the general store to the showers/laundry. Hope you find a place that fits your needs. We have been camping, in one way or another, at Colter Bay for about 50 years and enjoy it every time we go there.
We are on our second Jayco as well. Bought an Eagle 215SD, about 24' long in 1993 and got 18 years of good service out of it. When we thought about traveling more with a trailer, we decided to get rid of it and bought a Jayco Eagle SuperLite HT 26.5 RLS and have been pretty happy with it so far. Lots more room and very easy to tow. Had a little warranty problem with the front cap cracking by the running light, but Jayco replaced the whole cap. Unfortunately, we hit something with it last summer and had to have it replaced again, not Jayco's fault this time. Overall we like this FW very much.
Well, the money market rate is .1 of 1 percent, so loaning to the government for no interest or keeping it in your money market account at .001 is pretty much a wash, isn't it. I used to set my withholding so that I would get a refund and have pretty much done that my whole working life. I was, and kind of still am, a person who, if he has it, spends it, so if I can keep it somewhere and get the benefit of it later, so be it. I never got a large enough refund that I felt cheated by not getting any interest from the government.
Make sure you get something with a couple of slides, at least one big slide in the living area and one, wardrobe or bed, in the bedroom. Some trailers in the 30-32 foot range, overall length, are pretty roomy and comfortable. We have a Jayco Eagle HT 26.5 RLS that is almost 30' long and is very comfortable when we camp for a week to eight days but have not yet done the two to three month deal. One couple on the Jayco Owners web site said they spent almost three months in Florida in a 23.5 with is about 26' long. Said they enjoyed it very much. Jayco has some touring models that have a pretty large fresh water capacity and fit in the 30-32 foot range. As do a number of other manufacturers.
We tow a Jayco Eagle HT 26.5 RLS and a Crestliner SuperHawk 1900 behind our 2012 GMC D/A and have gotten as much as 13.9 on a round trip from Lander, Wy. to Grand Teton at Colter Bay, plus a little sightseeing. Last summer we got around 12 towing our stuff. When driving around 70 to go see the kids about 150 miles away, with no wind, we will get between 18 and 19 mpg.
Our new 2012 GMC 2500HD stickered at a bit over $53,000 when we bought it in June 2012. It didn't have everything, but enough. No leather, no back-up camera, no navigation, no bluetooth radio, stuff that adds to the price, but not the functionality. I would think that the $48,000+ is a little bit high. Go to Edmunds to see what they think it might be worth, that would give you a starting point. Remember, though, put in all the goodies on the truck so you will get a reasonably fair price point. By the way, we like our D/A very much.
We'll have to see if this gets better over time. It will be a spin-off next year, I have heard. Hopefully it will get better and they get a few more agents so two guys won't have to save the world all by themselves.
We put the V-Gate on our truck in 2003 and have had one on each of our last two trucks. As I told my wife, it's not if I will hit the tailgate but when. I don't have a back-up camera and don't leave anything in the bed that I don't want stolen so I don't have a cover either. I just like it for the piece of mind of not having to remember to drop the gate when hitching or un-hitching.
Our Jayco HT 26.5 RLS has a north/south queen bed with shirt closets on each side of the bed and a four door wardrobe slide. On the trips we take, usually a week to eight days, all of our daily clothes fit in the closets on the sides of the bed and we use the wardrobe closets for big coats and laundry. We are planning on taking a three-week trip here in a while and we'll see if that enough room. I suspect we will pack pretty light and plan on using the laundry room at one of the campgrounds we will be staying at. I very much like our set-up, but have never had a FW with an east-west bed on a slide. I do believe that what you get depends on your preferences, king bed, full width closet, etc. of something a little more compact that is still functional.
Slow is no fun and certainly not economical for you since you must have your RPMs up even to get to the speed you did. If you are set on a gas engine, you probably need to get a 4.10 or 4.30 rear with any gas engine truck you buy. When we bought our first FW, we had a Chevy 3/4 ton with an old 350 engine. When we hooked up our Eagle 215SD and our boat, a Bayliner Capri 19 footer, the milage was very bad. Last trip we averaged 5.3 mpg for the trip, and out here in Wyoming, it's a long ways, sometimes between gas stations. After that trip, we bought a GM 454 and then a 454 Vortex and the mileage was about 8 mpg pulling our "train' and around 10 in town. Never took it out of town not towing so don't have any idea about highway unloaded mileage. After a while, we bought a GMC D/A combo and pulling our train we got around 12 mpg pulling in the mountains of Wyoming and14 in town unloaded. Very big improvement in mileage. Biggest improvement was the towing power. When going up the passes with the 454, we struggled to maintain speed at around 35-45 all the way up. With the D/A combo, we could still be gaining speed at the crest of the pass. It was a nice way to travel with our train. I am not going to tell you to get a diesel, I'm just pointing out the differences that I noticed. If you think that you might be going bigger with your trailer in the future, perhaps a look at a diesel truck might be warranted, for the future, at least.
I know, Consumer Reports and the truck magazines who have tested these vehicles downgrade car because the sync doesn't work as good as they think it should or because the car has plastic, weak upholders. But, what does the interior of a truck have to do with what we buy them for, to tow our toys around so we can enjoy life. Ram has stepped up to the plate and made a huge leap in payload in their big boys, Ford has amped up their HP and torque and GM is upping their payload a bit and keeping their good-performing engine that has been around since 2002 or so, with tweaks and their Allison transmission. If I were to buy a truck because of how the interior looks or is laid out, I might as well forget why I want to buy a truck. When you are buying a truck, for example $50,000 or so, the addition of some of the goodies inside the cab will add another 10% or so to the cost. Unless, it's buying a diesel engine over a gasser, then the addition is around 15-18%. We bought all the goodies for my wife's last car and you know, they didn't make the car drive one bit better or perform one bit better.
It is actually impossible for a low-income person to begin working in a family and end up working for nothing. The tax rates are not 100% or more. The maximum tax rate is 39.6% on taxable income with a penalty rate of 3.8% on incomes greater than a certain amount. I am a CPA, not an engineer. And, a Roth IRA, if you qualified for it, does not lower your income, that's why the money that comes out at the proper time is not taxed. Now, some people have told me they don't end up with any more money when one spouse starts working, but it's not the tax, it's all the stuff the spouse has to buy to work at the new job, clothes, car, etc. I repeat, it cannot possibly cost a couple more in tax than the person working makes in income, it is impossible.
I believe we are missing some numbers here. The maximum tax rate, on the highest income is about 42.4% and a married couple has to earn, I believe over $250,000 taxable income to be subject to that rate. So, if a couple with one earner is in a 25% tax bracket on a jointly-filed return, you are saying if the other spouse works the tax on that income becomes over 100%? A person can actually play this situation out by buying something like TurboTax and simply put numbers in the program under different scenarios to find out the answer. The TurboTax program is not a very expensive way to calculate this situation and, you don't really have to file a return once you put the numbers in. The way you have asked the question makes it impossible to come up with a sensible answer. Sorry about that.
In Kansas City I would also recommend the Great Arabia Museum somewhere in downtown. We were unable to get into the World War I Memorial, but went to this museum and had a blast. It's dedicated to the digging up and restoration of a huge number of artifacts that were in a sunken steamboat called Arabia. The tour will take about two hours or less and is fascinating.