I have a battery powered one. Got it because the temps in the refrigerator could be alarmingly warm. It makes the temps much more consistent, and generally colder. Moved the temp setting one position toward warmer so as not to freeze things, where previously I was often seeing temps in the mid-40's.
Instructions said the batteries would last a month. I doubted that, but in fact, they last longer than that.
Why all the concern? By federal law, you are responsible for only the $50 limit if your card is stolen. Credit card companies don't enforce the $50 as it is bad for business. As long as you watch your bill for charges that aren't yours and promptly alert the credit card company, you aren't liable.
Now debit cards: that's a different story. You are at the mercy of the issuing bank. I WILL NOT carry a debit card, and I destroy them if they are sent to me.
I've had two short beds, the only trucks I've ever owned. Got a slider hitch, which I used a couple times right after getting set up. Haven't used the slider in two years.
Short vs long bed: as others have said, if you need it professionally, that's one thing. But my take is: it's hard enough to get in and out of parking lots, I can't quite imagine a long bed. And I can get a short bed in my garage, but a long bed would have to set outside: that alone would be a deal-breaker.
My awning on a 2010 5th wheel STINKS from water that gets between the layers. Once mold/mildew has gotten started, there is no way to stop it other than keeping it dry. Or clean it all the time. I store my trailer at a place that has trailers & motor homes so close, you can't open up the awning. So when we go camping, it's unpleasant and embarrassing. Pretty much, we don't use it, but we would like to.
So I ordered covers via Amazon yesterday, as described below.
RV Awning Covers, Awning Pro-Tech 5 Piece Kit (BLEM), UV Resistant, Snap-on cover for RV Patio awning $89.99 plus $17 shipping.
The same size, for up to 20 ft. wide awning, is about $120 from the manufacturer. Reviews say it's hard to tell what the blemishes are, and harder still to care.
Obviously, I can't say this will work miracles, it won't even arrive until next Tuesday. But the reviews are good, and it looks good to me. So I plan to really clean the awning at the next opportunity, and use the covers thereafter.
If you want to take a look and see what owners are saying, here's a link: awningpro-tech.com
We made the mistake of going a year ago a little too early in the season: few restaurants and virtually no other places open before around May 1st. By now, things should be jumping.
By all means, tour the several light houses. There are a couple of museums, too, which btw are free. The one featuring boats doesn't have much to show, but the one further south that features the boat wrecks around the O Banks is quite interesting.
There are likely to be lots of things for little kids by now. When we were there, kiddy rides, etc were all torn up from the last Hurricane.
You might make a point of taking a ferry; and of course taking it back. It was a snap when we were there, but later in May there may be a long line, I wouldn't know.
Kittyhawk is pretty special, very nice facilities.
Dave Ramsey gives excellent advice for most people. My son follows it. Fortunately, I've reached the point in life where I can always pay off the balance in full. Haven't paid any interest in at least 10 years. I'm a freeloader! And I get AT LEAST a half-dozen card offers a week; have been for years.
Oh, and since I charge as many bills as I can, except those that tack on an extra charge for credit card use, I average a $25 gift card a month. So once a month we go out for basically a free meal, which I really enjoy. TGI Friday's Sizzling Chicken & Cheese is a real favorite!
There has been plenty of discussion of these trucks - gas - in the tow vehicle section. I have a 2012 F250 3.73 4X4 and I pull an 11K 5th wheel trailer with no problems. It's been over the Eastern mountains several times and I like it and the non-diesel issues (and lower cost) very well. Mileage: on the interstate around 65-70, about 15.5. Pulling the trailer: around upper 8's at low to mid-60's mph. Those with the 4.3 are making nearly the same mileages. I 'lock' my truck into 5th top gear, which is almost like having a 4.3 so someone 'proved' with a lot of gear ratio info a few months ago. You might be able to look it up.
The 4.3 is rated to pull, if I remember right, 15K pounds. The 3.73 is rated at just over 12K pounds.
I got my new Trailer Life magazine today, and in it is an ad for a product from awningpro-tech.com. They offer some nice covers that take care of the whole length of the awning and permit travel with it installed. I'm thinking of ordering a set. For my 16ft. awning, it's $100, add $20 for each additional 4 ft, or subtract in the same way.
As they show it, for transporting, it wouldn't cover the end of where the fabric is, so my expectation is that it would let water in. But I can see where a little modification would accommodate the issue. I'm real tempted. I bought some pipe at a lumber yard and was going to rig up something to just cover the ends to keep the water out, but admittedly that wouldn't stop the UV ageing. And it would be a hassle. This would be better. I think. Guess I have some stuff to return to Home Depot.
I like that idea, Coleman. It isn't just getting rid of the smell, as that is temporary. It's trying to stop water from wicking between the layers and sitting there, supporting a new generation of mold or whatever. I'm going to take measurements and pictures and try to come up with the best idea I can, to keep water away from the ends of the awning.
With three years of camping in a 5th wheel, this is my #1 problem. Stinky mold on my awning. I tried thoroughly cleaning it one fall, but the stink was there the next time I opened it up. And on my first trip this spring, water streamed out of the awning from the heavy rains, which just shows how difficult it is to keep the water out.
Despite my awning's being 3 years old, it looks new because I don't use it much. Keeping it rolled up keeps the stink confined.
So how do I keep the water out? And how do I get rid of the odor so that it'll stay away for awhile?
Any help would surely be appreciated.
I made the choice for a 5th wheel because it was more economical.
I figured a motor home would cost about $80K, and a pull-behind vehicle about $25K, total $100K plus.
I figured (and in fact did) buy a new 5th wheel for $30K and a used F250 for $26K, total of $56K. 18 months ago I traded the used truck for a high-end new one, for a difference of about another $28K. My investment is still well below the Class A option.
Other considerations: if the truck breaks down, you can take it anywhere to get it fixed, usually pretty inexpensively. If a motor home breaks down, you are limited with where you can take it and repairs are usually VERY expensive. And time-consuming. I read once that getting a under-dash heater fan on a motor home replaced cost $5000. Probably would be $300 in a truck. And when you read complaints about warranty issues in various publications, where the magazine goes to bat for the person, the costs listed are real eye-openers. So far, having pulled my 5th wheel about 25K miles over three years, my maintenance costs are under $1000, most of which was tires.
One final note: if you aren't at least somewhat handy at fixing minor things, either a 5th or a MH can get expensive. There are a lot of little things, 20 minute fixes, that crop up from time to time.
My trailer has no shocks and I don't see much purpose in them for the cost. The Demco took out the chucking, and I don't have any other motion worth mentioning. There is a little bobbing on big bumps, but I don't feel them coming from the trailer, just the truck itself.
I should note that I DO have those equalizer thingies between the axles, and I think they do a lot to share the load between the axles. And I insisted on having my last set of tires balanced and I stood there and watched them do it. That helped a little with smoothing out the ride.
I've had two of them since I had some gum surgery about 5 yrs ago. Recommended by my dentist. I like them; one is at home, one is in my travel kit.
If you get one, you will see quite quickly that the brushing activity in one minute couldn't be duplicated in a half hour of manual brushing. They SAY that a trained person can do just as well by brushing manually, but I don't see it. How can wrist action compare with thousands of strokes? And manual brushing can lead to gum recession because of impatience and excessive force. Not likely with a rechargeable brush. It does the work; you just guide it around.