Yes, we do use them. As indicated in the previous post, on many newer cars you really have no choice but to use these, or wire in separate bulbs. Wiring into existing tail lights with diodes, on some newer vehicles can be a VERY bad idea, and lead to costly repairs not covered by warranty.
We mount the magnetic lights INSIDE the car, on the rear shelf right behind rear headrests. Small piece of Velcro stuck underneath the lights holds them in place very well. This works great on most sedan type vehicles, and obviously completely eliminates any risk of scratching paint.
Beauty of this approach is, you get the best of all worlds - A permanent installation that can stay in place all the time as lights are not in the way or block rear vision. Yet, is very inexpensive and can be quickly and easily removed and put into next vehicle when/if you trade. No need to spend bunch of $$ on wiring kits that you will probably have to purchase and install all over again when you trade vehicles. And, no tapping into vehicle's wiring at all.
It is my assumption (possibly incorrect) that if the car is not in the towable guide, and the consumer handbook does not say it is towable, then any claim regarding the drive train might be denied when the towbar hitch is spotted.
I don't think anything in the towable guide or a consumer handbook would play a role in whether or not a drive train warranty claim would be denied or not. The manufacturers didn't write, endorse that towable guide or consumer handbook, why would they go by it?
What DOES matter, and is the final say on the matter, will be the owner's manual or other documentation provided by the manufacturer for the specific vehicle involved. If it says you can flat tow, you're good, and can do so with full factory support (assuming you follow the guidelines it provides for such). If not, you may well still be able to flat tow in some cases, but you do so with the potential risk that warranty claims can be denied if something breaks.
Based on the history or auto sales, when I purchase my next toad (soon) I will insist that the dealer write into the sales contract that the vehicle will be used as a towed vehicle behind a motorhome. That way, if the manufacturer changes the listing at a later date, I still have possible recourse.
I would be very surprised if any dealer would be willing to write such a thing into the sales contract. Leaves them open for waaaay too much liability there. My bet is they're going to tell you that your 'recourse' in case of future issues, lies in the owner's manual that came with the car that indicates whether or not flat towing is OK.
Anyway, back to original subject: If you are looking for a flat towable alternative to the Honda CR-V, and can live with a little less interior space, have a look at some of Ford's hybrid vehicles (Fusion or Cmax). They are flat towable from the factory, and very easy and simple to tow. No crazy procedures to go through when hooking up, no fuses or battery to disconnect, none of that. Just throw it in neutral, hook up and go. Can tow all day, all you want, no need to stop and run engine to lube the tranny like some require. And, the mileage the rest of the time (not towing) is absolutely unbeatable, too.
You are absolutely right, and I've said it before also: People frequently get very lazy when they get a Motorhome with leveling jacks. Its as if they lose the ability to get out the blocks and put them in place like they did for years with other RVs, haha. :)
Anyway, I really like your leveling block idea there, with the 4x6 lumber sandwiched between 3/4" plywood pieces. Seems like that ought to make the RV sit real solid. As you and I have said and agreed on before, the less the jacks have to extend, the more solid it will feel.
I'm curious, though, those blocks look pretty new. How long have you had them, and how many times have you used them? Is this something you just built that haven't had the chance to try out yet, or have you used them a season or two with success?
I may just have to build me a set like those, and quit using the pieces of 2x10 lumber under the jacks..
'GoPackGo' is exactly right, on all accounts. The lane guidance many GPS units gives you, is very useful. Its really nice when traveling in unknown areas, to know exactly what lane you need to be in to take any exits, turns, etc. that you need to. So is the fact that if you miss a turn, it will automatically re-calculate, and guide you on a different route.
You want it close to you and directly in front, for the reasons I and others already alluded to - You want to be able to look at it, get information from it, without taking your eye off the road. That is also why IMO the larger a screen you have, the better (I prefer at least 7"). You also need it in easy reaching distance, 'cause occasionally you may want to touch a button or two on it, to zoom in the screen, bring up traffic updates, etc.
One other thing thats absolutely priceless, that our Garmin 760LMT (and I'm sure many others) have: Traffic alert/updates. It shows you traffic conditions, color-coded on the roads, to warn you of heavy traffic ahead. If traffic is bad enough, it will recommend an alternate route to avoid it, and will tell you how much time it thinks the re-rout will save. I use this everyday driving to work and back, and this alone makes the GPS worth every penny, IMO. More than once, it has alerted me to traffic conditions that made me take an alternate route and avoid a ton of traffic.
I also, used to strictly use maps.google, mapquest, etc. and print out, maps from such and use that. I still do that, actually, and as a general rule decide the route, roads I'm going to take on a trip beforehand based on research with maps.google and maps I print out from such. However, the GPS still is a great tool for what it provides when on the road, that you can't get very easily from maps.google or mapquest.
We recently got a GPS and went through this as well. Here is a thread I started, discussing the same subject.
Mounting to the windshield with a suction cup, I never liked; Like already said, they will not stay, and the other big problem is, that puts the GPS unit waaay too far forward in the Motorhome, completely out of reach. Some talk about mounting it on the side window, but that puts it too far out of eye sight going down the road; you need it in the center, up high where you can look at it without taking your eyes too far off the road. That rules out mounting it near a cup holder, too, as previously mentioned.
I also did not want any kind of mount that left anything permanent on the dashboard. Doing such makes you a much bigger target for a thief. They see the GPS mount on the dash, even if no GPS unit is on it, they know that the GPS unit is probably somewhere in the vehicle, and will break in just to get it. Seen that happen more than once.
Sooo, the above reasons pretty well meant that for us, the bean bag mount was the answer. I ended up going with THIS one, and it works great. Very happy with it, works exactly as it should and as I'd hoped. Really like that I can pick up entire thing, mount and all, and use it in all our vehicles, or can hide it in the trunk or wherever, so there's no way to know there is a GPS unit in the car.
The Garmin bean bag mount mentioned earlier is OK, but has one problem: They have bean bags all around them, so you have to set it a little further forward on the dashboard than I'd prefer. The one I have, the bean bags are in a 'horseshoe' shape, with none in the front, so it can go right up against front edge of dashboard. You need it close enough you can reach it easily.
..Regardless of length, you want to keep at least two hoses. That way when (not if) you have one spring a leak, you can quickly grab your other hose and use it if need be. Nothing worse than everyone being ready to leave and waiting on you to drain the tanks, and you have to go find, buy a sewer hose on the fly.
As to length: I agree, that its good to have both a 20' and a 10' hose (or two 20' hoses would be even better). You'll find that most places you go just one of the two will be enough, but ever so often, you run into the sites where they have the sewer connection in a place where 20' is not going to be enough. You don't want sewer hose limitations to dictate how, where you park your rig on a site. Nor do you want to have to move your rig just to empty the tanks.
..You didn't ask this, but I'm going to give you this advice, also, as to the type of hose to get: You never know, when a hose may spring a leak and you will find yourself having to find, buy a hose in an area you're not familar with. That being the case, its best to go with the standard, common hoses with standard bayonet-style connections that can be bought just about anywhere.
All those "fancy-shmancy" hoses that can be run over, survive a hurricane, and have cool little connectors are all fine and dandy when they work, but ALL hoses will eventually leak. Finding a replacement or fittings for one of those fancy hoses somewhere out in the boonies can be difficult.
Feel free to add whatever I missed
You missed saying you do not know much about 5ers and like to make broad generalizations that are not true in detail.
You almost got one right. The one advantage to a class A is your passengers can use the bathroom without pulling over. Although it is not true for the driver and illegal in the US.
However, I am happy with you believing what every makes you happy.
...And you missed saying you do not know much about the laws, and what is illegal and what is not with regards to passengers getting up to use the bathroom in a Motorhome without pulling over.
The 'myth' about it being illegal for passengers to get up and move around in a Motorhome, has been debunked and shown to be baloney time and time again here and on other forums. Still, some people still insist on bringing up and propagating that myth.
Thats OK, though, like you, I am happy with you believing what ever makes you happy. :)
..While I won't disagree that you'll probably end up with a better bike from a bike shop, I wouldn't discount totally the ones you can get for much less $$ at 'big box' stores.
You can count me as one that has bought all our bikes from Walmart or Target or other 'big box' stores, and never have gone wrong yet. You just gotta do your research, check them out real good, and know what you're getting. Me and DW still have the Schwinn bikes we bought from Walmart over 10 years ago, and they both still ride great. They go with us on every camping trip, always have as long as we've had them.
Have bought numerous bikes for the kids as well this way. With kid's bikes, you absolutely HAVE to get them cheap, 'cause they seem to outgrow and require a new one every few years, haha.
Yes, first thing we had to do was replace the seats on our (adult) bikes for more comfortable seats. That was done for less than $20 each bike, though. Even with that and other various things I've upgraded, fixed over the years on these bikes, we are STILL waaaay ahead $$ wise from what we would have spent for a bike from a bike shop.
You may also find that specialty bike shops are getting harder and harder to find. I've seen several of 'em pop up, and go out of business around here over the years. Its very hard for them to compete long term, with the big box stores and online retailers, I think.
I just bought my first motorhome. It's a class a. The guy I bought it from said he kept "killing the house batteries". He gave me a brand new set. But I want to avoid doing the same. I'll near power most of the time, so should I just have it plugged in all the time? Do I just charge it when they are dead or before going ona trip? Charge them whenever they are halfway dead? Nightly? Something else? These are sealed deep cells.
Tell us what kind of motorhome it is and the type of battery charger, etc. Is it a diesel or gas?
What is being asked is: What type of "CONVERTER" do you have? That's the power control center of the coach. What is needed is the make & model number.
Exactly. Need to know what converter is involved here, and if it is one that has some kind of 'smart' charging or not.
Older converters are known to over-charge the batteries when left plugged in to shore power all the time. With a converter like that, you need to keep a very close eye on your batteries water levels, make sure they don't get 'cooked dry' from over-charging. I'm going to bet that may be how, why the previous owner wore out some batteries.
If you find that this is the case (and again, finding out what converter you have is the first step), then I would consider replacing the converter with a newer one that has 'smart' charging. Then, you can just leave the MH plugged in all the time and the battery charge will be maintained properly for you without you having to worry so much about it. You still need to keep an eye on the battery water levels, but you will not be adding water to them anywhere near as often.
A good example of converters that have this smart charging that I would highly recommend, would be Progressive Dynamics 9200 series converters.
I have just visited at the Roadmaster website and have noted the parts/kits I will need. Don't see any prices or odering information, so I'm assuming you order from a dealer. Who has provided the best prices? Thanks.
I recommend Hitchsource. Very reasonable prices, always great to work with, free shipping, and they have just about everything you need to set this up (base plates, tow bars, light kits, braking systems, you name it).
I put base plates for 4 down towing on both of our two vehicles - a Kia Sedona minivan and a Ford Fusion hybrid. In both cases, I was way too 'chicken' and lazy to do the install myself, I had the base plates professionally installed.
Fully aware of the weight, nightly used to haul 3 full 55g drums around ranch to water seedlings. No thought about using what muscle I have to drag it around, tow with pickup only. The (city) campgrounds we repeatedly go to have water & electric, but only a community dump station. Looking for easier way to dump than drag the 5er up every other day.
Not trying to be rude, crude, and harsh, but IMO if you have to dump the tanks every other day you and your family need to learn how to conserve water!
What would you do if you went camping in one of the Forest Service campgrounds or state parks that has no water hookups and no dump station, and the nearest dump station is anywhere from 10 to 40 miles away?
Bwaha! Easy to say if you're not camping with six teens & tweens. If we didn't run the kids thru the shower daily the trailer would smell worse than a pig barn!
We like our comforts and at minimum insist on at-site electricity and running water. The trailer's fully capable of dry camping but that's not something we care to do.
I was thinking the exact same thing. No way would my gang (especially the women!) EVER want to do without at least water and electricity hookup at the site, as well as taking a shower in the camper every day. And, with 4 people taking a shower at least once a day, yes, I'm hauling off grey water at least every other day if we don't have a sewer hookup. Thats just how it is for us.
We use a 25 gallon Barker 4 wheel tote tank, when camping at places we know we won't have a sewer hookup at our site. I did the pneumatic wheel upgrade on it many years ago as well. I do sometimes wish we had the larger tank, as I can only empty out about 70% or so of our grey tank at once. However, any bigger and we couldn't stow it quite as easily as we can now, so the 25 gallon tote will have to do.
Like already said, any bigger than 42 gallons (the biggest Barker makes), and you'd have a mess of a time moving that much weight around. Even if it was 4 wheels, just moving that much weight from your sewer outlet over to your vehicle to tow it, and maneuvering it into position at a dump station would NOT be fun with anything over 42 gallons.
Yep, if you need to carry off more than 42 gallons at a time, its time to get a collapsible tank you put in your pickup bed, and use a pump to fill it.
air the tire up, remove the extension, reinstall the extension to check pressure or check without extension in a week. still have loss, not the extension. Check original valve core or replace, repeat. I had loss around the threads on my extension, dab of silicone on the threads cured the problem.
I'm not using extensions, I'm using Borg dually complete valve stem replacements. And, I think we've pretty well ruled them out with this (see my previous post).
If you think it IS from a valve leak, you might try an old farm boy trick we used to use years ago. Take the valve stem out, put a light coating of Vaseline on it and re-insert. Saved a lot of foul language after we discovered that you can over tighten if you keep twisting.
Its not a valve leak (see my last post).
One more update, and finally closure:
Well, turns out we were not done with this tire. After my last posting, I continued to watch the tire, and unfortunately, it continued to leak air. It actually seemed to get worse - got to where it was losing 'bout 4 or 5 psi a day, since last posting.
Since I had the Motorhome at the Ford dealer this last week, anyway, to have them take care of a warranty issue with the AC compressor, I told them to have a look at the tire, see what they could find. I should have gone there from the get-go! This Ford dealer is a large one, the only one around here that can handle big rigs like this (Crossroads Ford in Shelby, NC). They seemed to have quite a bit of expertise in dealing with tires like this.
Anyway, they indeed found a leak - a 1/4" long cut from some kind of road debris (have no idea what). Was unnoticeable until they put the tire in a submersion pool they have, and even then, had to watch very closely, as a bubble would only come up every now and then. That is why the other place never found it.
Here's the really unfortunate part - The cut is right up against the sidewall, they cannot repair or patch it. Arrrgh! :(
Sooo, today, with several hundred $$ less in the bank account, the MH is finally back home, ready to hit the road, with a new inner dual tire that FINALLY does not leak. Also has a new AC compressor (dash AC), as old one was leaking oil (fortunately that part, Ford picked up the tab under warranty).
I kept the old tire (its in the garage). They marked very clearly where the cut is. I took a picture of it, too, that I think I'm going to try and post here later. If I can find someone willing to patch/repair it, I just might keep it as a spare. If not, the Ford dealer agreed to take it back and dispose of it properly for us.
Really, really hate to have to shell out this much $$ to replace a tire that was barely 3 years old, but at least now we know this problem is solved, and we can focus on more fun things, like getting back on the road, camping. :)
Anyway, sorry to dredge this topic back up, but I wanted to let everyone know what the true, final result from this was.
We use magnetic lights, but use them somewhat differently than most - I set them up INSIDE the towed vehicle, on the rear shelf right up against the rear window. Ran the wires for them down to the trunk, them from there up to the 6-round plug at front of the vehicle.
They pretty much stay there all the time. They sit right behind the rear headrests, completely out of the way and don't block your rear view, so no real need to ever take them out. They stick in place, using pieces of velcro I attached to bottom of the lights.
This is kind of the best of both worlds, for us - Permanent installation, nothing to have to put on or take off with the lights. Just plug up the 'umbilical' cord and they work. But, without having to tap into the vehicle's tail-lights at all. Very inexpensive, too, since magnetic light set can be picked up for just $20 or so, and can be used on your next vehicle when/if you ever trade.
Nice choice, BTW, on the Ford Flex. We seriously considered going that route, and may well replace the minivan one day with a Flex. The Flex is one of only a few (newer) vehicles I've seen that is flat towable from the factory and provides 3 rows of seating.
I have 9.5 years using the M&G system with a break away device. I've never had any problems what-so-ever. As mentioned above; the M&G is virtually invisible and requires only a hookup of an air line.
Yes, if you have a DP Motorhome with full air brakes, and $$ is no object, a system like M&G or Air Force One is 'bout as good as it gets.
For the rest of us, where $$ IS an object and/or you don't have a DP with air brakes, systems like the Readybrake are much, much more cost effective.
Other thing about the M&G system in particular that one has to keep in mind: Due to where, how it has to mount on the master brake cylinder, it is NOT compatible, usable on many vehicles, especially newer vehicles where things can be a bit 'crowded' under the hood.
....you guys are missing my question. The Remco Lube pump requires battery draw...
The Remco lube pump does not draw any power from the towed vehicle's battery. The lube pump is wired, through an umbilical cord, to your Motorhome. Thats what it is powered from. The Remco pump comes with a control, monitor panel that you wire, install on the MH dashboard. Sooo, you do not need to worry about battery draw, with regards to the lube pump.
Now, as to whether or not battery draw is an issue when the ignition is left on with your Sienna when towing, that, is a whole 'nother question, that someone that knows the Sienna better will have to answer. Or, you can find out the way I did - Put the van in neutral, key in ACC or whatever position it will need to be in when towing, then put a clip-on ammeter on one of your battery lines, see if there is any battery draw. With our Ford Fusion hybrid, there was enough battery draw that I had to run a charge line from MH to the car, to eliminate that problem. Very easy thing to add if necessary.
I used to use a Remco lube pump to tow our Kia minivan, I know the Remco lube pump system well. As long as it is installed and set up properly, its a good system and works very well. Most of the issues we had with it related to electrical issues, that resulted from improper installation. Make sure the installation is done right, I think you'll be happy with it.
Obviously its best to use a vehicle that you can flat tow without having to add something like this pump, but a Remco pump is a lot cheaper than a new vehicle, and will buy you many years of use until you are ready to trade to a vehicle that can be flat towed without such. Thats what it did for us.
...All of this talk about how bad we hate flying, definitely shows some good reasons to own an RV. No argument there.
However, I'm not seeing how it makes or breaks the case necessarily, for owning a Motorhome over any other type of RV, like the subject of this thread suggests?
Everything bad discussed here about flying commercial, could be completely avoided by traveling in almost any kind of RV. It doesn't necessarily have to be a motorized RV. A TT, 5th wheel, or even a truck camper could accomplish the same thing (and would be much more cost effective in some cases).
It doesn't have to be fixed becaus it's not broken.
The section of the computer that controls the shifting of the transmission, knows what it's doing.....
Ford's torqueshift transmission, and computers that control it and the engine know what they are doing and they do it well. No need to fix something that is working exactly as designed, and working very well. Ford electronics will not let you over-rev and damage the V10 engine, its pretty well a bullet-proof drivetrain.
My recommendation: Don't use the cruise control in the first place, especially not when towing a car. I quit using cruise control when driving RVs a looong time ago, back when we first started with various towable RVs. When an engine is working this hard, moving this much weight, cruise control is not a good idea in most cases, IMO. Much better to work the throttle yourself, that way you can anticipate various hills and give it some 'go' before getting to the hills. Keeps you more alert, too, as you need to be when driving something this big.
..Noticed last few times I had been under the MH doing various maintenance tasks, that there seemed to be some kind of oil on the AC compressor (dash air) on the front of the engine, near the bottom of it.
Anyway, since the Ford 'bumper-to-bumper' warranty on the chassis was getting ready to end in a few weeks, yesterday I took it to the Ford dealer. Had them do regular service (oil change, chassis lube, 21 point inspection, etc), and check out the AC compressor.
Well, lo and behold, they find that indeed the compressor is leaking oil, and needs to be replaced. They had to order the new compressor, it will be here in a few days. I'll bringing the MH back next week for them to install it.
Best part: The entire repair bill ($1300 total), will be on Ford's dime, not mine! Had I waited just a few more weeks, the warranty would have ended, and I would have got to pay for that one. Woohooo, for ONCE, a warranty works out in MY favor, haha! Score one for the little guy. :)
Anyway, guess the only point I have here is: Anyone with a Class A MH built on a later model Ford F53 chassis, you might wanna crawl under and have a look at the AC compressor on the front of your V10, check for any oil leakage. Preferably, before your warranty ends if it hasn't already. I am very, very glad I got this taken care of while it is still under warranty. Warranties normally don't work out this way for us, haha.