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 > Your search for posts made by 'willald' found 298 matches.

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GPS stand/mount question

I'm considering getting a GPS system to use in our MH. Never have used one before, have always relied on simpler methods (paper maps, seat-of-the-pants, maps.google, mapquest, etc). However, with some trips we are planning for next year, I'm starting to see where a GPS would be very handy. I've got a pretty good idea what system we're going to get, no need to debate/hash that subject. My main question relates to what kind of stand/mount to use: How can one put together a mount, stand for a GPS unit, that can easily and quickly be removed and hidden along with the GPS unit itself? As to why I want a stand that can easily be removed from the dashboard, and 'hidden': A GPS stand permanently mounted somewhere on the dashboard or windshield makes you a HUUUGE target for thieves. Any time a GPS stand is mounted up on the dash, its a pretty good indication that somewhere in the vehicle, there is a GPS unit in there also, which is something thieves LOVE to get their hands on and turn over quickly for cash. Seen it happen many times, where thieves look for and specifically hit vehicles that have a GPS stand mounted on the dash, as they know that means an expensive GPS unit is probably there in the vehicle for the taking. Don't want to do anything to invite a thief, if I can avoid it. Not interested in anything that has to be permanently mounted inside the dashboard. Need a 'portable' unit I can take out and use in either the MH, or our other vehicles. The stand needs to be on the dash, somewhere (I think), 'cause mounting to MH's windshield would put it out of reach and too difficult to see, get to. Most GPS stands I've seen that mount to the dash, do so pretty permanently, not in a way they could be removed very easily. Sooo, anyway, has anyone seen, put together, or have ideas for a GPS stand/mount that would fit this bill?
willald 10/22/14 02:34pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Might trade in Brake Buddy

For those who have multiple toads the RVI2 is an excellent choice. You are able to monitor and tweek from the coach via great feedback and you can purchase tire sensors to monitor your toad. My understanding is that the inventor of Brake Buddy is the brains behind the RVI2. It is very small and easy to handle and setup. I go between a 2012 Equinox and a 2014 Wrangler. Yes, the RVi's small size makes it a bit easier to take in and out, easier than something like Brake Buddy. I considered it, like its small size. However, I still prefer a system like Readybrake, where there is NOTHING to ever put in or take out when hitching up or unhitching. Readybrake is really good with multiple toads, also, as for just $60 you can purchase another cable to install in a 2nd vehicle. Once you get the cable lengths adjusted correctly on both (or however many) towed vehicles you have, then you dont have to adjust or tweak ANYTHING when going between towing multiple towed vehicles. Just hook whichever vehicle up and go, and brakes work fine. Nothing to ever have to put in or take out, ever. Will
willald 10/22/14 02:06pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Might trade in Brake Buddy

Daveinet: I've almost always agreed with everything you've said in various posts, and definitely respect your experience with this subject as well as many others. However, strictly in terms of what is and is not 'proportional', I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you here. A truly proportional system is just that - Braking system in towed vehicle and towing vehicle are physically linked together so that braking in one will always physically force the brakes in the other to engage a similar (proportional) amount. Systems that sense deceleration to engage towed vehicle brakes do NOT fit this bill and are not truly proportional (Brake Buddy, Blue Ox Patriot, RViBrake, Unified tow brake, SMI duo and many, many others). Reason being, there are some scenarios (for example, slick roads) where engaging brakes on the towing vehicle may not necessarily engage the towed vehicle brakes at all. The brake systems are not technically linked together between the two. Surge type systems like the Readybrake also do not fit the bill as truly proportional, as here again, there are some scenarios where engaging brakes on the towing vehicle may not necessarily engage the towed vehicle brakes. Like for example, in very, very gentle light braking, where not enough 'push' is felt by the Readybrake actuator to engage towed vehicle brakes at all. Granted, these systems can be set up so they seem to work proportionally most of the time, and many of them (especially Readybrake) work great. However, in the true, pure sense of what proportional braking is...These systems are NOT proportional. Like Bumpy implied, don't drink that 'koolaid', as it has fake, artifical flavoring, haha. :) All that said...I *DO* still agree with you, Dave, that all things considered ($$, maintenance, simplicity, performance, etc), the Readybrake is about as good as it gets (and only system I'll own). That is, unless you own a DP that has full air brakes, money is no object and you don't mind spending a small fortune to put in a system like M&G or Air Force One. Will
willald 10/22/14 12:57pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Might trade in Brake Buddy

Or you can just throw the thing away and get a proportional system that is going to work much better for about 450 bucks. That is the cost of the basic Ready Brake. back to the proportional Kool Aid. bumpy:h Bump is referring to the fact that the word 'proportional' is abused a lot by various supplemental brake manufacturers, and folks tend to drink that proportional 'kool aid' right up. Truth is, by the true definition of 'proportional', almost NONE of the toad braking systems out there truly are proportional. Only ones that are would be ones that work directly off the coach's air brakes. The M&G system and Air Force One are the only two I know of that fit this bill. Nice systems, but very expensive, and require you to have a MH that has full air brakes (obscenely expensive, haha). Anyway, getting back to what what Daveinet originally said about Readybrake: Minus the 'proportional' word, I agree 110% with him. Readybrake IMO is sooo much better a solution than any of the 'brake in a box' systems.
willald 10/22/14 11:03am Class A Motorhomes
RE: 2015 CRV and Towing

I bought one of the last of the 2014 models last month. If you check around, you should be able to find some still on the dealer lots. Good catch on your part, read on here someone bought a new Jeep Cherokee with wrong transmission and it would not tow 4 down. They were up a creek. Thanks. There have been rumors printed in various car magazines that the 2015 was going to have a CVT, and currently no car with a CVT is flat towable. Hubby and I decided to get a 2014 while the selection was good. ..Minor correction, but: The Ford Cmax and Fusion hybrids have a CVT transmission, and they are flat towable, with full factory support (although they are probably about the ONLY CVT transmission vehicles that can be flat towed, haha). Thats what we have (a 2013 Fusion Hybrid), and we are very happy with it. Will
willald 10/20/14 12:43pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Whoo oooh My storage place now has el hookups!!

'Beemerphile' hit the nail on the head - If your converter has 'smart' charging, then you can and should leave it hooked up to power all the time. It will keep your batteries charged, without over-charging or 'cooking' them. If your converter does not have such...Well, if it was me, that'd be the next thing on the 'upgrade' list for the RV, hehe. :) Even if your converter has smart charging and you chose to leave it hooked up, I'd still check the batteries maybe once a month, make sure the water levels look OK, and add more as needed. A 'smart' charging system should prevent the batteries from having all their water 'cooked' out, but I'd still keep an eye on water levels to be sure. I have always kept our RVs parked at our house, and plugged up to AC power year-round (I installed a 30 amp outlet at house for this very reason). Keeps batteries fresh and ready to go, without having to do much with them except checking the water levels every so often.
willald 10/20/14 07:30am General RVing Issues
RE: 2015 CRV and Towing

Yeah, there was a thread about this recently. 'Tis a crying shame that the CRV, a very popular choice among MH owners wanting to flat tow, is no longer able to be towed that way. Like you said, the choices of vehicles that can be flat towed without major modification is getting smaller and smaller. If you really like the CRVs, you might want to look for a lightly used CRV model that can be flat towed?
willald 10/20/14 07:24am Dinghy Towing
RE: Towing a Ford Focus

travelzoo's response sums it up well. Yes, the Focus can be flat towed, but you HAVE to disconnect the battery. Not doing so can result in major transmission damage. IIRC, the cases of transmission failures noted on here in the past, were from folks that didn't disconnect the battery properly. This was actually one of the main reasons we chose NOT to get the Ford Focus, and went with the Ford Fusion hybrid. I did not want to have to fool with disconnecting and re-connecting the battery, and having to reset things in the car every time after towing. With the Fusion hybrid, you don't have to do any of that. You just hitch it up, put it in neutral and go. Thats the way I like it. :)
willald 10/20/14 07:18am Dinghy Towing
RE: Are Most Class A Motorhome Owners Hermits?

Nomad, I've wondered the same thing. Generally speaking, it does seem that a larger percentage of Class A owners spend more time inside. Its a general, basic rule: The more comfortable and spacious an RV is inside, the more people will tend to spend their time inside it. OTOH, when an RV is cramped inside, naturally people will be outside more. That, and yes, with Class As, you get a larger percentage of folks that are full-timers, which means the MH is basically their home. They are living in it, not really camping. Entirely different story in that case. As for us: We also have camped in nearly everything: Tents, popup, travel trailer, and now a class A MH. Me and the kids have always been 'outside' folks, and we try to spend as much time as possible doing things outside. That hasn't ever really changed much with us. DW is more of an 'inside' person, and spends more time inside. That, too, hasn't really changed much as we've moved from one rig type to another. However, I *do* like with the Class A (and the 34' TT we had before), having enough space, comfort, etc. inside, that I can be comfortable inside as well as outside. Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate and let you be outside all the time. Like already been said time and time again, to each their own. :)
willald 10/20/14 07:12am Class A Motorhomes
RE: A toyota sienna toad

out of curiosity, what kind of mileage, or more correct, how much fuel will a vehicle burn while idling. My boss left his car idling in the work basement garage for an 8 hour shift and it was still purring when we got off work. Obviously it'd depend a lot on the engine involved, but probably not much at all. Especially compared to how much the MH is burning up. :) is the vehicle dying the only real issue here? ..That, and more importantly, the fact that you have an engine running back there without being able to see any of the gauges (dashboard) for it. If it developed an overheating condition or other issues, you wouldn't know until it was too late and major damage was done. how could something be rigged to let you know up front it is still running? I actually considered doing this at one time, Bumpy. My solution I was considering, was to get a good quality wireless camera/monitor (maybe something like the Swift Hitch), and somehow attach the camera so that it would show the dashboard of the toad (thought about strapping it to the driver seat headrest and aiming it forward?) Then, have the camera monitor up front in the MH, where I could see it. That way I could keep an eye on the toad's dashboard, and would know if engine shut off, or if any other gauges showed something not right. I know, sounds ridiculous and 'rigged'. However, a wireless camera like that would be a LOT cheaper than a new vehicle or a lube pump, and would have other uses as well. Might be a good temporary solution until one was ready to buy another vehicle. :) Will
willald 10/17/14 12:34pm Dinghy Towing
RE: A toyota sienna toad

....I'd call a toyota dealer and get more info. ..In this case, a Toyota dealer's advice would be almost useless. They are going to say they've never heard of, nor do they endorse use of a lube pump. And, they will say the van can't be towed without a dolly or a flat bed trailer, period. Been there, done that. ..Same thing, with your owner's manual in this case. If Remco indicates that they have a lube pump that will work with the Toyota Sienna minivan, that is probably your only option if you really want to tow the van 4 down. However, the 'warnings' other posts have mentioned about installing a lube pump are definitely something to consider. A lube pump is a pretty expensive modification to make, and you have to decide if thats what you want to do or not. You'll spend upwards of $1k for the lube pump itself, plus several more hundred in labor to get it installed. Is a 9 year old vehicle worth sinking that much into to make it flat towable, or is that $$ better spent in trading that van for a vehicle that can be flat towed from the factory? Only you can decide that. ..Not to mention, as some already implied: A lube pump is yet one more component you have to worry about, one more place for potential problems to occur. Have to decide if its worth it to you, to be able to tow the vehicle you have. One other 'controversial' method I've seen some people do, that you might think about as a temporary solution until you can get a vehicle better suited for flat towing: Leave the engine running/idling in the van, tranny in neutral, when towing it. Using this approach, nearly any FWD automatic tranny vehicle can be flat towed. That approach saves you the cost of a lube pump, but isn't without its downsides, either: Uses up more fuel, will almost certainly log miles on the toad odometer when towing it, and concerns over engine running in toad when you can't monitor it very well. We towed a minivan (a Kia Sedona) for a while, using a lube pump. It worked OK, but ultimately we got to where we just didn't trust the lube pump anymore for various reasons, and got a vehicle that is flat-towable from the factory (Ford Fusion hybrid we tow now). The lube pump solution can work, but like I said, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, like anything else.
willald 10/17/14 09:48am Dinghy Towing

BTW, their batteries are lithium-ion, same thing cell phone batteries are made from. If one is sooo worried about environmental impact of the batteries, maybe they ought not to use cell phones, either, huh? ;) lets see, a cell phone battery, an ounce or so?? a hybrid battery, ??? lbs. apples/oranges. bumpy LOL, hit a little too close to home there, huh, bumpyroad? :) Lets see, how many zillions and zillions of cell phones are out there, since it seems everyone in the free world thinks they must have at least one or two, and they must discard it and get a new one every 6 months or so when a newer model comes out? ..Not to mention the many, many other devices we all use and take for granted every day, that use lithium ion batteries. Some of them using much larger ones, too (like for example, newer commercial aircraft). Perhaps the cell phone analogy isn't an accurate one, but generally speaking, if you're going to argue against a hybrid vehicle because of the large lithium ion battery it has and its environmental impact....Wellll, suffice it to say, using THAT logic there are a LOT of other things you shouldn't use or buy either, besides just cell phones. ;) Will
willald 10/16/14 11:50am Dinghy Towing

Don't mind discussing potential pitfalls on any car suggested, including hybrid batteries, but think it should be a new thread! I was simply offering a toad suggestion, which was the subject of this thread. However, should the OP be concerned, replacing the battery after 4 years would cost us nothing since Ford warranties the battery for EIGHT years! Would still highly recommend the C-Max!!! X2. Ford's new hybrids, both the C-Max and the Fusion hybrid, are very great toad options. IMO its one of the simplest, easiest automatic tranny vehicle to flat tow - No need to disconnect battery or pull fuses when hitching up, no crazy procedures to go through when hitching up, no need to stop every few hours and run engine like so many others require. Just put it in neutral and go, period. As 'Happily Retired' indicated here, Ford warranties ALL hybrid components, including entire transmission, batteries, etc. for EIGHT years or 100,000 miles. Ford also rates their hybrid batteries to last around 150,000 miles. Keep in mind, also, that with a hybrid, it can run on gas engine OR electric power. Even if battery wears out eventually one day, it ain't like your dead on the side of the road - it can still run on gas power as long as necessary (albeit with not quite as good fuel mileage). BTW, their batteries are lithium-ion, same thing cell phone batteries are made from. If one is sooo worried about environmental impact of the batteries, maybe they ought not to use cell phones, either, huh? ;) I had our Fusion hybrid in for routine service last week (oil change, etc.) at the Ford dealer. Got to talking about the Ford hybrids. Service manager told me when Ford first started making hybrids many years ago, his service team was a little nervous about them, how complicated they'd be to work on, etc. Well, even after they've been out and on the road for many years, he says it hasn't ever been an issue, as they NEVER see them in for service, except for routine maintenance. They've NEVER replaced a battery in a hybrid, ever. Bottom line: Of all the reasons to chose a hybrid vehicle or not to, maintenance concerns should NOT enter into that decision. :)
willald 10/16/14 06:40am Dinghy Towing
RE: Manslaughter charges for improper towing equipment.

What has this got to do with RVing. ? I scanned the article and it seemed to be centered about cargo not being secured properly. I answered that question: There are many folks towing 3,000, 4,000 or even heavier cars without aux brake systems.. A car in tow is a trailer, it trails behind the tow vehicle and thus is a trailer. Imagine loosing a hitch pin (i did) and not having an aux brake system (I also had that). and what could happen when the car breaks free? In the incident being described here, there were no safety chains (or they were not used properly), and no break-away system. Thats the real issue here, that caused the results to be so tragic in this case. Had either of these (especially safety chains) been used properly, this incident would probably have had a far different (and much less tragic) outcome. However, John, you're talking about MH owners towing vehicles without using supplemental brakes. Thats a whole different story, unless they aren't using safety cables or a break-away system, either. Given that most tow bars come with the safety cables, I'm betting even folks that don't use a supplemental brake system on their toad, ARE definitely using safety chains at the very least. Really, this incident doesn't prove very much of anything one way or the other, on the many towing issues that get 'debated' so much here (towing overweight, towing without supplemental brakes, etc). I doubt anyone would disagree that safety chains and a break-away system should have been used here. Either of which (especially chains) probably would have prevented this from happening. Towing overweight, and without trailer brakes, I don't believe played much of a part in this accident. Note I said 'trailer brakes', not 'break-away system'. Two different things, one of which (break-away) is IMO much more important. Not using safety chains and a break-away system OTOH, did.
willald 10/14/14 11:23am General RVing Issues
RE: No #2 Rule?

Hahahaha, my brother in law recently ('bout 2 years ago) bought a really nice 5th wheel, and has been camping with us in it ever since (we have a class A MH). He tried from day 1, to lay down the law that nobody could use the shower, nor do a #2 in his RV's bathroom. His wife (who is the primary bread-winner in that family and basically makes the payments on it), pretty much told him where he could put that rule (right up the same place where that #2 comes from, hahahahaha!!). Said she would use ALL the RV's facilities for what they were intended for, and he'd just have to get over himself. He didn't like it, but he knew that was a battle he couldn't win, so he got over it, just for her. Soooo, *SHE* is allowed to use the shower, bathroom in it as she pleases, but nobody else can that stays with them in their RV. Drives his kids and mother in law (when she travels with them) absolutely crazy. :) But, Don, to answer your question: No, we do not, nor have we ever had such a ridiculous rule with ANY of our RVs over the years. We use all the 'facilities' in our camper for what they were intended for. JMO and to each their own, but seems like it kinda defeats the purpose of having an RV if you put restrictions like that on how it is to be used.
willald 10/13/14 03:36pm General RVing Issues
RE: Ford focus vs Ford Fiesta vs Fusion hybrid

Have owned and towed a 2012 Fusion Hybrid for over 2 years now and LOVE it. No battery cables to disconnect or fuses to pull, etc......IMHO the Fusion rides much better as a road car and the fact that it is much easier to get hooked up when needing to tow puts the frosting on the cake for me. Unless you need the lower weight of the Focus, take a good hard look at the Fusion Hybrid. It's an awesome vehicle! (And I did like the Focus.) X2 on the Fusion Hybrid. We chose the Fusion hybrid over the Focus specifically because of how much easier and more simple the Fusion is to flat tow. I did not want to have to mess with disconnecting the battery or any fuses, and have to reset things in the car after towing as a result. Don't have to do any of that with the Fusion, its just hitch it up, put it in neutral and go. Nor do you have to start it up and run it every so often to lube the tranny like so many other vehicles require. No crazy shift patterns or procedures to follow when hitching up or unhitching, either. Like I said, its just put it in neutral and go. Aside from the much better mileage the hybrid Fusion gets as well, having a hybrid Fusion is really cool to have when camping. Its nice to be able to ride through the park or campground totally silent and emission free. Like having a big, comfortable golf cart to ride around in, haha. Only downside to consider: Trunk space is a little limited on the Fusion Hybrid compared to some other vehicles. That large battery back there takes up some of the trunk space. You may want to also consider the Ford C-max hatchback model also. It has exact same drivetrain as the Fusion Hybrid, pretty much the same for flat towing.
willald 10/07/14 07:08pm Dinghy Towing
RE: pet fees?

Soooo, does this mean if a pet fee is charged, I do not have to pick up the poop???Yep. And if enough people follow your lead, soon the pet fee will be gone.....along with the park's policy of allowing pets. ..Thats what Perriwinkle Campground in Sanibel Island, FL does. They have a rule, NO DOGS ALLOWED, period. That rule pretty much eliminates the issue, and makes for a much more quiet, cleaner, and more pleasant experience for campers. :) I just made reservations for there (Perriwinkle), we're going to be down there for a whole week this spring. Really looking forward to a whole week of not having to hear everyone else's dogs barking, or seeing dog poop laying around. Will I truly hope you enjoy dog free. You certainly are paying the price for that privilege. It is your right to enjoy so again I hope you do. Make sure your visit the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge right there on the island. It is outstanding, and you can drive through, if you wish. Don't forget: there is an extra person fee of $5.00 per day at the campground. Every time you leave the island, it will cost you $6.00 to cross the bridge and get back to the campground. ..Camping at Sanibel Island, you are paying the price for being on the island, NOT for not having to deal with dogs (thats just an added benefit, haha). Perriwinkle is only campground on that island, so if you want to camp on that island (and we do), you're going to pay Perriwinkle's price. Period. Doesn't matter whether or not you mind dogs being there, yo're still going to pay it. Yes, I'm aware of Perriwinkle's fee for extra people, and the $6 fee to take the causeway across. Dogs or no dogs, I still would chose the same place. :) Thanks for the tip, about J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. We'll have to check that out. Will
willald 10/07/14 01:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: pet fees?

Lots of reasons for and against CG pet fees, but bottom line is that if you don't agree with paying the fee, then you should not camp there. Yep, when it comes to all the various fees, rules, etc., it all boils down to the same thing like already said: Its their campground, their business, their rules. Whether you agree with them or not, only thing you can do is 'vote' with your $$, and don't stay at places that have rules, fees, etc. that you don't like. Will
willald 10/07/14 11:49am General RVing Issues
RE: pet fees?

Soooo, does this mean if a pet fee is charged, I do not have to pick up the poop???Yep. And if enough people follow your lead, soon the pet fee will be gone.....along with the park's policy of allowing pets. ..Thats what Perriwinkle Campground in Sanibel Island, FL does. They have a rule, NO DOGS ALLOWED, period. That rule pretty much eliminates the issue, and makes for a much more quiet, cleaner, and more pleasant experience for campers. :) I just made reservations for there (Perriwinkle), we're going to be down there for a whole week this spring. Really looking forward to a whole week of not having to hear everyone else's dogs barking, or seeing dog poop laying around. Will
willald 10/07/14 11:41am General RVing Issues
RE: Brake Controller for Toad questions

After using an electronic system (and having it fail repeatedly in the middle of trips), I went to this: http://www.readybrake.com/tow-bars.html Hands down, the best and most inexpensive way of having good toad brake. X2 on the Readybrake. You just cannot beat the Readybrake, IMO. No electronics to foul up, nothing to install and take out every time you tow, fairly simple one-time installation of cable to brake pedal, and to top it all off: It costs significantly less than any other system. Nearly $1000 or more less, if you get their ReadyBrute Elite setup that includes both tow bar and braking system for nearly the same as you'd pay for just a tow bar alone from anyone else. Oh, and Bumpyroad is exactly right, about 'not drinking the koolaid' when it comes to the talk about 'proportional'. By the true definition of 'proportional', truth is very, very few braking systems out there are truly proportional (Unified system, contrary to what they say, is not). Only way to get a true proportional system is if you own a diesel pusher MH with full air brakes, and go with a (very expensive!) braking system like M&G or Air Force One that taps in and works directly off MH's air brakes.
willald 10/06/14 07:20am Dinghy Towing
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