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 > Your search for posts made by 'willald' found 57 matches.

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RE: Ford Fiesta ruined transmission questions

I was never sold on the transmission Ford uses in the Focus and Fiesta, for flat towing. Nor was I keen on the idea of having to disconnect the battery every time you flat tow. That pretty much took the Focus and Fiesta off of our list (even before I read of several stories like this that just confirmed it even more). We ended up going with the Ford Fusion hybrid, and have been very happy with it. Just seemed like a much better choice. No need to disconnect battery or anything, no crazy procedures to go through when hooking up. Just throw it in neutral, hook up and go. Not sure all the details of why, but Ford's hybrid drivetrain they use in the Fusion and CMax hybrids lends itself really, really well to flat towing. After over 4 years of use as my daily driver and flat towing (its a 2013 model), nearly 80,000 miles on the Fusion (and probably another 20k worth of flat towing miles)....Car still runs, drives as good as the day I bought it. Only thing its ever needed is routine maintenance (oil changes, etc), a set of tires after like 60k miles, and a (12 volt) battery.
willald 09/18/17 08:25am Dinghy Towing
RE: Installing a bike carrier

Problem with the dual receiver approach you're talking about for carrying bikes, is if you look closely at the documentation that comes with most hitch-mounted bike racks, most are NOT supported, recommended to be used on the back of an RV like that. I seem to recall only finding one or or two that allow that. That, and the other issue you may run into, is that when the bikes are on there, you may not be able to unhitch and fold up the tow bar. Bikes may get in the way. Not sure if that'd be an issue for you, but it was for us and was main reason we chose against that approach. We frequently like to unhitch the towed vehicle and fold up the tow bar before we get to our campsite. That would be really difficult, if you had to remove all the bikes then, too. Also, as already said, you will probably find that there are times you'd like to carry, bring the bikes on your towed vehicle. Sometimes you will want to bring the bikes places you won't want to take the Motorhome. I highly, highly recommend you look into a roof rack, for your towed vehicle. Sooo much better for the bikes, and is very quick and easy to get the bikes up there and to get them back down. Keeps the bikes completely out of the way, too. We went the route of a hitch-mounted bike rack on the rear of the towed vehicle several years ago. Eventually, just got to where we hated that approach, and recently (several months ago) ditched the hitch mounted rack, bit the bullet and got a roof rack. Soooo much better, and really, really wish I would have gone this route from the get-go. Yes, roof racks are not cheap, but well worth it, and you can get a lot of the parts for them via Craigs List, and save a bunch of $$ that way.
willald 08/15/17 11:10am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

How much did the repair cost, if you don't mind me asking? Always afraid to answer this, as I know where the discussion can go when $$ gets mentioned. Anyway, was not cheap. However, it was what we agreed to, and about the same as what other places had estimated - $600. This is about what I expected. I know some are going to say, as always when $$ discussion comes up, that I paid too much, this should've been cheaper. Way I look at it, at least I know it was fixed right, by someone that knows just what they are doing and did exact same repair, same way to their Motorhome. That's worth a few $$. And, when you think about some of the horrible disasters that could've happened if this wasn't addressed.... Suddenly $600 seems very, very cheap. Will
willald 08/09/17 10:03am Class A Motorhomes
RE: To Tote a Tote or not to Tote

We have a 25 gallon Barker (4 wheel) tote tank. Have had it for a very long time, about 10 years. Its worked really good for us over the years. Really like the 4 wheel kind, that you tow to the dump station. Makes it very easy to use when you only have to 'pull' it, not lift it when full. Wouldnt want to lift one end of that thing up when its full! Yes, we use ours pretty regularly, as there are a few places we camp regularly that don't have sewer hookups, but have a dump station close by. And, we can fill up the grey tank in just 1 or 2 days of camping (showers fill it up quickly). We probably use it 2 or 3 times a year. Yes, the wheels the Barker tanks (used to) come with, are pitiful. I did the upgrade to the wheels/axles, replace all 4 wheels with real, air-inflated tires/wheels. That was a HUGE improvement. Not long after I and a few others on here did that (wheel upgrade) and talked on here about how we did it, Barker announced their new models that had those wheels/tires from the factory. And, they did it almost exactly how we had. Haha, don't tell me manufacturers don't read these forums and learn from us how to improve their products. :) Only real issue I've had with it over the years, is a small crack in the case right where the dump valve is. I've sealed it a few times with JB weld, but it keeps re-springing that leak every so often. Its only a drip, and we only ever use it for grey water, so I've chosen to pretty much live with it. As some have already said, you definitely have to think about the places you'll camp, how you'll camp, etc., before buying one of these. For a lot of people, they wouldnt be very useful. I like the idea some talk about, about putting the tank up on a pickup bed or something and pumping the water into it. That'd make it even easier to use. Need to think about storage, too, as these things can get huge depending on what size you get. The 25 gallon tank we have, just barely fits in the trunk of our towed vehicle we bring (Ford Fusion). Any bigger, and we'd have an issue. Thats part of why we went with 25 gallon. On both the last RV we had (TT) and the present one (Motorhome), the 25 gallon tank just fit where we wanted it, and going any bigger would force me to store it somewhere else where I didn't want to put it.
willald 08/08/17 09:19am General RVing Issues
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Backed into a steel pillar? no matter, fix it, use grade 8 bolts, torqued properly and use Locktite. HUH? I'm having a hard time following that one, also. I *think*, Passin Thru is suggesting this damage was caused by backing into something really solid, and that the hitch receiver took the full brunt of the impact of backing into something solid. Would be just about impossible to do that without other parts of the back end hitting and being damaged much worse (fiberglass end cap, bumper, etc.) I would've known if that happened, haha. :) Will
willald 08/07/17 07:48am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

interesting ;;looks good ;; If I was doing it I would have ran a 3 inch strap down from top to bottom on the inside at the end of the frame rail area also Yes, there's several different ways to fix this, and probably several ways more could be added to make it even stronger. Way I look at it, though: The way he did it, is same as what he did on his motorhome, and he tows much more weight than I ever plan to. And he has done so for years without any issues. Soooo, I'm happy with how this was fixed. :) Will
willald 08/06/17 02:18pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Update: Well, Friday morning I dropped the Motorhome off at Holbert trailers, they set to work on it. Basically, removed the receiver, straightened out the frame, then welded on a very substantial 'sleeve', about 2 feet long, to the end of each frame rail. Then, of course, put the receiver back on with new, much more stout bolts. It looks VERY solid, the metal sleeves are a thicker steel, substantially thicker, than even the original frame rails. I took some pictures; They don't show very well how thick, solid this is, but here goes: Looking from the outside of each frame rail: http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss154/willald/RV%20stuff/Georgetown%20351DS/9B24AE60-111E-4DB3-9F57-691F7832FCA3_zpsvbawfd4o.jpg http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss154/willald/RV%20stuff/Georgetown%20351DS/D4202440-C672-4B9D-8038-007CFA768396_zpsed78tqlm.jpg ..From inside: http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss154/willald/RV%20stuff/Georgetown%20351DS/1622D591-BBF1-41B2-9A72-53A8E1E5B94A_zpsi2p3jkyh.jpg http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss154/willald/RV%20stuff/Georgetown%20351DS/515646E5-A81D-47A4-8973-9EA82EBEFE81_zpshokfs7bq.jpg I was a little nervous about the wiring back there, as I know I had kind of a mess back there. I had once wired up a 6 round plug that we used with the van that had the Remco lube pump. Then later, wired in a 2nd 6 round plug for the Fusion. They had to take the receiver off, and take all that wiring loose, and re-do all of it. Not only did they put it all back exactly as it was (already verified that wiring works perfectly with the toad), but they actually cleaned it up, made it look much better than I had it! He (Raleigh Jr, the owner) showed me pictures of his Motorhome, and the quads he pulls on a flat trailer behind it (he is into hard core off-roading from what I can tell, cool stuff). He fixed this same issue with his Motorhome the same way he did mine, and he pulls stuff MUUCH heavier than I do. I believe him, when he says I'll never have a problem with this, ever again. :) Anyway, I am very happy, impressed with the work they did. Very professional, friendly, family run business, and they did a great job, and I highly recommend them (Holbert Trailers to anyone in the Charlotte, NC area that needs any work like this done. Was not cheap, but well worth it, to have the work done by someone that clearly knew exactly what they were doing and had considerable experience at it. Now, next thing I'm going to do, is contact Forest River like discussed earlier, point them to this thread, so at least they know about this issue. Like said before, if my somewhat convervative use of the trailer hitch caused this, I bet there are LOT of Motorhomes out there with twisted frames in the back, that owners may or may not know about. Thanks again to all, for your comments, suggestions on this. :)
willald 08/06/17 12:47pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

I bet the frame was already bent when the Motorhome was made how long do you have it and And was it like this before or is this the first time you were looking under it No, I remember looking under it a lot when we first bought it, checking it out. I would've noticed that. Was also under it back there a lot when was wiring the connector for towing the car. If it was like that from the beginning, I would've known. Anyway, I haven't had time to upload photos and post yet, but this is fixed. Holbert trailers did a great job of fixing this Friday, by welding on a 'sleeve' over the last 2 feet or so of the frame. Very stout 'sleeve', too, it looks to be made of steel almost twice as thick as the frame itself! Will post pictures and talk more about this later, when have some time (very busy weekend..) Will
willald 08/06/17 05:16am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Update: Well, looks like this is getting fixed tomorrow (Friday). Met with Raleigh, from Holbert Trailers. Really, really impressed with this group. Family owned operation, been in business for 30 years, nothing but glowing reviews from everyone thats ever dealt with them. Talked with the guy about it for a good hour or two, sent him the photos, etc. He knows this problem very well - He owns a Class A Motorhome himself, had same issue and had to fix it on his. Has been doing welding, truck frame repairs on big rigs for a looooong time, very obviously knows what he is doing. Even offered to come pick up the Motorhome from our house, take it to his shop, and return it after repairs were done, for no extra charge (although we ain't going to let him do that, I got too many trust issues to allow that, haha). Anyway, he is basically going to take off the receiver/hitch, straighten out the C channel, weld in a piece to basically box in the frame for last few feet and make it muuuuch stronger, then bolt the eceiver back on. He guaranteed we will never, ever have this problem again after he finishes with it. I've decided to go with Holbert Trailers, due to fact they are considerably closer to us, and because he has done this exact repair on his own Motorhome, he knows Motorhomes. That alone makes me feel much better about him doing this work. The looooong standing reputation they have for quality work in the community and being a great, family run operation, went a long way, too. Sooo, tomorrow, I bringing it to him early in the morning, and he promises to have it done by the end of the day. Am really glad to be getting this taken care of, and doing so before we tow anything again. We have two more trips planned for this 'season', and glad they'll both be with this frame issue fixed. :) On another note: Thinking back some, I think we know how this happened, and it may well have had nothing to do with scraping when backing in the driveway. Some time ago, we were coming home from Myrtle Beach, There is one particular bump/hump on route 151 in McBee, SC, that I had forgot about, and hit the wrong way. I had slowed down drastically for it, but apparently not enough. That hump shook and rocked the Motorhome soooo HARD, felt like entire MH almost got airborn. Came down and bottomed out soo hard, Angie (DW) swore it felt like entire coach had hit the ground. Jerked and snapped the toad around sooo bad, the 4 bikes we were carrying on the back of toad on a hitch mounted bike rack, jerked so hard it warped and bent up the trunk (bike rack had straps attached to lip of trunk). Ended up having to have the trunk lid replaced (fortunately insurance covered that one). As a result of that incident, we now carry bikes on a roof rack on top of the toad. Would not surprise me at all if that massive bump/jolt, jerked the toad, hitch receiver soo hard, it caused the (weak, poorly designed) frame rail to bend, twist where the hitch receiver attaches to it. Anyway, will try and post some pictures of this after the repairs are done tomorrow, so everyone will know how this one ends. Thanks for all the responses, suggestions, etc. :) Will
willald 08/03/17 08:53am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

I was thinking of one way I may have contributed to this: I use a 4" drop receiver, to get the tow bar close to level with the toad. Every time we come back from any trips, when I back the Motorhome up the driveway, due to the incline of the driveway and that drop receiver, the bottom of the receiver does scrape a little back there. The scraping seems very minor, but scraping when going in reverse would indeed push down on the receiver, or to say it more correctly: It would put torque on the receiver consistent with direction the frame has twisted. Even though its been very light scrapes, maybe that's been enough over time to cause this. That is only thing I can think of that I've done, that could have caused or contributed to this. Maybe you missed my previous question? Just curious, you say you use a 4" drop receiver that slightly scrapes when you back into the driveway. Are you referring to the ball mount that slides into the motorhome hitch? If so can't you simply remove it when you unhitch the toad, before you back in? If you mean the entire motorhome hitch is lowered by 4', then please ignore and forgive my ignorance. Nope, didn't miss it. You said to ignore it and forgive your ignorance if entire motorhome hitch is dropped (not a ball hitch). And, that is the case, so I was doing what you asked, and ignoring your question. :) Will
willald 08/01/17 06:47pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Opinions on Travel Assist Insurance

Assuming we're not talking about driving an RV all the way across the country....I bet if you asked around at a campground, you'd probably find some nice folks that'd be willing to drive your RV back home for you for little cost other than just paying their expenses (meals, hotels, possibly air fare to get home, etc). We've found over the years that camping, RV folks are (in most cases) really, really nice people, that are willing to help if you ask nicely. I can also think of several friends we have, very well qualified to drive an RV, that would gladly do this for us if we ever needed such, and all we'd have to do is cover their expenses. Maybe its different 'cause we don't travel quite as far as some do, but I've never seen this as a service I'd buy insurance for. Waaaay too many other, less expensive options to address this issue if it ever happened.
willald 08/01/17 12:21pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Whatever the case here, I'd get it fixed and double reinforced. Also have my toad hookup reviewed for any flaws, whatsoever. Well, I think the only 'flaw', is the fact I've been using that 4" drop receiver, which causes scraping every time I back in the driveway. Regularly scraping like that when going in reverse, when you have a drop bar in place that multiplies the torque applied to the hitch receiver when scraping.....is not good, and is almost certainly what caused this. Solution: After we get this fixed, going to quit using the drop receiver. Just gonna have to live with tow bar being a bit less level. Like I said before in this thread, its a case of having to choose the lesser evil. I think what happened here clearly shows which one is the worse evil.
willald 08/01/17 11:16am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Update: stopped by and talked to Cummins Atlantic today, a big Cummins truck shop in Charlotte. They don't do that kind of work, but in a case of real good timing, they told me of a guy that used to work for them, that they highly recommend, that now owns his own shop doing exactly that kind of work - metal fabrication, welding, frame repairs, etc. He was sitting right there, we talked about it, I showed him the pictures, etc. He talked about several different ways he could fix it, pretty much consistent with the various ways discussed on here. Everything from straightening out the c channels and reinforcing bottom of C channels with fishplates on top and bottom, to replacing entire frame extension and fabricating a new receiver hitch that would be much stronger. Anyway, I goog to check him and his company out, DD Diesel. Want to have a look at his shop, make sure it's somewhere I'd feel safe leaving the RV while he works on it. One other place I'm going to check with is Holbert Trailers. They are a much bigger company that could definitely do the work. Thanks, everyone, for your input, suggestions. Will let you know what happens, how we end up fixing this. Reality is we probably won't fix it until later next month or maybe September. Will
willald 07/31/17 07:41pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

...I see the OP says he towed a Van with a tow dolly? its quit likely hitting a dip in the road where the tow dolly/van weight exceeded the 500lb rating ;;the tow dolly solid front tow arm could act like a leverage bar No, I am very 'anal' about weights. Back when we first started and were going to use a dolly, I looked long and hard at dollies and the van's weight at the time, and made sure the one I bought, its weight plus the van weight still did not get close to 5,000 lbs. I used one of the lightest dollies built (ACME) for that reason (weighed less than 400 lbs IIRC). It was only one I could find that its weight + the vans weight was still under the 5k limit. Also, we only towed that way with the dolly, for one trip, about 400 miles total. Sold the dolly after that, and went to 4 down. Of anything I might have done that contributed to this...That one trip with the dolly was not it. Will
willald 07/28/17 07:26am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

I know better than to even TRY to get Forest River to be responsible for this. That, would be an absolutely wasted effort. Not worth the hassle to go down that route. However, Bruce makes an excellent point, that Forest River needs to know about this. Sooo, I probably will be giving them a call, although I don't expect a penny from them for fixing it. Will probably send them a link to this thread, let them see for themselves. :) No, I do not think anyone, even the dealer before I bought the unit new, ever towed a trailer with a heavy tongue weight. I know when we bought this thing, I crawled under it, looked it over REALLY good. If the frame rails were bent like this when it was new, I would have noticed, and raised cane. I would not have bought it in this condition. Sooo, either something I did caused this, or the frame rail extensions are really, really weak (or maybe both, haha). I was thinking of one way I may have contributed to this: I use a 4" drop receiver, to get the tow bar close to level with the toad. Every time we come back from any trips, when I back the Motorhome up the driveway, due to the incline of the driveway and that drop receiver, the bottom of the receiver does scrape a little back there. The scraping seems very minor, but scraping when going in reverse would indeed push down on the receiver, or to say it more correctly: It would put torque on the receiver consistent with direction the frame has twisted. Even though its been very light scrapes, maybe that's been enough over time to cause this. That is only thing I can think of that I've done, that could have caused or contributed to this. I think, after I fix this, I'm going to get another drop bar that doesn't drop the tow bar so far, to reduce or eliminate the scraping. Sometimes we just have to chose the lesser evil - tow bar being slightly angled, not level, or using too much drop, to the point you scrape up and damage your hitch receiver or frame. I think the tow bar not being perfectly level is the lesser evil here. Let me ask one more time: Can anyone recommend or help me find a frame shop around Charlotte, NC, that would be able to handle this? I do a lot of repairs myself, but I'm not a welder, not going to try and take this one on myself.
willald 07/28/17 07:20am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Its rather obvious whats going on(piss poor design) and so so simple to repair its really a non issue and like said very simple to repair ..Don't disagree about the design being lacking, but as for the repair being 'simple'...I guess it will be simple for a shop that knows how to do frame repairs and has welding equipment, but....its not quite simple for an average joe like me that doesn't have such expertise or tools. Will to me(mechanic and fabricator) the deign is badly flawed because the 1) load plate of the hitch is way too short and 2) its right at the end of a non boxed frame Very good point, about the hitch load plate being so short. I've seen several other hitch receivers that are supposedly made to fit on this chassis, that have a much longer load plate. Maybe as part of fixing this, a hitch receiver upgrade might be in order. They aren't that terribly expensive.. Will
willald 07/27/17 12:28pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

IF, the receiver is level, I find that hard to believe, then I would weld a plate to the end of each channel and not worry about it. I admit I just 'eye-balled' the receiver closely, didn't take measurements or get out the level. Think I may take some closer measurements of it... Will
willald 07/27/17 12:21pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Its rather obvious whats going on(piss poor design) and so so simple to repair its really a non issue and like said very simple to repair ..Don't disagree about the design being lacking, but as for the repair being 'simple'...I guess it will be simple for a shop that knows how to do frame repairs and has welding equipment, but....its not quite simple for an average joe like me that doesn't have such expertise or tools. Will
willald 07/27/17 11:44am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

thanks for the responses. No, nothing was ever towed with a heavy tongue weight. We had this coach from the day it was brand new, and only towing ever done was 4 down (and very briefly with a dolly). Now, there have been a couple bad dips in the road over the years that really rocked the Motorhome and toad, but like roam1 said, I would have thought that would have bent it the other way (up), not down? tinmac: Yes, its definitely extensions, I can see where they welded on extensions, probably the last 3 or 4 feet of frame is an extension. I thought, too, that maybe the extension was weaker, but it looks like the same gauge, kind of steel it was made from as the main frame rails. Guess its possible they used a cheaper steel/metal that isn't as strong, but still looks the same? I seem to recall reading about how you had a frame re-inforcement done on yours, wondered if I may have to do something like that to resolve this. Yes, I'd be curious to see the pictures you have of such. ...Since it appears I may well need the services of a frame shop....Can anyone help me located a good, reputable truck frame shop around Charlotte, NC area that might could handle this work? That is what I really need help with. I know there is a Cummins repair shop just off I-85 in Charlotte that handles a lot of big trucks, diesel pusher Motorhomes, but not sure if they are equipped to do frame work like this.. Have to say also, that if the conservative way we used the hitch receiver on this Motorhome (well within all ratings) caused this in just 5 years.....Makes me wonder if a LOT of Motorhomes may have this issue at some point, and nobody knows or wants to think about it, haha. Will
willald 07/27/17 10:51am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Possible frame rail, hitch receiver issue..

Another possibility is, steep tow bar angle and a panic stop, with no auxiliary toad braking. ..Only way that could be the case, is if the towed vehicle was higher than the receiver, and tow bar was angled up, toward the toad. Very rare, its almost always the other way around. With both of our toads, it was the other way (toad was lower), to the point I've always used a drop bar to level it out some. Now, I can think of a handful of sudden stops I've had to make, but, there has always been a supplemental braking system in use (Readybrake). Will
willald 07/27/17 10:42am Class A Motorhomes
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