For those that espouse being "ripped off" by the guy/gal bringing the replacement tire...I call B.S.!
This is just another one of those "myths" that continue to be promulgated.
I agree, Dennis. There may well be cases where you may pay extra because they they are coming out to you during non-business hours. I expect to pay more in that case. However, the proverbial $2000 rip-off we hear about....Like you said, I think thats one of those "myths" that keeps getting passed along.
When I called CoachNet with a flat tire, they asked me my tire size and asked if I had a brand preference. I told them my tire size and requested a Goodyear G670. They brought me a new tire with a date code 10/14 at an installed price of $733. That's $684 for the tire itself which is pretty close to what any Tom, Dick or Harry tire place would charge in a big city. Hardly being ripped off.
...This is very much like the experience I had, when I had to call Good Sam ERS once due to a flat tire. They asked what size tire I had, what brand I preferred, and they brought exactly that size and brand with them ('twas a Goodyear G670 as well). And, their price for the tire if I had needed it (fortunately I did not), was not much different than I would have paid for that tire, regardless.
If I owned an older coach that had odd-ball sized tires that were not easy to come by, that would be different. In that case I probably would carry an extra unmounted tire or two. Fortunately, that ain't the case for us. The 19.5" tires on our Ford F53 based MH are very common and not hard to find at all.
When you "lose" a tire on the road, you call your road service company, coachnet or good sam or whoever... and you wait patiently in your nice coach on the side of the highway while the semi's scream past you at 75 mph...
..Unless you 'limp' far enough off the road, to get away from those screaming semis. Depending on the circumstances, this is frequently possible.
If I can't get off the road, at least I'm inside my MH waiting patiently with semis screaming by, not outside changing a tire on the ground just a few feet away from being clobbered by one of those screaming semis. Which would you think is safer? ;)
..I also have a towed vehicle I can easily unhook and use to get everyone away to a location away from those screaming semis while we wait.
..And when road service gets there, they may not have the right size tire on the truck, and they may choose to charge you 3 times what whatever they have is worth, cause, after all, you are stuck on the side of the road with a 2 legged motorcoach...
"MAY" being the operative word here. They also MAY bring the right size tire with them, that you ask them to bring when you talk to them. And if you need it, they MAY just charge you a fair price for that tire.
Thats what happened, in the one instance I had to use ERS, and 2 instances I know of with other people. Fortunately in my case, it turned out I didn't need the new tire they brought, they repaired my tire and only charged me a small fee to do so. We had discussed what the new tire would have costed, though, and it would not have been much different than I would have paid for that tire under any other circumstances.
Like I said, for the amount of $$ potentially being wasted, and equipment sitting, rotting away that may well never get used just to avoid these unlikely "MAY" and "WHAT IF" situations...I don't see the point in carrying a spare.
You can "WHAT IF" and "MAY" things all day. However, I've found over the years that thinking that way all the time will drive you insane, make you want to go live in a cave somewhere cut off from all society, haha. :)
Road service contracts cover the service, not the tire.
..Yep, I'm fully aware of that, as is I would think most anyone that carries a road service contract (or at least they should know that, haha).
If a blowout occurs, you're going to pay for a tire, regardless. Either from the company that brings one, or you will have already paid for it, when you bought the spare you're carrying. Not to mention in many cases you will have also paid for the rack to hold it, impact wrench, etc. as I mentioned.
That was why I made the point that worst case, I break even not carrying a spare. Best (and much more likely) case, I end up ahead $$ wise. And, either way, I'm not risking a debilitating back injury, wrestling that heavy tire.
I'd never leave home without my old unmounted spare. It ain't much, but it's free. It don't take too much space, and it will at least buy me some time.
If I had been provided an unmounted spare that was truly FREE (was it really free?), then I would probably carry it, too, provided I could without it taking up any space in outside storage bins.
However, once that spare rots/ages out, I'm not sure I'd spend more $$ to replace it, as then you have what I described earlier - equipment/$$ wasting away, not being used, for a situation thats not likely to occur very often, anyway.
I've had this mental 'exercise' many times, about whether or not we should be carrying a spare.
Our 2012 Georgetown MH does not have a spare, which surprised me at first. Have thought about putting one on, but more I think about it, I have come to the conclusion that it is better without one. Here's why:
If I was to carry a spare and plan to change it myself in the event of a blowout, I'd need to buy, carry the following:
1. Spare tire itself plus rim for it, easily $500 or more
2. Portable impact or gear wrench strong enough to remove lugs, another $50-100
3. Appropriate rack/holder to mount spare underneath the MH (I aint wasting outside storage bin space), another $100
Sooo, thats a total of around $700 I'd have tied up in extra 'stuff', that there is a good chance would just waste away and never be used if no blowout occurs. All that, just to be prepared to change a tire myself in the off chance I have a blowout and Good Sam ERS could not help.
Oh, I will also have to spend another $400 every 7 years or so to replace that UNUSED spare once it ages (rots) out. That is the case, even if a blowout never happens. That, or just use one of old tires as the spare every time I purchase new tires. That means the spare is potentially 14 years old before it gets replaced, though (no thanks).
...And lets not forget the safety/health risks I'd be taking, if I ever try to change a tire myself by the side of the road. I ain't getting any younger, and these tires are NOT lightweight.
OR, I can keep all that $$ in the bank, not take the risk of an injury, and rely on Good Sam ERS and the roadside service they would send out to help in the case of a blowout.
I'm thinking, as rare as blowouts occur, I will be $$ ahead SIGNIFICANTLY in the long run, by just letting ERS handle any tire issues. Even if I one day get 'gouged' on a new tire somewhere in the middle of nowhere, compared to the cost of all I just mentioned + having to replace an (aged out) spare every so often, I'd still probably be $$ ahead overall.
Worst case, if blowout occurs and I pay an unusually high price for a replacement, I break even. Best (and much, much more likely) case, I'd be several hundred $$ ahead in the long run. And, thats without even getting into the risk of injury or health problems I'm avoiding, by not ever trying to change one of these tires by myself on the side of the road.
As for the difficulty of being stuck by the side of the road waiting for hours for roadside service: Not worried about that at all. I have pretty nice 'accommodations' to relax in while I wait in the MH. And, I have a towed vehicle I can unhitch and use to get everyone to a safer location if need be.
...Anyway, for those reasons, I chose not to carry a spare. Thats what I have Good Sam ERS for.
I'd say you got really lucky. You were left with what is IMO one of the best brake systems you can get. Thats what I have (ReadyBrute tow bar with Readybrake braking system), and I wouldn't have anything else. Have used it on two different towed vehicles, it worked (and still works) great.
Now, for your specific questions:
1- is there anything that we need to watch out for with this system? Anything likely to break or malfunction?
Not really, thats one of the great things about this system - its soo simple, there is very little that can break or malfunction with it. The few things that could possibly break one day, you can in many cases get parts from any hardware store and repair yourself. That is, provided it is set up properly to begin with.
One thing that can wear out over time, and eventually need replacing: After many years of use, the 'leash' cable that goes from tow bar actuator to the towed vehicle will get frayed, worn where it goes through the hole on the tow bar. You can order a new (or spare) cable from Readybrake, though, for a very reasonable price. Or, in a pinch, it would be pretty easy to put together a replacement cable from parts you'd find in any hardware store.
2- does it have enough stopping power in the mountains? We will be using the ready brake. Our tow vehicle weighs 4040 lbs.
Yes! I've towed a minivan with ours, the van weighed just over 4500 lbs. Readybrake handled it fine. And, assuming its installed correctly, it will NOT 'drag' the brakes when going downhill like some may suggest. The actuator is designed with enough resistance in it to preven this.
3- anyone using one that old? 2006? They have a lifetime warranty so I assume they are well built?
Don't have one that old, but yes, they are well built.
4- does the type of towing system you install have anything to do with the tail wagging effect I hear so much about and if so is this system prone to contributing to that?
Maybe, but I'd say its pretty rare that the tow bar would cause this. More frequently, alignment issues with the towed vehicle are the cause for this.
Did you order directly from Blue Ox, or from one of the many companies that sell their products?
Your issues sound like problems with the company shipping the stuff to you. Not necessarily Blue Ox's fault, unless you ordered directly from them? May want to just find another company to work through for their products. Blue Ox makes great stuff IMO, you may just need to find another company to work through for ordering their products.
Whenever I order stuff like this (base plates, etc), I always order it through Hitch Source. Never had a problem with them, they've been great every time I ordered from them. Free shipping on anything over $100, very reasonable prices, very helpful staff whenever I've had to call them...I highly recommend them.
I've seriously considered going this route a few times, but have always decided against it.
Main reason being: I just do not trust the RV ladder to safely handle that weight when on the road for any length of time. Yes, an RV ladder is designed to handle 2-300 lbs of load. However, it was designed to handle a STATIC load of that amount; they are NOT designed to handle a DYNAMIC load of any kind. Dynamic meaning, a load that bounces, shifts going down the road. Doesn't matter how well you strap it down, its still a dynamic load, not a static one, when the RV is going down the road.
I know there's lots of folks will post on here that they do it and it works fine for them. It may well work OK in some cases if you limit it to just one small bike and strap it down real good. For us, though, when I think about the things that could happen if you lose the bike and 'launch' it back at the people on the road behind you..just ain't worth the risk to me. I prefer to keep all our bikes on the towed vehicle, anyway, as there are times we want to take the bikes places we'd go with the toad, but would not want to take the Motorhome.
Original poster makes a good point - For various reasons, I do believe the majority of Class A owners are older, retired folks. Thats just the nature of the business with these things.
When stepping up to a Class A frequently involves spending more $$ than most have in a life long investment like their house, then add to that the fact that most Class As do not have floorplans very practical for use with families with children....Wellll, it eliminates many folks from the market for these rigs. Not many can realistically afford them, and use them enough to be worth the huge investment.
That said, obviously there are many 'exceptions' to this that have been noted in this thread. We are an 'exception' to this as well. I'm 46, have owned a Class A for almost 3 years now. I've been told many, many times that we are way too young to own one of these rigs, haha. When we first bought ours 3 years ago, my manager at work seriously asked me if I was thinking of retiring soon! Hahahahahahahaha, 'fraid not, I can hardly even think that far in the future! :)
Pretty much, if you're under 55 and decide to purchase a class A, you can expect to be in somewhat of a minority, haha. But, don't let that stop you, either. Its kinda fun being in that minority. :)
I'm an avid sports fan, too, of another NFL team. Sooo, I DO understand the 'sickness' mentioned here. However, I still have to say this:
Maybe I'm just not a true enough fan, but there is no way I would put any sports team decal or logo on an RV, ever. No way I'd expose something that high $$ to the abuse it could (and probably would) take from fans of opposing teams. Our RV cost too much $$ to do that to it.
Not to mention the humiliation you'd expose yourself to, when things change for that team and they aren't doing so hot (and that WILL happen with every team, eventually).
Anyone thats been around the NFL for a while, especially since the salary cap era, knows that success in most cases is very cyclical for NFL teams. Today's winning teams, SB champions, will be next year's losers. This year's losers, with a few good off season changes will be next year's winners. I know there are occasional exceptions to this in recent years, but eventually the good players get too old to play, or demand more $$ than the team can give them with the salary cap limitations, and the team struggles for a while until they can replace that talent. 'Tis the way its always been, with the NFL.
..And I won't even get into the thing about free advertising. Thats a whole 'nother matter.
..As already suggested a few times, most RV burglaries happen in storage yards, where RVs are stored away for long periods of time.
If you can keep your RV out of storage lots completely (like we always have, ours always stays at our house when not camping)....You reduce the odds of it being burglarized, drastically.
Also, as already noted, most thieves are looking for things they can put their hands on quickly and easily, and turn around easily for cash. This includes jewelry, flat screen TVs, tablets, computers, CDs, guns, ammo, and obviously cash. If you can minimize how much of those things you leave in your coach or at least how many of them are easy to see from windows, you make yourself less of a target as well.
...And in truth. I don't blame TJ for selling, or CW for buying. He made money, and CW got rid of competition that was better than them. THEY both win. Only the customer loses.
Terry, I think that pretty well sums it up. :)
I'm happy about it..never cared for Tom Johnson's. The sales people we talked to did not show any enthusiasm and their knowledge appeared lacking to me. Also, they never wanted to deal. Talked to a sales girl at the Marion location on a truck camper. Asked her a question. Took a couple days to get an answer that was in correct (according to her and her sales manager) as I researched it on my own in the mean time. They wouldn't budge on the price either. Sort of shut me out after that.
At CW of Statesville, we've had nothing but very positive expereinces.
My experiences, and the experiences of relatives of mine with both places (CW at Statesville and Tom Johnsons) has been the exact opposite of yours.
Nearly every time we've bought an RV, we've been to Tom Johnson, and looked at what they had. Never had a bad experience working with their sales group. We never have actually bought an RV from them (always ended up finding something we liked better somewhere else), but it was not because of anything they did wrong. We *have* used their service department many, many times, and they've been great for that. They have HUGE service facilities, and can pretty much work on anything from a small pop-ups right up to 45' bus conversions.
CW at Statesville, though, is a very different story. We do like going there just to look around in the CW store at various accessories, toys, etc., but that is it. My BIL had the mis-fortune of buying a 5th wheel recently from CW, and tried to take it there to Statesville CW for service. They were NOT happy at all with them.
I really, really hope that CW lets Tom Johnson dealership run as it always has, and doesn't foul it up like so many other CW locations.
Ah, so it is true. I heard 'rumblings' about this a few weeks ago when talking to a friend of mine that works for another large RV dealership not far from Charlotte. He said CW was buying up Tom Johnson, apparently he was right.
I agree, Terry, its a shame. We've always liked dealing with Tom Johonson, their service department at the Concord location is one of the best I've ever worked with. Really, really hope Camping World doesn't foul it up and make Tom Johnson become like so many other CW locations that nobody wants to deal with.
Only 'plus' side I can see: We do like to look, shop at CW locations, and now we'll have one much closer.
Just thought I would give you an update on our C-Max hybrid for towing. After going to dealership and discussing issue we have an appt to have the computer reprogramed. Some 2013-2014 hybrid or energy cars built before 7/22/14 may exhibit a discharged 12-volt battery or a Service AdvanceTrac cluster msg after towing behind a recreational vehicle. This publication came out Sept 2014 apparently to the dealers. I would ask about your cars if this is happening to you. We will get it reprogramed and let you know if this works. We won't be towing until mid-January.
Hmmm, interesting. Thanks for the info. :)
I will be very surprised, if after all this time, Ford is able to solve the battery drain issue with just a reprogram. If that is the case, I'm glad I didn't spend too much time and $$ with our (charge line) fix. :)
Our Fusion is due for annual inspection soon, think I'll take it to Ford dealer for that, and ask them about this.
First, no one really steals GPS units all that much anymore.
But, to answer your question, how about a good old standard dash bean bag mount?
Set it anywhere and move easily move it to the floor out of sight when you stop.
I've used this for years with my older Garmin. Easy to adjust, move off the dash, move to car, etc.
But with my new 6" Garmin it tends to slide some. So I'm trying several options for a better rubber base under the mount.
Yes, this is the kind I seriously thought about, but as noted, decided against, due to the way the 'bags' on it force you to set the GPS further away from you, closer to the windshield.
I too, am wondering if mine may still slide some because of how big it is (7" screen). If it does, my plan is to use a couple small pieces of velcro underneath to help hold the thing in place.
Hehehe, here we go with another 'poop' discussion. THis subject always gets lots of attention. :)
To those that swear that water only is all you ever need, and you've never had any odors: All I can say is when it comes time to dump tanks, you are living in serious denial if you think no odors come out, then. That, or you must wear a gas mask when dumping.
When you dump the tanks, I don't care what kind of hose, fittings, etc. you use, nor how you do it. There WILL be some air, 'gases' that get out. Nothing you can do about it, really, except put something in your tank to control those odors. If you don't use chemicals (or something else to control odors), it WILL stink, and stink REALLY bad in some cases when dumping. Anyone that says otherwise, like I said, is living in denial or wears a gas mask. :)
If for no other reason, this is why you should use something to control the odors - Out of respect for those around you when you are dumping your tanks. If you always dump out in the boonies when nobody is around but you, and you don't mind the smell, then I guess it doesn't matter. I'm betting, though, that is not the case for most of us.
Also, just once, have a sewer hose pop loose from a connection while dumping, and have it spew some 'waste' out (something that happens to all of us at least once)....You will learn very quickly why its wise to have something in place, to control odors just in case. ;)
It is true, that while the 'waste' is in the tank, IF everything is working properly, odors should rarely get out, chemicals or not. However, when you dump the tanks, its an entirely different story and all bets are off. That is why we use chemicals (Odorlos).
..To dredge back up this old topic, and let everyone know what I decided on for this:
Got the GPS unit last week, a Garmin RV 760LMT. Really like it and all the information it provides. I use it driving to work and back every day just for the traffic updates/warnings it provides. Haven't had a chance to try it out in the Motorhome yet, but hopefully will soon.
After thinking it through, reading the various responses here, and looking closely at the dashboard on both the MH as well as our everyday driving vehicles we will use the GPS in (Kia minivan and Ford Fusion), I decided on THIS weighted dashboard mount piece. Ordered it last week (could only get it online, no stores had it), its supposed to be here tomorrow.
I've been using the suction cup mount to mount it to the windshield in the Fusion so far. That works OK, but will definitely be nice to have it down on the dashboard, where it won't block the view as much and will be easier to 'hide away' to prevent theft.
Seriously considered a mount like THIS that some had suggested on here, as some stores had it in stock and I could have obviously got it much quicker. However, this one forced me to put the GPS unit further forward (closer to windshield) than I would have preferred, due to where the bean bags are located on it. The unit I ordered is more 'horse shoe' shaped, and will allow the unit to sit further back, where I can reach it easier.
Definitely some good points made about theft, it may well be that I'm being a bit too 'paranoid' about that. I agree 100% that it really doesn't matter for the MH, but when used in other vehicles this IS more of a risk. 'Tis why I wanted (and ordered) a mount that can easily be stashed away, removing any easily visible 'evidence' of a GPS unit.
Anyway, just wanted to 'close the loop' on this thread, in the hope that maybe it'll help the next person that comes along and has the same or a similar question. :)
Thank you all for your comments. Yes we do have the 12v line that we use, but that does not seem to help.
..Verify that you have, among all other wiring, the following:
1. Good ground connection between the MH and the C-max.
2. a 12V+ connection/wire, fused, going from the MH to your C-max's + batter terminal post. That is what a charge line is. Verify with a voltmeter that this line has 12 volts on it when MH engine is running, and that any fuses in the line aren't blown. Even though your battery is in the back, there is a + terminal/post under the hood used for jump starting that you can connect to for this.
..If you're finding your C-max's battery is dead after towing for a few hours, my bet is you're going to find that one of the two things I mentioned above either was not done, has a bad connection, or is not wired properly, somehow. If the charge line is wired/set up properly, your C-max battery will not deplete like that.
Ford doesn't seem to be too much of a help on this issue.
Yes, I too have found that Ford isn't a whole lot of help with this. They see this as not really their problem. In Ford's defense, though, I've pretty much got same response from ANY/EVERY auto dealer I've talked to about the subject of flat towing setup.
More than once, when we bring our Fusion hybrid in to the Ford dealer for service, the Ford techs ask me why I wired that charge line to the battery + terminal. When I explain to them what it is and why I did it, I get this dumbfounded 'oh, really, I never thought of or heard of that' type of look. :)
..What navegator said. :)
This has been discussed a few times on here. Due to the way Ford's hybrid vehicles are designed, they (Cmax and Fusion hybrid) will draw down the battery when flat towing them. Tow them any longer than a few hours, and you will have a dead battery.
I verified this with our Fusion Hybrid, by putting a clip-on digital ammeter on the battery wire when simulating towing (key in ACC position, tranny in neutral, everything else turned off, etc.) Indeed, I found that there was an average of 3 amps of draw on the battery all the time (sometimes more).
Only way to solve this, is to just run a charge line like navegator mentioned. Thats what I did, as well as several others on here have done. 'Tis a very simple, easy, and inexpensive fix. And, it will insure you never have to worry about running down your towed vehicle's battery when towing, no matter how long/far you tow.
Since it's the front wheels that go onto the dolly then it's likely that it can be towed on a dolly. Probably not 4-down. One post (I googled "tow kia sedona on dolly" said that Kia recommended not putting the transmission in "park" but in "neutral" and to leave the key in accessory to allow the front wheels to turn.
..That was probably one of my posts from some time back. We own a Kia Sedona minivan also, and used to tow it behind our Motorhome. Initially, we did so on a dolly, then later set it up to tow 4 down, with a lube pump. It worked fine either way, and still has the lube pump on it today.
Yes, Kia technicians advised me that Kia does not even recommend dolly towing. Reason being, they are concerned that the rocking back and forth that goes on when dolly towing a vehicle, would break the parking 'paw' or whatever its called in the tranny, when tranny is in park. Solution, he told me: Strap the van down on the dolly, then leave the tranny in neutral. Sooo, thats what I did.
The dolly I was using at the time was an Acme EZE tow dolly, that did not have a pivot table, hence the need for steering column to remain unlocked. That, along with leaving tranny in neutral, was why I had to leave key in ACC position when towing.
The van worked OK both on the dolly as well as 4 down with the lube pump. Ultimately, I got to where I didn't trust the dolly straps, then after using the lube pump for a while, got to where I didn't trust the lube pump, either (yes, I'm not a very trusting kind of person, but thats just me, haha). Ended up trading our other vehicle we had at the time, for a Ford Fusion hybrid that is flat towable from the factory. Thats what we tow now and like it MUCH better for towing, although we still have the van. It (Kia Sedona) is DW's everyday driving vehicle. Could still tow it if we ever have the need, it still has the lube pump and everything on it, ready to go.
Anyway, don't even bother to ask Kia or read the owner's manual like already suggested. They will tell you that only answer is to put it on a flatbed trailer. Reality is, though, there are other options that work fine with this vehicle.
Since you mention using a dolly in the subject of this thread, one thing I'll warn you about: Check the weight ratings very carefully on any dolly you buy, compared to the weight of the van. Minivans are not light vehicles, our Sedona weighs around 4400 lbs (curb weight). There are very few dollies out there that can handle a vehicle this heavy, yet still be light enough that the weight of the dolly + weight of the vehicle not exceed the 5,000 lb limit most Motorhome hitch receivers have. The Acme EZE tow dolly was only one I found that could do such.
There's not very many DPs that are 36' or less. Most are much longer than that. If you need one that size and have a budget around $100k like you said.....I can see why you're having a tough time finding many DP options that aren't several years old.
Yes, there are indeed a lot of very nice (new) gasser units available to choose from for that $$ or quite a bit less. When it comes to RVs, I too prefer new, so thats what I'd be looking more at, if I was in your situation.
As to things a DP has (besides more pulling power), that you don't get in a gasser:
1. Full air brakes, and air suspension
2. Somewhat easier leveling, since you can dump air and drop entire coach down some before you start leveling
3. Much better ride when on the road, due to afore mentioned air suspension, the chassis its built on, and engine being in the back making it much quieter.
..However, as I'm sure you've seen, these 'pros' come at a very, VERY high price, compared to similar gasser models. I'd love to have a rear engine unit with full air suspension and air brakes. However, like many, I don't want those things bad enough to part with nearly $100k MORE up front for the initial purchase, and several thousand more over the years in extra maintenance costs the DP will incur.