With the engine running, both power steering and power brakes would active. Something to consider?
Power brakes would not be a problem at all, as I use a ReadyBrake system, which is basically a surge system. Because of the way its designed, its just about impossible for it to ever 'over-brake' your toad, regardless whether the power brakes are on or not. It would actually help it some.
The power steering being on, is definitely something I've been thinking about as well. Based on what I understand about how power steering works, though, I don't think it will cause a problem. Also, if you do some reading, searching on this subject, you'll see where there are folks that have done this (idling) approach, and never had any issue with the power steering.
..As one that previously owned, used an Acme EZE tow dolly...I will tell you from personal experience, that turning radius with the Acme will NOT be a problem for you.
Kinda hard to explain without you actually seeing it in action, but suffice it to say, the design of the Acme and the way the vehicle is positioned on it, is such that you can turn that thing pretty much as tight as you want, right up to the point that the towed vehicle is about to touch the back of the MH (every bit of 90 degrees), and it will not be a problem.
I know, 'cause I tested it out a few times with our Acme in a parking lot, out of curiousity. As already indicated, your MH itself will be the limiting factor in how tight you can turn. The Acme EZE tow dolly and towed vehicle won't really change that much.
You've already seen, that the Acme is about the only one that can handle 5,000 lbs of vehicle. And, it costs almost HALF what the Demco Karkaddy units cost that come close to that. JMO, but if you need to tow that large a vehicle with a dolly, its pretty much a no-brainer decision - get the Acme EZE and be done with it. You will be very happy with it (at least up until you decide to go to 4 down towing, but thats a whole 'nother topic, haha).
If you do go with the Acme, PM me, and I'll show you how you can easily make a device for it, that will allow you to move it around much easier, and be able to store it almost completely under the back of your MH when parked.
Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide. I definitely understand your dilemma. It can be a real PITA finding a good, cost effective way to use a vehicle you already own as a toad and avoid buying a new one. Been there, done that. :)
If a water line blew off your water heater would you not use the water heater again after fixing the water line??
If radiator hose blew.......would you not ever drive your rig again after fixing radiator hose?
You had a problem.......you fixed the problem.
Use the right equipment for the job.
Haha, very good points, and 'twas exactly what I was expecting to hear.
The hose blow off incident was NOT the only incident or issue we've had. There's been a multitude, which have caused us to not have much confidence. The blow off incident was just the most recent, and the one that sticks out in memory the most. :)
I do plan to continue to use the 'right equipment' (lube pump) now that its working right. I was just trying to establish, confirm a good 'backup' solution to the lube pump, for when/if we have another issue.
Are you certain that the Focus's brake lights don't illuminate, when you hit the brakes with ignition not on? I coulda swore I read somewhere its required by law to work that way, even with ignition off? And, all our vehicles work that way, including our 2013 Ford Fusion.
Get in the Focus, and hit the brake pedal a few times with ignition off, see if the brake lights don't turn on. I bet they do. And, if they don't, I'd wonder if something is wrong that you may want your Ford dealer to look at.
Why not just have the lube pump properly installed? You feel it's a great product and there is nothing wrong with the pump.
Well, it is properly installed, *NOW*, as best I can tell, and works fine. Problem is, even though it works, I'm having a hard time trusting it. :)
The issues we had due to it NOT being installed right initially, has kind of done some 'psychological damage' and caused us to lose trust in the pump. Thats why I'm considering idling the engine as a backup solution.
...Without getting into too many details of why we have lost trust in the pump, suffice it to say: Something about turning on a pump, and watching it spew all your tranny fluid out like a GEYSER all over everything (because technician didn't attach output hose correctly)....an 'image' like that kinda sticks in your head, and makes it tough to trust the unit out on the road, haha.
..We now have two toads: DW's daily driver, a Kia Sedona van (that has Remco lube pump to allow towing), and my daily driver, a Ford Fusion Hybrid (flat-towable from the factory, woohoo!) Reality is that we will probably tow my Fusion most trips, as it is easier and a lot more fun. However, there still will be trips where we'll want the extra space the van offers, and will want to be able to bring/tow the van.
Due to several things that have happened that I'd rather not go into in detail, we do not trust the lube pump setup on the van anymore. It is not in any way Remco's fault, they have a great product that works great when properly installed (ours was not, bottom line, haha). Horrible luck we've had with a poor installation is the main reason we've lost confidence in the lube pump.
That being the case, until our confidence is restored in the lube pump, I am seriously considering taking the approach of disconnecting the lube pump and idling the van (in neutral) on the rare occasions we tow it (maybe once or twice a year).
I've searched, and read numerous threads about folks that have had success taking this approach (idling a toad in neutral when towing). I understand fully that it means miles will be logged, and the bad things that can happen if the engine dies or overheats. I'm willing to accept that risk, given how rare it is we will do this, and how rock solid and reliable the drivetrain in this van has always been for us.
My only question/concern with this practice, is whether or not the Kia's transmission will circulate fluid through the cooler when it is in neutral. If not, I will obviously scrap this idea. If it does, then I'm thinking this idling approach should work OK.
Anyone have any specific experience or knowledge that would indicate whether or not a 2007 Kia Sedona's transmissions would circulate fluid when in neutral?
I've already tried talking to Kia technicians, and basically got no real answer. Next option (which I may well do), will be to take a fluid line loose from the cooler while idling in neutral, and see if fluid flows. Thats probably what I'll have to do, to be sure (any other ideas on what I can do, to find out for certain that fluid is flowing through cooler when in neutral?)
On a separate, but related question: You think there'd be ANY market at all on Craigs list or wherever, for a like new, Remco LP-1 Lube pump setup? Enough, to be worth the time and $$ it'd cost to remove the lube pump setup entirely from the van and put it up for sale? :)
And what you going to do when they just get back in their truck and call the cops? And then it turns out they are doing the legal thing?
...I don't believe its 'legal' at all to tow a vehicle off with occupants inside! That would be called 'kidnapping', and opens up the tow operator to all kinds of liability, and legal violations.
Even if there was/is an ordinance making it illegal to park at this Walmart, that does NOT give tow truck operators the right to threaten to essentially 'kidnap' owners of a vehicle in the lot. If owners are inside the vehicle, its a whole different ballgame.
Don't think I could condone brandishing a firearm in this situation, like some have mentioned. That is, unless I felt seriously, seriously threatened by the scammers.
Sounds like you have it all figured out. If you found a hitch rated for 350# then I think it should work fine for the bikes.
Those are my thoughts as well, DJ.
Even if you de-rate the tongue weight rating by 50% since so much of the weight will be protruding out a little ways, we're still within the limit.
..And just to be even more sure: I just ordered one of these stabilization straps from etrailer, that are designed/recommended to be used when you use a bike rack with a class I or II hitch receiver. Will use that as well.
As suggested earlier, I will definitely post back after a while, dredge this topic back up, and let everyone know how it works out.
Update: Hitch receiver (for the Fusion) is on the way (ordered from Uhaul), supposed to be here Wednesday, at which time UHaul will install it. Or, I may install myself, the installation looks pretty simple.
Was still 'thinking' on which bike rack to get, when one that was at the top of my short list went on sale today. Soo, I went ahead and ordered this Thule 4 bike rack today from Dick's Sporting Goods. Won't be here until next week, we'll see then how the bikes fit on it, etc.
Now, to address some of the specific, recent comments:
Before you buy any bike rack it is IMPORTANT to make sure your Ford can handle the weight of the rack plus 4 bikes. Your owners manual may give you that information
Owner's manual says nothing about that, just says that the hybrid drive train is not designed for towing, so towing a trailer is not an option (already knew that, and don't ever plan to). However, I'm not seeing why a Class II hitch receiver with a 350 lb tongue rating designed specifically for a Ford Fusion, shouldnt be able to handle a bike rack and 4 bikes that weigh a total of around 150 lbs?
Two of the bikes are adult bikes, two are children's bikes (much smaller). As noted above, the weight of the bikes plus the rack, will be nowhere near the tongue weight limit of the hitch receiver itself.
I would agree that 4 bikes on an 1 1/4" hitch is going to be a problem even tho Swagmen sells them.
..Not just Swagman, but Yakima, and Thule also make them, and they are two of the most well known, respected brands that make bike racks. If it was a 'problem', I seriously doubt Yakima or Thule would be making, selling them. :)
Another thing you may consider is to take your Fusion to a shop that installs trailer hitches
I did, U-Haul. They're installing the hitch, and they said it would work fine, when I explained what I was going to do with it. Told me towing would be a bad idea, but as I said previously, already knew that. :)
How about a 2" receiver on the front of the MH then you could take the bikes with/without the car?
..That presents the same issue I had with using a dual receiver and putting bike rack on back of MH: No way to take bikes with us, when we want to go somewhere with the toad that we can't or don't want to bring the MH. I doubt you'd be able to mount a receiver on the front of the MH, anyway.
You just aren't looking in the right place, for a place for your Mom to stay. :)
I'm in similar boat - When we go to Myrtle Beach, mom usually goes with us, too. We just got back from a week stay there, actually (Ocean Lakes CG), my Mom went with us. We typically go there every year 'bout this time of year (when its not so hot, crowded, and rates are lower). This is the one trip of the year where Mom likes to go with us.
She does not stay with us in the RV, though, she always rents a unit there at Ocean Lakes. The units she typically rents there cost nowhere NEAR what you mentioned! As I recall, this last time she stayed for a whole week in a rental unit for significantly less than what you found for three days in a condo!! And, her rental unit was just 3 rows over from us (we were in K section, she was in L section).
Dont get me wrong - I definitely agree that staying in a hotel or condo can be ridiculously expensive (and I personally HATE hotels and avoid them at all costs). I just wanted to suggest that perhaps there is another way your Mom can go with you, without breaking the bank or staying in your RV? Have you checked out rental units Pirateland offers? Perhaps they have something a bit more reasonable that she could afford?
On Edit: ..After looking at Pirateland's (ridiculous) rental rates, I see they aren't much different from what you found for a condo. Here again, you staying at the wrong place, at the wrong time! Rental Units can be had MUCH cheaper, during the offseason (now) at Ocean Lakes. :)
i would never go on the statement of a Walmart employee.
you need to check the city ordinances.
just cause it's Walmart's parking lot, doesn't mean it belongs to Walmart.
..Perhaps, but when you're on the road, its late at night, in an unfamilar town you've never been to before...Checking city ordinances would be a lot easier said, than actually done. A serious case of 'idealism vs reality' there, haha.
I can definitely see where anyone that 'over-nights' at Walmarts regularly could become a target for a scam like this (yes, thats right, I called it a 'scam', 'cause IMO thats just what it is).
I still think, though, that had you stood your ground, stayed in your RV and refused to pay....They would have eventually been forced to back off. Might have got ugly, might have eventually involved authorities, and you may have had to resort to some 'controversial' tactics that would physically prevent them from towing. But, I really think they would have backed down.
....Maybe I'm naive and/or don't know what I'm talking about, but I just don't see how they could possibly tow a vehicle with people in it? Seems like that'd open up all kinds of legal issues and violations you could press against them (and I would!!) Not to mention, there are several things you could do to make it physically very, very difficult for them to tow it anywhere.
If we were in our RV at a Walmart, and a tow company chained to it and said pay up or we tow, I would just basically lock ourselves in the RV, and DARE them to tow it one inch (and like already said, contact police and tell them an altercation was about to go down). I'm betting if you did this and pressed the issue...Eventually they'd unchain and go look for another, easier 'victim'.
Thanks all, just called, going labor rate is $110 per hour, they said it would be a 1-2 hour job...... Guess I will go at it myself. All tanks are exposed, I can easily see everything!
..In that case, I would definitely install the flush unit yourself. Its very easy to do when the tanks are exposed and easy to access. I did it on our last RV, did not take long at all and was very easy.
On another question, is there anything I need to be putting in my black + gray tank while the trailer is in storage to prevent odors? We use the trailer probably 1-2 times every 2 months or so
We used to leave the tank empty when not in use when we had a TT. With the MH, we use it a bit more often, and the tanks need to be ready for 'use' when we hit the road, so I typically leave a few gallons of water and appropriate chemicals in the tanks all the time. Highly, highly recommend Odorlos chemicals also, BTW. It works better than anything else I've ever used.
Our previous rigs had a black tank flusher (that I installed). I highly, highly recommend installing such if an RV doesnt come with it. IMO it is the easiest, best way to flush out your tanks.
That being said, if the tanks are not easily accessible underneath, it can be very difficult (read:expensive!) or in some cases impossible to install a flush kit if it isn't there from the factory. That was our situation when we bought the MH last year.
In those cases, the next best choice is a Flush King or Dual flush unit like you used that will allow you to 'push' water up into the tank from below and flush it. You just need to make sure it has a valve on it you can close (some dual flush units don't, without that its worthless), so that you can force water back up into the tank when flushing.
Based on what you're saying, I'm going to guess your dual flush was one of the (not so useful) ones that doesnt have the valve on it? With those, you really can't get any water up into the tank, so it does very little good (unless you want to sit there and hold the hose up, elevate it, to force water up into the tank. Done that before, and hated it, haha.
Anyway, I also agree with some previous posters, that you don't need to over-think this. Your black tank does not need to be clean enough to drink out of, haha. Its good to be able to get as much of the 'solid' stuff out as you can, but the water does not need to be perfectly clear coming out of it.
If you can get a tank flusher installed without it costing a lot of $$, do it. Otherwise, make sure you have a flush unit like I mentioned above that allows you to force water up into the tank, use that when its convenient and don't worry about it. :)
..When folks hint about wanting to rent or borrow our RV, I tell them I will "charter" it. Meaning, I go with it on any trip it goes on, and do the driving, and we can 'negotiate' what my fee will be to do so (pay for all fuel, feed me, etc. will usually be enough, haha)
However, I will not rent or loan it out under ANY circumstances to ANYBODY. Just way too much liability there to even consider such, and too many things that can break or get damaged that can be very expensive to fix or replace.
This is the reason why we use mostly lightweight, plastic dishes in the camper. Anything heavier (not plastic) that we have to have (pots, pans, etc) gets stored in lower cabinets, never in upper cabinets.
That, and we've learned over the years that the first time you open any upper cabinet in the camper after traveling....You do so very carefully, opening it slowly with one hand, and keeping the other hand ready to catch anything that falls out.
Medicine cabinet in the bathroom is the worst for that, but fortunately thats all small stuff in there thats not going to hurt anyone too bad.
Hahaha, remember in that movie 'RV' (the one with Robin Williams in it), the scene where this happened to their daughter? You saw when the Mom loaded several heavy plates in one of the overhead cabinets, and you just KNEW what was going to happen. A little later those plates all landed on their daughter's head when he went around a turn too fast. :)
the bikes should stay put on the back of the Fusion! just like they would if you were just going to go someplace to go for a ride.
The hitch mounted bike rack we have actually uses a threaded hitch pin with lock washer and cotter pin. Bolted down tightly enough, the bike rack shouldn't move at all.
Yes, most racks I've looked at have that threaded hitch pin. Definitely understand why its needed for a bike rack mounted this way, but it has one drawback as well, I think: Taking off and putting the bike rack on is a bit more tedious, since you have to have a wrench and screw in (or out) that threaded hitch pin.
I'm wondering if a better solution would be to use a regular hitch pin, and use a hitch immobilizer? Well, I guess the immobilizer would create the same drawback, of making putting on and taking the rack off more tedious.
..I was wondering about the same thing. Really like their product, know that it works really, really well. Went to buy some when we were at Camping World last week, they didnt have any (and told me basically the same thing - a decision had been made to pull it from their shelves). Not sure why? Hope this product isn't fixing to go away completely, as its what I prefer to use.
I too have found it for sale elsewhere. May just have to order a bunch of it that way.
..Quick update: I just did some searching on both Thule and Yakima's web site for what they have for roof racks like suggested earlier. Suffice it to say, what I found there confirmed I'm making the right decision, going with a hitch mounted rack. :)
Yakima didn't even have anything that'd fit our Fusion for a roof rack. Based on the pricing I saw of their roof racks, and of the ones that Thule offered....Wow, expensive stuff! Hitch mounted rack will be several hundred $$ cheaper, even including the cost of putting a hitch receiver on the car!
Have you thought about putting a rack on the back of the motorhome?
Yes, that was my initial plan, but I ran into two major issues, that ended that idea:
1. Only realistic way to do this was using a dual hitch receiver, that we could put the towbar in the bottom receiver, bike rack in the top one. However, this proved impossible, as bottom of every bike rack I looked at would interfere with the brake actuator on our towbar (ReadyBrute Elite)
2. As you alluded to, this would mean not being able to bring the bikes with us on the 'toad'. Really, really want to be able to do that, for times we want to take bikes with us to remote places where we cannot (or don't want to) bring the Motorhome.
..Anyway, I just ordered the hitch receiver, its supposed to get here next week. Still haven't decided which bike rack I'll go with, but definitely think I want one where the arms will fold down. Would prefer one I can just buy at a store instead of online purchasing, as would like to be able to try it out and make sure all bikes fit on it, and be able to return it easily if they do not fit.