As things stand, if this system cannot level the coach on my driveway, then it's not going to be useful at many campgrounds, IMO.
Well, one thing you can do at a campground in the case of an extremely unlevel site, that you can't do on your paved (or concrete)driveway: Get you a shovel, and dig out a small trench for the wheels to sit in on the side thats too high.
Also, whether its campsite or a paved driveway, a handful of wood blocks cut in to 10 or 12" pieces, or a set of plastic leveling blocks you drive the wheels up on can go a long way to help level things out, too.
It is true that towable RVs (5er or TT) have a big advantage in how far they can be raised/lowered front to back to get level. However, I will say that we've been camping at numerous places with our MH over the last few years, many of which were at state parks where sites were very unlevel. Between the various wood and plastic blocks I carry, and a shovel for digging a trench when needed......I've yet to ever find a site or slope too steep that I couldn't level the MH successfully.
JMO, and not referring to anyone necessarily in this thread, but having come from owning a TT for many years and now a MH...It seems like many folks get very lazy when they go from a towable RV to a MH, when it comes to leveling. Its as if using leveling blocks becomes a disgrace, and they refuse to use them unless absolutely forced to.
I'd MUCH rather get out the leveling blocks and drive one side of the MH up on them, rather than lift tires completely off the ground. Leveling jacks on a MH are indeed designed to lift the entire corner/side, and they will do that. However, as already said, this can put a lot of lateral stress on the jacks, and even if it doesn't hurt them, it will make things less stable (more shaky) inside. I've found that the more blocks I use under the jacks and tires, the more solid and stable it will feel inside the RV.
Sooo, in other words, with a towable RV you can go faster on rough roads 'cause you're doing the equivalent of putting your head in the sand like an ostrich. You aren't hearing all the noises your RV makes when it bounces down the road, so you assume all is OK and go a little faster. But, in a MH, you hear and realize the beating you're putting your RV through, so you go slower?
..I see that as more of an advantage for the MH than a disadvantage. I'd rather hear those noises, know just how bad I am or am not abusing things, so I can pick an appropriate speed accordingly. Better to get to your destination with your RV still completely intact and all appliances, etc. working properly, than to get there sooner with the chance of all the beating, bumping having damaged something.
Perhaps I'm missing the point here, but I'm not seeing where not knowing about the damage you're doing with higher speeds, makes it OK to go faster and an advantage to go faster? :)
Of those two, my vote is for the blue ox tow bar, just for the fact that they include their auto stop braking system. Not having to buy a separate braking system will save you a good $1k or more. And, you'll have a great, very reliable and simple braking system that does not involve any electronics to fail, or anything to have to put in or take out every time you tow.
Or, even better: Skip both of those and get you a Readybrute Elite tow bar from Readybrake, that comes with their Readybrake braking system. Readybrake is very similar to Blue Ox's auto stop braking system, it also is a simple, reliable cable operated brake (no electronics or anything to put in or take out). I kinda like Readybrake's system better, though, as it seems to have less moving parts (things to break) on the towbar. That, and its been around a lot longer and has a long, proven track record.
I worry the most about a false triggering event where the breakaway pops the box and my pretty Jeep is being dragged down the highway.
Yes, this is one reason why IMO its a very wise idea to wire some kind of indicator light on the MH dash, that will indicate when towed vehicle brake pedal is being depressed (regardless what supplemental braking system you use). NOT when the braking system engages, but when brake pedal is pressed. This way you'll always know when your towed vehicles brakes are being engaged, and if they ever get engaged when they should not, you'll know right away and can (hopefully) stop before major damage is done.
....If my receiver comes of my MH, I will sue the heck out of Fleetwood and Draw-tite......I cannot see, other than rust, how a receiver coming off a MH is anyone's fault but the installer and/or the MH company. If it is a do it yourselfer and that things comes of, someone needs to go to jail......cuz that be criminal.
On the contrary, there are a lot of ways an owner can abuse the hitch receiver on a MH and contribut to its early demise.
MHs typically have quite a bit of rear overhang. In many cases, the hitch receiver is the first thing to scrap and have a lot of upward force/pressure put on it when going over steep bumps or inclines.
Also, as you know, most MH receivers are limited to 500 lbs (or 350) maximum tongue weight. How many MHs do you see towing fairly big, enclosed trailers behind them? You really think those trailers loaded up, have less than 500 lbs of tongue weight? Or, even flatbed trailers with a car on them. You think that trailer, with a car on it, is putting just 500 lbs or less of tongue weight on that receiver?
Soooo, I would not assume that most hitch receiver failures are the fault of the manufacturer. There are definitely ways the owner can cause such.
I made it a point when I first set up our MH to tow our vehicles, that the break-away cable attaches to the frame of the MH, not the hitch receiver. If there was a good way to attach the safety chains to something besides the reciever, too, I'd do it.
We walked away from the excursion yesterday, after my wife returned from having it inspected and sat with the diesel techs there for quite a bit, she didn't feel comfortable as most of you have said with the reliability . And if the wife isn't happy... No one is happy.
Started looking for any other gas excursions for sale near me and came up empty.
Good choice/decision. I think you may have dodged a bullet. :)
As far as V10 Excursions go: Like already said, there are not many left, and they get fewer every day since Ford quit making them in 2005.
However, they are out there. I think you'll probably have to expand your search area some, though, and be willing to travel a ways to get one.
We had an '03 V10 Excursion we towed with for many years, it was an awesome vehicle. I kinda miss it sometimes. Gave us 9 years of nearly flawless service towing an 8,000 lb 34' RV trailer. It was still running like new when we finally traded it, too. RV dealer we traded it to for our current rig liked our Ex so much, they decided not to sell it - Ended up keeping it for themselves, for hauling parts and other uses. They are great towing rigs, you will definitely like it if you can find a good one.
I just (yesterday) was working on the wood trim around the living room slideout on our Georgetowm MH. The wood trim over the top of the slideout had begun to sag a little, enough that it was starting to catch when the slideout is extended or retracted. Took the trim piece off to see what was going on, and found that the wood structure behind it, thats supposed to hold it in place, was held in place with tiny panel nails (brads), nailed into the ceiling! That would be why the whole structure was sagging, those tiny little nails were nowhere near enough to hold it and were pulling out. Man, somebody at the factory really took the easy, cheap way out there, huh?!
Anyway, 'bout an hour and a few wood screws later, I had it fixed and put back together like it should have been done from the get-go at the factory. Problem solved, no more sagging.
When I bought our coach with all the amenities it has at the price point we got, I fully expected there to be little things like this I'd have to fix from time to time. And I don't mind fixing these things. I can fix a LOT of things like this over the years, and still be waaaaaay ahead $$ from what I would have had to pay to get a coach built like a Cadillac (Newell, Prevost, etc).
Yes, as mastercraft here is finding out, many, many RVs are built very cheaply. Like already said, with the Palazzos, when the Freightliner chassis alone costs $100k, you can't expect a $160k coach built on that chassis to be built anything but cheaply.
Still, I have to agree that in this case they have really put the shaft to the customer (mastercraft) really, really bad. This Palazzo unit seems to be a really, really extreme example of poor (horrible!) quality build.
I'm going to refrain from offering much advice here, though, as the things I'd recommend to the OP....Welllll, lets just say its not something I'd want mentioned in a public forum in this situation. I will just say this: IMO, its time to move on, and to find some way to dump this Palazzo (Palacrappo) and get something else. Even if that requires (yikes!) litigation of some form. For the amount of $$ you've put into this, there are much, much nicer coaches out there that will serve you much better. No reason you should have to go through what they've put you through.
I just purchased and 2014 CMax and have been reading that you can not tow more than approximately 150 miles at a time before the battery dies.
Looking for imput and fix. Thank you.
We tow a 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid, that has exact same hybrid drivetrain as your C-max.
Yes, Ford hybrids (both Fusion and C-max) will drain the battery down pretty quickly when towing. Unless you plan on stopping every 100 miles or so to start up and run the toad battery for a few minutes, your only real solution is to wire a charge line, like already indicated.
Thats what I did for our Fusion, and it works great. I can pretty much tow all day, as long as I want, and battery stays completely charged up, ready to go.
..The same way you do, regardless what braking system you use. You either:
1. Wire up the taillights to the MH using diodes
2. Wire up separate bulbs in taillight housing, and wire them to MH
3. Use separate magnetic lights or light bar of some kind.
Supplemental braking system is pretty much independent of tail light wiring, especially the turn signals.
So is it better to use a MT LLC to buy a Gas or diesel MH and which manufacturer, length, and should it be new or used and how old should the tires be and what should I expect for MPG? If Gas workhorse or F53, if diesel, should I look for spartan, freightliner or any other? Also, is it better to have my MT LLC coach with hydro slide or electric, tpo roof or fiberglass? Should I ever level it with the wheels off the ground? (Fronts only - I am not that silly). I think that covers most of it.
Nah, Effy, I think you forgot a few topics:
Should you travel in it with propane frig on? Is it OK for you to dump grey water on the ground with it? Should you spend a fortune on day 1 and put in a residential refrigerator? If you tow a vehicle behind it, should you install a supplemental braking system?
Hehehe, it goes on and on. :)
There are no seatbeltos for passengers on school buses or Greyhound buses. Should a MH be treated any differently?
Yes, a MH most certainly SHOULD be treated differently, 'cause its a case of comparing apples and oranges. Hehe, it always amuses me when I see this ridiculous comparison made.
School buses are built like TANKS compared to RVs. Steel caged all around, and weigh several tons. As already said, each seat is specifically designed with tall cushions front and back, to protect passengers in case of a wreck. They are also limited in speed to 45 mph, even on interstates (at least here in NC they are). And, they are required to stop at ALL railroad crossings. This is not to mention the fact that to drive one you have to have a valid CDL and go through the training that requires.
(..I know this, 'cause my wife drove school buses for many years).
Basically, school buses are designed in almost all aspects to be very, very safe for their passengers even without seatbelts. That is not even REMOTELY the case for RVs, especially for anyone not sitting in the driver or passenger seat up front.
So, please, lets not compare RVs to school buses. :)
Anyway, back to the subject: Yes, MHs in general are not designed very well for safety for anyone but the driver and passenger. This is especially true if we're talking about smaller children that require car seats or boosters.
This was one of the reasons why we stayed with the towable RV (TT) and truck we had previously for many years, and were hesitant to move up to a MH. We held off on moving up to the MH until our children no longer needed car seats or boosters. In many cases, there just simply is no good, safe place to put car seats in a MH the way the car seat is intended to be used. At least, not without having to do some modifications or other 'rigging'.
If you're going to regularly travel with smaller children in car seats or boosters, IMO they'll be much safer with a towable RV and truck/tow vehicle where car seats can be installed and set up the way they were designed to be. Save the MH until the children are big enough to travel without car seats or boosters. Thats what we did, although I know thats not realistic in many situations.
I do find it a bit funny that a lot of the staunch supporters of this, and claim there is nothing wrong, it's all legal and no different than leveraging any other loophole, and it's morally positive, have not excercised this ingenious plan themsleves. Speaks volumes. If it's all legit, legal and easy, provided you follow the letter of the law, why isn't everyone doing it? After all, we all do the interest deduction.
..Like already said, because most of us are not full-timers, so this approach would not work.
Personally speaking: I don't ever plan to spend six figures on ANY depreciating asset (like an RV) in this lifetime. Working 'stiffs' like me with a family to support can't afford to sink that much $$ into a luxury item, haha.
That being the case, the taxes on any RV I purchase will never be significant enough to make this LLC thing worth the hassle. Thats why I don't do it. Tthat, and like I said before, I'm just too chicken/paranoid to try something like that, even though it can be done completely legally.
I'm sure there are zillions of other perfectly valid reasons as well, why most folks don't do this.
Ahh, this subject again.
I think mowermech summed it up well, like he always has when this subject comes up - KNOW the law, FOLLOW the law, and DOCUMENT that you followed the law, and you'll not have any problems with the law.
Sounds like this person you met and talked to has done precisely that. I'm not going to begrudge him for it. I personally would probably be too 'chicken' and paranoid to try that, but more power to him for doing it.
I do agree, though, that if I was doing such a thing I sure wouldn't be bragging about it!
Now, as to the question of whether it is 'morally' right to LEGALLY avoid paying exorbant taxes in this manner: IMO thats an awfully slippery slope to climb, and is where all the 'debate' on this subject comes from.
That way of thinking can quickly be twisted around to imply that every last one of us have done something, somewhere (and may well still be doing it) that could also be seen as immoral and cheating on taxes (or other things). Regardless how legal it is.
For example: I live very close to the state border between NC and SC. State taxes on gas are less in SC vs NC, so gas is about 15-20 cents cheaper a gallon in SC. If I drive over to SC to get gas because gas tax is cheaper in SC, am I being immoral, or just using my $$ wisely?
..I could go on and on with various examples of how all of us in one way or another does (or has) found ways to minimize what they pay in taxes, but I bet most would not call those things 'immoral' like these LLCs are being called.
you could go to NSA and get the Ready Brute integrated towbar/braking system. for under $2000, get the towbar brackets, and be much better off, IMO....
..This is what I would highly, highly recommend. Can actually be purchased for MUCH less than $2000, current price on NSA's web site is $1275. You can order it from hitchsource.com HERE for even less than that ($1175), and free shipping is included. :)
IMO you just can't beat getting a tow bar AND braking system for that $$. With any separate tow bar and 'electronic box' type brake system, you'll easily pay over $1000 more than that, total. And thats without even getting into how much better and more reliable the Readybrake system is over so many other options.
BUT, as bumpyroad said, READ the Owners Manual, and FOLLOW the instructions contained therein! If the book says DON'T TOW IT, you are on your own!
...Its already been established that the vehicle in question (Chevy Traverse) IS flat-towable, per the manufacturer. We can stop 'preaching' (beating the dead horse) about the owners manual now, really. :)
I own a 2013 Fusion hybrid, which has same taillight design as your Fusion Energi.
When I was doing the tailight wiring for our Fusion, I took one look at the LED taillight assemblies, and decided there was no way I was tapping into or connecting any harness into those things, haha. Just looked too complicated to mess with, and very easy to foul something up.
My solution: As previously noted, I bought a set of external lights and put them on the rear shelf right behind the headrest of rear seats. Put a piece of velcro on bottom of light assembly, they stick right in place on that back shelf (without having to put velcro material on shelf itself). Ran wires for them down to the trunk, and underneath car to the front 6 round connector.
That said, I do recall at one point seeing a wiring kit with harnesses for the Fusion on etrailer.com. Can't seem to find it now, but I know it was there at one time. Ultimately I decided not to go that route, though, as I was/am just too paranoid about tapping into the wiring on this vehicle any more than is necessary, due to how complicated it seems to be.
We've had our Georgetown 351DS for over 2 years now, and love it. Going on our 3rd season with it, and except for the usual minor 'quirks' you have with any new RV, it has been pretty much flawless.
Like you, we 'agonized' over this decision for a long time. Ultimately we liked the Georgetown better than anything/everything else we looked at. Everything about it just 'fit' best for us - floorplan, pricing, quality, dealer, availability, etc. Georgetowns are some of the best 'bang for the buck' you can get in a Class A.
Yes, you can spend several thousand more and get something with more 'bling' and maybe a little better quality (Tiffin, Winnebago come to mind). For us at least, though, after looking closely at all of them, we just were not convinced the difference in quality was significant enough to be worth all the extra $$ involved. That, and the 351DS floorplan just fit better for us than the other units we looked at.
PM me if you want more specific info. I've done several modifications to ours to make it even better, which I'd be glad to share with you.
Thanks again for all the responses, still researching my options. Looking at the Ready Brute Elite tow bar, looks like I get the tow bar plus brake system in one. Anybody have this?
Yep, thats what I have, and IMO it just can't be beat. Very simple, works great, and costs about half overall what you'd pay for any other separate tow bar and braking system.
You'll find almost nothing but glowing reviews on here, for the Readybrake/ReadyBrute system.
What is a $8000. FBP ?
FBP = full body paint (which can easily cost $8000 or more).
Bumpy makes a valid point. However, I think if you talk to folks that do not use a supplemental braking system, you'll find that cost is frequently not the main reason they choose not to use one. More common, realistic reasons not to use one are probably more along these lines:
1. Not worth the hassle, risk. Might allow you to stop just a little quicker which slightly reduces the risk of a rear end collision, but overall adds more risk of the system malfunctioning and doing MAJOR damage to the towed vehicle and causing a much worse catastrophy. A risk vs reward thing, basically.
2. Just plain not necessary, given the specific factors, situation involved. For example, someone with a new $1M 45' Prevost bus conversion towing a smart car. Would anyone really try to suggest someone in that circumstance should have a braking system?
3. Distrust, grudge against the companies that make these systems. When a company shamelessly and boldy LIES about state laws to sell their products, some folks consider such a company, product as a SCAM and they want nothing to do with it.
4. Simply NOT required by law in the states where one plans to travel, so don't see a need. Contrary to what braking system web pages lead you to believe, there are a lot of states that do NOT specifically require these systems.
Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree or disagree with any of the above reasons. Just trying to illustrate some reasons I've heard people discuss over the years for not using the systems. There is a lot more to one's decision to use these systems or not than just $$.
For the record, I use a brake system, Readybrake, and would not want to travel without it. However, I am NOT convinced that such systems should be used by EVERYONE towing a vehicle with a MH. Just too many factors involved to make any hard, specific rules on this.
Yep, turn around and go right back. I like the other suggestion as well, to stick around for a few days after they fix it to make sure its fixed right (assuming you have the time to do that).
Then, next thing I would do in your situation: As soon as I got back home, I'd start looking for another unit, and plan on dumping that Palazzo for something else. Given all the issues Thor has had with the slides on those things, I would never trust it. Especially after having gone through what you have already with it.
thank you Dennis. I have copied your post and believe me it will reappear every time the cheap skates who spend $8,000 on FBP but won't spend $1,500 on safety ask for an example.
..Wouldn't this information be in the owner's manual, Bumpy? ;)