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 > Your search for posts made by 'willald' found 266 matches.

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RE: Towing a Prius

I think the Prius is front wheel drive in both electric and gas. Of course when running electric it is different setup. I wonder how all of these only electric cars might tow. ..In the case of Ford's C-max and Fusion hybrids (as well as the full electric 'energi' version of both) that use the eCVT transmission, they flat tow great, with full factory support from Ford. 'Tis one huge advantage, IMO, that Ford's hybrids have over Toyota's Prius. You can flat tow any of Ford's hybrids all day with almost no restrictions. The Toyota Prius has to be towed either on a dolly or a flat bed trailer.
willald 05/13/15 08:49am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Phone as gps

If the GPS fails then use a voice activated route service. It's called a Wife. It will roll down the window automatically and ask for directions. It's free and doesn't need any cell towers or satellites. :) Nice. :) However, anyone that thinks a 'wife' is anything REMOTELY like 'free'....Welll, they either live in a serious dream world, or haven't been married very long. :) Will
willald 05/11/15 01:18pm General RVing Issues
RE: Mortorhome Dinghy towing problems

Generally speaking, backing up when flat towing is a bad idea that should be avoided. It is usually best to just avoid getting into situations that require backing up. Failing that, just unhook, back up, re-position, and hook back up. HOWEVER, contrary to what many will tell you, in many situations it CAN be done as long as you are cautious, go slooow, and use your head. A lot depends on the specifc toad and its front suspension design, The suspension on some vehicles is much more forgiving than others when being pushed backwards. Jeep Wranglers in particular, even though they are very popular as toads, they seem to be the most unforgiving when it comes to pushing them backwards. Their front wheels will slam to one side almost instantly, and tear something up. I guess, 'tis one of the downsides to a vehicle built so well for off-roading. OTOH, I've seen some FWD vehicles pushed all the way across a parking lot without a problem. I personally once pushed our Kia minivan a good 30-40' backwards when experimenting in a parking lot. It worked OK as long as I was on a smooth surface and kept the MH wheels straight. The Motorhome involved plays a role, too. Generally speaking, the more rear overhang the Motorhome has, the more potential 'swing' it could have when backing, making it more difficult to back without jack-knifing the toad. Personally, I've never yet had to unhook and back up (except of course, at back-in campsites). There were a few times I just 'coasted' backwards (sloooowly) a few feet to clear an obstacle, but other than that, we've always managed to avoid having to back up. However, we've only been doing the flat towing thing for 'bout 3 years. I'm sure one day it'll happen to us; when it does, we'll just deal with it. Good thing about flat towing is that when/if this happens, unhitching and hitching up is so quick and easy, its really not that big a deal.
willald 05/11/15 11:32am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Onan Generator in Class A possible overheat and overuse

Could be as simple as while driving down the road you let your fuel gauge go below 1/4 tank. The geneator fuel inlet will not suck gas below a 1/4 tank as a safety feature. If between 1/4 and 1/2 and you were going up hill or down hill on a long grade it will also be below the genny inlet tube in the gas tank and cause the same problem. I'm betting this is the cause. Original poster said that this happened when they took their first real long trip with it, so I bet they got down close to or below 1/4 of a tank of fuel, resulting in the generator running dry on fuel. I know why they are built that way, but I still don't like the fact that generator can only run on first 3/4 of a tank of fuel. When traveling in hot weather where you need your generator and air conditioners running, it severely limits your range between fill-ups when you lose your generator and air conditioners at 1/4 of a tank. I've thought a few times about trying to change this, and make the generator fuel pickup feed from ENTIRE fuel tank, not just the first 3/4 (anyone ever done that?) Glad someone looked up the trouble code involved here, 36, which it turns out is a fuel related issue, not overheating. Does not appear overheating had anything to do with what happened here. Also, is kinda funny how folks with diesel generators swear that these Onan generators are water-cooled, since theirs is. Onan GAS powered RV generators have almost ALWAYS been air cooled, and still are. :)
willald 05/11/15 10:14am Class A Motorhomes

Be sure you have a good paper map as a back up. Sometimes I am dumbfounded at the errors they display. ..If you don't take any other advice on this subject, heed this advice! GPS devices are a great tool to help with navigation, but you cannot rely on them 100%. They are not always very accurate, and only know what is in their database, which may or may not be 100% up to date and correct. I use a Garmin RV 760 LMT. Its a great unit, I highly recommend it. But, regardless what GPS you get, get in the habit of using paper maps, maps.google or other tools as a backup so you know your route and generally where you're going beforehand. Relying on a GPS alone/blindly can get you into a world of trouble.
willald 05/07/15 12:47pm General RVing Issues
RE: Hybrids, Ford fusion/Lincoln MKZ

Will: did you use the 7 pin to 4 pin plug shown on the highlighted E-Trailer and how did you run the power line, from the #7 pin on the base plate? I assume it would remain "hot".? The more I see this the better it sounds. The brand shown is what I used to fabricate the umbilical, except I went one size better ie; instead of 14ga went with 12ga, as opposed to what Roadmaster used. Kerry, No, I didn't use a 7 pin to 4 pin adapter. I bought a wire similar to THIS but longer, connected it to the 4 flat connector for the magnetic lights. Then, ran the wires for such under the car to the front, and connected the wires directly to the appropriate pins on the back of the 6 round connector at front of the Fusion. I used a 6 round connector and 6 pin umbilical cord, not the 7 pin one that you used. I only needed 6 'pins': Ground 12V power/charge line (yes, always 'hot' which is why its fused) Right Turn & Stop (magnetic lights) Left Turn & Stop (magnetic lights) Tail lights (magnetic lights) Brake light LED indicator on MH dash (goes to brake sensor I installed in the Fusion) Will
willald 05/07/15 12:32pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Why Coach Net or Good Sam for emergency road service.

Ask your insurance agent this: If I break down late at night, on a weekend or holiday in the middle of nowhere and have no idea who to call for towing assistance, do you provide a 24/7 phone # I can call, where someone will answer, determine my location, find the closest towing service or whatever that I need, and get them to my location to help me? That is frequently the big difference with Good Sam ERS, AAA, or Coach Net. They provide a call center open 24/7 that you can call. They will find you a towing service or whatever you need closest to you and get them to your location when you're in unfamilar territory and don't know who to call. The peace of mind that gives you, IMO that alone makes it worth the $$. A policy with State Farm or whatever insurance that covers expenses from a breakdown AFTER its done and over, but no 24/7 call center to help you when you're stranded during off hours....Doesn't do you much good when you're broke down, stranded in the middle of nowhere and don't know who to call to get help.
willald 05/07/15 12:10pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Hybrids, Ford fusion/Lincoln MKZ

Were the lights individual or on a bar. I am aware of the blue ox electrical connector on the base plate. Do the lights have markings for the different functions? Brand and where purchased? Lights are individual. Don't remember exactly where I bought them and the brand, but the magnetic light set I have is something very similar to THIS set from e-trailer. The beauty of this arrangement is, it cost very little, and can easily be removed and put on the next toad when/if we ever trade vehicles. I've never liked the idea of spending $70 or more on a wiring kit, that you have to turn around and buy all over again whenever you trade vehicles. I made the electrical umbilical cord (between coach & towed) and used #7 for a charge line to the battery. Do you have a charge line or can't be done on hybrid? Ah, you bring up a very, very good point here, that I didn't mention before: YES, you absolutely need a charge line with these Ford Hybrids! With these new Ford hybrids, when you tow them with key in ACC position as it has to be, there is a significant drain on the battery. If you don't run a charge line, you will drain the battery down quickly, and after just a few hours of towing, will need a jump start (learned that the hard way, haha). I don't recall the specific wire gauge I used, but yes, I have a charge line. Fortunately, even though the battery is in the back with the Fusion, there is a + battery terminal connector up front, under the hood (used for jump starting), that you can easily wire to. Thats what I did. Also, make sure you put a fuse on that charge line (I believe mine is a 15 amp fuse), close to where you connect to the + terminal on the Fusion. The local Ford dealer must be your brother...$250.00, dirt cheap. Hehe, yeah, we do have a good relationship with the Ford dealer here. Other thing was that we had just bought, brought home the new Fusion just a day before I brought it to them and asked them to install the base plate. The sale was so new, recent, they were still in 'sales' mode, and willing to do anything to make us happy. I think thats why they were so reasonable with it. I too, was surprised at what the bill was for installing the base plate. I paid quite a bit more than that when I had a base plate installed a few years before on another vehicle, by an RV dealer. Will
willald 05/07/15 10:46am Dinghy Towing
RE: The Safe Zone

..Tons of factors enter into this. So much so, that there really is no one specific cover-all answer to this question of tow bar height difference that is 'safe'. Some tow bars are more tolerant of being unlevel than others. The specifics of the MH and toad involved plays a role, too. If you're using a braking system like ReadyBrake, the tolerance there is a little less, as it works best when things are level. Also, you also need to think about ramifications of using too much 'drop'. The bigger of a 'drop' bar you use, the more likely your rig is to scrape and drag back there when going over bumps, inclines, etc. This can damage or weaken your hitch reciever, tow bar, or both. This is especially true with Motorhomes that have a long overhang past the rear axle. I'd much rather have a tow bar that is 2" out of level, than one that is perfectly level but scrapes and drags so bad that you risk weakening the hitch to the point that it can break and let the toad loose going down the highway! Thats why you shouldn't buy completely into the 'get the tow bar as close to level as you possibly can no matter what' mentality. There are other factors to consider.
willald 05/07/15 09:33am Dinghy Towing
RE: Hybrids, Ford fusion/Lincoln MKZ

..I don't live in the southwest, but I do tow a 2013 Fusion Hybrid. Been towing it for 2 years now, and its been great. I went with a Blue Ox base plate, ordered from hitchsource.com. Cost was around $380 IIRC. Had our local Ford dealer do the installation, they did a great job with it, charged about $250 for the install (labor). As to the wiring for the lights: I pretty much did that myself for very little $$. Went with the magnetic lights, but mounted them somewhat permanently INSIDE the vehicle, behind the rear headrests on the shelf back there. Piece of velcro holds them in place well. Ran wires for them into the trunk, then up and to a '6 round' connector up at the front of the vehicle (on the baseplate mount provided for such). I found that the tail lights on the Fusion, as well as the electrical system in general is pretty complicated and NOT something you want to mess with or tap into any more than absolutely necessary. That was why I went with the magnetic lights. Anyway, hope this helps. Feel free to ask away, anything else you might be curious about with this. :)
willald 05/07/15 07:35am Dinghy Towing
RE: Huge Thanks to Barker Manufacturing - Blue Tote

Will I remember that original discussion. I must say when I upgraded to the larger 42 gallon tote I was pleasantly surprised to find out pneumatic tire where now standard. Barker is a great company they replaced my leaking 35 gallon tote no questions asked. I eventually sold the 35 on Craigslist and purchased a 42 gallon model. Yeah, our tote is (I think) the 27 gallon unit. We've obviously had it for a very, very long time. It has developed a tiny leak, as the result of a small crack in the body right where it joins with the dump valve assembly. Not surprising, as old as the tank is and how much we've used it (we've had it for almost 10 years). I tried repairing it with some epoxy a few times, but it hasn't held. May try something else, but its such a tiny leak, and we only use it for grey water, so its not that big a deal. Have thought about contacting Barker about it, as they'd probably send me a new one for next to nothing, but its soooo old, I hate to ask them to do anything for one this old. I too would like a bigger 42 gallon unit, and may well move up to a 42 gallon unit one day. Only problem is if we go any bigger than the one we have now, it won't fit in the storage space, places I prefer to put it. :)
willald 05/06/15 09:33am General RVing Issues
RE: Exercise the Generator or open your wallet

Will: I noted that Lowes etc sell pre-mixed fuel in cans that are pure gas and supposedly great for those small engines. It's more expensive, but not really. My trimmer has run better than ever this year using it. Yep, its definitely the way to go for small engines, as long as you can get ethanol free fuel fairly easily. There is a convenience store almost walking distance from where I live, that sells it (yes, it is at a higher price). Like I alluded to before, though, its more difficult to go ethanol free in what you put in a Motorhome. Some places we go and have to fill up, we're just happy to find a gas station with enough space for us to get in and out and fill up. Getting ethanol free fuel in those situations as well, just ain't going to happen, haha.
willald 05/06/15 07:49am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Huge Thanks to Barker Manufacturing - Blue Tote

Yes, Barker is a great company, they stand behind their products like few others do. They've helped me several times when I had one of their TT tongue jacks on the TT we used to own, and on the tote tank we've had for several years, that still works great. Funny you should mention the whole pneumatic wheel thing. Several years ago, me and a few others on here were the first ones to find and install pneumatic wheels on the front and back of these tote tanks. Back ones were easy to get, the front ones were a bit tougher to find. Here is a thread from some time ago where we discussed, completed this modification. Skip to 5th page of that thread, thats where we started talking about this modification (sorry, the picture links in that thread probably do not work anymore). What was really funny about it: It was not long after we showed on this forum where to get the parts and how to do this, that Barker came out with their new units, that had these pneumatic wheels from the factory! The wheels they use look almost EXACTLY like the pneumatic wheels we used, too! Its as if they were monitoring the forum, and used our idea, work to improve their product, haha. :)
willald 05/06/15 07:25am General RVing Issues
RE: Wondering Which Garmin To Purchase

..Here's one more vote for the Garmin RV 760 LMT. Thats what we have, and it works great both for the RV, as well as for everyday driving with any other vehicle. I could not agree more, with the reasons already mentioned as to why a cell phone is just not a good choice for GPS when on the road. I never even considered using our phone that way when we were looking for a GPS, as I knew it just would not work well for that. Smart phones these days can do a lot of really cool stuff and are very useful tools. However, GPS on the road is one thing better left for a unit built specificallly for that purpose.
willald 05/06/15 07:13am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Exercise the Generator or open your wallet

There is one reason and one reason only for this problem! ETHANOL! Yep, I remember a few years ago when buying a leaf blower, the tech. guy said the same thing - Most of the various small engine powered equipment he gets in for service 'cause they quit running, he finds the cause is exactly that - Ethanol in the fuel causing the carburetor to gum up. He told me to run nothing but ethanol free fuel in the (Stihl) leaf blower I was buying from him, and I'd never have a problem with it. Ever since then, thats all I've ever run in all my lawn equipment (tractor, mower, leaf blower, weed eater, etc). Never had a problem out of any of 'em since. Its easy to only use ethanol free gasoline in small engines you use at home where you can always get your fuel for such from the same place (a convenience store nearby where they sell ethanol free gas). Howerver, it is not that easy to run strictly ethanol free with a Motorhome that you travel all over with, and have to fuel up in all different locations, where ethanol free fuel is frequently not an option. Especially at fuel stations large enough to get a Class A RV in and out of. Sooo, we either exercise our gennys, run 'em dry on fuel before parking them, or pay the price, like noted here. Will
willald 05/04/15 02:53pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Just a Thought...

We did this about 3 years ago - Traded our Ford Excursion (tow vehicle) and 34' Citation RV trailer in for a Class A Motorhome (see signature). Very happy we did, too. We did not do it for the reason alluded to here (lower monthly payment overall). We did it because we wanted a Class A and all the advantages it has over a towable RV. That, and we wanted to travel to places further away, and really liked the advantages a Class A MH has when on the road longer. RV dealer actually took both the truck and TT in on trade when we did this. They gave us very good tradein $$ for both, too. They were very happy to get both - they sold the TT within just a week or two, and liked the truck so much, they kept it for themselves and use it to haul parts, and move trailers around. ..Doesn't seem lke this would be the best move to make if one was wanting to reduce debt, expenses. Would be extremely 'short term' savings at best.
willald 05/04/15 11:40am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Exercise the Generator or open your wallet

Thanks for the reminder. I just exercised ours Saturday, it still runs like new. I try to run it at least once a month with one of the air conditioners on. Did not realize that it is that dangerous to rebuild the carburetor on these generators. $233 ain't bad at all for a new one, though. You'd probably pay half that to have somebody rebuild your old carb. Like the suggestion made earlier as well, about disconnecting the fuel pump and letting the engine run itself dry on fuel. I do this with several other small engines I have (weed eater, leaf blower). Never thought about doing it with the MH's genny, as didn't realize it was that simple. Might just try that.
willald 05/04/15 07:23am Class A Motorhomes

Haven't used the RVI 2 system specifically, but I have heard of several cases where folks have had issues when using TPMS sensors on the end of rubber valve stems. Seems to cause the valve stems to leak. Generally speaking, when you use TPMS sensors that attach on the end of valve stems, its a really, really good idea to go to metal valve stems. I've even seen where some TPMS manufacturers will recommend such.
willald 05/02/15 06:39pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Laptop use on generator power question

Is it possible the laptop just glitched previously or did it fail to charge from the generator more than once? It failed to charge from the genny for several hours, the whole time we were on the road. However, as soon as we got to our campsite and plugged into shore power and hooked it up, it charged up OK. Still, based on what some other people have experienced and noted here....I am starting to think it was a software 'glitch' with the power management software, that may or may not happen again. We will probably just live/deal with this issue (if it happens again). Or, I might wire in a 12V outlet, and get a 12V Lenovo charger. Like already said, that approach has the added bonus that it keeps me from having to keep bring the charger in and out from the house. Is the A/C cycling? Maybe the compressor starting freaked out the laptop brick? No, compressor was on whole time when we were on the road, due to how warm it was going through Florida. When I tested it earlier today in the driveway, I waited until I heard the compressor kick on, before plugging up the laptop charger. Will
willald 05/02/15 06:33pm Tech Issues
RE: Laptop use on generator power question

Update: I'm sitting in the RV right now, parked in our driveway (using the laptop). Did just as mentioned earlier - First brought it up with shore power connected, and it was charging fine, as expected. Then, disconnected shore power, fired up the generator and air conditioner, and plugged laptop into same outlet. Even started a DVD going on it. Whaddya know, now, its charging the battery just fine!! Soooo, I'm at a loss as to what the difference is. I do know, the battery was very depleted when we first hooked it up to power when on the road to recharge, and now, in this test, battery is at about 70%. Could genny's power output be more 'dirty', when on the road vs parked? Not sure I have any answers now, but may well just order a 12V power supply for the laptop, keep it in the MH and be done with it. That way, won't have to carry regular power supply back and forth from the house, anyway. Thanks again, for all the responses, insight. Many were very helpful, keep them coming. :)
willald 05/02/15 01:15pm Tech Issues
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