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 > Your search for posts made by 'willald' found 284 matches.

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RE: Want to upgrade - Is diesel worth it?

Mr. Mark, JimM68: Like so many other things, to each their own. :) I thought about typing up a nice long post, 'responding' to what each of you said, but really, whats the point? This issue has been beat to death soooo many times, and bottom line is we all are going to buy and enjoy owning what we want and like. Regardless what anyone else says. On second thought...Ahhh, what the heck, lets have some more fun! You are always going to prefer your loud, filthy, stinking, diesel exhaust belching behemoths that cost obscene amounts of $$$,look and feel like driving a big school bus, and require special licensing from DMV to even operate in many states. Have you had the flashing red lights and stop arm installed yet, so your kids (or grandkids) can get off safely like they do from a school bus? :B ..And I will always prefer gasser rigs that allow the floorplan options I like, don't stink, aren't obnoxiously loud to everyone around it, don't look like a big school or charter bus, don't require any special licensing to drive, and don't require one to be filthy rich and independently wealthy to own and maintain it. Lets just be thankful we have so many great RV choices, so we can all chose what we want to travel with, and not have to stay in hotels. :) Will You know Will, I think it would be fun just sitting around having a beer with ya and we'll include Jim. :) MM. Sounds like a plan. :) We'll have to do this it at my campsite, though, as I'm not sure my lungs could take breathing in all the nasty diesel fumes that will be lingering around at your campsite. Hahahahahahahaha! :B Will
willald 07/01/14 07:10am Class A Motorhomes
RE: 2015 Honda Fit

"Not that it matters - Bean Counters will tell Engineering to do what helps Bottom Line - But - How many LIKE CVT's???" It has nothing to do with bean counters and everything to do with better fuel mileage. I purchased a new 2014 Honda Accord last October with a CVT and any reservations I had about the CVT quickly disappeared. I just returned from a 500 mile round trip and I got 42 MPG going one way and 35 MPG going the opposite direction. Did I mention I was driving 74 to 75 MPH on the highway? Those MPG numbers are pretty close to hybrid MPG numbers and I didn't have to spend thousands of dollars more for a hybrid model. Yes, once you drive a CVT vehicle for a while, you won't want anything else. Its amazing how much more efficiently and smoothly it uses the engine's power, keeping the engine at the perfect RPM range for how much load it is under without any 'shifting', ever. We spent the extra $$ for the hybrid not so much for the mileage, but for how easy it was to flat tow. Mileage was just an added bonus making it even more worth the extra $$.
willald 06/30/14 02:07pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Want to upgrade - Is diesel worth it?

Mr. Mark, JimM68: Like so many other things, to each their own. :) I thought about typing up a nice long post, 'responding' to what each of you said, but really, whats the point? This issue has been beat to death soooo many times, and bottom line is we all are going to buy and enjoy owning what we want and like. Regardless what anyone else says. On second thought...Ahhh, what the heck, lets have some more fun! You are always going to prefer your loud, filthy, stinking, diesel exhaust belching behemoths that cost obscene amounts of $$$,look and feel like driving a big school bus, and require special licensing from DMV to even operate in many states. Have you had the flashing red lights and stop arm installed yet, so your kids (or grandkids) can get off safely like they do from a school bus? :B ..And I will always prefer gasser rigs that allow the floorplan options I like, don't stink, aren't obnoxiously loud to everyone around it, don't look like a big school or charter bus, don't require any special licensing to drive, and don't require one to be filthy rich and independently wealthy to own and maintain it. Lets just be thankful we have so many great RV choices, so we can all chose what we want to travel with, and not have to stay in hotels. :) Will
willald 06/30/14 02:00pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: 2015 Honda Fit

We've been towing our Escape Hybrid with CVT for 6 years, so I'd disagree with the blanket statement that CVT's can't be towed. It seems to be a matter of design. You have to check the owners manual. ..You beat me to it. Indeed, Ford's eCVT transmission they use in their hybrids is flat towable, and has been for several years, without any known issues with it, ever. That was one of the main reasons we got our Ford Fusion hybrid 'bout a year ago. 'Twas one of the most simple, easiest automatic tranny vehicles for flat towing that we could find. No fuses to pull, no battery disconnect, no crazy procedures requiring you to stop and run the engine every so often, no crazy, unique shift pattern to go through before towing. None of that. Just hitch it up, put it in neutral and go, basically. Would not surprise me at all, if we start seeing more and more CVT transmissions instead of geared transmissions. CVT is soo much more smooth and efficient, IMO. Its unfortunate that us MH owners that want to flat tow are such a tiny percentage of the auto buying population, that fewer and fewer options are out there for us.
willald 06/30/14 11:54am Dinghy Towing
RE: Want to upgrade - Is diesel worth it?

..As already said, with a coach this size, some of the advantages of diesel are not going to be as obvious. IMO, floorplan is much more important than chassis/engine type. When parked, you're not going to care whether its diesel or gas, you'll want the floorplan that works best for you. For that reason, my vote is for the Open Road 31SA you mentioned in your original post. Sounds like that unit has a floorplan you like much better, so I say go with it. OK, now that I've addressed the actual, specific questions originally posted, now to join in with the other 4 pages of diesel vs gas debate/rant that has taken over this thread: :) I personally want NOTHING to do with a diesel coach. They stink, are obnoxiously loud (outside), pollute the air much worse (except newer DEF units), and most of all: They cost ridiculously more to purchase and maintain than a gasser. Maybe I'm old fashioned and 'cheap', but it just seems crazy to me, to sink six figures of $$ into a depreciating asset (which you just about have to do, to get into a diesel pusher thats not several years old). Whats more, I absolutely hate the design of having the door at the front, in front of the passenger seat. Makes it seem like you're driving a big greyhound or school bus. I keep looking for the flashing lights and stop arm to come out on them when one stops, hahahaha! I know there are a *few* diesel pushers that don't have the door up front, but they are very few and far between. Also, we really, really like having a window on the back wall of the bedroom (this is almost a 'deal-breaker' for us). This is something you just cannot get on ANY diesel pusher unit I've ever seen. Oh, and before anyone asks/suggests such: YES, I *HAVE* driven a diesel pusher, and I do know and appreciate how much smoother a ride they offer with full air suspension. For me personally, though, that smoother ride just is not worth the ridiculously higher purchase price and maintenance, and the other things noted above that I do not like with them. Will
willald 06/30/14 11:28am Class A Motorhomes
RE: It's Back! Tank Flushing Tests in the Clear RV Black Tank

I tend to think that, as far as rinsers go, nothing does a better job that just driving the rig with half full tanks. Then dump before the mud has a chance to settle out of solution. Perhaps, but that approach isn't very realistic or possible unless you are lucky enough to have a sewer drain/cleanout at the house or where ever you store your RV. How/where are you going to dump when you get home from a trip? Not only that, but it'd be kinda tough to test that theory out, with the simulated tank used in these tests. :) Will
willald 06/30/14 08:58am General RVing Issues
RE: ford/Lincoln hybrid towing

Thanks for the info, triker33. Learn something new every day. :) Apparently, the Lincoln MKZ hybrid has a different, more elaborate system for neutral towing than the Fusion hybrid. If it truly shuts off ALL loads from the 12V battery, then that would eliminate the need for a charge line. However, call me 'not convinced', haha. Given that the owner's manual for both the C-max and Fusion hybrid say NOTHING of the electrical load placed on the battery when towing and need for a charge line....I still don't think I'd trust Lincoln/Ford, and assume that ALL loads, circuits are disconnected from the battery when it is put in neutral towing mode. 'Tis very easy to find out for certain, just do what I did: Put tranny in neutral, go through all the motions to put vehicle in neutral tow mode, like you would when hitching it up to tow. Then, put a clip-on ammeter on one of the wires coming from the 12V battery, and see what amperage it reads when vehicle is in 'neutral tow mode' with everything else turned off (radio, lights, etc). I found with our Fusion, that even with everything turned off, there was still a 3 amp average draw on the battery all the time. That was enough draw that after just a few hours of towing, the battery was so dead it would not even operate the power locks on the car. Talked to several other Fusion and C-max owners that had a similar experience. And, remember, these vehicles' power brake system is ALWAYS on, so any time your supplemental braking system engages the brakes, that power brake assist motor on the vehicle may engage, drawing even more from the battery. Maybe thats not the case for the MKZ, but it is on the Cmax, Fusion, and the Energi models. I think I'd want to do an ammeter check on the MKZ to be sure. As many will tell you, it is definitely NOT fun to get to your destination with a dead toad battery, and have to get a jump from someone to get it going. Will
willald 06/30/14 08:47am Dinghy Towing
RE: Toad brakes

I am all for brakes on toad and safty cables but please tell me how you hook up the brake away brakes on hydralulic brakes. I can see it on electric brakes but not hydraluic. ..Obviously every system has a different approach, but with Readybrake's Readystop system, you have a physical cable attached to the brake pedal, that is routed to front of vehicle. The cable goes through a 'one-way' box, that allows the cable to be pulled on, but once pulled will not release. This cable is attached via a break-away cable to the MH. In the event of a break-away, the break-away cable is designed to break when just the right amount of 'pull' is put on it, enough to pull on the cable and engage the toad brakes (that will then stay engaged, due to the 'one-way' box I mentioned above). You can 'release' the cable on the one-way box, by pushing in a release button on it. Electronic systems all push on the brake pedal one way or another, so with them, all thats needed for break-away is a simple electric wire that is run to the front, so that when the break-away is pulled, it signals the brake system to push on the brake pedal and engage the brakes that way. Not a whole lot different, really, than the way its done with electric brakes on trailers.
willald 06/30/14 07:00am Dinghy Towing
RE: It's Back! Tank Flushing Tests in the Clear RV Black Tank

Thanks so much for listening to the suggestions, and running this second round of tests based on the suggestions. For the most part, your conclusions and what you found are exactly as I would expect - No matter what some folks say or what various marketing suggests, You simply can't beat a tank flusher for how well it cleans out the tank. The Flush King (or Hydro Flush with a valve) comes in a close second. No surprise at all, that the hydro flush without a shutoff valve was useless. I figured that from the first time I looked at those devices. I would only add the following to your conclusions: conclusion #2: Clear section 'lying' about how clean tank really is. Yes, when pushing water into the tank, what you see in the clear piece tells you nothing of how clean the tank itself is or is not. HOWEVER, when draining the tank (or draining out water you pushed up in there to flush), what you see coming through that clear piece is very indicative of how clean your tank is or is not. That is where the clear piece is very useful. I have always used one for this purpose, 'cause without it, you never have any idea how clean you have got the tank. A clear piece actually is a very useful tool for flushing/dumping, as long as you know when to pay attention to what its telling you, and when not to. Conclusion #4: Drain-end flush systems no more effective than filling tank through other means. Agree 100% with this. However, for those of us that: A. Don't have a sink that plumbs into the black tank. B. prefer to do all the flushing/draining 'activity' outside at the drain hose instead of treking in and out of the RV bathroom C. Hate the idea of dragging a water hose and/or tank wand into the RV ..In these cases, a drain-end flush system (with a valve) is a very useful, effective way to push water back up into the tank to flush it out. One other note: You do not have to spend the $$ for a Flush King, to get a clear piece with a valve and water line connection. Camco makes the Dual Hydro Flush that is almost identical to the flush king - Has the clear piece, water line connection with backflow preventer and a shutoff valve to force water up into the tank, and it costs somewhat less than the flush king ($26 vs $49). This (dual hydro flush) is what I use on our present RV, and it works great. IMO it is next best thing to a tank rinser, and these videos confirm that. I would prefer a tank rinser, but don't have one on our present RV (nor is it built to allow installing one, or I would have a long time ago). Our previous RVs all had a tank rinser, and my next one will as well. Also, with regards to tank flushers: The tornado rinser used in this test, while it worked great here, due to its moving parts (rotating head), it is known to quit working after a while (head quit spinning, and getting jammed up as a result). The traditional 'quickie flush' units that do the same thing but don't have the rotating head, are a bit more reliable. I'd prefer one of those over the tornado flush, just 'cause that is one part that once installed, I don't ever want to have to remove or mess with again, haha. :)
willald 06/29/14 09:32pm General RVing Issues
RE: Warning on RVDirect for those currently looking

Financing various purchases, is sort of like beer/alcohol. There are some, that can have one or two drinks now and then and enjoy it, and have fun without it taking over their life and destroying it. There is nothing wrong with folks like that enjoying a drink or two now and then. Then, there are those that can't control themselves with it (alcohol), and one drink leads them to another then another, until they over-indulge and really bad things happen. For those folks, they are better off avoiding alcohol completely (alcoholics). Same basic thing with credit/financing - There are those of us that use financing wisely as a tool, within limits, and it allows us to enjoy things we never could otherwise. There is nothing 'financially irresponsible' with this, as long as its done wisely. Regardless what some 'elitist' folks would have you believe. Then, there are those that are the equivalent of financing 'alcoholics' that can't control themselves, and will get themselves deeper and deeper in debt, until it causes major problems. Those folks, like the ones that can't keep themselves from over-indulging in alcohol, should not finance hardly anything. Anyway, back to the original subject: Good information to know, on working with RVDirect. When we bought our MH, we looked at them, but were not impressed. My biggest issue with them was the fact that you had to pay for the RV 100%, all registration, papers done, RV completely owned by you, before you could even SEE it (unless you were fortunate enough to live close to their location, and could look at and purchase a unit in stock). We ended up purchasing from a local dealer, who came pretty close to what RVDirect was offering, anyway.
willald 06/28/14 09:37pm General RVing Issues
RE: ford/Lincoln hybrid towing

Please tell me more about the charge line please. How is it installed, etc. A friend of mine told me to also look at the Ford Fusion Energii which is a hybrid plug in. It is listed as flat tow abode and you get the added technology of electric. It may not come into play while on the road, although it could plug in at the campground. Same price as the MKZ hybrid, just with the electric ability along with the gas hybrid. Download theMKZ owners manual as the set up for towing does not need a charge line unless you are using a power heavy brake system on it. Yes it does, unless you plan on stopping every hour or two to run the mkz engine, to charge up the battery. 'Tis one of those 'undocumented features' about Ford's hybrids, that they drain the battery when flat towing, if you leave the key in ACC position as they instruct you to. I verified this with an ammeter. Very easy solution, though, like I said - run a charge line. Owners manual on mine didn't mention this, either, hence why I called it an 'undocumented feature'. :) Will
willald 06/22/14 08:17am Dinghy Towing
RE: Best route to Gulf Shores, AL from NC

I would get off of I 10 in Pensacola and take the Gulf Breeze Hwy over to Gulf Shores. Very little trafficVery pretty drive, and not all that far to Foley. Of course, they could always drop down to US Hwy 90. ..Of course, since we're coming from NC, and will come down I-65 to get there, not I-10....Getting on I-10 and going that far east only to travel BACK west on Gulf Breeze Hwy would kinda be akin to going around one's elbow to get to their.......you know. :) Will
willald 06/20/14 08:01am Roads and Routes
RE: Dinghy Towing

Not sure 'bout the Accord, but I do know that Honda used to support flat towing (using the emergency procedure as you mentioned) their Odyssey minivans. Then, they suddenly stopped supporting this, said not to flat tow them at all. Still, there were several people that reported successfully flat towing them, provided they followed the emergency procedures for such to a 'T'. Not sure of specific year models for which this would work, nor if it applies with the Accord or not. Me thinks your best best would be to use a dolly or flatbed. One other 'interesting' option I know some people have done successfully, that you might consider: Just let the Accord's engine run, idling, tranny in neutral, when flat towing it. This comes with its own set of risks, obviously, but is one simple, inexpensive way to allow almost any auto tranny FWD vehicle to be flat towed.
willald 06/18/14 01:40pm Dinghy Towing
RE: ford/Lincoln hybrid towing

Please tell me more about the charge line please. How is it installed, etc. Well, there's a couple ways you can do it. You can buy a product that includes everything you need to do it and install it, something like RVi's Towed battery charger. Or, you can just buy the appropriate wiring, connectors, fuse link, etc. and do it yourself. If you do a search or two on here, you'll see several examples, instructions, etc. on how folks have done this. Basically all you're doing is running a (fused!) wire from the + terminal of your MH, to the + terminal of your towed vehicle. Most MHs will already have a charge wire (+) wired to the back, in the 7 pin trailer wiring connection at the back. You just wire that, through one of the wires in your umbilical cord going to the toad, and wire from there to the + terminal of the battery. Fortunately with the Ford hybrids, even though the battery is in the back, there is a + terminal under the hood you can easily connect to. You should already have a ground (-) wire going to the towed vehicle for the taillight wiring. If not, you'll need to run that, too. Thats pretty much it. A friend of mine told me to also look at the Ford Fusion Energii which is a hybrid plug in. It is listed as flat tow abode and you get the added technology of electric. It may not come into play while on the road, although it could plug in at the campground. Same price as the MKZ hybrid, just with the electric ability along with the gas hybrid. You actually get the ability to run in electric (EV) mode with both the regular hybrids AND the Energi version. Big difference is, with the Energi version, the batteries are bigger and able to store much more energy, so you can run much longer in EV mode. Also, the energi version gives you the plug-in capability to plug it in and charge up the batteries that way. With the regular hybrid (what we have), electrical power is only generated by regenerative braking, and from running in regular gas mode. The 'energi' version also comes with a much higher price tag, and isn't quite as easy to find (not many of them made, yet). However, I believe the higher price is offset by a tax break you get, since it (energi version) is considered a true electric vehicle. Both version are completely flat towable. No doubt, the plug in capability of the energi version would be nice to have at campgrounds since you could charge it up there. If you don't mind spending the extra $$ and can find an energi version in your area, go for it. Monkei, to get back to your original question, in your original post: Your V10 will do fine with this load, that should be the least of your worries. It may not climb mountain passes quite as fast and easy as you're used to with a diesel pusher, but it will do fine. Will
willald 06/18/14 11:04am Dinghy Towing
RE: Buying our next Class A RV

Like already said, floorplan and features is what you need to look at, and what should be the main determining factor here. We looked at both of the models being compared here, the Allegro 35QBA and Winnebago 35B (as well as a few others). We really did not like the Allegro 35QBA floorplan as much, for 2 reasons: 1. Did not like that kitchen slideout on curb side - When that slide is out, it really cuts into your space outside, under the awning. Never have liked any slideout that cuts into your space under the awning. 2. Absolutely hated how the recliner/chair is behind the main door, instead of in front of it on many other models. For those reasons and several others, we ended up with the Georgetown 351DS, which has a very similar floorplan to the Winnebago 35B. Only reason we didnt go with the Winnebago: Only dealer around here that carried it was not very willing to deal, whereas Georgetown dealer made us a really, really good offer we couldn't turn down. One other thing I'd like to mention: At 35 foot I would think the 24,000 lb chassis would be better, sounds like the 22,000lb would be max weight on a 35 foot motorhome... ..Not true at all. Our 36' Georgetown 351DS (similar floorplan to the Winnebago 35B mentioned here) sits on the 20,500 chassis with 19.5 rims. It is not anywhere NEAR 'max weight'. MH weighs around 16,800 empty, leaving plenty of payload capacity (close to 4,000 lbs). And, yes, I have verified this with a trip to the CAT scales. And, yes, it rides very well, we are very happy with it. I prefer the 20,500 chassis and 19.5 rims. Tires are a good bit less expensive to replace, and easier to put on/off. But, like already said, of the two models mentioned, handling and road manners will be very close to the same. The choice comes down to which floorplan, features you like best.
willald 06/18/14 08:51am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Invisibrake

Tripalot: We have an Invisibrake. Like its ease of use. No problems. What does your MH manufacturer say about towing a car that has a surge brake system? For example, Winnebago does not recommend a surge braking device on towed cars because it "places excessive stress on the hitch." Interestingly, no manufacturer other than Winnebago says this (even though they all build their gas MHs on the exact same F53 chassis). Makes me take their non-recommendation about surge systems with a grain of salt, basically. Will
willald 06/18/14 08:24am Dinghy Towing
RE: ford/Lincoln hybrid towing

...all you need to do is put the key in the ignition, turn it to ACC position, press on brake pedal to allow shift level to be moved out of PARK to NEUTRAL, then turn key back towards OFF (no battery drain in the near OFF position vs. ACC position).... DouglasC has had success using this approach, but you need to keep this in mind: Turning the key away from ACC toward OFF as he is indicating here, is NOT recommended by Ford. Owner's manual indicates to leave it in ACC position when towing. I spoke with a Ford representative about this recently, and he did confirm what I have suspected: There are specific reasons Ford recommends it stay in ACC position when flat towing. There are specific things, circuits that Ford wants to stay on when towing (like for instance, a circuit for an electric pump that circulates tranny fluid). I know Douglas has had success with his approach, but if it were me, I'd be doing it the way Ford recommends. Thats what we've always done with our '13 Fusion hybrid. Repairs (or replacement) on the eCVT transmissions these hybrids use, I'm betting will not be cheap. Yes, leaving it in ACC position means you are draining the battery. Solution to that is you either run a charge line (what I did and highly, highly recommend), or plan on stopping every few hours to start and run the engine for a few minutes in your toad to re-charge the battery. Like I said, I highly, highly recommend the charge line. Very quick, cheap, and easy to install, and eliminates all worries about ever draining the battery when towing.
willald 06/18/14 06:56am Dinghy Towing
RE: Best route to Gulf Shores, AL from NC

make sure to make a reservation. I was going to stay there and they told me that I needed to make a reservation at least three weeks in advance. LOL, we made the reservations months ago. :) Will
willald 06/17/14 03:05pm Roads and Routes
RE: Best route to Gulf Shores, AL from NC

I THINK I saw on TV last night that the new Beach Express from I 10 to Foley was to be opened this week. I wish I could give you a definite answer...........maybe someone else can help Thnaks, Norm. That would be really nice if it was true, since we're headed down there this Saturday. :) Naaah, I never have that kind of (good) luck, to happen to be traveling somewhere just days after they open an expressway that will make the trip sooo much easier. With my luck its more likely they'll open it the day after we get back home, haha. Even if they just opened the stretch from route 90 down to Foley Beach Express (and don't complete the I-10 interchange), that alone would make it worth taking this route, I think. Time to start searching various new websites from the area, to try and find out for certain. Hopefully somebody local to that area might know, and chime in? Will
willald 06/17/14 12:38pm Roads and Routes
RE: Best route to Gulf Shores, AL from NC

Well, I guess this answers the question about Baldwin Beach express south of 90: Baldwin Beach Express opening delayed Looks like I'll just take route 59 down to Foley Beach Express, and take it to avoid at least some of the traffic getting into Gulf Shores. Will
willald 06/17/14 11:15am Roads and Routes
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