We have double-towed since 1993 when we put a hitch on our first FW and towed boats weighing anywhere from about 2,000 pounds on the trailer to 5,000 pounds on the trailer. Bought a new FW in 2012 and first thing I did was have a hitch fabricated for the rear of the FW so I could tow my Crestliner Super Hawk 1900. I would recommend you get a hitch put on that is fabricated and welded and not a bolt-on hitch. Might cost a bit more, but well worth the piece of mind. By the way, Jayco said that putting a hitch on my 2012 FW would void the warranty but due to the very professional job by the welder, there have been no frame problems. Just be careful and don't get into spots where you might have to back up, that would be a real bear of a problem, one we have been lucky enough to escape so far. If you get a fabricated, welded hitch, make sure the welder reinforces the frame from the rear toward the axle, ours reinforced the frame about six feet from the rear forward. Go for it, with the FW you have, there should be no frame problems with a hitch properly installed. I have some pictures of my installation, but have been unable to put them on this site. If you wish, send me a private message and I'll send them to you. However, we are leaving for three weeks tomorrow so, if you don't do it quickly, it will be a while.
The fire in Yellowstone is very small and is being allowed to burn as there is minimal area for it to affect and no structures. Some campground spots are closed for now. Looks like the smoke started clearing out around here, three hours away from Grand Teton, and it's pretty clear right now, at least compared to earlier this week.
We were in Grand Teton last week through Monday. Until Sunday morning, the views were great with almost no haze. Sunday morning you could barely see Mt. Moran from Colter Bay. Same down here in Lander, about three hours away on the eastern side of the Wind River Mountains. It has steadily gotten worse this week to the point where we can't see the mountains about two miles away, or less. A friend of my wife's said they were in Jackson today and didn't get to see the Tetons. However, 10 days is a lot of time and they may clear up before you get there. Probably will be some eye discomfort and you may be able to smell the smoke, we certainly can here. But, there are so many other things to do in Grand Teton other than looking at the Tetons, that I would urge you to go anyway and just enjoy yourself in one of the prettiest parts of our country, even if it's smoky.
Thanks for the replies. I was thinking something might be wrong with the axle. I had the bearings repacked last fall and before that there was no uneven wear. So, when I do this, I'll have the axle looked at as well as the bearings. I just might go with the spare and worry about replacing all of them in year or two when they get five or six years old, assuming I don't have any problems needing replacement before then.
Folks, I have a Jayco HT 26.5 RLS that we purchased in Jan. 2012 and have used the last four summers with no tire problems. We took a 3,500 mile trip last spring as well as going to Zion and up to and back from Grand Teton National Park 12 times. However, when hooking up at the Park on Monday I noticed that the inside tread in going bald on the driver side rear tire. All the other tires look fine. The tires are Marathons, OEM on this trailer, 225 75R 15 Load Range D. I don't really want to replace all four tires so was considering buying two new Marathons and replacing the two rear tires. I haven't looked at the production dates, but they don't seem to be showing any signs of cracking or other problems associated with "old" tires. I looked at Maxxis tires, but the prices kind of scare me off, as well, we don't have any dealers for Maxis around here in the middle of Wyoming. What do you think about the idea of buying two tires and simply replacing both the rear tires at this time? Or, taking the spare off the back and buying one tire and using the balding one as the spare?
Signal is a pretty campground but has pretty severe limits on the length of the RV, I think 25 or 26', so if you look at Signal, make sure your RV will be accepted. Gros Ventre is a fairly nice campground with some electric for access pass type people, but we stayed there last spring and felt it was not as convenient to most of GTNP as is Colter Bay. Colter Bay also has some electric in the campground for access pass type folks, but does allow some of them to be rented out to non-access pass folks at times.
ChopperBill, I didn't say that the jaws have to be closed, I just said that that was the way I did it to be able to see the handle move indicating that the jaws had come open and then closed. Thanks to azjeffh for the note from the Reese manual. I don't remember reading this, just started doing this in 1993 when we bought our first FW and have done it ever since.
We have a Jayco Super Lite 26.5 RLS that we bought in 2012 and pull it with a GMC 2500HD D/A crew cab short-bed. We have now used it for three summers, including taking it on a 3,500 mile trip last spring. Tows beautifully and if very nice for the two of us, and guests when we have them. Only downside I can talk about is the shortage of space at the rear between the back wall and the slide which causes us to have to move one of the swivel chairs out of the way. It's a very small inconvenience with this trailer and perhaps the 27.5 RLS they are now selling rectifies that. When we drop the FW onto the truck the truck "squats" 1", period. I haven't checked the pin weight since there is almost no reason to do so. I would say that your truck could probably take quite a bit more pin weight if you want to go that way. We went with the Jayco for a couple of reasons. One was that we had a Jayco for 18 years and were quite happy with it, the other is that when pricing and warranty were taken into consideration, Jayco was pretty much on top of the heap. Only real downside that I can see is a little lack of fresh water capacity with only 48 gallons, but that usually gets my wife and I through most of a week, unless we take showers in the FW, then we have to get a little more. Good luck on your search.
Usually, almost always, we leave the jaws of our Reese closed when hitching up. Then, while backing in you can see the release bar move out and then click back in to signify that the hitch has latched onto the pin. I can even hear it inside my pickup while it's running. Have you tried that?
He's coming from Colorado to GTNP, then Yellowstone, no reason to get a campground at Yellowstone and then GTNP. Colter Bay has an RV park along with the campground. The RV park has always had a "Full" sign out during the 45+ years we have been going to the park. However, if you get hold of them now you might be able to get a reservation for next year. And, Colter Bay is, in my opinion, a little closer to most of the neat things in GTNP than is Gros Ventre, so that's one of the reasons we stay there, plus launching the boat for fishing. Lots to see in GTNP, but three to four days will sure cover a good portion of it. Cruise on Jackson Lake from Colter Bay, perhaps a lunch or dinner cruise one day. Go to Jenny Lake, take the boat over to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, then drop down to the Moose Wilson Road and look for wildlife while going to the LSRockfeller Reserve, the newest part of GTNP and take a hike to Phelps Lake, a very beautiful place that has been returned to nature so nicely it is almost impossible to see signs of the 30+ buildings that were there when the Rockefellers used it. Go over to Slide Lake in the Gros Ventre area and drive Antelope Flats Road to see a bunch of Bison. Then come back in the Moran entrance and take the road to Two Ocean Lake, we saw a sow Grizzly and two cubs there about three weeks ago and they we about 25' from our truck while we took a video. Then, stop at Oxbow Bend and take a bunch of pictures at one of the most photographed places in the world.
As you can tell, we love GTNP, not only for the fishing but for the sightseeing and wonderful wildlife that's there. There is also a paved bike path from Jenny Lake visitor center to the Moose entrance and it hooks into an additional bake path clear into Jackson, if you are so inclined to take a long ride. Whatever you do, enjoy your trip and don't get in a big hurry, take your time, look around and enjoy what nature has given us.
laknox, when we fill our water tank, we also turn on the pump while it's filling to purge the air from the hot water heater and the other lines. That way, you also get the hot water tank filled when filling the fresh water tank. At least that's what we have done since 1993 with no problems. We do sanitize the freshwater system before its first use of the year but not after that. We have been drinking water from our fresh water tanks for over 22 years with no ill effects so don't worry about that, just remember to sanitize before you use it.
Yellowstone is a big place to try and see but staying at Bridge Bay might be pretty good for you. You're right on Yellowstone Lake on the way to Canyon and up to Mammoth, over to Norris and down to Old Faithful. Usually, most people travel one loop at a time. On your trips around the Park, you will find many opportunities to hike, if that's what you want to do but there will also be numerous "animal jams" for bear, moose, bison or whatever other animals choose to show themselves to the tourists. We fix a lot so we go to the Colter Bay campground and fish and when we get a little tired of that we will jump in the truck early and take a little trip to Yellowstone, about 45 miles to the south entrance. Usually, we can see one loop fairly quickly on each trip. We don't hike so we aren't looking for hiking trails.
As for Grand Teton, I don't agree with the folks who say Gros Ventre is closer to the action than Colter Bay Campground. Colter Bay Campground has some electric hookups that were built a few years ago but are partially reserved for folks with disabilities or access passes. So, it's dry camping but they have two place to fill with water and dump waste so it's not a big deal. Cost is $24 per night compared to the RV park at abut $58 per night. If you have the Senior Pass, the campground is $12 per night, a wonderful bargain. Colter Bay sits right on Jackson Lake and has a marina which offers cruises throughout the day, including lunch and dinner cruises to Elk Island, in the shadow, almost, of Mt. Moran. There are some hiking trails around Jackson to Swan Lake and Hermitage Point, you can then drive to Signal Mountain and over to Jenny Lake, about 15 miles away from Colter Bay. Get on a boat at the visitor center, go over to the Hidden Falls landing and hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. After that, you can drop over to the Moose entrance and take the Moose/Wilson road and go to the LSR Reserve, the newest part of Grant Teton and hike up to Phelps Lake where the Rockefellers had their compound prior to donating it to the Park. They have done such a great job of taking it back to nature you can't even tell there were almost 30 cabins and residences there. After you have done that, it's a fairly short drive over to Gros Ventre where one of the biggest landslides in US history occurred, making Slide Lake about 15 miles off the main road to Jackson. Then, one night, you can go into Jackson and take in the Bar J Wranglers' show with a chuckwagon dinner and wonderful western entertainment with great music and comedy. And, if you really want to be in a zoo, just take your trip into Jackson a little early and see all the tourists, of which you will be one.
As you can tell, I really like Grand Teton and much prefer Colter Bay to Gros Ventre, and yes, I have stayed at Gros Ventre Campground once when I couldn't get into Colter Bay due to construction last year. It certainly wasn't "close to the action" for us to go fishing. Took about 45 minutes to get to a launch area from Gros Ventre compared to two or three minutes at Colter Bay. If you don't fish, not as big a deal.
Actually, there is a campground close to Yosemite, about five miles from the entrance, called Yosemite Lakes. We stayed there last spring while tripping from Wyoming to Idaho, Nevada, California (Tahoe, Yosemite and Seqouia), Palm Desert, Zion and Utah. Very convenient to the Park. If you are coming from the south to Yellowstone, you could take a look at the Colter Bay campground in Grand Teton, it's about 45 minutes from the south entrance to Yellowstone on decent roads and is a beautiful place to stay. We go up there about three times a year for about a week at a time. I wouldn't recommend the RV park simply because of the cost, almost $60 per night for full hook-up.
My short-bed pickup has a 34 or 36 gallon tank and I have filled it up and taken over 32 gallons when the little orange light comes on on the dash telling me I am close to being empty. My first short-bed had a 26 or 28 gallon tank. Both trucks were and are diesels.
I believe the strike zone used to be between the knees and the top of the letters across the chest. However, it is very rare when an umpire will call a strike anywhere above the middle of the stomach. Seems like the system likes to have the ball down a little lower in the "strike zone" to encourage ground balls. If you watch a game on television, you will see what I am talking about when they put up those little boxes of the strike zone and put the pitches in there. I think the bigger problem is the width of the zone wherein some umpires call strikes two or three or more inches outside the plate parameters, but usually only outside pitches, not inside ones. Greg Maddox used to "paint" the corners of the plate, but it appeared when watching the boxes, his corners sometimes were four to six inches outside the plate.
We bought a Canon PowerShot SX10IS with a 20X zoom about five years ago. Don't know if they still sell it, but it does take very nice pictures. And the 20X zoom is to die for. The image stabilization is very nice as well. Cost was less than $300 when we bought it. Have used Canons for many years going back to the A-1 and the AE-1 when we were using film. Don't think you can go wrong with a Canon product.
68ltd, we just got back from a trip with our Jayco HT 26.5RLS towing our 19' Crestliner behind it up to and back from Jackson Lake in Grant Teton National Park. Put about 400 miles on the truck and, according to the DIC, we got 12.8 mpg for the total trip. I know, I know, some people on here will tell you that you can't trust the DIC, but over the last three years, the DIC has been within less than .5 mpg every time I have hand-checked it so that's what I use. We have gotten as high as 13.6 and as low as 12 mpg on this trip nine times. We did take a trip of about 3,500 miles last spring and got an even 12 mpg on the DIC and 11.9 hand calculated. Sorry your mileage is so poor, but I doubt you will get any better unless you step up to a little bit bigger engine or a diesel. By the way, I have a diesel GMC and wouldn't trade for a gasser for anything.
We have a couple of those small stick-on levels on the front and side of the driver's side of the FW. Got the FW level on the driveway, using a carpenters' level and now we pull into a site, check the side-to-side level using the little one-inch lines on the level to tell me approximately how many Lynx leveler blocks to put under the low side. Pull up on the blocks, check the side-to-side level. If it's within half a bubble of less, we're good to go with dropping the legs, unhooking, driving the truck out from under the hitch and then leveling front to back. It does take a bit of time getting level since we have to get out of the truck to check the levels, but it's not a big deal. We haven't boon-docked much and the places we stay usually have either some asphalt or compacted road base so we don't dig a hole the on the high side. We did do that once a long time ago, but we also filled the hole back up when we were done so the place wouldn't look like a Prairie Dog had been there.