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 > Your search for posts made by 'tatest' found 392 matches.

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RE: 85 octane regular gas mid west states?

You will not find the reduction of "regular" grade from 87 to 85 octane until you get to higher altitudes, approaching Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. What you will find in the Midwest, particularly the Corn Belt, is wide availability of E-85 at reduced prices. If you are concerned about anti-knock properties and your vehicle is flex-fuel, you can get higher octane properties (typically low 100s) by going to E-85, at some cost in fuel consumption.
tatest 08/20/17 04:07pm General RVing Issues
RE: Who Makes Quality 5er

New Horizons. They custom build to specifications you develop with them. This may be more quality than you want to pay for, and more RV than you can probably pull without investing in a medium-duty truck. NuWay (Hitchhiker brand) and Carriage (and a few other small manufacturers) used to build high quality fivers, at prices 50-100% above mass market models, but they've pretty much disappeared during the recession. But both also made lower grade lines to more competitive price points, and the Carriage name was bought by Forest River, so even if you decide to shop the used market for something 10 years old, you need to know just what you are looking at.
tatest 08/20/17 03:54pm Beginning RVing
RE: Ride Quality of Sprinter versus Transit

All U.S. market Transits are rear wheel drive. While the Transit van is a unibody (as are the Sprinter and RAM Promaster), to make a chassis cab or cutaway both the Sprinter and Transit put the cab from the van on a frame. The RAM Promaster is not a rebadged Sprinter. It is based on the Fiat Ducato van, with changes for the U.S. market, and manufactured in this market. To make a RV chassis from a Ducato, a special RV frame is attached to forward part of the van. This configuration has been very popular in Europe because it allows a motorhome to be built much closer to the ground, for a lower profile, lower CG vehicle yet having adequate interior height. U.S. manufacturers building on the Promaster do not necessarily take advantage of this, they may build higher to allow for tankage and storage space below floor level.
tatest 08/20/17 03:38pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: route thru Chicago area

US-30 is a slow stop and go crawl through the industrial cities of northern Indiana and the large suburbs south of Chicago. I-80 is a multi-lane superhighway through the same area, and it carries extremely heavy traffic, particularly where I-80, I-90 and I-94 are sharing the same road in NE Illinois. If you hit I-80 at the wrong time, e.g. they are trying to clear away a wreck, it can be a dead stop and long wait. If you hit it at the right time, you might sail through at 50-60 mph, but it does get hectic with fast drivers cutting in and out of any open sections they find. You'll never make 50 mph going across US-30, you would be very lucky to average 30 mph from I-65 to Joliet. Neither route goes through Chicago, both cross well south of the city, but there are lots of old industrial cities and bedroom communities that close. First US-numbered highway to cross well south of Chicago is US-24, but even that has frequent small towns with very slow (as low as 20 mph) speed limits and some congested areas of its own. It is also one of the diagonal routes, running southwest from Detroit through Fort Wayne towards Kansas City before becoming a more east-west route in Kansas and Colorado. I've used the state highways, 10 in Indiana, 114 and 17 in Illinois, to cross Indiana and Illinois south of the congestion. But what is the better alternative depends on the longer route, from where to where, because if you are trying to get across the bottom of Lake Michigan and then directly west or northwest, a route well south of Chicago takes you a long way (and a long time) out of your way. But if you are going from Toledo toward the southwest, US-24 is a good start, until you connect with an Interstate to take you south more quickly (like I-57 + I-74, or I-55 to I-70).
tatest 08/19/17 06:26pm Roads and Routes
RE: Serious lack of Bs in our area

B's are fairly common in Texas, and I see them because Texans come to NE Oklahoma to camp at the reservoirs on the Arkansas River system.
tatest 08/10/17 05:53pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Missing our camper

When you search the market for camper vans, you will mostly find Class B motorhomes built to a more luxurious standard, from RoadTrek, PleasureWay, Great West, Airstream, and more recently Winnebago. Some of these will be built as two person homes, others as family travel vehicles with kitchen and bathroom facilities. For something closer to the camper van side of the spectrum, look for the Pleasureway Traverse, which was built on Ford's E-150 van, until the E-series was discontinued. This had a small kitchen area and a rear seat that folded into a bed, with a second bed in the pop-top, on the pattern of the campers that were build on the VW Type 2 van for many years by Westfalia in Europe and Sportmobile in the U.S. Most camper-like of current Class B builds by major manufacturers would be Winnebago's Travato, on Ram Promaster 20-foot high-top van. But that one is only slightly less expensive than a Class B built on Sprinter or Transit, and it hasn't been around long enough to be a bargain used. Or you could look for a VW camper van. First generation of the Type 2 has become a collector car (especially the camper) and will be expensive if fully restored. Market for the second generation is still enthusiast but moving towards collector prices. Most popular today is third generation, called Vanagon (or T3) which has not become collectable in a big way and is more competent on today's highways than earlier Transporters, and sell for $30,000-40,000 in usable condition. Most recent VW Camper was a Westfalia build on the T4 van, sold in this country as the Winnebago Camper Van, 1999 through 2003, prices about the same as the Vanagon. Next up, Daimler-Benz bought Westfalia, and had them build a Westfalia camper on the Sprinter platform. This was a lot more like a luxury B motorhome with some overhead sleeping space than a basic camper. This one was sold in the U.S. as the Airstream Westfalia, briefly. This are rare, in high demand, priced accordingly, i.e. you might find one 12 years old for $50-60,000, not that much less than what it cost new. Sportmobile is the biggest builder of custom-built B motorhomes and camper vans, what you find in the used market will depend on what each original buyer wanted. They will build on a van you bring to them, but they discourage this as false economy, on the premise that putting a lot of money into a (usually high mileage) used commercial van will get you a camper that you will not use for very long. That of course depends on how you use it, how many more miles are in your RV plan. There are many smaller builders of camping vans, as well as builders of fittings to build into or even slip into full size vans. When shopping for used vans I often come across examples converted into mobile offices, equipment labs, and the occasional camper. These will often be no brand name on the conversion. If you would DIY, consider that $20K can get you an Chevy Express 3500 that is 3-5 years old, 40,000 to 80,000 miles. Drop to $15K and you are looking at 150,000 miles typically, same age range. Under $10K and you will find 150,000 to 200,000 miles, but 7 to 16 years old. Commercial vans particularly, if purchased, will be run until the first owner considers them worn out, whether that takes three years or 15 years. If leased, they often come off lease 3-5 years and leases will have 50,000 to 80,000 mile mileage caps. If they were originally well cared for, you can expect 200,000 miles from a late model Express or an E-Series Ford.
tatest 08/10/17 05:36pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Downsizing?

I have friends in my RV club who went from a 34-foot 5th wheel (towed by an undersized Tundra with a slider hitch) to a Jayco Melbourne 24K. They travel extensively and wanted to get away from their daily setup and teardown routines, some hitch problems, and have something more maneuverable that she might drive too. They've sort of moved beyond trips with grandchildren and think they can live in a smaller space. So far they like it, but do miss their living room recliners facing the big screen TV; they are big on sitting inside at night to watch DVD movies, as it is so hot here much of the year when the campgrounds are open. Things they've discussed since taking it out a few times include the lack of lounge seating, how to do something to make that folding rear bed more comfortable, lack of wardrobe space, lack of external storage (carried a lot of junk in that fiver), no room to get around when in road configuration, and tiny bathroom. He also worries that the bottom of the RV is not fully enclosed like his fiver was, leaving chassis wiring and plumbing exposed, and about how much he can run his generator without using up all his propane. Now they are asking about my car towing experience, because they've always had their truck to get around and now need to unhook to go do something outside the campground, as they no longer ride bicycles. They are not new to RVing, this is their fourth new RV in the 12 years I've had mine. Most of their trades were because the living space wasn't working right for them, once was because of quality issues. This living space issue is something you have to work out for yourself. As for the cost, while the Sprinter and the diesel-optioned Transit chassis are somewhat more expensive than the E-350/450 was, most of what you are seeing is inflation. For buying vehicles, the dollar is worth a little more than half of what it was worth 15 years ago. Keep in mind that most of these "Euro" style motorhomes, except for a few on the Ram Promaster, are trimmed out premium level rather than basic or rental grade, so that you should compare pricing of something like a Melbourne to the price of a Greyhawk Prestige, rather than a Redhawk or a Thor Freedom Elite.
tatest 08/10/17 02:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Need ideas of where to live

I've lived in Detroit area, Lansing, Myrtle Beach, D.C., Indianapolis, Orlando, the Michigan U.P., the area where Wisconsin meets Iowa, Chicago, NE Oklahoma, and Beijing. I've visited most of the rest of the country at one time or another (and a lot of places in Europe). For the lifestyle and activities you describe, NW Arkansas (or SW Missouri or NE Oklahoma) are hard to beat, if you want still want four seasons and prefer the colder seasons to be short. If you want to be near the sea, South Carolina Grand Strand is tops for short winters (and surprisingly inexpensive for a resort area). If you want permanently warm weather by the sea and cost is no object, then San Diego. For cooler (and wetter) climates, work your way up the coast: San Francisco, Portland, the islands off Seattle. But that's West Coast, which you don't want. I also like the East Texas coastal plains and Texas Hill Country, particularly San Antonio, which sits where they meet. You'll find similar climate and activity opportunities on the coastal plains and Piedmont in the Carolinas (though I find the I-40 urban sprawl corridor from Raleigh to Winston-Salem has grown quite hectic in the past 50 years). North Carolina coastal plain is major golf country and still has heavily forested areas. Small town life in these areas can be quite inexpensive, while rapidly growing urban areas can be as expensive as some of our biggest cities. I regularly go through really nice small towns in northern Illinois and Indiana, southern Michigan. The climate is great in autumn, but can be as warm as The South in summer and I gave up on long cold winters and winter sports 35 years ago. I'm not a mountains or desert person, so no recommendations about that from me. Towns or smaller cities? Here are a few that have impressed me as places I might like to live: Paris, TX; Athens, TX; Palestine, TX; Boerne, TX; Marble Falls, TX; Whiteville, NC; Lake City, SC. On the coast: Murrell's Inlet, SC; Port Aransas, TX; Rockport, TX. Midwest: Hannibal, MO; Dubuque, IA; Galena, IL; Prairie du Chien, WI; Three Rivers, MI; Battle Creek, MI; Goshen, IN; Hillsdale, MI.
tatest 08/01/17 06:41pm General RVing Issues
RE: How much propane will I use?

Propane is 21,600 BTU per pound. All of your LPG appliances have BTU ratings, which reflect fuel burn rates rather than output of heating device. Thus 35,000 BTU/hr furnace will use a little more than a pound and half per hour it runs. How many hours it runs will depend on how cold it is outside, how your RV leaks heat, and how cold outside. In 30F to 45F weather, targeting 68F on the thermostat, I go through about 30 pounds of LPG a week. 12,000 BTU/hr will use 2/3 a pound per hour. How long it runs will depend on how cold the water coming in. BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water 1 degree F. If water is coming in at 60F and you are heating to 160 F, you need 4800 BTUs to heat 48 pounds (6 gallons) of water. Since the water heaters are not 100% efficient (check out temperature of exhaust) you might need to burn 6000-8000 BTU of propane to get 4800 BTU of heat. So figure 1/3 of a pound for a half-hour run. Ranges? Typically about 6000 BTU/hr per burner for RV LPG ranges, 9000-12,000 for a high output burner (you might have one). But you don't usually cook with burners at full output, unless bringing a big pot to a boil. Refrigerators? I don't have any ratings, but on my absorption refrigerator the flame is like a candle and the electrical heater is 300-400 watts, which converts to something like 1000-1300 BTU/hr. That does not necessarily run continuously, depends on temperature settings, how often the fridge is opened, how often warm stuff is put in, and outside temperatures (heat load).
tatest 07/25/17 05:35pm Beginning RVing
RE: Removing seat and bench in Thor Majestic 23A

You need to find out what is inside or under the bench. Maybe just storage space, maybe part of a RV system. Maybe it braces that corner of the house. One of my benches (Itasca Spirit 29B) houses the fresh water fill and one of the two fresh water tanks. On Majestic 23A the bench looks as if it is there to help folks hop up into the overhead bed. There is no water fill on the outside at that location, so probably no tanks. There is a compartment door below the floorline. What's on the floor, I don't know. On mine, many of the furnishings were installed over carpeting or linoleum flooring (depending on area of the house) but Fourwinds/Thor Motorcoach does not necessarily follow Winnebago's build procedures, they have their own.
tatest 07/25/17 05:05pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: CCC (cargo carrying capacity)

Improper loading, nothing to do with CCC. My first week working in a truck terminal loading dock was enough to learn where to put the heavy stuff.
tatest 07/17/17 09:45pm General RVing Issues
RE: top 10 list of the most underrated National Parks!

I hate that travel magazines do lists like this, because it turns beautiful lightly visited destinations into the mob scenes they suggest we avoid.
tatest 07/17/17 09:42pm General RVing Issues
RE: Holiday Rambler

As a newb with n older HR what should i look out for n how would i go about lightening the load some for better fuel consumption.... Weight doesn't have much to do with fuel consumption, at highway speeds on mostly level roads. Most of your power is being used to push air around, and the way to reduce that is to slow down, because the power requirement goes up with approximately the cube of speed (linearly with road speed, and with the square of air speed). 10% reduction of weight will barely change fuel consumption, maybe 3%. But a 10% reduction in cruise speed could reduce fuel consumption as much as 23% other factors being equal.
tatest 07/17/17 09:29pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Would a UPS Fix This?

UPS might carry you past the voltage drop, or it might not. My experience over the years has varied. UPS has carried most of my PCs through short-term power failures, but there is a finite switching time, and some electronic devices have absolutely no reserve or inertia in their power supplies to carry over the switching time. For example, of the items I currently have on UPS, my desktop computer, router, external network=attached drive, and cable modem survive the switchover, while the cable TV box and Samsung TV will reboot. I had a Sun SparcStation on UPS that would reboot when its UPS switched over to cover brownouts, yet it would keep going fine through the brownout itself, so we took that one off UPS. You should expect a UPS to cover you, but no guarantees. You might be better off running that TV off inverter, which is like having it permanently on UPS with no switchover.
tatest 07/16/17 07:47am Technology Corner
RE: New PC Video Card or Audio Card An Asset?

On-board audio-video will be adequate for most needs. In the 1990s there was usually no video capability on the motherboard and audio tended to be limited. Early 2000's Intel and AMD started putting modest 3D video capability into the chipsets that interfaced CPU with memory and peripheral busses (Core family processors in the case of Intel). Around Gen 5 to Gen 7 Core processors, the integrated 3D graphics got moved into the CPU package (in some cases onto the CPU chip), with performance often equivalent to mid-range 3D graphics cards of the late 1990s. You won't need an add-on graphics card unless you are into extreme 3D gaming. Add-on audio has all but disappeared at the consumer level, but you can still buy professional grade audio capability, usually as external equipment, if your needs include multi-channel mixing, equalization, and special effects. My graphics intensive apps have been the last three versions of MS Flight Simulator. FS8 (2002) and FS9 (2004) ran pretty well on entry-level 2001-vintage GeForce boards, and 2004-vintage Intel GMA graphics. FSX (2006) challenged the best available 3D boards but by 2008 the mid-range chips from AMD and NVidia were adequate for FSX, Intel HD Graphics was still marginal although surpassing anything I could buy for less than $3000 in 1990. There are a lot of games even more demanding, partcicularly if you are displaying on multiple 4K monitors, and the graphics card market is aimed here today, where for $600-$800 you can buy capabilities available only from Silicon Graphics (at $30,000 to $100,000) in 1998-2000. I don't think you can even buy add-on graphics below the mid-range today, because that market has been taken over by the graphics on the main processor or in the interface chipsets. If you are asking about upgrading a 1990s vintage PC with a new graphics card, I think you'll find that there is nothing much newer that will interface with your motherboard. The high=performance deskside computer I bought in 2001 was still using the AGP interface for graphics, and in 2004 the only AGP cards I could find were not much above entry-level. Most desktops of that era didn't even have the AGP, all the slots were 8-bit PCI. Looking at upgrades for desktops with AGP interface, NVidia is still manufacturing 2004-vintage GeForce 6200 chip for upgrade purpose. The chip is a half step up from typical motherboard graphics of that era, reason for upgrade would be to have graphics capable of supporting Windows Vista and Windows 7 (i.e. Direct3D up to version 10). If not going past Windows 2000, there is a $10 AGP card using the (2002 vintage) GeForce 4 chip but that takes support back to Direct3D version 8, Windows NT and 2000. For upgrades to HD video (that would give sharper images) there is at least one manufacturer selling a card using ATI Radeon HD3450 chips (2008 vintage), again an entry-level 3D graphics chipset, but better performance than entry level a few years earlier. This graphics chip family supported Direct3D 10.1, so Vista and Windows 7. Considering any graphics card upgrade to a AGP slot motherboard, the slot would have to be AGP 2.0 or newer, none of the cards I'm seeing work with AGP 1.0, which had a different power supply voltage from later standards.
tatest 07/16/17 05:59am Technology Corner
RE: MIchelin Tire Recall Replacement Question

The link goes to a recall notice for P-metric tires in 18, 19 and 20 inch sizes, rather than the heavier tire models used for RVs. Has there been a recall of the 16" Load Range E sizes used on RV cab-chassis and 3/4 ton and 1 ton E-series and Express vans? Yes Here is the one for 16s Thanks. Mine are all a different batch, a year newer. Still need to be replaced on tread wear before I start dealing with winter driving conditions again.
tatest 07/12/17 04:20pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: MIchelin Tire Recall Replacement Question

I wasnt aware of any recalls on the michelins do you have any other information on which ones are affected? Only certain sizes and serial numbers are affected. Look at this to find out if you have a claim. http://www.michelinman.com/US/en/help/safety-recalls/latitude-tour.html The link goes to a recall notice for P-metric tires in 18, 19 and 20 inch sizes, rather than the heavier tire models used for RVs. Has there been a recall of the 16" Load Range E sizes used on RV cab-chassis and 3/4 ton and 1 ton E-series and Express vans?
tatest 07/11/17 01:51pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Do we need a generator?

We've used the built-in generator mostly for cooling down the house section while traveling in sunny hot climates. We do this when the house is occupied for travel (e.g. carrying family) or to pre-cool on the way to the campground on very hot days. We've also used it during enroute stops, even when not the C is not occupied, to keep the A/C running. In full sunlight, with outside temperatures in the 80s or higher, the interior can get to over 100 F in an hour or less. We've not used it this way traveling in Michigan, Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, not even in summer. We've found we get adequate cooling with use of the A/C in the cab or often just vents and windows. We've used the generator in a campground just once, when a lightning strike on a nearby substation took out power during an early morning thunderstorm. That required going out in the storm to unplug from shore power and plug into the generator socket (no automatic transfer switch on my C). I've never run the generator while sleeping, whether or not I would have liked to have air conditioning. I don't want to sleep with CO building up underneath and around me. With all these uses, I've put fewer than 200 hours on the generator, in 10 years of RV use and 30,000 miles of travel. One alternative to a generator for on the road use would be a whole-house inverter of 3KW or more, and at least 300 amps of 100% duty cycle alternator capacity (the equipment supplied for emergency vehicle use on these van cutaway chassis).
tatest 07/11/17 01:38pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Parking a travel trailer.

This varies. In some places it might be OK, in others it might get ticketed or towed to impound. It is best to ask whoever owns or manages the parking lot of your choice. With all the RV traffic on US-101 and the smaller coastal roads, it is unlikely that you will find many free drop-off parking places on the Oregon coast. I just got back from a trip up the coast and parking seemed to be often scarce and jealously guarded.
tatest 07/09/17 07:05pm Beginning RVing
RE: how to secure kitchen table seat cushions

Manufacturer of my motorhome stapled friction mats to the plywood under the cushions. The material is available at most RV dealers.
tatest 07/05/17 03:17pm Class C Motorhomes
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