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 > Your search for posts made by 'tatest' found 1222 matches.

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RE: My RV money is spent ... now what do I pull it with?

I'm in the HD van camp. Express 3500 with 6.0 and optionalaxle ratios can pull that, but finding one with the 6.6 Duramax would be better. Express seats still clamp into slots in the floor, making it easy to configure for passengers vs cargo. E-350 van (no longer made) you would have to find the 6.8 V-10 with 4.10 axle, or take your chances on a 6.0 Powerstroke, which tends to be more reliable in the van because it was derated for that application. 2008 and newer get a better front suspension and better brakes, but the interior upgrade put much heavier seats into above-floor mountng brackets, so it is much harder to remove and replace seats, and 15-20 minutes work to pull the brackets out and plug holes to get a flat floor.
tatest 11/26/14 03:03pm Travel Trailers
RE: How a TT is built

There is more than one way to build a RV, particularly a towable, and most mass market manufacturers like Jayco, Forest River, Gulfstream use at least two different approaches, one stick-built like a lightweight house, the other using laminated panels with aluminum reinforcing frames, for the two sidewalls at least. In the second category, a lot of the details differ: roof construction, end caps vs framing or another laminated wall, wheter it sits in the floor or walls hang on the side of the frame, and how panels are fastened together to make a box. Alternative methods like molded shells (BigFoot, Scamp, Casita, Escape, Oliver), aluminum framed (not laminated) walls (Newmar, New Horizons, the former Carriage and some Sunnybrook models), and aluminum semi-monocoque borrowing '30s aircraft methods (Airstream the only one left today) are confined to premium markets because the constuction techniques are more expensive. Before buying I toured Jayco (plant was building laminated wall Eagle line), Winnebago (the "standard" line building four brands of C and six of A gas motorhomes with common construction) and Newmar (main line building fivers and all motorhomes up to Mountainaire). There was not much in common to the working methods, Newmar looking more like a craftsman shop, Winnebago organized and automated more like a 1960s automobile plant than Jayco's labor team operation. Since then, I've visited Casita, which has more of a feeling a boat building shop putting together a dozen or so small, semi-custom cruisers at a time. But what most of us buy is probably built the way shown at Jayco, the prices we are willing to pay put us there. More money doesn't always get you better, because the mass market guys create premium lines with more options, more slideout rooms, fancier interior trim, and exterior paint jobs. But you won't get better quality without psying more, because it costs more to build them better.
tatest 11/26/14 02:48pm Travel Trailers
RE: Is there a good tow vehicle that also gets good MPG?

You could wait for the diesel version of the Ram Promaster, but I suspect that engine will not be made available for the smallest van, so you might be looking at 4 or 5 rows of seats. MPG will not be as good as Euro models of the Ducato (and competive brands we don't get), which get by with yet smaller turbodiesel engines (and six-speed manual transmissions in some cases) but do not meet performance and frills expectations for U.S. market. My choice in North America would be the Traverse, though it does not get as good MPG as the Honda, and third row accessiblity is not up to par with Japanese and Korean brands still configured as minivans. Smallest thing sold here with three rows is the Mazda 5, but U.S. safety standards reduce seating from 7 to 6, and MPG is not that much better than a new minivan or 4-cylinder version of "compact" SUV like Escape, Equinox, or Calibre. Nothing new is going to meet your price expectations, car prices have almost doubled in the last ten years. Try shopping 3-5 years old, about 50,000 miles used, for prices that leave room in $30K to also buy a trailer. But as little as you plan to use the RV, you might consider a 10-20 year old motorhome, and not worry about MPG on those trips, because nothing really gives good mileage towing a box with 65-90 sq ft frontal area, no matter how well it might do in daily driving. E.G. my daily driver (actually used more like 2-3 trips a week) is a 35 mpg subcompact MPV, RV is a 7.5 mpg sel-propelled house that can tow the daily driver.
tatest 11/26/14 02:03pm Folding Trailers
RE: This is a reason why Pop Ups aren't selling......

Yea, but you can still use a smaller tow vehicle, isn't that one advantage? Also, on a completely unrelated side note, what's up with these "mandatory" packages, if the equipment is mandatory why not just list it as standard equipment? :h Because they want to fool the customers looking for a low towing weight, as well as low price. "Empty Weight" in the sales brochure does not include weight of any optional (even if mandatory) or dealer installed equipment ( think battery, spare tire, LPG tanks). Prices, at least, do not appear in the brochures, though Jayco puts them on the web site. Most other manufacturers leave it to the dealer to tell you prices.
tatest 11/26/14 01:37pm Folding Trailers
RE: scoring in sports

Anybody remember the "drop kick"? Was that scored like a field goal? When I was in school, all punts, field goals and extra points were drop kicked rather than being held for the kicker; not even kickoffs were held, they were teed. I remember my dad making me practice drop kicks, it had been his special skill when he played in the early 1940s. The ball holder has somewhat cheapened kicking, making it much easier to succeed compared to 50-70 years ago. The way it is handled today, the extra point should be something like 1/6 of a point rather than 1/6 of a touchdown. But when you look back through football rules, when all kicks were dropkicks, kicked balls were valued more highly than balls carried or thrown across the goals. What this illustrates is the importance of scoring rules, because a rule change here can radically change the game. What comes to mind is the three-point shot in basketball, and how it changed the risk associated with long shots vs the close-in playing that dominated the sport in the 1950s and 1960s.
tatest 11/25/14 12:45am Around the Campfire
RE: Pickup based Motohomes

Several manufacturers in the U.S. past and present include Tiger, Host, Frank Industries, Serro Scotty use or have used a conventional cab chassis. That's not including athe motorhomes on trucks in the 16,000 to 80,000 pound range, which would be Super C's, toterhomes, excursion vehicles or truck conversions. These are not really pickup based. They are almost always built on cab-chassis, class 2, 3, or 4, which now often have a different frame aft of the cab, compared to a Class 1 passenger vehicle pickup. Smallest non-Toyota was probably the Serro Scotty built on a Dodge Dakota, and that one would have been a pickup stripped down to the chassis.Here is still another manufacturer - Xplorer. The website is still maintained, but believe manufacturing stopped at least 5 years ago. There are some used ones out there. Xplorer was the brand for Frank Industries. Another party may have resurrected the name.
tatest 11/25/14 12:30am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Pickup based Motohomes

Several manufacturers in the U.S. past and present include Tiger, Host, Frank Industries, Serro Scotty use or have used a conventional cab chassis. That's not including athe motorhomes on trucks in the 16,000 to 80,000 pound range, which would be Super C's, toterhomes, excursion vehicles or truck conversions. These are not really pickup based. They are almost always built on cab-chassis, class 2, 3, or 4, which now often have a different frame aft of the cab, compared to a Class 1 passenger vehicle pickup. Smallest non-Toyota was probably the Serro Scotty built on a Dodge Dakota, and that one would have been a pickup stripped down to the chassis.
tatest 11/24/14 04:36pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Better Gas Milage and Shift Lock on e-350 based RV?

9 MPG is really good for that load.
tatest 11/24/14 03:09am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Transcontinental Airway System Beacons

I have a set of the beacons, western half of the US at least, in one of my pre-1930s flight simulator installations. In the simulator there are dark zones as you fly beacon to beacon, even on a clear night. That might be a scenery visibility limitation in the simulation.
tatest 11/22/14 09:27pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Shaving?

Mug, soap, brush, and one of three blade options: Schick Injector adjusable exposure, when I want to do it right. I find the heavier injector blades are more stable than the thin blades on the double edge, particularly when I adjust the blade for more exposure for some parts of my face. Last blades I found, about nine years ago, were a coated "platinum" blade holding the edge for 2-3 weeks of daily use. For a quick shave before going out of the house, I like a decent disposable. Gillette's Good News is a decent bargain, gets my face clean enough for anything not involving touching or close inspection. For close and smooth when in a hurry, I like the Mach 3, though it can be dangerous, peeling off skin, especially in the shower. It also gets dull too fast for the price. I'm not interested in designs with four or more blades, three will do enough damage. Over the years I've gone through five electrics, two of Remington-Schick reciprocating design, three supposedly self-sharpening rotaries. Indeed, started with a single-head Schick. Also used up at least a dozen replacement heads. Kept going back to blades because electrics weren't shaving close enough for me to pass inspection in the afternoon, or pinched and nicked skin when trying to get a closer shave, and usually the heads got too hot before I was done.
tatest 11/22/14 09:14pm Around the Campfire
RE: Vanguard mutual funds?

About 2/3 of my assets are an various Vanguard funds, and my late brother also preferred some of the Vanguard funds. From retirement to the 2007-8 financial crisis, I was averaging about 12% return, as compared to as much as 40% some years on individual stocks I held. No guarantees, I lost about a third of my market investments in the crash and it has taken seven years to get back to whete I was before the crash. Returns are more like 3-4% on my current fund mixes, but that's partly because the Treasury bond funds are now a bigger part of my mix and are returning zip. But this is not a good place for advice, you need to hook up. with an investment advisor who can help you analyze your needs, in order to balance risk and return in a way that fits your needs. If $30K is all you've got to work with, I would not be putting it into stock funds. I, and most of the retirees I travel with, keep $10K to $50K liquid in savings and checking accounts paying rates like you are getting, for emergencies. I particularly don't like having to liquidate stocks when the market is down, that cushion in the bank is almost enough to ride out a bad year in the stock market. Exact size of that will depend on lifestyle, for some it will be less, others a whole lot more.
tatest 11/22/14 08:40pm Around the Campfire
RE: help in deciding A or C motorhome

When using our 30 foot C that way, my late wife and I did not have a need for a towed vehicle. We put in 30,000 miles of one to three week road trips in the three years between buying the motorhome and my wife getting sick. We also used it for 6-10 three to four day club campouts, and continued those between surgeries and her bucket list international trips. 30 foot was small enough for getting around, big enough to take along daughter and a couple of grandchildren for the shorter trips. One or two people not needing a lot of private space can probably do well enough with 22-25 foot C floorplans. A type C has a space/length advantage if you will use the overhead bed. An A has a living space advantage if driving compartment can serve as seating for the living area. Smaller A motorhomes have been hard to find for a while, but manufacturers are starting to bring back short As with "new" uses of space, like bringing back drop-down bunks in the cab, which were common in the early 70s when the most popular motorhomes had to accommodate families in 22-28 feet of length at 12,000 pounds or less. Look at Winnebago's retro Brave for bringing back compact design features with modern equipment and fittings.
tatest 11/22/14 07:59pm Beginning RVing
RE: Advice needed. Band ready to hit the road and start touring.

Your budget makes it unlikely that you will find an RV that you can live in, and can pull your equipment trailer, unless that is less than about 2000 pounds. Most 70s C motorhomes, and small 60s-70s box motorhomes, which is mostly what you will find in that price range, were not designed for towing very much. But it is possible to get lucky, find a 30-36 foot class A from the 80s in good condition, for sale around that price. I have friends who have done it, buying from an estate where the heirs were in a hurry to liquidate. What they got for $800 (a 80s Brave) was feasible to get road ready for less than another $3000. However, the buyers don't rely on it for road trips, only use it to drive the 30 miles to and from local campgrounds about 6-8 times a year. Having spent a year shopping used passenger vans, I can tell you your budget will also be a problem there. First users sell them at 1-2 years, currently around $20,000 with 20,000 to 40,000 miles; buyers are usually churches and civic groups, who will run them 5-15 years, however long it takes to get to about 100,000 to 150,000 miles. I was finding those at around $7000-$10,000 for the model years I was willing to accept, e.g. post-2003 for Express/Savana, post-2004 for E-series, ten years old at the most. You will find price depends mostly on model year, and to get down to your $4000 budget you will find the vans to be about 15-20 years old, mid-90's to 2000. Most of the 15-passenger vans at that age will be high mileage, but some of the rare examples in personal use might be under 100,000. Old enough for low price, and only moderately high mileage, it is more likely to find a conversion (travel) van or a chair lift van, than a straight commercial passenger van. I would be tempted by the possibilities of converting to your needs a small van-chassis school bus (8-14 passenger) since these have more interior space than a passenger van, and are usually sold at about 10-15 years with about 100,000 miles. Since they are almost always diesel, should be good for 100,000 more, and with a smaller frontal and diesel power, might give much better fuel mileage than a 12,000-18,000 pound gas motorhome with a 90 sq ft frontal area. So look for used conversion vans (Chevy, Ford, Dodge) as well as passenger vans, and check out prices in your area for used small buses. FWIW, I just found a 2001 30-passenger transit bus under $5000, gas on a Ford chassis. This is old enough that wheel-chair accessibility was not yet mandatory, but because law now requires this for transit operations, any bus lacking a chair lift should sell cheap.
tatest 11/21/14 11:55pm Beginning RVing
RE: Swapping Dash Board & Door Panels, Older To Newer E350/E450

Owning one of each, I can tell you the difference is not just panels, as the structure was changed to relocate the passenger side airbags and create a locking glove compartment. But a swap of the whole dash structure might be feasible, I see no obvious differences in the windshield frame or firewall.
tatest 11/21/14 11:07pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: What to do between San Antonio and Carlsbad Caverns

Depends on the route you choose, and what are you plans for San Antonio. Davis Moutains could be on your way. Fredricksburg and the hill country could be on your way. Both are destinatons, taking up more time than you might want to use as a break in a long drivind day. With oth stops, I would need 3-4 days to get from Carlsbad to SA.
tatest 11/20/14 03:02am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Milk expiration dates

Something I learned from the young, and not so young, women i worked iand lived with in China, where products don't have "sell by" dates: sniff it before eating it. The other was to know which restaurants where one needed to order a pot of boiling water, to sterlize the dishes before eating from them. One of my daughters treats the dates as absolute. Before the date, it is OK. Past the date, throw it out. Leftovers of home cooked stuff are good indefinitely because the ingrediants were used before the expiration date. What worked in China works better for me, if one has the nose for it.
tatest 11/20/14 02:33am Around the Campfire
RE: How many ways does the earth rotate ?

This is a point of reference question, and there is no absolute point of reference. Earth rotates, revolves around the sun. Our sun moves withinour galaxy. Our galaxy moves in a larger framework we call our universe, but it is only our limited knowledge that says this is THE Universe, it could be a small part of something larger we have yet to detect. A good case can be made, in quatum mechanics, for an infinite number of universes. Space, time, energy three views of what may be one thing. Another point of reference that works almost as well, the earth is stationary and everything around us moves in complicated patterns. FWIW, the Earth's axis of rotation does move, relative to the motion around the sun, does change. That it is constant is only a matter of recorded human experience, about 1/1,000,000th of Earth history. This is one of the long term drivers for variation in climate, for which we are trying to figure out the last 200 years, or last 50 years, when we are not yet to the end of a 10,000 year ice age cycle..
tatest 11/20/14 02:24am Around the Campfire
RE: Are there any mfrs with bad overall reputations?

That I am aware of, none still in business after two RV industry recessions, but startups always have some potential to do things wrongly.
tatest 11/20/14 02:02am Travel Trailers
RE: Stealth campers

It depends on where you are and what you are trying to "camp" in. Resort areas, and places popular with the urban "homeless" are difficult no matter what your skills. Something that looks like a RV or mobile home makes stealth camping difficult. An unmarked commercial van is a lot easier. Signage that makes it look like a local business helps, but not if you move around; HVAC company from Pennsylvania will raise questions in small town Nebraska, so better to be a blank van. If you want to fake it in a passenger van, you need to be blank, or a church. Best cover the windows in either case, when you are sleeping in it. Old conversion vans work pretty well too, a lot of them are used as daily drivers and are parked on the street. Having local plates helps.
tatest 11/20/14 01:49am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: How far would you travel for a deal?

If something hard to find, maybe 1500 miles, which covers most of the U.S. from my central location. In practice, usually less than 100 miles because I have relationships with dealers who will go find what I tell them I want. Farthest from home I've bought has been 900-1100 miles because that's where I was when I got back into the country and needed to buy the vehicle that would take me home. For a B motorhome, the market puts me in St Louis (500 miles) or central Texas (not much closer). Most likely, I would go to Sportmobile and have the build me just what I want. That's Austin, about 600 miles. If you are asking about how far I would travel to get a better price, I wouldn't. I don't price bicker. I tell my dealer what I want, what I expect to pay, and if I am realistic he can find it for me. That's his job, he's better at it than I am.
tatest 11/20/14 01:24am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
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