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 > Your search for posts made by 'tatest' found 230 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Branson - Silver Dollar City

Some RV club friends who go to the area frequently like Table Rock State Park or some of the Corps of Engineers campgrounds in the area (where you are most likely to find waterfront sites, if those sites are not underwater). However, being on the reservoirs means not being in town, or near the theaters, so it all depends on why you are going to Branson. I'm not big on Branson, as I can get the lakefront camping experience in less crowded places 15-30 miles from home, and I've moved on from wanting the crowded theme park or amusement park experience after being detailed a VIP escort for visits to WDW the first two years it was open. When I revisit WDW from time to time, I stay on the property and use the transportation system, while Branson does not offer an equivalent, just heavy traffic and crowded parking.
tatest 12/11/17 04:55pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: New to this, advice for Georgia/Florida

Not sure what size bank you might be breaking, but the areas that work as low cost for me are near the Gulf Coast between Port St Joe down to Crystal River. Think US-98 west of Perry, US-19 south of Perry. This area is mostly coastal lowlands, piney woods, lacking beach resorts and other attractions that draw lots of winter visitors or winter residents, yet close enough to the coast for the Gulf of Mexico to moderate the temperature extremes. Higher and dryer areas a little more inland will be somewhat more expensive, and by the time you reach I-75 you get into areas that are becoming heavily developed and thus have higher property values (equals higher rent), pretty much all the way to the Atlantic Coast. I'm not familiar with southern Georgia, as I approach Florida from Alabama, so can't help you there.
tatest 12/11/17 04:30pm Snowbirds
RE: cross country trip for about 3 months

If you are bringing a car from Hawaii, that registration (and your driver's licenses) will be good until you establish domicile somewhere. Each state will vary some as to how long you have to re-title and license vehicles, and get new driver's licenses. If you are coming without a vehicle, planning to buy one, some states issue temporary tags, others don't let you leave the dealership without title and tags. Those offering temporary tags, I've encountered as little as 10 days, as long as 60. Three months is stretching this. A vehicle purchased here will also have to be insured according to the laws of some state, and the insurers want to base premiums and coverage on where registered, and for comprehensive, where "garaged." When I came back to the U.S. from a two-year overseas assignment, I landed in Detroit, bought in Michigan, temporarily titled and transit tagged in Michigan (that's the way Michigan does it) and got to Oklahoma for permanent title and tag within 30 days. I still ended up paying "late" fees on excise tax and title fees because the car was sold from one dealer to the other and that sale date was what Michigan used, but the car hadn't been in service long enough to qualify as coming in as a used car. Those are Oklahoma quirks, but every state has its own quirks in vehicle licensing laws, particularly those where it is mostly about taxation.
tatest 12/11/17 04:04pm Around the Campfire
RE: "Maximum 24 ft or longer" question

You should notice no difference driving, or in MPG, a 24-foot vs 25-foot B+/C, but it will not be like driving a B or a van. The box for the B+/C RV will usually be at least 7 1/2 feet wide, more often 8 to 8 1/2 feet, and mirrors might take width to 9 1/2 to 10 feet. You can learn to handle the width, every truck and motorcoach driver learns to adapt. Parking is where the width tends to matter more, and it depends on where you are in the country, and whether you are dealing with rural vs urban parking situations. There are not many places in urban environments where a single parking space fits a 24-foot vehicle of "maximum normal" width, i.e. 80 inches in the U.S. I know because I am dealing daily with a vehicle that wide only slightly over 20 feet long. In most parking lots, and almost all street parking, 24 feet is going to take more than one space in length, so it might as well be 28 to 32 feet long. But still, at 8 1/2 wide, 29' 8" long, I can almost always find a place to park somewhere near where I want to be, even though I cannot take just any space open (the way I can in my subcompact car).
tatest 11/29/17 07:27pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Base plate ?

Not likely. Baseplate from a Wrangler might not even fit a different model or model year Wrangler. How difficult to mount depends on where it attaches, whether or not chassis modifications are needed, and how much bodywork needs to be removed and replaced. I thought, from the instructions, putting a baseplate on my Honda Fit would be easy. I was considering all those years in my teens when I was doing body work in my dad's collision shop, i.e. coming to the job with some experience taking cars apart and putting them back together. It was not as easy as it looked. I had planned to have a RV shop do it, but they couldn't get me in for a couple more weeks, and I was in a hurry. The job took me four hours, spread out over two days, in the sun on a concrete driveway. There was at least another six hours of cooling off and rehydrating. Tearing apart the front end, and removing the inner bumper to get at the subframe horns, was easy, about an hour. Drilling two holes, laying under a low car, was hard. I had no idea how tough that subframe steel was, but it quickly dulled a titanium bit. I now know to figure at least one or two drill bits per hole. I had to remove some extra pieces (headlight, washer bottle) to get the drill into position. Bolting on the baseplate was easy. Reinstalling the inner bumper was hard, turned out that it is bowed, straightens out when removed, had to be leveraged back into position. The job would have been easier with the car on a lift. The job would have been easier in a cooler space, or at least in the shade. It would have gone faster with a better drill and a good supply of bits. There were a couple of places where it would have been easier with a second pair of hands. The dealer, in making an installation estimate, considers these advantages you don't have DIY in the driveway. Find out what baseplate model fits the vehicle you plan to tow, then download the installation instructions to decide whether this is work you want to do. I've you've not yet chosen a towbar, get instructions for a couple different brands, because sometimes Roadmaster, BlueOx and Demco do things in different ways, Roadmaster particularly because they don't always do a baseplate, it is often a pair of mounting brackets for a baseplate piece that comes with the tow bar. Roadmaster would have been a lot easier for me because it didn't bolt to the sides of the subframe horns, instead the baseplate replaced the Fit's inner bumper using the OEM mounting bolts. Some of the simplest installations I've seen consisted of bolting to the mounting points for factory tow hooks.
tatest 11/18/17 05:37pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Do I need a distribution hitch on a air ride diesel pusher

I would think not. I'm not sure how much of the tongue weight could actually be shifted to the front axle on a self-leveling air suspension chassis, assuming the hitch is actually designed for lifting the rear of the motorhome.
tatest 11/18/17 03:31pm Towing
RE: Warranty Forever!?!?!?!?!?!?!

My experience with these "free" lifetime warranties when offered by car and truck dealers is that the dealer's cost for the warranty is factored into the negotiated price, just not listed as a line item. About 10 years ago some of the same dealers were trying to sell the package separately, often starting as high as $2000 then negotiating down to less than half of that depending on your sales resistance. The "free" lifetime warranty later got combined with "free" lifetime service which, once I bought it, turned out to include only oil changes, and the warranty part of it excluded "wear and tear" items (note that the Longview warranty does not include most of the drive train on motorhomes). Car dealers today not providing "free" lifetime warranties will often go lower on the sale price. Thus on RVs you might find the same unit a few hundred dollars cheaper at a dealer that offers no "free" warranty, and in any case you will likely be buying more service, inspections particularly, that you would otherwise.
tatest 11/18/17 03:26pm General RVing Issues
RE: plate taxes.

What kind of RV? If towable, some states issue permanent plates, so there is only a one-time fee, but the plates for the tow vehicle might be relatively high or low. This state does not require any plate at all on trailers, including RVs, not used commercially or in agriculture, but try to explain that when you get stopped in another state. For motorized RVs, states might tax on value or weight, or might just have a registration fee each year after collecting a sales or excise tax on issuing a title. My motorhome is registered as a passenger vehicle, tag fee is currently $45 (+ $1.50 to tag office for insurance verification). That's because of how long it has been registered, the tag is on a downward sliding scale that started at $120 the first three years. Excise tax was 3.25% of purchase price, paid once 12 years ago. I would not focus on vehicle registration costs or other taxes in looking for a less expensive place to live, because the big driver for cost of living is land values, which in turn influence wages and taxes, thus cost of services. If you want to live on a budget, you live where land values are low. There are rural areas, and some almost ghost towns, here and in East Texas, and across much of the Deep South, where you can rent a house for as little as $400 a month or buy one well under $50,000, so it might be cheaper than parking a RV. I suspect there might be similar bargains in much of the Southwest and rural Great Plains where population densities are low and the climate is too miserable to draw hordes of retirees. How cheap rural living can be depends on what urban amenities you can do without. I know people who still live without electricity, telephone service, or running water, and the nearest grocery store or gas station is more than 30 miles away. Their living costs are quite low, as they also grow much of their own food. I know other people who consider it a major disaster if they don't have a high-speed data connection and drive-through fast food. I'm one of those who can't make those rural living sacrifices. Rather I live in the old downtown of a small city to have most things I need within walking distance or by short car trips. My small city choice means lowest rents are $800-1000, cheapest usable houses $50,000-70,000, property taxes $2000-3000 a year, water and waste collection about $45 a month, electricity and gas about $200 (when one is high the other is low). The big expenses that don't vary much by location are communications services (entirely optional) and Medicare and supplement premiums. Except for road trips, I drive less than 1000 miles a year. I noticed today that I put gas in my car three times in 2015, twice in 2016, three times in 2017. That's typically 6 to 8 gallons a fill, it is a small car. I stay busy volunteering in community programs, and I can usually walk to those job. Walking everywhere helps use up my time and it feels good. If in more of a hurry, I might ride my bicycle. If you are thinking about retiring in a RV to be moving around, the moving around part is what will be what is most expensive. But you are also going to have to park a RV somewhere, and you might be looking at $400-2000 a month, depending on land values where you are and seasonal demand. My retirement luxury is travel, whether by road trip, cruises or group travel. I'm currently far away from family, my kids move around a lot (school, jobs, military service). I usually road trip to visit family. Each 2500-3000 mile round trip to visit my brother, my sisters, or daughters uses $400-500 worth of fuel and about $200 for meals and accommodations by truck or van. If I take the RV is is more like $800-1200 worth of fuel and $150-200 for overnight accommodations enroute, another $400-$1200 for camping fees at destinations, depending on how long I stay and which place I go. If I can get bargain air fares, air travel is cheaper for these family visits. The group tours are another matter. One to two week motorcoach tours have been $1500 to $4500, depending on destinations and whether or not air travel is involved, going much higher for destinations like Asia, Australia or Africa. I've put almost $10,000 into two to three week cruises with extension tours on each end. But I set a travel budget for each year, and it might go for one big trip, a couple medium size trips, or a half dozen road trips. So I am suggesting, when planning for a retirement lifestyle with a limited budget, don't necessarily think of it as a RV lifestyle. That's one option, but travel is sort of integrated into that, and travel is what will be expensive. Look at low cost ways to live, and if what you want to do is RV, then budget that as a luxury paid with what is left over after living costs. That being said, there a many people here who live full time in RVs, at low cost, by doing it with minimal travel. My cousin makes two trips a year, one from his Northern Michigan forest cabin to his RV location in South Florida, the other from Florida back to Michigan. He makes these trips slowly, visiting people and places enroute, not hauling around the RV, because his luxury is riding his motorcycles, and when making this migration he camps out of the motorcycle trailer.
tatest 11/18/17 02:59pm General RVing Issues
RE: Custom B or Custom Van?

Sportsmobile can build it, or several of the many van conversion shops, which tend to be small businesses today, in regional markets. Sportsmobile will have more experience with the RV part. If you want three rows of seating and bathroom facilities, you will be building on one of the longer vans. Another variation would be executive travel vans, Airstream used to have some Sprinter-based motorhomes in this class, probably the most expensive on the market. I've been in others used by limousine services, but these have had more than just the bathroom, also having small bars with snack kitchens. These are custom builds for the commercial market. Neither type B motorhomes nor custom van conversions come cheap. You are starting at $40,000 to $60,000 for the bare high-top extended-length van. Costs from there depend on the quality of furnishings, ranging OEM seats on up to the equivalent of airline Business Class. School bus or transit van seating is cheaper, but I've never seen it put into a conversion van. Category you are describing is a conversion van, rather than a type B motorhome, since you are not including sleeping and cooking facilities that put the conversion into the "home" category. That doesn't mean a RV builder can't build it, just that it is not what they usually market.
tatest 11/16/17 12:44am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Buying New sight unseen

We put in more than 8000 miles of driving over 15 months visiting at least eight RV shows, four manufacturers, and repeat visits to several dealers before making a final decision on our first RV, which has served us for the past 12 years. At first it was not knowing what we wanted, towards the end it was about exactly which model fit our needs, i.e. the living in it. That involved getting in the RV and trying it out. We've been in a small RV club since 2005, and while most of the members have something they've used and liked for a long time, others keep buying every 2-5 years because what they bought didn't work as well for them as they thought it would. While I like Artic Fox, and have no reservations about quality and construction methods, I would not buy any particular model without seeing that model and trying it out. That's not the same as needing to see the particular RV, as I have no problem with ordering from the factory based on having seen another example. If you buy another RV without actually having seen one just like it, you might find yourself soon looking for something else that works better for you.
tatest 11/06/17 04:55pm Travel Trailers
RE: Getting thru Dallas

Coming down from Tulsa, headed toward Houston, I almost always go straight through Dallas on US-75 to I-45. My usual arrival time, southbound, will be around noon to 2 PM, and traffic is usually pretty good, the worst of it usually being McKinney to Richardson, where there is a lot of local traffic. Downtown is usually better, as local traffic is better separated from through traffic. I have alternative routes to Houston (through Palestine) and another to San Antonio (through Wichita Falls) that bypass Dallas, but my route to San Antonio (for you would be I-40 to I-44 to US-281) is a few hours slower than I-35, assuming no major problems on I-35. There is a more direct route from Wichita Falls to Boerne using US-87 but having not tried it, can't recommend it.
tatest 11/04/17 05:04pm Roads and Routes
RE: Which one of these C's would you buy?

Between the two, I would choose the Thor-built 28A because the slide-free floorplan better fits my needs today than anything with a slide-out. I currently have two slides, and one of them must be out to get into the wardrobe and cabinets. While this was not an issue when I was going to campgrounds for extended stays, the need to find room to open slideouts is now a pain when just stopping in rest areas or parking lots to sleep for a while. But to slide or not to slide is a matter of space needs and how you are using the thing. The smaller C is also going to be 1500 - 2000 pounds lighter than a 31-footer with a big slideout. Thor's 28A floorplan is actually light enough to be built on Chevy's 12,300 pound 3500 chassis (many were sold that way) so on the E-450 you get at least 2000 pounds, probably closer to 3000, of extra carrying capacity. Many 31-foot C's, even on E-450, have marginal capacity for carrying the number of people they can sleep.
tatest 11/04/17 04:37pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2017 Thor Freedom Elite 29FE / need opinions

Freedom Elite is a Camping World brand, over the years different RVs so branded came from various manufacturers. If you are shopping new, and for lowest price, you will be shopping different Camping World RV dealers. If you are trading, you would be shopping Camping World RV dealers for the lowest trading difference, quoted price for the new RV becomes irrelevant except for tax purposes. If you have reservations about dealing with Camping World, similar models from Thor Motorcoach will be found in their FourWinds and Chateau brands at Thor dealers. These will have differences in trim, standard fittings, options etc. Freedom Elite gets built to a lower price point than what goes out to independent dealerships. $66,000 today for a new C that large is a very low price. When I was shopping in 2005 the lowest price for a new 28-foot C was right around $50,000, for either FourWinds 5000, Jayco's Escapade (no longer made) or Forest River's Sunseeker (substantially upgraded since then). All three were popular at the time in rental fleets, roughly equivalent to Coachman's Pathfinder, which was their rental market line until they introduced Freedom below the Freelander. After looking at all of these, and many used models, I ended up buying a used Itasca Spirit for $58,000, as I preferred the better box construction and detail finish, and my wife preferred the trim, decor, and included features, compared to the rental-grade new models we had been looking at. But if price is most important to you, you are not likely to find anything new at a lower price than CW's Freedom Elite, providing you can make a good deal, not buying at MSRP.
tatest 11/04/17 04:20pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: best chainsaws

I have three big red oaks that need regular maintenance, and every tree service I call, they are using Stihl saws. Same with the lawn guys and their trimming and edging equipment. So that's my guide on brand, for day to day reliability when running a business. But this is not just one model of Stihl, the crews will have 3-5 different saws for different parts of the job. But for occasional use, the brand might not matter so much as the model fitting the job and your capabilities. It is possible within any brand to get too little saw for the job, or too much for your handling capabilities. I grew up in an era when they were all McCullouch, different sizes and capacities, all antiques today, but the brand still around.
tatest 11/02/17 03:17am Around the Campfire
RE: Cars to avoid?

You have two choices. The towbar can stay on the towed vehicle, or it can be carried by the towing vehicle. Both choices require a towbar pinned to a baseplate on the towed vehicle, which is usually bolted to the frame or sub-frame, not welded (there is little to weld to, on today's towable vehicles). There are towbars that mount to brackets on the bumpers of utility vehicles like older Jeeps, but even these are bolted on, not welded. There is a wide (but shrinking) range of vehicles towable four down, including many older 4WD utility vehicles, many manual transmission front-drive subcompactsedans, many years of GM and Saturn compacts with 4-speed OD automatics, and a few compact or mid-size pickups with manual transmissions. My own towable vehicles have included a manual transmission 2001 Ford Ranger and a 2012 manual transmission Honda Fit. What to avoid? Anything that can't be towed four-down. That list is a lot bigger than the list of what can be towed.
tatest 11/02/17 02:57am Dinghy Towing
RE: Ram quality & company and dealer response

The dealer is everything, and that is a local matter, unless you are in an urban area where you can shop different dealers for the same brand. All brands of vehicles can have issues, some of which the manufacturer will take care of, if the dealer intercedes for you. I came to this town 37 years ago with a new Chevy, and after working with the Chevy dealer, I would not buy another one in this town. But the Ford dealer was good, the Cadillace=Olds-GMC, and the Buick-Jeep. Another shop opened, Honda-Plymouth-Dodge-Chrysler franchises, good for service and support. That collapsed, split off to a Honda franchise, Chrysler side going to three different owners before it stabilized. I bought two Dodge vehicles, the first kept nine years while dealing with the Honda-Chrysler dealer, the second abandoned after three years dealing with an unsupportive Dodge dealer. So I suggest find a better dealer, or switch to a brand with a better dealer. Tires are a separate issue, from vehicle brand or dealer. Tire manufacturers warranty tires. Tire dealers handle the warranties (although car dealers may be tire dealers, they are often not the best choice). OEM tire choices are not always the best (although I've been pleased with Ford's choices on Superduty truck models). Having bought one French import, two German imports, three GM cars, one Ford sedan, four Ford trucks, three Dodges, one Toyota, and two Hondas, I don't think I would ever buy anything from Fiat Chrysler America, not even if the local FCA dealer was bought by someone with a better customer service outlook. Yet 15 years ago, a Dodge 2500 or 3500 CTD with manual transmission would have been my first choice for a HD tow vehicle. Today my choice would be Chevy or GMC, lamenting that I must accept the Allison automatic, with no manual transmission option.
tatest 11/02/17 02:37am Tow Vehicles
RE: Small gas tank beef

My 1 1/2 -2 hour limit is imposed by my bladder capacity, not my fuel tank. Subcompact car with 6 gallon tank, small pickup with 12 gallon tank, van with 30 gallon tank, motorhome with 55 gallon tank, all can do more distance than I can, so why not top off the tank whenever I need a comfort stop? For my frequent travels from NE Oklahoma to Michigan, the greatest advantage of long range capacity is avoiding a fill-up in Illinois, and hoping that the gas I buy in Indiana will cover all my Michigan driving. Only the van, with 480 mile range, offers such hopes.
tatest 11/02/17 01:49am Tow Vehicles
RE: Ball Loosened, Use Loctite?

Lock washer or not, the ball has to be properly torqued, so as to stretch the shaft to the point where the nut cannot rotate on the threads with less torque applied. The anti-seize was a mistake, torque specifications are almost always for dry threads, adjustments for lube are problematic, but you probably didn't torque it properly anyway. Use Loctite only if OEM recommended, with the expectation that you will never want to take it apart. Blue Loctite is more easily overcome, but it will take more torque to get it apart than it took to put it together. Consider red Loctite to be almost as permanent as a weld.
tatest 11/02/17 01:33am Towing
RE: Self-driving home anyone?

I just turned 72, my family history suggests lifespan to the middle to late 90's with limited function at 90-92 years. I do not expect the infrastructure and technology for what you envision in what is left of my lifetime. What I expect is limited use of low-speed self-driving taxicabs in dense urban areas, particularly where other types of traffic have been severely restricted. Like Coolerman, I come from a 30 year career of software development, and my experience has been that you can program only for the situations you envision, and hope for human intelligence to compensate for the situations you didn't think to cover. Commercial aviation is approaching the autonomous stage (still cannot handle takeoffs and maneuvering to cruise) yet frequently encounter unanticipated situations requiring immediate human intervention. Their tightly managed traffic environment is several orders of magnitude less complex than today's road traffic. Self-driving vehicles in the broader context will require either an external control system, or intervehicle communication, along with elimination of all uncontrolled traffic, including pedestrians and bicycles.
tatest 11/02/17 01:20am RV Lifestyle
RE: At the CG do you mainly use the CG showers or your RV's?

Most of the time I like to use the shower in my RV, because I like to shower an hour or two before I go to sleep (and get rid of the campfire smoke) and I do fine with minimalist showers. My daughter has long thick hair, likes to wash it in the morning, needs to wash it in the morning, prefers the unlimited water supply and higher flow rates of campground showers.
tatest 11/02/17 01:01am RV Lifestyle
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