2004 29B, hitch was up-rated that year to 5000 pounds but still 350 limit on tongue weight.
I now flat tow a manual transmission Honda Fit (about 2500 pounds).
Before that flat towed a manual transmission 2001 Ford Ranger (regular cab Edge trim, about 3200 pounds). The Ranger was heavy enough to push around this RV on very tight curves (e.g. marked 15-20 mph) if I tried to take them close to the marked speeds. 29B model has a very long rear overhang in proportion to the wheelbase, you have to tow gently.
Your only realistic option for towing that particular car is a dolly, unless you can upgrade the hitch. Putting a 3100 pound car on a trailer will exceed ratings for tongue weight and leverage weight off the front axle, and the 29B is already too light on the front end with normal loading.
13 pins??????????? Wow...what could you possibly need 13 when 7 is more than enough?
Different vehicle lighting codes from US DOT. Turn signals cannot share bulbs with brakes lights, rear fog lights are required on all vehicles, side markers are separately switched (on each side) to serve while parking along a street.
My SIL bought my compact truck when I moved to China, then shortly after he was moved to the UK and wanted to take the truck with him. Before the truck could pass MOT inspection it had to be converted to UK lighting standards, then on bringing it back had to convert it back to US DOT.
This has been going on for a long time. When I was in service 45 years ago, cars we bought in Europe had to be converted from German, Italian, UK or French lighting to US individual state standards. Germany was already using the rear fog lights, having that one installed and connected was illegal in almost every state. At least now they've harmonized the standards within the EU.
I live far enough south so that I don't snowbird all season, will just go somewhere warmer for a month or two (January and February). So I leave sometime after the New Year, and am usually home before the end of February, because I might have to be doing Spring cleanup on my properties that early.
Sometimes I take the RV to Texas Hill Country, the southern Texas coastal plain or the Texas Gulf Coast, but my snowbirding isn't always by RV. I might take a long tropical cruise, or fly to a warmer destination. RV snowbirds are just a fraction of the people around the world who migrate with the seasons, most do it sticks and bricks. I also go to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but not yet with the RV, since I when I was going I had a daughter there to stay with (same for San Antonio).
My cousin snowbirds by RV. His summer home is in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, more comparable to Wisconsin. He leaves for Florida at the beginning of October, takes a couple of weeks to a month to drive down, stopping in places like Destin or the Nature Coast along the way. His destination is Fort Myers, same RV park year after year, to connect with the same group of motorcyclists who spend the winter riding around South Florida. He doesn't come back north until May or June. I don't know how many other places he has tried, as he has lived and worked in Florida, Southern California and the desert Southwest. It is the personal connections that take him to Florida.
NE Oklahoma, NW Arkansas, SW Missouri is also RV snowbird country. We start getting a lot of people from the northern plains (the Prairie provinces and northern tier states like the Dakotas and Minnesota) in September, when it is still as warm here as it was in Summer where they come from.
Many stay here through October, some into early November, then move down into East Texas, southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, and the Texas hill country, waiting until the Gulf Coast or the Rio Grande Valley cools off before moving further south. So RV snowbirding doesn't need to be one big move, you can move gradually and stay in places where the climate is what you like. That's a big advantage over the S&B snowbird who has a house in Connecticut and one in Palm Springs, or a home in Green Bay and the other in Naples. They have to choose between staying until it gets too cold or going while it is still too hot at the other place.
So if you start moving early, a good place to stop along the way is Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in NE Oklahoma. We like the community around Grove, on the east side of the reservoir, and usually go to Cedar Oaks for October and November "campouts" but there are other decent RV parks too, and at least three state parks on this reservoir.
Then maybe down to Pat Mayes Lake, Lake Texoma, or one of the other reservoirs in north central Texas. After that, if still headed toward the Rio Grande Valley, go to San Antonio (RV park we use is Traveler's World but there are more resort-like places over by Sea World) or Fredericksburg. If headed toward the Texas Gulf Coast, next stop after northern Texas could be the Houston area (if you are into big cities), Galveston for the closing of the season at the beach, or on down to Port Aransas/Rockport area which is for some their ultimate winter destination rather than the RGV.
If going to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, enroute stops could include the reservoirs in NW Arkansas (around Rogers), the Ozarks, or on the Arkansas River around Russellville to Conway. When time to move on from that, there are some nice RV parks in Arkansas Delta Country. During planting and harvest seasons these are there for seasonal workers, but after the workers leave the same parks become snowbird resorts. A particular area I'm thinking about is around Lake Village, just west of the crossing into Greenville, Mississippi. Then the next move, Greenville to Gulfport/Biloxi or on over to Gulf Shores in Alabama, is less than a day of driving.
I think I've given the idea. I can't help with details down through Illinois, Iowa, Kansas or Missouri because I am starting more to the south. Maybe about a day's driving north of Grand Lake or the Rogers Arkansas area, I would choose to stay for a while at Lake of the Ozarks, or in the Hannibal area, maybe also Mark Twain Lake. But no later than late September, early October that far north.
A final thought on this migration. Most of the people who come through this part of the country are seniors, and have the senior pass for Federal recreational properties. They stay at Corps of Engineers recreational access facilities for $8 to $10 a night with their senior discounts. Two weeks at each facility, then move on. You can do this all through the valleys and tributary areas for the Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas rivers, where a huge network of flood control reservoirs are managed to keep the Mississippi navigable. The places are not fancy, don't have camp stores (you'll need to go into a town to shop) and do have seasons. But as you go more to the south, the seasons are longer. You just have to do your homework to time your gradual migration to use the head and tail ends of the season. E.G. where I am, most of the Corps campgrounds open April 1st and close the last weekend of October. This is because the volunteer work-campers who staff these parks are also snowbirds and want to be moving with the climate too.
It is dry and windy, pretty big stuff can get blown into the traffic lanes.
Texas does a thing with driving on shoulders to enable overtaking, and this throw a lot of trash from the shoulder into the road.
It is not just the RGV. Houston/Harris County is just as bad for getting windshields hit, my experience.
If located in Florida and not validly tagged as a vehicle it becomes subject to Tangible Personal Property Tax (annual tax return required). You are not supposed to do this, Florida would rather have the vehicle registration fee.
In some counties an assessor might try to tag it as a mobile home (which might be less expensive than tagging it as a vehicle) but that is stretching the law to move the revenue from the state to local government.
If you put it on land you own, put it on blocks, hook up to utilities, it can become real estate. It will then be taxed as such, locally.
It might be useful to tag it in Florida, rather than Delaware, since you can handle tag renewals on-line. When my brother snow-birded sticks and bricks between Michigan and Florida he registered his Florida vehicles in Florida, his Michigan vehicles in Michigan (his domicile).
But this doesn't solve all problems. I'm still trying to work out how to get some things in Florida through probate because Florida did not accept the Michigan will rolling all property into a trust.
While you are at if, also have a custody document prepared. It can help if your are in a law enforcement contact situation and relationships need to be defined. This is no guarantee, as child services will take children from even their parents, but it helps remove relationship ambiguity as a reason for doing so.
Maybe not a B, as it probably went to the step van builder as a COE cab-chassis or nose-chassis. Not sure though, as Ford could have been building their own step van bodies, or owned a subsidiary to do it, from the pre-war era. 1950's was at the end of the era of Ford's obsession with vertical integration, when Henry II was radically changing the way the company did business after his grandfather's death.
First Ford van that got B-type conversions was the Econoline introduced in 1961 on the Falcon platform. The camper conversions came real early, were usually built on the wagon rather than the van, and were sold through Ford dealers.
This step-van conversion is commercial. The later cab-over is an interesting touch, looks a lot like the one we had on our 1960-built Corsair travel trailer. But if I were buying this for historical value, for a museum collection, I would probably prefer not to have a modification that drastic.
A lot of things about this remind me of that first travel trailer. Boxy cabinetry, metal sink, wall lamps. It is hard to tell whether one of those tall cabinets is a toilet. Ours was in a cabinet that size, right over the single waste tank, gaucho seating to double as sleeping area.
We had a LPG-only fridge rather than ice box, a LPG vented gravity wall furnace, and two LPG mantle lamps, the rest of the lighting 12V borrowing from the battery the tow vehicle. Instead of a hand pump, our fresh water tank was pressurized, with a Schrader valve in the fill cap so that we could use a bicycle pump.
Maybe not much on the coast, but here on the plains, and down into Texas and the Gulf states the generator gets run for cooling off the house anytime we have to travel carrying people back there. From about May through September it quickly gets to 100F and higher anytime the RV is in high sunlight, and for at least three months of that it does little good to try cooling it off by opening the windows.
But we also have people in our RV club who never ran their generators. They had no more than two persons traveling, those rode up front using the cab A/C, and once they got to a RV park and hooked up, they stayed outside the RV for two to four hours until it cooled off. Usually around sunset.
So how important to the buyer will depend on where it get used and how it gets used.
Whether too heavy would depend on what you use to carry it. They were built for the 3/4 ton and "camper special" pickup payloads of the time, which were not always as much as 3/4 tons can carry today.
As for construction, it could be aluminum framed sandwich wall, some manufacturers were using that construction with ribbed aluminum or ribbed plastic skin as early as the late 1960s.
In 1989, was Shasta still Shasta RV, or had the brand become owned by Coachmen? Coachmen was doing sandwich walls in the late 1980s, at the same time they were still using stick built construction on their budget lines.
In any case, stick built construction is not necessarily heavier. Gulfstream was building wood frame lightweights for several years in their Amerilite TT line. Equivalent floorplans in the Streamlite line using sandwich wall construction ran 10 to 15% heavier. Weight can depend more on the weight of what gets put inside, than it does on the method used for the box structure.
You need to find out what it does weigh, and know what you can carry.
Walt Disney World only? I would probably fly in and stay on the Disney property, if I didn't have family to stay with at no cost. But just now I would drive and stay at my brother's house; actually, until I get the estate settled, it is 1/5 my house.
After all, I lived on McCoy when WDW opened, and every family connection I had found their way to Orlando to camp out in my house those first two years :) But then, that was just payback, because we started having Christmas in Florida, camping in Grandpa's parlor and eating his food, shortly after he moved there in 1948.
A more general trip to see the Gulf Coast, and other places in Florida, I would take the RV. I would have a plan about what I wanted to visit in Florida, what I wanted to see there, what I wanted to see on the way back. Despite the phenomenal population growth in the last forty years, there are still many interesting places to visit, only a few places have been reduced to massive urban sprawl.
Although South Florida is already starting to fill with RV snowbirds in December, the rest of the state does not really get hard to find RV space until after the holidays. You do need a plan, and confirmed (usually held by deposit or pre-pay) reservations. It is not like the fringe seasons when you can expect to just pull into a RV park or campground and find an open space.
From Houston and east, the worst weather you will find along I-10 will be thunderstorm systems. They can be really heavy winds and rain, but you can sit them out. The winter location of Tornado Alley is usually somewhat to the north, more between I-20 and I-40 than along the I-10 corridor.
Twenty years of visiting Houston year round, I've been caught in a freezing rain only twice. In that part of Texas, they wait for it to melt, or for a warmer rain to wash it away, usually later the same day. I just adjusted my travel plans, go home later in the day or maybe the next day.
You know what can happen with winter weather in the high country between El Paso and San Antonio. Blizzards are possible, but rare, and you can sit them out. The wind is usually more of a problem than the snow.
One of the supermarkets I patronize is counter clockwise like this layout, the other one you would have to go clockwise to get this order, starting in produce and then to the meats.
"Freshness" dates on red meats don't mean a lot, although there may be laws about them. Stores that use date are supposed to be working from a cutting date on a freshly slaughtered beef. Really expensive beef, what you find at premium price in boutique markets, is aged way past "fresh" before it is ever cut, and sometimes aged in package before put out for sale. Not a lot of aged beef makes it to the supermarket, most goes to restaurants.
Ground meat is different, it starts getting dangerous immediately after grinding because of handling, and this concern is what is behind the whole "freshness" dating concept.
I shop with a list, and stuff put out for impulse purchase tends to catch me only if I go shopping hungry and it looks like a snack I want right now.
Did not have a blowout, rather a tread separation followed by rapid deflation (which is more common than actual blowouts in the overloaded tire scenario).
I remember it as my Mom driving, but my brother insists I was behind the wheel. The vibration from the tread separation was felt through the hitch to the tow vehicle, so we were already slowing down when the tire deflated. The trailer rode on the flapping rubber and rim until we got it stopped off the side of the road.
Damage? Flapping tread tore up the fiber insulating board covering the bottom of the TT, but did not damage anything else.
This was early 1960s on two-lane mountain highways, climbing a grade, so we were probably at about 35-45 mph. Today, towing 70-80 mph on superhighways, you might have 4X the energy in the pieces flying off the tire, and a more precarious control situation.
I have two RVing friends who have lost control from these tire situations at superhighway speeds, in one case the TT broke the hitch and rolled on its side, in the other it stayed attached and took the truck over onto its top. Having tandem axles didn't seen to help the situation, with one tire down the trailers went into accelerating sway. In both cases, the TT was pretty close to max weight ratomg for the tow vehicle, and close to the weight of the tow vehicle.
A single axle trailer is going to be lighter, so may not have as much influence on the dynamics. OTOH, you might be towing a lightweight trailer because the tow vehicle is also small and light.
An actual blowout, sudden and total deflation without warning, is something really different, with respect to handling it. There is no time to react, or slow down, before you are on the rim. Same for zipper failures, which are more common on radial tires than the blowouts we used to get with tube-type bias ply tires.
We started out with an axle-mounted equalizer on a 18-foot under 5000 pound TT, towed by a 1960 Country Squire. When we got back from a 5000 mile trip, we found the axle housing had been bowed by the load, and the rear wheel bearings had been quickly worn out.
When replacing the tow vehicle we switched to a frame mounted equalizer hitch and added auxilary springs to the rear of that wagon.
So all these people who work while full-timing are becoming residents of the states they work in?
Yes. They may have a domicile in another state, but where they are living and working that state considers them a resident for tax purposes, and may require change of driver's license and vehicle registrations, the latter also a matter of collecting taxes.
Some exceptions? I'm in a border town that once had a major employer. About a quarter of our employees lived in Kansas and worked in Oklahoma. That they lived in Kansas did not keep them from getting citations for license tag violations when the police went through the employee parking lot, but they could straighten things out in court by bringing their proof of Kansas residence.
I kept my Oklahoma domicile while working overseas. I worked for employers in Norway, Egypt, China and Venezuela, and was paid through a shell company in the Caymans. I paid income taxes in every country where I worked, used those tax credits against my U.S. income taxes, but keeping my house meant I paid state income tax here too.
That's just Oklahoma, taxes based on residency. Other states, income taxes may be base on where earned. Some states have reciprocal agreements on these issues, others don't.
This is not a good place to get financial and legal advice, not even about residency, because every state is different, and what you get here about someone else's experience may not fit your situation.
Here is one possible way out. I have worked with consultants who work through an agency, such that they are employed by that agency, in the state (or country) where that agency is headquartered.
But most of the time this works because the consult is for a week or less. It did not work for me to be someplace two years and claim that I was working instead for a corporation in the Caymans. If I was working on something in Norway for as much as a week, Norway said I was working in Norway, no matter who was paying me. Since I did not have a legal residence nor a work permit, I would be considered to be working illegally. At least going from state to state in the U.S., you don't get into that part of the problem.
Enjoyable or miserable? Depends on how you deal with hot and humid. Whether or not you do it in a RV, you will find out about early summer outdoor life in that part of the country. June is a pretty good time to go. July and August days don't get much hotter, they just have more hot days and fewer cool days as the Gulf Stream moves in toward shore, and by August we would just be getting tired of it.
Although from Southern Michigan where "hot" is anything over 80F and humid is a regular thing, I've lived much for the past 45 years in places that get just as humid, some that get a little bit warmer and stay warm longer (Coastal Carolina, Central Florida) and places that get a whole lot hotter (highs over 100F for two to three months) and are considered humid when a 70F to 80F dewpoint puts a floor under night temperatures in the summer.
I go further south into Texas and the Gulf Coast for summer RVing. I think the RV can be kept comfortable if it can be parked in shade and the air conditioner kept running full time (that's why my motorhome has its own generator). But my frame of reference is that I keep my own house no more than 20-25 F cooler than outside temperatures, thus 80-85 inside most of the summer. If I can pull the inside of the motorhome down to 90 F, I'm happy, because the air blowing from the vents is coming out a cool 70 or so.
For you, that might be hot. You might not want to ever go outside.
The hottest part of the trip will be driving across the Great Plains in June. If you want to interest your wife in full-time RVing, I would not take her across the plains in a RV at that time of year.
The most humid part of the trip will be going across the Middle South to get to North Carolina, as hot wet Gulf air masses will already be pushing as far north as the Great Lakes states. The Piedmont will be getting pretty warm in June, the Atlantic coast will usually be a little cooler with air blowing in from the ocean, but quite humid. In the good old days the folks who owned the tobacco plantations on the coastal plains would already be in their mountain retreats by June (that's why their school year ends in early to middle May). Those who stayed behind would be sitting in the shade waiting for harvest.
Your NC destinations are mostly in the Piedmont and lower part of the mountains, not as muggy as the coast, but still a long hot summer. Piedmont elevations in the Piedmont are not high enough to get any useful adiabatic cooling effect. Wilmington gets cooled by the sea air, warmed by air blowing off the Piedmont; at least it is not too far from the beach.
Savannah and Charleston are best appreciated in autumn and early winter, I found them oppressive in the summer, but that was also the first place I lived and worked after leaving Michigan, and cars back then did not have air conditioning unless they were luxury cars sold in Texas or the Deep South.
There are two sides to a mild climate, not too hot and not too cold. East of your Pacific coastal range, most places that do not get long, cold winters get long, hot summers instead. That would be the Atlantic Coast. All the rest of the country most places that don't get below freezing and snowy gets long hot summers; in the middle, even the places that get long cold winters will get quite hot summers.
Mountain roads in western Arkansas tend to be more about tight and twist roads, using switchbacks rather than steep grades to get across the mountains. Where grades are steep, they also tend to be short.
You can get through Arkansas to Missouri without traveling any mountain roads, depending on where you enter the state, where you want to leave it, and what you want to visit while there. I do it often, Fort Smith to Greenville in Mississippi, following the Arkansas River valley into Little Rock, then across the Missippi Delta (which makes about a third of the state flat).
Direction you are going, you could take I-30 to Little Rock, I-40 up to West Memphis, I-55 to Normal, I-39 up to Wisconsin (or if going to Lake Michigan, I-57 out of Sikeston, Missouri avoids every big city between Memphis and Chicago). But with this route, by avoiding the hilly parts of Arkansas and Missouri means also avoiding most of the interesting destinations in both states.
Actually, because I hate the traffic on I-40 and the mess around Memphis, I would personally take US-67 NE out of Little Rock, connecting with US-60 in southern Missouri to get back to the junction of the Interstate highways at Sikeston. I use US-60 across Missouri quite often, to bypass St Louis, when heading toward Kentucky or southern Illinois. I have other routes through Missouri to bypass St Louis on the north, when headed toward Iowa, Wisconsin, Chicago, Northern Indiana or Western Michigan. These don't go through Arkansas because I am starting from NE Oklahoma.
The mountains you are likely worried about could be the Ouachita, which spread from Hot Springs to McAlester, and can be crossed North-South on US-259 through Oklahoma or US-59 and US-71 in Western Arkansas. Those two roads get interesting and can be slow traveling.
North of I-40 and the Arkansas River, you get into the Ozarks, which are more gentle, and there are two good North-South routes: I-540/US-71 out of Fort Smith, on the west side of the Ozarks, and US-65 out of Little Rock, on the east side of the Ozarks.
If you want to go through the Ozarks rather than around them, then it is SR-7 through Russellville. As with the stretch from Hot Springs to Russellville, it is more twisty than it is steep, and the country is beautiful. Missouri has no mountains, really. Their Ozarks is a high plateau, cut a few hundred feet many times by creeks and rivers. It is having to cross so many of these valleys that makes southern Missouri seem mountainous. When you finally come out on top of the plateau, north of the Missouri river, the Ozark Plateau is about as flat as Iowa.
Most of those block-size lots downtown are rental parking, and except for those that stay open to collect money from people visiting entertainment venues like BOK Center, they tend to be empty at night, and some may be closed. Tulsa tends to be pretty quiet at night, streets and lots empty until the morning rush. But I suspect that if you dropped the chain at the gate of one of those empty lots, and drove in for the night, you might be towed before morning.
On-street parking might be empty late at night, but I don't know hours for time restrictions and parking meter operation. These tend to change from block to block.
If you really want to stay at the Hyatt Regency, I suggest calling their concierge service about parking. They most likely have someplace where valet service parks visitors, and can almost always do something for you at a price.
Another thing you might do would be to take the trailer out to the Expo Center where parking is usually free (unless there is a special event like a ball game or a race) and tends to be empty at night. I see trailers stored there often, belonging to exhibitors at Expo events. Drop the trailer in the area where you find others parked, then drive back downtown where your truck might fit in the Hyatt's parking garage. When it is time to leave you can go back out to the Expo center to see if your trailer is still there.
Or you might try to rent a RV space in the Expo Center RV park, to store your trailer.
I don't know what is "best" or "better" for you. If I were in a hurry, had no places I wanted to stop to visit, I would probably take US-85 down to Cheyenne, then I-25 to El Paso. You basically have to cross the Rockies to get to El Paso from the Great Plains. The best north-south route for that is I-25 because it follows the Front Range until it finally has to cross the mountains, then runs down through the valley of the Rio Grande to do that. The drive along the Front Range is really pretty, but I-25 tends to get congested in places because most of the population of Colorado lives near this Interstate, spread out from Fort Collins to Pueblo. Gotta live where we can see the mountains, but not have to deal with living in the mountains.
If you want to stay out of the mountains, you can take US-83 south to north Texas, then south of Perryton take SR-70 down to Pampa, US-60 into Amarillo, I-27 to Lubbock, US-62 to US-385, then 385 into Odessa. That puts you on I-20 to I-10 to cross the Rockies into El Paso on the most gradual climbs and at the lowest elevations. Most people crossing the Rocky Mountains in West Texas have difficulty convincing themselves the mountains were really there.
These rural US-highways through Nebraska, Kansas and Texas are really good roads. I use them quite a bit. They are not "back roads" though people from places where the Interstate network is dense tend to call them that. I am accustomed to travel as fast on these highways as I do on the Interstates (sight lines are often 1-3 miles) and most stretches on the Great Plains are fairly lightly traveled.
I used to regularly drive from NE Oklahoma and SE Kansas into the Texas Panhandle, and down to Odessa. I got comfortable with these roads, they saved me a lot of time, because getting to and from the Interstate system added enough miles to make that the long way around, to say nothing of hitting suburban and urban traffic where the Interstates double as commuter expressways.
Just slow down for the small towns, and watch out for slow moving agricultural equipment, oil field service vehicles and equipment, and wind generator parts; these are the roads that get used to move stuff too big for travel on the Interstates.
Ford and Chevy 3/4 and 1-ton passenger vans are usually GVWR just under 10,000 pounds, and at least 8600 (there are different GVWR options to meet licensing quirks of different states). A 12 passenger, not extended, is usually about 5800-6200 pounds empty, so there is typically 3000 pounds load carrying to cover passengers, gear, and hitch weight.
The advertised "tow rating" is a bit tricker because both manufacturers come up with that one as something on the order of GCWR - Empty Weight. So what you are carrying can cut into what you can tow. E.G. 10,000 pound tow rating might be from a 16,000 GCWR; thus if one loads the van to 9000 pounds, then it can tow only 7000, not 10,000.
My 12 passenger E-350 as an example. 5.4 V-8, GCWR is 13,000 and tow rating is advertised at 6700 pounds. Empty weight is just over 6200 pounds (a bit less now that I've taken out the back seat). GVWR is 9600. That means I can carry 3300 pounds, or tow 6700 pounds, but I can't do both at the same time. If the van is fully loaded (including tongue weight) what it can tow is down to 13,000 - 9600, or 3400 pounds. That's a heavy pop-up or a really lightweight small TT. The latter is what I intend to tow.
It has been a while since I have checked the numbers on the Express van, but I think that GCWR is 16,000 with the 6.0, 13,000 with the 4.8. That lets the (5200 pounds empty) cargo van have a 10,000 pound rating, but the Express passenger van with seats and rear air conditioning will be about a thousand pounds heavier, empty. If it is the long wheelbase van, add another 400-500 pounds to the empty weight.