I have a related question about rotating tires. From the brief discussion, it appears some do, some don't. I was wondering about any "rule" about "cross rotation" (ie. from side to side), which will result in "reverse spin". With bias ply tires (ST), will this hasten failure? I have an "minor issue" with different size tires on one side (215's) versus 205's on the other (for what ever reason). One 205 is showing slight outside wear and was wondering about moving it to the other side but am concerned that the "reverse rotation" may cause undue stress on plies resulting in failure. Tires are carlisle with about 3-4 years on them and were on the used 2007 tandem axle trailer when we got it last year. We put about 12000 miles on last year and they run fine.
Back when all tires were bias-ply, we always cross-rotated them. Early radials (Michelin, Pirelli, Dunlop) got the same cross-over rotation, but contemporary belted bias ply tires would take a directional "set" that led to roughness for the few hundred miles after being crossed to the other side.
Most modern "radial" tires are belted bias-ply, with a very low angle (less than 5 degrees) compared to the zero degree bias of a true radial. Some of these have enough of a "set" problem that rotation practice does not usually cross from side to side, but again that is more of a NVH issue that a tire damage issue. Certain high performance tires are unidirectional, but nothing we put on trailers.
My long trips have been 600 to 8000 miles round trip. One of those included taking a party of ten from Detroit to western Montana and back, two weeks. Some others with wife and children, later years with wife alone or with wife, daughter, SIL and twin preschool to school age children. How it works depends on who is going, and how long is the overall trip. A really long (e.g. 2000 miles or more) trip is a series of 200 to 400 mile one day trips with a night of camping each day.
What seems to make them work with family along has been to keep the driving around 6 hours a day or less. Enroute stops for visiting interesting places (don't have to be major tourist destinations) help, as do occasional stops at a public park (most small towns have one) for the toddlers to get out and run around.
I try to get into a campground or RV park early enough to fix supper there, while the young ones get out to let off some more steam, use up the energy that would otherwise keep them awake late into the night. I don't do parking lot or truck stop overnights with family, particularly with small children, although I might do them when traveling alone. Confined to the car or truck all day, then confined to the inside of the TT when stopped, it is difficult for settling children down.
I've done 800 mile days, and where we have Interstate highways all the way my kids and nephews and nieces have done up to 1200 miles on overnight drives, when the children are still young enough that they sleep most of the trip. I've never done these long one-day trips with a RV, however. I can't maintain the same average speeds, driving fatigue is greater, and driving marathons to a single destination miss the point of why I am RVing. I'll do those in a car instead, comfortable car with low workload for driving.
I would have felt the extra drag immediately, it makes the steering pull strongly to one side with my rig. I know because I did it once, in the campground, after starting to unhook then changing my mind about the campsite and moving to another.
Quite possibly with a very heavy, very powerful motorhome and lightweight towed vehicle, it could truly be "don't feel it back there at all."
Anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minute depending on the temperature of the water coming in. Municipal supplies here range from somewhat above freezing in winter (same for on-board tank in winter) to well over 75 F towards the end of summer after it has been 100+ every day for two months. After a couple days like that, water in the on board tank is warm enough to shower "cold."
Not only does cold temperature make a difference in how long to heat it, makes a big difference in how fast the hot water is used. When the cold water is icy, it gets mixed with a lot more hot water for a shower.
I'm not understanding the negativity, because I find 30-34 foot non-slide type A gas motorhomes anytime I check the market. They are often less expensive than smaller C's of similar age, because the demand for C's is greater and non-slide A's are really hard to sell.
Age range is going to be 15-20 years to get that price. In most brands, you have to go back more than 10 years to find A's with no slideouts, the slides have been an A buyer's "must have" at least that long.
My favorites for value in that age and price range are early Bounders and maybe a little newer, Fleetwood's lower price Storm and Flair models. The Bounders were among the first modestly priced A gassers to have generous basement storage, tankage between the frame rails and floor in a heatable enclosed space, and bus like styling replacing sloped front ends. For other tan Fleetwood in that era, I like Winnebago Brave, maybe the upscale Adventure (price differences between model lines tend to shrink with age).
To get prices you want, and readily find no slideouts, you'll be looking at middle to late 1990s, maybe even a bit earlier, and into early 2000s for entry models like Hurricane or Coachmen Mirada, which may not have the basement storage of a Storm or Bounder for non-slide models. For most of this age range, you'll be finding 454 V8 on Chevy (later Workhorse) chassis, and 460 V8 on Ford chassis. Engine tunes for medium duty truck models (i.e. motorhome and panel van chassis) in this era were not as powerful as today, but adequate for the lighter motorhomes they powered, but not particularly economical. Getting into to late 90s, Ford replaced the 460 with a slightly smaller high-tech V-10, and when Workhorse took over the medium duty chassis business they replaced the 454 with a Vortec engines (7400 then 8100) using more advanced electronic fuel injection. But that may be too new for your budget.
With a $20,000 budget, I would be looking for a $10,000 to $15,000 going to the motorhome purchase, using the rest of the budget restoring it to the reliable transportation you seek. What is old enough to fit into your budget is likely to need some work, either because it is well used or has deteriorated from non-use. These RVs come on the market in this age and price range often because someone has decided their money would be better used upgrading to something newer, rather than put into what they already have. People don't fix up old RVs to sell them.
8.2 MPG over the past 30,000 miles. Individual fill-up mileages ranged from just under 5 MPG to just over 12 MPG, depending on driving conditions: mostly cruise speed, headwinds and tailwinds, and for a couple of trips, grades.
Most C motorhomes have more substantial and usually much longer frame extensions, built to a Ford specification for frame modifications. The hitch gets bolted to that, usually a standard Class III to Class V for the E-350 frame rails. Your extensions don't look to be built for carrying a hitch. I would want something bolted to the OEM frame rails in your case.
Partly because I had a house to come back to (in a seriously upside down market because my company moved 8000 jobs out of town), college age children still going to school here, and the Chinese government wouldn't let me retire there.
Finally, my wife had a job to come back to (which she wanted to work when we were not traveling) and we had extensive personal connections in the community. Scrapping relationships built over 20 years to start over again someplace else is a big step.
Most C's in the Leprechaun's price class will not have come with leveling jacks because the added cost of the jacks would mean a buyer would choose a different RV to get a few hundred dollars lower price. Jacks will be found more often on premium-price model lines.
You will find the same thing on A gassers targeted to the lowest price points, along with other cost cutting equipment omissions.
At my weight distribution, 2500 pound subcompact towed by 14,000 pound 30-foot C, I find that towing make the wind problem only slightly more complicated, but not necessarily worse. Without the toad, the center of pressure vs pivot point makes the RV push away from the wind (most do). The wind pushing on the toad sort of counteracts that, pushing the rear end away from the wind, but most of the problem is gusts, rather than steady winds, and the gusts don't alway hit the front of the motorhome and the towed vehicle at the same time.
So do not necessarily expect your towed vehicle to function as a sea anchor or tail plane, serving to point you into the wind.
I can answer some of the questions, but don't know the fees, because in most cases they are taxes based on value or purchase price.
In most states now, only a resident or resident legal entity can register a motor vehicle. This is a result of states trying to comply with Homeland Security rules about positive identification. There are ways to work around this, easier in some states than others. California is not one of the easy states.
Registration of camper trailers may or may not be different. Some states (Oklahoma for one) do not even require registration or licensing of trailers under a certain size for private use. Other states treat them as motor vehicles. These differences mostly have to do with tax codes, where there are personal property taxes and whether or not vehicles are treated differently. Local jurisdictions also tax personal property, so licensing costs might vary place to place within a state.
You can use your Australian driver's license to drive here, if someone else owns the vehicle and has given you permission to drive it. If it the vehicle is licensed to you, at a U.S. address, most police jurisdictions will expect your driver's license to reflect the same address and be issued the same place. This is not necessarily a legal requirement, rather a situation that requires adequate explanation.
Insurance costs from U.S. insurers depend partly on where a vehicle is "garaged" which is assumed, lacking other information, to be the address to which it is registered. Liability insurance, and to some extent other coverages, also depend on your driving record and credit history (if that is allowed in the state where insured). Each insurer has its own rules and underwriting standards, and an atypical situation may result in higher rates, if you can get coverage at all. You can call around (once you are sure where you will register the vehicle) but in general the insurers will not quote rates for hypothetical situations; the insurer wants the VINs of the vehicles involved, and drivers license numbers and addresses for the background checks used to determine rates.
Do not expect refunds of any taxes or fees. Most states do not have VAT, nor a VAT rebate program to encourage tourist spending. Most of our taxes on vehicles are either excise taxes, personal property taxes, highway use taxes, or sales taxes on the commercial transaction. In many cases for vehicles the taxes will be a combination of more than one.
You might consider hiring a legal representative at least an experienced agent, to work out the details for wherever it is that you want to do this. There is some time vs money tradeoff, and sometimes what costs the least time is to have an agent set up a corporation to purchase, own, register and insure the vehicles in question, then lease them to you as a visitor.
Supplemental air springs? Mine are not necessarily the same brand, and my 30-foot RV weighs anything from about 12,800 "empty" to the full 14,000 pounds it can be, if I am carrying five guests and their 3-4 weeks worth of luggage. Thus there is not a single inflation pressure that is right, it depends on the load, that is the whole point of having some of the springing adjustable.
I might inflate anywhere between 40 psi and 85 psi, with usually 10-15 psi difference side to side because both slideouts, the genset, and most of the waste tank capacity are on one side, and 3/4 of my storage space is on the other side. I use height measurements as my inflation guide. First, I want to be level side to side, second I want to be slightly high in the rear compared to the front of the box. I've worked out what these should be for me, trial and error, over 30,000 miles of use, almost 10 years now.
Too much pressure, the ride starts to get hard. Too little, no big deal, because your leaf springs are designed to carry the full GVWR of the chassis. There is, however, a minimum pressure to keep from pinching the rubber and damaging the air springs.
Roofing is a job 6-7 months of the year in the Midwest. Most contractors hire on a job by job basis, so it isn't steady, but build multiple connections and you can stay busy.
Other construction is job based, length depends on type of project. A house being built can keep a crew busy all summer long. A lot of remodeling can be a couple days to a couple weeks per project. Having specific skills help.
Tree trimming can be pretty steady in season, more sporadic when trees not growing because then it is mostly just storm cleanup, and you have to be able to move quickly to where the most recent disaster occured.
All of this is job-based temporary for a contractor, typically hiring for each job, but prove yourself and you get asked back.
"Totalled" is as much a matter of value as extent of damage. You might hope for totalled and have to live with repaired but not as good as it was. Happened to daughter when her seven year old CRV was t-boned by a similar aged Cherokee. $1200 damage totalled the Cherokee, $4000 damage to CRV was repaired, though never really straightened out perfectly.
I overnight at a CG or RV park with water available whenever I need to top up. Probably what Bumpy meant by what he said. RV park is often a good place to top off propane as well, when traveling in the winter.
Because of weight and balance issues with this particular RV I tend to keep fresh water at least half full while traveling. I know other people with reasons for traveling water tanks empty.
Using Firefox on Windows, it doesn't come with malware and I am very selective about add-ons and sources. No Flash for example. If a site insists on a Flash player, I don't need to see it. Using Chrome for managing my Google account and running Chromecast web apps.
Using Safari on the Mac and all iOS devices, with Chrome as a backup browser for those sites that want to do a little bit more than Safari allows, like running Chromecast web apps, though iOS has dedicated apps to most of the web stuff I want to send to the TV screen.
Explorer and Firefox have common roots in the academic predecessor to Netscape (I think of them all as Mozilla) and while each has evolved in its own direction and bloated themselves in different ways, with common roots come some common weaknesses, which is why anyone pushing a new browser tries to tell us it is a "fresh start." They all have to work with the same web protocols, so by the time you get done a lot of it has to be the same. Main advantage of a "fresh start" browser like Safari is that the development team has a better chance of knowing what all the code is supposed to do, rather than having huge pieces of "don't touch that, it's heritage and nobody understands it" forcing you write a new piece to do almost the same thing with a few additions.
Been there, done that, about 15 years trying to maintain and enhance large mapping and GIS codes, while at the same time doing "fresh start" systems to accomplish the same functions on radically new computer computers, graphic workstations replacing batch jobs on mainframes.
Firefox works well enough on Windows that I don't accept Apple's offer to download and install Safari, as well as it works for me in the Apple environment. Too much mixing of user interface metaphors. Which is also a slight problem sometimes bringing Android UI apps like Chrome into either Apple or Windows environments, but Windows keeps changing anyway as MS tacks on Abndroid and Apple features.
Most vehicles have a maximum safe towing speed. 65 is pretty high, speeds as low as 25-30 mph are much more common if towing is at all permitted. Usually a maximum safe towing speed of 55 mph is enough to get a vehicle into a four-down towable list, if the range is also 200 miles or more.
Part of what determines this speed is the manufacturers assessment of stability under tow. FWD steering geometry particularly gets set for the front end pulling, rather than it being in trail. That the now ubiquitous power steering system is not running is also a factor here. Toow fast, the front end can wobble, wobbling leading to excess wear or more serious handling problems that can lead to sway and roll. Obviously, there has to be a safety factor, so a limit of 65 doesn't mean it is going to roll over at 66 mph. It might even be stable in a straight line at 80 mph but dangerous in a lane change at that speed.
Other factor for speed is heat generated by friction in moving parts. This is why you will have limits on distance as well as speed, with guidelines for period operation or periodic lubrication procedures.
Impact of handling problems on combined rig is hard for towed vehicle manufacturers to predict. A 40,000 pound coach pulling a 2000 toad is a quite different problem from a 6000 pound toad behind a 8000 pound van, with respect to tail wagging the dog problems. Thus they try to set speed limits so that the tail won't be wagging at all.
when things were made of steel, that's how paint looked when the metal had rusted through from the other side. In the fifties we cut the rusted section away and welded in a patch. In the sixties we were just filling over with Bondo and selling it before the rust spread.
I've never seen this in a fiberglass sandwich structure, typical of mass production motorhome walls today.
Been through Cairo many times, I cross there often. Like many other river towns, its time has come and gone, the transportation network has moved from river and rail to highway and air.
It still gets some transient business from truckers, not like mining towns where the mines have closed, oilfield company towns where the fields have been shut in and the wells plugged and abandoned, small factory towns where the jobs got moved offshore, or just the thousands of small towns that used to be a stop on the highway before they got bypassed by the Interstate highway system.
I travel the "back roads" often, go through a lot of these dead or dying towns. Some of them were major business centers in the railroad days, some weren't much of nothing at all. If Cairo looks bad, try Niotaze, Kansas or Talala, Oklahoma, both still on major U.S. highways. Those still look pretty lively compared to the ghost towns on the roads that aren't highways at all, about 200 in this state and probably as many or more in any state on the Great Plains.