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 > Your search for posts made by 'tatest' found 1323 matches.

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RE: At what $/gallon would it slow you down?

I've changed the way I use my C, much less for travel, more for short (less than 50 miles) to local parks or lakes for a week or so at a time. I got a E-350 van for travel, about 10-15,000 miles a year. That puts me with respect to MPG about where you arewith a B. Not so much about fuel cost though (if worried abiut that I can make the trips in my 36 MPG subcompact car), it is just that the C is too big for getting around and parking some of the places I want to go. Fuel costs rising raise the cost of all travel modes, it costs me more than twice as much to get to Europe as it did 8-10 years ago, Fuel costs hit the cruises too, but total cost of that is so high that fuel costs are still a small part of it. I don't see myself cutting back on travel anytime soon, based on fuel costs. Just now I live to travel, being away 1/3 to 1/2 the year. I enable this by choosing to live in a very inexpensive place. I can house myself for a year for less than what it costs per month in major urban areas or real estate hot spots. It means I can devote more than half my modest retirement budget to travel, one or two big trips a year and a lot of road tripping in the U.S. If I don't use the retirement income, the IRS is going to take about half of it as a penalty. What will slow me down will be age and disability, not motor fuel prices.
tatest 07/21/14 10:39pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Best state to register a Class A RV in?

Texas is probably about the cheapest. You were hoping for something less? I spend more than that each trip to my wine merchant.
tatest 07/21/14 02:02am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Couple annoyances you may know how to solve

If the onboard water pump works better, I would use it. Mine, I find that flow adequate, but I get better flow from the campground hookup. I think your problem is not pressure, rather flow rate. I suspect your pressure limiting device is restricting flow too much. There are a number of devices sold for this purpose, some of the cheaper ones are junk because they limit flow too much, while doing OK limiting static pressure. Packing stuff, I pack it tight. I carry more paper towel and toilet paper rolls than I need for any single trip, as cabinet filler. 1/2 inch lip isn't mean to hold anything in. A 2 inch lip would not work any better, if the items are loose on the shelf. My experience with campground (and laundromat) driers is different. I've found them faster than my dryer at home, and much hotter than I would like them to be. But I also dry as much as possible on a clothesline (really slow) because I know most of the wear on my clothing comes while it is tumbling in a mechanical drier. If campground firewood is too expensive, I don't need the fire. I have a camp stove, so I seldom cook over a wood fire. Most of my camping is when the days are 100-110 F, evenings are 80-90 F, I don't need a fire to keep me warm. I have clothing to keep me warm down to 40 F or colder. So the fire is for atmosphere, I can put a price on that, do without it if the price is too high.
tatest 07/21/14 01:59am General RVing Issues
RE: Mirrors in high winds

If they are OK in normal driving, I don't know of a fix. Flopping at the end of the arm, or the whole arm swinging back? For the first, there is usually a setscrew (beyond the plastic cap that looks like a setscrew) that can be tightened a little. If the whole arm is swinging from the base, you might try a whole new mirror assembly, but I can't guarantee that will have been made to withstand the load. 45 mph headwind + 55 mph = 100 mph. I haven't been there yet, the engine in my motorhome is not powerful enough reach that speed. I think I might need 100 HP more than I have. Much more than 20 mph headwinds (which are pretty common on the Great Plains) I pull off and wait for the wind to die down. 55 mph into a 20 mph headwind, my C is downshifted to direct and screaming at almost 4000 rpm. That's time to quit.
tatest 07/21/14 01:42am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2006 jayco escapade

I had not realized Jayco had carried the Escapade model line into the 2006 year. Escapade was a basic, entry/rental trim level type C, sold fully equipped with no options, to compete with the likes of contemporary FourWinds 5000 (and badge engineered Chateau/Dutchmen lines), base level non-slideout Fleetwoods, Coachmen Freedom, and the contemporary non-slide Sunseeker models. Market for all of these was rental dealers and buyers looking for "most RV for the money, no fancy trim, no slideouts." I'm in favor, this is where I shop, whether it is RVs, cars, houses, tools, whatever. The Escapade was as well built, on the same production lines with the same workers, as the more upscale Greyhawk and Granite Ridge lines. The Escapade was just not as fancy. Like buying an XL Ford truck, a LS Chevy, LX Honda, or SE Toyota. If you are happy with the features and trim level, this is as good as it gets, you are buying basic quality but not extra features nor glitz.
tatest 07/21/14 01:32am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires - Again - Still - Yet

Your Michelin, Firestone and BFG choices are roughly equivalent, but I'm not sure about the Wrangler SR-A, which is sort of a comfort/performance tire for SUVs and passenger pickups. At this price level, the equivalent Goodyear might be Wrangler HT, their commercial tire for light trucks. A notch above, all-steel or armored tires for heavier commercial "light truck" would be Michelin XPS series, Goodyear Armor Max (two tread designs) or Bridgestone Duravis (two or three tread designs). These get into steel body plies, for long life, but carry also the responsibility to never run them underinflated, which can quickly destroy them via metal fatigue. The cheaper polyester body tires are more tolerant of fatigue, but more sensitive to heat. The BFG and Michelin tires you are looking at are equivalent in application, from the same manufacturer, just two different brands. I chose to upgrade to all steel tires with my last tire change on the RV, but I don't think I would ever make that choice on my one-ton van, which has to ride nicely at light loads.
tatest 07/21/14 01:14am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Whats the best car to tow ??

There is no car that is the "best" car for everybody. The best car for each person is the one that meets their transportation/self-image needs and is towable or can be modified to tow. I tow a Honda Fit. It works for me because I'm alone but occasionally have to carry other people and their stuff. Before that I towed a Ford Ranger, because it was towable, and it met some other needs, e.g. hauling maintenance equipment to and trash from properties I manage. A lot of people like Jeeps. Some people even take them off road, but the rugged off road image is a driver in the choice. Honda CR-V and assorted Saturn models are popular because towable with minimum fuss and the brands have a feel good image. Almost every GM compact and mid-size car from the late 1980s until about 2008-2013 is towable with an automatic (the key is a particular 4-speed OD automatic transmission). Some larger and some smaller GM cars are towable with little or not modification. Some compact and mid-size Ford sedans, SUVs and cross-overs fit this category, others don't. Most manual transmission front-drive sub-compact cars are towable, and if they meet transportation needs they are good tows because these are about the lightest cars we can buy, except for a few recently introduced models in the "city car" category like the Spark, Smart for Two and Fiat 500. Where you start getting into trouble is when you want to carry a big load in your towed vehicle, passengers or cargo. Seating for more than five is hard to find in a vehicle that can be towed without modification. Vehicles this large also start pushing at the towing limits of many motorhomes, which might be 3500 pounds or 5000 pounds. If you can flat tow 10,000 pounds, this is less of a worry.
tatest 07/20/14 09:16pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Windshield Washer Nozzles

At what speed? The washer jets are factory aimed with the assumption you will be needing them at highway speeds, so they will go high when the vehicle is stationary. I had one car in which they would shoot over the car entirely when it was parked, hit the middle of the windshield at 60 mph. If you aim them to the middle of the windshield when not moving, they will hit too low when moving, maybe even below the range of the wipers.
tatest 07/20/14 06:35pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tire Pressure on Thor Freedom Elite 31R

Until you get around to weighing it, there is a sticker in the door showing the recommended inflation pressures for maximum rated weight. That is not to say you may not be over the weight rating on one axle or another, with a 32-foot C.
tatest 07/20/14 06:33pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Mini Van Camping Road Trip East Coast to Rockies

I had a second generation Grand Caravan. When I took the captains chairs out of the middle, moved the rear seat up there, I could carry five people (including driver) and have enough room behind the seat for two (short) people to sleep on the floor. Or I could carry a lot of stuff. Three 80 foot rolls of rubber dance floor one time. My other alternative was to just pull out the captains chairs and use the middle as my big empty space. That space was more accessible, but did not have as much length fore-aft, though a bit wider since it didn't have wheel wells. This is the space most often converted to sleeping platorm in budget minivan camper conversions, but it depends on the middle seats being removable to leave a clear flat floor, which is not always the case for modern minivans, depends on brand, model, seating options. Not sure if any more modern minivans with fold into floor rear seats offer the same options, and you may have too many people in any case. With rear seat folded away for the night, you would have about the same room as earlier vans with rear seat out, or sometimes the seat even folds bed flat, though it is a tiny bed, barely 4x5 feet. I find a self-inflating sleeping pad worked well enough for me on the van floor, since it was seamless, carpeted, and had only the two sockets for the seat anchors to serve as lumps under the pad. If you need the rear seat for passengers, you might have diificulty carrying the camping gear you need. At this point some kind of trailer starts to look good, and a teardrop can serve as a bed and a light cargo trailer. An a-frame folder might be configured two beds (four people) an can also carry a light cargo in the little bit of availabe floor space. I've seen camping conversions on minivan (and smaller similar MPVs) in Europe, and they don't put much emphasis on a "living in it" RV experience. Seating gets sacrificed to a bed platform for two people, there might be a slideout rear kitchen stored underneath. If there is a need to carry 4-5 people, sleeping space ends up outside the vehicle. You seem to be concerned about overnights on a trip. Even with my motorhome, when making a fast run to a destination, I don't always "camp" every night. That can cost 2-4 hours of driving time, and when I'm really in a hurry my camper gets parked in the parking lot of the motel where I am sleeping, checked in about 10 PM and on the road again before 6 AM. 14-16 driving hours. When RV touring, my days are more like 4-8 hours moving. There's a compromise in between, and people do sleep in their RVs at rest areas, truck stops, parking lots, or pulled over to the curb on some street. But if you sleeping arrangements include putting up a tent, or even opening a popup or fold out, those options start to be limited. There's somebody near the coast who designs and builds custom conversions of smaller vehicles like minivans and compact vans or MPVs. I don't have a link, but it shows up near the top of search results for minivan camper conversion.
tatest 07/20/14 02:29am Family Camping
RE: Anyone use these Washer/Dryer?

When we lived in China, some of our friends in small apartments were using those. They were saving up for something more capable, usually a Japanese, Korean or Eastern European washer/dryer unit. They work ,but are some work to use, particularly because of capacity. Many more washes to get through a given amount of laundry. Typically people would be washing each day what they wore that day. We had Euro size, for two of us it was laundry 2-3 days a week. Expats with larger families and active kids insisted on U.S. size appliances. Which we now buy from Asian manufacturers.
tatest 07/19/14 10:52pm General RVing Issues
RE: Unknown Data Use

Two busiest users of the Internet connection on my PCs, when I'm not streaming or actively browsing, are Windows Update and the antivirus/Internet security programs. Even when you decide on one AV product, others might install as part of a browser installation or update. In addition to Microsoft and your AV providers, the computer vendor could be running an update agent, and providers of add-ons (Java, anything from Adobe) are notorious for leaving update agents checking for and downloading updates. There are also antivirus programs that go to a cloud service rather than running locally, or run locally but go to a server for signature data. All of this without synching anything to a cloud data or backup server or a media sharing site. I'm surprised at how many applications have some agent talking to the Internet while I think the app is not running. Laptops used to have a physical "network interface" (whether WiFi or wired) on-off switch, to help save battery power, but now you might have to do this from the control panel to disconnect.
tatest 07/18/14 11:10pm Technology Corner
RE: backing up ITunes

As an iPhone/iPad developer I have love hate relationship with Apple. But one of the best things they have done over the past couple of years is the ability to backup and restore your iOS devices from the cloud. You get 5 gbytes of storage free and there are nominal charges for additional storage. You need to get an iCloud account to enable back up. Also, if you have music on your PC iTunes app, and if you imported music into the iTunes system from CDs or other means you will want to use iTunes Match to transfer your library to the cloud. I guess iTunes match also works for movies, tv shows, etc. that you have also. Once you go through the pain of getting everything into the cloud and your wife is happy, then don't worry about iTunes any more. You can do all your backups and restores from the iCloud via wifi. I can tell you that I absolutely hate iTunes on the PC. It is a real pain. I now have everything in the cloud. The only thing I need iTunes on the PC for is if my wife gets a music CD as a gift from someone. Then you need to import it and have iTunes Match transfer it to the iCloud. Anyway, this is not the place to get the detailed information you need. Go to the apple support forums and ask your questions there. In end, the less you need to use iTunes, the better off you will be. Good luck, Jim Great info, thanks! Let me rephrase my question this way. Without ICloud storage(which I plan to pursue) if someone has ITunes on the computer and the HD crashes, can they just reinstall the ITunes software on a new HD and sync with the IPhone ? In other words does the IPhone store all the data/info to reestablish ITunes data as it previously was on the computer? It depends on what you have been doing in iTunes. There are different kinds of data you could have in your library, and not necessarily all of it is on your phone. My library contains, or refers to, a lot more data than I carry at one time on any of my iOS devices. That's because it includes music videos and movies from sources other than Apple, and a lot of music (foreign CDs) that Apple will not match. Also a lot of books from sources like Amazon and B&N; Apple might sell some of the same titles, but not match them. I also don't carry all my apps all the time, because I've bought a lot of data-intensive programs I need only for certain occasions. E.G. if I am going to Budapest and Prague, I load my Budapest and Prague city guides, I don't take London, Paris, Rome, Chicago or New York. I don't need the RV parks guide for that trip either, but it will usually be there because it is not big enough to be a space problem. If you have stuff like this in your library, where it is on your computer will depend on what iTunes options you used when setting up the library and importing the data. There is more than one way for iTunes to handle what data you bring in, particularly media. This is a big part of why a lot of people don't like iTunes. That, and putting the Mac user interface in front of your Windows acclimated face. But before getting an iOS device I tried other media library managers (for music only) and most have similar obscurity issues about where to find all of the data the library is using, as well as the metadata it is creating.
tatest 07/18/14 10:47pm Technology Corner
RE: Making a living out of traveling the U.S. in a RV

There are ways to draw a substantial income from Internet advertising if you can generate enough traffic for advertisers to pay you. You don't have to be RVing to do it. There are also ways to get people to pay you for your thoughts, you ideas, your advice. There are ways to get people to donate money for development of an idea you presented. I've been told by a friend who makes quite a bit of money using Internet sources that one of the best ways to make money is to teach people how to make money. But in this case it comes in faster from seminars and motivational speaking, than it does from the net advertising, which is more a steady stream than a series of windfalls. It is all about finding an audience and giving them a message they want to hear.
tatest 07/18/14 09:37pm General RVing Issues
RE: Medicines while traveling

It depends on your specific medications: perishability, DEA classifications, and how you are paying, since third party payers have their own rules. Sometimes going national works better, sometimes a big supply works better, but sometimes you just can't get around a requirement that the doctor see you before you get a renewal, and in some cases this prescription needs to be issued in the state where it is filled. When my wife was alive we used Walmart for some scrips, CVS for others, KMart for still others, depending who had low cost programs for what. Then we used an insurance-paid mail order service for a prescription nobody was selling at low cost (and that one was about $120 a month on the co-pay, one pill a month, three delivered at a time). My daughter had prescriptions that could be filled only one month at a time, a doctor's visit every three months, and could not be filled out of state. So it varies. Talk to your doctor about what he is prescribing, what are the rules on how much can be provided at one time and where the prescription can be filled.
tatest 07/18/14 09:23pm Beginning RVing
RE: side mount ac

The 8K size is not too bad for small (12 foot) A-frame folders, or 13-16 foot "egg" trailers, but I have no experience with that size in 20-22 foot trailers of more conventional construction. I suspect it will depend on the heat load (temperature, humidity, and amount of sunshine) and how cold you want to be. In Texas and Oklahoma, a 13.5K is often struggling to keep 23 to 25 feet of RV box cooler than about 85F when out in the sun, June through August. Get into fairly deep shade and it can be 15 degrees cooler. Thus I would not buy an only slightly smaller trailer for this climate with an A/C not much more than half that size.
tatest 07/18/14 09:11pm Beginning RVing
RE: 1977 dodge sportman

Sportsman was what Dodge called the passenger vans in that era. Cargo vans were Tradesman. 1977 was towards the end of the first generation of the "B" van introduced in 1971 and produced through 2003. First generation powertrains used the 225 slant six, 318 and 360 versions of the small block (LA series) V-8 or 400 and 440 versions of the big block (B series engine). Automatic and manual transmissions were offered, depending on the engine. The slant six with manual transmission was used only in the short wheelbase 150, usually the Tradesman, so if what you are looking at is a Sportsman it is likely at least the 318 V-8. Could be built to carry 8 to 15 passengers, using two different wheelbases, a rear extension, and different gross weight ratings (roughly equivalent to 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton in the Dodge pickup trucks, using corresponding borrowed parts). The longer vans were 250 and 350 models, but the rating of the 350 was more like a heavy 3/4 ton rather than a one-ton or Class 3 rating by DOT standards. Whatever V8, gas consumption will be determined mostly by how fast you try to push the big box through the air. My E-350 wagon (more modern V8) gets me about 14 mpg running 65-75 on the Interstate, 16 mpg cruising the trunk roads at 55 to 60, with some help or hurt from tailwinds and headwinds. That's running light, carrying driver and a 20 pound suitcase. Victorville to Baltimore is about 2600 miles via I-40/I-44/I-70, probably the most direct Interstate route. If you can drive slow enough to get 14 mpg (if a van that old can even do that well) it will cost about $750 for gas at $4 a gallon, one way. I was paying a little more, about $4.50 to $4.80 last month driving my van to Michigan last month, but prices here are down from the holiday weekend. Then again, once you get past Missouri going east, gas taxes jump quite a bit, raising prices 20-30 higher than in Oklahoma and Missouri, and the stations at the Interstate exits and "travel centers" are a few cents higher than going through small towns. But it is going to cost more than gas, because a vehicle that old starting on a cross country highway trip needs new tires, needs brakes and suspension checked, fluids checked and changed. The tires are going to be something on the order of $600 to $1000 for four light truck-grade tires in those sizes. What a van that old is worth, any mileage, depends on what the buyer and seller work out. That's the kind of vehicle, if you were to try to trade it to a dealer, you might get $500 just to make a deal on what you were buying, and it would either go to scrap, to auction at about that price, retailed somewhere around $1000-2000 if it could be sold without having to pass any inspections. If it is a RV, that maybe adds some value, depending on the condition of all the RV stuff. OK, now, if you are not talking about a van, but some kind of motorhome built on a Dodge van (would still say Sportsman on the door) it is worth whatever the RV part of it is worth, depending on condition. Old usable motorhomes in good condition often sell for $2500 to $5000, but if the house is junk or it is a rebuilding project, getting it free is a paying too much. It takes a lot of money to repair a rotted out RV.
tatest 07/18/14 08:57pm Beginning RVing
RE: Towing a Mini Van

You need to find towing brackets (Roadmaster) or a baseplate (other brands) that ties into the subframe behind the bumper. The towbar, whether rigid or telescoping, will mount to that. Then you need a lighting solution (I use magnetic towing lights). For a Town and Country you need a transmission solution, as the van is not towable without transmission damage, as it comes from the factory. For a vehicle as heavy as a T&C (curb weight 3900 to 4400 depending on options) you also need a braking solution, and if your motorhome was rated to tow no more than 3500 (which has been pretty common for a C in the past) you need to fix that, whether it means replacing the hitch, or beefing up the frame extensions and replacing the hitch. A U.S.-size minivan is "lightweight" only when compared with full size trucks and SUVs. Relative to the subcompact to mid-size cars, and compact to midsize SUVs usually towed by a C motorhome, a U.S.-size minivan is quite large. For van seating at a lighter weight, we get at least one global size minivan, the old seven seat Mazda 5, or its predecessor MPV, and it is towable if you find it with the manual transmission. There is also the first generation Honda Odyssey (size still sold in the global market) but that was quickly replaced by a larger Odyssey for North America because we don't buy many small minivans. The new Transit Connect will also be available with seating for seven, and about 800 pounds lighter than "standard" minivan, but I don't know about towability.
tatest 07/17/14 08:01pm Dinghy Towing
RE: (90's) Tioga 23P series - floorplan question

The rear lounge was still pretty common for C motorhomes in the 80s and 90s, and you can still get it new from LazyDaze. So if you are looking in that age range, and that size, you should find the floor plan in surviving examples of most brands. I think you will find the lounge in back on some of the earliest Cs in the 70s, as chassis were still rated fairly lightly, so that heavy stuff like baths, fresh water and waste tanks, appliances had to go forward of the rear axle for balance, leaving the rear overhang for lighter weight seating. The floorplan started disappearing from longer Cs when availability of heavier chassis allowed larger Cs to move the lounge forward, kitchen and bath over or just behind the rear axle, and a (presumed to be unoccupied while moving) bedroom in the rear overhang.
tatest 07/17/14 07:42pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Bunkhouses - TT vs 5th Wheel - help tell us what to buy!

I've been in TT's that had a separate bunk room (Keystone Outback, bunk room up front, big bed in rear slideout) but haven't seen it in a fiver. Of course there are hundreds of fiver floor plans I've never looked at, someone might be making bunkhouse fivers. Thirty foot length or so, you should find a lot of bunkhouse models in brochures, but tracking one down used may be difficult. Nash/Arctic Fox 32D, old Jayflight 31BHS, Rockwood 8317 all had bunk rooms with 4 to 6 beds. That's just three old brochures I had at hand, but most of the time, each manufacturer is making at least one TT like this. There is a market there, large families and youth groups.
tatest 07/15/14 07:06pm Travel Trailers
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