Just got back home and saw the pics of the great shape your new 5th wheel looks like it's in for it's age. We're going to the G.H. high school basketball game now but will post some of the RV comfort enhancement things when we get home later. You already know how well Reflectix works and it doesn't look tacky if done right. Astro Foil brand is even more efficient but it cost more also.
DUH! No need to PM info that is or can be a or of help to many others on an open forum. You nor is anyone is required to read my posts ever and never has been. I only have to type the info once for the open forum but would have to send PM's etc to each individual as requested and you have no idea how many requests I get on PM's, emails, and the open forum for learned actual and factual info. If somebody or anybody doesn't want to read my info or posts, simply don't read it or if you just can't help yourself not to read my posts, simply block me and your problem is so easily solved!
Well, it's not all bad! Just roll your home refrigerator and the freezer if you have one out into the garage and it will use less electric in the cold air.
3/4" of ice just might slow the traffic down a bit and that's not all bad either. Time to hibernate for a few days!
Strange! We're approx 750 miles north of Beebe and we have no snow here or precip in the forecast until next Monday and then only a little. Guess we're lucky as all the cold storms have gone well north or south of us so far except for a few inch snowfall a week ago that quite quickly melted and all we have is green grass and dry roads. 37.6 presently. Sure can't complain!
Lucky for you that it's a small side street and allthough you didn't mention it, probably a very low volume traffic street. Sounds like you do the best you can with your situation and take reasonable precautions.
Wrong way "parking" of any licensed vehicle or trailer is not allowed in most cities or states as the tail lights/reflectors of the parked item must face the on coming traffic in most states. It's a safety issue. Some states also require the valid license plate to be facing the oncoming traffic. I know it is the law here but it may be different where you live. My younger brother was a sheriff here for many years and tells me that's all that's needed to avoid a citation around here.
I don't know how long you have been "wrong way" parking of your trailer but you may want to find out the local laws or if you need to temporarily attach even clamped etc on basic legal sized red reflectors on the front of your 5th wheel when parking the wrong way in the locality you live in. Don't know if it's the same where you live but it's so cheap to add and worth checking out the regulations before an issue arises. Peace of mind might be worth it.
As to the others snide remarks about "dumb" floorplans etc, it appears they have trouble reading or comprehending what they must have read. My post began with the word "Deb" and none of them have claimed their names to be "Deb"! Also, I precluded my very valid "dumb" reference with the words at the beginning of the comment with "For us, an RV cannot have". Notice the, FOR US! Enough said!
President Ronald Reagan said it best and ohhh so true by: Not holding another's youth and inexperiencce against them!
I'm glad you were able to open the slide enough when inside the building to help solve your issues. Any chance the 5th wheel can be skooched over a towards the RV's door side just enough to fully open the slide? Sounds like it would take maybe about 8". Very smart thinking and actions with the caulk gun and it's so cheap and easy to do. It will repay you and your's with more comfort for years on end. I can give you some additional hints on simple and cheap things to do to further enhance cold or hot weather comfort with your 5th wheel if you desire.
Atom Ant and Lantley,
You two do not understand the OP's situation but I do. They live not that far from us and have a very limited defiined time to get away in the cold part of winter for a break as they own a business. It likely will be very cold when they leave and they will want to get as far south as they can the first day and probably the second day also. Per their posts on various threads, they aren't likey to not in CG's on the way down and back.
They have sepcific needs that fit them and purchased their first 5th wheel to serve those needs. Also own their own heated narrow storage building to keep their 5th wheel in when not being used etc. The OP also owns a Class "C" with no slides but that also means tight quarters inside but however, they can get to every compartment anytime because it doesn't have the slide blocking issues.
Your RV choice may fit your needs and of course that's your own personal choice. That doesn't remotely mean it's the best choice for others or the OP as this is their thread and they make their own choices and so do we! My comment about being "dumb" was toward the designers of RV's that can't be used for even the simple needs when traveling or in normal storage in a storage lot. A bugger when traveling unless you can find a suitable area to extend the slides every time for even the simplest needs or accesses. Had nothing to do with forcing you two to tightly wind your panties into a bunch!
Hearing the constant complaints when in CG's or when traveling places with friends and their RV's having the non-use slides blocking issues speaks for itself. 3 of them have already purchased different floorplan RV's when changing units and not one of the 3's new RV has slide blocked off areas again. It's their choice! Why do you think that happened? DUH!
Neither of your acidic posts will do anything to help the OP or give them any other options or ideas for present or the future. Some people learn faster than others! They already know how frustrating it is now to have just a pantry non-accessible and 1/2 of the heat registers covered when the slide is in when both are/were avoidable. I must have missed where they said it was a good design to have these issues. Maybe you can find it for me and re-post it!
BTW, I also have a large storage building with a 14' wide door and heated when I want it to be. I could open slides on both sides and still pull it out or back it in and not touch anything. Mine building/storage area isn't narrow like the OP's as it's 32 feet wide and high enough for any of our RV's on purpose as that's what I built it for originally. Even our 36' Carriage 5th wheel with 18,000 GVWR having 3 axles and 2 slides extended fit inside with the slide out and while having our 29' Carrilite 5th wheel with 1 slide out extended and our 8'6" wide twin I/O boat on it's 3 axle trailer all at the same time. I fully understand the OP's many slideout issues but you must not!
You're now getting the idea why most more experienced (owned several) RV'ers with RV slideouts buy what they do and why they do. Floorplans can and usually look great until you get them home and use them for actual RV travel, needed quick bathroom break when traveling, eating a quick lunch, or loading and un-loading etc. That's when the "bad" rears it's ugly head and you get an education! The floorplan is only one part of many in selecting an RV purchase. Now you have to make due with what you have and it's not impossible, just a PIA.
Of course, There are mavericks in RV'ing that only care about when it's parked in a location for months on end but those are NOT RV'ers. They really want a second home they can maybe move seasonally or are likely full timers who stay long periods in one place. That is something you are not and probably won't be doing for maybe at least 10 years yet if at all. Then you will be able to look at the RV's usage and usability differently because your needs will be different. For now, you don't have a week to mosey and lollygag on down to Florida or to come back as like most RV'ers, you only have limited time to be away. Therefore, the true usability of the RV is a 24/7/365 factor. Your's is compounded by narrow inside storage also. You'll likely have to pack items needed for eating etc when traveling in whatever area you can get to and relocate them when you get to a location/destination.
True RV'ers actually use their RV as Recreational Vehicles, not movable apartment type dwellings that sit in one place for months. RV pull behinds and MH's are made for travel and that's why they have wheels.
Access to eveything needed inside the RV with the slide in is very important to most learned true RV'ers and we've heard it said hundreds of times over and over in our 50 years of RV'ing and we learned it well also. Been 35 years since 1988 of having a slideout on an RV, beginning with our first 1988 Carriage 35' 5th wheel with one slideout taught us so well that we made a lucky guess the first time. Way back then we constantly heard comments in CG's from campers complaining that their unit was not friendly for traveling because the slide even blocked off the bathroom and that's not cool when you gotta go or have kids along that give you about a 2 minute notice of an impending cleanup about to happen. Adults aren't immune to these sudden issues either!
Usability whether slide/slides are in or out is one of the first things we look at when we see a floorplan. For us, an RV cannot have a fixed island kitchen with a sink and water with slides that make ate RV basically unusable unless the slide or slides are out. DUMB! A movable dry island solves the issue and still give the added counterspace. Also "L" shaped countertop sinks that the opposing slide blocks off use. Even worse is not have acess to the bathroom or bedroom with the slides closed. Many times we've found that we needed to stop driving for a few hours and rest/sleep rather than get in an accident or very bad weather/roads conditions forced it. No time to call ahead or try to find a CG so a rest area, a FJ, or similar had to do. Most of thoes places do NOT allow the slideouts to be out as we know. Personally have seen several told by security guards etc to close their slides now or leave! The spaces most places are not wide enough for any slides to be out!
To the OP:
If you may think you want to keep the TC for other trips around North America after the planned Alaska trip or plan to go to Alaska etc again, Don't Rent! It's a money hole you pour your wallets contents in to! It's like renting a home or an apartment, it's not yours, and after just 10 years, all you have is a drawer full of worthless receipts and an emptied wallet and you'll not get a cent in return other than a possible remaining portion of a security deposit.
Owning a TC is extremely cheap! Texas, I understand, is like here as no yearly registration is required and no costs ever. Very low insurance costs too and much cheaper than insurance cost each time you rent one over abd over. Our policy on our 11'4" Lance is added to our vehicle policy for less than $70/yr. It has a $100 deductible standard and covers $2000 for any and all personal contents before the homeowners with their deductible would begin to kick in. Also gives a $2000 trip interruption coverage if you can't use your TC while traveling for about any true reason.
On top of that, you will own the TC and can use it any time you want to and as much as you want to at NO costs and still sell it and recoup most of your money when desired. You can go about anywhere and camp or even boondock in places you can get to with a MH or large pull behind and not assault your wallet so you can do it so much more often. You won't even be noticed when parked in a parking lot like a big RV is. You'll fit in with the other normal shopping parkers. It's yours to enjoy to the limits of your imagination! It also serves as a known tried and true owned backup small home if your fulltime RV needs to be taken in and fixed and you won't have use or there's weather etc damage.
We have always kept a min of one TC owned since 1965 and they are worth triple the money spent. Even with our always having another RV such as our MH's TT, 5th wheels, etc at the same time. One type of RV does NOT fit all needs or wants as you now know. We also took a 5th wheel to Alaska etc the first time and learned just like you have. All other long driving trips had the TC on the back of our truck. After all, most of your time is spent driving and exploring and the RV is your sleeping and cooking accomodations and contains your own totally usable bathroom just like your fulltime RV does, just on a smaller scale.
Our 3 Lance TC's purchased new since 1988 have been bullet proof and had never leaked or needed any repairs the than replacing burned out light bulbs etc and they collectively had traveled way over 200K. I can't begin to remotely say that for the 4 cheaper built TC's we owned before buying Lances. Not only cheap built but multiple leaks and rot and very poor insulation make them uncomfortable in cold temps and then to rub it in, virtually worthless when selling unlike our Lances have shown us.
Eat a lot more very hot spicey Mexican meals and you won't need any snow cover over your septic. Even if you miss a couple days in a row of feeding it while you are recuperating in the hospital!
Murphy's law! We'll not have any more snow this winter here (the couple inches that fell a week ago has all melted) in West Michigan because I went to Home Depot last Wednesday and bought a new big self-propelled 4 cycle electric start Toro snowblower just for our 2 main front driveways. Wow! They sure have gone up in price!
My old driveways little 2 cycle 18" Toro snowblower and was also the one we used at our acreage up north in winter is only 36 years old now and had lost most of it's compression a few years ago. Guess they just don't last very long! Time to donate it to the landfill!
Alas, now I won't have to move the vehicles parked outside to have enough room to maneuver and blow snow with my 25 hp tractor with it's 48" blower in those driveways. I'll just relegate use for it to the back yard long driveway going to the pole building etc. Of course, that's if it should snow! Like a good Boyscout, I'll "Be Prepared"!
Actually it's used upsidedown as a spreader on the top end of your outside telescoping flagpole. You simply drape a cheap plastic tarp over it of whatever color matches or accents your RV's exterior or decals and it's main purpose is to keep the American flag dry in the rain so you don't have to keep taking the flag off and putting it back on the pole when the rain ends.
Saves a lot of time and the dripping mess in your RV or your storage compartment. Hint! If you use a clear transparent tarp, you can still see the flag and it keeps it clean too! The lasting benefit is not letting the wind whip and fray the ends of the flag, so it's a money saver too. win, win, win
Whoops, time to get back on my meds. I forgot to take them yesterday...
Sure did notice where you live (Georgia) but your comment of "small chain of family owned dealerships" needed a little help! I also posted info for others knowledge too in my 2 posts. General RV is a very big business and still growing fast. We haven't purchased any of our many new RV's from General because they didn't carry to brands we purchase or want and there are so many dealers here in the Midwest and General is only one of them. Few people actually know how huge the RV industry is and that most of the entire Worlds RV industry and production is right here in the USA with 83% of that being in the Elkhart, IN area and that's where your new RV will most likely have been made.
General RV's Wayland, MI location in West Michigan is about 20 miles straight south of downtown Grand Rapids. Several big RV dealerships along that 20 miles and still a lot more in the local West Michigan area and all seem to have very happy customers and get very good reviews. The biggest RV dealer in size (Lakeshore RV) and also in RV's sold per year is at 4500 E. Apple Ave (M-46) a few miles east of Muskegon. Gobs of RV dealers in the whole local area since it's only about 100 miles north of the center of the Worlds RV building industry/corporations. Take your pic!
Many states do NOT allow a "TC" (deemed to be wholly livable inside having sleeping and cooking facilities) "their words"! to be removed from the truck because it can't be moved quickly in an emergency or if left abandoned nor is it a licensed RV etc in Michigan. It has a title of ownership only. A tent can be easily moved or totally removed if required and so can a wheeled RV/vehicle. Obviously, the only reason someone would take a TC off is so they can use their carrying vehicle to leave the CG without it!
I live in Michigan and it was the written law here in any CG (private or public) since the 1960's but I haven't checked it out in the last maybe 10 years to see if it still is the law. Regardles, I can't remember seeing any off the truck in out state in a CG but I may not have noticed. There's some that probably will do it anyway, legal or not!
You can take it off on your own property anytime but some areas have a code rule that says it must be stored behind the front facia of the home and not in front of it. The other main rule against a TC on your property is if a governing HOA prevents or limits an RV or TC or boat, etc.
We are grandfathered in and have a signed letter from the zoning board stating so. It states that we can store our wheeled RV or a TC on a currently licensed vehicle on either of our designated driveways but it cannot block the ability of a driver passing to have full view of the roadway for safety. What that means it must be parked close to our home and not on or near the shoulder of the road as it could prevent a driver from being able to see someone on the road right of way or a vehicle entering the roadway ahead.
Our grandfather exemption will cease when we no longer live on the property or sell it or no longer have an owned by us RV on the property ahead of the front facia. My sister and her hubby fought the new ordinance after they got a letter telling them they were in violation of the new code and they had a lawyer send them a letter of "intent to sue". The board then established the grandfathering clause. Thanks Sis! We went to the township hall, filled out and signed their new exemption form and that's how we got our grandfathered in letter back.
You're right as your thread is about 80k + on Michelin tires and notice others asked how or why you can get that many miles from your tires because they say they can't. That begs for explanations as to why and you gave some and others and myself gave additional factors only to help the others.
Actually 80K from Michelins is not the highest miles to expect by far. We always get more than 80K on any vehicle they are on and I have posted many times on this fact. Even sent (emailed) multiple close up pics to a forum member, PerrysburgDodgeBoy, a couple months ago taken that same day just for him of the 7 year old LTX 265/75/16 "E" M&S Michelin tires on our '04.5 Chevy 2500 (setup as a 3500 SRW) D/A CC LB 4X4 with over 93K on them. Absolutely zero sidewall cracks and still had 3+-5/32 (3-4.5mm) tread left over the wear bars and with even tread wear as the pics clearly showed. That truck has only been used for carrying our very heavy Lance 11'4" TC or our 29' Carriage Carrilite 5th wheel and a few times our TT or our 36' 3 axle Carriage 5th wheel since we ordered and purchased the truck new in 2004.
The 245/75/16 "E" Bridgestone tires that came on the truck were toast and nearly bald with one showing metal belt peeking at just under 30K. The tires were replaced with new LTX 265/75/16 "E" Michelins M&S2 tires a few weeks later as winter is approaching and we carry very heavy.
Then there's our king of our truck tire mileages. Our 1993 Chevy 2500 5.7L ext cab LB 4X4 purchased new in 1993 that came with the OEM 245 "E"s. Before it had 5,000 miles on it, I had Air-Lift System Airbags put on and replaced the OEM tires with the Michelin 265/75/16 "E" M&S and sold the truck to an asparagus farmer, who's farm is next to acreage we own, in 2004 with a little over 128K on the ODO and those same tires were still on it and not to the wear bars yet. No cracks either! That's approx 123K miles on those Michelins and still going and not bald!
If there's any "so called secret" to high tire mileage, it's to do with the vehicle itself and it's geometry, symmetry, and suspension design and condition manitained, the tire inflation 24/7/365, the load carried somewhat, how the vehicle is driven is a biggie, yes the roads driven and climate (ambient temps etc) where driven have an effect also. Not ever using any "tire shine or coating products on the tires period! Just soap and water! However, these factors vary greatly amongst truck owners and so do the tire/life etc results vary therefore.
It's so beautiful outside today as the ground is pure white and clean with the very fluffy new fallen snow. Only a couple inches but unfortunately, it's going to melt next week with the warmer temps that are coming. Maybe with some luck, we might have a White Christmas this year finally as our history for the last 100 years has about 2/3 of our Christmas's here on the west side of Michigan being green. A green Christmas just isn't a real Christmas and not right!
I suppose I'd better put the snow blower on my tractor again next week just incase as I have nearly 180' of wide driveway to possibly clear and the other areas around our RV's etc. Too old to shovel now and it's really fun blowing snow with my neat tractor. Gotten so I actually miss it when there's no snow to blow. I put it on my tractor every year around Thanksgiving but haven't used it more than 4 times total over the last 6 years now! Simply gotta have some snow first to be blowing snow!
In the vehicle OEM engineering world, you quickly learn how a solid front axle action from a "road bump" on one end transmits the forces to the wheel on the other end. Please consult engineering manuals as there's usually several chapters dealing with it. The death wobble referred to occurs on BOTH Fords and Dodges with the solid front axle and has for well over a decade. Perhaps it would be better if you researched or knew the facts about a subject you reply on. Front suspension design and steering symmetry are critical to handling and all component's tolerable functioning lifecycle.
Aggressive driving, any excessive braking, and fast cornering etc certainly does wear out components and tires prematurely and also wastes considerable amounts of fuel. Using of 4X4 on dry or partially dry surfaces also wears tires fast especially when not going in a straight line. These past actions is a big unknown part of the risk in buying a used vehicle and add in the actual lack of or lacking in true scheduled maintenance done.
I too always get way more than 80,000 miles from Michelins on the trucks I've owned for both my business and for my personal trucks. I also know for a fact that our city's over a dozen pickups get more than 80,000 miles on their Michelin tire also. The only tire they have used on the city pickups and also the police vehicles/SUV's is Michelin tires and has been since the mid 1980's. It's in black and white right in their annual reports! Nearly all of the pickups are GM's with one being a Ford F-150 and one is a Dodge 2500.
Bob, You gave many of the learned true answers as to why you get 80,000 miles plus of tire wear on your Michelins. There are NO secrets, just using common sense and purchasing the better tires and driving the vehicle properly!
Some of the reasons:
High inflation in tires always - Your truck Bob, with it's independent front suspension still rides and handles great at full inflation tires. Unfortunately, the other trucks with a solid front axles or other type suspensions and a diffenernt steering symmetry ride terrible at unloaded full tire inflation, so the owners usually lower tire inflation which causes tire wear. Death wobble etc and squirrely handling is another lovely feature of a solid front axle. Extremely well documented!
Easy and slow cornering - No substitute for it if one wants tires to last long mileages.
Proper alignment maintained - Speaks for itself.
Religously rotate the tires as specified - It's important for long wear.
Jackrabbit starts or heavy throttle starts - wears tires fast
Climbing on the binders (brakes) - wears tires fast. Learn to let up on the go pedal way before the stopping location and allow the truck to slow naturally as much as possible and practical. Learn to drive like you don't even have brakes until the vehicle's speed is down to around 20 MPH, then lightly apply the brakes to stop.
Very hot sun baked black road surfaces - especially if a rough or porous surface increases tire wearing.
High spped travel increases tire wear - high speed cameras use in testing show how tires deform (flex)) increasingly more as rotational speed increases. A flexing tire creates heat which is detrimental to tire longivety. Watching the test videos that are on the web is an eyeopener.
Various tire designs and manufacturers - tires have different tire life to the wear bars for a reason. It's a published guide for the tire itself and the warranty and relates directly to the construction and materials used.
It's not hard to figure out why or what's causing tires to be at the wear bars in 40k or 50k but few will really be factual as to why. It's the vehicle driven, the tire used and at what inflation, and how it's being driven always, not just sometimes!
Well said Lessmore! NA does NOT want or need the "dumbed down" small cracker box tow vehicles used in crowded Europe, Asia, in Australia, Africa, and a few other places. They wouldn't sell for c rap here as we (the vast majority) like and demand body room and the ability to stretch out and have real creature comfort while towing/rv'ing just like when not towing and only getting groceries or visiting grandma. Be it a pickup truck, a van, or an SUV. Not that they interest me, but the Colorado and the Tacoma fills a big void in our pickup truck market on this side of the planet. Ranger used to but it had outlived it's well known weak design, structure, and drivetrain limitations. NA loves and demands options of choice and our roads and infrastructure is designed and built for such sized vehicles!
Don't you just love people in other countries and continents telling us in NA what we should be driving or that we don't know what we're doing? We know and buy what we want and like! Please stay home far far away and we'll leave you to your personal bliss too!
8;43 PM here on the Lake Michigan shoreline and it's 31.7 F thanks to the much warmer than the air lake waters. The wind is 3 mph from the west. 10 miles inland it's in the low 20's F per the weather channel. Forcasted Low for tonight for us here is 27 F. Was sunny all day here so it really didn't feel that cold.
Talked to our our friends down in north Texas on chat today and they had a lot of snow and closed roads and made worse by high winds. They are colder than us 1200 miles to the north. Talked on the phone to a CG owner friend of ours this afternoon near Gainsville, FL and he said it was a balmy 54 F and windy and he's not going to leave him warm home for anything. Well, I guess that seeing what's been said in the posts on here, we should be very happy and of course because we're always happy anyway!