What is the trailer's empty tongue weight? What is the tongue weight limit of the Avalanche?
If not too far over the Avalanche's tongue rating, I wouldn't hesitate to push it around at the storage lot at all. I would be careful to not take for ever doing it. That might heat the transmission too much.
Check out The Wave near the UT/AZ border. You have to enter a lottery for a hiking pass. We weren't lucky enough and visited Antelope Canyon on that leg of our trip instead. Thats a great site too.
It looks like you have many more days of possible lottery picks. You may even have enough time to go to one of the daily drawings.
If you are lucky enough to be picked, this will be a hike and photo op that very few get the chance to take.
We have done two trips out West. Each time, the trip was a limited opportunity to go.
We elected to jump around as much as we could to see as many different places as we could. It worked for us.
The first trip (1998) was 26 days with car, tent, bicycles and no kids. The second was 30 days with MH, Toad, bicycles and two kids.
I think a second type of transportation will help tremendously, specially if you are trying to squeeze in as much as you can in a short time.
Although I would not like dealing with a trailer behind a MH, you must be use to it. With many stops in a short period of time, hooking and unhooking might get old. Many do it with TT or 5ers. However, I didn't see many campsites long enough for both rigs. If you research and find pull-throughs along your route, that would save some time and hassle. Otherwise, it's drop the trailer in the storage area and go to your site to set up. When exiting CG, do the reverse to get back on the road.
Busses, shuttles and rentals take time. Even if a shuttle stops right at the CG, you will often wait. Otherwise, you will have some trouble finding parking for an RV at a lot of stops. Parking for the TOAD was difficult at a few popular National Parks, but for the most part, we were able to drive right to a trail head/overlook/visiter's center and park quite quickly. It helps if you are early risers.
On the 1998 trip, we went to Yellowstone, via Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug, Crazy Horse and Devils Tower. We had to drive much further than you (Morgantown, WV which is about 1.5 hours south of Pittsburgh). After Yellowstone, we skipped down to CA through Lake Tahoe, hit San Fran/Muir Woods, Yosemite, Sequoia and Vegas to see family. On the return trip, we stopped at the GC, Zion, Arches, Bryce and Rocky Mountain. Some of these stops were only one night with a visit to some overlooks. Hey, it beats never seeing it in our lifetimes right? Was it worth it? You bet! We didn't get back West until this past summer.
The 2015 trip went in the reverse. We went to Moab/Arches, Bryce, Monument Valley, GC and then to San Clemente for a wedding. After that, we went to Sequoia, Yosemite, San Fran/Muir Woods, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore and home.
The drive from San Francisco to Yellowstone took two days from our trip. It will be a similar trek for you to Yosemite. I would have much rather maximized our time in the Southwest, but now that my kids have seen Yellowstone, I'm glad we did it.
A trip similar to what you propose is possible. I think 19 days to swing out to California might be pushing it. You might if you use I-70 as your return route and count on just stopping off for quick visits at some of the parks along that route. This is what we did in 1998. This plan makes the Grand Canyon a tough stop. We did the North Rim in 1998 after stopping at Zion. Zion and Arches were our favorites, so we planned longer stops there on the second trip. We went off-road around Moab. Visited Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point and Pink Coral Sand Dunes SP while based in Moab. This route set us up for Monument Valley/Four Corners and the GC en route to the wedding in San Clemente.
If you skip the California leg and miss Yosemite, you could drop down to the GC from Yellowstone and maximize your time around that area. Walk the Narrows in Zion. Drive the entire loop at Arches and take some time to walk some of the trails there. You can't go wrong with that.
The Tundra will tow more, most likely ride rougher.
The Sequoia will tow less and most likely ride nicer.
There is more to the reduced tow rating of the Sequoia, when compared to the Tundra, than vehicle weight. The suspension is different to make a grocery-getter out of the Sequoia.
True, many parts are the same, but the parts that lead to weight rating are different. It has a coil spring rear suspension versus the leaf spring of the Tundra. Expect a low tongue weight to correspond to the coil springs.
I think the redesign of the Sequoia happened in 2007. Prior to that, the Sequoia may have had the same chassis as the Tundra. Not sure if you are shopping older than 2008, but thought I'd add that. Of course the newer version added more interior room and fold-down seat capability.
If you are looking for comfort when not towing and can stay within the weight ratings, the Sequoia may fit the bill for you.
We went through this in 2008. We are pretty loyal Toyota buyers (400,000 + miles on 3 Toyotas with 1 fuel pump and that's it besides a few recalls)(Knock, Knock). I ended up buying a 3/4 ton Yukon XL, but my trailer at the time weighed a little over 7,000lbs.
Good luck on your search!
If you are repairing or looking to upgrade an older roof. There are companies that strip off the TPO/EPDM roofs, check all the wood and cover that with a material similar to bed-liner. They spray over the seams and around each opening.
I have looked at the web sites and it looks promising for a zero-maintenance roof.
Peterson Industries (Excel 5th wheels) offered Rhino RV Coating as an option for a short while before they went out of business.
Sounds like this dealer stinks.
Not sure about Thor, but my MH came with a "bumper to bumper" 1-year warranty. These items sound like the dealer should fix them, at least look at them. I have what I think is a MH from a stellar company. The dealer I bought from, not so stellar. Live and learn, I guess.
Have you contacted Thor directly? I would. They may be disappointed in their selling dealer. I have heard that Tiffin will not sell through Camping World. It may be a profit thing. It may be a service thing. I don't know.
My MH is 2+ years old. I do know that Tiffin is shipping me an entire new dinette. They got a bad batch of leather and are standing behind it even though the coach is 2.5 years old. You think I will ever buy another brand?
Everybody is not a mechanical genius. Some owners do pay a dealer to maintain their MHs. This dealer is potentially letting serious money slip away. Money they can make off of you after the warranty expires. Smart business people realize that. This dealer must not. I can fix most things. Some things I would rather pay someone than do it myself. You may be the same way. Small warranty items are a way to take care of a customer and earn their business for life. Thor will even reimburse Camping World for some of this too.
Give Thor customer service a call. See what they think about this situation.
My local Toyota dealer gets my money to this day because of the great warranty/recall service I received. Our Camry is EIGHT years old. I usually change my own oil, but this car sits low and is a pain to jack up. We had two fender benders, it went to their body shop, etc...
Here's my take on your list:
1. Gas tank spews gas out, unsafe situation while at the pumps.
They should have at least looked. Thor may have done something to the vent line during construction. Ford has been in the business for a long time. I'd think they can get a fuel tank vent right. Once Thor put the box on the Ford frame, something got screwed up,most likely. You still may be going to Ford, but they could have looked?
Did they look or dismiss it out of hand?
2. Passenger side windshield wiper travels 180 degrees + hanging up the drivers side wiper leaving you with no wipers, Again, another unsafe condition.
Warranty, warranty, warranty. Yes, you could most likely adjust this on your own. WHY? It should be done by the selling dealer.
3. Ice maker will not work - can't locate the valve going to it to see if there is any water getting to it.
Did they look at it and determine you didn't turn on the water or just dismiss it without looking?
4. GFCI won't reset.
5. Front storage compartment lock will not turn.
Warranty unless you damaged it.
Like I said, run.
If you are not mechanical and will need an RV dealer to fix stuff for you, contact Thor. Maybe they can help you find someone who will give you good warranty service. Look on the internet for a dealer with a reputation of good service. Go to them with your tail between your legs and suck up to them. Many don't like to do warranty work on MHs bought from someone else.
Camping World most likely has a local dealer who has a poor service team. Will they improve? Will they go down hill?
Another alternative is a local mobile RV technician. Maybe you can find one in your area with a good reputation. Maybe Thor will authorize warranty repairs of by a local RV Tech? Worth checking.
B = Van turned into an RV inside the van.
C = Cab (cockpit area) with frame sent to RV maker who then adds a box to the back that is turned into an RV.
B+ does not technically exist but refers to something in between the two. It's usually a cab and chassis (Class C) with no over-cab bed and a bigger box on the back than just the van shell. B+ is a "tweener"
So, figure out which one you want and search these. The problem is that whoever posts the ad may not know which is which and may improperly classify it in the first place. Not all sale sites have a B+ category.
We parked our MH in the long term lot at the Bob Hope Airport for a day stop. It looked pretty safe. They charged by how many spaces you take. I was able to squeeze my 35-footer into two front to back spaces. We had a little overhang but the place wasn't crowded. Public transportation should be at hand at the airport, I would think? We had the Toad.
Buy a bag of rags (I use good quality micro fiber) and use them for the wipe off stage. I use one until it looks like it is getting saturated with 303, then move to the next clean one.
Spray very little 303 on the application rag. Too much and you will just have to wipe off more. Those who are getting smudges or a dull look are applying too much or wiping off with a saturated rag. After I'm finished, I wash the rags in a bucket of soapy water to get them ready for the next use.
I use 303 from top to bottom except for the glass. My 2007 Camry still beads water and that's with one application per year. We did garage it for the first 5 years. It has been out in the weather since then.
You will not get a show car shine. The 303 will protect the surface from UV damage, so the shine you get will be what came from the factory. So, on new cars, you will keep a clear coat shine by protecting it with 303. My all-black Wrangler looks pretty sharp from wash to wash and the water still beads. All the black plastic looks good except for the hood latches. That have turned gray?
The cable may stretch a little after initial instal and have to be adjusted. The adjustment is easy. You loosen two nuts and pull a little cable through to tighten it.
I had to adjust my hitch once or twice during the first year. I think that was just being over cautious to be honest.
I have not adjusted it since then (two years). We went cross country this summer towing a Wrangler 4-door that is just under our motorhome's tow rating. The Ready Brute Elite performed great and didn't need any adjustment.
Just saw a different garage door today and remembered this thread. Haven't seen it mentioned yet so give it some thought.
You might be able to use a hydraulic open out door that hinges just at or even above your opening. The hydraulic lifts could be wider than the camper.
Not cheap either, but it is looking like there is no cheap answer.
How often do you use AC?
Our I-Pass from IL works on the EZ Pass system. It worked in IL, IN, OH, WV and PA. It will work in other states in the East.
Out west, we ran into tolls in California. They had a license-plate recognition system. We had about a week to log in to the web site and pay or there would be penalties. I never really researched the penalties, just paid as we went.
I go with shorter inputs at the steering wheel. Try moving the steering wheel an inch or two and watch what the trailer does.
When you go to a parking lot, turn the wheel in one-inch increments and back up a distance at each. You will soon see the trailer in your side mirror. Learn at what point the trailer breaks hard. There is a point that you could back in a circle forever. Then, there is a point just past that where the trailer will start into a jack knife and require an extreme maneuver to correct. Learn that point and try not to go past that. If you find yourself in a spot where you have to go past that point, do it quickly and correct. Do it agin quickly and correct, etc...
Like already said, practice - practice.
Hope this makes sense?
It will help for sway, wind push and the wobble you get upon traversing a dip into/out of a parking lot, etc...
It will not soften your ride. For harsh ride, start by checking your 4-corner weights and adjusting tire pressure accordingly. My MH came from the factory with maximum air pressure. It rode like a tank. After adjusting tire pressure its much, much better. I run 95 front and 90 rear. It will be different for each setup. I was not able to get 4-corner weights so am using data from each axle. I adjusted up 5 pounds for a little buffer. The tire manufacturer should have weight charts for you tires. It will tell you the minimum air pressure to run for a given weight.
After about 9,000 miles I have had no adverse affects from the CHF and the tires are wearing fine. I did the fix at 8,000 and my wife noticed the difference.
The definitive thread on the CHF is on another forum (irv2). Hate to divert from this great forum, but I'm afraid it would take thousands of posts here for the info you can read there. I have followed the CHF post there since really early in its run. After about 10 pages you can get the idea and skip the reading if you like. In the thread, one person says its a bad idea. Another person or two say they didn't notice any difference. And some speculate that it will harshen the ride. I haven't noticed that.
No one has come back on and said that the CHF broke something or caused problems.
Cos all the heat is on the bottom; the top will be rawish and the bottom toasted. Also helps warm up the ingredients when you add them.
Santa brought me one of these last Christmas. It works great. 700 degrees.
Camp Chef oven
I'm shopping for a replacement grill right now. Camp Chef has a pretty good uTube channel. They say at the end of cooking, to use the pizza spatula and hold the pie up towards the top of the chamber near the roof. All the heat that rises will then cook the toppings.
Does that sound legit?
Bought ours from Illinois. IPass works at EZPass locations.
My home state of WV charges $25 for each commercial transponder. Commercial is required of any vehicle over 8,000 or towing a trailer.
Illinois was more reasonable.
$10 refundable deposit and $40 balance in your account. They will automatically charge your CC another $40 when the balance reaches $10.
Before our big trip this year, I logged in and manually charged an additionally $50 to my account. I knew we would be on the Il, IN, OH and PA turnpikes and didn't want to deplete my account faster than they could replenish it.
Needless to say, the tolls were greater than my balance. They managed to restock my account faster than I could drive across Ohio-lol.
I am happy to report that one transponder in the MH worked fine and that all four states charged the correct tolls for 4 axles.