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RE: ProPride and lifted 3500

How to get better? Take Cat ticket with solo vehicle family and gear aboard for extended trip. REPLICATE THIS for all regular driving (sand bags, etc) 13-week minimum. No tire or brake wear. Mpg just about as good as when empty. Drive like an adult (you’ll be the only one). Back off. Cruise 2-3/mph UNDER flow. Never stop. And never idle. GLIDE!! Be dead smooth in all you do. Drive always as if you’re hitched. (Safety & fuel economy track almost exactly as it’s about BRAKING). Bar the 17-year old in you from ever again having the keys. WHAT IS YOUR TOTAL COMBINED-RIG STOPPING DISTANCE FROM 60-MPH? You’ve tested that, right? Maintain that space. Manage others around you fastest. See farthest ahead & adapt earliest. Etc. I’ll make it simple: Be the only American on the road that day. Cooperation was how we won wars, and it showed itself on the big road (danger) until a generation ago. Paperwork doesn’t make for a citizen. I run 5-600/miles per day all across the USA, and — by simply maintaining space — end nearly every other trouble. Takes time (years) to understand a big truck. Do your part with that heavy solo vehicle running around town. Body-memory, is closest analogy. Tires & brakes should both last over 100k. If they don’t = remedial training necessary. That you don’t know anyone who drives normally like this means little. I know many who do. The ones who never drove commercially aren’t left out. A very few car-only drivers have been the best I’ve seen. No surprises. As there are no “accidents”. Just your failure. (“Fault” irrelevant, as you could have done something differently. But chose not to learn & practice). Lose the lift and the kiddie tires. Or put your face diaper back on and go get the next booster death-jab. Serious accidents (fatalities) are up by 12% in 2021 since 2018 (last normal year) EVEN WITH fewer miles run. The numbers tell a story for those listening. A good day on the road has a plan well-executed. Within those plans are details that have to be practiced. KNOWN parameters. BEST condition of gear (vehicles plus THE HITCH RIGGING as it’s equally-weighted in value to the vehicles). Alert, aware, and relaxed. All stops chosen before leaving. Adequate maps & radio. Avoidance of packs, maintains maximum space. I’ve seen more RV accidents than I could count. Most didn’t involve other vehicles. I’ve predicted plenty based on their passing me. I know what RV insulation looks like floating in the air. The smell when on fire. Been the only one there for far too long with dead parents and a surviving child. Our hands are already full with the rig, alone. Same as with a big truck. Our abilities are tested. Excuses won’t cut it. Don’t reach for more than you can ably grasp. Around you are those with lesser ability and growing frenzy. Be in the world, but not of it. .
BackOfThePack 10/26/21 06:50am Towing
RE: ProPride and lifted 3500

Another test is MPG. (Fuel burn isn’t just $, it’s an indicator of mechanical & tire problems. A window. 10% increase means SOMETHING IS WRONG. You MUST have a NUMERICAL baseline for diagnosis). Versus the solo TV (same load & passenger weight as for extended camping trip), the towing penalty is 40% in steady-state. 1971 or 2021 makes no difference at all. It’s an aero problem. Anything higher, it’s work-time to identify and fix the problem or problems. In both vehicles it’s usually alignment or brake drag, first (after conformation of TV steer axle weight being same solo or hitched). Take another weekend to test. Head out of town 45-60 miles to get warm-up completed (tires take longer) and use CAT SCALE to verify settings. Drop trailer. (Early in the day is less traffic). Solo, drive a 200/mile loop (more gallons burned = more accurate) all on cruise control back to same highway filling station. As with initial stop, just fill tank to auto-shutoff. Then the same loop while hitched. Do turn-around at the same empty crossover. 62-mph. Let traffic flow around you. (Lights on). Never use brakes, accelerate or change lanes. Your teenage daughter can be the driver both times as WHO is driving isn’t relevant. (Let the TV run the drivetrain, “driver” only there to steer.) A true aero TT will be under 40% change. A badly designed TT (interior layout plus slides) will be somewhat worse. 50% plus is unacceptable. Exact numbers don’t matter, that was baked-in at purchase (bought mine with this as a priority; 15-mpg average in a 62’ combined rig). With both vehicles you now have the TRUE high mpg numbers,. (Last test would be TV solo. Scaled; driver only plus truly permanent gear aboard ONLY; same route & speed, etc), The test was for the EXACT percentage change, solo to hitched. (And curb weight MPG test). .
BackOfThePack 10/26/21 06:07am Towing
RE: ProPride and lifted 3500

Steering control is what matters. Off-road tires and a lift kit degrade that. Towing makes demands that a solo vehicle doesn’t encounter. Loss-of-control accidents are STEERING accidents. “Skill” is a laughable reply to the problem of making a bad vehicle (pickup) worse. Those LOC accidents are primarily due to adverse winds. Natural or man-made, or a combination. Lift kit & bad tire choice make this more likely. Can’t feel the problem and the rig is sloppy by every measure. Dialing in too much correction, or of too long a duration (or a combination) is how things go totally wrong. And a box-shape non-aero TT on leaf springs pretty well can’t be made worse for “stability”, The “improvement” to a pickup would be to LOWER it and add tires with better grip than what came stock. Wider aspect ratio. Lowered COG is where it’s at. Independent suspension upgrade on trailer, same. There’s a huge problem with what goes wrong on the highway: it only takes ONCE. RV accidents are a statistically small subset of road miles accident type. Folks might tow 5k miles of their 20k annual miles. Aren’t running in bad weather, or preferably not after dark. All these tend to lower AWARENESS that TT towing increases the risk factor by 2X. And that’s with a good rig. Not the one described. You want an off-road capable vehicle, it won’t be a pickup. Build one appropriate. Return the pickup to stock ride height and use standard or optional wide tread tires (no wider than rim) as per factory offerings. Better shocks. Rear Panhard Rod. Poly bushing replacements on anti-roll bars. And anti-lock trailer disc brakes. And, anyone’s pickup wasn’t the right choice as tow vehicle unless the rear axle rating is close to being met. 50/50 pickup weight bias FF/RR when SOLO (family & camping gear aboard). Distribution of tongue weight works best, then. Steering control is maximized (given built-in deficiencies). Use THREE PASS SCALE METHOD (search). Tires to EXACT loading (pressure). TT MUST be dead-level after being hitched (carpenter level across doorway). Combined rig WILL stop faster 35-0/mph when hitched properly than the solo truck. It won’t pass that test, join the 95% who never get it right. You also need to know — IMO — what is top speed for violent maneuvers. Most pickup/square box trailers can’t deal with 35-mph. Will roll, just like a 5’er. Same for high winds. One has to slow. Immediately and effectively. The TT brakes are CRUCIAL in this. CONTROL will come down to the TV rear tires NOT losing grip. Once that happens Mario Andretti couldn’t counter it. A VPP hitch — Hensley or Pro-Pride — can’t be matched (not even close) by older, obsolete designs. But the mismatch between tongue height and lifted truck hitch receiver makes a pickup even worse than it is already. The tail WILL wag the dog (how it seems; the TV is source of the accident). Do the correct set-up. Perform the tests. Compared to most around here with pickups I run a diesel Corvette to pull my 35’. Can ENDLESSLY do violent shoulder-to-median & back maneuvers — throttle-on at 55-mph — that WILL roll lesser rigs: Step One is best vehicle design for each Step Two is best rig conformation. Step Three is test confirmation. Grab a son or a friend to help over a few weekends to knock brains together. It’s not complicated, it’s time-consuming the first run-through. The stoopids will try to use tire pressures too high to dial in a bad set-up AND THIS ONLY MAKES IT ALL WORSE. A travel trailer rig (any) is the least-stable “vehicle” on the Interstate (which were built for tractor-trailers and thus deceive solo vehicle operators of what’s safe and isn’t), it takes TLC to get things right. I’ve been at this more than fifty years now (3rd generation) and run a Kenworth in my daily job. You want to run the big roads for long trips, TAKE PLEASURE in the problem-solving that comes beforehand. If you don’t KNOW how to get that state of mind, find someone who does. (Tools). Today’s traffic — far from cities — is unbelievably bad today. Cars jamming left lane (always illegal), terrible following distances and true reckless behavior we almost NEVER saw just thirty years ago. But we’ve had an invasion by millions who will never understand their role in screwing things up for everyone else. Permanent 12-yr olds, (And those that used to know better doing the same. No father, not after divorce, so always little boys. Little girls. Not adults. Not cooperative, only selfish). So . . . it really WON’T matter as to who’s at fault should there be an accident. Get that thru your head. CUT RISK DOWN. Rollovers = fatalities. Lifted, with WRONG highway tires — past all other factors — makes risk HIGHER. A travel trailer is a great thing. Can’t recommend them highly enough. But get the rig BEST. .
BackOfThePack 10/26/21 05:42am Towing
RE: Best Quality Travel Trailers

A 10-15/year old Airstream is better than other trailers when they’re brand-new. Depreciation done. “Might” need cosmetic upgrades. Use the savings for a 3P hitch and anti-lock disc brakes. Airstream was the entry-level choice at the premium end. The other builders lost their buyers as Americans took a 55% pay cut since 1971. AS was best aero design and had fully independent suspension. Marketing genius founder (died 1963). Other trailers aren’t comparable per design & construction. Not in road performance, longevity, or overall quality. My parents bought theirs new and kept it thirty years. It’s still on the road. Mines 31-years old this year (different brand than AS). 1). How long will you keep it? 2). How far will you travel? The average RV’er owns it 5-years and travels 60k miles. It’s not by accident design life on a box is 8/80. An AS is 250k before re-build and lifespan is indefinite. “Room indoors” just means more to clean and more to heat & cool. For the rest of us — where camping isn’t driving somewhere to watch TV in nicer weather — space utilization was perfected almost 60-years ago. We have an unmatched view of the outdoors. Being outdoors is rather the point. .
BackOfThePack 08/17/21 07:07pm Travel Trailers
RE: love the truck hate the ride

Whenever I see a truck driver on an air ride seat they're bouncing up and down like they're trying to saddle break a wild horse. Head's bouncing off the roof of the truck, neck snaps to the side as they hit bottom. How they're not all in the hospital with concussions and whiplash is beyond me. How they can maintain control of the truck is beyond me. How that is better than just dealing with a bump here and there is... beyond me. I looked at your profile and see you're driving a 2017 Dodge 2500. The ride is too rough for you? What suspension mods have you done to the truck? Every big truck out there has air-ride seats, air-ride cab and air-ride chassis. Most trailers are also air-ride. The seats are of varying quality. Some have a greater selection of controls to adjust ride motions. But you sure aren’t paying attention to have made those comments. It takes a road so bad to get those seat motions you and the big truck might be traveling 12-15/mph on upaved washboard roads with oncoming traffic and unavoidable potholes. It’s the guy in the pickup will be the first to come off the seat. Correct tire pressure is first. Solo, after weighing on the CAT Scale, adjust tire pressure inside the pickup manufacturer range down to the lowest allowed by the Load & Pressure Table FF & RR. (Shocks are good maybe 40k miles; upgrade to better quality). Ideal tire pressure solves most problems. If I can run (and do) an average of 120k miles on tires where the minimum necessary pressure SOLO doesn’t require change when the truck hits RAWR (and GVWR) after hooking my 35’ TT, then the ride motions come down to the designed suspension. An empty work truck won’t ever ride well. If a 1T type you need about 1,000-lbs in the bed to get what’s “normal”. A 1/2T, probably 500-lbs. You bought a pickup that runs around empty while solo, you bought the wrong vehicle. NATIONAL SEAT used to make bases and seats that fit 1T pickups. KELDERMANN, air ride suspensions for same. FWIW, I use PURPLE brand X-Large seat cushion and separate lumbar cushion to take the cracks out of the road. Couldn’t do my job in a semi without them any longer (age and injury). But I’d still rather run 550-miles in a KW than 350-miles in my Dodge with its usual 1,100-lbs in the bed. Air-ride seats would be a worthwhile upgrade to that vehicle. In the meantime, the straighter you sit in the seat and being close to the wheel & pedals (no “reach” to top of wheel), no pressure under seat edge at knees but high as possible otherwise, is best for reduced fatigue. POSTURE is everything. You need to lose 50-150/lbs, do it. Fat boys ALWAYS fatigue sooner and complain louder. (Fat boy = Mama’s boy no matter his age). 1). Tire Pressure per certified scale values. 2). New shock absorbers 3). Aids to posture (angles & top cushion). 4). Planned stops EVERY two hours for 15” 5). Hour break after four hours drive. 6). No more than 300-mile/day with trailer. — Plan the driving day in advance. Know EVERY stop and plan the day at 50-mph average as this accounts for rest breaks. EXECUTE as trip legs, since no leg is much more than 100-miles or about 2-hours. Moving along steadily at 62-64/mph is LESS fatiguing and keeps you out of trouble (out of traffic moving faster). — At these speeds you’ll achieve higher MPG, and be operating FAR closer to what an RV can do in terms of braking & steering control (worst vehicles on the road. Claims of skill being operative make you sound the fool you are). — Doing the same work in the same region my last big truck at a set speed of 64-mph AVERAGED 58-MPH, while an equally experienced friend in pretty well the same job ran 70-MPH, but — instead of seeing a 6-MPH lower average, consistently was 8-MPH lower for his true average (Qualcomm satellite truck data) over 2500-3500/miles. Traffic volume dictates average speed. And only a damned fool spends time in the left lane. Running faster IS NOT faster when the AVERAGE is plotted. It’s higher stress ALWAYS. Stress just makes the vehicle ride that much worse again. I daily get passed by the same RVs running 6-MPH or faster than me. But they don’t cover their 300-miles faster than me.. They compensate with more + longer breaks from the road. There’s NO significant time savings. (And WHY would that matter? Answer that). There IS a higher stress penalty. AND the rig can’t be effectively maneuvered or braked until speed is down to or below 50-mph given trailer drum brakes and typical hitch rigging. Ease along. Enjoy the stops. And, if you want to get there sooner . . leave earlier. All of the above contributes to the body being able to deal with muh bad ride. With my TT hitched I usually have one stop at a rest area before my mid-day break (which is ALWAYS well before noon). I get fuel at the truckstop — as I’m 200-miles or still about above a half-tank of fuel — then ease along to another rest area closest for the one-hour break. Mapped the night before. After lunch I might have another 100-miles or so. Depending on whether Interstate or US Highways (my rig is 62’, I tend to stay on bigger roads until TT parked) the MPH average drops in going to NON-limited access roadways, so I have a large window of arrival which included time for unknown problems. But the plan is to arrive at no later than 1500. 400-miles is The Wall. Onset of white-line fever. Everyone. None are exempt. Not age or experience or conditions. Not vehicle spec. The body starts to rebel AND THIS IS WHAT MUH BAD RIDE is all about. Set limits. Write a plan. Execute according to best practice (safety). 300-miles or three o’clock . . as what matters with an RV traveling safely & comfortably — day after day — is no different in 2021 than it was in 1971. I was out there then, and now. .
BackOfThePack 06/24/21 05:43am Tow Vehicles
RE: Ram 2500 CTD and GM 2500 Dmax up the Ike.

Faster in the quarter-mile than my ‘04? Higher “Average MPG” than against same? Faster braking 60-0 than against same? 3rd Gen trucks were grossing combined-rig 32K-lb in oilfield hotshot loads for 300k mile service (lease roads more than just “difficult), so today’s aren’t really towing more. OTOH, a MY-2022 semi tractor gets significantly better MPG & HP from an engine of the same displacement than the MY-2005 version. Software, tires and aero have all improved. Tractor isn’t lighter, has genuine comfort improvements. — Higher pickup sales price with no significant compensatory improvements in 17-years. — Per-mile average diesel pickup ownership/operational costs (CPM) went thru the roof over this period. — Doesn’t do more work in total — nor does the same at a lower cost. But it matters a trivially stupid grade ascent speed test? .
BackOfThePack 06/24/21 04:56am Tow Vehicles
RE: Tires - for a truck...

Bridgestone or Michelin. (Duravis or LTX) Two sets of the latter to go almost 250k (50/50 Town/Country).
BackOfThePack 06/24/21 04:34am Tow Vehicles
RE: Getting Through OK City

iH-44 to IH-35 to IH-40
BackOfThePack 06/24/21 04:11am Roads and Routes
RE: 7.3 twin turbo Godzilla

300-HP/400-HP under EFI with 6 or 8 speed tranny is about all any TT family vehicle TV “needs”. SOLO MILES have dominance over towing miles. ALWAYS. That’s what drives vehicle spec. We’d have killed for REAL numbers like that in the 1960s and 70s. Dodge Magnum 440 was about 280-HP RWHL on Sunoco Super. Trailer design & construction is the other part. Ignored. But where the gains are greatest GIGO applies to tow rigs as much as anything else. How fast up the hill is for maroons. It’s the downslope that counts. (Trailer anti-lock disc.) Never exceed 80% engine load. Test speed & rpm against oil temps inside that. After careful scale weigh & tire pressure is perfected. Done. Predictability is the only thing. But if you ALSO want FE, its time to start clean-sheet. 300-workdays per year AND FAMILY duty first drives vehicle spec (15k miles is average). 5k miles RVng is annual average. Not important spec. Secondary. Do it right (vehicle operation) and vacation fuel can be almost free (against discarded bad habits at wheel). My pickup pulls the same trailer as my grandad had with that Monaco hiding a Police Pursuit underneath. He averaged 10. I average 15. But each fillup only nets me a $10/tank savings. IOW, at ten years of vacation travel Im not $5k in fuel costs saved “ahead” with the higher MPG 280-RWHP turbodiesel About $400 annually. Does that pay for the upgrade? Why, then, 400, 500 or 600-HP? Zero benefit. Just penalties. Guys, I can run bobtail (13’5” clearance; what’s your pickup? 6’2”?) in my 20,400-lb Peterbilt (2X as heavy) with an engine 2X as big (12-Autoshift) at 14-MPG with no headwind. See up to 10-MPG with nearly 30K in the box. Average over 8-MPG, ALL miles governed at 65. Up to 79,500-lbs nationwide. You really think Detroit gives a **** about your “economy” of long-distance travel as RV’ers? Because your climbing the grade faster than me has ZERO significance only penalties for driving too fast for conditions (you, not I are the least capable vehicle on the road). But given how UNSTEADY is a combined rig RV I could kill RV’ers all day by doing nothing more than passing too closely on the downslope at a high rate of speed. (Includes you; skill won’t matter). Given “some” knowledge of vehicle mechanics (physics) around here — though not really in evidence the 17-years I’ve posted here — ain’t it about time to pay attention where it belongs? ON THE LOUSY RV TRAILER brakes & suspension. Hell, how many of you have even found WHICH wheel of EACH axle has the highest loading. And seriously tested what the trailer brakes can do (drums; time/distance to failure)? At 30-mph, how many feet to stop the combined rig WITH TT BRAKES ONLY. How is the braking load distributed among the wheels? WHY? 300-Hp? (Subject closed) TV 4-whl disc brakes? (Subject closed) Non-obsolete design WDH actually correct in function? (Subject closed) Trailer suspension? (leaf spring unacceptable) Trailer brakes? (drums unacceptable) Having corrected all of these, what is the highest speed at which you can execute violent lane-change emergency maneuvers? From on-shoulder across two Interstate lanes to outer median and back, continually. (Why haven’t you tested?). From a given travel speed under ideal conditions, what is the MAXIMUM time/distance DOWN to that maneuver speed? Give this HP **** a break. Hasn’t mattered in 20-years.
BackOfThePack 06/07/21 08:56pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Morryde Suspension and Wet Bolt Upgrade

Drums are not only obsolete, they’re worthless when it really matters. Be sure to add Anti-lock (Tuson).
BackOfThePack 06/07/21 07:57pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Back before cellphones

We used postcards. Daily. Some location particulars. Letters, weekly or more often. A phone call in an emergency until Dad put a Motorola radiotelephone in the Buick in 1962. $10/minute in today’s money. Why would you need a phone? Our men were on every continent of this planet in the 1940s and life somehow went on without that device. You wanna be slick, get a HAM license and “phone home” like the big boys used to do.
BackOfThePack 06/07/21 07:47pm RV Lifestyle
RE: beginner full-time

Have you decided on a landing spot when your done travelling? After selling down on possessions, you will have some items to store, where you do that can simplify things later if you already know roughly where. There's absolutely no reason to select a 'landing spot' before starting to full-time. How can you do that? You haven't seen the country yet. We sold everything and had no idea how long we'd be full-timing or what we'd do when we were ready to quit. I will recommend though if you sell a house that you invest that money and not use it to buy your RV. That money will be your exit strategy. Go into full-time debt-free. Putting things in storage can be very expensive and you could buy again for what you'd pay over the years. Then your stuff is outdated. As it turned out we continued for 16 years and it was only in the last year where we decided to set roots again. It was in an altogether different part of the country from where we lived last. I’ve been “RV’ng” 56-years. So this comment is about what was to be seen and heard from my grandparents and parents in re “full timing” (and of their peers), not just my own much more recent experiences. There will come a day it becomes more work than is reasonable. Age 75 (my Dad and Grandads choices 25-years apart as to “times up”) is a fair calendar choice. Not fast in concrete. It may be 12-15/years out. So where and with whom nearby will you cease & desist from these travels. What church and what community ties? The kindness of pure-D strangers, or a mix of family & friends? This is why it’s called a strategy. Saving pennies (choice of domicile) doesn’t mean much at second retirement (from the road). That change WILL be composed of those people with whom you wish to share the evenings more than $$. Many say (don’t think) they’ll choose a cheap place for now (tax & registration) versus building the warmth of friendship over the years of travel. “Home”. They’ll change everything on that next turn of the wheel. I’ll tell you it leaves more to chance than makes good sense. Sudden debilitating illness, an accident with ENORMOUS out-of-pocket expenses, etc, can be life-changing in ways we don’t want. Get some things done early. Not AFTER your spouse drops dead unexpectedly. Doesn’t maybe mean buy a house or land (your own particulars apply as to specifics), BUT UNLESS your family is prepared to take you in after Alzheimer’s, etc, you’d be best off looking at EVERYTHING. During the first year out will suffice for time. Make the clean break. Get that weight off your back. And don’t be afraid to start over on what you TODAY think you’ll do. But don’t put it off too long.
BackOfThePack 06/07/21 07:37pm Full-time RVing
RE: The Bowlus is Back

New pair of glasses needed: Too much money? Sure, for folks with not much sense about money. Same ones who think trading for new every so often is “reasonable”. (That’s the expensive route). Given that size requirements are met — and that its lifespan is indefinite ; pretty much “forever” — how many decades of ownership you want to divide into that price that would cause it to be high annual cost? Thirty years of ownership (then pass along to children) is easily done. A motorhome the same price out the door will be in the knackers yard before year twenty. The Bowlus may not even need a re-fresh at that calendar turn. Price seems high as production rate is so low. Airstream cuts corners to stay relevant after its upmarket competition folded up shop 25 or 30 years ago. Americans took a 50% plus pay cut the past fifty years. Y’all can’t afford what your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents generation could. The alternative to a trailer of this type (design and build) was a fixed vacation home. (Same price). Your kids and grandkids get on down the road just as well as you. But without the upfront cost. Same as with a mountain cabin. Several generations of enjoyment. But with this choice it’s any mountain range you choose. Dad kept his thirty years. Two tow vehicles over that span. (A man who just wrote a check for a new car; no need to buy another with but 400k combined total miles on that pair). Sold it when he turned 75 . . and it’s still on the road at Year 46. Quality pays. Take your time in a search. Used trailers of this type are of the very best economy choices you could make. Tow far more easily, better ratio of window glass to floor space, etc. FAR cheaper to own long-term as (right brand) they don’t leak. Water (and UV a distant second) are what kill RVs due to bad design & construction. Mines 35’ long and I average (not the high) 15-MPG. 8k+ loaded for travel. True aerodynamic design (misunderstood reference above to none seen in 70-years). Low COG. And, you don’t really think I’ve to replace or re-seal my roof thirty-one years after it was delivered, do you? A brand-new Bowlus is expensive? In what way? .
BackOfThePack 06/07/21 06:20pm Travel Trailers
RE: Memphis I-40 Bridge Closed

Latest I’ve heard is to avoid the crossing from 0630 to 2100.
BackOfThePack 05/30/21 12:09pm Roads and Routes
RE: St Louis

Use bypasses to greatest extent in STL. Get PAST before 1400-hrs.
BackOfThePack 05/13/21 07:00pm Roads and Routes
RE: Memphis I-40 Bridge Closed

IH-55 into or out of Memphis is a terrible bottleneck. Try to avoid. If IH-40 is the route E-W you’ll want to divert N on IH-55 at West Memphis, AR to Dyersburg, TN on IH-155 and then run back SE to IH-40 near Jackson, TN on US-412. That’s a set of VG roads and used by big trucks. An alternative is cut south at Little Rock, AR towards Pine Bluff to Lake Village, AR and cross the river into Greenville, MS on US-82. This is a great deal slower (but a pleasant drive). Take 55N back to the 269-Loop. IH-20 at Vicksburg will be heavily trafficked the foreseeable future. IH-10 at Baton Rouge (or the Huey P on US-90) has been a terrible bottleneck for years. The Dyersburg route is the “best” alternative (unless you want to run as far north as St Louis)
BackOfThePack 05/13/21 06:54pm Roads and Routes
RE: Best stabilization upgrade(s)?

The factory installed stabilizer jacks are simply in the wrong locations. I had four of the aluminum stack jacks that I kept from my last trailer and with some experimenting I found that if I put them about 6' in front and in back of the axles I didn't even need the factory ones which I removed and don't even have them on my trailer anymore. Now if you have a long trailer say 30' and have a major living area at the rear you might need something at that end, but all I have is a bedroom that is only used to sleep in so there is almost no walking around in the last 8' or so of my trailer. I had used these jacks on my previous 26' TT for over 25 years for a rock solid setup so I just felt their use had to help the poor stabilization with what came on our new trailer. As far as the forward/back movement I've never had that since I make sure my little cheapo wheel chocks and well planted against both sides of the wheels on both sides of the trailer (4 chocks total). IMHO the secret to stabilizing a trailer is the proper support locations and getting a good pressure on the jacks ... not lifting the trailer, but doing a similar procedure that even things like the Strong Arm site recommends with their product. I found the only way to do this was to use the tongue jack. Larrym A long premium TT like mine came with (4) double stabilizers. Each end, and near the tandems. (8) points of contact. That, plus a set of inter-tire set wheel chocks. Tires and springs (body) have to be treated separately. Shock absorber kit if you don’t have it, plus axle crossmembers (MOR/ryde) to keep leaf bushings unstressed. This trailer came with all of this. The JT Strong-arm (Lippert) might be worthwhile. The aluminum A-frame jacks are great for long-term parking.
BackOfThePack 05/13/21 06:39pm Travel Trailers
RE: Thoughts on WD hitch need

Just bought a new Jayco White Hawk 32BH. It has a GVWR of 9995 Lbs and a dry hitch weight of 1,100 Lbs. My truck is a 2018 Ram CC 4x4 dually with the Cummins/Aisin combo and a factory class V hitch. Do I need to mess with a WD hitch for this massive truck? I don't think folks read word questions very well here based on the responses. You have a 1-ton dually that has a payload in the neighborhood of 5500lbs. Was factory equipped with a class on V hitch. Those can have a 18,000- 20,000 rating. You have the extra heavy duty transmission for that diesel. I'd bet if you dropped 1800 lbs of tongue weight on that beast of a truck your front wheel well height might go up 1/4". If you properly load the trailer you won't need sway control because a "PROPERLY" loaded trailer won't sway. Just my 2 cents based on the information you provided. Looking forward to your (5) scale tickets where you’ve shown us tire and axle loads isolated. As well, your COG calculations All trailers sway once to the right speed on a given road under given conditions of wind. There are no constants, is the problem. It’s USUALLY in the transitions from one state to another that things go haywire. Know when I’d like to see you blow a rod thru the block? As I’m just under the posted construction zone speed limit yanking a 53’ and we have DOUBLE camber changes at each end of a bridge diversion . But there you go passing me (again) blind to vehicle dynamics in every sense of the word when we both have combination vehicles. Think of it this way: Trailers DONT move side-to-side. They ROTATE in an arc that increases over the travel length. Longer the trailer, greater motion at the farthest end. That ROTATION means a trailed 1,800-lb construction-site compressor can whip a DRW right off the road. Empty bed, low tire load, shiny concrete. Seen it more than once. “Properly-loaded trailer” is pretty much meaningless for TTs except toy haulers where bad mis -judgment can come into play. Camber changes, tripping hazards, curbs, etc are the invisible subjects on RV boards. .
BackOfThePack 05/13/21 06:21pm Towing
RE: Thoughts on WD hitch need

The question is not about the stationary (static) “weight” value of the trailer tongue. That’s a moment frozen in time. The dynamic of being in motion means the two vehicles are rotating on separate axes most of the time AND that the FORCE on the hitch ball is constantly changing. It may increase to several thousand pounds in one moment to pulling upward by a few hundred or more in the very next. Trailer leaning left and TV leaning right. The game is at the contact patches of the rear tires. A WDH distributed the VARYING TW loads across BOTH vehicles. Preserves solo steering & braking “feel”. The prime risk isn’t weight when towing. It’s crosswinds. Sudden gusts where the driver doesn’t understand how to correct. Over in about 1.5-seconds. A DRW isn’t any guarantee of safety. They suck, unless — like all other tow vehicles — they have sufficient load in the bed to SHOW tire loads are maximizing the tire contact patch. The more stiffly sprung is a TV, generally the worse it is unless being used to design. An SRW nearer GAWR beats it every time where the DRW is underloaded. A DRW is what you might want for a GN/5er. It’s the wrong direction for a conventional hitch where the bed isn’t sufficiently loaded. A WDH makes the combined vehicle react more as a single vehicle. Keeping the TT Under control means increasing the weight on its axles, and reducing front-end rise on the TV. “Weight” is the dumb new-guy thing. Steering & braking ARE improved by use of a WDH.
BackOfThePack 05/13/21 06:04pm Towing
RE: How to avoid getting blown all over the road

The dealer hooked up our hitch when we purchased the camper. They very well may have not done it correctly. I never redid their install. I will be taking my time when I receive the ProPride next week when I install it to ensure it is done correctly. I bought the hitch type in 2007. All other types are obsolete. Given that an effective towing combination is one-third each TV-Hitch-TT, it’s a dirt cheap hitch. You’ve moved to an an effective steering component versus the other types which — while they might distribute tongue weight to formula — can resist but not eliminate mis-alignment between TV & TT. Trailer MUST be dead-level after hitch roughed in at home. Use a level in doorway FF-RR. Bubble mainly in center. TV might be slightly tail down which is normal. This may take time AND may involve using a shop. “Slightly nose down” IS NOT acceptable. Trailer braking is DEPENDENT on having both axles equally loaded per attitude PRIOR to braking onset. Still need to do The Three Pass Scale Method. Get the CAT SCALE app. First step is corrected solo tire pressure. (I run the same tire pressure solo or loaded as it’s the right number per door sticker and L&P Chart). Checked morning dead cold after overnight; recorded. After topping fuel tank on the truck where ONLY permanent gear + driver is aboard the baseline number is acquired. This reading also gives the lightest weight of the truck. The TT needs to have full fresh water + propane. Tires to sidewall max for test. Gear aboard TT & TV should represent a camping trip. Top off fuel tank first. All passengers aboard each step. All three must be done together. 1). Across scale with bars torqued. 2). Across scale with bars slack. 3). Drop trailer and weigh TV solo. — Steer Axle should be the same in #1 & #3. — TW can be accurately determined. Another reading can be done which ought to be “mandatory” on a toy hauler: sliding axle. Talk with weigh-master at Fuel Desk. This is where the trailer axles are split onto two scale pads. One creeps forward until STOP is heard across Intercom. This procedure gives you the INDIVIDUAL axle weights. Toy Haulers are compromised designs. Do what you can to get axle loadings close, AND TW inside 10-15% (higher better but harder to adjust WDH). 13% GTG. Test: at 30-mph in a hard stop the combined rig WILL stop faster than the TV solo (camping loads; same day). If it doesn’t, start with brake controller settings. Trailer must lead TV. The wind load (crosswind) against a tall unbalanced trailer is significant. Squared edges means winds can’t escape (aero they do; Airstream). Second is unnaturally talk ride height to accommodate slides, etc. Wind getting UNDER trailer sideways is adding PULL to PUSH. The trailer WILL start to get airborne behind the axles. All the forces increase on the square as one moves farther rear. This is how 18-wheelers get knocked over. In high wind areas drivers will pull the tandem axle set on a van to the rear (despite weight imbalance and laws) to help resist crosswinds. Loaded weight helps (30-44k in the box), but realistically one must slow to 45-mph to maintain headway and keep wind pressure minimized. The Game is actually at the TV. The Drive Axle. IDEAL tire pressure is crucial. Too high means it will lose traction sooner, and too low means lousy braking & steering plus high heat (premature failure). Dead-on and the tire lives long and provides best traction in all conditions. I run my pickup at the RR GAWR once hitched. Before being hitched it’s within 40-lbs at all four corners. The most weight on the Drive Axle to keep the highest load in the tread patch. Together, the combined tire patch on that axle is small. The trailer suspension is what’s left. Leaf sprung is pretty much junk in resisting side forces. Narrow track (where axles attach, NOT tire distance), incredibly short wheel travel (okay on an open construction trailer, NOT on a tall tippy RV). DEXTER Tor-Flex is a needed upgrade (or MOR-Ryde offerings; axle replacement). Trailer anti-lock disc brakes crowd a PPP hitch hard for which is more important.
BackOfThePack 05/13/21 05:33pm Towing
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