Just to complicate things even more - there are very, very few bike racks made that are rated for use on trailers (conventional or fifth wheel). Usually you have to download the manual of the make/model you are interested in, and read the disclaimers in the front. Most flatly say that they cannot be used. A few just note that any warranty is void. Swagman is the most referred to brand by fellow RV'ers, but again, only two of its models allow RV use.
A second vote for Betty's in Abbeville. Be forewarned, it is a bit different. Betty essentially graveled over her smallish back/side yards to allow for RV parking. It's tight, and has no amenities except hookups. Forget about kid activities, or even dog parks (dogs are happily permitted, just that the "CG" is really small!).
BUT - Betty also has an expansive covered patio, in which campers are almost required to attend the nightly "Happy Hour" - BYOB, and light snacks/appetizers. This is socializing, not a drinking party. Everyone chats about what they did during the day, places they found, where they ate, etc. Betty will very frequently host or organize tours and field trips to local events/attractions, based on the group discussion of the evening before. Or the campers may decide to have an impromptu crawfish boil the next night on site. Sometimes there's music, either by the campers themselves, or a local friend stops by. It's as close to being invited to stay at someone's house as you can get!
As noted, there is no simple test for bacteria. Test kits are for common swimming pool chemical balances. Most basic is ph (acid/base), and chlorine. Unless you are using gold mine run-off as a water source, the ph test is of no value for Rv'ing. Chlorine test kits measure from 1-10 parts per million, with 1-3 being the goal for a pool. City water never registers on the test strips - amount of chlorine is just too low. Ask any pool owner about what happens if they fill, but do not add chlorine - stinky swimming really fast! Sanitizing as posted above drives the level up to about 50 ppm, which kills everything in a few hours.
While RV tanks are a semi-sealed system, things like algae and bacteria can begin to grow, but it takes a pretty long time as there are few nutrients and it is dark. (As opposed to a pool that gets alls sorts of wind blown stuff in it, and gets full daylight).
The only test that you can do, without sending water out to a testing lab, is to smell it.
So, just sanitize - at least yearly, more often if you leave the same water in the tanks for weeks or months. Use the test strips if it makes you feel better about verifying that you have flushed all the sanitizing chlorine out of the system, but your nose works even better than the test strips in detecting small amounts.
You seem like pretty responsible owners, just by posting the question. I'll assume that you are already working on, and doing well, at basic obedience training. If not, well.....
But otherwise, the dog needs as much socialization to other people and dogs as you can get. The more he experiences it at a young age, the less problems you will have later. Worst would be to ban him completely until older, when behaviors/personality become more fixed.
That said - do it slowly, for limited times, in a controlled manner. Take him up for just a day or weekend. Make sure he is always on leash. Time outs work for dogs too - misbehavior, and isolate him in the trailer briefly. Talk to your obedience instructor about specifics, since they have experience with your dog. And remember the most critical - "A tired dog is a good dog". So lots of walks and running, and then introduce him to the new environment.
I panicked in the other direction! While I had looked at the site photos, both on recreation.gov, and the other sites noted, it was still hard to tell for sure. A call to the Park office, and they said firmly "Campsites are listed by total length of the tow vehicle plus the trailer". Sounded fishy, a 27' RV site is really small! But, I decided that it was better to not take the chance, and canceled.
While I will miss not seeing the GC, the trip will be packed with other places (Buena Vista CO, Ridgway SP, CO, Durango, CO, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Zion, Bryce). And gives me an excuse to head that direction again, and give it more time than just an overnight.
Now if I can just find 4 nights in Moab for mid-Oct., which is looking kind of hard to do......
Yes, calling is good advice.
Note that the only description when reserving is a notation "Max Vehicle Length: 27". They do not describe the actual siding length. Other rules talk about a max of 2 vehicles per site. Now if they both can max out at 27 feet....
A comment in RVParkReviews noted that the actual sites are much longer. Almost all sites have the 27' note. A very few note 40ft. Various on line photos show a variety of class "A"'s with toads in the campground. Hence the question.
Hoping someone that has been there can also advise.
Otherwise I cancel, and free it up for someone else.
Just grabbed one of the last sites available for the date I can be in the North Rim campground for the Grand Canyon. Listed as 27ft. My fifth says it is a 26.5, but actual nose to tail is 30' And then there is the 20' F-150. Site picture looked very clear - semi-circle pull through, no trees. But then there was that final warning I had to acknowledge about the size of the site and being turned away!
Was I too hasty?
Check with your city - ours requires a hard surface for what they deem "additional vehicle parking". So everyone has to have concrete or blacktop for their boat (or RV) parking alongside their house! But then again, having one is a huge plus for the resale value of the house, here in the land of 10,000 lakes!
Following is from what Minnesota DOT has to say. Also note that it is challenging to find a fifth with a hitch that will allow you to tow more than 3,000lbs. Can be done, but you are getting into custom modifications. So if the pontoon is heavier.....
I'll note that I thought about it with my 17.5' fishing boat, but a) the combined weight exceeds my towing capacity, b) the boat exceeds the hitch rating both in total weight, and tongue weight, and c) I'm pushing the length limit. Hence, it will never happen, although I'd love to take the boat with when going camping "up north to the lake". Consider instead a BIG truck, with a big bed camper. Probably the most practical solution to the "camping and boating" problem.
Recreational vehicle (RV): Minnesota allows an RV three-vehicle combination only if all of the following conditions are met:
? Only a “fifth-wheel” coupling is allowed between the pickup truck and the middle vehicle.
? The second trailer may only haul watercraft, a motorcycle, a motorized bicycle, off-highway motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, motorized golf cart or equestrian equipment or supplies.
? The total combination of vehicles does not exceed 70 feet.
? The towing rating of the pickup truck is equal to or greater than the total weight of all vehicles being towed.
? The trailer hitch assemblies, as well as the pickup truck hitch assembly, must
conform to MN Statute M.S. 169.82.
? The driver is at least 18 years of age.
? No travel within the Twin Cities Metro area during weekday rush hour times
There is a campground at the Running Aces Horse Racing place in Forest Lake, then, the next one that I know is at the casino in Hinckley, MN.
Not sure of the amenities at Forest Lake, as it has been several years since I was there, but they did have electric. The Hinckley cg is nice, fhu. Don't remember a pool, but there is a playground and probably a pool at the casino. I would recommend calling and get reservations at both places asap, I know Hinckley is very busy.
There are no references to camping on the Running Aces web site near Forest Lake. Grand Casino seems to be your best bet for hitting all the amenities you noted: http://grandcasinomn.com/lodging/rv-resort/
For the north country, consider renting or being on a boat. It's really the best (only?) way to get a sense of the parks. The BWCA is non-motorized, and requires permits for overnights (tents). The surrounding areas can be just as scenic, although there may be more traffic on the water, and places with shoreline development. Depends on how much wilderness you want.
For the novice to the area, get a good map of the lake you will be on - many have numerous little islands, and it is very easy to get turned around and confused as to how to get home. Don't go too far!
A number of places offer boat rentals, or are near outfitters that rent canoes.
As far as the suggested Lake Kabetogama - I spend a week there every June. Part of Voyageurs National Park. One section is commericial (where resorts/private homes are), but the majority is wild. There are pontoon sightseeing trips offered by the Park Service. The trip to the Kettle Falls Hotel is recommended. About 95 miles from Ely. Similar to BWCA, but different! It's also about 30 miles from International Falls, so if you want to say you've been to the place that is frequently the coldest in the US....
I have the 2 older equivalents to their current x-900 in my boat for trolling (true deep cycle, group 31, 220RC). Going on year 6, with no issues. Great batteries. But I had to switch to AGM as acid splash out was an issue when getting pounded going over waves. Very hefty price for those.
Bear Head Lake State Park near Ely has been awarded as one of the best in the nation. But - the loops can be narrow with trees and tall brush, making backing a bigger rig challenging. I struggled with my 5th wheel. Best to call them for advice first, and then see what you can reserve.
Fall Lake Campground (NF) is another great spot. A little better for bigger rigs, but again you should spend a bit of time researching then reserving - some say no issue and love it, some say too tight and confining.
... Most city's chlorinate the crud out of there water which in turn is going into your holding tank taking care of anything that might be in there.
Um, not so. Yes, they chlorinate, but the residual is only barely enough to deliver "sanitized" water to your tap, if there is any at all. As a pool owner, I test to keep my pool at 2-3 parts per million of chlorine. Tap water tests out at zero. Probably not actually zero, but the test kit doesn't measure such minute amounts. Case in point - on a warm day, if I fill the pool using municipal water, it can cloud up in as little as a half-day from bacteria, if I don't add additional chlorine. RV systems aren't open to the world, so there is little contamination to encourage growth, but neither is there anything left in tap water to discourage it, either.
BTW - fun fact: Chlorine itself has a pretty weak smell. When it combines with other chemicals ("bugs", etc.) it produces chloramines, which have a very strong smell. That's one of the clues that a swimming pool needs MORE chlorine, as the active stuff has been used up. It's easy to get to very unsafe levels in a pool ("shocking' the pool), and not have any smell at all.
In the RV case, smelling it coming out of your taps is the indicator that it's done it's job. And yes, regular bleach smells, because due to dilution, storage, and age it already has formed some chloramines in the bottle, along with the more concentrated "active" chlorine.
The black tank part has been answered, but I'd add this about sanitizing the water:
While generally you are dealing with a mostly closed system, after a pretty short period (a day or less), any treated water can have whatever sanitizer in it degraded/used up (usually a very small amount of chlorine in a municipal system). Even a bottle of pure bleach loses it's ability to sanitize moderately quickly after opening. So, start off the season by sanitizing the entire system, just to get it as sanitary as you can.
Water in the system can get a bit funky after some time left standing. How long depends on the source, and the temperatures. If you are only using "city water" from campgrounds, just run the taps for a bit when you first hook up. If depending on your water tanks, drain them if they will be unused for a period of time (I do it after every trip). Note that the hot water heater stores a few gallons, and it can take a lot of flushing to cycle new water for old. I also drain mine, if I won't be using the camper within a week or so. This can be one major cause of the dreaded "sulphur smell" that occurs in hot water lines. Those bugs just love the toasty warm heater water.
The good news, if you are using "city water" either directly or from your tanks, there's nothing bacteria-wise that will make you sick. Worst is that it may smell or taste icky if it does grow something due to disuse. Well water/lake water from a "low overhead" country campground can more suspect, but even there, the "bad" things, like e. coli, don't grow well in the kinds of water systems used in RV's. So if you didn't get sick while camping, you won't afterwards.
Thanks to all for the information! While I'm not terrified of mountain driving, I think it may be a better plan to take an alternative route to Durango, stay there a few days, and drive the Million Dollar Highway in just the tow vehicle.
Considering traveling through this area, towing my 30' fifth. My edition of "The Mountain Directory" makes it sound a bit tough to navigate. While not very experienced in mountain driving, I've done a little. Most notably Hwy 14 (not 14A!) through the Bighorns, and some over the coast ranges in CA. Nothing more than 6% grades before, unless it was a very brief section of slightly more...
For those familiar with the route, how "white knuckle and red hot brakes" will this be? (Yeah, I use engine braking, but with 10-15 mph hairpins....)
You have a 5th Airborne, which uses essentially an airbag in the pin box to minimize road shocks. It is adjustable by adding/removing air pressure. See the manual. It sounds like you may need to add more air, and that some up/down movement is to be expected so that you don't have as many road shocks transmitted to the tow vehicle. Call Reese first to verify whether the amount you observe is normal, and what adjustments they suggest if it is not.
Not sure what version of Excel you have, but check your settings. On Excel 2010 & 2013:
File > Options > Formulas > Workbook Calculation > Automatic.
You can also manually update the formulas by pressing F9.
Although I've been out of the game for the last 2 years, when I was doing tech support, this was a very common issue, no matter what version of Excel. Bwanshoom gives the correct answer as to how to resolve the problem. Here's a link with a more detailed description/solution for later versions of Office:
I always blamed it on users who were a bit click happy - moving a little too fast and accidentally disabling calculation, when they meant to do something else.
AND, to add confusion, Norcold has issued recalls for their older models (as detailed above) that they fix and extend coverage on. But the suit is for newer models that have not been recalled. There have been an evolving series of these class actions to have Norcold pay up, and it gets complicated tracking the variations as to what is the most current. Add to it, several of the models have not been recalled, begging the question as to how safe/unsafe they may really be. All we know for sure is that it benefits the lawyers to round up as many people as possible.