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 > Your search for posts made by 'bstark' found 32 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Fire Ants Kill Winter Texan in the RGV

Come to Yuma AZ. NO ANTS Oh that must be why I did the quarter mile in under 12 seconds after stepping on a mound of those suckers out Avenue 3E back in 07. If you are operating under the misconception there is none of them out there you are wrong.
bstark 03/31/15 08:39pm Snowbirds
RE: Canada Geese doing damage during our snowbirding down south

Canada Geese: Rats with wings. Ptooey! :) There you go offending our neighbors to the north. :R No way will that offend any Canadian who has any exposure to those birds. They tend to cluster around any body of water and will fly out to a nearby corn field to feed. People get involved and wrongly attract them by providing feed then the darn things will forego migration completely if they can find a catchment pond that remains unfrozen as many factory fire/cooling water circulation ponds do. Those birds do not just poop, they are rather into coating the ground with a layer of stuff that could only be described as "axle grease" in terms of both colour and lubricity. I've seen golf courses rope off entire greens due to the poop those things have left behind and being a protected species, there are rules in Canada about how you can discourage them; I favour a weekly hunting event to feed the needy with them. A friend in Louisiana desired some Canadian geese for his many ponds on his property and only after I pointed out that the many bridges without guardrails he had installed to make ATV'ing between those ponds easy and fun would be rendered impassable due to the "grease" those guys leave behind, did he give that idea a pass. My caution to him went something like: "Ralph, when you attempt to cross one of those bridges as you normally do now by hitting it at around 20 mph, your wife can look forward to watching you come wading ashore cursing a blue-streak and shouting for her to go get the tractor to come haul the up-side down, four tires up, ATV out of the pond." Dry hitch top plate......scoop up some goose poop, squeaky springs.....lather on some goose poop, neighbours kids running across your driveway....send them home coated in goose poop after falling in the stuff you put in their path, neighbours cats gracing your shrubbery with their spraying.......coat the bottom 8 inches of your shrubs with goose******and those cats will not be let out of the house again after returning coated in that stuff......the list is endless...... Rats with wings is being charitable and goes nowhere near far enough in describing those poop factory birds.
bstark 12/06/14 12:25pm Snowbirds
RE: fifth wheel backing

I'm going to jump on to state that having backed all types of trailers up to 53', even some hay wagons with steerable axles the absolute worst to back with any ease is the old narrow, single snow-mobile trailer where you couldn't see the damnn thing in either mirror until it had already gotten sideways, taken out one of your taillights or punched a hole in your bumper.
bstark 11/27/14 06:42pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Mobile suites weight and mobility question

Stacey Franks AKA "Stripit" who posted earlier is hiding his light under a bushel on this weight thread as he used to weight these rigs professionally with independent certified wheel scales. I'm willing to bet he never saw a 36' Mobile Suites weigh under 15K unless it was empty of everything; no flatware, no portable BBQ, nada in the storage bay, empty.
bstark 10/27/14 09:12pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Mobile suites weight and mobility question

I still don't understand why people use "empty weight/dry weight's" of a 5er to give examples of....One REALLY needs to use the GVW of the rv whether it's loaded to that weight or not..It makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE...No one tows one "empty" or "dry", nor do they drop "dry pin weight" onto their hitch...sorry, it just doesn't make any sense. Mobile Suites, in my opinion has a very good, high quality unit. To the OP, just make sure your truck is up to towing it, I'd take the GVW of the 5er and take 20% of that to figure out what kind of pin weight you'll be dropping in the bed of the truck...There are still a whole lot of campgrounds out there that you shouldn't have any issues at all camping in. My 5er is at 39' 9" and I've camped everywhere we wanted to stay...just looked at sites on the internet to see which one's work best for my unit. No kidding! Throughout years of RV'ing we learned that Newton omitted a couple of laws regarding the purchase/sales of RV's in general. If the salesman's lips are moving.....! Showing up with an old Chevy Corvair Greenbriar will elicit "we have just the 34' unit for you"....! The sticker in the kitchen cupboard listing all the weights is accurate to within plus or minus 12,000lbs.....! Tires will last only until you get the thing off the lot and far enough away that your temper-motivated desire to have the thing returned to the dealer's lot with a lemon sign on it will involve a towing fee too large to consider....! Refrigerators will fail with a frequency in direct relationship with how much and how expensive the food is contained within.....! We prevailed as most folks do, and enjoyed many years of RV'ing in spite of it's various challenges. The last few were with a 38' Mobile Suites towed by an International 4400. Loved that thing.
bstark 10/27/14 06:39am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Freaky Wiring Issue

This is where a little knowledge of how to use a VoltOhm Multimeter comes in really handy as the convertor itself may even have a 30 amp fuse on it's rear panel hidden from view. Previous owner may have reversed polarity and got results as a previous, poster surmised so left it that way thinking it was correct. Checking for continuity from the batteries inward to panel and convertor inward to panel making sure every wire remains live from beginning o termination may divulge your hidden little breaker/fuse/switch in the most obscure location. At least if you trace wiring and find one that is dead and should be live you eliminate one more problem, even a temporary lantern 6 volt battery alligator clipped in place of your 12 volt ones would be enough to verify continuity so you don't risk frying something if you're unsure of your test procedure.
bstark 10/12/14 05:02pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

These are Class 8 trucks with a GVWR of 33,000 lbs. or more. I can no more see using one of these to tow a 13,000 lb. 5th wheel travel trailer load than using a 1-ton DRW truck to tow a 300 lb. kayak trailer. More than 80% of the people I see pulling 5th-wheel trailers are doing so with a SRW truck. A 3/4 ton pickup is all that is needed even for the 13,500 lb. gross vehicle weight trailer, and very few 5th wheel travel trailers exceed even 11,000 lb.s gross vehicle weight. My 2500HD pickup ton truck is rated for towing a 5th wheel trailer load of up to 17,300 lbs., so why would I go buy a Freightliner M2? I don't know about what you can get for $10,000 but a used M2 106 in good condition sells for a great deal more. Current ones listed on www.truckpaper.com are priced at $80K for a 2007. Every aspect of operating and maintaining the truck is going to be three times as expensive as a pickup and forget about parking it anywhere except on the street (where laws allow). I could not see one of these trucks pulling a 5th wheel getting into 99% of the state and national campgrounds. OK is you like to stay at highway rest areas and at truck stops. You should ask yourself if these trucks are such a good solution why is that nobody is using them for this purpose? Look again when you see one of these trucks towing a 5th wheel and you will notice that it is pulling a large horse trailer or commercial trailer or multi vehicle trailer and not a travel trailer. This my thought as well. I own and run class 8's. I personally would not put an 8 on an RV but to each his own. The biggest issue for a person with an average bank account is simply the costs involved. It is all good until you have to have them worked on (before anyone buys one they really need to investigate engine, tranny rebuilds), while I totally get they are made to run, they do break down. Buy a newer one and you get to deal with DPF issues, no small issue with someone who pulls an RV where the engine is barely able to stay warm pulling such a light load. Tires are expensive and there are a lot of them. When your making money with them, the costs of running them is simply a part of business (but it still hurts when you have major component failure), running one simply for recreation would be unacceptable to me. Lastly it is not necessary, with the capability of these new pickup based tow rigs, but if you want to play "big rig trucker" on the weekends these can fill that need. You just need to make sure you have a "big rig checking account" when the truck goes to the shop. While this might be true as a comparison of the two truck types being used at the optimal or upward limits of their respective duty cycles but certainly not true for two trucks with the lighter duty one being used closer to it's upper end and the heavy duty one never again even being required to breath hard. Secondly; as we've all witnessed with the lighter duty species, when (not if)they have a design problem that comes back to bite their owners it can sometimes wipe out that cost advantage tenfold. There are probably more than a few Ford 6 lire diesel owners who went through the head bolt stretch, followed by the intercooler plug-up followed by the......... and so on and so on debacle with carrying the full costs of those with their own wallet to the tune of possibly $10K in associated expenses and doing without their truck for months at a time. Costs can be significant when one is unfortunate enough to have a light duty diesel purchased from a dealer with a less than stellar mechanic pool for those diesels whereas commercial guys cannot tolerate significant income loss through downtime garnered from a mechanic typical of the "let's throw this part at it and see what that does" genre. My own experience with a Chevy Duramax of the early variety and an International 530DTE showed overall maintenance costs being cheaper for the International considering same time span of ownership, following all the recommended mileage based scheduled required maintenance. Just the stupid fuel filter alone was an eye opener with costing me over $80 clams for the dinky little spin on Duramax specific thing and a paltry $6.00 for the trash can sized International cartridge. Brakes for a pick-up being tasked with performing a significant portion of the downhill retarding of an RV trailer are almost a bi-annual thing while the shoes for the International were still good to go after four times the towing mileage with a far heavier trailer and truck combo. It's all relative to the duty cycle they're being asked to perform.
bstark 10/12/14 03:23pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

Actually; a friend ordered a new Mack Vision 630 in 04 with full condo sleeper and auto-shift and immediately removed his inner wheels on both of his tandems. He consulted with Mack and got all the engineering authorization to maintain warranty due to his never using it for commercial and never hooking the thing to anything heavier than his Mountain Aire. That's interesting but I find it a little odd that your friend ordered a truck with tandems just to pull an RV. I wonder why he didn't get a single axle. For RV duty you could probably run SRW on a single axle tractor and still have plenty of tire capacity. His reasoning was that before retiring and still owning a home he was doing a lot of Provincial/State Park camping during vacations with shorter stays and weather be damned stuff. He felt without the inter-locks and power-divider option of all four in the back driving, he might not get his front axle out of some softer spots. It has proven to ride significantly better than a single axle with duals for side to side pitching and rougher roads as well. He's very happy with it going on 12 years of snowbirding now.
bstark 10/12/14 02:15pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

Class 8 trucks are duallys usually, except for the ones that are single rear wheel. As long as you get a dually one you will be fine. We are looking at class 8's - saw one with door sticker GCWR 140,000lbs. The missus couldn't possibly pack... Yeah, don't get a SRW class 8, you'll never here the end of it.:D Actually; a friend ordered a new Mack Vision 630 in 04 with full condo sleeper and auto-shift and immediately removed his inner wheels on both of his tandems. He consulted with Mack and got all the engineering authorization to maintain warranty due to his never using it for commercial and never hooking the thing to anything heavier than his Mountain Aire. It rode way better with just the four outer aluminums and without the added unsprung weight of those other four steel inner wheels. His huge air/disk brakes were also cooled better because they were not hidden inside a wheel. Service guys loved the set up as everything was much easier to view and work on. Super singles didn't quite catch on over here as compared to the European and U.K.. Cost and availability were prohibitive.
bstark 10/09/14 08:03pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

Check out SPORTCHASSIS trucks - and drool! Here's another site to view. 2L Custom Trucks
bstark 10/08/14 05:10pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Air ride hitches

I used the little known and now defunct Gene McCall Airglyder hitch with a Binkly head and both vertical airbags along with fore and aft airbags. That thing was a veritable dream and contributed to a much improved towing experience for the trailer and contents. The Trailair suspension on the other hand needed a complete rebuild due to metal to metal contact of pivot shafts without any grease points. I was also one of the very rare individuals using a Trailair pinbox in concert with my air hitch and like mentioned above, kept it at 85psi for levelling. Study showed the hitch doing most of the work while the pinbox only moved during extreme whoop-d-doos as found in those flood drainage gulches in Arizona. That pin box also had metal to metal contact without any grease points and after replacing the bronze bushes once, I rectified that by drilling and tapping for a grease nipple accessed from the rear of the pinbox underneath the top frame of the pinbox.
bstark 10/05/14 12:56pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

Something I forgot to mention was the 28 foot turning radius of my longer than usual MDT wheelbase of 215" as comared to my previous Crew Cab Chev Duramax long box with a wheelbase of only 187" being a full 32 feet. I was putting my larger Mobile Suites into smaller sites than I could get my old Cedar Creek/pick-up combo .
bstark 10/03/14 06:20pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

Don't automatically discount a manual transmission out of fear. I ordered my class six with an Eaton/Fuller ten speed and mitigated my learning curve with a Gearmaster readout on the dash. after a few months of towing with that set up, I rarely looked at the readout panel. With all the available power,it's not like you're going to routinely use all of those gears anyway. Once you're rolling set the cruise and forget about that stick. Look into the cab of any big rig and ask yourself the query: "if that guy can gear jam, why wouldn't I be able to"? Buying a good used Volvo is very easy as they have gained popularity to the extent fleets have gravitated towards them for their comfort and over-all performance. Searching for a single axle is not the priority issue as removing an axle and positioning the remaining one as per your needs and practicality are completely doable. Having it singled or not is your choice but you can perform that after purchase by any one of many competent shops located all over the U.S. Ride quality is not even debatable as the seats/cabs are so much better designed for over the road 24/7 driving. Class 6 and under trucks just do not on average, make available the same ride characteristics as the class 7 & 8's. the minimum air bag rating I could get for my rears was 15,000lb bags and even with mods I did myself of machining the tops of the bags for larger air lines and the addition of a 7 gal ping tank increasing my volumetric capacity of the system in the rear, it still rode rough even loaded to it's travel weight of 17,600lbs with Tools/Harley/200gals of fuel on board. It only gave a "reasonable" ride when the trailer's pin weight of over 4500lbs was on the truck. Class 8's ride better, even while bob-tail, right out of the yard.. Attending the HDT rally and talking with some of those boys along with their well known willingness to "climb on in and let's go for a ride" engage you will be the point of no return. Now let's hear some of the pluses about registering the sleeper equipped truck as an RV itself; thereby avoiding a whole other bunch of MTO/DOT aggro and costs presented by the class 6's and below. That's a whole other option open to you, should you investigate further.
bstark 10/03/14 06:10pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Anybody consider a semi for a tow vehicle?

I ordered a Class 6 cab chassis and had custom built a rig to haul my Ultra (click on View Profile) in a barn behind the cab and tow my Mobile Suites but if I were doing it over, I would go the used class 8 in a heartbeat.
bstark 10/03/14 12:56pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Crack in Sidewall by Bedroom Slide

Thank you Mike and TXiceman! I have scheduled an appointment with my dealer for a complete repair, inspection, and documentation of the cause. It appears that I will have to file a lawsuit. I was told by management at Keystone that a hitch/platform on the back can affect frame camber and thus voids my warranty. They will not respond to my question of whether or not they are stating the platform cracked my sidewall and possibly frame/chassis. I have told them I held two kids bikes and nothing more, but I have yet to hear back from them on this issue. How is it conceivable that a $60+K unit developed a crack 19 days after purchase and it was not a manufacturer defect or that it was attributed to a 40 lbs. cargo platform? I know what they are doing, I just refuse to play their game. :-) It isn't in any way conceivable! They're using anything they can find to absolve them from the expense of ANY and all repairs. Restrictions to frame platform additions are intended to deal with those who would hang an 800lb Harley or a 10KW diesel generator and fuel tank off the back end. I've seen trailers with more than 100lbs.of stuff hanging off the rear ladder. Ludicrous in the extreme to blame the attachament of a cargo frame on the rear that was lightly loaded to describe a frame camber change. I'd be all over them demanding proof the camber was indeed now outside factory spec's and I'd take it to an independent shop to ascertain this. If they are attributing this to frame flex generated by a paltry 60lbs. hanging off the rear then what about those folks who show no restraint when loading their cargo bay area?
bstark 10/02/14 03:36pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grease in New Brake Assemblies

Many people are surprised to find assemblies are often cheaper than individual parts, especially wheel hub assys. The problem with attempting to degrease brake shoes is the heat generated upon a braking event after what would be considered a very thorough soaking in cleaner simply brings permeated grease to the surface of the shoe material to commence the whole degradation process all over again. If your dealer or maintenance shop suggests cleaning; RUN don't walk out the door. A cleaner with enough strength to lift grease out of the shoe will only do so with an extended soak period and you risk softening the shoe bonding material to the steel shoe in so doing. Ultimately, it ain't worth the toss of the dice.
bstark 09/30/14 12:26pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grease in New Brake Assemblies

Yes, I'm serious. Would you buy a new car/truck and immediately pull the rear differential off to check for an issue if you'd read about problems with them from the dealer? Or would you hie yourself back to the dealer to have it checked and fixed? Paying tens of thousands of dollars for a new unit and then playing shade tree mechanic makes little to no sense to me. If I paid for a brand new $50,000 5th wheel, then yes, I expect them to fix the problems that came from the factory. I see no reason to give the dealers/manufacturers a free ride when they screw up. That's the way I look at it. To answer your first question regarding comparing these pieces of rolling******to the build quality of todays cars. Nope I would not pull the wheels off a new car to verify integrity of brake performance but then there have not been the myriad discussions with examples popping up all over the web of cars being provided with axles with cheap or poorly installed seals and marginal braking performance like there has been for RV's. Second part; I agree wholeheartedly with requiring responsibility, but here you have just read another post where the owner returned his for service on three occasions without the expected result before repairing it himself. You willing to sacrifice a month or two of prime RV season while you're standing on your soapbox at the service desk? I'm making the point that if you have the skillset AND are dissatisfied or unconvinced that your dealer is capable, DO IT YOURSELF! This in lieu of simply striking out on your maiden voyage without verifying your brakes expected performance is reliable.
bstark 09/28/14 09:10pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grease in New Brake Assemblies

I took my very expensive rv to the dealer 3 times for crappy brakes in the first year of ownership. Did the work myself in the end. The dealer and the factory suck This is exactly the point I'm attempting (perhaps badly) to make about some instances requiring you to have something verified, regardless if new or not. The piece of mind is priceless.
bstark 09/28/14 06:38pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grease in New Brake Assemblies

Well, a few hours on the phone "dickering" beats the heck out of spending those same few hours removing/repairing/replacing brake drums and such. You can't be serious? Having reasonable cause from mounting evidence that your new trailer could experience either poor braking performance or a hub issue; you'd rather ignore that possibility and the possible consequences than spend a couple of hours performing some due diligent maintenance? Really? To each their own, but I believe you represent the minority of RV'ers, as most I've met would go to any lengths to prevent discovering their brakes are not up to par while descending a 6% grade.
bstark 09/28/14 06:35pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grease in New Brake Assemblies

After the first year on crappy brakes I pulled the hubs and their was grease everywhere, I replaced with $20 seals instead of the 5 dollar brand that was installed at the factory. My hubs cannot be over serviced..Disassembly and inspection upon delivery with changeout of the rear seals to better quality double lip spring assisted seals, hand packing of the bearings along with later judicious use of a grease gun on those E-Z-Lube hubs, only after you've warmed your hubs with a few interstate miles to then use a couple of slow strokes only of a hand grease gun that is also room temp warm instead of the gun stored in the bottom cabinet under your rig where it's sat all winter is the protocol that will yield years of reliable brakes and hub service.Seriously? You expect someone who just paid $50,000 for his 5th wheel, to disassemble his triple axle toyhauler hubs to repair what the factory messed up? I don't think that's going to happen, not voluntarily anyway. Well then "someone" obviously prefers to spend his time dickering with his insurance company instead of enjoying quality time with those toys he's paid 50k to haul around.
bstark 09/28/14 03:11pm Fifth-Wheels
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