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RE: Getting propane tanks in and out

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m learning a bunch from this thread. I didn’t know you paid more by swapping tanks. I guess it makes sense but I didn’t know it. Do the tank swapping companies keep the 10 under the 10 year certification limit? Generally, I prefer to take them in and get them filled but if you get an old or rusty tank, take it in and swap it out. Check the date on the new tank to make sure it has a few years. For the cost of 5lb of propane, you got an updated tank.
valhalla360 06/30/22 07:25am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Looking at class c questions on maintenance

Oil change specifically is typically a SIMPLE job on Class C RVs. They are high enough off the ground that you can crawl under (or put your leveling blocks/etc underneath...of course be careful anytime you go under a vehicle!). On many Class C RVs, the oil filter is also underneath and simple to get to. It will take you LESS time (and of course money) to change the oil yourself if you consider driving to the shop, waiting your turn (or dropping it off, getting a ride back and forth, etc), waiting for them to change the oil, and driving home. For anything safety related, I want a certified RV shop or mechanic to perform the task (liability reasons). Good luck! Chris Assuming you coordinate it with another trip (the OP was asking about while traveling so I assume there are moves involved), there is negligible drive time involved. Add in that you can typically just show up and get in within 5-10minutes and much easier than making an appointment at the dealer and paying an inflated rate. Never had to leave a vehicle at an oil change place and come back later. Most campgrounds won't be happy with you doing an oil change at the campsite.
valhalla360 06/29/22 02:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Getting propane tanks in and out

Hey Cummins12V98, That’s great information and the pictures really helped pull it all together. Thanks for that. I’d like to be able to put a pull out tray on mine but not sure I have the vertical clearance for it? Someone said go from 30 Gal to 20 to gain space. But I really don’t want to lose 20 gals of propane. I’m frankly surprised someone hasn’t devised an elevator system, maybe like a tire Jack. Pounds not gallons. Honestly, unless you are going thru propane fast, switching to 20lb tanks would be a good option. It reduces the weight and gives you more room to work with. I grumbled a bit as our latest trailer came with 20lb tanks but we are only going thru 1 tank ever couple months full timing, so it hasn't been an issue (once a month in cold weather but usually heading to warmer destinations in that situation). As far as elevator systems...fact is there probably isn't much of a market for it. - Most RVers are physically capable. When you are no longer capable of lifting the propane tank, good chance you are facing other physical challenges to RVing. - The rest can usually find family/friend to help them with the once every couple month task. - That doesn't leave very many who would benefit from a specialty product. One option you might be able to do: Swing by the hardware store and pick up some pulleys and rope (sufficient for a 4-1 arrangement, higher ratio if you think you need it). Mount an eye to the top of the compartment to support the pulley system. A 30lb propane tanks weighs around 55lb, with a 4:1 arrangement, you set it on the ground next to the compartment and tie it off. It will then take around 15lb of pull on the pully to lift the tank. - With one hand hold the tank out so it doesn't hit the side of the trailer. - With the other, pull on the rope. - Take your time so you don't trip but then step on the end of the rope you can move your hand to a new position. (with two people it would be a breeze but then you probably wouldn't need mechanical assistance) - Once even with the compartment, let it swing into position and let out the rope to set in place. - Reverse the process to take it out. If you wanted to get fancy, you could rig up a small 12v winch on the top of the compartment. One hand to control the tank and the other to work the control.
valhalla360 06/29/22 11:29am Fifth-Wheels
RE: The cost of a Diesel Truck

I get what you are saying and there is some truth to it...but there was also a lot of luck involved in your example (or your a genius at predicting the market) We picked up a used 2008 V10 F250 4yrs ago for $10k. Looked up and similar trucks are currently going for $15-18k...truck prices are crazy high right now. In a more normal market, you used 14yr old truck might only be worth $8-12k (hard to say as you didn't provide mileage or condition info) At the same time, Fall 2008 was in the middle of the financial meltdown and they were practically giving away new trucks. BIL picked up a binged out diesel F250 for $38k around that time. I think the MSRP was something like $65k. The timing of your purchase & sale, could easily have saved you $30-35k. Resale does play a factor but the folks saying you get 100% or more of the diesel upcharge back are being unrealistic. Particularly as you get into the 15-20yr old range, the body, suspension and little odds and ends are likely pushing most people to retire the truck...not the power plant.
valhalla360 06/29/22 10:12am Tow Vehicles
RE: Low Battery Voltage

Lots of unknowns going on: - Somewhere around 10-11v is a fully discharged 12v battery. 6.3v is way beyond. You might be able to get it to work a bit but you've probably done significant damage letting it get so low. Even if you do get it to take a charge, don't expect it to do so for long. - 13.6v is conveniently close to what the converter puts out while charging. A fully charged 12v battery should be around 12.7v with the charger off, so you likely weren't seeing if the battery was fully charged. You just saw the charging voltage. - Cranking amps is not what you are after with the house bank. You want amp-hours. - If the fridge is running on propane, it's drawing a negligible amount. Either the battery was already dead or you have something else drawing on the battery. - Did you actually put a meter on the wires from the truck showing amps going into the battery? Just because, it shows 12-13v doesn't mean many amps are going in (or it could be the same as when the converter is operating and the battery is simply not taking a charge). What I would do: - Get a clamp on multimeter (doesn't have to be high end but make sure it does DC current). Learn how to measure volts and amps with it. - Start with everything disconnected and off (preferably off for an hour or more). - Check the battery voltage. (if below 12.0v, you are starting with a low battery...around 40% of full) - Check if there is any amp draw off the battery. (if more than an amp, you have something beyond the propane sensor...track down what it is). - Plug in and get power to the converter. - Check the voltage and amperage to the battery. Voltage should be at least 13.6v if the battery wasn't full and possibly over 14v if the charger goes into bulk charging. You should be seeing significant amperage (check the rating on the converter but I would say at least 1/3 to 1/2 the rated amperage up to the rating). If it's only putting in an amp or two, you have a charging issue to track down. - If the voltage is up and it's putting in significant amps, let it continue for at least a couple hours. - Check the voltage after a couple hours. It may drop back to around 13.1v if the charger is in float mode or it may drop back to 12.7 if fully charged (probably not but possible) - Turn off the converter, let sit for 5-10minutes (the battery will gradually drop back when the charging voltage is removed) and check the voltage. Ideally, you should be around 12.5-12.7v. If it's below 12.0v, it's not taking a charge. - You can repeat the tests hooking the truck up to see if it's really charging off the truck. - If the battery is showing fully charged, disconnect the leads to the battery (don't trust the disconnect switch), let sit for the night and check the voltage. The drop in voltage overnight should be negligible. If in the morning it's 6.3v, it can only be a bad battery. Possible issues: - Since you report 13.6v on the charger, the truck shows a connection and the slide worked once you plugged in, probably not the charging system (do run the checks though as it may be something unexpected). - The battery is my best guess but if the cranking amps are good, that's odd. Usually that would suffer on an abused battery. - You have a 12v load that you are not aware of. You need to track down what it is and why it is staying on. Try to be systematic and return here with the results and people can probably give you better feedback.
valhalla360 06/29/22 09:53am Travel Trailers
RE: BYO camper to South America - Pros and Cons?

Shipping looks like it will cost about $7500 each way Wow!!! I was going to suggest shipping is likely much cheaper but when we checked into this a few years back we were finding prices around $1500 each way. Thanks for the heads up! Deisel prices were also lower a few years ago (-: but not that much difference, so sounds like it may be worth my while delving into this a bit deeper to see if I can get a cheaper quote for shipping than the one I got that was $6500 from Tacoma to San Antonio in Chile for roll on/roll off (RORO) one way shipment in September plus about $1000 for additional expenses specified by the shipping company ( $440 docs and port fees, escort required for loading at US ports $50-$125 depending on the port, basic insurance, estimated import costs in Chile between $500-$1200 etc etc... Baseline quote for shipping from Baltimore ($5,455) or Galveston ($4815) was about $1000 to $1700 less than $6500 to ship from Tacoma but nowhere close to prices around $1500 each way. This was a few years back, so my info may be out of date.
valhalla360 06/29/22 09:17am RVing in Mexico and South America
RE: Traveling via B&B/hotel vs RV

In the USA, we typically use the RV (sold the boat a few years back so that is no longer in the mix). Most winters lately we've been traveling overseas and generally use airbnbs (no these have nothing to do with old style bed & breakfast places or hostels). Since we generally only cover 100-200miles on a travel day with the RV and travel 2 days or less per week, when you compare the extra fuel to the lower cost of a campsite, the dollars aren't pushing us away from the RV...plus you have all your stuff. Your experience is generally consistent with our experience: - Another advantage to hotels is if you arrive late, they typically have a 24/7 staffed desk. With an airbnb, you have to make arrangements for a late check-in (sometimes at an extra cost), which inevitably get confused. - The cleaning fees have gotten a little out of hand. For a month stay, it's usually not a big deal as it gets distributed over many days but in Bangkok, one place had a $100 cleaning fee...then the owner let us know when we checked in...for $3 we could have the cleaning lady come in extra times during our stay (and when we did, she took a solid 2 hours doing a really good cleaning)...huh? - If you are traveling by car, consider putting together a plastic tub with some cookware and spices. Because yes, what is available in the apartments varies wildly. Even overseas, we usually drag around 6-8 of our more commonly used spices in our luggage. - Since we usually stay for a longer time we are usually looking for a comfortable couch or other seating areas. Sitting on the bed gets old real quick. - Also look for a place with laundry. Once you go longer than a week, it's nice to be able to throw a load in at the end of the day rather than taking 2-3 hours at a laundromat. (in some places it's cheap to have someone do it. In Merida Mexico, the little old lady across the street would do a big load for $3 and it came back pressed (including socks and undies) in a package a 1/4 the size we gave it to her. - If you want to visit cities, airbnb is often more convenient than RV as parking a car (or going without) is generally easier. Assuming the city has a decent transit system, makes sure you are easy walking distance to a station. - We usually eat breakfast in, a big lunch out and then a light dinner in. Helps keep the costs reasonable and is easier with an apartment. - More an issue overseas but check what floor the apartment is on and if they have an elevator (key point...Floor 1 in most countries is what we would call the 2nd floor...so if it's on the 3rd floor with no elevator, you are hoofing it 4 floors up) - For those paranoid about who sat on the toilet seat...I'll take a freshly cleaned toilet where I push the lever and never have to deal with the deposit ever again and I can take a shower as long as I like.
valhalla360 06/29/22 08:44am RV Lifestyle
RE: Dino juice v Electrons....

A completely pointless video. No one with any towing knowledge expects current EVs to come even close to towing with an ICE engine. Video hints at being anti EV and leans toward being a GM promotional video. I don't know about that? :? There are several people on this very forum that think there will be a Semi out any day that will haul 80 thousand lbs and go 621 mile on some sort of magical pixie dust LI battery. ….. …. And some day they will. But not today or tomorrow or in the near future. Probably not in my lifetime. But the day will come. Not likely, except for a specialty situation in Michigan, Your average enclosed semi trailer maxes out around 45k lbs of cargo. 80k lb is the gross weight limit which includes the weight of the truck and trailer. Cargo capacity is whatever is left. To get 621mile range, they are likely eating up a few tons of cargo with larger battery packs, effectively reducing cargo capacity by the same amount. It's very simple: - Until the battery runs out of juice, an EV will blow away an equivalent ICE in terms of power and performance. - Batteries run out of juice far quicker than ICE and take a lot longer to refill, so other than short range local work, they won't be taking over the truck market any time soon.
valhalla360 06/29/22 07:29am Tow Vehicles
RE: Tight turn across narrow culvert?

It's a private road in rural eastern NC. Nobody will care as long as drainage is not compromised. Private roads can sometimes be worse than public. At least with public roads there is a process and if you follow it, they will probably approve. On a private road, a cranky neighbor can scuttle it for no good reason. Of course, if you are correct and no permits/approvals needed, adding a section of culvert to the end and filling it in makes even more sense.
valhalla360 06/29/22 07:20am Fifth-Wheels
RE: BYO camper to South America - Pros and Cons?

Shipping looks like it will cost about $7500 each way Wow!!! I was going to suggest shipping is likely much cheaper but when we checked into this a few years back we were finding prices around $1500 each way.
valhalla360 06/29/22 07:14am RVing in Mexico and South America
RE: What size generator to run AC??

With the 5 gal jug, I then need to hold it up while pouring, using the asinine eco-spouts that require 6 hands to operate and still drizzle fuel over the top of the generator for 2-3 minutes https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/715-QKZVlkL._SL1500_.jpg width=320 I actually have a syphon hose but regardless, you still have to hold the jug while the fuel is transferring...so it's a bit lighter but you still have to lift it for much longer.
valhalla360 06/29/22 07:10am Travel Trailers
RE: Getting propane tanks in and out

We use very little Propane, current tank in use was opened in 2019 and still has gas. We have a Residential Fridge and an Induction Cook Top, so only Propane appliances are the Furnace and Hot Water Heater. Wintering in Central Florida for the cool weather we use the Electric Fireplace Heater and Heat Pump on both AC. So filling and lifting our 40 Lb tanks isn't very offen.A pretty informative post, but not really germane to the thread title, and content. :) Seems pretty germane to me. If you can switch 2/3 of your propane consumption to electricity, that means you eliminate lifting them in and out 2 out of 3 times. That's a big part of the challenge solved.
valhalla360 06/29/22 07:07am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Are there any snowbird RV parks in New Mexico?

People generally find or see what they are looking. When the chips are down you will be amazed at how liberal the population is You'll find right and left wingers everywhere. Most people are more in the middle or at least not extreme. If you don't engage in political discussion with the more extreme ones (of either side), it's really not a big deal if you practice tolerance. When the chips are down, most people set aside politics.
valhalla360 06/28/22 02:01pm Snowbirds
RE: Are there any snowbird RV parks in New Mexico?

Are you limiting your search to the southwest? Lots of great places along the gulf coast (other than Texas) if you head southeast rather than southwest. Yes but not so much if the OP is looking for a unified hard core left wing liberal hang out. N. Mexico is probably closer to that but weather can get cold even in the south part of the state. And even then, I've found RVers tend to be more conservative in general, particularly retirees. Heck, they drive RVs with big 6-7liter engines. Even in S. Cal, we found it tends to be less hard core left wing liberal at the wintering RV parks.
valhalla360 06/28/22 12:41pm Snowbirds
RE: Want a new truck?

Also if they sell for MSRP, there are alot of guys that would buy it for that, and flip it for $10k over MSRP the next day. I'm seeing this all over the Super Duty pages. Guys that ordered multiple trucks, and are selling them as soon as they get them for a profit. Risky game to play. Great if it works out but if Ford sorts it's issues and starts pumping them out fast while he's waiting on his order, the value of a "Used" 2022 truck could plummet. Suddenly that $70k truck takes a $15-20k hit in sales price because the dealers are offering $10k off the $70k MSRP for new trucks.
valhalla360 06/28/22 10:49am Tow Vehicles
RE: why do renewing members get a raw deal?

I'm confused what is immoral or unfair about offering new customers a discount to get them to try your business? Since I never said it was unfair to offer something to new customers, I can't answer that. My point, if it doesn't confuse you too much, is that loyal, repeat customers should be treated as well as new customers. You certainly implied it was immoral or unfair, sorry if explaining basic marketing comes across condescending to someone who operates multiple businesses. ;) If you want to offer a loyalty/repeat customer discount, have at it. Just a different marketing approach. Assuming you actually achieve high levels of loyalty, it quickly becomes a situation where it either becomes - The standard price and most customers pay the discounted price killing your profits (assuming you don't create fake high prices that you never charge so you can offer a discount while still remaining profitable). - Or you effectively charge new customers higher prices which doesn't seem to smart if you are trying to increase your customer base. Why would a customer leave a current provider to pay a jacked up price to you in the hopes that if they stick with you, you might one day lower your price? Some companies discount everything until the base prices mean nothing. Actual discounts should be targeted to accomplish something that in the long term results in increased profits. Discounting new customers gets them in the door and hopefully turns them into repeat customers willing to pay the regular price because you provide a good product/service. Unless existing customers are threatening to leave, there is little reason to offer discounts. Morality & fairness have nothing to do with it.
valhalla360 06/28/22 10:31am Good Sam Roadside Assistance
RE: Looking at class c questions on maintenance

Unless there is some sort of coupon, the last place I would consider is a dealer for an oil change. If you have a good local shop you trust, that would be my preferred (and what we do when local for the truck). Even most oil change shops are fine. They may need to do it in the lot if you don't fit in the bay but for an oil change, it's not rocket science and they don't need a lift. - If you don't trust them, pay attention to what they are doing and check the plug, filter and oil level before pulling out...if those are all good it should be fine. If it's major work, then you probably have to call around to see who can work on it.
valhalla360 06/28/22 08:37am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Can trailer tires be patched?

Yes, Like dodge Guy stated it is ok to patch as long as it’s done proper.. Yep, there are certain types of punctures and/or positions on the tire where you can't patch but really no different from a car/truck tire for most simple nail holes in the tread.
valhalla360 06/28/22 08:32am Travel Trailers
RE: why do renewing members get a raw deal?

I think the worst of these promo ads is Sirius XM where they offer a new customer rate but fail to mention all the fees that are added to the bill, which as I remember double the monthly bill. Never have or will be a paying customer. This is a different issue. Those taxes and fees will get tacked on with or without a promotion. Particularly for subscription purchases, always ask what the full bill will be including all taxes and fees (preferably get it in writing) before purchasing.
valhalla360 06/28/22 08:30am Good Sam Roadside Assistance
RE: why do renewing members get a raw deal?

Normal and ordinary. That doesn't mean it's moral or fair. I run several small businesses and I can't imagine doing something like that. I'm confused what is immoral or unfair about offering new customers a discount to get them to try your business? If your several small businesses are that good, they will see how good they are and happily pay full price the next time but not knowing how good they are, they may be hesitant to try your many great small businesses without the discount. Look up the term "loss leader" if you want to learn more about it.
valhalla360 06/28/22 08:27am Good Sam Roadside Assistance
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