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RE: Tire longevity

The data and expert opinion can vary by the specific tire and its uses. Six years is probably a safe maximum, regardless of use and wear:,three%20years%2C%20even%20if%20the A little research will lead to countless opinions with some data thrown in. After having an unused spare tire dry rot and fail in 4 years I did as much research as possible and would recommend erring on the side of caution.
JimK-NY 07/04/22 01:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tire longevity

I am sure the OP was not looking for any criticism, but writing that tires are ok for 14 years misleads others who don't know any better. Poor tires are a major cause of accidents for RVs. Heavy loads and old tires are inviting disaster.
JimK-NY 07/04/22 11:22am General RVing Issues
RE: Tire longevity

After two years off for the pandemic we decided to check out the trailer in preparation for our August trip. Our tire guy noticed that our Michelin XPS Ribs were made in 2008 which is when we installed them. Pretty good service we thought so we bought five Rib replacements which should last a lifetime since we are both in our middle 80's. Someone in their 80's should know better. There are a lot of factors that can lead to premature wear or failure: Road hazards - A pothole or other hazard can result in immediate failure. Even something such as driving on gravel roads can take a toll. Punctures - Anything that punctures the sidewall will result in instant failure and cannot be safely repaired. I even had a major slice in the center of the tread due to a piece of sharp volcanic rock. Heavy loads and underinflation, especially at high operating temps can greatly reduce life or even result in immediate failure. Tire age - tires dry rot due to UV light but mainly just oxygen. Most tire manufacturers recommend replacement at 7 years or less. That is especially true for tires operating at high loads, but dry rot can kill a tire regardless of load. For reasons I will not try to explain, RV tires are often at much higher risk for dry rot because they are not used frequently and will dry rot faster than tires that are used frequently. Maybe at 80 years you just don't care anymore. I am in my 70s and would like to live considerably longer.
JimK-NY 07/04/22 09:09am General RVing Issues
RE: Where have all the members gone on this forum?

Most of us are here and contribute because we are interested in RVs and all the associated issues. Most of us are also here to help and go out of our way to provide information and opinions that might be of use to others. So where does it go wrong and how do forums peak and die? IMO, it the biggest issue by far is the "moderators". I have had this happen to me on various other forums involved with non-RV topics. After dealing with a highly motivated and highly academically oriented HS student, I learned a great deal about college selection, finances and admission criteria. I participated on a forum for a couple of years, had hundreds of posts, helped countless parents and students navigate lots of difficult issues. Eventually a moderator took exception to some of my opinions and advice. After a 3 day forum suspension, I never bothered to return. I spent years on a retirement forum which discussed all sorts of financial and other issues related to retirement. I made 25000 posts and had 50000 "likes". Eventually it happened. Someone complained they did not like my advice, nor the choice of words. A couple of others agreed including a moderator. I stopped participating. I have had moderator issues on this forum as well. Covid was the hot button. A large number of people, including moderators, seem to think Covid is a hoax. Posts involving trying to RV during the Covid pandemic were unwelcome. I had a couple of recommendations deleted which was almost enough for me to quit these forums entirely. IMO, overly aggressive and poor moderation are tops for killing forum participation. Sure there will always be some argumentative and opinionated participants but that well meaning moderation/censorship is worse and can kill a forum.
JimK-NY 06/25/22 09:44pm General RVing Issues
RE: Ford F250 frame hold downs?

The Torklift options are heavy duty, well designed and should last and last. Another option is to design and build your own. That can be fairly easy or extremely difficult depending on the specific truck.
JimK-NY 06/25/22 09:11pm Truck Campers
RE: New shocks?

Why do you assume you need new shocks? With any luck they will last for several more years. Are you having ride issues?
JimK-NY 06/24/22 06:54pm Truck Campers
RE: Atwood Water Heater Will not Ignite or Stay Lit

Again, replacing the ignitor should have been the first step. Maybe something else has failed but ignitor failure is pretty common.
JimK-NY 06/24/22 06:51am Tech Issues
RE: Atwood Water Heater Will not Ignite or Stay Lit

The original post was confusing. Was the ignitor replaced? If not, that should be first on the list. Next make sure all the connectors are clean and seated especially the connector array, upper right.
JimK-NY 06/23/22 08:32pm Tech Issues
RE: First big trip - Newbie questions

We all have different styles of travel and different expectations. I rarely stay in any campgrounds with hookups. Unfortunately, in many areas water can be hard to find. I not only start out with a full water tank but try to keep it filled. My usual water consumption is about 3 gallons per day including a daily shower. If my wife is along the consumption is likely to be 5 gallons per day. I often just use a water jug and funnel to keep the tank full. In addition to a full water tank, I have two propane tanks and try to fill up as soon as one empties. I stock some canned goods and staples in order to get by for at least a couple of weeks if there are no grocery stores available (or reasonably priced). Finally to extend my stays, I carry about 30 pairs of socks, underwear and T shirts. Also an extra set of sheets. That avoids those long hours at Laundromats. Again, I have no idea what you mean by a "big trip". My usual camping trips cover about 15000 miles over about 4 months or so.
JimK-NY 06/20/22 04:12pm Truck Campers
RE: Magical Campgrounds found With A TC

Years ago I traveled throughout the American Southwest. There were absolutely countless places of peace and beauty and isolation. Even the National Parks could be visited without overwhelming crowds. Those days have changed. There are almost no secret great camping places, almost no places of peace without crowds and ATVs. Those days are gone, forever. If you think you have found some hidden oases, good luck. A few years from now you are likely to need a reservation or to win a lottery to visit those places.
JimK-NY 06/18/22 08:56pm Truck Campers
RE: 2008 Northstar Arrow 8.5

I would start with some simple troubleshooting. Unplug the unit from 120v. Begin at the batteries and check the output voltages. Trace the wires from the batteries to the converter/charger system, probably an Elixir. It is possible a battery cutoff was installed. Check the input voltage at the converter/charger. Since you have 12v power when using a 120v input, it seems the converter/charger is working and you will find a problem with the battery input to the unit.
JimK-NY 06/18/22 06:06am Truck Campers
RE: 2008 Northstar Arrow 8.5

What is the charge on the batteries?
JimK-NY 06/17/22 09:16pm Truck Campers
RE: Buffing out hazing RV

I appreciate the advice, but the second time around took a surprising amount of work to get it looking good, felt like should have stripped it first since the previous wax was gumming up my pads. I ended up going to the full rotary buffer and even then I was struggling. ..... I guess you did it your way and paid no attention to the advice of others. First, good surface prep is an absolute necessity. You need to remove the old grime, any oxidation and certainly all of the old paste wax. Second, using a mop to apply the Zep was a mistake. The best approach is to use a cloth dampened in Zep and apply thin coats. It should take several. Trying to slop on heavy coats with a mob is likely to result in all sorts of problems including drips, swirls, runs. Lastly, if correctly applied, it is not necessary or advisable to use a buffer. Several thin coats of Zep should give you an even finish with a decent lustrous shine that will last for years.
JimK-NY 06/17/22 06:27am General RVing Issues
RE: TC and MPG

I had a 2010 Ram CTD and now a 2018 Ram CTD. There is a big difference in fuel economy. With my Northstar Igloo I was lucky to get 12-13 mpg on the open road. Now with the 2018 I am in the 14-16 mpg range. Well, that is due to emissions garbage on the 2010 vs the 2018. This thread was about comparing a 5ver to a TT, not an old truck to a new one with the same camper. First I have no idea about "emissions garbage". My diesels have run clean with good mileage and both emissions and mileage have improved. Second, this is a truck camper forum. Why would this be the place to discuss 5th wheelers or TTs? The OP has already sold his trailer and asked about TC mileage.
JimK-NY 06/13/22 04:43pm Truck Campers
RE: TC and MPG

I had a 2010 Ram CTD and now a 2018 Ram CTD. There is a big difference in fuel economy. With my Northstar Igloo I was lucky to get 12-13 mpg on the open road. Now with the 2018 I am in the 14-16 mpg range.
JimK-NY 06/13/22 02:06pm Truck Campers
RE: Air conditioner stopped working

A few years ago my unit would not start and I could hear a humming sound. Even the fan would not start. I went up on the roof, removed the cover, turned the exterior fan. No more problems until this Spring when the same thing happened. The bearings are sealed and cannot be lubed. I think a build up of dirt and grime is the issue. Anyway mine still works fine as long as it is used with some frequency.
JimK-NY 06/11/22 09:18pm Tech Issues
RE: Self adhesive shower grab bar needed

My shower at home consists of a tub with tile on three sides and a "flimsy curtain" on one side. There is no grab bar nor have I had to have one. Again, what is the "problem"? One person has a disability with a sense of balance of about 10-percent. That sounds like something more than a grab bar is needed. Perhaps a stool to sit on during the showering. Maybe something like a stainless steel walker to use in the shower. A sturdy door instead of a flimsy curtain. The door might even hold a grab bar. I hope you also have a good, non skid flooring surface or at least a shower mat. 10% balance sounds really bad--like the need to sit down to take a shower.
JimK-NY 06/09/22 04:19pm Tech Issues
RE: Self adhesive shower grab bar needed

My shower at home consists of a tub with tile on three sides and a "flimsy curtain" on one side. There is no grab bar nor have I had to have one. Again, what is the "problem"?
JimK-NY 06/09/22 10:33am Tech Issues
RE: Self adhesive shower grab bar needed

Forget it. As mentioned a safe grab bar needs something more than double sided tape or adhesives. You would also need to be concerned about the strength of the thin plastic bathroom lining material. Don't worry about screws going into the textured surface, you need to use heavy screws or bolts into structural material behind the surface.
JimK-NY 06/07/22 05:43am Tech Issues
RE: A Little Help With Weights

You bought a big, heavy camper. Don't diminish your enjoyment by worrying about the load or trying to get by with minimum stuff. Load your camper with stuff you want to take, then check the weight on each axle or better yet each wheel. The biggest concern is to fall short of the tire load ratings. If that is OK check out the ride. At the worst you might need to consider some suspension enhancements. When it comes to loading the camper, most of us expect to add at least 1000#. I used to full time and even now take long trips so my load is even more. A thousand plus pounds sounds like a lot until you really look at what is involved: clothing/boots, food/drink, toiletries, towels, first aid kit, cleaning implements and materials, extension cords, tools, hardware and misc supplies, BBW grill/fuel, generator/fuel, air compressor, leveling blocks, backpacks and hiking gear, lawn chairs, bedding, hobby stuff (cameras, laptops, electronics, chargers, batteries, books...). I added a solar panel and upgraded my battery bank. That added at least another hundred pounds. I probably also have an extra hundred pounds of clothing. I leave the camper packed and ready to go with 3 seasons of clothing including jackets, raingear, lots of hats and about 30 days of underwear, socks, and T shirts, extra blankets. The extra means avoiding the laundromat for weeks on long trips. We also carry some canned goods and staples to get by when grocery stores are few and far between. We are way over the extra 1000# largely due to the generator, solar panels, and battery bank upgrade. Oops, forgot another major upgrade. We replaced the nasty original mattress with a nice, but heavy, 8" dual layer, foam mattress.
JimK-NY 06/07/22 05:36am Truck Campers
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