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RE: East Side of Sierra options

I'm almost afraid to suggest this (because of negative bias in 4X4 forums) but just thinking about it ... perhaps a road like that one in the photo to Leavitt Lake is a perfect example of where duallies in the rear of an RV would be an advantage. Duallies would force the RV's rear track to not be down into those road ruts - but remain kindof up onto the sides of the ruts so that rocks in the center section of the road could not easily damage such things as lower shock/spring mounts and rear differentials. Of course in the front the driver would have to carefully steer back and forth a bit so as to keep the front tires up onto the sides of road tire ruts as much as possible instead of down in them. We have done the above several times on rough roads in our small Class C. Our main concern is side brush and/or overhead tree limbs damaging our 101 inch wide and 11'6'' tall coach structure. The name of the game is to GO SLOW.
pnichols 07/28/21 04:39pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: boondockerswelcome

This photo is of us boondock camping. It was also drycamping because we didn't have any hookups out there. If there had been hookups there we would have used them, but we would have still been camping in the boondocks:
pnichols 07/27/21 10:50am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: boondockerswelcome

Do you have electric hookups and is it boondocking??? Just curious.If you have electric hook up, it's Not boondocking. Hmmm .... isn't "boondocking" camping out in the boondocks? IAW, it's about the location where you're campng .... not about how your getting your power and water and septic. As an extreme example just to make clear the real definition of it being about location - suppose a ranch owner installs a septic tank, a solar powered well, and a 3000 watt solar array way out in the middle of nowhere on their ranch and then spends a day here and there chilling out back there in an RV. In that location they are "boondock" camping in an RV, but with full hookups for the RV. ;)
pnichols 07/25/21 12:02am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Considering move from class A to C

We've never tried eating off the flip-out from the galley counter-top by spinning the barrel chair and then sliding it forward so as to be closer to the flip-out. That might be a neat thing to try ... but it seems that the flip-out might be a bit too high for easy reach when sitting in the barrel chair eating. :h
pnichols 07/05/21 06:46pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Considering move from class A to C

Ron, from your photos above it looks like the captain's chair also slides forward and backward? (as well as swiveling) If so, note that whoever is using the captain's chair in your RV can also face it at the right hand dinette seat, slide the captain's chair all the way forward to be as close to the dinette seat as possible, and then raise up their legs to rest their feet on the dinette cushion. We do this all the time with our very comfortable stock barrel chair. This is also a good way, from a barrel chair or captain's chair, to watch a small portable TV screen (or computer monitor screen) that is sitting on the dinette table.
pnichols 07/05/21 12:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Considering move from class A to C

We keep the floor cool in our Ford chassis Class C by setting the dash air conditioning so that some cool air exits down at the floor. This a simple solution using the Ford dash controls right there in the cab. (Our cab floor never got real hot anyway, maybe because Winnebago or Ford mounted heat shields underneath between the exhaust pipes and the cab floor.) Using the cab controls keeps any floor heat nicely at bay in any case. However, our cab controls are not "labeled clearly" as to how to do this - I had to discover this on my own: Turn the air flow control to the "MIX" position and turn the air temperature control into the blue air conditioning range. Set the fan speed high - on setting 3 or 4. Doing the above causes nice cool air to flow over us into the cab from the windshield defrost vents, and ... nice cool air to blast down at the floor by our feet! Control how cool this feels by how far into the blue range you turn the air temperature control knob.
pnichols 07/05/21 10:30am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 24 ft or less B+ with over head bed.

I prefer to Chevy 4500. Much less tuning of the chasses required than the Ford, while still retaining the benefits of the wider rear track. Does the 4500 and 3500 chassis have the same rear track as the Ford 450 and 350 chassis? I don't know where to find the exact dimensions. Given that Thor builds the exact same motorhomes on the E350 and Chevy 4500 (and there's no visible difference at the rear) I'd guess it's close to the E350's width. I also appreciate the 4500's much higher OCCC (vs. the E350 version). :) I wonder why Thor doesn't build on the E450 Ford cutaway chassis? As I understand it Ford will still deliver E450 cutaway chassis, with their new V8, to Class C motorhome builders - but that Ford no longer offers complete E-Series vans.
pnichols 06/23/21 12:00pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Cab/living area COLD weather insulation - comforter?

Okay, we have always used a heavy weight quilt to hang on the cab over bed down to the floor of cab for cold weather camping (which we do a lot of). It isolated the living area from the driving area and gave us a smaller area to heat. I got rid of the one we had thinking it would be easy to replace. Well NOPE....they are all thin or want $130 to replace the twin quilt. I really liked the quilt because we could flip it up on top of bed when we didn't want to use so no storage was always attached with sewn pocket/thin board between mattress. What do you use? I spent about 1.5 hours shopping local and found nothing (I also want a darkER color because we have a dog and don't want to be hitting the laundromat too often). Spent 2+ hours online looking for heavy weight comforter/quilt with no results unless I wanted to spend $120 and still no guarantee it would be heavy just pricey. So tell me what you use? It worked great by the way to make it a smaller area to heat in COLD weather. "Thin" doesn't matter ... it's can the material used to close off the cab from the coach block air flow? Our Winnebago Itasca Class C came stock with a thin snap-on cloth curtain that blocks air flow and traps air in the cab just fine. Air is an excellent insulator so when this curtain traps the air in the cab area, this trapped air prevents warmth from the coach leaching into the cab and out through the cab walls and windows ... while at the same time preventing cold from the cab walls and windows leaching into the coach. It surprises me that all Class C builders don't include a convenient cab isolation curtain and an attachment method for it. :h
pnichols 06/22/21 05:57pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 24 ft or less B+ with over head bed.

Interesting point, how much wider is a 450 chassis compared to a 350? Is this still true with the newer chassis? For 2021/2022 as appropriate, for dual rear wheels, per manufacturer's specifications....and I think all recent years are the same, but I don't absolutely know that for certain. Ford E450: 77.7" rear track Ford E350: 75.4" rear track Ford Transit T350: 65.7" rear track Sprinter 3500XD or 4500: 60.7" rear track Based on my experience with a decidedly not short, not B+ class C, I think you'll have trouble with comfort and stuff not staying put long before the chassis is in any danger of being too tippy for safety. The main places where I have any trouble at all are things like exiting some gas stations or other parking lots where there's a significant transition between the street and the driveway and I go somewhat obliquely, causing a significant but sill controlled sway. Stuff rattles in cabinets in such circumstances. I've never had any trouble negotiating mountain road curves at appropriate speeds, for roads that are halfway sane to take a motorhome over. It is, of course, not a Jeep, and dose have a pretty horrible minimum turning radius (mine worse than the ones you're considering since it has a longer wheelbase with the same wheel cut angles). Andrew, thanks for those dual rear wheel width specs above. Those numbers make it obvious that the E450 duallies are wider than the rest, and it sure explains why some Sprinter motorhomes I've seen on the highways always look "too tall for their width" for use on open country Western U.S. highway cross-winds. That chassis appears to be more suited for use in delivery trucks that travel heavily on narrow town streets. Of course the Ford E-Series was probably intended for that kind of use in primarily the U.S., but wound up coming out wider than later designs intended for world-wide delivery van use.
pnichols 06/21/21 09:43am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 24 ft or less B+ with over head bed.

I guess the next logical question is if a B+ and C of the same length ride the same as some have posted and the two still need the same suspension mods what is the real advantage of a B+ over a C? I don't think there's any solid advantage or disadvantage, since the "B+" designation is just a marketing distinction for a smallish class C that (generally) has no cabover bunk and maybe an above-average trim level. It's hard to say one is inherently better than the other when they're basically just different names for the same thing. That being said, if you find a unit that meets your needs and has a layout you like, does it really matter if the maker decides to call it a class B+, or a class C, or a class F4, or...well, anything? To my mind, that seems to make about as much of a difference as whether the model is named after a summer resort area rather than a species of tree (or, should it be a toy hauler, a military aircraft). I don't care what they call it either,. I just thought that a lower profile B + MH, 9 ft 10 ins vs 11 ft 3 ins for a C would have a lower CG and feel less tippy going around mtn roads with corners. If the ride is the same the "solid advantage" of the C is more exterior and interior storage and more FW capacity. The aero front end does not seem to help the ride as some have posted. Also, a C on an E450 chassis of the equivalent length of a B+ on either a E350, or Sprinter, or whatever dually chassis is going to feel less tippy going around mtn roads with corners because the width (stance) of the E450's rear duallies will be wider than those of other chassis types used for B+ and C motorhomes. Our 24 foot Class C on it's overkill E450 chassis feels generally very solid and well-anchored on curves, in high cross winds, and when caught in the air side-push from passing trucks. The rear dually width versus coach height is very important geometry for good side-to-side stability in a motorhome.
pnichols 06/21/21 12:22am Class C Motorhomes
RE: The importance of a TPMS Tire Pressure Monitoring System

You all may think I am a simpleton, but I carry a short solid wooden club under the drivers seat. Every time I re-fuel, I grab it and smack each of the 6 tires. If they don't make that distinctive thud - I check into it..... I believe that what many full time truckers use. That's exactly why I carry a rubber mallet in our motorhome - for thumping of the inner tires in the rear duals to find out if they're soft. ;)
pnichols 06/18/21 05:41pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Sad state of national parks and forests - II

One thing that the CA state parks don't offer, in contrast to their good upkeep resulting from maybe access to more state money and higher campsite rates, is ... spontaneous camping ... so we don't have to (almost always) "reserve sites" everytime we want to go camping in them!! FWIW, we just spent 10 spectacular days drycamping in a National Forest pine-forested campground in CA on a lake (with water and fish in it, BTW) in campsites that didn't require reservations. The sites, restrooms, and showers were clean and well maintained. Most sites were black-topped, had firepits and picnic tables, and were spaced well apart so we could even run generators without bothering the neighbors. How did/does the National Forest System pull this off?
pnichols 06/17/21 12:34pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Customizations / mods to the Freelander 21QB

Another tip for any RV that helps to extend coach battery life between charges when camping without hookups (that was also mentioned way earlier in this discussion) is to power as many electrical items as possible directly off 12V instead of using inverters to power electrical items off 120V AC ... as inverters are not 100% efficient - and hence waste coach battery energy. We now use such things as: 1. All 12V fans for warm weather ventilation. 2. A laptop that is charged using a 12V brick for it that plugs directly into cigarette lighter receptacles in the coach. 3. 12V brick chargers for our phones that plug directly into cigarette lighter receptacles in the coach. 4. A 12V brick charger for a CPAP machine that plugs directly into cigarette lighter receptacles in the coach. Checkout this website to get an idea of what appliances can be powered by 12 volts from the coach battery system in an RV when drycamping:
pnichols 06/17/21 12:09pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: The importance of a TPMS Tire Pressure Monitoring System

I intentionally don't have a TPMS on our Class C, but here's some comments: 1. TPMS systems are just another level of complexity that can cause air leaks themselves, or eventually fail to accurately indicate, or otherwise let one down such as in forgetting to periodically replace their transmitter batteries. 2. I carry along a tire-fill air compressor and a trucker's nozzle for the compressor's hose so as to deal with the rear duals. 3. I carry along a rubber-head hammer to quickly check the inner tire of the rear dual sets for firmness whenever stopped. And probably most importantly, I can easily feel when one tire is low among the rear duallies because the motorhome's handling definitely feels "way off" - soft, squishy, wobbly, etc. - if a rear tire is low or flat. This is from experience, as I've had it happen once and it was obvious that something was wrong.
pnichols 06/17/21 11:34am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Must Have Boondocking Items?

I haven't read this whole discussion thread ... so maybe these have been mentioned: One's RV should have: 1. A built-in, or brought along - roof access ladder. AND 2. A roll of 4 inch wide Eternabond tape. ;)
pnichols 06/15/21 11:26pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Generators!! Yes YOU!

Jshupe Wrote: Regarding my fit, I don't want to hear any generators running, period. I understand occasional use but if you're out there using it daily, I'm going to be annoyed that you haven't bothered to invest in an appropriate solar setup for your usage. It's a different matter altogether if it's been raining and overcast for a few days, your panels are covered in snow, or it's simply too hot to survive without running air conditioning (which can be done on solar). I agree solar has changed the game. Those who feel they need to run gensets all day long need to invest in solar. Solar can now power your A/C and produce quiet power all day long. Hmmm - please explain how roof solar is going to power my 13.5K Btu air conditioner on our 24 ft. Class C motorhome ... with big ole' RVs, yes, roof square footage can be enough ... but on small go-anywhere RVs there is not enough roof area. Here's how to solar-power RV air conditioners if you don't have a big enough RV roof, or you don't want a bunch of additional screw holes in your RV's roof even if it does have enough square footage. :B :
pnichols 06/13/21 10:32am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Class C RV cost in the Covid era...

Hey, I am willing to sell my garage-kept rig HERE with 38,750 miles for the lean low price of only $90,000. I just installed a brand new set of Alcoa wheels, 6 Michelin Agilis tires, had a fresh wheel alignment and brake system flush. I'll even throw in a transmission fluid & filter change, coolant change, oil change, and air filter change. It'll be good as new (better than new). ;) Hmmmm, Ron .... is that an indication that you guys are about to "throw in the RV'ing towel"? (Tell me it ain't so!) FWIW, our RV'ing friends park their 24 ft. Class C in front of their garage and get notes left on it asking if they want to sell it!!!!!!!!!! ;)
pnichols 06/12/21 10:28am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Generators!! Yes YOU!

Ramble, that's a great setup!! Two quick questions (not to hijack the thread). First, which brand of suitcase did you get? Second, with a 160 foot cable run, do you experience any significant voltage drop? And (to bring it back on topic after my borderline hijack), if I had a setup like yours, I would be more willing to leave my generator home!! ;) Profdant139 - I have a Renogy 200 watt. Open it is 36” high x 52” long. They have a lighter taller narrower one but it won’t fit in storage. I have a 2nd controller to locate near the batteries that I use for the 160’ run case since the 0.2 ohm estimated wire resistance implies a 2 volt drop. Most of the time I just use 40’ with the built in controller. I like to keep the setup flexible to use to charge the chassis battery or other batteries. Cold camping we run our gen before 10pm and crank the heat up so the furnace doesn’t kick in for a few hours. Ramble, your portable solar setup is real close to what I would/will add to our 2005 24ft. E450 Class C! I'll probably never use a portable with it's controller at the panel. I'd use an MPPT controller at the batteries permanently so that voltage loss between the panel and the coach batteries will be minimum at all times. The V10 idles so quietly, charges coach batteries so fast via the alternator, and only consumes about 0.7 gal of fuel per hour when idling ... that I've been doing that a lot lately and wondering if I even want to add any solar. Our camping style is usually only short stays at any one place, so the batteries get topped up when driving between locations.
pnichols 06/11/21 01:16pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Generators!! Yes YOU!

Since when did generators become an esential piece 0f camping equipment? Must I hear a dry campgound buzzing all day long because people and KIDS can’t unplug? Do people come out to camp anymore to enjoy the outdoors or do they come out to sit in their RV and run their generator ALL DAY so they can live the “at home” life while camping? So beautiful cheap campgrounds are ruined by the sounds of generators, lost are the sounds of the birds, groundhogs and geese surrounding the campground. And the Park Service is to blame as well, what is the point in “limiting” generator use to daytime hours? Running them during the day is just a annoying as I am awake and outside trying to enjoy the scenery. Some parks, very few…limit generator use to 2 hrs in the am and again in the pm, now that makes more sense. Please don’t try ahd justify your use with health reasons….those are few and far between. Boil water on the stove, pan heat your meals, feel the sun on your face, put the friggin electronics away, your CAMPING! Good luck without generators where we just came back from: 10 days of drycamping 90% SHADED with only small moving spots of sun in the woods along the shore of a beautiful lake in Northern California. Nights were cold (high 30's and low 40's) ... so heat was definitely needed evenings, during sleeping, and early mornings. We camped in adjoining drycamp sites with a large family group and we all needed to run generators for our battery charging, hair drying, microwaving, electric bike charging, and outdoor electric cooking (via a portable pellet cooker). Those of us with motorhomes also idled our motorhome engines for ultra-quiet and ultra-fast battery charging. We had a spectacular time together and it would not have been possible without our quiet motorhome built-in generators, idling of our main engines, and an ultra-quiet Honda EX650 suitcase generator (a legendary generator no longer available, new, for years). I would NEVER buy a motorhome without a built-in generator in it or leave home in a towable RV without a portable generator along. Complete self-contained RV camping requires that generators be included in one's electrical power mix. Generators make it possible to be ready for anywhere, anytime camping. Solar (especially portable solar with long extension cords) is nice - but only as an addition to well installed built-in or properly chosen portable generator capability.
pnichols 06/11/21 11:14am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Dry as a bone,…again

One more question, then I quit, do you turn your water pump on while filling the tank? This will fill your 6 gal water heater, if you wait until you're finished filling the tank, Then turn on the pump, you're losing 6 gal from your tank. Don't bother asking how I know. :R Without intentionally draining the water heater by turning on it's drain valve, how can one wind up with an empty water heater due to an empty main water tank ... since the water heater is AFTER the water pump and the water pump can't force water into the water heater (and out a faucet) when the water pump can't take in any water from an empty main water tank?
pnichols 05/29/21 10:39am Class C Motorhomes
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