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RE: new roof

I can tell you that I wouldn't pay for a new rubber roof, ever. If you have to strip the roof to fix the damage, I would get a far superior roofing system like the flexarmor system. Option B is to cut the rubber where the roof is soft (go 6 inches into solid wood to make your rubber cut). Repair the damaged wood substrate and cover it with Liquid EPDM material. I did this on my old camper that had a soft spot in the back corner. The Liquid EPDM literally goes on like paint and bonds to the existing roof so you don't have any seams. Option B would be far cheaper, and you might be able to do it yourself. I cut out the rotted plywood on the roof and cut the rotted sections of the 2x2 cross members out of the roof. I used Gorilla glue and screws to sister new 2x2's to the damaged 2x2's. Put some new fiberglass insulation in, put a new section of plywood down, "painted" on the EPDM and the leak was fixed.
spoon059 10/26/20 07:47am Travel Trailers
RE: Anyone try Road Armor suspension system?

I'm with bedpan on this. When I think Lippert, I think minimal standard, and oftentimes not quite minimal. Personally I've seen a lot more Morryde systems and heard a lot more about it. If the Lippert product was superior at a better price point, I'd have to imagine manufacturers would prefer to save money and use it and more people would have bought, installed and reviewed them. Who knows, maybe they are a diamond in the rough and so new that they don't have many reviews. Given LCI's track record, I would be surprised though.
spoon059 10/22/20 07:01pm Travel Trailers
RE: How to winterize batteries on the TT?

Make sure to check the water level, that is very important. A cheaper converter in your RV can overcharge the battery and boil off water. If you don't have a quality converter (can cost a couple hundred dollars for a nice one), perhaps consider a nice quality trickle charger (maybe 30-50 dollars for a nice one). Good quality and circuitry will help protect your battery, but still check your water level at least yearly.
spoon059 10/21/20 11:44am Travel Trailers
RE: Choosing our first travel trailer! Big family

I wondered about this with the lightweight trailers - I was told at camper world that they are just as sturdy, just made better/lighter/etc. But what you are saying makes sense. What travel trailers do you recommend? My recommendation is to go to lots of RV shows. Living in the DC area, we had yearly shows in VA, in MD and PA that we went to. I went for 2 years straight and walked through as many campers as I could. Different manufacturers and different build levels. Floor rigidity- lots of campers had soft or spongy feeling floors. I quickly discounted those. Cabinets- lots of campers are glued/stapled drawers or very thin cabinets. That is to save weight and save time assembling. I didn't care for those because wear and tear will quickly destroy them. Floorplans- Lots of floorplans look good on the internet, but when you actually stand in the space they are poorly designed. I remember cabinets that couldn't open all the way because they hit the slide out wall. I remember a bathroom that didn't provide enough room for me to stretch my arms out to towel off my back. You see some floorplans that appear to have a walkaround bed in front, but the mattress is 6" from the wall and you can't walk around it. Build components- I wanted a trailer with Dexter components, which give me more confidence than Lippert. Lippert, in my opinion, builds to an absolute bare minimum. Having looked at Dexter axles and Lippert axles, I wanted to avoid Lippert. Having looked at Lippert frames, I wanted to avoid Lippert. I ultimately decided on my 2015 Jayco. My in-laws bought a 2016 Jayco, which must have been after the sale to Thor, and some things were still higher quality, but some things had obviously changed for the "cheaper" while the cost increased. This is a long way of saying I don't know enough about what is out there now to make a recommendation. Airstream are known for being top notch, but they are also 3-4 times as expensive and I don't think they have slides anymore. We have a friend that owns a Grand Design Reflection series 5th wheel that seems well made. I have always had an affinity for Northwoods, who make the Arctic Fox and the Nash. Our first trailer was a Nash and was very well put together (but pretty heavy for a small trailer). They are more expensive and harder to find, but they put a lot of features and quality components in them. I like to research how things are built, but lots of manufacturers won't list the build type or components or stuff like that. That worried me. Take recommendations from people here and start going to RV shows and walking through these campers. Have your kids lay in the bunks and see how ergonomic it is. Go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet, step into the shower and simulate washing yourself, step out and simulate drying yourself. Practice walking around with your spouse in the kitchen area as you would be preparing and serving meals. Think about where you would store stuff, how much clothes you need for a cross country trip. Do you need a washer/dryer in your rig or do you expect to wash clothes at the campground equipment? Do you plan to bring food and make your own meals? If so how much pantry space do you need, how much fridge space do you need? Are you a coffee drinker? Where can you stow a coffee maker for transport, where can you put it on a counter when you have arrived? Things like that really helped narrow it down for us and got a great camper. We are about to complete our 6th year with our camper and still love it. We wish we had bought the slightly bigger one with the slide in the kids room, but we didn't know we'd have a bigger truck when we bought it. Too many people see a cool feature, or a flashy design and buy without planning ahead. Don't get into that mess. Take your time try things out. Buy the right trailer the first time! Good luck!!!
spoon059 10/21/20 08:57am Travel Trailers
RE: Choosing our first travel trailer! Big family

A model like our Keystone Bullet 31bhpr would fit the bill. There are several brands that have the same floor plan but I found the Keystone to be the lightest by a large margin and the quality was better than most. It’s 34’ tongue to bumper and only 6400lbs dry. 8k gvwr. I wouldn’t tow it with less than a 3/4t truck or van. Not to trash your brand by any means, so please don't take it that way, but I would NOT recommend a "lightweight" trailer for longer trips. Lightweight trailers have smaller tanks and more fragile build. They are lighter because they have thinner cabinets, thinner seats, thinner supports on the beds, etc. That's fine for a weekend trip, but that stuff will wear out and break quickly on a longer trip. Small tanks can become a problem out West where you might be staying at a state or federal park with no hookups and less than ideal bath houses. Storage will be minimal and your cargo carrying capacity (including water) will be significantly smaller. Clothes, toys, bikes, food, computers, work stuff, chairs, etc all need to be stored someplace if you want to use them over a longer trip. A lightweight trailer likely won't have large storage areas and won't have a lot of available weight in the GVWR. On edit I see the OP has a 3/4 ton truck, so some of that weight can be put in the truck, but it would still requiring shuffling things around constantly and exposing things to the weather.
spoon059 10/20/20 09:39am Travel Trailers
RE: Choosing our first travel trailer! Big family

OP, how old are the kids and what gender are they? That will influence some of the decisions. I'll give you this advice though... Look for a camper with a bunk room, rather than just bunks. I grew up camping in a small trailer with bunks with a curtain screen for "privacy". There is no ventilation in their and it gets HOT in the summer. They were tight little coffins. Close walls on 3 sides and a tight ceiling. We have a 2015 Jayflight 29QBS that has a back bunk ROOM. The box is actually 31' and the overall length is 34' and its GVWR is 9500 lbs, including over 2000 lbs of cargo and water capacity. It has 2 bunks on one side and an elevated double bunk on the other side. The bunks are mostly open, except for the last 24" on the 2 single bunks. There is a curtain to close off the room, but there is an AC and heat vent in the room itself. Having open bunk areas allows for air to circulate and maintain a comfortable temperature. As much as we like our camper, we wish we had gotten a slightly different model that had a slide out in the bunk room as well. We had a half ton truck at the time and tried to make the truck work with the bigger camper. Ultimately we didn't like the towing experience and bought a bigger truck. If I had known a bigger truck was in the immediate future, we would have bought the slightly bigger camper too. We have an outdoor kitchen as well, that sits under the elevated double bunk. Initially we didn't want the outdoor kitchen, but loved everything else about the trailer. We anticipated taking out the kitchen and turning it into more storage space. We quickly learned that we LOVE the outdoor kitchen. We cook most meals outside, rather than having the odor and humidity inside. Having the outdoor fridge allows us to keep drinks there so our older kids aren't constantly in and out, leaving door open, letting heat in, waking up the toddler, etc. We don't use the outdoor stove as much anymore now that we bought a 22" Blackstone griddle. Staying in a camper for more than a week, you're going to want a slide out. Rainy days with kids can be a disaster in a small camper. Having open space inside where they can play, color, read or just have separate space from each other is golden. We do several week long trips every year and a 3 week Florida winter trip every year. Inevitably you'll get a day with less ideal weather (rain, too hot, etc) and need some downtime inside. A slide in the main room gives you that space. We have friends we camp with that now have a 16 year old daughter and 13 year old son. They bought a bunkhouse model when the kids were slightly younger and they shared it. Now the 16 year old has the bunkroom for her own and the 13 year old sleeps on the dinette every night. We like the idea of some of the 5th wheels that we've seen that have a loft area. We have a girl, boy and girl. Our next trailer will serve as they hit their teens and we want to have separate space for the girls to have privacy. Something to consider depending upon age/sex of your kids. You talk about a cross country trip, which is going to be lots of moving with a couple days rest between. Some recommended ditching the 3 way fridge and getting a residential style... I don't see that as a benefit for cross country travel. I don't know that I would feel comfortable leaving a residential style fridge unplugged during a long day of hauling and hoping its still cold enough to keep the food safe at the end of the day. Now, if you stay at a campground for a month at a time, a residential style sounds more appealing to me. We carry food with us and keep the fridge running on propane while we drive to keep food cold. I would do more research and get real-world experience from people about whether or not a residential style will keep food cold while you're on the road. Good luck, have fun!
spoon059 10/20/20 09:33am Travel Trailers
RE: RV Cover Recommendations

Might be a lot quicker to just SEARCH here. It has been discussed many, many times before. You will get immediate results, as opposed to waiting for people to regurgitate the existing information here.
spoon059 10/18/20 11:26am General RVing Issues
RE: Cover or not to cover

For those that build, what did you figure the break even point of building versus paying for covered storage was? After getting some bids on a RV port style cover with 1/3 sides, it was a 9 year break even. I paid $2400 for mine and we anticipate staying in the house for 12 years from the time it was purchased. That makes it $200 a year for covered storage. I have no clue what it would cost to get covered storage, but I know that outside storage in my area is about $225 A MONTH for a 35' camper. That place is 17.6 miles away in a sketchy neighborhood. It would take less than 11 months to recoup my costs vs UNCOVERED storage in my area. That doesn't include the increased resale value on my camper because its cleaner, less sun damaged, doesn't have any water leaks, doesn't have moisture issues because I can keep windows open year round to equalize moisture, etc. For $17 a month I park it under cover in my side yard. Peace of mind is worth it. In 6 years when we sell the house, if the carport isn't wanted by the new owner its pretty easy to disassemble and scrap, or I can offer it for free to someone to come and move it if they want it. Recycled asphalt millings can easily be scraped up and transported away. It'll be like it never existed.
spoon059 10/18/20 08:32am General RVing Issues
RE: Cover or not to cover

Now I know we don't all have the same options, but if you have the option, I'd build, (or have built) a metal car port, (or RV Port if you wish), mine is 20x40, no longer worry about sun, rain, or snow, best investment I've ever made for the RV. Same, metal Carolina Carport that I just back the trailer underneath. Keeps the roof and sides dry, sun and leaves off the roof. Slide is out all the time, hooked up to 15amps all the time to stay charged. Camper stays much cleaner and looks newer longer, which should increase resale value. No hassle of covering/uncovering. Easier to pack/unpack in inclement weather. If it snows before our February Florida trip, doesn't affect the trailer. $2400 delivered and assembled. It will work out to less than $200 a year when we sell the house. Who knows, the next owner may see the carport as an added bonus too!
spoon059 10/16/20 04:32pm General RVing Issues
RE: How often..

I start getting nervous around the 5 year mark. I've never had a tire failure, but I always replaced with a heavier duty tire than necessary. Currently running Goodyear Endurance E rated on a 9500lbs GVWR trailer, rated at around 2800lbs per tire.
spoon059 10/16/20 06:59am Travel Trailers
RE: Moving on up... to the mountains!

Appreciate the update OP. In my area that would be a million dollar home, easily. We've got a 1300 sq ft rambler on a half acre, nothing special about the location, paid more than that 12 years ago. I'm hopeful that when I retire and we sell this house (for too much money), we'll be able to go someplace beautiful and less expensive!
spoon059 10/13/20 07:07am General RVing Issues
RE: Moving on up... to the mountains!

Beautiful house on a beautiful peace of property in a beautiful corner of the world! Very nice! Just curious if you would mind telling us the purchase price, I'm always curious about how far a dollar gets you in different parts of the country. We live outside of DC and the housing market is very inflated here...
spoon059 10/12/20 08:08am General RVing Issues
RE: roof weight limit

1982 camper? I wouldn't...
spoon059 10/09/20 08:24pm Travel Trailers
RE: Germs while traveling

The CDC considers an exposure to be 10+ minutes in close indoor contact. As I've said before, the only people that I'm going to be in close indoor contact with for more than about 30 seconds are my family members. I won't wear a mask in my house, so it won't protect me anyways. I've never understood the two mask idea, clearly many here don't understand it either. That is the problem for a lot of us... where is the science to establish that I need to wear a mask even if I am not a high risk and don't hang out with strangers. That is the frustration level for me. Too many people don't understand what is beneficial and what is harmful. All these people wearing masks and gloves in their cars... what benefit do you think you are getting? All these people wearing gloves all the time... why? All the people wearing the same mask over and over and over... why? Nobody knows. I know the Covid death numbers are inflated. Anybody that has symptoms is labeled a Covid death. If you have lung cancer, you have "Covid symptoms". Flu and pneumonia the same. Heart disease, the same. I'm not seeing daily death numbers that are much different than in previous years. Everyone is dying from "Covid", but few people are dying from anything else right now. Then just last month the CDC quietly announced that 94% of Covid deaths had 2.5 co-morbidities as well. There isn't science to support any of this. Its ridiculous. Look at the countries that didn't shut down and are doing fine. The original intent was a 2 week shut down to flatten the curve. My wife is a nurse, my sisters are nurses and my brother in law is a respiratory therapist. Hospitals are empty right now. Very few Covid patients, and even less patients of any type. No elective surgeries right now. The curve has been flattened for months. Let the healthy people return to normal, maybe they get Covid and get minor symptoms, but it lets their immune system build up anti-bodies. Our response to Covid is unprecedented and not supported by science.
spoon059 10/02/20 06:27am General RVing Issues
RE: New and confused

Crew cab truck at a minimum. I've got an 8 year old, 5 year old and 21 month old and 3 small dogs. We have a crew cab 2500, but our next truck will hopefully be more of a megacab style. It just gives more interior room and allows the rear seats to recline which will be more comfortable for longer trips. I'm tall, 6-04, so even with the crew cab we have our youngest behind my wife's seat because there isn't quite enough room for the rear facing seat and my seat all the way back. Keep in mind that a pickup will allow them to touch/pinch/scratch/steal from/etc each other the entire drive. Hopefully Ford and GM offer a mega cab style pickup in the future. It sure is nice. My 8 and 5 year old are already very tall for their age and will continue to need more and more leg room. Since you are buying a truck for camping, please start off right and get a heavier truck. The kids will continue to grow, the stuff you bring camping (bikes/toys/wood/grills/etc) will continue to grow. All that stuff adds weight. A half ton might get the job done, but a 3/4 or 1 ton will definitely get the job done and won't be nearly as close to maxed out while doing it.
spoon059 10/01/20 06:27pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Arkansas SP $40 Dog Fee - REALLY ??

I understand a higher fee for the cabin/yurt, because someone theoretically comes in and cleans afterwards. It still seems steep, but I guess they can charge whatever they want. We have 3 small dogs, we bought a camper because we don't travel without our family members. Dogs and campfires are a part of camping, despite the grumps out there that hate both. I wouldn't object to a $1/night surcharge for dogs if the park provides doggy bags. That seems reasonable to me, although I provide my own bags. Much more than that, I would be very hesitant to pay and would want to know what services are being provided by those fees.
spoon059 10/01/20 08:51am General RVing Issues
RE: 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid

Do you ever just stfu? You're anti Ram **** has gotten past the point of annoying. We get it. You can't think straight when you see the word Ram and jizz your pants when you see the words Ford. . Let's hope Ford did a better job on this hybrid than Ram did. No, he cannot help himself. His entire self worth is derived from the truck that he drives. He has no self control and is narcissistic. Blocking him years ago made my experience so much more enjoyable... until someone quotes him and I get to see that he has not matured one little bit in all this time. Give it a shot, you aren't missing much quality content from him and it makes a lot of these truck threads (especially Ram threads) much shorter.
spoon059 10/01/20 08:19am Tow Vehicles
RE: 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid

I don’t see this as being particularly realistic for 1/2 ton owners. Most 1/2 tons I see are pulling 25 foot or smaller travel trailers or equipment trailers weighing 6000 or 7000 pounds. The coming Ford Electric half ton, the Tesla Cybertruck and the Rivian are all electric 1/2 tons that will do the same job with much more power, virtually no maintenance and can be charged at home or at the shop. There are a lot of grocery getter half tons around here but also a lot of contractors. I can’t see a contractor choosing a gasser/hybrid that can’t be plugged in over an electric once 2022 rolls around. The operating costs of the electric would be a small fraction of the operating costs of anything with a tailpipe. Jmho. Just another perspective... in the grand scheme of things, very few half ton owners are towing. Of those that tow, they aren't towing very often. Most of the owners are driving it around as a regular commuter car the majority of the time. Also, a lot of fleet managers are buying half ton trucks. A hybrid gets better mileage (at least on paper) than a traditional truck. If a fleet buys them in 2021, they are likely to buy them in 2022 and beyond, rather than retool their supplies after one model year. Hybrid allows you to fill your fuel tank up and get more miles per day, whereas a plug in electric only is mile or distance limited. Now, an individual contractor makes decisions differently than a fleet manager would. Around here, most contractors I know aren't driving half ton trucks though. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I think its a good thing that we are getting these types of options for trucks. A pure electric wouldn't work for me, because I take longer trips and don't have the time or patience to stop every 300 miles, find a suitable charging station and sit still for hours to charge my truck up for the next days drive. An affordable hybrid that creates necessary power and saves on fuel costs would be a fantastic option. I like the idea that jdc1 had, about a small diesel generator that produces power and is stored in batteries. Not sure if its practical in a 1 ton truck that tows... but it would be cool if it did!
spoon059 10/01/20 08:15am Tow Vehicles
RE: 6.4 litre HEMI vs Cummins

It is speed and load depended. As you can see the BSFC map below. The "sweet spot" for the Cummins 6.7L under load is between 1,600 and 1,900 rpm. The red dots/lines is 6th gear and the four vertical lines staring from the left is my rpms at 60, 65, 70, and 75 mph while what I tow. The yellow dots/lines is my rpms in 5th at the same speeds. The horizontal lines are grade/load starting with 0% grade at the bottom. On completely flat ground and no drag, 6th is generally best, but even a slight 1% grade and moderate drag will put enough load on the engine to make 5th the better choice which is why I generally leave it in 5th and forget it unless I am going past 72-74 mph. Thanks for the graph Shiner. I've wondered which is more efficient, but I haven't been able to test it personally. Our regular trip is to a lake in PA, so we deal with traffic and mountains. Too many variables to get a competent comparison. Our yearly Florida trip is about 2000 miles round trip, but I always forget to document my towing mileage separate from my "around town" mileage to compare it. It makes more sense to have slightly higher RPMs and maybe a little less turbo pressure to get better fuel economy.
spoon059 10/01/20 08:08am Tow Vehicles
RE: 6.4 litre HEMI vs Cummins

The term you want is FUEL mileage. Yes, the Cummins will get better mileage than the 6.4 in almost all conditions. I get a little better than Shiner, I get about 17-18 around town and can get into the low 20s on the highway. Towing a 10K lbs travel trailer at 68 mph I get between 11-12.5 usually. Lots of mountains and it will get a little lower, a nice tailwind and it will get a little higher.
spoon059 09/30/20 06:25am Tow Vehicles
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