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Everything posted by trailertraveler

  1. Anti-Sway bars

    Report post In other posts you have indicated that you have mounted a cargo deck to the A frame of your trailer. The Hensley has substantial attachments to the A frame that must be at specific locations based on the length of the spring bars. Have you investigated whether there is enough room on the A frame for both?
  2. Anti-Sway bars

    There are relatively few travel trailer owners that participate in this forum and apparently even less that own or have owned a Hensley hitch or are willing to admit it and share their experiences. I did a search for "Hensley" on another popular RV forum and got 15 pages of hits. Perhaps you would get the information you are seeking by posting your questions on forums frequented by more travel trailer owners.
  3. Anti-Sway bars

    My bad, I meant to say 90 degrees. I approach this (maybe even exceed it) every time I back into our home base or my nephew's driveway for the holidays. Because the hitch box extends from the ball and combined with the length of the drawbar, there is less chance of contacting the bumper of the tow vehicle. They have always sold direct to the customers. In my experience as an owner for ten years now, very few RV technicians even know how to hookup to one and most have never seen one. No need for hitch locks as I doubt any would be thieves carry a drawbar (stinger) with them. When we purchased a new trailer a couple of years ago, I had to give the dealer's techs the installation manual so they could transfer the hitch from the old trailer. When I initially purchaser it, I was buying a trailer. I told the dealer that I would pay them Hensley's price plus the hourly rate for the installation (it took them about an hour and I was there). I told them if they could get a discount from Hensley, good for them. I do not have drills that can handle an RV frame which is why I opted to have the dealers install the hitch on both trailers. That is correct. No spring bars to remove and store. Not sure who Hensley's biggest competitor is? The Pro-pride is a very similar hitch and it is my understanding that it was designed by the same Engineer that designed the Hensley. Both require no attachments to the frame of the tow vehicle has the Pull-rite does.
  4. Random questions from the crack of dawn

    Most trailers and fifth wheels have propane tanks. There are generators that run on propane and also duel/tri fuel generators. Some generator equipped trailers and fifth wheels are equipped with propane powered generators. If you add a generator to a trailer or fifth wheel (whether gasoline or propane powered), it would have to have enough capacity to run the air conditioner. Many of the smaller portable units popular with boondockers will not run an AC unit unless paired with a second unit. Here are several.
  5. Chevy Colorado Diesel

    You may have better luck finding someone with actual experience by posting on a forum that has more small travel trailer owners than participate on this forum. If the manufacturer of his trailer has an owner's group, you may be able to get information from owners of the same model about what they tow with and the performance of the tow vehicle(s).
  6. Chevy Colorado Diesel

    I do not think you can make a reasonable comparison between the performance of the diesel engines available in the full size pickups to that of the 2.8L 4 cyl diesel engine that produces 181 HP and 369 ft. lbs. of torque that is available in the Colorado. You can see the Colorado's specs here. The GVWR is 6000#, Max towing 7700#, GCWR 12700#, Max payload 1451# for the long bed crew cab which would have the longest wheel base. So it may work. If the truck is loaded to the GVWR, that leaves 6700# for the trailer. A trailer of 4500# means a hitch weight of 450-675# leaving 1000# or less of cargo capacity in the truck for extra passengers, etc. One also needs to consider if the towing specifications are based on a trailer with a smaller frontal area than the travel trailer being considered as this will also affect the towing capability.
  7. FMCA votes to include towables

    Thank you for this additional information. I did not see it in the website available to the general public. I tried several approaches to get the details of this program. Since I am a trailer owner and not yet able to join, I was not able to access the information that you provided which is likely in the information available to members when they login. Not being able to find the details was the reason I stated that it was potentially one of the more valuable membership benefits.
  8. FMCA votes to include towables

    This has always been our philosophy. From what I know; one of the potentially more valuable benefits (and I think offered only by them in the RV Club Community) is the free Medical Emergency Travel Assistance. For those of us getting up in age, this may be something to consider. Their other benefits, discounts and services do not seem all that different from the other RV Clubs and Discount Membership Programs.
  9. Tow Vehicle Question

    I suggest using a calculator like this one to evaluate potential tow vehicles. You can evaluate the various model years of the major manufactures to find the ones that will tow the trailer you have in mind. You can then use the NADA guides to help focus on the ones that will meet your budget constraints.
  10. Dogbone versus flat adapter

    This is only true if you have the converter/charger turned off. If the charger is on it will be trying to keep the batteries charged as the furnace fan (which draws a fair amount of 12 volt power) draws down the battery bank.. Here are some power draw examples from our coach: Electric water heater element- 13 amps, Converter - up to 5 amps, electric refrigerator element - 3 amps, 1500 watt space heater - 12.5 amps, space heater on low - 6 amps, 1000 watt microwave - 8 amps. My suggestion is that if you can access two 15 amp house hold receptacles on different circuit breakers, use the dogbone to plug in the RV and run a heavy duty extension cord into the RV to power the space heater on low.
  11. Question about mailing address

    I agree that there would not be an issue with the state of Texas. The issues may be with the counties if there are any fees that go to the counties, the department of motor vehicles, and motor vehicle or health insurance companies that base their rates on residency/domicile location. The reason I asked about county plates in Texas and where you will stay when in Texas is because there have been a number of high profile cases where vehicle registration has been questioned and led to discovery that the vehicle was not registered in the proper jurisdiction and that then spilled over into other areas. If you never stay at the property you own, then there will likely be no issue. If you stay there more than any other location in Texas, then there may be. I believe this is why Kirk asked if you are renting the property out.
  12. Question about mailing address

    One common definition of domicile is: "the place where a person has his/her permanent principal home to which he/she returns or intends to return." So when you are not on the road will you return to Rainbows End or your property? Motor vehicles are generally registered and insured based on where they are garaged. Again, when you are in Texas, where will you stay and garage your RV and other vehicles if any. I am not familiar with Texas motor vehicle registration. Do they issue county tags? Is there a difference in vehicle registration fees from county to county? I mention this because discrepancies in vehicle tags/registration is often the first issue identified and can lead to investigation of other residency issues.
  13. So How Do We Pack When Moving

    Skid proof shelf liner will help keep things in place. Bubble wrap can help protect fragile items. Wire bins with a lip and plastic baskets can help coral small items. They can be held in place in cabinets with Velcro if necessary. Buy food items in plastic rather than glass when there is a choice. Even cans are better than glass. In large compartments like the dinette benches; spare linens, blankets, etc. can be used to prevent items from shifting. An RV is like a rolling earth quake. Anything that can be rattled or shaken loose likely will.
  14. Anti-Sway bars

    As I said in my previous post, I have had the Hensley from the start. That said, I have towed numerous other types of trailers and do not find aligning the square peg with the square hole that much different than trying to put the ball under the hitch. Most travel trailers are heavy enough that you probably won't be able to horse them around even if you put a wheel on the tongue jack. There is a learning curve. The most difficult situation is when the ground is not level and the truck angle in relation to the hitch changes. In this situation, the spring bars are used to adjust the angle of the hitches receiver box to prevent the drawbar (stinger) from jamming against the top or bottom of the hitch receiver box. When unhooking, the straighter the truck and trailer, the easier the drawbar will disengage from the hitch receiver box. The weight distribution is adjustable from zero to the maximum of the spring bars by simply screwing or unscrewing the tensioners which can be done with an electric drill. When unhooking, the spring bars and sway control stay on the trailer. No disassembly required. The draw bar does not even have to be removed from the truck although it does protrude from the hitch and is a shin cracker if you forget it is there. The hitch does make some noise on tight turns and when backing. I never hear anything while going down the road. Nothing has to be disconnected or removed to backup. It will execute pretty close to a 90 degree angle when backing.
  15. How long it takes to breakdown camp and take off

    Dumping, putting away the lawn chairs, BBQ. etc. the night before does not decrease the time it takes to break camp it just spreads it out. The most time consuming aspect for us is stowing all the things that we have used like the ice maker, satellite dish, satellite receiver, TVs, computers, external wifi antennae, water hose, sewer hose, electric cord, leveling jacks, etc. If we have unhooked then of course we have to hookup the trailer. While not something everyone does, I check tire pressures, check the trailer lug nuts, check the trailer break lights and turn signals.
  16. Anybody here know New Mexico well?

    We have spent several months in New Mexico over the past 10 years and have been to many of the places mentioned. The more Southern locations at lower elevations like Las Cruces, Deming, Lakewood and Alamogordo will be quite warm to hot in the summer. Cloudcroft and Ruidoso are nearby and at much higher elevation (they have ski resorts) and therefore cooler in the summer. Silver City is a popular retreat for those from Phoenix and Tucson to escape the summer heat. We did meet some year round residents when we stayed at Rose Valley. Red River, Angel Fire and Eagle Nest are also popular summer seasonal spots. They are ski destinations in the winter. We have been to Hidden Valley outside of Deming a few times and it is very nice. There are a number of year round residents and some park models. When we were there, you needed a cell amplifier with the antennae on a fairly tall mast to get cell service in the campground because of the surrounding hills. The wifi was good, but we do not stream video, so I can not speak to that issue. New Mexico seems to be getting much more popular over the past couple of years. Oft mentioned RV parks like Monte Bello in Taos and Boot Hill in Alamogordo (it was full most nights a week ago) are getting harder to get into without reservations. The electric sites at the Corps of Engineers parks at Abuqui and Cochiti are reserved well in advance and the first come first serve sites fill early in the day. The same is true of the popular state parks like Oliver Lee near Alamogordo and Bottomless Lakes near Roswell. Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces are the larger cities with more social and cultural events. The Old Town of Mesilla South of Las Cruces has events on the plaza most Saturdays and Sundays.
  17. Anybody here know New Mexico well?

    Much of New Mexico gets cooler than many fulltimers want in the winter due to the elevation. Check out the New Mexico State Parks. The annual camping pass is a good deal. There are lots of Forest Service Campgrounds in the six New Mexico National Forests. The Corps of Engineers has some nice campgrounds on their lakes. (note: this link has been funky for a while giving errrors on and off.) The Bureau of Land Management has campgrounds in its recreation areas. The down side to the public parks is that they generally have stay limits of less than a month. It is The Ranch in Lakewood, NM.
  18. The National Park Service is soliciting public comments on a proposed fee increase for 17 National Parks. The comment period ends Nov. 23, 2017. The proposal does not affect the America the Beautiful Lifetime passes.
  19. Rough Lives PBS artcle

    And because perception is reality, they sometimes deny/discount the perceptions/reality of others. This is a photo of the fulltimer's row at a park near Tularosa, NM. Note all the HDTs, New Horizon 5th wheels and Diesel Pushers! We see similar in many small towns all across the country. You will not encounter them staying in or volunteering/workkamping in federal, state or non-profit facilities. These folks are working to support families or themselves. The older ones I have talked to do not have employer pension programs and/or employer provided/assisted health insurance. They may or may not have veterens benefits. They are not likely to be able to retire early and at least some will likely work until they are no longer able. However, I would not call them workkampers. They are workers who are living in an RV (camper).
  20. Anti-Sway bars

    I bought the Hensley from the start. I invested a fair amount in the truck and trailer. Skimping on safety equipment was not in my plan. I also replaced the cheap OEM tires on both trailers (even though they were new) and installed a tire pressure monitoring system before heading out on cross country trips. A couple of things I like about the Hensley not related to sway control are that the weight distribution is adjustable from zero to the maximum of the spring bars by simply screwing or unscrewing the tensioners which can be done with an electric drill. When unhooking, the spring bars and sway control stay on the trailer. No disassembly required. The draw bar does not even have to be removed from the truck although it does protrude from the hitch and is a shin cracker if you forget it is there.
  21. Anti-Sway bars

    We have had a Hensley since 2007. First towing a 27' box (30' overall) trailer GRWR 7500# and since 2013 a 29' box (32' overall) trailer GVWR 9880#. Passing trucks going in the opposite direction at 60-65 MPH has never been an issue. Depending on the width of the highway, I may experience a sideways push similar to when driving a van or box truck. Cross winds and quartering winds have never been a problem. About a month ago coming across central Kansas, we had a quartering wind (10-11 o'clock) that gusted up to 45 MPH according to the Weather Channel. No problem with sway or handling, but the gusts were strong enough that the slide topper unfurled several times making me think the spring had broken. I had to slow to 50-55 MPH because of the slide topper not any issue with the stability of the trailer. I will also note that until this September I was towing with a 2500HD crew cab long bed that has about as long a wheelbase as you can get in a pickup. I am now towing with a 3500HD Single Rear Wheel crew cab long bed with a similar wheelbase.
  22. Rough Lives PBS artcle

    I agree and have met a number of them in our travels since 2007. I think they are more likely to be devotees of Cheap RV Living than Escapees. In my opinion based on my experience, the members of this forum and Escapees members are no more representative of retired fulltime RVers than the group described in the subject article. They are just at opposite ends of the spectrum. Most fall somewhere in the middle.
  23. Help planning Albuquerque 2018

    We have stayed at the San Felipe Hollywood Casino several times. Most recently just a couple of weeks ago. The RV sites have electric hookups. No sewer. There are two dump stations. Contrary to what the website says, water is not available at the sites, but is available near the dump stations. They also allow free dry camping. The dump stations have a kiosk where paid campers enter the code or dry campers pay with a credit card.
  24. Help planning Albuquerque 2018

    In our experience, traffic around the fiesta grounds can be very heavy in the morning for the mass ascensions and in the evening for the Glows. Some folks that do not stay on the fiesta grounds choose to view these events from outside the fiesta grounds from locations like the Sandia Casino. Be aware that RV parks and campgrounds as far away as Santa Fe are often full for the period of a couple of weeks before the fiesta to a couple of weeks after. Some raise their rates considerably during this period. I would not count on getting a Passport America discount during the fiesta. This from the Enchanted Trails PPA Ad. "P.A. discount is not valid during October Balloon Fiesta. 50 amp availability is limited, please call ahead to reserve." From the Hidden Valley Resort PPA Ad. "PA is not valid Oct 1st thru Oct 15th." From the Leisure Mountain RV Park PPA Ad. "Not valid during holidays and from October 1st-15th." The Corps of Engineers campground at Cochiti Lake has become a very popular stop for folks before and after the fiesta. During the fiesta, the electric and water sites are full even though it takes over an hour to get to the fiesta grounds. There are usually plenty of sites in the dry camping area. Things we enjoyed in addition to the fiesta are: Petroglyph National Monument, the Pueblo Cultural Center, the Turquoise Trail and the Sandia Crest Highway.
  25. Chaco Canyon

    If you are going to be in the Grants area for a while, there are a number of places that we found interesting. In Grants, there is the Mining Museum. Just South of I-40 going West from Grants are El Malpais National Monument, El Moro National Monument, El Malpais National Conservation Area, and the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano. Acoma Sky City is said to be the longest occupied location in the U.S. They give tours of the pueblo.