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Everything posted by trailertraveler

  1. trailertraveler

    Couple of Questions for Experienced Boondockers

    400 watts does not seem like a lot to run a refrigerator and any cooking appliances like a microwave, induction oven or even a coffee pot. Was your water heater and house heater diesel fueled? How big was your battery bank? Were your batteries lithium? My TV and satellite receiver draw 100 watts. My laptop draws about 50 watts. My 160 watts of panels don't provide much battery charge when they are in use even with the fridge and water heater on propane.
  2. trailertraveler

    Extending my receiver hitch

    Truck camper owners extend the hitch so that they can tow boat or other trailers. Here is a link to one that may work for you. I think thsy recommend using their own receiver on the tow vehicle
  3. trailertraveler

    Who make a good budget C to buy new?

    Since you say you want a "budget priced" unit; you might take a look at the makes and models that the rental companies are currently using. They are probably a fair value for the price and able to stand up to the use/abuse that a rental unit receives reasonably well. Pay attention to whether the units you look at are on a 350/3500 or 450/4500 chassis. The difference in GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) and GCWR (gross combined weight rating) will likely affect the cargo carrying capacity and towing capacity.
  4. trailertraveler

    Who make a good budget C to buy new?

    We had a 2004 Coachmen C that we liked. Put 45,000 miles on it in three years before switching to a trailer when we were both retired. Here is a link to some Coachmen Freelanders under $65k. Here is a link to some Chateau Class C's under $65K. You have to scroll down the pages to see the 2019's. There are both Ford and Chevy models.
  5. trailertraveler

    How long will A/C run on a #20 propane cylinder?

    A gasoline powered Class C will most likely have a gasoline generator that runs off the main fuel tank setup so that it can not run the fuel tank empty. The diesel C's have an LP generator or possibly a diesel generator.
  6. trailertraveler

    Changes to Federal Campground Reservation Systems.

    ….. honestly, has never happened to us - even for the popular national parks. We have had the same experience as Dutch even in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia in February and March. In my experience a lot depends on the size of your RV and what if any amenities you want. If you have a large enough RV that you can not fit in every site, the fewer the number of sites that you will fit in, the more likely it is that you will not get a site at prime times of the week or year. If you want at least electric, that will also reduce your chances of getting a site. Last October, all the electric sites at Rhiana Campground at Abuquiu, Chochiti Lake Campground and Oliver Lee State Park in New Mexico were full when we got there. All of the sites at Oliver Lee were full when we drove through at 1 PM. A couple of years ago, all of the sites we would fit into in the several National Forest campgrounds along the Red River in New Mexico were full. In my experience, there are more RVers, but another factor is that many Forest Service Campgrounds that use to be open all year if you could manage to get to them and get in now close. Some right after Labor Day and many by the end of September even though the weather is still pretty good. Yellowstone has been tough for decades. I remember, in the early 1970's, trolling through the 450+ site Fishing Bridge Campground (not the Trailer Village) at 7AM looking for people getting ready to leave. I believe that it was the largest campground in the park before it was closed. It took me a couple of tries to get into Slough Creek. The last time we were in Yellowstone, about 5 years ago, the full sign was at the entrance to Slough Creek all week as we toured the Lamar Valley looking for wildlife.
  7. trailertraveler

    Changes to Federal Campground Reservation Systems.

    Based on my experience, the current recreation.gov system does not usually permit same day reservations. For many campgrounds there is a 48-72 hour blackout period. So, even if the campground staff is aware of a cancellation/no show; the site is not available online immediately. The cancellation of a weekend reservation on Thursday may not result in the site being shown as available for Friday/Saturday. If the new system corrects this, it will in my opinion be a good thing.
  8. trailertraveler

    EMS & Inverter

    There have been some pretty lengthy discussions about EMS fault codes and the more sophisticated models not passing the power of some small generators that do not have the ground and neutral bonded. Also discussions of the plusses and hazards of bonding the generator ground and neutral on a unit that is not designed that way. Here is a link to one of them. I do not know about the small Honda's but my old EMS would give an error code when hooked to my Yamaha 2400 and the new EMS will not pass the power from the genset.
  9. trailertraveler

    Good article in NYT re senior finances

    Sounds more like a cause of inflation than the result of it. Chicken and egg type thing. I didn't say that the rise in insulin cost was due to regulation, I was speculating about the changes in cost of insurance.
  10. trailertraveler

    Refrigator/freezer replacement?

    This has me confused. I am not aware of an RV refrigerator that has both a compressor and gas absorption cooling unit. The ones I am familiar with that use propane and electric heat the gas absorption unit by either the propane flame or an electric heating element. What make and model is the refrigerator?
  11. trailertraveler

    Good article in NYT re senior finances

    Neither of us take insulin. Our medication costs have actually decreased over the past few years with prescriptions that use to cost $100 for a 3 month supply now costing less than $30.00. Prescriptions that were about $10.00 are now zero. I doubt that the reductions make up for the substantial increases in medical insurance cost (mine have about doubled in the past 5 years), but my suspicion is that the insurance costs are more a result of the changes in law/regulations than inflation. As a traveling RVer, changes in fuel cost are an issue and they seem to have little to do with inflation directly, effecting inflation more than being caused by it. In my opinion, one of the major reasons for the movement away from pension plans was that most were unsustainable. Employee contributions if any were too low and many employers underfunded the plans to begin with. For example, I paid into the retirement plan and my employer matched the amount. I have been retired 14 years and have already received 3.6 times the amount that I and my employer combined paid in. Attempts to rebalance the systems were often stymied by strikes, law suits or regulations. The increase in longevity of retirees made the financial problems even worse. In my opinion, low mortgage and home equity interest rates and the tax deductibility provide a strong incentive to carry those debts into retirement or even take on new debt.
  12. trailertraveler

    Abiquiui, NM to Farmington, NM

    US-84 to Chama and US-64 are usually pretty good roads. We have not driven that way in a couple of years. We have not driven all of NM-96, but if my memory is correct it is a pretty standard two lane with no real shoulder in most areas. US-550 is a good road.
  13. trailertraveler

    Refrigator/freezer replacement?

    A couple of things I don't think have been mentioned. What other demands will you have on your batteries? For example, my 18" LED TV and Satellite receiver draw 100 watts (8.3 amps @ 12v). There are also a number of other small loads like the propane detector and all the appliance control boards. Total electrical usage is what will dictate how long your batteries will power your system and how often you need to run a generator or how much solar you need. The 12v refrigerators that I have seen that are direct replacements for the propane RV refrigerators are about the same price as propane ones. You did not say what was wrong with your current propane refrigerator. Have you explored the possibility of replacing the cooling unit rather than buying a new one?
  14. trailertraveler

    Can I really full time on $2,000 a month

    Camping costs are controllable and also highly variable depending on how you camp and travel. Even in Florida there are places like Wildlife Management Areas and Water Management Districts where one can dry camp for free. There are also public campgrounds that offer dry camping at relatively low fees. In general; the fewer amenities that you want, the lower the cost. We prefer to have electric so limit our selves to campgrounds with that at least that amenity. We generally like to stay a week, rarely more than two in a location. We do not like to make reservations more than a few days in advance. This year, we were unable to get sites in any of the state Parks in the areas we visited. We spent 74 nights in Coastal Georgia and Florida (Savannah to Sarasota) this past February - May. Despite having one week at $99.00 and another at $105.00, our average was $30.95. Fuel is another somewhat controllable cost. We spent $645.69 on diesel fuel during that same time period.
  15. It may not be all that obvious that the reservation system is actually run by Reserve America. For example, If you go to the Ohio, Mississippi or Delaware State Park websites and start through the reservation process; there is no mention that I can see of Reserve America. However, if I log into my Reserve America account, I see the OH, MS and DE reservations in addition to those in other states. If I login at some state sites using my Reserve America information, it only shows the reservations for that state. Another example is NM. The reservation page does not at first glance look like Reserve America. However, in the text it says: I suspect that a clue to what states are using Reserve America can be found in whether the site says:
  16. I don't believe recreation.gov includes State Parks now. It states: Many of the state park systems we have used do not have their own reservation system. When you click on make a reservation, you are taken to the Reserve America website. Some states do have park passes that either cover entrance fees and/or give discounts on camping fees. You can often get the discount on camping fees when making the reservation on Reserve America. Here are some links to information on State Passes: State Park Passes, State Park Camping Passes
  17. trailertraveler

    Has Passport America changed?

    The PPA website currently states: I believe that is considerably fewer than at some times in the past. I don't think they ever approached the current 4000+ number of Walmarts. Parks drop in and out of the program all the time. My experience In the past 14 years has been that finding a PPA park (Happy Camper or Escapees 50% park) that was along a specific route of travel and located in the general area where we wanted to stop (i.e. distance from the last stop or near a place that we wanted to visit) was hit and miss. It takes very few nights to pay for the membership so for now we continue to be members. Without the 50% discount many PPA parks are what I would consider to be over priced.
  18. trailertraveler

    Getting hot going over mountains

    Are you within your towing and Gross Combined Weight Ratings? If you have a Tow/Haul Mode were you using it? If you have a Transmission Fluid Temperature Gauge, what was it reading. With temperatures that hot it is not uncommon for the transmission fluid temp to get 90 degrees + hotter than the ambient air temperature when pulling a heavy load on steep grades. Have you checked the transmission fluid level and color?
  19. trailertraveler

    Need Towing Instruction NH

    The OP is travelling alone. He would have to find someone to use the other radio and if it did not have Voice Activation, teach then how to use it and hope that they remember to push the "Talk Button" if they indeed need to give directions in a hurry. A cell phone in hands free mode is an option but would still require a competent spotter to give directions.
  20. trailertraveler

    Looking for some help deciding on a destination

    Master Card and several other websites recommend this
  21. trailertraveler

    Need Towing Instruction NH

    The regulations changed in 2010 Here is a link to a website with links to the park specific regulations for many of the National Park Service administered sites,
  22. trailertraveler

    Diesel locations

    While I have several apps loaded on the computer and smart phone, I rarely use any of them. I have a fuel range of a little over 400 miles towing. I start looking for fuel at half a tank on the fuel gauge. We are retired and generally travel about 200-250 miles per day. When we stop for the night we often unhook to checkout the local area. This makes it possible to fuel at just about any station that has diesel including Murphy/Walmart or Kroger/Smith/Frys that are often difficult to maneuver a big rig through. We prefer the Blue Highways but when on the interstate the Blue Signs provide more than ample information. There is no shortage of truck plazas such as Petro, Loves, Pilot, Flying J, TA, etc. If the signs say "Diesel 24 Hours" that's a pretty good indication that it can handle big rigs. If the sign says "Auto Diesel" don't bother stopping. Trucks are the life blood of transportation to rural America. There is no shortage of diesel fuel stops on the major U.S. and state highways. I look for stations with the pumps parallel to the highway or separate truck pumps. Pay attention to where the trucks are stopping. In 14 years of travel in the lower 48, I have never felt concerned about running out of fuel.
  23. trailertraveler

    Need Towing Instruction NH

    As mentioned, Getting out and looking is essential when backing alone. Even if you only do it once at the beginning of the procedure. As was mentioned, you need to know the height of your rig to avoid overhead obstacles which can cause damage to the RV. I have found an extendable or sectional painters' pole marked at a length a few inches longer than the height of the trailer to be useful. If the ground is uneven, I still will get out and look. I had this same thought. An empty parking lot is a great place to practice. Setup some markers and practice backing in. Also practice pulling out in both directions to learn how the trailer tracks. Running over a curb can cause tire damage. Objects like poles and signs close to a corner can cause damage to the trailer. Vehicles parked near a corner also need to be avoided when negotiating a turn. If there is a boat ramp nearby, pay a visit and watch folks backup to the ramp. If you have a friend with a boat; meet them at the boat ramp, talk to them and watch them. If it is not crowded maybe they will let you try backing a few times. Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!! Good luck with your new RV and safe travelling.
  24. trailertraveler

    Drop KOA Value club Membership

    PPA is not a franchise so they often participate in more than one third party program. Many participate in Happy Camper and some the Escapees' 50% Discount Program. Depending on the area of the country, one program may have more participating parks than the others. The conditions are usually the same for all of the deep discount programs that a park participates in. Some give discounts to Good Sam, AAA, AARP, military, etc., and will give that 10% discount whether you are a PPA member or not.
  25. trailertraveler

    Drop KOA Value club Membership

    No discount membership is worth it unless you use it. We also use Passport America. It does not take many stays to break even. However, since we try to travel/stay where we find the temperatures and other weather factors (chance of tornados, hurricanes, seasonal flooding) to our liking; we find that more than 50% of the time the PPA discount does not apply. We have also found that parks seem to drop in and out of the PPA program more frequently than programs with a lesser discount. There are often additional charges for 50Amp service or more than two people (neither of which is of concern to us). There may be day of the week, length of stay, reservation, and payment restrictions. You have to read the listings in the PPA directory carefully. It is not uncommon for the regular rate at PPA parks to be what I would consider over priced for what you get.