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Chad Heiser

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About Chad Heiser

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    Major Contributor
  • Birthday September 2

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    Lake County, CA

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  1. Chad Heiser

    Recommendations please

    I like Zephyr Cove on the east side of the lake. It isn’t in the town of Lake Tahoe though. It is somewhat off by itself just out of town.
  2. Chad Heiser

    negative ground to trailer frame

    No the battery is typically grounded to the frame. You do need to have a maintenance routine to check all your battery connections periodically and clean them and tighten them. You also need to make sure they are properly watered if they are Lead Acid batteries. If you are getting excessive corrosion, you may be over charging the batteries and causing them to boil or excessively off gas. This can happen when the RV is regularly plugged into shore power and your battery charger/converter is a “dumb” charger that constantly puts a full charge voltage to the batteries. In other words, it does not back off the charging voltage as the batteries get close to full charge and then are at full charge. A good smart charger/converter will have at least three stages - bulk, absorb and float - and some will have a fourth stage called equalize.
  3. Chad Heiser

    Fitting our fifth inside

    This won’t help in the short term, but most large 5th wheels are over 13’ tall at the air conditioner. The maximum legal height to drive down a road in the US is 13’6”. My current 5th wheel is 13’4”. When I built my shop, I didn’t want any height issues with the doors so I made them 15’ tall. I probably could have gotten away with 14’ if the approach to the shop was level, but I have a slight incline in the approach and added the extra foot of height just in case. As to posting pictures here use this site. Drop your picture in the box and it will give you a URL you can post here that will make your picture show up in the post regardless of what size it is.
  4. Chad Heiser

    Air leak detection

    I purchased a new leveling valve at Napa Auto Parts when mine started leaking. I pulled the old one off and took it with me to make sure everything matched up (which it did).
  5. Chad Heiser

    Joined ranks of hdt owners. . .

    Congratulations! Now the fun of conversion begins.
  6. Chad Heiser

    Steer tire life (sidewall cracking)

    Seven years is about the max I would push a tire for our application (especially a steer tire - I might go a little longer on a drive that had no signs of cracking). As Mark says, sitting is bad for a tire and the way we use our rigs they tend to sit a lot. If it were a farm truck that just ran back and forth out to the fields, I would probably go longer. For pulling my RV/home down the highway, seven years is my max. I plan to change my steers out next year at seven years and they show no signs of cracking at all (nor any significant tread wear since I only have about 50000 miles on them).
  7. I don’t know what benefit you will get by adding the iPad to your arsenal if you already are getting everything you need from your existing Android/Windows based hardware (and I say this as I am typing on my iPad). If you do decide to sell it, I’m sure there are probably people here willing to buy it (including me ). As for the issue with it not having built in GPS, when it is connected to WiFi it will be able to reconcile locations. However, when you have no acces to the Internet through WiFi, it will not be able to reconcile locations. This really only matters if you want to use it for navigation or similar apps. Obviously you won’t always have WiFi access driving down the road or out hiking, etc so a gps chip is necessary for this type of standalone navigation.
  8. Chad Heiser

    Upgrading to international prostar to pull toy hauler

    See my responses in your other topic. I will add that an air hitch is much more desirable than an air pin box. There has been a lot of discussion on this topic on the forum. There are some very smart people here that can give a very detailed response as to why the hitch is better than the pin box, but it mostly boils down to the size and capacity/volume of the air bag used in an air pin box versus the size and capacity/volume of the air bags used in an air hitch. I personally would not tow without an air hitch. Also, the factory 5th wheel hitch on an HDT has no side to side articulation like an RV 5th wheel hitch does. This lack of articulation can transfer some very strong twisting forces to the king pin and gooseneck area of a 5th wheel when turning into uneven surfaces.
  9. Chad Heiser

    Upgrading to big rig

    I have a 1” thick sheet of metal spanning between my frame rails behind the axle and welded to the bottom flange of my frame. My truck was originally set up as a horse hauler when I bought it and there was a gooseneck ball mounted in the 1” plate. I added 4” tube welded into a rectangular box the footprint of my trailer saver hitch and drilled holes through the tube and the plate that matched up to the mounting holes in the hitch. I then used grade 8 bolts to sandwich the whole thing together. Most people bolt angle of sufficient size and thickness to either side of the frame rails between the flanges at the proper height and then mount their hitch to the angle. This involves drilling holes in the frame rails (which can be difficult).
  10. Chad Heiser

    Upgrading to big rig

    This will probably get a lot more activity if you post it in the HDT section where all the current HDT (Heavy Duty Truck) owners or potential owners frequent. As to your specific questions: Industry standard pin height is 48” There are several ways to accomplish this, but the most popular is the Jacalopee by Henry Szmyt at ethitch.com For trailer brake controllers, many are going to the Directlink by Tuson, but a basic air electric controller like the Hayes will work just as well. There are lots of ways to put additional seating in a sleeper. Some take seats out of a van or other vehicle with appropriate seats (some do benches, some do multiple bucket seats) and install them in place of the bed. I used a bench seat out of a medium duty truck for my sleeper. As for motorcycle hauling on the back, something like a Rampage lift or a Mountainmaster lift mounted sideways across the bed behind the sleeper is often popular.
  11. Chad Heiser

    Fulltimer moving into new rig?

    Not sure what kind of rig you have, but I know some of the diesel pusher owners have put a contingency on the sale of their current rig that says something like the rig is for sale but not available until new rig is ready. They then make arrangements with the potential buyer for a specified pick up date. This usually works best when you are ordering a new rig and have an idea of a future delivery date. I don’t see why the same idea couldn’t work for other types of RV’s as well. Then if you don’t get any takers on the private sale, you still have the option to just trade it in when the new one arrives (of course usually at a lower price than a private sale).
  12. Chad Heiser

    Generator Noise

    I had a 7500 watt champion RV style portable generator for a while. I liked it because it was inexpensive and it had all the power I needed. I didn’t like it because it was so loud. I put a considerable amount of time, effort and money into trying to quiet it down. I built a really nice sound deadening box for it. The box worked great for dampening the noise. You could barely tell it was running from 20 feet away. However, I could never solve the overheating problem the box caused (and I tried A LOT of different ideas and options). I ultimately gave up on the generator and sold it to a buddy of mine for his off grid property out in the boonies. If you are going to be camping around other people, I recommend getting a quiet inverter style generator. Either a portable unit from Honda or Yamaha or a built in style like an Onan. They definitely cost more, but they are worth it when it comes to keeping your neighbors (and you and your for that matter) from having to deal with the droning noise. It’s not fun to have a neighbor come over and ask how long you plan to run your generator. It kind of drives the point home of how loud they can be.
  13. hi chad are you on tonight


  14. Chad Heiser

    Frame rail identification?

    Not the best pictures, but they were what I had handy from the WCR a couple years ago.
  15. Chad Heiser

    Class A Non commercial drivers lisense

    It looks like you are a CA resident, but I can't confirm that. If you are, here is the applicable code section for license requirements - 12804.9 CVC. Basically, it says you can tow any trailer up to 10000 lbs with a regular class C license. You can tow an RV 5th wheel between 10000 lbs and 15000 lbs with an endorsement on the class C license. This endorsement is a written test only and requires no hands on application test. Any RV 5th wheel over 15000 lbs requires a class A non commercial license. This is both a written and a skills (hands on driving) test. The weights are what the trailer is rated (GVWR), not what it actually weighs. 12509(f) CVC - The department may also issue an instruction permit to a person who has been issued a valid driver's license to authorize the person to obtain driver training instruction and to practice that instruction in order to obtain another class of driver's license or an endorsement. Basically, the DMV can issue you an instruction permit for a higher class of license to allow you to practice before you get the higher class license.