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Chad Heiser

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About Chad Heiser

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  • Birthday September 2

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    Lake County, CA

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  1. Chad Heiser

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    It was not my intent to freak you out about mountain driving. Both of my instances were freak occurrences. I simply wrote about them as worst case scenarios. My point was simply that it is better to have the proper size and rated truck when towing any trailer, but especially when towing a decent sized trailer. More is usually better with a truck intended for towing. I completely understand budget considerations. It may be worth keeping the vehicles you have and waiting to purchase the truck until you actually need it. You can sock away the money for a large lump sum payment in the future to keep the cost down. This way you can truly match the truck to the trailer and not get stuck matching the trailer to a truck that may or may not be capable of towing it. It will also negate all the wear and tear your husband would put on the truck as his daily driver over the next few years.
  2. Chad Heiser

    Las Vegas

    I have stayed at Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort in the past and intend to be there again for a night or so early next month. It is a very large park that can fit any size rig and it is at the south end of the strip if that matters to you. I will say it is not exactly a budget type park. There are other places around Las Vegas, but this is the only one I have stayed in and am familiar with personally. I would recommend it if you don't mind resort type parks.
  3. Chad Heiser

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    I completely agree with mptjelgin. If you are looking at any decent size 5th wheel, a one tone pick up will be much better for towing. I personally would lean toward a dual rear wheel one ton for any 5th wheel, but that is partly personal preference/experience and partly my desire to be well under rated capacities when towing. It all comes down to weight ratings/capacities and how much of a cushion you are comfortable having when towing. I am on my third 5th wheel now. I started with a 36' Montana 5th Wheel with a GVW in the 15k lb range. I had a 3/4 ton Chevy with the Duramax/Allison combination and it worked well together, but I was somewhat new to RV travel at the time and was not as aware of weight ratings and capacities then. I never actually weighed that rig combination so I don't know how close I was to the max ratings of any of the components, but the set up was relatively comfortable to tow. I eventually bought a one ton dual rear wheel Chevy to replace my 3/4 ton because I knew I eventually wanted a bigger trailer. When I hooked the dual rear wheel truck up to the same 36' 5th wheel, it was night and day difference in the feel of driving the combination. The dual rear wheel one ton was so much more stable and comfortable to drive. I couldn't believe how much of a difference adding the dual rear wheel made when towing a 5th wheel. Not too long after getting the one ton, I bought a new, heavier 40' Montana. I was much more familiar with weights and ratings by then and weighed everything to make sure I was within capacities. Fully loaded, the 5th wheel was within 100 lbs of its GVWR and within 1000 lbs of the trailer towing capacity of the one ton. I didn't like being this close to the max capacities of my equipment, but I wasn't full time so I was not as concerned about being that close to my capacities on a regular basis like a full timer would be. This one ton was a 2007 so the capacities were nowhere near what they are today in the pick ups. I towed this combination all over the western US over all different terrain. For the most part it was uneventful towing. I did have an issue that made me really consider what I was doing and how I was doing it though. I lost my trailer brakes on a two lane mountain road. Luckily it was a relatively short decent, but my one ton really struggled to keep control of the rig. I lost the trailer brakes because of a bad connection in the 7 pin connector. This was something out of my control and luckily it didn't have any major consequences. What it did do, though, was convince me that running so close to max capacities was not such a good idea. I knew I eventually wanted to get an even bigger and heavier 5th wheel so I started looking at possible solutions. The rest of this story is well beyond what you will be dealing with, but I am sharing it to get to my final point at the end. I ultimately decided to buy a used over the road tractor (a Kenworth T2000). It was way overkill for my Montana, but it fulfilled my desire to have more fudge room in my towing capacities and it fulfilled some other desires that are not germane to this conversation. I towed the Montana with the Kenworth for a few years and eventually upgraded to the 5th wheel I have now, which is a 42' DRV that weighs in at 21500 lbs. The Kenworth is still way overkill for even this new 5th wheel, but it gives me great piece of mind when towing. Here is the point I was getting to. I was towing over the same two lane mountain road with the Kenworth and DRV that I had been on with the Chevy and Montana when I lost the trailer brakes on that rig. This time I lost the trailer brakes on the DRV because of a faulty caliper bolt that fell out and caused the hydraulic brake line to fail and drain my trailer braking system of all brake fluid. The difference this time was that I had no idea I lost the trailer brakes. The DRV is 5000 lbs heavier than the Montana was, but because of having more truck than I needed I was unable to tell the DRV no longer had brakes. I didn't discover the broken brake line until I pulled into my property at my house and went to unhook the DRV and did my walk around. The moral of this story is that I would much rather have more truck than I need to handle whatever I am towing. I am not telling you to go out and buy an over the road tractor, or even a one ton dual rear wheel pick up, but I am suggesting that you buy the most truck you can that will fit within your needs. This will really be determined by the weights of the trailer you want to buy. It is much better to determine exactly what you will be towing and then match the appropriate truck to that trailer (with decent margins under the listed max weight ratings). If you don't know the exact trailer you intend to pull, then it would be better to err on the side of caution and go with the largest capacity truck you are willing to drive and then make sure the trailer you end up with fits well within its capacities. It would be horrible to buy a lesser truck for comfort or cost and then get stuck with a trailer that is "lesser" than what you really want because of the limits of the truck. I realize this was a long winded response, but hopefully it was helpful to you and your thought process.
  4. I have a Truma on demand water heater in my RV. It works just fine with the water pump or city water. Where a lot of RV on demand systems have an issue is with the ability to shut the water flow off at the shower nozzle (for water conservation). This allows the cold and hot water to mix with no flow and messes with some on demand systems. Some systems cannot handle this mix without flow and will either give scalding hot water or cold water when the nozzle is opened back up. The Truma has a small accumulator tank and pump with the option for a return circulation line that allows the hot water to circulate in the line and remain at a constant temperature even when the nozzle is shut off. In my opinion, it is the best on demand RV system available. I have been very happy with it and will never go back to a typical tank style RV water heater. It is very nice to be able to run loads of laundry and take a couple of showers without having to wait between each one for the water heater to recover enough to provide enough hot water for the next.
  5. Chad Heiser

    2019 West Coast Rally

    If only everyone were that easy to please.
  6. Chad Heiser

    2019 West Coast Rally

    So I was experimenting with shirt colors for this year and I am leaning toward a Texas Orange Gildan shirt. It will look similar to this, although the picture is not exactly what it looks like in person. Anyone have any objections to this color or have any suggestions for something else?
  7. Chad Heiser

    DRV (Pre-Thor) vs New Horizons

    I would agree with Jack. I currently own a DRV and it is very nice and I am very happy with it. I too have spent a lot of time installing electrical and other upgrades on multiple DRV’s so I am pretty familiar with them. Overall, it is a top of the line unit for a production unit. I can’t really say it has flaws, but there are some things I would change if I could. These things are infrastructure things. Some are minor, but others are not. I am not saying there is anything specifically wrong with my DRV’s infrastructure though. It is top of the line when you look at comparable units (of which, there are very few). My biggest complaint is the number of axles. I have a 42’ DRV (40KSSB4 model). I tried very hard to get DRV to build it with a third axle, but they would not do it. They will do some custom work, but nothing that extensive. The next size larger DRV from mine comes with a third axle, but nothing my size or smaller does. A New Horizons unit of the same size as mine (or even shorter) will have three axles standard. My trailer does have dual 9k lb rated MorRyde IS, so it isn’t exactly running on light weight gear, but I would really like it to have a third set underneath it for stability and carrying capacity. New Horizons on the other hand, are definitely a step above. I have not owned a New Horizons, but I have toured the factory and spent a lot of time climbing in and around various New Horizons trailers. The framing is just better. The running gear is the same that DRV uses, but they use more of them on their trailers. The wiring is more professionally installed as well. The side walls and insulation are also very different between the two. DRV uses a “hung” wall with residential style insulation. New Horizons uses a pressed wall with pinch rolled lamination with high density styrofoam insulation. I could list many other differences, but I think you get the idea. They are both good units, but they are not apples to apples comparable. This is why New Horizons cost significantly more than DRVs. DRVs are not exactly inexpensive, but a similarly sized and equipped New Horizons will always be more expensive. In my mind you can’t go wrong with either one, but if money is not an issue I would go New Horizons every time. My dream rig is a New Horizons. I have a pretty specific plan on how it would be designed and equipped. Unfortunately for me, I have a budget when it comes to my RV choice (more specifically my DW has an averse reaction to spending large sums of money ). I was able to get relatively close to what I wanted in my current DRV at a reasonable (to me and more importantly my DW) price. I then spent a lot of my own labor and some additional money to add more stuff to it after I custom ordered it from DRV. This all got me reasonably close to what I could have gotten from New Horizons equipment wise, but not completely infrastructure wise at a significantly lower price than the New Horizons would have cost This is a somewhat long winded way of saying they are both good units, but not directly comparable.
  8. Chad Heiser

    2019 West Coast Rally

    Too bad, it would be nice to have you. Hopefully you stick around in the west. We would be happy to have you at the rally.
  9. Chad Heiser

    Car Dolly Towing

    I used the D-ring mounts in my aftermarket bumper as attachment points for my tow bar when I was towing my Jeep 4 down. It worked very well. Blue Ox makes adapters for their tow bars to connect to the D-ring mounts.
  10. Chad Heiser

    Plan now for Tucson Escapade!

    I had the same issue with the link.
  11. Chad Heiser

    Car Dolly Towing

    I am not familiar with towing a Smart so can’t comment on that. The Jeep, however has specific directions for setting it up to tow. The directions are in the owner’s manual and are pretty detailed. I had a 2015 Wrangler, but mine was a manual. The transfer case was placed in neutral, but the transmission was left in 1st gear. This was for flat towing. I would expect towing on a dolly would be the same, but I don’t have the Jeep anymore to check the manual to confirm. The automatic was supposed to be left in park, if I remember correctly. The owner’s manual will tell you. There is also a specific order in which to do it. As for battery disconnects, if you are using remote lights powered by the dolly (not running through the Jeep’s tail lights), there is no need to disconnect the battery. The key stays in the off position because there is no steering wheel lock to circumvent, so on a dolly with separate/independent lights it would be no different than parking it.
  12. Chad Heiser

    2019 West Coast Rally

    Thank you. I will check it out.
  13. It can. I have two Mobley’s I purchased the last time this service was offered. One stays in the RV and one stays in the house. The one in the house supplies internet for my home network and runs everything in the house. I am not a huge Internet user though. It is mostly just for Internet browsing and some limited streaming. Sometimes I do get on a Netflix binge though and burn through a decent amount of data. I can’t remember what my highest usage month was off the top of my head, but it was around 100 gb. I have the Mobley plugged into a manual timer that cuts power to it every twelve hours for 15 minutes to force a reboot of the device. Otherwise it is powered 24/7. I found before I used the timer, the Mobley didn’t like being powered constantly and would freeze periodically. It still hangs every once in a while and requires a power cycle to get going again, but it is pretty infrequent now since I added the timer.
  14. Chad Heiser

    50th wedding anniversary

    Was that a typo or a Freudian slip??????? 😂
  15. Chad Heiser

    Totally off topic - What a great month!

    I had the same thought. I wish my count down was as close as Phil’s. Hey Phil, If your count down holds true this time around, you will be retired for the WCR. Any chance of you heading out our way to stop in. You could make a lot more new friends. 😎
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