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Chad Heiser

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Everything posted by Chad Heiser

  1. Nicely done. It's great when things work out in your favor.
  2. Skylight or not

    We have no issues with the LED puck lights (3 of them) above our shower. If it gets particularly steamy, I just turn on the fantastic fan and it is gone in short order.
  3. Skylight or not

    I specifically removed the skylight from our new DRV when we ordered it. I had LED lights installed in the ceiling above the shower instead for light. I did this for two reasons. The primary reason was I wanted as much roof space as possible for solar. The second reason was we almost always had the skylight above the shower in our old trailer covered in the summer time because it let in so much heat. I did have to make my case to my DW because she wanted the natural light, but I was able to prevail on this issue for the build (she prevailed on some other issues). Also, height was not an issue in our DRV, so that wasn't a consideration.
  4. Semi-Trailer RV vs. 5th Wheel

    This was brought up in the context of building your own semi based RV. It would not apply to a purpose built semi based RV like Spacecraft builds.
  5. Fifth Wheel Rebuild

    Dish washer is definitely a personal preference thing. We have one in our new DRV and now wouldn't be without one. It makes my job much easier after dinner.
  6. We’re happy to have you. I hope you make it. It’ll be nice to see you again. Of course you can always stop by our place again if your in the area too.
  7. Congratulations. Are you going to be able to come to the WCR this year to show it off?
  8. Fifth Wheel Rebuild

    I would recommend Rolling Retreats in Elk City Oklahoma for the work you are considering. They can do everything except the direct link controller. They can do a new rubber roof, but I don't think they do the RV Armor style roof. Slade and his team do top notch work (as good or better than the factory) and they do nothing but DRV's. I can't say what the pricing would be, but send Slade an email to get an idea (or if you would like I can provide his cell phone number to you). His email is listed on their website. You can stay on their lot while work is being done. They will move the trailer in and out of the shop each day. You do need to schedule an appointment to have the work done (as I would expect would be true at any repair facility capable of this type of work).
  9. Insurance

    We went through Miller and got a nice policy from National General. I was very happy with the service from Miller.
  10. Semi-Trailer RV vs. 5th Wheel

    Semi trailer based 5th wheels typically have a flat or very close to flat floor the entire length of the RV. This does mean the entry steps will have to be taller for initial entry. RV based 5th wheels typically have steps going up to the front of the trailer on the inside, which allows for a lower main entry from the outside. Other than this, the main differences will be running gear and framing. A semi trailer base will give more options for running gear and typically have a stouter frame than an RV. This means (typically) more potential carrying capacity for a semi based trailer than for an RV based trailer. The storage configurations will also be different (as already mentioned). Of course the biggest difference is a semi based trailer will have to be custom built while an RV based trailer can come in many forms from many manufacturers.
  11. Pulled the triger

    Congratulations. I look forward to seeing what you do with the interior. I have had the interior out of my T2000 a few times for various reasons. I've even stripped the dash down to its skeleton. I'm sure Volvo's are a little different than Kenworth's, but as I'm sure you know, it's not rocket science to strip them down. Do you plan to put OEM stuff back in or are you going to do something custom?
  12. WIFI booster

    WIFI boosters such as the WIFI Ranger and similar devices do nothing to increase the bandwidth available to your devices. Their purpose is to take a week WIFI signal and boost it to allow you to connect to the signal. Think of it like this, your device sees there is a week WIFI signal available, but it cannot connect to it because it is too weak or your device sees no WIFI signals at all available to connect to. Then you turn on your WIFI booster (like the WIFI Ranger). Your device now sees the original signals that were too weak to connect to as much stronger signals and the device is able to connect to them through the booster. Also, where your device alone did not see any signals the booster may see signals off in the distance and be able to connect to them which will allow your device to then connect to them through the booster. None of this actually improves the throughput of any of those connections. Whatever speed the connection is capable of on the back end is what the speed will be through the booster (in general terms). The booster cannot improve the throughput of the connection, it can only allow you to connect to weak signals that weren't available without the booster.
  13. Monitoring your rig on a tablet

    I wouldn’t mind something like that. I already have my tablet mounted to my dash for navigation. It would be nice to have additional information available. I don’t know if my 2000 model year T2000 has all this information available electronically though.
  14. After Reading Pulled over.............

    Cory (sorry for the long post, but here goes), You may be confusing two different things. CDL (Commercial Drivers license) versus Driver License Class (Class A, Class B, or Class C). You may need to have a Commercial Drivers License based on how you use the vehicle, i.e. in furtherance of a commercial enterprise. The commercial aspect could be required on any class of driver license if your use of the vehicle falls under the commercial rules. This is completely separate from what class of license you need based on what type of vehicle you are driving. You should not need a commercial drivers license for your use. You definitely need to have a specific class of drivers license based on the vehicle you are driving and the rules of your state. This is what the booklet that Chalkie linked lists as the requirements for specific classes of licenses in Nevada: Non-Commercial Vehicle Classifications Class A May drive any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the vehicle being towed has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds; or Any combination of vehicles not exceeding 70 feet in length with a gross combination weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less so long as the gross combination weight rating of the towed vehicles does not exceed the gross vehicle weight rating of the towing vehicle. Class B May drive any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, or any vehicle which is towing another vehicle which does not have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. Class C May drive any single vehicle or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of a vehicle for which a Class A or B driver’s license is required. May tow a combination of vehicles not to exceed 70 feet in length and not to exceed a combined weight rating or a combined weight of more than 10,000 pounds without any additional testing or endorsements. Here is the Nevada commercial driver handbook. On Page 1 of this booklet it says: You do not need a CDL to operate some vehicles that may fall within the GVWR descriptions. The following are exempt from Nevada CDL requirements: • Farmers transporting equipment, supplies, or products to or from a farm as long as the vehicle: − Is controlled and operated by a farmer, his family members, or employees − Is used within 150 miles of the farm − Is not being used as a common or contract motor carrier − Is not transporting placard-able amounts of hazardous materials • Recreational vehicle drivers using an RV for non-commercial purposes (emphasis added by me) • Active-duty military personnel driving a military vehicle • Firefighters or other persons operating emergency equipment This specifically states you do not need a CDL in Nevada to drive an RV even if the weight of the RV would qualify it as a commercial vehicle (I'm assuming your truck is registered as an RV). However, it does not say anything about exempting you from the Class B non commercial license. Here is the standard Nevada driver handbook. On page 15 of this handbook, it lists the same rules for Class A, Class B and Class C licenses as the booklet that Chalkie linked. I am not specifically familiar with Nevada, but many states require a higher class driver license for heavier vehicles (whether driving or towing). Based on the limited research I have done (i.e. the links I referenced in this post), it would appear that you need a minimum of a class B license to drive your truck in Nevada (because it has a GVW greater than 26001 lbs) and you may need a class A license if you tow a trailer that has a weight rating over 10000 lbs. It would appear that Nevada does not have any Class exemptions for motorhomes/RV's that differ from the standard classes of driver licenses, just a CDL exemption (at least based on the links I provided). CA has very similar rules to NV related to the three different Classes of driver licenses. However, in CA motorhomes are specifically exempted from the Class B license requirement if they are under 40 feet in length. Here is what I am referring to in CA: Class C driver license - You may drive a: 2-axle vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds (lbs.) or less. 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross. Housecar 40 feet or less. (emphasis added by me) 3-wheel motorcycle with 2 wheels located in the front or back. Vanpool vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons, but no more than 15 persons including the driver. NOTE: A driver of a vanpool may operate with a Class C license but shall possess evidence of a medical examination required for a Class B license when operating vanpool vehicles. The driver must keep in the vanpool vehicle a statement signed under penalty of perjury, that he or she has not been convicted of reckless driving, drunk driving, or hit-and-run in the last 5 years (CVC §12804.9(j)). You may tow a: Single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less, including a tow dolly, if used. With a vehicle weighing 4,000 lbs. or more unladen, you may tow a: Trailer coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10,000 lbs. GVWR when towing is not for compensation. 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. but under 15,000 lbs. GVWR, when towing is not for compensation, and with endorsement. A farmer or employee of a farmer may drive: Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less, if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation. Unlike what I found for Nevada, California specifically adds Housecar 40 feet or less to the CA class C license. This means in CA you can drive any motorhome/housecar with a Class C license regardless of how much it weighs or how it is equipped (air brakes) as long as it is 40 feet or less in length. I do not see this same exemption in the Nevada books. I can drive my HDT registered as a Housecar/Motorhome in CA with a standard Class C driver license. As soon as I hook my 5th wheel up to it, I need a Class A license to drive the same vehicle because my 5th wheel has a GVW greater than 15000 lbs. If I were you I would put some more research into this and also go talk to someone who does the licensing at the NV DMV to see what they say about what class of license you need to drive an RV in Nevada (assuming your HDT is registered as an RV). If your HDT is registered as a private truck, then to me it seems there is no way around the Class B license requirement and as soon as you hook up a 5th wheel that has a GVW greater than 10000 lbs, you will need a Class A license.
  15. Wastemaster Sewer Hose and Storage

    I was asked in another thread about my Waste Master Sewer Hose and storage that I installed on my 5th wheel. I installed the new Waste Master hose kit and storage system on my 5th wheel back in May of 2017. So far I have been extremely happy with the system. It is definitely a pricey system, but I feel it is well worth the price for the quality and convenience. First off, the sewer hose attaches with an industrial cam lock rather than a typical RV bayonet fitting. The cam lock is completely water tight and has never leaked on me. I could never say this for any bayonet fittings I have ever used. Secondly, the sewer hose is smooth on the inside. This allows waste to flow much better through the hose. The hose will also hold it's shape if it is stepped on or whatever - it pops back to the way it was before. It also will stay at a particular length when it is deployed. The hose "locks" at whatever length you pull it to. Finally, the head on the hose has a large handle along with an open/close valve and a see through fitting. The head is completely water tight when it is closed. It has not leaked or dripped at all. The large handle makes it easy to grab and put in place. The head is not removable from the hose. This is a plus in that it makes the system more leak proof, but it is a minus when it comes to stowing the hose. The hose will fit in a typical tube carrier, but the head will not. This is why I also purchased the storage system they offer. The storage system is a large ABS carrier that mounts under the 5th wheel next to the discharge line. It mounts with a metal plate to the frame of the 5th wheel. The sewer hose stays connected to the trailer outlet and enters the carrier through the side. The carrier has a large locking door on the front of it that opens to give you access to the hose. When you need it, you simply pull it out and put it in place. When you are done with it, you put it back in the storage system container. Everything stays outside, under the 5th wheel. No more messy hoses or bins inside the basement. I also purchased a few accessories just in case. I bought a second length of hose with a cam lock adapter to put the two hoses together in case I ever need any extra length (so far the primary 20' hose has been enough and I have not needed the extension hose). I also bought a cam lock to bayonet fitting adapter in case I ever need to connect to a standard sewer hose for any reason. The installation of the system was pretty straight forward. It does require cutting your existing sewer line to mate it up to the new carrier system. Here is what I started with on my 5er. I cut the sewer pipe off and added the Cam Lock fitting. After dry fitting the storage container to make sure everything lined up, I installed the mount. After cutting the hole to allow the hose to pass through, I installed the carrier. Then it was a simple matter of connecting the hose through the carrier. Then placing the hose all the way into the carrier for storage. My trailer has a generator installed. The exhaust pipe for the generator came out where I needed to install the carrier. As a result, I shortened the generator exhaust pipe to move the outlet for it farther forward on the trailer (still not under a slide). This placed the exhaust pipe running under my sewer outlet pipe. I was a little concerned the heat from the exhaust pipe would cause issues with the sewer pipe, so I made a heat shield out of aluminum and duct insulation. I also wrapped the exhaust pipe with exhaust insulation. The carrier is only big enough to carry the primary sewer hose. The extension hose and other fittings I bought needed to be stored somewhere else. I did not want them in the basement, so I bought a piece of schedule 40 PVC pipe 6" round and installed it under my 5er next to the new carrier. I used these to mount the pipe and to enclose the ends. The pipe mounts were a little tricky because my framing on my DRV is tubular. If I had exposed I-Beam it would have been very simple. Ultimately I installed the mounts in the 2" spacer my suspension mounts to under the frame. The front bolts were easy yo get to. Just reach in through the end of the tube. The back bolts, not so much. I ended up drilling holes in the back side of the tubing to be able to get a nut on the mount bracket in the tube.
  16. Wastemaster Sewer Hose and Storage

    Those were an OEM option on Excel trailers until they went out of business. I think the developer was an employee of Excel if I remember correctly (I could be wrong on that). Anyway, after Excel went out of business, he went out on his own and is selling them as an aftermarket add on. I know Rick S has it on his Excel Wild Cargo toy hauler. He may be able to give some specific information if he sees this post, or maybe you could PM him if you are really interested.
  17. HDT Camping on the Pacific coast highway through California?

    There are certain sections of PCH that will be no problem, but there are other sections that (even with an HDT towing just a Jeep) will be very difficult to pass. PCH is best explored in a car in my opinion (or better yet on a motorcycle). There are lots of access points to PCH that you can do in an RV. Stay at the coast and explore in a toad. Then figure out if you want to continue on PCH in the whole rig (based on what you saw in the car) or go back inland to continue and then come back out to the coast at another point farther along. It has been a long time since I have been along PCH in southern CA, but I can think of several places in Northern CA I wouldn't want to be in anything bigger than a passenger car/truck. There are some hairpin 180 degree switchbacks along the coast that are nearly impossible to pass in anything bigger (unless you like driving in oncoming lanes around blind corners and still maybe not having enough room to negotiate the turn on the first try in a "large" rig). Even Google maps isn't the best for "pre-driving" a route along PCH because it is difficult to see elevation changes and there are a lot of elevation changes on PCH. In some areas you are literally driving on the sides of cliffs along the coastal ranges. It is beautiful to see, but it is not meant for large vehicles (at least in some areas).
  18. Truck Registration

    I'm a little confused about your question. Are you talking about Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for a single vehicle (the truck and anything in the truck) or are you talking about Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (GCVW) for a combination of vehicles (truck and trailer and all their respective contents)? Either way if you are in a state that requires you to declare a weight (which is sounds like you are), then you want to declare a weight slightly more than you will every actually carry/tow. By declaring slightly more, it gives you a little fudge room if you are ever put on a scale. You still need to keep the max weight under what the truck is rated for by the manufacturer. If your truck weighs 8.5K before you add the camper and the camper weighs 14K (8.5 + 14 = 22.5) then you need to register it for at least 22.5K. I would probably register it at 24K like you suggested to give yourself a little wiggle room just in case
  19. HDT Camping on the Pacific coast highway through California?

    There are sections of PCH that are passable with a 40 ft rig, but there are also sections that are absolutely not passable with that size rig (unless you want to take up the whole highway on blind 180 degree turns). Where specifically are you trying to go?
  20. Definition of an RV

    I went back and reread his post and realized he wrote 8800 lbs. The first time I read it, I saw it as 8000 lbs. I see where you might think this. CVC 471 states the following: A “pickup truck” is a motor truck with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and which is equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length. “Pickup truck” does not include a motor vehicle otherwise meeting the above definition, that is equipped with a bed-mounted storage compartment unit commonly called a “utility body.” (Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 652, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1998.) (Here is the link if anyone cares.) His pickup’s unladen weight alone doesn’t drop it out of the definition of a pickup. It would also have to have a GVW of 11500 or more AND not have a pick up box. Notice how the section is worded, “...less than 11500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8001 pounds, and which is equipped with an open box-type bed...” The AND is important, meaning all three conditions have to be met. The code then goes on to say all bets are off if it has a utility body installed. This is why, in CA anyway, it is best to stay with a pickup box on your pickup rather than switching to a tow body (which would be considered a utility body).
  21. Definition of an RV

    I wasn't stirring the pot. I was busy in the real world, now I've got some time to spend back here in this virtual world.
  22. Definition of an RV

    Again, sorry I confused the pickup issue here. No you would not have to stop at scales with your pickup and travel trailer as long as your pickup still has a factory pickup box on it. Here is the FAQ from the Cal Trans website regarding pickups and when they must stop at weigh stations in CA (which is what I quoted from originally): PICKUP -- It depends on the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), unladen weight, and bed of the truck. GVWR under 11,500 pounds, unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length -- NO. GVWR 11,500 pounds or more, unladen weight 8,001 pounds or more, or not equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length -- YES. Discussion: According to CVC Section 471, pickups are a motor truck by definition, which is required to stop at the scales per CVC Section 2813. However, all California weigh stations have signs stating: "No Pickups." So, if a vehicle meet the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471, it is not required to stop at the scales because of the signs stating: "No Pickups." If the pickup has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds or more, an unladen weight 8,001 pounds, not equipped with an open-box type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, or the pickup bed has been removed and a utility body or flat bed has been mounted, then it no longer meets the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471; it is then a "motor truck" under CVC Section 410 and required to stop at the weigh stations.
  23. Definition of an RV

    You are confusing GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) with GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating). Your one ton and TT will be over 11500 lbs, but that is GCVWR which is not what will force a pickup to have to stop at the scales in CA. The weight ratings for a pickup that force it to have stop at the scales are only for the weight of the pickup alone (GVWR), not the pickup and what it is towing (GCVWR). I'm sorry for the confusion on that. I only brought up pickups to address what Shifted said, I did not mean to confuse the private truck registration issue with HDTs and pickups. Sorry about that.
  24. Definition of an RV

    Well, I am an expert on California law. In fact I enforce those laws and run the traffic bureau at the police department where I work. You got one thing correct in your above statement. Most CA scales have signs that state no pick ups. I never said all pickups have to stop at scales. I said SOMETIMES pickups have to stop at scales in CA. I then listed the exact times that must occur in my post. I would quote the code section that I referenced above, but Big5er beat me to it (see below). I don't want to confuse this thread with talk of pickups though, I only mentioned pickups in specific circumstances because you said this: What I wanted the OP to understand and what I originally said was there is no functional difference between an RV registration and a private truck registration for our usage. They both take us out of the commercial realm. However, private truck registration may have some additional requirements - like having to stop at scales because as a private truck your HDT would meet the definition of a motor truck. States vary on the weight ratings that put you into the definition of a motor truck, but any HDT registered as a private truck is going to have sufficient GVW ratings to qualify as a motor truck (whether singled or especially if still tandem) pretty much everywhere. When you drive by a scale and the sign out front says all trucks must stop, it is referring to motor trucks and truck tractors not pick ups. If you are driving an HDT registered as a private truck, you should stop or risk being run down by the state patrol (or whomever is manning the weigh station). Once they see you are a private vehicle hauling your personal RV, they will most likely wave you on through with no issues. If they run you down, you will then have to explain on the side of the road why you didn't stop when directed to do so by the signs. This extra effort to contact you may result in some extra effort on the officers part in other areas (like writing a ticket). This is especially true if you are running bobtail. When you are bobtail, the officers will have no way to distinguish you from any other commercial motor truck/truck tractor. It is less likely when pulling a recreational 5th wheel, but still possible. I bring this up simply to educate the OP. Not all scales have signage saying "All Trucks Must Stop". Many scales just have signage saying "Open" or "Closed". In this case, I would bypass them if registered as a private truck and pulling my personal 5er. I may still get chased down and stopped, but I could play dumb and say I didn't stop because I am not commercial and her is why I am not commercial ... There are many members on here who are registered as private truck and never stop at scales. There are also members on here who have bypassed scales and been stopped for doing so (me included). You are much more likely to get stopped for bypassing the scales when you are bobtail than when you are towing your 5er, but it could happen either way. Just be ready to explain why you didn't stop and have some documentation with you to back up your explanation.