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Second Chance

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About Second Chance

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    Male
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    Wherever...
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    Travel, photography, sailing, world cuisines, music.

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  1. Ordering a new truck

    You don't have to drive the vehicle to Texas for title and registration. We are Escapees with domicile in Texas. Last January we traded trucks in Georgia. The dealer provided us with all the necessary paperwork and we titled and registered the truck by mail with the Polk County tax office in Livingston. Everything went very well! I would buy a truck wherever you find the truck you want at a good price and take care of the rest by mail. Rob
  2. So How Do We Pack When Moving

    We, too, use Corelle and have never had a problem. Dishes, etc., just go in the cabinets like they did in the stix 'n brix (our cabinets have good latches that stay closed). Any liquids in glass in the pantry are in RubberMaid tubs on the floor just in case. The 12 cu. ft. frig is an RV unit so the doors have positive locks on them. All the little stuff on end tables, dressers, etc., just goes in drawers (takes about 60 seconds). Although they don't move, typically, I still use the little straps that clip to the floor over the dining chairs. Items other than lawn chairs and the compressor in the basement are packed in plastic tubs. After taking care of the few things mentioned, we just pull in the slides, hitch up and go! The MOR/ryde independent suspension on the trailer takes care of things we miss (like a plastic wine glass that rode to our lunch stop sitting on the buffet right where we left it). Rob
  3. Need information on frames, suspensions

    Although the RV manufacturers writes the specs for the frames, Lippert makes the frames for both Grand Design and Montana. I believe a couple of the other makes you list build frames in-house (or "next door"). Lippert does not have a good reputation in the industry and, most recently, had serious problems with their solid axle suspension systems, bad grease seals, and poor assembly procedures resulting in greased brakes. I'm personally aware of only one frame failure with a Lippert chassis - on a 2006 Keystone Cambridge which was loaded a bit over GVWR. We have a GD Reflection ("little sister" to the Solitude series). We had all the issues with the grease seals and brakes listed above plus a bent spindle that made the suspension impossible to align (causing severe tire wear and tracking issues). I agree with Ken and believe that you cannot do better than the MOR/ryde independent suspension with disc brakes... so that was our solution to the problem. I couldn't be happier with how the rig tows, handles and stops, now. GD has recently started sourcing some axle assemblies from Dexter, but I'm still not a fan of suspension technology that dates back to when my grandfathers were kids (and they were both born in the late 1800s...). All that being said, Grand Design and Montana are not in the same league as New Horizon, Luxe and others. We got what we paid for and are happy with it - but it's still a mid-level unit with a vastly upgraded foundation. Rob
  4. In the July/August edition of the Escapees Magazine, Mark Nemeth, the Escapees Technical Advisor, wrote a short piece in his regular section, Mark, My Words, on lubricating wheel bearings on towables. This is an oft discussed topic on most of the forums and folks often have strong opinions at either end of a spectrum. In the article, Mark states that on axles with Zerk fittings, the fittings are there for greasing during assembly. He further states that, if the bearings are properly packed and the seals are good, there is no need to remove and repack the bearings annually or at 12,000 miles. I have read responses in forum threads where some stick religiously to the 12 month/12K miles routine while others go 30,000 miles or more and only remove and repack with brake replacement or service. We have the MOR/ryde independent suspension and disc brakes on our fifth wheel (two 7K MOR/ryde units replaced to 6K Lippert solid axles). I watched the night axle technician at MOR/ryde while he packed and put together bearing and hub assemblies and installed them on the spindles for installation the next day. He spent at least 20 minutes educating me on the three types/makes of bearings MOR/ryde uses and, specifically, the bearings being used on my unit. Having been raised by a father and grandfather that were mechanics and having done my own bearing maintenance on boat and other types of trailers for almost 50 years, I was impressed by the components used and the level of knowledge and care exhibited by all of the personnel at MOR/ryde. Of course, MOR/ryde front office personnel have to "toe the party line" when it comes to service recommendations and stick to their 12 month/12,000 mile inspection and repack service intervals. So... what I would like is input from long-time owners of medium and larger towables (ours is a 36', 14,000 lb. fifth wheel) regarding what they consider safe and reasonable in terms of wheel bearing service intervals. I periodically check hub temperatures with an infrared thermometer after running for a couple of hours and keep a log with exact miles. Which side of this fence would you come down on and why? Thanks! Rob
  5. Anybody here know New Mexico well?

    I'm a native New Mexican (born and raised in Las Cruces, lived in Santa Fe, grandparents lived in Ruidoso and Lovington, etc.). There are many nice places to stay in the state with lots of variety. As mentioned, many parts of the state do experience extended periods of sub-freezing weather in the winter - especially in the north and at higher elevations. There are parts of the state that resemble post-apocalyptic movie scenes and parts that are beautiful beyond description. One thing I didn't see mentioned above is the aspect of domicile/residency. You might want to research the requirements to get a NM driver's license and register your vehicle(s). In many states, just staying in an RV park is not sufficient. In New Mexico, you must provide two of the following (must show a New Mexico address): a real property rental agreement or purchase agreement; a utility bill, such as water, gas, electric, waste, telephone, cable or satellite bill, but not a bill for a cell phone; an insurance bill or other document verifying current coverage such as automobile, home or health; a bank statement; an employment pay stub that contains the applicant’s name and address; a local property tax statement or mortgage documents; proof of a minor child enrolled in a New Mexico public, private, or tribal school; a current, valid motor vehicle registration; original documents from a New Mexico community organization attesting to the fact that the applicant is a NM resident; original documents from a city, county, state, tribal or federal government organization attesting to the fact that the applicant is a NM resident; a New Mexico medical assistance card; or a New Mexico public assistance card. Most of us who are full-time went about establishing domicile in the state that works best for us (Texas, Florida and South Dakota are the most popular for a number of reasons). The Escapees RV Club will provide these services to you via their mail forwarding services - but your legal domicile will be in Texas or Florida. There are other services that do this in South Dakota, too. The main Escapees web site has lots of information on this. You don't want to get caught in legal limbo. Finally, New Mexico is a "mixed bag" concerning taxes for retirees - which is why many full-timers choose Texas, Florida and South Dakota because those states have no personal income tax at this point. Rob
  6. On travel days, we set the alarm for 2.5 hours before our desired departure time... but almost two hours of that is for breakfast, coffee, and headlines. During the last 30 or 40 minutes, I'm doing the outside stuff (satellite antenna, water and sewer lines) while my wife finishes the inside tasks. It takes less than ten minutes to actually pull in the slides, back the truck under, and raise the landing gear. Obviously, if there's a real need to get the heck out of Dodge (like an approaching winter storm last year), we can get going a lot faster! Rob
  7. It's not so much the engine and transmission - although those matter. The GCWR and max trailer weight are important, but not exceeding the rear axle and tire ratings is most critical. That info should be on your door sticker and you can find out what the truck actually weighs at the local CAT scales. Yours is a custom build, but most standard fifth wheels weigh in loaded with about 23% of the total weight on the pin. Rob
  8. You don't say what size/weight of rig but, having owned Lippert and Dexter solid axle systems and the MOR/ryde independent suspension, the MOR/ryde is heads and shoulders above the other systems. Better ride, dampened, and fully alignable. Rob
  9. Samsung S7 won't Forget network

    Just checked my S7. In the WiFi settings if you go into each network, you can uncheck auto-reconnect. Do that for each one you don't want to be bothered with. Rob
  10. Thoughts on Best 5th wheel brands

    Your question, as stated, could open up a can of worms. There are as many opinions out there about brands of RVs as there are people who RV. You might consider joining the brand-specific owners' forums for the brands that you are considering and asking some specific questions on those forums (such as the questions Vladimir has suggested above). There are so many things to consider, too. Chassis design and build, suspension, tires and wheels - and that's before you move on to frame, wall and roof construction, insulation, underbelly, utilities, appliances, etc. One of the most important single factors is the warranty and how the manufacturer goes about honoring that warranty. Will they work with you wherever you happen to be - including authorizing a mobile RV tech - or will they make you go to one of their network dealers? Ask owners of the various brands how many items there were on their punch lists at the time of delivery (tells you something about care and inspection coming off the assembly line) and whether or not they were resolved satisfactorily and in a timely manner. Not to be forgotten, which brands and lines offer a floorplan you like and can live with? Rob
  11. Internet Help

    Yes - checked at the time and it was activated. Rob
  12. Is This A New Tire

    Grand Design RVs come stock with Westlakes - either LR E or LR G depending on RV model, axle ratings and wheel diameter. We had good service from our OEM Westlakes until a piece of rebar on I-16 coming out of Savannah took one out and a second had abnormal wear due to a bent spindle. Over on the Grand Design forum, I would say most rate them as an OK tire. Since we had to replace two anyway, I went ahead and went with the load range G Sailuns. Rob
  13. Internet Help

    It might be unusual, but we are in a situation right now where that is the case. We have 4G data (I'm using a laptop and our Verizon Mi-Fi to write this) and four signal bars, but no voice service and a message that states "Mobile network not available." This is with both a Droid Mini and a much newer Galaxy S6. According to the campground manager, the situation is the result of AT&T have just put in a new tower nearby and Verizon hasn't contracted to use it for voice, yet. 911 calls from any carrier's phones will go through, but we have to walk out to the road to pick up a weak signal from the next nearest Verizon tower. Rob
  14. What type of RV do you Full time in?

    Does this mean they are "hot seats?" Sorry - couldn't resist. Rob
  15. 5th Wheel Toy Hauler Questions

    They were a relatively new independent company (execs/owners formerly with other large, well-known RV companies) until they sold to Winnebago this past winter. WB is still letting GD run things the way they always have, but GD has grown rapidly resulting in a few growing pains. Rob
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