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Gary Hage

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About Gary Hage

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  • Birthday 10/23/1956

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    Male
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    On the Cross Florida Greenway in Dunnellon, FL
  • Interests
    Author [Fallen Angel Of The Highway, and the soon to be released A Young Boy's Stories about Dixie... AKA: The Walter E. Peele Dixie Water Treatment Plant, and The Father...The Son...and the Harley Ghost, Native American Flutes, Boston Terriers, Harley Sportsters and HDT's

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    HarleySportsterman58@yahoo.com

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  1. You and I are possibly on the same mission. As mentioned in an earlier thread, I too have been considering adding a drom box to our Volvo VNL 420 for a motorcycle garage. I did find a nice looking pre-built unit at Joplin Trailer Sales in Joplin, MO. It is fully lined with five rails of E-tracks that are installed on each side. it also has a full swing door at each end. When mounted directly to the frame on a hard rubber cushioning strip, it appears the outside height of the drom box should closely lineup with the roof of most Volvos that have the lower (flat) roof line like mine, and would be well below the height of the condo cabs. Thus cutting down on the level of wind drag and be more appealing to the eye Forklift tubes have been permanently welded into the floor framing of the drom box, which should make for easy mounting and un-mounting of the box to and from the truck's frame. The unit can be wired to the customer's spec's during installation or aftermarket bt the customer. I do not know yet if it comes in multiple sizes, or only the one shown on their website. Although this box appears interesting to me as an option, I've not yet priced it or called my friends in Joplin to have them go by JTS to check it out for me. I know that the ultimate setup for me would be to go ahead and have Henry install the drop hitch assembly on my ET Hitch to pull my utility trailer with when needed, and to install the drom box to carry all of my accessories for the 5er (like my 6" x 6" x 18" blocking, etc.) in rather than loading it in the basement and overloading the RV. To date, we have always carried it separately inside a smaller tool box on the Volvo, and in the utility trailer since we are always traveling with both vehicles. Then after much thought, I have decided rather than going with the more expensive automatic rail system for loading motorcycles in/out of the drom box, I'm going to stick with a less expensive folding aluminum ramp system with a permanently mounted winch in the front to pull my 58 Harley Sportster into the box using a cable and short tow bar assembly attached to the front forks of the bike. Offloading would simply be achieved by connecting the bike to the cable and tow bar, then while walking the bike out of the box and onto the ramp until the break point in gravity is meet. For safety and control, the winch will be slowly let out to help control the bike's descent down the ramp and onto flat ground. Obviously the ramp system would be wide enough for there to be enough foot room on either side of the bike walk it up and down the ramp.
  2. If the unit in question is an AC/Heat pump, I would suggest having the reversing valve in the compressor system checked to see if it is working properly. Ours recently went out in the heating mode, thus not allowing the opposite direction on flow in the freon needed to cause the freon to cool rather than heat the air flowing through the a/c coil. Unfortunately, the barely four year old unit had to be completely replaced with a new one since this valve assembly is not removable and/or replaceable. Apparently this is a typical cause of a/c failures at the beginning of the season change from cool to hot.
  3. We went with the Splendite Ariston stack washer and dryer (aftermarket install) in our Redwood rather than the factory installed combination washer/dryer units being offered as an option. The baskets in both the washer and dryer that we have are larger than the basket in the combination units. With the combo, you put a load of wash in and wash it. Then it goes into the 1-2 hour drying cycle as you wait with thee next load to wash. And you wait until the clothes that were in your washing machine are in you now dryer drying out. Now just for the two of us, we use our W?D set exclusively and weekly. Exclusively meaning: for everything except for our comforter, mattress pad, area rugs, or any other heavy item which we take to the nearby laundry mat. She typically does two loads/night about 3-4 nights a week as she relaxes after dinner in her favorite recliner chair in front of the big screen. Then, by the time we're ready to go to bed, the first load of wash is done and folded, and the second load of wash is already nearly dry because we were able to start the drying process much sooner rather than had we been waiting on the washing phase of the combo unit to do its job before the drying phase could begin.
  4. Kind of glad to hear that our front loading washer isn't the only one to cause a shake, especially in a big ole heavy built Teton! If ours shook the RV on every load no matter how light or heavy, I would probably be leaning more towards it having an issue. But as stated before, its only been during the heavy loads. So my focus goes to the frame. I got my eight additional heavy duty screw type tripod jackstands, and have placed them equally along each frame rail of the RV; two at the rear, two directly behind the rear axle, and one at each of the four corners of the drop portion of the frame located at the front 1/3 of the 5er. Then I snugged them up enough to keep them from slipping out from beneath the frame. This was done only after manually taking the RV out of level and then having the auto level re-level the RV. Only took me about 20 minutes to grab and place some wood blocking on the ground and set the additional jackstands in place. What a difference in the stability of the RV and the bonce when one walks thru the RV. Even the shake from the washer (doing a heavy load now) seems to be far less. Maybe, placing almost 40' of RV only on 6-hydraulic stabilization points doesn't give as solid of a footing under the 5er as one would think. I've also wondered why many of the larger units like ours have so much cantilever from the rear landing gear to the rear of the box. Would have thought it a good idea to place another set of stabilizers there, right at the back of the frame like the front gear.
  5. We have the larger Splendide stack washer and dryer set rather than a much lower profile combo washer/dryer unit. Rather than there being a shelf above the washer like I've seen in many other units for the dryer to sit on, our prewired and plumbed laundry area does not have one. So our W/D units are attached directly to each other. Thus creating one unit, so to say, that is about 32-36" square X about 6' tall. Throw 3-4 pairs jeans or a load of towels into the washer and that's when we notice the slight vibration. Not so with the lighter loads. I've also check for a solid footing on each pedestal of the washer, along with the level of the W/D, and find that both are good. I do believe that we do have a very slight leak down in our hydraulic system, but it is slow enough that we've not seen the need to pull the RV out from under the RV canopy to drag it to the shop just for that repair. Being in a Redwood rather than a Newmar Mountainaire like Heavymetal and the others, we certainly don't have the more substantial frame under our house like them. Would have been had Newmar not quit building new 5ers when they did. So I do agree that we seem to possibly have a lot more frame flex than the other more solidly built units tend to. Although we are otherwise extremely happy with our 2013 Redwood, and even though this was considered as a "higher end" RV in the pecking order of fifthwheel RVs, the bottom line is that you get what you pay for. Some being a piece of crap to fairly well designed and built, and on up to the top of the line that are built like a Sherman tank! Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to buy those beauties.
  6. Several of our regular customers who have been patronizing our campground for years have begun to complain that because of the increase in business since we took charge just over a year ago. Some have even said that it used to be the best kept secret in our network of state parks until I came along and let the cat out of the bag. In reality, I simply brought my business experience and love of the RV lifestyle into the mix and am doing what I was hired to do. Rent real estate, which just happens to be a campsite for our guest. As a result we've had probably the best season in the campground's fourteen year history, and we aren't seeing any real easing up in pre-booked reservations or "walk-in" check ins yet even though many of our annual snowbirds have begun to head north for the spring and summer months. Other regular guest of ours have stated that they feel that they are slowly being pushed out due to the new clientele coming in and renting the few spaces (14) we have available at our campground. Then once our campground was full for the winter season, I (we) were turning an average of 10-12 hopeful RVers /day away due to no spaces being available when they wished to arrive. Many said that was the same response they were receiving when contacting the privately (and commercially) owned RV parks and resorts located within in our immediate area. What ever the reason(s) for this increasing influx of RVers coming to our area and into our campground is, its great for us, and harder for the campers when they find that we are already full for the next several days or weeks. With that said and based upon what our friends who fulltime RV, along with traveling seasonally between the north and south, my recommendation to those who call our campground office is to book their sites early to avoid any last minute surprises at the end our your traveling day! Now if I can just get some more campsites built in our campground, I'm sure they too would fill up quickly. Oh, and did I mention that our sites (most) are HDT friendly?
  7. For those of the more stationary 5ers like ourselves that sit and roost in one campsite year round, or at least darn near LOL: Do you add additional stabilizers (such as screw jack stands, etc.) under the I-beams on the frame to help assist the on-board hydraulic stands? After having grown tired of the bounce in the floor when someone walks or as the washer is in its high-speed spin cycle, it has become time to do something about it time. Plus, the on-going fluctuations in the hydraulics during daily and seasonal temperature changes is causing the RV to rise and settle ever so slightly, yet enough to be noticed over time. I've also had my concerns about the seals, pistons, etc. in the hydraulic rams as they absorb this energy and the possibility of premature wear and leaking at the seals. So re-leveling the RV has to be done once about every 2-3 months, even though we are on extremely hard (packed shellrock). Due to those not wanting things to look too permanent, placing the RV on concrete bases and blocks is not an option. My "Fit" frame from Lippert has the 6-point auto-leveling hydraulic jack system on it. I do have quite a bit of cantilever from the rear axle to the back of the box. Since we don't move our RV around, by placing 4-equally spaced screw type jack stands along each frame rail, from front to rear once it has been auto-leveled sounds good to me in making our 5er more stable. Combined, we now have fourteen stabilization points on the ground. Once carefully snugged up to the bottom of the frame, tight enough to prevent slippage of the jack stand(s) but not enough to lift the frame off of the hydraulics, I wouldn't think that the additional stands would hurt anything. Unless you forget to remove all of them before you push the button in the little box that says "Leveler" on it! That would not be good.
  8. Silly me, like I really had to ask about capacity! LOL But, I would rather be safe than sorry when considering doing such a modification that has a cantilever in the equation. I like what I see in each of the applications posted in this thread. Each are a bit more elaborate than what I need for my use. Such as the full length bumper, and the extended horizontal plate that is holding the ball hitch. I really don't see the need for those in my application or needs. I do think that the frame structure you used would be perfect for mine, with one exception, I would prefer stacking the vertical back plate (or channel iron) that the hitch's receiver tube inserts into, thus making it flush with the back plate of the ET Hitch assembly. I hope that makes sense! If you wouldn't mind when you've got a moment Henry, could you PM me an estimate on fabricating and assembling the more simple version of a drop hitch for our little Volvo? Thanks
  9. No. Installing a "receiver" type hitch is not going to be an issue, as one can easily be hand fabricated by a skilled welder to custom fit my Volvo. My question(s) and concern is can the back of the Volvo's frame rails where the two box beams for the ET hitch's platform are slid into and attached withstand the extra vertical weight, etc. that hanging a drop hitch would create at the ends of the cantilevered beams. Judging on the thickness of the platform's steal plate, I believe that's gonna be a non-issue in this application. Especially since I want the structure for the drop hitch to be a 4-point connection to the Volvo for added stability and to spread the live loading weight out a bit, along with allowing for two of the connection points to be attached to the Volvo's frame directly ahead of where the cantilevered portion of the box beams begin.
  10. I'm gonna pitch this thought out to all of the HDT folks our there, but this may be a subject best suited for Phoenix2013 since he originally installed the ET hitch on my Volvo: As I'm trying to figure out the best way to downsize on my current debt/income ratio, I'm back and forth between installing a motorcycle garage on my 420VNL verses having a drop hitch added to my ET Senior Hitch assembly. As I noted in my earlier thread regarding the garage installation idea, my issue is my all original 1958 Harley Sportster that I currently store (and transport) in my (paid for) 6' X14' fully enclosed cargo trailer. I pull it with my 1500 Chevy Silverado, which is not currently paid for. Nor is it suited to pull my 2013 Redwood 36FB. So, I'm thinking of selling the Silverado and pulling the cargo trailer behind the Volvo as a cheaper alternative to the motorcycle garage. Now that would surely be a sight to see! LOL Let me note that I rarely have to pull the cargo trailer, but when I do, I'm definitely going to need to have something to hook it to, like my already paid for Volvo. You can see where I'm heading with this one. A drop hitch with a 2000-2500 lb tongue weight capacity and towing capacity of no less than 6500-7500 lbs, thus allowing some extra towing capacity above the weight of my cargo trailer if needed. More specifically noted for Henry (Phoenix2013), I am the current owner of Marv and Connies's 2001 Volvo VNL420 that was a factory built single screw tractor rather than a twin screw conversion. This allowed for the pin to be located less than 36" behind TDC of the drive axle, which I absolutely love!. Based upon the installation of the steel box beam and thick steel plate mounting platform that was used to mount the ET hitch to, is there the load capacity in this assembly to add the drop hitch to the bottom of it and add the vertical tongue weight, etc. to it? Has anyone else had a similar dual hitch setup (ET Hitch and not the other setups since they aren't comparing apples to apples) installed on their HDT? If so, how did it workout for you, and who did your fabrication and installation? I'm leaning towards a receiver type hitch like the Reese Hitch, etc. so when not in use I can just unpin the ball assembly and pull it out to store it. Also, if you feel free to do so, an approximate (or actual) cost for your installation would be a great help in doing some cost comparisons, etc. I'm not far from you Phoenix, but may have a good local welding and fabricator here in Ocala that could (with guidance) do the job properly if needed.
  11. The living and dining areas of our Redwood 5er are carpeted, and the area in the kitchen is tiled. We have noticed some slight markings in the tile from where the slide rollers have traveled in and out. We've also seen this in many our friends used RVs of various brands. This leads me to believe that this is not uncommon and is just part of the normal wear and tear in an RV depending upon the severity of the marking or scratching of the floor over time. Many folks have put floor protectors down to run the slides on while opening and closing them. Cheaper than shortening the life of the tile and having to replace it. I would be interested in knowing whether the high end custom builders like New Horizon, Spacecraft, etc. have solved this problem (unlike the more common cookie cutter builders like mine) or if they too experience this scratching if they don't put floor protectors down? I'm seeing it regularly in the Mobs, Reds, and on down the line.
  12. Going a little deeper into our campground's history: Beginning as early as 1564, Philip of Spain proposed the digging of a barge canal across central Florida connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico. That concept would not come into fruition until 1935 when President Roosevelt allocated the first 5-million dollars in funding for the dig. The project was short lived due to the opposition to the canal, as those who opposed it believed that the canal would deplete Florida's aquifers (underground fresh water supply that runs the length of thee state), so the project was stopped a year after it had begun. Construction of the canal was reauthorized in 1942 as a "National Defense Project" with dams and locks being added to the canal system to help protect the Floridian and other aquifers in the area. Yet actual work on the canal did not begin until 1964 when Then President Johnson set off the first explosives to resume construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. The plan was to have the project completed by 1971, but the opponents continued campaigning against it on environmental grounds. Then President Nixon signed an executive order on January 19, 1971 halting further construction on the canal system. During 1991 the project was officially cancelled and in 1998 the mile wide canal right of way was given to the state and became the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway as it is known today, thus preserving this historical strip of land forever as a recreational use only part of Florida. From there modern campgrounds were built along the vast trail network that had been developed first for equestrians to come and ride their horses on, followed by hiking and mountain biking trails, and a reservoir for some of the southeast US's finest freshwater sport fishing. Our campground was originally built for and only served the equestrian campers before RVers were allowed to begin camping here some years later. Finally followed by the tent campers a few years ago. So most of our non-horse campers know ahead of time that we do allow the horses and that the sites may have a bit of a horsey smell when they check in. For the few who may still have issue with that, we simply offer to move them to another site if one is available. I must say that we have been fortunate here and the flies due to the horses have not been a nuisance for our guest. Our county was the last setion of the Cross Florida Barge Canal slated to be dug, with the waters of the both the east and westerly sections lapping at our shores at each end of the county. Although the digging here had begun, our section never saw water since it was never connected to the navigable portions of the canal. But had that happened and the canal had been placed into operation, rather than looking out over our campers and campsites from our Lead Host campsite, we instead would have been watching ocean going barges passing by just a short distance from our RV as the traversed the 100 yard wide barge canal that would have run from the Saint Johns River near Palatka, FL. to the Gulf of Mexico at Yankeetown, FL.
  13. One of the things I have enjoyed about this assignment is the diversity in our guest. We are definitely not a "Class A RV Resort" like more and more privately owned resorts have chosen to call themselves, nor are we a 55/plus adult RV Resort like others. We instead are a simple state campground who welcome all who wish to come and camp at our property. Everything from tents to Prevost motorhomes, with horse trailers that have living quarters in the front section mixed amongst them and their horses tied or corralled just outside in their campsite. So we have a real mixture of people. That diversity can be fun to watch as those from different backgrounds and levels of camping experience and levels of camping begin to interact with one another. My equestrians (horse) people are wonderful about taking it upon themselves to invite the other guest and their children into their site to introduce them to the horses and help make them feel more comfortable with the idea of camping next to a campsite with live horses on it. Yes, not all of our guest start out thrilled with the idea that they are going to have to be camped next to a site that has horses in it. Especially when the horse(s) are vocal during the day and begin calling out the the other horses at the far end of the campground which can be interesting. It is great when we see our RVers interacting with our tenters and visa-versa. I think we are very fortunate with how our guest are able to blend together and have an enjoyable stay at our campground. The last thing we as Host would want to do is have to be telling a family that's maybe on their first ever camping experience that they cannot come and check into their campsite tonight because they are going to be arriving too late and will disturb the other guest. Tent campers or non tenters alike. So we shall continue to attempt to keep the late arrivals as quiet as possible and hope to minimize the noise complaints from the other guest. 99% of the time, that is the only complaint I (we) end up receiving about these guest during their stay. So if you can make the complainer understand that is an occasional risk that we run at our campground with both tent campers and RVers checking in late and being a little noisy while they set up and that it is a courtesy offered to all of our guest when they are delayed in route, etc.then it should become a non issue for most who choose to camp here. Then if I can eventually expand to two sections, one for RVs and the other for tents, I believe that too will help. The reason the tents do not set up on the shell rock in their site is that all of our sites are pull thru sites (and very HDT friendly) with the drive only being a single lane wide. The tent would block the path of the vehicle(s) and cause them to have to drive onto the grassy yard area of the campsite and destroy our grass. So that is why that rule was put into place before I took over.
  14. Our state campground requires that all dogs (including my own) always be leased and kept within 6' of the handler at all times while outside. Our rule also states that pets cannot be tied outside to our trees. I do allow the guest to ground tie the dog, or tie it to the site's picnic table's legs. This does not eliminate the potential of the dog becoming entangled in their lead, but it does allow them to be able to have their dog outside with them and not having to hold the lead constantly. For those pet owners who wish and are equipped, several of my sites offer high line poles where the guest ties a horizontal rope overhead from pole to pole. A slider ring is placed on that rope to attached the pet's lead to. The slider ring allows the pet to travel the length of the "high line" rope and the lead kept short enough to keep the pet from getting entangled in it.
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