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RickW

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About RickW

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  • Birthday 07/06/1969

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    Wylie, Texas

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  1. Flat tow automatic jeep

    My 2014 Wrangler is manual but as posted just put the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in gear and away we go!
  2. Send in Newt for the negotiations .... he is ruthless!
  3. Why HDT + 5er vs Class A + Toad?

    As for the question of which is better, the answer is the one that works best for your lifestyle. We did 12 years in 5th wheels, 7 pulling with an HDT. 9 months ago we sold the HDT/5th and purchased a Diesel Pusher. There are +/- to both setups. In the end, it is our current lifestyle and the way we are currently traveling that make the DP a better choice for us. We miss our HDT but absolutely love our DP and do not regret making the switch. When trying to compare the difference between the two different setups, make sure you are doing an Apple to Apple comparison. For example, in my case I purchased a brand new motorhome. If we purchased a new 5th wheel, odds are we would not have purchased a new truck (nothing at all wrong with our old HDT), so it would have been much cheaper to purchase a new 5th wheel. But because we purchased new MH everything was new, including the drivetrain. So to purchase a new 5th wheel and HDT (for a Apple to Apple comparison) that would be equivalent to the MH purchase and would have put us in the same ballpark financially in the end. GVW/GCVW has to be looked at and closely watched regardless of which setup you decide on. In Mark's case he downsized so keeping all his stuff and keeping within his weight limits is now more challenging but he is now able to get into places he was previously unable to with his now shorter length. I on the other hand went from a 40' 5th wheel to a 45' DP with a tag axle. My GVWR is 49k. At the rally, I weighed in @ just under 43k. So I can carry more junk (as long as I distribute it correctly, I am currently at the limit for my front axle but I also have my tools and other heavy stuff towards the front that could be moved to the rear). I also now have a much longer wheel base and no longer bend in the middle. So getting into some of the same places are now more difficult than it was previously. Unless you are willing to pull doubles or have another driver follow with the toad, I do think the MH gives you more choices and flexibility over the HDT. Our HDT was setup for carrying a Jeep Wrangler. So we were limited to the Jeep or something smaller for a toad (so not many options). With a Smart car deck you are basically limited to just a Smart car. With the MH we can take the Jeep or the P/U. Witch ever is best for our needs for the trip we are making. Of course a 5th wheel toy hauler opens up the toad possibilities but a car that is parked in the living room is not an option (at least that is what I am told) around here. So like I said, the best one is one that fits your lifestyle.
  4. Smart car electric vs gas

    As already pointed out one of the biggest hurdles with 100% electric car is going to be the range. Another hurdle could be the charging. You are most likely going to be limited to only charging using a 15a extension cord. While that works, it is vey time consuming in most cases. Most cars are designed to be charged using a charger that requires more power than you will have access to in most camp grounds. So using the quick charger is typically not going to be feasible. Another thing is not all camp grounds are going to allow you to charge your car. Or they may charge you an additional fee if they do. In their eyes, charging your car means you are using more electricity then they expect for the fees they are charging. On the upside, I have started to notice charging stations in some of the national parks. I am assuming that they are for public use but not positive. Also unaware of any fees for using them.
  5. Smart car electric vs gas

    As already pointed out one of the biggest hurdles with 100% electric car is going to be the range. Another hurdle could be the charging. You are most likely going to be limited to only charging using a 15a extension cord. While that works, it is vey time consuming in most cases. Most cars are designed to be charged using a charger that requires more power than you will have access to in most camp grounds. So using the quick charger is typically not going to be feasible. Another thing is not all camp grounds are going to allow you to charge your car. Or they may charge you an additional fee if they do. In their eyes, charging your car means you are using more electricity then they expect for the fees they are charging. On the upside, I have started to notice charging stations in some of the national parks. I am assuming that they are for public use but not positive. Also unaware of any fees for using them.
  6. A sporty Trolley?

    I thought I had seen it all ..... now this!
  7. Go-Cart racing in Wichita on Sunday

    At least nobody spewed Dr. Depper! The go-carts were a lot of fun!
  8. Texas Route Help

    I live in Dallas area. I drive this stretch of US287 4 to 5 times a year. US287 is a busy trucking route. You will have no problems. Keep in mind many oversized loads (wind turbines mostly) go up/down this highway all the time. If you get off the highway then it is no different than anyplace else. Just be aware of what is around you as you never know what may hanging over those secondary streets.
  9. PRE HDT RALLY?

    For Bailey Mae, the rally is the social event of the year on her calendar. She is under my desk right now, resting and preparing for the rally as we speak! Only thing she is not looking forward to is the mandatory bath she must take so that you do not know she is coming from 20' away! If you spend your time waiting for people to come to you, you will be disappointed. Not just here but in life in general. I understand being shy, I too am until I get to know somebody. This has to be one of the easiest pleases in the world to meet people. I have met many for the first time between seminars. Easy to strike up a conversation about the seminar that just ended or the next one as you already have a topic to start with. Just standing in line for food or eating a meal at a table, I have met so many people. Alicia has had to send out a search party more than once because after 2 hours Bailey Mae & I still have not returned from what should have only been a 10 minute walk. Each truck & setup is unique and different. So just meeting one person can lead you to meeting others if that person is unable to answer your question. They will happily point you in the direction of somebody they think or knows has the answer to your question. I can not tell you how many people I have met because somebody has told them to come meet me because of something I have done to my truck that they are thinking of doing too. I understand at times there appears to be "cliques". Keep in mind the longer somebody has been coming to a rally, the more friendships that they have built and have. In some cases this may be the only time they have seen each other in a long time and tend to get caught up getting caught up. They are not ignoring other people but are excited to see old friends. Yes these conversations are harder to jump into but I seriously doubt anybody would tell you to go away so that they could be with their friends. Steve and Gail bust their a##e# off pulling off the rally each year. They are getting better about delegating and having others perform various tasks. Even when they are trying to relax they still tend to be working and making sure everything is right for what is coming up next. Nobody gets paid to put this rally on. So volunteering to assist with cooking a meal or cleaning up is yet another opportunity to meet more people in a smaller setting. Just like this internet forum, there is more to gain by getting involved vs lurking. Odds are you are also going to make many new friends in the process. We no longer own a HDT but still find ourselves going to the rallys solely based on the people and type of people we know will be there. Steve - I meet you a few years back. I enjoyed our conversation and found you quite interesting. I have not taken you up on the offer to tour your shop out of fear that I would not want to leave. Especially if I was allowed to start working on something.
  10. Just a friendly reminder

    My motor home does activate the brake lights when the engine brake is in use. My understanding is that it is a ECM option on some of the newer HDTs.
  11. Big5er and Other Folks in Texas

    Phil - Glad to hear you are safe. Good news is it appears the eye of the storm has moved more than expected overnight. This is shifting the storm more to the east, giving some relief to the greater Houston area. Rainfall projections over the next 72 hours are now dropping for the Houston area but increasing for the southern LA areas. NWS/USACE are now saying this is a 1000/yr flood event. Last night two different flood control lakes operated by the USACE had to start releasing water in order to start releasing pressure and prevent a possible failure. Projections are that it can take up to 2 months for some areas to recede and people able to return. Not sure about the Houston area but here in the Dallas area Oct/Nov is the wettest part of the year. If it is the same for Houston this is not good. Typically here lakes are low this time of year so they have no problems with storing water and preventing flooding. If Houston is the same, all lakes will still be full as the wet season starts, so the potential for more flooding would be possible just when they think it is all behind them. To give an idea on the resources being provided from around the state, my local FD currently has 15% of our first responders reassigned to the rescue effort. Almost every FD in the greater area have also provided similar levels of staffing and equipment. We have crews assigned to 2 different task forces. The first one deployed Thursday afternoon and the second one deployed on Saturday morning. The first task forces (750 ambulances in this task force) most recent assignment was the evacuation of patients from a community near the coast to a facility 115 miles to the north. They spent most their day trying to find a route to their destination with patients on board. Every time they found a route, they were cut off by high water and had to retreat and make new plans. By the end of the day they had to find new destinations for all the patients requiring them to split the patients up to multiple different locations. The important thing is they are safe. The task force had to regroup and spent the night at a Buckee's and are waiting for their next assignment this morning. Our other task force was assigned to a community Southeast of Houston/Northwest of Galveston. The community they are assigned to has lost 2/3 of their fire stations to flooding. Including some of their equipment. Our crew has been assisting answering 911 calls with the local department for the past 6 hours. With the sun coming up they are expecting to be out in the community answering calls all day. Back home we have everybody being required to work overtime to cover the shifts for the personal assigned to rescue operations 300 miles away. I am sure at some point in the next few days, plans will be made on how to rotate out the crews currently assigned with fresh crews. Again this is just my local FD. All the FDs in the area are also experience similar situations both locally and with personal assigned to the areas affected by the storm. Thoughts and prayers are with everybody who lives in the effected areas and all the first responders both local and from other areas working this disaster.
  12. Sleepers for actual sleeping!

    The Dog & Cats were always on the bunk while traveling. We would also use them often if a break was needed during the travel day. They are great for a quick power nap in the middle of the day if needed. Back before we had a generator (the reason we finally got one) we got rerouted that day due to a wildfire. The reroute added quite a few hours to our day and we did not make our planned destination for the evening. We ended up in a WalMart parking lot. It was too warm to sleep in the trailer without A/C. Slept in the truck overnight and by morning it was like we were sleeping inside a walk in freezer. Much better than the alternative.
  13. OT: coax cable

    I agree replace it all. Otherwise it is a future headache waiting to happen. I also agree with Jack that at the very least run conduit under the wall. If feasible I personally would run conduit from point to point. Technology has a tendency to change. Already having conduit in place for any possible future upgrade/change will make life easier.
  14. HDT Acquisition Cost and Total Cost of Ownership

    Honestly, I don't know how long it was going down the road. I never ran a tape measure down it. My best guess is around 72' +/-. In 7 years, 35 states, 70k+ miles, I was never stopped. This included many trips in/out of the much feared state of California. Keep in mind length limits very from state to state. While your license and registration requirements are tied to your state of residency, length is not. So even if legal in your home state you can still be over length and ticketed by another state you are traveling in. So while 65' is a good length number to work with, it is not the end all/be all number to conform too. Length is not a HDT only issue. I now have a 45' motorhome. When I tow our Jeep I am under 65' foot but only by a few feet. So I am technically over length in any state with a length limit under 65' and subject to a ticket if stopped. I also tow my Chevy P/U (crew cab/short box) behind the MH sometimes. Now I am over length in most states, including my home state. Keep in mind while I was over 65', the fact I was using a HDT as a RV is what most noticed, not my length. My overall length was a few shorter than most semi trucks/trailers running down the highway. Length did not seem out of place since my length was normal in the minds of most when they see a HDT. My length was a calculated risk, no different than speeding. As for video of loading/unloading, I never personally video tapped it. On many occasions I was photographed/video-graphed loading/unloading by others. So I am sure there are photos/videos some where on the internet. Last year at the National HDT rally I was video tapped loading/unloading on to Rick Olson's new Jeep hauler bed. He has built a very unique tilting bed for loading/unloading. I know I have seen the video at one point but not sure where to find it. We did build the bed ourselves. Very simple, straight forward design. When I say we, I mean, I had a lot of help. I am a IT guy, my fabrication skills are limited at best. Luckily my wife has two different cousins who each own/operate their own fabrication shops for a living. I was basically their entry level shop hand as they built the bed. I spent a lot of time fetching tools, sweeping and other tasks. They could have never done it without my oversight and supervision (and checkbook).
  15. HDT Acquisition Cost and Total Cost of Ownership

    For longterm ownership you should find the HDT much cheaper to operate. In our case our HDT over the 7 years we owned it was much cheaper to operate than our previous SuperDuty. Simply put our SuperDuty was requiring more repairs and more often. With the SuperDuty we were towing at its limits. With the HDT, it was not breaking a sweat. Typically anything working at its limits is going to wear out or break down faster than something that is not. The big difference is when you spend money on a HDT you are going to spend more of it at that point in time. You are just not going to do it as often. Example is tires. I was putting tires on the P/U every 24 to 30 months. With the HDT I was replacing tires because of age not wear. I almost cried writing the check for new tires on the HDT, but in the same period of time I would have spent as much or more for tires on the P/U. Oil Changes, same thing. It comes down to the frequency I was having to perform the same tasks on the P/U vs HDT. Repairs on the road with the HDT are easier too. Think about a HDT when in commercial service is not making money if the wheels are not rolling. With my P/U, I pulled in to the Ford Dealership in Flagstaff AZ and was told it would take two weeks to even look at the truck. With the HDT at the 2016 ECR I lost the idle tension pully. 2 hours after pulling into the repair shop (no appointment, just pulled in) I was repaired and on the road. As for hauler beds, I think Carl has a good point. In my case, I built the bed specifically for the the '87 Jeep we had at the time. Even when we purchased a new Jeep, there were enough changes that while it worked it was noticeably different due to changes to the '14 Jeep. If I built to allow just a few more inches hear or there the transition from one Jeep to the other would have been smoother. When the Smarts got wider, some of the earlier builds for the early Smarts had some issues with the newer cars, again because they were built specifically for the early, narrower cars. Now with the Smarts the issue is availability if looking to purchase a new one in the future. As for loading a vehicle at an angle, personally I don't like it. For starters, I am not getting any younger. Loading at angle will require much more climbing around on the truck & vehicle to securing it to the truck. This takes more time and increase the possibility of slipping and falling. By loading flat, I was able to drive the vehicle on to the HDT. To secure the vehicle, my feat were on the ground. No climbing around on the truck. It was quick, simple and I felt safest. Anybody who wanted to watch me load/unload would miss it if they went to go get their lawn chair, camera or a beer. I was able to do it that quickly. I will close with, if you are looking for your last and final tow vehicle a HDT is a strong choice. Once dialed in it will give you many years and miles of dependable service. The longer you keep & use it the less it is going to cost you per mile. A P/U based platform will shine if you like to change tow vehicles frequently or when you sell you need to move it quickly.
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