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Brad NSW

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About Brad NSW

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  • Location
    Full Timing
  • Interests
    Hiking, hunting, fishing, wooden model shipbuilding

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  1. The reinforced hitch (2 plates and one angle iron) has held up from Nashville to S Carolina, to Maine, to Colorado, to Washington. I'll have to check out the other failure point around the bolt. We pulled the Teflon bushing before we welded in all the reinforcement pieces. Hitch does have a 1/2" or so of fore/aft play, which I hope isn't the beginning of that hole elongating, or those welds starting to give.
  2. Mine was pre-sale to Roadmaster.
  3. Dave, sent a PM, we're on Hwy 20 on the way to Anacortes. PM'd you our phone numbers.
  4. We've been on the road since March. Southern CA to CO to S. Carolina, then up to Maine, back west to CO (for 2nd grand-daughter's birth) via Niagara Falls, then up to Idaho. Tomorrow we head to Washington to visit our daughter who is due next week (first grand-son). We'll stay there for a month and then head south. Very little impact from COVID. We've had less contact RVing than if we'd have stayed home. March/Apr, some campgrounds were closed. We've done a lot of boondocking and it's been wonderful! Here's a link to our blog that chronicles our adventure: https://truckin523021914.wordpress.com/
  5. Here is a picture of our Comfort Ride failure (left). Luckily it was a short 200 mile day. While unhitching, in Nashville we found the whole hitch head bent back and the welds starting to fail. Campground recommended a welder and we had it reinforced with two steel plates (for and aft), as well as a piece of angle iron (right). This was several month ago and we now have 2000 miles on the "reinforced" hitch and it's doing great.
  6. All good solutions! Glad everyone has something (slots, bolts, straps) will do the job.
  7. Is anyone relying on friction alone to secure the ramps to their beds? If so, I had an interesting mishap. Driving off in Gettysburg, PA, the bottom drivers side frame scraped the ramp off the bed! Left front tire was hanging in mid-air (sorry I didn't have the presence of mind to snap a photo). A couple of young men helped me lift the Smart up, while the DW slid the ramp under the wheel and back on the bed. Drove her off and immediately drilled holes into the frame, through the ramps. Now I insert 2" long bolts to prevent a recurrence. Clearance has always been close but guess the angles lined up just right so the frame scraped the ramp off.
  8. Gotta hand calculate over several fill-ups. Going from CA to S. Carolina we got between 7.5 and 8MPG. 60-65MPH, 1400-1450RPM, towing a 27K 5th wheel. DD15. Lots of variables. Rear end ratio is also huge. Wind is also a factor. Going E, with my dodge and a lighter 5th wheel, we got 9MPG with constant headwind. Go West on return, with strong tailwinds, we got over 11MPG! Here is a quote from facebook by Greg Shields who used to customize OTR truck for towing HDTs: " I have had the unique opportunity to use many RV Haulers with D12s, D13s, and D16s. I have also towed with horsepower ratings of 435, 450, 485, 500, 535 and up to 600 HP! Please note that I drove the same roads for hours and days at a time, with the same loads of Smart cars, tools, and the same trailers (5th wheels) between these various RVHauler powertrain combinations. Certainly, this is only my opinion, and other folks have other experiences. Engine size / HP is not a top factor in fuel economy in my side by side comparisons or in my uses over the years. #1 Speed that you drive #2 Wind (headwind, sidewind, tailwind) #3 Hills / Grades #4 Rear End ratio #5 Engine size #6 Engine mechanical condition (injectors etc) #7 Fuel grade and quality The next variables are somewhat lumped together, and I find it hard to say which have more impacts than others... I shift transmission Vs ZF Meritor and other autoshifts Trailer and load weight Tire inflation and fuel efficiency How often and how hard you put your foot down on the throttle I can take any of the above variables, and make it overwhelm all the other variables - and get awful mileage. If we made all the other variables identical between RVHaulers and just play with the engine size, transmission, rear end ratio and HP - here are my thoughts... We try to get a reasonable combination of the variables above - and we do ok - 11 MPG. If we have one really really out of spec or a less-than-perfect combination of variables - we are in the 7 MPG range. It seems we can be in the 7's quite often. I personally have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours enjoying my RVHaulers and traveling to (almost) every corner of US / Canada. I am no longer entirely focused on fuel - I now tend to care about safety, comfort, longevity, performance, and lastly fuel economy - that is just me. My favorite combination - D16 at 500 hp, ishift, and a 2.67 rear end ratio. I LOVE the horse power and torque - this is my preference, and again every driver will have their own likes and dislikes. I LOVE driving up the steepest 10 mile grades at 75 MPH, and passing every LGT (Little Girly Truck). Ok, and the rear end ratio is fantastic - cause it just hums along at 1100 RPMS at 65 MPH. 10-11 MPG with this combo but I do the majority of my driving (80%) in the rocky mountains - crummy fuel economy conditions. Yup, the performance matters to me, and I will compromise the fuel efficiency for the ability to accelerate, climb hills and pass. Hey, I have worked my whole career, and I have given myself permission to have something that "turns my crank". AN ASIDE - (Manly man moment) The biggest thrill towing was courtesy of the RVHauler named PRINCE that I had the honor to use for 1.5 years - the Volvo 880 with 600 HP. That engine would actually twist the frame a bit on hard acceleration. AWESOME. The best fuel economy is going to come from D13 in and around 435-485 HP, i shift or ultrashift, and driving around 65 MPH. (not doing 75 MPH passing everyone going up-hill). Closer to 11 MPG average is feasible. Ratios to stay away from 3.55 3.73 - nope, no way. They are going to push your fuel economy lower. I have some YouTube videos where I did side by side comparisons - same engine, same weight, same driver, same speed, same accelerations, etc, and ONLY changed the rear end ratio - the result - 1.5 MPG difference saved when you go to a 2.67 vs a 3.53. As you can see - change one variable and you can see a significant difference. I hope that helps."
  9. Brad NSW

    First HDT

    Enjoy the project ahead!
  10. SuiteSuccess - agree, especially with the pin behind the axles, which adds a lot of extra bounce/motion! I always do a good pre-trip inspection and walk around at rest stops. We head out tomorrow for a 250 mile day, which will include several stops to monitor the repair. But with the added structure I don't anticipate issues (fingers crossed)!
  11. Hitch Repaired at local welder (CJ Trailers). He cut out the bent yoke plates, straightened them in a 50T press, then rewelded. We also added 3 fore/aft plates to stiffen/reinforce that yoke + we welded a 2" angle over the pin. May be overkill but it's stronger than new. From what we can figure, the welds around the pin gave first. Then the yoke started to bend backwards. The welds on the yoke were starting to crack, which would have dropped the trailer!! Glad I only went 150 miles yesterday!! Now we have to think about a permanent solution! Thanks for all the references and ideas everyone!
  12. SuiteSuccess, thanks. I'm contacting local welders who can reinforce/reweld the existing head for a temp fix. I'm thinking the same pattern but reinforcing it with some fore/aft support!!! I've sent an e-mail to ET asking about buying a super senior and talked to Jack Mayer who said he can install an ET in KS if I can get it there!! Bill Perrin also gave me a number to the VP at RoadMaster who I'll call tomorrow to see what he can do about drop shipping a new head box. Gotta be at a wedding in S. Carolina in days!!!
  13. Drove 180miles to Nashville, TN today and found this as I unhitched (see photo). Called and left a message (today/Sunday) with the new company that bought Comfort Ride. We'll see what they say/can do? Help: Anyone have recommendations on a new hitch brand, and somewhere near Nashvillethat can install on an HDT? Wasn't like this when we left this morning and only normal driving (some bumpy interstate) but that's it.
  14. Truck before Deck and Drom: Steer(10,500) Drive(8420) Truck Total(18,920lbs) Truck w/Deck, Drom, Smart: Steer(11,260) Drive(12,300) Truck Total(23,560lbs) Truck w/Deck, Drom, Smart, and Trailer: Steer(9,480) Drive(21,480) Truck Total(30,960lbs) Trailer: Total(27,120lbs) Pin Weight(7,300) 3 axles distribute: 19,820lbs Truck and Trailer combined: 50,780lbs Unloaded front Axle @1000lbs but she handles and track's great! If anything jumps out as odd/wrong, let me know.
  15. ARGO - Mid July in Maine, probably around 13-15 Jul and then 20-21ish. Only reservation we have is for Green Pond ME 19-21. Let us know if you are there then and want to try and link up. Brad
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