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kb0zke

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  1. As I read this three-page thread, it seems to me that it isn't an either-or situation. Do people do stupid things? YES. Do trail markers disappear? YES. Should rangers/park employees regularly hike trails as part of their job? YES. A few years ago we were campground hosting at a State park. During the month we were there we had two rescues. In the first one an individual got upset with other family members, drove to the park, and started hiking a trail - after dark with only limited cell phone battery. The family members contacted the park, and we were able to locate the missing person. In the second one a small group of a couple of adults, a couple of teens, and a toddler decided to hike a short trail. Only one of the teens had a cell phone. When they didn't return on schedule other family members asked for help. A ranger took off on the trail they were supposed to be on, going the other way. They had managed to get onto another trail that passed near, but did not cross, the trail they were on, so the ranger missed them completely. I picked the ranger up about 30 minutes after he started on the trail and drove him to the other trail where he headed toward the hikers. He was able to meet them before they got farther away and bring them back to the parking lot. The ranger was familiar with all of the trails in the park, having hiked/ridden them repeatedly. He said that was part of his job. He also noted that more marking was needed on one of the trails and before we left that marking was done.
  2. We're planning our summer travels now. We have two dates and locations that are fixed, but the rest is up to us. We laid out the route and figured where we would be spending nights. We have most of the reservations made. We'll be on the road for Independence Day weekend, but not traveling. Since that actually involves a conference, we'll be in a hotel then and the MH will be in the shop. When we were full-timing we'd generally plan a couple of months at a time. There are some places we know of that we can call a couple of hours out and get a spot, while others require more advance planning. If you never go back to the same place you are always learning and never get to use your knowledge. We keep track of what site we're at at each campground and note whether or not we like it. We'll be hitting a few campgrounds that we've been to before because of that. In one case we've actually gotten a site we've had before.
  3. Actually, anyplace near water can flood. The Escapee park in Hollister, MO (Branson area) flooded a few years ago. It is right on the river. People were helping each other move rigs to higher ground. Some common sense has to be applied. Flooding and hurricanes generally don't happen without at least some advance warning. Earthquakes and tsunamis, though, don't give warnings. If the truck is your only vehicle, and you are out shopping when the earthquake hits, there isn't much you can do about getting your trailer out. On the other hand, when it has been raining upstream for a few days, the river is likely to rise, so maybe you ought to stick close to home just in case.
  4. Welcome to the forum and RV'ing. I'm glad to see that you are doing some research before you spend money. I think your choice of a travel trailer is a good one. Keep in mind that you are going to have to have two trailers and two trucks, one each here and one each in Sweden. That doubles your costs. On the other hand, you will have a combination that works for where it is. The Swedish combo probably won't be the best for here, and the one for here won't be the best for there. As was mentioned, the Black Series trailers are heavy, and are designed for going into the back country. The other two are capable of boondocking, but are not intended to go as far off road as the Black Series. If you go with a Black Series you will want a 4WD truck to take full advantage of the off-road capabilities. The other two can be easily towed by either a 2WD or 4WD truck. Think about where you will store the truck and trailer when you are in Sweden. You might want to consider having your "home base" somewhere on the eastern part of the US. You might want to investigate the Escapees co-op parks. Some have storage areas, so your lot can be rented for much of the year. If the park you choose doesn't have a storage area you can simply leave your truck and trailer on your lot. Usually there is a helpful neighbor who will keep an eye on things for you. Here are some Airstream links: https://www.airstream.com/owners/document-archive/ will let you look at specs and floor plans. https://www.airforums.com/ is the owners' forum. Ask your questions there, and check the Classifieds for Airstreams for sale.
  5. kb0zke

    Trading Up

    Welcome to the forum. You'll get lots of good advice here. Some will contradict what others say. Take everything offered as a genuine attempt to help. We're looking at DRV mainly because of insulation. They have thicker walls and ceilings, so more insulation and larger tanks. I believe the 36' Mobile Suites are about 15,000 pounds GVWR. The 38' ones are a bit heavier. Remember that quality weighs more. We've been fulltiming in a Foretravel MH and make annual trips to Nacogdoches for service. You may we well served to find a service center near you that has a good reputation and go with what they suggest. It sounds like you are looking at new coaches, rather than used. Buying used may open up more possibilities.
  6. "While the community has a rule that all pets must be kept indoors or be leashed (as do the majority of RV parks) but a neighbor here recently had their pet cat attacked by a feral cat and the result was vet bills of about $500. That was about 2 weeks ago and just this morning their cat was running free again. " Slow learner?
  7. We've been fulltiming in a MH for several years and are now considering a 5'er. All of our fuses and breakers are inside the coach, so someone would have to break in to replace any pulled fuses or reset tripped breakers. 1. Some 5'ers have hydraulic leveling systems, while others have only hydraulic legs at the front. I assume that those systems have some sort of electrical control for them, which means that there is a fuse or circuit breaker somewhere. If that is pulled/tripped, will the system remain level, or will the weight of the coach cause it to drop? 2. Related to above, are there safety pins that are placed in the legs to prevent it from dropping too far? 3. Can those leveling systems be used to raise the coach enough to remove the wheels and tires? I'm thinking that when the time comes to replace the tires it would be easier to raise the 5'er up so that the wheels can be removed and taken to the tire shop for replacement tires, then reinstalled.
  8. I had the layers in mind when I originally posted this. Anything to make it difficult is going to make the thief look at the neighbor's rig instead of mine. A couple of years ago I saw a video of someone "stealing" a travel trailer in less than 30 seconds. The trailer had a tongue lock on it. The "thief" simply backed a truck up to the trailer and chained the hitch to the tongue. Then he plugged in the electric cable and drove off. The tongue jack was electric, so it worked just fine. That towing wouldn't work for very far or very fast, but it would let the their get away to a place where the tongue lock could be removed.
  9. Our cat has traveled all of her life. When she was very little she got out once and was crying at the patio door until we let her back in. Another time she went out of the Foretravel by herself. She was very surprised to find lots of cold, wet white stuff on the ground. I put her back inside and she hasn't gone out by herself since. She sometimes sniffs at the air when the door is open, but has shown no inclination to go outside. She travels in a cat carrier. When it shows up she knows we'll be going somewhere tomorrow. As we're doing the final packing we have to be sure that the door to the carrier is open. As soon as an engine starts she is in the carrier - and often before.
  10. I saw this an hour or so ago, too. It may be an interesting concept IF it is done correctly. That means some absolute national standards that are high enough to keep the junk parks out of the system. Personally, I'd like to see the parks all have 50A FHU sites that are concrete that is thick enough to take the heaviest RV made plus a tow vehicle/towed that is also quite heavy. The pad should be long enough for everything to easily park on it without being anywhere close to the street. Sites should be far enough apart that you will get a bit of exercise going from your door to your neighbor's door. I don't care if there is a swimming pool, tennis court, or other "amenities." I do care that the site is level and reasonably smooth.
  11. Jo Ann just showed me a post from somewhere about a brand-new 5'er that was stolen. I've seen lots of threads about different devices for preventing the theft of a travel trailer, but what about a 5'er? How does one prevent it from being stolen?
  12. As they say, you can make anything fly if you throw enough money at it. Many school buses are geared for in-town routes, so they aren't really able to go all that fast. Also, even though they are built on a medium-duty truck chassis, they rarely are loaded anywhere near GVWR, so the engine seems to have enough power, but it really doesn't for what you are proposing. Remember that a fifth wheel needs the hitch pretty much over the rear axle, You will want to make sure that you have plenty of room between the back of the bus and the front of the trailer. If you already have the trailer, you can measure from the pin to the body to get an idea of what you need. Deduct whatever you think is a reasonable clearance and that is the radius from the hitch to the end of the bus. Example: you decide that six feet gives you the safety margin you want. Draw an arc with a six foot radius from directly over the center of the rear axle, and everything outside of that arc has to go. Before you start cutting, though, check the rear axle weight capacity and compare it to the actual weight on it now. Yes, you are going to remove some of that weight when you start cutting, but at least you will have a starting point. Remember that 20-25% of the GVWR of the 5'er will be on the pin, which means on the rear axle. Add to that the weight of the hitch assembly, and you are starting to get closer to what will actually have to be carried there. Now the question everyone is wondering about: Why do you want to do this? Reading between the lines, it sounds like you want to have a fairly large enclosed space in the tow vehicle. That might imply that you will be carrying quite a bit of weight there. You might want to start adding up the estimated weight of what will be inside the bus. Adding a tag axle also adds weight and may not actually change the weight you can legally carry. Unless you go through all of the engineering work and get your vehicle recertified with a higher GVWR, I think you will be stuck with whatever it left the factory with. I've spent a fair amount of electrons on the issue of weight. The length is easy: check your laws there. I don't know about Canada, but here in the US it doesn't matter what the maximum legal length is in your home State, you have to follow the length limits in whatever State you are in. Our MH and towed are just under 60' overall length. That's fine for most of our travels, but when we go out east we may not be able to travel that way, in which case we'll unhook the car and Jo Ann will drive it. Can't do that with a towable.
  13. A few years ago we got one of those invitations that just happened to be right by where family was going to be. We took the tour (and the free nights), There are lots of C2C memberships available for MUCH less than a new membership, should you decide to go that way. For us, a lifetime Passport America membership has been a much better deal. We have already saved more than what we paid, and that was a couple of years ago.
  14. I play the piano and also tune them. Anything can be made to fly if you throw enough money at it. IF I were to want to do this, I'd think long and hard about securing it so that it can't go traveling by itself. Keeping it in tune will be a constant challenge. My suggestion is that, if you want to take a real piano along, is that you learn to tune yourself. Not really all that difficult. You will have to decide how often you will need to tune it. I'd wait a few days after landing before any tuning. An electronic keyboard is probably, overall, a much better choice. No tuning issues and MUCH less weight. Also, should you so desire, you can take it outside. Before we hit the road we had a small keyboard, more for fun than real concert-type playing. Once a year our church did "Church in the Park" (church service followed by potluck dinner) and we'd bring our keyboard.
  15. I, too, find this thread interesting. We need to remember that each of us has differing needs. Yes, there are lots of people who can easily use an EV as their only vehicle. There is a place for an EV truck, too. Rural America may not be the best choice for an EV, though. Right now I'm in a town of 15,000 and we have the only Wal-Mart for over 100 miles in some directions. Assuming that people in those places have a need/want to go to Wal-Mart, how useful is an EV for them? Now move to the RV world. We currently have a 40' motorhome and normally don't travel more than about 250 miles on a travel day. If our MH was an EV, I'm guessing that the motors and batteries would weigh about as much as the engine. When we get to the campground, how do we recharge those batteries? Could we even do so? While we prefer 50A sites, we all know that there are lots of campgrounds that have only 30A service. Does that mean that the coach would be plugged into the 30A outlet and the charger into the 20A one? How long would it take to charge the batteries? What about boondockers? How do they recharge their batteries? My thought is that there will always be a need for conventional vehicles, if only for those situations that simply can't be handled with an EV. Think about the fire trucks that are working around Mount Rushmore right now. Can anyone imagine those being powered only by batteries?
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