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Diesel vs gas
Posted by Dick Ackerman on April 22, 1999 at 01:07:43:
         I talked to a fulltimer in a rest area about fulltiming and his reason for gas over
         diesel is that when they stop and work for a few months at a time,the diesel
         goes bad and clogs injectors. Anybody got any feedback on this? It's the first
         time I've heard it.

Posted by Cyndie on April 22, 1999 at 01:14:07:
        In Reply to: Diesel fuel posted by Dick Ackerman on April 22, 1999
         I am a chemical engineer. This doesn't make sense with today's low sulfur diesel
         specs. The processing required to produce todays diesel should eliminate any
         stability problems with the fuel while in storage. The only possibility is
         temperature related. If the diesel was purchased in the summer time but stored
         in winter in cold climates. This is called gelling and impacts the diesels flow

2-Step awning by A&E
Posted by sally on April 13, 1999 at 23:49:35:
         Anyone had any experience with the new 2-Step awning by A&E? It looks so

Posted by Mario on April 14, 1999 at 08:46:20:
        In Reply to: A&Es new 2 step awning posted by sally on April 13, 1999
          Don't have one but sent for the free video and saw it demo'd at an RV show.
          Very slick and although I didn't personally operate the awning, it seemed to
          work flawlessly.

Posted by Pam on May 11, 1999 at 23:35:00:
        In Reply to: Re: A&Es new 2 step awning posted by Mario on April 14, 1999
         A & E's 2 step awning is a breeze to operate. Simple to put out and easy and
         quick to put away - which can be a plus when those suprise thunderstorms
         blow in. I also liked that the arms are up high. It seemed like every trip I'd have
         to turn around & bump my head at least once... Oh well, my hard head comes
         in handy sometimes! The only drawback was the inability to tip one corner of
         the awning for extra sun blocking or rain pour off. Pam 

Posted by Mario on May 13, 1999 at 11:39:04:
        In Reply to: Re: A&Es new 2 step awning posted by Pam on May 11, 1999
         If I remember correctly, when I saw the awning demo'd at a show, tipping was
         demonstrated. They also have a free video. 

Posted by Pam on April 28, 1999 at 01:22:25:
        In Reply to: Re: A&Es new 2 step awning posted by Mario on April 14, 1999
         Just picked up our new "Winnie" which came with this new awning. Was easy
         to operate in the dealer's garage bay. We are going on a "shake out" this
         weekend and providing the weather will cooperate and Stop raining here we'll
         see how it works.

Low Battery
Posted by Maureen Brague on April 11, 1999 at 16:03:55:
         We just purchased a new motor home. I am using it as my vehicle right now, so
         it is run daily. Despite this the battery that operates the detectors, etc and opens
         the step to the side door is so low every morning that it won't work. My
         husband asked about this and he was told to shut that stuff off every night. This
         doesn't make sense to me. Shouldn't that battery stay charged atleast
         overnight? If you have to keep shutting everything off everynight what's the
         point? And how would this work if you were boondocking? I feel like the
         dealer is just giving us the runaround, but I admit being ignorant about this stuff
         and would like to know what other RVers think? 

Posted by Mario on April 13, 1999 at 15:31:44:
        In Reply to: Low Battery posted by Maureen Brague on April 11, 1999
         If you are running this MH every day (I assume you mean driving a reasonable
         distance) then the alternator should replace the minimum draw used by the
         detectors and step. If the refer is a 3 way (110 - 12V - LP) be sure it's not
         running in the 12V mode. A competent RV mechanic or someone familiar with
         the 12V operation can perform some simple tests to determine any phantom
         electrical current loss. My first suggestion would be to check the output of the
         alternator and make sure it's getting past the isolator or selenoid. I'd insist that
         the dealer find the problem because the performance you describe is not

Posted by Maureen on May 05, 1999 at 19:25:51:
        In Reply to: Re: Low Battery posted by Mario on April 13, 1999 at 15:31:44:
         Thanks for your response, Mario. Don't know what the problem was with the
         first mechanic that tested our battery, but my husband had it checked again and
         it had SEVERAL dead cells. It has since been replaced and our problems have
         disappeared. Thanks again for your response. 

Need for a weight distributing hitch
Posted by Rio Beckwith on April 09, 1999 at 11:19:26:
         I will be towing a 21ft TowLite trailer with my 4dr / 4wd Jimmy. The trailer is
         rated at just under 3000lbs dry with a 350 lb tongue weight. I have been given
         conflicting info about the need for a weight distributing hitch (WDH), even by
         the GM handbook! Some say anything over 3500 lbs requires it and some say
         I am OK up to 5000 lbs. I don't mind spending the extra money for better
         control even if I don't really need it but I am apprehensive about the effect of
         the hitch on my Jimmy. I understand the theory of shifting weight to the front
         wheels (I am an engineer) but it is being done through a very short moment
         arm. It seems like this would put tremendous stress on the attach points on the
         frame of the Jimmy, and risk cracking it. Am I being unduly paranoid? Is the
         WDH a good idea even if I don't really require it, just to get better control?
         Thanx in advance.

Posted by Jim on April 11, 1999 at 09:27:36:
        In Reply to: Weight Distributing Hitch - Do I need one posted by Rio Beckwith on 3/9/99
         We pulled a 17' travel trailer with a 1/2 ton GMC pickup truck. When we told
         our friend/salesman that we were going to do extensive traveling with the rig, he
         gave me a Reese dual cam sway control/ weight distributing hitch setup. Once
         this hitch was adjusted properly, the rig was very stable and there was no rear
         end sag of the pickup. We still use the same setup today (only with heavier
         bars) to pull a 26' travel trailer with a 3/4 ton GMC pickup and it still works
         great. As for putting stress on the frame, I have never had a problem with
         cracks or any other damage to the frame. 

Big Foot Truck Camper
Big Foot Truck Camper  Posted by Linda Clark on April 04, 1999 at 09:20:55:
         Can someone tell me where I can get information on the Big Foot truck
         camper. I have researched the Lance, but it was recommended that I compare
         it to the Big Foot to make a comparison. I would like to know how to get
         brochures and dealer locations.

Medium duty trucks
           Posted by Ron MJ on March 09, 1999 at 19:47:31:
          WE are planning to purchase a truck in the near future. At this time we are
          considering a Freightliner 4door crewcab with a 275hp 800lb torque and a 6
          speed allison transmission. If any of you has had good or bad experiences or
          have suggestions please contact us. 

Posted by Chuck Mercer on March 19, 1999 at 11:43:37:
        In Reply to: medium duty trucks posted by Ron MJ on March 09, 1999
         Check out the Escapees group: "Medium-Duty Truck BOF: For exchange of
         info regarding use of MDTs to pull large 5-W (or other) trailers. Open to those
         who currently own MDTs or those considering the purchase of one. Exchange
         info on aftermarket parts and supplies, dealers, truck specs, etc. Newsletter 3
         or 4 times/yr. with special updates $20. Send check, truck description, SKP
         number and other pertinent info to Harrell & Tommy Sue Hicks, 101 Rainbow
         Dr., #155, Livingston, TX 77351-9330. " 

Responsible boondocking
         Posted by Pete Louchheim on March 06, 1999 at 19:47:02:
         Ron's, "From the Driver's Seat" was right on. I forsee the day in the not to
         distant future when Wal-Mart and others like it will be forced to discontinue the
         overnighting of RVs. This must happen because so many of us take way too
         much advantage. We have stayed in shopping centers and the like, but only as
         a last resort. We would much rather find another type of "free" spot with grass
         or desert or something other than lined spaces. There are still plenty of those to
         go around. 

 RV Consumer Group
          Posted by Dave Lloyd on March 04, 1999 at 23:19:19:
         Am in the process of selecting a motorhome for full timing, and have seen that
         the RV Consumer Group offers a number of publications to assist in that
         process, along with their membership. The package price is $100. Has anyone
         had any experience with this group or any of the books (most by J.D. Gallant)?
         Thanks in advance for any comments. 

Posted by Ed Richmond on March 06, 1999 at 08:36:13:
        In Reply to: RV Consumer Group posted by Dave Lloyd on March 04, 1999
         Yes, I am very glad I joined RV Consumer Group. I got an education on
         purchasing new and used RV's. I also found the most thorough and objective
         evaluation of motorhomes. National RV can thank RV Consumer's Group for
         changing my focus from another brand to the Sea Breeze. RV Consumer
         Group is the closest thing to Consumer Reports that we have for RV's. The
         work is done mostly by volunteers; it is a not-for-profit organization. The 100
         dollars helps with research and publication. Because of RV Consumer's Group,
         I purchased a 33' Sea Breeze at 77 and 1/2 percent of the MSRP.

Posted by Tresa on March 09, 1999 at 23:23:48:
        In Reply to: RV Consumer Group posted by Dave Lloyd on March 04, 1999
         I joined RV Consumer Group and have been going over the materials they sent
         me. I think it is well worth the money. I am researching for my first motorhome
         purchase...owned travel trailers before but never a Class A MH. I find the
         books about how to purchase very helpful and think you will too. I believe I'll
         save the money I spent to join this group. It was an eye-opener re
         overweighting. Tresa

Posted by virginia hyde on March 10, 1999 at 12:49:50:
        In Reply to: Re: RV Consumer Group posted by Ed Richmond on March 06, 1999
         My husband and I are ALSO very glad that we joined RV Consumer Group.
         We also feel that this group provides the most thorough, objective, and critical
         evaluation of all types of RVs. RV Consumer Group is the closest thing to
         Consumer Reports that we have for RV's. The work is done mostly by
         volunteers; it is a not-for-profit organization. The 100 dollars helps with
         research and publication. We feel that the RV world needs an organization like

 Onan Gen Propane vs Gasolilne
          Posted by Ebs on February 28, 1999 at 22:52:21:
         Just made the decision on a rig. The dealer told me to go with a gasoline Onan
         4,000 watt generator rather than Propane because I would get only about 4
         hours operation out of a 30 pound propane tank!! Is this TRUE? I don't like
         the idea of gasoline in my home. 

Posted by Bob Griffin on March 09, 1999 at 14:31:04:
        In Reply to: Onan Gen Propane vs Gasolilne posted by Ebs on February 28, 1999
            For info on Onan generators such as fuel consumption and noise specs:

Posted by jim on March 01, 1999 at 00:20:08:
        In Reply to: Onan Gen Propane vs Gasolilne posted by Ebs on February 28, 1999
         Not true. LPG is MUCH more economical than gasoline. Also carbon build up
         is MUCH less. Call the ONAN Distributer in your nearest big city. 

Posted by John Veach on May 15, 1999 at 14:20:48:
        In Reply to: Re: Onan Gen Propane vs Gasolilne posted by jim on March 01, 1999
         The economics of the genset is not the question. LP gas is about 10 to 20%
         less efficient than gasoline or diesel fuel. You get less power from the generator
         and an LP genset consumes fuel more rapidly than a gas or diesel genset. LP
         burns much cleaner and if you are only going to use your genset on rare
         occasions and for short periods, it is probably the way to go. If you run your
         genset and drive all day, you might find yourself purchasing LP every day you
         drive. A generic LP tank on a MH should last about 12 to 14 hours of
         continuous running. If you are going to boondock a lot, get a gas or diesel
         genset. John 

 Now or Later
           Posted by Tom Strauss on February 28, 1999 at 18:57:17:
         A big question for my wife and I is whether or not to upgrade our coach now
         ... or wait a year or two. Here is the situation: (1) We are a little over 2 years
         from being able to jump into full timing. Our daughter is finishing 10th grade and
         we will wait until she finishes high school to "hit the road". (2) We currently
         spend about 8 weeks per year in the coach -- frequently in Florida. Our oldest
         son is on the Technical Staff at Disney so we spend a lot of time in that area
         mixing Disney time with seeing our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson
         (currently 8 months old). Our other son will start college in central Florida this
         year. (3) We are in the process of selling our business and being "early retirees"
         -- mid-50s. We plan to mix taking it easy with some level of short term work
         situations (just enough to keep from getting too bored)until our daughter
         graduates. (4) We currently have a 94 Southwind (officially a 33', but actually
         34'). My wife very much wants more room (read "slide-out"), dual pane
         windows, and a little more kitchen space. I want a better handling coach that
         we're not constantly on the edge of overloading. Finally, the question ... (I hope
         I didn't lose everybody with all of the above, but it's all part of the "debate"):
         Currently, a 40' Newmar Mountain Aire pusher is the coach of choice. But, the
         question is should we wait until about this time of year two years from now ...
         or do we go ahead and upgrade now (or, in reality, this summer)? Since we
         plan to keep the new coach many years, the short term depreciation aspect is
         minimized. Either way, we will probably order a coach with the specific things
         we wanted. We've tried to consider the "cost of money" (keeping the money
         earning interest for two extra years ... vs any price increases the next two
         years). The unknown of new items that will be offered in a coach two years
         from now is also at the back of the mind. (A separate point ... luckily we should
         be in position to have minimal financing, so today's interest rates vs rates in the
         future do not come into play very much). If we bought the Mountain Aire this
         summer, we would have plenty of time to shake it down over the next few
         years. (And Newmar has a 3 yr, 36,000 mile warranty so even then we would
         still have warranty coverage). But, a negative about getting one this summer ...
         Indiana applies a personal property tax to RVs. We would be faced with
         (taking a guess) about $800 per year in extra tax until we could relocate.
         Anyway, those of you who are already "on the road" -- what things would you
         weigh heavier than others in trying to make this decision? Is there any major
         point we are overlooking? Again, sorry for being so long! Thanks. Tom & Fran
         (still in Indy for now!) 

Posted by Claudia Duske on March 11, 1999 at 23:02:34:
        In Reply to: Now or Later posted by Tom Strauss on February 28, 1999
         Hi Tom, Just to add my two cents worth. We needed a larger fifth wheel (than
         we owned previously)to accomodate my daughter on my husband's out of state
         jobs when I decided to join him. We are also planning to full time once she is
         away @ college, but have a much longer waiting period than you--5.5 years!
         We went ahead & bit the bullet & invested in a top of the line 40 footer towed
         now with a Freightliner. You wouldn't believe what has happened. We now
         take every opportunity we can to get away in it because we love it so much &
         in one year of owning the Freightliner we've put about 20,000 miles on it!
         Meanwhile, all the trips are giving my husband a lot of different driving
         experiences to exactly determine all the changes, extras, etc. that he wants to
         add to have it truly be comfortable for us when we're in it full time. Plus, we
         actually lived in ours straight for 9 months out on jobs. If you buy something of
         lasting value & quality I don't think you'll have to worry about it becoming
         "outdated". We fully plan for this to be our final rig. My husband has already
         added many extras which couldn't be recouped if we were to sell the fiver, but
         which sure make life comfortable for us. I don't even consider the depreciation
         since we don't intend to part with it, we love it so much. Don't worry about
         what will be coming down the line. Yes, there's always new innovations, but
         also consider how the pricing on these rigs is increasing at an astronomical rate
         as well. Having only to wait two years to take off will hardly be enough time to
         get one "settled in" & equipped as you wish! For instance, because of my
         daughter, our fiver has two bedrooms & my husband has lamented not having
         two opposing slides (which wasn't possible w/the second bedroom). However,
         once she's gone (rather than purchase that one w/the opposing slides), that
         second bedroom becomes an excellent office, complete with a built-in desk &
         a door to close it off when one of us wants privacy. Right now, it already
         allows room for an extra apt. size fridge plus a freezer, which is already
         invaluable to us. I can stock enough groceries in them to go for @ least two
         weeks, maybe three. Good luck on your decision! Claudia 

Weight of Generator
Posted by Bill Onderdonk on February 24, 1999 at 21:58:03:
         I'm trying to find out how much a Onan 4.0 LP generator weighs to figure my
         trailer weight for the 5thw. Thanks 

Buying RV Australia
Posted by David Rich on February 22, 1999 at 21:13:52:
         Are there any RVers out there that go anywhere besides this country? We
         spent 3 years RVing in Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and
         North Africa and just returned from a year in Mexico and Central America,
         heading to South America but got blown out of Guatemala by Hurricane Mitch.
         So we're headed up slowly, starting April, to Alaska; should be up there by late
         June and back in our hometown, Phoenix, by October. Which brings me to our
         question: November we're flying to Australia and will be buying an RV over
         there, driving around for a year or so before heading to New Zealand for same.
         Is there anyone out there that has any Australian or New Zealand RV contacts?
         Any suggestions or hints. We've checked most of the on-line stuff available,
         even joining the Australia RVing club but are still looking for a swap or
         someone that knows someone with a rig for sale. By the way, we retired age
         49 (wife was 43) and have spent the last 6 years RVing internationally. Reckon
         we can limp around the States when we're unable to go anywhere else.

Posted by Barb Hofmeister on February 23, 1999 at 00:20:58:
        In Reply to: Buying RV Australia posted by David Rich on February 22, 1999
         I am impressed. How about doing a guest article for us on some aspect of your
         wonderful adventures. And I thought we thought we were adventuresome when
         we started out. I hope our readers have information on Austrailia. The only
         suggestion we have is the letter we received from an Australian recently. He is
         building a huge RV. Look for his letter in the letters section or Coffee Break.

Posted by Robert D Davis on March 09, 1999 at 22:42:11:
        In Reply to: Buying RV Australia posted by David Rich on February 22, 1999
         There are a large number of RV rental companies in both Australia and New
         Zealand. Some of them are in both places. They have to sell their used units to
         someone. You might want to contact some of them. Most have internet sites.
         As youmay be aware, the RV's in Australia and New Zealand are equivelent to
         a small Class C in the USA. Class A MH are almost non-existant. I understand
         that there is a market for Class A MH in Australia and a used Class A will
         bring as much or more than the same model new in the USA. I have been in
         e-mail correspondence with an Aussie who was planning on coming to the
         USA, buying a Class A, driving it around for a few months and then shipping it
         back to Austrilia. Both Australia and New Zealand have RV parks similiar to
         what you would find in the USA. We stayed at the "Kak-a-doo" National Park
         just south of Darwin for a couple of days and it was quite nice. We have been
         to Australia five times (3 weeks each time) and have visted every state &
         territory in Australia. Have been to New Zealand two or three times and have
         been to both the North and South Islands. We rented a car everytime except
         one trip to Australia when we rented an RV. Unfortunately, we had a very bad
         experience in renting the RV, because the company did not live up to what they
         promised. Except for that, we enjoyed our trips very much and will be going
         back before long. Australia is a BIG country. East to West and North to South
         it is larger than the United States. We drove from Darwin to Alice Springs & to
         the Rock. That is 800 plus miles of absolutely nothing. You dare not pass a
         gasoline station without filling up. Gasoline is high by US prices. You can
         actually make a circle trip around Australia now. The last section of the raod
         was paved just a few years back. On the highways (all two lane, except in the
         cities), you will be passed by the road trains. These truck are so long that you
         wonder if they will ever get by you. They are the equivalent of a tractor truck
         with three or four trailers behind. We also drove from Melbourne to Sidney.
         That was a beautiful drive along the ocean and then through the mountains. Do
         not miss Fraiser Island. It is on the east coast North of Brisbane, at Noosa
         Heads. We rented a condo at Noose Heads on the beach for a week and had
         a ball. You need to take a ferry to Frasier Island and you must have a four
         wheel vehicle as there are NO paved roads. All roads are just sand paths
         through the forests, usually wide enough for one car at a time. If two cars meet,
         one of them has to back up to the last turnoff to let the other go by. I could go
         on and on. You just have to go to see for yourself. If you have any questions,
         just drop me an e-mail and I will do by best to answer them. Regards, Robert

Posted by Carl on February 12, 1999 at 23:51:07:
         Tjis year at 61 I am starting to live my life long dream, to see this country from
         the small towns and back roads, full timing in my 5/th wheel. I have desided to
         store most of my things for the three or four years I plan to be on the move and
         would like some kind of insurance to cover all my needs including my truck,
         trailer and all my stuff. I am single so life insurance is not a requirement. If you
         have any thought on this I would like to get your input. Thanks Carl 

Insurance a home-owner type for for an RV
Posted by Dave Jenkins on February 15, 1999 at 15:14:01:
        In Reply to: insurance a home-owner type for for an RV posted by Carl on 2/12/99
         Insurance was/is a concern of ours as well. Because we are living in our 5th
         wheel for the next year or so before we "retire", it was a bit easier for us to
         duplicate the kind of off site coverage we'd enjoyed as a "foundation house"
         owner. We're insured like a mobile home, and have off site storage included as
         an extra cost rider. When we travel with the trailer, we pay an additional
         premium, but so long as the trailer is parked 6 months of the year, the off site
         protection remains. My research was unable to find any insurance company
         that would give us the kind of off site coverage we wanted if we were traveling
         all the time. Storage locker companies were willing to insure it, but their rates
         were (in my opinion) prohibitive. Goes back to deciding what the "stuff" is
         really worth. Since the heirlooms we want to store can't be replaced, cost of
         replacement isn't an issue. The things that can be replaced have been sold and if
         needed will be bought again. Nothing wrong with having new stuff if we ever
         quit living in the 5th wheel. Once we got the "emotional factor" out of the
         equation, it was pretty simple, Carl, to figure out how much stuff we could store
         for how much, what it was really worth to us, what replacement costs were,
         etc. In our case, the heirlooms, pictures, and things like that are uninsured, and
         nothing else was worth keeping. Good luck to you!! Hope to meet you on the
         road soon. Grampa Dave 

Posted by Linda on February 18, 1999 at 05:14:24:
        In Reply to: insurance a home-owner type for for an RV posted by Carl on 2/12/99
          Carl, National General Insurance Company and the Good Sam Club offers
          wonderful insurance for fulltimers...everything is covered, from your vehicle,
          RV and personal items. (Very reasonable.) Hope this helped...(we're with
          NGIC) Linda Handie

Posted by Robert D Davis on March 09, 1999 at 23:08:29:
        In Reply to: Buying RV Australia posted by David Rich on February 22, 1999
         By the way, when you went to Africa, you missed the best part, South Africa.
         It is an RV'er dream. The roads are great, the rate of exchange is great. They
         are beginning to get into the RV business in a big way.