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RE: Another reason NOT to use the "Water Thief"

Interesting thought. Since much of the water in the Columbia River drainage and the Mississippi River drainage comes from Montana and Idaho, perhaps we should feel the same. Not to mention our (along with neighboring states) coal and oil. And our sugar beets. and our wheat and barley. and our alfalfa and timothy hay. and our platinum and palladium. and our big game out-of-state tags. We can stop growing (and exporting) some crops, and plant vegetables to feed ourselves instead. BUT, the name of the game for farmers is PROFIT, just like any other business. When the profit stops, the business stops, whether it be ag business or manufacturing. If ag business stops, we starve. As always, be very careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Oh, and toedtoes, you were typing while I was, and you are absolutely right!
mowermech 10/20/14 11:51am General RVing Issues
RE: 2005 Volkswagon Jetta, 5 Speed Manual Trans, Can I Flat Tow

Then, the question is, what does VOLKSWAGEN say about recreational towing of their vehicles? If they say no, or don't say anything one way or the other, and something goes wrong when you do it, I rather imagine you will be on your own no matter how new the car is. IMO, if the company does not specifically approve recreational towing, I will find another vehicle that IS approved by the manufacturer for the use I need.
mowermech 10/20/14 11:39am Dinghy Towing
RE: 2005 Volkswagon Jetta, 5 Speed Manual Trans, Can I Flat Tow

The problem with towing manual transmission vehicles is that the transmission is splash lubricated. Quite often, it is the cluster gear, in the bottom of the transmission, that does the splashing of the oil. the cluster gear only turns when the engine is running, it does not turn when the output shaft is turning. Therefore, when the vehicle is being towed, all the gears and bearings in the upper rear quarter of the transmission are turning without lubricant. It may take a while, but eventually they will be damaged and possibly destroyed. How many miles will it take to do damage to the bearings? I don't know. It depends on how much residual lubricant the bearing holds. A bearing that is run dry usually will not last long. It is true, one of the old-timey fixes for the problem was to replace the fill plug with a 90 degree street ell. That will raise the level of lubricant a little over an inch, perhaps close to two inches, which MAY be enough to get it up to where the output shaft will pick it up. and throw it around. It may also cause messy leaks! Good luck.
mowermech 10/20/14 07:43am Dinghy Towing
RE: Another reason NOT to use the "Water Thief"

It occurred to me, as I was reading the pages of posts in this thread, that some of the USFS campgrounds around here (up by Red Lodge, mostly) have hand pumps where a "water thief" will not fit on the outlet. If somebody did figure out a way, since the water is gravity flow, there would be no pressure to push it through a hose anyway, and the "water thief" would be useless. The pumps are only good for filling containers, nothing else!
mowermech 10/19/14 06:24am General RVing Issues
RE: Towing

Most states require a towed load over a specified weight to have a braking system with a break away system. Some are as low as 1500#, other higher. Ken ALMOST true, but incomplete. Where the TRAILER weight when brakes are required is 1500 lbs., it is usually UNLADEN weight. When the weight is 3000 lbs., it is usually gross vehicle weight. Many states have a Performance Standard for braking that more or less matches the FMVSS Braking Performance Standard. It is usually that any "combination of vehicles" must be able to stop within 40 or 45 feet from 20 MPH on a fairly level, clean, hard surface. Here in Montana that law is MCA 61-9-312. Some states have a legal definition of "Trailer" that does not match a towed motor vehicle. Now, having said all that, even though the nanny state safety gurus have not found it necessary to pass a law requiring auxiliary braking on a towed motor vehicle (in most states), and there has been NO testing of such systems by any independent testing laboratory, such a braking system is undeniably a GOOD IDEA! IMO, the best bang for the buck is the ReadyBrute integrated towbar/braking system. It is simple, mechanical, relatively inexpensive, and I have never seen a trouble report where it burned up the towed vehicle brakes as some electronic gadgets have been known to do. It will work on any coach (air brakes are not required). A breakaway system is available for it, as well. Once it is installed, all that is required is to hook up one or two cables. No lifting involved, and no major modifications to the vehicle. It simply works.
mowermech 10/19/14 06:13am Dinghy Towing
RE: How many RV batteries is to much for a trip

The furnace is a power hog. My first Class A had an 8D 12 V. battery, and one night at 40 degrees ran the battery dead by 3 AM! Believe me, when I had to get out of a warm bed to start the engine so I could start the generator, I was wishing I had 4 batteries! I would say don't mess with it! By the way, a Citation Supreme seems to be a Tioga Class C motorhome!
mowermech 10/18/14 11:18am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Y R exhausts/hookups on awning side

IIRC, the furnace and water heater exhaust is under the awning. It doesn't bother us, because we rarely sit under there, and if we do we just shut the furnace and water heater off while we are there. No problem. Oh, sure, it would be annoying if we allowed it to be, but we like the coach so we put up with that minor annoyance.
mowermech 10/18/14 06:29am Beginning RVing
RE: How to tow our Wrangler?

Thanks all! I'm waiting on a few quotes from RV stores to determine the best way to go. One question: I asked if a dolly would work and was assured that even though a dolly is meant to be used with a front wheel car; it can still be used towing a rear wheel Wrangler as long as I remember to not only place the manual transmission in manual before towing BUT also shift the transfer case to neutral. Is this correct? I can only state READ the Owners Manual and FOLLOW the Recreational Towing instructions contained therein. I think you will find that is is NOT recommended to dolly tow either the 4X4 or the 4X2 Wrangler. In fact, IIRC, the 4X2 Wrangler is not recommended to be towed four down, either. However, while it is not specifically addressed in the Owners Manual, you CAN dolly tow either one IF you remove the rear drive shaft from the rear differential yoke. This is also acceptable if you want to tow the 4X2 Wrangler four down. Almost ALL rear wheel drive cars can be dolly towed or towed four down if the driveshaft is removed. However, it is possible that the computer will become confused in newer vehicles when the rear wheels are going 60 MPH and the front wheels are not turning. good luck.
mowermech 10/17/14 07:37pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

Beautiful fall weather. A little frost on the windshield this morning, but it was soft and easy to remove. The dag nab junk overhead door on the barn is driving me nutso! That's what I get for trying to go cheap, I guess. I can't afford to get the door company out here to install a good one, so I'll keep tinkering with this thing until I get it good enough to reliably work. IF I can get it to reliably work... I know, if I had done it right the first time, I wouldn't be having these problems. Every old retired guy needs a project to keep himself busy, right? I definitely have one!
mowermech 10/17/14 01:39pm Around the Campfire
RE: Dinghy brake options?

IMO, the Ready Brute Integrated Towbar and Braking System is without doubt the best bang for the buck there is. If you already have a towbar that you are happy with, then the Ready Brake System is best for you. Note that there is a breakaway system also available. If you are going to go for the braking system, you might as well have the breakaway to go with it! At the present time, I do not have one, but if I ever decide that the braking system is something I should have, the Ready Brute/Ready Brake system is the ONLY one I would even consider.
mowermech 10/17/14 01:31pm Dinghy Towing
RE: How to tow our Wrangler?

You can go to Walmart and buy a perfectly adequate Reese fixed-arm 5000 lb. capacity towbar for about $165. You can also get a trailer wire harness for about $20. Then go to Harbor Freight and get magnetic lights for about $20 (or less, depending on the sales at the time). Go to Tractor Supply or Ace hardware or similar store for a 12 inch piece of 3/16 or 1/4 by 2 inch steel flat bar to make back-up plates for your stock bumper, bolt the towbar brackets to the bumper with the back-up plates behind the bumper, run the wire inside the Jeep, put the magnetic lights on the rear corners of the Jeep, and hook everything up. I towed several different Jeeps with the set-up described, no problems at all. I did do one extra thing, though. To avoid having 4 to 6 feet of wire to coil up on the front of the Jeep when the towbar wasn't installed, I put a 4 pin trailer connector at the grill, then made an extension to reach the connector on the towing vehicle. The extension I kept in the console when the towbar wasn't in use. Some will say a fixed-arm towbar is just terribly inconvenient, and too much work. For them, it obviously IS. However, I did not find it so. It worked just fine for me. Oh, yeah, one other thing; get some good strong 5/16 chain to make safety chains out of. I use high-strength quick links to attach the chains instead of hooks. They will NOT come off!
mowermech 10/17/14 10:26am Dinghy Towing
RE: Manslaughter charges for improper towing equipment.

There are some things that are constant, like not knowing where one is in relation to where one wants to be. I saw it happen three times today. I was on Main street, in the lane I knew I needed to be in, when traffic stopped, even though the light was green. It turned out, there was some dingbat at the intersection that wanted to turn right, but he (she?) was in the center lane. So, even though it would be very simple to take a round about way to get to the airport or wherever, this person STOPPED in the center lane and waited for traffic to clear in the right lane so he could move over and turn onto Airport Road! Yes, blocked traffic because of lack of attention! Then, about 1/4 mile further along on Main, a person waited until the last few feet before moving over to take the 6th Ave. N. exit! The same thing happened at the King Avenue exit off of Laurel Road! I had a friend once who "forgot" to tie his aluminum boat down, and didn't make sure the winch was latched. When the boat slid off the trailer, he didn't notice it until over 3 feet of the bottom, from the transom forward, was ground off! By the way, he was a licensed multi-engine commercial pilot, qualified in several models of fire bombers, cargo aircraft, and passenger aircraft! Sorry, but NO license or inspection will prevent a trailer from disconnecting if it isn't hitched properly. Unless, of course, you want to have a LEO inspect the rig each and every time it is hitched up. I don't think that would be practical!
mowermech 10/16/14 01:46pm General RVing Issues
RE: Montana LLC

What the heck, I might as well say it again, then somebody can complain about THAT: KNOW the laws in YOUR state! COMPLY with the laws in YOUR state! DOCUMENT everything you do to comply with the laws in YOUR state! And, you will do NOTHING illegal, and will have NO TROUBLE!! It really IS just that simple!
mowermech 10/15/14 08:42pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Montana LLC

Well, DANG! I did not know I was one of the "wealthy". I take the home mortgage deduction every year. I deduct the interest paid on the motorhome loan. I deduct the value of the items I donate to various charities here in town. I deduct the amounts I donate to NPR, PBS, and others. I do NOT deduct medical expenses, there is never enough. I do NOT deduct work expenses, there is never enough. I file the State return in the most advantageous manner, to maximize the refund. I file the Federal return, using every possible deduction and loophole I can legally take, to minimize the amount I have to pay. I am seriously considering filing for a refund for the gas taxes I pay for off-highway fuel. OK, it is only about 30 gallons per year. At about 46 cents a gallon, that is surely enough for beer and pretzels! Wealthy? No, just solidly middle class. When we lived in Wyoming, we did a LOT of shopping here in Billings to save the sales taxes. It was only 140 miles one way, no big deal. No, I did not stop at the Port Of Entry in Franny and pay the tax on our purchases (besides, it was usually closed when we went home)!! If one can reduce their tax burden LEGALLY, IMO it is foolish to not do it! EDIT: It is NOT illegal in any state to own a Limited Liability Company. Not even in California. Again: KNOW the laws in YOUR state. COMPLY with the laws. DOCUMENT your compliance. If you do those things, you can NOT get in trouble!
mowermech 10/15/14 03:58pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Protecting the toad from rocks

This is what I have, it is not cheap but works very well Tow Bra Yeppers, that is what I have for the PT Cruiser. It worked great to Tennessee and back last year. I did not use anything on the Jeep, nor do I use anything on the Dodge 1500. Since I have not had any damage problems, I have to wonder if I wasted the $400+ for the cover...
mowermech 10/15/14 03:39pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Montana LLC

IIRC, he took his coach home for a couple of days. That turned out to be a mistake! That mistake, it is true, cost him a lot of money. Which, of course, is why I keep saying: KNOW the laws in YOUR state! COMPLY with the laws! DOCUMENT your compliance with the laws. If that means that you can NEVER bring your RV home, so be it, DON'T DO THAT! Please note that it is perfectly legal for a California resident (or a resident of any other state) to own a Limited Liability Company in ANY state. However, one MUST be in total compliance with the laws of your state at all times! In fact, those with extensive investment portfolios may be part owners of LLCs from all over the country! One really shouldn't brand ALL ownership of LLCs as illegal!
mowermech 10/15/14 08:56am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Escapees Answer to the AZ Diesel Question

It seems pretty simple: "...those who have a vehicle that has three or more axles or a declared gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001+ lbs are required to use the truck lanes and pay the higher fuel tax." So, a diesel motorhome with a tag axle and towing a Jeep has 5 axles. Use the truck lanes, pay the truck tax. A diesel motorhome with a tag axle, by itself, (not towing) has three axles. Use the truck lanes and pay the truck tax. A diesel motorhome with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or more, use the truck lanes and pay the truck tax. a diesel motorhome with NO tag axle, towing a Jeep, has four axles. Use the truck lanes and pay the truck tax. A diesel motorhome with two axles, with a GVWR of less than 26,000 lbs., not towing, does not have to pay the truck tax. My gas motorhome does not have that problem. Not enough axles, not enough weight, and it doesn't use diesel fuel.
mowermech 10/14/14 12:49pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Montana LLC

and again: KNOW the applicable laws in YOUR state. COMPLY with those laws. DOCUMENT everything you do to COMPLY with the laws. ...and you will have no trouble, and will not be arrested. It really IS just that simple!
mowermech 10/14/14 12:35pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Manslaughter charges for improper towing equipment.

" (NOTE on a semi all wheels brake)" And again, not necessarily: MCA 61-9-304 "Brakes required on all wheels -- exceptions. Every vehicle must be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels except: (1) trailers, semitrailers, pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 pounds, provided that: (a) the total weight on and including the wheels of the trailer or trailers may not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer or trailers; and (b) the combination of vehicles consisting of the towing vehicle and its total towed load is capable of complying with the performance requirements of 61-9-312; (2) any vehicle being towed in driveaway or towaway operations, provided the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with the performance requirements of 61-9-312; (3) trucks and truck tractors having three or more axles need not have brakes on the front wheels, if the vehicle was manufactured before July 25, 1980. However, the trucks and truck tractors must be capable of complying with the performance requirements of 61-9-312. (4) special mobile equipment; (5) the wheel of a sidecar attached to a motorcycle or to a motor-driven cycle, or the front wheel of a motor-driven cycle need not be equipped with brakes. However, a quadricycle, motorcycle, or motor-driven cycle must be capable of complying with the performance requirements of 61-9-312. History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 139, L. 1965; R.C.M. 1947, 32-21-143.1(c); amd. Sec. 42, Ch. 516, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 276, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 216, Ch. 542, L. 2005. See paragraph (3). By the way, paragraph (2) seems to address a towed motor vehicle. Of course, this is all predicated on complying with MCA 61-9-312!
mowermech 10/14/14 12:28pm General RVing Issues
RE: Manslaughter charges for improper towing equipment.

A breakaway system can not be installed on anything that does not have brakes. I have a light utility trailer on which brakes are not installed, and not required by law. It is quite literally impossible to install a breakaway system on that trailer without installing an axle equipped with brakes. It just can't be done! Safety chains or cables, however, are required by law on ALL ball hitch trailers, including gooseneck hitches. Such chains or cables must be of sufficient strength to hold the rated gross weight of the trailer.
mowermech 10/14/14 11:50am General RVing Issues
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