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RE: RV age & park rules?

In Montana, any vehicle of any size/type that is 11 years old or older can have PERMANENT license plates. Given the choice between never having to renew my registration and staying in a park that has a "10 year old rule", I will take the PERMANENT registration! That does not apply to trailers of any size or type, though. ALL trailers have PERMANENT registration. But, I don't have a trailer. The "10 year" RV park loses.
mowermech 07/22/14 08:50pm General RVing Issues
RE: Are large gas motor Rv's underpower?

The coach? See sig. The toad? See sig, "Toad 2". The road? U.S. Highway 2, over Marias Pass, and I 15, Great Falls to Shelby (several steep grades), and U.S. 87 (several steep grades) Eddie's Corner to Great Falls, and U.S. 191 (steep grades, construction) Harlowton to Eddie\'s Corner, and U.S. 12 (mostly flat, but a couple of grades) Lavina to Harlowton, and MT 3 (some grades) from Billings to Lavina. Problems encountered: NONE! Now for the return trip.... Next Sunday.
mowermech 07/22/14 06:40pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

The hamfest was OK, but somewhat lacking. No vendors, and the best part of the flea market was the Bitterroot Ham Club table. They had about three (maybe four) estate sales going on. LOTS of stuff for sale. I got a nice hand held transceiver and some other gimcracks, my son got a very nice antenna analyzer (he saw it before I did) and some other stuff. Ennyhoo, I am now at the La Salle RV park about three miles from Columbia Falls. I decided that three days of dry camping was enough, I want full hookups for the remainder of my stay! I think I'll go fishing tomorrow. EDIT: whoops, for some reason that previous post didn't show up until I posted this one! Oh, well... I found the problem with the water pump. It looks like somebody replaced it, and went cheap. The existing pump is a 2 gallon per minute 30 PSI unit! IIRC, Amazon has a 4 GPM 55 PSI one for about $90. I just might get that one.
mowermech 07/22/14 04:50pm Around the Campfire
RE: Best state to register a Class A RV in?

"...try to skirt taxes by doing illegal acts." Sorry, I disagree! IF you KNOW the applicable laws, and OBEY those laws, and DOCUMENT your compliance with the laws, you have NOT done anything ILLEGAL!
mowermech 07/21/14 03:32pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Best state to register a Class A RV in?

If your rig is 11 years old or older, you can license it in Montana PERMANENTLY. You will never have to renew the registration for as long as you own the rig. The cost? About $250. YES, you CAN legally establish a Montana LLC to own your rig. In fact, it is very likely you can do the same thing in many other states! However, you absolutely MUST know the laws of your home state, and you MUST comply with those laws TO THE LETTER! If that means you can never bring your rig "home", so be it, do NOT bring it home, EVER! KNOW the applicable laws, COMPLY with the laws completely, and DOCUMENT your compliance!
mowermech 07/21/14 11:37am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Champion Generator

1. Make sure it is full of oil. 2. Disconnect the low oil level sensor. 3. Start the generator, run it at half load (a bank of 100 watt light bulbs makes a good load bank), and see if it quits. If it does, there is another problem. If it doesn't, replace the oil level sensor.
mowermech 07/21/14 11:16am Around the Campfire
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

Hamfest is over. No more need be said about that. I decided that three nights of dry camping was more than enough, so I am set up in a full-hookup park on La Salle road (U.S. 2), three miles from Columbia Falls. I was reminded that I need to replace the water pump in this rig! I took a shower, and the water flow was PITIFUL!! I need a pump that puts out about 60 PSI and 5 GPM. The truck towed well, but I can't say I'm impressed with the Stowmaster telescoping towbar. Maybe I can rebuild the latches and make it better.
mowermech 07/21/14 10:04am Around the Campfire
RE: Tragedy involving RV, probably caused by RV.

Part of an equalizer is as vague as it gets. What part, how do you know it was operator error and on a failure of the part? Exactly! NOBODY knows just what happened, yet some are ready to ASSUME that it was a preventable occurrence. I'm somewhat surprised that there hasn't been a call to outlaw these dangerous hitches! Perhaps that will come if it is shown that it was a part failure not a person failure.
mowermech 07/16/14 07:28pm General RVing Issues
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

At Malmstrom AFB Gateway Famcamp, Great Falls, MT, for the night. Tomorrow, fuel,then on to Glacier Meadows RV Park for the Hamfest.
mowermech 07/16/14 06:27pm Around the Campfire
RE: Telescoping towbar

After all those years of towing with an inexpensive fixed arm adjustable width towbar, I finally got a telescoping arm unit. ...never thought I'd see the day! :B I find it hard to believe that you're going to give up "old faithful". Those old fixed-arm bars do have their place, and are reliable, simple and cheap. Well, the old towbar went with the Jeep, and I found this Stowmaster on craigslist for only slightly more than a new Reese fixed arm would cost, and I thought I needed the 6000 lb. capacity, so that's what I got. I can't say that I am overly impressed so far. We'll see. I have only connected and disconnected it twice. The coming trip will be the "proof of the pudding" as the saying goes. The fact that it folds up on the front of the truck is a plus, though. I can always get a piece of light chain and a couple of harness clips so I can hang it in position for hookup, and use the GOAL method like I used to. Again, we'll see...
mowermech 07/16/14 09:06am Dinghy Towing
RE: How many pull a toad behind their fifth wheel

State Towing Laws for RVs Need to look it up state by state. I can't speak to the law in other states, but that list is VERY INACCURATE for the State Of Montana! If it is WRONG about Montana (where everything you need to know is in Section 61 of Montana Code Annotated), how can it be trusted for other states?
mowermech 07/16/14 07:01am Dinghy Towing
RE: Mountain driving and towing with a gas class A

I have actually done mountain towing with my coach (see sig.), towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited (mildly modified; winch, custom bumpers, 30 gallon fuel tank, extra skid plates, etc.). I have no idea what the Jeep weighed, but I imagine it was well over 3000 lbs. I crossed the Continental Divide (Marias Pass, Hwy 2; Monida Pass, I-15; Homestake Pass, I-90) many times. I towed the same Jeep with a 1995 Tioga Class C, E350 chassis, Ford 460 V8 engine. Again, over the Continental Divide. I never had any problems.
mowermech 07/15/14 02:28pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

I discovered that my towbar level problem was due to the ground where I hooked up to test. When I moved it out into the lane for the "test drag", the towbar was fairly level, most definitely within limits. the "test drag" went very well. The coach accelerates well, the truck follows nicely, I made three right turns and one left, no problems. There was one stop sign in the middle of the trip, and the stop at home. No trouble. I did have a little trouble disconnecting the towbar. I expected it to be easier than my old fixed arm unit, but it isn't. I may have to look into getting a latch rebuild kit after this trip.
mowermech 07/15/14 08:26am Around the Campfire
RE: New type or water heating, for some RV'S maybe ??

It looks like it requires wifi/internet access, and it has complicated electronics. Until it is proven to work in Forest Service campgrounds, and proven to withstand road vibrations, I want nothing to do with it.
mowermech 07/15/14 08:09am General RVing Issues
RE: CB Radio?

For your fiberglass coach, there are "no ground plane" antennas available. You won't find them at truck stops, you will have to do a google search to find someplace to order one. IIRC, Wilson Antenna is one of the manufacturers. However, if you can ground the antenna to the metal frame of the coach, and you can get the SWR lower than 2:1, that may be adequate. The SWR Adjust knob does not have any effect on the antenna system SWR. It is only to set the meter for SWR tests; you select "FWD" on the selector switch, then key the mic. Use the "Adjust" knob to align the needle with the "Set" mark on the dial. Unkey the mic, then select "REF" or SWR on the selector, then key the mic again. The meter reading on the SWR scale is your system SWR. It MUST be below 3:1. If it is below 2:1 you won't gain much by messing with it to get it lower. If it is 1.5:1 or lower it is wonderful! IMO, CB is still a useful tool. Even though I have an Amateur Radio license, I still have a CB in my pickup, and I have one to be installed in the motorhome. I would like to see more people use CB, and more RVs using the Channel 13 unofficial RV Channel. But then, I would like to see more people get their Amateur Radio (Ham) license, too. Morse code is not required now.
mowermech 07/15/14 08:04am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Converter location: UPDATE!

Mowermech, the output should be 13 volts with no connection on the output. When you connect it to the house batteries, the output should go to 14.4 volts, and start tapering down in 2 stages until it reaches 13.4 volts. I have the converters act the way you describe before, and that was an indication that the converter was dying. If I were you, I would go on the net and order a new one with 55 to 65 amps output, at least 3 stage converter. If your converter is original, it is a 45 amp output. We leave our MH plugged in when not in use, and the converters seem to last 4.5 years for us. The Owners Manual says the output should be 13.6 volts at 55 amps. Again, it is a PD-9155. The output drops to trickle charge when the batteries are fully charged. Check it here: http://manuals.heartlandowners.org/Electrical/Converter/Progressive_Dynamics/PD9100_Series_Progressive_Dynamics_Converter.pdf
mowermech 07/14/14 04:42pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: flat towing 2001 Chevy Tracker Manual shift 2 wheel drive

I think flat towing it would risk transmission damage, but I don't know for sure. If you can get an Owners Manual, look under "Recreational towing" and it should tell you. the Owners Manual is the only reliable source of information, IMO.
mowermech 07/14/14 04:31pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Telescoping towbar

The features I was looking for were 6000 lb. capacity, and low price. At $250, I got exactly what I wanted. It also folds up on the front of the truck, which is nice. BUT, as far as hooking up and unhooking, I can't see any advantage over the old towbar I had.
mowermech 07/14/14 02:28pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Tow dolly - not that bad after all

I bought a used Demco dolly so we could take the PT Cruiser to Chattanooga with us. I towed a Jeep four down many miles before that, using a fixed arm inexpensive ($165) towbar. "THEY" say those bars should never be used, just as "THEY" say a dolly is too much trouble. IMO, "they" are wrong on both counts. I now have a Roadmaster towbar on the Dodge pickup. I can't see where it is any better than my old Reese fixed arm unit. I still have to get out and look to see if I am close enough to connect it. Well, OK, the Roadmaster is rated at 6000 lbs. capacity, whereas the Reese was only 5000 lbs, so in that respect it IS better! Dolly, towbar, or trailer? It is purely personal preference. No more, no less.
mowermech 07/14/14 02:21pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Converter location: UPDATE!

I replaced the fuses, and the output is over 13 VDC. It seems to be working.
mowermech 07/13/14 02:57pm Class A Motorhomes
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