This summer has been busy, in a way…..
Well, I’ve not posted for a while. It certainly isn’t because nothing has been going on – quite the contrary. There will be several different posts, so this is just an over view.
Summer is supposed to be a time where one only has to choose between mowing the lawn and taking a trip somewhere in your trailer. Not so much for us this year.
Going back, waaaay back, before the spring trip. Last November I spent a day helping one of my sons remodel his basement. Much of the day I was working overhead on wiring. When I quit, my shoulders were both quite sore. I’d been through this before – after a few days, they’d get better. Well, they didn’t. Christmas came and went. Then a doctor’s visit and some shots, some therapy – and nothing really helped. Finally, an MRI on the worst shoulder confirmed my fears, a torn rotator socket. Three tendons needed repair and a bone spur cut off. Another month of waiting for surgery and 6 weeks waiting for PT to begin because of the extent of the damage, then a couple of months of physical therapy. All this time, I’m trying to not abuse my other arm – but it keeps getting worse. So another MRI and it confirms significant damage as well. Another month of waiting, and another surgery and another 4 weeks minimum to wait for PT to start and 2-3 months of PT and another 2-3 months of exercise on my own and, in theory, I’ll be back to my old self.
In other words, about 15 months where I’ve not been able to do the things I normally do. I’ve certainly managed to squeeze in some work with help, but not like I would normally have done. There will be blog posts on the two trips, the two construction projects and two hitch installs. Oh, and two kids, 4 grand kids lived with us most of the summer.
So, it all begins over again. Our 2017 Flagstaff trailer is up for sale. Our hope is to find someone that would like a trailer that has not only been upgraded, but has had many of the design and construction faults corrected. Our plan is to move up to a Class C which is capable of towing our pickup truck . As such we already have a list of upgrades that we would need to do to most any Class C we find. We are currently looking at several models.
Things we would do again, eventually:
- See Level II tank monitors.
- TPMS – though I’d like to consider installing internal TPMS. I like the Tire Minder smart system we have on the trailer EXCEPT, I have to pull them off to manually check or change tire pressure. TPMS are nice to have to monitor for a leaking tire but aren’t accurate to the pound. There are “T” adapters that can be installed, but not if we have rubber tire stems. Most Class C’s have at least some rubber stems – so I’d have to pull the tires to add metal stems – why not just add TPMS internally? I’m still researching this one.
- Batteries – we currently run two deep cycle 12V batteries in parallel. As I look at Cs, I’m looking at the battery boxes to see if I can put a pair of decent quality golf cart 6v batteries.
- Solar – the C’s we are looking at have generators, but I’d still like to have some solar.
- We currently operate off a portable hotspot and our phones. There is no decision yet, but I’m looking at various wi-fi and cellular aware router/repeater configurations.
- If not already installed – porcelain toilet. At least something that doesn’t squeak and rock when you sit on it.
- Temperature monitoring system (fridge, inside, outside).
- Central Vac
- If not already installed – digital thermostat.
I’m sure there are other little things. We want to find one with better shades. Some come standard with dual roller shades. And if it comes with huge valences like our trailer did, they will have to be removed and cut down. Some we are looking at use a different design for valences – wood on top and cloth hanging down to cover the shades.
At this point, we see the trailer as a huge learning experience. We kind of worked backwards. We bought a truck without really having a notion we’d end up towing an RV trailer. We did get the towing package, but it was a 2.7liter ecoboost, with a tiny gas tank. Then later, we went out and picked just about the largest trailer we could tow – but later we discovered we were probably somewhat overloaded when we got around to weighing the combined rig.
We started with what we thought was an Equalizer hitch – but ended up with a Fastway E2 hitch – which is the cheaper foreign made version – which again was was probably overloaded by this trailer. Recently we installed a ProPride P3 hitch on this trailer and my daughters – and there is no comparison. Sway is essentially eliminated, though installation was considerably more difficult than expected. It was compounded by the cheap method Flagstaff (Forest River) chooses to install the safety chains.
I will again, be crawling through our new Class C looking for the kind of crap that gets built in during constructions. Improperly connected wires has been a consistent theme on BOTH our trailers in the family. Not just jack lights but crucial items like Brake Break away switches, trailer brakes, main battery cables and tail lights.
Finally, I’m seeing that many new RV’s have multiplexed control systems in them. While the RVIA (yes those bastards) are developing a standard called RV-C, what is being installed today is a mix of manufacturer provided products. Typically Lippert. Their specification is simpler and seems to allow for end user customization – which is going to be important for me. And since there are never any wiring diagrams available to owners, I’ll have to be making my own because if I have trouble with a multiplexed control system I don’t want to be diagnosing a problem with no idea where the wires run. Some 2018’s still use traditional wiring – which will be fine with me.
So a number of posts are coming soon!