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Everything posted by bugeyedriver

  1. My 2008 Tacoma, with a 4.0L V6 engine had a towing capacity of 6500 Lbs and it pulled The Wonder Egg (Elite), which weighed in at 3900 Lbs fully loaded, 110,000 miles, crossing the Rocky Mts about 6 times. It could maintain its speed uphill, although the engine would be at very high RPMs, under redline, but still it was pretty high. I usually settled for a (slight) speed reduction to be nice to the engine. It was a Prerunner version and I swapped out its rear-end for an Eaton Industries limited slip differential, which helped when going up steep dirt roads. When it achieved 150,000 miles I searched for my next tow vehicle. The engines in the newer Tacomas were 3.5L V6 or a 2.7L 4 cylinder options. Even though the torque specs looked good, I was not as comfortable working a 3.5L engine as I did the 4.0L one, so my search expanded to the F150 and I went for the 5.0L V8 engine with a SuperCab and a 6 ft bed. I got more grunt and cargo space. I still have the Taco, now with 260,000 miles. It runs like a Swiss watch and has been "retired" to local Texas, non-towing duties. I expect to achieve 450,000 miles with it.
  2. Pre installation of my 300W bilge heaters, I was stuck camping with electricity at 6 degrees for three days straight. (not by choice) in my 2008 Elite. The water pump line froze and remained so for twelve hours until my small ceramic heater thawed the line to the galley sink. That same year, two members (Mountainborn and Technomadia) camped for a long time in sub freezing temperatures and each had leaks occur in the vicinity of the external shower. I now have an Xxtreme Heater near the water pump and one on the other side, near the external shower / battery area. Yes, they draw power, but at very cold temps I strive to have hookups. During the 6 degree days, water pressure was not restored to the bathroom until the outside temps rose. The toilet was flushed using a bucket which I filled at a cattle water tank, after busting through the ice with a huge rock. Fun times were had by all.
  3. My "stinky slinky" has been connected for 140,000 miles. I purchased the stoutest hose with the thickest mil to protect against punctures and I never lay it across the ground where rocks and other sharp objects might poke at it, instead, it is cradled in one of those sloping, expandable gizmos. That does two things for me, it keeps the hose off the ground and provides a continuous downhill vector so things don't get backed up, avoiding stress on the hose. Caveat: There was a two year period, out of fourteen, when I had a macerator installed, but after 2 failures !!!!**!!!! I've returned to good old gravity motive flow.
  4. John, What about installing a solar tube skylight (or 2) right above the solar panels on your Ollie? I have one in my living room and it is amazing how much sunlight is brought into the room. It would be interesting to see how much energy you could get from that?
  5. If you put a small "nose up" attitude to your Ollie, the old water pickup at the back becomes much more efficient. Not sure exactly how low you can go, but I'm sure your water pump won't be sucking air with ten gallons remaining. If you wish to maximize the old pickup's capabilities, try a nose up, right tilt. Not enough to make anything roll off your table, just enough to encourage water in the tank to head towards the right rear of the tank.
  6. I find mine to be very easy to clean. The photo of Bosker was put on by a car wrap business and it has a very strong, and slick, clear coating applied on top.
  7. My trailer weight is 3,900lbs fully loaded, with a full water tank (to give me flexibility and keep center of gravity low) . The tongue weight is about 460 lbs (I have a 30 lb protective coating applied to the bottom front and propane tank covering) Read your Acura's owner's manual, paying attention to the towing section. You might also find an Acura owner's forum someplace which discusses real world towing experiences.
  8. 15.257 X square root of 13 divided by 12 + .75
  9. My Alaska trip was in 2018. I was very intrigued, and tempted, to take the Dempster Highway, but when I arrived at the turnoff to Inuvik, there were barriers across the road stating it was closed due to inclement weather and road conditions. Sooooo, the decision was made for me. Ha! As Sherry said, the Top of the World Highway has soft shoulders and wicked drop-offs, so be careful. I only saw one old set of skid marks going over the side. Definitely time your crossing to avoid wet, muddy conditions. There is a campground on the western side of the Yukon River where you can hang out a few days if the weather is bad. The views are spectacular. Don't hesitate to stop along the way and take your trailer's "hero" picture for your scrapbook. Enjoy a chicken-pot-pie in Chicken, AK! The wash station at TOK was very useful.
  10. Well, the great Yeti cooler, makes it easy to stay out on extended trips . . . So I just keep on rolling
  11. The cost may be significant, however, when you consider the years of pleasure you will experience, it doesn't seem that significant at all . . . Here's how my Elite I looks after 13 years.
  12. I pulled The Wonder Egg (2008 single axle Elite I) 111,000 miles with my 2008 4.0L V6 Tacoma. After the Taco surpassed 225,000 miles, it retired from towing duties in 2018 and is now a runabout town vehicle. I purchased a 5.0L V8 F150 as a new to vehicle and it does a very, very fine job. Bosker enjoys the extra room. With full water and a loaded trailer, the tongue weight is 460lbs, as measured on a scale. I've never used a WDH and even during the most adverse weather and road conditions. Now, with 138,000 miles on The Wonder Egg, it still tracks true, with excellent road manners.
  13. Annual maintenance and readjustments, along with cautious downhill technique of using the TV low gears to help maintain a safe speed, etc have worked for my 2008 Elite I's 137,000 miles so far. But disk brakes would be the cat's meow. Having only one wheel and tire on each side, I pay special attention to how things are going on "back there", combining regular maintenance with a tire pressure monitoring system so I can check the pressure and temperature health of the tires while going down the highways and hills. Failure to maintain our equipment in tip top shape is just asking for things to go FUBAR!
  14. Yay, Texas . . . another Ollie is in the house! I hope to be in Colorado with The Wonder Egg in July as well. Do I sense an opportunity for a mini rally?
  15. I traveled in that direction a few years back and it was very memorable. Just a few miles northeast of Jasper, there is a free "overflow" RV parking which has adequate bathroom facilities available. There is plenty of room to spread out and social distance, as you desire. I see you are considering HWY 40 between Hinton and Grand Prairie. During our trip, there was horrendous construction going on to widen the road. It was a two lane highway and there were no shoulders, instead, the pavement abruptly ended and there was a 3 ft vertical drop into mud. Oh, and the potholes were big enough to swallow a VW Bug. Hopefully it has been completed, but if you determine work is still ongoing, it may be safer to go a bit out of your way to avoid it. You will enjoy the Denali Highway. I did it in two days and stayed overnight boondocking at a pull-off. Suggest you pull off early because they are well sought after. About your routing, have you given thought to heading up to Dawson and taking the Top of the World Highway from Dawson, Yukon to Chicken, Alaska? That was a very memorable portion of our trip. If you go that way, after "seeing" Dawson, take the ferry across the river and stay at the campground on the west side of the Yukon River. That way you can get on the road earlier, not needing to wait your turn for the ferry crossing. Don't go on either the Top of the World or Denali highways during or immediately after strong rains! Be sure to count all of the bears and Moose and give us a count upon your return. ENJOY!
  16. Besides your route getting to Maine, consider which campgrounds might be opened in the far Northeast. Many campgrounds close for the winter and drain the water from their lines to prevent freezing and bursting. Campgrounds may remain closed until early to mid May to protect their water lines from a late freeze and to prepare the grounds for the camping season after heavy snows. Be safe and have fun.
  17. The IRS will count your RV as a second home, with all of the applicable tax benefits, as long as it has a sleeping area, a kitchen area, and a toilet area. When initially considering traveling like this, I ran into a fellow with a beautiful, high end, Class A motorhome and he told me the payments on the bank loan were not so onerous after taking his allowable tax deductions into account. https://blog.campingworld.com/rv-basics/rv-tax-benefits-you-should-know/
  18. I LOVE my Diamondback cover that is on my F150! Mine also has the crossbar in front and quite a few more tie downs on the exterior. A bit Expensive, but Oh, so goooood.
  19. A lack of semiconductors worldwide is affecting a wide swath of producers in many industries. Current lead times for parts can be as much as a year, bringing assembly lines to a halt. This is partially due to Covid's disruption of the workforce, combined with shortages of critical elements. We can expect a bumpy road in manufacturing for a while yet. https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/nissan-latest-suspend-production-due-semi-shortage
  20. "Axis are bigger and stay out of neighborhoods", according to Mike. (Mike and I live in the same city.) Hahahahahaaaaaa! This picture was taken from one of my bedroom windows. A herd of about 50 Axis sleep in the woods next to my house every night. It depends on the neighborhood you live in, I guess. They entered our gated and fenced community 10 years ago and have decided to make it home. Mike, you guys must be bow hunting to thin the herd on your side of the city. Voyager, it has been interesting watching your thread develop. Thanks everyone for attempting to keep proper decorum during the discussion. We all hope the best for you as you eventually pull the trigger on your travel trailer, whatever brand it might be. I understand your thoughts about the price of a new, loaded Ollie which would include something you don't desire. Have you perused the classified section of the forum? Would a lower price of a gently used Elite II be a more acceptable price point for you?
  21. Yes, it is quite the special campground, and you get to put your mountain driving skills to the test as you first, climb a steeeeeep hill and descend the precipitous downhill approach to the lake. You really appreciate the relaxing views after your arrival!
  22. Wow . . . a very difficult question . . . so many choices . . . for serenity, I'd say camping amongst the Giant Redwoods in Northern California, at Humbolt Redwoods State Park. For the view, I'd select boon docking at a high elevation (9150') mountain lake at Pinnacles, in the Shoshone National Forest of Wyoming. But for serendipity and a most unexpected wonder, I must choose a public campground on Fogo Island, in northern Newfoundland, at Brimstone Head Park, where you can hike up a hill to one of the four corners of the earth, as recognized by The Flat Earth Society. If you're lucky, you might wake up and discover an ICEBERG has run aground at your campsite! When that happens, extend your stay a few days and relish in the awesomeness.
  23. One feature of my 2008 Elite, "The Wonder Egg", that is no longer available in later models is the 45 foot long 30Amp service cable on an electric reel. It occupies the space under the front dinette seat which now contains the furnace on newer models. It is one of my favorite features and I would sorely miss it if I ever bought a newer model . . . which is NOT likely to happen . . . ever . . . I LOVE The Wonder Egg!
  24. Hahaaaaa! I haven't seen that picture in a long time. The Bugeye is a towing BEAST . . . OK, maybe not, but it sure looks good with the Ollie behind it.
  25. My 2008 4.0L V6 Tacoma did an admirable job pulling my Elite I (shorty) Ollie 111,000 miles. That being said, when the truck neared 1/4 million miles, even though it still ran superb, I searched for a new TV. When I discovered the new engines in the TACOs had a 3.5L displacement I decided to write it off my list. Yes, it has torque, but given my high annual mileage (pre-Covid) I thought the smaller displacement engine would be working too hard for the long haul. The Elite II would place an even larger burden on the truck's engine as you approached large hill or mountainous terrain. Personally, I would not use a new 3.5L Taco to pull an Elite II up and over many of the spectacular places my Elite I has been. The Taco is still in my garage, as a very dependable driver, but I have retired it from significant towing duties. My new TV is a Ford F150 with the 5.0L V8 engine and it has done an admirable job. Here's a picture of the F150 and Elite I going across the Top of the World Highway, from Yukon to Alaska.
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