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Everything posted by MontanaOliver

  1. Oh yes, Milwaukee high torque cordless rattle gun resides in the truck kit.
  2. John, Agreed, a Magruder road trip is not for the inexperienced, faint of heart or those afraid of dirt/dust and scratches/dings to the body work. I've travel this route (it is my backyard area sort of) so many times I can't keep track. Started back in the 60's with Grandpa/Grandma dragging us brats along to pick huckleberries or hunt bear...hated some of those forced outings. Of course, now days, I'm guilty of the same punishment on the youngsters. I've hauled horses in stock trucks and trailers over the Magruder for years. It's just a matter of what you know and are used to, I guess. These type of roads are not a big deal to me, but yes you had better know how to use your mirrors and be very comfortable backing up your rig, to include around switchbacks. Big cities and traffic...that's my Rubicon. Every time I hit Denver traffic headed south on I-25, I wonder why I'm here and if I'll make it across the US interstate parking lot mess to visit the kids. The posted photos are from this last summer. A buddy had never been across Magruder and wanted a guide. So off we go...spent two nights at the top of the world and as I'm totally done with the tent camping, the truck camper was my rig of choice: from the USFS brochure...#10 - Observation Point Observation Point Campground has nice camping spots and toilets. The elevation is 7620 feet and visitors can view the southern portion of the Bitterroot Mountain Range, especially El Capitan. The point also offers breathtaking vistas of subalpine/ alpine wilderness. As to long wheel bases and bigger sized TVs. It's all relative I guess. Your four door Yota would be considered big and cumbersome on many roads, but it appears you at least know how to get yourself out of a mess. Our two door Jeep (and really, do Jeeps need four doors...errr) is the right sized 4x4 for our needs. But compared to a Suzuki Samurai we are huge. Sorry for the slight thread hijack...back to tow vehicles and the endless discussion of what is the best rig. In my experience, you either use what you already own or can afford or move on to obtaining the correct vehicle matched to the task at hand. Me, I use what I already own which was purchased to tackle my taskings. Would I haul Ollie over the above discussed roads...yup, if it was all I owned. Spent, folded and/or mutilated be damned. Mark
  3. I’ll add this...think of intended drivers as well. My better half likes to drive and she feels very comfortable driving our various towing setups. I’ve insisted she knows and understands the connect and disconnect routine. We seek out and boondock camp, almost exclusively; sometimes never seeing another soul for days and I personally believe she needs to know how to get us home if a medical emergency arises. Luckily, she is a willing participant and obviously YMMV. I’ve turned her loose on White Bird Summit, I-70 west of Denver and Davis Damn...all downhill grades known for hot brakes and white knuckles. A Diesel engine, with it’s proper exhaust brake and tranny mix, makes for an uneventful descent.
  4. I have many towing and hauling needs, own several different style of trailers and haul a slide in truck camper as well. Can only afford the one work horse, thus it gets used for all purposes. If I had only the Ollie to tow AND was looking for a new TV it would be a F250/350 or equivalent truck with a topper on the bed. I would not want to mess with the Anderson products, for several obvious and not so obvious reasons. The less mechanical contraptions, bandaids, moving pieces and parts for me to mess with makes my day. Sure, trucks ride a bit rough when empty...by design. The F150/1500 class rigs are a good compromise but again, most need EQ equipment to properly/safely tow heavy. Match the TV to the intended maximum tow requirements and call it a day. I’m not a SUV guy, thus no experience or comments.
  5. I pull the wheels, clean/inspect /lube everything on the running gear, in late fall before putting Ollie in storage. Like noted, accessing the zerks and manipulation of a manual grease gun can be a challenge. I have over 60 zerks needing grease, some more often than others thus I convinced myself to purchase another power tool. My tractor alone has 21 grease points and they get lubed every 10 hours of use; 6-8 times during snow plow season. The cordless grease gun gets lots of use.
  6. Contact this outfit; Dinosaur Electronics. http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Company_Info.htm I had a water heater board fail on another RV and these boards are so much better than the OEM. They don't make boards for all applications but it may be worth a call. You'll likely have to purchase through a re-seller; I purchased here: https://pantherrvproducts.com/ Mark
  7. Ken, please expand on your experience with this tool. I've had my eye on it for a while, as it seems after 45 years of filing experience, my ability to hand file a chain manually has diminished with age and failing eye sight (to be accurate-likely lack of patience). I've recently relied on the local shop to file my chains on their industrial Stihl provided chain grinder but requires extra chains (which I have) to get through a season and the dreaded trip to the big city. Other than purchasing a good Oregon bench top grinder, this tool reviews well and looks solid. Thanks, Mark
  8. I own mostly Milwaukee and Stihl in the battery tools. Preventing the bevy of different chargers/batteries is a challenge. Makita is likely a better product and I eye balled their battery saw but in my area, Stihl has actual support and mechanics who share knowledge without charge. Corded stuff is so yesterday; I own one pole saw with a cord and it is a serious PITA to deploy. My Stihl battery saw breaks down into a smallish Pelican case, with extra battery and chains. Works great for camp fire wood and clearing the forest roads when needed. An axe is the back-up and always in our kit. My electric/battery saw: https://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/battery-saws/msa220cb/ As you, I tire of the wood cutting, bucking, splitting and stacking grind, but it is what it is when one chooses to live the rural life. Someone told me it keeps you fit and in shape; or just maybe, it wears you out prior to your designed expiration date. This Ponderosa was the last victim of our big winds; snapped off halfway up the stem like a twig. My big saw is the smallest in their pro-line and I look forward to the day it quits; I'll cease the renewable wood heat supply and rely more on our solar for electric heat.
  9. Following...please post your R&R on the new lights and gaskets.
  10. If money wasn't a factor, I would be seriously investigating something similar to these: TriPac Envidia is an all-electric, battery based Auxiliary Heating and Cooling Temperature Management System. The ComfortPro electric APU delivers a solid 7,500 BTUs of cooling for up to 11 hours.*
  11. Use the search function and search "security". Lots of discussions. Here's one:
  12. Yep, ^^^, good suggestion. I added three RV outlets (one 50 amp and two 30 amp) around the homestead. We have friends/family stopping by with their RVs and of course they need to hook-up to electrical. The mother/father in-law likes their twin A/C and microwave to always work. Whether you decide to do this project yourself or hire a licensed electrician, make sure this common error is not part of life. And, if you're going to go through the effort and for very little extra cost, go with a 50 amp RV outlet. You never know when a visitor with a big 5th wheel or MH will show up and needing full juice, and it is simple to adapt down to your 30a OTT. And just a suggestion, when you have your trench open, lay an extra run of conduit or two with a pull line pre-threaded; capped off for future use. Never know when you may want to drop a cat-6 cable for some hardwired ethernet devices,wi-fi extension, security cameras or maybe another electrical need. Conduit is cheap...trenching is not and leaves a mess. Expensive mistake when installing 30-amp RV outlet at home- article by Mike Sokol
  13. Sure, I'll take the bait. Personal experience mostly and hard working electrician friends and their testimony. I replaced most of the ones in our house over the years due to teenaged boys and heavy use. Levition (sourced from Lowes/HD), to name one product, is one I've had spotty luck with. Bad, new stuff has always been an issue. It has gotten worse with some products. I have a couple of older Erickson Mfg Slater Electric, Inc (purchased by LeGrand/Pass&Seymor) GFCIs still in use years after our home was built; still working as designed. Not big box stuff; usually found at the wholesale/pro outfit. Most wholesalers won't sell to the general public. Our new and local GENSCO sent me packing when I went in to browse the shelf. Contractors only please. I probably have a half dozen spares of the Levition brand on hand simply because it's a 50 mile trip for me to fix one and I've had new ones not function properly. Two are in a drawer in the OTT. Overseas outsourcing is the likely cause. Cheap is not always better, except for corporate profits, blah, blah, blah.
  14. I hate to ass/u/me anything regarding someone's abilities in electrical trouble shooting. It is very good you are asking questions and trying to fix things yourself. This being said, I've added a trusted source of educational material to my post above. I suspect the following and of course without knowing your specific year/model it is tough to troubleshoot. Older units usually require more checking/maintaining: 1. As stated previously, a bad GFCI. Change it out as suggested. Pushing the button is one test...under load is your problem. Most GFCI found today are garbage and it is a hit or miss on replacements. 2. Improper resetting of circuit breakers or bad circuit breaker (CB). If CBs are tripping, there's a reason and you need to stop and figure out the reasons. Resetting a CB should be a simple deal. Aggressively turn off and then back on. Visually checking is not always the best practice as some CBs look reset but are actually still tripped. 3. Loose connections. Screws on CBs can and will loosen from vibration and the constant flow of electrons. Wire nuts are notorious for loosening with age and vibrations due to electron flow. Checking them is easy, IF you have the tools and knowledge. Digging around inside the innards of the electrical boxes and various connections can be hazardous to your health, including death, if you are not trained or un-skilled in the task. Loose connection result in heat and higher resistance. Both are bad and add to the electrical gremlins you seek. 4. Look on the label of the heater and look for the wattage or amps. Post the info here. If it is over 1500w, this is likely the problem. The CBs and wiring in your house likely more robust than your OTT. Keep in mind the golden rule of 80%. A 20a circuit should only be running loads at 80% of design---16amps maximum. Codes change over the years and this rule may have been tweaked, but it has been a rule of thumb forever. 12ga wire on 20a circuits and 14ga for 15a circuits. Finally, if you feel unable to further troubleshoot this, call a licensed electrician. A RV tech should be able to handle the job as well but good luck finding a qualified one. My suggestion...call a pro who can put eyes on target and get your OTT back to operational health. Mark, amateur sparky.
  15. If you don't already have the simple and inexpensive AC electrical diagnostic tools, you may wish to start your collection. https://www.amazon.com/No-Shock-Zone-Electrical-Safety-Michael-Sokol/dp/0990527913/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1584626401&refinements=p_27%3AJ+Michael+Sokol&s=books&sr=1-1&text=J+Michael+Sokol https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kill-A-Watt-Electricity-Monitor-P4400/202196386 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-GFCI-Outlet-Circuit-Analyzer-Tester-CE-GFI6500/305286301?MERCH=REC-_-pipsem-_-202196386-_-305286301-_-N https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-Non-Contact-Voltage-Tester-NCVT-1SEN/100661787?MERCH=REC-_-pipsem-_-202196386-_-100661787-_-N https://www.amazon.com/Fluke-T5-1000-Electrical-Tester/dp/B0006Z3GZU/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&aaxitk=wVO-GYCS0WzTjRP85UNv0g&hsa_cr_id=4038740680701&ref_=sb_s_sparkle&th=1 Mark
  16. Pilot/Flying J and TSD Logistics news...I have the card, it works just fine and Love's is now my preferred station. https://www.rvtravel.com/diesel-939/
  17. Another option, although it looks to be the same size. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lund-34-White-Aluminum-Trailer-Tongue-Truck-Tool-Box-6220/100592784
  18. FYI...Home Depot bounces around at times with product offerings. Uni-Strut was in stock for years and now they stock a Thomas & Betts (now called ABB) product. The stocked product (last I checked) is called Superstrut. http://www-public.tnb.com/pub/en/brands/superstrut. Hope this helps. Mark
  19. Not totally "off the shelf" components', but close. Brackets are uni-strut fasteners from Home Depot (pre drilled/zinc coated, .250 x 1.00 flat bar and angle). 1/2" bolts/nuts/washers from the local Fastenal supplier and the short piece of grip-strut was a drop from the local steel supplier. All in, the multi-purpose tongue step/genset platform cost me $30. If I would have had to purchase the usual minimum length (10') of grip-strut, the project would have been much more expensive. I isolated the brackets/bolts from contacting the AL OTT frame with simple spacers made from some HDPE sheet stock and PEX tubing I had lying around from previous projects. https://www.unistrutohio.com/general-unistrut-fittings Depending on what I carry on the rack, the tail gate clears as long as the truck/trailer is straightened out. But, I use an extended length hitch. No Anderson stuff required. TV is a Ford F350 and the tailgate is higher above the ground than most rigs. I usually have a short Pelican case, through bolted to the platform, caring blocks/gloves/misc stuff or don't care anything on the tongue. I prefer to leave it open and use it as a step when transitioning from the bed of the truck to the ground. Most of the crap I think I need to drag along is in the bed of the truck in Pelican cases or stored in the rear passenger area. I originally intended to re-purpose a Pelican 1660 case for a tongue box...didn't like the look. I purchased the propane powered genset specifically for the OTT and have yet to use it, except in testing. Solar meets most of our boon-docking/back country trip needs. I plan to fabricated a plate for the genset which will allow me to directly attach and lock it to the tongue platform. For now, a couple of Mac's straps do the job. A simple draw string bag covers the genset during travels. Tie down straps I had a detailed installation posted but it, along with other postings, disappeared after the website "upgrade". Mark
  20. A few scratches and dings to Ollie are expected as we navigate the graveled western mountain roads and byways in our travels. The minor scuffs on the wheels pale compared to the scratches from tree branches, super highway road rash/dings and mud covered bottom parts after a trip. One can only do so much to protect from real on/off road usage and minor damage. The only way I know to keep the OTT looking new is to not use it...YMMV.
  21. When I feel the need to secure the OTT (rarely), a high quality lock and chain passed through the wheel holes is my attempt to deter thieves. Satisfying the insurance company I made an attempt to secure our property, is likely crucial in a theft claim, but I've never had a claim so speak from zero experience. If a thief really wants your stuff, most locking devices are easily over come with knowledge and tools. But I hope one would look at the chain/lock set-up and move on to an easier target. Destroying the door or breaking windows in order to access/steal stuff inside is more of a concern. Big dog deterrents are stalking the perimeter during most off-grid camping days. Links to the sources I used. I prefer manufacturer approved distributors/dealers, simply because of the counterfeit/fake stuff prevalent on the big market sites. YMMV 10ft chain: PEWAG Security Chain Lock: ABUS Lock I've also purchased locks from these reputable folks: Taylor Security
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