Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Just replaced our eight battery house bank with AGMs. Got tired of cleaning corrosion and the long term effects of same on the compartment and surrounding structures and systems. Decided on Full River AGMs based on guarantee, price, dealer network and lack of negative reviews. The Magnum inverter/charger and remote were simple to change from flooded to AGM. Although a little expensive, I feel better not having eight batteries outgassing in a relatively confined space and particularly so when the coach is in its' garage with even less air circulating over the winter months.
  2. Desert and Ross, Really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I did consider wiring the ship's backup lights to a separate switch to provide light, but settled on wiring new lights to the lower bin system that has a harness extension and light in the engine compartment that is very accessible, and the master bin light switch is on our checklist for departure so I don't leave them on to blind people behind, even though they are down-firing lights. The lights I installed blend-in to the rear of the coach really well and could be easily considered something that came from Newmar on a new MH. The current arrangement lets me turn the lights on without stepping outside and then observe through the rear camera. Combined with the side security lights on either side, docking lights on either side and, if necessary, headlights, I can now light-up the entire perimeter of the MH to see what might be happening without leaving the relative comfort and safety of being inside. Of course the main reason for this modification was to have ample working light if I ever have to deal with connecting or disconnecting the Jeep in the dark again, or to check on the hitch apparatus during a pit stop in the dark. Again, we always plan to avoid being on the road before the sun sets, but sometimes stuff just happens. One day I'll learn to upload a picture or at least provide a link to a picture. Thanks again for your comments and recommendations, they are appreciated.
  3. We got home from our most recent MH trip well after dark, after stopping to help someone that had rolled their car. Normally, we try to not be on the road when the sun goes down, but this time it was unavoidable. It was also the first time ever disconnecting the toad without the benefit of daylight. Toad parking lights helped, but the situation made me think how helpful some lights mounted high on the back of the bus would have been, not only in this scenario, but if it was necessary or desirable to light up the rear of the bus for any other reason. I decided to get two led light strips and mount them under the uppermost engine access hatch cross bar, facing down, and wired to the cargo bin master light switch inside the coach. Project now complete and working. The lights are barely noticeable when off, made of clear plastic, but in the darkness of our bus garage they produce a great deal of light down toward the tow hitch and area behind the MH, that does not shine right in my eyes. Thought someone else might be interested in the idea. By the way, the lady that rolled her car right in front of us suffered only minor scrapes and bruises, thanks to airbags and seatbelt. The car was a total loss. Carry on.
  4. We're on our third MH. The first two were single rear axle. The very first was a 34 foot pusher that was nice inside but a very scary thing to drive in any wind except calm, and the bow wave from a passing semi would nearly send us off the road if we were not aware of it coming. In short, it took most of the fun out of the RV experience. The second was much better, a different manufacturer, but lacked the power we wanted considering the mountainous terrain in the western states where we live and do most of our travel. We finally settled on a 40 foot 9 inch Newmar Dutch Star, with a tag, and could not be happier. Handling characteristics all around are simply a pleasure and winds have become a non-issue. Our only regret with the Dutch Star is that we did not make it our first purchase for a motorhome. In terms of fuel consumption, we get an overall average of about 8+ per gallon, driving a target speed of 65 on highways. As for any additional expense for the extra two tires or additional fuel consumption that may be associated with the tag, speaking only for us, it is worth every cent for the rock solid stability and extra margin of safety we enjoy. Just our two cents, for what it's worth.
  5. Can't thank all of you enough for your input, and now I'm really anxious to get the ScanGauge D bought, installed and enjoy the useful information it will provide. Just love it when a plan comes together, even more when it saves money.
  6. Rich and krivanj, Thank you for your comments. Most reviews I have read are positive on the ScanGauge D and yours adds confirmation. Will likely order the thing when we get back from holiday and install it before our first scheduled trip in April. That trip will run about 1500 miles and provide ample opportunity to verify and enjoy the additional information the ScanGauge presents. BTW, my DW is happy I didn't drop thousands on the other brand. If we ever decide we're that wealthy we'll just get a Newell, which comes all digital as standard equipment. Thanks again!
  7. I'm considering a ScanGauge vehicle monitoring system for our 2012 Dutchstar, built on a Freightliner chassis. Looked at Silverleaf and liked what I saw, but a bit over my budget for such things and would never get the approval of my DW. The three lines of info available on the Freightliner instrument cluster are valuable, but the toggle sequence logic to get what I want to monitor on those three lines has me wanting something a little more user friendly. Does anyone have any experience with the Scangauge D?
  8. Over the winter downtime we traded our truck/rv Garmin dezl560LMT for the new Garmin RV760LMT. The 560 worked well for us overall, but I wanted the ability to get real-time weather information displayed on the same screen as our navigation, and the new RV760 does that and more in spades. It does require a link via smartphone/android to get the information, which meant I would have to enter the 21st century and upgrade my flip phone. In short, it was worth it. Like the dezl560, you can enter the specifics of your motorhome, weight, height, width, length, etc, and it will help steer you away from things like low underpasses and bridges that are not strong enough for your rig. One of the other features I like about the new Garmin is its' ability to display "what's ahead". It will show things like fuel, food, hotels and rest areas ahead on your route, that I find very useful. The new Garmin can also be operated via voice command so you don't have to remove your full attention from the task of driving. But wait, there's more! It also has a pretty comprehensive listing of campgrounds and rv resorts and the services they offer. You can put your rv requirements (minimum hookups) into the Garmin and it will filter the stored data to display only those places or all campgrounds, as you prefer. After getting used to all the stuff our Mercedes shows on its' navigation screen, I just had to have this new Garmin and have no regrets for getting one. Disclaimer: Never trust a gps of any make or model without backing up what it tells you with a good map and good sense.
  9. We have been pulling our 2012 Kia Soul base model with manual transaxle since we bought it new for that purpose. Have had zero issues with the toad, or the Dutch tow vehicle for that matter, using a complete Roadmaster baseplate, bar and air brake system. Steering wheel must be unlocked to ACC position, shifter in neutral and hand brake off. Before towing each year I make sure the transaxle is at the proper level of gear oil as well. As a preference, I put a small solar charger on the dash of the Kia, plugged into the power port, just to cover the small power consumption of the brake light monitor in the Dutch, as well as anything else that might be powered with the toad key in the ACC position. The radio in the toad (Kia) should be shut off manually during towing, again in the interest of preserving the toad battery for those especially long haul trips. Regarding the Kia Soul, I have to say the vehicle has been absolutely trouble free since we drove it home from the dealer in November 2011. Not one, single problem! At a total cost of just over 14k, I don't know what else would have towed so well for so little money. Would I rather have a Wrangler pushing us down the highway, of course, but the Kia gets the job done and leaves lots of money for fuel and Rv resorts.
  10. The turn lights mounted in my mirrors were model 15 lights and Herman was correct, they will just pop out with a very slim blade screw driver applied on the short end of the light. That is how the manufacturer says to remove them. Our Dutchstar did have LEDs there, but they were a single LED unit and not very noticeable. I replaced them with Truck Lite, Model 15 triple LED units and it made quite a difference. A word about installation; these are a tight fit and may require a bit of filing of the gripping edge on the ends to get the new units to seat properly. I got my lights from Amazon. Worth mentioning is the fact that I did not have to install resistors to get all the new LED turn signal lights to perform like they should. Our 2012 Freightliner Chassis under the Dutchstar had already installed an appropriate LED compatible flasher, so it all worked. The transformation is now complete, there no filament bulbs on our Dutch.
  11. Just to clarify my original post, our Dutch Star does have a "mid" body turn signal light that was installed as original equipment by Newmar. The "extra" light I added is mounted well forward on the coach, just above the right and left turn cameras on either side. I didn't want to mount the light any further aft out of concern it might be a little too prominent in the camera during night operations. Also, the chosen location of the added light afforded easy access for a wire tap into the front turn signal lights. Sorry if I created any confusion.
  12. Have been noticing that most of the 2013-14 motorhomes have forward mounted, side body amber turn signal lights. Recalling many, many times other vehicles that are forward of my mid-body turn light, but not far enough forward to see my front turn signal lights, would make no effort to allow me a lane change. Other than the rare driver that just doesn't yield for anything smaller than a train, it occurred to me that these vehicles/drivers just could not see my signal and desire for a turn. Suddenly, It all began to make sense why these new motorhomes had these lights. I decided that during the time the bus was not being driven, except for the monthly warm-up and functionality drive, it would be a good time to add these lights to our DutchStar. In my search for the perfect light that would be visible directly to the side, front and rear, I found a Maxxima amber LED light turn that fired in all three directions and was pretty easy to install. As an afterthought, I also replaced all the front and side turn signal bulbs with LEDs, as well as the four white docking lights. The end result was the whole "see and be seen thing" was much improved, so I thought it was worth sharing with all of you here. Also, in the case of my side white docking lights, the LED replacements brought the power consumption down from nine amps to just slightly under one. (worth it)
  13. We stayed at Rafter J near Hill City recently and can confirm it is a very nice place. Lots of room between spaces, very clean, pancake breakfast and very quiet. Including toad, our rig is just over 55 feet, leaving plenty of room front and back. Between spaces is about sixty feet, possibly more. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Not the lowest price in the area, but worth every penny. The place has become our standard by which we decide where we want to stay. Enjoy!
  14. promethias

    Untitled Album

  • Create New...