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  • Gender
  • Location
    Naples, FL
  • Interests
    Photography, hiking, kayaking.
  1. Bring an older post up to date with a question: Going to put a satellite dish on the roof of our new 2012 Great West Vans Legend EX. Question is the same as this topic started back in 2009: Dish or Direct. Given: Will be traveling for extended periods initially, then on and off as time allows. Would like to be able to disconnect/connect service at my will - in short, when RV is parked in storage for a couple of mouths I don't want to be paying for service. Would like my Tivo that is in our home to be able to be hooked into the dish/TV. From what I'm finding on net searches, the Dish Network/Winegard is the only one offering a service to pay for the service when needed yet a chap in an earlier post here commented that Direct offers a "on vacation" ability to suspend service. In trying to contact Direct I've had no luck defining if this "on vacation" service is valid. Guidance? Jack PS: Just got off the phone with DirectTV sales - they claim they have the ability to suspend service while your RV is in storage. They call it "Movers Service". Sales person told me there was no fee for connect/connect and billing was suspended. Can anyone confirm this?
  2. Problem of getting into National Parks solved - we just bought a Great West Van EX, 2012. LOA is 24' 6". Expect this rig will serve us well and for the difference in purchase price, depreciation cost and fuel consumption of the GWV verse a 40' rig + tow'd we can stay in motels/resorts for many nights!
  3. Bill, I agree completely on the propane gen set - wish there was a diesel gen available. But at least the big propane hogs of the furnance and water heater are not diesel. We rarely drycamp so as long as we have electricity at the campsite we should be using very little propane. Life is Compromise. Jack
  4. Life is interesting! On Saturday we stopped at RV World in Nokomis, FL while enroute to Lazy Days to inspect the Monaco Knight 40'er we had put a deposit on over the phone. At RV World we saw a new entry in the Sprinter Van conversion lineup from Great West Vans - call an EX. It is built on the Sprinter Extended body making it 24' 6" LOA. REALLY liked it! Great features and excellent fuel economy - expect 17-18mpg. This model has the hot water heater and furnace being fed by diesel fuel, Espar Diesel Hydronic - uses 0.08 gallons/hour of diesel at the peak heating load. Plus it has a 15000 BTU A/C, solar palels, 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter and 4 AGM house batteries! Also has the 3.6 kw Onan propane gen set. When the wife saw the 6 cu. ft. double door frig and the king bed/sofa I felt I had a chance to talk her into it. Last it has the Technology Package: Alpine Nav/stereo, 3 view camera, cell phone booster, Wi-Fi booster which got my interest. Thus, we cancelled our trip to Lazy Days and bought it. No, it's not a BIG RIG, and that is just why we decided to buy it. Logic: MPG verse 40' coach Wife can drive this as easily as a car - (she drove our Roadtrek but would never go near our Amer. Eagle) thus not all the driving rests on my shoulders. Lenght can get into almost all National Parks and State Parks - much cheaper cost per night verse commercial parks and closer to the photography sites I'm after. Very comfortable bed and I fit in it with no feet hanging over the end of the bed! Furnace/water heater is diesel driven - that's great! Build quality and finish is excellent - these folks really do a nice job. NO need for a tow vehicle and its hassle plus capital expense that brings with it. Just one vehicle depreciates over time verse a 40' rig and tow vehicle. List goes on and on as to its advantages in our minds. In short, we decided it was perfect for what we want to do AND with the huge cash outlay savings over the 40'er and tow car we can stay in a motel/lodge whenever we want to. Thus, we traded in our Roadtrek SS Agile and bougth the Great West. (We we very disappointed with the build quality of the 2011 Roadtrek SS Agile!! Dramatic deteriation from the 2006 we had.) I expect we will see more boomers go in this direction verse the big rigs pushed by diesel prices escalating. Why give your retirement savings to the oil companies?
  5. 3:20PM Thursday, 2/16/2012 Just got back from test driving a 2012 34QFA Allegro Red at North Trails RV in Fort Myers. The 2 American Eagles we had in the past were equipped with Independent Front Axles - apparently nothing under 35' has this. I did NOT like the handling characteristics of the solid axle front end - several times during an extended test drive like the rig was going where it wanted to go and not where I expected it to. Also if one wheel hits a pot hole on the interstate the entire coach direction/handling is substantially effected compared to what I've been used to. We found the interior and layout very nice! Salesmen said there is nothing in the 35/less class A diesel that is IFS equipped. If it had IFS and ideally alum. wheels for looks, they'd have a buyer. As it is, I'm going to pass on the solid axle rigs. I guess the Eagle spoiled me and I don't want anything less - just didn't feel as safe/in control.
  6. We will be starting our trip in Naples, FL and want to get to the first destination of Flagstaff, AZ quickly. We has already covered the SE and Midwest extensively. Once we get to a hub location (Flagstaff/Park City/Monteray, CA/ Santa Rosa, CA/Portland, OR/Vancouver, BC) we will be covering a lot of local scenes but in the car not the RV. RV will be used to get us on the interstate when ever possible to the destination to then cover the surrounding area at a very leasurely pace in the car with several weeks spend in each of the "hub" locations.
  7. Greetings, Wife and I are planning to full time for 3 years or more. We did this back in 1994 in a 40' American Eagle and had a great time. At that time we generally stayed in a park for several months moving from the north to the south following the weather patterns. This time the obsession is landscape photography. I want to travel extensively in the SW and Pacific NW, then up to Vancouver, BC. Also cover Maine after we covered the west. Now, I've noted that all of the national parks have a 35' length limit posted in the Trailer Life Directory. We certainly enjoyed the life style and room of a 40' Eagle in the past BUT I would really like to be able to get into the National Parks to be as close as possible to the photography sites. In theory, IF we decided to go with a 35' rig, say a Winnebago Journey Express (which is exactly 35') or possibly the Monaco Vesta 32 PBS (33' 9"), we should be able to get into the National Parks. My question/s: 1. Will we find that the Natl. Parks have very few 35' spaces, or that they are impossible to get in to, or that you can't put the slides out, and thus we will be in private campgrounds where we could have enjoyed the added space of a 40' rig anyway? 2. Is the ride of a 40' rig dramatically better on the interstate (we expect to cover a lot of miles over the 3 years) than a 35' rig? 3. We plan to tow 4 down a midsize 4x4 rig for scouting down gravel roads for photo scenes - thus coach must be able to easily tow a car at highway speeds. Is this asking too much of the 35' rigs - I was particularily concerned about the Vesta and its only having 660 ft. lb. of torque? 4. Any other feedback is appreciate as we want to do this right and really enjoy our life of the road capturing landscape images.
  8. Bill - I'd much prefer the ease of a 4x4 verse pump or shaft disconnect. That is what we had in our old 1994 Jeep Cherokee - just shifted the transfer case into neutral and go. Thus, let's go the 4x4 direction. A complication for me is that I'm just under 6'5" tall - yesterday I sat in a Chevy Colorado and was surprised to find that I was quite comfortable. MGP not real good but seems most 4x4's that I could fit in don't offer that.
  9. Herman, Send me an email after you drive from S. Miami going North on I-95 doing 65mph - that should have proven to be great fun for you. As for me, there are times when it is safest and most prudent to "go with the flow" rather than create a safety hazard doing 65 when surrounded by idiots that believe anything moving less than 85 is the target just to save a gallon of fuel.
  10. I agree with the ideal being 65 BUT back in the 90's there where many metropolitan areas where you are a safety risk driving 65. On the open road 65 is preferred but I've got to be able to run 70-72 for extended periods and do no harm to the Toad.
  11. We have just purchased a 2012 40-foot Monaco Knight and are getting ready to "drop out" for 3 to 5 years full-timing. Did the same back in 1994 and towed a Jeep Cherokee behind an American Eagle. Times have changed and we are trying to be sensitive to fuel costs. Thus, our ideal toad will be: 1. Able to be towed 4 down at 70-72 mph with no damage and not require an aux. pump, etc. 2. Able to get decent mileage when running around the various destinations. 3. Preferable as 4x4 due to landscape photography being one of my obsessions. 4. At least a 4 star safety rating, preferably 5. Cost is not a major concern -- ease of towing and reliable vehicle takes priority. I would also appreciate opinions on the tow bar that is the most bullet proof -- ease of use and reliable. Thanks, in advance.
  12. Thanks to all for input. We've decided to purchase a new 2012 Monaco Knight 40' DFT from Lazy Days in Tampa. Should be delivered to dealer from the factory the end of this week. Decision was based on full warranty, layout of interior (bath and a half), build quality and the new design with the MaxForce engine. I've heard of folks getting in the 10-11mpg range with it. Jack
  13. From what the Motorhome Living 2011 guide says, the CR-V is towable but not to EXCEED 65mph. Thus I'd have to drive at less than 65 - not probable given I run at 68 to 71 all day long.
  14. Bill, That's good news. Have you had any of the problems reported in the prior posts towing the Prius? Can you define what brand of dolly you found to work? I have concerns about elevating the front of the Prius and how the angle of the body would expose the rear end to damage. Thanks, Jack
  15. Any updates on the question of towing a Prius? We own a 2011 Prius and really like everything about the car. Getting ready to take off full-timing for a couple of years and would love to be able to tow the Prius. However the idea of towing it on a trailer is not something I want to do. I would like to hear more from folks that are using a tow dolly with the Prius and what their experience has been like.
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