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gypsyken

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  1. Thanks all. I'm thinking that maybe I should simply continue to do what I've done for 25 years, all over North America (every continental U.S. state, every Canadian province and territory [except Nunavut, which has no roads], every Mexican state): don't bother with an auxiliary braking system that I've never needed.
  2. Why, Wolfe 10, do you say that the InvisiBrake is a good choice only " if you will be keeping the toad for a while"? I understand that the wiring from the InvisiBrake unit under the driver's seat and in the engine compartment of the toad, so as to activate the toad's brakes when the motorhome's brake lights are activated, may not be transferable, but surely the unit under the driver's seat could be removed and installed in a different toad. (My toad is running well, but it is old and will have to be replaced in the not far distant future, if I am still traveling then.) Not being a portable device that has to be installed in the toad to tow it, and then removed in order to drive the toad, is the principle advantage that I see in the Invisibrake.
  3. Although, as I've posted, I've never felt a need for a supplemental braking system and am not required to have one in Texas, where my vehicles are registered, I am hoping to travel this summer in several states where such systems are required, and I don't want to encounter any problem for not having one. Therefore, I am considering installing a RoadMaster InvisiBrake because once the unit it installed under the driver's seat, you NEVER have to connect or disconnect it: it just works automatically whenever the toad is connected to the coach. Anyone have any experience with this system? I know that RoadMaster is a reliable company--my tow bar is by it--and there are many places within a reasonable drive of me that could install an InvisiBrake.
  4. I understand, of course, that a coach towing a car that has a supplementary braking system has more braking power than a coach towing a car that does not have such a system does, but that does not seem to me to answer the question if such systems are not only helpful but so essential that they should be required. How did we get along without such systems for so many years before they became available? Were there more collisions due to inability to stop before they became available? Once a new system becomes available, the reasons that people should buy it will be emphasized--tire pressure monitoring systems are an example of that--and a person who has spent $1,000 for a supplementary braking system is unlikely to say that it really wasn't needed. I've towed a car behind my diesel pusher motorhome all over North America since 1993, never felt a need for a supplementary braking system, and since I register my vehicles in Texas and my Honda CR-V weighs less than 4500 pounds, I'm not required to have one in that state. Both the cost of a system and the inconvenience of having to activate and deactivate it have dissuaded me from having one. I haven't heard that any states inspect toads to see if they have required supplementary braking systems, and I haven't heard of people being cited for not having one, even if they are involved in an accident. (I was involved last year in an accident that I caused--though I really don't know how, unless my foot slipped from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal--in a state that would require me to have a supplementary braking system in my toad, and the police who wrote the accident report didn't even mention the topic.) My questions now are purely practical: (1) How risky is it to travel without a supplementary braking system in a state that requires them? How likely is one to be cited for not having a system in a state that requires them? Does it ever happen? (I'm not asking about what some people might consider to the "moral" aspect of this.) (2) What system is easiest and takes the least amount of time and effort to activate when towing and to deactivate when not towing? I assume that in order to drive the toad, the system must be deactivated or disconnected as soon as the toad is disconnected from the coach, and that requires significant time and effort for all the systems that I've read about. (3) What is the cheapest system? Thanks.
  5. I understand your response, Wolfe 10, but I think it would be possible to determine if a collision occurred, or its severity was increased, by the inability of a vehicle to stop soon enough (I think that skid marks are routinely measured to determine stopping time), and it was data on that that I was hoping to find.
  6. As a scientist, I try to insist that conclusions, especially those that impose burdens on me when expressed as regulations, be supported by empirical evidence. While auxiliary braking systems for toads are now required by many states, I have been unable to find any data showing that accidents were caused, or their severity increased, by motorhomes towing toads being unable to stop, or that such accidents could have been prevented, or their severity reduced, by use of a supplementary braking system on the toad. Instead the requirements for supplementary braking systems seem to be based on the assumption that a coach's brakes can only stop a rolling weight not exceeding the coach's GVWR, which the weight of a toad, added to the weight of the coach, may exceed. Does anyone know of any data showing that accidents were caused, or their severity increased, by motorhomes towing toads being unable to stop, or that such accidents could have been prevented, or their severity reduced, by the use of a supplementary braking system on the toad? (There are, of course, data showing that the braking of a coach is improved by use of an exhaust brake, yet when I specified in 1993 that a PacBrake be installed in my diesel pusher, I was told by the salesman that such a brake was not needed and would be "overkill." My vehicles are registered in Texas, which, for some reason I cannot imagine, has apparently resisted what I am sure are the entreaties of manufacturers of supplementary braking systems that they be required on toads. I am told, however, that I might be in trouble if found to be lacking an auxiliary braking system in a state in which it is required. I have traveled in my motorhome, towing a toad, in every continental U.S. state, every province and territory in Canada [except Nunavut, which has no roads], and every state in Mexico; have never experienced difficulty in stopping; and use the exhaust brake only when descending long grades, to avoid overheating the coach's air-activated brakes.)
  7. gypsyken

    CB radio

    Letters in the July issue of MotorHome magazine address the use, or nonuse, of CB radio nowadays. There is one in the coach I purchased new in 1993, and I used to have it turned on during travel, usually to channel 19, the channel then, at least, used by truckers, but I haven't thought to turn it on for some time now. The letters reminded me, however, that FMCA used to recommend that its members use a particular channel, which I've forgotten. Does FMCA still recommend use of a particular CB channel, and does anybody use it?
  8. Does anyone else have a "Delmonico Automatic Washer/Dryer"? One was in my Europremier when I purchased it new in 1993. I have not been able to find a model number, "Delmonico" is not even mentioned in the "Use and Care" booklet that came with the machine, and the name or address of the manufacturer are not given. In 2011 a service man in Mexico replaced the water pump, I assume with a "generic" one. The washer/dryer has otherwise performed well for 24 years, until now. With the power switch on or off, the wash selector on "Off," and the "Door Lock" light off, I could not open the door. I also could not open it when the dryer was on, when the door is not supposed to be locked. Pulling on the door latch handle, I broke it off. A service man opened the door by manipulating with a screwdriver the part from which the latch handle had broken off, and the washer/dryer operates normally when the door is closed. He concluded that the electric mechanism that locks the door is not functioning and must be replaced, but without a model number or any other information about the machine, he cannot obtain a replacement and suggested that I might buy a new machine (for $1,000+).. I will greatly appreciate any information that anyone can provide.
  9. Has anyone had positive experience with the King Tailgater portable antenna for Dish satellite TV? Mine has been negative. A Camping World salesman persuaded me less than a year ago to buy a Tailgater, which I found attractive because of its easy portability; ability to be placed so as to avoid any obstacles, such as trees, interfering with satellite reception; and automatic operation. He said that I should try it to see if it would work with my existing Dish receiver, which was a mistake, as the Tailgater manual clearly stated that I needed a different antenna. So, back to CW to buy a 211z receiver, which, when I opened the box, proved not to be usable with the TVs in my motorhome, because it does not have a coax cable output. So, back to CW to exchange the 211z for a 211k, which does have a coax output. Although the 211k was in an opened box, I was assured that it was new, having been returned by its previous purchaser. But I could not get TV and a distinctly unhelpful Dish Technical Service representative, who merely seemed to be following a written script, finally told me that I would have to have a Dish technician look at my installation. I had to pay $100 for a service call for a technician to tell me, first, that software had to be downloaded into the 211k in order for it to work, and second, that the Tailgater was not working. By that time I was in a different area, but I was able to exchange the Tailgater for another one at a different CW. But still no TV. To avoid the charge for another service call, I took the Tailgater and 211k to the technician, 30 miles away, where it was determined that the Tailgater was working but the 211k was not. Neither the technician nor CW had or could get another 211k, since Dish has discontinued it for the Wally receiver, which also lacks a coax output. But I found a Dish retailer in a different city, 30 miles away, who got one for me, and I finally had TV! But not for long, as intermittent loss of reception and "crazy" error messages on the TV forced me to repeatedly unplug and replug the 211k to reset it, sometimes all day long, which was the only advice that Dish Technical Service could offer me. Because the intermittent failures and "crazy" error messages indicated to me that the 211k was not working properly, I bought a new one on amazon.com and paid a technician to download the required software into it. When reception failed again, I replaced the old 211k with the new one, only to find, alas, that while reception might be OK for several days, it would sooner or later fail again, which clearly indicates that it's the Tailgater that's not working properly. As the King rep with whom I spoke insisted that the problem must be with my motorhome's cable installation, I bypassed it by plugging the cable provided with the Tailgater directly into the 211k--with exactly the same result: "crazy" error messages and no reception followed, eventually, after repeatedly unplugging and replugging the 211k, by reception. As the King rep seemed unwilling to admit that there could be any problem with the Tailgater, I anticipate that he will next tell me to buy a new cable to connect the Tailgater directly to the 211k. I am wondering if a Winegard Playmaker portable antenna for Dish is more reliable than the Tailgater and if I will just have to "eat" the $400 I paid for the Tailgater and buy a Winegard. Any advice based on experience with the Tailgater or Playmaker will be much appreciated.
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