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    Near St Louis
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    2004 Safari Trek 31SBD (V10-F53)
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  1. I'm not sure the F53 chassis front end is related to the F-250 or F-350. The F53 has no ball joints - It uses king pins and a solid front axle. Better make sure that class action covers your chassis before signing on.
  2. Sorry to hear of your continued problems. I've been driving the V-10 F53 since 2001 (two different MHs) while towing 4 four down and haven't experienced the problems you describe. I have been disappointed in getting the tires balanced which was a problem in the early 1999/2000 models. There was a TSB 00-21-09 covering that problem and I've attached copies here. One of the main reasons for the problem back then was Ford didn't know which of 4 wheels you had. In fact you might not have all the same wheels. The wheels were not hub centric or lug centric. The the lug holes in the wheels came with different sizes. The only way to center the wheels on the hub was to use guide pins. I gave a Ford dealer 125 miles from me (the Ford Motorhome Warranty phone center set me there) 2 tries to fix my out of balance problems under warranty and they failed. They had it 3 weeks the first try and 4 weeks the second one. I had 9 tires and wheels - a tag axle and a spare. They replaced at least 3 wheels and 5 tires (Goodyear 670RV) failed to pass tests and were replaced. It still bounced after all their work. When it needed tires, I went with Bridgestone R250 tires and that helped. Ford fixed the problem for the 2001 and later chassis by going to hub centric wheels. You're (unfortunately) the first one I've heard with an oscillation problem on this chassis. I still believe there has to be some slop there somewhere that allows the wobble to continue. I experienced that problem on one of my cars back in the 1960s and I know it can't be ignored. Slowing down was the only thing that helped bring it to a stop back then. It was a signal the front end needed an overhaul with new ball joints and bushings. The F53 uses kingpins that should last almost forever given a shot of grease with every oil change. There are 9 grease fittings on the F53.
  3. I was able to get to the United Health Care website today using the MiFi. Also, I fumbled around the settings and found a way to change the SID and PW for WiFi. None of that was mentioned in the owners manual but should have been. In another thread, I found a tip to increase the setting for when warnings would occur about using too much data (10Gb is the default setting). As advised in that topic, I added 3 zeros so I should never see the warning. While I'm making progress, I'd hate to rely on the MiFi 8000 without a backup device. There was no reason I should have had problems connecting to any websites that gave me trouble yesterday.
  4. Helped me too! Now on to the other hurtles I mentioned in another post.
  5. I just received my Sprint MiFi 8000 and am trying it out for the first time. It was working fine for awhile but when I needed to connect to United Health Care's website, I was blocked and received time out message saying the website wasn't available. Several other sites I tried to connect to also timed out. I then connected to my Verizon phone's hotspot and get right through. I've download, printed and read through the owner's manual without learning anything. I wanted to change the SID and WiFi password but there is no mention of how that's done in the user manual and looking over all the settings available to me on the device don't lead me to any settings where I can do that. I tried the email mentioned in Herman Miller's post only to have my message immediately blocked by the receiver. Owning this device better not be a PITA or I'll dump it like a hot potato. It shouldn't be this difficult to use and manage.
  6. Your Honda weighs approximately 3300 (front wheel drive) to 3400 lbs (4 wheel drive) according to FMCA's list of towable cars for 2104 (an excellent source of information). I'd guess the receiver on your Sprinter is rated at 5000 lbs. - there should be a label on it. Comparing the Gross Combination Vehiclle Weight Rating (GCWR - this is the weight of the Sprinter and towed combined) of your Sprinter to its weight , you'll know for sure if it's designed to tow the weight of your CRV.
  7. There should be three sections about towing in the owner's manual. One for towing a trailer behind the vehicle. One for towing in the event of a breakdown and one for towing behind a motorhome 4 wheels down. If there isn't a section on towing behind a motorhome 4 down, you'd better make sure Ford is okay with towing it that way.
  8. The F-53 chassis didn't come with a front track-bar. Track-bars became standard on the 2004 model year chassis. I highly recommend installing one if you haven't already. Use the blue "poly" bushings. There has to be some "play" somewhere in the joints that allow the oscillations to continue. Have all the tie rod ends and bushings and other joints checked for looseness.
  9. I heard all the Sprint signs on their stores will be replaced with T-Mobile signs on August 2nd. The Sprint name will no longer be used. I have no proof of that however. Interesting times. I wonder if the terms of the $50 unlimited FMCA plan will change?
  10. This question comes up all the time when folks begin their search for a towable vehicle. Try searching for "towed" vehicles here on the forums. You can do a little research on your own by looking for Motorhome Magazine's website and their yearly section on which vehicles are towable. It usually comes out in January but they keep several years worth of them on their website. FMCA does the same thing. Every January, all the current towable vehicles are listed and the listing on their website also goes back several years. Access is only available to FMCA members. Good luck with your search and remember, to check the owner's manual of the vehicle you select for instructions on what you'll need to do before towing it "4 down" behind an RV. If it's towable, they'll be a section explaining how in the owner's manual.
  11. I've heard many comments very satisfied after having their MHs painted at Navarros Algodones Mexico just across the border from Yuma Arizona. Very reasonable prices from what I've heard. If that's something you might be interested in-> https://www.facebook.com/navarrosdobyshop/ Read some comments about them here https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/painting-at-navarro-bros-los-algodones-255734.html
  12. Every year both FMCA and Motorhome Magazine publish an article (usually in January) about the vehicles made that year that can be towed. That's a great place to start your search. Only you know what you like. I tow a 1997 Ford Aerostar mini van that's shown as having a 3800 lb weight. It's rear wheel drive so I use a driveshaft disconnect made by Remco. They also make pumps for some vehicles automatic transmissions that make the models they've tested towable even though they didn't come out of the factory that way. Below you'll find links to the towing guides I've mentioned. Aerostars were last mfg'd in 1997 so they're getting very hard to find in good condition. Another personal favorite of mine is the Chevy Malibu which has many models that are towable. I like it because it weighs around 3300 lbs and seats 5 adults. My other towed vehicle is a 2009 Chevy HHR - no longer made also but easier to find used. There's many options but you should do some research on your own first to focus on models you'd be happy with. You must be logged into to your FMCA account to use this linK: https://familyrvingmag.com/2018/04/01/towing-guides/ https://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/ http://pechlimoinc.com/remco-towing-guide/
  13. I figured most folks would be familiar with the way the ReadyBrake system worked but in case you're not, here's a link to a page with an animated gif about 1/2 way down the page that shows just how it works. In short, the harder the towed pushed against the MH, the harder the ReadyBrake pulls on the cable attached to the towed's brake pedal. Very simple and it works great for me. (If your browser doesn't show the gif (like mine) try a different one.) How Does The Ready Brake Work? https://www.readybrake.com/store/p1/ReadyBrake™_Towed_Vehicle_Supplemental_Brake_System_(2"_Receiver_Style).html When you brake while towing a vehicle behind an RV, stopping distance is increased due to the weight of the vehicle and it's momentum pushing against the RV. The ReadyBrake uses this energy to compress a shock and spring inside it which allows an actuator arm to move forward, pulling down your towed vehicle brake pedal with an attached cable. It takes a few hundred pounds of pressure to activate the ReadyBrake, so the towed vehicle will follow the RV down a steep mountain grade only applying brakes when you do. After initial install, only an adjustable sling cable is used to connect or disconnect the ReadyBrake. We recommend leaving about 2 inches of slack in the adjustable sling cable to keep the brake from activating while going over dips like at a gas station. When the RV comes to a complete stop the ReadyBrake actuator arm stays in the forward position continuing to hold the towed vehicle brake pedal down until the RV moves forward a couple of inches to disengage it. Use of the ReadyBrake can decrease stopping distance by upwards of 30%.
  14. I've had NSA's ReadyBrake for longer than I can remember (I'm thinking I've had it since sometime in the 80's). They're a good company and have been around quite awhile. If I had purchased everything (towbar and brake system) I'd have the system you're looking at. After researching brake systems extensively, I went with the ReadyBrake because it's fully proportional, easy and quick to connect and disconnect, doesn't require any power and there's no "box' to install/remove. With an LED on my dash connected directly to the brake light switch in the towed, I know when the cable is pulling on the brakes on the towed. It's met my requirements completely. I've seen the NSA towbar and it looks very nice. I've never heard anyone with any complaints about it. I would hesitate to go with the system you're looking at. Be sure to follow the instructions in your towed's owner's manual while towing it. I've got the ReadyBrake, the brake-away system and the LED for the dash and wouldn't change if someone gave me an active breaking system which in fact they did (and it's still sitting in the box they gave it to me in - they had someone remove it from their towed when their camping days were over).
  15. I doubt that either your satellite dish or your DirectTV will be able to provide you with any options for Internet service. I've got an so called unlimited plan through Verizon but after 15Gb, they throttle the throughput the rest of the month. I understand ATT does the same thing. Sprint through FMCA offers a truly unlimited plan with a hotspot for $50/month. Now that Sprint has been acquired by T-Mobile, it's anyone's guess at this time what the future holds for that plan. From what I've heard, Verizon works best in the west and ATT mobile works best in the east - as a general rule. All these systems have a built-in crisis detector in them with the probability of causing your problems at the most critical time. Whatever you do if that happens, keep your cool and speak softly to it - don't yell and scream and cuss at it because doing so only makes it worse. Lots of luck with your quest for good, reliable and reasonably priced Internet service on the road. Be sure to let us know what you find and how it works for you.
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