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Monday, May 15, 2006

Comments

Yahoo! You've answered our emails question! We'll definitely be coming to your classes somewhere on the road.
Thanks so much for all your information. You two live through it first, then share it all with us.

I have known about the life on wheels conferences for about 4 years now. We hope to attend one in Idaho in 2007 or 2008. We just don't have the time right now, but we are working on it! We live in Southern Idaho. I sent you a separate email with an attached letter yesterday.

Hi guys,

Glad your boondocking experience went well, except for running out of propane!! The propane gensets are "pigs" - I know, I have a 6500 in our trailer.

Depending on your interests, you may find yourself boondocking more than you originally thought. Given the proper set-up it is really no big deal to boondock for months at a time (we do). And without any sacrifice (or at least not much). If you look at our website again, you will see that we have a fair amount of info on the decision making process for solar, and boondocking in general. If you want to discuss any of this (not the installation stuff - I know you are probably not going to do it yourself) just email us. That goes for your readers, as well. Just remember, in our opinion installing solar and other systems to aid in boondocking is a lifestyle decision - you probably will never "save" enough to pay for the systems. Our website is http://jmayer6.tripod.com Feelfree to ask questions.

Yahoo! Now we know you'll be at seminars that we can attend.
Looking forward to meeting, and attending your class. Linda's
Banana bread is in the oven as I type this.

Congratulations on a job well done at the LOW conference! Can't wait to attend one next year and have you guys as our instructors!

Very much enjoyed your journal entries on the several days at the LOW conference. We are signed up to attend the PA edition in August. After reading your posts, we are even more anxious!
I recall reading that you and Linda attended a lot of classes separately. Obviously, more "bang for the buck" by doing it that way. Question: Is videotaping allowed at any of the classes? It would be purely for our private use and a way for the other half to gain knowledge in the class in which that person was unable to be present.

Enjoyed your experiences at LOW in that we have not ever attended one. Being kind of a stickler on weights would offer a couple of comments --
If you had an accident like say a blowout and there were say claims and you were asked what was your last weight and you answered over weight but there is a 7-10% safety factor over the rating so I was ok would that stand up.
Don’t know about 5th wheels but are your tire ratings ok considering the heavy side as on class As we carry pressure across the axle for the heaviest individual tire weight.
Glad to read that you were within most of the limits of your truck and RV as I continually worry about the stopping ability of some of the rigs out there that you know are overloaded or beyond the specs of the truck and its stopping ability. I really think that you gave somewhat the wrong impression on weights to some of your readers that may not be that well informed or just starting our on great adventures as we both are enjoying.
Keep up your informative posts.

I fully agree on the weights issue. Any overload of any kind needs imediate attention and remedy. The Engineering safety factors are not there for the end user to absorb. They are there to take into account wear and tear of the drive train, frame, wheels, axels and road conditions. Being overwieght is a serious safety issue, couple that with the fact that you are driving on Rims that have been recalled due to cracking, would cause me to stop in my tracks.

Steve,
Glad you enjoyed the posts about LOW. We will elaborate over the next few days. Videotaping, voice recording, and photos during classes are NOT allowed at LOW - too hard to police "private use" versus otherwise. :)

Rod & Adam,
Didn't mean to imply that weight issues are not important if that is the impression we gave. We have corrected the 100 pound over issue on the one axle. We take weights very seriously.

However, with respect to our GVWR, we did not know enough at the time to verify our carrying capacity when we bought the Cambridge. The rig was delivered to us with 1,000 pounds carrying capacity - clearly too little for a full-timer.

Full-timers tend to carry between 2,000 & 3,000 pounds and this rig was built with full-timers in mind. We are on the low end of that, so our options are limited. It's a good lesson for those that come after us and are shopping for a rig - check your carrying capacities with & without options!

The GVWR from manufacturers is quite controversial due to incredible inconsistency in those ratings, so be sure to check ALL ratings, not just GVWR.

We have what we have. But, we have consulted with numerous truck and heavy RV folks who have given us the green light AS LONG AS we are within our axle ratings.

By the way, our tire and rim ratings on the trailer are 3,750 pounds per wheel or 7,500 pounds per axle (axle ratings of 7,000) - so good to go there as long as we keep proper inflation. Adam, the rims were taken care of and replaced a week ago. :)

Hope that clears up some stuff. :)

Howard,

I have a few suggestions for you to consider. Based on your reply comments above, that the RV when delivered, had a small margin of load capacity remaining for your personal use. You obviously can’t live with that situation forever. You are actually operating the vehicle in an illegal manner and could be considered Reckless Driving. I don’t agree with your reasoning “we have what we have” attitude. It sends the wrong message to your readership. You took on this responsibility by putting yourself out there in the cyber world, and now you have placed yourself in a position to influence others as a RV Instructor and Specialist. Driving your vehicle in a known overweight condition is placing others in danger, not just yourself. Whoever told you that as long as you were good on each axle was incorrect and is misinforming you. The fact that you are taking no action to remedy the situation may be seen by some as an act of negligence on your part.

Suggestions to remedy the problem:

RV weight is most important when driving. That is obviously the time when the vehicle is subjected to the weight and moment or stress and loads. This is also the time when a weight related failure would be most serious. My first suggestions is simple, during transits, relocate as many heavy items as you can into the truck bed or back seat area of the truck. The second suggestion is to investigate installing heavier duty aftermarket Shock absorbers to the RV. Additionally, you may be able to add more springs to the Axles that would increase the Rigs load capacity. Any of these options would soften the effects the road has on the RV and reduce the actual weight the RV feels via inertial forces exerted upon the RV during movement down the road. If you have new Shocks or springs installed have the work done by a reputable trailer manufacturer or builder. This way they can also give you a new load capacity plate and certificate you may need if ever pulled over by the Police and questioned about your weight condition. One State already requires RVs to use Weigh Stations, and many more states are seriously considering the same legislation action. Why? Because far too many operators are placing others in danger, by overloading their rigs.

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