Category Archives: Travel Trailer

Sewer Crap

Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I thought the title might be an attention getter. With a little thought and the proper maintenance procedures, dealing with RV waste isn’t the awful task many make it out to be, and you should never have a Cousin Eddie moment. So I thought I’d share some of the sewer crap accessories we I use. To be accurate, sewage is not a we thing. Sewage is 100% percent my responsibility, except for the task of generating said sewage.

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Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Tongue Weight?

The short answer is, No.


Often trying to find detailed information on trailer towing is difficult at best.

When we bought our current trailer and tow vehicle I knew that we would be close to the maximum capacity specifications for both. Most of the self-proclaimed or perceived experts would say buy a bigger tow vehicle if you are going to be close to the tow vehicle’s maximum specification for gross trailer weight and/or tongue weight. In other words, “buy a bigger gun.”

I am not a hunter and I have never hunted. But I know you don’t hunt elk with a pocket knife (too small) or a rocket propelled grenade (too big). You use a rifle with the correct caliber of bullet and other attributes that combined are a match for taking an elk. And so it is with our tow vehicle. The manufacturer (Ford) says we can safely tow a trailer that weighs up to 9,200 lbs fully loaded as long as the tongue weight is between 10% and 15% of the trailer’s weight and the tongue weight doesn’t exceed 920 lbs using a weight distribution hitch also known as a WDH, and at the same time the tow vehicle cannot exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or any Gross Axle Weight Ratings, and the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight.

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Towing Attitude and 10,000 Mile ProPride Update


No, I’m not going to discuss the behavior of people when they are towing a trailer. Behavior isn’t the only kind of attitude.

The attitude of an airplane is its orientation relative to the earth’s horizon. Airplanes have an Attitude Indication that shows the craft’s bank and pitch. Bank is the side to side tilt and pitch refers to the nose of the plane; nose up, down, or level.

Over the Christmas holiday we drove quite a few miles along I-5 and there were an unexpected large number of people towing trailers. I was surprised how many of those trailers were being towed not level. Most of those trailers were being towed with the nose up, similar to an aircraft’s pitch. This is not a good thing.

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2016 Recap: Favorite Gear, Blog Stats, Favorite Trips, Blah, Blah, Blah

Well, it’s that time of the year again when many backpacking bloggers create a list of their favorite new gear from the prior year. How on earth (or why) can these folks have a slew of new backpacking gear year after year? Methinks they are focused on gear, not getting out often and walking. But I digress…

Then some of these bloggers publish web stats for their blog during the prior year. Really? How boring.

A few backpacking bloggers may only post some of their favorite pictures taken during the prior year or do a simple recap of some trip reports – I like what some of the “few” do. The rest, meh.

What is interesting is that campers and full time RVers who blog generally don’t do this. They simply keep writing about their adventures.

My backpacking gear hasn’t changed much in the past 4 or 5 years, so nothing to write about here. Same goes for our camping gear. Somewhere on this website are lists of the gear and equipment we use. You should be able to easily find those if you are interested.

Given this pessimistic outlook on gear, there is one piece of equipment that has been critical for every single backpacking or camping trip I have done since 2003.

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It’s Probably A Bad Day When Your RV Slide-Out Breaks

Milan Maiden Voage

After a 250 mile drive to our campsite in Nevada to enjoy a week-plus Thanksgiving vacation and escape the Black Friday insanity, we unhitched the camper and began our quick set-up routine. As I was outside beginning to lower the stabilizers, I heard some funny noises as Joyce was extending our powered slide-out dining room.

Entering the trailer, I saw that one side of the room was partially extended and the other was still in the closed position – the slide out room was cocked and wedged against the frame. Oh, oh. Smartly, Joyce had stopped trying to open the slide. I pushed the button to retract the slide so I could investigate the problem and unfortunately, as I discovered, the drive chain on the working side created extra slack and wrapped itself backwards creating extra force and breaking one of the cables. As Trump would say, a Disaster!

Our slide-out was one of those things you just don’t think about until it breaks. So I thought I would share some thoughts on what I should have done (e.g., learn how it works mechanically and inspect/maintain it) and what pre-emptive steps I could have done.

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