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Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by Hannda, Sep 27, 2017.
I find the mattress in our fifth wheel a little too soft for my liking, it usually takes me one or two nights to acclimate to the softness. The mattress rests on an aluminum frame with webbing that sits on top a storage box. I read that other Arctic Fox owners have had good success in improving mattress comfort and support by adding additional 1 inch square aluminum tubing to the frame with the webbing. The stock frame and webbing just doesn't give the mattress enough "box spring" type support.
Last weekend after winterizing my rig I added three additional 1" square aluminum tubes length wise to the frame under my mattress, and a four cross members. It feels much firmer especially in the middle where I was getting some good sag. I will know for sure on our next scheduled outing in January. I thought about a new mattress but I wanted to try this fix first.
I haven't spent the night in a hotel since I got my fifth wheel about 18 months ago.
U know the rulz - pics 'er it din't happen.
I see a lot of folks saying they use a 1/2 ton pu for towing decent size trailers. I very much suggest buying a 3/4 as the first step on the journey for many reasons.
I'll bit.... why. I assume its because you will end up there anyway....
To me it depends on what you tow and how many times per year and what you currently own. If I towed every day or every weekend... defiantly (3/4 ton). My current truck is rated at 7800 and fits in my driveway. I don't think I want anything more than 6K topped out. I would say a small toy hauler with water, gear, and 2 dirt bikes would likely fit the bill. I would want to stay under that maxed out mark by a few K if possible. Some of the newer half tons are claiming 10K towing. I wouldn't want to haul 10K all day everyday. If you do tow heavy and frequently... helper springs, stabilizer, and a larger trans cooler than stock are great options. Watch the trans temp and don't beat it to hard going up long grades. As long as you stay within the limits of what tow rating with its not really a big deal. If you two at the max and beat it running up grades and keeping up with "flow" on Interstates you will wear it out quickly. In TX limit is 75 most everywhere and 85 to keep up with flow it seems. If I tow'd maybe 4 or 5 times a year then yes..... I'd deal with the half ton short comings.
I already own a 1/2 ton now....speaking for my case its easier to find something that fits in with my perimeters now and if we decide to upgrade later.... by the 3/4 and then larger trailer. Likely more money in the long run... not sure. Even if it is my truck isn't worth much now so it basically the loss on any trailer I get. Mostly just the wife and me so small is fine.
I would hate to get punished with a 3/4 ton as a daily. I can't afford to put one in the driveway to only use for towing unless I wanted to drive a serious beater. Parking, bad gas mileage, turning in tight sports, rougher ride.... There are a lot of down sides. If I could afford a 3/4 ton and a nice daily.... yes its no brainier for me. Will the 3/4 ton make for an easier long trip.... heck yes!
My brother owns a F250 diesel and a 14 foot dump bed with high sides. That tows nice. He drive it daily for a while. He doesn't take that truck much of any where these days. Usually if they are out and about its in his girls Kia soul. He also has a ranger he uses for bidding job, but its currently down and he picked up a F150 with a V6 for now. We are rebuilding the ranger (belonged to my late father so it kinda sentamental). He is going to make a ranger a Non work toy. Just keep it pretty much like my dad had it. After seeing the maintenance and crap he needed on that I will stay away from the diesel unless I have a serious need.
I use a 4L v6 Tacoma to tow my Jayco Octane 161 which is 4400lbs dry. I will be upgrading my truck before next season for sure. I absolutely love my truck, but it's just too much trailer for it, and I really like the trailer too, lol.
The queen bed in our fifth wheel.
The mattress sits on a black aluminum frame with webbing. The frame lifts on struts to access storage under the bed. I added three 1" square aluminum tubes lenght wise to the existing frame. One down the center above the existing center mounted frame rail and one on each side about 10" from the center rail with a couple cross members connecting the three new rails. The webbing sits just an inch over the existing frame, so there was just enough room to add the new aluminum between the webbing and the existing frame. The new tubing was secured with screws to the existing frame.
A 14 dump bed probably wouldn't be a good choice for a daily driver , or even a tow vehicle for that matter. I've put a lot of miles on 7.3 and a 6.7 Ford diesels and haven't found any extra maintenance. Yes the oil filter is bigger and I use 12 quarts when I change but that is about it. Fuel filters are infrequent. I believe the F150 and F250 cabs are now the same size. My double cab, long bed is not a great vehicle for tight parking lots but I get better mileage from the 925 ft lb diesel than the wimpy 4.6 gas F150 I used to have.
Another perspective. We try to camp in rustic and small places, some offroad. Our locale is all trees and I'm not pulling a huge trailer into that, so my camper limit is okay with a 1/2 ton. I try to stay under 4k trailer.
Our 3/4 ton fifth wheel puller is also our (wife & I) one and only vehicle/daily driver. Super comfortable to drive with coil springs in the rear and a great ergonomic cabin. Good room in the back seat area with 60% folded down flat for the dog and a car seat in the 40% seat for our granddaughter. Easy to park as long as you park it backwards using the big mirrors and the back up camera. It fits in my garage and can easily pull my 13K lb trailer. I replaced those OEM tires in the photo with some sweet Michlien LTX MS road tires about six months ago and it rides great
There's no punishment driving this beast daily
Except at the pump.
True... but fortunately I live in a small town and from one end to the other is only about 10 miles. We both work out of the house so it's really just groceries and grand kids. A 30 gallon tank can last 3 or 4 weeks if we aren't traveling. Last time I filled up was 10/19 when we got back from a road trip and I think I still have half a tank. We have thought about a second car for around town but it would really be a waste of money.
With such little mileage in your situation, truck-only makes sense.
We are retired, my Chevy Colorado gets half the mileage of our Scion Xa in every situation.
The Xa is more enjoyable to drive (and park) around town than a truck, and no less comfortable for longer trips.
For us, it takes two.
Thanks for taking the time.
My 28’ trailer is less than 6,000 pounds (dry) and my half ton is rated to tow well over 10,000 pounds. I considered getting a 3/4 ton, based on some opinions offered about better braking capability. I decided against it. The trailer has tandem axles with electric brakes that are fairly powerful. I use weight distributing anti-sway bars. The brakes on the truck are good enough to engage the abs, so I figure between the truck and trailer brakes, tires are actually the limiting factor.
Of course, I also figured two wheel drive with a locking electronic differential was a better way for me to go than 4X4, so I probably walk a different path than most, even here in Florida.
We camp with just the two of us, a small dog and the heaviest thing in the truck bed is firewood. If I wanted to have motorcycles in the bed, when towing, I’d need a 3/4 ton. And hell, I'm partial to diesels, so I’d be cool with a nice, so equipped, 3/4 ton, truth be told. Just isn’t a need.
I bought a 4X4 only so I could get out of the places I want to go :)
Winterization day. Worse than usual because we will not be able to do our annual Jan trip south due to work. Had planned to leave right after Christmas and return in time for the superbowl. Have had a month of FL state park sites reserved since last Feb. Oh well. Too bad they don’t allow you to transfer them to someone else. Haven’t cancelled them yet in case something changes.
Wasn’t thinking and didn’t release the pressure in the water heater before I removed the anode rod. Wow did that sucker come flying out. Got soaked. Glad I didn’t try to use my fingers for the last little bit, may have broken a finger when it let go.
Found a little water on the bed that obviously came from vent above. Removed the bedding and was pleased there were no signs of significant water. No signs of it ever making it past the mattress cover. Climbed up on the roof and found about a 2” crack from UV deterioration in the vent cover. They’re all due to be replaced anyway. I put some tape on the crack and will get to it when I get a chance. Nice thing about an aluminum trailer with an aluminum roof - no worries about rot. Had I had a traditional roof I’d be a tad concerned about how long it had been leaking, was there any wet wood in the roof, etc. Gotta love the all aluminum builds.
I bought a 4x4 so I can leave my house in the winter.
One of my roof vents got kilt by UV even though it lives under a rain cover.
Split along the long edge and right side (not visible).
It self destructed under its own weight when I tried to carry it off the roof, dozens of tiny pieces.
When I was up there I noticed one of the over cover edges was cracked under one of the nuts -
So I made some 3/4" x 3" spanners, note the chamfered edges, on the top one, so they won't cut into the plastic.
The over covers, upper right and almost out of pic, lower left (the one I was working on).
Well, although I am shortly to become a resident of SD, I intend to "chase 70".