Page 1

001-TL1002 Cover Subscript

12/8/09

11:02 AM

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Click Here to View

2010 Guide to Towing supplement

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002-TL02 PG CV2-P3 FORD

12/8/09

9:17 AM

Page CV2

MAN, TRAILERS ARE LIKE

WILD ANIMALS. They’re always trying to get away from you.

Until now. Trailer sway control, standard.

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002-TL02 PG CV2-P3 FORD

12/8/09

9:17 AM

Page CV3

FORD F-150 FIND OUT MORE AT FORDVEHICLES.COM

Ford Motor Company, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

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004-TL1002 Table of Conten

12/8/09

9:36 AM

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CONTENTS > February 2010 Volume 70 Number 2

Departments

Features 14 GASP GAS É PE PENI NINS NSUL ULA A RO ROAD AD TRIP Past Pa stor o al farmland dotted with unusuall at attr trac acti tion onss ma make ke thi thiss visually stunning g ar area e of Qu Québ ébec ec a mus u t-see for RVers 24 ALAB ALABAM AMA’ A’S S AF A RICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE: M NTGOMERY AND BIRMING MO NGHA HAM M Visit Alabam ma du duri ring ng B Bla lack ck History Month and remember the sacr sa crif ific ices es mad a e for equality during the Civi v l Ri R gh htss Movement 30 LANC CE 99 992 2 Dual Du al sli slide d ou outs off ffer er a sur urpr pris isin ing g am amount of room in this fu ullyy eq equi uipp pped ed cam amper 34 2010 DODGE RAM This well-loved line of heavy-duty trucks ge g ts som ome e new towing-friendlyy update t s wi with th ttra radi diti tion o al a sty t liing 37 SUSPE ENS SIO ION N UP UPGR GRA ADES A we wellll-matched suspension equals an enjoyable ride 41 BRAKE-CONTROL BONANZA Choosing the right brake controller for your trailer is necessary to ensure safe tow win ing g 45 TAKE THE H SWA WAY Y AW AWAY Y Im mpr prov ove e yo your ur ride with Roadmaster and SuperSteer products 48 K KEYSTONE RAPTOR 21FB This travel trailer with a roomy bathroom offers a clean retreat from a day in the mud

5 DRIVER’S SEAT 6 LETTERS 6 SNOOK’S NOOK 8 AROUND THE BEND News, events, people, places, parks & RV trends 9 RV ACTION LINE We take action to resolve conflicts between consumers and RV dealers or manufacturers 11 THE OUTSIDER Discover the roots of the blues music that has touched all of America along the Mississippi Blues Trail 13 THIS LAND “Get rich quick” on Alaskan beauty and history at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park 50 RV CLINIC Straight talk from the Trailer Life tech team 55 10-MINUTE TECH Readers submit their favorite tried-and-true tech tips 56 HANDS ON 57 FREE TRAVEL INFORMATION 66 AMERICA’S OUTBACK A health scare reminds us why it’s important to be prepared

ON THE COVER: Touring with the Lance 992 near Lake Cachuma in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. Photo by Gary Bohinc 4 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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005-TL1002 Driver’s Seat L

12/8/09

9:39 AM

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DRIVER’S SEAT >

EDITORIAL

Publisher Bob Livingston Editor Kristopher Bunker Senior Managing Editor Marleen Canniff

by Kristopher Bunker

Assistant Editor Meaghan Alfier Consulting Editors Wes Caughlan, Ken Freund, Jeff Johnston Contributors Gary Bohinc, Ken Freund, Bill Graves, Chris Hemer, Dave G. Houser, Jeff Johnston, Kevin Livingston, Bruce Leonard Jr., Pamela Selbert

THE WAIT IS OVER

I

Midwest Bureau Chief Sherman Goldenberg

CREATIVE

Art Director Mirante Almazan

PRODUCTION

Production Director Bob Dawson Senior Ad Production Manager Brenda Hutchinson

t’s finally here! The Trailer Life 2010 Guide to Towing may have arrived a bit later this year than in years past, but, believe us, it’s definitely worth the wait. Once again, we present the most comprehensive towing guide available, with all the major manufacturers and vehicles of interest to the RVing community. This year, some really exciting tow vehicles are making their way to the market, including the 2011 Ford Super Duty trucks with all-new Ford-built engines, integrated trailer-brake control and an available factory-installed and fully warrantied fifth-wheel hitch. Dodge is introducing a new Crew Cab variation of its 2500 and 3500-series trucks (see our First Drive on page 34), and General Motors has made fuel-saving adjustments to its Silverado/Sierra models. And that’s just some of the news. Check out “Towing 2010” in the supplemental Guide to Towing to find out the rest of the big news from all the manufacturers. As usual, in addition to the listings and new-vehicle highlights, the Guide to Towing includes important information about tow-vehicle selection, hitching up, towing packages, tips for towing and more. But the annual towing guide is only part of the equation this year. There was simply too much information for the Guide to Towing booklet alone, so we have included information designed to address all your towing needs throughout this issue as well. Need an aftermarket brake controller? Turn to page 41 and learn which model and type may work best for you. “Brake-Control Bonanza” offers an in-depth look at the various technologies designed to improve your tow-vehicle and trailer’s stopping power. It also cites specific examples of each to make your selection easier. Looking to upgrade your tow-vehicle suspension to help improve your ride while towing? “Suspension Upgrades,” on page 37, examines the different types of suspension components — from coil springs to shock absorbers to bushings — and discusses the benefits of upgrading each one. We’ve also included a hands-on test of upgrading a tow vehicle’s trac bar and adding a rear anti-sway bar. Turn to “Take the Sway Away” on page 45 to view our results. For those more interested in touring new RVs, we’ve tested Lance’s 992 dualslideout camper (page 30) and Keystone’s Raptor SURV travel trailer (page 48). Before you begin perusing the tow ratings, remember that we still recommend you check with the vehicle’s manufacturer before laying your money down. Every effort is made to ensure the tow ratings are accurate, but some of the listings were tentative as of the time of this writing, so the manufacturer has the final say. Now, go ahead and explore the listings, match up your ideal towing combination and hit the open road. q

CIRCULATION

Circulation Director Jill Anderson Fulfillment Manager Melissa Vizzo CUSTOMER SERVICE Call (800) 825-6861 E-mail: tllcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com Visit www.trailerlife.com WORLD WIDE WEB SITE

Permission to reprint or quote excerpts granted only on written request and when full credit is given. Trailer Life is a registered trademark of Affinity Group Inc. Trailer Life (USPS 454-970) is published monthly by Affinity Media, a subsidiary of Affinity Group Inc. Printed in the United States. Periodical postage paid at Ventura, CA 93001 and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Trailer Life, P.O. Box 5860, Harlan, IA 51593-1360. Publication Sales Agreement No. 1488163. Canadian return address: Affinity Group Inc., 4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario N9A 6J3. Canadian Post Sales Agreement No. 40012332. Subscription price for U.S. & possessions: 1 year: $15.97, 2 years: $27.97, 3 years: $37.97. All other countries, including Canada and Mexico, add $12 per year. Trailer Life and Roads to Adventure are registered trademarks and incorporated in Trailer Life magazine. Trailer Life is copyrighted 2010 by Affinity Group Inc. in the United States and Great Britain. All rights reserved. Authorized Subscription Agent – AGA. Privacy Statement We recognize that your privacy is very important to you, and we’re committed to helping you protect it. You should know that we will never intentionally share your name, address and other personal information with anyone for their use if you have asked us not to do so. When you subscribe to Trailer Life, please tell us if you don’t want your name and address shared with other reputable companies, or if you don’t want to receive our marketing offers. We’ll mark your account for a three-year period so that it will not be selected for products and/or services offers, which you’ve told us you are not interested in receiving. If you change your mind, just get in touch with us and ask that we include you in future offerings. You can ask to not be included in future offerings at any time, and it’ll be taken care of promptly. Please contact us at Trailer Life Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 436, Mt. Morris, IL 61054, e-mail us at tllcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com or call us at (800) 825-6861. Please note that this policy does not apply to e-mail marketing. We will not send you commercial e-mails unless you have authorized us to do so.

TRAILER LIFE February 2010 5

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006-TL1002 Letters LO

12/9/09

9:57 AM

Page 6

LETTERS >

The lakes, ponds and countryside of Maine make for a beautiful road trip year-round.

from our Readers

SURROUNDING WALDO

I really enjoyed your December article about Waldo County, Maine, but it would have been better if you also had shown pictures of the beautiful area around Belfast. The lakes, ponds and countryside of Maine make for a beautiful road trip year-round. Michael Rutigliano, Houston, Texas DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE

The America’s Outback columns are ones that I always enjoy and are a must-read. “Minnesota Winter” in the December issue sparked some memories from a good many years ago. The father of a very close friend of mine used to work for the U.S. Wildlife Department and was involved primarily with waterfowl and their flyways. I remember him talking about the find of the Giant Canada Goose in Rochester. There are 11 recognized subspecies of the Canada Goose and it was the Giant Canada Goose that was thought to be extinct. Now they are considered pests to many locals. Even here in Georgia we have many resident populations. Again, I enjoy your columns. Keep up the good work! Michael P. Nemzek, Via e-mail

Minnesota in August and spent 21⁄ weeks just traveling Oregon. We started by following the Columbia River Gorge out to the coast and then traveled the entire coast going south. Knowing that we didn’t have a prayer of finding a state park campground for the Labor Day weekend, we consulted the Trailer Life Campgrounds, RV Parks & Services Directory and selected Cannon Beach Resort. We stayed for the long holiday weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the area and the beautiful, very friendly resort. It was one of the highlights of a wonderful trip that we have wanted to go on for a long time. Charles Hendrickson, Forest Lake, Minnesota Editor’s Note: If you don’t already receive our free monthly eNewsletter, you can subscribe at www.trailerlife.com/newsletter.

BRAKE FIX

One of your readers asked for help regarding trailer brakes pulling to the side when braking (RV Clinic, December), and he went on to explain that the shop thought everything was fine. I had an old car with the same problem, and the basic drum brake is no different on a trailer. The shop manual calls for adjusting the brakes with the star wheel until drag is detected, then counting the notches on the star wheel a set amount. The problem is brake drum run-out can mask the actual “drag” and give a bad setting. What I did to compensate was to use a torque wrench on one of the lug nuts, adjust the drag to a fairly high number, such as 20 ft-lb on each wheel, and then back each one off until the drag stopped. This cured the pulling problem. Tom Overeem, Via e-mail q

SNOOK’S NOOK

A BEAUTIFUL STAY

I opened your latest eNewsletter and one of the articles was about Cannon Beach RV Resort. We traveled to Oregon leaving To contribute to this column, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA 93001, or e-mail info@trailerlife.com.

“Could “C ld you ffellas ll ttell ll me where h I am?” ?”

6 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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007-TL02 PG 7 BANKS

12/8/09

9:40 AM

Page 7

SMART FEATURES

REVOLUTIONARY & EVOLUTIONARY

www.bankspower.com/banksiq

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CONTROL FREAK


008-TL1002 Around the Bend

12/9/09

9:58 AM

Page 8

AROUND THE BEND>

NEWS • EVENTS • PEOPLE • PLACES • PARKS & RV TRENDS

Edited by Marleen Canniff

WADE F.B. THOMPSON WILL BE MISSED REIGNING TEARDROPS

There’s nothing like a teardrop; they’re easy to tow and easy on the wallet. Little Guy Worldwide’s 5-Wide Platform is the company’s most popular teardrop trailer — and with a gvwr of just 2,200 pounds, most properly equipped vehicles on the road today can haul this lightweight unit. It has room enough for two, holding a queen-size bed within its namesake 5-foot interior, and it features locking double-entry doors with a slider window and a screen. The Little Guy even has a spacious area for storage or a galley where the lockable rear hatch opens up. New features for 2010 include LED lights, an extended countertop and interior cup holders. For more information, call (877) 545-4897 or visit www.golittleguy.com.

BIRDER’S PARADISE

Wade F. B. Thompson, co-founder, chairman, president and CEO of Thor Industries and the man credited with saving Airstream, has died at the age of 69 after a 14-year battle with five cancers. Thompson founded Thor in 1980 with Peter B. Orthwein, Thor’s current vice chairman, along with the acquisition of Airstream Inc. Thompson turned Airstream around from a $12 million annual loss immediately prior to purchase to a $1 million profit in its first year. From his office in New York City, Thompson devoted his last decade to helping find a cure for cancer, most notably by founding the Drive Against Prostate Cancer in 2000. “The Drive,” consisting of two Airstream mobile medical vehicles, has given more than 101,000 free prostate cancer screenings to men, particularly the under-served and veterans. He will be sorely missed.

February is a great time to take your RV on a dreamy journey along the Gulf of Mexico, through marshlands, across bayous and past more than 300 bird species. The Nature Trail All-American Road is a 180-mile journey through Louisiana’s Outback, a destination ranked among the best birding locations in the country. And while you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Mardi Gras of So outhwest Louisiana, from January 6 to February 16, in Lake Charles. The festi tivval draws close to 150,000 people each sea e son, with events such as parad ades es by street and boat, dance ce es, mussic, a gumbo cook-off fff, ch c ic icke ken ke n ru runs ns,, tr ns trai aill ri ai r de dess on o horrse seba ba ack and and m mor ore. e. F r mo Fo m re inf nfor o ma or mati tion ti on n abo bout utt tthe h C he Cre reol ole e Na N tu ture re T Tra rail il,, vviisi sitt ww ww. w crreo ole e natu t re tu etrrai ail.l..or og g.. To le earrn mo more r abo re bout ut the the fes esti t va ti v l,, cal alll (8 800 0 ) 45 4 66 7952 79 952 2 or visi vi sitt ww si w w. w vi v siitl tlak akkec e ha arrlles es.o .o org g.

ALL-ABOUT-RVS CLINIC The Recreation Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation will hold an RVSEF Lifestyle, Education & Safety Clinic June 3-6, 2010, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The clinic will focus on presenting current and potential RV owners with knowledge of how to properly and safely operate an RV, along with hands-on driving opportunities with lifestyle and technical courses. A mini ma ain inte tena n nce na ncce course is also available for those who wish wi sh h to to be eco c me more comfortable with the operation ti on ns of o the heir ir RVs. ir To llea earn ea rn n morre, ca calll (32 321)) 4 453 53-767 73 or visit www. ww w rv w. rvsa safe sa fety fe ty.c ty .com .c om.. q om

8 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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009-TL1002 RV Action Line

12/8/09

9:38 AM

Page 9

RV ACTION LINE > Chairman Stephen Adams President/CEO Michael Schneider Senior VP/CFO Tom Wolfe Senior VP/Human Resources Laurie James Senior VP/Group Publisher Bob Livingston Senior VP/Affinity Clubs/Interactive and Multimedia Joe Daquino

SERVICES RENDERED? Frustrated after a repair technician failed to diagnose a problem with his RV’s refrigerator — but presented him with a bill anyhow — a reader turned to RV Action Line: Earlier this year, I requested the service shop at PPL Motorhomes in Houston, Texas, to determine why my refrigerator would not cool down while running on electric power. I was advised there would be a minimum charge to determine the problem. The technician never did determine the problem; in fact, he reported too many variables to determine any problem. He presented me with a $105 bill, and declared the unit to be in working order. The next time I tried to use the fridge, it still would not cool down. I removed the external cover to see if I could locate anything obvious, and found that the technician had removed the cover over the electrical connections and not replaced it. There was also a blown fuse under this cover. This is certainly not the type of service I’d expect from a reputable RV shop. I would not object to the $105 charge had the tech found a reason for the cooling problem, had replaced the blown fuse and had at least returned the parts to where they were when the so-called diagnosis began. Can you help? Don Thomson, Weare, New Hampshire Often, a service call will include a minimum charge to send out a technician. In this case, the $105 represented a flat rate for the repairman to show up. However, given that no diagnosis was made — and that the unit wasn’t even completely reassembled — we thought PPL should more closely examine this case.

VP/RV Trade Publications Sherman Goldenberg

We heard back from Thomson some time later: I am pleased to let you know that the issue with PPL Motor Homes has been resolved to my complete satisfaction. Thank you for your assistance. — D.T. BUYER BEWARE! I have a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 Duramax Diesel. When I bought the truck, I purchased an extended warranty service contract from Heritage Warranty through the dealer, Wheeler Chevrolet in Yuba City, California. On April 1, 2009, I took the truck to Maita Chevrolet for a 40,000-mile service. During the multi-point inspection, it was discovered the right front axle seal was leaking. I authorized the repair. Heritage gave the authorization number necessary to complete the repairs. I was told I was responsible for $194.11 for a portion of the repairs, which had to be paid at the time the repairs were completed. I have yet to receive any form of reimbursement. I have contacted Maita’s service manager many times, but nothing has been resolved. I’ve also spoken with three different representatives with Heritage, with no end in sight. I would appreciate any help you can give in this matter. John Glasgow, Sacramento, California We have received an inordinate amount of complaints involving Ohio-based Heritage Administration Services, so we passed along Glasgow’s complaints. Not surprisingly, we never heard from Heritage, though Maita responded: I contacted Heritage Warranty Services to discuss the situation with Mr. Glasgow and

VP/Controller Dale Hendrix VP/Executive Director/Good Sam Club Susan Bray Chairman Emeritus Art Rouse Publisher Emeritus Bill Estes

EDITORIAL/BUSINESS OFFICE 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA 93001 Tel (805) 667-4100, Fax (805) 667-4484

ADVERTISING VENTURA, CALIFORNIA VP/National Sales Terry Thompson RV Dealer Sales (West) Matt Hotchkiss RV Marketplace/Classified Manager Sue Seidlitz Sales Angela Pezzullo Business Manager Denielle Sternburg P.O. Box 8510, Ventura, CA 93002 Tel (805) 667-4100, Fax (805) 667-4379 ELKHART, INDIANA Midwest Sales Director Chuck Lasley National Advertising Sales Tacy Hendershot, Lou Cicirelli RV Dealer Sales (East) Matt Grimes 2300 Middlebury Street, Elkhart, IN 46516 Tel (574) 295-7820, Fax (574) 522-0418 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON National Advertising Sales Scott Oakes, John Marciano 1818 Westlake Avenue N, #420 Seattle, WA 98109 Tel (206) 283-9545, Fax (206) 283-9571 DETROIT, MICHIGAN Crompton Holdings Scott Crompton 2031 Fernway Drive, Montgomery, AL 36111 scottcrompton@mac.com Tel (334) 613-2040, Fax (334) 356-7740

Trailer Life does not knowingly accept deceptive or misleading advertising. If you have a contrary experience with respect to any merchandise or service represented herein, please write to RV Action Line. Editorial submissions: Written queries only. Although every precaution is taken, the publisher assumes no liability for the return or safety of unsolicited manuscripts, queries, photographs or illustrations. Manuscripts submitted for publication must include complete return postage.

TRAILER LIFE February 2010 9

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009-TL1002 RV Action Line

12/8/09

9:38 AM

Page 10

RV ACTION LINE

try to assist. Unfortunately, due to financial hardships, Heritage has ceased to sell service contracts, and along with the federal government has set up a payment schedule to reimburse their outstanding claims. Mr. Glasgow’s claim is not scheduled for reimbursement until November 30, 2010. Mr. Glasgow can periodically visit www.heritagewarranty.com and enter his claim number to see if the date has changed, but at this time it seems as though he has a long wait ahead of him. Tom Crase, Fixed Operations Director, Maita Chevrolet Editor’s Note: A quick check of the Ohio Better Business Bureau Web site (www.centralohio.bbb.org) reveals an “F” rating for the company, for reasons including failure to respond, failure to resolve and length of time it takes to resolve complaints. A check of Heritage’s Web site, www.heritagewarranty.com, shows the following message:

No standin N

“In 2007, Heritage Administration Services, Inc. (HAS) elected to cease selling vehicle service contracts due to adverse loss development caused by a variety of factors. At this time, the underlying financial reserves of HAS have been exhausted. To date, over 377,000 claims and refunds for more than $199 million dollars have been paid.” The bottom line is, before purchasing a service contract (or any goods and services, for that matter), you should thoroughly research the company involved. In this case, a couple minutes on the computer could have easily swayed Glasgow from purchasing the contract. q

After exhausting all other resources without success, please forward information (typewritten only) with copies of appropriate bills and correspondence to RV Action Line, 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA 93001. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. No phone calls.

The easy way to connect, disconnect and level your 5th Wheel By ADS

Eliminate the guesswork k with Disconnecting, Leveling then Reconnecting your 5th Wheel. Make it a one person operation. Simply press a button and walk away! LevelEase does everything for you: x Disconnect Position x Level, Front to Back x Connect Position x Leg Retraction Even if you’re parked on uneven terrain, LevelEase hits the right spot every time!

Dicor Corporation, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

9 Typical install takes less than an hour 9 100% Satisfaction Guarantee 9 Lifetime Limited Warranty

Call (800) 700-9481 for a free DVD. Or visit www.levelease.com “Hitching ng & unhitchin ng were the onlly thing ngs we really disliked about camping; now, with the LevelEase, even that’s enjoyable. It’s comforting to know, if I ever needed to, I could do it all by myself. This is truly a valuable upgrade” -JoAnn Carden, Winchester, CA ADS, Inc, 22431-B160 Antonio Parkway, Suite 430, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 www.levelease.com LevelEase is a trademark of ADS, Inc. Patent Pending. LevelEase, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

10 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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011-TL1002 The Outsider LO

12/8/09

9:35 AM

Page 11

THE OUTSIDER > by Bruce Leonard Jr.

MISSISSIPPI ROAD RHYTHM

“AS I HEARD THE MISSISSIPPI SOUNDS EMANATING FROM FRONT PORCHES, JUKE JOINTS, FANCY RESTAURANTS AND FUNKY CLUBS, I REMEMBERED THAT BLUES HAS TOUCHED EVERY CORNER OF THIS NATION, THAT IT HAS TRANSCENDED CLASS AND RACE AND THAT IT IS AS AMERICAN AS BASEBALL.”

I

n a previous incarnation of self, I owned and operated a small business called The Blues Bakery. The name of this 210-square-foot establishment resulted from my devotion to this distinctly American form of music. On the walls of The Blues Bakery hung various memorabilia — concert posters, album jackets, colorful artwork and an electric guitar. The work was grueling and the hours impossibly long, but as I produced incomparable lemon bars and pumpkin muffins that were illegal in five states I listened to the strains of Elmore James’ slide guitar, crooned along with B.B. King, danced to Muddy Waters’ licks and howled along with Howlin’ Wolf. In other words, the blues that sprung from the hardscrabble Mississippi Delta greatly eased my bakery blues. Eventually I sold the business, and the blues slowly slipped from my everyday existence. For years I felt vaguely uneasy, despite no longer finding myself elbow-deep in flour at 3 am. I didn’t understand the cause of this discomfort until I recently visited the home of the blues, where I realized that rhythms that had inspired me had slipped into my past. As I heard the Mississippi sounds emanating from front porches, juke joints, fancy restaurants and funky clubs, I remembered that blues has touched every corner of this nation, that it has transcended class and race and that it is as American as baseball. My toes tapped, my legs bounced, my hips swayed and I may even have

broken out in a full-fledged dance move a few times on my journey through the Delta along the Mississippi Blues Trail. This still-growing, statewide endeavor (which will soon expand to other states) grants travelers the ability to stop at roadside markers to learn about the people, places and things that created and influenced the blues. Casual fans of the music may choose to stop at whichever markers they encounter along their journeys (as many as 150 are slated), and yet blues fanatics will likely plan itineraries that allow them to set out for the farthestflung markers, meeting fellow aficionados (many of whom are Mississippians), indulging in plenty of barbecue and ingesting thousands of facts along the way. I witnessed the unveiling of three markers, and at each one the local community showed up to celebrate its heritage, to listen to music and to partake of delicious food. Since about 80 more markers will be added, travelers can experience these unveilings by consulting the trail’s Web site, listed below, before planning their visits. Many of the small towns along the Mississippi Blues Trail have hit hard times, so tourists who fill up their tanks and buy a meal and a souvenir are doing more than simply taking a vacation: They’re helping their fellow Americans. The Mississippi Delta is not the same as the Delta of the Mississippi River, though the former was created by the millennial meanderings of Big Muddy. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that stretches throughout the northwestern part of the Magnolia State, is nearly as flat as a TRAILER LIFE February 2010 11 T

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011-TL1002 The Outsider LO

12/8/09

9:35 AM

Page 12

THE OUTSIDER

New Horizons RV Corp., go to www.trailerlife.com/info

table and is defined by seemingly endless fields that once were worked predominantly by sharecroppers. From these fields came cotton and corn and soybeans and music. Whichever roles socio-economic factors played in the creation of the blues, no one who appreciates and understands the music can deny that musicians from the Delta gave birth to the blues and the music that grew out of it. Without Charley Patton, Son House and Robert Johnson there would be no Eric Clapton, Keith Richards or Bonnie Raitt. And without my visit to the Mississippi Delta, I likely wouldn’t be listening to Muddy Waters sing about the limitations of his mojo as I write this. Jackson is not in the Delta, but this capital city offers plenty of attractions and very nice campgrounds. LeFluer’s Bluff State Park delivers a scenic sanctuary in the middle of the city, and Ross Barnett Reservoir provides so much water-borne diversion that travelers may be tempted not to head north. Lovers of the blues, however, would

be making a mistake to skip the Delta, since I encountered plenty of Europeans who managed to make the pilgrimage to the home of the blues, so Americans too lazy to drive two or three hours north can’t call themselves blues fans. Most everyone who appreciates this music has heard the legend of Robert Johnson and the crossroads. A traveler looking for amusement could ask 10 locals to recount the story, and he might hear 20 versions. The broad strokes are these: Robert Johnson was not much of a guitar player. He disappeared from the blues scene for a year. When he returned, he could play better than anyone else. To this day, countless blues fans swear that Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his late-blooming musical talent. A crossroads outside of Clarksdale is reputed to be the site of this nefarious bargain. That today’s crossroads did not exist in Johnson’s time is beside the point, at least where marketing a region is concerned. The Mississippi Blues Trail is a little

like that legend: Embrace the parts that make sense to you; dismiss those parts that don’t. One aspect of the trail that I found to be outstanding was the B.B. King Museum in Indianola. The first-rate exhibits in the museum reveal the difficulties B.B. had to surmount to become the ambassador for the blues and Mississippi that he is today. Another site I felt captured the essence of the Blues Trail was Dockery Farms, considered by some experts to be the true home of the blues. Charley Patton, who influenced many Delta bluesmen, lived at Dockery and was taught to play the guitar there by Henry Sloan. Instead of investigating the truest of true places that the blues could have originated, I will simply turn up the volume and listen to Robert Johnson wail about the hellhound on his trail. q Mississippi Development Authority, (601) 359-3297, www.mississippi.org. Mississippi Blues Trail, (816) 931-0383, www.msbluestrail.org.

sinessss, NEW HORIZONS handcra d aftts each of its t towa t bles l and sells l them fac f tory t rrect to the public.

12 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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013-TL1002 This Land LO

12/8/09

9:35 AM

Page 13

THIIS TH S LAND AND AN

KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK

G

by Len Cousineau

eorge Washington Carmack, Dawson Charlie and Skookum Jim Mason discovered gold in a tributary of the Klondike River in Canada’s Yukon Territory in 1896. Once word of the strike filtered back to civilization, gold fever infected hordes of people looking to get rich quick, and the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 brought thousands of potential prospectors to the ramshackle Alaska towns of Dyea and Skagway. Today, one of the most unusual properties in the national park pantheon exists in Skagway — Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Of course, as with most get-rich-quick schemes, the Klondike Gold Rush promised far more than it delivered, since Skagway was simply the jumping off point to the gold fields, which existed 600 miles

away. Prospectors had to haul a year’s worth of supplies — including 400 pounds of flour, 200 pounds of bacon and 100 pounds of beans, as required by the Canadian government — over the Coast Mountains, then float their supplies down the Yukon River. If they were both strong enough and lucky enough to arrive in the Canadian gold fields, prospectors were likely to find that most of the profitable Klondike claims were already staked. So rigorous were the White Pass and Chilkoot trails that of the 100,000 people who set out for the gold fields of Dawson City, only 30,000 arrived there. Skagway sits on the edge of the longest, deepest glacial fjord in North America, and RVers can camp in various parks that are just short walks from the water and Klondike Gold Rush National

Historic Park. Adventuresome visitors can hike the Chilkoot Trail, which exists within the park, meanders for 33 miles into British Columbia and is promoted as the world’s longest outdoor museum. Travelers not willing to brave the sweaty inconveniences of such a hike can learn practically everything about the Klondike Gold Rush in the visitor center, which is housed in the former White Pass & Yukon Route Depot building. After taking one of the park’s rangerled guided tours, visitors may want to hop aboard the nearby White Pass & Yukon Railroad for some real excitement and excellent views. q Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, (907) 983-2921, www.nps.gov/klgo. TRAILER LIFE February 2010 13

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/9/09

9:51 AM

Page 14

GASPÉ PENINSULA

A

ROAD TRIP SAY “BONJOUR” TO QUÉBEC’S CHARMING COUNTRYSIDE by Dave G. Housser

s he approached the Ga Gasp spé sp é Pe Peni nins nsul ula a of presenten t da d y Qu Québ ébec e bac ec ackk on Jul Julyy 24 24,, 15 1534, Fr F ench explor pl lorrer er Jac Jac a ques Cartier described the ffor orest-clad cape ass “t “the he fairest lan ande de tha thatt ma mayy po poss ssib sibly ib bly be seen se e e… e…”” Later that day ay he pl plan lanted d a cross cr s an and d cl clai aime ime med d th the Ga asp spés ésie ie for or FFra rance. More than 470 0 ye ea arss later ater er,, my b brroth rother err A All an and I were similarly smi mitt tttten en by th t e sc scen ene as en a we pi p le ed ou outt o off our u Roadoa adtrrekk RS trek S--Ad Adve vent ve nturro nt ou us mo moto torh rh rhom hom me at at Ca ap p-d -des des-Ros ess siers ie erss on on the th he dr draa ama m a ati tic no ti ort r he heas asste a ste tern rn tip rn p of th the Ga Gasp spé sp é. Sca cann nnin ing in g th the he sc scene —w scen whe here here e t e Ch th Chic icc-Cho -C Cho hocs hocs c Mou unt ntai ains ins ns plu plu lung nge ng ea ab bru rupt pttllyy intto th the wa the w ve ve-l - ashe asshe hed ed wate wa te ers rs of the the Gu th G lff of St St. La Lawr wren ence ce — it w wa as ea easy syy to im mag agin ine e it it allll just ju stt as Ca art rtiie er fo foun ound und it un it. t. Itt w was as a rel elie ief a ass wel ellll to to h hav ave av e th the e lo long ((43 long 43543 5-mi mille mi le) but but pi bu p ct ctur urur esqu es que e dr driv ive iv e fr from om Qué uébe bec Ci C ty behind d us u . Wh What att a ple leas asan antt su urp rpri rise se a we ea as ease sed d in i to ourr sspa pace pa c at nea ce ne earbyy For ortt Prrév ével el,, a fo el orm mer e Wor orld d Warr II sho Wa hore battte tery ry ccom om mpl plex ex,, m ex ma ade o ade ove ver in the ve the e 1198 98 80 0ss as a to our uris istt is re eso s rt and d featu ea atu turi riing a hot ring otell, gour go our urme et re est stau taura aura au ant nt,, 18-h 18-h 18 hol ole go golf lf co our urse se e and d a coz coz o y lil ttttle e hilillls lsid lsid de ca camp camp pg grroun nd d wit ith 28 ith 28 fu ullll--sse ervvic ice sites. si te es. s We we ere e rea eady dy to ex exp xpl plor ore th the e dr d am mat atic atic ic scce ene nery ner ry of th this are this are rea, a,, whic wh ich h ma mark rkks th the en e d — or or the e beg eginni ning — of th the eA Ap pp pa ala ach chia ia ans ns.

RVing out the Gasp pé (p (pro rono noun unce ced d Ga Gass ssPA PAY) Y) was was a del delig ight ht as we e folllowed d Route te 132 (Q Qué ébe b c’s longesst high high hwa way) y) along the e southern bank of the mig ight hty St St. La Lawr w en wr nce eR Riv iver e . We W too ok de delil verry of of o our ur spi piff ffyy pr p es essss-d de emo Merrce cede d s/Sp Spri Sp rint ri n er mod ode el a att Roadt ekk’ss Rou tr oulo lott ottes ttess Riv ive e-Su ud deal deal a er ersh ship sh ip p in in th he Qu Québ Québ bec Cit ity su sub burb bu b off Lév é is the hen n he head ded n nor orrth o t east eastt allo ong g th he e rivver er,, init itiiallllly fo follllllow owin owin ing g fo our-lan lan ne Au uto toro oro rout utte u te 20 20, but bu ut so oon d diverti tin ing ng to th the e sl slow ower er b but u morre ut scen sc enic en icc two two o-llan ane e Ro R ut ute 13 32. Pasttorral Pa a far arml mlan ml and an d an and le leaf afy vi af afy villllag gess spr prou ou uti tiing ng towe ow werin ing ng st ston one e chur ch chur u ch ches ess ma ma arrk the the ro th r ut utte. e. One e vili la lage ge e in pa p rtticul ularr th ha at at g grrab rab abbe abb bed our at ou attte ent ntio ion wa wass Sa Sain aint in nt-Je t-Je Jea ean an-P -Por Por orttt-Jol Joli, Jo li, a ve veri rita tabl ble e co olo ony n of wo wood od cca arver rver rv ers. s. The studi s. tudi tu dios o o os off ca carv rver erss wh whos ose os se fa fami milies mi lliies go ba backk ffor or gen ene errr atio at ions ns line ine Ro ou utte 13 1 2a an nd a loca lo oca call pa park rk spo rk sportte ed d a llarrge e exh hib bit of of c rv ca rvin ings gs,, re gs r ce enttly ly jud dge ged ass par artt of of an in inte te ern rnat nat atio iona nall co na omp m et etit itio io on. In n the the e ald lder er-l er r lin ned ed vililla lage ge e of S Sa ain i t-Ro t-Ro toch h-d des es-A Au ullna ln na aies ie es we e wittne n ess ssed e th ed he e wo orrki king ngs of ng of a rem mar arka kka abl ble ol o d 18 18tth h-cen ent ntu turyy flo lour ou urr milillll rre rest esstto orred d to pe perf erf rfec rfec ect ct wo worrkking work in ng or orde der att Sei eign neur eu uri rie des de es Auln Auln Au lnai a ess. The m Th miillll was as at th he he ear artt of of an a ag gri r cult cult cu l ur ural al estta atte (a se eiign gneu gneu eurriie in n Fre renc nch h)) gra grra antted db byy th the Kiing ng tto o tth he Di Dio on nne e fam amilililyy ass par a t off a wide wi ide d sp pread rre ea ad d eff ffo orrt by Franc ranc ra nce ce to o col olon oniizze an on and tth hus us he ellp se secu c re iits ttss

14 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:25 AM

Page 15

PHOTTOS PH PHO S BY DAVE E G. HOUS USE SE S E ER

LLe eft ft A re ft: rest s or ored ed 184 840s mill is a fea ea atu ture ed a attttrrac acti tion on n at Se Seig Seig gne eurie e des es Aul ulnai lnai a es es,, an ear arl rly ly French h sett ttlle lement me entt o on n th the e St St. La Lawr wren en nce e Riv ive er in Qu Q éb ébec ec.. Abov Ab ove: ov e: The interrna nati tion ti on ona nal ally ly re en now wn ne ed Re Reford ford fo r Garde arde ar dens ns ((Ja Jard Ja rdiins de rd e Méti éttis is) is) feat feat a ur ure e mo ore ttha ha an 3,00 000 00 0 spec spec e ie es off nat ative ive an and ex xot otic p pla lant n s in Gra nt rand nd nd-M d-M Mét étiss, Québ Qu éb é bec ec.. Be Belo Belo low w: Am w: mo o on ng the ng he not otab tab able le b bui uild ui ldin din ings pre ings resse serv r ed at att the h Gra and Grav ave e Interp pre rettive Are re ea at FFo oril oril i lo on Na Nati tion ona all Par ark is is Fer e me me B Blla lancche ett tte, e, a 19 9th th-c h-ccen e tu tury ryy ffar a m bu ar buiilt at atop op p a sea a ccli liff li iff ff on Ca Cap Ga Cap Gasp Gasp pé, é, Qué uébe bec. c.

TRAILER LIFE February 2010 15

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:25 AM

Page 16

Left to right: A new interpretation center for the Percé region occu oc cupi pies es a his isto toriic fish sher eryy on the wharf in Percé. Exhibits featuring contemporary garden designs are a highlight at the annual International Ga arden en Festival at Refor ord d Garden ens, Grand-Métis. r A picturesque lighthouse sits at the tip of Forillon Peninsula in Gaspé. Camping Baie-de-Percé is a provincially administered camp ca mpin ing g co comp mpou ound nd ssit itua uate ted d in the heart of the popular Gaspé tourist enclave of Percé.

tenuous grip on a prized chunk of North America. Eventually, however, France ceded control over what is today Canada to Britain á la the Treaty of Paris in 1763, yet Québec has remained steadfastly French through the centuries. Sovereignty has been a long-running issue and in a 1995 referendum on the issue the vote resulted in a near-draw —50.6 percent against sovereignty and d 49.4 perccen entt fo forr it it.. Anxiety surrounding the so-called “national question” hass di died ed d dow own n in recent years, owing in part perhaps to Canada’s incr crea easi sing ng p pro rosp sperrity and low unemployment. It certainly see e me med d to us th t at we were touring France — a sense reinfo orcced by by th the e fact that more than 80 percent of Québecers spe peak ak FFrrenc n h. They are, however, far more polite and patient with wi th lan a guage-deficien nt fo folks like our urselv selvves tha se tha han an th thei eirr co cont ntin inen ent l cousins arre rumo ta more re ed to be. As a re esu sult ult, lt, th lt this his journ ou urn ney — whi hich ch h evolved as a weeklong circcum umn navigation off th the e brroa ad, d, burly Gaspé Peniins nsul ula a — wass as pro oblem-fre ee an and d se eam amle ess s ly ly p pleassan nt as any we’’ve eve verr un nde dert rtak aken ak en.. On nce c b bey eyyon nd tth he to town wn of Rivièr wn ière e-du du u-Lou -LLou up tth he co oun ntr try grrow owss more mo re typ ypiccal ypic ally lyy G Gas aspé pésiien en. R Riive ive vers ers rsid sid ide bo ide bogs a are re h re har arve arve ar est sted ed forr pe ea at at mosss mo ss and do on n th the he in inl nla land d sid de rro ollling in ng hi h lll s pr p ov ovid de pa past s ur st ure e fo for he for h rd rds of dai airy ry cow cow ows ws. s. Han and d-pa d-pa pain i te in ed siign g s ad adve vertis ve i e paiin de de mé ména nage na ge (hom (h om o mem emad ade br ade bread)), go g at cheese, berriiess, ho one ney ey and ot othe he er ffa armfres fres fr esh h pr p od od duc uce. uc e.

Our first night of camping, at Parc National du Bic near Rimouski, revealed right away the high standards of both national and provincial parks/campgrounds along our route. All were clean, well maintained and adequately staffed. Full-service RV spaces ranged in price from $20 to $30 CN. At the time, the Canadian dollar, or Loonie, was worth about 85 cents US but is at near parity today. The vacation discount we enjoyed may have gone south with the sagging dollar, but you’ll still get your money’s worth RVing on the Gaspé. Nestled among a scattering of sm smal alll mo moun unta tain ins,, roc ocky ky outcroppings and pr p et etty ty bay bays, s, cov oves es and d beaches, Bic was most appeal pe alin ing. g. Had Had we known more about it we wou o ld hav ave e pl plan anne ned d to o stay longer. Con onse sens nsus us is is th that at tthe he p par ark’ k’ss nam me was pro r bably de derive ri ved d fr from om m the French word pic, which me mean anss pe peak ak. Carti tier, r slo lowl wlyy fee in feel fe ng his way up the e St. t. LLaw aw wre renc nce e Ri R ver, cal alle led it a “na led le n tural have ha ve ven” en” n fro r m th the e wi wind ndss an and d currents ts of the th riv riive ver and orde d re red d an an-c or ch o s dr drop oppe pe ed he h re on n Au A gust 29, 9, 153 535. 535 5. In 16 1603 03,, Sa Sam muel d mu de e Ch ham amplai ampl plain aiin no ote ted d the highest of the park’s mountainss on his iss n nav a av ig gattion io on ch hart art, known forevver er thereafter as Le e Picc Ch ham mplai plai ain n. A n. re ela l tively easy 1.8-mile hikin in ng trail ail le ai lead ad ds to the the 1,1135 35-f -ffoo o t su um m-mit for some mi m exceptional views of bo both both t p par a k an and d ri r ve er. r. The here r are ea asiilyy a d doz ozen oz en m mor ore e hi hiki king g and biking g tr t aiillss, pl plus us kayak ak ren ren enta nta talls ls a d na an narrated Zod dia iacc trriip ps. ps.

16 1 6 Fe Feb Feb ebrrua ua u uary aryy 2 20 201 01 010 010 T TR TRA RAIILE RA RAILE LER LI LE LIFE FE

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:26 AM

Page 17

Just beyond Rimouski (Gaspé’s largest town at 40,000), at Pointe-au-Père, we made a stop at a somber monument to the Empress of Ireland, an ocean liner that went down just off this point following a collision with a coal barge in May 1914. More than a thousand passengers perished. A historic lighthouse and a maritime museum occupy the memorial site as well. During nearly every trip we make, we’ll encounter something weirdly wonderful or wonderfully weird. This time it happened at the tinyy village g of Sainte-Flavie, when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a troupe off humano noid id-lik like e fi figu gure ress st stan andi ding ng iin na tidal flat beside the road. What I had seen was eccentric sculptor Marc Ma rcel el G Gag agno non’ n’ss la larg rges estt an and d mo ost s rem emar a ka k bl ble wo workk, “G Gra and Rassemblement,” made up of more than 100 0 concr c ete te ch char arac acte ters rs arra ar rang nged ed in in va vari riou ouss po ose sess — so some meti time mess in or ou o t of the water, depending on the river’ss tide — but always gua ara ran nteed to sto t p traffic. An obviously popular and oft-visited artist, Gagnon mainta ain ns a studio, gift shop/gallery and café at the site. Surp rpri riising singly si nglyy enough, the ng he sste te ell llar a attraction n of of our our ur sojou urn r alon al ong on g th the no ort rth h sh ho orre was as a ga gard rden en.. Ve en Ve y mucch in defia Very effia anc nce e off Ga asp spé’ é’ss seve v re e climate te e, Ja Jard Jard r in inss de de M Mét étis is ((ne near ar Grand d Mét étis is), ) stan st an nds outt as on ne of Can na ad da’ da’ a’s to top di top d splayy ga g rden d ns. s. It iss a hor orti rti ticu ultturall won nde d rl r an a d off som some me 10 00, 0,0 000 pl plan ants ntss in 2, 2 50 00 va vari riet etie et ie es, s an and nd it i wass the he cre reat atio at tio on off one n Els lsie ie e Ref Ref efor orrd, d, an he heir ire ir ess to ess es to the the e

Canadian Pacific Railroad fortune, who upon inheriting a family estate in 1927 dedicated herself to developing these world-class gardens. She tended them until her death in 1954. The gardens are still managed by the Reford clan and the family’s fabulous 37-room mansion houses a museum and a stylish restaurant. Our visit happily coincided with the International Garden Festival, which featured some truly innovative garden designs. It is difficult to maintain any kind of a pace along Route 132 as one rustic fishing village fades to another and one lighthouse to yet another … then suddenly a supernatural setting as we to opped d a rise ap appr proa oach chin i g Capp Chat to encounter several dozen large, whirling wind turbines — east ster ern n Ca Cana nada da’ss llar argest wind farm fa rm.. Th This is iiss th the e so sort rt of energy production we like to see ee and and in reality these turbin b nes e are pop opping ing u up p in m mor ore e pl p aces e . We mov o ed e on to explore Forillon National al Parkk an and d to lay claim to our ur cam amps psit ite e fo f r th the e ne next xt two w nights. The park is the he prride de of the Peninsula, featuring 92 9 -ssqu quar are e mi mile less of forests, mountains an nd cliff-lined shores, all crisscrossed by hi hikiing tra railis. The park iss rre eplete eple ep te e with wildlife, including moose (which we e sp spot otte ted d on se eve v ra al oc occa asi s on onss, s, usu ual ally ly o on n tth he ro he road ad in in fr fron fron o t of of us)), bl blac ackk be bear arr, lyynx nx,, be beav a er av er,, rre ed fo foxx, erm rmin ine in ea an nd o otthe herr fo ore r stt cri ritter errs. e s Biirrds ds arre e b un bo unti tifu ti full to fu too wi with th rap apto torr sp to s ecie es nu nu umb mb ber eri rin ing ne n arrlyy 3 30 0 pllus us an an obvi ob bviou viou vi o s ssw war a m off sea eabi eabi bird rdss su rd uch ch as ki kitttiw ttiw wak akess, gu ulllls, s, gui uilllem uill emot mot o s, s

TRA TR T RA RA AIIILE LE LER L LIIFE FE Fe Feb F eb ebru ru rua ua ary ry 20 201 2 01 0 10 1 17 7

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:26 AM

Page 18

GASPÉ PENINSULA ROAD TRIP

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cormorants, razorbills and more. Waters off the park are home to more than a half-dozen species of whale along with porpoises, dolphins and seals. Whales can be observed from the cliffs of Forillon, especially in June and July, but are more easily and closely seen from whalewatching cruises or sea kayak trips, both of which depart from a marina in the Grande-Grave area of the park. Special care has been taken at Forillon to preserve and interpret the region’s human history. Grande-Grave was a fishing port settled in the early 19th century by Anglo-Norman immigrants from the Island of Jersey. Buildings of greatest ethnological interest were restored including Magasin Hyman, an 1845 general store so painstakingly and authentically reconstructed that you’ll walk in and instinctively begin to shop. A short walk along a seaside path leads to Ferme Blanchette, a postcard farmstead of the period, staffed by costumed interpreters who carry out “chores,” often interacting with visitors.

Taking advantage of an early morning start and a sudden abundance of energy we continued past Ferme Blanchette on Les Graves Trail to make the 9.4-mile round-trip hike, past countless coves and pebble beaches, to the tip of the Forillon Peninsula. It was a splendid walk rewarded by mind-boggling views at the cliffedged tip — plus a picturesque old lighthouse to add to the setting. Our next destination, Percé, is the Peninsula’s most famous tourist enclave, with its iconic Rocher Percé posed majestically just offshore the town. You can’t miss the Rock as you drive in. At 1,420 feet long and 290 feet high, it is to Québec what Sugar Loaf is to Brazil. It’s name, which translates as “pierced rock,” comes from a natural arch at its base. There were two such arches until one collapsed in 1845. We checked in at provincially administered Camping Baie de Percé, an RV and tent camping compound squeezed into the very center of town. Although noisy and crowded, it allowed us to park the

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019-TL02 PG 19 LANCE

12/8/09

9:16 AM

Page 19

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:27 AM

No Saw On le!

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Page 20

GASPÉ PENINSULA ROAD TRIP

Roadtrek for a time and to go about our activities on foot — or by boat. The following morning we joined Croisières les Traversiers de L’île, the town’s top cruise operator, for the mandatory excursion to Parc de L’île Bonaventure, or Bonaventure Island National Park. Bonaventure is all about birds and this extraordinary 3.5-square-mile islet just offshore Percé is home to some 223 species of avian wildlife, including North America’s largest colony of Northern Gannets. Some 120,000 of these big white birds (with wingspans up to 6 feet) flap and scrap about at the edge of dizzying cliffs at the island’s southeastern rim. Cormorants, puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and others also flutter about, competing for nesting space along the cliffs. It definitely was one of the highlights of our Gaspé experience. Intent on seeking out the best seafood in town, we were directed by a number of folks to La Maison du Pêcheur, on the water right next to the town wharf. It was

hard to miss, and the same could be said for the restaurant’s raconteur owner and former town mayor, Georges Mamelonet, who talked our leg off at the bar. Born in Morocco and raised in Vietnam, Mamelonet worked in a number of countries as a petroleum engineer. Then he trained as a chef and took to the restaurant business in Montréal. Next came a dive-shop business and after that he popped up in Percé to help a friend open an inn. It’s safe to say

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20 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

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Page 21

®

A sculpture by Québec artist Alaine Dionne graces the St. Lawrence riverfront in Kamouraska, Québec.

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he’s made his home here, and as mayor for several years and now a member of the National Assembly of Québec, he has led a campaign to keep out chain stores and eateries, to move utility lines underground and, in general, to try to preserve Percé’s personality and charm. While Mamelonet was a charmer himself, we were famished when one of the house favorites, the “Trident,” a trifecta of lobster, salmon and sea scallops, was finally set before us. It was

all very good — but it would be topped on our final night on the Gaspé. We had to pick up the pace on the return leg of our circumnavigation of the Gaspé, following its softer, gentler underside west along Route 132, tracing the shore of Baie des Chaleurs, which separates Québec from southern neighbor New Brunswick. Fewer twists and turns and lesser grades helped make the going quicker, but we still took time to enjoy some of the highlights along the way, including picture-perfect little fishing villages such as L’Anse-à-Beaufils and Sainte Thérèse-de-Gaspé and, of course, we had to check out a huge RV campground that extends almost a half-mile out along a banc or sandspit on the shore at Grand Rivière. It’s a popular spot where nearly everyone has a view of the bay.

70

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:27 AM

Page 22

GASPÉ PENINSULA ROAD TRIP

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At Paspébiac, we visited one of the Peninsula’s most significant historic attractions, Historique du-Banc-de-Pêche-dePaspébiac, a complex of 11 surviving buildings from the 18th-century headquarters of Jersey-based Robin & LeBoutillier Company, for more than 150 years the Gaspé’s largest processor and exporter of cod, and its primary shipbuilder. Not far down the road, the town of Bonaventure is a bastion of Acadian culture, reflecting the patchwork of French and English villages along Baie des Chaleurs. The Musée Acadien du Québec in Bonaventure recounts the odyssey of the Acadians, French residents of present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick who were deported by the British when they took control of those regions in 1755. Many Acadians immigrated to Louisiana, where they became known as “Cajuns,” while others settled in Québec — before it also fell to the British in 1760 and was officially ceded in 1763. A pivotal event in the Anglo-French conflict took place in 1760 on Baie des

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014-TL1002 Gaspe Peninsula

12/8/09

9:27 AM

Page 23

ÂŽ

Chaleurs at the mouth of the Restigouche River where British forces destroyed a French fleet sent to help liberate New France. The story of the battle is dramatically recounted at a fine little museum, the Lieu Historique National de la Bataille de la Restigouche in Pointe-à -la-Croix. Another worthwhile museum is located in Parc National de Miguasha in Nouvelle, just east of Pointe-à-la-Croix. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a paleontology museum displaying fossils discovered in the surrounding cliffs, which formed the bottom of a lagoon some 370 million years ago. This southern side of the GaspÊ isn’t given over entirely to history and culture. We saw quite a number of anglers working several rivers — the CascapÊdia, MatapÊdia and Bonaventure among them — that are world famous for their salmon and trout fishing. Reason enough for us to return one day. Route 132 turns inland, following the MatapÊdia River north for a spell as it

climbs the blunt forested hills of the GaspÊ’s eastern boundary. We arrived back on the Saint Lawrence shore that evening at Sainte-Flavie (home of the Marcel Gagnon sculpture exposition) where we came upon a colorful multi-use complex called Capitaine Homard, appropriately designated by a large billboard featuring a luscious looking lobster. The place fit our every need as we nosed the Roadtrek into a camping space overlooking the river, served up cocktails and adjourned thereafter to the restaurant for — you guessed it — the largest pair of lobsters we could locate in Capitaine Alain Bellavance’s tank, preceded by a mouthwatering smoked salmon salad and accompanied by crispy frites as only a French-inspired chef can make them. It was our last and best meal, bringing to a satisfying close a GaspÊ adventure that ranks among our best RV road trips ever. q

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024-TL1002 AL Civil Rights

12/8/09

9:41 AM

Page 24

ALABAMA’S AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE:

MONTGOMERY AND BIRMINGHAM by Pamela Selbert

I

n our RV travels, Guy and I often “go in search of something,” such as presidential libraries, famous authors’ birthplaces and historic trails. This time we decided to visit Montgomery, Alabama, where slavery was once the law of the land, and which would be named Alabama’s fifth capital city 100 years later. We pointed our RV toward Montgomery, where the Civil Rights Movement began, and then on to Birmingham to see some of the important sites of the Civil Rights Movement and to better understand the courage of those who took part changed the country. Our visit began at the Greek-Revival-style Capitol (completed in 1850 after a fire destroyed its 1847 predecessor, and now a National Historic Landmark) with a walk up the six tiers of marble A bronze statue of Rosa Parks commemorates her refusal to give up her bus seat to a caucasian man. She was arrested, but her courage sparked the Montgomery bus boycott.

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025-TL02 PG 25 ESSEX CREDI

12/8/09

9:18 AM

Page 25

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024-TL1002 AL Civil Rights

12/8/09

9:42 AM

steps to the polished brass star we’d read about. Just inside the six-column portico, it marks the spot where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederate States of America in 1861. A heroic bronze statue of Davis, the states of the Confederacy carved into its granite base, stands on the lawn looking west over Dexter Avenue. A little more than a century after Davis took office, in 1965, the star marked the destination of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March in which 25,000 local marchers and supporters from elsewhere took part to protest discrimination in voting practices. They filled Dexter Avenue all the way to Dr. Martin Luther King’s former church, now Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, a long block west. Miriam Norris, tour manager of the church, said later that it was only the church’s proximity to the Capitol that saved it from being bombed, when in the 1950s and 60s, during the Civil Rights Movement, many other Montgomery and Birmingham churches with African-American congregations were not so fortunate. Standing on the Capitol steps following the 54-mile march, Dr. King gave an impassioned speech, telling the crowd, “Segregation is on its deathbed.” That same year, congress passed the Voting Rights Act, outlawing disenfranchisement “on account of race or color.”

Page 26

Martin Luther King, Jr. was just 24 years old when he preached his first sermon at the red-brick church in 1954, soon after marrying Coretta Scott, his college sweetheart. Second Colored Baptist Church had been organized in 1877, and the first worship service was held here eight years later. It was just the second African-American church in Montgomery. The name was later changed to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and again to its current name in 1968 after King’s assassination. He would be senior pastor here for six years. It was the only church he served in that capacity, said Norris, whose mother, Althea Thomas, the church organist, was hired by King in 1955. Visitors to the church today watch an 18-minute video titled “120 Years of Service” in the fellowship hall. One wall of the room is colorfully decorated with a 50-foot by 8-foot mural depicting Civil Rights themes and quotes from King’s speeches, including “I’ve been to the mountaintop,” “We shall overcome,” “Free at last” and many others. The church was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974 “because of its status as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Norris. It was here that King and other NAACP activists “vowed a bus boycott following the arrest of Rosa Parks,” she said. Sunday services are still held at the church at 10:30 am.

The year after King came to the church, 42-year-old seamstress Rosa Parks had been arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a caucasian man. AfricanAmerican ministers and lawyers, eager for a test case on the constitutionality of the law, recruited King to lead a boycott of city buses. His powerful rhetoric earned him the position of spokesman for the fledgling movement. And for the next 381 days some 50,000 Montgomery African Americans refused to ride the buses — until the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws segregating public transportation. Visitors can tour the interactive Troy University Rosa Parks Library and Museum, which opened in 2000 on the anniversary of her arrest. Films from the era, dozens of exhibits and artifacts tell the story of the movement, and an amazing hologram (the bus is really there) depicts Parks’ arrest. White-frame Dexter Parsonage Museum, a modest seven-room home some distance from the church, is furnished as it was when King, his wife and children lived there. Meetings were theld here during the bus boycott — the front porch was bombed one January night in 1956 — and it was here that activists formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said museum director Shirley Cherry. A photo of Gandhi, whose teachings inspired King’s nonviolent leadership,

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024-TL1002 AL Civil Rights

12/8/09

9:42 AM

Page 27

Racial equality would not be possible today without the sacrifices made by the participants in the Civil Rights Movement, and the Civil Rights Memorial helps us to never forget. The area has some great shopping opportunities, but the Southern-style food and other fine eateries are what’s most alluring. The Dreamland BBQ in Birmingham and Montgomery locations, for instance, has great barbecue ribs; in fact, there “Ain’t Nothin’ Like ’Em Nowhere.”

hangs in the study. A video at the interpretive center (formerly a boarding house) next door shows friends and acquaintances of King sharing stories. Cherry points out a white-frame house several doors south, where she says a group of Freedom Riders was sequestered in 1961. Interpretive panels on the outside wall of the yellow-brick former Greyhound Bus Station on South Court Street tell the story of the Freedom Rides, quoting from several who took part. The rides, leader John Lewis had said, were “meant to awaken the heart of America to the injustice of its own laws and traditions.” In segregated Montgomery they were not welcome, and when a group of 20 African-American and caucasian “Freedom Riders” traveling from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans arrived at this station on May 20, 1961, they were attacked by a mob of 200 Ku Klux Klan supporters. Although a police escort was promised, all law-enforcement personnel disappeared as the Freedom Riders entered the Montgomery city limits. The mob viciously attacked the Freedom Riders and anyone who tried to come to their aid. This shocking brutality woke up the country and led to the ruling by the Interstate Commerce Commission declaring segregation in bus terminals unconstitutional. Other Montgomery Civil Rights sites

include Holt Street Baptist Church, where mass meetings led to the bus boycott; the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture, which interprets the movement; City of St. Jude, the last campsite along the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March; and the Civil Rights Memorial Center, which honors 40 “martyrs” who died in the quest for equality, from 1954 to ’68, and chronicles important events during those years. Meanwhile, similar events were taking place 90 miles north in Birmingham, “the city of trees,” our next stop. There we met Vickie Ashford of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau who introduced us to local history teacher/guide Barry McNealy. For the next two days he led us on a Milestones Walking Tour of the city (we also drove, as the tour covered many miles). He explained that at the time the Civil Rights Movement began, Birmingham was the South’s largest industrial center and considered the worst in race relations (by no coincidence, we learned later, as refusing African-Americans equality in the workplace helped maintain a large, cheap labor force). African-Americans who complained about discrimination were harassed, even beaten by gangs often linked to the police, said McNealy. There were demonstrations led by Dr. King and other activists, but they

were quelled by police with dogs and fire hoses. Finally, when caucasian-owned stores were suffering economically, city leaders agreed to end discrimination. Six months after King’s “I have a dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington, Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed and four young African-American girls were killed. By now many caucasians also wanted the brutality directed at African Americans to end (though it was only years later that Bob Chambliss, Thomas Blanden and Frank Cherry were convicted of the bombing). Some 50 unsolved racially directed bombings between the late 1940s and mid-’60s led the city to be dubbed “Bombingham,” said McNealy. As caucasians moved to the suburbs, African-Americans gained a larger say in local government, and in 1979 elected Birmingham’s first African-American mayor, Richard Arrington Jr. He came up with the idea of honoring civil rights “soldiers” by turning former war zones into shrines. With McNealy leading the way, we visited many of them. At 130-year-old Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (church that suffered the deadliest moment in the history of civil rights), we were greeted by church clerk Tara Walton. She explained that just days after Birmingham schools were court-ordered to integrate, on September 15, 1963, Klan TRAILER LIFE February 2010 27

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024-TL1002 AL Civil Rights

12/8/09

9:42 AM

Page 28

ALABAMA’S AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE: MONTGOMERY AND BIRMINGHAM members bombed the 790-member church, killing Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carol Robertson, all 14 years old, and Denise McNair, 11, while injuring 22 others and “turning the church into one of America’s most sacred shrines of freedom.� She added that “the tragedy forced the city and nation to examine the consequences of discrimination.� A 35-minute video shown at the imposing yellow-brick church, originally called First Colored Baptist Church, recounts the event and aftermath. A firstrate museum on the lower level explains how the bombing “forged the movement for political, social and economic justice.� Our next stop was nearby four-acre Kelly Ingram Park, named for the first Alabamian killed in World War I, and a “place of revolution and reconciliation,� said McNealy. There are pathways, flower gardens, trees and a Freedom Walk unveiled by former Mayor Larry P. Langford in 2009. The trail includes a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. (since he has always seemed so

larger-than-life, we were surprised to learn he stood just 5 feet 5 inches tall), and other figures depicting events from Birmingham’s Civil Rights struggles. One of the finest museums anywhere, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute — a $50 million, 58,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1992 — is across the street from the park. Hundreds of photos and films, audio recordings, and other exhibits — including the cell where King wrote his famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail� and a section of the letter — interpret the movement, the bloodshed, humiliation, horror and amazing courage of those who took part. Some 60 churches make up Birmingham’s “Civil Rights Churches,� but of particular importance is 1926 Bethel Baptist, which served as a “staging ground� for civil-rights activities, and was headquarters for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (1956-61), which advocated nonviolent protest against racial discrimination. Reverend Fred L. Shut-

The Lowndes County Interpretive Center honors those who peacefully marched the 54 miles from Selma to the state’s capitol in Montgomery for the right to vote.

tlesworth was the president of this Movement and also pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, which was bombed three times. Our visit to Birmingham ended at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, where we were greeted by Frank “Doc� Adams, a delightful man full of stories from a long musical career. Doc, as he likes to be called, says he was born on Ground Hog’s Day in 1928, took up the clarinet at a young age and began playing professionally at age 16 with Sun Ra and his Intergalactic Orchestra. Two decades later Doc was touring the country, performing with Duke Ellington “who rode in a stretch limo,

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024-TL1002 AL Civil Rights

12/8/09

9:42 AM

wore iridescent suits and wanted me to make my clarinet sound like Tweety Bird,” he said, grinning, clarinet in hand. The Art Deco museum (pink walls and lots of neon), where Doc is director of education, is a tribute to jazz greats with ties to Alabama, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Erskine Hawkins, W.C. Handy, Sun Ra and many others, he said. Jazz, he explained, is “like gumbo, a stew of contributions from a lot of musicians.” After entertaining us for an hour with dozens of fascinating stories, Doc put the clarinet to his lips, leaned forward and burst into the wailing glissando that begins George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” q

Page 29

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030-TL1002 Lance Camper LO

12/8/09

9:23 AM

Page 30

LANCE

992

DUAL SLIDEOUTS ALLOW FOR A SPACIOUS CAMPER EXPERIENCE by Marleen Canniff

T

he slide-in camper has certainly evolved over the years and we take its accommodations for granted, but pickup travel wasn’t always so civilized. I remember sitting on the wheel well of a 1979 Chevy inside an unheated window-laden truck bed cap during our annual two-week trip to Pennsylvania each New Year’s holiday. I don’t recall the brand of the bed cap, and my grandpa is no longer around for me to ask, but I do recall having the best times of my childhood during those cold road trips inside that shell. To us kids, even that simple covering, aided by scratchy wool blankets and warm clothing, provided the comfort and security we needed on the road. As the years have progressed, we’ve abandoned sitting in the truck’s bed while traveling; after all, it’s illegal, and statistics prove that seatbelts are a must anytime while on the road. Plus, RV engineers have since discovered ways to make a camper as warm and roomy as any typical full-size travel trailer. Today’s camper aficionados pretty much require modern features and luxury items as standard equipment, and Lance Camper Manufacturing has beefed up its 2010 line of truck campers with the latest in such accessories that are sure to impress. Apart from top-notch built quality and sensible design — features for which Lance has a well-earned reputation — a camper’s ultimate accessory is the slideout room, and the Lance 992 has two of them. This is Lance’s first double-slideout camper, and we wanted to see just how comfortable and spacious this new model is. Lance delivered the test unit installed on a Ford F-350 and the setup worked nicely, although the truck’s weight capacity would be challenged with excess loading. The truck drove well, with hardly a notice of the camper’s weight along with all of our equipment on board. The Lance engineers ensured the rig’s center of gravity was low and forward, and as physics as well as our test drive would prove, this leads to better balance and handling on the road. Lance is known for well-built campers, and this model maintains its maker’s reputation. The frame is the key element in an

RV’s long-term durability, and the 992 has aluminum-framed walls, floor, cabover bed and ceiling. It has a one-piece TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) rooftop, and laminated flooring throughout with ducted heat, which helped to make our camping trip nice and cozy. At the campsite we were eager to see just what this camper could do to appease our convenience, comfort and entertainment requirements. First, a wake-up switch activates the remote to open up the slides. In about a minute, both slides opened on separate rack-and-pinion mechanisms. Within the Lance’s compact interior confines we were impressed with the significant expansion of space the two slideouts produce. They relocate huge portions of the kitchen and dinette from the camper’s living area, creating extra floor space to move about. Even with just a two-person test crew, the extra space was extra valuable. I’ve always been biased toward the charms of a cabover bedroom, and this unit was no exception. Although the queen-size bed is of ordinary comfort, as I’m more partial to a softer mattress, the area around it is way more than ordinary. We were impressed

30 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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030-TL1002 Lance Camper LO

12/8/09

9:23 AM

Page 31

LANCE 992

EXT LENGTH: 18' 0" FLOOR LENGTH: 9' 11" EXT WIDTH: 8' EXT HEIGHT: 9' 5" INT WIDTH: 7' 9" INT HEIGHT: 6' 8" CABOVER INT HEADROOM: 6' 8" FRESHWATER: 45 gal BLACK-/GRAY-WATER CAP: 30 gal/ 40 gal LP-GAS: 10 gal WATER HEATER: 6 gal DSI CONSTRUCTION: Aluminum frame, laminated fiberglass exterior, TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof INSULATION: Block foam REFRIGERATOR: 6 cu ft FURNACE: 20,000 BTU AIR CONDITIONER: 11,000 BTU AC GENERATOR: Opt, 2.5 kW BATTERY (2): 12-volt TOILET: Freshwater (wet bath) WEIGHT: 3,773 lb (Full freshwater, water heater, LP-gas, no cargo) DRY WEIGHT: 3,310 lb MSRP, BASE: $30,744 MSRP, AS TESTED: $40,335 WARRANTY: 1 yr

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030-TL1002 Lance Camper LO

12/8/09

9:24 AM

Page 32

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with the overhead reading light, the nicesize hardwood-framed hamper and mirrored shirt-height wardrobe curbside from the bed, as well as with the smaller wood storage compartment streetside. But it was the extra-large standard-equipment Heki skylight vent, with screening for ventilation and a retractable cover for shade, that we found noteworthy in the cabover. Optional cabover equipment includes an AM/FM/CD/DVD with 15-inch LCD TV and interior/exterior speakers ($1,051). We did without the electronic stimulation because the weather on this trip was perfect and there was fun to be had in the real-world outdoors. Had we a child on this adventure, there’s little doubt he/she would have enjoyed the optional bunk bed (31 × 72 inches) with child restraint ($399) that this test unit offered, located in the curbside slideout just above the convertible dinette bed (40 × 61 inches). These two platforms allow for some extra sleeping space in the slideout. Extra people are no problem in the living area of the 992. We had as many five adults in this test unit, and never experienced a claustrophobic moment. The kitchen, housed in the streetside slide, has good counter space, a three-burner stove and a double-basin sink. And the high-spout galley faucet made doing dishes much easier than with some of the other setups we’ve encountered. The refrigerator is located opposite the sink, forward the dinette — a wise design choice, as it was completely unobtrusive but accessible in that location.

Another good design choice can be found in the bathroom. Lance is proud of its wet bath in this unit, claiming it’s the largest wet bath the company offers. We certainly appreciated the extra space as well as the extra sunlight the dual-pane vacuum-sealed skylight delivers. Although the sky was clear of any clouds during this test, the air was chilly and the nights were downright cold. The 992 was draft-free and well-insulated. Also, the furnace in this unit is an upgraded two-speed model that had more than enough guts to keep the interior at our desired thermostat-controlled temperature setting. To provide 120-volt AC power when dry camped our test unit included an optional 2.5 kW Onan generator ($3,248) with the wall-mount remote start/monitor panel and automatic transfer switch. No trekking outside to swap any power supply plugs or start the generator, and this made our boondocking location even more appealing. This Lance is civilized. We found the entire camping experience with the Lance 992 highly appealing. If you’re into the heavier-duty trucks, this camper will add all the space, convenience and comforts any heavy-duty RVer would need. Grandpa’s truck-cap-sheltered trips had a charm all their own and are sweet memories, but we know we’ll also appreciate the modern comfort-enhanced recollections of our Lance 992 journey. q Lance Camper Manufacturing Corporation, (661) 949-3322, www.lancecamper.com.

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12/8/09

9:18 AM

Page E33

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033-TL02 PG 33E SYRACUSE

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034-TL1002 FD-Dodge Ram LO

12/8/09

9:34 AM

QUIET POWER PLU US TRAILER AND EXHAUST BRAKES HIGHLIGHT THE NEW DOD DGE RAM HEAV VY-DUTY PICK KUPS by Jeff Johnston

Page 34

P

ickup icku p ma manu nufa fact ctur urer ur e sa arre liste eni n ng to th the eir cust eir stom omer erss an nd re eac acti ting ng tto o th their i ne need ds an nd want nts. s. It can n se eem m likke that th att’s been n a long g ttim ime co coming g, butt ass comp mpet etit et ition he heats up in th the RV V ttow ow win ing g fielld th fi the e gu guys ys who sell the big g ri rigs are out utf ttin fi ing g th them mw wit ith h ev ever er-i - mp mpro rovi ving ng fea eatures th hat captu ture re a buy buyer er’s ’s att tten ention. Th The e ne ew 2010 20 1 Dod dge R Ram am 250 25000- and and 3 350 500--se seri ries es t uc tr u kss a are rightt o out ut at at th the front of the pacck in n the hot n new features ea cate egory. Am mong g the e mo most s int n eres eressti er ting ng tow ng owin owin ngspec ecificc fea eature es,, Dod odge ge joi o nss tthe he eo oth ther th er er p ck pi ckup up p man anuf u ac uf actu ture tu re ers in offfe feri r ng an in ri i tetegrat gr a ed at ed tra railililer err-b -bra rake ra ke con ntr troll as pa trol artt o off it itss towi to wiin w ng g pa accka kage ge ge, e, a st s ep tha hat’ t s sure su u re t o ple pl ease ea ease e tow wiin ng fa f nss w who ho o havve wr w es estl tled ed wiith th aft fter erma rma ark rket ket dev evic icess. On ano noth ther er ssig ig gnifi ni fica ca cant ant fro r nt nt, an a exh xhaust bra ake ke is no now wa

sttan anda dard rd eq equi uipm pment p pa artt of th he Cu C mm mmin inss en e ngi gine e packa kage.. Th he la latt t er ite tt t m wi willlll go a long lo ng w way towar ard d impr im mpr pro oving ovin g th the fu f n and safety t of RV V tow towing with a D Dod odge truck. With th the e iint ntrodu ro oduct cttion ion of of the he crew cab four fo ur-d -do oor mode del,l, w whi hich ch joins tthe e exi x sting four ur-d -doo oor Me Meg ga Cab ab ttruck, bu uye erss hav ave even en mor o e bo body dyy and n mod dell conf on nfigu ura rati t on ch hoi oice ces. es. s Reg egul u ar ul ar ccab ab,, cr ab crew ew w cab cab and d Meg ega a Cab Ca b mo ode d ls l wit ith h 66-fo foot fo foot o 4-iinc nch h orr 8-f 8-ffoo o t boxe bo xe es, s sin ingl ngl gle e or dua uall wh hee eels ls,, an and d fi fivve tri rm le evve elss inc nclu ludi lu ding di ng ST, SLTT, TR RX, X, La arram a ie ea and nd Po Powe owe werr Wa Wago gon go n — to say not oth thi hing ng o off 2WD 2W WD a d 4W an WD ve vers rsio io ons n — pro odu duce ce a diz izzy zyin ng arra ar rayy of ra of pos ossi siibi b liiti t es. es. Impr Im mp prrov oved ed ttow owin ing in g an and ha haul ulin ing in g ra rati ting ti ngs ng arre in incr crem em e men enta tal ch tal chan ange ges, s, butt eve eryy b bit it help he lps. lp s. The 3 350 500 0 mo mode dell ha hass had d a ma maxi xiimu um gr gros osss co comb mbin inat atio ion n we weig ight h rattin ng (gcw (g c r)) boo cw oost st fro r m 24 24,0 ,000 00 0 to 24 2 ,5 ,500 00

DODGE RAM

2010 PHOTO BY JEFF JOHNSTON

34 3 4 F Feb e ebrua rua ru uary ry 201 20 010 T 010 TRAILE TRA LER L LIFE FE

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034-TL1002 FD-Dodge Ram LO

12/8/09

9:34 AM

pounds, and the 2500 has had a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) increase from 9,000 to 9,600 pounds. The Ram’s highest 17,600-pound tow rating can be boosted to as much as 18,500-pounds with the Max Tow Package that’s slated for release late in the model year. The Max Tow Package also boosts gcwr to 25,400 pounds. As of this writing, Dodge had not yet announced the component content or option price of the Max Tow Package.

manual. The 545RFE five-speed automatic is available with the 5.7-liter Hemi engine, and the diesel comes mated to a 68RFE six-speed automatic. 4WD trucks come with either the NV271 or NV273 transfer cases which are mostly identical except the 273 is shifted electrically. Coil springs up front and leaf springs in back support the solid axles at each end of the truck. NEW LOOKS, NEW FEEL All-new sheetmetal not only freshens the Ram HD models and sets them apart from the competition, it also gives them a look that’s different, by small degrees, than the 1500 series Dodge pickups. Grille, hood and bumper details separate the smaller trucks from the large ones. Chiseled, angular-looking lines carry on the familiar Dodge styling cues. Other details like the new dual-wheel fenders that are stamped integrally with the bed metal and the tailgate with the aerodynamic upped edge lend interesting styling touches. A totally upgraded interior surrounds the driver with every possible luxury and electronic convenience. Bench seats, crank-down manual windows and such are still available on the base-model ST truck, but higher-end vehicles include extra-nice bucket seats and all the amenities. Details and appointments vary widely with trim levels, of course, but buyers can option their rigs all the way up to twotone upholstery with full-width contrast

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHRYSLER CORPORATION

POWERTRAINS FOR PUNCH A 5.7-liter hemi gasoline engine is standard and produces 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Updated technologies including variable-valve timing, an increased compression ratio, improved cylinder-head airflow efficiency, reduced-restriction exhaust and intake systems and an active intake manifold with long and short runners for low-end torque and high-end power add up to a smooth, strong and efficient powerplant. By far the most popular engine in this segment is the Cummins 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine that’s rated at 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Cummins is standard on 3500-series trucks and available on 2500 models. A diesel particulate filter plus an absorber catalyst allow the Cummins engine to meet the stringent 20101⁄2 50-state diesel-emission standards. Dodge offers three transmissions, starting with the standard G56 six-speed

Page 35

TRAILER LIFE February 2010 35

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034-TL1002 FD-Dodge Ram LO

12/8/09

9:34 AM

Page 36

DODGE RAM 2010

stitching on the dash, polished metal and/or woodgrain finish accents. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel plus automatic climate control ensure comfort for those in cold climates. Entertainment options include everything up to AM/FM/CD/DVD/navigation/MP3 with Sirius satellite radio and a nine-speaker surround sound system with subwoofer. There’s also a Uconnect phone option, and a back-seat DVD player with a built-in TV. Although totally up to date, the interior still has that truck-type styling many buyers want. The vehicle controls and instruments are no-nonsense and smartly done. Squared-off elements avoid the organic, rounded lines popular in passenger cars. Even the most macho guy should feel suitably accommodated in the new Ram HD models. ON THE ROAD, IN TOW Part of our media introduction included drive time, and that gave us the chance to haul two different-size trailers. One was a 35-foot Starcraft Autumn Ridge 329BHU that weighed about 7,900 pounds, according to Starcraft manufacturer specifications, and the other was a fifth-wheel that clocked the scale at 16,500 pounds, a respectable load. Both trailers were hauled with Cummins-powered trucks, the first a 3500 single-rear-wheel and the second a 3500 dually. As we sat warming the engine for a few minutes, it was hard to imagine this was a diesel-powered truck. It’s so incredibly quiet and smooth that even the most antidiesel-clatter diehard might be moved in spirit. We launched down the road and it’s not until you call for acceleration or a hill climb that the gutsy nature of the Cummins power plant makes itself known. Between the engine compartment sounddeadening material and the engine design, the power plant makes itself known but in a smooth, refined manner. According to the Dodge media information, the new truck has a “greatly improved ride,” but I didn’t notice. It’s a heavy-duty pickup. Road bumps are bumps, the suspension feels like a truck, and driving the Dodge is like driving any competitive rig of this size.

At the same time, the seats are as good as any at supporting and comforting the truck occupants. Lateral support and overall padding seem just about right. The new integrated trailer-brake control is smooth and delivers well-balanced stopping power with a good mix of truck and trailer brakes. Although based on an inertia-type sensor instead of a brake-pedalpressure sensor, the unit is precise, smooth and offers a wide range of adjustment. A Dodge spokesman stated the integrated brake control is not compatible with the various electric-over-hydraulic brake systems now used on some larger RV trailers. If your fifth-wheel, for example, has hydraulic-actuated disc brakes and

you’ve been using a conventional aftermarket brake control in your tow rig, you may need to consider another brand of new tow vehicle unless a supplier produces some kind of adapter for use with such trailer-brake systems. We carved the curves and grades of two-lane back roads near a Texas Hill Country lake, and the smaller and larger trailers followed the truck in civilized fashion. The smaller trailer barely held us back and we crested the hills at near-roadspeed when traffic allowed. Transmission downshifts are controlled by a shift-lever-mounted rocker switch but the system has safeguards to avoid over revving the engine. If you choose third gear and are traveling too fast for that selection, the transmission will only shift down when the vehicle speed has slowed enough to safely engage that gear. Then the system will hold that gear until you manually re-engage a higher selection. The exhaust-brake system uses variable

vane adjustment in the turbocharger instead of the more common butterfly-type exhaust flow restriction setup used by aftermarket hardware. We kicked in the exhaust brake, manually downshifted the transmission to third gear, and cruised easily to the bottom of a 6-percent hill at about 40 mph. Even with the transmission in Drive, the exhaust brake engaged and helped us slow every time we took our foot off the throttle and applied the service brakes. It’s a good feeling to have that kind of backup aboard. With the heavier 16,500-pound trailer tagging along things turned more interesting on the hills. We topped a short but steep 7-percent grade in second gear at 28 mph turning about 2,500 rpm. Downhill we manually shifted down to third gear and averaged about 52 mph pushing 3,300 rpm, but we were gradually slowing, so a more protracted mountain-type grade might have had us slowing even more. The Ram handled the heavier trailer in stride. Slowing upgrade in the hills is expected and the exhaust brake performed admirably in the downgrade. Our test drives weren’t long enough to draw any solid fuel-economy conclusions. However, towing the smaller Starcraft trailer, we noted the onboard computer indicated 11.8 mpg on a fairly level freeway stretch at 55 mph. THE PRICE OF ADMISSION The Dodge spokespersons took great pains to let us know the company has held the line on prices, and in some cases, comparable models are less costly than last year’s vehicles. Due to the huge model range, prices will be all over the map, but by way of example, a 2500 regular cab ST 2WD with an 8-foot box and 5.7-liter Hemi engine is base priced at $28,165, or $1,970 lower than the 2009 model. A 2010 crew cab 2500 SLT 4WD with the 6-foot 4-inch box has a starting price of $39,430 msrp, or $40 less than the 2009 quad cab. The race is on, and the new heavy-duty Ram truck offerings from Dodge provide an interesting new batch of competitors in the RV heavy-towing arena. q Dodge, (800) 423-6343, www.dodge.com

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037-TL1002 Suspension Upgr

12/8/09

9:22 AM

Page 37

SUSPENSION UPGRADES

Y

IT’S WHAT’S UNDERNEATH THAT COUNTS! by Ken Freund

ve finally hitched up the new trailer, loaded ily and gear aboard and breathed a sigh elief. But as you pull out of the driveway your shakedown trip, the undercarriage scrapes loudly as it digs into the pavement. Going down the road, the suspension wallows precariously, headlights point skyward, and the vehicle bottoms out on every dip. This is nature’s way of telling you the vehicle’s suspension is not up to task. Our toys — like some of us — have gotten larger and heavier than ever before. Most stock suspensions favor ride co omf m ort over maximum hauling capab bililit ityy an nd as a a res e ult, many ve ehicl hiicles cle tend to ride low and have poorr h ha a and ndlililing nd ng whe en fu fulllly llly lo l ad a ed.

SAFETY AND COMFORT Heavy loads combined with weak suspension often leads to difficulty steering and controlling the vehicle, increased tire and shock wear and other problems. Not only can this be uncomfortable, it can be damaging and unsafe. Before investing in suspension modifications, you should weigh your fully loaded tow vehicle and compare the numbers with the manufacturer’s ratings, especially if it is riding low when loaded. All vehicles are engineered for a peak capacity called the gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr). The gvwr is how much weight a vehicle is designed to carry and includes the net weight of the vehicle, plus weight of passengers, fuel, cargo, accessories and hitch or o pin weight applied by a trailer. A vehicle’s gross axle weight rati ra ting ti ng ((ga gawr ga wr), wr ) determined by the manufacturer, is the maximum alllowa al lowa w ble we weig ight ig h ttha ht h t can be ha b placed on an individual axle. Using Us g a cco omm mmer e cciial truck scale, drive the loaded tow vehier cle cl e with tra r ililerr ((or o cam or ca pe er) onto o the platform, first with the front axxle e, and an nd ta take ake e a rea ead ding. ding di ng g. Comp Co omp m are it to the front axle gawr. Then pulll for pu for orwa wa ard u unt ntill b nt bot o h fr ot fron ont an and d re rea ar a ar axles are on the scale. Take a re rea ading ad adin in ng an and d su ubt b ra r ctt the the e fro ont nt axl xle le we weig ight ig ht from it. This is your re ear a axl axle le we weight ht;; cco ht omp mpar are e it to th t e re rear a g ar gaw awrr. If you us u e a commerc me merc rcia i l sc scal ale e wi with th a mul ulti lti t -sseg egment pla latf tffor o m yo you um ma ay be b a abl b e to get al ge a l of o tthe h se he e rea eadi dn di ng gs att o onc nce nc e beca be eca c us use th the e scal ale e re reco cord rds the rd we eig ight ght hts fo or ea each ch seg segm mentt. Th ment The he in info form fo rm mat atio i n th io hen n wililll be on the prin pr inte ted te d da data ta sh he eet et yyou ou reccei eive fro rom m the th he we w ig ighm hmas hm asste t r. Fina Fi n lllly, na y, pul u l tth he whol he wh hol ole e tr truc uckk a an nd tr trai aile ai le er on o to o the he pllattfo plat f rm and d tak ake a re ead din ing. ng. g. Com ompa mpare pa are thi hiss to t the grro g osss co omb m in inat nat atio ion io n we weig ight ht rattin ing g (g (gcw cwr) cw r),, wh r) whic ich h is de etter ermi miine ed by by tthe h man he nuf ufac a ac ture tu rer to o be th he ma axi ximum m weig eight ht of a lo oad aded ed d tow veh ehii clle and cle an nd its itts at attach atta ach ched ed e d loa oade ed ttrrai rai a le ler. r Thes r. hese he se rat atin i g gss mayy be ma e fou und in th the e driv dr iver’s er s do er oo o mb, orjam glove e bo box, x, own ownerr’s ’s ma anu n al a or from the he manufa facttur urer er.

PHOTO PHO O BY GARY GA Y BOHI GAR BOHINC

TRAILE TRA ILER R LIFE LIFE Feb Februa ru ry 201 2010 0 37

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037-TL1002 Suspension Upgr

12/8/09

9:22 AM

Page 38

Tires have maximum weight ratings marked on the sidewalls. These are based on maximum inflation pressure, and there are separate ratings for single- and dualtire applications. A vehicle should never be loaded beyond the manufacturer’s listed maximum gawr, gvwr, gcwr or tire ratings. If it is overloaded, you may have to carry less water or cargo, upgrade the tow vehicle, get a lighter trailer or camper — or go on a diet! COMPONENTS The suspension system includes springs or torsion bars and shock absorbers, as well as sway bars and other components that connect the vehicle to its wheels. Understanding what these major components do is important if you intend to get the most from them. Springs (or torsion bars) support the vehicle’s weight and compress and extend to allow the suspension to flex and react to impacts such as bumps. Keeping the vehicle at (or reasonably near) stock ride height means you maintain the designed travel before the suspension stop hits the frame and bottoms out, which translates into a smoother ride. When the ride height of a vehicle is changed from stock, the angles of the U-joints and driveshaft(s) also change, which leads to problems of wear and vibration. Therefore, your goal should be leveling the vehicle — both side-to-side and front-to-rear. The “spring rate,” which is measured in pounds per inch of compression, determines how firm the ride is and how much it will sink when weight is added. Springs with a higher rate will not compress as much from a given weight as “lighter” springs. It is important to note that heavier or “helper” springs don’t increase loadcarrying capacity and you should never exceed the vehicle’s recommended ratings. To determine how much ride height changes with load, measure the vehicle height. Using a tape measure, record the distance from the ground to the middle of each wheel well, directly above the axle centerlines. Do this before and after loading and hitching and compare the changes. Weight-distributing hitches should be used with heavy travel trailers, but cannot be used with fifth-wheels, so stiffer springs or air bags may be needed to level the truck.

on the primary stage when the vehicle is unloaded and additional support when the secondary stage is employed. If the vehicle rides slightly too low, aftermarket add-on leaves are available that can be bolted onto the existing spring. Heavier replacement springs are also widely available from spring shops. Variations in leaf width, number and thickness tailor the spring to the load.

COIL SPRINGS Coils, wound from heavy steel wire, are the simplest and most common type of springs. The coils vary in length and number of spirals. Replacement coils are available with variable rates, thicker metal for heavier loads and longer lengths. Variablerate coil springs provide a changeable rate of resistance to help reduce sway and sag.

LEAF SPRINGS Leaf springs are typically used on the rear (and sometimes front) of heavier trucks, as well as on the front of many lighter fourwheel drives with solid axles. Leaf springs typically use several layers of metal leaves bound together, so they operate as a unit. Two-stage leaf packs offer a smoother ride

TORSION BARS Torsion bars — which are often used with independent front suspensions — are straight round bars connected to the vehicle’s frame at one end and the suspension’s lower control arm at the other. They use the twisting property of steel along the bar’s length as a spring force. Torsion bars can be adjusted within a certain range to raise or lower the ride height, and some aftermarket products are available for vehicles equipped with them.

AIR BAGS/ AIR SPRINGS Many of today’s trucks and SUVs are built with softer suspensions to provide a

38 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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037-TL1002 Suspension Upgr

12/8/09

9:22 AM

smooth, comfortable ride, which makes accessories such as air springs (also known as air bags) suitable products to help control heavy loads. Air springs have become a popular way to keep vehicles level with varying loads, such as trailers and slide-in campers, without having to install stiff metal springs. Air allows adjustment by varying inflation, and can improve both ride quality and stability. Air springs install between the frame and the axle to support the load. They’re available for both coil and leaf-spring suspensions and can often be mounted inside existing coil springs. Kits are offered in varying capacities and tailored to specific vehicles, making installation considerably easier. Accessories are also available to inflate and deflate the bags with a push of a button from the interior of your vehicle. There’s also a new product called SumoSprings, from SuperSprings Company that looks and performs like an airbag without being inflated with air. It’s one more option in the auxiliary-support aftermarket product line.

SHOCK ABSORBERS Shock absorbers control spring oscillation, or vehicle bouncing. When the shock extends or retracts, an internal piston moves through hydraulic fluid, which is forced through specifically sized holes to resist movement. A shock’s resistance to being pushed in is called compression damping and resistance to being extended is called rebound damping. Shocks are available with adjustable

Page 39

valving that can tailor operation, for extra control when hauling and softer ride when solo, and even remote controls to adjust them from the dash. Heavy vehicles and those driven on rough roads may benefit from multiple or heavy-duty aftermarket shock absorbers because they resist fade, which occurs when the shock’s oil overheats. Standard factory shocks are often smaller in diameter and contain less oil than heavy-duty aftermarket units, so they can’t handle heat as effectively. If your rig wallows it’s time for an upgrade. Many people mistakenly think that shock absorbers support weight and prevent sagging. This is only true when the shocks have air bladders (air shocks) or have coil springs wrapped around them. Adding air shocks or coil-over shocks can help a sagging condition, but it can also overload the shock mounts if they aren’t up to the task; check this before purchasing items. SUSPENSION BUSHINGS Suspension arms that pivot as the wheels move up and down usually run on rubber, polyurethane or nylon bushings. As they wear, vibration starts to creep in and the suspension has extra movement from the worn bushings. As a result, handling and tire wear suffer. Polyurethane bushings are generally stiffer and more durable than the rubber bushings and are popular for replacement.

ANTI-SWAY BARS Here’s another oft-misunderstood item. Anti-sway bars — or sway bars for short — use a steel bar connected to the outer portion of the suspension with links that have rubber bushings. “Sway” bars don’t do much for swaying and don’t stiffen the ride going straight, but do help resist leaning in corners. As such, a “sway bar” would be more accurately known as an “anti-roll bar” or “roll bar” for short. Such bars come in different diameters — the thicker they are, the more effective they are. Adding stiffer sway bars is especially

helpful with tall slide-in campers, which have high centers of gravity.

STEERING STABILIZERS, ETC. A steering stabilizer is essentially a shock absorber for the steering system, and some four-wheel drive vehicles come from the factory with them. Steering stabilizers dampen jolts and wheel shimmying from rough roads or potholes and help stop the steering wheel from shaking back and forth. Aftermarket kits are recommended if you have oversize tires, or if your vehicle shimmies after hitting bumps, crossing railroad tracks or in other similar situations. There are also track bars and steering-box stabilizers that can reduce wandering and improve steering control. IN CLOSING Qualified technicians should service steering and suspension components. RV shops, truck-spring shops and four-wheel drive centers are good resources for parts and installation. Always inspect the vehicle after modifications and gradually increase speeds only after determining that the vehicle drives safely. q Air Lift (air springs),(800) 248-0892, www.airliftcompany.com. BD Diesel Performance (Dodge trac bars, steering-box stabilizers), (800) 8775030, www.bddieselperformance.com. Bilstein (shocks), (858) 386-5900, www.bilstein.com. Edelbrock (shocks), (310) 781-2222, www.edelbrock.com. Firestone (Ride-Rite air springs), (800) 888-0650, www.ride-rite.com. Hellwig (sway bars, air springs, compressors), (800) HELLWIG, www.hellwigproducts.com. Koni (shocks), (859) 586-4100, www.koni-na.com. Monroe (shocks, air shocks), (734) 3847809, www.monroe.com. Rancho Suspension (shocks, springs, steering stabilizers), (734) 384-7804, www.gorancho.com. SuperSprings, (800) 898-0705, www.supersprings.com. TRAILER LIFE February 2010 39

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Underwritten by Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. Available in most states and situations. Emergency Vacation Expense Coverage is subject to policy terms, and is not available for all vehicles and coverage selections. ©2008 Progressive Casualty Insurance Company. 08D00254 (07/08)

040-TL02 PG 40 PROGRESSIVE

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041-TL1002 Brake Controlle

12/8/09

9:31 AM

Page 41

DON’T SKIMP ON THIS VITA AL SAFETY COMPONENT

W

by Ken Freund

ther you have a h-wheel or conntional travel trailan electric-brake control is certainly among the most crucial items you need to tow your RV safely. Yet too often they are purchased on price alone, or retained just because one came with a used tow vehicle. The primary purpose of a trailer-brake controller is to match the trailer’s deceleration rate to that of the towing vehicle, which if done well results in better braking efficiency, improved handling, shorter stopping distances and reduced brake wear. To accomplish this, trailer-brake controllers must supply varying amounts of power to a trailer’s brakes depending on the rate of deceleration. Although this seems straightforward, there are many brands, models, features and qualities of brake controls on the market. While they come in a few basic designs, not all are equivalent. Let’s take a closer look.

TIME-DELAY-ACTIVATED Time-Delay-Activated (TDA) controls are the smallest and simplest type, they can be mounted at any angle and are generally lowest in price. They’re mainly popular with occasional users for light trailers and short hauls and are the only type that is not proportional to the rate of tow-vehicle brake application. Activated by pressing the tow vehicle’s brake pedal, a TDA unit provides power to trailer brakes via a circuit that ramps up voltage, based simply on how long the pedal is applied. A delay occurs between the time when the brake pedal is applied and when the unit reaches the preset maximum power output. This delay can be adjusted with the sync switch on most TDA controls, but it will work the same on every stop. Set it too low and the tow rig does most of the initial braking. Set the sync too high and the trailer will be braking harder than the tow vehicle. As a result, either the tow vehicle or trailer will be doing most of the stopping, causing uneven brake wear and possibly

TRAILER LIFE February 2010 41

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041-TL1002 Brake Controlle

12/8/09

9:31 AM

longer stopping distances. Also with most TDA controls, if the controller is set aggressively when towing with the hazard flashers on, the flashers will pulse the trailer brakes. A pulse prev preventer enter can isolate the control from the e fla flasher shers,, bu but is not needed on vehicles les with sep separate arate bulbs for the stop and d tu turn rn ssigna gnals. s. Examples: Dra Draw-Tit -Tite e Ac Activat ivator, or, P Pod od & Pilot; Hayes Enga ngage ge & Syn Synchro chronize nizer, r, Hi Hidden den Hitch Power wertrac rac; Ho Hopki pkinss Impu mpulse se and Brakeforce rce; Re Reese se Brak rakema eman; n; TTekon konsha sha Pinnacle,, Powe P wertra trac an and dP Pilot; ot; Valle alleyy Jo Journe urney. y. HYDRAULIC-OVER-ELECTRIC The he orig rigina nal ty types es of b brak rake co contr ntrols ls use sed hydra hy raulic lic pre ressu sure and d a var ariabl ble re resisto stor to crea eate e an n ele lectri ricall sign gnall to o the t e trai ailerr brake br kes.. The hese e re requi uired d a bra brake e lin ine plum umbe bed into in o the t em mas asterr ccylin linder er. Th The in introodu uctio on of AB ABS brakkess and a d oth therr cons c nside deration ons brou ughtt the eir extin nctio ion. One of th On he ne newe er de esig gns is Ma MaxB Brake ke, a hydrraulilic-ov overr-elec ectricc con ontro ol tha hat usess an ellectr troniic press ssure re se enso or in nsta alled d att the e to ow vehiicle’ e’s mastter cylin nderr to mon onito or ve ehicle e bra rake e pre essu ure.. There is no hydrraullic brakke line to ru un in nto the veh hicle e cab b an nd th he senssor doe esn’’t afffectt AB BS brakkes. A micrroproccesssor convvertts th he senssor’s ’s sig gna al intto prop porttiona al volta age e to the e tra ailerr bra akess. MaxB Brakke iss de esig gned d for or ea asy insttalla ation n off the e pre ressu ure sen nsorr witthou ut any spec eciall too ols and also o ca an workk witth ai air br brake es. INERTIA-ACTIVATED/PROPORTIONAL Bes eside es th the sy syste temss men entio oned ed pre revio ously ly, there th re are ar tw two o maj ajorr type t pes of el elect ctroni nicbra rake e-for orce det etecti tion: n: ine nertia tia-ac activa vated ed (also (a so kno nown wn ass p pend ndulu ulum) m) and and prop roport ortiona onal (ac accele elerom omete ter ba based) ed). Th The ine inertia tia-act activat vated d contr co ntrol e empl ploys ys a pe pendu ndulum um that tha move ves in rela lation on to the he tow ow ve vehicl cle’ss d dece celera eration on and de delive iverss a pro propor portion onall volta v ltage e ssigna gnal to the tra trailer er brak rakes. s. Mos ost ine inertia tia-act activate ated controls nee need to be m mou ounted ted fair fairlyy level, level, a although they in includ ude ea easyy a adjus justme mentt feafea tures for off-level vel inst nstallat llations ons, the theyy pe perr form best on level roa roads. ds. An e excep xception tion is Tekonsha’s Prodigy contro ntrol, l, w which ich can be mounted in any position. Examples: Draw-Tite Pinnacle; cle; Hidd Hidden n Hitch Omnitrac; Reese Digitrac II; Tekonsh onsha a Prodigy and Voyager. The latest generation of proportionalbrake controls use accelerometers (instead

Page 42

of pendulums) ms) to o meas measure ure the rate of ttow vehicle cle braking braking, and then th hen app apply ply an e equivaquivalentt amount len amount o off braki braking ng to tthe he trail trailer. er. Theyy are ar e kno known wn fo forr quic quickk reaction reaction an and d smooth smoo oth stoppin st opping. g. In situat situations ons where where th the he tow vvehicle’s e’s brakes b akes are sl slamme ammed d on, a proportionpropo ortional con controlle trollerr wil will immediate immediately ly sen send d maximax mum preset preset pow power wer to the trailer’ trailer’ss brak brakes. es. Propo roportion rtional al ac accelero eleromete meters rs typically typ cally n need eed to be mounted mounted close to level level to work properly, ly, and and some some need to be calib calibrated rated. Propo roportio rtional al ccontro ntrolss are pop popular ular fo for or heavi avierr ttraile ailerss becau because se they hey deliv deliver er smoot sm ooth braking br king and are able to d detect tect the he differe dif erence ce betw etween een grad gradual ual decelerat dece eration, on, like ke slow slowing ing for traff raffic, c, an and dm maxim ximum um sstopopping ng pow ower er rrequi quired ed w when hen em emerge rgency cy b brakraking.. Howe in H wever ver, wit with ei either her pen pendulu ulum m or o accel elerom romet eterr units u its, iff tthe e ttow w vvehic ehicle e can’t c n’t gett e enou ough gh trac action on to o sslow w dow own su sufficie ficientntlyy to ffully ly act ctivate ate th the co contro troller er, the trai trailer er brak akess wo on’tt b be a appl plied d suf ufficie ciently tly. Th This might mi ht ha appe pen on ice, ic snow ow, wet le leave aves or sand d, or iff the t e tow w ve ehicl cle’ss bra akess fail ail, in n whi hich casse th he manu nuall ove errid de sh shou uld be em mplo oyed d. Exa amp ples: s: Brrake eSm mart; t; Drraww-Tite e In nte ella-Sto op Ultrra; Hayyes G2, Ge ene esis,, En ndeavvor, Ene ergizze III and En nerg gize e XPC C; Henssle ey TrruCo ontrrol Gold d and d Siilverr; Te ekon nsha a P3 3, Prrimu us and Prod odigy gy; Valley Va ey Od Odysssey. y. FACTORY-INSTALLED Ford Fo d intr trodu duced ed its ts Tow owCo Comm mand nd Sy Syste tem in 2005 05. It wa was th the in indus ustry’ ry’s fir firstt facto factoryyinsta in talled ed ele lectro ronic ic trai ailerr b brak ake co contro troller er. This his pro propo portion onal al syste s stem m iinclu cludes es a sp specia cial trailer tra er-bra brake e sstrat rategy gy whe when n th the e tr truck’s ck’s ABS syste stem m iis activa ac ivated ed. Bot Both hG Gener neral al M Motor otors and nd Do Dodge ge are re now ow offe offering ing simi similar ar option optional fact actoryry-insta stalled led bra brake e co contro ntrol sys systems tems. The e Ford F rd mod odell uses us s a sens ensor or in the truck uck’s brake ake sys system tem to p provi rovide de th the e pr proport oportional ional trail railerr br brakin aking g action ac ion, while whi e the the GM and Dodge Dod ge system systems ms us use e ine inertiartia-based based sens sensors. ors. REMOTE-ACTIVATION One of tthe he la latest est ccontro ontrol ol typ types es com combines mbines proportio prop ortional nal ccontro ontroll alon along g with h remo remote te activation tiva on tto o the traile railer via w wireles reless com communiunication. cati n. There’s T ere’s a rem remote-c ote-contro ontrol hand unit nit and a trail trailer-mo er-mounted unted powe powerr module. modu ule. This iss a good go ood so solutio olution n for multiple multiple tow vehicles vehicles with one one tra trailer, ler, ass no un under-da der-dash sh wirin wiring ng is necess ecessary, ary, th the he cab unit ssimply imply plugs p into intt the cigarette rette llighter ghter o or powe power er outlet. outlett Two examples ples are e Tekon Tekonsha’s sha’s Prodigy Pro odigy

42 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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041-TL1002 Brake Controlle

12/8/09

9:31 AM

Page 43

RF a and Dra Draw-Tite’ w-Tite’ss I-Sto I-Stop p RF electronic brake control controls. s. Thei Theirr adjustable adjustable “Boo “Boost” feature eature provides providess different different lev levels els of brakin braking. g The e system systems ms run ccontin continual ual dia diagnos gnostics ics and and display displ ay fault fault code codess in th the e han handheld dheld unit unit’s display. display y. No level level ad adjustm justment ent is nece necessary ssary, and nd they’re theyy’re rat rated ed for any ttrailer railer with up tto three thr ee brak braking king ax axles. les. Draw-Tite Intella-Stop Xtreme

Hayes G2

Hensley TruControl Gold

Tekonsha P3

Valley Odyssey II

ELECTRIC-OVER-HYDRAULIC Some ome trailer trailerss hav have e hyd hydrauli raulicc bra brakes, kes, ofte often with w th di discc bra brakes kes on n the the ax axles, es, a and nd TTitan tan’s BrakeRite BrakeRit e II iis des designe gned d for thes these e ap applic plicaa tions, tion s, althou al hough gh m many any conv convent entiona onal afteraft rma ket-brake marketrake con controls ols also lso work wor with wi th these se systems. Usi systems Using ge exter ternal-c al-cont ontrol ol mod modules les for sspeci pecificc a applic plicatio ations, s, this t is ssyst ystem m iinco corporates an porates na accele celerom romete eter to app pply th the tra traill er b brake rakess in pro proport ortion on to o tthe e tow t w veh ehicle. le. The in Th in-cab ab ma manua ual overrid ov ride is tra ransm smitte tted by rad radio o ffrequ equen encyy tto th the co contr ntroll m mod odule le mounted mou ted on the he trai railer. r. This his progra programm mmab ble con ontrol ollerr is p powe wered ed by the he inn-cab ab po ower er ou let or ciga outle garet ette llight hter. Ot er bra Other rake e con ontro ols, hard rd-w wired d int nto the ttow th w rig g and d co onne ecte ed to th he trraile er viia th he u usua al seve se en-p pin p plug g, a also o wo ork with w h th hese e ele ectriic-o overr-hyd drau ulic bra akess. AIR-ACTUATED-ELECTRIC An aiir-acctua A ated d-ele ectri ric tra raile er-brrake e con ontro ol allo owss elec ectric ic tra railer er brrake es to o op pera ate iin co uncti conjun tion nw with th a ttow w rig g’s a air-b brakke sy syst m. When tem Wh n the he bra rake e ped edal iis ap applilied,, the e el ctric tra electr trailer er bra rakes es are re act ctuate ated in pro ropo ortion to the he tow ow veh ehicle le’s br brake ke applic ap icatio ion. Examples: Examp es: Hay ayess m mod odell 1004 1 0400B 0B an and MaxBrak MaxB ake. OTHER THINGS TO KNOW Many mod Many models els come c me with dig digital al displ d splays, ys, direct ect p plug-i lug-in n capab capability ity via ia the the facto actory-i ry-installed stalle d pigt pigtail ail in the tow tow rrig, g, d diagn agnostic stics an and self-adjustmen self-adjus mentt featur features. es. Ter Termino minology ogy variess consider varie considerably ably betw between een bran brands ds a and d it is ssometi metimes mes difficu d fficultt to disce iscern nw wheth etherr a unit un it is time-ba time-based, sed, or us uses es a pend pendulum ulum m or accelero cceleromete meter for a activat ctivation. on. TThere herefore, ore, vererify this befor before e purc purchase hase. All ccontro ontrolss are required quire d to ha have ve a m manua anual overr override de sw switch witch that hat can be use used ed to ap apply pply th the e trai trailer er brakes brakes iindendependent endently ly of th the e tow vvehicl vehicle e to st stop op sw sway. way. Brake B rake con controls ntrols ccome ome in differ different ent am ampere mpere current curre ent ratin ratings gs that equat equate e to th the e num number ber o of axles ax les they can po power. wer. No Not ot all m magnet agnetss draw the he sam same curre currentt and not ot al all trailers traile have magnets magn ets on al alll axles. A typica typical brake magnet

requires between 2 and 5 amps at full power; multiply by two for the axle and multiply that by the number of axles with brakes. Except for re remote units, most types have similar wiring configurations. wirin con Break reakawa away controls, which are required in n most most st states ates and Canada, automatically apply pply the elec electric tric brak brakes if the trailer becom omess discon di connect ected d fr from m tthe tow vehicle. A conn onnectin ecting g ca cable ble ffaste stened ed to o th the tow vehicle pulls a pin p n ou out of a tra trailerer-mou mounted ted switch in the he brea reak-aw k-away ay ssyste ystem ma and nd tthis is dire rects battery pow power wer to o the the el electr ctric br brake kes to stop top the ru awayy tr runaw traile iler. Ma Make ke sure ure you your rig ha has on one. Supp upplier iers: Curt C rt Man Manufa ufactu turing ng; Dr DrawwTite; te; Hop Hopkin kins; Hidde H den H Hitch ch; Tow Re Ready dy; et etc. T konsh Teko sha o offers ers its ts 7-W -Way ay Trai ailerr Emu mulato tor too ool that th t is us used d tto ve verify fy pro roper er ins nstalllat ation on and nd se setup up off a br brake ke co ontro rol w when na trail ailer is not no av availa lable le. Br Brake ke-co ontro rol se setup up iss acc ccom mplisshed ed ussing gab builtt-in lload ad mo mod-ule e tha hat ssimu ulate tes e elecctricc-ma magn net ttraililer b kes.. The brak e em mula atorr willll alsso ch check ck ele lectrrical co ca ontin inuit ity of alll circcuits ts in the e sevven--way ay bla lade e-styyle plu ug co onn necttor. TThe e co omp panyy alsso ssellss te este ers tthatt ca an a assisst in n trrou-ble esho ooting b brakke-cconttrol sysstem ms. q Bra ake econ ntro ollerr.com m, (800 ( 0) 86 66-3 333 36, ww ww..bra akecconttrolller.ccom m. Br ke-Co Brake Contr trolle lerss-US SA, (866 ( 6) 3 308-9 -905 59, w w.bra www rake e-co ontro ollerrs-u usa.c .com m. Cam mpin ing W Worrd, (888 (8 8) 62 626-7 -757 76, www.Cam www.C mpin ingW World rld.co com.. C rt Ma Curt Manuf ufactu cturin ing, (800 ( 00) 73 738-7 -7213 13, www.curtm www.c rtmfg fg.com om. D aw-Ti Draw Tite,, (800 ( 00) 63 632-3 -3290 90, www.draw www.d aw-tit tite.co com. m. Hay ayess Brak B ake Co Contr ntrolle ller Co., Co , (800 ( 00) 88 8821204, ww 1204 www.h w.haye yesbc bc.com om. Hensley, Hensle y, (800 ( 00) 410 410-65 6580, 80, www.hensl www.he nsleym ymfg.c g.com. m. Hidd idden en Hitc itch,, (800) (800) 632 632-32 3290, 0, www ww.hid iddenh enhitch tch.com com. Hopkins Hopk ns M Man anufac facturin uring, g, (800 ( 00) 52 524-1458, www.hopk www.h opkinsm nsmfg.c fg.com om. M xBrake, MaxBr ake, (33 (337)) 54 542-4 2-4050 50, www.maxb www.m axbrake ake.com om. Reese Prod Reese roducts cts Inc. nc., (800) 632-3290, ww www.re ww.reesep eseprod rod.com. Tekonsha, Tekons ha, ((800) 632-3290, w w.tekonsha.com. www.te Titan Distribution Inc., (800) 832-8781, Ti www.titandist.com. Valley Industries, (209) 368-8881, www.valleyindustries.com. TRAILER LIFE February 2010 43

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044-TL02 PG 44 AGI EVENTS

12/8/09

9:20 AM

Page 44

22809E

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12/8/09

9:32 AM

Page 45

PHOTOS BY CHRIS HEMER

045-TL1002 Super Steer LO

TAKE THE

SWAY Y AWAY

SUPERSTEER AND ROADMASTER COMPONENTS DESIGNED TO IMPROVE HANDLING AND DRIVER CONFIDENCE by Chris Hemer

The SuperSteer No. SS725 Trac Bar fits most full-size domestic trucks, as well as the the Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra. Consisting of 5⁄ 2-inch thick mild tube steel and 3⁄ -inch plate steel, all components are powdercoated for rust resistance (new versions are black). The bar itself features an adjustable end to suit various applications, and all hardware is Grade 8 and Grade 5. SuperSteer also offers an extension kit for use on lifted trucks.

T

owing a trailer or hauling a camper can add so many great things to the road-trip experience — but unfortunately, good handling isn’t one of them. All of the added weight can leverage the rear of the vehicle, causing sway that can contribute to instability. With a camper in particular, the high center of gravity can cause excessive lean around corners and on crowned pavement. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with such handling maladies. SuperSteer Products, a division of Henderson’s Line-Up in Grants Pass, Oregon, has been building motorhome-specific chassis components for years, and recently began working on a line of products designed to make full-size pickups handle better, too. Key among these new products is SuperSteer’s Trac TRAILER LIFE February 2010 45

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045-TL1002 Super Steer LO

1

12/9/09

9:56 AM

2

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(1) The first step is to attach the axle bracket to the passenger side of the axle housing, and secure it with the supplied U-bolt, nuts and washers. (2) Here, you can see that the axle bracket (right) has been attached to the axle housing, and the frame bracket has been clamped to the frame with the two long 7⁄ 6-inch bolts from the kit. (3) The axle bracket and frame brackets are not fully tightened at this point so they can be positioned properly for the bar. (4) Next, the appropriate adjustment hole in the axle bracket is selected and the Trac Bar is installed.

Bar, which reduces tow vehicle sway by positively locating the rear axle. Ordinarily, the rear leaf springs do an adequate job of keeping the rear axle centered, but when a lot of weight is added to the vehicle, inertia takes over. Entering a turn, or making a rapid steering movement (like an emergency lane change) causes deflection in the leaf springs, allowing the rear axle to move side-to-side and create a “loose-steering” feel. The SuperSteer Trac bar attaches to the vehicle’s frame at one end, and the rear axle housing at the other, preventing the axle from moving side to side but allowing necessary vertical movement. It is the same principle as a Panhard bar used in road racing, but instead of Heim joints, the SuperSteer bar uses urethane bushings. Having recently purchased a Bigfoot camper for my 2006 Dodge 2500 truck, the idea of greater stability definitely appealed to me. With no suspension aids other than a set of air bags, the rig felt decidedly squirmy when driving on twisty, mountain roads. The back felt like it would fishtail each time I entered a turn, making it difficult to get the suspension settled and choose a line through the turn. SuperSteer assured me the Trac Bar could cure this problem, so I traveled to Grants Pass from my home in the Seattle area to check it out.

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The route to Grants Pass involves quite a bit of mountainous driving, and I took careful note of how the truck and camper handled on the way there, knowing that the Trac Bar would be in place for the journey back home. I found that, in most instances, I could take a corner at the recommended speed, but certainly no faster than that. There could be a lesson here: Drive at the posted speed limit and not faster, and you’ll feel safer and more comfortable. Upon my arrival at Henderson’s Line-Up, Robert Henderson and his brother John showed me the No. SS725 Trac Bar ($399.95), which fits most full-size domestic trucks, plus the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. It bolts in place with no drilling or welding required, and took John roughly 30 minutes to install. A road test revealed vastly improved steering feel and response out of the rig. The truck rocked somewhat as we exited the driveway, and suggested Henderson’s Motion Control Units (MCUs) to solve that particular problem. MCUs are like tiny baffles that mount on the airline, and prevent the rapid transfer of air between the bags, which can aggravate excessive rocking over uneven pavement. A quick trip back to the shop, and John had the MCUs mounted in less than an hour.

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(9) After testing the Trac Bar for about two months, I returned to Henderson’s Line-Up to have the Roadmaster anti-sway bar installed. The bar is set into position on the mounting points beneath the shock absorber brackets. (10) The supplied hardware is inserted into the bracket. Since the holes are pre-existing, no drilling is required. (11) The nuts are then fully tightened to secure the bar into the urethane bushing. 46 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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045-TL1002 Super Steer LO

5

12/8/09

9:33 AM

Page 47

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(5) The finished Trac Bar installation. Though it may look like the bar is close to the differential from this view, it is actuallyy several inches away and has never made contact with any other components in our testing, even when the suspension has bottomed out. (6) The air bags are optimized by first adjusting their position (we learned they had not been installed properly) and then installing SuperSteer Motion Control Units (MCUs). First, the air line is removed from the quick-disconnect fitting on the air bag, as shown. (7) Two small pieces of similar airline are cut and inserted into either end of the MCU. (8) The MCU is then inserted into the airline. It acts like a baffle that slows the flow into and out of the bags, preventing the rocking motion that is common when driving into and out of driveways, for example.

On the road trip home through the mountains, the improvements became more obvious: The truck handled predictably when entering corners, and I noted that I could easily take them at the recommended speed now. That queasy fishtailing feel was almost completely eliminated. And although the rocking motion was still evident, it did seem like the MCUs dampened it to some degree. When I returned home, I discussed my impressions of the SuperSteer products with Robert Henderson. He said, “If you really want that thing to handle, Roadmaster has a rear antisway bar that makes a huge difference.” Anti-sway bar, huh? I noticed that earlier Dodge trucks had them as factory equipment, but for some reason, my truck didn’t have one. I agreed to return and have Henderson’s Line Up, a Roadmaster authorized dealer, install the new bar and see what it could contribute. Roadmaster’s anti-sway bar for the 2003-’08 Dodge Ram 2500 truck (Part No. 1129-120; $491.46) is made from 11⁄ -inch thick, cadmium-coated chrome-moly steel and comes with all necessary mounting hardware and polyurethane bushings. It’s worth noting here that, according to Roadmaster, each incremental increase in an anti-sway bar’s diameter has an exponential

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effect on performance. On average, torsional roll stiffness is increased by 30 percent with every 1⁄ -inch increase in diameter. Considering my truck had no sway bar, I was looking forward to yet another dramatic handling improvement. I got it. On the trip back home from Grants Pass in Oregon, I noticed that the rig now cornered flatter than before. Lean through the corners was reduced dramatically, and I noticed a big difference when passing 18-wheelers. Before, the bow wave from the semi would not only push my truck away, but would cause it to lean for a moment as I went by. Now, the truck still gets pushed, but the lean is gone — and I find it much easier to stay in my lane and keep control of the vehicle. In summary, I would say that the SuperSteer and Roadmaster products definitely worked as promised, especially when combined. SuperSteer also carries a variety of products for GM and Ford trucks, while Roadmaster has anti-sway bar applications for most popular models as well. q Roadmaster Inc., (800) 669-9690, roadmasterinc.com. SuperSteer Inc., (888) 898-3281, supersteersuperstop.com.

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(12) The sway-bar end links are attached in similar fashion to the Trac Bar frame bracket (background); two long bolts and two pieces of plate steel serve as a clamp. The nuts are then installed and tightened. (13) The sway-bar end link is inserted into the hole in the frame bracket and into the sway-bar end, as shown. (14) The finished installation looks great, and works even better. TRAILER LIFE February 2010 47

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048-TL1002 WT-Raptor LO

12/9/09

NEW FRONT-BATH SURV DESIGNED FOR HIGH-MINDED ADVENTURERS by Kristopher Bunker

10:49 AM

Page 48

T

he first thing you’ll notice on the new Keystone Raptor 21FB is its distinctive V-nose. The enclosed A-frame means the LP-gas cylinders are hidden from sight, allowing you to take in the real beauty of the toy-hauling travel trailer. The next thing you’ll notice is its size: for a smaller (24-foot-5-inch) trailer, it sure seems big. That’s because it is. To add to the cargo area and allow for a full 12 feet of garage to haul your toys, the Raptor measures 8 feet

6 inches wide. Though certainly not unheard of in the industry, the extra width — coupled with the relatively imposing height — lead to a rather intimidating appearance. But once you enter the Raptor, you’ll find the trailer isn’t all about intimidation. The topquality cabinetry and full gamut of appliances offer the SURV a touch of hominess. Sure, the trailer is designed for off-roaders who like to play in the mud, but the interior offers a welcome, clean oasis from the grit and grime of

48 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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048-TL1002 WT-Raptor LO

12/8/09

9:28 AM

Page 49

QUICK INFO EXT LENGTH: 24' 5" EXT WIDTH: 8' 6" EXT HEIGHT: 11' 10" INT HEIGHT: 6' 6" to 7' 8" FRESHWATER CAP: 70 gal BLACK-/GRAY-WATER CAP: 40 gal/ 40 gal LP-GAS CAP: 10 gal HITCH WEIGHT: 1,000 lb GVWR: 11,400 lb MSRP, BASE: $27,045

the great outdoors. The rear of the trailer is reserved for that 12-foot cargo area, which is large enough to hold your toys and then some. The ramp is rated at 2,000 pounds — nothing to sneeze at, but obviously not quite as stout as some of the 3,000pounders we’ve tested before. When the toys are outside, the area transforms into a comfortable living room, complete with dual leather recliners, a jackknife sofa and removable table. Two electric queen bunk beds can be lowered into position to serve as the primary sleeping area. A 22-inch LCD TV and AM/FM/CD/DVD stereo offers the electronic entertainment, though the TV’s location next to the microwave in the galley was less than ideal for this tester, as trying to watch the tube

SOFA

RAMP DOOR

(2) QUEEN BUNK BEDS 60”×80”

CHAIR

CHAIR FRIDGE

while somebody else wants to prepare a meal could lead to some “get outta the way!” moments. An 8-cubic-foot fridge is the perfect size to hold a full weekend’s worth of cold beverages and food. A three-burner range/oven combo and microwave mean the menu can be much more extensive than potato chips and beef jerky. The front of the Raptor houses the real star: the incredibly spacious bathroom. Remember the V-nose construction? Well, that leads to a roomy lavy that runs the entire width of the trailer, with the toilet in one corner, and a large tub/shower tucked in the other. Spanning between the two units is the sizable counter, which is larger here in the privy than in the galley — and even has a cable jack for those “extended stays” in the bathroom. The extra countertop is

TUB & SHOWER

actually a product of the enclosed LP-gas cylinders; the compartment they’re housed in makes for a flat surface ideal for grooming accouterment after a day at the dunes. A cabinet behind the toilet is equally impressive in size, and should easily accommodate your towels, washcloths and the like. The large bathroom almost makes up for the fact that there’s no proper master bedroom ... almost. I found it a bit odd to not have a private area to retire to, but that’s definitely a personal preference. And Keystone says the 21FB is only the beginning of the new Raptor SURV traveltrailer models; as many as five more floorplans should be available soon. q Keystone RV, (574) 535-2100, www.keystonerv.com.

TRA TR T RAILE IL LER L LE LIIFE E Feb Fe rua uary ryy 2 201 01 0 0 49 49

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050-TL1002 RV Clinic LO

12/8/09

9:37 AM

Page 50

RV CLINIC > Advice from our Tech Team

Last March, while spending the season in Florida, I bought a new 2009 38-foot Cardinal fifth-wheel with dual axles. On our trip north in May, whenever I applied the brakes on the trailer I would hear a squealing sound. After I arrived home I had the brakes checked out at a Cardinal dealer, who wasn’t able to find any problem. They changed the brake controller on my truck while I was there, but that didn’t do any good. Could it possibly be the brake pads? Incidentally, I’m towing with a 2004 F-350 single-rear-wheel Ford diesel and had no problems at all towing a 2004 36-foot Cardinal fifth-wheel. Philip Ternullo, Tewksbury, Massachusetts Electric trailer brakes tend to be noisy, because of the way they operate. Instead of a hydraulic cylinder actuating the brake shoes the electrics use an electromagnet that drags on the drum’s surface to provide the actuation force. That’s a steel-onsteel contact area and, naturally, that’s noisy. It can be worse if there’s dust, rust or some other contaminant inside the drums, or if the magnet mating surface inside the drum isn’t smooth. Since your trailer is new, it’s possible some of the wearing-in material from the drums or shoes is present inside the brake drums. Have your dealer clean them and check the magnet surfaces to be sure they’re in good shape. The dealer who sold you a new brake controller as a cure for squealing brakes took a strange approach to addressing the problem. The brake control can be adjusted to provide a variety of braking levels and rates for the trailer. The old brake control would have had to have been defective to be the source of the problem,

PHOTO BY GARY WESCOTT

SQUEALING BRAKES

Since your trailer is new, it’s possible some of the wearing-in material from the drums or shoes is present inside the brake drums.

for example, byy leaking a current to the brakes. The steps detailed e above may be of more use to addressing s your squealing problem. — Jeff Johnston n DRIVELINE ANGULARITY I have a 2002 Dodge 2500 pickup with an automatic transmission and 75,000 miles on it. I use it mainly for towing. It also has the full Banks system with exhaust brake.

Ken Freund

Jeff Johnston

To send your questions to RV Clinic, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA 93001; or e-mail jjohnston@affinitygroup.com or kfreund@affinitygroup.com. No phone calls.

When I’m towing a trailer with about a 900pound pin weight going about 60 or 65 mph with cruise and overdrive and come to a small hill that calls for more power without kicking out of overdrive, I get a vibration from the rear end that comes through the seat. I also have a trailer that has a 1,500-pound pin weight that’s worse, but the truck doesn’t do it when it’s empty. The torque converter was changed and the rear end was checked. I was wondering if the weight is changing the pitch on the driveshaft. Right now, I’m at a loss where to check next. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Elmer Frick, McCook, Nebraska With added trailer weight the rear end squats and the U-joint runs at a steeper angle, causing the vibration. Your best bet is probably to add an aftermarket suspension aid such as air bags to the rear axle to keep the rear of the pickup from sagging as much. Air bags will change the U-joint running angle. — Ken Freund

50 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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050-TL1002 RV Clinic LO

12/8/09

9:37 AM

Page 51

Born Free Motorcoach, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

POWER HICCUPS Over the weekend I had to switch on the air conditioner in my trailer. After about 10 minutes, it stopped. I looked at the electrical box and there are three breakers. One is for the air conditioner, one for the CFI and one for the water heater. The one for the air conditioner has two switches, one marked 30 and the other 20. I tried to reset them, but the 20 switch would not go on. After a while, I closed the other four switches for the other two breakers, and the air conditioner worked without stopping. Can you help me find the problem? Was it the electricity of the campground that was defective, or is it a problem with my trailer’s electrical components? Ronald Larson, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Hensley Manufacturing Inc., go to www.trailerlife.com/info

The problem could be a little of both, but we’d suspect low campground voltage. You didn’t say how old your trailer is, so we can’t make any suggestions based on its equipment age, but we’ll give this a shot anyway. If the campground voltage was low due to heavy demand, old wiring or low grid voltage coming in, it would make your air conditioner’s compressor work harder due to the lower operating voltage. That extra strain would cause more load on the circuit breakers and could make them trip prematurely. You can buy a small portable circuit tester that not only checks the campground voltage, but also verifies proper wiring before you plug in. I’m not sure why the air conditioner would work fine when you shut off the other circuit breakers, unless you had significant 120-volt AC loads on those circuits. If you were also operating several plug-in devices at the same time as trying to use the air conditioner, along with potentially low campground voltage, the load could be causing the circuit breaker activations. Check all your wiring connections and be sure none of the power lines are frayed or damaged to be sure the problem isn’t extra resistance due to bad circuits. — Jeff Johnston GCWR CALCULATIONS I am hoping you can answer some questions about trailer-towing capacities for my 2007 Toyota Tundra Crew Max 2WD. It

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050-TL1002 RV Clinic LO

12/8/09

9:37 AM

Page 52

RV CLINIC

RVT.com, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

has a curb weight of 5,320 pounds and a payload of 1,680 pounds, equaling a gvw rating of 7,000 pounds, and the truck is rated to tow 10,400 pounds. By my calculations, the gcwr should be 17,400 pounds but the owner’s manual says the gcwr is 16,000 pounds. I don’t understand the discrepancy. I called Toyota directly, but the person I spoke with didn’t know the answer. My loaded trailer weighs 10,000 pounds, and I would like to add a cap to the truck that weighs 160 pounds. My concern is overloading the vehicle; if the gcwr is truly 16,000 pounds, then I do not believe I am over 6,000 pounds on the truck only with cargo. I have weighed the truck/trailer combination on a local scale and it’s close to 16,000 pounds. Russ Swanson, Via e-mail The gcwr is not necessarily the maximum loaded weight of the truck plus the maximum trailer weight. It is important to understand that the gcwr is not an actual measurement of the weight of a tow vehi-

cle and a trailer, but rather the combined maximum weight limit that the manufacturer has set for the two vehicles once attached. Therefore in your case you can choose to tow a heavier trailer without a full load in the truck, or tow a lighter trailer to stay within the limit. The primary reason for setting a gcwr for any vehicle is safety. Overloading a tow vehicle or a trailer is dangerous enough. Overload both and you’ve really got a potential problem. Not only is a heavy load difficult to control on the road, but several other components could also be at risk. For example, the braking systems may overheat and fail, reducing or even eliminating the possibility of safely slowing or stopping the combination. The tires may not be able to handle the extra load, potentially causing a blow-out situation. The engine and transmission in the tow vehicle may overheat due to the added strain, causing a mechanical failure. Components within the tow vehicle or trailer’s suspension system could fatigue or even break,

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52 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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12/8/09

9:38 AM

causing you to lose control on the road, so you should never surpass your vehicle’s gcwr. — Ken Freund TOWING-EQUIPMENT NEEDS Shopping for a travel trailer for the first time, I’m confused by what may or may not be required to tow a travel trailer. We are looking at the Evergreen Everlite and will be towing with a 2003 GMC Envoy SLE 4WD with a factory-installed receiver. A few salespeople talk of installing sway-bar packages and load-leveling kits, brake controllers, etc. — the cost of which all are reluctant to quote until the particular trailer is selected. Just what is required to safely tow a trailer? Are all these things necessary? Am I being sold things I require? Don Fry, Clairton, Pennsylvania

Page 53

Silver Series Serro Scotty Worldwide, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

050-TL1002 RV Clinic LO

DRV, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

According to federal law, every trailer in excess of 1,500 pounds needs to have brakes, and unless the model you’re considering has hydraulic surge brakes, you’ll need an electric brake controller. A sway-

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050-TL1002 RV Clinic LO

12/8/09

9:38 AM

Page 54

RV CLINIC

Fisherman’s Cove Resort, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

control device is optional and should be added later if you can’t get your trailer to behave on the road, but a weight-distributing hitch is a good idea. It will be money well spent and should be considered a necessity. It will go a long way toward helping you set up a stable, safetowing lashup. The salespersons probably don’t want to quote a price on the equalizing hitch because there are different models suited for varying trailer weights. Once the trailer size is determined they can help you match the right equalizing hitch to your tow vehicle. — Jeff Johnston REPROGRAMMING THE SPEEDOMETER We have a 2005 Chevrolet HD 2500 pickup. It came equipped with 245/75R16 tires. I changed to 265/75R16 tires, and the DIC is now off — the odometer runs slow, the fuel mileage reading is off, the gallons of fuel used is off, etc. Can the computer be reprogrammed to correct these problems? I called my dealer with this question and

the mechanics said they weren’t sure whether or not it could be corrected. When I asked if any new updates were available, their reply was it would cost about $150 to have the program checked and no guarantees it would help. I called Chevrolet consumer help and was told they haven’t heard of this, but felt you can’t change the settings. Do you have any ideas? Bryce Chapman, Lewiston, Idaho A GM dealer can use the Tech-2 scan tool to tell the PCM what tire size it has. The Tech-2 menu screen should say tire calibration. If the menu does not have the correct tire size, all you do is try to choose the closest tire size in the menu to the nearest circumference, and it should work. You do not need to reprogram the computer. This information is used for the ABS, speedometer, transmission shift points and fuel delivery, so it is important. Many 4WD shops also know how to deal with this, since oversize tires are so common on lifted trucks. — Ken Freund q

And We’re Off... to The Rally — 2010

The Rally, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

Save the Dates: July 22-25, 2010, Louisville, KY Join us for the 11th annual Rally in Louisville – home of Bluegrass music, barbecue and the best horseracin’ in the world. You’ll meet lots of friendly folks; discover insider secrets that make RV travel easier and more enjoyable; find great values on the latest RV gadgets; and tour state-of-the-art RVs of all classes. You’ll also have the chance to explore the rich Southern culture of Kentucky and enjoy its scenic hillsides. This one-of-a-kind event is still the “Greatest RV Rally in the World” and always full of fun for the entire family!

Mark it in your calendar today. Rally Hosts:

877-749-7122 www.TheRally.com

54 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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055-TL1002 Ten-Minute Tech

12/8/09

9:28 AM

Page 55

>10 -MINUTETECH A compilation of tried-and-true tips From RVers >

GETTING LOOPY

STICK IT TO ’EM

>

I needed a way to secure single cabinet doors from opening while we were towing our trailer. I came up with a hook-andloop strap secured from the inside of the cabinet. I sewed a 2-inch piece of hook side to the front (loop) side of the end of a strip of loop material. Once secured with a screw and washer inside the cabinet, I pull the entire strip forward and close the cabinet door on it, leaving enough material (with the hook end sewed on) to wrap around the door handle and secure the end back on itself. When we arrive in camp, we just unhook the straps and tuck them back into the cabinet. Tony Klein, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

When traveling in our RV, we used to just throw our receipts from various purchases into a junk drawer, making them difficult to find later on. Now, we keep an inexpensive office spindle (available at office-supply stores) in the RV and put all of our receipts on it. The receipts are now kept in chronological order, and are easily accessible to compare against credit-card bills and warranties, or to get refunds on returns. Doug Kreitz, Palo Alto, California >

SWAY-BAR STORAGE

We all know the greased ends of sway bars are virtual magnets for dirt and grime when not hooked up. To eliminate this problem, I took a flat piece of iron, bent one end into a U-shape and bolted it onto the trailer frame. When the trailer’s not hitched up, my new brackets keep the bars off the ground. Elam L. and Martha Zook, Gordonville, Pennsylvania

JELLY TIME

We keep our fifth-wheel in Naples, Florida, and have been constantly frustrated by the build-up of ice in the fiver’s freezer due to the hot, humid weather. After years of searching for answers, I finally tried smearing petroleum jelly around the door’s seal. Since then, there hasn’t been any more ice build-up. Tony Ruscio, Reading, Massachusetts q Illustrations By Bill Tipton

To send a submission to 10-Minute Tech, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA 93001. Please include an illustration if applicable. TRAILER LIFE February 2010 55

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056-TL1002 Hands On LO

12/8/09

9:30 AM

Page 56

TO Q, OR NOT TO Q

>

Using a barbecue is dependent on the type of food and how it’s going to be prepared. And it’s fair to say that most RVers love to cook outdoors, whether it’s pan frying or grilling the next tasty meal. Perhaps you’ve even considered the option for cooking multiple dishes at the same time. Cadac has developed the Carri Chef Model 5000 portable grill that provides outside cooking versatility. By offering a one-stop grilling station complete with a slew of quick change cook tops — such as a barbecue grill, skottel wok, a pot stand (for stove) and, my favorite, the two-sided non-stick grill — owners can now opt for a number of cooking choices. The Carri Chef comes with a variety of travel bags for storing the various components, but overall the entire package requires a large-size storage space for stashing while on the road. Once the essential parts are removed from the bags, assembly is simple and takes little time, although better instructions and illustrations than those provided by the manufacturer certainly would have helped figure out the storing procedure. The first step involves attaching either the stubby tabletop or standard legs (depending on whether you want to use the barbecue on the ground or table) to the burner pan. Once the legs are locked in and the burner pan is upright, it’s merely a matter of connecting the LP-gas regulator and selecting the cooking surface. From

HANDSON

>

PHOTOS BY KEVIN LIVINGSTON

by Kevin Livingston

there everything easily aligns with the correct three locators. The barbecue can be fueled by throwaway camping LP-gas canisters or standard 5-gallon cylinders. The Carri Chef cooks thoroughly and evenly with low amounts of heat, due to the Cadac’s unique heat deflector design and placement. This provides for properly prepared entrées and fuel efficiency. To test the cooking capabilities, I grilled a piece of salmon on the reversible non-stick grill plate. The result was a perfectly finished fillet leaving only zig-zagging black lines of beauty behind instead of the typical sticking flesh. And its skottel wok allows you to cook a variety of dishes simultaneously with a range of heat zones distributed to the edges and center of the cooking surface. The Carri Chef is a versatile and high-quality cooking unit. However, there are a few downsides to a beast of this nature. If you travel frequently and space is an issue, the Carri Chef might become a hassle, as it’s large and you must be somewhat of a brute to heave the loaded carry bag. If you’re an RVer who stays put for a while and can leave everything set up, then this grill should work nicely for you. At $230, the Carri Chef, manufactured in South Africa, is a sizable investment, but definitely worth checking out for those who relish cooking outdoors and desire to prepare more complicated meals than hot dogs and hamburgers. For more information, log on to www.cadacnorthamericacom. q

56 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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057-TL1002 Free Travel Inf

12/8/09

9:39 AM

Page 57

FREE TRAVEL INFORMATION

Trailer Life’s Free Travel Information is designed to assist RVers with their trip planning. The following destinations offer free information about their facilities and services. Visit www.trailerlife.com/info to request information, or visit each travel company’s Web site for immediate information.

ALASKA Alaska Marine Highway System: Experience 3,500 miles of spectacular scenic waterways in a casual atmosphere aboard an Alaska state ferry. With or without a vehicle, don’t miss this unique way to see Alaska. Call (800) 642-0066, or visit www.alaskastateferry.biz. Beyond Your Dreams. Within Your Reach. Get your free official Alaska Travel Guide. Visit us at www.travelalaska.com/tle, or call toll-free (888) 921-8771. Holland America Line: Alaska and the Yukon’s leading tour company with the widest selection of national parks and luxury cruises. For a free Alaska planning kit, call (877) SAIL-HAL, or visit www.halalaska.com. ARKANSAS Arkansas state parks’ campsites are nestled among The Natural State’s most scenic settings — atop mountains, on lakes, alongside mid-America’s premier trout stream, at historic sites and a diamond site where you can search for real “finders keepers” diamonds. For free brochures, call (888) AT-PARKS, or visit www.arkansasstateparks.com. This historic mountain resort town is home to natural scenery, attractions, thoroughbred racing and gaming, botanical gardens, exciting theme parks and more. In America’s first resort, we offer something for every age and taste in our RV-friendly city. Call (888) SPA-CITY, or visit the Web at www.hotsprings.org. Arkansas’ DeGray resort state park offers campsites on the shores of a 13,800-acre fishing and watersports paradise lake. Enjoy the dining at the lodge restaurant and golf at the park’s championship course. Exit I-30 at Arkadelphia. Call (800) 832-8512, or visit www.degray.com. CALIFORNIA Anaheim Resort RV Park. Visiting Disneyland? Take our free shuttle to the Disneyland Resort. Full hookups, Wi-Fi, pull-throughs, cable TV, 50-amp service. Visit our Web site at www.anaheimresortrvpark.com, or call (714) 774-3860. Chula Vista RV Park. Premier RV resort with 237 spaces and a 550-slip marina settled on the south San Diego Bay with two waterfront restaurants, swimming pool, spa, fitness room, clubrooms and laundry facilities. Call (800) 770-2878, or visit the Web at www.chulavistarv.com. Experience RVing, picnicking, fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, boating and much more at Riverside County Regional Parks. For more information, call (800) 234-7275, or visit www.riversidecountyparks.org.

COLORADO From breathtaking natural beauty to rich history, Colorado’s got it. For trip ideas, visit www.colorado.com or call (800) COLORADO for your FREE vacation guide. FLORIDA More than 120 miles of islands connected by bridges and bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The entire Florida Keys are a designated National Marine Sanctuary. Come and enjoy the spectacular natural wonders of the Keys. Call (800) FLA-KEYS, or visit www.fla-keys.com. IDAHO Adventures for living. Log on to www.visitidaho.org or call (800) VISIT-ID to order an official state travel guide and plan your trip today. Idaho RV Campgrounds Association. RV IDAHO! The scenery is breathtaking, outdoor recreation is legendary, and the folks are friendly. Plan to stay awhile and play in Idaho. For a free RV/campground guide, call (800) VISIT-ID, or visit www.rvidaho.org. MISSOURI FREE Missouri Vacation Planner. For fun places and great memories, enjoy a Missouri escape! Plan yours at (800) 519-1500, ext. 89, or visit www.visitmo.com. While online, check out our valuable money-saving coupons. Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. Beautiful 54,000-acre lake offering a breathtaking scenic panorama plus 261 holes of golf, fishing, premium outlet mall, music shows, show caves, indoor/outdoor water parks, two state parks. Call (800) FUNLAKE, or visit www.funlake.com. MONTANA Play, relax and explore in our untouched, picturesque, serene, yet wild landscapes. Find what you’re looking for in Montana. For your free vacation planner, call (800) VISIT-MT, ext. 779, or log on to www.visitmt.com. Custer Country, Montana — the Little Bighorn Battlefield, Native American reservations, Lewis and Clark sites, museums, guest ranches, cattle drives and more. For a FREE Vacation Guide, call (800) 346-1876, ext. 312, or log on to www.custer.visitmt.com. Visit Glacier National Park. Satisfy your sixth sense — adventure, golf, hike, fly-fish, raft, cycle and more. Call (800) 338-5072, or visit www.tl.glaciermt.com. MONTANA/WYOMING/SOUTH DAKOTA (Three Parks) Discover Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. For a free guide, call (800) 847-4868, or visit www.3parks.com.

NEW MEXICO Located among mountains, lakes, streams, desert lowlands and plains, New Mexico State Parks offer boundless recreation opportunities. Go fish, hike, bike, camp, climb, swim. Call (888) NM-PARKS, or visit www.nmparks.com. Where unparalleled scenic beauty, outdoor adventure, world-renowned art and cultural diversity rest under the same magical sunset. Call (800) 733-6396, ext 2863, or visit www.newmexico.org. OHIO Ohio State Parks. Discover Ohio at any of our 57 state-park campgrounds statewide. Open yearround — hiking, golf, swimming, picnicking, boating, family nature programs. Call (866) OHIOPARKS for reservations, or visit www.ohiostateparks.org. OKLAHOMA Oklahoma, Native America. Visit vibrant cities, vintage towns and world-class museums. Enjoy shopping, sightseeing, more than 200 lakes and more. Call (800) 652-6552, or visit www.travelok.com for a free travel guide. OREGON Oregon State Parks. Visit the coast, the valleys, the high desert or mountains of Oregon. At the end of an adventurous day, nestle your RV among the trees of an Oregon State Park. Call (800) 5516949, or visit www.oregon stateparks.org. SOUTH CAROLINA The Santee Cooper Country region in South Carolina surrounds lakes Marion and Moultrie. Enjoy year-round outdoor activities: world-class fishing, golf at 16 courses, boating or just relaxing. Outside SC, call (800) 227-8510, or log on to www.santeecoopercountry.org. SOUTH DAKOTA Come follow the Lewis and Clark Trail for adventures and history. For more information, call (800) S-DAKOTA, or visit www.travelsd.com to check out vacation packages. TEXAS Texas State Parks — Find out more about Texas State Parks. Call (512) 389-8900, or log on to www.tpwd.state.tx.us. WASHINGTON Grant County is Washington state’s premiere recreation destination. Water sports, golf, fishing, hunting, shopping and dining are convenient and affordable. Get it on in Grant County. Call (800) 992-6234, or log on to www.tour grantcounty.com.

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058-TL1002 RV Marketplace

12/8/09

11:06 AM

Page 58

RV MARKETPLACE >

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Your ad here in RV Marketplace as little as $645. Our 2" size is just $645/issue for black & white based on a 12-issue schedule. If you like the 3" size, the B/W price is $960. Our 41⁄2" size in B/W is just $1335/issue on an annual schedule. All sizes are available in B/W, 2 color or 4 color. Call the Adv. Dept. at 1-800-765-1912, ext. 391 or 385 for more info!

TL2009-10

58 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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058-TL1002 RV Marketplace

12/8/09

9:36 AM

Page 59

> RV MARKETPLACE 2.911.426.:69:!}!bnq.sftfbsdi/dpn0UM

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FREE AND FAST SHIPPING! TRAILER LIFE February 2010 59

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058-TL1002 RV Marketplace

12/8/09

9:37 AM

Page 60

RV MARKETPLACE > GENERATORS RV & PORTABLE STYLES

“SEE WHAT YOUR DISH SEES”

ALIGN-A-SITE ™

PATENT PEND ING

x No Need to Level Dish Stan d or Pol e! Ali gn s Di sh in AL L Di re cti on s!

x R emovable

Hand-Held Sighti ng U nit As su r es Cl ea r Li ne of Sig ht!

“C CAN SHIP TODAY”

x M ounts

HICKLIN POWER SYSTEMS DES MOINES, IA 1-800-234-8989 OR

DISH ALIGNMENT SYSTEM

Directly t o A NY Dish f or A ccu ra cy !

x Al so

Gr ea t f or I NT ERNET Di shes !

O AS L NOW

S WA

.95 $119

515-986-9557

www.hicklinpower.com “IIF YOU DIDN’T BUY IT FROM US, YOU PROBABLY PAID TOO MUCH”

30 Day Money- Back Guarant ee!

Fast, Easy Setups

( LE SS S& H )

S ATELLI T E D ISH N OT I NC LU DED

ww w .A lig n ASite .co m T o l l F r e e 1-877-504-3473 Co mp let e Syst e m S ight in g Un it P ack ag e

VM Mfg. Fuel Systems

$ 16 9 .9 5 ! $1 19.9 5!

BUYING OR SELLING AN RV? REACH 3 MILLION SHOPPERS TODAY!

RVSearch.com Single System Dual System

$109.95 $139.95

1-800-SHOP-4-RV

FREE S/H

Adds Up to 50 Hours Run Time

(1-800-746-7478)

www.vmsales.com

Shop for Free!

866-551-1590 See Trailer Life f April 2009 H Hands On 60 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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061-TL1002 Classified Ads

12/8/09

9:40 AM

Page 61

CLASSIFIEDS ACCESSORIES LEAKY ROOF? Liquid Roof® goes on like paint — cures to a sealed rubber membrane. UV & Ozone resistant — good to 300° F. 800-467-7135 www.AdvancedRubberCoatings.com NO FREEZE - HEATED FRESH WATER HOSE Simply connect to your supply & plug in Industrial Strength - Highest Quality - $250 www.nofreezewaterhose.com 888.878.7046 TOILET CHEMICALS FOR LESS! Fully guaranteed products for your RV. Try us! 50 years experience with odor control products. Order online at www.safetfresh.net CONVERTERS • INVERTERS Electrical Supplies • Electronics • GPS Navigation Back-up Monitors •Tire Pressure Monitors • And more! www.bestconverter.com or Toll Free 888-828-1893.

CAMPGROUND MEMBERSHIPS FOR SALE RESALES DISCOUNTED - NATIONWIDE - SINCE 1991 TT/NACO, Platinums, AOR, CRA, Coast to Coast & RPI Upgrades! CAMPGROUND MEMBERSHIP OUTLET 800-272-0401 to Buy / 800-952-0401 to Sell $We pay referrals$ www.membershipresale.com

HELP WANTED THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS—Travel and stay in RV parks FREE. Set your own income selling advertising for RV parks. Up to 65% commission. Call 1-800-832-3292. Full training 1000’s of GREAT JOBS in GREAT PLACES! Enjoy the freedom and adventure of the Workamper lifestyle. For FREE BROCHURE & subscription info. 800-446-5627 www.workamper.com

HOMES FOR SALE

RETAMA VILLAGE Come join us! At our exclusive 55+ active adult community in the fabulous Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Large RV Lots, Casita w/RV Port and single family homes. Clubhouse, library, pools, fitness center, billiards, hiking, biking, and birding. Bentsenpalm.com, 956.381.1500 FROSTPROOF, FL—Lily Lake Golf Resort • Resort Home & Lot from the $80s • New home & porte lot development. Lots from the $50s 1-800-654-5177 • www.lilylake.com

RECREATIONAL VEHICLES FOR SALE RV REGISTRY www.rvregistry.com Motorhomes, Trailers & Fifth Wheels For Sale by Owners No Sales Commissions Buyers/Sellers 800-546-8457

OWN LAND & HOME AT SUNRISE BLUFFS Gated 55+ Subdivision in NM with best 4 season climate in the SW, affordable living. Custom homes from 1300-2400 sf. Ask about either RV ports or RV storage area. Vist us at www.sunrisebluffs.com or call 1-877-725-8337

LOTS FOR SALE FT. MYERS, FL - Great 55+ gated RV/mfg community. 18 unique circles of 40 lots. Full concrete pad, patio, 2-car drive. Next to clubhouse, pool, hot tub, lake. Was $62,500. Now $50,000. Call (239) 992-9378.

MAIL/MESSAGE SERVICES SOUTH DAKOTA MAIL FORWARDING/RESIDENCY Low rates for personalized mail forwarding Contact us about SD residency benefits. 1-866-202-2163 www.mydakotaaddress.com

ALL MOLDED FIBERGLASS TRAVEL TRAILERS Lightweight, Aerodynamic, Self-contained, Remarkably Spacious Floorplans, Exceptional Storage. Call for a FREE Brochure. CASITA TRAVEL TRAILERS • 1-800-442-9986 SELLING RVS ONLINE SINCE ’99 Nationwide Dealer and Private Listings Sell your RV Fast! — RVT.com 1.800.677.4484

AMERICAS-MAILBOX Forwarding in SD LOW Rates/NO State Income Tax/Save $$$ NO Wheel Tax/NO Safety Inspect/866-747-3700 www.Americas-Mailbox.com Call us first! PRIVATE & SECURE MAIL FORWARDING Florida Residence / Vehicle Registration Experts www.FloridaVehicleRegistrationService.com “To God be the Glory” CALL 800-476-2779

MOTORHOMES FOR SALE LUXURY NEW HOMES IN LAUGHLIN NV 50’ RV Garages - 40’ Boat Garages 3 Bedroom, 2 bath. Single Story. Energy Star. Call 800-828-2744 or visit www.laughlinhomes.net

SELLING RVS ONLINE SINCE ’99 Nationwide Dealer and Private Listings Sell your RV Fast! — RVT.com 1.800.677.4484

BUYING AN RV? FIND ONE ONLINE! Nationwide Dealer and Private Listings Over 30,000 New and Pre-owned RVT.com — 1.800.677.4484

BUYING AN RV? FIND ONE ONLINE! Nationwide Dealer and Private Listings Over 30,000 New and Pre-owned RVT.com — 1.800.677.4484

TRAILER LIFE February 2010 61

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061-TL1002 Classified Ads

12/8/09

9:41 AM

Page 62

CLASSIFIEDS > RV CLUBS

TOW VEHICLE/TRAILER PACKAGES FOR SALE

LONERS ON WHEELS Singles Camping Club www.lonersonwheels.com Local Chapter campouts in USA & Canada Rallies, Caravans & LOW Campground 1-866-LOW-CLUB • FREE Newsletter & Info

SERVICES Let us help you BUY YOUR RV ... TAX FREE! We guarantee BEST service and price Receive $100 Gas Card & FREE Mail Fwding Save $$ TODAY 888.430.3388 MontanaRV.net

1999 TETON 40' 5th or 1998 Mtn Master Frtlnr. Arctic pkg, full timer, new all over. 82K mi, Cumm/Allison, all Air Ride, huge stor, like new. $39,900 EACH. 623-451-7121.

NEW SPORTCHASSIS 330 HP Cummins ISC, Allison 3200 TRV Automatic Leather interior, 6 models, 100’s of options, Factory Warranty 800-358-7624 or www.sportchassis.com

AVOID SALES TAX ON RVs AND VEHICLES Call to speak to a licensed MT attorney about setting up an LLC. 10+ years of experience. Heggen Law Office, P.C., Missoula, MT www.heggenlawoffice.com 888-777-5032 ACTION SERVICES, LLC Consult a Licensed Montana Attorney No Sales Tax in MT — Low License Fees Financing & Insurance — For Professional Service Call 800-481-0013 www.actionservices-mt.com #1 IN SALES TAX SAVINGS Pay no sales tax on your next RV. We have helped clients legally save $1000s over the past 12 yrs. Call Mountain States Consulting 800-565-4504 & talk to a CPA for professional, friendly service or visit us on the web at www.rvtax.com

2003 300HP FL-60 & 2000 King of the Road 40' 3 S/O, oak int, Genset, W/D stack, 5 cf frzr, like new tires, Arctic insul. $24,900. FL-60, 65K mi, cust int, new tires, Amsoil, cust sound, $54K. 623-521-2222.

2009 M2 - FREIGHTLINER, 325 HP! 15 MPG! Soundproof Interior, Auto, all Air Ride, Leather, Wood Dash & Console, deluxe RV body, 33K # RV rating. Huge tool boxes. 888-838-6678. www.MountainMaster.net

TOW VEHICLES FOR SALE

TOURS ADVENTURE CARAVANS RV TOURS & RALLIES Canada • USA • Alaska • Central America Mexico • Greece • Europe • United Kingdom Mexico RV Insurance www.adventurecaravans.com Free 86-page catalog (800) 872-7897 Experience the Adventure, We’ll do the Rest! CLOTHING-OPTIONAL & NUDE GETAWAYS A unique selection of RV resorts, parks clubs, inns & cruises - UK & Caribbean. www.tanr.com/rv CHOSEN BY DISCRIMINATING RVERS SINCE 1975!! Drive the Alcan to America’s Last Frontier, envision yourself on Nova Scotia’s miles of coastal drives. Cross the border to sunny Mexico. Celebrate Mardi Gras. Experience Grand Canyon, Glacier, Pacific NW, Great Lakes, Branson, S. Africa, New Zealand/Australia. All arrangements, including RV parks, by Tracks RV Tours! **Free Catalog** www.tracksrvtours.com, 800-351-6053!

DODGE SLT, RAM 2500, 2004, 17,000 miles, 5.7 Hemi, 5-spd auto, antispin diff, antilock, 4 whl, tow pack, 5th whl hitch, tow mirrors, A/C, sprayed color red, $12K. erg12@verizon.net, 805-492-0464

2005 Freightliner M2-112, 430 HP, 1550 auto. 23K mi. Air Ride seats, cab & susp. Cust sound proof int w/rear seat/bed. Trip Tech & Smart Tire systems. Like new. $89,900. 623-692-6008

WANTED: USED MOUNTAIN MASTER RV TRUCKS. Please call if you need to sell your medium duty RV truck or Teton 5th wheel. We refer people. 623-221-2005, www.mountainmaster.net

Campgrounds on the net!

www.tldirectory.com

2005 RV HAULER MB ENG-ALLISON TRANS. All Air Ride w/Custom Air Ride Susp, Rear seat/bed. 42K mi. Great power & brakes. MM Air Ride Hitch. 15-17 mpg. $64,900. 623-692-6008

62 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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061-TL1002 Classified Ads

12/8/09

9:41 AM

Page 63

CLASSIFIEDS >

2007 M-2 FREIGHTLINER MOTORCYCLE HAULER MB engine/trans, 40 cu ft compartments, all air ride, 17 mpg hwy, leather, wood, electronics. 29K miles. $79,900. 623-202-9299.

2004 CREW CAB HAULER, Mountain Master 300 Cat, Allison, all air ride, plush interior, absolutely spotless condition, 1000 lb hide-away crane, $74,900. 817-773-4581

Eggcamper LIGHTWEIGHT AERODYNAMIC EASY TOW MOLDED FIBERGLASS travel trailer EASY CLEAN MOLDED INTERIOR www.eggcamper.com, 616-437-9255

TRAVEL TRAILERS & FIFTH WHEELS FOR SALE

2007 RV HAULER, MERCEDES ENGINE. 4-DR Crew, lthr, wood, snd prf, rr seat/bed, 10-14 mpg pulling & 17-20 solo, 5th hitch, new tires, huge compartments. $79,900. 214-884-6771

CLASSIFIED AD

Please note: our May issue will close on February 9.

NEW 2010 MOBILE SUITES 36TKSB4: Only $76,900! Guar Best Price! Call 4 info. 865.521.9112 New units - Loaded. Custom order avail at no charge. See New/Used Units @ rvs4less.net

2009 TITANIUM FIFTH WHEELS Titanium’s Patented Cab Over Leading Edge Design.“The World’s Most Aerodynamic Fifth Wheel”. Tow Vehicle Fuel Savings, Lightweight, Easier Towability www.GlendaleRV.com

Use this form (or your own stationery) to submit your ad copy. Refer to Classified Ad Rates box for payment & mailing information. Four-line minimum, 40 characters per line. Please count all letters, numbers, punctuation and spaces. Please specify ad category:......................................................................................

name:.................................................................................................................. address:........................................................................... .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. phone #:................................................................................ enclosed is $................................... run for..............................issues

❍ check #:....................❍ money order #:.............................. ❍ V/MC/Disc #........................................................................... exp.:............................................... signature:.............................................................................................................................................. Mail: TRAILER LIFE Classified, P.O. Box 8510, Ventura, CA 93002-9912 Fax: (805) 667-4379 Email: Classifieds@TL.com TRAILER LIFE February 2010 63

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061-TL1002 Classified Ads

12/8/09

9:41 AM

Page 64

CLASSIFIEDS > CLASSIFIED AD RATES

STOP . . . AND SHOP THE RV MARKETPLACE For Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Explorer Sport, Nissan Frontier as well as other Ford, Dodge & Chevy 1/2 ton short beds. Big storage available — FOB So. Cal. factory. See http://www.americanarv.com/the_travel_bug.asp - - PLUS - - Quality full-sized AMERICANA tough Fifth-wheels designed for full-timing & 3/4 or 1 ton trucks - - Internet Direct Deals. Long Hot Showers available, 36’ to 40’, Lightweight, Aerodynamic, True 4 Seasons insulation. Powerful Hydraulic Disc Brakes! Smooth towing, full-leveling Air-ride Suspension — Factory Order prices start @ $43,984.24 F.O.B. The Midwestern Factory. www.americanarv.com or 800-552-5250. — 40 years — “Tuff ” fifth-wheels for tough customers. Limited offer expires 2/26/10.

2008 STARCRAFT HOMESTEAD LITE 28'. Standard bedroom and living room slideouts, microwave, fridge, roof air, Arctic package. Excellent condition. No smoke/pets. (805) 555-1234. ACTUAL SIZE

COMMERCIAL: Open to firms or individuals advertising the sale or resale of a commercial item or service. $66 per line, four-line minimum, 40 characters and spaces per line. For photo ad, limited to real estate and RVs for sale, add $65 (black-and-white or color print). Limit one photo per ad. We offer a 5% discount for six issues and a 10% discount for 12 issues to our commercial advertisers.

Find lots of products to accessorize your RV and enhance your RV lifestyle!

RV CLUBS: For national or local RV owners and enthusiast clubs or chapters soliciting members. $40 per line, four-line minimum, 40 characters & spaces per line. EVENTS: For national or regional RV rallies, trade shows, expositions and other events. $40 per line, four-line minimum, 40 characters and spaces per line.

See page 58!

PRIVATE PARTY: For individuals selling personally owned items, such as an RV, truck, auto, campground membership resale. $27 per line, four-line minimum, 40 characters and spaces per line. No charge for one phone number. For ad with picture, add $45 (black-and-white or color print acceptable. No Polaroids, negatives or slides.) Limit one photo per ad.

Run this ad for only

BOLDFACE & RED TYPE: The first line is boldface at no charge, add $5 per line for additional boldface type. For entire ad to appear in red type, add $50 for Commercial ads, $25 for Private Party ads. HOW TO PLACE AN AD: Use our coupon or your own stationery to write your ad. Please include your name, address and phone number so we can reach you if we have a question.

$153!

Reach Thousands of Potential Buyers! If you’re selling your own personal RV or home, you can take advantage of Trailer Life’s low Private Party photo classified rate! For only $153 per issue (no charge for one phone number or one email address), you can create an eye-catching classified ad with a black-and-white photo (one photo please) and four lines of copy (40 characters/spaces per line)... just like the ad shown here. Fill out ad coupon, enclose a black & white or color print (not a negative or slide) and indicate method of payment. Please mail to: TRAILER LIFE Classified, P.O. Box 8510, Ventura, California 93002-9912. Commercial advertisers: Please refer to Rates box for photo ad requirements.

Deadlines for our next two issues are shown on the order form in this section. • EMAIL orders to: Classifieds@TL.com • FAX orders to: (805) 667-4379 • MAIL orders to: Classified Ad Dept., Trailer Life P.O. Box 8510 Ventura, CA 93002-9912 We accept checks and money orders, plus Visa, MasterCard, and Discover . Please include the expiration date, along with your signature and address with your credit card orders. Ad Questions? Call (805) 667-4392. NO TELEPHONE ORDERS, PLEASE.

64 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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065-TL1002 Dealer Destinat

12/8/09

9:39 AM

Page 65

DEALERS&DESTINATIONS > ADVERTISERS’ INDEX ARIZONA INDIANA NOW AVAILABLE — TRAILER LIFE READER SERVICE ONLINE!

INTERNATIONAL

RV WORLD us Call ou pay y e r h! befooo muc t

Located in Elkhart, Indiana.

ee’s r! r T e l le b Dou wn Dea them eTo Buy they’re m o H here

Featuring:

w

t! buil

• Mobile Suites, Elite Suites, Select Suites • Grand Junction • Cedar Creek • Cardinal • Work and Play (Toy Haulers) • Phoenix Cruiser B+ • Berkshire Class A • Georgetown Class A

800-697-7649 www.internationalrvworld.com

NEW MEXICO

For FREE additional information on products and services in this issue, visit www.trailerlife.com/info ADVERTISERS

PAGE#

AGI Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 B&W Trailer Hitches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Banks Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Born Free Motorcoach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Carrier Transicold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Casita Enterprises Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61-64 DRV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Dealer & Destinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Deltran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Dicor Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Direct Sat TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Essex Credit Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Fisherman’s Cove Resort . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Ford Motor Company . . . . . . . . . . .CV2-P3 Geico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CV3 HWH Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Hensley Manufacturing Inc. . . . . . . . . . .51 Hi-Lo Trailer Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 K-Z Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CV4E Lance Campers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 LevelEase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 New Horizons RV Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Northwood Mfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CV4W NuWa Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Pace Edwards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Progress Manufacturing, Inc. . . . . . . . . .21 Progress Manufacturing, Inc. . . . . . . . . .23 Progressive Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 RV Buddies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33W RV Buyer’s Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 RV Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58-60 RVT.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Sea Eagle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Serro Scotty Worldwide . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Syracuse RV Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33E The Rally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Trailair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Transfer Flow Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Tri-Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

2010 GUIDE TO TOWING

Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CV2-3 Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CV4 Hensley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Hensley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CV3

While every effort is made to maintain accuracy and completeness, last-minute changes may occasionally result in omissions or errors. TRAILER LIFE February 2010 65

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066-TL1002 America’s Outba

12/8/09

9:29 AM

Page 66

AMERICA’S OUTBACK >

TIME OUT!

“ALTHOUGH IT WAS A PAIN THAT I HAVE NEVER FELT BEFORE, I KNEW IT WAS MY HEART.”

T

his is the way things sometimes happen. And since you and I have much in common — and we do — it could be you writing this. I was in Indiana cutting up a fallen tree and throwing the wood into a pickup. I was working alone; there are certain chores in life for which there are few volunteers. But I was enjoying it — good exercise, followed by the sense of accomplishment and all that. I took no breaks as rain clouds were pressing me to finish. Project completed, I went inside. It was time for popcorn. I knew, however, that I had stressed a muscle in my chest, because it hurt. Although it was a pain that I have never felt before, I knew it was my heart. I had overworked it, and it was telling me that with a dull, sustained ache. The layman’s term is chest pains. The professionals call it angina pectoris — severe pain in the chest associated with an insufficient supply of blood to the heart. Now what? Nobody’s around, and I’m in a strange place. The pain concerned me, but didn’t scare me. It was not getting worse, radiating to my shoulder or jaw. My heart rate was normal, and I had no shortness of breath. I took an aspirin and relaxed — sitting up in a chair, not lying down. I was told later that was the only smart thing I did. A week later, back on my home turf. I was feeling fine, but I had not pressed my luck either. I resumed my daily walking routine that includes a short hill climb. That hurt. The pain was back. I went to my doctor. Things moved quickly after that. Result: Three stents (mesh tubes) were put into three coronary arteries. The result was immediate. The blood is again flowing normally into the heart. What we have in common is not just our interests in travel, but our vulnerability as well. I did not have a heart attack, but I would have if the blood supply had been shut down, not just restricted. If you walk away from those at all, life is seldom the same. Traveling as we do, we are usually in remote places that are a long way from a hospital. And what about cell-phone service? If the person with you has a heart attack — or vice versa — your actions will determine if that person lives or not. Is there any

PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL CIMA/AMERICAN / RED CROSS

by Bill Graves

Sometimes the campground isn’t so close to the hospital, so taking a CPR class and learning about what to do in case of an emergency just might help you save a life.

better reason for both of you to know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)? Without a heartbeat, circulation stops, and the brain is the first to suffer. It constitutes 2 percent of the body mass, but consumes about 20 percent of the oxygen we take in, and it’s the control panel. After 10 seconds without oxygen, it begins to give up. Without signals from the brain, other organs begin to do the same. According to the American Heart Association, every minute that goes by without CPR, the survival rate of the victim decreases 7 to 10 percent. Do the math. Some recent studies show that people untrained in using CPR can use a technique for adults called hands-only cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR), which is rapidly pumping the chest only — without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As it turns out, our bloodstreams contain plenty of oxygen, so if breathing stops our oxygen levels remain normal for quite a while. But the only way that oxygen can circulate is by having someone pumping our chests. It can increase a victim’s chance of surviving by as much as 70 percent. Bottom line: Call 911 and begin chest compressions … and don’t stop until medical help arrives to take over. Welcome to America’s Outback. q For more info, visit www.americanheart.org. Bill’s e-mail address: roadscribe@aol.com.m B Ke nykeb icu re e.tn lw ,aliloB ln hti Next month Bill will be in Berea, Kentucky.

66 February 2010 TRAILER LIFE

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033-TL02 PG 33W RV BUDDIES

Go To:

12/8/09

9:17 AM

.com

Page W33

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003-TL02 PG CV3 GEICO

12/8/09

9:20 AM

Page CV3

Got your eye on a new RV? Contact GEICO today to see how much you can save on RV insurance.

Call 1-877-434-2678 for a free rate quote.

® scounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or companies. Government Employees Insurance Co. ¥ GEICO General Insurance Company ¥ GEICO Indemnity Company ¥ GEICO Casualty Company. These companies are subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. GEICO Washington, DC 20076 © 2008 GEICO

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Geico, go to www.trailerlife.com/info

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004-TL02 PG CV4E KZ INC

12/8/09

9:16 AM

Page CV4E4

K-Z Inc., go to www.trailerllife.c e. om/info

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004-TL02 PG CV4W NORTHWOOD

12/8/09

9:18 AM

Page CVW4

Introducing: Introducing: The TThhhee

2.5 2.5 LP LP Onan Onan Generator Generator Thermal-Pane Thermal-Pane Windows Windows 11K 11K BTU BTU Air Air Conditioner Conditioner 10' 10' Side Side Box Box Awning Awning AlumaGuard AlumaGuard on on Rear Rear Awning Awning Full Full Wall Wall Slideout Slideout Awning Awning w/w/ AlumaGuard AlumaGuard HiGloss HiGloss LamiLux LamiLux Filon Filon Special Special Limited Limited Edition Edition Graphics Graphics Pack Pack

990 SLE

Northwood Mfg., go to www.trailerlife.com/info

www.northwoodmfg.com

AM/FM AM/FM CD/DVD CD/DVD Player Player Flat Flat Panel Panel TV TV w/Bracket/150W w/B/Bracket/150W Invertor Invertor Solid Solid Surface Surfa rface Countertops Countertops Sealed Sealed Burner Burner / Stainless Stainless Steel Steel Range Range Ultra Ultra Leather Leather Embroidered Embroidered Dinette Dinette Cushions Cushions Commerative Commerative SLE SLE Plaque Plaque Porcelain Porcelain Toilet Toioilet Special Special Lighting Lighting Package Package

ORTHW ORTHWOOD WO OO O OD OD MANUFACTURING

Desert Fox ~ Nash ~ True North ~ Arctic Fox

990 990 SLE SL E Go To:

www.northwoodmfg.com

.com

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Trailer Life Magazine, February 2010  

Trailer Life magazine is the official journal of enthusiasts of towable recreational vehicles

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