Post your questions or comments here.
Good Morning Ray:
Had a look at your web page….you have been a busy lad and like what your doing thus far. The “boat> restoration was quite the article!!!
Also enjoyed the side mover for campers…thats quite the invention..Did I miss the cost of this application? Can imagine it would not be cheap.
I have not purchased the brackets for my project as of yet as we just got home less than two weeks ago from our yearly trip south.
Again….your doing a great job…keep the good work up.
I too would like to know the installed cost of the Side Shifter and also would like to comment that it might be very handy and relatively safe for changing a flat tire as well?
I’m wondering how efficient it is on uneven terrain such as that found in a campsite?
The Side Shifter video was something I found on line that I new would be of interest to trailer haulers. I can think of numerous campsites this would have helped me get parked.
For more info, you can go to their website. http://youtu.be/hHfVp9wwEn0
Regarding you’r very well equipped tow vehicle Ray. Quite the array of useful doo dads I must say.
Chrysler must have studied the mods to your 91 Dodge 2500 diesel because my 2010 3500 series diesel Crew cab now has most of them incorporated as standard equipment, (GPS, Satellite Radio, inverter, trailer brake regulator, two batteries, back up camera, large tween seats storage area etc.) The only thing it doesn’t have is the Pyrometer and Turbo boost gauges which on the 2010 model are not really necessary because of the digital read out provided in the service package for engine and transmission temperatures. I use them constantly when towing my 30 foot Cougar 5th over the Coquihalla and Duffy Lake roads etc.
The only thing I’ve added is a remote digital trailer tire pressure system although I should say I bought it but haven’t gotten around to installing it yet. I believe it might not be as useful as advertised though due to the limited transmit distances and the ineffectiveness when the signal is blocked by the trailer body etc. We’ll see.
Very much like your web site plse keep it up.
I like your idea of monitoring the trailer tire pressure underway. I once drove for quite a few miles with a soft tire due to a nail. I think you may be right about the problem transmitting the tire pressure. I tried this with a wireless backup camera and it was just too intermittent to be useful. I have an article coming up in the future regarding a very functional hardwired camera. Keep monitoring those engine and transmission temperatures while under load. You can melt a piston or fry a transmission by exceeding the upper temperature limits. For those of you without gauges, look into this, it may save you a sack of money in the long run.
hi ray love this idea of a web site good luck
Did not realize that your talents were as vast and diversified as they are ….. cooking up handyman projects in the shop and cooking up chow in the kitchen too …..and then not bad with photoshop too !
And I thought you had retired……!
I like your use of plexiglass shelving. I have a travel trailer that had kitchen cabinet shelving approximately 14″ high (tall). This actually resulted in a lot of wasted space so I built a shelf midway in all these cabinets, approximately 8 ft. total. I built a 1×2 frame and installed a clear plexiglass shelving. My wife, and I, were so thrilled to be able to see everything on the top shelf from the bottom without any foot stool or ladder needed. This was early 90s and the wife is gone and I am “getting old” but the shelves are still supporting our camping dishwares.
John sounds like you have some great memories. You discovered the secret application for plexiglass long before I did. I initially used plexiglass because I felt it was light weight and less visually obstructive than a solid shelf. It wasn’t until I laid down in the bed that I realized I could just look up through the shelf and see my clock if I laid it face down on the shelf. I could even see where my glasses were when I woke up. I’m getting on in years too but I will be camping until they put me in a chair with wheels. Thanks for you comment.
why not use the same cradles when moving axles from above or below the springs on my camper rather than welding on new ones. my camper is to high I need to lower it
Jimmy, most trailer axles are arched upwards in the middle to add to their strength and flexibility. If you simply roll the axle over to use the existing cradles, it will compromise the strength. If you have electric brakes, it will reduce their effectiveness. Be sure you will have enough room in the wheel well for the tires if you lower it. Make sure at your new lowered level there is enough clearance for your plumbing and your rear overhang will not scrape when you enter or leave driveways. Check your entry steps for the new lowered height. If you have a moment please comment for the viewers as to why you want to lower your trailer.
I want to express my appreciation to Ray for his knowledge and brilliant engineering skills. I am a disabled man with limited mobility living life from a wheelchair and just recently moved to Kelowna. My home has a hot tub on the deck and after many attempts trying to transfer in and out it was not safe or easy. Ray had a look at the hot tub location, the structure of the home and my mobility challenges. After taking a few measurements Ray started to engineer a custom lift that would allow me to use the hot tub safely and not break the back of those helping me transfer in and out. Ray not only designed the lift but he also shopped for the materials, spent countless hours building, painting and installing it with the help of his son.
I can now get in and out of the hot tub safely and the lift looks like it is part of the home.
You are a brilliant and caring person Ray, thank you for helping me and all the other people!
Randy, thank you for your kind words. Your swing lift was a challenging project and I am very happy that it will aid in your comfort and safety when accessing your hot tub. I’m here for you and you and I both know this will not be the last project we will tackle together. I have documented this project with plans and pictures and will be posting this project so others can use the ideas for making their own lift.
When you added air bags to your truck and decided not to use the weight distribution bars on the hitch, did you upgrade the truck’s stock receiver? Most stock receivers are rated for two values–one for max weights on the tongue with weight distribution installed and the second for dead tongue weight. I suspect your tongue weight is in the neighborhood of around 1000 pounds for a 30 foot trailer. Would be interested to hear of any thoiughts on my question? I owned a ’91 Ram/Cummins and the stock receiver was not up to the weight of the tongue without the use of weight distribution. Thanks for any thoughts you have.
“Hitch capacities and weight distribution bars.”
Thanks for your comment. You are right that not using weight distribution bars does reduce your receivers capacity. To counter act this, my hitch receiver is also bolted to the truck bumper rated at 500 lb. capacity in addition to the stock hitch capacity. Essentially the hitch and receiver are an extension of the trucks frame. The reason I have taken so long to reply to your comment is I have been away on a weeks fishing trip. The practical results of towing speaks for itself. Since installing the truck airbags, my new hitch with 2 anti-sway bars and eliminating the weight distribution bars, I have traveled extensively in British Columbia and and Alberta. If you have ever traveled in Northern Alberta, you would swear it is the torture test proving ground for trailer hitches. On their secondary highways there is a speed bump every 15 feet (AKA frost heave).
If my hitch was going to fail, it would have done so in the first few miles. Now to the present day. This past week I went fishing in the mountains of B.C. I pulled my 10,000 lb. trailer from 1200 ft. elevation to 6000 ft. on some of the roughest and steepest bush roads you can imagine (bull low 4×4 most of the way.). You owned a ’91 Ram/Cummins so you know that this truck was born to pull. I call mine “Babe” after Paul Bunyan’s blue Ox. I have subjected my hitch setup to more abuse than you can imagine and this setup works flawlessly. I suggest that people go by the instructions on their own hitches as mine is a custom reinforced setup. The reason for not using a weight distribution hitch is my trailer is very high and I could find an adjustable weight distribution hitch that would work for me, thus the custom changes to the truck and new adjustable hitch to meet my requirements. I hope this answers you question.
Thanks. You have a great website and provide excellent information. I did own a 91.5 Cummins with intercooler and you are correct– it is a tractor pulling engine. Since then I have also owned an 01 and now an 05 325/610 Cummins. The Cummins is unbeatable for towing. I had a 4000 pound cabover on the ’05 one ton dually and still needed air bags and more suspension overload bumpers to adequately handle the camper. Now I pull a 30 foot trailer that weighs a little less than yours so I am very aware of hitch and receiver issues. Actually with the one ton it handles the same with and without the weight distribution bars. Anyway thanks for your reply as websites like yours provide a great resource for folks looking for answers and advice.
I’m posting these comments, with permission on behalf of my new friend from Sweden.
On Sat, Jun 14, 2014 at 12:18 PM, Kjell wrote:
I have read your eBook and found plenty of nice and good things to save for the future, examples use plastic boxes in the drawers to keep everything in order, page 28 magazine rack and side table in one piece, page 60 vinegar to clean the water system.
What I like was way the book was built up with lots of pictures between the text and that is a very good way to support the text and make it understandable.
It was also written without lots of unnecessary words, that made the book clean and easy to read/understand.
A question why do you use a converter (12 volt to 110 volt) to charge your iPad, you can easy buy a specific iPad cable to charge within your car using the 12 volt system.
Depending on what laptop you have you should be able to charge that one also with 12 volt system. The 12 volt – 110 volt converter takes more then it gives.
Thank you for your kind words about my eBook, I am really glad you liked the book and got some useful tips you can use.
The reason I use a converter (12 volt to 110 volt) to charge the iPad is because I have this already set up in my truck. I’m a cheap Scotsman and just don’t want to give Apple any more of my money.
I have been trying to figure out how to make covers for my two bassboat trailers, then all of a sudden, I thought, Google it. Thanks for the great info.
I should have mentioned in my comment, that I was trying to cover my trailer tires, not the whole trailer. Thanks again.
Glad I could help. Glad you explained your first comment, I was scratching my head trying to figure out when I make a cover for a bass boat. If you have time lets see those new wheel covers when your finished. I want to start a new category showing my readers completed projects and give them credit and a thumbs up for their work. And by the way I have made but not shared covers for canoes. They work great, you can leave all your gear in the canoe keeping everything dry and ready to go early in the morning. We fish high mountain lakes for rainbow trout here in British Columbia.
Been full time RVer for about 2 years and enjoy doing my own repairs and projects. You have so much experience and knowledge to share. Thanks so much. My question relates to the wheel covers you made. What material is needed to protect the tires from ultraviolet rays? Does it need to be made of a special material or have a protective coating?
Robert – “Wheel covers”
Being an old Scotsman, I usually just go into my salvage parts department (aka the junk pile) and find what I need. The material I used for my wheel covers was scrap remnants used to make hot tub covers. It is a vinyl sheet goods with a fiberglass fiber reinforcement inside. I figured if it could take that kind of abuse, it would work for wheel covers. Now we have to find some material for you. Check out upholstery shops for remnants they would gladly sell because they have pieces left over that are too small for their projects. Remember not to pay too much this is just garbage to them. The material should be waterproof, then it will also be UV proof (any kind of substantial vinyl should do the trick). Color doesn’t matter unless you are real picky, in fact something fancy would stimulate campground tete-a-tete. If you have tandem wheels like my trailer you can build individual covers for each wheel allowing you to use smaller pieces of material. Whereas I made one cover to fit over both tires. Some other places to find material…check out fabric stores, any awning and tarp making shop, and also check out the RV stores. They may have a junked awning that would be a great material. And of coarse you will need a sewing machine and some strong nylon thread, it is less susceptible to moisture and rot.
Good luck, and email some picture of your project when it’s done. I need material for a new feature on my site “Readers Projects”
Hi Ray, I saw your RZR canoe mount on youtube and I was wondering if you sell these?
Sorry this was a custom 1 off project, but all the details are in the video if you want to build one for yourself. Good luck and thanks for watching and commenting.
Finding your website and reading your book were like a breath of fresh air.
Joe; our little pup Dean-Dean; and I finally made our big move the second week of this past June.
From city slickers to full time living in our RV — right now in the country—we certainly have an ever growing project to do list.
Joe and I enjoyed reading your book and we appreciate your taking the time to share your experiences and knowledge with others.
You had us laughing out loud several times and it felt like we were sharing a laugh with you.
(I am trying to type this comment using my phone key pad… ugh… not so user friendly.)
One last thing, Joe and I hope we will soon be able to send some of what we’ve learned or invented your way. We both like your offering to post on your website for others to share.
Cheers to you and your family.
City Slickers to Full Time RV Living,
Joe, Moni, & Dean×2
I am a Mechanical Engineering student and was recently given a project to make a foot operated car jack when I came across your article on the air bag jack on youtube and I was greatly inspired. So I was wondering whether there is a way I can adopt your principle and modify it for foot operation and also what kind of material you used for the air bags and its alternatives.
Thanks in advance and keep up the good work!!!!
The foot control can be made from metal or wood that can contain the air blow gun in such a manner that you can use your foot to control the trigger. One advantage of using the blow gun trigger is that it can be quickly removed and used elsewhere in the shop (2 uses for one tool).
The air bag that I used was salvaged after market air bags from a pickup truck suspension at the auto wreckers. The alternative is to construct your own air bag from heavy duty reinforced vinyl sheet goods. Search You Tube to find these types of jacks. Thanks for your enquiry, and good luck with your assignment.
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