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Old 01-15-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
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Black Rock upgrades?

I purchased a 2017 new Black Rock 20RD last year. I bought it stock, without any additional packages. I'm considering adding a Coleman Mach 1 air conditioner (11,00- BTU's) as it's pre-wired for one and I could run it off my 2000 watt generator. (I mostly boondock) Ironically, I've only camped in my home state of Washington so far and haven't needed an air conditioner. I avoid hot places in the summer but in case it did get hot outside, an air conditioner would be nice for my dogs. I'm still weighing the pros and cons on getting an air conditioner. The other feature I'm considering is installing a power tongue jack. My main concern is being able to open the tailgate on my 2500 4x4 Silverado when the trailer is hooked up to let my dogs out. I've seen that some folks have turned the motor head 90 degrees on the shaft so they can open their tailgate. Apparently, this works on some brands. I can easily open my tailgate with the manual jack it came with. I'm just getting tired of all that cranking with the equalizer hitch and all. What are your experiences? Do you use your air conditioner much? Do you have a power tongue jack and if so, does it interfere with your tailgate? Suggestions? I currently camp about two to three months a year at two to three week intervals with my three large dogs. This could change in the future once I say goodbye to my chickens. Chicken sitters are hard to come by! LOL!
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:54 AM   #2
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I love our power jack. With a tongue weight of over 1200# it's a necessity IMHO.

Whether your tail gate hits it depends upon the truck and your hitch.
We have no problem with our current RAM 2500 and a 1400# Equal-I-Zer hitch. But with the same Equal-I-Zer, the tail gate of our previous Ford 150 leaned against its vertical post. I don't think rotating the motor head would have helped.

Can't help with your A/C question, but we too avoid the extreme heat (and cold) whenever possible. And even in the winter in Florida it can get pretty hot. We've been able to survive at times just using a cheap, low wattage, oscillating, floor fan. The one we have is 120VAC so an inverter is necessary when boondocking. But when it gets really hot I'm looking for electrical camp sites as we don't have a generator.

Good luck
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:34 AM   #3
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A power jack was my first upgrade the day after I brought the trailer home. As for opening the tailgate I couldn't open it with the manual jack and I still can't so it made do difference to me.

AC I consider a must. This old dog just can't take the heat like I used to. I don't know what generator you have but you may or may not be able to run the AC off one 2000 watt unit. If you can you won't have much reserve to run other items like the converter for charging the batteries or the fridge at the same time. Its something you'll have to experiment with.

My daughter also has a few chickens and she too has a hard time finding chicken sitters. Go figure.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:50 AM   #4
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The tailgate of our 2017 Sierra 2500 opens fully while hitched to our Timber Ridge 25RDS, which has the power head. We have a Blue Ox hitch with the 7-hole riser. That may be a very similar rig to yours, River2View, though I donít know if Black Rock has exactly the same tongue.

Brulaz, we have a 12-volt Caframo fan, one of these: https://www.caframolifestylesolution...rine/ultimate/ . It's pretty quiet but moves quite a lot of air. It doesnít have much of a stand (mostly designed to be mounted) but it does stand by itself on the suction cup base.

Happy trails!
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:56 AM   #5
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If your generator struggles to run your new AC, a hard start kit may help but I've found in past that I can't run the genny in eco mode as it doesn't kick up quick enough to supply the power surge needed for compressor start. Another option that I just discovered is this:
https://www.microair.net/products/ea...nt=30176048267
I am not affiliated nor have I tried one to date. The reviews that I've read seem to be very favorable and as I get closer to retirement (couple years to go), I will probably get one for our AC. I currently use a 2K champion generator and would really rather not go any heavier. My only option that I've found so far would be a Boily. There have been quality complaints about these in the past with the Boily's but with the remote start and wireless eco switch, it may become my next generator when the champion is done.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:11 PM   #6
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The tongue jack came with the trailer and it seems to be a very handy option.

We have an A/C unit which we have used only a couple of times when temps were over 100F. We really did not need the A/C but we're in a SP which had electric sites so why not? But mostly we get by at night with 2 x 12V fans which keep us quite cool. Uses very little battery power even if on all night.

My suggestion is first try a couple of 12V fans.They are quite cheap.

We dry camp 98%(without the generator),and never run short of DC power for the fans.

Dave
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:19 PM   #7
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Where in WA are you located?? If on East side, PM me aboot a power jack!!!
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grump010 View Post
If your generator struggles to run your new AC, a hard start kit may help but I've found in past that I can't run the genny in eco mode as it doesn't kick up quick enough to supply the power surge needed for compressor start. Another option that I just discovered is this:
https://www.microair.net/products/ea...nt=30176048267
I am not affiliated nor have I tried one to date. The reviews that I've read seem to be very favorable and as I get closer to retirement (couple years to go), I will probably get one for our AC. I currently use a 2K champion generator and would really rather not go any heavier. My only option that I've found so far would be a Boily. There have been quality complaints about these in the past with the Boily's but with the remote start and wireless eco switch, it may become my next generator when the champion is done.
I installed an EasyStart on our last trailerís Coleman a/c. We didnít get to use it much but it worked great in testing. Our Yamaha 2000 generator ran it just fine.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:41 PM   #9
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I have the 11k AC and a 2000 watt genny runs it just fine. Also runs off 15 amp breaker in garage. I think ORV already installs the hard start cap as standard.

My F250 tailgate will not open with my Equalizer hitch and power jack but I don't think a manual jack would make any difference.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:50 PM   #10
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I don't think it matters whether it's a manual jack or an electric jack, because the jack is positioned behind the open tail gate.

ORV trailers have a very high hitch. Too high for all 1/2 ton trucks and some 3/4 ton trucks.

That is, if you want to be able to open the tail gate on your truck while hooked up to the trailer.

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Old 01-17-2018, 11:35 PM   #11
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The OEM power jack on my Timber Ridge is by Atwood. It seems they are compact enough to allow opening of tailgate on my Silverado. If your TV has a taller tailgate, or you are getting another made. YMMV

Not sure if the hitch on your Black Rock is as high as Timber Ridge. In my case, the open tailgate barely clear the hitch shank. It will surely hit the top of the hitch when hooked up. If yours doesn't hit now with the manual jack, it's not a problem with a slim power jack.

I consider AC a must for TT given that the roof insulation is so much thinner than S & B houses. I used quite a few times last season where I camped mostly in WA & OR.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:59 AM   #12
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I just reread the original post and realized that you have the 2500 Silverado, We have a 2015 GMC 2500hd 4x4 with the camper package. I don't have a problem with clearance while opening the tailgate, granted we have a different trailer but the clearance is good. We were using a Curt round bar WD hitch with the 2" 6 hole shank in the upward position. I found that the hitch with a 2" shank and sleeve in the 2.5" receiver was quite loose and I wasn't comfortable with the whole setup. I purchased the 2.5" 7 hole shank and this made a world of difference and successfully tightened everything up and I still have the clearance for the tailgate.
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