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Old 12-02-2019, 03:04 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by millermotto View Post
Ok, we looked at the Black Series HQ19 today and decided not to purchase. It was much smaller than expected and the interior height was way to low. I am 6' even and my head felt cramped and I had to duck under the A/C unit. It was a preowned unit and had NITTO tires which was impressive but the shower door had a tear on the weather striping and the bathroom door felt like it was off the track even though it wasn't. So, for the money I just didn't feel it was the right purchase for us. It was a very impressive RV though and if it was a smidge bigger and a lot less expensive then maybe I would think about it.

So, we looked at an Artic Fox 25R I believe and I liked it a lot but the ground clearance concerned me. Now I am back to looking at the ORVs as they check all the blocks but finding an affordable one or even one just to look inside near me will be a challenge.

Thanks to all of you for your advice and maybe I will see you down the road.
Sounds like water seepage and water damage. So it was probably sinking a bit or soft because of the water damage.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:12 PM   #30
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ORV it is!

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Originally Posted by profdan View Post
By the way, there are two kinds of lift kits, as far as I know. One is a 2x2 tube of steel that goes under the frame. The other is an axle flip. That's what I chose.

Either one will give you a little more clearance -- not sure if you can use them together. And lifting raises your center of gravity, which is not a great thing. But I felt that the ground clearance was more important, since we go off-pavement a lot.

Does the Arctic Fox have torsion suspension, or leaf springs?
The dealer did mention they could install a lift but I would only gain about 1.5" and it would cost roughly $1,500, not an actual quote he was ballparking it. I think they were torsion suspension....they did have shocks at each wheel though so that was nice.

Looks like we found an ORV Timber Ridge 24RLS for a great deal. Only downside is that it is in ID so looks like a dry run just to pick it up. Not ideal but just another downside of living in the South.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:55 PM   #31
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Congratulations!! Lots of great boondocking in Idaho -- you could make it a "2 for 1" trip . . . I have lots of ideas for you, but that would require a new thread.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:10 PM   #32
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Congratulations!! Lots of great boondocking in Idaho -- you could make it a "2 for 1" trip . . . I have lots of ideas for you, but that would require a new thread.
hahahaha I appreciate it. Yeah, can't start boondocking just yet. Will do some "test" trips this winter then the Spring will start my season. I can't wait!
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:43 PM   #33
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Now, before you go getting your heart set on an ORV, they are heavy and they are tongue heavy. So, what's the payload on your F150? Because not all F150s will tow even the smallest ORVs. Hint: My Expedition has the HD tow package and is rated to 9300lbs. My receiver tongue weight is maxed out with a full tank of water. If we wanted to step up to the 21DBS, we'd have to get really creative and careful with the loading...
I am curious about what you said about towing. Now, I know there are calculators, threads and even whole websites dedicated to the subject of tow vehicles so I won't get too involved. However, the 21DBS has a max trailer weight of 7,500lbs and if your Expedition is rated at 9,300lbs then you should be golden. My F150 is rated to 9,600lbs and while the 24RLS's max trailer weight is 9,995lbs we simply won't carry that much gear so we will stay under our limit(no more than 8,600lbs). I am thinking about a weight distribution hitch or maybe some helper springs to prevent the little bit of sag I got when pulling our other trailers but I feel confident the truck will be sufficient. I know almost everyone has a 3/4 ton but that is just not in the budget right now.

Your thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:53 PM   #34
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You do want a WD hitch. I use a sway bar, but my trailer is tiny.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:13 PM   #35
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I am curious about what you said about towing... However, the 21DBS has a max trailer weight of 7,500lbs and if your Expedition is rated at 9,300lbs then you should be golden....

Your thoughts?
On towing weight, I'd be fine. But the receiver itself on my Expedition is only rated for a maximum tongue weight of 930lbs (with WDH). I'm already at 930 with my 18CK, thanks to the 60gal water tank right behind the front wall of the trailer.*

The 21DBS has the fresh tank in the same location, but it's farther in front of the axles. The loaded tongue weight of the 21DBS is most commonly reported to be in the 1100lb range which would overload my receiver by almost 200lbs.

SO I'd have to do something like use a water storage bladder in the bathtub for transit and then use a transfer pump to move the water into the fresh tank once we arrived.

And then I have an Expedition because I have 4 kids. 4 kids, carseats, and kayaks on the roof-rack also means I'm running close to my rear axle weight rating.

*Unlike many trailers, the smaller ORVs have the fresh tank INSIDE the heated box, not under the box. Which is great for real 4-seasons use. And being larger tanks, they're great for boon docking/dry camping. But it makes them tongue heavy.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:23 PM   #36
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Definitely will want some kind of WDH, I use the blue ox, really like it since the anti sway allows me to back up without taking off a slider bar.. Air bags on the rear axle are helpful for leveling the truck, especially for headlight use at night, but does not increase your rear axle weight limit.

Although a your F150 is within towing weight limits for the trailer, these weights are empty. Your tongue weight starts to increase with the amount of batteries, propane, water or waste tanks depending on design and everything else you put in the trailer. I would like to go up another two batteries but my tongue weight is almost to high for my F250. NOT trying to scare you but you need to be aware of this. What I like about Oregon is that you can drive over the highway scales as an RVer and get your axle weights

Do not believe more solar panels and batteries are going to save you. They will if you live in the desert, never travel or have to move your vehicle from optimum sun gathering position. Our ORV trailer travels from Alaska to Florida. Try two weeks in Alaska, along the Kenai River, the sun may be up for 20 hours but we traded generator usage for sunlight to be in such a beautiful spot. I run the generator, a remote start (well worth the money) because we are adventuring to new exciting places not just existing in the desert.

Picture is our favorite Forest Service Campsite in Alaska. No hookups and just a an hour or two of sunlight on the panels. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-04-2019, 10:22 AM   #37
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@shane_the_ee that makes sense. You have a full load for sure!

I am installing bags and a WDH but will watch the tongue weight and shift gear as needed. The plan is to stay in one place for an extended period so I will be able to use strategery when pulling by emptying tanks before long drives. My next truck will definitely be a 3/4T but not for a few years. I pickup our trailer in a few weeks and cant wait to use it!
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Old Yesterday, 05:34 PM   #38
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Solar energy question. This one is a pie in the sky. Some can get by on 100 watts while others need 1000+. However, my guess and it is just a guess, go with two full size panels (each will produce between 200 to 350 watts). I see this setup most frequently. The beauty of solar is you can always expand without trashing you current setup.

If you are new to diy maintenance, make youtube you new best friend. If you need to repair something, you can bet a video is posted on how to do it. Make sure you watch several as not all are absolute.

Good luck.

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Old Yesterday, 05:57 PM   #39
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You mentioned that you have a Honda generator. While solar is nice, it is expensive. You might want to consider forgoing the expensive of solar until after you've been RVing for a while. We've been RVing for 10 years and do not have solar. We like boon docking but don't do it often. However when we do, the Honda is more than adequate for our needs. When it's hot, we use the big generator.

Personally, I'd take it slow and get your feet wet before incurring significant expense on an RV and related equipment. If you've RVed before and like it, then that's not a valid concern. However, if you're new, there's a huge learning curve. Take your time and become familiar with your options before jumping in. You mentioned an axle flip to gain ground clearance. We did that on our 28 foot trailer. It cost about $300.00. It was done by a company we have used for many years and they are considerably less expensive than an RV dealer. They are also considerably more reliable.

Good luck on your search and ask all the questions that come up. Great place to get good answers.
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Old Yesterday, 06:32 PM   #40
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Gary's advice is good, but for many of us the whole point of boondocking is the silence. My Honda generator is quiet but not silent.

So if you are sure you are going to do a fair amount of boondocking, the cost of solar should not be a huge deterrent. After all, if you spread the cost of the installation over the total number of days camping, it is just a few dollars per day.
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Old Yesterday, 08:11 PM   #41
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Watch a lot of YouTube
Once you hit the road take your time
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Old Yesterday, 08:13 PM   #42
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Do your research and buy used
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