While there are arguments for any brand of truck, when truck shopping we were between the RAM and Ford. We've owned both brands before so we were comfortable with both. In the end, we just liked the Ford better. We liked the camera system, power mirrors (extension and folding), door keypad, etc. that RAM doesn't offer. But we're not brand loyalists with a “my brand is best your brand sucks” mentality. Lot's of good options out there across all the brands. You just have to do your own homework when it comes to towing a large fiver and NEVER trust the sales guy when it comes to the numbers. Study the specs yourself and check out our towing video.
Why did you choose the TST TPMS system instead of getting the Ford Trailer TPMS System that would integrate into the truck's dash?
We initially wanted to get the Ford Trailer TPMS to have everything in the dash. But the more we dug into it, the more complicated it got.
First, the sensors have to be installed into the rims (replacing the valve stems) and there was a lot of confusion about the size of the valve stems and compatibility with our wheels. Second, the system is not completely wireless with a simple repeater like the TST unit. For some reason, it requires wiring to the trailer. You can see the kit and all the wires here: accessories.ford.com/kit-tpms-sensor.html
On top of the complicated install, it’s much more expensive than the TST and doesn’t monitor temperature (only pressure). The bottom line is, it was more complicated and more expensive for a less capable system that can’t be easily moved to a new trailer.
Our Changing Lanes Logo mud flaps are from a great US Small business, DuraFlap! duraflap.com/
They, of course, sell non-customized stock flaps as well and are VERY solid and durable. They hang about an inch off the ground when towing and are a much nicer (in our opinion) option to something like rock tamers. Tara invoked her Veto option on rock tamers. ?
It's a 2017 Ford F350 DRW (Dually) with the 6.7 liter PowerStroke Turbo Diesel V8 (with 3.55 axle). Crew Cab and full size (8′) bed with Reese 27K hitch (ford branded accessory). We've also added sulastic shackles and Loadlifter 7500 XL air bags (with the wireless air controller) to help make the ride smoother. We go over the truck and towing in this video.
The toolbox is a Better Built 77213014 Deep Shotgun Tool Box. It has shotgun latches that don't interfere with the tonneau cover! Unfortunately, the SLE line from Better Built is being discontinued, but we hope they will change their mind. It's the only crossover/saddle style box we've found that plays nice with a tonneau cover! We found ours on eBay here: Item no longer available. If that listing is no longer available, search by part number on google.
This cover pairs great with the shotgun toolbox!
We got new tires for the truck in October of 2019. We chose Michelin Defender LTX M (LT245/75R17121/118RDFNDRLTXM). They aren’t as off-road aggressive as the stock tires were, but they ride nice and should be just as capable of light off-road use. They've been very good tires so far.
This camera records in 1080p both inside and in front of the vehicle. It records to micro SD card and creates a new file (one for inside and one for outside) every 5 minutes (configurable), deleting the oldest file as the card fills up. With a 64GB card, this equates to about 5 hours on the card, and it can accommodate a 128GB card.
We like the added peace of mind that if there is ever an accident, we have a record showing where we were, how fast we were going, and what was going on inside the cab (paying attention, etc). Note: this camera is strictly for security purposes. We have a different camera for recording for our videos. See: changinglanesrv.com/faq/?Display_FAQ=1752
That's the “Snoozer Luxury High Back Console Pet Car Seat” – amzn.to/2MnglBj
Daisy loves the high side walls much better than the mostly flat bed we had in the truck originally. It straps to the console as well as the floor of the truck, and has a tether you can clip to a harness.
Note: The dog bed has been in and out of stock a lot recently. If its out of stock, just keep checking back.
For our first year (2018), we used the CoPilot GPS app on our iPhones. It stores maps locally and allows you to input RV dimensions and weight in and will route accordingly. However, after an update to the app this year, it started doing some really crazy routing (get off this exit, do a U-turn and get back on, etc). Coincidentally, the next week, Eric from TechnoRV asked if we wanted to try a new GPS. So glad you asked!
Since February (2019), we've been using the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS and LOVE it! Great big display, voice prompts (that aren't overbearing), and it finds rest areas, service stations, etc along our route with ease! We will have a full review here!
We get about 8.5mpg @ 65mph, which is our max speed. In cases where road conditions warrant a slower speed of 55mph, we've seen as high as 9.4mpg. I've verified with raw calculations twice that our mileage computer is accurate, so now I just trust it.
We have AAA Premier RV Plus Motorcycle which covers everything we have. It runs about $246/yr.
We've only used it once for the motorcycle, so we're not exactly experts on how well it works for the RV. But, we've had AAA for many years (pre RV) and the few times we've needed it AAA was on the ball.
Our F350 DRW is 4WD. We have needed it on a few occasions, like Lone Rock Beach (youtu.be/IVJx2T1WJC0), and even one state park. Four-wheel drive isn't necessary most of the time, but it's one of those things that you don't need it till you NEED it. If we ever find ourselves in snow or ice, we might also want it. We like having it and do recommend it as a just-in-case. But, if you're only going to be in RV parks, it might not ever be needed.
Yes and no.. Yes, it can be more challenging to park. But, once you get used to it, it's not bat at all. Maneuverability is best in reverse, so we normally back into spots. This also allows the rear to hang over sometimes and back in farther. Even drive thrus areno problem.
Note: The 360 camera system is a HUGE help when parking!
Yes and no. Yes, it does provide DC power at a low current (maybe around 3-5A DC). This would trickle charge the batteries if there were no load on them. However, we run our fridge via the inverter when traveling which draws about 45 Amps DC. Thus, the batteries still draw down while we travel.
Our F350 does have the extra alternator and could provide a lot more power, but we'd need to run dedicated cabling for that. That is on the wish list. We just haven't gotten to it yet.
Our 1 Ton F350 Dually is not exactly a luxury ride! To help improve things (even just a little), we made 3 mods to the truck:
- Airbags – We had the Air LIft 7500XL with the AIR LIFT 72000 Wireless Air Leveling Compressor installed. This takes some of the force off the springs and shocks.
- Helper Spring Stop Removal – Once we had the airbags, we really no longer need the helper springs. But removing them or replacing the leaf springs is a pain. So, I just removed the stops for the helper springs.
- Sulastic Shackles – These put a rubber shock in between your leaf spring and frame to help dampen the forces between the springs and truck.
These three things definitely help some. But, it's still a rough ride compared to any normal vehicle.
If we were made of money, we would get a full air suspension replacement installed. Something like Keldemann.
If you have steel valve stems and enough room for them, the flow through sensors are great! They make it much simpler to add or remove air.
We have flow-through on the RV and caps on the truck. The rims on the truck just don't leave enough space to be able to get an air chuck on them.
Another item of note on the cap sensors. Many of them come with an outer shell that just spins and you need to use a special wrench to get them on and off. This is an anti-theft feature, but it's also very annoying to use that little wrench. I removed and discarded our spinner shell – they just screw apart and come right off.
Short answer: It depends on the state.
There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (our home state), as well as about half of the other states, do not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver's license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes. (www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/specialized-areas/commercial-vehicle-enforcement/recreational-vehicles/)
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.
In regards to Federal CDL Requirements, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/383
Question 3: Does part 383 apply to drivers of recreational vehicles?
Guidance: No, if the vehicle is used strictly for non-business purposes.
Here are a few articles that discuss the topic for each state:
All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.
We cover some of the CDL issues here if interested: youtu.be/EY0GfrZIxxs?t=496
Did you consider getting the trailer camera system that integrates with the Ford Sync (in-dash) system instead of the Furrion camera?
Yes. We looked at that as well as the TPMS system that integrates. The trailer camera system is hard wired, requiring a wiring bundle be run all the way to the back of the RV from the bumper of the truck. That, combined with the price, makes it a non-starter for us. It's also not clear if the camera will operate in-motion. We use our camera primarily while driving to get a view behind us and almost never for backing. Every other camera integrated shuts off when in motion, so we have no reason to beleive this is different.
All in all, it's just way too expensive, too difficult to install, and has limited functionality.
In contrast, the furrion camera system we have was super easy to install (wireless), and runs in-motion, giving us a full time view behind the RV when driving.