Foolish Mortals, The travels of Truck 999, The HDT.

mickeyfan0805

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Ok - I'm curious. A number of your pics, recently, have been at campgrounds where you were surrounded by other big rigs. In 10 years of camping, I've never seen a HDT with a trailer in any campground we've used, and I can probably count on one hand the number I've seen on the roads. Is this a more common thing in the south?
 

PaHunter

Photographer in need of training...
Joined
Oct 15, 2014
Ok - I'm curious. A number of your pics, recently, have been at campgrounds where you were surrounded by other big rigs. In 10 years of camping, I've never seen a HDT with a trailer in any campground we've used, and I can probably count on one hand the number I've seen on the roads. Is this a more common thing in the south?
Well the most recent pictures came from a rally we just returned from, over 600 miles today, but that is another story. At the rally were 52 couple and families whom all tow with HDT's. We passed one on the way back home today, he was rolling south on Interstate 81, us northbound. They are becoming more popular, as trailers grow ever larger. Many use them because they are safe, cost less and well they are cool. One can get a used HDT in good shape for about 35 to 40K, try getting a new one ton for that price. This was one of 3 rallies, there is a National one in Kansas, a Western one in Idaho, and the East Coast one is held in TN.

PS: quick geography lesson, Pennsylvania is North of the Mason/Dixon line, hence we are not in the South.
 

mickeyfan0805

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
PS: quick geography lesson, Pennsylvania is North of the Mason/Dixon line, hence we are not in the South.
Granted - just know I've seen very little of it in our camping (which centers primarily in the NE quadrant of the country). I totally get it for those with heavy rigs and a plan to maintain a vehicle just for towing. Makes complete sense in such situations - I've enjoyed following your evolution with the rig!
 
  • PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    OK, so last Friday we left our home to head to The East Coast HDT Rally, held at Deer Run RV Resort in Crossville, TN.

    We packed the truck and trailer the week before, and this is the first trip of the season, so surely we will forget something. Friday morning rolls around, we think we have it all, and well Reba is ready to go. Hitched up, lights, check, all systems go, check. Weather....ummm. Seems mother nature is not going to cooperate, awesome, rain.
    So we roll up on to 81 South and leave PA, thru MD, WV and into Virginia. Google maps said this would be a 5.5 hour trip....nope. Remember that rain, here is the radar.

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    See that large line of RED, well this is the loop after we got to the campground, but that is what we drove in. Rain sideways, lightning, and winds gusting up to 55 mph. Was not a lot of fun. At times we were doing about 35 mph on the interstate as where all the professional drivers, as no one could see.
    So after driving for 7 hours we pulled in to Fort Chiswell in VA for the night. The wind howled all night long, the camper shook and shook, but we made it to the morning light.

    Saturday Morning we got up had some breakfast and got the camper packed up and ready to travel again. The sun was out, the wind was dying down, a much better day.
    We left early and figured we would get to our destination early....we were wrong.

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    So in the above pictures we can see that Reba has decided she can be a lap dog. In the top picture she is resting her head on the window ledge. She had her feet off the floor enjoying the air ride seats. So early in to the next campground was my thought.....un huh.

    See we needed fuel, so we stopped for fuel in TN, the cheapest we could find, and coasted in on fumes. Well fumes for our size truck, I only had 20 gallons left. So we hit the pump, and fuel Foolish Mortals up. My fueling bills are not for the faint of heart.
    Then I had a brilliant idea, lets go to Blue Beacon !!! For those not familiar it is a truck wash service, that will also do RV's. Remember it rained yesterday ?? Well now the sun is out and every gear jockey East of the Mississippi wants a nice shiny ride !! We get in line.

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    Boy oh boy do I need a Fastpass !! Cuz this stand by line ain't doin nothing but crawlin. So we wait...and wait...and wait some more....and finally it is our turn. 90 mins later she is all nice and clean. Well so much for being early to our destination.

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    But she is so pretty and shiny. Now it is time to get back on the road. 52 mins to the campground, and we will cross into the central time zone. So we should already be there right ??
    Nope, doesn't work that way. But we rolled up and down the hills on Interstate 40 until we had come to our exit. We worked our way back to our campground and checked in, well at least we were not last. There were a couple or three yet to arrive behind us. So we check in and proceed thru the gate and up the road of the campground. Did I mention that I just spent 90 mins to get the truck washed......yea, well see the campground road is gravel. So by the time we got the two miles back to our campsite, we were covered in a fine film of grey dust, everywhere. Washing the truck is looking pretty pointless about now. But we have made it, we are here.

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    Our campsite for the next few days, among friends. In the next post I will cover the remainder of the trip.
     

    tigger92662

    They're more like guidelines than actual rules
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2015
    I was chuckling when I saw the 1st pic of Reba thinkin she's kinda big for a lap dog :rotfl2:
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Saturday evening and we have arrived to our campsite. Now to set up, did I mention this is the first trip of the year ?? I mean we did all the pre winter things, drained lines, blew all them out. We did all the spring things, cleaned the hot water tank, replaced the anode, smoke detector battery, oops smoke detector is hanging open, may have forgot something 9volt in nature. So I commence to hooking up to the electrical, no LED's on the top, do we have power. Hey wait camping world fixed my power cord, great, no LED's. But power in trailer so we are good. Cable connected just in case, I mean after all there is a Live PD marathon going on.

    Hook up the water, turn it on, we should be all set. Then I hear from in the trailer, I have no water. Wait, what ?? OK recheck everything, feeling like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. Nope, good you should have water, nope. So now I start removing pieces to find what is at fault. Eventually all I am left with is the pressure reducer on the hose bib, open the water and......viola, nothing. You have to be kidding. Now the campground has crazy high water pressure, so doing without a regulator is not an option. So I climb up in the cab and off to the office we go. They have a small camp store and I am able to secure a replacement regulator. Get back and reconnect it all and we have water.....boy do we have water.

    I open the bathroom door to step in and use the potty and there is a big big puddle on the floor. Hold on a minute, camping world fixed the leak, and it was not leaking yesterday. Well it is leaking now. So I put a towel on the floor to soak up the mess and check the toilet, I mean there are only so many places water can come from. Awesome, it is coming from the area on the rear of the toilet where the valve is popped into a nice plastic box. Ok, let's see if the leak stops....so two hours later have to put a new towel down and wring out the first one. Nope leak has not stopped, well it is almost bed time, I will just shut off the water, problem solved.

    Sunday morning I am up way way to early for someone who is on vacation and not getting ready for rope drop. Leaky toilet, let's fix it, after all DW and Reba are still asleep. So I remove the toilet from the floor, take apart the fittings, put a gasket on the only place it looks like one maybe missing and reassemble. Feeling pretty good, this is the first hour of my day and I have accomplished something. So I walk outside and turn the water back on and hold on, we still have a leak. Are you kidding me ?? Alright, it is now time to wash up and make breakfast. I put the towel down to catch the dripping water. So the only thing I can think of is there is a leak in the part itself, but it is Sunday and no place is open. Well every two hours change towels, wring out the soaked one, place it in the sun to dry and repeat. Sunday night when we are done I shut down the water once again.

    Monday morning rolls around and a fellow camper is headed to Walmart, Lowes, and there is a RV place very close. So off we go to do some shopping. Oh yes, I need to make a Lowes run also. Sunday afternoon found out that the bolts holding the middle of my fenders on have either come off completely or I am missing the nuts. Great, something else to fix.
    Luckily when we arrive at the RV place they have 4 different toilet valves, including the one I need. So once again I am headed back to the trailer to remove the toilet.
    After removing the toilet I am able to remove the factory crimp ring and salvage the hose, I install the new part in the toilet and this time we have no leaks. Oh the joy.

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    Here is a friends set up, they are singled short which makes the truck about the size of a dually pickup. They are from Wisconsin, very nice people.
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    This fella has a whole battery system in the back cabinet with solar panels. Very neat, not sure I understand all of it.
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    Kermit is along for the ride..
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    This Spacecrafter trailer is a bumper pull. There was another that used a pintle hitch on his.
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    The weather was just perfect the whole time we were there.
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    The truck on the left is a Super Class C. So there are all kinds of rigs here.

    We had to leave on Wednesday and head home, the rally went on thru today (Friday). It is a great meeting of friends who share a love for the same things, coming from a huge variety of backgrounds. I mean there are farmers, nuclear engineers, 747 pilots and more in the group. This was our second year in attendance and we will be headed back next spring.

    We have some things we need to get done in the trailer and in the truck, to have them just the way we like. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

    DW, Reba and I will now focus on getting ready for the next big trip.....GSP.
     

    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Looks like most were running Volvos. Is that because of the automatics, the price or just availability?

    What did the guy with the bumper pull put in the box on the tractor? That would be a cool setup for a golf cart or Smart car.

    j
     
  • PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Looks like most were running Volvos. Is that because of the automatics, the price or just availability?

    What did the guy with the bumper pull put in the box on the tractor? That would be a cool setup for a golf cart or Smart car.

    j
    Originally the Volvos were more common because the I Shift (auto transmission) was more reliable than any other manufacturer. Since then, mainly price as they get passed on from one user to the next. The Volvos also have more room in the cab, and between the seats which is another factor. Many also have the workstation table which is nice for eating lunch while on the go, etc.
    The fella with the garage on the back of his tractor does house his Smart car in it. It also has a full set of tool boxes up front so he can work on car, trailer, truck. I did not take any pictures of the inside as he had a project going on and it was not so neat. The Smart cars will all be gone at the end of the year, they stopped selling gas ones in about 2017, and the electrics will be done at the end of this year. Not sure what they will do now.
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    So today while the sun was out, I decided to make some headway on projects that needed to be done. I got the antenna installed for the SiriusXM. We used the antenna from DW's car for the last trip and it was not so good coming home. Hopefully new antenna will fix the problem.
    I was also in the basement of the trailer attaching some storage hooks to the walls. I reinforced them from behind with 2x4's. Now I can hang my water hosed out of the way, trying to organize the storage in there a little better.
    Now to finish packing and getting it ready for the trip down to GSP.
     

    tigger92662

    They're more like guidelines than actual rules
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2015
    Chris, just curious if you found a way to hold up the trailer cord to keep it away from the hitch
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Chris, just curious if you found a way to hold up the trailer cord to keep it away from the hitch
    We ended up pulling the extra back and zip tied it to the rear of the pinbox in a loop. Seemed to work on the last trip as we did 1200 miles and did not have an issue.
     
  • PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    That's good to hear, you certainly wouldn't wanna damage that
    Yes, been there done that. Accidentally ground down a cord on our old travel trailer going to Disney. Found it the morning we were leaving at 4am. Here I was in the walmart parking lot splicing wires, not fun at all. So now when I get where I am going, I check everything over, so I can order and overnight stuff for repairs if need be.
     

    friendofeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2014
    Some know we had to cancel our Fort visit 12th thru 22nd because our 1 ton’s turbo went out. Well, they do not have a turbo for our truck & don’t know when! We were told they are not making that part & not sure when or what they will replace. Sad we had to cancel GS, but guess it was good we did. At least someone will be able to camp Memorial week. Have fun & if possible, let us know all the fun, food y’all will be doing. I will keep an eye on the news to make sure I don’t see any Dis in a can. Lol
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Some know we had to cancel our Fort visit 12th thru 22nd because our 1 ton’s turbo went out. Well, they do not have a turbo for our truck & don’t know when! We were told they are not making that part & not sure when or what they will replace. Sad we had to cancel GS, but guess it was good we did. At least someone will be able to camp Memorial week. Have fun & if possible, let us know all the fun, food y’all will be doing. I will keep an eye on the news to make sure I don’t see any Dis in a can. Lol
    We will miss you and Arnold at the Gulf. Sorry to hear about your turbo, that is horrible. Since there is little to no signal, I will do a big update when I return, pictures and all.
     

    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Well, they do not have a turbo for our truck & don’t know when! We were told they are not making that part & not sure when or what they will replace. Sad we had to cancel GS, but guess it was good we did.
    Sorry to hear, Gloria. I can't believe they don't have a turbo (or a replacement model number) for a 3 year old truck. I wonder if they know there is a problem with that turbo and don't have a replacement designed/identified yet. Either way, it is frustrating.

    Hopefully we can all meet up at the Fort next year.

    j
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    So our trip to the Gulf Shores Dis Meet for 2019 started on Wednesday morning the 22nd of May. We were up and on the road early, before dawn and headed South. Our first destination was Sweetwater, TN, and the KOA there. We arrived about 4pm, and had to wait to get to our site as they had a propane leak from their filling station. A nice small campground, but big enough to accommodate us, remember we are just over 66 ft long now. Once the propane had dissipated, we pulled in to our site. Checking our propane tanks we found one was totally empty, so I took it over to have it filled. A nice dinner of Salmon was enjoyed and a walk around the campground finished off the evening.
    Day two of the travels and we are once again up before the sun and on the road. Destination today, Gulf Shores State Park.
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    This was the sunrise as we started our day, it looked great in my mirror, wish I could have stopped somewhere to take a better picture. We ran in to a couple of slow downs today, nothing terribly long. At one point I thought there was going to be a 6 car pile up in front of me, traffic broke after a slow down everyone accelerated to 500mph and it came back to a screeching halt, with people tailgating one another, vehicles pointing to the middle and off the road, almost. The rest of the trip from Birmingham on down to the Gulf was uneventful, with just a touch of holiday traffic.
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    We arrived at the campground and got settled in, we will be staying until Thursday when we begin our journey home. Now the vacation begins.
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    So later on in the day Thursday we met up with Flametamer, and Tiggerdad with DD. Friday morning up early and time to make some breakfast on the Blackstone, chocolate chip pancakes.
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    We finished up breakfast and took a walk over to the Beach Pavilion. We some some Blue Herron, a Dragonfly and an Osprey.
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    We came back and relaxed for the afternoon, while waiting for the Friday arrivals to roll in.

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    Team UBR made it. A couple cars darted behind as he tried to back in his site.

    Then there was a thunderous roar, a lot like an approaching storm, and the earth began to shake......signalling the arrival of Southalabama5er.

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    Friday evening dinner the dinner menu was scallops and shrimp, cooked up on the griddle.

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    We got to visiting some of the other Dis members that had arrived, spending time with friends and trying to avoid the yellow flies.
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Saturday we were up early, visiting and hanging out. We then headed out for a walk and got some more pictures.

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    We found an alligator hiding in a side canal.

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    Found this turtle flipping sand in to the air.

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    This was the turtle before it darted in to the canal.

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    Some of the Blue Herron around.

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    Osprey with lunch.

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    Osprey taking a bite.

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    Saturday after the walk we relaxed some, and then it was off to dinner, Flametamer trying out his new smoker. It was super delicious.
     

    PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Sunday started with a nice breakfast of eggs and bacon.

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    Sunday was a day of relaxing, visiting and waiting. All the waiting paid off, and it was the arrival of the legend......

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    It is bama ed, finally arriving for the Dis meet.

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    When you are the last to arrive, you get an audience to watch you back in. There were 10 campers here to witness the action, no pressure. And we were not disappointed, a great job backing that tiny trailer.

    Sunday evening was some more relaxing and visiting.

    Monday started the puzzle meeting over at bama ed's site. We arrived bringing banana bread with us while we worked on the puzzle. Rest of the day was spent relaxing and visiting with others. came back and our dog had dropped her toy on the bed.

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    Reba relaxing in the trailer on her bed surrounded by her toys.

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    Monday night we had dinner at Southalabama5er's site. Deep Fried ribeye, which was delicious and a lot of other great stuff. We had 30 campers together for the evening. One awesome get together. Tuesday we are off to see the Blue Angels in Pensacola.
     

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