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Old 04-16-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
W6ZKH
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Default New 5'er

Connie and I finally got tired of "crawling" into bed, so we traded the 27 ft 5'er for a new 2011 Forest River 34 footer that has 3 slides instead of just one. We've already made a trip to the coast for a shakedown run, and end of this month headed back over along the coast from Pismo Beach down to Santa Barbara, as that week is our 46th anniversary week......geez, how have I had to put up with that old broad, hi... In June, we are going to San Diego for afew days with our kids, in their 5'er, then from there we'll head back north up to WA state to visit oldest son and youngest grandson. From there we will head east over into the Dakota's then back south again, hoping to be in near Colorado Springs for the hamfest there on July 16th. Planning on being there about 5 days to tour many things to see, then head south again, down to Taos, Santa Fe and Alburquque, NM. From there west to Las Vegas and then head back here to Mexifornia for a total of around 6000 miles and 5-6 weeks.

I took the Yaesu FT-857D HF rig out of the truck, as have been playing PedMobile with it. Mounted it on a pack frame, attached a MFJ Screwdriver antenna w10' whip and acouple of SLA batteries and been having fun out on the walking trails here talking on 20-17 meters. Also have a QRP PedMobile setup using the TenTec R4020 4 watt QRP rig and the antenna is a Hamstick for that setup. See my QRZ.com page for photo's of those setups..

So, that is the latest here.....hope everyone is doing well.
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Head Wrangler John W6ZKH
Chief Cook/housekeeper Connie
Mess makers Bailey & Gretchen (dogs)
2002 Dodge 3500 Diesel-Dually
2011 Forest River Wildcat 313 5th wheel
Icom IC-2800 Dual-bander in truck
Yaesu FT-1900R 2M Xcvr in RV
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:36 PM   #2
Andy N1ORK
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Sounds like a great trip John. We'll be going up to NH at the end of April to open up the park model for the season. Hopefully the G5RVjr made it through the winter and maybe we'll be able to QSO someday. I also picked up a ft817nd QRP rig that I want to try out with a hamstick dipole on 20m.
73
Andy - n1ork



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Old 04-16-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
wohtex
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Hi John, that is the same rig we are looking at getting next month if the house closes. That floorplan and three slides gives a lot of room and we plan on full timing in ours. How do you like it, does it tow well, I will be towing with a 2002 Ford F250 PSD. We are really anxious to get ours and get started traveling.

take care
Bill N5CCQ
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:14 AM   #4
W6ZKH
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Hi Andy and Bill..............thanks for the comments..........

Andy....hope the G5RV is still up..and real fine on the 817... I've been having alot of fun on QRP even with my minimal antenna farm here, but enjoy the HFPack stuff even more...gets me outta the house, hi.

Bill.......sofar am pretty happy with the rig. Of course had some minor problems which is typical, but nothing major. This rig has the Demand Water Heater, which is taking sometime to get use too....either too hot or get a blast of cold water at times when in the shower. I wouldnt recommend it, but otherwise a fine rig. The mattress isnt the typical RV type, but a very well made Serta. One thing though is that it is setup for 50 amp service, and that giant, heavy, stiff cord, which I hate. Dont know why they did that, as only has one AC unit, but guess that another could be placed in the bedroom as it does have a plate for the ac power at that location. I am going to get an 50amp to 30amp adapter cord (shorty) and then get a 30 amp cable instead of hauling out that 50 amp monster. One thing though, and I thought this was strange, as most new RV's now are coming out only with 1 battery !! Well, I am going to add another, and I have installed a marine battery switch to disconnect the batteries when in storage.

It tows well and tracks in the right spots. This one I have has the auto leveling hydraulic jacks, 6 of them. It takes some playing with to get use to, as no instructions come with the controller, so speak of. Just make sure your tow vehicle isnt under the piviot until you have pretty much set the height to connect too, as it drops pretty fast, and if not set right, well, I've seen other pickups where the trailer dropped onto the bed and it isnt a pretty sight..

Nice to get back to the big tires/rims and away from those 15" car tires...always thought they were overloaded.
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Head Wrangler John W6ZKH
Chief Cook/housekeeper Connie
Mess makers Bailey & Gretchen (dogs)
2002 Dodge 3500 Diesel-Dually
2011 Forest River Wildcat 313 5th wheel
Icom IC-2800 Dual-bander in truck
Yaesu FT-1900R 2M Xcvr in RV
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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John it sounds like mine is equipped the same as yours, on the leveling system if you go to the Lippert web site and look under manuals you can download the operator manual on the Level Up system its pretty informative. Also don't know if you know it or if yours is equipped you can get an optional M-IRC (Manual Individual Room Control) that lets you put in or out individual slides, I am making the dealer put one on mine. I have heard pros and cons on the tankless water system and am sure it will take some getting used to. I like your idea on the electrical cord, like you I am not looking forward to wrestling with that 50 amp monster, I think they did it simply because it is 2nd AC ready and a lot of people go for that option. Here is another link you might not know about and want to check out, lots of nice folks and good information www.wildcatcamperforum.com
I agree to the second (or more) battery again on the forum there was a thread about doing this and I have the same plans, looks like there is enough room up front. I also want to look into a way of pumping grey water from one tank to another as the tank from the shower will probably fill up first. Did you get the 2nd year bumper to bumper warranty from Forest River? I heard some dealers don't tell you about it and its only $200.00, I already told the dealer I want it figure its money well spent.
Well enjoy the new unit, maybe catch youat a campground one day, we hope to leave here by first of June and spend the summer in Colorado taking care of our storage unit, then to North Carolina for a month with my family, then head west, winter in Texas, and Arizona.

Safe Travels
Bill N5CCQ
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:44 PM   #6
W6ZKH
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Thanks for the info Bill on the leveler's and also the wildcat web users site. Yes, got the extended warranty, and before it is up, will get the extended 5 year I think it is also. I traded in a Wildcat F27 on this new rig, and used the extended warranty on it.

We'll be in Monument/Colorado Springs on or about July 16 for a hamfest in Momument. A bunch of us HFPackers are having a get together afterwards.

I got my 3 Hamstick dipoles tuned up today, so those are ready anytime I want to use them... Did check into a 40m net at noon and also worked a guy on 17m just as the band was going out... One of the 20m hamsticks which I have had for sometime was full of water, so had to let it drain before I could put it up and do the tuning. I had it on the pickup for sometime, so guess that is where the water came from.

73 es take care
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Head Wrangler John W6ZKH
Chief Cook/housekeeper Connie
Mess makers Bailey & Gretchen (dogs)
2002 Dodge 3500 Diesel-Dually
2011 Forest River Wildcat 313 5th wheel
Icom IC-2800 Dual-bander in truck
Yaesu FT-1900R 2M Xcvr in RV
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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John on the extended 5 year is that supposed to be with Forest River or some other company? I have not tried the Ham Sticks yet but was thinking that would probably be the best with full time traveling, I don't plan on running a lot of power, I have a SG2020 and have been debating between the FT-817D and the 857D. My main reason for considering the 857D is the higher power available on VHF/UHF, on HF I have found the SG2020 to be adequate and have other 100 watt rig also, but nothing good for VHF/UHF SSB. I will set up portable stations as I don't do mobile to much due to decreased hearing and the XYL is not very radio friendly.

take care

Bill/N5CCQ
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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Nothing soothes the soul like a brand new RV. Especially a new FR 5'er.

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