Every year off-road motorcycle enthusiasts from small cc dirt bikes to large big bore adventure bikes descend on a small town in East Tn named Telico Plains. This event has become known as the mother of dirt bike rallies as March Moto Madness is now a common theme in other cities and event countries around the world. Bottom line is, if you want to experience some of the best dirt, gravel, single track, off road experience around; March Moto is the place for you. Plan ahead however as there is no cell service in the area so you will find guys in really weird places from side of the road to the grocery store trying to check in when needed :).
This was my first experience at March Moto but I went with Tracy Henshaw who was a veteran MMM participant and even chose to participate in the infamous Trials event held on Saturday. This event is a difficult event but was made more so with the deluge of rain that came overnight prior and the light rain blessing the event during the trials. To say it was slippery is an understatement. While taking photos of the event I was slipping in my boots which said a lot for the guys running the course.
This is a first come first serve event where everyone comes with whatever resources they have as there aren't a ton provided although the updated instant heat showers were a welcomed site for the many who decided to tent camp while there. Others as well as myself brought our facilities with us in the form of motorhomes and fifth wheels. Did I mentioned it rained? Yep.. There was a certain amount of off-road mudding that some motorhomes and fifth wheels got to experience as well. Some faired well, others.. well, there were tractors available.
The evenings still crisp in East TN created a fantastic riding environment especially in the higher elevations. Off-road riding can work up a sweat so while it was chilly none of us were complaining. Thursday Tracy, Donovan, Mike, and myself set off for a ride after we got setup at camp and really got to get ourselves ready for the weekend ahead. Tracy was riding his Oil head GS (yep, the same one I crashed into about a month ago, now repaired), and Mike and Donovan were on their small bikes. We had a great time taking in about 50/50 dirt to pavement. We even took time to take in a few great sites including some brave kayakers (ice water, seriously!) as well as the beautiful Bald River Falls. Ended up on more pavement than we had hoped but it was a beautiful ride regardless.
Friday they were riding small bikes so I decided to join a big bike ride unknowing it was set for "easy". 35 bikes showed up making for nothing short of a complicated ride then adding off road and varying skill levels it was going to be an interesting day.. Well, not far into the trip a good friend Evandre also on a GSA was bopping to the left passing people in the line (I was stuck somewhere in the middle of the pack). This was news to me that passing was "ok" so I jumped behind him and followed suit. Didn't take long before he veered off and stopped. I pulled over to see what was wrong and he stated his throttle body was still acting up. He ultimately had to turn back. Drew, the sweeper (rider in back), came up along with Jason Hill and all the other bikes in the long train had long ago passed me while were were pulled over.. Drew, who works for Knoxville BMW and whom I met in Denver, CO in 2015 at the BMW dealer there (we didn't figure this out till the last day lol) said, let's head on and we will catch them..
The ride was on.. The three of us were good riders and so were moving at a pretty quick clip.. We continued this and I kept thinking, surely we are going to catch the gang any minute. Well, we never did. We didn't find out till we got back as to why. Apparently Drew's GPS was set for curvy roads (seems appropriate) although following a track so we missed where they were all sitting and waiting for us.. So, while thinking they were ahead of us or perhaps chose a different track, they were actually now behind us... Way behind..
The original track took us up to the Cherohola skyway via dirt/gravel road which has an elevation of around 4000 ft give or take. This led to some decision making by many because snow and ice was still all over the roads on the top area of this track. It was crisp and beautiful and I loved it. We helped a fellow GS who had a dead battery get going again and by the time we decided to head up the hill the ice was worsening. Some were turning around others were heading forward. I decided to push ahead as well. So glad I did!
At the top of this hill I accidentally joined up with those who decided to take the Cherokee Challenge led by Matt Kelly (GS Trophy qualifier and great rider to follow - smooth is fast). What a great route. We ultimately went all the way to Deals Gap, enjoy a ton of off road as well as on road and my odo for the day ended up around 200mi... Great day of riding. The guys on the Cherokee Challenge were all great and they kept a great spirited pace. We took the pictures as required to get the sticker to show you completed the challenge (remember I accidentally ended up on the challenge so although I took the pictures I never went back to get the sticker, oops). Regardless, it was a great day of riding and I met some new friends as well.
My hat's off to Hugomoto.com for producing an off-road capable Harley Motorcycle. The most impressive rider up the hill in my opinion was a GS rider who except for the final run made it up the hill I believe without ever taking his foot off the pegs. That was pretty impressive to watch. Regrettably I didn't have photos of either of those riders but I'm sure they are readily available in the typical circles.
Needless to say, the whole event was a success and I'm already looking forward to coming next year! Now? Well, now I'm getting ready for next weekend where I'll be at the Tennessee Dual Sport Southern Discovery which is shaping up to be a fantastic weekend as well. Hopefully will see you there! Until then, ride safe and ride often!
I was excited about the opportunity to meet up with some very good friends of mine, Simon and Lisa Thomas with www.2ridetheworld.com, to do a little work together and play in the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula. The goal was to get some videos made and take a few photographs as well. Mission accomplished.
Simon and Lisa were gracious enough to pick me up at the airport and take me south where they were staying. Now keep in mind, all they have are motorcycles which created a few additional things I needed to consider. 1. I needed a helmet and 2. my travel gear had to be motorcycle mount capable. No fancy suitcases on this run. So, I loaded up my Mosko Moto Back Country 40L (features hidden backpack straps that came in very handy), all my camera gear, an old helmet and motorcycle jacket and off I went.
Arriving in Cancun was without a hitch. I loaded my gear on Lisa's bike and myself on the back of Simon's.. I can't say I enjoy being a passenger as much as the rider and pretty sure Simon wasn't a fan of me being there either but we got the job done and soon were in X-Puha for the next few days of sun and fun and, ok, a bit of work.
RawHyde wants to continue to provide quality training to those who have invested in these highly capable machines in order to give them the confidence to take them off-road expanding their view of the world. I'm grateful to be a part of their program and look forward to expanding the relationship.
So what is Overland Expo East? It is a one stop shop for everything from serious camping to ridiculously prepared multi-week/year overland self-sustained off-road traveling, 2 or 4 wheeled. In short, kick ass equipment to make anyone who has ever thought of going off-road drool. The equipment you see here is nothing short of amazing and regardless of your budget, there is something that will spark your imagination of getting away from it all.
More importantly than the highly expensive equipment available is the creativity of those who decided to live by their rules without an unlimited budget. They chose against the stable yet restrictive 9-5 and decided to live with less stuff and more life. And they had the courage to make the shift. They live by their own playbook and are loving life as a result. It doesn't mean it's always easy but it means they choose their life so when there is pain they are better equipped to change the circumstances that created it.. I admire the group of people I am privileged to call friends and admit they inspire me to continue to live life by my own rules and ever look to expand those I work with to do the same.
Adventure lovers are the best! Ideas abound, spirits are lifted, imagination is stretched. I have met and become friends with so many along the way. Simon and Lisa Thomas who have traveled the world on motorcycles for the past 15 years logging over 500k miles in the process. Danny and Pamela, known as 2chefs1moto, share their experiences abroad. Pete and Ashely with Mosko Moto shared campfires and stories including experiences of growing a start-up business that makes fantastic products. Sarah Blessington shared her stories of traveling the U.S. on a scooter. 6000 miles. On. A. Scooter. Um, and what's holding you back again? So many others are simply making the decision to live life differently. So much respect for that.
The evenings at OE East got a bit chilly but not brutal. Enough where a nice fire would solve the problem. Challenge 1, no open fires allowed at the Biltmore Estate. Enter solution. Greg and Melanie were willing to share their propane fire at night that warmed us, of course, but also provided that much needed contemplation device that magically creates stories and laughter of all the adventures. My thanks to Raul and Azule for sharing a jacket with me as in my rush to get to OE, I left without mine. That's the general attitude of all of those I encountered at OE. Compassionate, willing to share, all wanting to have a good time. If you enjoy learning, listening to inspiring adventures of living life differently, and expanding who and what you are, then OE is for you. However, as for most adventures, OE is what you make of it. I have discovered this over the years of travels and working with thousands of people in my business that how you choose to perceive an obstacle or a setback determines how you define yourself and the life you are living. We don't grow as a result of the good times but the challenges. Adventurers I spoke with over the weekend were forged by the times when things didn't go right rather than the blue skies and rainbows that laid in their path.
I challenge you to see life for the good and bad times. The people you encounter, both those you enjoy and those you don't, the setbacks as well as the triumphs. All of this is what causes us to grow along the way, to define ourselves by new standards and to ever determine to increase those standards.
Play by new rules. The belief that you can do more, achieve more, live more, BE more. Your Adventure Awaits! The world is waiting.
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David is an avid rider, photographer and professional actor in addition to natural health educator. As a result of following his passions he was able to retire from the IT industry and focus on using natural health as his means to expand those passions. This desire to live life differently led him to discovering natural health with dōTERRA essential oils. Having dedicated himself in the past to the medical industry from an IT perspective he was keenly aware of the need for people to take control of their health and get back to the basics of plant based medicine to support the bodies natural healing abilities. He and his wife Holly continue to share with those who are interested a better way of living by integrating natural health options into their lifestyles and those whom they educate. To learn more about how to take control of your health contact me or visit our website.
Review of Michelin Anakee Wild Tires for heavy adventure bikes
The discussion of which tire to use for any bike is probably about as diverse as which helmet is preferred... So much of tire choice is based on individual preference and actual use of the machine you put the tire on.. However, there are certain facts that remain no matter the rider.. 1. It's inevitable that we will be on road more than dirt if you truly treat it as an enduro bike. And heavy enduro bikes are designed for long jaunts where road is as favorable if not more than dirt. So while we love the dirt we have to get there many times by road. Some are able to stay on dirt more than others but the average person will end up burning a lot of their tires on pavement.. Therefore, tread life while on road is critical. 2. When we DO end up OFF ROAD, we want it to perform like that's all we do... So we want tread life on road as if it were a road tire and performance off road as if it were a dirt tire. Not an easy challenge for tire makers..
Before we go into the actual review, it does help to know me and how I ride. I've been on bikes for the better part of 25 years with hundreds of thousands of miles under my belt, iron butt member and with 30k miles on my current bike which is a 2014 Liquid cooled BMW R1200GSA. I chose this bike primarily because of the movie Long Way Round starring Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman. They gave me a spirit of freedom on a bike I had never even dreamt of. The idea of camping and riding in the middle of nowhere where roads are optional was absolutely intoxicating to me. In 2015, after making several shorter trips I took off on the Trans American Trail for the better part of a month. I quickly found out the good things and bad things about heavy bikes and the rubber that keeps them moving. 1. TKC-80's perform amazing but don't last long. 2. Finding them at the local shop is all but impossible making tires a constant PITA... (technical term). When you are spending more riding hours wondering how you will acquire your next tire than enjoying the view things are simply not working in your favor.
Of course in 2015 there were few choices for the then practically brand new tire size that the 2014 Liquid Cooled boxer uses.. So, of the choices, the Continental TKC-80 was really the only acceptable choice available. I ran several sets of TKC's through my bike and at 2500 on the rear I was literally changing the tire every month. Front tire was typically getting about double that.
I was excited when I saw the expectations of the Michelin Anakee Wild. I had run the Michelin Anakee III a couple times and was completely satisfied with his road performance but off road abilities were a bit of a joke.. So for the purpose I bought this bike, it simply wasn't a reasonable option for me unless I had two sets of wheels. The Wild turned out to be the perfect solution for me..
Now with 4900 miles on my tires and probably another 500 left in the back tire, this tire will be the longest I have ever run a 50/50 tire and still have confidence in it. Front tire really does still look like a new tire.. I should easily get another 4k on that tire. To put in perspective for the type riding I do, I typically get about 8k on a rear Anakee III and 2500 on a rear TKC-80.. I'm pretty heavy on the throttle as the torque is a big reason I bought the bike... So I use it. Highway speeds run around 80 and this tire saw about 90% road regrettably meaning a better split might have led to even longer wear..
Performance of the Anakee Wild
This is the part where you really need to read.... When you first pull out with the Wild's... The name applies to more than just what it can do off road.. The tire has serious wear in.. I thought I was going to drop it the first probably 20-50 miles... Slippery is an understatement.. So put it in rain mode to keep the torque at bay and let it wear off that initial.
That said... Once it is broken in... And in fact, as you go your confidence will continue to increase as the wear in gets done... By the time I got to 100 miles I was rolling around curves as if it had Anakee III's on it.. I don't hang off saddle, knee out with these tires as I do with the Anakee III's but you can get pretty spirited on roads even with these tires.. But they don't hang like Anakee III's.. Nor are they designed to.
Wet performance was solid.. I have been through torrential rainfalls with these tires and never felt as though I would hydro or lose control in any way.. Solid performance...
Noise concerns. I personally can't speak too much of road noise at interstate speeds as I have custom earplugs as I highly recommend any rider to wear and although I'm keenly aware my Wild's are louder than road tires, they are no different than the Continental's and quieter than the Karoo 3's (imagine lifted jeep with 37" mud tires). In town riding I don't bother with ear plugs with the Wild's.. While I had the Karoo's (once..only once) it was a debate to not put them on when rearranging the bike in the garage.. Joking, but the Karoo's are ridiculously loud.
Off Road Performance
This is where the fun begins.. You don't get a tire like this so it looks cool at Starbucks.. You get it so at any point you see a trail on the side of the road, if you desire.. you can take it.. I mean let's face it.. That's why we bought an adventure bike in the first place right? Well, at least thats why I did.. I want at any time to look at a trail and go.. Wonder where that goes... And take it! I don't want to go, but I don't have the right tire.. I need to remember this next time I through here with a capable tire.. No... I want to take it then.. Right then.
Wild's let you go wild at any whim and will not let you down and if you are 300 miles from home or 3 it doesn't matter because they will get you back home. Off road performance on these tires are on par with the TKC-80 if not better... I have been on rock, mud, shale, water crossings, hill climbs with large rocks... You name it.. These performed... Another benefit is I never had to air down (as much) as I would with the 80's.. I do take some of the pressure off as I typically run around 37-38psi but would take them down to about 30/32 which would still be good enough on road but give me a little more bite off road.
If you bought this bike to truly find your adventure... These tires need to be on your next run.. They perform as they should on dirt but don't kill your wallet in tire changes.. They are great road tires with decent wear and performance giving you the best of both worlds which is what we bought this type bike for in the first place..
I can safely say I have no reason to run a different tire on my bike anytime in the near future... When you choose your next adventure know that the Wild's were made to get you there and back and provide you with the greatest amount of throttle therapy while there.. Roll on!
PepLink SURF SOHO Router Review
A bit of my background. For almost 20 years I specialized in the legal and medical vertical markets supporting turn-key networks that spanned states and required high end VPN connections etc from about 1995-2012 when I was able to sell and retire from the IT Industry. We were highly involved connecting medical offices through VPNs using multiple routers and providing high availability to tablets and other medical devices throughout the clinics and hospitals over a 5 state area.. You have no idea how happy I am no longer be in that field… However, it gave me a lot of knowledge that I don’t use that can hopefully benefit you guys.
First Impressions - New PepLink Surf SOHO Router for RV Use.. This router has been highly anticipated and many in this community have been waiting patiently for it for some time.. Well, my wait is finally over..
To start, why did I need it? I have a new motorhome that I bought in October and my wife and I have 2 macs, 1 apple tv, 2 ipads, 3 iphones, 1 apple watch, and the occasional Xbox when I allow my 13 year old to take it. The process of getting everyone “online” to keep me from blowing through my 30gb AT&T service is time consuming. In addition, I like to use the Apple TV for air play to throw something on my iPad or mac up on the screen either for video or as my second monitor. I also play with video editing and its nice to access a storage device wirelessly without lag. That was my reason for wanting this unit. However, RV on the go comes with complexity which you guys are clearly aware of.
Quickly.. Advantages of the New Peplink Surf SOHO..
1. Newest wireless technology support providing LAN speeds (internal network) of up to 1300Mbps. The speed is literally as fast as the lan so for network files its like you are wired.
2. Ability to utilize USB 4g and LTE Modems. And based on their site, it supports over 250 compatible modems.. I’d say thats most of them.
3. ABILITY TO UTILIZE WIFI AS WAN . This is the big one.. This feature allows you to have all of your devices in your RV setup to talk to the router and the router talking to the RV Park wifi for you.. This serves several purposes.
a. Security - You can know that your kid's (and yours for that matter) devices are protected from hacking through a firewall that is in your RV so you have control rather than hoping the RV park is not using the cheapest router/access point available (what do you think?)..
b. Connection - Since all of your devices, whether it is a printer, apple watch, chrome cast, apple tv, phones, etc.. they are all connecting to the same internal network meaning they will talk to each other even when you DONT have internet.. Then quickly by connecting 1 device (the router) to the internet all of your devices work, securely...
c. Flexibility - It keeps up with multiple profiles or memories of past wifi access points that it has connected to and will automatically switch to the strongest one.. So if you do still have a house like me and pull into the home area, it will automatically connect up to the home network. This also goes for RV parks you frequent. So if you have been there before there is nothing to do but start enjoying the internet.
d. Speed - The internal wireless lan is so fast you can easily have a NAS (network attached storage) hard drive that has movies, music, etc saved on it allowing for hours of enjoyment while on the road when you don't have a signal. Basically your new home DVD library without the DVD's.
e. Internet Speed - Many times the speed of your internet isn't the fault of the RV park as much as it is a limitation of the antenna of your phone or device trying to connect to it. The router has external antennas and can even boost power (technically not legal in some states as stated on the menu) so it is "reaching out and touching" with more effectiveness than your iPhone ever could. Place the router high in your RV and you will get even better reception. Bottom line, better connection between the router and the RV park wifi gives you a better connection for your phone.
4. Prioritization of WAN connections.. This gives you the ability to have a Verizon connected through USB or jetpack or even a iPad that has tethering BUT if you roll up into a park that has good wifi and you want everyone to switch over, simply set the wifi as wan to a higher priority than the verizon and everyone will automatically use it over verizon.. Once on the road and the wifi is gone everyone will automatically start using the verizon again.. Sweet.
5. If you have an Apple TV or a ChromeCast and you want to shoot your video to your TV or use the TV as a second monitor for work you can and do so at the high 1300Mbps speed. Meaning, no drag, no delay. This is something I do all the time utilizing Apple Air Play to use my TV as a second monitor either for video work, presentations, zooms, whatever. There is no delay when you are on this fast of a network. - One note about Apple TV is you need to have the latest version in order to support the newest wifi protocols (802.11N or 802.11AC). Similar goes with chrome cast although I'm not as familiar with their technology. Those protocols are hardware specific so firmware doesn’t upgrade to a newer protocol support.
6. Filtering to protect your kids.. I have not tested this too much yet but there is support for application blocking including things like pornography, p2p file sharing, adware, etc.. Even audio-video, file hosting sites (unfortunately this does count dropbox and iCloud and amazon web - you can exempt used sites if necessary while still blocking the rest), update sites, etc… I have found that based on the few sites I went to it does succeed in blocking those sites.. As usual, I would not blindly trust this feature and assume that it is going to protect your family from everything but it is having very positive results.. Example, I went to www.thechive.com which is technically not a pornographic site but does have less than “family oriented” pictures on it. The site wouldn’t work. I also checked other unsavory sites and all were blocked successfully. Another powerful example is by going to download.cnet.com. This site is known as a legit site but is laden with adware and it successfully allows accessing the site but simply blocks out the ads and it states “due to content filtering” where the ad space is. Again, never assume this is a one stop shop solution for blocking bad sites but the value of having another level of protection is worth its weight in gold.. See Value below.
7. You have the ability to have multiple SSID (wireless names) so you can be on one wireless subnet and your kids on their own subnet.. Meaning that you can exempt yourself from filtering or you could setup bandwidth management on their wifi but gives yourself full speed. You can setup “scheduled wifi” for them and you can have it 24x7. Basically their wifi dies when you want it to automatically on a scheduled basis… Cool huh.. You can also have a guest wifi that provides visitors with internet but not your personal network. Not as big of a deal for our use as for an office but its there.
8. Very low power consumption - Especially important for those using solar and staying off grid or running off batteries for extended periods, this unit uses 26W Max with USB Wan Stick meaning that it takes less than a light bulb… Not bad.
9. UPnP - This is a technology typically used by devices such as Xbox or other “appliances” to simplify connection to the router. This router supports UPnP technology.
10. Value. For what you get this router provides extremely good value for what you are spending. And the pricing usually found in this level of filtering (at the router level) typically comes at a high price. Example: Cost of the SOHO is 179 and has filtering built in it. Before I retired from IT our standard was Sonicwall or Cisco and they provided filtering at a yearly subscription price of around 150-300.. per year.
11. Warranty. You get a 1 year warranty with purchase and it is important to keep it under warranty if you are relying on updates both for security as well as content filtering as this changes often. Regrettably I was unable to determine the cost of extending support past the one year although I can’t imagine it would be more than 50-100 dollars based on the cost of the router in general. Likely even less. I thought I remembered seeing a 25 dollar yearly fee but haven’t been able to find that since. If this is the case that would be a fantastic value for sure.
Things to consider during setup.
1. Setup is easy but simple which can cause issues with compatibility down the road if you happen to end up connecting to a park that is using your same ip address scheme. I know this might get a bit technical but think of it this way. In the U.S. there are no 2 physical addresses that are the same. Something differs, either the city, state, zip, or road name itself.. If they didn't differ, mail would never get to the right place. IP Technology is the same. The Peplink by default uses a 192.168.50.x internal network scheme (It’s address). While not common (192.168.1.x or 192.168.0.x is most common where X would be the device number) it would be possible to hit a park that was using the 192.168.50.x network address. I tend to change mine to the 10.0.x.x scheme because you typically only see this in commercial LAN's not consumer (192.x). The instruction card that the router comes with is simple but will get the unit configured very easily by following the directions. Again, you can leave at the .50.x address scheme and likely not run into issues so unless you are comfortable.. I wouldn't change it. (You have to change a couple different things - ip address of router and the DHCP Scope - addresses handed out to all the devices and if done wrong you could lose connectivity to the router and have to reset it). But theoretically its possible to at some point run into a "why is my internet not working" and this might be it.
2. You can generally poke around in the settings and turn things on like the filtering and other options without killing something important. I wouldn’t say it is fool proof but it is laid out well. If nervous, find a geek friend at a park that can help you configure it..
I have been waiting for this router now since I bought the motorhome in October. Immediately I recognized the need to have some method to connect all my equipment and create a simple way to have all of those connected to the internet either by my iPad (AT&T Subscription) or preferably by local wifi. This unit has the technology to fit my needs. Time will tell if it lives up to the reliability that we are hoping for. So far this is the most flexible router I have encountered and the only router that I know of that supports WiFi as WAN.. So options currently are limited but I have a feeling that this function will extend as popularity of “stringing along” wifi access points becomes more popular..
Until then, enjoy the outdoors and all your internet gadgets!
No I don't mean Dolly Pardon although I did work with her recently in my acting work.. I mean the Dolly that you use to tow your vehicle behind an RV. This is part of what I needed to make my solution complete when I decided to purchase the 2017 Thor 29.4 Motorhome. I, just as most you see on the road, needed a way to get around in a vehicle that was a little more manueverable than the bus. Especially since once you are plugged in with sewage, power and water with slides out it takes a little bit to get moving again... So, when I bought the RV I made two additional purchases. A motorcycle hauler (something I will review soon) and the Roadmaster RM3477 Tow Dolly..
The unit is pretty simple and requires very little configuration once initially put together.. There is a "wide" and a "narrow" configuration when you initially assembling the unit with regard to the width of the wheels of the tow vehicle. In addition, the tow straps can slide in and out further allowing for different sized vehicles to tow.
I went with this model rather than the more popular tow hook which tows vehicles with all 4 tires on the ground but provides a faster connect/disconnect option.. The dolly is a less expensive option for one but primarily because I have two vehicles I will tow depending on who is going with me on the trip. Installing the necessary braking solution in both vehicles seemed cost prohibitive.
The vehicle tracks very smooth behind the RV and to be honest I seldom noticed it was back there. That said, you are NOT able to backup while towing a vehicle primarily due to there being a swivel in the front of the unit between the skids holding the vehicle and the frame of the unit connected to the tires... So be warned you are forward motion only!
Clearance under the dolly especially when unloaded is very low... Every time I pulled into a gas station I rubbed at least a little. Primarily the skids I believe but the bolts underneath are probably 3-4" off the ground.. It's not a show stopper but definitely something to be aware of.
The straps can be a bit of a pain until you get used to installing them. I am getting faster at it and now have it down to about 15 minutes. You do get your hands dirty since you are dealing with tires and straps and things that are typically in the elements. Doing so in the rain or other weather has its disadvantages as well but overall it still isn't a big deal.
Finally the straps connect over the tires and lock behind with a hook and in front with a typical tie-down ratchet method.. (Check your tire size to insure the straps will accomadate) This works quite well once you get the hang of it. I highly recommend taking a sharpy to one of the straps so as not to always have to stare at them to determine which goes on which side. The straps seem to stay in place quite well and I did stop as directed after 5 miles and ever so on on my trip to insure it was still tight.. I have had to rachet a couple times but nothing that would have been an issue.
Another unknown that would have been useful knowledge. Or at least I didn't and apparently neither did some at Camping World where I purchased the unit with the RV. Just because the unit has integrated electric brakes you still need a brake controller installed on your rig in order to activate the brakes.. Granted this might be common knowledge except when I purchased the unit as part of the initial sale I had no idea and when they installed it they said they tested the brakes and heard them activate so it seemed to me that whatever was needed was installed. I later found out from someone at Camping World who apparently knew more than the person who assembled it (slight concern there) that it was impossible to activate the breaks because there was no brake controller sending any type of signal to say "how much" it should brake. Makes sense when you think about it seeing the dolly had no logic chip or computer in it to determine such but again, I accidentally assumed they knew.
So, the dealer also had to install a Primus IQ brake controller in order to finish the install to make it a complete working unit. Yes, regrettably that is after I took possession of the dolly and towed my Cherokee across the state and over the mountain WITHOUT a way to activate the trailer brakes... No damage thankfully but certainly could have been. hmmm.. My review of how that happened on a different post... Again, I never claimed to be a RV expert including towing vehicles behind it.. I simply wanted a solution that worked... Again, that story later..
Another fun fact that was apparently missed by the dealer who sold me the solution is the fact that although the trailer has lights it is required by law for the towed vehicle to have lights on the back of the vehicle when in tow. Therefore when you purchase the dolly you also need to purchase the accessory item
from RoadMaster part number 2000. That part number is the delux set and I recommend that due to the higher quality wiring that is provided with that set. This provides you with magnetic lights to attach to the back of the towed vehicle to properly light the tail of the tow. Without it you are technically not legal at night. This would have been great to let me know when I was purchasing the whole solution.
Be aware, the unit does have a limited tow capacity of 4250 pounds for the vehicle being towed but that is sufficient to tow most small SUV's and sedans making the tow options quite broad.
I do like the flexibility of having multiple vehicles and I don't see the time required to disconnect the vehicle being a major detractor. It also does simplify not having to deal with moving or having two brake controllers in the towed vehicles as well. The unit overall is well built and the price for a tow dolly is very reasonable and seems well made for the long haul. I highly recommend this product and feel comfortable towing my vehicles behind it over long distances.. Cheers!!
There comes a time in everyone's life where one starts reflecting on how far they have come. Reflections on where you are, where you want to go, as well as is that where you really wanted to go in the first place. I find it interesting that we as Americans typically see "stuff" be it a house a car a item you pick up at the local store as security in one sense or the other. In fact, it is easy to have that a false sense of security placed on "stuff" that sneaks into our unconscious which leads us to continuing to look to fill our lives with more and more stuff...
Enter the RV... Due to several factors, Holly and I ended up purchasing a motorhome to support our existing business and escape the idea of living in one spot all the time.. We have teams of people in distant areas of the country and the need to connect to them on a more personal level has been felt strongly and this became a fantastic way to do it. I'll let you know how escaping the sense of security of living in one place goes but supporting our existing business is bound to be worth diving into RV life.
We live in very interesting times.. Everywhere you look there is concern due to how the markets are acting (stocks continue to climb or remain at least stable) and economic purchasing (consumer confidence) continues to slip.. The bottom line is making money, at least a lot of money, for the average person isn't made the way it used to be. Now it is all about the numbers.. Making a little off of a lot of people. Finding a way to make something go viral that you get a tiny piece of each transaction. The internet and shipping affordability has allowed you and me to compete with what would have been brick and mortar stores just a few years ago.. I have met people who make t-shirts that become a hit and they do very well. My wife and I teach about essential oils and we do very well.. A YouTuber creates a host of videos and makes 6-figure income from the views... Money has moved..
So the RV made sense.. Create a following, follow our passions, and provide sincere value to those who appreciate it. I'm curious, what are you doing to enter into this new economy where you can benefit from the leverage of technology rather than being displaced by it. Technology is knocking out a ton of jobs per year.. Just consider a few jobs that were well paying 10 years ago are virtually nonexistent now. Consider medical transcriptionist - Dragon dictate + EMR = extinction. Stenographers have been replaced technologically but the law simply hasn't caught up.. But it will.. Google has announced the idea of the self driving car... They already do it in some areas for mapping.. Taxi drivers anyone? 10 years where will those jobs go? What are you doing to insure you don't become obsolete? Now, the bigger question is overall what do we do? And that is a fantastic question. Those truly in power question this as well and frankly its new territory so no one really knows where it will fall out for sure. This is likely why our government is changing things to have more and more control over the private sector. Or they just want more power but either way it is happening.
That said, other than voting we can't control what government does but we can control our awareness and what we can do.. So let's hear it.. Do you agree with regard to where money has moved to and how it is made? If so, what are you doing to tap into the new economy? If not, why not?
Find your passion, pursue it!!!
P.S. This blog, as you will discover, is about a large variety of topics from camping to RV'ing to economic thoughts or more... Enjoy!
I have had this page up for a long time thinking that I would take the time to write the perfect first blog so that I could start sharing some of the things that I have wanted to but never seem to get the first blog done so rather than making it perfect, I'm simply going to make it.. Does that sound familiar to anyone? You keep wanting to get one thing done but because you can't seem to get something else accomplished you keep holding yourself back from what you really want to do..
I think this is common in all of us and as a result we watch our goals get extended and our dreams become distant. The key to success in my opinion is not to wait till the time is perfect but to simply act on what you can at that moment and make it the best you can. Your best can always improve but inaction always without fail, sucks.. Either retreat in your plan or march with your plan.. Staring at the plan doesn't make it work.
There are a lot of places this blog can go so stay tuned and watch for the articles AND videos that will ultimately be part of this journey.. I'll admit.. I'm at the point in my life where I'm really happy with who I am and where I am going.. Am I where I want to be? Not completely but I'm a lot closer than I ever thought I would be in the past but it is what I have set my goals and aspirations toward and it is that decision to be more do more become more that drove the results that I have today.. My intention at this point is to continue to grow and reach new heights that allows me to help others achieve the level of mastery in their lives they are looking for. This is not just an inspirational page, on the contrary, this is also about tools, gadgets, and products that make my adventure life or personal life easier that I want to share with others.. From tires I use on my adventure bike to tents I use in the outland areas to products such as essential oils that I use for natural health; this blog will have it all.. So, if you see a topic that interest you share it with others who have similar interests and by all means comment on the post especially if you have a different opinion or outcome to a product that I recommend.. We all know that there are a myriad of tires for motorcycles because there are a myriad of different type riders.. Most products are the same.. So comment your thoughts and we will all grow as a result.. Please keep it civil as I'm not looking to create discord but sharing of thoughts and views..
To your next adventure!
Adventurist at heart, David Mays looks to inspire others to live their life with focus and purpose. Experience and expansion is why we are here.