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Post Info TOPIC: Extending the dream (and new RV)


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Extending the dream (and new RV)


The significant decrease in activity on the RV-Dreams forums over the last year or two saddens me. I respond whenever someone posts a question and I think I might have something useful to say, but I'm also guilty of not starting new topics on this forum as often as I should.

That said, the RV-Dreams spring rally in 2015 is what lit the fire under Laura and started our headlong plunge into full-timing (which we've been doing since the first of August, 2015). We've had some great adventures - including the last half of a summer in New England and this past entire summer on the upper Olympic peninsula in Washington. The mobile lifestyle has also allowed us to spend much more time near our ageing mothers and all of our grandkids than we would have had tied down to a stix 'n brix. 

We had a period of painful soul-searching the first half of 2019, though. I was getting a bit tired of the physical aspects of moving frequently (more on that later) and feeling a desire to get a little place in my hometown in southern New Mexico for a home base. We love the area and access to the El Paso airport - a very easy airport to fly in and out of - is quick and simple. The problem with this setup is that our 14 grandkids (and one on the way) are in the Baltimore area, Cincinnati, and Augusta, GA. We've done it, but the distance makes for a long, rough air travel day each way for two old folks. (Note: our son-in-law is a pilot for Southwest and we would be crazy not to utilize the free travel benefit - but it subjects us to standby flying and Southwest's "cattle call" boarding process in which we are always the last on the plane.)

There were many evenings of serious discussion as we left southern NM last spring to head north and west. I had spent the previous year putting together a spreadsheet of the best places in the US to retire. All the statistics in the world don't matter if the situation doesn't suit your lifestyle and family needs. As much as we both love the culture in the southwest, there were too many logistical problems with settling down there. Bottom line - as we went through all the possibilities and scenarios, the only thing that either of us could get excited about was staying on the road!

I had mentioned getting physically tired during the times we move frequently. This is due, in large part, to the fact that our current fifth wheel doesn't have auto-leveling. It also doesn't have dual pane windows. We've managed OK with the 12 cu. ft. RV refrigerator, but had to have the cooling unit replaced two years ago (it was only about 2-1/2 years old at the time) and recently had another issue with the frig. Without solar or a generator, we had a bit of a scare in southern California in October when the Escapees park (and the surrounding area) were put on notice for a PSPO (public safety power outage) due to the fires, the low humidity, and the high winds and temps. Our one flooded house battery would have lasted about 24 hours to keep the frig going on propane and run some lights in the evening.

So... having arrived at the decision to continue rolling for the foreseeable future, we decided that we needed to address the things that we are lacking in our current rig that will make us more comfortable and "at home" as we continue our mobile life. We didn't want to make the kind of drastic change that Howard and Linda did :), so we have ordered another fifth wheel. One could say that we are just "fifth wheel folks." We decided on a Solitude 310GK-R (same manufacturer as our current Reflection fifth wheel). The Solitude 310 is 7 inches shorter (at 34' 11") and 6 inches wider than our current Reflection. This keeps it in a size range that can be fit into most parks and campgrounds. The Solitude also taller with a lot more glass all the way around. This and dual pane windows are "must-haves" for Laura since she doesn't like the caveman feel when I have the Reflectix in many of the windows in cold weather. The major standard equipment/options/modifications that will be in place when we take possession in a few weeks are:

  • MORryde independent suspension and disc brakes (Grand Design pulled the unit to MORryde when it came off the line for installation prior to delivery to our dealer).
  • 6-point hydraulic auto-leveling
  • Dual pane windows
  • 18 cu. ft. Samsung residential refrigerator
  • Solar system with Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries

We listed our Reflection on one of the Grand Design forums and have found a buyer to lives in the southeast (where we will pick up our new rig). It's getting close enough that both of us are starting to fret just a little about the logistics of the actual move. I know many have done it before and we'll get through it. It won't be nearly as bad as moving from house to house or when we did the purge and sold the last house. On the other hand, we ain't gettin' any younger!

We value the RV-Dreams community. Please help us keep the forums going!

Rob (and Laura)



__________________

2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015

 

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Rob ... congratulations on your new rig. Like you, I have noticed the lack of activity on the forum. Many of the long timers either have gone off the road or plan to soon. We are on about a 5-7 year glide path to hang it up. There are many new members but they seem to be less “chatty” than previous groups. I am concerned that H&L moving into a new stage in life that they will lose interest in the RV Dreams brand. I don’t expect this soon but eventually it seems inevitable. Like you, we learned so much on this forum that enabled us to to take the leap. The process of becoming a full timer is filled with anxiety and doubt. We’re here to help, like you, it may change (the forum traffic) but it seems that the wind down is inevitable.

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Hey Rob, Ron and all other RV dreamers

Yes this forum is different, But it has helped many for a long time
I found once we became full timers I would visit less
But prior to retirement I was here almost every day. It was very helpful and informative
Some of the discussions even got a bit "heated", Not all feel there is more than one right way to do things lol
But as Howard says, there is no one right way to full-time. We thought we'd criss cross the country and see the USA coast to coast

However medical reasons have kept us on the east coast. We see our docs in NY in April and October and are now enjoying our 3rd Florida winter

That's what works for now, for us.


I noticed the spring educational rally is still open , years past there'd be a waiting list at this time
Also many posts are read, but very few replies

THANKS to all and safe travels


Bill

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Bill and Laurie

2002 Airstream Land Yacht 39ft DP

2019 VW Jetta, toad

FT since 9-17-17



RV-Dreams Community Member

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I have just signed up. While you may not see as much activity I believe there are probably quite a few like me just lurking around gathering information. This site is one of my favorites so why not make it official. 



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Gary and Larissa. Ella and Maggie the mutts 2019 Mobile Suites. 36RSSB3



RV-Dreams Family Member

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I saw Howard and Linda at the Grand Rapids RV show a couple of weeks ago. While it is true that they have bought a place in Florida he also said he's going to start paying more attention to this place. I'll take him at his word. While this board is not as active as some of the other one's out there I still believe that the information is much, much better.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Good move to upgrade to an RV that will solve some of your issues. Being able to handle dry camping is a real bonus.

I answer questions here when I see ones that need an answer, but otherwise stay mostly quiet. We are now part timers with a place in Arizona, but have no intention of being in Arizona during summer. That means we are still RVing 6 to 7 months a year.

__________________

Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



RV-Dreams Family Member

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I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the forum Rob, and also Bill Joyce. We followed this forum and read and read for a long time prior to registering even. I too miss the updates from Howard (nothing since 1st December), and come by and check at least once or thrice times a week.

I'm a reader more than a responder after being the reverse for a long time, but tired of getting chastised/criticised, not particularly on this forum but others. These latter reasons are often the case whilst a lot of folks stop responding in any shape or form sadly. Just saying, not complaining. Also in such a tech era age, more and more folks are into the apps nowadays with one to five word responses LOL. In addition so many have changed paths/courses either due to age, finances needing to permanent employ again or just feel they've done what they set out to in this lifestyle and now they are onto a new phase. Signs of the times and age group movements.

Your comments Rob to keep the forum alive I think might prompt more of us to start a thread or two, and reply at least for the short term, so I'll play ball in a little while with a new topic and hope others might join in.

Like you we've loved our "extended" times RVing - hoped to FT for many years, but discovered at least whilst our youngest daughter is struggling (4 years out of University) to secure any form of a contract in teaching that we are getting our fix with several weeks/months of trips a few times a year, as well as odd several day trips fishing, riding in the mountains etc more locally.

Here's to hoping more of the oldies drop by real soon again.

SD (Helen).

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Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Connie and I full timed for 8 years but made the decision last November to buy a home in Fort Myers FL, sell the rig, and do some international travel. So...we have closed on the house and our 2012 New Horizons Majestic 39 foot 5ver and 2016 RAM 5500HD with Classy Chassis hauler bed are looking for their next owners. I will get an official For Sale notice and a web page with photos up soon...but in the interim if anybody is interested in talking or knows someone who is interested in talking please PM me and let’s chat. 



-- Edited by Neil and Connie on Sunday 26th of January 2020 03:07:33 PM



-- Edited by Neil and Connie on Thursday 30th of January 2020 08:17:27 PM

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Interesting comments from everyone. Thank you for sharing.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & 2020 Silverado LTZ Z71. 300 watts WindyNation solar w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county camps. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



RV-Dreams Family Member

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First off congrats on the new rig Rob & Laura and on being able to decide that staying on the road is what makes you most happy.
As far as the RV Dreams site goes, I to still come and check the site almost daily like I have been since before 2012 when we went fulltime along with other sites during my morning coffee but activity has been so lacking that I very seldom comment any more it seems.
We do stay in contact with a number of friends that we met through RV Dreams activities via Facebook and or blogs but it seems once Linda & Howard got wrapped up in other things and stopped being active here things started slowing down and this site just gave me the feeling it was just a place to advertise the "RV-Dreams" logo and lost he personal touch and feel it once had (for me anyway).
But things change over time just like we have, but we do still have the original RV-Dreams window sticker hanging to our rig and we have the 2 PIECE symbols hanging that we wore at our very first RV-Dreams event and I still have the RV-dreams tee-shirt I got at our first rally so obviously I still believe LOL!! And yes, surprisingly I still fit in that shirt LOL!!


__________________

Dave & Diane 

"40' New Horizon Majestic 5th wheel  

"2018 Ram 5500 w/Classy Chassis Hauler Bed

2014 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH "for sale" SOLD 

http://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2012/07/

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Congrats on on the new rig! We actually started shopping last fall for a new rig, after our 3rd wheel bearing failure. Long story, but in the end we decided to stay with what we have for another 2-3 years. We realized we do want to go with a smaller rig but since we both work from home, can't really do that and have enough work / storage space until Dale retires. We made a conscious decision that we didn't want to trade units now, just to then trade in another 2-3 years as we didn't fell that made financial sense for us.

I agree this forum is much quieter than it used to be, but I do cherish the friendships we have made as a result of this site. Much of our winter social life is with RV Dreams friends we met either at the Oregon Rally or at happy hours in Quartzsite. It's still a site I send newbies or wannabes to when they think we have all the answers!! I do check this site fairly regularly, but it's no longer a daily check in and respond when I feel like I have something to offer.

We've been full time for more than 6.5 years and have kind of settled into a routine and a travel circuit that keeps us primarily in the Western US due to work commitments. Each year we've continued to slow our travels down with more extended stays and that has helped greatly with the fatigue and also greatly reduced the research required to plan the next stops. I think some of this will change when we both retire, but for now, it's working for us and after all this time we still don't know where we want to live when we "grow up"!! I have at least another 2-4 years before retirement, it's entirely possible that we could hit our 10 RV Anniversary and I'll still be working so we figure we're on at least the 10-15 year plan, we both want to see what it's like to travel and not have to work!! What a concept!

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Like many others, life seems to get in the way.  After retirement in 2014, we moved in the RV to Colorado for 20 months, then Oregon for 17 months, and then to southern Utah for 9 months.  As many of you know, we stay in one place for extended periods.  We left Utah because our youngest son was having another surgery to repair broken ribs, so we ended up going back to Oklahoma to help him with his recovery.  (He's not married, so he doesn't have a live-in nurse in the form of a wife.)

At one point, we considered selling our Mobile Suites, but have since changed our mind on that.  Just not ready to go back into some form of a stix-n-brix.  We stumbled upon a job that has us surveying roads in different states with a van designed to get images of the roadway ahead, the ditches, the roadway surface itself, and other things.  We spent 3 months in Indiana last Summer, and we have plans to possibly work Mississippi in the Spring and then back to Indiana again after that.  Right now, we are in Clarksville, TN doing a short road survey (less than about 100 miles) as a part of creating a bid with the state of Tennessee for road surveys.  Our job is to do the short survey so that the state's department of transportation can see the results that we can get for them.

We plan to work this year, but after that, perhaps around April of 2021, we hope to go to Idaho for several months to visit relatives, explore the state and and neighboring states before moving back to southern Utah somewhere.  Still a lot in all those places to check out and photograph.

I'm still a moderator here on RV dreams, so I've certainly noticed the drop in participation, and sadly, I don't add much either.  But then, a lot has changed in the RV world that I've not kept up with, so there isn't much that I can add to answering questions.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Rob, I'll touch on some of your points and things you're weighing...

Just like in the retail business, there are slow days and months and then things pick up.  I suspect it will the same on the forum. As more boomers approach retirement there may be an uptick in new interest.

That being said, as we approach FTing starting with our shakedown trip to the RV-D rally in April, we'll be stopping at MORryde for the IS upgrade. We are in full on house prep phrase and purging many years of accumulated stuff. With all of that I'm still researching truck bed tool boxes, internet gear, solar among other things. We've had great help and advice along the way from this forum and it has pointed us to the path the feels like it will work for our "dream". It all seems quite hectic, but I'll always have some time to chime in or ask questions because this is a great place to find what we need, compare notes and plan for the future.

Love to have a conversation on solar... it's my biggest interest these days. Lithium or AGM.... put another way weight savings vs lower cost. Leaning toward BB or Renogy LFP mostly because of the weight savings. (roughly the same weight as the twin SLA battery that came with our rig but waaaaaaay more capable) Not sold on a hybrid inverter charger, yet. Whatever we get will have to also handle the samsung fridge just as you have. Take a look at HighTec solar in IN. 210 watt panels for $180(or less). 

Lastly we haven't even started and we have already considered our options and plans for the day when we can't or don't want to move around anymore. Just being realistic and prudent. 

Rob, I'm sure you'll love the new rig since you have the learned experiences of what works or doesn't for you and the desire to continue the journey... tastes and needs change, why not get what works for you? WE have weighed many of the same issues you are and we're not even on the road yet. LOL Your story and criteria sounds weirdly familiar to our story, you've just been at it actively for some time and soon we will be too. Happy trails.




__________________

Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)
Currently operating a 2003 StixenBrix with 2 toads.

2017 RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4 CCLB, CTD, Aisin, B&W hitch, dually
2020 Keystone Montana Legacy 3813MS w/FBP  ...
no Mor/ryde IS, no solar  YET!



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Rob,

Congrats on your new rv. I hope we get to meet sometime. I usually check on the forum multiple times each week but usually don't respond much. We haven't traveled much as I just retired last week. We will be starting to move round some come March as we finish up stuff here - like getting the house on the market. Once our youngest son graduates in May and we finish helping him move (if he needs it) we will then be really starting our traveling. I still consider us to be fairly new at this - definitely don't feel like experts, so that lends itself to me holding back from responding. But I think there are still plenty of good answers given when questions are asked.

Good luck with your new rig. I hope you post about your solar and batteries - that is something I'm going to be looking into fairly soon.

__________________

John & Sama

LAMSOKTXsm.jpg 

2018 DRV Mobile Suites 44 Sante Fe

2018 RAM 5500 with Utility Bodywerks hauler bed



RV-Dreams Family Member

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"Not sold on a hybrid inverter charger, yet."

It was one of the better upgrades we made when we got a residential fridge in 2013. We had a 2000 watt inverter/charger before, but the 3000 watt Magnum Hybrid is nicer. We rarely need the extra 1000 watts of inverter power, but enjoy knowing the fridge can kick its compressor on while the microwave is running and everything will be fine. The great thing about the hybrid inverter is when on under 50AMP service. We have a Hughes Autoformer, so on weak power it trades amps for voltage and that reduces the amount that can be run in the RV from solid 30AMP. On weak 30AMP, which is more common than many realize, we sometimes would pop a breaker when the air conditioner was running and we ran the microwave or other high wattage appliance. By setting the shore power on the hybrid inverter to 10AMPs, so far we have not popped a 30AMP or 20AMP pedestal breaker.

I have told a couple others I know about setting the hybrid shore power to 10AMPs on 30AMP service and they have also had the same experience, including Ken and Martha Wiseman, who some of you know and follow their blog and/or monthly podcast.



-- Edited by bjoyce on Wednesday 29th of January 2020 09:08:22 AM

__________________

Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Excellent anecdotal evidence Bill. The CG power issues you mentioned were known to us but not really factored into my thinking ( faulty assumptions? no pun intended)... more to weigh and makes me lean more toward one. Thanks.



-- Edited by BiggarView on Friday 31st of January 2020 07:20:37 AM

__________________

Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)
Currently operating a 2003 StixenBrix with 2 toads.

2017 RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4 CCLB, CTD, Aisin, B&W hitch, dually
2020 Keystone Montana Legacy 3813MS w/FBP  ...
no Mor/ryde IS, no solar  YET!



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Congrats on the new rig.

I think I have a similar inverter charger on the new rig I plan to pick up in the spring. I never had one before, so I appreciate the tip. I also, have the Autoformer, but did not realize I still had less electricity usage when campground voltage was low. Thanks for the tip.

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RV-Dreams Community Member

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I starting looking at this forum several months back as we get ready to hit the road in our RV come retirement in April. One of our first stops will be the spring rally. Unfortunately since there is not much activity on this site I find myself looking for more active websites and forums. I was so happy when I first discovered this community but am now disappointed. We had a gas class A and now have a diesel pusher. As we hit the road I am sure we will have more questions and start reaching out so we need a more active participating place to frequent. As we all know changes happen and life moves on.

Diane and Mickey
2019 Fleetwood Pace Arrow
2015 Jeep Wrangler


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RV-Dreams Family Member

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NavyNomads wrote:

I starting looking at this forum several months back as we get ready to hit the road in our RV come retirement in April. One of our first stops will be the spring rally. Unfortunately since there is not much activity on this site I find myself looking for more active websites and forums. I was so happy when I first discovered this community but am now disappointed. We had a gas class A and now have a diesel pusher. As we hit the road I am sure we will have more questions and start reaching out so we need a more active participating place to frequent. As we all know changes happen and life moves on.

Diane and Mickey
2019 Fleetwood Pace Arrow
2015 Jeep Wrangler


Yeah - I feel the same way about this forum. It's a great bunch of people but not nearly as active as it used to be. I hope it picks back up again - perhaps we could all pitch in and help make that happen!

For forums with lots of knowledgeable, friendly folks, it's hard to beat the Escapees RV Club forums. If you're not already an Escapee, it doesn't cost anything to join the forums (there are dues to join the club... but membership comes with benefits). 

Congratulations on your pending retirement!

Rob



__________________

2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015

 

 



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Thank you for the info I will look it up. I have found IRV2 and RV net. 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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You can also check out RVillage - https://www.rvillage.com/home , which is free.  I am active there and run a small group about Internet on the Road.  Instead of forums they have groups with a main discussion feed and a forum attached to each group for messages that don't scroll off and get forgotten.



__________________

Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Thanks. I had not heard of that



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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NavyNomads wrote:

Thanks. I had not heard of that


Forum hint: Use "Quote" (like I did here) and folks will know who you're responding to and get a notification. This is the case on most forums.

Rob



__________________

2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015

 

 

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