Chinook RV Forum

It is currently November 23rd, 2017, 9:21 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Getting started
PostPosted: August 8th, 2017, 7:34 am 
Offline

Joined: August 6th, 2017, 3:00 pm
Posts: 9
I am just getting acquainted with my new (to me) 2001 Chinook Destiny. We have taken it on one weekend trip and will be going on another in a few days to find someplace dark enough to watch the upcoming Perseid meteor shower.

I have been reading the board archives to find out how others have dealt with things I hope to do, like towing a trailer and setting up a rear camera. I expect I will have a few more questions as I go along but for now, I will drop in, say hello and try to keep the Chinook banner high.

And the name? Rocinante was Don Quixote's horse and for some reason, that is what my wife decided to call the Chinook.


Happy trails,

-Jim


Attachments:
Chinook.jpg
Chinook.jpg [ 165.04 KiB | Viewed 432 times ]
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
background-color: #C1CAD2
 

 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 8th, 2017, 11:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
Posts: 579
Location: Northern NJ
Hello and welcome.

Love the chosen name!

Can't help you with the Chevy part, but there's still a lot in common with the rear.

Re: backup camera. Are you planning on replacing the dash radio as well, for a big screen? Do you just need it backing up, or would you like it to also be always on?

What will you be towing? Several here tow stuff all the time.

Cheers,
Kevin

_________________
1994 Concourse, wood & heated tile floors, tin ceiling, custom lighting


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 8th, 2017, 1:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1914
Location: 1999 Concourse
Hi and welcome! I like the green - will look great in camps :)

Maybe your wife enjoyed Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley"?

BG

_________________
1999 Concourse


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 8th, 2017, 7:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: August 6th, 2017, 3:00 pm
Posts: 9
Thanks all,
Blue, my wife is a retired academic librarian and knows Steinbeck. She just doesn't like him much. Quixote somehow seems to fit the situation better at this point.
Kevin, I don't think I need a big screen but I like the option of having the rear view whenever I want, not just when in reverse. I have been thinking of something on the back side of the sun visor. Something more useful than a vanity mirror. I think I'd like a wired setup. I'm just not sure how I'd route the wires. This isn't urgent but it something I'd like to keep in mind.
I would like to tow a light car (around 1800 lbs) or a couple motorcycles, and I already have both a car and motorcycle trailer. I have electric rear steps which mean a hitch extension, maybe up to 24 inches long. I know that effects the towing capacities. I'm not sure how much it effects the movement of the steps. I may be able to get by with just not extending the steps when the hitch is in use. Its something else to explore.
My initial focus has been dealing with a few minor issues. I already replaced the chassis battery. The refrigerator was not regulating properly. I installed a new thermister and that seems to have done the trick. I have ordered a new anode rod for the water heater. The next challenge will be to see if I can get the old one out. Its all part of moving into a new house.

Other things on the list include restringing one of the window shades, figuring out why the overhead display always indicates the rear steps are extended, even when they are in, putting on a front receiver to mount a bicycle rack (hopefully with out cutting up the front bumper/air dam), and so on. They are all part of fixing little things and making it 'my own'. Future archive searches may help with some answers. I will ask for suggestions when they don't.

cheers,

-Jim


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 9th, 2017, 10:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1914
Location: 1999 Concourse
Hi Jim,

Reason I mentioned Steinbeck, is that in his book "Travels with Charley" he recounts his trip around the US in a truck camper with his dog, Charley. The truck camper (early days!) was named "Rocinante." 'course it may be for an entirely different reason if your spouse is not a fan.

On the towing: I tow often (boat/trailer, cargo trailer, tow car) although one slight difference is that I have the manual rear steps. But it's not that different.

So, the first think I would do is hop over to etrailer and look for their "long," "extra long," and "extra, extra long" ball mounts (that's what they call the part that fits into the receiver hitch and takes the ball). Obviously you want the shortest one you can use, but these are better than hitch extensions. I know that one of the longer ones will work even for the electric step version of the 21' Chinook. etrailer often has the measurements on the page, but if not, look down in the comments, or in the Q & A tab, and you might find them there. If not, you can write in and ask. They will go and measure for you (very nice), which is why you may already find the info in a comment or answer from someone else. They have the best selection I have found.

The critical dimension is from pin hole to wherever the 2" square tubing has its first projection (which may vary depending on how much drop or rise you need). I tend to need a rise to keep my tandem trailer level, and a different rise for the cargo trailer (not as important since it's single axle, but I still like it level), and then I'm fine as is (no drop or rise) for the car towing, but that all depends on the level of the baseplate on a particular car. In fact, I decided not to tow the CR-V I was considering because it had a very high baseplate height (where the "prongs" come out of the grille) and I would have needed a huge riser. Went with a Subaru instead which is within an inch of the Chinook hitch (on my rig).

Sounds like you are experienced towing (so don't be offended if this is all old news), but if not, one thing to know is that the "tow rating" (aka GCWR) is pretty much pointless on our rigs. Here's why I say that, giving my 21' Concourse as an example:

So here are the various ratings on my rig:

1) GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating): 10,700#. So my rig and all its contents, plus driver and any passenger, can't weigh over 10,700# to stay within ratings.

2) GAWR-F (gross axle weight rating, front axle): 3,700#

3) GAWR-R (gross axle weight rating, rear axle): 7,500#

4) GCWR (gross combined weight rating): an "impressive" 18,000#. So you'd think you could tow a house! But....

As my rig sits, with a relatively minimal amount of "stuff" in it, plus me, weighed around a dozen times at different scales (usually pretty similar). I'll take October 2014 for my example since I wasn't towing. I also weighed at almost an empty gas tank, then filled it up and drove back to the scale (gas tank on my rig is behind rear axle, so affects it). The return numbers are in parenthesis.

GVW, me, 1/2 propane, empty water tank, empty black tank, 5 gallons in grey tank, 1/8 gas tank (full gas tank) = 10,250# (10,400#)

GAW-F = 3,450# (3,450#)

GAW-R = 6,800# (6,950#)

GCW = N/A

As you can see there, I'm all within ratings. About 250# below on the front axle, about 800# below on the rear axle, and about 400# below on the gross vehicle weight rating. Now supposedly there is nearly 8,000# "left over" for my gross combined rating. Yeah, sure! As I'm sure you can already see, it's the rear axle weight rating that is going to be the "stopper," and that'll be long before I'm towing 8,000#.

Not only is there tongue weight (when towing a trailer), but because of the long overhang, the tongue weight is multiplied on the rear axle. I have a formula that I used, and it was nearly spot on when I actually weighed when towing my boat/trailer. But just to give you the numbers as an example, my boat/trailer weighs around 4,600# all up. Since it's a tandem, I can reduce tongue weight as compared to a single, and run 5-7% tongue weight (vs. 10%). So I end up with just over 300# of tongue weight. BUT, that actually adds closer to 550# of tongue weight to the rear axle. That puts me up close to the rear axle limit. Close is fine, and a bit over probably isn't going to break anything, but you can see that there's no way I'm going to nearly DOUBLE the trailer and tongue weight (for the hypothetical 8,000# trailer) and be anywhere but sky high over the ratings. So to my mind, 5,000# is my practical towing limit with my rig. I knew that going in, and I'm fine with that.

Of course "four down" tow cars don't have tongue weight, but I'd be surprised if the receiver itself would be happy at 8,000# (it could be beefed up though). But likely few people are interested in towing an 8,000# tow car with a Chinook.

So why have an 18,000# GCWR? Well, these are cutaway E-350's (or the equivalent Chevy or maybe E-450), and so as far as Ford is concerned, you may just throw a lightweight service body on it. In that case, maybe the GCWR would be more appropriate. But throw a heavyish RV body on, with tankage, people, stuff, etc. and that's a pipedream.

Of course this may not apply exactly to your rig, but you get the idea. There should be a Ford sticker on the driver's door jamb that gives you the weights. That, combined with a scale weight and some math will result in your own specific rig's limits. I can post the formula and/or do the math for anyone who is interested. What's needed is the tongue weight of the trailer, the distance between the hitch ball and the rear axle, and the wheelbase (distance from rear axle to front axle).

Hopefully not too much info (and again, if this is all old hat, sorry but I didn't know) - but there is always the scroll button :D

_________________
1999 Concourse


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 9th, 2017, 1:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:07 am
Posts: 81
Welcome Rocinante!

My 2008 Subaru has vanity plate Charley in honor of Steinbeck...my wife wouldn't go for Rocinante as a Rig name, so we settled on Turtle-a 2004 Premier.

As you may have already gleaned, this forum is a gold mine of information. There are so many smart people affiliated...and they are incredibly helpful.

Regarding a back-up camera: I (and I think several others) have installed a simple wireless set up with the screen mounted on the front "dog-house" engine cover, with the camera hard wired to the middle rear running light above the back door. By hooking to the running light, the camera will operate when you turn on the headlights (not tied to forward or reverse). Best description for install instructions came from a fellow Chinooker who has a blog (Chinookers Journey-"Chinookers.blogspot.com" See his post from Feb. 7, 2015 (his blog has a search function). Clever mount using ashtray as a base for the monitor so it can be easily taken out and stored. If you want/need more details, let me know.

David


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 9th, 2017, 4:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 17th, 2015, 1:57 pm
Posts: 249
Location: Marysville, WA
Welcome Jim. Great looking rig. (I've always been more of a GM guy but always had Ford chassis motorhomes) Sounds like an ambitious list of upgrades. Look forward to more pictures. The name of my Chinook? The Chinook. ;)

_________________
Steve aka SMan
2004 Premier V10


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 10th, 2017, 7:39 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1914
Location: 1999 Concourse
SMan wrote:
. The name of my Chinook? The Chinook. ;)


Ha, mine too! I like naming things, but Chinook is such a good name (and it is already on the outside) that I could never come up with anything better (that stuck, anyway).

_________________
1999 Concourse


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 12th, 2017, 10:31 am 
Offline

Joined: August 6th, 2017, 3:00 pm
Posts: 9
Thanks for the towing info, Blue. My car trailer has a double axle and I will definitely need to do some measuring and weighing before I get serious about hooking it up.

The same goes for the backup camera. In the mean time, I need to take care of some other issues. When I was checking out the electric spare tire hoist the tire dropped to the ground with a loose cable. I looks like the cable just came free from the winch spool rather than broke. I haven't taken it out yet to see if it can be repaired but I am leaning towards just replacing the unit.

I am looking forward to checking off this little list of loose ends and getting it out on the road with this thing.

-Jim


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Getting started
PostPosted: August 12th, 2017, 9:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1914
Location: 1999 Concourse
Rocinante wrote:
Thanks for the towing info, Blue. My car trailer has a double axle and I will definitely need to do some measuring and weighing before I get serious about hooking it up.


Car and trailer might be tough. Or it might be okay, but I'd want scale weights and numbers from the door jamb. Maybe a lightweight aluminum trailer and not-too-heavy car (?). On the other hand, if your car can be towed four-down you might want to consider that. That's what I do when I have a car along. Saves the weight of the trailer, no tongue weight, and nothing else bulky and immovable (under its own steam) to move around the campsite. But that depends on the car - these days with more and more CVT transmissions many cars aren't towable. Also you have to set the car up (baseplate, brakes, towbar, lights).

I think you have the Chevy chassis, right? I don't know how those capacities compare to the Ford chassis.

_________________
1999 Concourse


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group