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Old 12-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
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Location: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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One thing after another - Winter Edition

Once upon a time not too many years ago, I was the happy owner of an '07 Honda Ridgeline. Great little truck with a 5,000 lb tow capacity.

Shirley and I tent camped, but not too much. If any of you remember tent camping, you remember ALL the stuff you had to pack. Some we kept here and some at the store we own. Why two places? 'Cause I couldn't store it all in one place! I got tired of getting up off the ground in the morning and bought cots.

The bed of the truck AND the back seat AND the storage trunk in the truck bed were full to the gills. It'd take over 2 hrs to pack and the same to set up at the campsite. Oh what fun.

In the early spring of '11 we decided to go to Traverse City for a long weekend staying at our favorite hotel. Another couple said they'd meet us there and spend Saturday with us in the big city. We met them for breakfast and Ken says, "Hey, there's a camper show in town, wanna go?" "Sure!" we says. "Doesn't hurt to look" I says.

Ummm… Yeah, it can.

Ken and Dar used to trailer camp a lot when they lived in Ohio and they were very helpful in pointing out the good and bad points of different units to us. Too helpful.

2011 Keystone Passport. No slider. Perfect for 2 people (which we are). 3650 lbs empty weight. 300 lbs total for our weight (let me be perfectly clear, 195 for me, 105 for Shirley. Didn't want you to get any wrong ideas, and me in trouble.) So that's just under 4000 lbs and there's no way we could add 1000 lbs (and we didn't) to max out the Honda.

Went from here to a couple of parks within a couple of hours from here. Driving 55mph. Absolutely no problems (well, we did have one and that involved getting all set up and unhooked with the exception of plugging in the elec and finding I was literally 6" short from the elec box, but that's another story). Honda pulled GREAT!


We decided we wanted to go to Hastings, MI (just west of Lansing. As a side note, you want to know what town is just south east of Lansing? Hell. Yup, our state capitol is a little north of Hell) to a longbow only archery shoot. 5 1/2 hrs not counting stops. Interstate most of the way.

Like I said, Honda pulled great. Until I wanted to go 62mph. Yeah, no. Honda's don't have Tow/Haul and the transmission started searching for gears. And there's no way to lock out overdrive. So here I am going 60 on straight a ways, 65 downhill and 55 or less up hill. In my Honda. Getting passed up by units 3 times my size and not feeling safe at all going this slow.

Trans and truck weren't going to last so I started looking for something bigger. I fell into a deal I would have been absolutely stupid to refuse. An '11 Ram 1500 Big Horn with a 5.7 Hemi. 390 HP and 410 Lb Torque. 10,000 lb tow capacity. AND Tow/Haul. Woot! Woot!

We went back to Hastings in '12 and the Ram didn't even grunt. Ran 70 mph with absolutely no problems. Ram pulled GREAT!


Last August on the way home from my annual 'Slash & Burn' at the Dermatologist in Petoskey (I've had melanoma) we decided to stop by a camper dealer to see what kind of doodads they had. As I was turning around we spotted a camper we thought would be the right size for our friends. The same ones that met us in Traverse City (they were looking and wanted something a little smaller than ours). You know, we were trying to repay a good deed. Shirley got out of the truck and looked in the window of the camper. Then she tried the door. It was open. So were the doors on all the other campers.

We found ourselves going into different ones and saying what we liked and what we didn't. We always found something. Until we went into the Windjammer 3025. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anything wrong. Crap.

For what happened next please see 'One thing after another', Parts 1, 2 and Final. BTW, I've still got that Passport and it's for sale if you know anyone who's looking'. Hint, Hint.

I'd done some things to the truck to get it to where I wanted it to be before the Windjammer. Special CAI, free flow exhaust, Bilstein 5100 series shocks, etc. After the Windjammer, because of the 1150 lb tongue weight, I added 25% over progressive rate rear springs and air bags. Even with all this, I'm not quite happy with the way it tows and don't feel 100% safe. The trailer is well within specs for the truck, and the truck after all does have a hemi...

You know where this is going, don't you.

I'm not screwing around any more. I ordered a '14 Ram 3500 with a Cummins Turbo Diesel. 370 hp, 800 lbs of torque and 17,000 tow capacity (insert that noise Tim the Toolman makes). Even though we don't own nor do we plan on owning a Fiver or something with a gooseneck, I had them add the special crossmember. Just in case.

Should be here in a few weeks.

You do realize what started all this, don't you? The Honda. I'm blaming the Honda.

Wonder if I should of gotten a duelly? Crap.

A rainy day campin' is better than a sunny day workin'.

'13 Windjammer 3025W
'14 Ram 3500 w/6.7 Cummins
No dogs. No Cats. No kids. Just us.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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Dang! I didn't realize how long that was til after I posted. Sorry!

A rainy day campin' is better than a sunny day workin'.

'13 Windjammer 3025W
'14 Ram 3500 w/6.7 Cummins
No dogs. No Cats. No kids. Just us.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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Great story! Glad you did post.
2013 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S
2006 Dodge Durango Hemi 5.7
Equal-i-zer WDH
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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Great story! I wonder how many can relate?! Been there ourselves....

Sent by me
Joel and Teresa
2016 Sabre 34TBOK
2006 GMC 3500 CC LB DRW 4X4
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Maybe not now, but some day, some day not so far off, you are going to wonder why you do not have a 5th wheel, afterall, you have more than enough truck for it! LOL
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
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Location: Franklin County, MO
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Windjammers will do that to you. We thought our 2011 Silverado 1500 was a great truck, but then we bought the new Windjammer....(check the signature for current truck )
Mike and Yvonne
and Sophie, the little white dog
2017 Columbus 320RSC
2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax 4X4
“It's not how old you are, it's how you are old.”Jules Renard
"It's not the's the mileage." - Indiana Jones
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 13,286
sorry to say but the Ridgeline is not a very good tow vehicle for travel trailers.

since Honda recommends AGAINST using a WDH, that means they don't consider it a real tow vehicle.

maybe for boats and low profile trailers but not not something shaped like a barn door in front and weighs over two tons minimum.

we really wanted a Ridgeline but quickly saw all its limitations plus our Avalanche gets almost the same gas mileage.
Dan-Retired Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
Equalizer WDH and Prodigy BC
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:10 AM   #8
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 33
I feel your pain. In the last year and a half we traded a 30 foot travel trailer without a slide for one with a slide. Decided it wouldn't work due to the layout and traded it after three months for a bigger 36 foot trailer. Very nice, but then we traded for a new truck because our gasser didn't pull well enough. Yes we got a new diesel. Well now we have enough to pull a 5th wheel so of course we had to get one. Sold the trailer and ended up ordering our Columbus 340rk. I think we will stop for a while because we have a great combination and love it. Besides we can't afford paying anymore sales tax. Should have just done it in the first place.
Jim & Linda
2012 Dodge 2500, Diesel (of course)
2014 Columbus 340RK
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:59 AM   #9
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Yup. Should have gotten a dually!

2012 CC 36CKTS Touring Edition
[SIZE=2]2015 Ford F-350 CC DRW Lariat
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:13 AM   #10
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Change the Honda for a Toyota tundra and that my story as well

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