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Old 03-15-2016, 08:31 AM   #11
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We kinda went the same route. Big cabin tent, used pop up, new pop up. We stepped away for a few years...things like jobs getting in the way. As I approached retirement age, we really wanted to get back into it again. We had been looking at hybrids for a number of years, and like you, grandkids arrived. Finally the stars aligned in 2014 and we took the plunge. Funny how so many peoples stories are so similar. Now when it's just dw and me, we open the front bunk. When we have grandkids along, we open both bunks and still have full use of the sofa and dinette. Ideal!!
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:04 AM   #12
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I've got a 2009 21' Roo. I'm curious about your tire and battery elocation. Please tell me more. My favorite mod is a battery powered igniter for my stove. It is quiet and it works every time. $10 and a bigger hole, and used the same wires. Maybe the new ones already have it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:45 AM   #13
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pennypoppins... I should have phrased that differently One is off to college and a second one will be this fall. So they are more appropriately... otherwise occupied

Luuk... The AWD Flex is a great tow vehicle for my application. It has the weight of a 1/2 ton truck, very low center of gravity, short rear overhang, independent suspension, and low profile tires. With the factory towing package it also has stability control programming for towing. It, like most vehicles, really needs a decent transmission cooler. It's big weakness is the factory hitch has very little support in the direction of the load imposed by a weight distribution system. Which is really silly since Ford says you must use a WDH with anything over 200/2000. The aftermarket hitches have bigger issues. I am lucky to have the skills to properly fix that, including the math to and physics background to know the limits and keep a margin of safety. I personally would likely NOT tow a 23ikss on a regular basis with it. Especially loaded up for camping. While it would have the horse power to do so it would be pushing my 'comfort' margin for the axles and some of the suspension components. There is also the factor of the weight distribution of the trailer itself as well. With a well ballanced trailer I 'might' tow up to 6000# with the flex but that would be highly dependent on how the vehicle is loaded and how the weight is distributed on the trailer. I used to pull my popup. about 3500# loaded for camping, with a 2002 Astro van, using the same Equal-i-zer hitch and prodigy brake control that I moved to the Flex/Roo. The Roo 19 on the flex is FAR more stable and controlled than the popup was on the Astro. The astro was rated for 550/5500 with a WDH, 1000# more than the flex. That would REALLY be pushing my comfort level with that top heavy beast unless the center of gravity of the trailer was very low (not a TT or hybrid), not to mention that v6 small block would be really working. The suspension and axles are actually heavier on the flex. The flex would be fine at those weights IF set up correctly.

There was someone who posted on this forum a couple of years ago, I think, that bought a new Roo 19, and took off from the dealer with it hooked to their flex and cancelled their vacation and turned around about 150 miles later because they thought they were going to end up dead in a ditch pulling the Roo. They also mentioned that it was their first ever camper and it is obvious from my experience, pulling the same trailer, that they must have had a combination of bad hitch, poor setup, and not much experience towing. That was NOT a safe situation. You can stick a Roo 19 on an F350 and if it isn't set up right and/or you don't know how to drive with a trailer, I don't want to be anywhere near you on the road. I have a BIL that is an excellent driver and does some amateur racing, but he is down right scarry with a trailer.

Bottom line on towing with the Flex, factory rating is 4500... stay under that, and remember to keep in mind the weight you put in the car, unless you REALLY know what you are doing. It's not just your safety, but that of the rest of us on the road as well
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnoland30 View Post
I've got a 2009 21' Roo. I'm curious about your tire and battery elocation. Please tell me more. My favorite mod is a battery powered igniter for my stove. It is quiet and it works every time. $10 and a bigger hole, and used the same wires. Maybe the new ones already have it.
I went with AGM batteries under the dinette seat. I would have preferred some 6v but the DW said NO holes in the new camper and I won't put flooded batteries in a living space unless in a sealed box, vented to the outside. DW has a cpap and we don't like being tied to hookups, but I will save the details for the post on my mod. Try to get to it soon.

Taking the spare tire off the rear bumper is one of the easiest things you can do to increase towing stability. If you have the math skills, calculate out the lateral forces that the spare exerts adding to trailer sway. It is a pendulum.

I have the 'drop-in' stove top in my Roo and no oven, so there is no igniter, and Suburban doesn't make one for that model as an add on either. I'm the camp cook so it was one of the first things I put on my list of mods when we bought it. I will probably add one, but likely not until it is out of waranty.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:37 PM   #15
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I went with AGM batteries under the dinette seat. I would have preferred some 6v but the DW said NO holes in the new camper and I won't put flooded batteries in a living space unless in a sealed box, vented to the outside. DW has a cpap and we don't like being tied to hookups, but I will save the details for the post on my mod. Try to get to it soon.

Taking the spare tire off the rear bumper is one of the easiest things you can do to increase towing stability. If you have the math skills, calculate out the lateral forces that the spare exerts adding to trailer sway. It is a pendulum.

I have the 'drop-in' stove top in my Roo and no oven, so there is no igniter, and Suburban doesn't make one for that model as an add on either. I'm the camp cook so it was one of the first things I put on my list of mods when we bought it. I will probably add one, but likely not until it is out of waranty.

Really the rear tire on a Roo 23ikss will cause trouble for me using my F150 SB SCREW EB with 3.55 as well?, if that is the case I would rather pull it off and mount it under the battery or toss it in the pickup? Never knew that could cause an issue?


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Old 03-15-2016, 12:40 PM   #16
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Really the rear tire on a Roo 23ikss will cause trouble for me using my F150 SB SCREW EB with 3.55 as well?, if that is the case I would rather pull it off and mount it under the battery or toss it in the pickup? Never knew that could cause an issue?

I wouldn't worry too much about that.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:36 PM   #17
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Wicked1... I'm with Mr. Havercamp, I wouldn't 'worry' too much about it either. In fact putting it under the batteries on the tongue would theoretically be worse as it would place the weight even further from the center of the axles and thus increase the force. I should have phrased it differently, my appologies to everyone.

I wasn't saying that it is unsafe, on the bumper. Just that it can pretty easily be improved. I also didn't want it sticking out, stressing the paper thin bumper and frame, and under the camper it is much more 'tamper resistant!' To me it is worth the effort... YMMV. I do know that it can't hurt.

I 'thought' that I could tell a slight difference on the twisty roads we have around here after I moved it. It could all be in my head though, and I didn't do any scientific measurements. If I lived in a flat but forested area, or someplace open where gusty cross winds are frequent, the experience would likely be different as well. With a heavier trailer like you have I doubt I could felt a change at all. There is a big difference between our trailers. The dry weight on the 23ikss is almost 50% heavier than the 19. That means you're trailer has the same inertia as one and a half of my trailer! Like I said in the other post I wouldn't want to tow that with my flex

The heavier the trailer, and the better balanced it is in other areas will dictate how much effect that spare will have.

My point is that 40# spare, if 8' from the centerline of the axles (fulcrum) would exert the equivelent torque and momentum of 320 lbs. This is only one plane of force and I am greatly simplifying things, but I think you can see what I am saying.

I was only trying to point out that the 'possible' effect can be much greater than many people realize. The tire is not that heavy, think about a holding tank at the very rear, or front, away from the axles and put 40-60 gal. of water in it. Now that WOULD have an effect you could tell was there.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:02 PM   #18
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I just posted a thread over on the modifications forum about how to make the frameless windows open farther.

Opening frameless windows further
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:33 AM   #19
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I thought I would add a list of the things I have done, so far, to this thread.
  • move spare tire to under the floor above front axle
  • A/C heater element add on
  • move LP tanks back (and lower) and add toolbox to tongue
  • Tongue jack cover
  • storage bracket for hitch
  • relocate water filter, pump and rearrange some of the plumbing lines
  • water tank fill valve so I can use onboard filter while filling tank from city inlet or use the pump to fill from a container via the winterizing inlet
  • Hose to suck anti-freeze or water into winterize inlet
  • Shur-flow water system accumulator tank
  • High flow water pressure regulator and hose elbow
  • 2 25' fresh water hoses
  • 315Ah of batteries under rear dinette seat
  • 2 ga. cables from batteries to converter and ground distribution block
  • 150 Amp catastrophe fuse
  • Tri-Metric battery monitor and Tri-Metric solar charge controller
  • 2 100W folding solar panels... need to finish mounting twist lock connector
  • Progressive EMS-HW30C surge protector
  • 800W inverter
  • 3 way battery disconnect (house - inverter - both - off)
  • LED bulb in the amber porch light
  • LED bulb in range hood
  • Dominator sewer hoses
  • Oxygenics shower head
  • wireless backup camera... not fully finished
  • Wingman for Antenna... why do we need a TV while camping?
  • storage cubby in cabinet near door
  • storage cubby above fridge... needs finished after fridge fans installed
  • Remove a bunch of 'vanity' panels
  • replace some furnace flex ducting with aluminum vent pipe
  • clean up plumbing under bath sink and move vanity panel back for more storage
  • Propane Tee for LP quick connect to use stove and grill at same time
  • quick connect adapter or camping stove
  • Add low pressure quick connect to Buddy heater
  • Screen door slider with built in latch opener
  • Edwin opening window in door (I love this one!)
  • Andersen levelers (still need to install giant 'rear view' level)
  • X-chocks
  • Wiring loom in storage areas
  • bug screens for furnace and fridge... still need to do water heater
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:05 AM   #20
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Wow! & my 2 favorite mods

I'm impressed! My favorite mods are solar panel and Trimetric monitor, the rain gutters (flashing) over the bunk ends, and the battery powered igniter for range. Lights every time, and much quieter and faster.
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