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Old 07-26-2010, 07:54 AM   #1
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Flight of the V-Lite Number 1 Complete (LONG)

Well, we finally got our V-Lite out for it maiden vouage this past weekend and it had it's ups and downs. The trip was 400km 1 way to the Battleford's Provincial Park. It was a light rain when we left Friday and as we got closer to Saskatoon the weather took a turn for the worse and we ended up in a torrential downpour with high winds and a few times it was down to almost zero visibility. The truck and trailer handled it very well no sway to speak of and everything seemed very settled. We got to the campgound at 6:30 and filled the fresh water tank as we would be dry camping for the weekend and off we went to our site. Friday night was perfect, ran the Honda till abt 11pm even had one couple walk by and the guys wife commented to us that the quiet burble sound the Honda made would put her to sleep, can't say the same for a couple of our neighbors though as there generators would probably wake the dead. They were so loud I couldn't use the outside stereo. Saturday came and we went off sight seeing and when we returned it was in the 30's so humm lets fire up the air, turned it on and the poor old Honda EU3000 grunted and went into overload. Well that has never happened before so shut the genny off and went to check the trailer over and holy NO 12Volts. Checked everything over and no blown fuses and finally put a meter on the battery 4 Volts.. Yikes whats going on here, so I fired the genny and the 12 volts is back so the conveter is at least partially working and then checked the battery 12.69v humm not right but we let the battery charge for abt 5 hrs and it seemed to hold but I was still bugged by the low output of the converter. So Sat night came and we shut the genny down at 11 again but the battery died in less than 2 hrs so I was told when the wife came to bed. So sunday am as we are going through things prior to departing I was looking under the front of the trailer and well I found the culprit, somehow the lanyard for the emergency brake actuator got pulled, when I have no clue but strangley enough the converter started acting right and the battery took a full load. So one modification that will be happening this week is a small buzzer located by the brake actuator to let me know if it gets pulled again, which probably won't happen as it never did once with the old trailer but better safe than sorry. So then came the trip home and I will say it was not near as peaceful of a drive as the trip up. We had abt 70 - 80kph side wind and it made the drive pure heck as the trailer sure wagged the that big old megacab like a wet noodle. Of course it never occured to me to get out the torque wrench and tighten the Blue Ox up abit as I only have it set at 50ft lbs (should probably be around 70) and the trip would have been much nicer but again a learning experience and better to happen on the shakedown than on our 4000 mile adventure that we depart on in 3 weeks. We averaged 11mpg going and 9 returning (imperial gals though) so it wasn't stellar but not bad. On the plus side our stay at the park was excellent, free firewood and a beautiful park.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:59 AM   #2
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Glad to hear that you got there and back safely / and figured out your issue. It's been quite the 'non-summer' here in Sask., if its not the rain it's the mosquitos. We came back last week and weather was great up until the AB/SK border, then it was dodging storm cells all the way home. Just curious how the park was, any issue getting a site that fits your rig?
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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The park is beautiful and they are very accomodating there even given we just showed up at 6:30pm on a friday as they don't take reservations any more this summer. The lady at admissions asked how big the trailer was, told her 34' and she got us a very large site that the trailer and truck hitched fit in with room to spare. The site had a picnic table and fire pit as well. I took some pics of the site I'll get resized later today and post.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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Here are a few pics of the site.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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Nice pics...I will have to head there sometime Noticed your signature, your truck is the big red lemon..lol problems with it?
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:13 PM   #6
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I've also experienced problems with the pin getting pulled. It really drains the battery quickly, and somehow screws up the charging system. Also, the heater has a nasty power hungry effect on the battery, as well. Randy
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsquarepants View Post
Nice pics...I will have to head there sometime Noticed your signature, your truck is the big red lemon..lol problems with it?

Humm lets see, 3 blower motors, 3 windshield wiper motors, replaced pretty much the whole front end some of it twice, on it 3rd steering shaft and the steering gets worse every one they put in, 3rd steering damper, replaced all the motors and doors on the heater box and finally had to change the heater box, it has a clunk in the rearend so loud it actually scares people walking beside the truck when I put it in gear, RHF unit bearing, cruise control buttons replaced and still waiting for the radio ones to come in, there is more but I get soo twisted every time I talk abt it I just give up. We are in one of those I am screwed positions because the loan is too upsidedown to get out of for a couple more years that I get sick to my stomach everytime I look at it anymore. The truck is so bad Chrysler Canada waived the 60,000km limitation on the bumper to bumper and extended it to the 100,000km of the power train warranty so they know it is a lemon, they just won't buy it back.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:09 PM   #8
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wow...sounds like I have alot of fun in my future...sigh
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:16 AM   #9
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wow...sounds like I have alot of fun in my future...sigh
I wouldn't get too worried about it. Ours was built on the Monday the 9th of June 2008 which happened to be when they changed suppliers of a bunch of stuff and it seems we were one of the lucky ones who got all the bad junk put in our truck. So the blower and WW motor issues would not be an issue on an 09. Dodges have a history of problems though with the air plenum doors because they are all driven with DC servo motors instead of vacum like most do it, it is a very elegant solution but poorly implemented. Some trucks go for years and years and well others like ours you know. ALso the front end on the 2500 and 3500 trucks has some serious design flaws but many have no issues with them at all (I have a friend in nothern alberta that has almost 300k on a diesel and all he has ever done was 2 front end alignments) so it is a crap shoot as there is no reason why some like ours are junk and others are very nice machines. The truck we test drove was a very nice truck to drive and yet ours is a pig of a thing and has been since the day we picked it up. It is like they went around the factory that Monday morning and picked up all the old junk parts that were laying around and put them in one truck that being ours of course. At his point all I want though is a truck that will drive straight down the road without trying to drive in the ditch and doesn't feel like it's driving on marbles with the wandering around. I am taking it back to the alignment shop today to get them to bup the caster up to +5 degrees from the factory 4.3 (the range is up to +5.5) to see if that will help it's straight line stability. In 2 years it will get the best upgrade of all though when I can afford to dump it for a 2011 F250 with the new 6.7 diesel.

Also just so people know I am not bashing Dodge in general. I had a 2004 1500 Laramie 4x4 Quadcab and it was a wonderful truck, typically poor Dodge build quality but still a nice truck and that is the thing Dodges up to the 09 1500 and 2010 HD were trucks now they are refined like a car. But that being said I will never own another one after the fiasco with this one but I still love the look of it.
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