I made it home this afternoon. Minnesota gave me a warm welcome with my first taste of weather on the trip, a light snow storm.
The truck is making noises from the rear differential area. I have a feeling it’s pretty well shot and will need a complete replacement. I suspect the previous owners never bothered replacing the fluid in it, and when that’s combined with towing a large trailer a couple of thousand miles, I think it’s done for. Sometime soon I’ll have my mechanic take a look at it. For right now, it’s still moving.
The plan at this point is to focus on work as much as I possibly can over the next few months. I need to build up a good sized cash reserve so I can spend it all on the next purchase, a bigger truck.
I’m really considering a F350 Dually. I rather like the idea of a vehicle that’s designed for increased payload and better stability when towing. I don’t really mind the cost of a couple extra tires when it needs tires, and I don’t think the MPG difference between a single rear wheel (SRW) and dual rear wheel (DRW) version is going to be that much. The dually also sits a bit lower (by a couple inches), which will help with center-of-gravity issues. The dually also has a few other upgrades or modifications that are pointed out in this video.
I’ve had this idea of adding a truck camper into the mix as well. Something as light as I can get it yet still have some of the basic concepts like insulation, heat, bed, some kind of sink, and perhaps even a wet bath/shower. Most of the complaints about truck campers is how they raise the center of gravity on trucks and excessively weigh them down. If I get a dually, and a lighter camper, the dual wheels plus the extra cargo capacity would make a lightweight camper a much more reasonable addition to the truck and wouldn’t overwhelm it.
The camper would be great for day/weekend type trips where mobility is strongly favored over luxury. The trailer I’m building will basically be a fully functional house, and although it’s mobile, it’s nowhere near as mobile as a truck camper. The Lake Havasu balloon festival would have been even easier to attend and live comfortably at if I had the truck camper. Just a few thoughts I’m playing with. No matter what, I need a bigger truck. My poor old F150 just isn’t going to last that much longer, and I definitely don’t want to tow the trailer with it unless I absolutely have to.
It is nice to be back to a place that has central heat, unlimited hot and cold running water, refrigeration, and quiet. There’s lots of positives to a house in the ‘burbs, so it’s nice to visit.
2 thoughts on “I made it home”
maybe drain the diff fluid and see what comes out. You could put some heavyweight stuff in there to tide you over till the upgrade (dually) Just a thought
Glad you made it safely and nice picture of the not so warm MN welcome.
So mobile house (you) and vacation house (guest) all being pulled by the same vehicle. Dually will earn it’s keep!