I've gone through around 7 cables so far. Grab a new cable, don't use an old one. I seem to get around 6 months out of a cable before I have to replace it. Also, check the port on the bottom of the phone itself. One of my phones had a small layer of dirt, and the cable wasn't fully seating.
I did my trip... 4415 miles in 11 days. Really 3900 of those miles were only 4 of the days, as it was right at 2000 miles of driving out, and 1900 of driving back. Louisville, KY to Glacier National Park, MT and back, with a stop at Mt. Rushmore on the way out, and more direct on the way back. Roughly 500 miles of driving while out there. In terms of weight, I was pulling a 33’ (tip to tail) bumper pull toy hauler with a dry weight of 5900#, two motorcycles, food/beverage, dog supplies, generators, 20 gallons of spare fuel, ramps, dog crates/fencing, chairs, ½ tank water (30 gallons), and a bit more. Between the trailer and the bed of the truck, I would estimate around 9000# of total cargo, people and dogs included. On the way out, we averaged 7.4 MPG. Average speed was probably close to 65 MPH moving speed. We did the drive in two days, and it took 32 hours and change with stops. On the way home, we averaged 7.1 MPG (how I don’t know because I saw 5-6 MPG the majority of the time due to a massive head wind). Average speed was 62 MPH. I continually played with my speed on the way home to keep my instant MPG reading above 5 MPG, and listening to the engine and trying to regulate speed to offset for MPG. I kept in mind that MPG is a tradeoff for stops versus total distance driven on a tank of fuel. I don’t like letting the fuel get too low, so I tried not to get below an 1/8 of a tank, but on two occasions we stretched it with the light on trying to find fuel, one time finally stopping and putting in 15 gallons of the emergency fuel, with a gas station “appearing” just 10 miles later (doubt we could have actually made the 10 miles because of estimates that I had maybe 2 gallons left, and it wasn't on Google Maps). With the headwind, if I ran 70-75 MPG I was getting 4-5 MPG. If I ran 65-70, I was 5-6 MPG, and 62-65, I was getting closer to 7-8 MPG. 60-62 didn’t show much difference, but would stay at 7-8 MPG more consistently. Of course, if you figure on 30 gallons of usage, that’s only 150-240 miles per tank. With a 20 minute minimum stop (that was our best with getting the dogs out, using the bathroom ourselves, fueling the truck; from leaving the interstate/highway, to getting back on). I figured that with time lost on a stop, in that 20 minutes, we could go 25 miles, so getting every MPG really helped, since stopping every 150 miles would really added up. I was shooting for 200 miles between stops, trying to limit it to 5 stops a day, which would end up adding 2 hours to the daily drive time. 200 miles at 70 MPH is about my wife’s bladder limit, so that is a consideration too… If we had to stop early for the dogs' or wife's bladder, then I would fill up just to use time better, only two times did we stop at a rest stop or side of the road for a short break. Power, I really never noticed that I needed more power except to pass on a two lane highway, uphill on a vehicle not really moving horribly slow… Other than that, 9000# was easy for the truck, just let the motor sing and any time I put my foot in it, it moved decent enough. So overall, 4415 miles, averaging 7.2 MPG with the truck computer, and 7.4 MPG with hand figuring. This includes non-trailer miles between places we visited, with one day averaging 18 MPG over 50 miles…. All pretty much downhill LOL... I put in, including the “spare gas” a total of 596 gallons of fuel, average cost was $2.62, so $1561.52.
So many people complain about the gas vs. diesel and lower MPG. I'm currently at 15,000 miles with my 2016 (having it for 8 months). Average (hand calculated) life is 11.7 MPG, with towing, city, empty driving, and the dash shows me at 11.3 MPG. I drive downtown Louisville daily, 6 miles to work, and 6 miles home. I was taking surface streets but have switched to the interstate, and am getting 1 MPG better average on my commute. I have adjusted tire pressure as well, run 50 in the front and 60 in the rear, and have gotten 1 MPG better, increasing when I tow. This is playing with pressure and speeds, and a LOT of my driving hasn't been very conservative, so my overall average should increase. I have now towed my toy hauler (7500 pounds fully loaded) 3 times, a total of maybe 2000 miles out of the 15,000 I have driven (average fuel consumption has been 7-8 MPG). I have hauled roughly 1,100 pounds (two motorcycles, two bicycles, restraints) 2500 miles. So roughly 10,000 miles of my driving has been unloaded travel. I typically average 20,000 miles a year driving. I typically drive the speed limit to 5 MPH over unloaded, and when towing, usually 65 MPH max, which gives me 1-2 MPG better than 70-75 MPH. Later this summer I will be towing the toy hauler from here to Montana and back, so that will be roughly 4,000 miles of driving when done. I'll be curious of my consumption, and I plan to run 65 MPH most of the time to save a bit of fuel. I wanted the diesel, but it just didn't pay off to get it. Diesel here is still more expensive than gas. I tried to do a lot of math to determine my cost and which might be better, and it did not pay off to buy the diesel. Here is what I used to compare my math. Being that I do mostly unloaded driving, I feel I have to look at that first (although it really doesn't matter, seems the spread for loaded/unloaded is 4 MPG across the board) Diesel 14 MPG city/18 MPG highway (this is what I searched, and I realize some people get better, but this is what I was seeing as average, and I will give it the benefit of the doubt and give it an average of 16 MPG over city/highway) Gas 10 MPG city/14 MPG highway (this was what was reported, and since owning the gas, what I experience as the average, so I will say 12 MPG average, since I was close to that above) 4 MPG spread DEF Fluid is 1.25 gallons/100 gallons of diesel. Def Fluid is $6/gallon, so $7.50/100 gallons of diesel. For simple math and figuring out the difference, we will use these average nationwide prices, and 100 gallons to figure out the cost difference. $2.25/gallon for gas $2.50/gallon of diesel Gas = $225 for 1200 miles = $0.19/mile Diesel 4MPG spread (plus DEF) = $257.50 for 1600 miles = $0.16/mile $.03/mile = $3000/100,000 miles This is again, quick easy math, and rough figuring, and ONLY looking at fuel cost difference. Average cost savings with diesel is $0.03/mile, so $3000 per 100,000 miles. I realize there are a TON of other ways to figure this, but for me, this is unloaded "average" driving. Cost increase between the trucks was over $8000 increase for diesel, with similar options, but we will figure $8000 just to figure mileage. So $8000 would require 260,000 miles (@ $0.03/mile) to break even, just at "standard fuel costs". Towing rates, aren't much different from what I have been reading, still roughly a 4 MPG difference, so that still equates to $0.03/mile. I have had 0 issues pulling my trailer, and the power is adequate for what I need. If I averaged 26,000 miles/year, which I would say I will be under, then it would take me 10 years to break even on the vehicle. Being I haven't owned a vehicle longer than 7 years, I won't reach the break-even point, even keeping this 10 years. With all this said, if I towed over 15,000 miles/year, or my trailer was 9,000+ pounds, I would have been even more interested in the diesel vs gas, or if diesel was consistently lower per gallon than gas. You have to look at your individual needs to really see the difference between the two, but that's a LOT of miles to just break even, without considering maintenance OR if you having something really go wrong, diesel parts cost more. So, right now, I'm ok with my 11.7 MPG, and I'll get it over 12 MPG average for unloaded driving with tire pressure changes, and just running a MPH less. So, roughly $0.03/mile difference at the current national average of fuel.
30" light bar. Flood/Spot combo bar: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K9X6IEY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 You get what you pay, but honestly, I couldn't see spending $600+ for a light bar that I'll use 10 times a year. I mostly use it for camping, but it is bright.
I used a piece of angle iron, and made my own bracket to hang down from the cross bars. Use a piece of steel behind the cross bar when drilling, it's $700+ to replace an air conditioning condenser. I used some steel spacers to put the angle iron out away from the cross braces, approximately one inch out. This gave me the exact room I needed for the depth of the light to sit directly behind the grill. Works well. I also have a Totron wireless controller for the LED bar, which allows me to control it from the cab without having to run the switch. The manual switch is under the hood, and the controller works from outside or anywhere.
https://www.amazon.com/Totron-Controller-Wireless-Multiple-Patterns/dp/B00UR2DIRI This is what I installed in my truck. I didn't like the idea of a non-factory switch mounted anywhere, and then having to run the wiring. Did the wireless setup, and it works from inside or outside the truck.
I finally installed my light bar. I decided to install hanging on a bracket from the support hangers behind the grill. I also didn't really feel like running the wires to the cab for a switch, so I purchased the Totron Wireless connection kit for it, which gives me a remote fob to turn it on/off, and always give strobe features, lots of different modes. You can see the angle iron bracket I made and attached here. It actually stands off the radiator support a bit and the light floats below it. Here it is with the grille reinstalled.
I wish a bed tank would work, but I haul motorcycles in the bed on occasion. I have about 3" of clearance in the front of the bed with the bike in, nothing loaded on the lift gate. The desire for another tank is there, but really the only way to do it is to replace the existing tank, and that's a crazy price. They do make tanks that fit over the wheel wells, but they are expensive as well. I'll juggle stopping on occasion for fuel. If I really wanted the bigger tank, I could have optioned the diesel instead. Happy I went with the gas.
Generally $0.45/gallon price difference makes E85 at the break even point, and anything better than $0.45/gallon difference, it's worth using E85 with the loss in MPG. I generally just figure on $0.50 to make it easier, if it's less than $0.50, I use 87, if it's more I use E85. For me, I don't care about total distance on a tank of gas, my wife's bladder is smaller than the time is takes to drain a full tank of fuel, even towing, so I will be stopping, and I might as well plan a fill up when I stop. Hauling the 33' toy hauler behind us means I usually use 87 gas so I get more miles per tank, since I have a rolling toilet behind us for quick stops. (smart planning there) I really, really, really want a 57 gallon tank for the truck, but $1000 isn't worth the cost, I would rather just stop. I do have some VP racing fuel jugs I carry in the bed of the truck (for the motorcycles), usually an additional 25 gallons worth of fuel, plus I have two 6 gallon tanks for the dual Yamaha generators that I use to power the toy hauler when we don't have electrical connections. So if I ever did want to skip a "last fuel" station, I could do a full fill up with those tanks and keep rolling.
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