This year and for the foreseeable future, is 'Do It Yourself'. The economy and the stock market's low yield to the small investors, including IRA's and other retirement plans, is forcing many people to maintain and repair their own 'stuff'. The Motorhome is a house that requires maintenance to 'keep rolling'. Think what all would happen if you put your house on wheels. The previous blog post told the details of the 'Atwood' water heater repair, posted as we prepared for a Texas touring trip detailed 3-12-09 post.. These little tips also apply if deciding to buy an older unit and 'Do it Yourself' to save costs.
Part one, Awnings :
The room slideout units (2 on our coach) have awnings over them to keep out the water during rain with the slides at the 'out' position. Unnoticed, the UV radiation had rotted the light colored thread used by Carefree of Colorado during the stitching process. The 1.5 inches of exposed fabric then came loose from the 'C' channel holding it tightly against the coach wall.
According to the Carefree of Colorado website, this model 'Ascent'? is supposed to have a metal cover to shield the fabric from radiation when closed. During the last few trips, the wind during the night, rattled the awnings enough to tear the sun rotted edges near the 'C Channel. Note; power them 'in' during wind, to possibly save this job.
Note: I sent a comment regarding the premature UV damage of the stitching, to Carefree of Colorado. Lets see if they respond.
Note: Laura from Carefree responded with a question about the model numbers. They are beneath the fabric when it is wrapped on the tensioned end of the tube. Luckily the fabric is removed and at the local repair shop. I asked about the numbers location being visible when the fabric is in place.
Laura said the same nylon/cotton thread has been used by Carefree of Colorado for 35 years.
"That is the way it has always been done", is sometimes the problem.
My question "Isn't there a NEW more UV resistant thread"?
Laura sent the complete parts breakdown of the SOC II model awning assy on this coach. No UV cover is shown. I will have to improvise to cover the 1.5 inches of exposed fabric.
I called Andresen's Awning on 2524 Graceland Dr NE, Alb NM 87110. (email only) De-De said the cost was approximately $79 to repair, and $200 for remove and re-install. I got out the ladder, repeatedly moved and repeatedly climbed, and finally got the fabric off both slides by myself. Working alone is far more active. You have to play the part of both the 'good cop' and the 'bad cop'. (Robert on TV's 'Everyone Loves Raymond')
The easy part was opening the two slide outs about one foot. This gives you a place to set the heavy parts so you don't drop them to the ground. Removing the five screws (two on each end, one in the center) that hold the metal wind cover shield and caps on the Care Free of Colorado
awning assy was next.
While working at each end, loosen the two small pinch screws that retain the roller end brackets into the coach wall brackets. Also remove the small screws in the C Channel, retaining the nylon beading in place. (Two ladder moves, one for each end). Move the ladder to the center (remove that lower cover retaing screw), in order to balance and lift the heavy aluminum cover (on this model) onto the top of the slide, then from there, lift to the rooftop.
Now the tricky part. The long heavy aluminum roller drum is under internal torsion spring tension like some garage doors. DO NOT remove either end bolt. I did and it startled me when it 'unsprung' (not good to jump while standing on a ladder). The easiest way to find out which end is under tension is to grab the roller and twist it to slack the awning. The bolt that is holding pressure, is at the end that requires CCW (looking at the end) twist of the drum to slacken the awning. The engineers should have painted it red or at least taped over that bolt with red tape. Best to leave the end trunion bolts tightly in place. The drum will be easily slid off of the free trunion end.
Using a pair of drift punches or strong rods of at least 1/8th inch diameter, as spanners, insert into the holes and rotate the drum, in step sequence CCW, increasing the torsion pressure, to roll the drum, winding up the internal spring, slackening the awning enough to work with the unit free of tension. Tape the one punch or rod that is now wedged firmly against the mounting bracket, into position so it doesn't fall out while you are working with the drum.
Laura sent a detailed explanation from Carefree of Colorado. It suggests using a cotter pin to insert into the drum and spring trunion assy after it is wound up to slacken the fabric. I used that method on the other coach with great success. I left the cotter pin in place to prevent further 'billowing' and traded in the coach. The holes did not line up correctly on these SOC II awning assys. The center trunion hole is further in than the outer tube hole, good luck with this 'designed in' flaw.
Be sure the 'bead' retaining screws are removed from both ends of the 'C Channel' on the coach wall. The 'bead' holding in the awning, will be stuck. Use a small hammer (tape it to prevent scratching the finish of the coach) to tap a thin piece of flat metal or a very long 1/8th rod to tap the poly 'bead' rod back and forth in the channel. Once it is loose, the job will progress easier.
Loosen the small locking screws holding the tensioned drum mounting bracket into the wall mounted frame. Rocking the big drum roll will ensure it is now ready to slide out toward the tensioned end (with taped punch) of the wall mounts.
Grab hold of the big drum in the center (another ladder move). Rock and slide the entire drum tube in the direction of the opening of the 'C' channel, and away from, off of, the 'free trunion spindle' bracket end. Leave this bracket in the wall mount. Slide the entire drum and it's bracket, in the direction of the spring tensioned end (where the punch is firmly taped in place). Eight inches of sliding the awning in the channel, and holding while sliding the heavy drum, is a little tense, hold up the weight firmly. When the end comes free of the wall mount bracket, roll the entire assy up onto the roof of the slideout.
Move the ladder to the punch and bracket end. Gradually unwind the fabric by rolling the drum assy. On each revolution, the fabric will need to be worked out from under the bracket where the punch is holding the tension (reason for tapeing). When the drum groove is pointing up, is clearly visible, and the fabric is all loose on top of the drum assy, (will require more ladder moves) slide the entire fabric toward the open (non-sprung)trunion end. Slide both of it's beads (one is in the drum groove), toward the end of the 'C' channel as you are sliding it out from the drum as well. Toss the fabric to the ground.
Now the drum should be laying on the roof of the slide. The aluminum cover should be laying on the roof of the coach. Take the fabric to the awning repair shop or 'Do It Yourself'. Be sure to use the most UV blocking thread available. Black is the best color for blocking the sun's destructive radiation. Either make a new awning, using the old one as a pattern, or repair the old one if the fabric is still strong and not fragile. Be sure to re-stitch all of the awnings edge hem in heavy black thread. Sunbrella
is extremely high quality fabric. You may even want to order a new fabric from Carefree of Colorado.
The nylon/poly 'bead' insert will possibly require replacement, in part or in entirety. I need only one extra foot of replacement per awning due to hard brittle, sun exposed ends. Andresens installed a complete new bead. The rest is covered in the 'C' channel and still flexible. After the fabric is back and ready to install, slide the 'bead' into the sewed tubular ends of the fabric. Now you can easily carry it up the ladder and slide it into the 'C' channel (flare and file any sharp corners off the insert end) and the drum groove at the same time, reversing the removal procedure.
The instructions sent from Carefree of Colorado, suggest tightening the torsion spring (if loose) by using the tensioned bracket as leverage (out of it's wall mount) held by a vise grip pliers. Scary.. I used a staged system of my wife powering the slide out to wind, lock with 1/8 inch pin, loosen end bolt. (tube requires 1/8 inch end gap to align single trunion hole with outer tube hole) Power in to slacken fabric, turn trunion (locked to tube with short pin or screw) and tube to wind fabric, Tighten trunion bolt. Carefully relax tension by twisting tube CCW and remove 1/8 inch tube lock pin each time BEFORE next power out, Repeat several times to increase tension to specifications (approx 10-13 turns of tube?).
Place red tape over tension lock bolt. It's best to have two ladders and at least two people. It can possibly be done alone..but I don't like it. Fabric gets sucked into slide opening, requiring several more ladder moves. Recheck the fabric tension sometime after usage. To block the UV, I taped all along the exposed sewn edges, from C channel to uder the awning cover, (wherever exposed to sun) using rows of wide Gorilla tape. Not sure it will withstand UV any better or even withstand the wind. Note: it is now covering all sewn repairs and exposed fabric and is doing extremely well.... Thank you Gorilla.
added note: NM sun takes it's toll on Everything exposed to it's unforgiving UV rays. Even Gorilla tape suffered after two years. One layer is raising from the fabric and requires replacing. This time I will overlap 3/4" of one edge to the roof channel, rather than only the fabric close to the channel.
Part two, Other tips, and more included in following comments
as I learn from experience:
An additional auxiliary fan installed inside the outer access compartment of the Norcold propane/electric refrigerator, aids immensely in the cooling process, by driving upward and removing excess heat from the exchange unit, prolonging the life expectancy of the refrigerator. A high volume 6" or greater, muffin fan operates on the 120V AC (if compartment has an AC outlet) when hooked up to shore power. (note: unplug when operating on inverter)
You may desire to climb on the roof periodically. If so, keep in mind that the most fatal accidents to U.S. men over 65, is falling off 'the front' of their RV's. (who keeps those stats?) While up there, check the caulking at seams of the roof. ALPHA
is the best 'self leveling' caulk for RV roofs (sold at RV dealers). Clean out the dry and weathered cracks, cutting away any raised edges. Flow the ALPHA into the horizontal crack and it will take care of it's own 'leveling' process. Vertical use requires non-sag formula.
There are several Manufacturers
of easy to install, roof vent covers. After destroying one raised standard vent cover, we installed an aerodynamic vent cover over it. Good for rain protection and driving with vent open. (which destroyed the original flat vent cover)
If water leaks in through ceiling AC vent during rain, do not panic. Remove inner vent cover and duct cover, Retighten the four AC mounting bolts from inside. The thick foam seal has most likely compacted and let in water. It can also be replaced easily if old and leaking. Condensation in ambient high humidity, also causes water to run off roof or leak through ceiling vent when AC is operating. Tighten bolts. Noise from roof AC may be caused by fan contacting sheet metal framework in roof AC assy. Remove top cover and realign fan motor. If not re-aligned as soon as noise starts, the squirrel cage (black plastic) will grab the metal flange and seize. The motor will stress and fail.
One other easy maintenance job, treating the dry wood cabinetry. Tung Oil works well, just wipe it on with a very small piece of cloth and let it dry a day. It is dry in NM, so nothing takes long in the evaporation category.
A low quality fiberglass home furnace air filter, works to reduce intake of dust through the cab heater vent. I duct taped a cut of home furnace vent, dust filter over the heater air intake. It 'may' need replacing sometime after many years. I also removed the furnace intake vent and layered more free flow fiberglass furnace filter to reduce dust in the furnace.
The old Blue Ox
Aladin tow bar is great. Lubricate often with Teflon enhanced Silicone (Home Depo). Blue Ox does require various baseplates for each tow (toad). They now come with safety cables. On most cars, removable plastic front bumper covers are the norm.
'Do It YOurself' is ok if you are well equipped with tools and agile, but special plastic rivet tools are sometimes required to replace the plastic bumper covers. A well trusted Collision Repair facility, Crown Coachworks
is able to install baseplates more reasonably than most busy RV dealers in New Mexico.
It is also far cheaper to have a professional 'wirerope' facility, fabricate spare safety cables (I carry a spare set, including all connectors and latch pins). New cars have computers that can be adversely affected by voltage from an outside source (even with diodes). Better to use separate, isolated tail lights. A set of LED (much brighter) trailer lights from Harbor Freight ($40), includes the wiring. No need to do more than open all doors and hood of the 'toad'. Start with connector in front near hood latch (leave enough to connect to coach trailer light receptacle, or make a seperate 'pigtail').
Run the color coded left and right wires along through the fender openings from under the hood, down through the open door jams, and out through the rear seat area into the hatchway or trunk. When the proper light position is determined, use either large suction cups fastened to the lights (some light assy's at Walmart come that way) or fabricate light brackets, to spring clamp in place. (we have luggage racks on the Jeep) Powerful magnets from Harbor Freight also work, after fastening to the lights. When all is placed as desired, connect the wire ends using weatherproof crimp or snap connectors. Test system each time before driving on highway.
On our previous Georgie Boy Motorhome... of far lesser quality, the factory must have been in a rush and perpetually ignored quality control. Among a myriad of other problems and gremlins, the black and gray water drain valve, was not anywhere near the drain opening below. A stop along the first trip route after purchase, showed just how far off it really was.
With the weather nice in an Arizona parking lot, I sat on a small bottle crate, and patiently drilled and sawed away the lower compartment floor opening. This moved and greatly enlarged it, to allow the drain hose to be installed. I went into the nearby Home Depo and bought a large PVC flange, mounted and caulked it into place with a removeable cover, threaded and tethered onto its lower end. Viola, a perfect lineup and we were able to easily 'dump' the holding tanks at the next RV tank dump site. The demise of Georgie Boy came when the coach detached from the frame while on coastal hwy 101 in Oregon.
This present coach, Holiday Rambler traded for in Roseburg Oregon, was designed with more attention to Quality. I added a clear, bayonet twist-on section, to the dump tube, (now see when it's clean) and a secondary knife valve below the clear section, for back flushing of the black tank with gray water if necessary. The black water tank has a little flushing device mounted inside. It seems to have stopped spinning this last year. (Nice feature, wish it still spun). Update: a good drive on the last leg of a trip, while sloshing around a rich mixture of soapy water, solved the problem. works fine again.
note; after sand polluted water from a campground system clogged the little spinner again, I removed the flush system's vacuum breaker from high under the bathroom sink cabinet. Installed a piece of hose to allow my wet-vac to suck the sand granules back through the water feed line (tank had been thoroughly flushed). Alternate pressure and vacuum, cycled many times, cleared the little spinner orifices.
Re-installing the vacuum breaker and pressurizing the system, it works again. One quart of car soap in the black holding tank during each initial 2 gallon charge, seems to keep the little device clear and functioning. Car soap (1/2 gal) from Dollar Tree is very mild, cheap and non detergent, allowing the bio-breakdown of the black waste. The knife valves also pull easily with one qt of mild soap in black water tank during initial charge as lubrication.
Try the 'recycled' 100% 'Natural Value' 2 ply toilet paper from various organic health and vitamin stores. It is earth-friendly, dissolves quickly and costs less than the RV specific 2 ply brands. I reinforced the somewhat flimsy outside control valve bulkhead, with aluminum 'angle stock', bolted in place. (The flimsy design bugged me).
Also the black water release valve was angled wrong and pulled hard (could eventually have broken), so I sawed a short piece of 1/2" aluminum tubing at a 45 degree, placed the opposing halves on either side of the bulkhead to provide a nice 45 degree easy-pull angle to the valve release handle, until I later rerouted the pull cable. I have modified many features to suit my technical background. Some day the rig will be perfect and we will be too old to enjoy it. :>)
An effective set of windshield wiper protectors is cut from a piece of preformed foam pipe insulation or the 'Noodles' from kids swimming fun (Dollar Store). The UV and weather is kept at bay and the expensive wipers last far longer. A set of UV protective wheel covers can be fabricated from construction foam board with aluminum skin. They are light, easy to handle and will blow away if not held in place with some type of framework or supports. Some people make them from plywood. Electrical tape strips on the coaches contact surfaces, prevents abrasion to the finish.
I also have effectively used the tire covers from Camping World. We have snap-on poly fabric wheel covers but they are light-porous, they do hold the foam boards in place. 'Purcell Tire' note; Do not let your tires sit on concrete for extended storage periods. It tends to dry out the oils from the rubber, and premature tire cracking will be the result. Use a plastic shield under each tire.
To keep the coach batteries at full charge, I also installed on the roof (leave a sufficient air gap), a set of three 'Amorphous' solar collectors from Harbor Freight. Use a quality voltage regulating device (fused) and buy the panels separately, unless on sale as a set. One blew off while crossing the high bridge from North Padre Island. I now check the mounting often. The single 15 watt replacements are available with Harbor Freight,s part #01 for $54 plus shipping. Each is rated (greatly exaggerated) at 15 watts.
The upscale, blue Polycrystalline type are far more efficient, but cost substantially more. When covered for the winter with a fitted RV cover (Walmart online, shipped to store or home), I use a Black and Decker heavy duty computerized 'with automatic float' charger from Walmart. Don't forget the chassis battery, use a fused jumper if paralleling the batteries from one charger, best a separate 'maintenance' charger.
Check the electrolyte levels in the batteries often. Add distilled water as often as neccessary. Charging eventually boils away the water, drastically shortening the battery life. I use a pressured bottle in combination with a small hose and a mirror to watch the level rise in each cell, so as not to overfill past indicator ring. Using a Walmart cigarette lighter 'plug in' digital monitor, watch the battery bank charge while camping as well. Closely monitor 'over and under' charge using a battery guide.. (available at Interstate Battery Co)
Xantrax inverter chargers have a default to reset the charge rate if the remote fails to do setup as instructed. Remove both 120V and 12 v from source to Xantrax for a few minutes. The following reboot, reconnect will reinstall default.
Never let batteries go under 12.1 vdc, or their life will be shortened greatly. Extensive over charging above 15vdc will have the same detrimental effect. In place of incandescent, use as many LED lighting fixtures as possible (we even use a few small battery powered LED units during extensive dry camping). The current (amperage) draw is significantly less than incandescent bulbs (heat inefficiency) and even fluorescent. I have replaced the many little various incandescent 'indicator lights' with 12v LED's from Radio Shack. A power 'inverter' is useful for changing 12vdc to 120vac. Only use for short term, a low amperage home appliance, like a small TV or video player (closely monitor the battery voltage).
Conserving precious power should be taught to everyone. The LCD and LED TV's are miserly on power in comparison to the older CRT's. To say nothing of the substantial weight savings. Never take electrical power's convenience for granted. The govt is using CO2 as an excuse, while trying mightily to exorbitantly tax energy, take it away from and ration it to the avg consumer, ultimately raising prices on Everything.
I change my own oil and have had great luck with Walmart Super Tech Synthetic. (Shell corp, last time I called their question line) Greasing the 14 Zerk fittings takes a six wheel creeper on a concrete surface, or a rug, moved and rolled out at each drive shaft universal joint and front suspension fitting. I use the hydraulic landing gear to raise the coach.
It is high enough to slide under without it, but easier to reach when in the raised position. Safety conscious may also use heavy duty jack stands as redundancy. Do not forget to change the oil and filter on the auxiliary Generator (APU) at recommended intervals.
Use factory grade pre-mix coolant in the coach radiator to avoid electrolyte (electrolysis acidity) problems with the cooling system. I also flush out the power steering and brake systems fluids at intervals. Transmission fluid change is at a longer intervals per manufacturers schedule.
After sudsing and washing, rinse with a nozzle on hose, before each section dries. After the coach is washed from front to back (I use Purple Power from Walmart to wash the wheels with a large plastic bristle ball on a stick (device my wife uses for cobwebs in the house), use the same extension pole you used for washing the coach, with it's pad to apply the 'Eagle One Nano Wax' application as directions printed (I spray/soak the pad, wax a section and reapply as needed).
If you don't get the haze all polished off (I drape a towel over the pad on pole), no problem with Nano Wax or Gel Wax (also Nano formulated). Any time later is fine. Any Eagle One Nano Wax haze left on the finish, easily polishes off with a simple wipe. In the harsh New Mexico sun with it's legendary UV, the fast, easy to apply Eagle One Nano Wax lasts about 6 months. That is remarkable.
Eagle One has another product that seems to work better than the competition. Trim Gel (now referred to as Enviroshine Tire Gel) squirted on a soft cloth, wiped on a cleaned surface of plastic, such as trim around windows (lots of that black trim stuff on motor coaches) restores the shine and protects against UV from sun exposure. Also works to restore shine to plastic shower enclosures (clean first) and any other plastic trim around coach.
I used it on plastic bicycle shifters, tires on the bikes, as well as any rubber or plastic, to restore the new appearance. Even my shoes are responding well to this amazing gel product. I really like the finish on my shoes after waxing with Eagle One Gel Wax. Can't attain that with regular car wax. One pair of Ariat 'yard shoes', is looking almost like new after Gel Wax. Also pretty well satisfied with Trim Gel at this point, as I discover new uses. It is 'Water' based, which does not attack rubber, as do so many other petroleum distillate based polishes and protectants. Even 'Big Lots' sells it now, due to it's 'discontinued' status. 'Auto Zone' including other auto stores, sells Eagle One products, periodically on sale..
Water based Eagle One Trim Gel, now replaced by Eagle One Enviroshine for tires, is Siliconized to penetrate and leave a water and weather resistant shine that is long lasting. I used it on all weathered black areas of the coach (including on my old CRV toad and wife's car) with excellent results.
Wiping the treated surface with a soft cloth the next day (I use my discarded socks, cut in half for applicators) , shines it even more. I use the Eagle One Nano Wax for long term protection. Windshield wipers are costly. I was prepared to buy several new wipers for the cars and coach. The Eagle One Trim Gel (now Tire Shine) restored the black arms and rubber, encouraging them to again wipe clean. Not sure how long it will last, but far better than they were.
Eagle One product that is showing up for $3 in 'Big Lots' http://www.biglots.com/p/eagle-one-gel-wax-with-carnauba
(indicates it may be discontinued for whatever reasoning, possibly 'nut' content?) is Gel Wax with Carnauba, another easy to use Nano molecular engineered product that is listed online at Walmart for $8.35. Excellent shine with bare minimal effort. Dull surfaces such as anodized aluminum, plastic, rubber and cracks that trap the white powdery residue of traditional wax, respond very well to the glycol based Gel Wax, leaving no white residue. Use it to shine and wax, following the restorative finish of the Trim Gel (Enviro Shine now)
Even the numerous coach decals, that succumb to the Sun's intense UV radiation in NM, are looking much better with repeated applications. Expensive to replace, Polycarbonate Headlights, notorious for hazing due to UV exposure, are responding well to the water glycol based Eagle One Gel Wax, applied after a vigorous polishing (a power buff is faster [even electric drill pads], electrical tape on surrounding surfaces, protects against unintended contact scratching).
I use polishing compounds for car finishes. Bar Clay, used with lubricant (Windex) is mentioned on internet as well. Collision Repair facilities will restore and 'clear coat' polycarbonate headlights for a reasonable price (approx $80 depending on clear coat longevity requested). They are experts when it comes to polishing anything. http://www.crowncwx.com/
Noting our personal shopping habits, I feel no guilt for temporarily stopping/camping overnight at Walmart parking lots (low traffic outer edges) when traveling. A study showed that the 'average' RV traveler (those who periodically stop overnight), spends about $80 dollars. I repeat, 'average'. The high dollar items (tires, battery's, service etc) purchased by many RV'ers (RV supplies are in auto section), affects this 'average' amount. Naturally not all is spent in each overnight stop. We enjoy the deli, fast food facilities and grocery selections.
Overwhelmingly RV friendly Texas, among other states, does not discourage this temporary camping practice. Some cities, states have strong private interest lobbying against it (ARIZONA). The RV park associations demand the traveler spend $$ per night at their locations. Some areas have vagrancy and drug problems (Portland, Grant's Pass Oregon, etc), Discouraging transients from abusing this privilege, makes law enforcement easier. When in doubt, ask management before settling in for the night. One Portland Walmart security force warned us of danger. 'Diversity' of the area's culture, as increasingly common in urban settings, was deadly problematic. That store closed early every night and employed two armed guards with back-up.
Sovereign Land Indian Casino's for example, have overnight arrangements (even in Arizona). State Parks, National Parks, National Forest (even in Sedona Arizona), US Army Corps of Engineers are our favorites (see their guide maps or online). City Parks in some small communities are many times open to overnight RV'ers, and some even have had water, electricity, and holding tank dump sites.
Mead Kansas and tornado devastated little Greenberg Kansas, were very nice stops along our tours. Avoid 'noisy' truck stops. Some nicer highway rest areas are OK for a short sleep stop. In many areas, be aware of your situation/surroundings. Be wary of strange acting, exceptionally outgoing, sometimes desperate transients. Keep your concealed weapons handy and be intimately familiar with their function.
Do not become paranoid, but do not become a victim of statistics. 'Stay out of the 10:00 pm news'.
http://countywidenews.com/horrifying-details-of-haas-murders-emerge-p3511-94.htm Sadly, RV'ers Gary and Linda Hass were situation-ally unaware victims of violence August 2010. 'Concealed Carry' only works if you do 'Carry'.
In spite of agenda driven politics and media sensationalism to the contrary, hundreds of thousands of times yearly, weapons in the hands of the law abiding, Do save lives. "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away". Protect Your US Constitution and Bill of Rights...including Your 2nd Amendment. Vote intelligently. 'Your' life depends on it. Government has absolutely No responsibility to protect you or your family (SCOTUS ruling)
Without applying all of these 'Do It Yourself' options, we personally would never be able to enjoy/afford this exciting, educational, fun lifestyle.
The fishing streams and lakes, including the oceans and mountains, are calling. Texas State Parks do not require a license to fish. Bring your gear or buy some in their little shops, they are reasonable.
Bicycles are excellent and enjoyable for RV campgrounds, errands and for the many trails. http://daflikkers.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/bicycle-restoration-for-rv-use/ I personally prefer multi speed hybrids, comfort seats, with at least 1.95" tires on 26" alloy wheels/hubs. I like bikes that have quick release axle skewers to ease loading. 'Fold bikes' with 26" wheels are available today. Handlebars can be turned and Pedals can be removed on conventional bikes for a slimmer storage profile. Craig's List is a treasure trove for bikes... sometimes. Charity thrift shops are an excellent source of reasonable priced bikes if you are handy, can fix flats and trouble shoot minor ailments. Pawn shops are another source. Beware major rust, neglect, abuse, faulty tires (sun rotted, cracked) and missing parts. Parts are expensive. Heavy shock absorbing suspensions, while nice for Xtreme downhill mountain bashing, are to be avoided in exchange for easy transport, loading.
Razor E300 scooters are rated for 220 lbs and lightly graveled terrain. Electric rechargeable, 40 minutes (20 minutes out, 20 minutes back) on a charge, they can be disassembled enough for easy storage. Older models have convenient fold down steering bar. 2 AGM 12 volt Batteries (I recommend 9ah) are available on ebay, 2 (24v total) for about $40 or less, including shipping.
Watch for our next post in this greatest nation in history.
"One Nation Under GOD. The United States of America"