Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 92, low 74)
This blog is mostly for future reference for us, so it will be a little dull. Sorry… I just might post a tubby kitty picture at the end though!
Al has been doing the research and making the necessary calls to find the best place to get the new truck set up to tow behind the motor home. He’s ran into some obstacles, but finally made some decisions.
Changing toads is not an easy or cheap task.
Certain vehicles can be towed 4 wheels down with no modifications. Our old Nissan Frontier truck that had a manual 5 speed transmission was one of those vehicles.
Our new Nissan Frontier truck with an automatic transmission, will need some modifications. We knew this going in, but we decided we wanted an automatic transmission this time.
The other costs would be the same and not avoidable unless we would have just kept the old truck.
Here is what we will need:
1. new base plates that will fit the new truck. Unfortunately they don’t make a one size fits all base plate.
2. a driveshaft disconnect, so that we can tow four wheels down.
3. transfer our toad braking system (we have the Air Force One system) from the old truck to the new one. Never did we dream this would be so expensive.
A few other items not related to towing, are a new “topper” new floor mats, and mud flaps. We ordered some of the Weather Tech rubber mats that we’d seen advertised on TV. They are very nice and should keep most of the sand, mud and dry grass off the carpeting. I hate when I remove the floor mats and there is a ton of grass and sand underneath them. These mats should prevent that from happening.
I like the fact that the mat goes underneath the foot pedals and up against the side, as well as over the side where your feet come and go.
I wanted to document all these costs and aggravations, should “anyone” decide he wants a new truck any time soon.
Our decision to get the new truck was made due to the high mileage on the old one and the fact that we want to go from two vehicles to only one. Until we discovered that Nissan made a Frontier with a Crew Cab (larger one than the old one) and a 6 foot bed, we thought our only option was a full size truck.
We didn’t want a full size truck because, they are too tall and would make it difficult to put the kayaks on top, and they are just so honking big for maneuvering around parking lots and such.
The new Nissan Frontier Crew cab will allow adults to sit in the back seat and the 6 foot bed will give us lots of storage. We love the new truck.
However…..the costs to change toads are pretty high.
Besides the actual cost of the new truck, here are the extras:
1. Weather Tech floor mats. We love them. $189
2. Truck topper $1344
3. driveshaft disconnect parts and labor $1435
4. Blue Ox baseplate, $430, labor $285, hardwire $155, adapter to make Blue Ox base plate fit our hitch, $80
5. remove Air Force One braking system from old truck and reinstall on new one (this cost is ridiculous in our opinion, but this was the best price we could find.) $570 (6 hours @ $95 per)
6. tax $206.85
7. mudflaps $120
So, the cost of the transformation is around $4600.
This was not totally a surprise to us, other than the cost to change out the Air Force One. Of course the labor rates were higher than the last time we set up a toad in 2005.
We drove the truck/boat over to Clearwater to have the driveshaft measured. They wanted to actually look at our truck and take measurements before they ordered the driveshaft disconnect part.
The parts are ordered. The driveshaft disconnect has to be specially made for our vehicle, so it will take the longest.
Once the parts are in, we will have to drop the truck off for a few days of labor.
We’re having it done at Rentz Trailer Hitches in Clearwater, Florida. We spoke to both the owner, his son and the mechanic. They all seemed very knowledgeable and we’re comfortable with them doing the work.
I guess this is just another cost of being full time rv’ers.
Baxter got weighed yesterday and he is now 13 pounds. He will turn one year old next month.
He had to have an “attitude adjustment” yesterday. I was trying to clip his nails and he hissed at me and tried to bite me. I smacked him and “hissed” back at him! He was a little startled by that, to say the least.
Here our Big ole Boy (bob)
He is definitely chubby, but he is also definitely extremely furry. Not all the roundness is fat!