We left Portland and picked up our new truck. Let the mods begin

We mentioned in our last update that on Tuesday (July 5th) our visit to Portland had come to an end and we lifted our jacks at 6:30 and drove 250 miles south back to Grants Pass and back to Jacks Landing RV Resort.

Normally we wouldn’t leave so early but I wanted to avoid the morning rush hour traffic leaving Portland and it worked like a charm. Plus we told the car dealership that we would roll in at 2pm to pay for and pick up our new truck and I didn’t want to get to Grants Pass and feel rushed getting set up before that.

(Side note, our last visit to Grants Pass we paid for 2 months but only stayed 7 weeks so the park was nice enough to let us come back and use our 8th week at no charge to finish up our 2 months. We have obviously not tried that anywhere else but it sure was nice that they let us do that.)

We already knew what site we would have at the RV park so we wheeled right in, got set up (just hooked up electric because we had to leave the next morning again), had a little lunch and had time to chill after what was a long travel day (for us) before going down to Mocks Ford.

About 1:30 we headed down to the Ford dealership, did a walk around the truck, paid for it, had a brief walk through and we were off. Of course we both wanted to take it for a spin so after dropping the Jeep off at the campground we tooled around a few backroads before heading home to chill the rest of the evening.

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Wednesday morning (July 6th) we were up early, hooked the Jeep up to the motorhome, Diane jumped in the truck and we were off to our 8:30 appointment to have the Road-Master base plate and Air Force 1 auxiliary break system installed at Trailer & RV Parts Warehouse in Central Point.

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We were told it would take all day to do the install so after dropping it off we went out to breakfast, went to Costco and killed the day messing around Medford and kicking back in the RV that we parked in their back lot. We needed to have the motorhome there so we could test the system once the install was complete.

side view with the hookup points removed. Pretty clean.

side view with the hookup points removed. Pretty clean.

It was close to 4pm when Dean (one of the owners of the shop) came by to inform us that the tech was not going to finish the job as planned in one day and to let us know we could spend the night in his lot if we wanted to, which we did. That seemed like a better idea than driving 35 miles back to the campground and get set up only to drive back over the next morning.

Once we found out the system was not going to be completed we contacted the Line-X shop and let them know that we would not make our 8am appointment on Thursday. They said to just drop it off when it was done at the other shop and they would fit us in, great!!

At that point all we could really do was drop our jacks, pull out the slides and kick back the rest of the night.

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Thursday morning the tech came in an hour early and got started on the truck at 7am. All he had to finish was the lighting but with all the new technology the taillights were a challenge it seems.

The taillights also encased the blind spot sensors for the front mirrors and there were 10 small wires ran to one taillight and 11 ran to the other. Wow, what a change from the days I could actually work on a car. AND if one is ever broken a replacement would cost $1000 !!!! YES $1000 yikes.

Wiring the brake system. The left turn signal unit has 10 wires and the left has 11. What happened to the days 4 wires did it all LOL!!

Wiring the brake system. The left turn signal unit has 10 wires and the left has 11. What happened to the days 4 wires did it all LOL!!

About 9 the truck was finished and we hooked it up to the motorhome to test everything out. Everything worked perfectly except if I applied the brakes while a turn signal was on it cancelled the turn signal. After a little research and a call to Road-Master it was decided we needed another part to fix that little problem.

The part was going to be shipped and would arrive the next day (Friday) about 2pm so we decided to take the truck on over to Line-X and take the motorhome back to our campsite in Grants Pass and just drive the truck back over to have the final piece of the puzzle installed the following day.

After dropping the truck off at Line-X we drove the motorhome back to Grants Pass, had lunch, showered and chilled until we got a call from Line-X saying they finished what they could for the day and we could pick the truck up.

They were able to spray in the bed-liner, install our BAK Revolver bed cover and do the window tinting on the two front side windows. And we ordered a set of Husky X-Act Cut floor liners for inside the cab that they put in place for us. Everything looked great!!

I should have emptied the bed but you can see the bed-liner and how the bed cover rolls up on top of the bed rails. It straps in place there if needed. I figure if we get a toy we can still use all the bed this way.

I should have emptied the bed but you can see the bed-liner and how the bed cover rolls up on top of the bed rails. It straps in place there if needed. I figure if we get a toy we can still use all the bed this way.

DCIM999GOPRO

DCIM999GOPRO

We made arrangements to take the truck back over on Monday morning (July 11th) to have the paint protection shield applied. The truck taillight hoopla created a little hiccup in the plans but nothing that was that bad.

By the time we got home it was pushing 6pm and we were feeling a little beat so after dinner we spent the evening in front of the TV.

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Friday morning (July 8th) we had an appointment at an electronics shop to have them look at the possibility of installing a small camera on the grill of the truck and feed it to a small monitor inside the cab. I can’t count the times we have been in a very tight campsite or tight parking area and Diane stands up front letting me know how close I can nudge up to the RV or some other obstacle and I figure a system like this would be helpful over and over and over again in the future.

After they looked at it and gave us a jaw dropping price we decided there were other options we could look at, like going to their competitor to get a price which turned out to be just a little of half of what we were quoted at the first shop. And that was using the exact same product, dang that first shop is working with some pretty large margins.

The downside with the second shop was they had to order in the monitor and we are not sure it would make it before we leave the area but they called and had it shipped anyway and said they needed it regardless so if we didn’t take it, it was no big deal. We will see how that works out.

Then we headed to a couple tire shops to have a look before driving the truck over for a 2pm appointment to hopefully get the lighting finished. The researcher in me has been driving me bonkers looking at tires for the truck LOL!!

I was relieved that the part did in fact arrive and they started on the project within minutes of my arrival. Once again the new modern technology had the tech taking more time reading the instructions than it did to actually do the job and we are not complaining about that because with all the new electronics it wouldn’t be hard to screw something up in a big way I’m sure.

Overall it took about two hours to complete but only 1 hour was charged plus the $28 for the additional part over our original quote which was fare I thought even though it would have been nice to have it all done at one time so we could have avoided the extra 70 miles driving back and forth.

We are happy to report that after a pretty good rain Thursday night and driving in some rain on our way home Friday from our taillight appointment the bed of the truck was perfectly dry so the new bed cover is doing its job so far. And we like the looks of it.

We chose the BAK Revolver X2 cover for a couple reasons. #1 we wanted a cover that could be rolled enough out of the way that if we decide to get a toy of some sort we could still put it in the bed without having to remove the cover or lose any space in the bed. And #2 we wanted a cover that would provide some security and with this cover being aluminum covered by vinyl it will do that to some degree anyway.

DCIM999GOPRO

DCIM999GOPRO

I personally like the solid fiberglass bed covers but they are not user friendly for putting things like a motorcycle or ATV in the bed without removing it so the unit we chose will fit our need just fine. Here is a link to the cover we decided on in case you are interested. http://bakindustries.com/p-30253-revolver-x2-hard-rolling-tonneau-covers-overview.html

Another day was pretty much filled with all this preparation stuff and our pockets were just a little lighter. Once again after a short stop on our way home we rolled in about 5:30. After dinner I started taking things out of the Jeep and moving them into the truck so we can wash and detail the inside of the Jeep before in goes into our storage unit.

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Saturday (July 9th) after breakfast I decide to head down to Les Schwab Tire Shop to get a new set of tires for the pickup. I know, I know, a new truck with 600 miles on it and new tires!!!! Well the tires that came on our truck and most new trucks now days really are not that great. In fact I can’t believe Ford would but a thin sidewall street tread tire on a 4X4 truck with an off-road package but they did. I wouldn’t be caught dead out in the middle of nowhere on some not so great road with a thin sidewall tire like came on the truck. So new 6 ply tires with a better All Terrain tread pattern it will be.

I did a fair amount of research on tires before deciding on the new Les Schwab Back Country AT made by Cooper Tire for Les Schwab. At one point I had it “narrowed down” to 12 tires LOL!!!

I wanted a tire with an All-Terrain tread but not so aggressive that it would be loud on the road and I wanted a thicker and more durable sidewall than what came stock but didn’t want a 10ply and the stiff ride most of them provide AND I didn’t want a heavy tire so it wouldn’t hamper fuel mileage much and create sluggish performance.

I was amazed at just how hard it was for me to make a choice because in my past life I always went biggest baddest in most things I bought which in turn usually meant changing something else because of a change I made which in turn would create the need for another change and on and on. I’m sure some of you know exactly what I mean LOL!!

While living in the S&B’s we went off-roading almost every weekend and really used the Jeep for what it was meant to be used for which is exactly why I did the modifications I did to it but I hate to admit that the last almost 4 years full-timing we have done very little “real” off-roading, most of what we did could have easily been done with a 4×4 truck and in more comfort which is exactly why we are really where we are today with getting the new truck.

DCIM999GOPRO

DCIM999GOPRO

I swore to Diane and myself that we would only make changes to the truck that would make it backroad worthy and not so off-road geared so we could maintain a nice quiet ride and not give away “much” of the extra fuel mileage we will gain over the Jeep and changes that would enhance the usability, things like the bed-liner & bed cover.

Anyway, I arrived at Les Schwab at 8:30 and told them I wanted the Back Country LT275/65R18 6 ply tires (they come in a 4 ply, 6 ply and 10 ply), gave them my keys and took a seat. It wasn’t long and they pulled the truck up front and had the original tires off. A short time later the sales guy came over and said they made a mistake and accidently mounted the 10ply so it would take a little longer for them to dismount the 10 plies and mount the correct tires. No worries I said.

After a while I was thinking it was taking a little longer that I had expected but I didn’t have anything else planned so no big deal. Then the sales guy came to me again and said, well we have an inventory and we don’t have the 6 plies. Bummer!!! He offered me a discount if I wanted the 10 ply or said they had the 4 ply in stock and could put them on at a lower price as well. OR he could transfer the correct tires from another branch and put them on the upcoming Tuesday. My answer was, I’ll see ya on Tuesday. So the put the original tires back on the rims and truck and away I went. About 2 ½ hours of my precious time wasted LOL!!

After Les Schwab we spent the day transferring stuff from the Jeep to the truck, re organized the storage area in the motorhome a little and made a run to the storage unit before having an early dinner with our friends Rich & Chris which was the best part of our day.

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Sunday (7/10) we planned to pretty much have a down day after all the running around we have done over the last couple weeks, just a tinker day.

After our morning showers we met our good friend Jim at the Train Depot Restaurant for breakfast. Unfortunately his wife Sue hurt her back and wasn’t able to make it. I think I mentioned in an earlier update that Jim & Sue are also RVers and before long plan to spend some time on the road as part timers. With a little luck we will be able to spend some time with them traveling around a bit.

After breakfast we made a stop at Home Depot for a few things and then just hung around home doing that tinker thing I mentioned above. I spent some time yacking with fellow rvers and spent a little time adjusting the height of our tow bar to match the truck. The Jeep is much taller than the truck so it needed to be lowered.

Other than those few things we just took it easy.

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Monday (7/11) the plan was to take the truck in to have the Suntek Paint protection Film put on the truck. Because it will be towed behind the Motorhome and we typically drive on our fair share of gravel roads we figured it would be a good idea.

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We had the film applied to everything painted on the nose of the truck and up the leading part of the hood a little over a foot, behind each tire, on the door edges and behind each door handle. It would be pretty easy to get carried away but what we had done should be a big help.

We knew they would have the truck over half the day so we drove the Jeep over also so we could stay occupied. We went out for coffee and then ended up at a fun center where we played 2 18 hole rounds of Putt Putt Golf. Diane kicked my butt the first round and I won the second so I turned out well LOL!!

We made our way back to the shop to check on the truck about 1pm and they were just finishing up. Everything looked pretty good but there were a couple spots where I noticed bubbles. We were told that it is common and could take a few days for them to clear up but because we didn’t have a few days before we leave the area we made arrangements to go back over on Wednesday for them to give it a good looking over and repair anything that need taken care of.

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After all that we made our way home, took a little drive along the river, stopped at the store to pick up a few things and make our way home for the evening. Another pretty good day. Not seeing new areas and hiking new trails good but good none the less.

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Tuesday (7/12) the plan for the days was to have the new tires put on at Les Schwab and pay a visit to the shop that gave us the better price on installing the forward facing camera & monitor and get the jeep to the car wash so we can get it cleaned up and ready for storage. Time is running short for our stay and we still have things to get done and stay focused. We already extended our stay 2 more days because of the little hiccups at the RV shop doing the brake system and the tires at Les Schwab otherwise today would have been our departure day.

So at 9:30 I made my way down to Les Schwab and with an hour the new tires were mounted and I was on my way. That’s the Les Schwab I know!!!

The rest of the day was spent scoping out options at the electronics shop and detailing the Jeep.  We made a 10am appointment at the electronics shop for the install to happen on Wednesday. Things are getting pretty darn close to being finished but I’m afraid we decided to prolong our departure by ONE MORE DAY making our departure day Friday,, this is our third “ one more day” LOL.

It was about this time that it dawned on me that we would be leaving and I hadn’t decided on a route yet so I started the process even though I didn’t get very far other than deciding we would be better off taking a northern route in hope of cooler tempts.

Dang, we better start traveling because our blogs are even starting to bore me!!! Stick with us, we should see some pretty great things yet this summer in Colorado.

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Wednesday (7/13), the LAST day of upgrades for the truck YIPEEEE!! After a leisurely start to the morning I made my way to the Car Tunes shop for our 10am appointment. Diane came by and picked me up in the Jeep and we ran around a while before she dropped me off again at Car Tunes so I could wait for the install to be completed.

The camera is mounted under the Ford emblem. Looks like I should have done a little cleaning after all the hands were all over the chrome LOL!!

The camera is mounted under the Ford emblem. Looks like I should have done a little cleaning after all the hands were all over the chrome LOL!!

It turned out pretty good. We had a wide angle camera mounted under the Ford emblem on the grill and had a small monitor mounted inside a flip down sunglass holder in the overhead console right by the rearview mirror.

With the sunglass compartment closed.

With the sunglass compartment closed.

We wired the power so the monitor comes on when the brake is applied so all we need to do while parking is press the sunglass holder door, it flips down and the monitor is instantly on when the brake pedal is pressed. While we are driving around we close the sunglass compartment and you wouldn’t know anything was there. Clean and efficient.

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I guess a picture of the picture isn't very good but you can see the front of the bumper at the bottom which is really all I wanted.  The picture really is 100% better than what it shows here.

I guess a picture of the picture isn’t very good but you can see the front of the bumper at the bottom which is really all I wanted.
The picture really is 100% better than what it shows here.

After I finished at Car Tunes I made one more trip to the Line-X shop and had two flip down steps installed, one on each side of the truck, mud-flaps and rear wheel-well liners ( I have no idea what Ford does not automatically install wheel-well liners on every vehicle that they build).

Wheel well without the liner.

Wheel well without the liner.

Not a very exciting picture but it shows the wheel well liner installed. It helps with sound from rocks hitting the wheel well and it will be a heck of a lot easier to clean than without it.

Not a very exciting picture but it shows the wheel well liner installed. It helps with sound from rocks hitting the wheel well and it will be a heck of a lot easier to clean than without it.

We have done a lot to the truck in the 1 ½ weeks we have owned it but we wanted to get everything done here in Oregon to avoid sales tax down the road. And everything we have had done was either to get it ready to tow or to protect it or to make it easier to use. That’s our opinion anyway.

The side step retracted.

The side step retracted.

We have one on each side. 300lb capacity. It sure makes it easy to reach into the bed from the sides.

We have one on each side. 300lb capacity. It sure makes it easy to reach into the bed from the sides.

All we need to do now is put Sta-Bil in the fuel tank of the Jeep, fill it up and put it in storage and get our bikes and bike rack out of storage so we can hit the road. We will do that on Thursday and leave the area on Friday if all goes well.

I think we have a plan in place for our travel day on Friday anyway, we will head to La Pine to visit our friends Bob & Karen for a couple days and see their new home. They have been working very hard on it the last 3 months so we are looking forward to seeing it.

I hope this wasn’t too boring of an update.

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11 Responses to We left Portland and picked up our new truck. Let the mods begin

  1. Ruth and Dale says:

    Looking forward to the next update, give Karen and Bob a hug for us, their new home was a work in progress when we enjoyed an evening in Bend with them in June.

  2. explorvistas says:

    Wow…you were busy, Dave! Those are all great mods, for sure. I love the color of your F-150. 🙂

  3. colibabas says:

    Sweet looking ride Dave! Great upgrades too.

  4. Steve Dwyer says:

    You almost wore me out and you were doing all the running around.lol. nice truck and I like how you equipped it. Should do a great job for you guys! Happy travels. Steve

  5. It’s so good to see that you are stimulating the economy with your purchases! Good looking truck, BTW, even though it’s a Ford. LOL

  6. Jim and Barb says:

    Wow, you guys have been busy! Love the new truck, you will really enjoy it.

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