Check out the newest innovative
RV Product on the market
to reclaim your storage space!

Have a Great Time Camping......

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Front Hitch Mounting Instructions

Here is how I mounted my front hitch on my 2004 Winnebago Winnie 31C on a Ford E-450 chassis.

I purchased my hitch from, they had the best price that I could find.

The instructions that came with the hitch did not say that you had to remove the front bumper. However, there are only 4 bolts that hold the bumper on, so I just removed the bumper for the installation.

Here are the tools you will need:

13/16 deep socket
3/4 socket
9/16 drill bit
Diagonal cutters (wire cutter)

Helper (I drafted my Son for this)

It took us about 1 1/2 hours to complete this project in my driveway.

Lets get started.....

Camper before we began

You will need to remove plastic shroud under the bumper. Use the diagonal cutters to carefully pull out the plastic pin and then the plastic rivet. There are 2 of these, one on each side. The shroud will be easily removed after removing the 2 plastic rivets.

This is the outside bumper bolt on the passenger side. It takes the 13/16 deep well socket. Only remove the large nut, the small nuts stay in place.

Here is the inside bumper bolt on the passenger side. It is a tight fit with the horns right beside it. You can put a hand through the opening in the grill to help with this.

This is the outside bumper bolt of the drivers side. Again, only remove the large nut.

This is the inside bumper bolt on the drivers side.
This is an easy bolt to reach. Warning, I left one nut on slightly, on each side until I could get my son out of the house to help remove the bumper. He was studying for his college finals. Got to have my priorities... Ha Ha Ha... Just joking....

We removed the bumper and set it off to the side. The bumper is not to heavy.

The 2 hitch mounting holes on the passenger side. We will be using the oblong hole in the back and the smaller hole (inside the frame) in the front of the picture to mount the hitch.

The mounting holes on the drivers side.

You don't have to do anything to install the back mounting bolts. Use the carriage bolt and the plate that comes with the hitch. Looking the the side holes, I have no ideal how you would get these items inside the frame without removing the bumper. I know some people have done it, but I would rather remove the bumper.

This is the passenger side.

This is the drivers side. The hitch instructions show the metal plates are suppose to be mounted across the frame. However, they are to long to do this.

I could not resist to test fit the hitch, looks pretty good to me.... You have to slide the hitch towards the rear in order to get the front holes to align.

This is the front mounting hole on the passenger side. You have to enlarge this hole. I used a 9/16 drill bit, it worked for me.

The same hole on the drivers side. You also have enlarge this hole.

Here are the 2 bolts and plates installed on the drivers side. I forgot to take pictures of the enlarged holes and the passenger side. Forgive me.... :)

The hitch is installed!!!!!!!

We reinstalled the bumper. This is the inside passenger nut. It is still difficult to reach but can be done.

Warning: Tighten both outside nuts first, then check and make sure the bumper is level. There are some adjustments to level out the bumper.

Here is the inside bolt on the drivers side.

Reinstall the plastic shroud, rivets, and pins. This took a little finesse to get it back in place. I wanted to make sure that it was installed to make sure the engine cooling system was correct. You know it is very hot in Florida during the summer...

Hallelujah!!! We are done...... I think we did a good job... Let me know what you think by adding your comments in my shoutbox below... Also, if you think I did something wrong, please let me know...

This is what it looks like under the bumper. You do not have to cut any of the plastic to install this hitch.

Draw-Tite Front Mount Trailer Hitch #65001

Sorry for such a long post. However, I do better when I can see pictures when I do projects.
Also, I am not an expert and do not guaranty this is the complete proper way to install the hitch. It worked for me, but, you may want to use a professional to do your installation.
Till next time, have a great time camping......

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Highlands Hammock State Park Part 3

Here is the last of Highlands Hammock State Park information and pictures.

You can see parts 1 & 2 on the right side under Campgrounds I have Visited link.

This part will be a little less fun as I show details on the campground area.

One of 3 three bathhouses in the park. They were clean but needed some maintenance.

This was the newest bathhouse. However, it only had 2 showers on the men's side. I didn't check out the women's side, did not feel like visiting Sebring's jail....

The other bathhouse is just like the 1st one. Clean but needing updating.

One of the roads through the campground. Mostly the roads are dirt not paved.

The following are some of the sites that I liked through the park.

Caution!!! This park is laid out very strange!!! Make sure that you bring extra water hoses and RV electric extension cords, the heavy duty kind. Some of the sites have the water and power connections on the wrong side of the sites or all the way at the front of the site. Additionally, some sites fire rings will be behind the camper, very strange.

With this said, here are the sites that I liked:

Site #110

Site #69

Site #121

Site #128

Unknown site number

Site #122, this was our site. Nice drive through site with no neighbors on the picnic table side.

Site #10

Site #50

This is the end of our trip to Highlands Hammock SP. Next up is Hillsborough River State Park. I should be posting on Monday or Tuesday.

Have a great time camping.....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Highlands Hammock State Park Part 2

This is part 2 of our camping trip to Highlands Hammock State Park. If you missed part 1 you can click on the link on the right side under "Campgrounds That I Have Visited".

I hope you enjoy these photos...

Road through the park. The road is one way it is around a 3 1/2 mile loop through the park. It is mostly shaded and a great ride after the park has closed to cars for the night. We even saw lightning bugs (sorry no pictures of them), it is the first time I have seen them in Florida for 20+ years. The road is never really busy, the reason is the parking area at the trail heads is limited and the only picnic area is next to the CCC museum at the entrance to the park.

The park offers a tram ride that takes you way back into the park that is not open to the public. It makes it's way through five different habitats.

It costs $4.00 per adult and $2.00 per child. However, it is well worth the money. I almost guarantee that you will see wildlife.

Can you see the baby gator? Look close.....

Here is another baby gator we saw along the ride. They are really cute when they are young... Notice the yellow stripes..

Beware though... whenever you see baby gators.. Momma is.......

CLOSE BY!!!!!!!! Watch Out........

We also saw a deer getting a drink of water.. But I was tooo sloooow on getting the camera up... dang it....

Beautiful Blue Herron searching for its next meal... The ranger told us that they will eat the baby gators....

But they better be fast or momma gator will eat them.... Isn't nature crazy....

Well this is end of the tram pictures.

Next we rode our bikes to the trail that had "The Big Oak" tree.

This is one big old oak tree....

Pretty lumpy... I guess even trees get lumpy as they get old....

Way back in the 40's or 50's the park saved 2 or 3 of these old oak trees by filling up the rotted out centers with concrete... The trees have grown around the concrete.

Here you can see a patch of the concrete..

I wonder what today's tree surgeons would think about this method? But the trees are still alive and growing...

Here is another trail boardwalk.

You see all kinds of creatures along these trails..

I think this is some kind of moth!

This spider web looks almost like a CD... I hope the moth does not get caught up in the deadly music...

This bird was going crazy eating the berries back in the woods. They must be some awesome berries......

Like I promised from part 1....

We came across 3 wild boars grubbing for some food. They ran way so I had to zoom in for these shots. Sorry they are a little blurry.

Here is a closer shot of one of the boar.

They were orange with black spots.

Good Morning....

Still smokey from the controlled burn. The ranger later told me they call it "prescribed burns". I guess it is more politically correct.... :)

Pretty smokey... Luckily it dissolved pretty quickly once the sun came up.....

Even 4 days after the burn there was still hot spots burning in the woods.

The ranger said they do burns year round and you can call ahead of time to see if they are doing any burns. This is important if you have medical issues.

The park has a large recreation room that the public can rent. Believe it is $100 per day.

There is a large playground by the rec room. This area is right off the main camping area and if you have children I would make sure you find this area to let the kids play. It is a nicer playground than the one right in the campground.

Well this is enough for now... There will be one more part of my Highlands Hammock stay, it will show more details of the campgrounds.

Have a great time camping......