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Old 06-18-2017, 07:07 AM   #121
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[QUOTE=johnrobison; . . . The point is this: Just because it CAN do it, does not mean it is BEST for the job. Crew cab pickups - 2500 and 3500 - dominate the professional towing business for a reason. They are best for the job, hands down.[/QUOTE]

Trouble is, we are not in professional towing business. We are recreational Airstreamers, what is best for our travels is often quite different. We have no issues whatsoever traveling for years 6-7 months a year with our Ram 1500 pickups. We all use a ProPride hitch distributing loads well-adjusted to our needs. It is by far best for us. Others use a variety of vehicles because it works best for them, hands down.

Note: There is a forum member professional who delivers new Airstreams to dealers from the factory. He uses a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:49 AM   #122
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Doug, my comments on 2500 trucks versus Range Rovers were not meant as a slight against those who tow with Rovers or 1500 trucks or anything else at all. They are, however, a statement of fact not opinion.

There is no reasonable tow situation where a purpose set up 2500 truck is not safer and functionally superior to a Range Rover to move anything the size of a mid range or bigger Airstream cross country.

I understand most people on this forum are amateurs towing their vacation homes on leisure time. They are not moving Airstreams professionally every day. That said, it does not mean we cannot all benefit from professional knowledge.

I have been a Land Rover service manager and I've written about Land Rover and other cars since the 1980s. Today our service department has 2.5 acres of parking and being in New England we have to plow it. For that job we use Chevy 2500 trucks - the same trucks that haul our trailers. Could I make up plow frames and do it with Land Rovers? Of course, but I'd be nuts when a tool exists (American 3/4 ton pickups) that will do it so much better.

That's one of the things I have read in my time browsing this forum - people twist themselves into pretzels arguing for or against some particular tow vehicle, and many of those vehicles - to a professional - will never be anything but marginal. I am actually writing this post from the Rolls Royce and Bentley Owner's Club national meet which this year is in French Lick, Indiana. We come to meets like this from 1,000 miles away and we do it with 2500 trucks and 11,000 pound bumper pull closed car trailers. We also use 5500 trucks and 25000 pound fifth wheel trailers. Our company restores those cars too. Could we drive the cars to the meets? Sure, but hauling trailers do the job better. Especially if it rains or snows during the trip.

In that role I guess I am a professional moving the cars, but when we tow the Airstream we are just folks, just like you. I have the same deliberation many of you have at times. For example my wife wants to visit some distant national parks with her sister. She likes the Range Rover because it's comfortable, zippy, upscale . . . all the things people buy Range Rovers for. She sees it can tow a trailer and she wants very much to use it for cross country trips. She looks at the trucks and sees, well, trucks.

Guys like you drive 1500 pickups instead of 2500/3500 rigs for a reason. They are more family friendly. Lower to the ground for easy access. Softer riding. More amenities (usually) And they cost less.

But when I - with my "professional" background - look at our family tow choices I think sending her 2,000 miles in a Range Rover pulling a 5,000 pound trailer seems crazy, when we own trucks that are built to do that job.

Every 1,000 mile trip I have taken a Range Rover on with a trailer, has led to service issues. Trip 1 - the supercharger coolant pump failed and the rover went into limp mode 400 miles from home. 60,000 miles of "car" use it never gave a problem because we never put a sustained load on it. 500 miles pulling the Airstream caused it to fail.

Trip 2 gave a check engine light from excess exhaust temps, again from sustained running at high power pulling on hills. Something it never did as a "car."

Trip 3 the pinion bearing (a known Range Rover weakness) gave out and started howling 350 miles north of home.

Trip 4 the front end lift from towing wore the front tires and caused noise and rumble. New tires, alignment, and WAY more weight transfer tension sorted that out.

The list continues on . . . And in comparison I hook trailers that weight 2-3 times as much to the Chevy trucks and just pull them thousands of miles, completely uneventfully.

I have faced all those Prodigy RF brake controller hassles on the Range Rover. The Chevy trucks not only have brake controllers built in, they have factory stability control as part of the trucks tow packages And it works. You can get up to 75 coming down hill and you will feel the stabilization work in what would otherwise be a scary situation. I would be afraid to drive the Range Rover the same way, even with the $2,500 ProPride hitch.

If anyone here still wants to tow with a Range Rover, go for it! My point is just that there are far better vehicles out there. And anyone who can buy a new Range Rover for the $100k starting price can probably buy a pickup truck too. Sometimes buying a second vehicle is better advice than how to set up the first one.

If I were a family guy moving all but the largest Airstreams I'd get a 1500 truck for occasional travel or a 2500 diesel for more full-time use. The fact that we have a Range Rover and it CAN tow does not make it very good for the job. In response to a comment that Range Rovers are popular for this overseas . . . Range Rovers are popular tow vehicles in England for three reasons - (1) European tax structures make bigger tow rigs prohibitively costly (2) Caravans (trailers) in Europe are generally lighter and travel speeds are lower while distances towed tend to be shorter (3) there is no supply of good used American pickup trucks, and no British made equivalent exists.

The reliability problems I have seen will be typical when loads get to 6k pounds or more. Safety is OK with a ProPride or Arrow but there's a cost to that. The RF brake controllers are simply marginal compared to systems like GM's Stabilitrac and trailer stability control. If you really want to do it the Range Rovers.net website actually has a step by step article on how to put a trailer brake controller into a 2003-2012 era Range Rover but there is no equivalent for 2013 and newer.

The thing about Range Rovers is that breakdowns can get very expensive unless you do your own service or own a shop. At the same time, I understand the Range Rover's obvious advantages once it is unhooked from the trailer. It's much better as a car. Easier to park, smoother, all those things. So you have to choose what's most important.

Two people earlier in this thread asked me what spares to carry and how to pre the mechanicals. I will think about that and post an answer on that shortly.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:08 AM   #123
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This is one of the most balanced and unbiased comparisons in towing with a large, capable SUV vs 3/4 ton truck I've seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:45 PM   #124
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This amazes me who much people are paying for Range Rovers taking into consideration how unreliable these cars are...
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:00 PM   #125
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John Robinson,

I have never even been in a Range Rover and it's not in my radar and I'm not here to throw rocks either.

But thanks for the open, referenced, interesting read and your been there done that owns several t-shirts point of view.

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Old 06-21-2017, 08:47 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrobison View Post
Doug, my comments on 2500 trucks versus Range Rovers were not meant as a slight against those who tow with Rovers or 1500 trucks or anything else at all. They are, however, a statement of fact not opinion.

There is no reasonable tow situation where a purpose set up 2500 truck is not safer and functionally superior to a Range Rover to move anything the size of a mid range or bigger Airstream cross country.

I understand most people on this forum are amateurs towing their vacation homes on leisure time. They are not moving Airstreams professionally every day. That said, it does not mean we cannot all benefit from professional knowledge.

I have been a Land Rover service manager and I've written about Land Rover and other cars since the 1980s. Today our service department has 2.5 acres of parking and being in New England we have to plow it. For that job we use Chevy 2500 trucks - the same trucks that haul our trailers. Could I make up plow frames and do it with Land Rovers? Of course, but I'd be nuts when a tool exists (American 3/4 ton pickups) that will do it so much better.

That's one of the things I have read in my time browsing this forum - people twist themselves into pretzels arguing for or against some particular tow vehicle, and many of those vehicles - to a professional - will never be anything but marginal. I am actually writing this post from the Rolls Royce and Bentley Owner's Club national meet which this year is in French Lick, Indiana. We come to meets like this from 1,000 miles away and we do it with 2500 trucks and 11,000 pound bumper pull closed car trailers. We also use 5500 trucks and 25000 pound fifth wheel trailers. Our company restores those cars too. Could we drive the cars to the meets? Sure, but hauling trailers do the job better. Especially if it rains or snows during the trip.

In that role I guess I am a professional moving the cars, but when we tow the Airstream we are just folks, just like you. I have the same deliberation many of you have at times. For example my wife wants to visit some distant national parks with her sister. She likes the Range Rover because it's comfortable, zippy, upscale . . . all the things people buy Range Rovers for. She sees it can tow a trailer and she wants very much to use it for cross country trips. She looks at the trucks and sees, well, trucks.

Guys like you drive 1500 pickups instead of 2500/3500 rigs for a reason. They are more family friendly. Lower to the ground for easy access. Softer riding. More amenities (usually) And they cost less.

But when I - with my "professional" background - look at our family tow choices I think sending her 2,000 miles in a Range Rover pulling a 5,000 pound trailer seems crazy, when we own trucks that are built to do that job.

Every 1,000 mile trip I have taken a Range Rover on with a trailer, has led to service issues. Trip 1 - the supercharger coolant pump failed and the rover went into limp mode 400 miles from home. 60,000 miles of "car" use it never gave a problem because we never put a sustained load on it. 500 miles pulling the Airstream caused it to fail.

Trip 2 gave a check engine light from excess exhaust temps, again from sustained running at high power pulling on hills. Something it never did as a "car."

Trip 3 the pinion bearing (a known Range Rover weakness) gave out and started howling 350 miles north of home.

Trip 4 the front end lift from towing wore the front tires and caused noise and rumble. New tires, alignment, and WAY more weight transfer tension sorted that out.

The list continues on . . . And in comparison I hook trailers that weight 2-3 times as much to the Chevy trucks and just pull them thousands of miles, completely uneventfully.

I have faced all those Prodigy RF brake controller hassles on the Range Rover. The Chevy trucks not only have brake controllers built in, they have factory stability control as part of the trucks tow packages And it works. You can get up to 75 coming down hill and you will feel the stabilization work in what would otherwise be a scary situation. I would be afraid to drive the Range Rover the same way, even with the $2,500 ProPride hitch.

If anyone here still wants to tow with a Range Rover, go for it! My point is just that there are far better vehicles out there. And anyone who can buy a new Range Rover for the $100k starting price can probably buy a pickup truck too. Sometimes buying a second vehicle is better advice than how to set up the first one.

If I were a family guy moving all but the largest Airstreams I'd get a 1500 truck for occasional travel or a 2500 diesel for more full-time use. The fact that we have a Range Rover and it CAN tow does not make it very good for the job. In response to a comment that Range Rovers are popular for this overseas . . . Range Rovers are popular tow vehicles in England for three reasons - (1) European tax structures make bigger tow rigs prohibitively costly (2) Caravans (trailers) in Europe are generally lighter and travel speeds are lower while distances towed tend to be shorter (3) there is no supply of good used American pickup trucks, and no British made equivalent exists.

The reliability problems I have seen will be typical when loads get to 6k pounds or more. Safety is OK with a ProPride or Arrow but there's a cost to that. The RF brake controllers are simply marginal compared to systems like GM's Stabilitrac and trailer stability control. If you really want to do it the Range Rovers.net website actually has a step by step article on how to put a trailer brake controller into a 2003-2012 era Range Rover but there is no equivalent for 2013 and newer.

The thing about Range Rovers is that breakdowns can get very expensive unless you do your own service or own a shop. At the same time, I understand the Range Rover's obvious advantages once it is unhooked from the trailer. It's much better as a car. Easier to park, smoother, all those things. So you have to choose what's most important.

Two people earlier in this thread asked me what spares to carry and how to pre the mechanicals. I will think about that and post an answer on that shortly.
Excellent post. The way things are here at Airforums, however, it takes a struggle to convince some that an HD truck (designed from the ground up to tow/haul) is more capable than a mid size luxury SUV. Tow vehicles, tires, hitches, RV shops, etc have been so "politicized" here that you have to even argue that water is wet or earth is round.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:53 PM   #127
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I'm not getting involved in the Range Rover vs. other TV discussion but you can get a nifty 7-way extension cable off etrailer which has a built in load. This built in load simulates the draw of normal lights vs. LEDs solving the issues noted above with Range Rovers not detecting the trailer plugged in.

Our tear drop had LED lights and our Range Rover would not detect it being plugged in and blink the lights (blown light auto test).

The short male/female extension 7-way with built in load fixed that.

Once the Range Rover detects the trailer and illuminates the dash sign the shift points automatically adjust for a towing load.

The Prodigy RF works just fine too using this extension cable with load. While this is not the best controller I can confirm it works with this load cable. I do however agree with the above, a hard wired controller works better.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:53 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
I'm not getting involved in the Range Rover vs. other TV discussion but you can get a nifty 7-way extension cable off etrailer which has a built in load. This built in load simulates the draw of normal lights vs. LEDs solving the issues noted above with Range Rovers not detecting the trailer plugged in.

Our tear drop had LED lights and our Range Rover would not detect it being plugged in and blink the lights (blown light auto test).

The short male/female extension 7-way with built in load fixed that.

Once the Range Rover detects the trailer and illuminates the dash sign the shift points automatically adjust for a towing load.

The Prodigy RF works just fine too using this extension cable with load. While this is not the best controller I can confirm it works with this load cable. I do however agree with the above, a hard wired controller works better.


Is this the one you use?
https://www.etrailer.com/p-C57003.html

Curt #C57003

We just got a new Range Rover Sport. I've been going nuts trying to figure things out. I'd really like a hard-wired brake controller but I can't for the life of me find anyone willing or able to install one. The dealer's service department has been useless, and my regular rv service people won't touch Range Rover. I guess I'll have to try the wireless Prodigy.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:08 PM   #129
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johnrobison: Welcome to the forum, and thanks for providing your insight to the classic debate of Large SUV vs. Truck vs. HD Truck. While many of us are recreational users of Airstreams, and would not normally consider an HD Truck, I'm sure it will help others make informed decisions. When my new Range Rover inevitably breaks down while I'm on the East coast, I'll be sure to bring it down to your shop if I can.

R2DTube: We tried that specific Curt adapter, and it did not help with the Airstream. Others on the RR Forums have had successfully with using 6 Ohm load resistors on their trailers, or pulse shunt boxes.

You can very easily install the hard-wired brake controller yourself, and I would highly recommend it over the Prodigy RF model. All you need is low-profile industrial strength Velcro, some double-sided VHB or 3M automotive tape, the 3034 Ford adapter, and a wrench set. Took me about 30 minutes to figure it out, plus 1 hr cure time for the tape, and I was being super slow and careful.
  1. Remove the black plastic cover in the footwell using the 3 or 4 hex heads, be careful to detach the light before pulling it off.
  2. Lying on your back, and wearing a headlamp, follow the brake pedal back up and you'll find the plug for the brake adapter.
  3. Snake the 3034 adapter out to the very right and up the center dash to where you would install the brake controller unit
  4. On the brake controller unit, remove all the attachments that come with it standard, along with the extra plastic piece at the top - this will let you get a flatter mounting surface for the Velcro
  5. Screw in the large simple "U"-shaped bracket to the brake controller unit, but do not tighten 100% yet
  6. Place the brake controller in a position where it is a) easy to see the display, b) easy to grab the lever, c) provides the maximum flat surface for the Velcro
  7. Angle the "U"-shaped bracket to provide maximum flat surface, apply a SMALL amount of BLUE Locktite to the screws, and tighten very well (on new RRs there is a large lip on the bottom dash - I put the "U"-shaped bracket on the lower part not visible, and the body of the brake controller on the front part which is visible - you want to ensure a flat mount to ensure maximum stick).
  8. Cut pieces of Velcro to match the mounting surfaces - rough side for the unit itself, and soft side for the vehicle. Ensure that the pieces you cut for the vehicle side are much longer than those for the unit to ensure that the tape does not peel off. Apply the VHB/3M tape to the double sided velcro on the vehicle side - not needed for the Velcro tape on the brake controller itself.
  9. Apply the tape/Velcro and let cure for 1hr+.
  10. Plug-in the brake controller and stick the brake controller on the vehicle to ensure careful fit. Tug at the manual lever to ensure it is secure.
  11. Turn on the vehicle and pull the manual lever. You should see your brake lights Activate if it works. Adjust the Boost settings (I use B2).
  12. Re-install the black plastic cover, you might need to move around the 3034 cable to make it fit and reach where the brake controller will fit. Be sure to plug-in the little light!
  13. Bonus: Put a little bit of Velcro on the 3034 adapter, and a little on the footwell side - this will let you avoid needing to have the 3034 adapter loose. Wrap the 3034 wires in black electrical tape to have an all-black look.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:27 AM   #130
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Towing with Range Rover

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2DTube View Post
We just got a new Range Rover Sport. I've been going nuts trying to figure things out. I'd really like a hard-wired brake controller but I can't for the life of me find anyone willing or able to install one. The dealer's service department has been useless, and my regular rv service people won't touch Range Rover. I guess I'll have to try the wireless Prodigy.


I wouldn't worry about someone installing this for you if you have a factory 7way trailer plug. You can do it yourself in minutes as the Ranger Rover uses the same connection plug as Ford. I purchased the Prodigy P2 and the Ford connection kit.

First you need to take out a few screws to remove the lower dash panel on the drivers side. Near the base of the steering column there is a connection for the brake controller pre-wired with the Ford connector. The connector is just hanging out there (not mounted just zip tied to some other wires), I don't recall if it's above or below the steering column but mine was easy to find with a flashlight.

So next is the only advanced step, if you have a MY2015 or older you don't need to do anything and should be good you go. If you have a MY2015.5 or newer you need to reconfigure the wires on the connection kit itself before plugging the P2 into the Ranger Rover. I will post a link to how the wires should be reconfigured as LR used the same plug but different wire configuration for the newer model years.

I used heavy duty Velcro to attached the P2 to the lower dash at first but it kept falling down and bent the connector leaving me without bakes (once until I pulled off the hi-way and reattached it). I have since mounted using screws with some small holes I drilled into the lower dash. If I did it again I might use 3M VHB tape.

This should be a quick job installing on the Rover. You'll spend more time on removing the lower dash then installing the P2 itself.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:36 AM   #131
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Here is the correct wiring diagram for a Rover MY2015.5 or newer for Prodigy Controller. This would be the connection from the P2 that plugs into the Rover.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0014.JPG
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Here is a link this discusses this in detail (including how to reconfigure the plug).

**INFO** Valuable brake controller information

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...8&share_type=t
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:44 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkFortyCal View Post
Here is the correct wiring diagram for a Rover MY2015.5 or newer for Prodigy Controller. This would be the connection from the P2 that plugs into the Rover.

Attachment 288683


Here is a link this discusses this in detail (including how to reconfigure the plug).

**INFO** Valuable brake controller information

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...8&share_type=t
In my MY2017 L494 I didn't need to fix the wiring. There was a TSB issued last year which addressed this since.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:14 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcd32bit View Post
In my MY2017 L494 I didn't need to fix the wiring. There was a TSB issued last year which addressed this since.


Thanks for all the great info! I'm feeling confident and ready to get things set up. Rover customer service was adamant that I don't have the plug under the dash, but I kind of don't believe them now.

I'm wondering about the 6-ohm resistors you used to fix the led-lights issue. Where, how many, and how did you install them?

I saw this on the Rover forums.
http://www.ledtowconnect.com/2013/12...-2013.html?m=1

Seems like an easy fix, but I'm not thrilled about having to mount that box somewhere. Maybe resistors would be an easier and cleaner solution.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:40 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2DTube View Post
I'm wondering about the 6-ohm resistors you used to fix the led-lights issue. Where, how many, and how did you install them? ...Maybe resistors would be an easier and cleaner solution.
Go with the plug and play adaptor linked below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2DTube View Post
I prefer this one without the flexible cord. https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-Ready/20142.html

Also available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Helpful Hint: Buy two in case one goes missing
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:48 PM   #135
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It works!

Many thanks to lcd32bit, ArcFortyCal, and dasams for all the great info. I put in a brake controller and it couldn't have been easier. The umbilical adaptor makes it all work perfectly. Thank you!

And thank you, Air forums, for making possible this exchange of very useful info.

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Old 07-09-2017, 08:17 PM   #136
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Glad it worked out, now post a picture.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:24 PM   #137
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:31 PM   #138
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I'm using iPhone to post. Haven't mastered posting photos, but I think it worked. So anyway, the photos aren't exciting, which is good. I think it shows how clean and easy it was to install the brake controller. I towed the trailer to Airstream Los Angeles today with no problems at all. I can't tell you how happy I am with how this all worked out!
So now the trailer is getting a once over since it's sat for so long. Then finally we'll get to use it!
The RR Sport tows like a dream. Granted, we're only a tiny 16' Bambi. But what a world of difference from our trusty old, and I do mean old, 4Runner!
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:52 PM   #139
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One more. Look at that poor, dirty trailer!
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:12 PM   #140
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Awesome!! Looks great
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