Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-16-2008, 04:35 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Smile Vintage Tow Vehicle - Vintage Argosy Adventure to Bozeman

July 8-12, 2008: Departed Mountain View RV Park at about 9:45 a.m. (July 8th). The weather was absolutely fabulous for top down motoring. I don’t know whether it was the lack of steep grades, the Cadillac becoming more limbered-up after its long retirement, or the use of premium fuel, but today’s fuel economy was the second best of the trip at just over 7 MPG for 72 miles. It finally happened, the Cadillac decided which part would depart in Montana – the exterior chrome trim on the ignition switch came off in my hand during our tour of Glacier National Park on the Going to the Sun Road. The ignition switch now works, but the key must now provide all of the leverage to turn the ignition switch and release the steering wheel lock.

Pulled into Havre, Montana at about 4:45 p.m. I am staying at the Havre RV Park. This is a small park associated with the local Best Western Inn. I stayed here on my way back from the International Rally in Boise ten years ago. This park is among the nicest that I have encountered that is attached to a motel/hotel. The sites are level and paved with nice, grassy lawns – not much shade, but the price is right and the location is immediately adjacent to US Highway 2. I even enjoy the sounds of the nearby railroad – the boxcar and locomotive repair facility for Burlington Northern is just a few miles down the road.

The weather turned exceptionally windy, and the outlook for the 9th wasn’t particularly good, so I chose to stay over for another day. The park is quite pleasant so the additional stay will be comfortable – and I will have an opportunity to get the Minuet tidied-up and do some shopping for provisions. There is a Wal-Mart Supercenter here as well as a Big K-Mart, and two major supermarkets.

The heavy winds continued on the 10th. I just don’t relish towing in strong, gusty cross-winds, so I decided to stay put for another day. Spend a good part of the day watching the world go by through the Minuet’s panoramic windows while playing Mahjong Titans.

Weather was still an issue as July 11th dawned – high, gusty winds with periods of heavy rain. Since I am not on a tight schedule, I decided to stay put and watch the weather from the panoramic windows in my Minuet. This also turned out to be a good day to take advantage of the RV Parks spotless laundry facilities – it seems like many of the RV parks are becoming more concerned with providing excellent laundry facilities – this is the fifth place that I have stayed that has had absolutely fabulous laundry facilities. The weather forecast for the 12th is clear and calm with highs near 80 degrees. Tomorrow’s destination is Prairie Acres RV Park in Williston, North Dakota.

July 13, 2008: Prairie Acres RV Park must have closed after the 2008 Trailer Life Directory was published as I didn’t find it anywhere near the location suggested by the published directions. My second choice was Bear Patch RV Park in Williston, North Dakota – this was a Good Sam Park located on the East edge of town. The location was fantastic, but the park was a bit run-down, and was primarily inhabited by seasonal tenants. It turned out to be a pleasant enough place to stay for the night.

The trip to Williston was absolutely fantastic! Temperatures were perfect for convertible top-down touring, and US 2 lived up to my memories as one of the most enjoyable stretches of highway to drive in the US. The highway’s characteristics are an excellent match to the Cadillac/Minuet combination – large expanses of lightly traveled four-lane highway with minimal grades and few if any tight curves. The scenery has also been fantastic – classic American Western. In the last thirty-years, there have been vast improvements to the highway – now, much of the distance is limited access four-lane. Thus far, much of the US 2 roadbed is being rebuilt through North Dakota – compared to what I have become accustomed to in Illinois, even the well-worn sections are smoother than most of the Illinois interstates.

The Cadillac continues to inspire greater confidence in its operation. It demanded its third quart of oil for this trip (approximately 2,800 miles thus far). The motor is running markedly smoother the further we travel, particularly when it is offered 92 octane premium fuel. With premium fuel, it is averaging very close to 8 MPG a good improvement over the 4.8 to 7 MPG on regular.

July 14, 2008: This would be a light travel day – only 255 miles to Rugby, North Dakota. Upon arrival in Rugby, I discovered that the RV Park where I had planned to stay had closed. The two other options were so far from what I wanted or needed that I decided to drive on 40 miles to Leeds, North Dakota where there was an RV Park attached to their Antique Mall – not deluxe, but clean and quiet with a fee of only $20.00 for overnight, this park met all of my requirements. This park is under development, and appears likely to improve significantly over the next few seasons. Located less than one block off of US 20, access couldn’t be better.

The Cadillac just seems to keep running more smoothly as time goes by. Fuel economy seems to be stabilizing at just short of 8 MPG which is a bit less than what I had expected based upon my early experiences towing the Overlander six years ago – the MPG with the Overlander was 10 MPG (this was on a 300 mile trip in Iowa and Illinois), and the Overlander is just short of twice as heavy as the Minuet. Now that the Reese Straight Line hitch is properly adjusted, I can’t tell any particular difference between towing with this big front wheel drive car over my K2500 Suburban. The suspension on the car is softer so everything in the trailer is riding much more smoothly – unless the road is very rough, everything stays in its place for the duration of travel. In fact, the Cadillac is almost easier to maneuver when towing the trailer as other drivers automatically give it a wider birth at intersections – its long wheelbase and my desire to keep the newly restored wheels running true means that I am taking more precautions when making right turns.

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 04:36 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Smile Vintage Tow Vehicle - Vintage Argosy Adventure to Bozeman

July 15, 2008: Today would be a relatively short distance (334 miles) between Leeds, ND and Bemidji, MN. The weather was overcast with perfect temperature for top-down motoring during the first half of the trip. At about the midway point, it began to rain so had to make a quick stop to raise top and windows – the top operated so slowly that I had momentary fears that it wasn’t going to fully raise – unlike earlier accordion style tops, the scissors or grasshopper top of the1971-1976 GM convertibles does not respond well to manual manipulation when raising or lowering. The right rear window is also becoming cantankerous – it lowers as it should, but takes an eternity to raise to it fully closed position. The last half of the trip was driving through a series of showers that varied from heavy mist to fairly heavy rain. Arrival at the Bemidji KOA was at about 6:15 p.m. – this is my third stay at this KOA and it is among my five favorite KOAs.

The Cadillac is continuing to perform well. Based on the slight rumble that has developed in the exhaust near the firewall, I am fairly certain that the gasket between the exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe is failing. Today, I discovered something – towing with the car has given me the courage to go places that I wouldn’t go with the Suburban – initially, I didn’t know why, but now, I believe that part of the reason is that it is reassuring that I can lower the top and gain a better view when backing or otherwise maneuvering in tight places.

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 05:15 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Smile Vintage Tow Vehicle - Vintage Argosy Adventure to Bozeman

Observations to This Point:
· One of my biggest concerns at the onset of this adventure was running out of fuel. Thus far this hasn’t happened – June 19th was my closest call, and I don’t wish to repeat that experience (the tank is only supposed to hold 25 gallons according to the owner’s manual).
· The Eldorado allowed me to travel through North Dakota without leaving any additional parts behind!
· I hadn’t really considered the potential of problems with the grasshopper/scissors style convertible top on the Eldorado. With my other convertibles, the accordion style top mechanisms permit manual operation in the event of a top motor failure – such isn’t the case with this style top due to its unusual operation.
· The electric windows on each of the mid-70s GM cars that I have owned have been periodically troublesome – the motors are still available, and emergency repairs have been available when needed at most GM dealers. I am hoping to avoid repairs while on the road, but I just can’t bring myself to allow the window to remain up when the top is down.
· The Twilight Sentinel on the Eldorado tends to confuse other motorists in parking lots. I have had the car out after dark or on overcast days on this leg of the journey, and nearly every time someone mentions that my lights are on at just about the time that the car turns its headlights off automatically.
· This combination has been a conversation starter at each of my over-night stops on this leg of the journey. I am finding that many of the young clerks working in campground stores and fuel stations are shocked to learn that family cars were once the choice of most Airstream owners for towing.
· Thus far, I haven’t encountered any RV Parks or Campgrounds that have asked about the age of my coach or tow vehicle. The actual age isn’t too hard to discern – the model year of each appears on its license plate.
· I am seriously considering installing Centramatic wheel balancing devices on both the trailer and Cadillac – neither is experiencing significant problems, but each has a marked tendency to throw wheel covers or hubcaps when rough roads are encountered.
· My modern cars with multiple “cigar lighter” outlets have spoiled me with regard to electronic devices. The Eldorado has four cigarette lighters, but only one is the standard size used for 12-volt cigar lighter adapters for electronic devices so I am limited to just one electronic device which for this trip has been my GPS.
· There is definitely better heat shielding/insulation in my ’99 K2500 Suburban than in the Eldorado. The heat from the exhausts on the Eldorado just pours into the passenger cabin via the firewall and footwells. I am relieved that I haven’t put in the new carpeting as now I know that I will need to add modern insulating products below the carpet to stem some of the heat flow.
· After having the original AM/FM-8-Track rebuilt twice, and still finding that its operation was sporadic at best, I had a Vintage Car Radio – sound system installed. It has a six-CD changer in the trunk, and the system performs beautifully; but it has pointed to the age and wear in the original factory speakers front and rear. When the carpeting is replaced, so too, will the original speakers. I may consider installing a graphic equalizer at that time as well.
· My recent stop at Cabellas may have produced an accessory that would help to reduce concerns about running out of fuel when towing with the Cadillac. Cabellas sells an ATV Fuel Pack designed to be mounted to the racks found on the ATV – one or two of these 4-gallon containers could be mounted behind the LPG tanks on either of my trailers to provide close to a 60 mile emergency travel cushion. Even with the addition, I would be below the hitch weight capacity of my tow vehicles. My only concern is whether this might add too much additional weight to the hitch frame rails.
· The Minuet has been absolutely reliable with only minor problems with the on-board water system.

The attached EXCEL worksheet is a summary of the Cadillac's fuel used thus far during the adventure:

Kevin
Attached Files
File Type: xls Fuel Cost Record-r.xls (32.0 KB, 76 views)
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
vintage tow vehicle whistler Tow Vehicles 49 02-19-2015 08:21 PM
Which Brake Controller for Vintage Tow Vehicle?? commander31 Brakes & Brake Controllers 8 04-25-2007 06:37 PM
IOWA - Vintage Tow Vehicle storage help? robandzoe Tow Vehicles 1 09-19-2006 10:24 AM
Vintage Tow Vehicles rluhr Tow Vehicles 54 03-19-2005 10:18 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.