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Old 06-20-2015, 09:45 PM   #43
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2005 28' Safari
formerly of Tustin, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, and Laguna Beach , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
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I, too, traveled the (in)famous road to Chaco with our 2005 International 28'. I thought it was worth it. My wife did not. I tried to find the sweep spot speed but failed. When we arrived at Chaco, the shower door had bounced off the top hinge point, some precious dishes and bowls were broken. When I went to fill up the trailer at the visitor center, I was puzzled why it was taking so long. I finally heard the trailer's water pump over the water source outside and realized I had left the water pump on, the faucet handle had bounced open and the sink stopper had bounced shut, resulting in the sink overflowing.

Adding insult to injury (not from my wife, that is), I noticed our bedroom overhead cabinet was hanging from just three screws - that could have been a disaster while sleeping. I had to tighten that cabinet and the other two - luckily we didn't lose any.

But the Pueblo Bonito was spectacular!

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Old 06-21-2015, 04:51 AM   #44
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I am planning to visit Chaco Canyon later this summer, after the Gila Wilderness adventure.

I've heard of the washboard roads there. Photobum recommends the road in from the south, as being better than the one from the north......but says to mind very carefully the cattle guards.

Anyone been thru there recently?


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Old 06-21-2015, 06:18 AM   #45
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1957 22' Caravanner
1964 26' Overlander
1954 29' Liner
Washington , Washington, D.C.
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Originally Posted by tsunami View Post
Drove to Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico and the road is/was terrible. If memory serves me right, the road is about 21 miles off the main road and about the last 18 miles leading into the park is serious wash board road. On our way thert, there was a section of the road that a wash runs across and unlucky for us, it had rained and about 1000 feet across the wash was 8 to 12 inches of pure thick mud. When the mud dried, it was like concrete. We drove into and out of the park at a snails pace, changing from one side of the road to the other looking for the smoothest sections to ensure we did not damage our AS. The park is wonderful. The campground have NO hookup. You can drive to the visitors center and fill your fresh water tanks and they do have restrooms there. Great hiking, ruins, and ranger led night sky presentations with telescopes. Bad road!

Went here last October. The northern entrance is a much shorter dirt road about 7 miles. We too had rain, the southern route was impassable and the Rangers told us we were on our own going that way. We drove out the north end and hit a 1000' section of very thick clay mud. We made it up easily in 4L. I wouldn't attempt this with 2 wheel drive. The mud caked the entire bottom and lower 6-10 inches of the trailer. It was very difficult to remove. Was it worth it? Hell yes! As for towing on rutted roads just use common sense, slow and steady and you'll fair well.

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Old 06-21-2015, 07:56 AM   #46
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Posts: 811
My Airstream is a 2004, purchased in 2005. I have towed it many miles both on gravel roads and in Mexico where some of the roads are horrible. In fact, I took a trip around Mexico in a new SOB, POS travel trailer that was advertised as being rough and tough and the frame cracked and I couldn't open or shut the door when I got back.
My Airstream shows no damage inside or out except a few dents in the front.
My suggestions are as follows:
1. Get mud flaps for your tow vehicle. Without them your Airstream will be a mass of dents.
2. Run LT tires at moderate pressures if they are the correct load range for your rig. You won't believe the difference in the ride.
3. Have an expert set up your W.D. hitch. If your hitch is out of adjustment, the rig will hobby horse.
4. Be prepared to tighten, reseat screws particularly if you have pressed sawdust cabinets as in the cheaper Airstreams. If there is a possibility of a cabinet door opening, tape it shut.
5. If the road is bad, slow down.
I brought my rig to camp in remote locations. Airstreams are the most durable travel trailers made and will stand up to bad roads if you use common sense.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #47
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Temporarily reducing air pressure in tires will greatly reduce vibrations felt by the trailer but you should not do this at high speeds. If you going over 25MPH you will overheat your tires. I am not sure the axles will even be able to respond to the small ruts. If I am riding a dirt bike or mountain bike I use as low of a pressure I can without getting pinch flats from rocks.

Long term exposure to vibration will cause structural damage.


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