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Old 05-25-2009, 02:00 PM   #57
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Chief, we've had days like that where selling the trailer to the first person who came along seemed like a good idea.

Early in our Airstream experience, the valve on one bottle was closed. The furnace had stopped, I woke up in the middle of the night and it was really cold. Had the batteries failed? They were low when we went to bed. We were boondocking in the Mojave Desert in November, '07, and the outside temp was in the low 20's. Would we die in our new Safari? Would the water freeze? Neither happened, but it was tense for a while. I got dressed and went out to the propane tanks and realized one valve was closed while the other tank was empty.

Then I had to coax the propane along the air bound lines. The furnace will light last because it's furthest from the propane supply in the 25' FB. The water heater wasn't lighting either and after looking at stuff I didn't understand, no rain, but very dark out, I starting thinking, something that I hadn't done much of yet, and used to stove top to move the propane along the line faster. The water heater is automatic and will only draw a very little propane each time it tries to light. Once the stove burner lit, the water heater lit and we waited a little while, and the furnace lit. We're better now at keeping at least one tank full all the time.

And at least you sliced your thumb with a knife. I cut a gouge at the base of my index finger trying to open the cap on the sewer drain. I have no idea how I did it on that plastic cap, but I did, and it looked really nasty. I pushed the flap of skin back, put on a band aid tight and after 2 weeks, it's pretty much healed. Since then I put on the rubber gloves before I touch that thing.

Glad things got better. When we were at Bryce, lots of tour busses—one was all Japanese, one, British, one, French, and one, Italian. Each nationality acted out every national stereotype you ever heard of. Japanese loaded with cameras and dressed up, British polite, French critical, Italians loudly having a wonderful time. It was a sight to see.

Gene
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #58
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Ron, I must admit this post made my 3 day weekend of rain camping seem close to perfect. I must also admit I did laugh, some at you and knowing you, some with you as I read this post. Keep your chin up and enjoy the rest of the trip knowing that over the next hill is another great adventure. By the way, I wish I was on a trip where Pat was complaining that 30 days was too much. That would mean I'm retired .

Continued safe travels,





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Originally Posted by Chief View Post
It seems like we all have those days that question our decision to travel by RV……day 15 was one of those. This was our day to move from Ruby’s full-hookup campground to the North Campground inside the National Park (dry camping)……translation: the tanks have to be well flushed, and a full tank of fresh water must be onboard. There was a steady drizzle all night, with temps around 47 degrees. Checkout time was 12:00 and I decided to wait until the last minute to move the short five miles…..the longer I waited, the harder it rained….and, the muddier our campsite became. Finally, I could wait no longer, donned the rain jacket and commenced to entertain the people in the next campsite…..who were enjoying their morning coffee outside under their awning. It is a bit difficult to complete all the necessary tasks, in the rain, while simultaneously answering questions about the Airstream. Turns out the folks were pretty nice, and even helped remove the leveling blocks when I pulled forward. Next stop was to fill the propane bottle…..again, in the rain. I had been having trouble with the water heater staying lit, and the flame on the stove was not very strong…..thought we might be running out of propane. Still raining when we arrived at our next campsite……decided to just leave it hitched until the weather improved. Since we have not used the furnace in a long time, figured it should be tested…..ran for a bit, then would not restart…..Uh, Oh…..this is serious, we really need the furnace for the next couple of nights. Screwed around with all the fuses…..wanted to check the circuit board outside, but still raining OK, let’s change directions and see if the water heater is working better, now that I have a new propane bottle…….still constantly relighting. Deployed the awning so I could investigate, and to protect the generator that I had just fired up. Discovered, by accident, that the water heater worked fine with the door open…..must need to adjust the air flow. Got out my handy-dandy multi-function tool, and immediately sliced my thumb…..this day is not getting any better. Managed to adjust the airflow on the water heater without losing too much blood……who would have noticed……the rain would have washed it away. I finally went back inside the nice dry trailer and told Jenn that I needed some attitude adjustment. So, although we have seen it many times, we put the “Long, Long Trailer” in the DVD player….after a couple of hours of watching Lucy and Desi’s troubles, we felt better…..the rain had also stopped, and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. Decided to try the furnace again, and miraculously it worked just fine…..must have been air in the lines…..who knows, who cares. We put on our boots and went for a hike along the canyon rim……determined that the day wasn’t going to be a total loss.

Day 16 was a slow start…..leisurely breakfast…..and, well, just being lazy. This campground is really quiet…..sites are spaced nicely. We finally did get on the road, in brilliant sunshine, to visit areas of the park that we had previously missed. With this being Memorial Day weekend, there are a lot of people here…..many more tour buses than I would have thought. However, we haven’t really experienced any delays or problems……this park has been a wonderful experience, despite a few weather problems. Tomorrow we head to Zion.

Chief
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:21 PM   #59
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I'm with you Chief, while connecting the satellite coax over Memorial Day Weekend at Stone Mountain Campground, GA I got a slice in my thumb just below the base of my thumbnail. At least that is how/when I think got it. You'd be surprised how much that part of your thumb bumps into things.

I'll have to keep Ruby's in mind. My wife considers roughing it when we don't have a sewer hook-up! ...I must admit, I'm with her there since I'm the one that has to lug the blue tank from the rear of the 30' Safari to the back of the truck to tow it to the dump station every day. By the way, my tag line on my blog says, "camping the good life". We don't like to rough it. That's why we have an Airstream!
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:28 PM   #60
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Days 15 & 16 Addendum

These are the pics that were supposed to accompany the last post......dang wifi that I was pirating was just too slow to upload!

Pic #1: Our North Campground NP site
Pics #2-4: More views of Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:34 PM   #61
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Days 17 & 18

The drive from Bryce to Zion was a short 85 miles…..but, the last portion on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Hwy (Hwy 9) will challenge anyone pulling, or driving an RV. There are six of the hairiest switchbacks that you will find……I was fully expecting to be reading the license plate on the trailer at any moment. The other interesting thing is the tunnels….first one is ordinary…..second is unbelievable. One mile long and built in the 1920’s, when cars were a lot smaller, the park requires any vehicle over 7’10” wide to pay a $15 fee. When you approach the end of the tunnel, the rangers stop traffic from entering the opposite end and you drive down the centerline. The tunnel also has something else that you won’t find often, if ever…..huge windows (openings) in the side to view the canyon outside…..the driver probably won’t enjoy them very much, as he/she will be concentrating on driving down the darkened center of the road. I enjoyed the drive, but not enough to do it again.

We arrived at the Watchman Campground (Nat’l Park Svc) a little after lunch. The temp change from 41 degrees at Bryce to 86 degrees at Zion was quite dramatic. The park was very busy, as it was the last day of the long Memorial Day weekend. We spent the afternoon orienting ourselves by riding the propane-powered shuttle (you can’t drive a private vehicle inside most of the park). Our campsite is only about 200 yards from the park entrance/visitor center, and the shuttles are wonderful…..running about every 8-10 mins, until 11:00 PM, with stops at most of the scenic areas and trailheads. Returning to the Airstream, we burnt a couple of steaks, and then headed out for the 9:30 PM ranger presentation at the outdoor amphitheater…..very informative lecture on the park and animals.

Day 18 was our hiking day…….my feet and ankles can attest to that. Zion could be our favorite of the Western parks that we have visited. There are hiking trails for all levels. The first one we did was the two-mile Riverwalk along the Virgin River….paved, easy elevation change, and simply gorgeous views of the canyon walls. Second was steep, but short, to Weeping Rocks. Third was the one that did me in…..Hidden Canyon Trail. The warning stated steep, strenuous, not for anyone fearful of heights. We only made it about a mile up the continuous series of switchbacks before I decided that we had had enough fun for the day…..time to go down, which was almost as painful as going up…..tonight will be a two Tylenol night. For all you daredevils reading this….the Angels Landing hike is for you. A portion of the trail, if you can call it that, goes over a 3.5 ft. ledge…..1,200 ft. drop on one side, 900 ft. on the other. Not enough money in this world to get me across that one.

Next stop is Vegas……and full hookups! Yeah!!!!!!!

Chief

Pic #1: Our campsite at Watchman….surrounded by mountains
Pic #2: Riverwalk Hiking Trail
Pic #3: Jenn on the Riverwalk Trail
Pic #4: Scenery along Riverwalk Trail
Pic #5: View from the point of return on the Hidden Valley hike….can you make out the road below
Pic #6: Zion Park Shuttle
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:41 PM   #62
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Thanks

Gene, Greg, Tom,

Thanks for your comments, commisurations, and similar incidents.....nice to know that we are often in the same boat (trailer). It's also nice to know that someone is reading about our adventures.

We're settled into (hot) Vegas.....more about this place, etc. tomorrow.

Chief
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:18 AM   #63
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No need to post about that...you know what they say..."What happens is Vegas..." Well maybe we would like to know!!!!!!!
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:43 AM   #64
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Days 19-21

Our trip from Zion to Vegas was uneventful, with the exception of the traffic in Vegas. There is a lot of road construction on I-15 and it is a mess……you know how much fun it is to drive through those areas with the Airstream inches away from the concrete barriers….and these people don’t pay much attention to the speed limits, even when the fines are doubled in construction zones. Day 19 was devoted mostly to household chores….the truck and Airstream were so dirty that we spent $20 at the car wash getting things cleaned up…..don’t know how many quarters went into the laundry machines, as we had accumulated quite a bit of dirty laundry. We did manage to get into the pool to cool off in the afternoon. At first glance, this RV Park (billed as a resort) looks great…..it is in excellent condition……and, is huge. But, there are a few irritants for me…..whoever designed the spots didn’t know where to place the picnic tables, the sprinkler system comes on around dark with no warning (nice little surprise for Jenn when she stepped out the door) and they charge $6.00 per day extra for really lousy wi-fi. Why am I bitchin…..well, for $51 per nite, I figure wi-fi should be included. I suppose their energy costs must be sky-high, as our AC runs constantly from around 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM….and, this 13.5 can hardly keep the trailer cool…..if we spent much time out here, we would have to change the AC out for something bigger.

Day 20 was our “stepping out” day of the whole trip. In the morning we had to run out to Nellis AFB to stock up on groceries, etc. and to purchase discounted tickets for the “Le Reve” show at the Wynn…..good thing as those babies are expensive. In the afternoon, Jenn and I elected to take a cab to the Wynn versus driving the truck and risk the loss of all the gear and generators. We pigged out at the Wynn’s buffet before attending the show. Le Reve is the most extraordinary performance we have ever seen…..difficult to describe….kinda like Cirque de Solei on steroids, but performed over/under water. The stage in the Wynn must have costs millions, and the cast of acrobats/gymnasts/dancers/swimmers are truly gifted athletes. All I can really say is that if you ever have a chance to see this show…..do it….you won’t be disappointed.

Day 21 is going to be a “down” day….to use a military term. We’re just going to be lazy, hang around the pool, and burn something on the grill in the afternoon. BTW, for the record…..I wouldn’t want to live in Vegas.

Next stop is Williams, AZ…..my favorite Western town.

Chief

Pic #1: Our site at the Oasis RV Park & Resort
Pic #2: One of the two pools at the park
Pic #3: Did I mention that it is hot
Pic #4: Night on the town…what stays in Vegas is your money
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:13 AM   #65
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We like Williams, AZ, but watch out for that VERY nice RV park which is right next to the train tracks! We are heading west next year, have enjoyed all the posts about where to go and what to see. Travel safe.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:55 PM   #66
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Chief, I agree the 13,500 A/C doesn't do it when it gets into the 90's. We have the same Safari you do. I think all the windows are a problem plus the three roof windows—the skylight and the two Fantastic Fans. The skylight shade helps and the tinted plastic on the fans helps, but all together, quote a lot of heat still gets in.

So far, I have hardly gone anywhere and paid for wireless. I figure I'll get it somewhere else later. When motels started offering it, some of them charged for it, but the mid range motels are free now and only the resorts and luxury hotels charge for wireless. "Resorts" also may have a bunch of other nuisance fees, so we avoid them when we can, but sometimes you can't. Some campgrounds that call themselves "resorts" seem to me to have a rather loose definition of that word. I think you're right to complain, but when I do, they don't care. My favorite was a motel that charged some fee because they claimed they were in some sort of special gov't district; I checked state records and could find no such district.

What's that cool temp. monitor? We have a little unit that sits on the dinette table and we put the monitor in the bumper compartment (that way we can't forget it as another Forum member did with his and whose name I won't disclose). It tells the temp and humidity and hi and lo temps. Works fine except when the sun is on the bumper, but your unit looks a lot nicer.

Have you noticed any difference with the Centramatics? I plan to check tire wear with a tread gauge to see if there's any change in wear patterns, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Gene
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:21 PM   #67
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Gene,

This place has comment cards all over.....you can bet that they won't like mine. Even the young lady, working in their store, told me that I should complain about having to pay for wireless.

The temp display in the picture is actually the overhead console in our Dodge truck....Jenn snapped the pic as we were driving in traffic on the Interstate. I do have one of the atomic clocks (that shows, date, time, temp, etc) mounted on the wall over the television. The temp sensor is mounted behind the folding door step....attempting to protect it from road spray......it works fairly well to show the outside temp. The auto time reset for the clock does not work....probably due to the metal in the trailer.

Centramatics.....who knows if they're doing their job.....kinda like Homeland Defense.....nothing bad has happened yet. I am a bit paranoid about checking the tires.....most of the paranoia is a result of reading about others' experiences with Marathons. The tires appear to be wearing evenly.

Chief
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:25 PM   #68
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Man you make me want to go West young man...go WEST!!!!

You guys have a great rest of the trip!

G
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:17 AM   #69
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Ron, we've really enjoyed living your trip through our computer (now that we've caught up!). Great pictures! Have a safe trip as you find your way back to Florida. Say hi to Jennifer.
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:47 PM   #70
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A trip of a lifetime! Great pictures too. Did you notice who made the shuttles used at Zion? Thanks for sharing
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