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Old 10-20-2009, 08:58 PM   #225
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We almost set a new record for leaving, but didn't—left at 10:46. I followed Michelin's recommendation and filled the truck tires to 50 psi front and 60 psi rear. They rode like rocks, so I dropped the pressure 5 lbs. in the rear and 2 in the front. Much better ride. I'll check them in the morning and possibly make more adjustments. Now I wonder whether I should put 75 psi in the new trailer tires as was recommended.

We ran into occasional light rain across the mountains and heavy fog part of the way down to Denver where we ran into more drizzle. Traffic wasn't too bad for Denver even though we went through around 4.

Feeling good that we had beaten the snow, we drove on past our goal (Strasburg) and are at a KOA in Limon. Setting up was miserable—drizzle and windy, low 40's, reminding me of a NYC winter. Finally got to check the weather, and maybe we haven't beaten the snow. It may start in the middle of the night, maybe earlier, maybe later. Maybe as much as 8" tomorrow and windy. A wind driven snowstorm on the Colorado plains is not something you want to tow a trailer in. But temps only supposed to go to 31˚ by morning and the snow won't be much 'til afternoon, roads are still warm (it was in the 80's the other day here), so probably it'll be ok. Visibility could be an issue though. By the time we get well into western Kansas, it looks like it'll be too warm to snow and it's supposed to be in the 50's and sunny in JC next Monday.

Traveling in the fall is an adventure. Tomorrow we aim for Junction City or Topeka. Since tornados the our norm when we cross Kansas, we expect the worst, but the cold front coming in is too cold for tornados I hope.

Gene

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:31 AM   #226
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Good luck today!! I'm hoping you woke up to temps just warm enough to avoid snow, and the big storms go north or south of you..
Been following this thread, and sure looking forward to when we can spend more than a week here and there on the road.

Travel Safe..

Jeff
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:15 AM   #227
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A little bit of snow on the ground, 32˚ at 6 am. Looks like rain and snow this morning and blowing. By the time we get 150 miles east, no snow. It's not going to be pretty, but too warm to worry (much) about the roads. You'll hear on the tube about "early snowstorm hits Colorado" and maybe a foot in the foothills west of Denver, but we're on the eastern edge. They may get a couple of inches here today, but it shouldn't stick on the roads and melt off fast elsewhere.

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Old 10-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #228
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My optimism about the roads was unfounded. I should stick to my usual cynicism. By 8 am about an inch of snow had fallen—wet, windy and still 32˚. Unhooking the sewer hose, electric and cable was awful experience despite wearing two coats and a wool hat; gloves don't work with those things and I'm not yet acclimated to winter. But… I just knew I-70 had to be clear between the warm roads and mag chloride—Colorado buys that stuff by the ton. Even driving out of the KOA on an icy, snowy, slushy frozen road, I-70 had to be fine. I put the Tundra in 4wd anyway. As we approached the entrance ramp, 2 plows went by on the interstate, probably cleaning up a little snow at the sides.

Self deception is a wondrous thing. I-70 was just like the road out of the Limon KOA, except the plows had made the stuff slicker as they crushed it down. A steady flow of 18 wheelers, cars, trucks and two crazy people with an Airstream all driving at 35 to 40 mph. Everyone followed the tracks of the vehicle in front as a cold north wind whipped across the highway. The truck was solid and never skidded and the trailer just followed though it appeared not exactly parallel to the road, slightly pushed by the wind, but no sway even when an anxious trucker passed.

At one point we got to a slight but long grade, one or two percent, and three trucks with tandem trailers couldn't make it, but they were in the right lane and we all eased by. After about 25 miles, the ice and snow started to break up and two tracks were just wet, and after another 25 miles, it was just a wet road. The snow and wind kept up and the temp stayed at 32˚, but the storm was moving slower than us. By Kansas it was rain and lots of it—300 miles of grey low skies, sometimes very heavy rain and that north wind. It was like driving at dusk all day. As we drove east we could go a little faster and eventually got up to 60-65 mph.

By the time we got to Salina, it stopped raining and we decided to eat dinner at 4 pm at the Flying J. Though the food at the Country Market is not exactly health food, it wasn't bad; the waitress looked like she had just gotten out of prison, but didn't slug us. So we decided to go on to Topeka and are at the KOA here, about 450 miles. We are tired! More rain in the forecast for tomorrow, but no more snow—at least where we are going. We hope to make Springfield, Ill., just shy of 400 miles. The forecast for JC still looks good, but so did the forecast for Colorado a week ago. And, it started raining as soon as we got here.

I'm pleased the way the rig handled. I'm glad I didn't have to stop quickly, but I'm always pleased about that in snow.

Gene
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:55 PM   #229
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No trip to JC would be complete with things breaking on the QC Tour. Now we can lock ourselves in the shower. Lucky there's 2 of us. The plastic tab on the door lock has bent outwards and you can only open the door from the outside.

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:24 PM   #230
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Hi, Gene. At 32 degrees, it almost sounds like a heat wave. Actually when we hit zero it wasn't real bad; I guess because it was so dry. Here at 32 degrees, it soaks all the way through your bones. Make sure to post pictures of your new tires and wheels. I think your tire guy might be too high on tire pressures, don't want to beat everything to death. Did you get to use your snow brush yet? [on this trip] Still waiting for mine. 2010 might be a good time for us to do our unplanned Alaska trip too. Sounds like you have everything planned to the hour. When in JC ask them when we will get our second installment on this forum. Have a nice trip; I'll be watching and reading from a warm area in my house.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:06 AM   #231
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Snow is not expected in these here parts for the next few days, but heavy rain is.

Drive safe.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:11 AM   #232
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Gene,outstanding getting out of CO across KS!when you come thru St Louis, if you need anything, send me a message.Don't know if you heard, but take I-70 or I-44 thru St Louis, 64/40 is under construction, and shut down.. Safe Travels!
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:38 PM   #233
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Gettin', we took Mo. 370 and I-270 to avoid St. Louis and then to I-55 to Springfield. Thanks for the offer.

More rain and then more rain, though not quite as intense as yesterday. There was a strange accident east of Columbia, Mo., where there were trucks off the road on both sides, but the fence in the median was not breached. One truck was facing the wrong way, but maybe they had to turn it around. Another truck hit the fence and came back across the road and off it—maybe someone on the other side thought he was going through the fence and swerved and lost control causing an accident on that side. When traffic stopped in the back up, the 18 wheeler in front of me stopped really fast—must have been empty. I got a chance to do a panic stop and finally stopped about 15' behind the truck; trailer stayed straight. It's reassuring things stay in line, but stopping does take longer with the trailer. I've haven't had to stop like that in decades. Elevated heart rate for a few minutes, pants stayed dry. I'm glad I always leave a lot of space between me and trucks since I can't see what's in front of them. The backup slowed us down, but we were ahead of schedule, so we got here about 7 after a late start.

We are at the Double J CG just south of Springfield and it's raining hard now. Had to do hookups in the dark, but slogged through it. We've covered about 1,200 miles in 2 3/4 days through some pretty awful driving conditions. The truck handles beautifully, the trailer follows. I will probably see windshield wipers in my sleep. Visibility has been poor, especially when a big truck passes and throws up spray.

I feel like I've been in a grey wet tunnel for days. When you live in a dry climate, rain is a novelty for a short time, then the screaming starts.

Tomorrow Lincoln stuff and we read there's a Frank Lloyd Wright house to tour. We'll have plenty of time to get to JC and maybe the rain will stop.

Gene
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:53 PM   #234
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Glad to hear you came through it unscathed and unsoiled. Maybe you have gotten the icky part of the trip behind you now.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:18 PM   #235
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QC Tour #2:

This evening I found a wet spot on the bedspread towards the foot of the bed and looked up at the ceiling—there it was, a drip coming out of a seam about 6" from the fan.

Fortunately the rain has slacked off to a drizzle.

Barb said yesterday the rain will tell us about any leaks. Prophetic. When I was complaining it couldn't be leaking in a worse place, she reminded me it could be over my head. That did not make me feel better. What's next?

Gene
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:11 PM   #236
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Hopefully a safe trip to your final destination. Bless your days that you are able to endure bad weather and traffic,and not some dreadful disease.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:03 AM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
QC Tour #2:

This evening I found a wet spot on the bedspread towards the foot of the bed and looked up at the ceiling—there it was, a drip coming out of a seam about 6" from the fan.

Fortunately the rain has slacked off to a drizzle.

Barb said yesterday the rain will tell us about any leaks. Prophetic. When I was complaining it couldn't be leaking in a worse place, she reminded me it could be over my head. That did not make me feel better. What's next?

Gene
Hi gene,

I know that sickening feeling.

We were camping in the Lake Louise area in Banff NP last year. Everything had been fine until our last night when we had a torrential downpour. Getting ready for bed I noticed a big puddle on the nightstand & water dripping from the overhead locker. I went outside with my head light & Anorak to look around & found a seam outside near the curbside panorama window that didn't have enough caulk to make it all the way to the end of the seam. Duct tape & a few bad words quickly stopped any further leaks but my side of the bed was soaked & the curtains were sodden. (This was the second such defect. The first showed up the first time I washed the trailer.) That evening also demonstrated a less dramatic leak on the other side in an almost mirror-like location. when we got home I patched the defects with PAR bond & they seem to have been remedied.

I felt quite upset to think that something so basic had been overlooked & wondered how many other hidden leaks there might be... At least the three leaks we've had have been easily diagnosed. I am touching wood as I type but so far no others have shown up but the experience does leave one feeling a lot less confident in the QC at JC.

Hopefully the source of your leak will be fairly obvious. It sounds like it would have to be pretty high up - at least it isn't down in some low corner with the source potentially anywhere. I'll bet it's some missing caulk around the fantastic fan cutout. There aren't a lot of other seams or breaches in the roof up there.

How convenient it is that you are on your way back to the mother ship... maybe they can do a proper inspection & fix things up for you.

Have a safe trip...

-evan
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:06 AM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
QC Tour #2:

This evening I found a wet spot on the bedspread towards the foot of the bed and looked up at the ceiling—there it was, a drip coming out of a seam about 6" from the fan.

Fortunately the rain has slacked off to a drizzle.

Barb said yesterday the rain will tell us about any leaks. Prophetic. When I was complaining it couldn't be leaking in a worse place, she reminded me it could be over my head. That did not make me feel better. What's next?

Gene
Hi, last year at the Balloon Fiesta, a gust of wind blew off my rear vent cover. [dead center over our rear queen bed] I was eating dinner and I was very concerned about fixing it. [wife didn't understand the urgency] I borrowed a ladder, climbed onto my roof, put the broken cover in place, and duct taped the heck out of it. That night it poured rain all night long. After that, my front vent started to leak. I resealed my roof vents when I got home. I don't like leaks. Gene, see if you can convince Airstream to warranty that too.
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