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Old 10-29-2009, 09:54 PM   #267
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We finally left JC this morning and covered almost 400 miles ending up at a KOA in Wytheville, Va. I guess it's a shady park, but since it was dark by the time we got here, I don't know. We generally leave by midmorning and drive until 6 or 7, but that doesn't work so well in the fall. Next week daylight savings time is over, so it'll be even worse.

The CG may look good, but the site was much out of level and the sites are narrow. Lots of amenities here, but we're just passing through. I was CG's in WV on a CG review site last evening and most of them looked bad or far off the interstates, so it seemed best to get to Va.

SE Ohio is different than the rest of the state—it has hills and some may call them mountains. Much forest and the trees still have some color, a little more than further north. Some red and yellow, and more and more brown. WV seemed a little more colorful and the mountains were higher and more of them. Peaks for leaf peeping were probably a week ago.

We took the WV Turnpike because I remember from the 1950's (last time I was on it) it went through a beautiful valley—it does east of Charleston and then ascends to mountains. It was a 2 lane toll road then, a 4 lane lane one now. $6 for a car, $7.50 for 4 axles. This is the absolutely last time I'll take it—significant stretches were very bumpy concrete or badly patched concrete. They should have paid us to ride on it. Nonetheless WV is a very pretty state except where mining has wrecked some areas. As we entered WV a lot of run down or abandoned house interspersed with modest middle class homes and one mansion. It looks old and is part of Appalachia.

As per request, I took a photo of the new wheels and tires. It's kind of washed out and the wheels look more white than aluminum. The tires appeared to ride fine and I feel more confident with Michelins. Did the rig feel better with the Michelins on the trailer?—hard to say and I do have an interest in believing it does. We both thought the ride was smoother. Michelins are engineered for a comfortable ride, so it must be so.

2nd and 3rd photos are windshield shots along US 35 in SE Ohio.

# 4 is along the WV Turnpike late in the afternoon. Despite some sun, it was too grey most of today and the colors of the trees just didn't photograph well, but I tinkered with them to make them more like it really looked (or I imagined it).

Tomorrow we go through a little bit of NE Tenn., then pass by Asheville (not enough time to stop) and towards I-95 going through Columbia, SC, and hoping to drive almost through all of SC. My cousin had some blood clots in a leg and has been in the hospital for the past few days, so I'm kind of anxious to see him. I haven't seen him in 8 years and he's the only member of my family I'm still in touch with. I think we'll get there Sunday morning.

Gene
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:07 PM   #268
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g...

it now looks like the trayla needs new axles.

and the valve stems are OUT of phase.

as observed in the photos posted.

please watch this issue 4 me.

did u get a complementary...

stick and rope thing?

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:12 PM   #269
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Numbers

Production has remained about the same since last spring—now at 16 a week, a slight increase. With weeks off last winter, they'll be lucky to make 750 this year, about a third of not so long ago. There were a lot of conversion vans parked in a lot, maybe several score. 20% of dealers have closed. Customers can get financing, but dealers can't so they can't build up inventory. A sort of number—the new marketing VP was having lots of meetings with a lot of people. And a large proportion of trailers in the Terraport were 30-34'. A few Bambis too.

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:38 PM   #270
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Great thread and pictures, Gene. The most recent were kind of like a flashback from when we were in Jackson Center at the end of July. We were passing nearby on the way back from Kansas and decided to visit, no repairs necessary (out of warranty anyway). We liked JC so much we stayed two days. Staying at the Terraport, taking the tour, and meeting some really great AS employees (especially the tour guide with over 50 years with AS) really made our trip.

Have a safe trip.

Here are some stray pictures I just found on a memory card:

-The AS factory.
-The vintage lineup out front.
-My favorite AS factory signs
-Security (A really nice guy)
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:45 PM   #271
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More pictures

-Wally Byam's gold Airstream through the chain link barb wire fence.
-My partner in crime (trespassing).
-The Bling-Bling Victorinox rig.
-Airstream's Mobile repair unit.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:50 PM   #272
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Conversion vans

Lots of future Interstates:
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #273
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Yeaaaaaay, Interstates!
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:47 PM   #274
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Today we crossed the Appalachians. I took some pictures at Sam's Gap on I-26 and will post them later. Up there the trees had lost of lot of their leaves, but lower down they were still a bit colorful. Lots of traffic around Asheville, NC, and Columbia, SC, but less than I expected. We made it to a CG at Walterboro, SC, New Green Acres, and it has very, very long pull thrus and very wide sites, with lots of trees. Now that were close to sea level the trees are mostly Southern pines. Humidity is 98% and the forecast is for fog tonight.

We would have liked to stop in Asheville, but we want to get to Florida. Asheville is a nice town in the mountains, much cooler than a lot of the Carolinas. It has a lot of Art Deco architecture, good restaurants and lots of recreational opportunities in the area. It has become a retirement mecca. We spent several days there is 2006 and I'll post some photos from then.

I have been putting off making reservations near Key West because we weren't sure when we would get out of JC and last night I was too tired to care. There are 2 CG's 20 miles from KW—a KOA and one across the road. The second one is cheaper, but didn't answer their phone. KOA's reservation website is broken, so I called KOA until I could get through and made reservations on the water for 2 nights. I wanted three, but they're closing the CG for a couple of days next weekend. $104/night for the "deluxe" sites—ouch, but when you drive a gazillion miles to get there, you pay the price. Maybe we can move across the street for a 3rd night, or go up to Marathon for a night, or spend a few days up on the Gulf coast. There are some CG's closer to KW, but they're even more expensive.

One final word on the Wytheville KOA—when I dumped the grey water, slowly, it quickly overflowed. The sewer must be plugged. Glad I didn't dump the black water.

Photos:

1. Art Deco mall.
2. Woolworths.
3. City Hall.
4. Detail at City Hall.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:58 PM   #275
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More Asheville photos:

1. Gargoyles.
2. The S&W Cafeteria was an Asheville landmark for many years, but was closed in 2006 and the building was for sale.
3. Mansion at the Biltmore estate.
4. Detail of the mansion.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:38 PM   #276
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We left the CG in SC and drove to Titusville, Fla. I noticed in the morning the front end was pulling to the left slightly and hoped it was the road, but 300+ miles later and 2 states, and the truck was doing the same thing. Yet, it was not like the alignment was off and there was no reason for it to be. The truck drove smoothly as always and truck and trailer appeared to track fine.

When we stopped for the night, first thing was to check front tire pressure—normal. Pulled on the wheels and they were tight. But the Equalizer had been groaning a lot and the grease on the ends that go into the hitch head had been washed away by all the rain. I greased them and today the truck was fine—wheel was straight and it didn't pull to the left. There's very little play in the front end of the bars, but apparently they were binding enough to affect the truck.

As yesterday went by the vegetation changed to tall southern pines, then lots of bushes and small, then larger palms. More water and swamps. The temp kept going up and up and today was mostly 90˚. Humidity has been less today. And flowers! Seeing flowers (outside) in November has always been strange to me. But on the interstate, it's like being in a green tunnel and not seeing much of anything else for hundreds of miles is boring. By the time we reached south Florida, it wasn't trees, but one continuous city. Florida has grown and grown—by 2000 it had 16,000,000. If there were no Florida, NY would probably have 50% more people.

Looking through RV park reviews last night, the CG's in Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Bch. seemed pretty horrible. They were the closest places to my cousin's house in Parkland (he's doing well and home again). Then I found a county park with an RV CG in Hollywood (20 miles away) and it's real nice. Fairly large spaces and few people here. Full hookups and wifi for $40/night, good price for S. Fla. Drawbacks are they don't take reservations within 2 weeks of when you come, but I called and was told there were plenty of spaces, and sewer is 25' from the trailer drain. I have enough hose, but when it's that long, you usually have to baby the water along. It's quiet here although the commuter train is nearby and loud at times. This park has a long Indian name, but they call it T.Y. Park.

Last night at the KOA in Mims (just north of Titusville) they had a Hallowe'en party. It started at 7 and most of the people who came looked like they'd be in bed at 8:30, so I guess it was a good time for a senior party. A few people dressed up, but most just came in RV clothes. We were told there was a band, but not a one man band. But with modern electronics it sounded like a band. This guy sang (with lots of reverb) and played guitar and has pre-recorded drums (probably a drum machine), bass, rhythm guitar and pedal steel, brought it all together with a computer and had a screen at his feet between the monitors. He was operating things with about 10 switches at his feet including lights. It sort of seemed like karaoke. Although it was Country and I don't particularly like that music, I was impressed he could do all that. I forget I'm old too, and always find my contemporaries to be doing old things when I don't think I am actually old. Dancing is slow and rickety, but it's great they're doing it. Seniors never showed any affection towards each other years ago and I'm glad to see that has changed.

Here are some photos:

1. Sam's Gap on I-26 looking toward Tennessee at the NC border.
2. Looking south from Sam's Gap with Barb in front of that lone dead tree.
3. The "rig" parked at Sam's Gap.
4. KOA at Mims and moss draped trees.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #277
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We left the CG in SC and drove to Titusville, Fla. I noticed in the morning the front end was pulling to the left slightly and hoped it was the road, but 300+ miles later and 2 states, and the truck was doing the same thing. Yet, it was not like the alignment was off and there was no reason for it to be. The truck drove smoothly as always and truck and trailer appeared to track fine.

When we stopped for the night, first thing was to check front tire pressure—normal. Pulled on the wheels and they were tight. But the Equalizer had been groaning a lot and the grease on the ends that go into the hitch head had been washed away by all the rain. I greased them and today the truck was fine—wheel was straight and it didn't pull to the left. There's very little play in the front end of the bars, but apparently they were binding enough to affect the truck.

As yesterday went by the vegetation changed to tall southern pines, then lots of bushes and small, then larger palms. More water and swamps. The temp kept going up and up and today was mostly 90˚. Humidity has been less today. And flowers! Seeing flowers (outside) in November has always been strange to me. But on the interstate, it's like being in a green tunnel and not seeing much of anything else for hundreds of miles is boring. By the time we reached south Florida, it wasn't trees, but one continuous city. Florida has grown and grown—by 2000 it had 16,000,000. If there were no Florida, NY would probably have 50% more people.

Looking through RV park reviews last night, the CG's in Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Bch. seemed pretty horrible. They were the closest places to my cousin's house in Parkland (he's doing well and home again). Then I found a county park with an RV CG in Hollywood (20 miles away) and it's real nice. Fairly large spaces and few people here. Full hookups and wifi for $40/night, good price for S. Fla. Drawbacks are they don't take reservations within 2 weeks of when you come, but I called and was told there were plenty of spaces, and sewer is 25' from the trailer drain. I have enough hose, but when it's that long, you usually have to baby the water along. It's quiet here although the commuter train is nearby and loud at times. This park has a long Indian name, but they call it T.Y. Park.

Last night at the KOA in Mims (just north of Titusville) they had a Hallowe'en party. It started at 7 and most of the people who came looked like they'd be in bed at 8:30, so I guess it was a good time for a senior party. A few people dressed up, but most just came in RV clothes. We were told there was a band, but not a one man band. But with modern electronics it sounded like a band. This guy sang (with lots of reverb) and played guitar and has pre-recorded drums (probably a drum machine), bass, rhythm guitar and pedal steel, brought it all together with a computer and had a screen at his feet between the monitors. He was operating things with about 10 switches at his feet including lights. It sort of seemed like karaoke. Although it was Country and I don't particularly like that music, I was impressed he could do all that. I forget I'm old too, and always find my contemporaries to be doing old things when I don't think I am actually old. Dancing is slow and rickety, but it's great they're doing it. Seniors never showed any affection towards each other years ago and I'm glad to see that has changed.

Here are some photos:

1. Sam's Gap on I-26 looking toward Tennessee at the NC border.
2. Looking south from Sam's Gap with Barb in front of that lone dead tree.
3. The "rig" parked at Sam's Gap.
4. KOA at Mims and moss draped trees.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:34 PM   #278
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The photos won't load. I'll try again tomorrow.

Gene
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:55 AM   #279
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Now I'll try 2 photos at a time instead of 4. There's more bandwidth this morning.

Gene
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:01 AM   #280
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And another 2:
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