Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-29-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
2009 Road Trips

It's dream and preparation time here in the mountain country.

We're thinking about a trip to the upper Midwest and JC for some work on the Safari. Neither of us have been to Michigan or Wisconsin and I've never been to Minnesota. When we bag those states, that'll mean 49 states, 10 provinces and 2 Canadian territories. I'm too lazy to count Mexican estados. I want to see the northern, more remote places in those states. We are thinking about Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home in SW Wisconsin, but I thought they might be closed for renovation. I e-mailed them a couple of weeks ago and they never responded, so maybe it is. We'd like to see more of Manitoba and Saskatchiwan, but I think this is getting out of hand for a 3 week trip. That would be a trip in May.

Maybe in April a trip to the dealer and/or NM. Not sure about that one. Then in early July, the 100th birthday celebration of Barb's grandmother in Angel Fire and Wagon Mound, NM. There's a Forum rally in early August in Northern California that sounds good. What else? Well, there's a blues festival in Helena, Arkansas in early October (not sure this year if it's in October) that we've wanted to go to, but I have had to go to an annual meeting of a nonprofit at the same time for years, but that obligation is ending.

Preparations are the main focus right now. After I learned the subwoofer was on all the time, I decided to put a switch into the circuit. I don't know how many amps (probably very little) the subwoofer consumes while idling, but in my pursuit of cutting power consumption when boondocking, this seemed a good idea. Given the subwoofer's reputation of making bad noises when DVD's and CD's are played, I wanted to be able to just turn it off. The volume and "frequency" controls are impossible to reach unless the subwoofer is moved out, so an on/off switch is a good option.

The photo shows a rocker switch mounted under the curb side dinette seat above and outward from the drawer under the seat. You can see the drawer bracket behind it. It lights up when the subwoofer is energized, but it's upside down because there was no way I could tell top from bottom, and once I snapped it into the mounting bracket, prematurely as it turned out, I couldn't get it out and turn it over. Maybe another time I'll get it turned over.

All this stuff is plastic and seems cheap to me, but that's what I found at the auto parts store. The instructions were unclear, so it took some screwing around with it to get it wired correctly which included blowing a few fuses when using my multitester and managing to short the circuit twice.

Gene
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010007.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	246.5 KB
ID:	74799  
__________________

__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 02:13 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
tphan's Avatar
 
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951
Gene- your trip sounds great! I'm originally from Madison, and would heartily recommend you spending some time in SW Wisconsin even if Taliesin is not open, which I hope it is. This part of the state is unglaciated, and is beautiful rolling hills and river valleys, hardwood forests, and lovely family farms tucked into the hollows. Another big tourist attraction near Taliesin is the House on the Rock, a sprawling cliff-top home/museum/oddity. There is also Devils Lake State Park (a gloriously clear swimming lake, with camping), Wisconsin Dells (tourist mecca), and many small, local cheese makers and breweries in the area too. Some other nice camping areas might include Governor Dodge State Park near Dodgeville; Tower Hill State park near Taliesin; Blue Mounds State Park near Mt. Horeb; and Wyalusing State Park near Prarie du Chien, high above the Mississippi river. This corner of the state is my absolute favorite place for road-bicycling, if you're into that sort of thing. There are also several rails-to-trails bike paths in the area, which are flat, gravel trails on former RR beds. These typically wind through the countryside and farms, going through small towns for lunch stops. All in all, an enchanting part of the country with really nice people. Talking about it is making me want to go! Maybe I will see you out there...-tim
__________________

__________________
tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 02:36 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Kudos to Robert Sunrus

The next item was the clock. On another thread there was a discussion of clocks that can be mounted in Airstreams. See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...ghlight=clocks

This clock fits the Airstream style perfectly. We have used a travel alarm, but it belongs in the bedroom.

Post #4 on the Wall Clock thread shows how Bob did it and what he had to do to mount it. I found the same clock at Target. It cost about $12, the Hillman bracket about $3 or $4. I had to buy a package of two at Ace Hardware. I used some metal plate for attaching framing lumber pieces to each other and screwed it to the back of the clock. There are screw holes and screws that come with the clock and they matched two holes in the metal plate (I was lucky). I had to cut the plate to match the back of the clock and then use a grinder to round it off, get the burrs off and cut a area out for access to the wheel that sets the time.

First I attached the plate to the Hillman mounting bracket. Bob used rivets, but I didn't have any, so I used washers and machine screws. After bolting the parts together, I cut the ends of the screws off and smoothed them with a grinder. I attached the other side of the Hillman bracket to the wall. Two screws were enough (the bracket is in the way of the other two holes anyway). The Hillman bracket has a release sort of like a lever that's a bit cranky to get locked well. Mine is wobbly, probably because of all the washers I had to use to make the screws work. Bob told me his didn't wobble, so I guess rivets are the way to go. I will use something like the old fashioned match book cover to steady the clock.

The panel below and to the left of the clock is the readout for the solar panel. Bob's trailer has more room for a clock and I think it looks better in his. I had little room so it kind of looks crammed in, but still looks good.

More later, time for lunch….

Gene
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010008.jpg
Views:	128
Size:	256.3 KB
ID:	74800  
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
A bigger queen bed

Many of us have learned that an RV queen bed could be described as a "shrunken queen", "queen minus", "double plus" and even "steroid single". The marketing guys would never permit any of those, of course.

I hate to have my feet hanging over the bottom edge and I'm not even 6'. My wife is 1/2" shorter, so she'd like a longer bed too. I don't know what those 6' guys do, though they can turn off the ceiling light with their big toe and maybe even change the thermostat without getting out of bed.

We thought the mattress was very uncomfortable, a not uncommon complaint. The sheets don't fit well and the bed has to be re-made over and over (I'm sure there are special RV size sheets and they probably cost a lot more for less sheet). So we bought a queen bed memory foam topper. Besides being a lot more comfortable, it kind of extended the bed by about 4", but it sagged, the sheets and blankets still didn't fit well.

The alternatives seemed to be (1) buy a longer mattress, (2) amputation of feet or head, or (3) get over it. We started looking into an organic mattress or topper after learning of possible toxicity of foam and discovered organic mattresses were $1,000 to more than $2,000 and then it would have to be custom made for the curve in the upper left hand corner. So, maybe an organic topper instead, but they are really expensive too, so how to avoid the even more expensive custom made problem had to be solved.

Then the light bulb moment. Move the existing mattress down and the memory foam up. We'll figure out the organic thing later. I moved the topper up to the wall, though I'll probably have to trim it to the corner curve. I moved the mattress down to equal the foot of the topper. The mattress rests on 1/4" luan. I had some 1/4" (actually 7/32") oak plywood. Fun fact: the oak is a veneer with what may be a pine core and is backed with mahogheny veneer even though called "oak" plywood. So I cut off a piece 56" wide and equal to the overhang of the mattress (4.5"), glued it to the rest of the "oak"piece so it would be stronger, placed it on the luan—it overlapped the luan by about 6 or 7"—bolted it to the luan, and let the mattress rest on it. Now the mattress pad fits better at the foot of the bed and so will the sheets and blankets.

There's about a 3.5" space between the mattress and the wall. That's less than the space at the foot because the luan is shorter than the mattress. Now I have to design something to fit in there—it will require, I think, a 2x6, some 2x4 or 1x4, some 1/4" plywood and some cloth (now called "fabric", although it was just cloth when I was young). It'll be a long box for the memory foam to rest on and the sheets to be tucked under. I've got to see if it will interfere with raising the luan and mattress to get to the area below the bed. More on this project later….

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
pilgrim's Avatar
 
2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 346
Hey CGene,

I've got a few projects I could use some help with. WOW...I really appreciate, when a problem arises, the person that can solve that problem! A little brain-power can work wonders! How many nights will you spend in your Safari this year?? If you haven't visited Galena, IL, I would suggest you consider doing so. It has many, many high Victorian homes (all on the National Register of Historic Homes) and other historic sites to see. And, of course, it was the home of U.S. Grant noted historical giant of American presidents. My wife and I are planning a visit to SW Wisconsin late this summer and we've read a good deal about Galena. When visiting the sites in SW Wisconsin, House on a Rock, Taliesin, etc...Galena is something like 25 miles further south. And, of course, Dodgeville is the home of Land's End and has an outlet store if their dress is of interest. We seemed to lose much of the interest when Sears purchased Land's End. We read that House on a Rock is the No.1 tourist attraction in Wisconsin - ???

Sounds like a great group of trips.........happy trails to you and safe 'streaming.
__________________
pilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Today I finished replacing almost all the halogens and incandescent lights with LED's in all but the bedroom. I got the LED's to replace the halogens from lewster at a discount. These were for the recessed ceiling lights and the two rotating task lights over the dinette.

The recessed bulbs are accessed by prying out the center ring on the lamp. I used a Swiss Army knife blade to release it enough to get a screw driver in that space and the screw driver could lever it out the rest of the way. While the metal doesn't scratch as easily as the aluminum panels (it may be stainless steel), it still can be scratched. It's pretty easy to do after the first one. Getting the ring back in is a little tricky because lining it up just right takes a little work.

On the rotating lamps just twist off the outer cover. Use a paper towel to remove the halogens—finger oil will ruin them—and save them in case you ever need them or want to open a halogen bulb store.

I replaced the incandescent 1141 bulbs in the cheap lamp fixtures over the dinette table, sink counter, bathroom (2 of 4—we never used all 4), and shower. I forgot about the light in the fan over the stove and the closet was unnecessary. Lew suggested I get the bulbs to replace the incandescents from Superbright. Their website is complicated because they sell so many different bulbs. I contacted Superbright and ordered LED's. Their replacement bulb for those is the 1156-PCB-WHP9 warm white. I also ordered one 1156-PCB-W24 to use as a night light in the double bulb fixture over the kitchen counter.

The ceiling lights were almost blinding are now much more mellow. I turned them all on and the voltage only dropped .2 volts, a whole lot less than with the OEM bulbs. The light seems to be plenty, although I haven't tried them while it's dark out.

We don't use the bedroom lights very much, so it didn't seem worth spending money on them. LED's aren't cheap.

None of these are as bright as the OEM bulbs, but I can light more of them to get the same illumination and still use a lot less battery power. When boondocking we would just use the task lights to read, and they really weren't all that good for that. Now we can get better general illumination and it will be easier to read. The one bulb for a night light uses so much less power and is properly dim, we can leave it on all night and use very little amps.

We continue to find things wrong. The worst is the vinyl in the bathroom. There's a hump in front of the vanity. It's several feet long and seems to be as much as a 1/4 to 1/2 inch high in the center. My guess is that the glue has let go and the vinyl was cut a little too wide and forced in and had to pop some time, fortunately before the warranty ran out. I hope the vanity doesn't have to come out, but that seems to be the way to fix it.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 07:42 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,558
Be sure to explore the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is beautiful, and there are local, city campgrounds in almost every town, right on Lake Superior. Cheap, decent and fun. Copper Harbor state park is also spectacular. We drove the around the UP last August, hugging the water as we do, and had no trouble finding sites without reservations. I hear there are killer flies there in July, though. Happy travels, and drive safe.
__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 12:44 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Thanks for the tips, doug&maggie. Our present plans, such as they are, are to go to Jackson Center, get some work done, go north, see Mackinaw Is., hug the Lake Superior shore through the UP and Wisconsin. I just started reading about Duluth, but we might then go up the shoreline NE and then cross northern Minnesota. We'd like to go into Canada and then come south via I-15 to Utah, then home to Colorado. How we're going to do this in about 25 days seems to be problematical. We usually dream up a trip with stops to relax here and there, but end up driving our butts off. We sure do see a lot of stuff though.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,558
The drive up the NE shore from Duluth to Thunder Bay is also quite beautiful, and there are neat old towns all along to stop and shop/antique if you are so inclined. We fished at Rainy Lake near International Falls last year, had a blast and caught a MESS of walleye which we scarfed up over a couple of meals. Had a terrific guide (we are not fisher-people, don't bait hooks & all that), who took us out, then cleaned and fileted the fish for us. So fun! We are going back to the UP in August, on our way east , and plan to make that area an annual event.

I think you tend to drive a lot to see a lot on vacations, until you have more time (like retirement) when you can pace yourselves differently. It is such a beautiful country, so much to see. Have a great time.
__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 08:00 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
Larry in MO's Avatar
 
1957 22' Flying Cloud
Lone Jack , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 180
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
see Mackinaw Is., hug the Lake Superior shore through the UP and Wisconsin.
Well, Gene, as much as I hate to admit it, you're right about the route. It's a great area with much to see. As long as you're going that far north, go about 30 miles farther north to Whitefish Point to see the light house (called a "light" up nort-not north--nort) and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Remember the Edmund Fitzgerald? That Whitefish Point! Well worth the little time out of the way.

Also, watch along the lakeshore for ore docks. As I remember, there are docks in Marquette, Ashland, Duluth, and Superior. Some are still intact but others just have a bunch of pilings left over. Half way to Grand Marais is the Crisp Point Light. If you're lucky, you will miss the mayflies.

Have a good time!
__________________
Larry
"Turleen", the '57 Flying Cloud
Lone Jack, MO
Pop.528

"You better learn it fast; you better learn it young"-John Fogerty
Larry in MO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2007 19' Bambi
Peoria , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 30
Lake Tahoe

Has anyone ever stayed at Chris Haven Mobile & R V park in so Lake Tahoe, CA?
__________________
Gil Reinke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 10:55 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Yesterday with the temps at 50˚ the itching for travel was getting unbearable, but 6" of heavy snow overnight tempers the desires. I spent part of yesterday reading a travel book about Minnesota and finding out Duluth, which I never thought was anything but something to drive through, now seems like a good place to spend a little time. Driving up to Grand Marais probably will happen. We love to tour along large bodies of water and usually visit at least one ocean a year.

Even though we are retired, there never seems to be enough time to see everything. Our 20 day trip to the NW last September (we love to travel when gas prices are highest) seemed long to be in a trailer, so we have to stop longer and get out and hike. Learning how to take longer and longer trips is part of this—how far can we travel to get to those places far from home, how long can we hang out in the trailer and not get claustrophobic, how often to do laundry, etc.

We know how to travel without trailer. For example, a week to the ferry to Newfoundland means traveling 550-600 miles/day and taking a break somewhere between home and North Sydney, Nova Scotia. That break (it was to stop at the Auburn classic car museum in Indiana, well worth the stop) was necessary to prevent insanity. Same distance from here to Fairbanks, another grueling trip. On that one we went to Haines, Alaska, to break it up. So far, anyway, we can't cover that many miles per day, but are working on it. We have ranged all over the US and Canada since 2000 and many places are just really far away. I haven't found a matter transmitter on Amazon, so we end up driving for days and days and then don't have enough time to see what we want to see. We have obligations at home (a cat, meetings, relatives, sleep), so there are limits. Part of this is that we have always lived busy lives, are somewhat Type A, and haven't changed much. There's so much to see and do before the big sleep.

With all that snow, repacking the wheel bearings not happening soon.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
Naysayer
 
Boondocker's Avatar

 
1968 24' Tradewind
Louisville , earth
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,635
Images: 7
Send a message via Yahoo to Boondocker
You really, really (did I say really) want a canoe for this trip. Get one from royce, if you dont like it you can give it to me after your trip
__________________
Rodney

Visit my photography page
and the
Favorite camp grounds project map
My Blog

(The artist formerly known as General Disarray)

Boondocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 12:39 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Rodney, thank you for your generous offer to take a canoe off my hands. However, we do not seem to feel a great need to be canoeists.

Perhaps we are prejudiced by a friend's story about his trip to the Boundary Waters back in the '90's. They (his new bride and him) were dropped somewhere remote with canoe, backpacks, tent, food. On one of their first nights, the bride woke up to tell him there was a bear outside. He told her there was no such thing, but to ease her unreasoning fear, he went outside and there was a bear. He tried to scare it away while it ate the toothpaste and drank the shampoo they left outside. My friend is about 6'2" and 250 pounds of muscle, but the bear did not respect that. Banging on a skillet didn't help, throwing things did not help, and when the bear was done eating, it ambled away.

Not much sleep that night. They got up early and quickly packed and got in the canoe. They looked back and there was the bear, swimming after them, apparently having developed a taste for shampoo. Sometimes it would disappear, then they'd see it following. After many hours the bear stopped following them, or stopped being visible.

They never saw it again, but the rest of the trip was not relaxing. The marriage only lasted about three years, though I don't know if she left with the bear. There were several subsequent camping trips in Colorado where they saw bears and I have never wanted to go camping with him since he attracts bears. I want to keep my shampoo.

Nah, no canoes, but a good try.

Gene
__________________

__________________
Gene 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
My Trailer Trips the GFCI Circuit - Help? weiss1957 Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 29 12-30-2008 09:46 PM
Cookbooks for your road trips fonseca Stella's Kitchen 46 10-28-2007 01:16 PM
photos of our summer trips gotair Off Topic Forum 5 09-05-2005 07:25 AM
Best size for Trips Over59 On The Road... 0 03-15-2004 08:29 PM
First Trips COLORADO_CAMPER 1997 - 2004 Bambi 5 07-18-2003 12:42 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:27 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.