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Old 03-20-2006, 07:29 AM   #15
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Hi Kevin: Robert and Sherry chiming in here again. As was previously posted, don't be thinking you are camping on the ocean if you stay at Newport Dunes. May I suggest you look at Bolsa Chica which is in Huntington Beach. You would be on the ocean water, with hook ups, and the price is 41/a night, actually less I think, but 41 for one night which includes the reservation fee. Look at the map and see if Bolsa is too far away. I personally don't think so, you would head south on PCH to 55, Newport Blvd, which turns into the 55 freeway, and then head north toward Irvine. Anyway, just look at a map as the cost per night is less and might not be too prohibitively far away.

As for gas, diesel is 2.89/gal on average.

Best, Robert and Sherry
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:04 AM   #16
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cheap diesel

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Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Bill, thanks for the info. Actually, as of now, the plan is to pull out of austin Wed afternoon the 22nd, and with 2 nights on the road, we'll arrive scottsdale/mesa in the mid afternoon (avoiding phoenix area traffic at rush hour) on Friday the 24th for 3 days to take in the sights around there. Then, on Monday the 27th, we'll pull out early and push it to Newport Beach CA..., and if calculations are correct, we should arrive mid afternoon in Newport, avoiding much of the traffic in the area (I hope).

Now we're fiizing the exact parks to stay at along the way, as Newport is the only one we booked so far.

One night in Sonora Texas, One night in Deming, NM, and 3 in Scottsdale/Mesa. Somewhat spaced out to maximize seeing Mesa/Scottsdale and Newport.

The return is still in the works....

Thanks

Kevin

P.S. I assume that in Orange CA that diesel is actually cheaper than regular gas?, or still the most expesive fuel?!?!
california is called the golden state not because of the sun shine or because gold was discovered here in the 1800's, it is called the golden state because of the gold it will cost you to do business here. diesel often is 30 cents a gallon more than unleaded and more expensive than premium.

good luck and let us know how your trip goes.

david
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:52 AM   #17
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Kevin,

I don't buy diesel, but last time I looked it was about the same price as premium at a station I frequent in Anaheim.

Bill
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:53 PM   #18
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Tips for Freeways..

Kevin-

Southern California Freeways will be most interesting unless you're real familiar with them.. Large numbers of people will want to drive 80mph or more, and use all 4 or 5 lanes in a weaving pattern to try and avoid ever slowing below 70.. Trucks drive at 60 to 65 also, so the 55mph speed limit signs appear to be only suggestions...

One tip I can offer is that on ramps and off ramps do make right lane tricky, and often the entire right lane disappears into mandatory exit lane.. Happily, these lanes are marked with striping before the signs appear, but if lane markers to your LEFT change from widely spaced white dashes to a series of equal white stipes and spaces, your lane must exit within a half mile, and you need to merge left if you don't want to exit. California permits trailers and trucks in the two right lanes regardless of how many total, and it is rare to get ticket if you move over one more.. With very few exceptions, Calif freeway exits AREN'T numbered, so you'll be looking for names of streets like "Jamboree Rd" on overhead signs to exit for Newport Dunes. It is really expensive, and has a much higher ratio of asphalt to green plants than you'd expect.. Spaces tend to be snug as well...

There is also a handy web site for traffic if you have laptop called www.sigalert.com which shows "Sig-Alerts" and other traffic jams on southern california highways in real time. A Sig-Alert is Highway Patrol code for a major "event" blocking at least 2 or more freeway lanes, and traffic will quickly back up for miles.

That said, enjoy the trip, and keep your courage...

John McG
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:12 PM   #19
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Kevin: Guess we are all posting here so much because driving a rig here is an experience and want you to avoid the most hazardous situations so.....

I second all the previous posters who comment "stay in the second lane" at all costs. The on ramp and off ramp lane is no place to be at all, under any circumstances, except for just that, to get and off the freeway. I find it no problem to keep a steady 60 in the second lane, and keep a steady lookout for sudden stopping, so keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you. Also, I think the 91 freeway was previously mentioned as under construction, well the same goes for the 22, don't even get on the 22 with your trailor. Based upon your route discussed to date you should not be on either one, but on departure, just don't end up on either the 91 or the 22.

One last quick note, whereever you are traveling, just add 45 minutes if you are between 7:30 am and 9:00 am, or between 3:00 and 7:00 pm.

Once you are here it will be fine.

Best, Robert
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:05 PM   #20
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Hi all,

Yes, we looked into Bolsa, but for the weekend, and it was completely booked. I looked a a few other ones one the coast and talked to the 800# for reservations, all booked for the weekend. Thanks OK, Prim wants to be close to the office during her meetings, so staying at newport during the weekdays will be fine. We've decided to pull out that friday and head back to arizona, and set up camp somewhere there friday night....

Thanks for the pointers on what lanes to try to stay in... I'll keep my distance and try to flow with traffic the best I can.

Diesel does seem to be more costly than gold itself for at $2.89/gallon, but oh well, if I can't pay to pull the trailer, I shouldn't have bought it in the first place, so we're paying to pull it!!

Soo.. Our final grand plan is to pull out of Austin tomorrow around lunch, and set up camp at a Walmart in Fort Stockton TX and then at The Little vineyard in Deming NM along the way to Mesa AZ. We should get there on the 24th, and stay 3 nights to see the sights. The next big push will be on Monday the 27th, when we'll do a long hall from Mesa to Newport in one shot. We'll stay at the Newport Dunes for the next 4 nights and then pull out for "somewhere in AZ" on Friday the 31st, and make our way to South Llano state park in TX for Sunday and Monday night, and bake our way back home on Tuesday the 4th...

As my wife and I pack and prep, I've realized I've never taken so much clothes in the trailer before... I think this will be the first time I'll use laundry facilities at a campsite!!

Thanks for all the pointers and I'll let y'all know how it goes!!

Rgds

Kevin and Prim
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:11 AM   #21
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We've taken our AS through Los Angeles several times headed to Disneyland from our home in San Luis Obispo (about 200 miles north of LA). We usually take I-5... busy but managable. Don't let the freeways scare you. They DO require a lot of attention, but if you take the advice already given, drive in the second lane from the right whenever possible, and stay alert, they really are no big deal. Personally, I don't like driving them at night with the AS.... difficult to judge distances when changing lanes with a lot of traffic.... but daytime travel is really no big deal. Just consider it all an adventure! Enjoy your stay at Newport.
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:14 PM   #22
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Made it to Newport...

Well, we made it to newport. We just arrived a few hours ago from Mesa, AZ(Scottsdale). Here are a few observations along the way:
  1. Everyone drives FAST in Scottsdale. Loop 101 was 65 MPH speed limit and I had to do 70 just to avoid getting run over (without the trailer of course)
  2. Sedona is AWSOME. Highly recommended if you ever have a chance to go. I took I-17 up from Scottsdale and then Hwy 260 to Hwy 87 on the way back. Hwy 87 is a great alternative scenic route up the mountains. I even got to let the dogs out and let them play in the snow that remained along the forest floor.
  3. I think I need some guages for my diesel truck and learn how to read them and manage the truck in more "extreme" conditions. Clibling the mountains in Southern California on I-8 is much more than I have ever experienced before. I think (not sure) that I overheated my turbo? As I ascended the mountatins at 3000-4000 feet, by truck motor started to make a noise like a dive bomber heading down for me. The "dive bomber" whine was definitatly tied into the RPMs, and if I lowered my speed and RPMs, it went away, but obviously at a cost of some power. Slightly disapointing as I felt my diesel let me down a bit, but again, it may be a user issue since this is my first diesel (turbo diesel).
  4. I-5 in California has got to be one of the most bumpy roads I have ever been on. I have RAncho 9000s shocks on my truck, tuned to "7" when towing, and when I hit I-5, the rythmic breaks in the pavement would cause any speach between my wife and I to sound with a vibratto effect. I looked back in the rear view mirror and saw my Siberian husky sitting in place, het bouncing up and down like it was some little kid playing a pony ride on so grandpa's lap!
  5. One casualty thus far... a nice quarter sized rock chip on the truck windshield...
Other than that, pretty good so far. Thanks for all the suggestions in getting here. Prim and I really appreciated the advice.

Kevin
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:40 PM   #23
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Kevin,

Fantastic that you arrived in So Cal. Enjoy Newport Dunes, too bad that we have rain for you tomorow.

Bill
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:41 AM   #24
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Kevin: Great to hear you both are in town.

Yep: Sedona is great, it has been 10 years since Sherry and I had our first visit there, need to go back.

As to the truck noise on a downhill slope (although I am not the most knowledgeable one here) I believe the truck is designed to hold back the speed. For example I am driving a 2006 Ford Diesel with the 28 foot Safari, and have a built in brake system which is at 8.0 when in use. As soon as I start downhill the truck slows itself down, rpm's go up, and when I start to level out, put the foot on the accelerator, everything is back to cruise speed.

Enjoy So. Cal, and have a great trip back.

Robert/Sherry
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:32 PM   #25
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hi bandit

hope you are enjoying the trip...have you got wifi at the rv park?

so the excursion doesn't have a turbo/boost gauge? seems any turbo drivetrain should come with a boost gauge...a basic need.

anyway, the turbo does whine louder at the boost climbs...on the f250s the boost registers from 0-40psi and somewhere i read prolonged boost about 35psi, isn't good...and above 30 it sings louder...

you don't mention at what speed you were climbing or distance on the ascent...it is easier to maintain speed than accerate on a long incline....at say 5% grade or above.

hard to predict if you cooked the turbo...but if so, just accelerating into traffic (not towing) should tell you....because no turbo will mean no quickness...and nasty noises...

you should get some gauges...like a stack for the 'a' pillar...with boost, oil temp, exhaust temp and tranny temp as the 4 basic needs...

what openhigher is describing is the 'tow/haul mode' which holds a gear during descents until the go pedal is pressed, and raises the shift points.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi bandit

hope you are enjoying the trip...have you got wifi at the rv park?

so the excursion doesn't have a turbo/boost gauge? seems any turbo drivetrain should come with a boost gauge...a basic need.

anyway, the turbo does whine louder at the boost climbs...on the f250s the boost registers from 0-40psi and somewhere i read prolonged boost about 35psi, isn't good...and above 30 it sings louder...

you don't mention at what speed you were climbing or distance on the ascent...it is easier to maintain speed than accerate on a long incline....at say 5% grade or above.

hard to predict if you cooked the turbo...but if so, just accelerating into traffic (not towing) should tell you....because no turbo will mean no quickness...and nasty noises...

you should get some gauges...like a stack for the 'a' pillar...with boost, oil temp, exhaust temp and tranny temp as the 4 basic needs...

what openhigher is describing is the 'tow/haul mode' which holds a gear during descents until the go pedal is pressed, and raises the shift points.

cheers
2air'
Hi 2air!

Yup, I don't have a boost guage. Ford, in their infinate wisdom did not provide one on the instument cluster like the do on the superduty diesels. Go figure... Anyways, the F series superduties with the 6.0 have a small boost needle, but not the excursions.

I was clmbing what I think was an approximate 6% grade. Tow/haul mode was on and since this was California, they limit the speed with at trailer to 55. I had set the cruise at 55 way before we hit the mountains, but on the way up, the transmission naturaly dropped down to compensate for the grade, raising the RPMS to ~2300. This was fine, but I think the prolonged hold at that point is what caused the "dive bomber sound" I have never heard my diesel make such a loud noise. So as soon as I heard that I dropped my cruise off, and lowered the RPM to ~1500-2000, but crawled up at 35-40 MPH.

The truck is fine now, but I have learned that any future trips over mountains does require guages so I know what is going on. Right now I'm just flying blind, and I think I need to monitor Boost and EGT at a minimum.

The rest of the guages stayed at nominal - I'd be hard pressed to even say the moved the whole entire trip, even while climbing the mountains.

I can drive around town without the trailer fine, don't experience any power loss, so I think the turbo is OK, but it was scary. I think I'll have to jump to the ford diesel forums for more info...

Rgds

Kevin
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:47 PM   #27
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socal traffic

bandit,

how you finding the traffic compared to austin? i drive this stuff every day so i am pretty use to it. if you can manage to stay off the 405 around 5 p.m. then you should be okay.

sorry about the weather. just never know.

david
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:05 PM   #28
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Quote:
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bandit,

how you finding the traffic compared to austin? i drive this stuff every day so i am pretty use to it. if you can manage to stay off the 405 around 5 p.m. then you should be okay.

sorry about the weather. just never know.

david
san diego county
David,

The dirvers are more aggressive in Austin, but less careful. The Cali drivers thus far are pretty OK, as long as I keep speed with them, which is usually 5-10 over the limit... if I drive the limit, I get passed on BOTH sides of the me!!!

That does bring up another point... I'm not sure I like the 55MPH limit for trucks and trailers... The speed difference between the cars was scary!!! I wanted to change lanes and the cars would zip up my sides like I was standing still... I kinda felt it was more dangerous to follow the speed limit....

Kevin
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