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Old 01-06-2008, 12:52 AM   #1
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Back from the 'Valley of Death'!

We just got back from four days in Death Valley: the "Escape Pod" performed well, and looked right at home in the Furnace Creek campground.
As the temperatures got nippy, we fired up the furnace, which usually had to make more than one attempt at igniting, with the occasional warning "beep" alarm (followed by a reset). We also used the oven to bake a banana bread, and that brings me to an oven question: since the pilot seems designed to go out every time you turn off the oven, why have a pilot at all? It seems easier, and less of a reach, to simply apply a flame to the gas ring directly.
Enjoy the photos; Zabriskie Point changed every minute in the morning sun. The photo of our Airstream next to the big rigs proves two things: 1) the relative height of an Airstream, and 2) "size" isn't always what counts: we passed about a dozen of these "big boys" that were blown over onto their sides like dominoes by high winds outside of Devore, CA. We knew it was bad when we also passed an "Eyewitness News" van parked at the scene! We kept our speed down and, despite feeling the wind gusts, made it through unscathed.
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:23 AM   #2
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Hey Jerry and Susan...beautiful pics..thanks for sharing them! Good you made it through the winds OK...I hate wind!

Regarding the ignition of the furnace...you might want to have your dealer check your furnace...we had a problem develop with our 06 19' Bambi where it would not ignite with any regularity on a trip...there's a thread that discusses this: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...lem-37259.html

There are no doubt other threads as well. The general consensus as to cause seem to be one or more of: a bad ignitor board, stuck "sail switch"...and in our case, a poorly performing gas regulator (which is exacerbated by cold weather). Once the regulator was replaced, the problem was gone. Our other gas applicances didn't seem to have a problem igniting, but we found that the pilot in the oven was far easier to light once the gas regulator was replaced. As to why a pilot light at all...I suspect it's a code thing, or at the very least some way of keeping us from blowing ourselves up routinely! I hate the location of the pilot and that reach makes me get on my knees....ugh.

Our LP detector was going to the yellow light/fault with the single beep, making it necessary to reset, too... We finally had it replaced, as it seemed to keep happening. The tech who replaced it said it was not related to the furnace problem and was casued by intermittant low power supply...our had a bad wire. The dealer told us that with a new furnace there is sometimes some "burniging off" fumes that set off the alarm, but having used the furnace many times and still having the problem...not an alarm mode, but the fault mode (yellow light), they finally replaced it. (Not the best location, either in MHO...)

Good luck and glad you had a good trip out...

TB
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:11 AM   #3
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nice pics. nice trip. death valley is sooo photogenic. and sooo windy. glad your heater worked in the end.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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I have often wondered why the oven manufacturers don't include a piezo igniter in them. My range at home had them on the burners and oven.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:01 AM   #5
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Pilot light..

Since we tend to stay in one place for a month (GA & NC) and three months in Florida, we leave the pilot light on unless it gets really hot weatherwise. Haven't noticed that it takes too much extra gas... and it sure is easier on the knees!! I just made "from scratch" wild rice bread a couple of days ago so it's nice to have the oven ready to go.

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Old 01-06-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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Wonderful pictures. What hitch do you use?

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Old 01-06-2008, 12:01 PM   #7
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We use an Equalizer hitch, and have been very happy with it. We certainly hear, but hardly feel, those 18-wheelers passing in the other direction!
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:05 PM   #8
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Great pictures, thanks for posting.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:12 PM   #9
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I also want to thank Buttercup and Wagnerda for their advice on effective handling of the up/downgrades in exploring Death Valley. It made for a much more relaxed drive!

-Jerry
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
I also want to thank Buttercup and Wagnerda for their advice on effective handling of the up/downgrades in exploring Death Valley. It made for a much more relaxed drive!

-Jerry
what was the advice? DV is certainly the place to road test any rig. if it can handle DV then it can handle anything. nothing like climbing from sea level to 11000 ft and back down then do it again on 8% grades to test your rig.
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:11 PM   #11
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I didn't test the towing up to 11K ft (Telescope Peak), because of wind/weather -and my better half/co-pilot's reservations- but I took the truck over Towne Pass just to see the extent of the grade, and used a combination of second gear @ 2500 rpm while towing the Bambi on the way out (ascending) through Baker. My main concern, which Buttercup and Wagnerda addressed, was how to keep the transmission at its most effective rpm while still maintaining decent power on the upgrades. For my tv/AS combination, I found 2d gear worked best on the steepest grades ascending. Descent was handled well by turning off overdrive while in Drive, and keeping the speed at or under 50 mph. Didn't have to rely very much on brakes that way.

-Jerry
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:30 PM   #12
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Was that you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
I didn't test the towing up to 11K ft (Telescope Peak), because of wind/weather -and my better half/co-pilot's reservations- but I took the truck over Towne Pass just to see the extent of the grade, and used a combination of second gear @ 2500 rpm while towing the Bambi on the way out (ascending) through Baker. My main concern, which Buttercup and Wagnerda addressed, was how to keep the transmission at its most effective rpm while still maintaining decent power on the upgrades. For my tv/AS combination, I found 2d gear worked best on the steepest grades ascending. Descent was handled well by turning off overdrive while in Drive, and keeping the speed at or under 50 mph. Didn't have to rely very much on brakes that way.

-Jerry
Hi Jerry, was that you guys behind us on 190/127 on Saturday morning leaving Death Valley enroute to Baker? We stopped in Baker but didn't see you there. paula
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:33 PM   #13
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yea i found the descents to be a little stressful. down 8% grades for 30 miles is hard on those brakes. my rig is a lot heavier and that weight wanted to roll very fast down those grades. thats why i can't wait to try my new 6-speed tranny in DV. the 6-speed allows for manual down shifting and i think it will make an incredible difference on those long downgrades.
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:00 PM   #14
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Fabulous DV photos....thanks for sharing!
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