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Old 07-30-2004, 12:31 PM   #1
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Chaco Culture access

For those into the old western ruins, we have a word of advice about going into Chaco with your AS. Bolt it down and check your screws first. The road in is a 14 to 16 mile washboard which seems to have the cadence to back nearly every type screw out of it's hole. (John - your careful work in the drawers totally came apart.) By the time we were there the fridge was open, the salsa lid unscrewed, the drawer tracks completely loose or off, the sink faucet hanging by the hose and a few of the black door catches shattered. Our table catch (John's refit) also snapped in two. So our first hours in the park were to restore to living condition the contents of the trailer and making notes on what to purchase when we escaped. Some of the off the wall repairs made include reattaching the closet to the wall by adding epoxy to the screw threads before rescrewing them in. (Also noticed and addressed is that none of the closet floor screws appeared to have been installed.) When reassembling the drawers I fixed the tracks first then to attach the back catch on a drawer, I removed the one below it, snapped the cross brace in place on the back of the drawer being worked on, tested the fit, then removed the brace and used quick epoxy on the ends of the cross brace to hold it in place along with the catch. This lined the brace up as well as avoided the reaching in to screw the brace in place from the front. Now I just won't be able to remove it again, ever.

After the Chaco visit we had a pleasant and uneventful (in trailer repairs) trip to Yellowstone and back to Texas.

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Old 07-30-2004, 02:49 PM   #2
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Los Lunas , New Mexico
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Yeah, we've avoided taking our 67 to Chaco for that very reason. It's a bit of a loose bag of rivets to begin with, so it might wind up in a gazillion pieces.


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Old 07-30-2004, 07:05 PM   #3
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Heck, those 16 miles were hard on the truck, muchless a trailer. I highly recommend making the drive and seeing the ruins, but leave the trailer.
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:20 PM   #4
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Apropos Chaco, I just found the following note on their website:

Hwy 57 from Blanco Trading Post (on US 550) is closed at the park's north boundary. Do not take Hwy 57. From Blanco, take US 550 southeast. Turn 3 miles past Nageezi onto CR 7900 and follow signs.
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:37 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about things coming apart, but the same thing happened to me when I took my old TrailManor into Chaco Canyon. I practically had to reassemble the trailer when we arrived.

Those steel-sided drawers in the AS are terribly heavy and the "light plywood" that Airstream uses doesn't hold screws well at all, especially when they have been removed once and reinstalled. I don't know whether they are still using those drawer sides in the Safari 22', but I think they are a big mistake.

Worse yet was the trip out. It rained hard wile we were there and I drove the miles going out in deep mud. I had just a 2wd Dakota truck at the time and I was terrified that I would end up in the ditch. Worst moment was a school bus coming the other way on a curve. I never thought I could stay on the road.

I wouldn't try to take the Classic in there and I will never go in again without a clear weather report. I'll never drive that road in mud again..
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Old 07-30-2004, 10:34 PM   #6
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Road closure sign was there last September

Eubank, We drove by the turn-off coming back from Mesa Verde (which I heartily recommend - water and electric hookups in selected camp sites) last September and they had the same road closure signs up.
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:01 AM   #7
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On the up side - they had had a very wet, for a desert, spring and the flowers were all over the place. Staff who had been there years had never seen the like. One additional broken part almost cost us the trailer. The pilot light for the oven came apart and when Karen tried to light it she got a open gas line to the pilot. Luckily she also got a bad smell and a quick shut off as soon as I figured what had happened. That's the one thing I haven't repaired yet as I don't look forward to gas repairs and I don't bake as much as she does. PS Karen rode in the AS on the way out to catch things and I took it a lot slower, although on washboard that may hurt more.
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Old 08-02-2004, 12:13 PM   #8
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Good grief, what a trip you had! Thank goodness, earlier in July, we flipped a coin, unable to choose between vacationing in SW Colorado, including Mesa Verde and Chaco, or returning to Montana and heading up to Glacier NP. Montana won, and "Gypsy" returned home last night with all her screws intact, in spite of some interstate highways that earn washboard status as well!
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Old 08-02-2004, 02:42 PM   #9
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Did Chaco two (?) years ago. Totally fantastic place, but I not have taken the AS down that road for anything (well, maybe a new 34' Classic Limited). Leave the AS in Bloomfield (closest RV park at that time) and drive the 60 or so miles to Chaco.

But GO TO CHACO!! You will be awestruck.

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