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Old 07-03-2016, 10:26 AM   #505
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We came home days ago and have been catching up ever since. Even going away for a week seems to allow things to mount up needing taking care of. But there are more photos when I catch up on everything else.

The weld held up and the Equalizer made it home. I received replacement parts that should work better from the company. How often does a lifetime warranty actually work for anyone—it is 9 years since we bought this thing.

I'm thinking we might squeeze in a trip in August to take care of something in Santa Fe, but unclear yet.

Photos will come. Rain has here and the hot spell has been broken for now.

Gene
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:19 PM   #506
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Trying to catch up on photos and the rest of our last trip while getting ready for the next. I changed the oil and filter and greased the pickup yesterday.

A question for mechanics—when I bought the Tundra in 2007 they recommended oil changes every 5,000 miles. They had recently upped it from 3,500. I have always used full synthetic in it. Our 2013 FJ Cruiser came with full synthetic (branded Toyota, but I think it is really Mobil 1) and they recommend 10,000 miles. The Mobil 1 container says 15,000 miles. I asked a service manager what to believe for the pickup and he said whatever the manufacturer recommended originally, not a well thought out response. I have been changing oil recently at about 7,000 miles and may still average close to 5,000 since sometimes I changed it early because I was leaving on a long trip. Any thoughts?

Gotta go pack the truck for the trip.

Gene
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:20 PM   #507
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Question LOF Interval's

Gene,

Our Burb is now just a tow'r....6k average for the last 5yrs, change every Spring with Amsoil Extended..

Sandra's M-B uses a special "Euro" Blend and has a 10k or once a year interval.

Who'd-a-thunk it.....

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Old 07-10-2016, 05:16 PM   #508
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Bob, our Tundra is mostly used for towing, picking up stuff in town or just driving once every week or two to keep it exercised and limber. The miles aren't going up as fast. We are at 106,800 now. Repairs are about $600 or 56/100 of a cent/mile. Add in tires, antifreeze, oil, filters, grease, windshield washer, insurance, etc., cost per mile is a lot more. We had a 1990 Nissan little pickup that cost about $400 in repairs over 145,000 miles.

Photos:

1. We're in Mancos and that is the Bauer Bank Block, 1905. Now the front part is a store for tourists. The rear of the building is the Absolute Bakery where the food is good and their service was not.

2. Looking to the right down the main street, the Goodnight Trail Gallery is on the northwest corner. We will be consigning Navajo rugs there. Stop and buy in a week. The downtown is several blocks south of US 160 and is designated Business 160. What you see along the highway is tourist stuff and not the real place.

3. Inside the gallery with the rug collection and the rug lady, Kelly.

4. Driving north on Colo. 149 from Cortez, first comes Dolores (Spanish for sadness) and then the Dolores River Valley. The river is off to the right in the trees and if you can see it, what have you been smoking?

Gene
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:31 PM   #509
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More…

1. A frequent sight on Colo. 149. The drive from Mancos to Telluride was slowed considerably by three construction zones. There was a fourth with many signs, warnings and such, but no workers or trucks or anything. Miles of lanes were closed even though most of the work was being done is very short stretches. We'll be making the same trip in about 10 days, but will go through nearby Utah. About the same distance, no construction and it is different.

2. The road climbs out of green valleys and the Dolores River to cross mountains, Lizard Head Pass, be near Telluride. This is Rico. Despite the name, it is not rich looking.

3. A closer view of Rico buildings. To get rid of the reflections on the windshield, maybe we should remove it.

4. A mountain meadow on Colo. 149.

Gene
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:38 PM   #510
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And a few more:

1. Afternoon weather moving in and the same rental truck in front of us. Still on 149.

2. Still some snow in the San Juans.

Gene
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:51 AM   #511
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Oil Changes

Gene your doing great on service I personally would never stretch a service to 10-15K. The manufacturer does not own the motor it's ours to maintain. I have a Dodge diesel that they recommend 7500 mile service. It gets it every 90 days or 5k miles if I'm on road. It uses a synthetic as well. Oil is cheap. By the way nice pics! Enjoy the adventure...........Mike

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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Trying to catch up on photos and the rest of our last trip while getting ready for the next. I changed the oil and filter and greased the pickup yesterday.

A question for mechanics—when I bought the Tundra in 2007 they recommended oil changes every 5,000 miles. They had recently upped it from 3,500. I have always used full synthetic in it. Our 2013 FJ Cruiser came with full synthetic (branded Toyota, but I think it is really Mobil 1) and they recommend 10,000 miles. The Mobil 1 container says 15,000 miles. I asked a service manager what to believe for the pickup and he said whatever the manufacturer recommended originally, not a well thought out response. I have been changing oil recently at about 7,000 miles and may still average close to 5,000 since sometimes I changed it early because I was leaving on a long trip. Any thoughts?

Gotta go pack the truck for the trip.

Gene
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:35 AM   #512
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Yes, oil changes are another thing that is very personal. One of the interesting things is that years ago when oil changes were much more frequent, people did not change the filter every time they changed the oil. My vague memory of the 1960's is that some oil changes were recommended every 2,000 miles.

Several years ago there was a poll about Mac vs. Microsoft users. Airstream owners were about 50% Mac users, far, far more than the general population. I have used Macs for well over 25 years because they worked well, simply and lasted. Lately I can no longer say that. The software is increasingly buggy and things are complicated and hard to do. Transferring photos from my laptop to my iPad has become impossible. It used to be simple. It keeps telling me my system photo storage thing (forgot the name of it already) is not ready and try later, except that it is never ready and I can't find out how to get photos from "Photos" (used to be iPhoto which worked easily) to it manually. They are trying to force me to use iCloud and I don't want to. I lost all the photos on my laptop yesterday trying to make things work. Fortunately I have never deleted all the photos on the camera memory card. Earlier ones are on the iPad and I have to figure out how to transfer them to the laptop if I can. Exporting photos from Photos on the laptop to the desktop has twice as many clicks as it used to have. On my iPad I get little boxes telling me to sign in to various Apple offerings like iCloud—they come constantly and I don't know how to turn them off. Steve Jobs may have been an awful person to work for, but he made the company work well. Next tablet may be Chrome. Why pay 2 or 3 times as much for Apple products that drive me crazy and wastes my time. Rant over for now.

We are figuring out our trip menu and which restaurants to visit. I turn on the Airstream fridge this afternoon, gas up the truck, hitch it. I'm posting a photo of the welded link plate that has been replaced. The break was metal failure, not a weld failure. I didn't take a photo of the new assembly since it took a while in the hot sun to install it and I wanted to relax, not take a picture when I finished. I used to repaint the tongue and hitch parts annually, but kitchen remodeling seems to prevent that. All remodeling has caused washing and waxing the whale-like trailer to be ignored for at least three years.

Gene
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:24 PM   #513
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Hi, Gene; From the looks of your picture, it looks like you tried to adjust your "L" brackets in-between the holes. I have found the perfect hole which holds the "L" bracket level with my frame. I have tightened it several times until the square head bolt has actually cut threads into the hole of the "L" bracket. This has worked very well for me.
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:02 AM   #514
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You are right Bob. It does look like I screwed it down between the holes. If I did and it is not an photographic illusion, it didn't fall out. I threw the old parts into the truck bed in case I had a problem with the new parts and I'll have to look at it again to see if there are marks of the bolt between the holes. I'll take a photo of the new parts. Better engineered than what I had, but torquing the link plate bolts was difficult since I could not get a torque wrench between the inside link plate and the battery box. If I had shorter bolts instead of the original ones, I might have been able to get the wrench on it. I ended up guessing and probably over tightening it, but the plates didn't bend, so I'm ok with it. The trick with Equalizer hitches is to get the plates tight enough without bending them so they don't slide back. I'm not sure there is a sweet spot and I keep watching it and checking the bolts because with enough traveling, they do tend to move. The new bolts to attach the L bracket now comes with Nylock nuts so the bolts won't loosen, a welcome upgrade.

Continuing to get ready for our week long expedition south. Hope to get it all done early today so we can go out tonight to listen to music in town. Remodeling will resume after we get back—I want to get the last two countertops done so the polyurethane has plenty of time to cure before I install it. The bar between the kitchen and great room is finished. I'm a little disappointed in it—it doesn't quite "pop" like I wanted it to, but given the dark grey tile, I suppose it couldn't "pop" if it wanted to. But the rest of the project so far looks great; subway tile (besides reminding me of riding the subways when I was young) provides great contrast and lightens everything. Now I have to do much of it all over again for the other side. The first time is interesting, the second time is not so much, though the workmanship is usually better.

And Bob, isn't it getting to be time for some random travels?

Gene
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:47 AM   #515
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Hi, Gene; After my copper tubing modification, my frame brackets have never moved. I also changed all of the bolts to grade eight and use the self locking nuts on the frame brackets like you said the new brackets come with now. I use two boxed end wrenches on these bolts. It's not easily accessible for a torque wrench, as you mentioned.

Lee re-done our trailer curtains and I have been working on my trailer back-up camera. I also painted the ball area of my coupler bright yellow, so hopefully, it will show up better in my truck's back up camera.

After our 3 1/2 month trip last year, and Dusty's conditions, we weren't going anywhere for a while. We hope to get out, but don't know when or what direction, we might go. Southern California will be part of any trip, as we have a final destination for Dusty's ashes.

I still have two home projects to do. I have to build a garden tool shed and a patio cover. Even with a brand new house, there are still things to do.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:58 PM   #516
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Bob,

It is a about time to wash the curtains again, but I'll let Barb think about it. A ratchet wrench fit easily on the inside bolts and I also used combination wrenches on bolts and nuts. The new link plates come with cutouts (must be a better name for them) that trap the bolt heads and so one wrench does it all.

Last year on Vancouver Island I had to back into every space we had for two weeks. Of course, in some places that was only once, but when I was sick in Nanaimo, I had to move every day. Most CG's would find a way to let us stay in one place when someone was sick, but not that CG. I know people reserve there a year ahead of time and have favorite spaces, but it was a big place and I'd think they could figure it out. The result was good though—I got much better at backing and hitching and now feel like a pro. And when we come home, it takes 10% or less time than it did a year ago to back into the space next to the house. When I back up to the tongue I often get it lined up the first time and sometimes it takes a little adjustment. It helps to have the tonneau cover latch straight up (unlocked) because it is in the middle and I line it up with the middle of the propane tank cover.

It only took me 50,000 miles of practice to get this right. Next I'll try it with my eyes closed. The sonar will tell me how close I am—a continuous beep says you are really close, maybe, or you just bashed into something. Not all that accurate.

So, I saved money on a back up camera. You too can save money by only staying in back up spots even if pull throughs are available.

Seems like we are pretty much packed early in the afternoon. Maybe we are learning how to do this too.

Photos of:

1. Finished bar. It is not a true bar because we can't eat at it. It isn't deep enough, the hanging cabinets above it are too low, thus we would feel cramped, and the view is of refrigerators. Common today is a kitchen or near-kitchen informal place to eat. We have one, but we always have the TV news on and we couldn't see it from the other table. We like our 1870's dining room table (probably Eastlake design) and eat there. The tile on the bar looks much like slate. Guess which two people are on TV.

2. New link plates and L brackets installed.

Gene
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:56 PM   #517
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We made it to Santa Fe this afternoon and it sure is hot for Santa Fe—the truck said 99˚. There were fewer construction delays than our last trip and that is always welcome. I think they only should rebuild a highway when we are not near it. But in Santa Fe, they are rebuilding another section of Cerillos Rd., seems like they have been rebuilding this street for years and years.

It has been hot and dry for a while now and fires are starting in the west. Having forest all around us at home makes us nervous when we travel because we aren't home to stop a forest fire (as if we could). We stopped at the KOA in Alamosa, a sort of low end KOA. Just a place to eat and sleep.

On to Santa Fe today, we stopped at Roadrunner for lunch. Roadrunner is a cafe on the Pojoaque Reservation across from a casino and next to Roadrunner RV CG. They aren't the same business. The CG is dirt and basic, poor or worse wifi and an acceptable, cheaper place to camp just north of Santa Fe. The cafe has good Mexican food, especially the huevos rancheros. A local type place and a real find for New Mexico food cheap. It is about 10 miles north of the city and there is a big lot to park in next to it. We got to Trailer Ranch at about two. We've stayed here many times. Things are changing and don't feel the same plus cable TV is terrible and wifi isn't so good either. They are thinking of getting rid of the cable TV. They've had trouble with it several times before. We used to come to Santa Fe during the trailer season, but haven't in recent years, so it may not matter.

One reason to come here is to stock up on provisions from better food stores than we have at home. We've been to two today and Trader Joe's comes tomorrow. We'll see a movie we missed at home, have dinner with a friend who lives here and pick up our rugs. No tourism, we did that last February.

I forget the wire for downloading photos. It is in the truck and I am glued to the trailer this evening.

Gene
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:52 PM   #518
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Wifi is weak at this campground and even my Verizon system isn't working well—kind of strange in a city of this size, since I often only get one bar. Not sure if it being surrounded by MH's and a house in back of the trailer is affecting the signal. The cable TV was really bad, now terrible to awful and finally, snow only.

But I'll see if some photos can be uploaded on our system. I'll try two at a time since sometimes that's about all you can do.

1. The CIA has fooled the media and all Americans for years about it's location. But it is not in Virginia, but on the east side of Alamosa, Colorado. Note the dark building befitting a clandestine agency and, naturally, an American flag outside. That CIA, always confounding us.

2. Alamosa, the biggest town in the San Luis Valley, looks like many other towns. The people in the five or so counties in the Valley are not doing well economically. The Valley has a lot of water from artesian wells and so far has managed to keep speculators from selling to the big cities of the Front Range. This is the westbound street through downtown on US 160. On the eastbound street, you see the backs of buildings and a railroad.

Gene
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