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Old 04-29-2015, 12:36 PM   #71
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Good news and bad news.

First, Apple is sending me a new iPad Air, no charge. Carlos said things got screwed up and they are sorry. I may get my old one back and they want it if I do. I suggested I would hand deliver it to him if they paid my expenses to Cupertino. I also asked for new tires for the trailer because…

all the tires have started to crack on the sidewalls. I didn't see it on the cloudy day I first looked at them except for the one tire. I thought it was only one, but they all have started. They are 5 1/2 years old and this is what happens when they sit too much. I know I should have moved the trailer back and forth a few times over the winter, but, well, I've been busy.

Carlos will not personally deliver the iPad (I suggested he drive his Tesla here, but crossing Nevada he might run out of electricity and couldn't fit the tires in the Tesla trunk anyway). But Discount Tires is holding 4 of the same Michelins for me and I just have to go there tomorrow morning and pay a lot. Their parking lot is not trailer friendly so I'll go at 8 am. when there's more space.

I'd better check the brakes now and set up the hitch.

Gene
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:55 PM   #72
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Well.....good you're going to have a new IPad!

I am thinking of going to a mini later this summer.


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Old 04-29-2015, 05:19 PM   #73
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Is Apple going to replace your tires, also? Jim
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:25 PM   #74
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No, Apple is not going to replace my tires, but I thought I'd try.

I just called Michelin and started a claim. The tires are warranted for 6 years and I may get a few bucks off. New tires will be ready for me tomorrow at 8 am. Not what I wanted to happen, but I knew it was going to happen in a year or so. Tempered by a new iPad costing some life expectancy in frustrations. Tires will be in the $800 range, iPad starts at $500, so I guess not a bad day and summerizing is pretty much done except for things I will do later. I figured I'd be buying a new iPad in a couple of years, so this puts it off as much as 5 years. By then I will be so old I'll be reading comic books anyway.

The fresh water tank is now being drained after the Clorox solution matured for an hour and in a while the first of 3 flushes to get all the Cl smell out. That will complete maintenance (except for tires tomorrow) for the Utah trip. But there's rust to remove, paint to apply, wax to polish, bearings to repack at a later date. And clothes and food to pack.

I've pulled the trailer so little in the last 2 years, I have to learn how again. The half mile down in 8 miles of road will retrain me fast.

Gene
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:55 AM   #75
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After 50,000 miles towing it is second nature and we made it down to Grand Junction easily. Temp 44˚ when we left home and 60˚ in town. Michelin gave me about $65 off each new tire because of the cracking in the sidewalls. Although I bought the tires 5 1/2 years ago and within the warranty, they used the date of manufacture, more than 6 years, but they honored the warranty anyway and I paid $120 per tire instead of $185. With tax, balancing, etc., $699. Not bad for new shoes and M/S2 instead of the M/S I had. Michelin is so much easier to deal with than a lot of US companies.

Now to load up the whale and off to Utah on Saturday. Since, as Moosetags puts it, if we leave at the crack of noon, we should get to Hanksville, less than 200 miles, easily.

My new iPad is due this afternoon, but to get the tracking information, I got it in Chinese. Despite the Chinese lessons in fortune cookies, I couldn't read it, but it did say it was in Grand Jct. today. I guess there are no characters for Grand Jct. so I could read that. I think the rest said "your takeout is ready".

Gene
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:14 PM   #76
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When they went to remove the wheels from our Airstream at Discount Tires, the floor jack wouldn't lift it up high enough. Mine does, but I put several pieces of 2x10 on it. Their block didn't raise it high enough. I had 2x10's in the truck and we used those to lift each wheel in turn while the trailer rested on the other wheel on that side. It takes 3 2x10's to do it (4 1/2"). For other RV's with regular axles, they can use a floor jack. Like others have reported, they wanted to lift it between the wheels which is a really bad idea as they would crush the tanks. Even with a floor jack at the lifting point at the rear of the trailer, it is easy to miss the frame rail above the belly pan (I've seen it missed and start crushing the belly pan—not a good thing).

I only know of one other Airstream around here and I guess they had never seen one before.

One time I was working underneath and had jacked up the trailer and also used a jack stand for extra safety and wondered why the trailer seemed lower than it had earlier. I looked at the two jacks, and they were sinking into the ground. The lesson was to put some plywood under the jacks to distribute the weight. And I made the 2x10's out of scrap wood I had and cut bevels in one end so the wheel doesn't push the wood when you pull the trailers up onto the wood. Also you need someone to watch so they can tell you when you are on the wood and stay several feet away. Sometimes the 2 x 10's pop out when you are coming off them and can hit someone who is too close.

Two other things happened yesterday when I was too tired to really feel ok about it even when I solved the problems. I went to drain the black tank—there's always some water, crud and antifreeze in there over the winter. I opened the valve and only a trickle came out. We put a gallon more water in the toilet to see if there was a blockage and more water would push it through. No change. Another gallon and no change. I got underneath and removed the access plate, but it doesn't access anything but the (useless) sensor. I was thinking how I would have to remove the belly pan, take the pipe that goes into the tank off and fix something. I was not happy. So I got out and stared at the handle while thinking about backflushing the tank, but I decided to turn the handle. It was as far out it would go, so how could the valve not be open? There was enough tension on then handle so that the valve must be attached. I turned the handle clockwise—that usually means tightening or closing. I turned it several times and pulled it out again and the water came out just like it is supposed to. Lesson—don't turn that handle counterclockwise as it may come apart and turn it clockwise a few turns from time to time. So I learned the handle adjusts the valve opening.

The second thing was when we were finished with sanitizing, I went to close one garage door and it would only go down a foot and then return. It was 8 pm and I just wanted to lie on the sofa. There are no locks on the doors and no lock on the door between the garage and house. I looked at the controls on the motor while Barb looked for the manual. I managed to screw up the remote, but figured out how to fix that. There were some things to turn, but that did nothing. Then Barb found the manual (thank you former owner for saving everything). I read it and went to see if the electric eyes that keep the door from closing on you were aligned correctly. The lights on them worked fine which indicates they were aligned, but I moved one a bit and the door worked. The lesson here is don't wait to summerize the trailer until a few days before you leave on a trip or you'll be working late into the evening and so tired you want to throw things at something or kick a bunny (I did neither and couldn't have caught a rabbit to kick if I wanted to). Someday the motor will fail and although the door can be closed manually, it can be opened that way too. I have to buy some locks for the doors.

The word "summerize" was created by Bob Cross and he should get the credit. Bob has helped a lot of people, especially with corrosion problems and has been a valuable member of the Forum.

Time to pack.

Gene
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:53 AM   #77
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My one ton truck Michelins only went 5.5 years [2007-2012] and 77k miles with 5/32 average wear. All failed within a mile, one a blowout. I attributed it to the heat here, but the original set went 3+ years and 121k. I was furious to say the least. But no point getting mad (past the sweetheart $300 tow job ninety miles on a rollback) as Michelin practically gave me a new set of LTX MS2. The grip is bit better than the A/S, but they won't wear as long. The deal was done by phone before the rollback arrived.

Then again, my personal truck miles are low since about then. I'll time out this set early for a commercial truck tire.

Besides legalized tax evasion I've read that if Apple had those thousands of manufacturing jobs here in the U.S., the price per device might go up an astonishing $15-25.

I too am getting reacquainted with my trailer as I ready it for a long move. Set up the PP-sourced adjustable HA stinger just now. New clearance and signal lamps to be bought. Etc.

If you've enjoyed Piketty, then may I recommend one on my near future list: Michael Hudsons endeavor with historical specialists. See The Unz Review or his own website. Graeber is more readable, but ultimately not as much fun as what Hudson provides.

Looking forward to your travel pictures and commentary, Gene.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:08 PM   #78
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The new iPad came yesterday at 3:45 pm and I immediately started to play with it. I'm slowly figuring out the new stuff, but I can't get my e-mail working just right. Maybe Google is messed up today. I can get mail, but can't send. I can use the laptop for that and usually do. Safari is acting up. These glitches usually resolve themselves after a while.

The new one is a bit smaller than my iPad2 was. I had to buy a new cover—the Smart Cover doesn't fold into the position to hold up the back as well as the old cover. Also a new car charger since as they always do, Apple changed the plug. I could plug the 120 v. wire into the 120 v. receptacle in the truck, but I didn't want extension cords all over the places. We already have too many things charging and not enough receptacles. I have a triple one to plug into the truck and there's a second receptacle at the back of the console.

Apple's Carlos called today to make sure everything was ok. I told him when the battery on this goes bad, I want another free one. He didn't seem to think that was a good idea.

The old one is still in China and Carlos is trying to get it shipped to Apple instead of me. I told him if it comes to me not to hold his breath while I get around to returning it.

So if you have a problem with Apple, don't call them, send an e-mail to CEO Tim Cook. Sometimes that works with some companies, others (like Verizon, my most hated company now) just blow you off. A French company, Michelin, has something to teach us about customer service.

The food has to go into the trailer. Much will return. Otherwise we are in good shape. Hanksville, here we come. There's one CG there I think and I believe we stayed there once before, but if so, it was not memorable.

I've got about 150 pages to go in Picketty (also French) plus a new issue of Fine Homebuilding. And the NY Times everyday takes a day to read plus the local paper. If I finish Picketty on this trip, I have a book about residential design in the UK and US from 1600 to the present. I got up to the 1700's and put it down. Lots of pictures, but I study them and it takes forever to get through a century. There are a couple of other books here that I'd like to read, but life gets in the way.

So Road Trips fans, is there a rust remover that actually works? I bought a grinder for $20 (sale at Sutherlands) and have never used it, but I will on the rust. If there's a chemical that makes it easy, what would it be?

Gene
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:57 PM   #79
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Ospho.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:04 PM   #80
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Exrust, from Kano Laboratories, is amazing stuff. It's on this page:

Industrial Specialties

part way down.

Not cheap but very effective.

I've used it on old printing equipment. Also the Aero Kroil, which loosens rusted and stuck shafts and bearings like none other.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:13 PM   #81
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We left home literally at the crack of noon on Saturday, exhausted from remodeling and preparing the trailer plus having a party a week before we left. Driving west from Grand Jct., we soon enter barren desert at the Utah line. I-70 goes through sagebrush and some oil and has drilling areas, but little else until we got to Green River. The river looks like late August and there's little run off this year. We filled up on gas and continued south to Hanksville.

There's one CG in Hanksville and it is basically a parking lot with some young aspens planted. They will need a lot of water and it is too hot for them there. The young girl at the office was not too swift. She was amazed how a card reader worked. She told us there were only s few pull thrus and put us in a back in site. I couldn't back in—probably because of exhaustion and the fact the access road was too narrow. Then I looked around and all the sites were pull thrus. We pulled through to a longer site where both truck and trailer fit so we wouldn't have to unhitch.

The wifi was useless, so I took a short 4 hour nap. Barb joined me after a while I think—at lest she was there when I awoke at 10 pm. We had a light dinner (soup out of a can, a cookie and some water), and the wifi worked. At midnight we went to bed, woke at 4, downloaded the day's paper, went back to bed, and awoke after 9. A nice 12 hour rest.

Then we started out for Escalante.

Photos;

1. The main drag through Green River—lots of empty and abandoned buildings. The newest buildings in town are a few gas stations and motels. They grow a lot of melons here and there's talk of a nuclear power plant. There's a John Wesley Powell museum which is pretty interesting. Powell was the guy who led the first expedition down the Colorado River.

2. This was probably a bank at one time and may be a real estate office now. The most substantial older building in Green River.

3. The San Rafael Reef south of Green River. A "reef" in the middle of the desert? Someone must have been homesick for the ocean. It follows Utah 24 to the west to Hanksville.

4. Rock formation along the road.

Gene
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:29 PM   #82
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Hanksville is a little town in southeast Utah near the confluence of the Muddy Creek and Fremont River—that is the start of the Dirty Devil River. In the east, they would be creeks, not rivers. Nearby the Mars Society leases land to train people for living on Mars. South are the Henry Mountains, easily visible from 40 miles away and still snow capped. The Henries were the last place in the continental US to be mapped. We’ve never explored them and keep thinking of doing so.

We left “early” on Sunday, 11:45, and drove west through Capital Reef NP. This is the least known NP in Utah. It is usually a pretty quiet place, but the roadside stops were all crowded with cars. Maybe Capital Reef has been discovered. It has a nice campground, but the roads are narrow and backing in was a challenge when we stayed there years ago in late fall. The drive to and through the Park is beautiful. Lots of different and colorful rock formations. Kind of slow going at times on the narrow state highway.

The Fremont River winds through the center of the park. People settled here around 150 years ago and there are a few old cabins made of native stone where couples with many, many kids lived in a small room. An ancient grove of fruit trees is alongside the road and I think they allow the public to pick fruit each fall.

The primary feature here is the Waterpocket Fold, a long north-south formation running through the Park. We explored it at least 20 years ago and some of the roads are easy for a car, some are not as easy, but this is not serious 4wd territory for the most part. While it doesn't have the rock formations the other Utah parks are famous for, it was a quiet place to camp and roam around. The campground in the middle of the park is pleasant. Capital Reef is a good place for a quiet vacation, or was 20+ years ago.

Gene

Photos:

1. North of Hanksville, another rock formation alongside the road and the Henry Mountains in the background.

2. The CG in Hanksville. Even on Saturday, pretty empty.

3. West on Hanksville the red rocks start becoming the dominat part of the landscape. No more flat desert, but yellow and red rocks everywhere while thr road sometimes follows the Fremont River and sometimes wends its way through the rocks. The blue band at the top is from the truck windshield.

4. More rocks, clouds coming in.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:41 PM   #83
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We kept driving and as we left the Park, the road began its ascent to Torrey. This is yet another small town, dispersed over many miles. It has a few restaurants, gas stations and motel rooms for visitors to the Park. My iPad updated mail while driving through, last contact with civilization for a while.

We kept climbing into the Dixie National Forest finally reaching 9,600’. It started raining and we were in the clouds. There was still a little old snow along the road and then the rain changed to snow. It had been 79˚ after we left Hanksville, but it got down to 37˚ at the top. No more red rocks, they were covered with tall conifers. Not enough snow to do anything but wet the road and we started down to Escalante.

Soon we were back in the bare red and yellow rocks on a narrow winding road (Utah 12). I haven’t towed on 10’ wide lanes much for the last 3 years and was glad I can still do it with inches on each side of the trailer. It seemed slow, but we made good time to Escalante, 110 miles from Hanksville.

Gene

Photos:

1. Dixie National Forest. I asked someone what the name of this range is and was told "The Boulders". Not sure that is accurate. On the south side is the little town of Boulder where there is a well regarded restaurant, but we have never stopped there.

2. Main Street Escalante. Most the buildings along the main drag are separated from one another and downtown stretches for quite a distance. Since the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument was created, there have been more tourists coming here and there's a fair amount of new construction.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:04 PM   #84
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It does sound like you are catching up on your rest, Gene.

Sometimes we have to leave home to do that.

Travel safe,



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