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Old 09-06-2012, 12:04 AM   #721
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Burning Man Trip

Well here is a bit about my Burning Man trip. I'll give a bit of a summary and maybe at a later time I'll get into more detail.

First and foremost, we had an awesome time and we are already looking forward to next year. Its important to understand that Burning Man is what one makes of it. It is different and bizarre and crazy and wonderful all at the same time. Two of the principles of BM are radical self expression and radical self relience. The folks at BM certainly do express themselves in many different ways, which understandably may not be for everyone. There are only a few things provided at BM; coffee, ice and enough law enforcement to keep 50 thousand people sort of under control!

One must really experience BM for themself to grasp it and understand it. I can only explain it like this, the end of the world has come and the remaining 50,000 humans made their way to the desert and created a city with what they were able to carry in and we lived for a week in a free self regulated society where one is free from what bound us to our prior society.

For anyone that has camped off the grid for any extended period of time, spending a week in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada is not that strange. One must know how to manage your resources in order to survive on your own in a harsh environment for one week in a society where everyone (theoretically) would be there for each other...wow what a concept!

For me, the largest part of the prep work was making sure the motorhome would make it to BM and back. Surviving in the desrt for a week wasn't that big of a deal. The preparation of the MH was something that was needed for any successful trip and not just for BM. Knowing every system of the MH and doing much of the work on it myself, my confidence level was very high. The failure of the alternator was very unexpected since it was fairly new. But, knowing the systems gave me to ability to find a solution and motor on to BM.

So did all the prep work pay off? Well yes and no. I spent countless hours and money preparing the MH and for the week in the desert. I asked lots of questions before hand and got very few answers. Like most things in life, one must figure out and experience the adventure on your own to answer those questions. Here is my advice to the first timers, prepare, prepare, prepare, take everything you can imagine to take. Then the second time you go, do about a quarter of the prep work and take only less then half of what you took the first time! LOL. I took a trailer's worth of crap and next time I will again tow the trailer but it will be loaded with half of what I brought this time! Bottom line is i way over prepped.

My ranch property is west of Redding Calif where we started from and we headed east out of Redding across the mountains through Alteras and Cedarville then headed south east into Nevada and to Black Rock Desert. it is constant climbing and downhill driving across Calif. After Cedarville it is mostly flat and becomes very typical desert like. The MH climbed the mountains well and I made sure to not over heat the brakes on the downhill legs. When we got out to the first desert areas beyond Cedarville, there was smoke in the air from the massive fires in Calif.

The entire trip to Black Rock Desert and "Black Rock City" on this route is only two lane highways. That and mountainess terrain through Calif made for a long drive to the desert. Once we arrived and got off the pavement and onto the playa, the amount of dust and the white outs were something that I don't think we were really prepared for, but we knew it was going to happen and it was just simply part of the adventure.

My partner and I were traveling in our MH and we were caravaning with a small group of about ten others in about 3 or 4 other RVs and cars. We were going with a long time friend and his wife and the friend and we were camping with a small "camp" of about 8 others. We got separated close to Black Rock City and after 2 and 1/2 hours driving and sitting in line to get to the city and about another hour and a half we found the camp site in the city. One thing to understand about BM is that no matter what the principles of BM are, when you put 50,000 people together it is going to represent a cross section of our "default" or currect society. You get people who believe they are in charge and can't wait to control others...jee just like the real world out there isn't it! I had indications weeks in advance that my partner and I were not really welcome in the camp we were going to stay with. This became very apparent the following morning. My long time friend moved his MH to another camp and my partner and I moved on to create our own camp. We searched around a bit and camped next door to our own people were we were completely accepted and this was one of the best decisions that I had made about BM. A big lesson learned here...no matter what anyone wants you to believe about the utopian society of BM, people are people and the real world is always represented at BM. People are control freaks at BM just like the real world. I hauled a 1000 extra pounds of water, bar, generator and firewood for this first camp without even being asked ahead of time to do so and hauled an extra body from home to Redding for the husband and wife "in charge". The last straw was when I was told to move my MH another two feet forward and to leave the 55 gallon water barrel on my trailer, well that was it, I moved on. For those who will understand what I'm about to say, you will agree that tolerance even today is really only a lot of lip service and even in Black Rock City where all prejudices should not exist, they still do! But, again, let me say this, we had an awesome time and we were well accepted by the folks around us at our new camp and we are definitely going back next year. Only change is that we will not camp with any camp and I will not haul anyone's supplies for them!!!

...to be continued!
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:25 AM   #722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair
Dean...
I am itching to know all about your trip...
How many people in your party... How did that number pan out and where did everyone sleep(I mean that in a general sense.. like how many slept inside), or did you use tents...How was the temperature... How did the awning system work... Any issues on the Playa surface... any issues with traction or getting stuck, or was there any clearnace issues with the rear overhang.. Any other larger motorhomes there....
Umm.... I better stop for now!
There were two of us in my MH. The 280 was fine for two for the week...only wish i had the 310 with the bedroom in the rear though! There were lots of tent camping at BM along with lots of TT and MHs. The real BM purists destain the RVing, but you know change is inevitable, get used to it! People also slept in cars. The temps were 93-59 or so. It was welcomed after spending many weeks at the ranch with temps over 100 degrees and lots of smoke from fires this summer. I only turned on the a/c twice not really because it was needed but to see how well it worked. My new Fantastic roof fans front and rear worked well. I also had a Fantastic floor fan which worked very well! The playa is flat so no issues what so ever with large motorhomes with overhangs. The dusty "gate" road getts a little washboardy on the way out after lots of vehicle use, but not any issue if driving the required 5 mph...its the assholes that speed on the dirt that mess it up...i did blow my air horn at one jerk on the way out that almost hit me! No issue with traction. There were many large MHs, mostly the 200-500k units...i did see at least one million dollar plus bus! Lots of rentals. Hundreds and hundreds of TTs. I saw about three older AS classics, a couple of newer classics with the new front end and a couple of fiberglass ASs. No one got stuck...not an issue at all. It is very flat out there! Dust was worse then probably any other year. Temps were not a problem, but you MUST be aware of dehydration. Beer and soda will dehydrate you! We drank lots of water and yes lots of beer! I never got any good answers about using the awning. I used mine and i left it out all the time. At the ran h we get very high winds. I always strap down the outer side and so did so at BM. When we moved camp, I got out my compass and made sure i parked with the windshield pointing north so that the sun was never really on the windshield and so that the door was pointing east...winds and dust come from the west. With the awning on the east side, it was never in danger from the wind! I dont really know how much my shade structure worked on the drivers side, but i know from my ranch property that anything i can do to keep the sun off the MH the better. The evaporation pond for the gray water worked well and we ended up with a full black tank and only a half to three quarters gray tank. My home made gen-turi worked great and i use my portable Yamaha 2000 generator for many many hours each day. I took extra water and gas. I had enough gas to get from BM back to the ranch property without stopping for gas.

Bring on the questions!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:29 AM   #723
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Great Info Dean!
Glad to hear that there are high end Motorhomes there... I kinda wondered if I would have felt out of place...
Awesome there was no overhang or traction issues too!
When I was in Europe and using my TT workamping, one of the things I made from some canvas, was a skirt that went around the bottom of the trailer to stop the wind blowing under the rig. I was thinking about the wind and dust and wondering if that was something work doing for BM or elsewhere for that matter..
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:32 AM   #724
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Thanks for the cool write-up about the trip and all you had done to get ready for it. Made me feel like part of the adventure. It also reminded me of a trip through the northern Sahara desert in VW Bus a few decades ago ... Dust, dust and more dust and the only way we were able to cool our drinking water was to wrap bottles in wet towels and hang it out the windows...
I think your Airstream deserves a BM plague for conquering that adventure.
1 question about the alternator fix you did by "jumping" the isolator. Would it not have been better to have jumped the coach/motor battery directly at the batteries, since the generator gets power from the motor battery?
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:56 AM   #725
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Originally Posted by dadstoy View Post
Hi Brad,

I don't believe that one is even close. Its too long. Send me the part number for the one you are showing me in the pic...I'll look to see if it is one of the one's i also thought it might be. I'm going to bet that you will not find the 343414 bottom hose anywhere on the planet. I simply lucked out because my dad had a new one in his spares...its probably 10 years old but never used and the rubber is in excellent condition. My parts guy and i even sat looking through every radiator hose book he had and we couldnt find either the bottom or top hoses. I did find a top hose that was almost an exact fit by cutting 4 inches off the thermostat housing end. I think i listed the part number in my thread somewhere...I'll look if you need that number. I have a pic of the 343414 hose on my laptop i believe, but I'm suffering from Burning Man withdrawels and i can't for the life of me find the laptop power cord! If worse comes to worse, i still have the old hose and can take another pic of it.

If you do find the 343414 hose somewhere, you will be the luckiest person on the planet...then PM me immediately so that I can get one too and I'll be the second most luckiest person LOL.
Here are the links to the two hoses that I found mentioned on another forum that were possibly correct. Guess not

Goodyear lower hose

Goodyear upper hose

I will say if I ever run across a stash of the hoses I'll certainly let you know

If you could post a picture of what the lower hose looks like that would certainly help. It would really suck to get the motorhome all back together and then find that I can't run it because of an obsolete radiator hose

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:12 PM   #726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler

Here are the links to the two hoses that I found mentioned on another forum that were possibly correct. Guess not

Goodyear lower hose

Goodyear upper hose

I will say if I ever run across a stash of the hoses I'll certainly let you know

If you could post a picture of what the lower hose looks like that would certainly help. It would really suck to get the motorhome all back together and then find that I can't run it because of an obsolete radiator hose

Thanks!

Brad
Brad,

I dont think those hoses are for the vertical radiator. The top hose i used is the Gates 22086 and I cut a few inches off the thermostat housing end for a proper fit.

I cant find a pic of the lower hose. I'll be heading up to the MH sometime next week to begin the massive cleaning job! I'll take pics of the bottom hose and I'll take some measurements for you.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:21 PM   #727
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Originally Posted by PeterH-87MH
Thanks for the cool write-up about the trip and all you had done to get ready for it. Made me feel like part of the adventure. It also reminded me of a trip through the northern Sahara desert in VW Bus a few decades ago ... Dust, dust and more dust and the only way we were able to cool our drinking water was to wrap bottles in wet towels and hang it out the windows...
I think your Airstream deserves a BM plague for conquering that adventure.
1 question about the alternator fix you did by "jumping" the isolator. Would it not have been better to have jumped the coach/motor battery directly at the batteries, since the generator gets power from the motor battery?
Yes, it would have been better to jump the batts right at the batteries. On the 280, the engine batt and the coach batts are under the floor right inside the door. Only problem is that i have no room down there to add another batt cable. And, the engine batt has side terminals so i couldn't hookup my extra cable to it. The isolator up front was easy to get to. Anytime I had to start the engine, I pushed the starter assist button so that I wouldn't burn up the much smaller wires coming off the isolator.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:26 PM   #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair
Great Info Dean!
Glad to hear that there are high end Motorhomes there... I kinda wondered if I would have felt out of place...
Awesome there was no overhang or traction issues too!
When I was in Europe and using my TT workamping, one of the things I made from some canvas, was a skirt that went around the bottom of the trailer to stop the wind blowing under the rig. I was thinking about the wind and dust and wondering if that was something work doing for BM or elsewhere for that matter..
I did see some TTs and MHs where they put up a skirt on the windward side. I might think about doing the same next year. I did see two 345s and one 350, so no issue with your overhang.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:15 PM   #729
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Prepping for Burning Man

I always seem to have a long list of things to do to the MH and prepping for BM was no different. I had to solve the starter problem and I believe changing the "extra" starting solenoid was the fix. A couple months back, I replaced the front roof fan and i got the rear fan changed also for BM. One thing I did was to tape up the windows to try to keep the dust out. I did lots of research on the right tape to use so as not to pull paint off when I removed the tape. I tried a few different tapes and settled on gaffers tape. However, in testing this tape also lifted the paint. Most of my window gaskets need replacing so I know I would get dust inside. So, I taped up the windows from the inside after putting the reflective insulation in each window.

I got a portable Fantastic 12 volt fan to use inside when the dust was blowing and we needed to close the door and close the roof fans. Before we left, I ran around the house looking for all the extra sheets I could find to cover the dash, seats, upholstery and the bed. I ended up not covering anything. I had spent so much time and effort fixing and prepping for the trip that I was just exhausted with it all. I saw right away that the MH was going to get dusty no matter what. But, next year i will cover whatever I can!

A couple of good lessons I learned as a virgin Burner is that I spent way too much time prepping. Its important to have the MH systems all functioning properly and to have all that is needed to survive the elements, but there is a limit. I also learned that you have to have everything prepped and ready to go before you leave. Dont plan on doing too much setup once you get to the playa. Once you arrive, the event grabs you and you wont do the setup work you thought you would. If you need to setup shelters and shade structures, make sure that it is simple and quick to do. You will want to engage in the event and not engage in setting up. You will also piss off your campmates if you spend too much time setting up!

I had bought some furnace filter material that I was going to put in the refrig hatch, water heater, etc., of course knowing that it would need to be removed from the water heater when it was to be lit. I didnt install the filters. Dust is everywhere, but it didnt affect the working of the systems. I will use the filters next time!

You just need to face the fact that dust will be everywhere...its part of the adventure and experience. I'll do what I can do to keep the dust out, but I won't go overboard. About half way through the week, I did get the vacuum out. I couldn't stand walking on the dust and rocks anymore! Of course the vacuum job didn't last long.

Next year we will take half of what we brought this first year. I will bring the extra water and gas though. The MH fresh water tank is 50 gallons and i brought an extra 40 gallons in 5 gallon jugs. It might be nice to trade the jugs for a 55 gal barrel and i would like to have a waste barrel as well. I would carry these on my trailer. I really didnt need the roof A/C this year so i didnt go through lots of MH gas to run the GenSet. However, I did run the portable 2000 watt generator for extended periods each day and probably used close to a gallon of gas a day. There are honey wagons and potable water trucks roaming around all week. I dont know what the cost of the water is but the pumpers get $60 for small trailers and MHs...pricey!

Anytime we were in or around the MH, I had the roof fans running in the out position. The new Fantastic fans worked great. One night I had them running with the rain sensor turned off. We went to bed about 2am and five minutes later it started to rain. I had to hop up and close the fans. After that I left the rain sensors on. Anytime we left the MH I would close the roof vents and close the door to help keep the dust out. One afternoon we were next door at a cocktail party and we had whiteouts for over an hour. I had forgotten to run back to the MH to close the vents...dust, dust and more dust!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #730
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Good reading, thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:58 PM   #731
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Burning Man

a few pics...
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:24 PM   #732
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Brad,

I dont think those hoses are for the vertical radiator. The top hose i used is the Gates 22086 and I cut a few inches off the thermostat housing end for a proper fit.

I cant find a pic of the lower hose. I'll be heading up to the MH sometime next week to begin the massive cleaning job! I'll take pics of the bottom hose and I'll take some measurements for you.
Very much appreciated

Great pictures from Burning Man, thanks for sharing!

Brad
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:58 PM   #733
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I flew into San Diego this afternoon in one of those aluminum tubes with wings. After hauling a trailer behind the MH to Burning Man with all the "extras" I decided to pare it down a bit...
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:00 PM   #734
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Good reading, thanks for sharing.
Your welcome!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:18 PM   #735
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Roof coating

I think I'll check this out...

https://www.dicorproducts.com/catalo...-roof-coating/
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #736
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Looks good, but whats the cost?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:45 PM   #737
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Somewhere in this forum there is a thread called "shell off headroom epiphany" that was started by someone called "dark speed". It was all about his very thorough rebuild of an old trailer. In it, I can recall him using a roof coating that I think consisted of tiny ceramic beads. I recall that he painted half of a 100 or 200 watt light bulb with the stuff, and was then actually able to hold it in the palm of his hand. Pretty impressive.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:09 PM   #738
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Somewhere in this forum there is a thread called "shell off headroom epiphany" that was started by someone called "dark speed". It was all about his very thorough rebuild of an old trailer. In it, I can recall him using a roof coating that I think consisted of tiny ceramic beads. I recall that he painted half of a 100 or 200 watt light bulb with the stuff, and was then actually able to hold it in the palm of his hand. Pretty impressive.
I will have to look for that thread. Over a year ago I painted the roof of my 20 foot enclosed trailer with Henry's 587. It can be 100 degrees out and I can still touch the roof! It has now been two summers and one winter for my test. I'm thinking of using it on the MH but just saw the Dicor product.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:11 PM   #739
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Looks good, but whats the cost?
$60 per gallon...Henry's 587 is about $30. Big difference!
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:18 PM   #740
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But it won't shine anymore?

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