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RE: Pet Peeves long road trip

I could not agree more with Gary, thanks for sharing. When you ride a motorcycle, a lot, you either learn to be a very proactively defensive rider/driver or dramatically increase your chances of never coming home. I ride about 12,000 miles a year on my bike all over the southwest and the lessons learned riding {and taking classes on how to do it better} carry over every time I get on the road no matter what I am driving/riding. Be safe out there folks... :C
Desert Captain 07/12/20 07:34pm General RVing Issues
RE: Celebrating our 50th anniversary...

Thank you one and all for your kind thoughts and good wishes, they are much appreciated. In 50 years my bride has been asked about a thousand times how she puts up with me. For some strange reason I Ihave never been asked how I put up with her... Hmmm, I wonder why that is??? :h :B
Desert Captain 07/12/20 07:28pm General RVing Issues
Celebrating our 50th anniversary...

A week from today will be our 50th anniversary and I am still trying to wrap my head around where those years went. :h We had originally planned a gourmet feast for 25 of our closest friends and relatives at our old yacht club in San Diego but we had to cancel due to the Covid crisis. We have been in the self isolation mode at our home here in Tucson for 4 months but managed a 19 day trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks last month in our 24' class C towing the 10' cargo trailer hauling my Indian Springfield motorcycle. Had no problem social distancing and got in some awesome bike rides throughout Yellowstone and GT. Summer has arrived with a vengeance here in southern Arizona was we have been experiencing record high temps with the overdue Monsoon failing to materialize. Last night it came roaring down off of Mt Lemon around 8 and we had 2.5 hours of howling winds, rain and a bunch of lightning... Hooray! Tomorrow I'll retrieve the C and trailer from the storage yard to load and prep for our next adventure. Beating the usual heat {much less the obscene numbers we are seeing this year - suppose to be 114/5 today} of the Tucson summer simply involves fleeing up to the White Mountains, a 4 hour drive, for the requisite elevation of 6,000' to 9,000'. Tuesday through Friday we are booked into the Heber RV Park about 20 miles west of Show low at something north of 6,000'. It will be our first visit and it looks to be a very nice park. Saturday morning we will head east out past the Sunrise Ski Resort and settle in at the Rainbow campground at Big lake at a nice cool 9,000+' for 4 days and nights. Yes, reservations are must especially this year as the mountains are flooded with folks from Phoenix and Tucson escaping the heat. We will, head out on the Indian every morning for a nice cool mountain ride on some fine bike roads culminating in celebrating our anniversary next Sunday by reriding the Devils Highway. Currently badged as AZ 191 it used to be 666 but folks kept stealing the sign{seriously} so AZ redesignated it 191. The 95 miles between Clifton and Springerville reportedly has over 1,100 curves and is spectacular beyond words. Regarded by most bikers as the finest motorcycle road in north America it definitely makes everyone's top 10. This seems like a fitting way to celebrate 50 incredible years together {FTR I will be 69 in November with my bride turning 70}. We do the Rainbow CG a couple of times every summer but this trip should be something extra special. The weather looks great with highs in the low 80's -lows in the low 60's and thunderstorm forecast for every afternoon. I'll follow with a full report and pics when we return. Here is a shot of our rig taken couple of years ago at Buckskin Mountain SP on the Colorado River: :B
Desert Captain 07/12/20 10:08am General RVing Issues
RE: Good truck for towing

Whatever you buy watch the payload. Ram's are notorious for having extremely light payload as the crew cab and 4 X 4 add a lot of weight. I'm guessing your 5,600# dry weight trailer will have a GVWR of around at least 7,000# and you will likely load to close to that. If so you will have a proper tongue weight {13 percent} of 910# + another 100# for the weight distribution hitch which comes to 1000+# before you load anyone or any thing into the truck. A 1500 will do it depending on where you travel but it will need at least 1500# of payload and I have seen some Ram 1500's with less than 1,000. Keep in mind that 30' of TT is a lot to ask of a half ton truck when the wind blows and/or in the mountains. Good luck. :C
Desert Captain 07/12/20 09:33am Tow Vehicles
RE: Pet Peeves long road trip

I usually am towing my 6 X 10' cargo trailer {8' tall} behind my 24' Class C and you would not believe how many times some chucklehead fails to note the presence of my trailer as they merge or change lanes. As soon as the coach goes by they start to jam into my lane which is currently full of cargo trailer. I try and watch for these idiots and anticipate but have still come very close to disaster more than once. :M
Desert Captain 07/12/20 08:38am General RVing Issues
RE: Portable Jump Starter

Battery manufacturers do not build to "obsolescence" so I really do not understand how that "dealer" could spout that. No where did I say that battery builders build to obsolescence. Re read my post please. They build batteries knowing that most will have a working life of 3 - 5 years and few warranty anything more than a prorate after the first year or two. How they are used in the real world varies greatly and that affects the working life. They build the battery to PROVIDE a certain amount of energy and YOU pay for the "warranty period" buy paying a "premium price" from that brand (in your case Trojan and they are not known for low cost batteries because they warranty the batteries for a longer period than most). Yep, see my comment above... 3 - 5 years is about all they expect the average consumer to get. Bring your "Arizona" battery up north for summer and winter time.. You think Arizona heat is hard on batteries, try on some summer heat of upper 90's then plunge below zero for winter for weeks on end. Like I said weather is a factor, no disagreement that your climate is tough on batteries. I have started my 1995 LTD with 187,000 miles up in Angel Fire when it was 14 degrees below zero and at 115 back home. If all you get is 3 yrs out of a starting battery, there IS something wrong with your vehicles or how you use them. If that were true, and it is not, why does almost every new car manufacturer recommend/require that the battery be replaced in or will no longer warranty it after 3 years? My 2019 Honda Ridgeline sat in the AZ sun for about a year before I took delivery and the battery crapped out in 4 days. The manager of the dealership along with a couple of service advisors all agreed that this was not unusual due to the heat they are subjected to here in southern Arizona. My DW has a very short commute, 11 miles round trip, THAT is hard on batteries, vehicle NEVER really gets the battery fully charged after each start. Even then, typically am able to get 5-6yrs out of the batteries in her vehicle. They are consistently under charged. You really need 30 minutes of driving at moderate speeds to put back the energy that was pulled when you started the vehicle. Short trips, stop and go traffic and use of a lot of accessories can easily prevent your vehicle from fully recharging the battery. Like I said the life of any battery is largely contingent on how it is used and/or abused along with weather which we also agree with. All of my starting batteries {I own 5 vehicles} get checked on a regular basis and I have never had one show anything but fully charged until they moved into the 4th or 5th year. Contrast that to my commute of an hr each way, the worst battery life I have gotten out of vehicle batteries has been 9 yrs, the best has been 13 yrs! And yes, I drive and keep vehicles for a long time, the highest mileage one was 240,000 miles and 16 yrs old when I sold it, it had exactly ONE battery replacement. By the way, that 13 yrs WAS with the ORIGINAL OEM battery! If you want to say so it is OK with me but in your original post you make the blanket statement that everyone should get 9-10 years out of their starting batteries and that is absurd. Then you tell me that 3 - 5 years from a starting battery indicates there is something wrong with my electrical system which is also absurd. My post is intended for the benefit of those folks out there that don't know any better. The life you get out any battery highly depends on the depth of discharge and how fast you FULLY recharge it, not so much with brand name or just how much you paid for that brand name. In other words, if you care for it, it will treat you with a long life. Now you are confusing deep cycle batteries with starting batteries which are two totally different animals with distinctly different functions. Starting batteries use a relatively small amount of energy for an extremely brief period of time. They are designed to do this over and over again. You do not need to drive 30 minutes to replace the energy expended in a simple start, the truth is about 5 minutes or less will easily do that unless there is something seriously wrong with your vehicle. You can pull a starting battery down flat and 30 minutes of driving will replace the bulk of that expenditure but... sadly a starting battery will only survive this sort of abuse 2 or perhaps 3 times and then it is toast. Abuse the battery and it treats you to a very short life. Once again we agree but you need to keep your expectations in the real world recognizing that there are a host of factors in play. As always... opinions and YMMV :)
Desert Captain 07/11/20 05:22pm General RVing Issues
RE: Portable Jump Starter

"Batteries are a wear item, typically should be able to get 8-10 yrs then replace them." I used to sell a lot of batteries {starting and deep cycle} as the marine chandlery I worked in was a Trojan dealer. The Trojan rep assured me that the planned obsolescence of any battery is 3 years... yes lots of folks do better depending on use and maintenance not to mention weather {our southern Arizona sun can kill just about any battery in 3 years or less. When the local auto shop sells you a 5, 7 or more year battery that is the same 3 year battery sitting next to it on the shelf but just with a much higher price. Battery manufacturers know that the average owner of a vehicle turns it every 3 - 5 years and chances are they will never have to prorate much less replace it. At three years I start watching it closely and know that before 5 it will need to be replaced. Some folks keep tires for 8 - 10 years but in both cases you are inviting a problem and Mr. Murphy is not your friend. As always... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 07/11/20 01:36pm General RVing Issues
RE: My black tank valve is stuck. Easy lube fix?

You don't say how old your coach is but when mine began to get difficult to smoothly operate after about 5 years so I just replaced the entire valve setup. The handle on the grey tank valve was developing a crack so figured better to do it at home with all my tools available and no pressure. I believe folks refer to this sort of thing as "Preventative Maintenance". I ordered the replacement valve assembly off of Amazon {about $40 a couple of years ago} and had it in 2 days... probably would not be that simple out on the road. It took about an hour and half to pull the old one and install the new. Tip of the day: start with a clean and empty pair of tanks. :S Spraying on lube or greasing up the exposed portion of the shafts is basically a bandaid solution once they start to stick. Better to get it done right and know that it will never be a problem during a trip. Worked for me... :C
Desert Captain 07/09/20 03:34pm Tech Issues
RE: New Mexico 'Quarantine" Requirements

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure......if everyone would cooperate we would have a lot less cases. People with the attitude of that person above are a big part of the problem. X10 Ah yes... "Denial" - Not just a river in Egypt. :S
Desert Captain 07/09/20 10:20am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Blow-out ...

Don't forget a pair of jack stands {or at least one} unless you are willing to bet your life and limbs on your jack and the surface it sits on. :C Over the years I have changed a lot of tires, on many vehicles. Other using some jacks with some vehicles, I have never had to get under to change a tire. And doing a lot of other work, I have set many vehicles on stands. Could never do that without at least reaching under the vehicle. IMHO, for a tire change, a stand increases not reduces the danger. They are also known as safety stands for the folks who don't know jack... :B You assume everyone has a tandem axle trailer and I can assure you those of us with a single axle trailer need to use one for obvious reasons. A tandem axle trailer has the support of the non flat tire, true that but... You still need to jack the trailer up about 4 - 6" just to be able get the spare back on and if that jack fails you could end up with the nick name "lefty". I can shove my jack/safety stand under the frame without crawling under, a piece of 2 X 6" works fine for that. If the ground gives or the jack fails the frame rests securely on the stand. I'm not a fan of using leveling jacks to lift any trailer but that is just me... they are not engineered/designed to do it but will in a pinch... which is what you just might get if something goes south. When you get free advice {most of what you find here on the Forum} you do indeed get what you paid for so take or leave it. :C
Desert Captain 07/06/20 05:31pm Towing
RE: Blow-out ...

Good advice. I always put full pressure in my tires btw, never had them explode or run hot on my TT. Only other thing to add is make sure if you need a jack , its the proper size, and leveles can be a lifesaver, not all flats are on level ground! Stay safe. Don't forget a pair of jack stands {or at least one} unless you are willing to bet your life and limbs on your jack and the surface it sits on. :C
Desert Captain 07/06/20 12:50pm Towing
RE: buy from dealer or private seller

Another consideration/tactic that works well when buying from a dealer... Find what you are looking for and walk in ready to make the deal on the last day of the month. The larger the dealer the better this works. Explain to the sales manager that you are: A. ready, willing and able to do a deal that day and B. reasonably certain he has already made his nut for the month and that any unit they sell before the close of business will generate cash straight from the corporate office. In most cases they will move heaven and earth to get you closed by the end of the business day. I have used this technique three times {once buying my lightly used coach from La Mesa RV, once when buying a new Indian motorcycle that was the last 2017 in their 84,000 square foot facility and most recently when I bought my 2019 Honda Ridgeline last July31st}. In all three transactions the sales manager admitted I was correct and that yes, he was seriously motivated to make a deal that day. When I bought the bike and the Honda I was prepared to pay cash and told them so but with a Fico score of 840 they were very excited about financing me in-house as that probably added another $500 to their bottom line. I returned in 48 hours and paid off both loans incurring 2 days of interest expense to save hundreds. Salesmen aren't the only ones out there who can be devious. :W
Desert Captain 07/06/20 12:34pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: New Mexico 'Quarantine" Requirements

Can't blame New Mexico for their restrictions. They got burned early on and had to completely shut down Gallup for a couple of weeks. The Navajo populations has been devastated adding to the NM misery. Still they are doing far better than most of the neighboring states and there is a reason for that... they clamped down early and have held firm. I wish my home state of Arizona had done the same as we are now one of the major hotspots nationwide. :S
Desert Captain 07/04/20 12:50pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Motorcycle Towing

I have seen motorcycle carriers that attach to a hitch. Can you attach a motorcycle carrier to the back of Travel Trailer hitch to support a 600 lb motorcycle? IMHO: The short answer is no. Few if any trailers will have a robust enough rear bumper to support 600#. If you beef the bumper up you might be able to add a small bike/scooter but keep in mind that the rear bumper is the worst possible place to add weight. That much additional weight all the way back is a sure recipe for sway and the lever action takes the physics in entirely the wrong direction. What is your tow vehicle? Any way you could load the bike in the back assuming it is a truck with sufficient payload? There are some toy hauler models out there that can handle 600+# but it sounds like you already have the trailer. Good luck. :C
Desert Captain 07/01/20 02:16pm Travel Trailers
RE: Driving in windy conditions

"If "your rig handles badly in 16 mph there's something seriously wrong somewhere but I doubt you will have any issues, :C Thanks, this is what I am looking for. I can't visualize winds of different speeds. I feel better now about the trip. You're welcome... As a former/retired professional boat captain I used to routinely bet my life on being able to judge the weather in general and specifically wind speeds. When in doubt as to the conditions you will encounter remember this old boat Captain's mantra... The only weather you can control is the weather you choose to leave in" It took me three times of not following that sage advice, nearly got myself seriously dead all three times, before it finally sank in. :S :B
Desert Captain 06/30/20 11:18am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Driving in windy conditions

"If "your rig handles badly in 16 mph there's something seriously wrong somewhere but I doubt you will have any issues, if you do... Start by checking the inflation of all of your tires relative to the load they are actually carrying - not per the door sticker or the max psi on the sidewalls. When it gets 25 - 35 I have to start paying a little more attention and when I start getting 50 mph gusts it is time to call it a day. My 24' Class C is about as boxy as they come and I usually am towing an 8' tall 6 X 10' cargo trailer as well. Three weeks ago while on our way to Yellowstone we encountered 35 gusting to 45 out of the southwest between Casper and Shoshoni Wyoming {we were headed northwest} putting the wind right on the beam of our rig. After and hour of this I pulled off at a rest stop and it was all I could do to get my door open into the wind. Took a break for 15 minutes and then got back out on the road and while it was not fun it was doable. After another hour we made it to Shoshoni and put the wind behind us, end of problem. :C
Desert Captain 06/30/20 10:41am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Small Class C with out tow car

"One concern I do have with us taking our small Class C around to visit places is having to leave it parked too much off-level for long periods with it's absorption refrigerator turned on. " Anytime we park the coach with the frig on I always check to see just how level we are. If it is even close to not being level enough I just turn it off. If you leave the door closed and don't let the coach heat up too much by opening a vent/windows or even running the fan the interior temp of the frig will change very little if any. You just have to remember to turn it back on when you return. Between my bride and I we manage to remember to turn it off and back on every time we refuel so this ritual is not a problem. :C
Desert Captain 06/30/20 07:54am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help with Yellowstone and Tetons

When we were there a couple of weeks ago all of the RV Parks/hook up sites in the park were closed due to Covid -19. We did see some campgrounds inside the park that were open but they appeared to be strictly off the grid. Everyday we were there the lines seemed to get longer at the entrances. By the time we left on day 6 the back up at the south entrance was looking like an hour or more as people kept streaming north to the park from Grand Teton. I cannot imagine what Yellowstone looks like in July and August and I can assure you I will never find out. :S
Desert Captain 06/27/20 10:54am Roads and Routes
RE: buy from dealer or private seller

"And FYI, if you live in the County, sales tax is only around %5.4, there is no smog on your vehicle, and insurance and registration are cheaper." Our home is about 200 yards north of the Pima {Tucson} Pinal county line. With Pinal being the large in area smallish in population county that it is we have no, zip, nada smog testing on any vehicles registered in Pinal county. You do have to sign a statement that you are not commuting for employment or education into Pima county... which is no problem for this old retired guy. :B Our property taxes are lower than most Arizona counties, utilities are far lower not to mention insurance, be it vehicular or property. The non profit electrical co-op that supplies our electricity even sends us a check once a year equal to the profit they made divided by the number of customers they have, it usually runs around $68. Not many places where you encounter that sort of perk. :C
Desert Captain 06/26/20 12:02pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: buy from dealer or private seller

Sorry Doug. You are incorrect. In Arizona, there is no tax when you register a privately bought vehicle, be it a motorcycle, or a million dollar motorhome Yes, registration is expensive....As Desert Captain mentioned, but no, no sales tax Well you did not read and understand my post. I STATED there is no sales tax. What I posted is HOW Arizona GETS its money. People like you have no comprehension of how insidious the Gov is. Just because they state no sales tax and they think how much better Arizona is. THEY GET THEIR POUND OF FLESH---ALWAYS. They just call it something else and some people have no clue. It still come out of YOUR pocket. And goes to the Government. Doug PS, Texas has NO state income tax. BUT, Texans pay a higher property tax, but not as bad as a State Income tax. And what I listed is straight from your State website Do you pay sales tax buying car private seller in Arizona? Yes, you will pay tax on the purchase of the used car. However, you do not pay tax to the private owner at the time of the sale. You pay tax to the DMV when you transfer the title and register the vehicle. " Registration fees and sales tax are two totally different fees. When I bought my neighbors 1995 LTD for $2,500 sales tax {if purchased from a dealer vs a private party} would have been $200. I registered it for $26. When I bought my 2017 Rzr for $8,400 the tax would have been $672 but I registered it for less than $100. Registration fees in Arizona, like many states, are based upon the value of the vehicle sold along with other factors like the vehicle classification. Every state has differing tax laws... Some have no state income or sales tax but get you with higher property taxes, some don't tax retirement income but one way or the other some states have definite advantages, especially for us folks of the retired persuasion. :C
Desert Captain 06/25/20 02:23pm Class A Motorhomes
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