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New awning fabric for our coach...

As its 11th birthday approaches our 2012 Nexus 24' Class C needed a replacement fabric for the electric awning. There were number of holes developing along the inside edge where it attaches to the coach and it was looking a little long in the tooth. We have been getting 5.5 years out of them and for a C that is used a lot in the Arizona sun that isn't too bad. I called Shade Pro as they had done a nice job on the last one. They are a little short staffed since the guy who handled the installs for central Arizona recently retired and there was one month backlog. The last time they came to our home in Tucson but this time I met their installer at the Walmart parking lot on the west side of Prescott. It was a 2 hour {very scenic } drive from Payson that added $75 in fuel for the round trip to the cost of the replacement. It took about 45 minutes and I watched as my bride shopped. The 16' replacement awning looks and operates great and we should be good to go for another 5+ years. The cost was $420 {OTD}. the installer recommended using 303 on a regular basis to extend the life of this one... and I will. :C
Desert Captain 06/21/23 11:42am Class C Motorhomes
Arizona highway update...

Many of the highways in Arizona did not fare well through last winter. I-17 and I-40 were particularly hard hit with conditions getting markedly worse the closer you got to Flagstaff. I just returned from brief trip up to Bearizona just outside of Williams and road conditions have dramatically improved. Driving north from Payson on 87 and 260 all the way down to I-17 major repairs have been completed. North on I-17 from the Verde Valley all the way to Flagstaff the ride was very smooth with virtually no potholes or other damage. Southbound I-17 from Flagstaff is still down to one lane for the first 20 miles as they wrap up some major repairs but it appeared they were nearing completion. I-40 from Flagstaff west to Williams was also completely repaired and smoother than I had ever seen. In addition to the dramatically improved roads I am happy to report that both upper and lower Lake Mary {south of Flagstaff} are filled to capacity. Given that just a year ago they were nearly bone dry the improvement is mind boggling. In addition Mormon Lake is actually looking like a lake again for the first time in a decade. Major repairs to the 260 west of Heber will continue but progress is being made. :C
Desert Captain 06/16/23 07:09pm Roads and Routes
RE: More fun in Arizona...

There are lots of openings off of the many loops so yes, you could probably get your fiver into a spot. That so many of the spots are permanently taken for the summer season could make finding a great spot a bit of a challenge. As to solar.... this area is heavily wooded but there were some areas that have open sun but you will find more shade than sunlight. Here are a few more shots to give you a better feel for the terrain... :C
Desert Captain 06/12/23 02:44pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
More fun in Arizona...

This topic has been moved to another forum. You can read it here: 30397081
Desert Captain 06/10/23 06:38pm General RVing Issues
More fun in Arizona...

I am always searching for a new spot to camp and just found a gem... Have probably driven by Horseshoe Cienega Lake {about 25 miles east oF Show Low on the 260} dozens of of times over the years but just never got around to stopping for a look. At just 120 miles east of our home it was nice ride up and over the Rim and east out through Pine Top and Lakeside. The campground sits at 8,200 feet in one of the most heavily wooded sections of the White Mountains. The primitive CG has 70+ sites scattered through 9 loops some overlooking the lake. They have water spigots and vault toilets/porta potties but no power. There is a small store at the lake and boats can be rented. This is all Apache Reservation land and camping is $9 a night. Most folks however come for the entire summer staking out choice sites at the beginning of the season and then leaving their RV on site returning for the weekends and holidays. I was told $250 will cover the entire summer but cannot confirm. Probably 60 - 70 percent of the "sites" {they typically have a rock fire ring and some have a picnic tables} are occupied by the full time summer crowd so finding a nice site can be a challenge... arrive early in the week for the best selection. As you can see this place is awesome... :B
Desert Captain 06/10/23 06:38pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Camping World or not?

When you drive off of the lot with your new RV {any RV} you are leaving 30 to 35 percent of the purchase price in the rear view mirror... never to be seen again. As noted shop for low mileage/use models and you can immediately save that 30-35 percent. Also in some states {Arizona being one} there is no sales tax on private party sales which saves you another 8 - 9 percent on top of the depreciation. Quite often folks buy the wrong RV at least a couple of times before getting the right combination. Each Time they trade one for something different they are losing a ton of money. The good news is this puts a lot of potential clean, lightly used models out there at bargain prices compared to new. Buying new to get a warranty rarely works out and will cost you a bunch of money. Many believe that dealers make as much if not more selling warranties as RV's. Set up a repair fund to cover the costs of unexpected repairs. You now have complete control over who, where and when your RV gets repaired. Some dealers only honor the warranty if they do the work which can be problematic when you are down the road someplace. If the dealer cannot get the requisite parts you are stuck at their facility and probably with the lowest of priorities {Lots of horror stories on theses Forums about folks in that situation}. I'm not picking on Camping World as just about all RV dealers have the same business model. :B
Desert Captain 06/04/23 12:23pm Camping World RV Sales
Roosevelt Lake {NE of Phoenix} is full...

As the runoff from last winter continues to flow Roosevelt Lake has quickly filled to capacity for the first time in more than a decade. Local TV coverage last week showed the lake not only to be full but they were releasing huge torrents of water downstream to Apache lake. Here are a couple of pics: We stopped at Bermuda Flat on our way home and frankly it is completely flooded with just a small area open for day use only. Last fall we camped right on the beach with a crowd of like minded folks but it will be quite a while before it is open for camping again. The water has already warmed up to the upper 70's and will soon be 80+. Here is a shot of the entrance road to Bermuda Flat: Last fall Bermuda Flat stretched for nearly a mile and was 200+ yards wide. Here is a shot of just a small poprtion of the camping area. Note how far out folks back their trailers to launch. :S This entire area is now under about 20' of water and Rosevelt Lake has extended to its full 26+ mile length. Hundreds of campsites are high and dry and probably filled completely with the Memorial Day weekend. We will be back soon {after the holiday } as it is only 39 miles from home to the dam. :B
Desert Captain 05/26/23 01:22pm General RVing Issues
RE: Condition of AZ 260

Just drove the 260 from Payson to Heber and returned through Show Low last week. Much of that stretch of 260 is trashed with lots of potholes and long stretches of damaged asphalt. Just west of Heber they had it shut down to one lane in an attempt to make substantive repairs. They probably have finished that stretch but expect delays/single lanes as there is a lot of work that needs to be done especially with what looks to be a severe monsoon this year due in about a month. :C
Desert Captain 05/24/23 03:15pm Roads and Routes
RE: I-40 Holbrook to Albuquerque et al...

Desert Captain, have you ever taken US60 (and a little US54) to Santa Rosa then north to Angel Fire? A lot of 2 lane, but that is what we prefer when we tow our 5th wheel. Never took that route, always go I-25 to the Santa Fe relief loop and up and over the pass from Taos to AF. That's all nice country and I have logged a lot of miles up there on my motorcycles over the years. Our friends have a big house so some times we just drive the truck and stay in their guest room but he put in an RV pad {complete with 30 amps} so leaving the Class C and bike trailer is always an option if we want to go exploring. Over the last 7 years we have been to AF 22 times. He has 2.5 acres at 9,000', here is a shot of the rig sitting in our favorite RV site: Here is a shot of the house: :B
Desert Captain 05/19/23 10:00am Roads and Routes
I-40 Holbrook to Albuquerque et al...

Just returned from a quick {4 day 3 night} trip to visit friends in Angel Fire New Mexico. There has been a lot of discussion/speculation regarding Arizona highways lately so here is what I found: We went north out of Payson and the 260 is a mess all the way to Heber. Lots of potholes and ravaged asphalt. Just west of Heber expect a 10 - 15 delay as it is down to one lane and will be for a while. North to Holbrook from Heber was all decent and when we got on eastbound I-40 life was good once again. I-40 has some of the heaviest commercial truck traffic in the country but the interstate is by in large as smooth as a babies backside. Lots of fresh paving and great maintenance even through Gallup which has always been problematic. It does drop down to one lane west of Grants for several miles but other than that it is a smooth cruise all the way to Albuquerque. North on I-25 out of Albuquerques is also in excellent condition. We took the Santa Fe relief route {599} and skirted northeast to Taos and up and over the pass {64} on into Angel Fire {check the Durango to Angel Fire thread for the latest including some pics}. The trip was just a little over 1,000 miles total and since we were in my Honda Ridgeline made great time running with the trucks at 80 {+/-} on the interstates. Gas was all over the map for price but in Espanola we filled up for $3.18 and averaged 24 -26 mpg throughout the trip which involves a lot of climbing. Most of the run is well above 6,000' with numerous 6 - 8 and even 9,000' passes to negotiate. Looks like they are getting serious about recovering our highways from the ravages of what was a serious winter. :C
Desert Captain 05/18/23 11:03am Roads and Routes
RE: Durango to Angel Fire

Another update... Just returned from a 4 day run up to visit our friends in Angel Fire. The major renovation/improvement of the 64 east from the top the grade down to Ange Fire is underway in a big way. They have linked traffic lights installed at the top and bottom of the grade along with the use of a pilot Car through what constitutes the construction zone. Going in we hit it lucky and waited about 20 seconds at the top the grade for the next batch to descend but leaving we sat for 18 minutes waiting for the Pilot Car to escort us up and over the pass. Iironically the bad news {being the extensive work in progress} also has a a bit of good news... Getting back to the OP {with a 60ish' rig } you could probably easily make the descent without having to breack your toad. As you can see from the pics the orange barrels are placed about 3' into what was once the original lane making the one and only remaining lane that much wider. Add in the fact that there can be no oncoming traffic and even while the work continues the road is actually more passable {albeit with potential wait of zero to 20+ minutes}. The other bad news is this is a very large/ambitious project that is likely to last into the end of the year but... given how early and the vengeance with which winter is likely to hit this 9,000'+ pass completion much before spring of 2024 is a very real possibility. Here are a few pics... Waiting for the pilot car and the requisite green light 0700 this morning: Pushing the mountain back for the lane expansion: Another shot: :C
Desert Captain 05/17/23 08:02pm Roads and Routes
RE: Durango to Angel Fire

I will be driving to Angel Fire next week and just got a call from my friend who lives there. They have commenced major renovation of the 64 from the top of the pass down into AF... that is the good news and when it is complete the road will have been substantially widened making for an easier/safer trip. The bad news is that it is now down to one lane led by a pilot car due to the massive amount of trees, boulders and debris they are having to remove and then comes new paving. Reportedly you can expect to sit for 20 to 30minutes traveling either direction. You can skip the construction zone by going north through Taos and up to Questa and taking 38 east through Red River and then down to the 64 at Eagle Nest and on into AF. This will add about an hour but if you prefer to keep moving it is a gorgeous drive through the northern section of the "Enchanted Circle". If you go through Red River consider a stop at Shotgun Willies for their smoked Brisket breakfast burrito smothered in warm Hatch green chili sauce. Looking forward to another visit next week. Also the Red River brewery is awesome and both are right on the main street on the south side -west end of town. :C
Desert Captain 05/12/23 01:46pm Roads and Routes
RE: Durango to Angel Fire

OP, I have driven the Taos to Angel Fire stretch of 64 dozens of times in all sorts of weather {we he have friends who have a beautiful home in AF and we visit several times a year}. I am guessing your rig is easily 60'. Do everyone a favor and disconnect your Tahoe Toad at the top of the grade {there is plenty of room to do so in a large parking area on your left} and have someone else drive it separately before starting your final descent down into Angel Fire. The last few miles after you top out and start your descent into AF are VERY tight/twisty and it will be impossible to keep 60' of rig in your narrow single lane. Anyone coming up and out of AF that encounters you coming down will be screwed if you are a single foot over the double yellow {there is no, zip, nada shoulder for most off the descent}. As the descending vehicle you will NOT have the right of way and would have to back up {which we all know is virtually impossibl with the Toad connected} until the ascending vehicle can gain clearance and you can get your rig back in your lane. Double yellow lines are inviolate. I have encountered rigs much smaller than the OP's 2- 4'over the double yellow several times. When I was on my motorcycle I got by OK but climbing out of AF in our 24' Class C towing a 10 cargo trailer {37' overall} it was a whole different event as I needed ALL of my lane. You will see lots of very large rigs in the Angel Fire RV Resort {a very nice facility BTW} but I can assure you a lot of them were way over the double yellow coming down and just got very lucky. :S
Desert Captain 05/05/23 12:52pm Roads and Routes
RE: Arizona, lots of great routes... roads, not so much

The former Giant, now Speedway is the one on 260 about half a mile east from the 87. It is always packed on Friday - Sunday with folks coming and going to/from the Rim. If I need to dump I just wait until Tuesday morning {when it is usually deserted} and make the long {half a mile} drive from my driveway which is way too convenient. They always seem to have the best price on propane as well, paid $2.50 gallon recently. Nothing will be open until mid May up on the Rim so it gets even more business this time of year. :C
Desert Captain 05/04/23 08:58am Roads and Routes
RE: Arizona, lots of great routes... roads, not so much

There is a dump station on the outside of the Home Depot parking lot at the gas station but.., It is poorly designed and on a steep slope and most rigs will drag if not get hung up altogether. About a mile or two south on the 260 is a better gas station/triple hole dump station that is level… I use it often as it is one mile from my driveway. Local knowledge is a wonderful thing. ??
Desert Captain 05/03/23 09:22pm Roads and Routes
RE: Arizona, lots of great routes... roads, not so much

I rode through the Houston Mesa CG today and it is open. Was surprised to see both the dump station and the showers posted as "Closed for the season" which makes no sense after the CG being closed for months. :h The Elks facility gets a lot of traffic year round and will be full for the upcoming Rodeo in mid May. :C
Desert Captain 05/03/23 07:14pm Roads and Routes
RE: Arizona, lots of great routes... roads, not so much

Desert Captain, we'll be in Payson in early June, then we travel to Prescott for the big rodeo. Sure hope they have 87 around Strawberry fixed by late June. Do they have a timetable for repairs? Don't know what the timetable for all of these repairs will be. The local Phoenix stations have been covering the story and I will update any news I happen to see. Where do you stay in Payson? Houston Mesa CG has been closed for upgrades/repairs last winter but they should be open soon if not already. I will make one of my biweekly pilgrimages to Home Depot soon and will check out HM for you. The weather here is awesome as spring as sprung big time! My lawn looks like a golf course and the garden is going crazy... should be a great summer. Here is a shot I took yesterday, the garden {20 X 20 with 7.5' high Elk fencing} is behind the coach. I've got Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, apples and pears along with some tomatoes and all are roaring: :B
Desert Captain 05/02/23 01:52pm Roads and Routes
RE: Arizona, lots of great routes... roads, not so much

Don't know for sure about Lake Mary Road but to get there we would have to have driven 87 north of Strawberry and it is reportedly trashed. Last winter really did a number on most of the roads especially the higher elevations though as noted I-10 was a PITA as well. :E
Desert Captain 05/01/23 12:50pm Roads and Routes
Arizona, lots of great routes... roads, not so much

Just returned from a 4 day trip from our home in Payson out to the Colorado River. We stayed in Lake Havasu City at the Havasu Falls RV park in anticipation of riding our bike up to the Bike Week festivities in Bullhead City. The direct route would have been to go north on 87 {aka the Beeline highway} up to Flagstaff and then west on I-40. Fortunately several folks from the Forum warned us off of that route due to the severe road conditions. We spoke with a number of folks who confirmed the carnage found on I-40 and I-17. The Beeline north of Strawberry is shredded and the closer you get to Flagstaff the worse I-17 and I-40 get. The potholes are so bad and numerous that it makes avoiding them a daunting task to say the least. We elected total the longer ropute down 87 toPhoenix and took I-10 west to Quartzsite and the north on the 95 to and through Parker and on in to Lake Havasu. Sadly, I-10 {both west and eastbound} was problematic often though usually for short stretches but 87 was fine from Payson to Phoenix. Sometimes I could move over to the left lane briefly to dodge the worst of the damaged pavement but given the heavy traffic always found I-10 this was far from a always workable solution. When we got homeI discovered that I had lost the wheel cover off of the passenger side dually, obviously swallowed by one of the many potholes that caught up with us. Ironically when we rode the old original stretch of Route 66 between Topock and Oatman the road was in excellent shape with not a pothole to be found. :S I hope repairs can be made soon but given the shear size of the problem I'm not optimistic. Be careful out there folks.
Desert Captain 05/01/23 08:30am Roads and Routes
RE: Travel Assist Insurance

I have it, not for the medical but for the return vehicle coverage. They say they will cover travel cost if something happens to me and a family member needs to come to me to bring my RV home or they will send a driver if I don't have someone. Difference is if I have someone, I can travel with them. If they supply a driver I can't travel with them. If we are discussing Good Sam travel Assist {which I have had for a number of years} it is NOT insurance. It is merely a contract where they promise to provide services to get your rig, family, pets etc. back home if you have an emergency out on the road and are unable to do so. Read their terms and conditions carefully and know what to do if it is needed. The number one rule is DO NOT attempt to find someone on your own to drive your rig home {or provide another service}. You MUST contact Good Sam first and let them make the arrangements or they will deny any reimbursement. Make sure your significant other is clear on this as in an emergency the natural reaction is to reach out to anyone who might be of assistance and if you do so you are on your own. We have Good Sam travel Assist as we usually are towing our motorcycle, Can Am or Rzr and know that "stuff happens" and even a minor accident could render incapable of driving us home. For about $100 a year it is for us at least, money well spent and hopefully never needed but... I canceled a reservation at great CG that is hard to get into a couple years ago as I was recovering from kidney stone. While I really wanted to go my body had been through a lot including 4 days in the hospital, so elected to stay home... and in so doing dodged a large bullet. Totally unrelated to the kidney stone event 36 hours later I suffered catastrophic liver and gall bladder failure that necessitated a rush trip the ER {when I arrived my BP was 225/115 and it took 4 hours just to get me stable and I nearly stroked out}. Two surgical procedures later {I no longer have a gall bladder} a $5000 2 hour ambulance ride from Payson down to Phoenix and a week in the hospital I was finally able to return home and begin my recuperation. Fortunately the VA covered all of the medical bills which totaled more than $126,000 after both events. The point being we were scheduled to arrive at the CG at 1:00 and I went critical at 5. Had we been in the CG help would have been hours away {poor to no cell coverage} and my bride would have been stuck with our Class C, cargo trailer and bike and no way to get them much less herself home. By canceling, and a good dose of dumb luck we avoided a bad situation quickly getting much worse but had the worst happened at least the travel Assist was in place. Like they taught me in the Boy scouts... Be prepared {it'snot a bad thing}. :S
Desert Captain 04/19/23 10:35am Fifth-Wheels
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