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RE: double trailers

No it's not called triple tow as it relates to RVs. It's only called triple towing by those who don't know any better. Many of the RV websites are included in that list of those who don't know any better. Those sites are compiled by people who have no legal training and no knowledge of the law. They interject their opinions. By legal definition what you are discussing is double tow. That is the way it is defined by Fed DOT and state statutes. If you call any state police or DOT and ask about triple towing they will assume you are talking about pulling 3 trailers which is legal in some states. If you want the correct information you have to learn the correct terminology. Towing 2 trailers in whatever configuration is double towing, not triple towing. Most states that allow double towing only allow the first to be a 5th wheel. What is allowed for the 2nd trailer varies by state. For example, in IL the only allowed 2nd trailer is boat, ATV, motorcycle or personal watercraft. You also need to check overall allowed length as it varies greatly by state. Each state sets their own overall length law. One state may grant 70 ft, another 60 ft. It doesn't matter where you're registered or what your home state allows. You have to comply with the state law in which you are traveling. "Technically" your truck is not a "tractor". It's a tow vehicle. Thinking your truck a "tractor" and somehow you can then get by under commercial vehicle laws won't fly. You are not acting in a commercial vehicle operation. The laws for RV and commercial vehicles are entirely different. When you are pulling your RV you are not commercial. Forget anything about commercial vehicle laws. They do not apply. Nor do you want to somehow claim you're a commercial vehicle. As a commercial vehicle a LEO does not need any reason to stop you. We can stop you just to conduct a commercial motor vehicle inspection. That means we can go thru your vehicle. No probable cause or reasonable suspicion necessary. It's part of the inspection process. I can assure you that you wouldn't be able to pass a commercial vehicle inspection. Within minutes of starting an inspection you'd have enough violations where you'd be placed out of service and sitting with a pocket full of citations. If you want to claim commercial vehicle then the first thing I'll ask for is a bill of lading. Everything in your trailer better be listed. Also on the bill is where it is being shipped from and to. Not shipping anything anywhere? Then you aren't commercial. If you want to know what is legal in the states you are traveling then your best bet is to contact the state police/highway patrol in the states you will traveling. When you call here are some tips: 1) Ask for a sworn officer familiar with traffic laws. Many places have non-sworn (non cops) answering the phones. They're dispatchers or call takers. They have no legal training but some think they know the laws and will give answers that are wrong. They act outside the scope of their knowledge and authority. Seems to be a common problem with dispatchers and call takers. 2) Use the correct terminology. If you are pulling 2 trailers then you are double towing. If you say triple towing then the officer will assume you have 3 trailers behind your truck. Also, be sure to clarify that your first towed trailer is a 5th wheel or a straight trailer if that is the case. Laws vary for each. 3) Calling DOT may or may not be the correct office to call depending on the state. For states like IL then DOT is absolutely the wrong place to call. In IL DOT does the road maintenance. They have no authority nor any knowledge of laws. That's not their job. They don't write tickets, we don't fix roads. 4) Who ever you talk to doesn't care what you think the law should be. If you knew the law you wouldn't be calling to ask. I can't tell you the number of times I fielded a call, gave the person the correct legal answer and then they wanted to argue what they thought the law should say. We don't care. Most don't really want to know the correct answer. They just want someone in authority to tell them it's OK to do what they want to do even if it does violate the law. We're not your mother. We don't pat you on the head and tell you it's OK to continue with what you're doing. 5) What ever information you are given no one cares if you agree with it or want to do something else. Again, if a person knew the law then they wouldn't be calling. 6) The most important point - The fat guy wearing a flannel shirt sitting around the campfire is not a legal expert. Most likely he's more full of beer and himself than he is legal knowledge. Just because he spouts off like he thinks he knows the law - he doesn't. You asked for someone with 1st hand experience. Here's mine. I was in LE 42 years. I was one of 2 of the first LEOs in the state to be certified on motor carrier safety enforcement. I taught truck and traffic law for a number of years. I was recognized by the state courts as an expert witness for truck and traffic laws. I consulted with our state legislature, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Fed DOT on truck and traffic laws and enforcement. So I've had more than just a bit of passing experience with truck and traffic laws.
Wadcutter 09/30/19 06:23pm Roads and Routes
RE: wiring LED light strip on rear of 5th wheel

I've run a strip on the rear of all my trailers. Simple to do. Just tap into the current tail lights, brake lights, turn signals on the trailer. I just mounted all my lights below the trailer, ran the wiring thru the body panel to the existing lights. Each trailer was a bit different. Some involved drilling thru the underneath side, some I could fish between the panel and the body, it all depending on the trailer. Simple installation but if you have to ask then probably should leave it to someone who knows how to do trailer wiring. To tell someone on the internet forum exactly how to do it isn't practical. Each make/model is different. Just have to look at where the current lighting is at and figure how to run a wire to those fixtures.
Wadcutter 09/29/19 06:04pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Plastic wheel well trim looks horrible

Obviously you have never tried Krylon Fusion paint for plastic. Obviously I have. For the right applications Krylon works good. So far, it has held up extremely well for me, I had painted the door window surrounds 11 yrs ago, not one chip or change in the color. Wheel well trim isn't door and window surrounds. They get a lot more hard wear. Even repainted it will dull eventually. You truly do not understand the idea that you are no longer a slave to reapply then reapply then reapply over and over until you sell it. Oh my, a slave! Spray on wheel shine hardly makes a person a slave to anything. It's oh so difficult to use. Yeah I do understand. But a slave? Nope don't see wheel shine as making anyone a slave to anything unless one is really lazy or infirmed. But if that paining is hardly easier. So paint if you want. Doesn't matter to me. But save the hyperbole.
Wadcutter 07/31/19 08:03am Tech Issues
RE: Plastic wheel well trim looks horrible

Use the spray on tire cleaner or what manufacturers call tire shine. Various manufacturers make their own stuff. Can get it at Walmart or any such store. The kind you spray on a tire and let it set. Some are no wipe, others recommend wiping it on. Extremely easy to use. Spray on and forget it. Doesn't hurt paint or chrome. Brings rubber and plastic back to shiny black finish again. I've used it for years on the RV trim and tires, car and truck tires, black plastic trim on vehicles like around the bumpers, truck beds. Also use it on the inside like dash, door panels, instrument panel, etc. Anything with black plastic pops out bright shiny black. It's what used car dealers use it on their cars before putting them on the lot. Don't paint. Paint will chip and peal then look worse than what you have now and you'll have a mess trying to get it to look better after that.
Wadcutter 07/30/19 06:54pm Tech Issues
RE: Current Road Conditions for the Dalton Highway

We took the Dalton Hwy to a bit north of the Arctic Circle on June 9. Generally wasn't too bad. The gravel parts were better than the paved parts. You're not going to want to drive 60 mph on it but watch your speed and keep an eye out for frost heaves. It's really not too bad. We did the Tok Cutoff from Valdez to Tok on July 5. Overall it was worse that the Dalton. Be prepared to end up with a very dirty vehicle on your trip along the Dalton. If it's dry then it's going to be really dusty with dust getting into everything. If there's even the littlest of rain then it's going to have a muddy top that will cover your vehicle. My maroon F-350 was totally tan/brown by the time we got to the Yukon. When that stuff dries on your vehicle it's like concrete. A high pressure washer wouldn't knock it off. I'm glad I didn't pull our camper on it. Not because it's rough but because of all the mud. I'm glad we took the Dalton even for that short distance. Altho I don't think it's the best scenery in Alaska but it is something to see. We only saw one moose and her calf. Saw a lot more animals on other roads in Alaska. We were surprised by the road conditions in Alaska, BC, AB, YT and NWT. We had heard the horror stories how bad the roads were. They weren't airport runway smooth but they weren't near as bad as we had been told to expect. The roads I drive everyday in central Illinois are worse in places. Watch for the frost heaves and the orange markers on the shoulders indicating a rough patch. Don't try driving 50 mph. Some places we were 20 mph and slower. We found it best when we saw a truck coming either at us or coming up behind to just find a place to pull over and let them pass. We weren't in a hurry so it was no inconvenience to let them pass. No cracked windshields. Stop for lunch at the café on the north side of the Yukon river. Their hamburger is huge.
Wadcutter 07/28/19 08:12pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Illinois Hwy's 67 - 125 - 127 - 64 - 14 - 45 - 145

"Illinois Hwy's 67 - 125 - 127 - 64 - 14 - 45 - 145" I'm very familiar with 67, 125, and 127 having lived and worked along those routes my entire life. 64, 14, 45, and 145 I travel quite a bit. They're all pretty good roads. 67 is partially 4 lane. The 2 lanes are good but you might find farm traffic/implements so be alert for slow vehicles. US 67: Monmouth is the birthplace of Wyatt Earp. Not much there to mark it. Very small sign, nothing to tour. US 67 Beardstown - If you're in to Lincoln history there are several historical markers for Lincoln. If you're familiar with Lincoln there's the case where he represented Duff Armstrong in a murder case. A witness named Allen testified he saw Armstrong kill Metzker from 150 feet away by the light of the moon. Lincoln introduced the Farmer's Almanac which showed there was no moon on the night of the murder so Allen could not have seen anything from 150 feet. The courthouse is still used today. Just signs to read really. Duff is buried north of Virginia IL. Small stone in a small cemetery. I wouldn't do the detour to see it but some might find it interesting. IL 125. New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg. This is about 15 minute drive north of IL 125. Well worth the detour and visit. They have a nice shaded campground, electric only hook up but water available, shower/restroom facilities, sewer dump. New Salem is where Lincoln grew up as a young man. There's the reconstructed village of New Salem that is free to visit. The campground and village are open all week but the visitor center is closed on Mondays. Their website will fill you in. Lincoln's New Salem link In Petersburg there are several Lincoln historical sites. They claim the grave of Ann Rutledge who was Lincoln's first love and some historians claim Lincoln never got over after she died at an early age. Even tho Lincoln later married Mary Todd many believe it was the sorrow of losing Ann that shaped Lincoln's life. Actually Ann was not buried in the grave in Petersburg. Her actual grave is in a very small cemetery in the middle of a farm field north of Petersburg a few miles. It can be visited and it is maintained but parking is just along the side of a one lane country road and then walking about 1/4 mile back thru a field to the cemetery. Many years after Ann died the people in Petersburg decided to dig up poor Ann and move her to Petersburg. Many think the move was to promote tourism by moving her to town where people could come to visit her. All that they were able to recover was things like buttons from her shoes and dress which is what was buried at the "new" grave. IL 97 into Springfield. Springfield is full of Lincoln history. I won't list it all as that would take volumes. There are books full. It's worth a couple of days visit. Here are some highlights. Lincoln Presidential Museum. Well worth the stop. Plan for the better part of the day to see it all. It's not like any other presidential museum. Disney had input in some of the design and displays. Do not miss the 2 "shows". Very well done. Just a couple of blocks from the museum is the old state capital building. Lots of Lincoln history. Also, if it's your thing, it's where Obama first announced he was running for president. Just south a few more blocks is Lincoln's Home National Historic Site. There are tours of the only home that Lincoln owned and the restored neighborhood. Very nice tour. At Oak Ridge Cemetery is Lincoln's Tomb. There are tours inside the tomb. Do not miss going inside to see where Lincoln and his family are buried. The tour is interesting. They tell about the plot to steal Lincoln's body which might have succeeded had the plotters had a combined IQ greater than 100, weren't drunk, and had kept their mouths shut instead of telling too many what they were going to do. At the time of the plot Lincoln was buried in a small unguarded grave. There are several museums of various flavors around town. GAR, telephone, etc. The Illinois State Museum is interesting with lots of native American exhibits. Also, one that is often missed and rarely visited is the State Military Museum at Camp Lincoln. Several very historical pieces on display. If they have it out, as it has been in storage for a while, is Santa Anna's wooden leg. The same Santa Anna who led the Mexican Army at the Battle of the Alamo fame. The IL Militia captured the leg during a raid on Santa Anna's camp. Santa Anna barely escaped leaving so quickly that he did not have time to put on his leg. So now we have his leg. If you're into US 66 Mother Road. US 66 runs thru the heart of Springfield. Several displays around town. Just of note - Most people have heard of the Donner party that were stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1846-47. It was actually the Donner-Reed Party. They were from Springfield and this is where their journey started. There's a small plaque at 2nd and Jefferson marking where the party left from. Food in Springfield - 2 food items you will only get in Springfield. One is the Cozy Dog which the owner claims to have originated the hot dog on a stick. It's not a corn dog. It's a Cozy Dog. The other Springfield original is the Horseshoe, or Ponyshoe if you're not extremely hungry. Just about every restaurant serves their own variation of the Horseshoe. It's generally Texas toast, a meat of choice or some offer vegetables for those who don't eat meat, covered with French fries, and all of that covered with cheese sauce. The type of cheese sauce varies. Check this link. Horseshoe IL 127 - each little town has something or someone they claim to. Nothing I would recommend particularly if you're passing thru. Personally, if I were traveling thru and going to I-64 after leaving Springfield I'd stay on I-55 to IL 4 at milepost 33, take IL 4 to I-64. I take IL 127 and IL 185 to US 51 then 50 if going towards the SE but it's slow and several small towns. It's all mostly farm ground and small towns. Vandalia is probably the most historically significant town. It's the 2nd state capital for IL. The capital building is still there for tours. Nice to visit but I personally wouldn't drive out of my way to just see that. If you decide to stay on I-55 to IL 4 and if you're into history at Mt Olive Exit 44 is the grave of Mother Jones. From the late 1800s into the 1940s this area into southern IL was in constant battles with what was known as the Mine Wars. Coal miners, coal companies, the United Mine Workers, the Progressive Mine Workers, and non-union miners brought in from southern states (usually African Americans) all fighting each other. These were open gun battles some times lasting for days. And not talking random shots fired. Actual war type battles. Bombings, people rounded up and executed. Many people were killed. The National Guard was called out many times. It was quite a bloody piece of IL history that few outside of historians and locals know about. Hollywood hasn't covered it so few know about it. Mother Jones was an activist, some say Socialist or Communist, who helped the miners organize. She died in Washington DC but is buried in Mt Olive near the graves of the miners from the 1898 Battle of Virden mine war. On the way out of IL if taking US 45 is Metropolis. Home of Superman. It's just another "OK we've been there" places. If you're looking for more to do along route let me know. There are books on the area which I don't want this post to become another book. One note on mleekamp's post concerning Moonshine. It's off the beaten path and can be hard to find. What signage there is is small and very few. GPS helps. And correction on the closing time. The grill closes at 12:30 PM, not when they run out of meat. If you're not there by 12:30 then you're out of luck for that day. We do a motorcycle ride there at least once a year, usually more often. Just a place to ride to, get a moonburger, and ride home. Big motorcycle ride destination on the weekends. There's nothing else around Moonshine. No restrooms, no running water, just an outhouse across the road. Parking is very limited. Fun to do but after doing it the usual response is "Is that all there is?"
Wadcutter 05/09/19 08:59am Roads and Routes
RE: Triple towing / Dubble Towing

well i guess my 38 years of commercial driving, over 45 years of driving for pay. says i know nothing. Usual truck driver stories about what the law is and what the state can't do. I could write a book on all the truck drivers telling me what they 'know' the law is. None of them have ever read a single statute and wouldn't know where to go to find a particular statute. But they come up with lame stories about the feds control all interstates, the laws apply nationwide no matter what a state says, etc, etc. Heard them all many times over. but with all the major less than truck load trucking company's pulling doubles (triples in some states), i do not see how or why a single state would ban them. States have that authority to do so, regardless what a driver thinks the law is or should be. State's rights. in talking with a number of dot officials (yes the ones who write the tickets) and reg street leos, i only know what i know. You may know what you know, which is driving a truck down the road, but it isn't about truck law. I was 1 of 2 of the first FMCSA certified officers in the state. I wrote a lot of tickets to a lot truck drivers who thought they knew the law. Obviously they didn't. They talked a good story tho. Got their legal education from the CB radio and truck stop parking lots talking to other truckers who were equally uneducated in the law. Before spouting what you 'know' it's best to know the law first. And that takes a whole lot more training and education than just pulling a trailer down a road no matter how many years a person has done it. By giving bad advice, or what you think the law is or the way you think it should be, doesn't help anyone who has a legit question. Being a truck driver sure doesn't make a person knowledgeable in the law. It only makes them a truck driver.
Wadcutter 04/25/19 09:34am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Triple towing / Dubble Towing

by forcing company's to abandon there trailers on the hwy in a government supplied parking spot. The states aren't forcing anything. The companies know the law prior to entering any state and they have a choice to plan ahead or figure someway to get legal upon reaching a more restricted state. as i know the dot laws, doubles are allowed everywhere on the fed and state hwy systems. (length laws can be different here). Doubles are not 'allowed everywhere'. Doesn't matter whether fed or state highway system. The states set the laws for their states, not the feds. also as to the 65 foot length, fed system allows double tow up to 75 feet,(in all states) due to a weight bridge thing. some states say 65 feet on non fed hwys. but even then you are allowed to go up to 10 miles on state hwys, then one mile on city streets to get service, food, rest, delivery/pickup, etc. (as 75 feet long). Well, there you go. Another example actually not knowing the law. Not true. I spent a lot of years enforcing truck laws. I was certified in Federal Motor Carrier laws, recognized by the courts in traffic and civil court as a subject matter expert, and taught truck law for many years to law enforcement and trucking companies. But what the FMCSA and fed DOT says doesn't matter when pulling an RV. Guess why? Because when you're pulling your RV you are not a commercial vehicle and that's what FMCSA and fed DOT regulate. So forget about FMC laws and what you 'know' about DOT laws. If you really knew anything about DOT laws then you'd have known they don't apply when pulling an RV.
Wadcutter 04/25/19 07:04am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Memorial weekend trip to Ridgeway CO

We love the Ridgway area. Lots of great 4X4 roads and country to see. Before you go watch True Grit with John Wayne. The movie was filmed in Ridgway and the surrounding area. The hanging scene was shot in the town park. Stop in the True Grit Café which is "downtown" Ridgway. On the wall to the left when you enter the café is the billboard that was in the background when John Wayne is first seen in the movie. Take a drive up to Debbie's Meadow near Owl Creek Pass. Named for Debbie Reynolds who loved the area when she was in the filming of How the West Was Won. The meadow is where Rooster Cogburn faced off against Ned Pepper gang towards the end of the movie. It looks just like it did in the movie. From the roadway, which is where Wayne was positioned, look across the meadow towards Chimney Peak which is where the Ned Pepper gang had their backs to Chimney Peak. Hasn't changed. The road to Owl Creek Pass and Debbie's Meadow is gravel but easily driven by just about any kind of vehicle. 4X4 is not needed. If you do a websearch on the film locations they will identify other locations that are easily located. Enjoy your visit to Ridgway area.
Wadcutter 04/21/19 07:32pm Roads and Routes
RE: Sangchris State Recreation Area Illinois

I also should have mentioned that staying in July you might want to avoid sites 13, 14, 15. They have great view of the lake and really nice campsites but in the afternoon and early evening you'll catch full sun on the rear of your camper. It can get pretty warm.
Wadcutter 03/30/19 11:35am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Sangchris State Recreation Area Illinois

I live just a few miles south of Sangchris Lake State Park. Run thru there at least once a week. There are 2 campgrounds at Sangchris. Hickory Point and Deer Run. About 1 mile apart. Hickory Point is on the water. Electric only. Water available at the sewer dump and a few places around the campground. The shower house/restroom is at Hickory Point. Most sites are fairly level altho some may been a bit of leveling to get perfectly level. Sites 4 thru 20 are back up to the water altho 16-20 are 30-50 feet away. Sites 31-55 back into open grass or inner circle. Lots of space between all sites. None are on top of each other. Most are shaded except for the inner circle. On a weekend you'll definitely need reservations. It will be full. During the week most likely can pull in and get a space. We prefer sites 4 thru 20 depending on the time of year and if spring or fall which way the wind is blowing from. Deer Run is electric only. No water. No shower house. Some pits. Sites are all level and fully shaded. It's quieter in Deer Run. Even on a weekend you can usually get a spot but not always. During the week there may be only 3-4 campers. We have no preferences for sites in Deer Run. They're all OK. I don't know if there's any more info you would like. Just ask. It's a nice state park.
Wadcutter 03/29/19 02:38pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

I can't get into an argument with you about the law because I am a lawyer and I wouldn't want anyone to interpret any of this as legal advice. I'm sure you have extensive training in truck weight laws. Obviously not from the rest of your response. Please, show one state law in any state where GVWR is a legal weight limit. I'll save you some time - there isn't any. Manufacturers don't make the law or set legal weight limits. Maybe you should stick with whatever field of law you practice, divorces, family law, estates, whatever it is. Obviously it isn't anything to do with truck weight laws. Even a poor attorney knows to stay in his own lane when he doesn't know anything about a particular area. At least most do.
Wadcutter 01/24/19 10:20am Fifth-Wheels
RE: motorola t 800 talk about radios

If Bumpy is looking to stay in touch then there's the Garmin InReach. He can even keep posting on when he's way out in the boonies. Garmin InReach I'll have to take up mountain climbing in Nepal to justify buying one however. bumpy We'll all be waiting.
Wadcutter 01/22/19 05:26pm Technology Corner
RE: motorola t 800 talk about radios

If Bumpy is looking to stay in touch then there's the Garmin InReach. He can even keep posting on when he's way out in the boonies. Garmin InReach
Wadcutter 01/22/19 06:52am Technology Corner

It doesn't matter what your state says. If you're over your GVWR, you're overloaded. If you need a law enforcement officer to ticket you in order to ensure you're loading your truck safely, I don't really know what to say. Please! Let's stick with what is actually the law and not what someone think the law says or wishes the law said just to support their unsupported argument. People who spout off that stuff have never read a law or most likely even know where to look for it even if they could understand what they read. No LEO is going to give him a ticket for being over the manufacturer's GVWR. There's a very simple reason why. The manufacturer's GVWR is a rating by the manufacturer. It's not a legal weight limit. Manufacturers do not make the law. It is a non-enforceable rating used only by the manufacturer for their ratings. It's not a legal document and has no bearing on legal weights. I didn't get my knowledge from listening to some fat guy in a flannel shirt sitting around a campfire. I taught truck laws and weight laws for a lot of years. I was recognized by the courts and FMCS as an expert in truck laws and weights. If a person is going to use a legal comment to support their personal opinion then post the statute. At least it might show the person knows what they're talking about.
Wadcutter 01/21/19 06:32pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: motorola t 800 talk about radios

what about something like this: Uniden Atlantis 295 Handheld Floating 2-Way 6W Dual Band GMRS/VHF Marine Radio - Camouflage GMRS plus VHF? bumpy It's like any other GMRS/FRS radio but also with marine freqs/channels. Power is .5 to 6 watt depending on what frequency is being operated. Lower on FRS and 6W available on marine. Power levels and the way the radios are constructed for those bands are regulated by the FCC. You're not going to increase range. They will not transmit any further than any other GMRS/FRS radio because they operate on VHF/UHF frequencies. VHF/UHF are line of sight. You might get a couple of miles across flat ground or water with no obstructions. Trees, even fog, can greatly reduce the range. If you want adventure in your life get caught transmitting on the marine channels while on land and using those channels as if you're on FRS/GMRS/CB.
Wadcutter 01/21/19 09:48am Technology Corner
RE: California Firearm Compliance

So CCW permit data bases are readily accessible to cops. Not necessarily. It depends on the state. In some states the CCW info is linked to the person's driver's license record. In other states there is no linking of CCW info. Then in some states they do not require a CCW license so obviously there would be no record. Each state is different.
Wadcutter 01/20/19 03:15pm General RVing Issues
RE: Great River Road

Along the IL side starting on the north end - Galena is an old town, President Grant lived and worked there. Main street full of little shops and restaurants. Savannah has a Poopy's. Definitely a unique bar and restaurant. In Rock Island (Quad Cities) is John Deere HQ with a good museum. Also the Rock Island Arsenal has a good museum and national cemetery. For quaint - At Oquawka is the grave of Norma Jean Elephant, a circus elephant that was struck and killed by lightning, then left laying when the circus left town. Her grave is across from the courthouse. Wile in Oquawka go to any of the bar/restaurant for fresh fish. Nauvoo is an interesting little town with a very nice state park/campground. It was settled by the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) in the early 1800s. The old Mormon settlement has been restored which includes the homes and businesses of many of the original Mormon people, such as Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, and John Browning the gun maker. Also is the Mormon Temple rebuilt as it was in the early 1800s. Quite impressive site both in size and appearance particularly when one considers when it was originally built. At one time Nauvoo was one of the largest cities in IL. At that time states and even individuals could assemble an army. The Mormon Army was the 4th largest in the US. After Joseph Smith was killed the Mormons moved west and settled at Salt Lake City. Joseph Smith is buried at Nauvoo. From Nauvoo make a side trip to Carthage, IL. In 1844 Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church and his brother Hyrum, were being held in the Carthage jail when a mob broke into the jail and shot and killed both men. On south of Nauvoo is Quincy, IL and then Hannibal, MO. Hannibal is famous for Mark Twain and the town has quite a few attractions about Twain's time in Hannibal. South of Hannibal is the Mark Twain Cave which Mark Twain wrote about in his books. Staying on IL 96 south into Calhoun County is a peaceful drive. You'll go thru Kampsville which has several major archeological sites of very early Native American settlements. You can cross the Illinois River in Kampsville on the free state operated ferry but I suggest you continue south on IL 96 thru Hardin. At Hardin is a nice little restaurant (Mel's Riverdock) noted for their homemade pies. They're hard to resist but I recommend waiting to eat for just another few miles. Take the Brussels Blacktop south out of Hardin to Brussels. For a really great meal stop at the Wittmond Hotel in Brussels. They only have 1 thing on the menu but it comes with a lot. It's served family style. The first course will be sausages, beef, fruits, vegetables (cooked and uncooked), breads. All you can eat but don't fill up because the 2nd course is larger. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, jams, jellies. If you can clean the server then ask for more. All the food is locally raised, grown, made and prepared. Best $15 meal you'll ever have. South of Brussels you end at the Brussels Ferry which is a free state operated ferry that takes you to just north of Grafton. If you turn left (north) off the ferry you will go to the Pere Marquette State Park. Very nice campground on the river. If you turn right off the ferry then you go into Grafton. Grafton has a lot of shops, restaurants, bars, wineries, and tourist spots. Very popular during the summer particularly during the weekend. The Loading Dock is on the south side of Grafton located on the Mississippi River. A nice place to sit on the deck, have a cool drink, and watch the river traffic. South of Grafton is Alton. A lot of historical sites which you can find on line or at the visitor center in town. Alton IL is where Lewis and Clark camped and supplied before jumping off on their expedition 1804. After Alton you might want to jump on I-255 and bypass the metro east area. It's heavy industry and some areas which aren't the best or safest to travel, ie, E St Louis. Take I-255 to IL 3 which continues on south. However, one spot along this path well worth visiting is Cahokia Mounds Historic Site. It is believed that at one time it was the largest settlement along the Mississippi River and possibly North America outside of the pre-Columbian settlements in Mexico. There are over 100 manmade mounds on site. The largest is Monks Mound is the largest earthen structure in the US. It was abandoned about 1300. At Chester IL make a quick stop to visit the Popeye sites. The author of Popeye was from Chester and there are the usual statues, etc to the Popeye characters. Also while in Chester just take a drive past Menard State Pen. Quite a site. Leaving Chester you can continue on IL 3 or make a short drive east to Carbondale and take IL 127 south. You'll end up at the same place but I think IL 127 is a nicer, prettier drive. Carbondale is home to Southern IL University. Eventually you end up in Cairo IL. Cairo has a lot of historical significance but unfortunately it is just a shell of the city it use to be. South of Cairo at the very southern tip of IL where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet is Ft Defiance State Park. After leaving IL you can cross into either MO or KY. You'll be entering the New Madrid earthquake area. You can research that and read about the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-1812 which magnitude was so large that the Mississippi River ran backwards, Reelfoot Lake was created, and church bells rang in Boston 1000 miles away. For 3 months the area experienced numerous 7-8 magnitude earthquakes. When traveling thru Sikeston, MO be sure to stop at Lambert's Restaurant "Home of the Throwd Rolls". Really good food and huge hot rolls actually thrown at you. Whatever you order will be an extremely large serving and then they bring the 'pass arounds' of fried okra (really good), green beans, sorghum for the rolls, etc. Each of the little towns on both sides of the Mississippi on into Memphis have unique shops and stories to tell.
Wadcutter 01/18/19 02:37pm Roads and Routes
RE: motorola t 800 talk about radios

the blurb also mentioned pinpointing the location of your "buddy". evidently has more uses than a "ham" radio. thanks, bumpy Do a search on APRS. APRS It's not too complicated to understand. Hams have been using just such location radios for over 25 years. APRS is also a lot more useful and much farther range than just using a cell phone that doesn't have a connection and a Motorola low power radio that may only get 1-2 miles in ideal conditions.
Wadcutter 01/16/19 07:05am Technology Corner
RE: New Orleans rv parks

Bayou Signette SP is a really nice one. Our preferred when camping in NOLA. Short run into the city. Very well maintained and clean. Space between campsites. Very clean showerhouses. WiFi included. Since you're interested in visiting the plantations then Bayou Signette makes sense. It's on the west edge of NOLA. The plantations are along the Mississippi River west and north of NOLA. Heading west from Bayou Signette you avoid the NOLA traffic. A few small towns along US 90 but it's a good road and traffic isn't bad. When you get on the river road (LA 18) you'll start getting to the plantations that are open for tours. Oak Alley west of Vacherie is probably the most famous as it's picture is most used for tourist advertisements. You'll recognize seeing the picture of the place from the river road looking up the walkway under the oaks. All the plantations are a little different due to when they were built and in full operation, who owned them at the time, and crops grown. Rosedown Plantation at St Francisville is operated by the State of LA and is about a nice 3 hour drive from Bayou Signette. Very nice tour and not the crowds you can get at some of the plantations closer to NOLA. A nice side tour after leaving Rosedown is a bit further north to Angola Prison. They've got a very nice tour and museum. Lots of history. You don't enter the prison grounds and not likely you'll even see any of the prisoners. The tour is of the old part of the prison which includes the old execution chamber and all is outside the first gate. Well worth getting off the beaten path to visit.
Wadcutter 01/02/19 08:20am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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