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Check in/out timing...

Something to think about... This summer, like no previous one I can remember virtually every CG/RV Park is booked up well in advance. Most CG's and RV Parks have fairly standard checkin/out times. Typically check in is around 1 or 2 with mandatory check out an hour or two earlier. There are however two different sets of circumstances that folks should consider. If you are just arriving and checking in to the CG/Park give them a call and usually if your site is empty they will have no problem with you arriving "a little" early. Keep in mind most decent CG/Parks want the opportunity to check and service your site as needed. Some RV Parks will charge about $10 for an early check in and a few will not permit it at all, their park, their rules. Now as to checking out keep in mind that the check out time is not when you start prepping the rig for departure, that is the time when they need you to be gone, as in down the road. If you need a later check out it's best to give them as much notice as possible when you "Ask" permission to do so. We were recently at a busy CG and the staff went out of their way to accommodate as many folks as possible. We had to move twice during our 4 night stay and for us having a 24' Class C this could not have been much simpler. But... if you are moving to another site they HAVE to gone by check out {in this case 1100} so that you can vacate your site on time making room for whoever is moving in behind you. If you are still in my newly assigned site at 1100 someone is probably stacked up waiting for me to be gone and overflow parking if available at all will be at a premium. On our last day the site we were moving to was open at 1030 and I slid right in. As I was setting up the guy in the site next to us came over and said "you're early". I explained that I had to move in as soon as it opened up so someone else could have mine. I had stayed completely away from the new site so as to not put any pressure on those folks to leave. He was leaving that day but didn't begin his departure routine until after 1100. IMHO: Once the check out time arrives the site you are in is no longer yours and you need to be gone unless other arrangements have been made. I spoke with the staff and they confirmed that the folks who are late departing or arrive too early without calling first can cause all sorts of needless headaches. They don't want to be bad guys for anyone and truly appreciate folks who understand and comply with their check in/out times. So for the sake of discussion I'll ask... Have you ever arrived at your reserved site at the proper check in only to find it fully occupied? How long did you have to wait? Did asking the offending party to move along work or was it necessary to get the staff involved? As always... Opinions and YMMV :C
Desert Captain 06/18/21 03:40pm General RVing Issues
RE: Beating the heat...

OP here... we just returned at noon today and had a great trip. While warmer than I had hoped, we had high 80's all three days, with the nice breeze it was very pleasant. The stage II fire restrictions were being stringently enforced as one FOOL found out the hard way. I guess he just "Had" to have a campfire and ended up booted from the CG in perpetuity and a $5,000 fine for his stupidity. Propane fire pits {Fireplace in a Can, Little red Campfire etc.} are permitted but common sense {not all that common actually} dictates keeping them down low. We rode the Spyder a couple of hundred miles mostly on the Devil's Highway, one of our all time favorite roads and the early morning rides were nice and cool, around 69 to start, climbing up into the low 80's after a few hours. After weeks of no rain we enjoyed a spectacular monsoon thunderstorm last night. It came and went in just an hour or two but not before dumping a lot of rain with a spectacular lightning/thunder show. I had the the coach thoroughly serviced a few weeks ago and this was a great test of all of the systems. It was 330 miles round trip and that included a lot of climbing. We left home at 5,000' and the CG is at 9,180'. You pass over 9,000'+ about half a dozen times coming and going and with the temps in the upper 80's we were running the AC. Finished the trip at 8.5 mpg and we were running heavy towing the 2,500# cargo trailer which made me smile. Sadly we are headed back to San Diego the end of June for a funeral/celebration of life as my SIL's mother recently/unexpectedly passed. We will spend about 8 days in southern California following the service visiting friends and celebrating the 4th of July at our old Yacht Club - always at the biggest party of the year. It's nice to know the coach is up to the task. Here is a shot of our rig at site #73 at the Rainbow CG: A lot of the kids in the CG got a big kick out of the Can Am Spyder as most had never seen such a machine. Must have been the Royale Blue/Metal Flake paint job as it sure wasn't this old guy riding it. :B :C
Desert Captain 06/16/21 05:35pm General RVing Issues
RE: Beating the heat...

Have you tried Canyon Point Campground? We were there in 2018 in April and we had snow while Payson had rain. Higher elevation was cooler. It has been one of our favorites for years. At 7,700’ it is always cool in the summer but reservations can be hard to get. The good news is that they keep a lot of sites as first come first get and they are only 30 minutes from home. :C
Desert Captain 06/11/21 09:31pm General RVing Issues
Beating the heat...

Summer has arrived with a vengeance here in Arizona with temps approaching 118 forecast for Sunday through Wednesday in the Valley of the Sun {greater Phoenix area}. Last fall we moved up to Payson at 5,000' to better escape the AZ summers {the last two set records on a daily basis} but even Payson is forecast to get to triple digits of 100 - 101. Our solution has always been to flee up to the higher elevations and now we are 3.5 hours closer. While reservations are tough to get they remain a must. Got lucky and booked the Rainbow CG at Big lake {south east of Greer} with the CG being at 9,200' for Sunday - Wednesday and it is only a 2.5 hour drive from our new home. Rainbow is a large CG that features huge sites up in the Aspen's and Pines. No hookups but nice flush toilets and water spigots throughout with a couple of dump stations just down the road. We will be towing our 10' cargo trailer loaded with my Can Am Spyder behind the 24' Class C and plan to ride the Devil's Highway everyday. Hopefully all of the heat down in the flatlands will kick off the monsoon that, while due anytime now, has been a no show. Film at eleven. :B
Desert Captain 06/11/21 11:42am General RVing Issues
RE: Thor Industries now has $14 billion in backlogged orders

My buddy just took delivery of a beautiful Lance 1685 that he ordered last January. The dealer told him if he ordered one today it would be June of 2022 before he would have any chance of delivery. A very nice trailer by the way, he ordered it with 24 of the 27 available options and it is gorgeous. Lance you can trust for a quality rig, Thor… not so much. :R
Desert Captain 06/10/21 10:47am General RVing Issues
RE: Time for some maintenance...

Just returned from an 8 day 1,100+ mile trip up into the southern Rockies... the first since the recent maintenance. The coach ran better than it had in years. My coolant and trans fluid temps remained at or below 200 degrees. Mileage was back to normal, I get about 9.5 when not towing and 9 +/- if I cruise at 65 which I did for most of this run as a lot of it was on I-40. {Never dawdle on I-40} :S In addition there were a number of 10,000'+ passes as we spent 4 days in Pagosa Springs and an other 4 in angel Fire and the needed power was always there... gotta love that V-10 and the 5 speed torque shift tranny. Now I am shopping for and Apple Car Play rear view camera combination... any recommendations? :C
Desert Captain 06/08/21 02:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Pagosa Springs CO and Angel Fire NM... Too much fun!

Much water flowing by the Springs? Likely not. We body surfed on the river a few years back. What a riot! The flow was pretty good, a lot of 3 and 4' drops with water flying everywhere but as noted... it was 40 degrees. Most of the rapids were rated as Class 3. :C
Desert Captain 06/08/21 01:43pm General RVing Issues
Pagosa Springs CO and Angel Fire NM... Too much fun!

Our best friends finally pulled the trigger on their first RV, a 2021 gorgeous Lance 1685 TT with all of the bells and whistles which he tows very nicely with his Chevy Colorado. To make their first outing special I managed to get us booked into the Pagosa Riverside Campground in Pagosa Springs right on the San Juan River at 7,150' {one of our favorite spots} for 3 nights. Upon arrival the first thing we all wanted to do was book and extra night. The staff there worked miracles getting us in on short notice and extending our stay even getting us side by side right on the pond for Thursday night. While we did have to move a couple of times it was great practice for my friends first trip. Setting up/down and moving a couple of extra times was just great practice with the new rig. cannot say enough nice things about Pagosa Riverside CG as the staff and amenities are fantastic and the scenery is off of the proverbial chart They drove over from Angel Fire NM {265 miles} and we came up {in our 24'Class C} from Payson AZ {420 miles} all arriving on Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning we went river rafting on the San Juan which is running fast and cold... as in 40 degrees and yes, we all got soaked on the 90 minute run. Later in the summer the river will be down a lot but right now is running at a Class 3 level which was enough to be a lot of fun for all of us. Afternoon thunderstorms necessitated canceling a planned afternoon side trip to "The Springs" which is a resort right on the river in the center of town. It features about two dozen+ individual hot tubs, all at differing temperatures along with larger swimming pools nicely warmed. They offer food and drinks that round out what is always a spectacular day {we had all been there before} so we will return on our next visit to PRC. If you get to Pagosa Springs there are lots of fun adventures, one of our favorites is a drive up and over Wolf Creek Pass and on to the small mining town of Creed near the headwaters of the Rio Grande and enjoy lunch at Kips Grill {there is one in Pagosa Springs as well}. UTV/ATV and horseback rides are another source of entertainment and the entire area is awesome. A few miles south of town is a great wildlife park with just about every type of critter the Rockies are home to. All of the animals there have been rescued and it is not your typical zoo. Friday morning we packed up and caravanned back to their place in Angel Fire {where he'd put in a custom RV site for me 5 years ago complete with 30 amps and water on his 2.5 ac . We were returning for our 19th visit to their place {over the last 5+ years} and enjoyed more spectacular PM thunderstorms from his deck at 9,000' {complete with a nice not tub}. Saturday morning he and I took his Rzr SXS up through and over one of the passes between Taos and Angel Fire topping out at nearly 11,000'. On Sunday we made our obligatory pilgrimage up to Red River and Shotgun Willies for the Smoked brisket breakfast burritos smothered in Hatch Green Chile Sauce... and yes, they are to die for! :S Monday morning we headed back the 485 miles to Payson and at nearly 8 hours it was a long but mostly boring ride. The forecast is calling for triple digit temps next Sunday - Tuesday even here in Payson at 5,000'. So this morning went on line and booked those three nights at the Rainbow CG at Big Lake {at 9,200"}. I'll be towing the cargo trailer with my Can Am Spyder aboard for a lot of fine paved road riding around Geer, Springerville and out the Devil's highway to and through Alpine. The CG is a little over 2 hours from home so it will be an easy trip. Our 24' Nexus C and his Lance are at the center of this pic: Here is the view from the top of the pass on our Rzr ride: Not us but another group with the same outfitter/guide later in the day: :B :B :B
Desert Captain 06/08/21 01:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: Winslow AZ to Durango

We’re actually headed to Bayfield so that route would work. Not seeing N5 on google maps but BIA 5 is listed, must be the same? It shows as N5 on Google maps but in the real world it is BIA 5 and a very nice drive. It brings you out to the 371 which takes you north to/through Farmington/ Aztec connecting southeast of Durango and to the east, Bayfield and is the best, most direct route.
Desert Captain 06/04/21 08:37pm Roads and Routes
RE: Winslow AZ to Durango

Unless you have things to see and do in the Cortez area {and Mesa Verde NP is a must see if you have not been there yet} you can avoid Ship Rock to Cortez by going east on N5 little north of Gallup and then north on the 371 through Farmington and Aztec. You eventually pick up the 550 northbound and it brings you out just southeast of Durango. These roads are all decent and it is a more direct route. As I said earlier I will be driving to Pagosa Springs on Monday but had forgotten about the N5. Durango to Pagosa Springs a a very nice ride that takes about an hour. :C
Desert Captain 05/29/21 11:43am Roads and Routes
RE: Winslow AZ to Durango

Another vote for the 491 and I have driven it at least a dozen times. I'll be driving it on Monday on my way to Pagosa Springs. If you need an RV Park in/near Gallup try the USA RV Park on the west side of Gallup. Nice place, decent amenities and not too pricey. They do a nice BBQ right on site most nights. Good Luck. :C
Desert Captain 05/28/21 02:43pm Roads and Routes
RE: Time for some maintenance...

Thanks for the referral and please write a review at It's a really nice site to find a mobile mechanic, and local services. Will do. :W
Desert Captain 05/26/21 02:16pm Class C Motorhomes
Time for some maintenance...

My 2012 Nexus Phantom 23P {24'} which I have owned for 7.5 years and 60,000+ miles is due for a number of basic services: Full synthetic Oil change Full synthetic transmission flush Full synthetic differential flush, Coolant flush Fuel injection service AGM chassis battery Air filter I called a couple of the large RV Chains, Camping World, La Mesa RV, Lazy days etc and got some pretty consistent quotes from all of them. The bottom line averaged right at $2,000... seriously! :S I live about 70 miles up the mountain from Phoenix in Payson and all of them of course wanted me to drop it off with the services taking a day or so. Most are booked up, CW said their next available appointment was 8 weeks out the others were all 2 weeks to a month. Fortunately I recently found a great independent RV mechanic who is happy to come to my house for most RV repairs, he recently replaced the original water heater and tracked down a short in one of my brake lights working in my driveway. For all of the services enumerated above I dropped the rig off at his shop about 5 miles down the road. Not only is he a great RV technician he is also an ASE certified Mechanic. Arizona can be a pretty harsh environment for RV's particularly in the summer so making sure everything was good to go was a priority. When I dropped it off I asked him to thoroughly go through it and if he found anything that he would do for his own coach to plan on doing it to mine. Yep, pretty much handed him a blank check. He is a tad bit busy up here as you would imagine but being in no hurry I told him a week would be fine. He called this morning, a day early and said I could come pick it up. Said he checked it out thoroughly and other than the above punch list could not find anything else the coach needed but we agreed that replacing the plugs around 75K miles would probably be worth doing. The bill came to $1,119.35... :B Thousands of RV's pass through Payson every week bound for the White Mountains, Flagstaff and beyond so thought I would share this gem of a resource. Can Do Automotive & RV service and Repair, call Carl at 928 951-3500. You're welcome! :B :B :B
Desert Captain 05/26/21 02:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Safe T Steering Stabilizer

No mention of your tire pressures... Get the rig weighed loaded as you normally travel and then check the load/inflation tables from your tire manufacturer. Nothing else can give you the right pressures for your your rig. Ignore the door sticker and the max psi on the sidewalls. Most Ford chassis Class C's can be cured of any ride and handling issues by doing a proper alignment to include upping the + caster and simply inflating your tires for the load they are actually carrying. At just a year old your original shocks should still be fine but down the road {so to speak} plan on upgrading. I went with heavy duty Bilstein's and they have been awesome. Good luck! :C
Desert Captain 05/25/21 10:56am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Bilstein shocks, oh yeah.

Day to day driving you just don 't notice how bad your old shocks have gotten. I put the Heavy Duty Bilstein's on my Class C at 33,000 miles and was dumbfounded at the incredible improvement. Performance and bang for the buck you can not beat Bilstein's. At 66,000 they are still performing like day one. :B
Desert Captain 05/20/21 09:20am Tow Vehicles
RE: Durango, CO to Red River, NM

However you end up going do not miss a visit to Shotgun Willy's in Red River {west side of town just north of the ski lift} for their infamous smoked brisket breakfast burrito, smothered in Hatch green chile sauce. .. it is to die for! The red River brewery, just up the street a couple of blocks is rated as the best in New Mexico and I have found no issue with that rating. While you are in the area the Viet Nam Memorial in Angel Fire is a must see. The ski lifts in Red River and Angel Fire make for a spectacular summer adventure as well. Red River and Angel Fire are two of the most beautiful little towns found in the southern Rockies and well worth exploring. Enjoy! :B
Desert Captain 05/17/21 08:58pm Roads and Routes
RE: Anybody still going out?

Triple digit temps have arrived in southern Arizona. These can easily be avoided by simply retreating up to the higher elevations but be advised getting a site is getting be be next to impossible. Most popular CG's are booked for the entire summer as everybody and their dog bought an RV last year. :S
Desert Captain 05/14/21 08:15pm Toy Haulers
RE: full size corner bed vs queen corner bed

My bride went out to the coach this afternoon and remade the bed on our new {full sized - 60 X 80"} queen mattress: We are not big people, I'm 5'9"/185# and my bride is 5'1"/115#. We have always slept very comfortably in our coach over the last 7.5 years and will get the chance again in two weeks as we will be having house guests giving them our master bedroom and the back guest bedroom while Jeanne and I sleep in the coach out in the driveway. It's nice to be able to add another bedroom and bath to our smallish 3/2 house. The bed pic shows the Amish made, solid Maple cabinets nicely as well. Before passing over the Rainbow Bridge our Greyhound rescue used to love to lay on the bed as we cruised enjoying the two large windows. Lots of folks passed and waved usually laughing their butts off. :C
Desert Captain 04/29/21 02:31pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: sell home or not to sell

While my bride and I have no plans to ever full time we will continue to actively use our 24' Class C to explore America further. We have been coast to coast and just about everywhere in-between over the last 12 years or so and every trip we kept our eyes open for a new place to live {we had a nice home in Tucson} that we might like better. Ironically we found that new place just 180 miles north of Tucson in the small mountain town of Payson. We had passed through Payson dozens of times coming/going camping and I frequently remarked that "I could live here" and now we do. Like the OP we wanted a smaller home and our new place is 25 percent smaller but has two and half times as much land allowing us to store all of our toys {car, truck, RV, Can AM Spyder, Rzr SXS and a cargo trailer} at home. Like our old home our new one is paid for and happily our monthly nut dropped $500 a month {no HOA, Hooray!, RV storage fees, lower taxes, utilities etc}. After 15 years living and exploring southern Arizona we are better positioned far enough north to greatly expand our "local' camping range. I would advise the OP to do some exploring/searching for that next home before selling their current one. An RV enables you to search in comfort and to ferret out those off the beaten path gems as we did. Moving is one of the greatest PITA's on earth so do your homework {the internet is your friend} to insure you only have to do it once. Good luck! :B
Desert Captain 04/25/21 10:30am Full-time RVing
RE: Can’t find a part

I have been trying to track down a new LED brake light assembly for my Nexus Class C. No help from Nexus but one of their dealers turned me on to State Trailer Supply. They found it in 30 mi utes and I drove down to Peoria yesterday and picked it up. They have the largest, most complete inventory of trailer/RV supplies {with very competitive pricing} I have ever seen... makes Camping world look like a 7/11. When I checked their website I saw that they have a store in Idaho Falls {208 538-9358}. I recommend you give them a call. Good luck! :C OP here with an update: I was worried that simply replacing the entire LED unit would not be successful as my mechanic and I suspected there were wiring issues. Start with the simple things... we replaced the LED unit with the new one from State trailer Supply {$41.99} and bingo, everything works. :B
Desert Captain 04/24/21 09:42am General RVing Issues
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