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RE: Moving on up... to the mountains!

OP here, we finally got the snow we had been hoping for, 3+" of the heavy wet stuff last night. the forecast is calling for another 15 -" over the next 24 hours. Here are a couple of shots, back yard and front: We hit the jacuzzi lastnight as the snow was falling with the temp right at 32, will be doing that again soon. Looking forward to a nice ride in the snow in our Rzr before it gets too much deeper. :)
Desert Captain 01/25/21 08:41am General RVing Issues
RE: Extended warranty

Another thought... Years ago I worked as a commercial boat Captain for an independent boat towing service {like AA for boats - Vessel assist is the big dog in that industry}. The business model for all of the towing services, much like ERS and others is based upon actuarial tables that tell them how many customers will require their services. For most of these businesses the number is 92%... that will never have a claim and their premiums are pure profit. The other 8% will benefit but never underestimate the ability of the insurer {or lack of a better term} to dodge and mitigate their costs... at your expense. Bottom line is that industry wide roughly 9 out of 10 consumers never need this coverage so like the man said... Do you feel lucky well do ya? :B
Desert Captain 01/12/21 07:40pm Beginning RVing
RE: Extended warranty

A lot of good advice here and I agree do not buy the usually worthless warranty. If you do they control all repairs when problems arise... and they will. If you self insure by setting aside money instead of giving it to a third party you decide when and where any repairs get done and they will be working for YOU! This is especially important when you are out on the road vs at home... you do plan to be out on the road, right? There are lots of stories on the Forums about folks who have been waiting for months for dealer/warranty repairs to be completed. If you are not locked in by any warranty, extended or standard you will be free to take your rig elsewhere. This method does require the discipline to a actually set aside some additional monies every month in order to grow the fund. Interest rates are currently a joke, you will be lucky to get one quarter of a percent but set the money aside anyway. Stay on top of preventative maintenance and read any warranty that a new unit comes with very carefully so you will know what is {not much} and what is not actually covered. Good luck. :C
Desert Captain 01/12/21 01:50pm Beginning RVing
RE: Enlarging my parking for the motorhome...

OP here with a final update. After compacting the new pad several times, first with my Rzr, then the Honda and finally with 11,000# of coach and gently wetting it down a couple of times it was down about an inch from completely level with the existing concrete driveway. Nothing another half ton of gravel would not cure... so off to the yard onece again. I went with the concrete rock this time, all rock/gravel {no dirt} and aesthetically it nearly matches the driveway. After spreading and leveling I rolled the coach up and down it at least a dozen times and then parked it using a pair of yellow Leggo blocks under each of the passenger side duallies. The coach is now dead level not only from side to side but front to back as well. My 25,' 30 amp extension cord is due in today and will enable me to connect to the dedicated 30 amp outlet my electrician installed at the front corner of the garage. The coach now sits 12' back down the driveway from the front of the garage and I gained a full 3' of additional clearance on the south side. Like the man said... "Mission Accomplished". My bill for the beams, hardware and rebar at Home Depot was $245. The gravel yard got me for an other $28 and I get my Ibuprofen for free from the VA. :B Here are a couple of pics: I
Desert Captain 01/08/21 11:38am General RVing Issues
RE: Enlarging my parking for the motorhome...

The Ridgeline is a a lot of truck, plenty of payload, 18" wheels, AWD that rides and handles like an Accord with pretty much the same economy/performance. "Straps kinds look "RedNeck". Hey, I resemble that remark. :) Actually I am a liberal redneck... I get to annoy everybody! :S
Desert Captain 01/01/21 10:54am General RVing Issues
RE: Enlarging my parking for the motorhome...

Yes, we live in Payson Arizona which is a smallish town, probably with less than 20,000 people. We are at 5,000' but the Mogollon Rim is nearly 8,000' and just 30 miles up highway 260. As far as zoning or parking restrictions that just does not happen up here. Probably 7 out of 10 homes have an RV, a couple of utility trailers not mention ATV's/UTV's {we have my Honda Ridgeline, my brides Toyota Solara, the Can AM Spyder, our Class C, the Rzr SXS and my cargo trailer}. The best part is that they all reside on our property, no more shelling out $100+ a month for storage and being told when and for how long I could park in front of my home When we paved our driveways there were no permits required, up here it's your land and Zoning is almost an urban legend. :B One of my major motivations for the move was to get as far away from an HOA as possible... and 175 miles seems to be working. Here are a couple shots of my 17 Ridgeline, GVWR of 1,477# loaded with 2,100# of gravel. The loader at the gravel yard got a little carried away when I asked for half a ton. I still had to go back for another half ton as the 2,100# wasn't enough and the truck came through it all just fine. Having a tail gate that wings out as well as dropping down enabled me to just back it up over the hole and drop the gravel using just a rake, no shoveling involved. :C
Desert Captain 01/01/21 10:06am General RVing Issues
RE: Moving on up... to the mountains!

OP here with a final update... We have been in our new home for 3 months and are loving it more everyday. Most of our upgrades and improvements {remodeled kitchen - new cabinets and granite countertops, some serious landscaping along with a few electrical upgrades - dedicated 30 amp hook up for the coach, expanded parking for the rig, paving both driveways etc.} have been completed. Yesterday afternoon we closed escrow on the sale of our former home in Tucson. The proceeds of the sale were $245 shy of what I paid for the new place so it is all good. It took a couple of months to get a solid offer but with Covid-19 raging and the election in full swing I really did not expect much activity until mid November. While I was sure it would sell without any major issues it sure is nice to have that event in the rear view mirror and we can now focus 100 percent of our energy on our new place. :C
Desert Captain 01/01/21 08:41am General RVing Issues
Enlarging my parking for the motorhome...

Since moving to our new home in Payson AZ I've been parking our 24' Class C along the south edge of our concrete driveway {the ability to park the toys on our new .57 acre property being a huge benefit}. Unfortunately with the coach there our access to the attached garage is somewhat restricted. To gain more clearance I had been trying to come up with some more space but there is a fairly steep slope that falls away from the edge of the concrete driveway. I finally came up with a solution. I dug down 3 to 6" along the south edge of the slab and framed the opening with 8', 6 X 6" beams creating a "box" for lack of a better term that was 24' long and 3'wide. I secured these beams by drilling and driving 2' pieces of 3/8" rebar 18" into the ground and tying the beams together with steel straps and brackets. I had to remove nearly 2 tons of compacted clay with an assortment of some fairly large rocks that were embedded on the slope. The last step was to backfill my "box" with 1.5 tons of gravel which I compacted by driving over with the Rzr SXS. I still need to do some additional compaction and wet it all down a couple of times but once the passenger side tires are sitting on 2 X 10's the coach should be dead level with the existing slab. Here is a shot of the finished project: As you can imagine this was a lot of very physical labor for this 69 year old but I have succeeded in improving my garage access. Here is a shot of the coach in its new parking location. As you can see the the garage has a much easier entrance and though smallish handles my new Can Am Spyder along with my brides car: :C
Desert Captain 01/01/21 08:31am General RVing Issues
RE: Installing a safe?

i installed a small safe in our Class C 7 years ago shortly after buying the coach. It sits in the back of our small closet, waist high and is easy to access. I through bolted it using large ss flat washers and 5/16' double nutted bolts. Could someone with tools and time get it out... probably but it will be a PITA and require making a lot of noise {mostly the profanity from the thief}. :B When traveling in gun restrictive states like California my pistol rides in the safe {the rest of the time it is always within arms reach as I have a carry permit with reciprocity in 37 states} but I know that my wife can retrieve it in about 30 seconds while I am still behind the wheel as it has four keystroke access should we need it quickly in an emergency. We also keep cash, passports, electronics etc., just about anything a quick smash and grab their would be seeking. I can't imagine not having the safe as we travel extensively and are often well off of the grid in remote locations. :C
Desert Captain 12/28/20 07:58am General RVing Issues
RE: Life expectancy of a small C class.... Ex Rental

No folks, when I speak to renters I'm not about showing them "how dumb they are", give me a break, sheesh. By your interpretation I guess anyone who shares information on this Forum is "trying to show folks how dumb they are?" I enjoy meeting folks and sharing information. Local sites to see, places we have been, preferred routes etc. It has been done for me by others and I consider sharing good information as paying it forward. I also share my firewood especially with folks traveling with kids but I digress. Not once have I encountered a renter who had even heard of Tow Haul much less been provided with any of the many benefits of its use. Use it or don't your call. I would not buy a former rental anything, car, RV, boat as I have witnessed too much abuse over the years. If it works for you have at it. :R
Desert Captain 12/15/20 07:44am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Life expectancy of a small C class.... Ex Rental

I make it a point to chat with RV renters we encounter when out traveling. I've spoken with dozens over the years and not one was ever told about the use of Tow haul. When I explain how it works they are usually dumbfounded. The point being that motorhomes that never use TH slowly but surely cook their transmissions. Just sayin... As always... Opinions and YMMV :R It may surprise you That Cruise America Interestingly, Tow/Haul mode is engaged by DEFAULT automatically upon starting, to change this a module must be changed. You are right... that would surprise me. "Tow haul is initiated when you start the Majestic 19G (presumably on other models, too), and if most renters are as ignorant as everyone makes them out to be, they would have left it in tow haul mode." In talking to a number of renters about Tow Haul we usually end up in the drivers seat where I show them the button on the end of the shift lever that activates TH. Funny thing is it always functions just as it should...on and off. :S :R
Desert Captain 12/14/20 07:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Campgrounds around Zion national park

We always stay at the Watchman CG inside the park adjacent the visitors center and the shuttle station. This will require making reservations well in advance though you can sometimes get in at the last minute due to cancelations. It is a very nice CG right on the Virgin River and while they do not have "full" hookups they do have 30 amps, flush toilets and water spigots throughout the CG and no, you cannot fill your tanks in the CG, leave the "water thief" at home" and utilize the dump station facilities, a full service two lane inside the CG. The fees are reasonable {a geezer card will get you in for half price}, especially compared to the commercial RV parks nearby that are outrageously priced 365. Being able to just walk to the shuttles and then ride anywhere in the park is priceless. If you have to drive in get ready for a long expensive wait and parking in the park itself disappears quickly during the busier months and driving up into the park is restricted to outright prohibited for much of the year. Zion is amazing, probably my favorite NP but it is so much better when you stay at Watchman. As always... opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 12/14/20 08:53am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Life expectancy of a small C class.... Ex Rental

I make it a point to chat with RV renters we encounter when out traveling. I've spoken with dozens over the years and not one was ever told about the use of Tow haul. When I explain how it works they are usually dumbfounded. The point being that motorhomes that never use TH slowly but surely cook their transmissions. Every Class C that has blasted past me out on the highway doing 75+, and there have been a lot of them, has been a rental. Folks that can afford to rent can afford to pay for the gas burned with their foot to the floor. As noted the people who rent could not care less about not abusing their rented coaches. It is a tribute to the relatively bullet proof nature of the venerable Ford V-10 that these rentals survive 100,000+ miles of a base. IMHO a class C, regardless of size, that has a 5.4L V-8 will be hopelessly underpowered. For the record I loved my 5.4 that was in my F-150 SCab but I was only towing a 5,600#, 22' TT. Given how they are drivien I can only imagine the abuse that takes place with the various internal systems. You may save a few bucks initially when buying a refurbished rental but you will get pretty much what you pay for. Caveat Emptor. Just sayin... As always... Opinions and YMMV :R
Desert Captain 12/14/20 08:41am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Dump Station Observations

Permit a bit of thread drift... I have seen a guy lay his sewer hoses on the picnic table in their site. When I politely pointed out the issue to this clown he just did not get it or more likely care....grrrr!. Just another reason I NEVER eat at the site tables unless it gets thoroughly cleaned first. :S
Desert Captain 12/11/20 01:17pm General RVing Issues
RE: My very own 'broken bumper' story...why didn't I listen?

An example of why I don’t follow RVs with rear bumper mounted bike racks. Now consider all of the folks who hang a generator off the rear of their RV...:S Like the man said, you can't fix stupid. :R
Desert Captain 12/02/20 08:33am Travel Trailers
RE: Who do you use for Roadside Assistance?

I use coach Net, needed them once and the service was fine and after a number of years they are still right at $100 a year for all of the coverage I have ever needed.. Using your auto insurance for an RV can be full of rude surprises and coverage gaps... beware. One very popular company will not come into an RV park or campground, some will not change out a flat if it is one of your duallies etc. Be sure you understand when and just how far they will tow you and your rig. Is it to the nearest point of repair, is it their choice? What about whatever you happen to be towing? When my F-150 TV broke down we needed a tow rig capable of towing the truck and our small trailer. Not everyone provides that service without additional charge. Good luck. :C
Desert Captain 12/01/20 01:56pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Dump Station Observations

We recently moved from Tucson up to Payson AZ. Half a mile from our new home is the Giant {brand} gas station right on highway 260. For more than half of the year theirs is just about the only dump facility for a very long ways. They catch all of the traffic coming down off of the Mogollon Rim {where the only two dump stations are closed from October through mid May}. In so doing they do sell a lot of gas but their prices are in line with every other station in town. On weekends their dump stations are packed, often with a wait of 30 minutes to nearly an hour. When my 24'Class C needs to be dumped or if i just want to flush the tanks I go up mid morning/mid week and have the place all to myself... and yes I do buy gas there. This works very well especially as I really did not want to be dumping into my septic system at our new house. I have never spent more than ten minutes in a dump station and 5 minutes is the usual but my black and gray tanks are only 20 gallons a piece. Time spent is more a function of knowing what you are doing vs volume but get behind a 45'+ DP and see how long they take. ;) Lots of folks seem to assume they will be able to dump before leaving their campground but often it is not practical. Busy campgrounds typically have long lines/waits {especially on Sunday's} often due to the incompetence of the folks trying to use them... really people, it is not that complicated. Also due to the heavy use I have often seen CG dump stations out of order/shut down for extended periods of time. Now the folks who can't or don't want to wait are headed down the mountain with an extra 40 - 60 gallons of "stuff" adding 400 - 600# to their rigs, which often are already near or at their GVWR's. Something to think about in the next "discussion" here about actual weights in the real world. :S
Desert Captain 12/01/20 01:46pm General RVing Issues
RE: Dump Station Observations

Just as much fun as watching a busy boat launch. :) Hard to find anything better than the goings-on at a busy summer boat ramp. DW & I love sitting on the side, watching the show. Too often it's better at the ramp than being on the lake. Lots of non-friendly-to-younger-kids atmospheric disturbances... The large public boat ramp on Shelter Island in San Diego is right across the street from our Yacht Club. On MemorialDay, 4th of July and Labor Day we would pack a small cooler and take a couple of folding chairs over to watch the carnage. Launching was fun but the main event was always late in the day when all of these folks who use their boats about twice a year returned to the ramp. The wait for an opening would often be an hour and a lot of folks just could not be bothered with waiting their turn. By now {late afternoon} the kids are all tired, sunburned and often more than a little seasick. Mom has had enough but now has to go retrieve e the TV and trailer so dad can load the boat - a nice variation was dad retrieving the TV and trailer and watching mom try and get the boat on the trailer while listening to dad {I"M NOT YELLING!}. We would bring 3 x 5" cards and a sharpie and rate the performances numerically {1 - 10} holding our cards aloft much like the olympics. Wow, some of those soccer moms could swear like sailors after a day on the water... :B
Desert Captain 12/01/20 07:32am General RVing Issues
RE: Leveling a Class C?

I have Air Lift 5,000# air bags on the rear of my 24' Class C. I added them to deal with the extra tongue weight of my single axle cargo trailer . When loaded to 2,600# {which is about as heavy as I ever load it} the tongue weight drops the rear of the coach 1.5" {undoubtedly lightening up the front end... and not in a good way}". Inflating the bags to 50 psi {they are rated for 100 max} brings the coach back up restoring the 1.5" drop and leaving the tongue of the trailer dead level at the manufacturers recommended ball height of 16". An unexpected side benefit of this system is that when not towing I keep 25 psi in the bags to keep them deployed as per the recommendation of Air Lift and my ride and handling, while always good, got noticeably better. The heavy duty Bilstein shocks seem to work very well with the bags and while I never tried to add more than 50 psi I doubt this would raise the coach much if any. :C
Desert Captain 11/21/20 01:04pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Leveling a Class C?

Sounds good... You da man! :C
Desert Captain 11/20/20 07:48pm Class C Motorhomes
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