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RE: Time for new tires?

YES! Last October I had a disastrous blowout on my Class C of a 5.5 year old Michelin. I’d had them all inspected by Discount Tire the day before. They looked perfect, had 4/32’s of tread and were aired up to the ideal psi. The damage totaled $4,131 and it could have been a lot worse as I was able to safely get over and off of the interstate. ANY tire over 5 years old is potentially dangerous and I will never own one again. :C
Desert Captain 01/26/20 08:21pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Quartzsite show

Negativity/whining is always easier than trying to see the many positives of an event like the Q. I like to post the truth for the benefit of those who have not been and warn them off of the negative naysayers. :C I see. So because you and many others enjoy the Q show everyone should enjoy it? I enjoy countless things in life that I'm sure you and others do not. Everyone has their likes and dislikes. The Q show is not for me and I'll let those who ask know why. Doesn't mean they won't like it but they'll have all perspectives to decide if its good for them. If you enjoy it then great, but not everyone likes what you do!! Seriously? Really? I always try and report accurately my experiences to share with others. Feel free to dispute that vicious pack of facts that I have reported about Quartzsite over the years. If what I am reporting is not your cup of tea... you're welcome, no need to come and be unhappy. Yes it is dusty and there is... gasp, sand and gravel in abundance. Some folks complain about smoke in campgrounds others fuss about sand at the beach. Where did I ever say that "everyone should enjoy it"? I have said {more than once} that IMHO: everyone should come and experience it once and if you are not happy no need to return and I'll stand by that. Every year we go for 2 days and 2 night and every year that is enough and works out just fine. The fact that every year well north of 100,000 people flock to the Q for as much fun as they can stand should indicate some credible level of a good time being had by most if not all. :C
Desert Captain 01/22/20 05:23pm Rallies, Shows and Gatherings
RE: Quartzsite show

Just returned from a week of serious fun at Ehrenburg {Arizona Oasis} and Quartzsite {Rice Ranch}. Our friends from San Diego who had never been to the "Q" joined us in their 40' DP towing his 200 HP serious go fast Rzr. We were in out little 24' Class C towing our 570 Rzr in the 10' cargo trailer. Tom and I rode over 200 miles in 3 days traveling round trip from Ehrenburg to the "Q" by way of the Power Line and pipeline trails {don't even call them roads} twice. These are very technical/difficult rock crawling trails with a few miles of high speed fun thrown in on the flatter stretches and the many washes. We all shopped till we dropped and managed to find quite a few bargains. I bought mostly hand tools to complete my collection {wrenches 2 for $5...} and even popped for a $50 video cam that I can mount to my helmet to document/film Rzr or motorcycle rides. The numbers of the crowd and vendors were up this year and everyone seemed to be in a positive mood. Nothing but friendly folks having too much fun everywhere we wandered. While a little cooler than usual the weather was good with just a few sprinkles yesterday but not enough to knock down the ever present dust. Chinese lanterns were launched into the night skies by the dozens with lots of round the campfire parties scattered throughout the large Rice Ranch CG/RV Park{large gravel lot with full HU's of $47 and dry camping for $10}, we always dry camp but were easily able to tuck in next to our friends at their FHU site. Think twice about making any large purchases while at the Q as the quaint but greedy little town of Quartzsite has a sale tax of somewhere north of 10 percent. Arrrrrg! :S Check things out, put your hands on them and then go home and order them off the internet. Some day the town folks will wake up and smell the coffee and realized they are driving business away... well maybe. :h Can't wait to return next year as we always have a blast and this year was no exception. Bringing our friends for their very first trip to the Q made it even better to see all of the craziness through the eyes of first timers. :B
Desert Captain 01/22/20 02:07pm Rallies, Shows and Gatherings
RE: Quartzsite show

Every year we get these threads about Quartzsite... for those that can only complain, stay home and give the rest of us a break. Why the rant on people who don't favor this event? Anything going on anywhere in the country appeals to some and not to others. I'm sure you don't like everything everywhere!! People ask about this event like any event. Negative view points are just as meaningful as positive in allowing someone who has never been to decide if it appeals to them. As rants go on this and other forums I don't consider my comments as all that much of a rant. Negativity/whining is always easier than trying to see the many positives of an event like the Q. I like to post the truth for the benefit of those who have not been and warn them off of the negative naysayers. When thousands of folks come every year to the Q, year after year, well I guess they are all idiots thinking they had a good time... Duh! :S it is worth noting that the vast majority not only have a great time they come back again and again. As I and many others have stated if the Q is not your cup of tea so be it. I still maintain that everyone who is able should go at least once and if you do not enjoy, don't return... pretty simple really. In the spirt of full disclosure I must confess that somehow I manage to have a great time just about everywhere I go. The Q is one of my favorite destinations and probably always will be. As I often note... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 01/16/20 07:46pm Rallies, Shows and Gatherings
RE: Propane vs Electric Heating

We have a large {35,000 BTU}, very efficient, LP furnace in our 24' Class C. When the temperature differential is in the 40 degree range {between 32 ambient and 72 in the coach} the furnace runs for about 5 minutes every hour. Any electric heater is going to run virtually all of the time. Keep in mind that our coach {Nexus} is very well built, vacuum sealed multilayer walls, Azdell and has heated tanks. Propane is far more efficient and the cost differential is minimal but... as noted if they are not metering your electric go for it. I usually use the AC to heat our water even if metered as it is on very little as the tanks maintains the heat well. :C
Desert Captain 01/15/20 08:37am General RVing Issues
Our annual Quartzite trip and more...

For the 7th year win a row we are headed out to the Q for some fun. We have consistently found that 2 days and nights at the Q are enough to see and do all we came for. This year we are going to start off at the Arizona Oasis in Ehrenburg right on the Colorado River for 4 days and nights of riding our Rzrs at the Ehrenburg Sand Bowl OHV area. It is just a mile away, we can ride right out of the RV park and being on the river is always a treat. I just put new Zbroz shocks on the Rzr and the ride improvement is awesome. We will leave Thursday morning for the 4.5 hour drive to Ehrenburg and then head back to Quartzsite on Monday morning for our usual dry camp, 2 days/nights stay at Rice Ranch in the center of the Q. We'll meet our friends from San Diego in Ehrenburg and they will accompany us for what will be their first Quartzsite visit. Should be a hoot seeing the show through their first timer eyes. We have to return to Tucson on Wednesday as I have a meeting on Thursday in San Diego and will stay for a few days to take care of business and visit family and friends. The weather looks good for the entire 11 day run and today will be spent prepping, shopping, fueling and loading for our next series of adventures. Here is a shot of our site at Arizona oasis taken last October: :B
Desert Captain 01/15/20 07:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Quartzsite show

Every year we get these threads about Quartzsite... for those that can only complain, stay home and give the rest of us a break. The Q is a unique experience that is as positive or negative as YOU chose to make it. I would challenge those negative naysers to name another venue where a 100,000+ folks can come together in close quarters and have a pleasant experience. While I know there are law enforcement folks throughout the crowd I have yet to see any interactions where they were needed. Everyone is nice, polite and just enjoying the variety of things to see. If you get bored looking at endless swap meet booths stop by Beer Bellies Adult Day Care for a burger and perhaps a brew, listen to the live music and kick back. If that does not work for you please just drive on out of town and take your negativity down the road... you will not be missed. The "Q" is what it is and for us it is a hoot, every year and we will continue to come back. :C
Desert Captain 01/11/20 07:18pm Rallies, Shows and Gatherings
RE: Class A crash

A couple of thoughts... I would much rather have been in my Class C {Ford E-350 Chassis} than a class A that came apart like a cheap card table. Not much steel between the occupants of an A vs a C. Anyone in the front passenger seat would have likely been severely injured or killed. Clearly the A driver was driving too fast without nearly enough following distance. When your lane becomes obstructed you have to be able to stop as you have no right whatsoever to the next lane over UNLESS it is clear and safe to move into. The "2 second rule" of following distance is the bare minimum for most vehicles and when you are in 20,000+# of RV you should make that the 4 second rule. I'm glad the driver walked away, hope he bought lottery tickets on the way home. I'm guessing that once lovely Precept was fully insured so all in all he got away with some less than stellar driving. As always... opinions and YMMV. :E
Desert Captain 01/10/20 01:41pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Quartzsite show

How many of you folks on here are making the trek to the big show? This will be our 7th year in a row, we would not miss it. That being said we find that 2 days and nights are plenty. We have a short list of bargains we are seeking, nothing major just some spare tools {sockets, extensions etc.} that can be had cheap out of the bins at the swap meet section. We have friends who will be joining us on their first visit to the Q so will undoubtedly enjoy the show even more through their eyes. We will be doing 4 days and nights in Ehrenburg {Arizona Oasis} right on the Colorado River and will be riding the Ehrenburg Sand Bowl OHV area everyday on our Rzr's. We'll all move to Rice Ranch at the Q on Monday morning and head home Wednesday. IMHO: You don't have to go every year but everyone should go at least once. :C
Desert Captain 01/10/20 09:31am Rallies, Shows and Gatherings
RE: State route 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona

we are driving it tommorrow with a 35' 5er and a second trlr with the sxs. Going to Bouse and the Q. no problem. Your rig sounds like it is well over 50’ and that makes you illegal. Expect to be stopped and cited. Probably have to disconnect the sxs’ trailer as well. IMHO: No reason to do it and lots of reasons not to. :h
Desert Captain 01/08/20 10:04am Roads and Routes
RE: Mobile Detailing - Tucson Az

I don’t know any but I would think any of the dealers there would know of someone. In fact from some time ago I remember that freedom RV would wash and wax. It wasn’t cheap then and don’t know if they still do even that I had some repair work done at Freedom last month and the work was excellent. Yes, they do have full wash, wax and detail services available and no... they are not cheap. To have my 24' 2012 Class C power washed and waxed I was quoted $500 but having seen their work I am seriously considering have them {not me} do it. :C
Desert Captain 12/31/19 08:17am Class A Motorhomes
RE: 2019

Best of 2019... our annual summer week in Pagosa Springs right on the San Juan River. Six days of exploring southern Colorado on my Indian motorcycle including the trip to the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad for the all day ride between Antonito and Chama. A close second was a week in Angel Fire NM riding our Rzr including a run up to the top of Greenie Peak {11,300'} out of Red River. Worst event was the blowout on westbound I-10 109 miles from the Colorado River last October. Spent 2.5 hours in the dead zone on the shoulder when the drivers side outer dually grenaded doing over $4,000 damage to the wheelwell. Having a spare ready to go saved our butt's. :C
Desert Captain 12/26/19 08:08am General RVing Issues
RE: Cabinet Quality

Captain, NOT calling you a liar! What are your interior walls made of? What are your shelves in the cabinets made of? What are your drawer bottoms made of? I can go on but there is simply no way your rig has ONLY solid wood inside it!!! Actually {and sadly, offense accepted } you are. :( The examples you cite are made of solid wood... like I said no particleboard or plywood. Nexus like a few other quality builders uses Azdell in the walls, not Luann which is just another term for plywood. Azdell cost more to use but it is lighter than plywood, has a higher R value and will not absorb moisture. Initially Lance and Nexus were just about the only builders to use it but now many more like Winnebago are going that route on some if not all of their coaches. Our coach is a 2012 and though I do know if they continue to use Azdell I have no idea if they still build them the same way. When we were at the factory in in 2015 they had started building the interior cabinetry in their factory vs subbing it out to the local Amish carpenters. :R
Desert Captain 12/23/19 07:55am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Cabinet Quality

We have a Nexus Class C but for what it is worth there is no, zip, zero, nada, particleboard or plywood anywhere in our coach. Back in 2012 they were still subbing out the custom maple cabinets to local Amish carpenters and the quality shows. The really cheaped out rigs out there have the contact paper stuck to particle board or plywood and of course it looks like {pick your metaphor here knowing that accuracy will get you banned}... When you find that level of garbage in any RV you can bet the rest of it was built about as cheaply as is humanly possible. Quality, solid wood cabinets do not warp or crack and are usually fitted with equally well built hardware. That has been our experience after 6+ years and 60K miles. :C
Desert Captain 12/22/19 06:03pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Ford E450 vs E350 under a Class C

Ron, et al... As an E-350 guy on a 24'Class C that typically runs near or at GVWR I can suggest another way to go. I added Air Lift air bags rated to 5K# to our coach almost a year ago and the change has been amazing. The ride and handling, even loaded heavy and or towing was always excellent but when I added a single axle 10' {14' overall} cargo trailer the extra tongue weight {vs a tandem axle trailer} was noticeable. When I hook up the trailer loaded either with my motorcycle {2,220#} or the Rzr {2,600#} the rear bumper drops 1.5". Add 50 psi to the bags and the rear end rises back to dead level. The handling and ride improved significantly and even when running "light"not towing and weighing in at just under 11,000# I have found that by adding just 25psi to the bags, much to my surprise, the ride got even better. Air bags should always have a at least a minimal inflation and the 25 psi meets that need nicely with the additional benefit of significant ride improvement. I do have to credit the Heavy Duty Bilstein's that I installed at 33K miles as contributing greatly to the overall ride. They were amazing from day one but seem to be a perfect match with the air bags as well. :C
Desert Captain 12/20/19 07:41am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Getting cold {er} in southern Arizona...

Our winters may suck, but our summers are wonderful. While I'm out spending a day biking or hiking in the summer you poor Arizona folk are trying to stay at 80 indoors to avoid getting fried in 120 temps. :B Oh the myths keep missing... Been here in southern Arizona for 15 years and have yet to see 120 anywhere. A typical hot summer day will be 101 - 104 here in Tucson we live at 3,300' at the foot of Mt Lemon which is- 9,200+'. In the Valley of the Sun = Phoenix, they often see 112 - 116 but it does not get there until mid to late afternoon. At 0700 it is usually around 75 and stays pretty pleasant until 2 or 3. I have never seen Tucson even close to the high temp for the nation but have seen Portland Oregon win it. Face it folks June through September is called "Summer" for a reason... it is hot just about everywhere. What most folks don't realize about Arizona is that the average elevation is something north of 4,000'. When it gets warm down at the lower elevations we just head up to the mountains and at 7 to 9,000' heat is not a problem. Oh is it true that the mosquito is the state bird of Wisconsin? :h :B
Desert Captain 12/18/19 07:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Getting cold {er} in southern Arizona...

Why the HELL would you winterize in the 30's??? He did it so he'd have a reason to restock the BAR! LMAO! At least give me credit for wearing shoes... if not for the cold for the damned cactus we have everywhere hereabouts. I have no concerns as long as the temps don't drop into the upper 20's for hours at a time. This happens on a regular basis here in the high Sonoran Desert. With the forecast this week for temps in the low 30's coupled with our being out of town for the holidays now seemed a good time to address "Winterizing". Low temps are no issue if we are in the rig but parked in storage with no AC power available my southern Arizona my minimalist Arizona winterizing works just fine. Being able to camp year round is privilege we take full advantage of {Also ride my Indian Springfield and Polaris Rzr year round and play a lot of golf, aah the joys of southern Arizona} I do love all the macho stories of the dreaded winters so many experience... {you much man Hondo!} and have my sympathies but living in such climates is a self inflicted wound. We spent last Christmas at my friends house in Angel Fire NM, saw 14 degrees below zero with a foot and a half of fresh powder {gorgeous!} the day we left and no, we won't be up there this year. We'll be spending the holidays with my daughter and SIL in San Diego but fear not we will tough it out. :B
Desert Captain 12/17/19 02:06pm General RVing Issues
Getting cold {er} in southern Arizona...

The forecast was calling for lows here in Tucson in the low thirties for most of the night so I "Winterized" our class C... Arizona style yesterday. I open the three fresh water valves and let them drain while driving around for about 5 miles and leave them open. Next I add a quart of RV antifreeze to the black and grey tanks and a cup or so to each of the traps {two sinks and the shower}. That's about it, never bothered to blow out the lines as driving around a bit seems to clear them sufficiently. Oops, almost forgot the most important step... restock the bar! :S Been using this method for 12 years with no freezing related damage issues. I always carry a spare gallon or two in the coach as we camp year round and and the desert nights can easily get down into the 20's. Fortunately our 24' Class C Nexus came with heated tanks, is very well insulated and has a 35,000 BTU furnace. Our Christmas run to San Diego to visit our daughter and SIL will be in the Honda Ridgeline but in January we are headed out to Ehrenburg {on the Colorado River} for 4 days and nights of riding our Rzr's and then up the road to Quartzsite for the big RV show. Alamo State Park is a probable stop on the way home. Will be packing the Campfire In a Can and the spare 20# LP bottle as well as the usual assortment of cold weather clothes... it will be chilly but snow is not likely. :C
Desert Captain 12/17/19 07:54am General RVing Issues
RE: Opinions Appreciated (yeah about tires)

I just added 3 Michelin Agilis Cross Climates{$251 a piece OTD at Discount Tire} to my 2011 E-350 chassis {24' Class C} after a blow out {grenaded actually with $4,131 damage to the rig}. It was my bad as despite them looking fine and having 4/32's of tread and being properly inflated for the load it carried it was 5.5+ years old as were 2 others so I replaced all three. I should have replaced all 3 at 5 years... a mistake I will not repeat. I now have 3 Michelin Defenders {replaced the LTX MS2's} that are one year old plus the 3 new CC's. The ride and handling has always been outstanding and nothing changed in that regard with the new CC's. I have my tires inspected and aired up for the load they will actually be carrying before every trip as my actual weights can carry by almost a thousand pounds depending on what I am towing or how I am loaded. :C
Desert Captain 12/15/19 11:45am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Motorhomes on Mercedes Chassis

"The Sprinter cabin is much roomier and taller than the Ford cabin that when sitting in the house you get the feeling you're in a small class A since the view is much better, thanks to the tall windshield. " Sorry, but for a thread that has had a refreshing amount of honest reports/opinions about the Mercedes chassis Class C's I finally have to take exception to this post. There is no Class C {B+} with less interior volume/room than a Mercedes. Oh, and do not get me started on how uncomfortable the Mercedes seats are, compared to the Ford multi adjustable power seats the difference is day and night. The last thing a Mercedes is... is much roomier. My 24' E-350 Class C has 7' of head room throughout the coach. I would venture to state {without fear of inaccurate correction} that no Mercedes Class C has that much headroom. I have yet too see any Mercedes chassis Class C even close to the 101" of width our C has. My biggest objection to the Mercedes Class C's is two fold - they are MUCH smaller inside and the ridiculous cost to buy {not to mention maintain} one vs a Ford or Chevy chassis. Yes they can get 15 mpg though many do not. No they will not even come close to towing like a V-10 or large V-8 Chevy. If Mercedes floats your boat more power to ya {you will need it} but please folks... let's keep it honest here for the benefit of those who do not know any better. As always... Opinions and YMMV. Perhaps you should have read my post a bit closer. I specifically said the Sprinter cabin is roomier compared to a Ford chassis cabin. I never compared the coach portion of the two. No need for me to reread your post... You stated: "that when sitting in the house you get the feeling you're in a small class A since the view is much better, thanks to the tall windshield. " and I replied: "There is no Class C {B+} with less interior volume/room than a Mercedes." You simply confirmed my theory that they are much smaller in volume by pointing out the illusion of size you get when sitting in "the house". Spend a little time in an actual class A and the illusion will disappear like smoke in the wind. This also points out that most Mercedes chassis' have fewer and smallish windows. One often needs to duck down just to see out except forward with no view at all to the rear. The lack of interior width along with Murphy Beds and rear extending slides to create temporary sleeping accommodations exacerbates this. Another issue for me is the galley set up. I like to cook but in most Mercedes would find it necessary to bend down to see what is in the pan on the stove to get under the vent/hood {and it is a small two burner - one normal size with a second tiny burner - try putting two pans to the flame at one time... good luck with that}. The microwaves are often the size of a shoebox and few even offer a conventional oven as an option. Counter space is at a premium if you have any at all. The refrigerators, out of necessity {lack of available space} are much smaller than in conventional Class C;'s {Ford/Chevy chassis'}. In our E-350 Class C I have a full 3 burner stove top with a conventional oven and a microwave as large as the one in our home. Counter space is enhanced by a foldup counter extension. Once or twice a year we wander the local RV Show browsing a dozen or more Mercedes Class C/B+'s along with the new crop of Ford and Chevy models looking at the features and space being discussed here. If a more compact coach works for you and money is no object Mercedes offers lots of options {models} to choose from but they really are a different animal when it comes to actually using them out on the road. As always... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 12/11/19 07:29am Class C Motorhomes
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