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RE: best route to/from Waterton, AB canada

I live in Helena MT and USED to go to Alberta all the time. I miss Peter Lougheed park. Well, IF...and I repeat IF...and when they reopen, there are kind of three ways to get to Cody. If you want the fastest, take the highways down to Billings and south. A more scenic route is 89 south to 287 through Augusta and down to Helena. It's still 70 mph road and nice and very pretty. Actually, there is a campground at Gibson Reservoir just west of Augusta that is beautiful and ALWAYS has open sites (Mortimer Gulch). The 23 mile dirt roads keep the riff raff out and is why it always has open sites. But it takes you right up to the edge of the Bob Marshall... The road is variable in quality. I put a road armor suspension on my TT as I like to go to these hidden gems. There used to be a very nice Nat Forest campground just above Helena on the McDonald Pass (not a big deal of a pass) but they cut down ALL the old growth trees and now it is bare... grrrr... From Helena, you can either take 287 down to the highway or go south to Boulder and take 69 south to the highway. There are two Low passes that way Boulder Mountain and then the other one as you head east but not a big deal and less than 15 minutes difference but prettier. 287 is flat. All of the roads are 70 mph. Then you can just drive highway all the way to Billings and go south through the Crow reservation or you can do two scenic routes. If you take the highway, in the Crow reservation is the battle of the little big horn site. The scenic routes are one through West Yellowstone and across the north side of the park or second from Gardiner into the park and across the Lamar Valley to Cooke City. This time of year I'd recommend Gardiner simply because of the Yellowstone traffic. You will miss the really crowded part east of West Yellowstone. The valley is awesome, Cooke City is a fun stop and there is a little cafe you can sit outside and get the dried trout as an appetizer. We usually get one to go in the cooler. Then east out of Cooke City and down to Cody. So, those are really your main choices. Under NO circumstances take that trailer across the Bear Tooth as it might look tempting down through Red Lodge. You could technically do it, but it would NOT be fun for the driver or anyone else on the road. Cody sucks for camping. There are Nat forest campgrounds as you leave Cooke City but good luck and one RV park in there somewhere. The campgrounds right around Cooke City are all hard side ONLY has a few tenters got grizzlied a few years ago and at least one of them died. So, no soft side anything now days.
Kavoom 06/03/21 07:10am Roads and Routes
RE: Anyone try Road Armor suspension system?

The Morryde has been said to be subject to a shearing breakage problem by a VERY few. It is an excellent system. Supposedly the Road Armor has been designed to address potential Morryde "faults." So, they supposedly went to school on Morryde.
Kavoom 06/03/21 06:32am Travel Trailers
RE: Towing Disaster-AAA

Sorry but after hearing this on the forum I switched from GS to CN. Coach Net sucks. Stranded hugging the white break down lane line for over 8 hours. CN=CoachNet? If they suck, why did you switch to them? My question also. I think he got them twisted...
Kavoom 05/29/21 09:00am General RVing Issues
RE: US 36 in Colorado

If you stay on I-25 you won't get to Estes Park. Oh, you will, there will just be a lot of pain involved. And wait till you get to Estes Park unless its around 2 in the morning.
Kavoom 05/29/21 08:30am Roads and Routes
RE: New and looking for a generator

I have to recommend the Westinghouse 2500 that can be handled by one person is quiet and has great reviews. I've been researching generators for over 10 years when the ONLY good ones available were the Honda and Yamaha. I almost went with one called Kipor out about 10 years ago and it was a Chinese rip off of the Honda. Honda made a boo boo and licensed their tech to a Chinese company that promptly began ripping them off. They spent years hunting them down and finally actually stopped them in China. I bet that wasn't cheap. So, anyway, Westinghouse got back into the generator market about 10 years ago with at first a 2000 unit at a decent price about half of the Honda. I bought it and am still using it and it runs a 13,500 airco at 7,000 feet. After much research and prompting an engineer who was testing different units I found out by research and prompting an engineer to test them that Westinghouse was sitting on a bunch of legacy patents and essentially went back to the library of them and now is a big deal in the home generator market here about 10 years later. The big problem was quietness in inverter generators 10 years ago. Westinghouse had a counter-rotating fan patent that cancelled noise somehow. They also designed the engine internals using some proprietary tech something in the guts that addressed the surge on start up of like an air conditioner that shut others down. Now they upped the watts on their unit to 2500 surge and I think it is designed to find the sweet spot of being able to power most TT's, be quiet and be able to be handled by one person. And it's at a reasonable price with very high stars in all settings around customer satisfaction... They also have a 4500 watt unit but if and when I jump again, I will likely look at two of the 2500's in parallel at not much more than the larger unit and still able to move the system around with one person. Much more flexibility with two units and redundancy. I'll start with one.
Kavoom 05/27/21 05:41am Travel Trailers
RE: New and looking for a generator

3000 watt likely will do what you want, but may be heavier than you want to handle. A 2000W inverter generator is likely to have problems starting the AC unit, especially at higher altitude. But it will be quite and easy to carry around. Add a micro air easy start to the AC and the 2000/2200W generator will likely do what you want. Now quiet & cheap are somewhat mutually exclusive. PLEASE do NOT buy an open frame cheap generator. Spend some money on a quiet inverter generator. honda yamaha and champion have some nice decent quality quiet generators in the 2000-3000W range. We boondock a lot, have a 13,500 BTU AC unit, an 1000W microwave and have a single honda 2200 W generator. My brother has the same. The AC units have the micro air easy start installed. Both of us consistently run the AC units at altitude approaching 7000ft with zip problems starting or running the AC. That said a honda 2000, or yamaha 2000 will eventually (20 minutes or so) overload at altitude above about 4500ft. Just can't run the AC AND microwave at the same time, but a 3000W wouldn't let you run both at the same time either. Good points, but over the last 10 years many other companies have come into the market with relatively inexpensive and quiet units. It used to be Honda and Yamaha and all the Chinese knockoffs. Now you have options like Westinghouse and even the Harbor Freights "predator" has decent marks and reviews and is just as quiet. You will spend a minimum of 600 bucks for a good 2000 unit and a thousand for a 3000. AND they have sized units and adjusted the tech now to start a 13,500 RV airco unit consistently... Look for ones with the start up power around 2K above the usual operating watts. Definitely do your research online from people who have used them. I have personally found Westinghouse units to be very good at about half the price of a Honda and Yamaha. But that's just one opinion.
Kavoom 05/23/21 05:21am Travel Trailers
RE: Best stabilization upgrade(s)?

One that kind of surprised me was when people installed suspension upgrades and in particular Sumo Springs. People put them on for one reason but often mention they improve the kinds of things you are noting.
Kavoom 05/23/21 05:13am Travel Trailers
RE: Lubricant for stabilizers

I use white lithium grease. I just paint it on with a small paintbrush. They make a spray lithium grease. I find it a very valuable tool.
Kavoom 05/23/21 05:08am Travel Trailers
RE: So many choices!

"Thanks, is there any relationship between the cargo capacity and the quality of the trailer?" That is mostly a function of the axles. There isn't much difference as almost all of them are made by Lippert.
Kavoom 05/23/21 05:02am Travel Trailers
RE: Suggestions to replace Rockwood Mini Lite 2306

Consider width. Your Winne was seven feet wide if I am not mistaken. Consider one of the 8 foot wide units. You will get more room as in a "real" dinette and not just two people. You get clothing "storage" next to the bed and if you get bunks, you can even find 40 inchers wide instead of just 28 to 32 inches.
Kavoom 05/23/21 05:00am Travel Trailers
RE: Pop-up -> TT ?

Having moved up to a travel trailer after 14 years of a pop up, I know what you are doing. Sorry, but what you stated you wanted and 20 feet isn't happening. In terms of quality, they are all in the same ball park. Not great...unless you really want to spend some money. A quality improvement will cost you around 5-7K over what a "regular" one will. As others noted, your tow vehicle will determine your trailer limits. Speaking from my experience moving up, we went to a 22 footer Aspen Trail old 1700BH and it was nice including a 41 inch bottom bunk and all the amenities without bells and whistles (e.g. manual hot water heater, had to add front stabilizers etc. We ended up going to a 27 foot Aspen Trail 2340. The big draw was a private bedroom, full bunks and the slideout. They make for a great deal of roominess vs regular ones. Also remember, there are two widths out there. There are 7 foot wide and 8 foot. I prefer 8 feet because of interior room... IF, I was moving from a pop up today, I would consider an Aspen Trail 1950 BHS. You aren't used to room so not having a slideout won't bother you and it is 8 feet wide so it has a "real" dinette vs a 7 footer. And they have put a few bells and whistles on now like auto stabilizers front back I believe. It has "full" bunks AND an outdoor kitchen. It's still pretty basic, but about right. It is imho a sweet spot floorplan. Quality is not the best but about average for the majority of units out there these days... And you can get one for about 21K And you will find if you sell your pop up, it will get more than you expect... I'd recommend you sell it yourself vs trade.
Kavoom 05/19/21 11:10am Travel Trailers
RE: Trip Report: Capitol Reef/Bryce/Zion

How come you don't have two axles on that? Oh wait, they would extend beyond the ends. Nevermind. Actually very nice efficient unit. In my early days I would have bought it in a heartbeat... Edit: Oh wait, I just looked at a video on it. We did look at that back when they were new. It was the smallest lightest "full" TT I could find back then. We had a Suby Forester and it was rated at 2400 lbs and this was just a bit too much. We ended up with an 8 box pop up that we had for 13 years. If we had had an Outback I would have done it. I remember the bunk over the dinette bed. Very nice piece of equipment. Ahh but, we have grown over time with a 28 foot slide bunkhouse and a much bigger tow vehicle.
Kavoom 05/13/21 10:36am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Best route Provo, UT to Grand Tetons - Help!

I just put it in google and got a very decent route meeting your expectations I believe. You will have to travel 16 up to 89 (US Highway) and then US 191. The "sketchiest" part in relation to your criteria is 16. But, Take a look at some random spots on 16 on google street view, and you will see it is not heavily traveled pretty wide with shoulders... That seems like a relatively easy day trip... IF you have somewhere to land. Frankly Jackson sucks...for air... There is a place (Headwaters/Flagg Ranch) in between the Tetons and Yellowstone that isn't cheap but has full hook ups and quite a few and is NOT a parking lot if you know what I mean... Makes a decent base camp. the dirt road west can be fun also.
Kavoom 05/13/21 10:32am Roads and Routes
RE: How to avoid getting blown all over the road

Hello All, Curious on how I can avoid wind blowing the camper and my truck all over the place to the point of it being really annoying to drive and causing me to not even want to use it. I have RAM 1500 with the 5.7 V8. It doesn't work too hard to pull my 29' toy hauler (7k lbs empty and ~8.5k with stuff loaded) at 65mph down the road. The problem comes in that even with slight side wind gusts I'm blown all over the place and I have to slow down to about 50mph to keep it drivable. I have a BlueOx hitch with sway controls as well as the trailer friction sway control. I have LT tires and after getting the weight distribution down pat, I have also installed airbags in the springs to keep the truck level. This helped, but I am still getting blown around the road. I'm to the point of looking at a larger 2500 diesel RAM, or a full on drivable RV toyhauler, or just an RV that I would put a standard trail behind. Before I go to these (expensive) extremes. Does anyone on here have any advice on something I could be missing? Thank you, Well, imho, I think Ram 1500 and 8.5K says it all... I have the same with a 10,500 max (yes, within capacity) at around 6500 loaded (5500 dry) and 800 wet tongue weight (27 feet 4 inches) and it seems to be a sweet spot. But you get a good wind gust and it lets you know in an unpleasant way... I have a Eastway E2 10K and it does a good job of allowing me to NOT lose control... Oh, I did get the after market airbags off Amazon installed for 280.00. They "damp" movement.
Kavoom 05/11/21 06:04am Towing
RE: St Louis

I really recommend the northern most "bypass." As noted, it is still busy, but imho not as "dangerous" as going through. Take 270 and then 370 West... It's not fun irrespective. I have almost always ended up coming to a stop at some point going through the middle.
Kavoom 05/11/21 05:55am Roads and Routes
RE: Small (non-teardrop) Off-road travel trailer

There are actually some very short dual axle trailers out there. You will have to go 25 feet minimum with a Murphy bed but if it is only two people that might work. Or you can get them even with a sideways trailer queen with a slide out dinette and bunks at around 23 to 25 feet about minimum.
Kavoom 05/07/21 07:32am Travel Trailers
RE: Trailer Selection - Suggestions requested

" If/when you see the right one, don't think about it a while, don't wait until after lunch or after work to call." Good advice.
Kavoom 05/07/21 07:22am Travel Trailers
RE: Estes Park to Loveland

Thanks for the info Kavoom! This is a scouting trip for future trips. We want to gather information on utv trails as well as good campgrounds. We are looking forward to exploring the Black Hills. This may be our last trip to Estes if it’s that bad. Mark Just curious. What do you ride? We aren't into the UTV's...yet...I do ogle them I must admit and I actually have considered the Mahindra Roxor even if it sort of crosses over. But, if you want that kind of experience then consider Montana. They are everywhere. I have a great set of trails within a couple of miles of my house and you can drive them on the roads up here. And IF I am not mistaken, if your UTV is considered street legal in one state and licensed, then other states through reciprocity have to allow you to use them on their roads... I've seen a few in National Parks must have been toweds on trailers or something. Not off road though. I've done the snowmobile trails in the Black Hills out of Spearfish a few times and am wondering if that trail system is used for UTV's. Oh and if you have time, drive the Spearfish Canyon road. It is beautiful and stop at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. You can sit out back by the creek with an adult beverage there also and enjoy... AND, as you go through the Wildlife loop in Custer State Park, you can drive on all the dirt roads that traverse the loop and they end up in all kinds of different places. The back roads in the Black Hills are fun. I am not sure if you can take a UTV on that. Might check. One nice one that either ends up at the Bluebell or starts down by the horse campground. Another is a shortcut to the main road into Rapid City from the South or as you head toward the Badlands. My TV is a 2015 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman 5.7 Hemi pulling a 27.4 Aspen Trail 2340 bunkhouse. The Ram is set up for some medium duty off roading we do up here in MT. It's been a great truck. We just moved up from a 23 foot bunkhouse that had a turned axle for six inches and have gone many places with that. I am sacrificing a bit of boondocking for the bigger TT but that's OK. Getting older.
Kavoom 05/07/21 06:52am Roads and Routes
RE: West Yellowstone to Grand Tetons

There are curves and grades but the speed limit is 45 mph, so you are not going too fast anyway. The roads aren't interstate wide but they are fine. Pay attention and you will enjoy the ride. LOL, if there are animals, you will be lucky to move at all until the rangers come and shoo the people away... AND DON'T go near the animals. I ran the Communicable Disease Epidemiology Program for Montana till retirement. You really don't want to spend 3500 bucks on rabies prophylaxis. Oh, and otters kill dogs for sport, don't let your dogs loose. Otters just look cute, they are actually vicious nasty creatures on their own turf and work together... Oh the Otters also bite the humans trying to save the dogs... And our cheap entertainment in Montana is watching tourists get thrown in the air by bison... But no rabies prophylaxis needed for that just inpatient hospital and an operating room usually. And Montanan's don't go anywhere near that area after about now in May and until after the kids go back to school. Then it's ours again. But, a good base camp with power and water can be a place called Flagg Ranch in between the Tetons and Yellowstone. The name might have changed but a search on that will get you there. Might want to check it out. Not cheap but decent and the dirt roads west out of there can be fun...
Kavoom 05/06/21 08:45am Roads and Routes
RE: Too hot

WOW, that's an open ended question, Too hot? According to who, Or is it whom, but seeing that your from Ontario, and there's nearly NO shade there, I'd say yes. Actually, the average temp in July is 89F, but I'm sure it can be quite a bit warmer. But, it is a dry heat...
Kavoom 05/06/21 08:40am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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