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Author Topic: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back  (Read 1242 times)

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2017, 08:35:49 AM »
Just a quick note. Florida is sea level and you're climbing. There is no way for air to escape the tires so the differential (inflation) pressure goes up. It increases by about one PSI per thousand feet elevation.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2017, 09:05:33 AM »
Yes, but the cold temps have the opposite affect.  Which is greater?  I bled out a bit when getting the alarms, but now in the 50 degree cool morning today, my lowest is about 74 psi.  Should be 80psi.  Debating about topping it up a bit, but I know in an hour or so it'll warm up and with driving it will be well above 80.  Regardless, I like to keep them all equal and on setpoint, but now they are a mess.  My little compressor is just too small and so I struggle to get it right.
Oh I need to point out that Camping World in ABQ wanted to charge me and make me wait for a tech to air them up.  DW wanted to do some shopping there so I went looking for an air hose while she shopped.

and I also need to get out today and figure out why the water heater isn't lighting on LP.  A mixture problem from the elevation perhaps?  The windy weather?  Spiders?

So...after ABQ
Petrified Forest and Painted Desert - We took a drive through, North to South.  It was a nice drive and I’m glad we did it.  I think DW was done by halfway through though.  She was expecting more from the ‘forest’.  Honestly, it did look like someone littered the place with leftover firewood.  Nice desert views and I was surprised by the variation in geology across short distances.  The other surprise for me was the drive up to Crystal Forest.  Narrow windy road right on the edge of shear drop bluffs with no shoulder at all.  I managed no problem, but it was extremely windy and I wouldn’t want to repeat it if towing a long TT with marginal tow vehicle.
 
We skipped the Crater.  DS & I kindof wanted to see it but it wasn’t a priority and it was getting late.  The girls weren’t interested so we passed.
 
Stopped for the night at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino near Flagstaff.  Found it with Allstays.  Joined the already large crowd of RVs and trucks, and it was getting late so we didn’t even ask.  I’m thankful to the Navajo for allowing it!
 
The next morning it was too early to visit Walnut Canyon and we didn't want to wait.  It wasn't planned stop and DW & I visited there 13 years ago....  From there we pushed onto the South Rim, where we still are.  T-Mobile is non-existent here and we are roaming on USCell or some such thing.  Almost useless data signal and no voice in most of the area.
 
We had given up our July Trailer Village reservations when we changed our trip dates, so after a day of visiting much of the South Rim, we ended up our first night in a dispersed area I found using Allstays off Fire Road near Grandview.  Maybe the best campsite I have ever been in….for sure the best in the RV!  I am jealous of you folks out West with such great wide open spaces and boondocking opportunities.  We went out for an evening walk in the area and stumbled across the AZ Trail, which passes very close to the site we picked.  We did a token hike towards Mexico, then an even shorter one towards Utah.  The kids were creeped out with the spot though because we had found a couple partial skeletal remains of what looked to be elk….and with them not used to being so far removed from other people they were just a bit scared.
 
The next day brought us more South Rim adventure, bus ride out to Hermit Point, and a short hike down Bright Angel.  Thanks to Sellerbird I seemed like an expert pointing out the hieroglyphs!
 
DW wanted to try for a space in the RV park here in Tusyan, but before visiting there to check I took a drive down Long Jim Loop Road to see the area Sellerbird had suggested a long time back when I first started planning the trip.  Found one really great spot with a bull Elk lying nearby lazily grazing.  A couple tenters but nobody else around.  Anyway, Camper village didn’t look like much too me….dusty and grown up and run down.  Maybe 10% capacity so plenty of room.  Their cheapest option was just under $40 for a 30Amp water/electric site…..and NO DISCOUNT offered for Good Sam or anything else.  Thanks but no….back to the Bull Elk site.  It’s a bit more trafficked and ‘urban’ so I didn’t relax quite as much but it was great for the night.  Charging our devices can wait till an RV park in Page, or by generator on the road.  Thanks Sellerbird!
 
I’ll try to post some photos when we get better signal….

Oh question to Sellerbird.... I can now see why you and so many others like it so much out here.....but why on earth then did you land in Florida?
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2017, 09:27:38 AM »
We had given up our July Trailer Village reservations when we changed our trip dates, so after a day of visiting much of the South Rim, we ended up our first night in a dispersed area I found using Allstays off Fire Road near Grandview.  Maybe the best campsite I have ever been in….for sure the best in the RV! 
It is a wonderful campground. The last time I camped there we were the only people in the entire campground and it snowed on us and it was June. Me and my girlfriend took a short hike down the trail singing "Walking In A Winter Wonderland".
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The next day brought us more South Rim adventure, bus ride out to Hermit Point, and a short hike down Bright Angel.  Thanks to Sellerbird I seemed like an expert pointing out the hieroglyphs!
I used to enjoy hanging out at the end of the tunnel and pointing out the hieroglyphs to hikers. Some people mentioned they had hiked the trail many times and never noticed them. There is no sign pointing them out and they are not mentioned in any literature anywhere probably to keep vandals from messing them up.
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DW wanted to try for a space in the RV park here in Tusayan, but before visiting there to check I took a drive down Long Jim Loop Road to see the area Sellerbird had suggested a long time back when I first started planning the trip.    Charging our devices can wait till an RV park in Page, or by generator on the road.  Thanks Sellerbird!
There are outlets in the restaurants at Maswik Lodge and several other places on the south rim. I have spent dozens of nights camping there and rarely do you see another camper. It is like paradise to me.
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Oh question to Sellerbird.... I can now see why you and so many others like it so much out here.....but why on earth then did you land in Florida?
I did not land in Florida on purpose, my RV died and no one could figure out how to get it running properly again so I took it as a sign from God that after ten years of full timing and driving around the country like a crazed pinball that it was time to hang up the keys and settle down. I lived on the left coast for over 40 years, the midwest for 10 years so I decided the east coast would be cool to live at since I had not spent much time there. I really love it here and I have a great location but I really do miss the canyon and all the beauty out west. I visited there last year and I will visit it again in 2019.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

PopPop51

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2017, 03:03:50 PM »
Brad,
 :)) to the trip reports. We're really enjoying them.
It's been five years since I was last in ABQ and at the Canyon. They're calling to me again though.
Glad you got to the Museum of Nuclear Energy. I pleasantly surprised when I stumbled on it.
Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2017, 08:13:23 AM »
I've been wanting to post more regularly, and include pictures.... just no time when you're going-going....and besides both cell service and wifi have been nearly useless out here.

After a very windy drive to Page from the Desert View Tower, and a nice stop for gawking and rock scrambling with the crowd at Horseshoe Bend, there was no room at the RV park in Page.  Tried to call the next place we could find so we just drove out.  Got lucky with a premium spot on a 'full’ Wahweap RV park.  This is a great park, part of the Glen Canyon NRA.  Day of relaxing, laundry, and biking /scootering the park looking for the Jack Rabbits that are all over the place… decided to stay another night.  Next day we did some more biking/scootering in the park, laundry, and relaxing….
(we didn't bring kids bikes, just their little razor scooters, to make things easier..)
Then a hot afternoon hike in the Waterholes slot canyon.  Nice time but hot.  Oh interesting thing to see what I'm 98.9% sure to be Guy Fieri’s Renegade super c a few spots down from us.  Didn't get to meet him.
 
The next morning we drove through monument valley to do the Forrest Gump run, then the Four Corners Monument and then on to Mesa Verde.  Had an interesting chat with the nice Navajo lady selling jewelry there at teh forest gump place in monument valley, about all the folks stopping to run in the road.....
Anyway, at Mesa Verde we got a campsite in the very unimpressive dry campground.  CG is not at all big rig friendly from what I have seen.  A few spots would accommodate something larger than ours but not many.  CG is in desperate need of mowing and general TLC.  Sad really, because the CG with just a little effort to mow, spruce up, and level a few sites, could be a really great dry CG.  They do have wifi there which is great, but you have to set up on the correct side of the bathhouses to get an almost usable signal.
 
The following day we toured Mesa Verde Long House and Balcony house.  Really a great time and worth the effort to do in my opinion.
 
Went into Durango.  Opted against the train ride because it’s expensive, but we were really impressed with the town.  We found free parking in the lot at the bus terminal (free after 5) where there are not rv spaces but enough room on a weekday at 4:30PM….  Enjoyed the train museum (free) which has an amazing collection of train stuff, but also some old cars, aircraft, and all sorts of military stuff.  Dinner and walking around the historic downtown rounded out the day….
Counted on the Walmart there, based on reviews on allstays, but arrived to find the signs that are mentioned in the reviews.  DW asked inside and was told no parking.  City ordinance.  We called the Home Depot down the road, who told us the city asked them to sign some agreement against RV parking just last week.  I guess Durango isn’t overly RV friendly.
 
Getting late, but we ended up driving down to the Walmart in Farmington NM, where there were no RVs but 2 trucks parked.  We had called ahead and were told it’s ok.  Woke up this morning to half a dozen or more trucks.  Parked in the lot behind the lawn and garden and auto repair, out back.  No problems.

And that catches me up.....finally!  I think we might tour some Aztek ruins today, then see what Santa Fe has to offer
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2017, 08:24:40 AM »
oh, one observation...
I had no idea that these rv rental fleets were so big! 
I have seen a few cruise america rigs, and el monte rigs here and there before...but never in the numbers I have seen out here.  Other rental companies too.....all class c's.
and I've seen a good number of rental  what I call "hippie camper vans" too. (the ones painted like some scooby doo van, so I don't mean that in a duragatory way)
Oh and there's even a few of these Jucy campervan rentals roaming about.
I just had no idea
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2017, 08:31:21 AM »
Brad, keep up the trip reports, I am nothing but jealous, my old stomping grounds. Mostly those rental RVs are being rented by foreigners. And most foreigners want to visit Las Vegas.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

jackiemac

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2017, 12:01:38 PM »
Brad, keep up the trip reports, I am nothing but jealous, my old stomping grounds. Mostly those rental RVs are being rented by foreigners. And most foreigners want to visit Las Vegas.
Vegas is pretty good depending on what you are looking for.  For us it is:

Cheaper flights
Great restaurants/ cocktails
Fantastic shows
Art galleries / photo galleries / themes in casinos
Close to Hoover Dam,  Lake Meadows,  Valletta of Fire, Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Mount Charleston

We aren't gamblers but do enjoy a night or two there at the start and end of a trip.

I would struggle to stay for a week or  more unless it was just purely for relaxing and sunbathing.  I have gone admit we haven't done as much since we bought our trailer.

 8)
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

8th May to 30th October 2017 - Touring Western US

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2017, 09:49:58 PM »
well we are out of the mass of rentals now.  Haven't seen any I don't believe since Mesa Verde.....

Aztec Ruins National Monument - we woke up early and drove the short way up to the Aztec Ruins NP, where we learned it wasn’t Aztecs that lived there at all.  This was a very interesting place….and in some ways better I think that Mesa Verde.  I especially liked the self guided tour format.
 
After the ruins, we made our way to Santa Fe for window shopping and dinner at the Plaza Cafe.  Nice little old diner on the square. 
 
Denied at the Walmart, so we called Sam’s club where we were given permission.  Quiet night except for a few trucks passing through after unloading in the wee hours.
 
Since high temperatures were forecaster, I got an early start and pushed on to OK City...just in time for a walk around the Bricktown Canal area and dinner.  Nice evening.
 
Then a late arrival at Roadrunner RV Park were DW made reservations earlier in the day so that we would have AC through the night.  Nice new park apparently a complete re-build after a storm a few years back.  Nice paved spaces with full hookup but very close to one another with little to no shade.  Park is Complete with underground storm shelters….. but no pool

As I was driving today, we finally made our way out of the Navajo country and started seeing signs for Cherokee stuff.  I we weren't pushing now I would love to have had time to search for a museum or something to learn about Cherokees....since we have learned so much about the ancient Pueblo people the last several days.


Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2017, 08:00:22 PM »
The next day we just pushed on South East.  Up early to air up the tires….I’ll bring that question up in another thread…… and gas up…. Then pushed on to Memphis, stopped in a riverside park in Memphis long enough for breakfast...mainly so the kids can say the trip included TN…. then trying for Destin, an after our longest on the road day at approx 525 miles…. we opted to stop in what turned out to be a nice little campground near Andalusia, AL called Cypress Landing Marina and RV Park.   http://clrvpark.com/    Level spaces, some pull through...looks like all full hookup with cable, a little store, boat rentals…. Looks like a relatively new place

I'll try to post some pictures when I get some time and signal.....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2017, 01:21:22 PM »
Brad, I'm not going to enter the fray about tire pressures and why they change. But I am curious to know why you had to top off your tire pressure so often. I took a similar trip to yours last year, traveling from Cape Coral, FL to Las Vegas and then back I-40 through the mountains and desert to Hot Springs, AR, then up to St. Louis and gradually worked my way back home through the Midwest for a total of 6,200 miles. I use Tire Minders on all my tires except the tow dolly because it has balancing beads that will throw off the readings. I set my pressure when I left town after weighing the rig at a CAT scale so the fronts would have 80 and the rears on the coach would have 85 psi per manufacturer's guidelines and for the entire trip, I never had to add air. When I got back home, the fronts had 78 and the rears had 82-84 after I was off the road for a few hours. I set my alarms at 10% above and below and they never went off for the entire trip. Is there a possibility that your tires are leaking more than they should?
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2017, 10:36:40 PM »
Brad, I'm not going to enter the fray about tire pressures and why they change. But I am curious to know why you had to top off your tire pressure so often. I took a similar trip to yours last year, traveling from Cape Coral, FL to Las Vegas and then back I-40 through the mountains and desert to Hot Springs, AR, then up to St. Louis and gradually worked my way back home through the Midwest for a total of 6,200 miles. I use Tire Minders on all my tires except the tow dolly because it has balancing beads that will throw off the readings. I set my pressure when I left town after weighing the rig at a CAT scale so the fronts would have 80 and the rears on the coach would have 85 psi per manufacturer's guidelines and for the entire trip, I never had to add air. When I got back home, the fronts had 78 and the rears had 82-84 after I was off the road for a few hours. I set my alarms at 10% above and below and they never went off for the entire trip. Is there a possibility that your tires are leaking more than they should?

no, not leaking I don't believe.... it had more to do with temperature change.  I started another thread on this.... but I'll answer here.  It had to do with starting the trip in florida.... with "cold" pressures being set at maybe 80 degrees F....
then in the desert, the temps dropped to maybe low 60's (don't remember exactly...) resulting in my cold pressures a good bit below my set points.
That is what started the chain reaction..... I aired them up, which resulted in over pressure once the afternoon temps climbed.
and all this was aggravated by my going to a tire shop where they would not simply add the delta I wanted but instead set the pressures to the setpoints (80psi max for the rears)..but by then they were warmed up.... and they didn't end up equal so everything was messed up after that....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

papachaz

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2017, 01:45:01 AM »
We made a trip in June 2015 to destinations including the Grand Canyon on the way to Yellowstone NP. Towed a 30ft TT with a 2007 Chev 2500HD. Departed Lawrenceville, GA with the following stops on the way to Grand Canyon.

I20 from Atlanta to Vicksburg, MS.
Ameristar RV Park, Vicksburg, MS
https://vicksburg.ameristar.com/hotel/rv-park/
Visited Vicksburg National Military Park - Definitely worth the time.

I20 thru Dallas and Ft. Worth, Camped in Walmart parking lot, Hudson Oaks, TX. Several RVs parked there, no restrictions. Nearby campgrounds all booked.
I20 thru Dallas and Ft. Worth was in terrible condition, maybe better now but I doubt it.
Route to Amarillo: Texas Hwy 180 to Hwy 51 north to Hwy 920 to Hwy 199.
Hwy 199 towards Joplin, Hwy 114 towards Jacksboro, Hwy 114 to Hwy 281 towards Wichita Falls, Hwy 287 towards Chillicothe, TX and into Amarillo, TX. Roads were in great condition, better than Interstate. Great Texas scenery.

Camped at Amarillo RV Ranch RV Park  (Owned by Big Texan restaurant). https://amarilloranch.com/. Big Texan restaurant is home of the 72oz Steak dinner. If you can eat it in the time allotted, it's free. We didn't try but watched several try. Very large restaurant, great service. Free shuttle from RV part to restaurant.

Route Amarillo to Albuquerque: Hwy 87 south to Canyon, Hwy 60 west towards Dawn and Hereford and thru Friona and Bovina. Hwy 60/84 to Fort Sumner, Hwy 60 towards Encino. Hwy 285 north to I-40 and I-40    west to Albuquerque, NM. Camped at American RV Park, Albuquerque (http://www.americanrvpark.com/ ). Visited old town but not much else.

Route: Albuquerque, NM to Winslow, AZ.  Stopped and visited Petrified National Forest along the way. The park is definitely worth the time. What I found amazing was there were MANY signs in the park warning you not to disturb the petrified rocks, etc. However, once you exit the park there are thousands of specimens along the roads and many shops selling petrified artifacts.
Camped in Denny's parking lot adjacent to Flying J Truck Stop, Winslow, AZ. Several RVs parked there. No issues.
Route: I-40 West from Albuquerque to Petrified National Forest.  We Drove thru park and exited on Hwy 191 to St. Johns, then Hwy 1-80 to Holbrook and I-40 west to  Winslow, AZ.

Route: Winslow, AZ to Williams, AZ. Route: I-40 west to Williams, AZ then onto Hwy 64 to campground. Camped at Grand Canyon/Williams KOA campground and used it as a base to visit south rim of Grand Canyon. Drive from campground to park entrance was about 30-40 minutes each day. Stayed 2 days. http://koa.com/campgrounds/grand-canyon/

Traveled Hwy 64 north from campground to Grand Canyon National Park and back to campground. We stayed 2 days then departed north to Bryce Canyon NP and then on to Yellowstone NP via Salt Lake.

Good luck on your trip.
Reggie

this is an awesome post to me for a few reasons, it's almost exactly the trip my wife and I have been discussing planning for next year, we're in NW GA up near Rome, so other than that hour or so difference, it'd be almost the exact trip. EXCEPT that we thought we'd come back a more northern route through SD and go to Mt Rushmore.

I'm going to bookmark this page and review it, for your post and for the OP's updates. Thanks for posting!
Chaz (DH) Jill (DW)
2013 Ameri-lite Ultralite 259 BH
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4WD

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2017, 08:50:46 AM »
Brad, it sounds like you may have been better off just leaving them the way they were. On our trip, we had good, consistent weather the entire way. We got lucky because the hot weather followed us wherever we went but never caught up with us. So maybe I just got lucky, but my tire pressures never changed enough to worry about topping them off. Where you experiencing variances of greater than 10%?
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2017, 10:35:13 AM »
papachaz -
I live in the Lawrenceville, GA area and made the trip with my brother and sister, sort of a bucket list kind of journey. I'm the oldest of the three and my two younger siblings have health issues so you kind of get the reason for the journey. We planned a longer return trip, similar to what you have stated, but we had to cut the trip short after reaching Yellowstone and head back a more direct route.
Good luck on your trip and if I can be of any assistance, just drop me a PM.

Best,
Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2017, 10:37:03 AM »
Brad,
Great trip report. I really enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing the details of the journey !!

Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2017, 06:13:57 PM »
this is an awesome post to me for a few reasons, it's almost exactly the trip my wife and I have been discussing planning for next year, we're in NW GA up near Rome, so other than that hour or so difference, it'd be almost the exact trip. EXCEPT that we thought we'd come back a more northern route through SD and go to Mt Rushmore.

I'm going to bookmark this page and review it, for your post and for the OP's updates. Thanks for posting!

Reading the post you quoted...I'm reminded of something for the petrified forest.
If you want a souvenir, I'd suggest considering to skip the gift shops.  I was shocked at the volume of stuff on display at multiple places in Holbrook.  I didn't stop to check pricing but I've got to believe I could have bought a log for what we paid for a few gravel sized pieces....well maybe not, but they had logs if you want them!
This place for example

John, you are right...I probably would have been better off.  What I probably should have done was nudged my upper alarm setpoint up a bit and left the pressures alone.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2017, 06:14:29 PM »
Brad,
Great trip report. I really enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing the details of the journey !!

Reggie

Thanks Reggie
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2017, 03:59:32 PM »
I remembered that I owe some pictures, and thought I'd try to sum this up.

1st shot is on the road in the petrified forest.... I was surprised how narrow the little road was and ho close to the edge with no guardrail.  This was the side road up to the Crystal Forest...not the main road.  Not sure I'd want to tow a long TT here.  Oh, it was very windy there too
2nd - another shot of the petrified forest view
3rd - standin' on the corner
4th and 5th - Sandia Peak Tram
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #49 on: June 25, 2017, 04:08:14 PM »
1) the campsite at American Rv in Abq
2) our 1st night at Grand Canyon, boondocking near Grandview Lookout Tower.  Maybe the best campsite I've ever found in the RV!  I am so jealous of the great dispersed area options folks out west have....
3) the second night at the canyon.  Probably can't see it but to the left of that leaning pine is a bull elk laying over there either grazing or chewing cud....
4) just the class C mine wishes it could be....
5) and the sea of rentals in the visitor center lot
6) that's as far as we got down the bright angel
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2017, 04:15:27 PM »
1) the campsite near Page.  Really great park.
2) slot canyon hike near Horseshoe bend
3) Is that Forest Gump?
4) had a great time at Mesa Verde
5) wooden ceiling they say was originally laid by the indians at Aztec Ruins.  I find that almost amazing....no way my house will be that goog when it's half that old!
6) This one is out of order..... a shot I took under the F-105 at the Nuclear Museum in ABQ
7 & 8) the campground's tornado shelters in OK City
9) the nice campground we found in Alabama
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2017, 04:17:28 PM »
I typed up a a little summary for my family....mostly thoughts I had when doing my early AM drives while the rest were sleeping.  Things we did.... We did and saw a lot!!!
but boiling it down....no regrets.  It really seemed like we were trying to go too far and do too much with the time we had to do it.  True enough there were countless places I would have just loved to stay a while longer, and there was so much that we really only got a taste instead of the "full experience"....but to anyone else contemplating a packed trip like this....I say just do it.

What did we do on our summer vacation?

Well, in only nineteen days we drove roughly 5,200 miles
 
Including Florida, we visited 12 states, 6 of them twice.
 
We saw rocks, and hills, and cliffs of all colors and sizes.  We saw vistas of nothing but clumps of grass as far as you can see to the horizon, except maybe a ghostly mountain way in the distance….. Or were those shadows?
 
We stood atop dizzying 1,000 foot cliffs and peered over…. with no handrails
 
We saw a pair of birds… that were probably buzzards or vultures soaring far below us and yet still high above the river below…. But I sure would like to think they were California Condors.
 
We saw so many views each  on their own are jaw dropping…. But together day after day become almost boring in a weird way… to some of us.  We drove right past more amazing views and scenic overlooks than almost can be imagined….without even giving them a look or thought
 
We drove on some of the worst roads in the country…. And some of the best too.
 
We had fun visiting places we've been before, but many others we have not.
 
One of us swam in the Mississippi…… maybe by accident, but I think it was a little bit on purpose maybe
 
We were serenaded by a cowboy.
 
We ate steaks, Navajo Indian food, junk food, pizza, and Mexican style food too.
 
We think we saw a famous chef, Guy Fieri…. But did not get a chance to meet him. 
 
We kept running where Forrest Gump stopped to go home.
 
We saw red rocks, and rocks of all colors.  Grasslands, and smelled Ponderosa Pine forests.
 
We rode a tram to peak over 10,000 ft, that was hanging by a wire over gorges hundreds of feet below.
We camped at near sea level, and almost 8,000 feet above the sea.   Along the way we stopped to see the highest point in Florida…. At 345 feet... to find they put a bathroom on it!!
 
We set up camp under the watchful eye of a bull elk casually lying and grazing 100 yards away.
 
We saw jackrabbits,and cotton tails too.  Rock squirrels and pretty blue birds we've never seen before. We saw wild bull elk, cow elk, and baby calf elk too.  We saw a whole heard of gophers(?), And a pretty black and white bird with long tail.  We saw cows, and horses, and more cows.  At one place we saw thousands of cows herded into a small stockyard….just a little sad that they were probably on there way to becoming steaks, and burgers, and such….  one early morning while everyone else was sleeping I saw a pair of pronghorn antelope, and a lone whitetail deer too.
 
We saw acres and acres of the ‘petrified forest’.... Which really looks more like a desert of wide ranging colors and types, randomly littered with trees cut down and cut to length and ready for splitting into firewood…. But instead of wood...its rock!
 
We met the grandson of a Navajo Code Talker, who taught us how the Navajo spin yarn and weave rugs.
 
My son enjoyed a Sprite at the historic Painted Desert Inn’s soda counter….
 
We hiked on the Arizona trail, and about a mile of the Bright Angel trail down in the Grand Canyon too.  We also hike a bit in the Palo Duro Canyon too.  Oh, and I can't not mention the slot canyon hike and rock scramble in Waterholes Canyon.  We visited a Navajo Nation village to get a permit for that one…
 
We met a pair biking from California to SC, and an 80 year old Korean that biked from the GC to Lake Powell.  I could not understand where else he had been or where he was going….
 
We stood on one foot in four states at once....and the family played a bit of four square there too.
 
We saw Wind Turbine farms that stretched for miles and miles.
 
We did some hiking and some rock hill scrambles too. 
 
We watched skits by the kids in the rv, and watched a bit of TV together as a family too.
 
We walked where the ancient pueblo people lived, and climbed the same cliff faces they did to get to their homes.  We learned that some built their pueblos on flat ground too, and we're mistakenly named Aztec….just because they knew how to build.
 
We never found Radiator Springs, but we saw some towns like it….with names like Cuervo that did not survive, and other such as Tucumcan that did.  We drove along a few of the sections of the old route 66 that are still there.
 
I saw thousands or maybe millions of places where I would love to drop my backpack, set up my tent, and just stay a while.
 
We visited museums….museums about science, we learned about the oil industry and technology, we saw dinosaur skeletons, and human bones too.  We learned about indians, birds, indians, and cars…..we learned about atomic energy, and the race to win a war….and saw the best museum about naval aviation in the country….probably the best in the world.
 
We experienced cold jacket weather, and also temperatures approaching 100.  We saw cloudless skies and rainy days too.  We even experienced some tornado watches and warnings the last night of the trip.
 
And best of all we lived as a family in approx 200 SF for 3 weeks…. And mostly had fun…. And grew to know each other even more!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2017, 04:27:45 PM »
I'm envious .....  Great summary and may you have many more opportunities to create more memories ...
 ;D   :))
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2017, 05:05:22 PM »
Brad, you did and saw a lot in 19 days, including 5,200 miles of driving. That's one heck of a vacation!
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2017, 05:19:20 PM »
Brad, you did and saw a lot in 19 days, including 5,200 miles of driving. That's one heck of a vacation!

ha ha....Yes, and DW drove only a little bit of that..... something like 25 miles maybe.  It was only the second time she drove it....it was early one AM with light traffic and flat roads.  I talked her into it just so she had a little experience with it....just in case.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

PopPop51

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    • Uptown Tech
Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2017, 06:00:58 PM »
Brad,
I've really enjoyed your travelogue. Yes you were crazy, but crazy with the right attitude makes all the difference.
I've been chewing 'round the edges of heading back that way again. (It's been five years.) You've helped me realize that's way too long.
Thanks!
Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

jackiemac

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2017, 09:06:19 PM »
Wonderful summary Brad. Magical memories for the future 😎
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

8th May to 30th October 2017 - Touring Western US

mrgalen1

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2017, 09:19:46 PM »
PopPop could you contact me? I'm looking at an Outback 270BH.

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2017, 10:57:07 PM »
ha ha....Yes, and DW drove only a little bit of that..... something like 25 miles maybe.  It was only the second time she drove it....it was early one AM with light traffic and flat roads.  I talked her into it just so she had a little experience with it....just in case.

I had to force my wife behind the wheel after we bought our MH for a 17 mile drive down I-75 between exits so she could get used to it in the event something happened to me and she had no choice. But now that we're towing, she won't go near the wheel. The 6,200 miles we logged last year was all on me and that was why I was initially concerned about you trying to pull this off in 19 days. I knew how I felt after six solid days on the road without a break.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

Peggyy

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #59 on: June 26, 2017, 05:48:19 AM »
Im following this post as we are planning to go next spring.  Love your photos!
GMC Sierra 2012
2016 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 264BHW Travel Trailer
sweet home Alabama

 

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