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Author Topic: From NY to the Grand Canyon!  (Read 699 times)

ditsjets7

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From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« on: October 11, 2017, 09:49:03 PM »
Hi All!!!

We finally got our dream machine! It's. 2003 Coachman Leprechaun 31 footer. It only has 27,000 miles on it so I am optimistic that we will have it for a long time.

My wife and my two boys plan to take it from upstate, NY this summer to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Between my wife and I driving we would like to get there as direct as possible.

Question: Does anyone have any suggestions on where to stop overnight for a few hours for free or very cheap? It's a 36 hour trip according to Map quest. Just trying to plan this X country trip for the first time. Thanks everyone!

Mike

HappyWanderer

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 09:59:46 PM »
Regardless of what MapQuest shows, plan on an average speed of 50 MPH. You're not driving a car and you will need to stop more frequently. That will take fuel, meal and potty breaks into account.

Whether it's 200 miles or 2,000 miles, that number works.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 10:17:06 PM »
Regardless of what MapQuest shows, plan on an average speed of 50 MPH. You're not driving a car and you will need to stop more frequently. That will take fuel, meal and potty breaks into account.

Whether it's 200 miles or 2,000 miles, that number works.

Thanks! The good news is we won't need to stop for potty for the bathroom, but I see what you are saying. We aren't in a "rush" to get to our destination but we want to keep the wheels turning as much as we can.

Any suggestions on where to stay, routes to take out avoid would be so very much appreciated. Thank you again!!!

HappyWanderer

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 06:24:06 AM »
We aren't in a "rush" to get to our destination but we want to keep the wheels turning as much as we can.

That kind of sums up my attitude as well. We stop frequently, but don't loiter.

I'm not familiar enough with that part of the country to offer recommendations, but others will chime in soon.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

Ken & Sheila

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 08:43:00 AM »
Mike,

Giving you suggestions on where to stop on a long trip is not feasible. Each of us has a different travel style as relates to hope far we travel in a day and what type of routing we like (2 lane, Interstate, avoid cities etc). Even planning for my self I often have to "adjust" do to traffic , construction delays etc.

I agree that 50 miles in an hour is a good estimate, but the type of road (2 lanes vs Interstate) and your driving speed may change that. I've found over the years that driving with the flow of traffic is the easiest and least tiring.

I would suggest you look at joining ($25): Overnight RV Parking as a reference for free and cheap stops. Many of the listing are available elsewhere such as Walmarts, Cracker Barrel (neither of which I use) and Rest Areas, but still I find it handy.

Another good source is RVParkReviews for campgrounds.  I also use CasinoCamper for Casinos that allow overnight parking, but usually OverNight RV Parking has more current info on these. All have maps with locations shown so you can see whats along your route.

I tend to plan out a trip, even though I know a lot of it will change on the fly. I start with an overall route plan and But in planning I try to look at options

As you select a route, if you have particular ares where you need help lets us know.

ken
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NewmanRacing

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 09:49:36 AM »
With kids aboard, I would plan on using campgrounds along the way that are right on the interstate, rather than Walmarts, ect...

You will want to let them out of the bus to burn off some steam in the evening.

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ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 09:54:01 AM »
Everyone, these are such great tips. Thank you and please keep them coming.

I am leaving from kingston, NY zip 12401

Our destination is here......

http://www.grandcanyoncampervillage.com
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 09:56:21 AM by ditsjets7 »

blw2

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 10:25:31 AM »
In June we did that same trip, but from NE Florida
19 days and approx 5,200 miles
What i did
I used roadtrippers.com to evaluate routes and look for points of interest along the way.  Our plan was to stop nearly every day or two to do "something"...a museum, or other point of interest.
We had reservations made for trailervillage at the canyon (book early if that's what you want to do), but about two months ahead we had to change from a July trip to a June trip so no hope of getting a site.... but it worked out for the best ...

Anyway, what I wanted to do is anchor the trip around the dates at the canyon
with reservations for a down day or two at a "secondary" destination half-ish way on the way out and the way back...to break up the trip.
Didn't exactly work out that way. 

We ended up more winging it....with a good knowledge of things we might like, form my research on roadtrippers, and some research DW did around a few of the major cities we would pass through.... for example she found Perot museum in Dallas so we made that a "half-day" stop....

We used an app/web site called allstays.com to find boondocking options, and around every 3rd night or so a campground so that we could dump and I could get a better nights sleep.

It was a really great trip....and while we were in a hurry so we didn't stop long to "experience" most places, we at least got a great taste of a lot!

Good luck to you!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
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ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 10:31:12 AM »
Wow thank you so much!

SeilerBird

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 11:00:38 AM »
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? If not would you like some suggestions on things to do while you are there. I used to work as a photographer there and I know the park really well.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 11:48:50 AM »
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? If not would you like some suggestions on things to do while you are there. I used to work as a photographer there and I know the park really well.

Hi! Inhane never been, my two boys will be 8 and 10 when we go. And I would love and appreciate any information. Thank you so much!!!!

SeilerBird

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 12:36:56 PM »
Hi! Inhane never been, my two boys will be 8 and 10 when we go. And I would love and appreciate any information. Thank you so much!!!!
Your boys are the perfect age for the Williams train ride. Williams is the gateway town located 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon. I would suggest spending the night there before going to the canyon. Take the train ride to the canyon. I will not spoil it for you but the return trip back to Williams in the afternoon will be the highlight of the trip that they will remember forever.

The north rim is beautiful but a very long trip for basically the same view you get on the south rim however there is a lot less to see and do on the north rim and it is 1000 feet higher in elevation so you will be even more out of breath there. The south rim is at 7000 feet and you must remember to drink copious amounts of water or you will get headaches.

There is a Skywalk at the west end of the canyon that is a long way to go and a total rip off. The view you get there is almost as good as the view you get from The Abyss at the south rim but there is no charge.

The east rim is a fantastic side trip to take. Plan a whole day. They have the Watchtower there and some fantastic views of the river. In almost every other place to can view the canyon there is rarely a view of the river because it is a mile beneath you.

If 5 pm rolls around and the sky has some nice clouds it is a great idea to hop on board the Hermit's Rest shuttle and head out to Hopi Point for sunset. If you want to see a great sunrise you have to go out to the east rim, since it has a better view of the sunrise than anyplace else on the south rim.

My number one suggestion is to not spend the whole time on the rim. There are two sensational trails heading to the bottom. Bright Angel, which is the trail made famous by the mules and there is South Kaibab. I am not suggesting you head to the bottom. You want to go one and half miles at the most. Both trails have a rest room at the one and half mile mark and DO NOT go any further, no matter how great you feel at that point. To exit from the mile and half point will take you several hours and it is basically like being on a stair master for several hours. Since you are lowlanders your white blood cells will make you extremely tired hiking out if you go further. Take a ton of water with you. The view from the rim is spectacular, it is one of the seven wonders of the world and you will not understand that until you have seen it in person. But it basically like looking at a post card. Once you hike down into the canyon you suddenly have the canyon in front of you, behind you, above you, below you and in every direction. The further down you hike the closer the north rim gets and looks even better since there is less haze to look through. If you don't feel like you can handle a hike like this then at least go down the trails a hundred yards or so just to get a feeling for what I am talking about.

As you hike down the Bright Angel Trail after you go a hundred yard or so you come to a very short tunnel. After you pass through the tunnel stop and look up and to the left. There are very old native America petroglyphs on the wall. Notice them in the photo of three sheep.

Hopi House is a souvenir stand on the south rim not to be missed. There are natives doing dances most afternoons which is really cool.

In Tusayan right across the street from your campground is an Imax theater showing a Grand Canyon film. Excellent movie and worth the time.

Every day there are free ranger programs you can attend. The best ones are the Condor talk usually given every afternoon and the fossil walk usually done every morning. Not dinosaur fossils, the top layer of the canyon is 250 million years old so all the dino stuff is long gone. But the fossils that are there are very cool and you can actually walk on them you will be so close to them. The kids should really love this.

There is more and I will add it in later after my fingers recover. I am poor typist. What month will you be there?
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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phil-t

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 02:37:15 PM »
We are planning a trip to Grand Canyon from Northern NY next summer as well.  Interested in this thread and will continue reading it. 
Thanks.
Our plan is to leave home in late May (Mother's Day) and head out for 70-90  days of touring the Western mountains from Wyoming to Nevada.
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AStravelers

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 03:45:13 PM »
Everyone, these are such great tips. Thank you and please keep them coming.

I am leaving from kingston, NY zip 12401

Our destination is here......

http://www.grandcanyoncampervillage.com
Have you made reservations?  They could be full by now.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 03:48:38 PM »
Have you made reservations?  They could be full by now.

I have not tried yet. I am a true rookie at all if this. I am thinking of going second- 3rd week of July. I will call them tonight.

I want to personally thank each and everyone of you on here for all of your help. Like I said Ubam trykyba rookie at this type of long distance travel. You have all gotten me even more excited about planning this trip. Thank you!

phil-t

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2017, 03:57:23 PM »
SeilerBird,  any recommendations on campgrounds near the south rim/north rim that may not not be terrible to get a spot?  We will have a toad to get to destin(s)with.  Or is everything reservations only?  No kids here.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2017, 04:14:04 PM »
The town of Tusayan is just outside the south gate to Grand Canyon and has the Imax theater Tom mentioned along with several large hotels and restaurants.

Located in Tusayan is Grand Canyon Camper Villiage, a private campground just south of the park's entry gate.  Don't confuse this with the Trailer Village RV campground inside the park.  It's a good choice if you can't get space inside the park itself.

When you go into the park, you'll have to wait in line the first day to buy your entry pass.  But it's good for a week and after that you can pull around the side to the re-entry window, show them your pass and avoid the lines.

I'd give the north rim a pass if you're limited for time.  Like Tom said, all of the action is on the south rim.  The north rim has a lodge and a small campground and is a several hour drive from anywhere.

If you're taking I-70 across the country, let me suggest you detour an hour out of the way and spend a day or two in Hutchinson, KS near Wichita.  Hutchinson has an amazing space museum called the Cosmophere with one of the best collections of US and Soviet spacecraft and memorabilia in the world.  The backstory behind how a small town college gathered such a huge collection is as fascinating as the museum itself.  There are lots of kid friendly activities.  In the evening they show first run feature films projected onto the planetarium ceiling, similar to an Imax theater.

Hutchinson is also home to the Stratica salt mine museum and tour.  You take an elevator 650 feet down into a museum and conference center in the corridors of the salt mines under the town.  The adjacent mine has long term storage for bank records, etc. and the Hollywood studios store master movie prints and props there.  Several of the props and costumes are on display.

Camping is available at the State Fairgrounds on the north side of town, except when the State Fair is underway.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 04:36:32 PM by Lou Schneider »

SeilerBird

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2017, 04:21:22 PM »
Grand Canyon Camper Village is a huge parking lot RV park and I doubt it ever fills up. If it does there is free National Forest boondocking less than a mile from the RV park that is less than a mile from the entrance to the park. There is also a campground inside the park near Grand View that is boondocking and no one knows about it. The campground at the east end called Desert View has no hookups and you can almost always find a spot there if you go early in the morning and wait for someone to leave. And 20 miles south of the south entrance is a Flintstones campground that is never full. There is also a campground in Tusayan called 10X that has no hookups and almost always has spaces.

You really don't need a toad at the canyon. They have a most excellent free shuttle system that runs from very early morning to late at night and goes everywhere on the south rim. They run every ten minutes so there is not much time wasted waiting. You would need the toad to get out to the east end.

They get 4 million visitors a year at the canyon and a large percentage are campers so there is tons of facilities there. If you want to camp inside the park at Mather campground it has a 30 foot limit and reservations are a must many months in advance. It has no hookups.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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phil-t

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2017, 04:27:35 PM »
Thanks.  We like the less crowded sites - as long as we can dump and fill up with water and do laundry, etc., every 4-5 days, we are good to go.
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AStravelers

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2017, 04:38:16 PM »
Suggested route:  I-84 to I-81 to I-40 to Flagstaff/Williams, AZ.

You might think about overnight parking at Walmart.   If you would consider it, the Walmart in Harrisonburg, VA, a little southeast of exit 247A is supposed to allow O/N parking.  That is about 430 miles from Kingston.  Or if you get to Harrisonburg, and you have time to drive more, Roanoke, VA at about 540 miles has 2 Walmarts   If you decide to try the WM give the store a call and ask something like "This evening, we are going to be passing though Anytown, USA, in our RV and wanted to be be sure it will be OK to park overnight in our RV in your parking lot tonight."  Just remember at WM, park away from the store entrance, no lawn chairs, BBQ's, etc.   We like to park around the perimeter of the parking lot so one side of the RV is next to a grass area.  Many Walmarts have restaurants within a short walk.

For RV Parks I use "RV Park Reviews" to check out places to stay:  http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ 

BTW, 540 miles in one day in an RV is a very long, very tiring day.  Planning for 400 miles a day will be easier on everyone.  But then again you are looking at a 2600 mile drive to get to Grand Canyon. I hope you are planning a 4 week trip at the minimum.  10-12 days round trip driving.


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

NewmanRacing

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2017, 05:35:37 PM »
Enjoy your new rig and take a few local test camping trips before the big adventure. This will help you adjust your on board supplies. I tend to over pack.

The hardest part for me when planing such a journey was looking at everything I was going to be passing by.

I did Chicago to Death Valley last year and the Grand Canyon was one of my stops. We did stay in Camper Village and it was close to everything and rather nice.

I wanted a fresh start in the morning to cross the mountains beyond Denver. I am a flatlander and intimidated by driving in mountainous terrain. We chose Clear Creek RV park in Golden Colorado to overnight in. Sweet little campground right in town and on a creek.

https://rec.cityofgolden.net/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/wbsplash.html?wbp=3

The next night we stayed in Devils Garden Campground at Arches National Park. INCREDIBLE!

  https://www.recreation.gov/camping/devils-garden-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=74066

Buy your National Park Pass online before you leave to avoid waits getting into the parks.

Great pics and information Mr. SeilerBird!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 05:47:35 PM by NewmanRacing »
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SeilerBird

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2017, 05:43:17 PM »
Great pics and information Mr. SeilerBird!
Thanks NewmanRacing. I have a lot more to share so keep checking back here. I just need to find some time to type but the baseball playoffs take up too much of my time.  :)
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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AStravelers

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2017, 06:26:55 PM »
Hi All!!!

We finally got our dream machine! It's. 2003 Coachman Leprechaun 31 footer. It only has 27,000 miles on it so I am optimistic that we will have it for a long time.

You mentioned on one of your replies that you are a "rookie", if that term applies to knowledge of RV's, here is a few very important tips:
--  Check the date code on all of your tires.  If the tires are 5 years old today, replace them before you leave.  If they are 4 years old consider replacing them before you leave.  At 5 years old tires are ageing out, no matter what they look like.  You don't want to be running at 65mph through the southwest at 95-110 degree temps on old tires.  Do a internet search for "tire date codes" to find out how to find the year/week of mfg.
-- Invest in a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System).  Again you are going to be bombing along some SW US interstates at 65mph with 95+ temps.  Loosing 10-20 PSI in a tire because if you picked up a nail or screw, it puts you and your family in danger of a blow out.
--  Take your RV to a Cat scale: https://catscale.com/cat-scale-locator/ and weigh your RV.  At the scale put the front axle on the farthest platform and your rear axle on the next rearward platform.  Before you go fill up your gas tank, and fresh water tank.  After you get your weight, compare them to your GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Record) and your GVWR ( Gross Vehicle Weight Record).  The difference is how much stuff you can put in the RV.  That is the weight of the passengers and all your gear.  Plan on 800 to 1000 pounds of gear, food clothes, tools, pots & pans,etc.  This weight does not include passengers you need to consider their weight.  Try not to overload your RV.  It is very easy to do. 
--  If you can, put all your gear on board and all the family and go weigh the rig.  I'm sure you are going to be going on some camping trips before leaving for Grand Canyon.  That would be a good time to weigh the rig.
--  Once you have your weights, you can use the tire manufacturer tire pressure charts to determine the proper air pressure to have in the tires.  It is best to add 10 pounds to the recommended tire pressure, for a buffer in case of a slow leak, but don't exceed the max pressure for the tire. 

RV tires are usually carrying the max weight the tire is designed to carry, unlike car tires.  Having a blow out on an 14,000-15,000 pound RV is harder to control than a car.   


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

kdbgoat

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2017, 06:41:39 PM »
I also noticed you said you wouldn't have to stop for potty breaks. I assume you mean the family would use the potty while you're motoring down the road. I wouldn't recommend doing that. Just try it yourself first while your spouse drives. A class C doesn't ride like a Greyhound bus.
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2016 Leprechaun 319DS

ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2017, 06:51:18 PM »
Thank you very much. The last thing I want is a blow out. That would be horrible. I don't have a spare either, not that I could change one of those tires
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 06:57:47 PM by ditsjets7 »

Arch Hoagland

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2017, 12:05:59 AM »
Be prepared for temperatures of 100 to 113 degrees. You need your 14 year old coach to have new hoses, belts, tires, etc

Are you pulling a car? 

Train ride costs are a bit steep....

https://www.thetrain.com/the-train/train-rates/
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ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2017, 04:52:46 AM »
I purchased from a dealer so I am pretty sure everything is up to snuff.

ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2017, 06:31:19 AM »
We are not pulling a car. We have a "Good Sam" membership which I believe has Motor home roadside assistance.

kdbgoat

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2017, 06:34:44 AM »
I purchased from a dealer so I am pretty sure everything is up to snuff.

Don't bet on it!

We are not pulling a car. We have a "Good Sam" membership which I believe has Motor home roadside assistance.

The regular membership doesn't include roadside assistance.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


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ditsjets7

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Re: From NY to the Grand Canyon!
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2017, 07:13:15 AM »
The place where I bought the rig told me they did a thorough inspection and everything was up to code. I am not a mechanic, I was told the tires were "new" the breaks were "new" it certainly rides nice for a large rig. With 27,000 Miles on it I thought it would be in good shape for a trip. I requested and made sure that they serviced the transmission. This information all of you are sharing with me is certainly eye opening.

Question, how do I go about determining whether or not the hoses and belts need changing?

 

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