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Author Topic: Long awaited retirement trip finally here  (Read 15622 times)

Lynne

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2019, 07:34:55 AM »
John, just came across your blog here.  You certainly have had some challenges!  We live in Cape Coral too.  We have found Horner's on 41 in Punta Gorda to be very good and fair with most repairs on our rig. A few years ago we found ourselves with an issue in California.  The rear end of our rig lost suspension and something was dragging on hwy 99 where traffic flies!  We got off an exit in Modesto, called Horner's,  sent them a picture.  He was able to tell us it was the ride height adjuster and said it was an easy fix!  Now I was able to call a repair shop and explain what it was.  They said they could fix within a couple of hours!  $200 and about 3 hour delay!  We felt very lucky as it could have been so much worse!  Couldn't have been more appreciative of Horner's!
We retired in 2008 and have done many of the trips you have on your bucket list.  I have written itineraries which I would be happy to share.  Currently we are traveling through the Canadian Maritimes and plan to re-enter the states in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.   We plan to get back home around the end of September.   
Lynne and Don

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2019, 10:30:14 AM »
Lynne, it's good to know someone else on the Forum lives in the Cape. I used Rick Horner for the first three years we had this coach and he was outstanding with his help, knowledge, and ability and willingness to tell you when he was over his head and you should find someone else to fix your problem.. Probably the most honest mechanic I have ever found in my life.

If you haven't gone back to Horner's in the last couple of years, Rick retired and sold the business to Cathy, the service advisor who could never return a phone call, Brandon, the head mechanic who knows absolutely nothing about customer service, and a third party who I believe was the money man. I went back one time to get a quote on a basement a/c repair and was quoted $1,000 to do an estimate. Since Rick had told me a year before that he had no one there that could work on basement air, I asked the honest question if Brandon would be able to repair what was wrong after charging me that exorbitant amount for an estimate and he said, "Maybe, maybe not." I told him RV Tech in Fort Myers was an expert in a/c units and wouldn't charge me that much for an estimate, and he told me to go there and walked out of the room. I have never gone back. I really wish Rick was still there because I have a traveling story just like yours when he was on a fishing vacation in the Keys and still took the time to tell me what was wrong with my coach when we were on the road in S. Carolina.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

jackiemac

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2019, 06:19:51 PM »
John, it was our pleasure to meet you both and spend time chatting. We had a great time and will keep in touch!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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

Back in the UK til our 2020 adventure...

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2019, 12:03:50 AM »
Jackie - you and Steve were great friends that will last a lifetime, and I really hope to see you guys again. Your dry sense of humor matched mine to a tee and we seemed to have a lot in common. The next time we meet, let's do drinks instead of lunch.

On Saturday, we stayed at the coach until 3:30 on the advice of the above named party to do at least one evening tour through the park to see the different colors from the sun being in a different position in the sky. We drove up to north of Gardner into Montana to see some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life. I told someone afterward that what I saw reminded me of an old John Ford western starring John Wayne or the opening credits of Bonanza. Douglas firs, aspen, mountains, sometimes snowcapped and valleys in between the mountains and the forests, herds of cattle and elk, and a lot of prairie gophers dotted the landscape and the road. We didn't see anything larger than a cow as we were hoping on finding a grizzly or a moose, but we still have two weeks in Glacier for that.

On the way back between 7 and 9 PM, we drove through Yellowstone and saw what had been explained to us. We had taken the northern loop road a couple of times but this time, it looked completely different because of the different shadows and colors from the sun being in the western sky ready to set rather than straight up in the middle of the day. The sights were incredible and I wish I could have taken a video of the entire drive because I know I won't remember much of what I saw due to older age.

We ran into the worst traffic backup we have seen thus far due to the difference in hours of our visit. From 1/2 mile from the west entrance road on the north loop to getting into W. Yellowstone, we averaged 7 mph. What should have taken 30 minutes took over two hours. There were no animals to slow us down and no accidents. This was simply rubberneckers trying to see if one of the fishermen standing in the middle of the Madison river had caught anything. And people thinking that the boulder in the middle of the field was a live animal, stopping in the middle of the road and staying there waiting for the rock to move. We got back to the coach at 9:15, fed the dogs and had a late dinner. It was our last foray into the park and still a very enjoyable one.

The above comments must be phrased as advice for those who are thinking of visiting Yellowstone. It has been discussed before that early starts are better than late ones. If you want to avoid as much traffic as possible and see as much as possible, not worrying about finding parking spots, sacrifice your early morning vacation hours and get up about 5 or 6 AM and hit the entrance between 6 and 7. It will already be daylight and you'll have a better chance of seeing wildlife on the loop roads, particularly in the Hayden and Lamar Valleys. You'll also have a much easier time finding parking spaces at the major attractions, giving yourself considerably more time to enjoy them. You'll also beat the rush getting back out of the park as well as trying to get in. At 6AM, there is no line. At 7AM, there will a car or two in front of you. At 10AM, the line to get in the gate extends back to the main street in West Yellowstone, about a 1/2 mile, and then down the main cross street for another 1/2 mile or more. That means waiting in line for no less than an hour just to get in. Go early and avoid the hassle.

We rested on Sunday and got the coach ready for travel since it hadn't been moved in two weeks. We dumped the black tank and refilled it 1/3 with water, checked and filled the tires, checked the fluid levels and added a 1/2 quart of oil. One thing I forgot to do that slowed me down Monday morning was wiping down the jack rods and spraying them with WD-40. That cost me almost an hour the next day waiting for one recalcitrant jack to retract completely.

On Monday, we got up early for our 200 mile drive to Garrison, MT. Even though it was going to be a short drive, we knew it would be a longer day because we planned to do our monthly shopping at the Walmart in Bozeman on the way and also catch a PetSmart to buy a collar for Toby after he lost his a couple of weeks ago. Between the driving on city streets and the time in the stores, time got away from us and we didn't get on I-90 until almost 4PM.

The drive on US191 from Yellowstone to Bozeman was a difficult one. Forget about it being a mountain road; it was badly in need of road work with potholes a foot deep that had to be avoided at all cost. Due to the road condition along with the fact that it was very winding with a variety of grades, it took a lot longer than one would think when simply looking at the distance.

When we got on I-90, we had no issues other than quite a bit of roadwork being done that forced one direction into the other lanes for several miles. Aside from the work areas, the speed limit on this highway is 80 mph. That means nothing to me since I won't go over 65 anyway, but you do have to be aware of people running up on you quickly from behind unaware of your slower speed and trucks passing you at high speeds. We arrived at our RV park a little late but with no problems.

A couple of recommendations are in order regarding visiting Yellowstone. First, I will recommend Buffalo Crossing RV Park if you don't mind a city park that has few trees or grass and won't allow fires due to city ordinance. It is less expensive than Grizzly, which is taking advantage of Fishing Bridge being closed for the season and raising their rates from $64 per night last year to $94.50 this year. BC charges $65 per night and gives a Good Sam discount. Book your trip and make your reservations well in advance. I took a picture of one of the north entrance signs into the park showing a list of all the campgrounds with notations on every one other than Fishing Bridge indicating they were full. If you wait until you get there thinking you'll get lucky, you probably won't and then, you won't know where you're going to sleep while you're there. The RV parks outside the park will have openings for one or two nights during peak season, but you won't be able to book a week or two.

Second, if you're thinking of taking a whirlwind trip through Yellowstone, you'll miss most of the park and what there is to see. Someone else on the forum stated that you should figure on doubling whatever time you think of spending in the park, and then, you still won't see it all. He is right. I was very glad we decided to stay for two weeks rather than one, and we still ran out of time, needing another week. And don't think you're going to drive from one side of the park to the other averaging a mile a minute like you do on the highway. The speed limit is 45 at most and it drops to either 25 or 35 when you near attractions. Trust me when I tell you that you will not, under any circumstances, average more than 40 regardless of how reckless you drive simply because there will be too many things getting in your way, including rubberneckers and animals you really don't want to hit going any speed, much less 60 mph. Imagine what a 2,000 bison will do to your car if you hit it head on. There are many sharp curves that will offer you unexpected surprises in the middle of the road and if you're going too fast, you won't have time to slow down and avoid hitting something.

Tomorrow, we drive to just outside Glacier National Park and set up camp for two weeks at North American RV Park in Coram, MT.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2019, 02:20:18 PM »
Monday night, we stayed in Bernie and Sharon's Riverfront RV Park located in Garrison, MT, roughly halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier. The greeter who showed us our site told me they have very few people staying more than one night for this reason but they are always full during the summer months.

The park was nice with a lot of trees and grassy areas where you can walk your dogs. No dog runs or parks. No cable or OTA channels and the satellite service was poor due to the trees, so we did without TV. The site was exceptionally level, gravel, and the FHU's were shared with our next door neighbor. One electric box with a 30 and a 50 amp connection so I guess they position their patrons depending on their amperage needs. One water spigot with a splitter, but the water pressure was excellent at 55 psi. Each site has its own sewer dump.

The price was right at $31 after Good Sam discount. No need to exit your coach when you pull in because a greeter catches you as soon as you pull in the driveway and guides you to your site where he takes all your information and inputs in into an app on his phone. The owner stops by a few minutes later to take payment. If you pay by credit card, it is entered into her phone and you are sent an email receipt. No office to visit.

The one night stay was nice and quiet other than the railroad tracks nearby with the occasional train going by. If I was passing through this area again, I would use this park.

We drove from Garrison to Coram yesterday with no excitement. The roads, I-90 and US93 were in good shape in most places with a few problem spots as usual. The mountain regions were rougher and we climbed a couple of grades that I think were close to 10%, dropping our speed to the low 30's. The coach had no problems to my knowledge in making the trip.

We arrived at North American RV Park and Yurt Village a little after 3PM and found a very nice and neat park suitable to all ages, retired or families with children. They offer the seventh night free and we booked for two weeks, being told we were the first to stay that long in many years. Our site is reasonably level, gravel, and very large, being a corner lot with ample room on the exiting side. A white birch tree provides some shade.

There is a very small fenced dog park a short walk away but when I say small, I mean about the same size as our living room in the coach, so it's virtually no use to us with three large dogs. There is no place to run. We were told when we checked in that they are developing 40 new sites at the back of the park and if we wanted to let our dogs off leash there, we could. I won't do it because there is too much of a chance they will run if they see any animals around.

Even though this park is booked completely, it is quiet and serene. It is located a few miles from the west entrance to Glacier and 8 miles from Columbia Falls if you need a town for shopping or just looking around which is what I think we will do today. We were told by the office staff that there isn't nearly as much to do in Glacier as there is in Yellowstone, so we may have booked for too long. We don't care. This is how we wish to spend our retirement and this is an excellent place to waste some time and simply relax and unwind. The weather is considerably better than Yellowstone simply because it is warmer in this Florida boy's opinion. I wore shorts yesterday when we got in because it got up to 79. I don't think I saw it that warm the entire time we were at YNP. They are predicting storms and hail for much of Montana, but it's difficult to hear a weather prediction for this area when the local stations on television are coming from Billings on the other side of the state. And this is a pretty big state.

One thing on my bucket list that may be possible to scratch off is seeing the Northern Lights. If we can't see them while here, we may be able to catch them when we are in Canada, but the solar flare predictions for the next few weeks do not look good.

The Going to the Sun Road opened a couple of weeks ago, so we'll take a drive up there probably tomorrow and determine what we want to go back and see further.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #65 on: July 15, 2019, 01:02:47 AM »
There are some things that are simply beyond description; superlatives don't do them justice. The Going to the Sun Road is one of those things. We drove up that road from one end to the other on Friday after taking a couple of days to simply relax, work on the housecleaning, and washing the coach. We spent the better part of six hours on the road and taking pictures. We left the dogs in the coach, thinking the roads may be a bit too curvy and winding for them. Collies can have a tendency to get motion sickness and Cameron, our smoothie, demonstrated that when we packed up the dogs and took them to the Badlands with us.

While on the GTTS Road, we stopped at Logan Pass for a couple of hours and hiked to the Hidden Lake Overlook, about 1.5 miles up the side of a mountain. The trail was closed from there on to the lake because the salmon were spawning, giving the grizzlies the meal they have been waiting for. With the bear activity, there was no going nearer. That was all right with us because we were near our physical limit when we got to the overlook. We got a number of good photos of the mountains and surrounding scenery along with some cute marmots and squirrels.

The road from the Pass to St. Mary's only got better with more photo opportunities and some of the best scenery I have ever seen in my life with lakes in the foreground and mountains in the background reflecting off the water. There was very little in St. Mary's so we turned around and drove back, stopping for more photos while seeing the road from a different perspective. We plan on going back to the road at least one more time, if not more during our second week here.

I replaced the water solenoid for my ice maker thinking that may be the problem I have had with it for the last four years because the ice maker won't fill with water. That wasn't the problem, so I'm thinking of buying a new ice maker at Lowe's and installing it while we are here and have the extra time. I also replaced the stopper for the bathroom faucet that had rotted out and wouldn't stay open and will replace the kitchen sink faucet when I get to St. Louis and have access to a faucet wrench. Its nice to be able to make repairs when they are needed because we're living in the coach rather than traveling to it in storage.

Today, we visited friends I have known online for three years. Tomorrow, we will attempt to install a new ice maker and Tuesday, we will return to the park to try to see what we missed the first time.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Lynne

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #66 on: July 16, 2019, 01:51:08 PM »
We enjoy reading your updates.   Wanted to mention we stayed on the St Mary's side when we were there in 2016.  There is a good restaurant there called Johnsons, up a steep road but excellent food and service!  If you do get back over there just check out the reviews!

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #67 on: July 16, 2019, 06:59:51 PM »
Lynne - thanks for the tip on Johnson's. We'll check it out the next time we're on that side of the park. We were there today but I didn't see your post until returning to the coach.

Yesterday, we bought a new faucet handle for our kitchen sink, since we have been using only the nub to turn it on and off, and with that thing, it's a little difficult to adjust the water temperature. We found the handle at Home Depot and then drove across the street to Lowe's to buy the ice maker because HD didn't have anyone that could take the time to find out if they even carried ice makers, much less know where they may be located. i also found some suits and bolts to secure the pet pal we bought while at Winnebago. That will take some drilling into the bottom of one of the outer compartments. By the time we got back from town, we didn't feel like doing anything but fixing dinner and eating, but I did try to install the new handle on the faucet, only to find out it isn't the correct one. So it has to go back.

Today, we decided to take US 2 across the southern end of the park to see what we could find. Judy had read that we might have a better chance of seeing wildlife in that area. We saw quite a bit of beautiful scenery but no wildlife. When we got to the other side near East Glacier, we decided to not double back since there really wasn't anything spectacular we wanted to see again. So we took Hwy 49 to Hwy 89 and took it to St. Mary.

If anyone is interested in taking that route, I suggest against it. Hwy 89 is being rebuilt. I don't mean it is being repaved or worked on or having potholes filled in; I mean it is being rebuilt taking a different path through the mountains and valleys. For over half the way from 49 to St. Mary, we had to follow a pilot vehicle over areas where the road had been taken out, leaving only dirt. In many areas, it was one lane and the traffic in each direction had to take turns. You can see where the new road will go since they have already cleared the brush and trees and put down the first layer of dirt for its foundation. I found it frustrating but interesting at the same time, being able to actually watch a road being built from the very beginning and see some of the engineering that must go into it. But what should have taken less than a half hour wound up taking nearly two hours. We were then able to take the Going to the Sun Road once again to get back to West Glacier.

I was glad we chose this path today rather than our other thought of having a picnic at Lake McDonald and drive on some of the secondary roads into the park. It was colder today than it had been, getting up to around 75 but being an uncomfortable 75 because it rained much of the afternoon. We had lunch at the West Glacier village cafe and then headed back to the coach since the pups had been left alone for almost six hours.

I tried to install the new ice maker when I got home but couldn't get the old one out because I didn't have the correct size socket wrench. I carry an old toolbox of my wife's from a previous marriage that was supposed to have all the necessary tools. I should have checked it myself before the trip because although it has a fairly large number of sockets, it doesn't have a ¼" for some reason. So this project also waits until we get to St. Louis when I know I can borrow the proper tools from a friend.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2019, 09:07:58 PM »
Yesterday, for the second time in a row, we took the path less traveled by driving up the outer road that wound in and out of the national park on the west side, almost all the way up to Canada. We saw a lot of pretty forest but few mountains and no animals. There were a couple of really good views of one of the many rivers and we tripped across an old town in the North Fork area called Polebridge that has a mercantile that opened in 1914 and is still serving the small community in the same building.

We drove back and had a very nice, but slightly cool, picnic at the shores of Lake McDonald. Since it was very cloudy, it was difficult to get a good picture of the lake and mountains in the background, and we decided we would have to go back and get better pictures on a clear day.

Tomorrow, we plan on getting up exceptionally early and be on the Going to the Sun Road by 6AM to get some better shots of Lake McDonald, Lake St. Mary, and maybe see some mountain goats and moose.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #69 on: July 19, 2019, 11:07:21 AM »
I got up at 5:20 this morning planning on hitting the main road in the park early enough to see some wildlife. The furnace was running in addition to the heat pump and that worried me, thinking that it must be below 45 degrees for the furnace to kick on. I checked the outside temperature on the dashboard and saw it was 42 degrees. Too cold for this Florida boy, I went back to bed. It's supposed to get warmer starting tomorrow, so we'll plan our early morning trip in another day or two.

We returned the faucet handle to Home Depot yesterday. Determined to get that ice maker installed before next month, I bought another socket set that I knew would have the correct socket to get those bolts out of the freezer. Sure enough, a 5/16" was the one, missing from my wife's set in the coach. So today, instead of going into the park in colder than desirable temperatures (it's supposed to only get up to 65 today), I'll install the ice maker and hopefully, have ice in about 24 hours or less. If it is only supposed to get to 65 in Coram, it won't make it to 60 in the park at higher altitudes.

We also tried a new restaurant for lunch yesterday while in Kalispell called McKenzie River Pizza, Grill and Pub. They serve good tasting thin crust pizza with good service, so if in the area, give it a try. We also did some more grocery shopping while in town since we don't want to have to buy anything but gas while in Canada. I'm going to try to get by without getting Canadian money and use only my credit card, sacrificing the 3% exchange fee for getting the tank filled once or twice in the five days we'll be there. We now have enough food to last us until we return a week from Sunday.

I called our park in the St. Louis area to see if they are still flooded and found they are planning on opening two days before we are scheduled to arrive. But, they said, it won't be pretty and they are going to cover all the non paved areas with straw to avoid having too much mud tracked into the coaches. I asked if the dog park would be open and was told no, it was solid mud. That caused me to rethink staying there since that dog park is one of the primary reasons we use that park every year when we are in St. Louis. I called another park that has a dog park a few blocks away and was lucky enough to get one of their last back-in spots. No pull throughs were available. The cost will be about $72 more than our first choice for the week, but the dogs are worth it. They still offer the seventh night free and their entire site is concrete for both the coach and the patio, with a small strip of grass alongside. I cancelled the first park and was told by the park ranger that she didn't blame us at all, but looked forward to having us back again next year.

Time to get to work on the ice maker.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

DavidM

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2019, 02:54:33 PM »
45 would feel real nice right now.  Heat index is at 108 right now in Maryland. 

Been enjoying your daily updates! 

Peggyy

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2019, 04:14:11 PM »
Please let me know what areas you had trouble breathing. I have asthma and want to be on top of this before we head there next week. Thanks!
2018 Winnebago Intent
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Winter Springs, Florida😀

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2019, 04:33:56 PM »
Thank you, David. I have been watching the weather across the nation and felt for the people who are suffering from the oppressive heat right now. We are headed to St. Louis after the west and they are seeing heat as high as yours. I have enjoyed not having heat indices between 105 and 115, the usual this time of year where we live in SW Florida.

I have the ice maker installed but don't know if it will work. I have been told to wait 24 hours to let it cycle, but when I plugged it back in, the new solenoid valve recently installed did not allow water to fill the maker. I don't know if it knows to wait until the freezer is once again cold enough to freeze water or not. If anyone knows for sure one way or the other, I'd appreciate hearing from you. I had to jimmy rig the wiring because the plugs didn't match up. I cut both plugs off and wired the individual wires together, matching them from a YouTube video I watched. I hope it's right. Right now, the wires are being held together from twisting them and taping them. When I get to a hardware store, I'll buy some shrink connectors and do it right.

It turned out to be a good day to stay in the coach. Intermittent rain and temps in the 50's make me not want to go out.

Has anyone had a problem with having things shipped to you when you're on the road? We bought a RugRat vacuum attachment from RVUpgrades.com while we were in Yellowstone. The park wouldn't allow shipments to be delivered there, so we used a local service called Send It Home, having it sent there for a reasonable sum and picking it up after a text message indicating the package had arrived. Well, the attachment quit working after five days so i called the merchant and they sent another out for replacement. I told them I had moved to a different location and they could send it directly to the RV park where we are, but somewhere along the line, they got confused and sent the replacement to Yellowstone instead of our park in Glacier. I got a message yesterday telling me the package was waiting to be picked up at the Yellowstone post office. I called the merchant again and explained what happened. They were kind enough to tell me they would get another replacement sent to me at the location where we are now and put in a claim to the post office for the package sent to the wrong location. Send It Home said they will look for the package for me and if found, will return it to sender.

But the replacement won't get here until after we leave for Canada. The front office of the park told me they will hold the package until we return from Canada, even though we will not stay in this park when we return. I thought that was pretty nice of them. It makes me wonder if anyone else has tried to have shipments made to them when they are on the move, and what kind of troubles they may have run into. Obviously, you have to stay in one spot long enough to survive the shipping time and that's why when I ordered two items from Amazon in Yellowstone, I had them shipped here and they were waiting for me when we arrived.

Peggy - my wife and I had difficulty breathing or catching our breath in virtually any location that had an elevation higher than about 5,000 feet. That's because we live at sea level only a few miles from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. If you live in an area that has a naturally higher elevation, you probably won't experience the difficulties we had. Yellowstone had us trying to catch our breath even while sitting down because the park we were in was at 6,800 ft. The difficulty began though, when we were in Deadwood because its elevation was 5,800 ft. Most people get used to the higher altitudes after two or three days but we didn't. We are not very active seniors; we walk the dogs and go on short hikes, but that's about all, so we knew we would have greater problems than most. If you are more active and physical, you shouldn't have the issues we did. Bear in mind that anywhere you go in the mountains will get you above 5,000 ft. Right now, we are doing well because our park is only about 3,200 ft above sea level. When we go on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier, we can feel our breath getting a little shorter, but unless we get out and start walking, the problem doesn't get really noticeable. i also think that it may simply have taken us a little longer than most because of where we live because now that we have experienced the higher altitudes for over a month, it seems to be getting better. Good luck with your trip and if you go higher, just remember to take things slowly.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Peggyy

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2019, 05:32:01 PM »
Thanks. Remember i am a florida girl as well.  Hoping no issues will arise.  I had triuble at grand canyon last year.
2018 Winnebago Intent
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Winter Springs, Florida😀

ArdraF

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2019, 07:13:56 PM »
John and Peggyy, when we lived in the San Francisco area and wanted to go places like Zion or Bryce Canyon, we took the longer route down through Bakersfield, up to Las Vegas (elevation 2400'), and then north to the other places.  That area is a series of plateaus and we worked our way up gradually over about a week to higher elevations which helped us acclimate more easily.  If you can do that, it helps. Also, when you're out and about at higher elevations you need to concentrate on breathing more deeply.  Fill your lungs with air and hold for a bit before exhaling.  We do that when out hiking.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #75 on: July 19, 2019, 10:43:37 PM »
Ardra, thanks for the advice. I used to live in Vegas and would visit my brother in the east bay area. Taking the Bakersfield route was the only realistic way to get there. Trust me, if I knew I was going to have breathing problems as bad as I did when we began this vacation trip, I would have planned it out differently. When I lived in Vegas and went to places like Zion, I never had a problem with the elevation. I guess what I have experienced this trip is another exciting aspect of getting older.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Peggyy

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #76 on: July 20, 2019, 05:19:44 AM »
I think i might pack some canisters of oxygen. I heard they help!  John you must be doing better since you are still there?  You are a trooper!  And you got to meet Jackie! 
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UTTransplant

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #77 on: July 20, 2019, 08:16:01 AM »
When my MIL came to visit us in Albuquerque at 6000’ from 900’ Oklahoma, she really wanted to see some mountain views like the top of Sandia Crest at 11,000’. She had some breathing problems though, so her doctor recommended she take a bottle of oxygen with her. It helped a lot! She tried not using it, but she gave in to our encouragement at 8,000’ or so, and she should have done it earlier. She didn’t use oxygen at home, but it certainly was helpful at elevation.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
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Bill N

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #78 on: July 20, 2019, 11:22:48 AM »
I have no doubts you felt the oxygen deprivation John but Deadwood is listed as 4533 feet in elevation.  Wouldn't matter to me. If I walk over 50 feet I better have an oxygen bottle on to keep me from huffing and puffing (COPD).
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #79 on: July 20, 2019, 12:34:40 PM »
If I come back to the Rockies again on another trip, I'll discuss with my doctor in advance the possibility of taking oxygen with me. It's not something I will do readily because it will remind me of my father's passing from emphysema.

Peggy - We have been in higher elevations now for over a month and I am feeling much more comfortable. I attribute some of the reason to the fact that we are at around 3,200 ft. right now in our campground, but we drove the Going to the Sun Road again this morning and climbed to almost 7,000 ft in the car with no problem. I got out to take pictures on several occasions and had to walk up and down paths to get the best shot without any issues at all. Didn't even start breathing heavily as I did in Yellowstone. Like I said before, I think I simply took longer than most to get used to it because of the larger change in altitude from our home. If you have the opportunity to get canisters of oxygen and take them with you, I certainly would if I were you since you have asthma. It will be no big deal if you don't need them, but I would rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

Bill - I said we started our trip in Deadwood because it was the closest town to where we were. There was a 1,500 ft climb up to the Fish N Fry RV park south of Deadwood in the Black Hills. The manager is the one who told me the elevation there was 5,880 ft.

When I got up at 5:20 this morning and turned the ignition key, the temp reading said 37 degrees, worse than yesterday morning. But this was the last day for us to be able to get out early and see the road and all on it, so I got dressed, fed the dogs, and we left at 5:50 for the park, wearing our winter coats. I'm glad we did because at that time of day, you have no traffic to deal with, you can drive as fast or slow as you want, and you don't have to worry about finding a parking place when you want to pull over to take a picture or see a sight. By 8:00, we started seeing more cars and when we exited the park at 10:00, the line to get in was pretty long. We were able to see everything we wanted to see, got some really good photos, and got a little exercise although we didn't go on one of the hikes we planned to see several glaciers close up because we found out it was over 4 miles to the first view point and over 8 miles total, making it a round trip of close to 17 miles. I thought about beginning it anyway to see how far we could get before tiring out, but saw a bear warning sign immediately upon starting the trail. Since we never bought bear spray, I thought better of getting back to the car.

The rest of our day today will be spent working on the dogs and then cleaning up the coach. With three long haired dogs, we have to vacuum every other day if we want to keep the carpet in the coach looking respectable. Our trip to Glacier National Park is essentially concluded. Tomorrow, we will visit friends in Kalispell and Monday, we will begin the job of packing up and getting ready to travel again. And, Judy said she would wash the car. We'll see. Tuesday, we leave for Canada.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Peggyy

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #80 on: July 20, 2019, 02:02:28 PM »
Interesting, my father passed with emphysema as well.  Sounds like you all are doing everything right!  I love reading about your journey. Thank you!
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John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #81 on: July 26, 2019, 04:22:48 PM »
It's been a few days since my last post because we have been in Canada without cell service or wi-fi. Today, I broke down and bought a day's worth of AT&T unlimited cell data, talk and text for $10.00 because I needed to determine where the best place to get gas would be on our way back down from Jasper.

In a nutshell, I will say the drive up the Icefield Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper has to be the most scenic drive in North America. Trying to describe it will make me run out of superlatives, so I'll just say the scenery is breathtaking and nothing that you will ever see in the United States. The road is two lane, in good shape, and although I'm not positive, I don't think there is a grade steeper than about 8 or 9%.

The gasser that I had my doubts about made the trip in very good shape. I still have to check the oil and tranny fluid before we take off again, but I kept the engine at no higher than 4,000 rpm and had very little trouble with the grades. When we left Radium Hot Springs and started toward Banff, I was warned to leave the car unhitched by the office personnel at Canyon Resort because within five minutes, we would encounter an 11% grade. That simply was not true and we could've easily taken the grade in tow. A guess on my part would put that grade at around 8%, something we have been climbing for the entire trip without issue. There is another steep grade at the end of the journey near Banff but again, not more than 8%. I have been keeping a close eye on my 5-1/2 year old tires and making sure their air pressure is kept at the proper amount. I already knew what temperature change can do to tire pressure but had no idea to what degree altitude change will also affect pressure. I have kept my fronts at 85 psi, per the Michelin online chart for the weight of the front end of the coach, and the rear tires have been kept at 95 psi. When I weighed at the start of the trip, the total including hitched vehicle was a little over 27,400 lbs. The coach presently has 46,330 miles on original shocks, suspension and brakes. I'm guessing that I'll be replacing most, if not all, of the above before my next trip.

The RV park at Canyon Resort in Radium Hot Springs is possibly the best looking park I have ever seen.There is a problem getting into the park because it is located at the bottom of a very steep canyon. I used my brakes more getting down that road than on some of the mountains we have climbed. A sharp turn at the end makes it difficult to maneuver without unhitching, which has to be done anyway because the park is full of back-ins.

Once in the park, you realize it is very well laid out giving each space considerable room and privacy. A hedge of shrubs has been planted and maintained between each site. The sites are concrete and gravel with the driveway being a lattice work of laid stone tiles with grass growing out of them. The patios are concrete with a picnic table and fire pit. The FHU was easily used with clean electric and 60 psi water pressure. The sites were very level making the deployment of your jacks only needed for stability. The view is what I found incredible and gets my vote for best RV park I've seen, since you are surrounded by mountains. A short walk to the owned property sites on the other side of the canyon provides a picturesque waterfall. Cable and wi-fi are provided. There is shopping close by. The town of Radium Hot Springs is not very big and the gas there is quite expensive at $1.40/liter so we chose to get our gas in Banff. We stayed only one night and didn't get to see what was around us very much but we will stay there again Saturday night on our way back down to the States.

The trip to Banff was uneventful other than it being the first time we drove separately. It was scenic with several turnouts if you're inclined to take photos. It was short, only about 85 miles, taking about two hours. We were concerned about getting there too early because the latest we could check out from Canyon was 11AM and the earliest we could check in at Banff was 2PM. We left at 10:30 and arrived at 12:30 hoping they would give us our site, and they did.

Banff is a very nice mountain town that gives you the feeling that you're in the Swiss Alps because many of the buildings in the town, be it shops, businesses or homes, have been built to resemble chalets. It was the first time I actually realized I was in a foreign country. Most people we encountered in Alberta are bi-lingual. We also noticed a difference in attitude toward people from the United States, with many looking down their noses at what are called Americans. I always thought the use of that term to describe people from the U.S. was a misnomer since anyone from anywhere in North America, Central America or South America is actually an American. But the people there move slower than what we see in the States, the speed limits are much lower with most highways limited to 56 mph, and they seem to get the impression, rightfully so, that Americans are always in a hurry. Gas was $120.9/liter in Banff, so we filled up in a station so busy, it was difficult getting out, even after we had checked the ingress and egress.

The RV site we had while in Banff was at Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court with FHU. This is the only RV park I have ever seen that has its sites parallel to the roads with the FHU on the side of the road. You simply pull into a gravel drive still lined up with the road and stop when you have best access to the hook ups. It makes getting in and out the easiest I have ever seen. The campground appears to have been terraced out of the side of a large hill, with each row of sites above the last. The roads to each set of sites are 1/4 mile long. The FHU only has 30 amp electric and the water pressure was rather weak at 40 psi. Banff has a total of over 900 sites plus tent sites within the confines of the national park.

When I booked the sites at Banff and Jasper, I did so the minute the reservation site went online because I had been told the spots would go quick. I got a decent site at Banff because I worked on it first. It took about 45 minutes to complete the transaction and receive a confirmation before I could begin booking a site at Jasper. In that time, every site that had hookups of any kind were already gone and I was left with getting a back country site at Wapasso. Part of that problem was caused by their primary and most popular campground being closed for construction. The same thing happened with Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone and many of the other outside campgrounds increased their rates. t least with this campground being inside a Canadian national park, the rates stayed the same. They just booked up faster. The site we have is literally back country visited by bears every day and night. No hookups don't bother me but not being allowed to run my generator except from the hours of 8-9:30am and 5-7pm gives me concern because I have three year old deep cycle batteries that won't last the night for both the furnace blower and the inverter I use for my CPAP. Last night about 3AM, both stopped working. Fortunately, by the time we got up at 7:15 this morning, the solar panel had been charging the batteries enough that I was able to at least start the generator at 8AM when allowed. I don't mind not having television; I warned Judy that these two days would be our quiet time and get back to nature time. But I really would like to be able to read until bedtime and still have enough power to run the furnace.  I think tonight, I'll run the generator until 9PM or whenever someone tells me to shut it off and that should give the batteries enough charge to get through the night.

When I got to Jasper National Park and the Wabasso campground, I was still enthralled by what I had just driven through - the Icefield Parkway. Glacier National Park was stunningly beautiful and I will still rank it as my favorite national park in the U.S. But the views from the Icefield Parkway running through Banff and then Jasper National Parks simply don't stop. You'll take pictures of a mountain range with jagged peaks and glaciers larger than anything in Glacier NP and then round a curve and run into another range just as beautiful, just as breathtaking, and just as ragged. It goes on for 184 miles.

Something interesting that I found in the Canadian parks is the water many times is a pea green. I saw one lake that appeared blue-green but never did I see a body of water that looked either blue or clear. I know that the water usually appears blue to us because of the refractional abilities of the water as the light from the sun bounces off the surface. I wonder if the higher latitude has anything to do with the refraction properties of the water up here.

I didn't want to burden the reader with a long post but we have covered several stops along our way since my last. I hope this wasn't too boring. Because of wanting to keep this as short as possible, I know I haven't covered all the topics that could have been, so if anyone has any questions about this portion of our journey, feel free to ask.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

ArdraF

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #82 on: July 26, 2019, 07:49:37 PM »
John, if a lake looks chalky or cloudy it's because it comes down from a glacier.  It's called glacial flour and it's actually particles in suspension.  In Fairbanks you can take a river cruise and where two rivers meet it's quite interesting because one is clear and the other is glacial so there an interesting effect when the two river waters swirl together.

So glad to hear you like the Icefields Parkway and the Banff area.  They're definitely in my "must see" category.

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John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #83 on: July 28, 2019, 12:23:08 AM »
Ardra - thank you so much for the information about the color of the water. That is fascinating to me and saves me doing the research to find out for myself.

We took off from Jasper's Wabasso campground at 8:00 this morning, easily picking up the pieces since we had nothing to disconnect and only had to get the jacks up, the pads stored and the slides drawn in. We stopped by the dump station and partially filled our fresh water tank that was down to ⅓ of a tank and empty the holding tanks.

On our way up, we ran across several turnouts going southbound that would afford great photos so we planned on catching each one on our way down this morning. The Garmin said the trip would take until 1:00 but I calculated it would take us until 4 or 5PM, figuring a lot of stops for photos and an hour lunch break. Unfortunately, we got few good photos and didn't need to stop at many of the turnouts because the weather was horrendous, raining off and on the entire trip with the ceiling so low, it was hiding the mountain peaks. When we were at the highest points of the trip, we were even with the clouds or they were no more than 50 feet above our heads. We still took a lot of shots but there were few that I consider outstanding.

I forgot to put the pool noodles on the bedroom slide when we set up at Wabasso. We use them because I have run head first into the edges of the slide too many times from absentmindedness. Yesterday while checking tire pressure and changing a battery in one TPMS sensor on the inner rear tire, I stood up and walked right into that slide with the edge catching me in my forehead, mouth and chest. I hit it hard enough that it completely knocked me off my feet and almost blacked me out. My first thought was to check my teeth, and they were all right. My second thought was to get up because it had knocked me into the grass and brush outside of the gravel we were parked on and I was afraid of ticks. I tried to get up and fell back down, making me realize just how hard I had hit the slide. After a few seconds that seemed like minutes, I was able to stand up, but staggered all the way around the coach to the door, having to sit down as soon as entering. Fortunately, today my chest is sore and bruised but all else is well, discounting my pride.

Things like that have made me wonder the entire trip if I am intentionally trying to shoot myself in the foot but the man upstairs keeps moving my foot away from the line of fire. We have been dodging bullets the whole way, with today being nothing different.

Because we didn't stop and take pictures as often as we thought we would, we made it back to Radium Hot Springs and the Canyon RV Resort by 2PM, just in time for check-in. The nice lady behind the counter remembered me from four days ago and put me in a spot only two away from where we were earlier in the week. We began setting up but I immediately realized we had a problem when I got into the electrical compartment. When we were at Banff, we didn't use the Progressive EMS surge protector we bought before the trip because we had to use a 30 amp dog bone since that RV park only has 30 amp service and the EMS is a 50 amp protector. At Wabasso, we had no hookups. So when I got into the compartment and began to uncoil the electrical cord, I immediately noticed my EMS was missing. I wasn't sure, but thought I remembered seeing it in the compartment while at Banff, so I assumed someone had stolen it out of the compartment while we were in town or asleep because I didn't lock the compartment door. It was either that, or I left it at Canyon on our trip up north, but that didn't make sense because the lock and cable I use to secure it to the pedestal was in the compartment. After kicking myself in the keister for several minutes and wondering what my insurance company was going to think if I turned in two claims for one trip, I told Judy that we should walk the dogs down to the office so I could ask the lady at the counter if someone possibly had turned it in. Of course, I knew the chances of that happening were slim to none. For one thing, I was pretty sure it had been stolen at Banff and for another, this was an expensive unit that could very easily sprout legs and walk away on its own. But human nature fooled me again when the lady in the office told me someone had turned it in this morning. Apparently, the people who were in that site the two days before thought it belonged there and never removed it, but the people who were there last night realized it didn't belong on the pedestal and turned it in. I had unlocked the cable and put it in the coach but left the EMS on the pedestal. A lesson learned by not losing a $350 unit less than 60 days old. Someone up there is looking out for me. Think about it - aside from finding an honest individual to turn in something that expensive, what are the chances we would have left it at an RV park where we returned four days later? It's the first time we have ever done that anywhere.

Our trip is more than half over. In terms of time, it's almost two-thirds complete; in terms if mileage, we hit the halfway mark today. In terms of distance away from home, we are now on our way back down from the farther point away we were at this morning. So far, we have been very fortunate to have the coach run well with no serious problems that we couldn't take care of ourselves. Today while on the road, I heard a slight beeping noise coming from behind me and asked Judy to check it out. She said the fridge was beeping and the readout said "Lo." I didn't know what was wrong because even though we used the furnace a lot while up north, we still had ⅓ tank of LP left according to the internal readout. It worried me that it might not be getting enough LP because due to the accident, we can't open the compartment door that contains the tank to get it refilled. I asked Judy to go back and check the amperage of the house batteries, thinking that may be what the "Lo" reading was referring to. She said the readout showed 10.5 amps, much too low. It then made sense to me that was what the readout was telling us because we hadn't turned on the generator this morning and although the furnace and CPAP worked all night, it had drained the house batteries to the point that they could not provide enough spark to light the LP for the fridge. I turned on the generator while driving and allowed it to recharge the batteries. Once it came on, the fridge worked fine with no further error readouts. Another bullet dodged. I plan on changing out those batteries before our next trip, given their present age. It seems in Florida, batteries usually don't last as long as in other parts of the country. I found the same to be true about batteries and anything made out of rubber while living in Las Vegas.

We now are in one of our more difficult times of this trip, driving for five straight days. It was going to be six until we rearranged the itinerary and added more miles each day so we can stay in Vegas, our next destination, for an additional day. I know better than to do this to myself, but the days won't be too difficult and Judy said she might do a little driving if we're not in mountains. We'll see about that.

We plan on driving from Radium Hot Springs to Missoula tomorrow, with stops in Columbia Falls to pick up a package at a previous RV park and a friend who kept my weapon for me while we went to Canada. It will be a long day, as will the next day driving from Missoula to Pocatello, ID, with both days being planned out to take 9-9.5 hours on the road, which translates out to about seven hours actually driving. I usually like to limit myself to about six hours of driving each day. We plan on being in Las Vegas by Wednesday afternoon.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

RVMommaTo6

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #84 on: July 28, 2019, 07:16:37 AM »
You have luck like mine lol, glad you're relatively ok and that you got your EMS back. Drive safely!
Amanda
Mommy to 6 great kids who love camping and traveling
Aug 1, 2019- began our 10 month cross country trip
2015 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 30.2 aka "home" 
2010 35ft Springdale bunkhouse TT
2001 Jayco Pop-up
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ArdraF

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #85 on: July 28, 2019, 06:31:24 PM »
You probably won't have time on this visit, but Pocatello has the Clean Museum.  It was started by a man who owned a nationwide cleaning company and after retiring he realized he had quite a lot of "stuff" having everything to do with cleaning.  You name it, cleaning supplies, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, even a cute chimney sweep display.  Some of the items are very old, late 1800s and early 1900s.

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jackiemac

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #86 on: July 29, 2019, 11:24:28 PM »
Your trip reports are certainly not boring John.  Glad you recovered from your bump, perhaps that will stop the absentmindedness!!  Safe onward travels.  We are in West Yellowstone now...
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Back in the UK til our 2020 adventure...

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #87 on: July 29, 2019, 11:40:12 PM »
Amanda - thank you for the good thoughts and same to you when you leave on your very long trip.

Ardra - I wish we could take a look at your suggestion regarding the Clean Museum; that's something that would interest me. Unfortunately, we got in town late this evening and will leave early tomorrow morning, so we won't have time.

Yesterday's journey was uneventful other than last night when our CO2 detector went off. We had the generator running but didn't have the a/c on so apparently, there was enough fumes entering the bedroom slide from the generator to trigger the alarm. It seems I need to service the slide seals now, something I was going to wait to do until we were ready to put the coach back in storage.

This morning, the LP detector went off. The only thing that was using LP at the time was the water heater. That heater was just installed a year ago so there shouldn't be anything wrong with it. It gives me more worries about the LP system with the internal light now showing either 1/3 full or empty, depending on whether or not we are sitting level. I can't check the actual gauge on the tank because I can't get the compartment door open. We're just hoping we don't need the furnace again during this trip now that we're in Pocatello, ID and heading south. When the generator isn't running, LP is used for the fridge, water heater and stove, so we don't want to run out before the trip is over. We may have to figure out how to get the door open so we can refill the tank.

I'm wondering if there is something wrong with my CO2 detector since the generator is running right now and the a/c isn't on but the detector isn't going off. We will shut off the generator before heading to bed.

Yesterday, when we were getting gas in Radium Hot Springs, we scraped the hitch severely due to uneven pavement while driving up to the pump. We have a 10" drop down receiver on the hitch to accommodate the low hitch plate connectors on the car. When sitting on level ground, the hitch is perfectly even, or maybe 1/2" lower than the car connectors, but this trip has shown us it can drag the ground on spots that aren't level and we are wondering if an 8" drop down receiver would be better. Blue Ox suggests the hitch is no more than 3-4" from being level, so a 2" difference shouldn't put us at risk. If anyone has an opinion from experience with this issue, please share. We now have to go find an emergency brake cable to replace the one that got caught underneath the hitch when it dragged on the pavement.

This was the longest planned driving day of the entire trip at 363 miles, but we decided to take short breaks every 100 miles or so to stretch our legs and give the dogs a chance to get outside, along with a full hour for lunch and it really made the trip easier. When we got in to our present spot, I wasn't as tired as I have been when trying to drive without breaks for 2.5-3 hours straight. It sure isn't like when I was 40 years younger and could drive for 15 hours with only potty breaks. Tomorrow won't be as long and we'll take care of the holding tanks when we stay at an RV park after dry camping for two nights in a row.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #88 on: July 31, 2019, 08:38:57 PM »
We finished our grueling five day drive from Jasper NP  to Las Vegas today with minimal issues. Yesterday, while driving near Salt Lake City, our check engine light came on and stayed on for 100 miles until we stopped for the night. Once again, we got very lucky. I asked the RV park manager if he knew of any decent mechanics who could do a diagnostic for me and he suggested a guy a mile down the road that was a Workhorse technician. I called him and made an appointment for this morning. He did the diagnostic check and found the light was triggered by a knock sensor. I told him I had both sensors replaced two years ago and he thinks it was simply a wire picking up another sensor's signal. He told me if the light comes on again, not to worry about it unless we lose power.

We must have brought cooler weather with us from Canada because we ran through rain all day driving through southern Utah and Nevada. When we got to Vegas, we ran into a severe storm with flash flood warnings. I can count on one hand the number of times I saw it rain while living here for 13 years during the month of July. It was only 94 today, while is usually gets up to around 109 this time of year. The evening weatherman was complaining about how high the humidity is right now - 30-40% range. I had to laugh. When it's only 30% in Florida, we think something is wrong.

Our LP indoor warning light shows the tank is empty. We know that these sending units read low so we know there is still some gas in the tank but we don't know how much. If I pry the door open that is jammed into the next door from the accident, we probably won't get it closed again, so this is a last resort and only will be used if we decide we have to get more LP. I'm not sure if we'll be able to get through the next month with what we have and we're going to limit usage to just the stove, keeping the fridge on electric and running the generator when we're not hooked up at a campground. Since we're down south for the rest of our trip, I doubt we'll need to use the furnace again. The LP should have lasted us longer than it did, but when it's 32 in Yellowstone, you use your furnace.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2019, 12:17:49 PM »
We have spend the last three days in Las Vegas, seeing old friends and catching up with relatives. I wondered if we would want to do a little gambling again while here, but have spent money on the coach instead. We had to buy a new brake emergency cable after ours was destroyed when the hitch receiver scraped in Canada. And because we have had this issue on several occasions, some worse than others, I decided to buy an 8" drop receiver to replace our 10" drop. Blue Ox states in their instructions that your tow equipment should be as close to level as possible and should be within 3-4" of being level. My 10" drop put the equipment perfectly level when on level ground, so going to an 8" drop still keeps me only 2" off level and within the tolerance Blue Ox has stated. I have seen other coaches driving out of this resort with more than a 4" off level condition and wonder how they do it.

One would think that in a city as large as Las Vegas that has so much RV traffic and sales, a drop receiver would be easy to find in stock, but no. I found one shop that had one in stock and it was a double - 2"/8" - something I don't need and didn't want to pay for, but had no choice. I have it installed and we will see how it performs tomorrow when we leave on the road again.

The cooler weather we thought we brought with us from Canada dissipated rather quickly. On Thursday, it got up to 104 and on Friday, it made it to 109. We have been very happy with how our basement a/c has performed so far, keeping the temp inside the coach at around 82-85 in the hottest parts of the day. It runs until night and I worry about it lasting at its age when it runs for so long every day, but when we leave the coach, we can't leave the dogs in extreme heat. One more day and we'll be on our way into the desert with even higher temperatures, staying in Kingman, AZ for two nights. We need the a/c to keep doing its thing for another three weeks.

I climbed underneath the coach with a mirror and a flashlight to see what the gauge on the LP tank read and found it to still be about 20% full. Given that it was only 80% full when we started this trip, that means that we have used roughly ⅔ of what was there and we have ⅓ left. Knowing how much the furnace ran during the cold nights in the northern states, I have to believe we have enough to run the fridge and stove for the rest of our trip if we can't run the generator or are hooked up. I'm not worried.

The Oasis RV Resort is one of the nicest I have visited. Our biggest complaints are that the cable doesn't work without creating a very loud hum in our sound system, making me think there is something wrong with the ground and after asking them to look at it the first night, no one has come by yet. But since we have good OTA stations, it's no great loss. The other complaint is that where they put us, we have an exceptionally long walk to any of the three dog parks they have scattered around the outside of the resort. I have to give them credit, though - they have more dog parks than any other resort I have seen.

Today is one of our favorite pizzas for lunch with an old friend and then cruise through the old neighborhoods to see how much they have changed. I also have to go by a UPS store and resend the bad RugRat back to RVUpgrades.com. Tonight, we begin the process of getting the coach ready for the road. We won't have lengthy time off the road again until we get to St. Louis, staying in Kingman only two nights to look at houses and then beginning the long trip back across the country to the Midwest.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox