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Author Topic: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family  (Read 473 times)

LarsMac

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Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« on: October 28, 2020, 08:23:53 PM »
So, Bonehead-of-theweek story.

The wife and daughter decided that we needed to trip over to the Western Slope to visit with Son and Daughter-in-law after she had surgery for some disc problems in her neck

I was hesitant because, well, October in Colorado is not known for wonderful RV weather.

To complicate things, The Mrs demanded that we take a route that does not include I-70, The Tunnel, or Vail Pass. Not really a problem for me, as I have never liked that route, anyway. (I mean, it's ok if you're in a hurry, and you don't mind sharing the road with a few thousand other motorists who are in a bigger hurry than you are)

Well, She then nixed Taking US 50 (My favorite) because, well, snow and high mountain roads.
So, I decided that we would try Hopping up to Cheyenne on US 85, then, and across I-80 to the other side of Rawlins, and down through Craig and Meeker.

It turned out to be a good run, except for a the winds along US 85 were brutal. A 35-45 mph crosswind in a Class C can be a challenge. And driving with a 30+ mph headwind most of the day on I-80. Yeah. Good times.
 
WY 789/CO 13 is a nice 2-lane road with light traffic. Most of the way, we were in the shadow of hight ridges that protected us from the crosswinds. The hills are quite manageable, and services available in Craig make it a decent rest stop.
We made the trip out in a single day. A bit of a task. We clocked in at twelve hours, door to door.

The RV parks around Grand Junction were full on the weekend, so we hung out at son's house.

On the return trip we stopped in Rawlins at the Western Hills Campground.  A decent park with good service and amenities. Only problem was that they sit up on the hill on western side of town, and the winds was ramping up from the West.
It took a while to settle down and get to sleep with the wind buffeting us all night.

The next day, when I was unplugging the power cord, it was stuck to the surge protector. Then something cracked when I finally broke it loose, and the Hot Pin was loose. I also noticed some melting of the plug housing.
Well, we would be home tonight, and I'll deal with it in the morning. 

So we run up to FlyingJ and Fuel up, and head east. Near the next exit, A sign is lit up with the message that I-80 is closed to lightweight, High Profile Vehicles.

Same at several signs along the way. At Wolcott exit, it dawns on me that this is the junction mentioned on the signs.

Hmmm. We exit and drive up to the rather run down Fuel station. A number of trucks and RVs are lined up. We pull around and find a spot in the wind shadow of the station. The people working the place are great. Friendly and helpful. They keep a good supply of the kind of munchies you might want to have if your stranded, waiting for the roads to open back up. The big pellet stove is warm and the coffee is fresh and hot.

Talking to a Driver for UPS and a couple of RV'ers, we learn that Both I-80 and US 30 are experiencing high winds, Gusts of up to 60 mph, and indeed, the Wy DOT has advised no high profile vehicles should travel. The Mrs, and daughter of course are settling in to wait. I realize no argument I could come up with will convince them that we are probably safe to roll.

A discussion with UPS driver though cleared a lot of that up for me. The WHP will not stop high risk vehicles for disobaying the signs, but if you venture off agains the suggestion, and you end up getting blown over, or involved in a collsion, they will happily write you ticket for something like 750 buckaroos, and send you insurance company a letter explaining your predicament, and the insurance company may decide that you had it coming, decline to reimburse the costs of your repair, or damages you might have inflicted on other people and vehicles. So, yeah, I guess we will stay put.

So, I decide to make some coffee.
I start the genset, set the coffee maker up, add water, and coffee, and plug it in.
Odd. The coffee pot is not working. I check the lights. They work. I look at the Microwave. That little text scroll I always look at to see that the genset is working is blank.
D'OH! I didn't plug the Cord in. Oh, yeah, The plug is damaged.
Well, now I start campaigning to return to Rawlins, and hang out there while waiting for the winds to settle. The Mrs will not hear of it. Daughter takes her side. I'm out-voted. (Isn't Democracy wonderful?)

Note to self: [Thinking as I amble up to the store to get some of that fesh hot coffee I mentioned earlier.] Remember to bring a guy along. (well, since the Mrs' vote always counts a two, I need to bring TWO guys along. Nah. too crowded. Nevermind. Just accept that you're outnumbered. Deal with it.)
 
Well around dusk, the winds started to settle, and the signs were turned off, We joined the caravan of RVs and trucks headed Eastward.
I-80 with the wind at your back is actually quite pleasant.

It was getting dark when we got to Cheyenne, and I decided that I had enough of US-85 and the crosswinds, so I took I-25. A little better in the wind department, but getting down around Ft Collins, Traffic is dreadful, and the construction zones are rough. We rattled through there while I dreamed of being on US-85 with only the wind to contend with. (Some folks are just never happy. Know what I mean?)

Safe at home, I figured to spend the next day getting the rig cleaned up and start the winterizing process, since there was a Big Cold system coming down from the north (that was the cause of all that wind we were dealing with.)

Get up the next morning, and guess what. ??? That cold system snuck in behind us.
it was 45 with a 30 degree windchill. Emergency winterization procedure. Open up the pitcocks, and the Fresh water tank drain, open up all the spigots, and pour anti-freeze in the drains.  I did take a moment to dismantle the power plug and see what the problem was. It seemed that somehow it had twisted so that the Hot and neutral were way too close, and some shorting had taken place. We were saved from major catastrophe, it seemed by the lead being poorly attached in the first place, and the wire strands had broken and or burnt from the hot pin. Probably should have inspected the plug assembly more carefully each time I used it. I may have caught it sooner. Lesson learned, I hope.

Three days of mostly sub-freezing temps - often subzero.
So, the Sun came out, the snow is melting, and we are above freezing. Tomorrow, I replace the power plug with the new one I ordered from Amazon, and inspect the water lines in hopes of finding that my efforts were not in vain, and we still have a water system.
Next will be to get the black tank dumped assuming the two gallons of antifreeze I dumped down there prevented the forming of a giant crappy Ice Cube.
[sigh]

Next trip (fortune and COVID permitting) will be Florida in May to attend granddaughter's college graduation.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 09:58:53 AM by LarsMac »
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V - Ford V-10
Towing 2007 Saturn Vue with Blue Ox bar and Even Brake

“All I ever needed was a wheel in my hand and four on the road.” -- Apologies, or Thanks, to Jack Kerouac

Roy M

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2020, 11:17:52 PM »
 ;D That was quite the tale, thanks for the chuckle.

Punomatic

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 08:19:30 AM »
I had a number of run-ins with adverse winds back in my sailing days. After a while, I learned to go where the wind wanted to take me and not fight the program. Some things are just stronger than my will!!  ;D Thanks for a fun read, although I felt your pain :-\
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Ex-Calif

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 10:12:20 AM »
All I can say is both wife and daughter are "keepers."  :))

Like most men, left to our own devices we will definitely "stubborn" our way into trouble...  ;D
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SpencerPJ

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2020, 10:27:43 AM »
Thanks for the story LarsMac.  All I can say is; you are not alone  ::)

Hope your RV survived the freeze and glad your plug seems like a simple replacement.
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Jhcowdude

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2020, 07:37:49 PM »
Wind can be a booger in this part of the world.  I'm just up I-25 in Douglas, WY.  Usually when WHP puts out an advisory, they aren't kidding!  Glad you made it home OK. Walcott Junction isn't exactly the garden spot of southern Wyo but lots of people spent a lot of time there.
    On a side note, I was glad I got our 5th wheel drained and blown out before our -14 on Monday.  Reading your post, I remembered I forgot to drain the p traps......just checked. Glad they are cheap and easy to get to.
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LarsMac

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2020, 08:12:42 PM »
Thanks for the comments.
Update. I got the plug replaced. Only problem is the Camco plug is too big to fit the the hole in the compartment that I could drop the powerline through so I could lock the compartment while camping.
May have to re-think this.

And, my emergency drain procedure worked. With power line recovered, the pump worked and I got antifreeze into all the plumbing, and no leaks. So, Tanks drained, pipes and drains all treated, and we're ready for winter. Though AZ is beckoning. We may head south before Real Winter gets here.
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V - Ford V-10
Towing 2007 Saturn Vue with Blue Ox bar and Even Brake

“All I ever needed was a wheel in my hand and four on the road.” -- Apologies, or Thanks, to Jack Kerouac

Isaac-1

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2020, 09:28:23 PM »
Thanks for the story, we have stopped at that same gas station on two different trips to Wyoming (summer 2016 and 2017)
2002 Safari Trek 2830

8Muddypaws

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2020, 11:07:23 PM »
When I was a crazed windsurfer I would drive for hours to find high winds.  Now?   Mmmmmmm, not so much.

I once drove a class A up the Columbia River Gorge with a 50mph headwind.  Absolutely floored I could make about 45.  I was glad it was not a side wind.
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darsben

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Re: Just a nice quick run over the hill to see family
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2020, 11:52:32 PM »
LarsMac
Here in Arizona we just got over a cold spell in the Phoenix area. The high Tuesday was only 65. Brrr
In the meantime the "Q" and Lake Havasu had high wind warnings.
Hurry down but leave the weather behind
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