Florida to California in our new Fleetwood Fiesta LX

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irvsiegel

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Apr 27, 2006
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138
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Benicia, CA
  We left Jacksonville considerably later than we had originally planned.  We had hoped to leave by 1:00 or maybe 2:00 pm and get to the Tallahassee RV Park before dark.  However, we were late getting all of the stuff in our apartment into the coach, and the dealer's service department took a lot of time figuring out how to set up our Demco Kar Kaddy SS.  They did finally get it set up, hitched to the coach, and our 2005 Hyundai Elantra secured to the Kaddy.  We left Jacksonville at about 5:45 pm!  We did make it to Tallahassee (where I'm typing this now) just before midnight, so we stayed overnight at the Flying J.  It's our intention to make it to Mobile tonight, possibly to the following campground:  Shady Acres Campground - 2500 Old Military Road - 251-478-0013. 

  I think that somebody in the Mobile area said that he would like to come out to the campground to meet us.  That would be a wonderful idea.  Please call ahead and ask if we're there!  My cell phone # is (510) 701-0727.  Also, since I did not receive a very good education concerning our Kar Kaddy SS and how to get the car off and on, it's our intention to leave the car on the Kar Kaddy until we get to California, so we won't be able to drive anywhere to meet anyone.

  It was an exciting first day, with a few wrong turns getting on and off of I-10, and encountering some low hanging tree branches.  But it was also great fun!

Sincerely,

Irv and Victoria Siegel

 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Glad to hear you are on the road.  If you are coming across I-10 and plan to stop in the Houston area you might want to stay at Bay Colony RV Park where we are till after Christmas, or Space Center RV park located just a couple miles North of us, or even Adventureland just about a Mile South of us.  We would like to meet you if you stop around here. Happy and safe travels.
 

Kenneth

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Nov 21, 2005
Posts
438
Irv and Victoria,

Don't forget to periodically tighten the straps on your car caddy.

And have a safe and wonderful trip
 

Wendy

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Congratulations on hitting the road.

Enjoy and safe travels
Wendy, Mike and Sam
 

irvsiegel

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Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Posts
138
Location
Benicia, CA
Ron said:
Glad to hear you are on the road.  If you are coming across I-10 and plan to stop in the Houston area you might want to stay at Bay Colony RV Park where we are till after Christmas, or Space Center RV park located just a couple miles North of us, or even Adventureland just about a Mile South of us.  We would like to meet you if you stop around here. Happy and safe travels.

Ron,

  If we can arrange a stop in the Houston area, then we sure would like to meet you.  Right now we're thankful that we made it to Mobile without incident!  I was a little surprised that our
GPS didn't know that we entered the Central Time Zone.  Maybe when we turn it on tomorrow it will have figured that out!

Kenneth said:
Irv and Victoria,

Don't forget to periodically tighten the straps on your car caddy.

And have a safe and wonderful trip

Kenneth,

  Thanks for that tip!

wendycoke said:
Congratulations on hitting the road.

Enjoy and safe travels
Wendy, Mike and Sam

Wendy, Mike, and Sam,

  Thank you very much!

Irv and Victoria Siegel
 

BernieD

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Mar 1, 2005
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5,878
Location
Goodyear, AZ
Irv

The GPS couldn't maintain a data base of time zones, at least not at a cost that we could afford. My GPS needs 4 clicks to reset the time zone, no great big deal. You just have to know which zone you are in  ;D ;D

As you can see by your start, planning on 400 miles a day can be very difficult to accomplish ;)

Travel safe.
 

irvsiegel

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Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Posts
138
Location
Benicia, CA
BernieD said:
Irv

The GPS couldn't maintain a data base of time zones, at least not at a cost that we could afford. My GPS needs 4 clicks to reset the time zone, no great big deal. You just have to know which zone you are in  ;D ;D

As you can see by your start, planning on 400 miles a day can be very difficult to accomplish ;)

Travel safe.

  Tomorrow we're planning on driving 385 miles to Beaumont, TX.  That's seven hours of driving at 55 MPH.  Between the two of us, that's very doable.  The main problem in driving that far is running out of sunlight.  We like to get hooked up before dark.  With sunset coming at around 5:15 p.m., that means that we'd have to leave around 9:00 a.m. to allow enough time to refuel the coach and us.  We'll try to do just that!

Irv
 

irvsiegel

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Apr 27, 2006
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138
Location
Benicia, CA
  We are now in Orange, TX at the Flying J instead of Beaumont.  We tried to get into the Oak Leaf Campground, but when we called them at 4:30 p.m. they said if we couldn't get there within an hour then we wouldn't be able to get in.  Since we were over two hours away, we had to pass on that campground.  The reason why we were running so late was because of a little incident at a Texaco Station in Laplace, LA (Birdies #4, if anyone's interested).  While pulling up to the gas island, I got a little too close to the post/pole at the end of the island.  I suppose it's there to keep vehicles from running into the gas pump.  It worked.  We didn't hit the gas pump.  We did get our coach impaled on the pole, however.  The end result is just a bunch of mangled fiberglass, but it took a while to become disentangled.  The fiberglass was acutally touching a rear tire, and any movement forward would have resulted in more mangled fiberglass and possibly some tire damage.  I called AAA who couldn't find a tow truck in Laplace on a Sunday, so they called one in from who knows where.  After about two hours and no sign of the tow truck, a local fellow came by who offered, or rather insisted, that he could help us.  He had a crow bar to pull the fiberglass away from the tire, and he told us that we really could back up, even with our Demco Kar Kaddy SS attached.  We had been warned against backing up, but there was nothing in the Kar Kaddy manual that prohibited it, and the fellow seemed to know what he was doing.  Sure enough, we had no trouble backing up, and with the assistance of our good Samaritan we were soon freed from the pole.

  Backing up a tow dolly with surge brakes can be done, despite the fact that I had been warned strongly against it.  I don't know how we would have got out of that situation if I hadn't tried it.


  I don't think that we'll have time to stop in Houston tomorrow.  I don't know where we will be come nightfall.  We've got a lot of Texas in front of us!

Irv Siegel
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Sorry to hear about the mishap with the new coach - bummer.  :'(  I guess you have had an expensive an education in turn lag and the value of the side view mirrors. :-[

Backing up a tow dolly with surge brakes can be done, despite the fact that I had been warned strongly against it.  I don't know how we would have got out of that situation if I hadn't tried it.

Yes you can, whether ith a dolly or flat towing. You just have to be extremely careful and usually cannot back very far - sometimes only a few feet, depending on the angles. The strong warnings against it are because it is quite easy to damage the towbar, hitch or dolly or car (if flat towing) if you aren't sufficiently careful.
 

irvsiegel

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Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Posts
138
Location
Benicia, CA
RV Roamer said:
Sorry to hear about the mishap with the new coach - bummer.   :'(  I guess you have had an expensive an education in turn lag and the value of the side view mirrors. :-[

Yes you can, whether ith a dolly or flat towing. You just have to be extremely careful and usually cannot back very far - sometimes only a few feet, depending on the angles. The strong warnings against it are because it is quite easy to damage the towbar, hitch or dolly or car (if flat towing) if you aren't sufficiently careful.

  The sad part is that I *was* using the side view mirror, but I was carefully watching the tow dolly and not the coach itself!  Well, better an expensive lesson learned early rather than a *really* expensive one later.

  We hope to make it to San Antonio tonight.

Irv
 

irvsiegel

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Apr 27, 2006
Posts
138
Location
Benicia, CA
  We didn't make it to San Antonio.  We came up about 60 miles short.  We're staying at the Riverbend RV Park in Luling, TX.  The reason that we didn't make it to San Antonio is because of another slight mishap.

  We got stuck in a huge traffic jam and decided to change drivers at that point.  My wife took over the driving, and after being stuck in this traffic for what seemed forever, but was really less than an hour, we started moving again.  It started raining pretty hard, and my wife doesn't like to drive in the rain, so I told her to take the next exit and we would switch drivers again.  We did so, but we couldn't find a place to turn around and get back to I-10.  I was relying on our GPS to take us back to the highway, but most of the turns that it wanted us to take were on very narrow country roads.  Finally, there was one road that it recommended that seemed wider than the others.  I negotiated the turn just fine, only to discover that we were on a dead end street!  If I had had a gun I would have shot my GPS.

  Since we had discovered the day before that it was possible to back up even with the tow dolly attached to our coach, that's what we decided to do.  However, this time the dolly jack-knifed and our car came partway off of the dolly!  Luckily this occured in front of the home of a very nice young man who had a lot of experience with tow dollys.  He got the car all the way off of the dolly, took the dolly off of the coach, got us all lined up facing in the right direction, re-attached the tow dolly to the coach, guided my wife as she drove the car back up onto the dolly, secured the car to the dolly (making the straps much tighter than they had been), and sent us on our way!  He wouldn't take any money, of course, but I insisted on making a $40 donation to his church, which he accepted.  He even corrected a mistake that the dealer had made when he assembled the tow dolly for us.  One particular piece was on backwards!  He said that that could have contributed to the jack-knifing.

  There was no damage to the car or the coach.  The tow dolly had a small piece of metal that looked bent, but it's functioning just fine.  The straps were still very tight when we pulled into Riverbend RV Park.

  Tomorrow we'll head west again on I-10.  I don't have any particular destination in mind.  I know that we need to go about 300 miles, so we'll look for a campground somewhere in that vicinity.  Despite our newbie mishaps, we're still having loads of fun on this trip!

Irv
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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I don't have and never had a GPS, doubt if I ever will.  Takes all the fun out of it.  esides I've followed some people that use the GPS and was never happy with the some of theRoutes chosen.  I've made better time and enjoyed the trip by using MS trips and sts/  I know Gps has some roads that MS does't  but as you say  Not always the best way.  So I don't see any advantage to spend the bucks for something you dont really believe in.  JMHO. But to each his or her own./
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
Irv

Welcome to Retirement 102. Looks like you are going to pass 101 ;D ;D  Down to 300 miles daily from 400, playing it by ear for your next stop and, most important of all, you seem to be still smiling. Enjoy the rest of the trip and see about stopping in Phoenix.
 

Wendy

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The slower you go, the more you see. The more you see, the more you enjoy the traveling. If the important thing was getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, you might just as well drive a truck and get paid for it.
 

irvsiegel

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Apr 27, 2006
Posts
138
Location
Benicia, CA
  Our last two days on the road have been without incident.  Last night we stayed at an RV Park that didn't have Wi-fi, so I was unable to report in.  Knowing what happened the previous two days, I'm sure that some people here thought, "Uh-oh!  I wonder what went wrong today!"

  Last night we were at the Fort Stockton, TX KOA and tonight we're at the Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces, NM.  Time to look ahead about 300 miles and see where we'll be staying tomorrow!

  Unfortunatley we are on a time schedule 'cause I have an appointment with my oncologist in San Francisco on 12/19.  At 300 miles/day we'll actually get home by 12/17, but it's okay if we don't make it until 12/18.

Irv
 

Jim Godward

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Hillsboro, Oregon
Irv,

What route are you taking once you get to CA.  There are some ways around LA that will save both mileage and time and still get you to I-5 or whatever.

Let us know so the CA experts can cchime in with advice.  G
 

irvsiegel

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Apr 27, 2006
Posts
138
Location
Benicia, CA
James Godward said:
Irv,

What route are you taking once you get to CA.  There are some ways around LA that will save both mileage and time and still get you to I-5 or whatever.

Let us know so the CA experts can cchime in with advice.  G

Jim,

  My wife is from Los Angeles (Eagle Rock, actually), plus she has 17 years experience as a taxicab driver.  We should be able to find our way around California.  I've been checking Mapquest and Yahoo Maps, plus our GPS, plus we have a road atlas.  As long as we stick to major roads and don't find ourselves on another dead-end street, we should be okay!  Thanks for the tip, though.

Irv
 

Wendy

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irvsiegel said:
   My wife is from Los Angeles (Eagle Rock, actually),

My Mom is from Eagle Rock, graduated from Eagle Rock High....she'd hit me if I told you when :)
 
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