January trip from Ohio to Arizona

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pjweimer

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Joined
Jul 31, 2005
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11
Location
Pataskala, OH
This past July we bought a 2003 Itasca Suncruiser and have been preparing it for extended travels. Our maiden voyage was a Labor Day weekend trip to an in-state campground pulling our 2004 Saturn Vue (Roadmaster Falcon II and Brake Buddy). Biggest need identified on the trip was a need for some sort of steering stabilizers. After much time on the internet and this forum, I purchased and installed the Steer Safe units. Short drive after install showed definite improvement. Concerns about potential tire problems led me to the PressurePro tire pressure monitoring system. Ordered that directly from Doran Mfg. The MH is 38 ft and so I needed to add the remote antenna to pick the signals from all the MH's tires and the toad. I decided to install the antenna under the MH, about midship. My Magellan Color Meridian GPS unit proved too small a screen for safe viewing so I upgraded to the Garmin StreetPilot 2720. We have been subscribers to Dish Networks satellite TV services at home and I had a second receiver in my pole barn so I decided to put it in the MH (a King Dome dish was already mounted on the MH when we bought it). Our final prep item is Starband's Mobile Flyer Internet satellite setup. I have been a Starband customer for some years. Guess this is such a new offering from Starband that they are not quite prepared to ship these systems. Ordered it through a local dealer on 10/26 and they told me Saturday Starband could not quote a delivery date. I had hoped to have that in hand by this Saturday as we will be traveling to a campground in central Indiana for a week.

OK, that's current status. Now for my question. My wife and I are looking to leave very shortly after January the 1st and head for the Flagstaff, AZ. We have a window of 6-7 weeks for this trip. I am just a bit concerned about traveling cross country at that time of year. Initial thoughts are to head west from central Ohio on I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City and then I-40 to Flagstaff. Are our risks with the weather over this route high? Should we be considering a different time frame for this trip?

All comments and suggestions appreciated,
Paul & Linn Weimer
Pataskala, OH
2003 Itasca Suncrusier
2004 Saturn Vue
...and too many Alfa Romeos to quote  ;D
 

BernieD

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Mar 1, 2005
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Goodyear, AZ
pjweimer said:
OK, that's current status. Now for my question. My wife and I are looking to leave very shortly after January the 1st and head for the Flagstaff, AZ. We have a window of 6-7 weeks for this trip. I am just a bit concerned about traveling cross country at that time of year. Initial thoughts are to head west from central Ohio on I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City and then I-40 to Flagstaff. Are our risks with the weather over this route high? Should we be considering a different time frame for this trip?

Paul & Linn

The routing is fine (except for the high tolls on the OK portion of I-44), the weather isn't. You have a very good chance of getting snow bound in January. Flagstaff can easily get below 0?.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Paul & Linn,

AZ in January.  Does that mean we will see you at the RV Forum rally at Quartzsite this year?  We hope so.

A word of caution on the Starband system.  Not just any Starband dealer can sell a Starband Mobile Flier system.  Only dealers authorized by Starband can sell a system under the  Starband Mobile Flier program.  I believe an authorized dealer can get you a second antenna set up to use mobile and get your existing modem transfered to the Mobile Flier program after you get the training.  So you shouldn't have buy a complete second system and have two accounts.  You can just take your existing modem with you.  I would suggest you insure that your dealer is authorized to sell under the Mobil Flier program.  If you need more information I can get you in touch with an authorized dealer that will answer any questions.
 

pjweimer

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Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Posts
11
Location
Pataskala, OH
Bernie... Thanks for that heads up. Maybe I'll think about a sutheast trip for January. Tell me, what would you suggest as the earliest for a jaunt to Flagstaff?

Ron... I have read bits and pieces about Quartzsite but don't know much in the way of details. From the road atlas I see that's Quarftzsite is in the southwest corner of the state. Tell me where I can read more about this event. Regarding Starband, I just called my dealer and they confirmed that they are authorized to market Mobile Flier. But it seems that Starband is telling them that they can't ship the hardware components to them. And they have not yet put together a customer training program or materials. Something about how new the program is or something. The dealer is to call me back in a few hours after to talking with Starband again. The dealer thinks that I will need two accounts but they are to check on that also. Let you know what they say later this afternoon.
 

Ron

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If I were making that trip I think I would work my way down to Dallas then take I-20 to I-10 then I-10 across to AZ.  Less chance of weather problems that way.

Details on the Quartzsite rally can be found on Bobs web site at: www.rvspacemanager.com/quartzsite06.htm .  Lot of fun there and if you have never been to QZ you should go.  We have a great time.

You may need an new account to get setup on the mobile program but should be able to cancel the existing account and just move the modem from the RV to the house when at home.
 

pjweimer

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Posts
11
Location
Pataskala, OH
Ron...  Well, that route does look a bit better for that time of year. Will talk it over with Linn and see what see thinks.

I'll check out the link you provided RE: Quartzsite and show that to her as well.

I'm not sure how Starband see a custom when they are using the services. Are there parameters transmitted when one is online such that they can tell if you are mobile or stationary? My dealer seams eager to keep us as good customers and have so far been very forth right with ideas and suggestions. Sure don't need to have the cost of two accounts with Starband.

Thanks again, Paul
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Unlike Direcway, Starband requires a a contact to be made when redeployed for cross pol test.  Thsi can be done through the internet or by phone.  Since I don't have Starband I am not sure of the whole procedure but from what I understand after setup you can get on line and contact them to run cross pol.  Best to go with an authorized dealer.  If you go to the web site I mentioned in the PM and use that zip code the first dealer listed is an authorized Mobility dealer and would answer any questions for you.  Just let him know Ron told you to call.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
pjweimer said:
OK, that's current status. Now for my question. My wife and I are looking to leave very shortly after January the 1st and head for the Flagstaff, AZ. We have a window of 6-7 weeks for this trip. I am just a bit concerned about traveling cross country at that time of year. Initial thoughts are to head west from central Ohio on I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City and then I-40 to Flagstaff. Are our risks with the weather over this route high? Should we be considering a different time frame for this trip?

If you are going to Flagstaff in January, How about visiting Quartzsite long about Jan 19 through the next week... Many of us will be there and satallite Internet instellers will be present
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
pjweimer said:
Bernie... Thanks for that heads up. Maybe I'll think about a sutheast trip for January. Tell me, what would you suggest as the earliest for a jaunt to Flagstaff?

Paul

What do you mean by earliest ??? ??? Earliest now, earliest after the first of the year,  ??? ??? ???

IIRC, Flagstaff had snow into March or April of last year. It's a crap shoot when the weather will permit you to go. But the question is, why Flagstaff- family, friends, reunion? Unless you are a skier or have a pressing reason to be in Flagstaff, that is not the place to go in the winter.

If you are just looking for some warmth and sun, do as Ron suggests, head south to I-10 and go west. Phoenix or Yuma are the places to be in the wintertime and you are convenient to Quartzsite where many of the Forumites congregate at the end of January. A great gathering and good time for all.


 

pjweimer

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Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Posts
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Pataskala, OH
Thanks for the input. At present we have decided to head for AZ via I-10. Linn would like to take I-55 south out of St Louis to Jackson, MS, then I 20 for the Ft Worth area and I-35 south through Austin to San Antnino. Pick up I-10 there and head west. Exactly when we start is TBD, but most likely the first week of January (hoping Mother Nature is kind to central Ohio at the time).

I need to revisit Bobs web site on Quartzsite. I was a bit confused about the BLM fees when I first read through it.

I'll post continued comments regarding the Mobile Flier from Starband in the Tech area.

Paul & Linn
 

caltex

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North Texas/Northern California
Paul and Linn

Since you are apparently headed to our neck of the woods (Dallas/Fort Worth), I will comment about our weather (and roads) in January. You should have no weather problems unless we happen to have an ice storm as you pass through. We usually have one every other year or so. Even if you were that unfortunate, it would last only a day or two and you could be on your way. Beyond Dallas you should have clear sailing.
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
pjweimer said:
I need to revisit Bobs web site on Quartzsite. I was a bit confused about the BLM fees when I first read through it.

Paul

According to the QZ Chamber of Commerce website, the BLM fee in the Long Term Visitor Area (where the Forum gathering is)  is $25 per week, $125 for the season. The weekly fee has increased from last year's rate of $35 for 2 weeks. If you stay in the BlM short term area, it is free with a 14 day stay  limit.

 
A

Albslb2

Guest
Expect the same weather all thru IL as you have in OHIO, ?I'm 25 miles due East of St Louis and just off I-70. ?Was ?foreman on the roads for IDOT for yrs so I know the weather conditions very well. ?Worst areas for ice ?are east of Effingham, and the 41 mile marker to the 16 mile marker of I-70, they do get very icy. Extra care at the 32,31,29, 22,21,19,18, and 17 mile posts. At the 30 and 24 Exits, should you need to get off, cross back over the highway and go into the town of Highland and Walmart has a large lot with plenty of parking. ?Also a rest area at the 29 both ways. After viewing all the mishaps of sliding into the median for all those years I would get off at the 30, if icy roads, and follow highway 40 back to I-55/70 at the 15 mile marker. ?it's only 2 lane, 3 1/2 miles longer, but a lot safer, if 70 is icy. ? Good luck on you trip and I might just be heading to Phoenix area at the same time. ?Good luck and safe motoring.
 

pjweimer

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Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Posts
11
Location
Pataskala, OH
caltex said:
Since you are apparently headed to our neck of the woods (Dallas/Fort Worth), I will comment about our weather (and roads) in January. You should have no weather problems unless we happen to have an ice storm as you pass through. We usually have one every other year or so. Even if you were that unfortunate, it would last only a day or two and you could be on your way. Beyond Dallas you should have clear sailing.
Caltex... That's great to hear. Do appreciate direct information.

BernieD said:
According to the QZ Chamber of Commerce website, the BLM fee in the Long Term Visitor Area (where the Forum gathering is) is $25 per week, $125 for the season. The weekly fee has increased from last year's rate of $35 for 2 weeks. If you stay in the BlM short term area, it is free with a 14 day stay limit.
Bernie... and I suppose the weekly rate is the minimum? So if one stays anything less than the week, the fee remains at $25?

AlbSlb2... Now that's what I call super data!! I'm going to have to print that off and put it in the RV right now or I wouldn't be able to find it when we leave.

Thanks a millon everyone,
Paul & Linn
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
pjweimer said:
Bernie... and I suppose the weekly rate is the minimum? So if one stays anything less than the week, the fee remains at $25?

Paul

That is correct. For the fee you have free access to the dump and fresh water about 2 miles away and we have dumpsters that are serviced about 1/2 mile away. None of these "goodies" available in the free parking areas ;D
 

Jeff

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SD/AZ
BernieD said:
Paul

According to the QZ Chamber of Commerce website, the BLM fee in the Long Term Visitor Area (where the Forum gathering is)  is $25 per week, $125 for the season. The weekly fee has increased from last year's rate of $35 for 2 weeks. If you stay in the BlM short term area, it is free with a 14 day stay  limit.

They keep it up and everyone will even be complaining about the fees in QZ. 8) 8)
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
Jeff /Washington said:
They keep it up and everyone will even be complaining about the fees in QZ. 8) 8)

Actually, if you stay a week or less, it's $10 cheaper than last year.
 

Phil

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BernieD said:
Actually, if you stay a week or less, it's $10 cheaper than last year.

Bernie,

YES!!!  This is a welcome fee change for us wimps that stay only for a few days.  ;D

Phil
 
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