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 > Your search for posts made by 'Desert Captain' found 142 matches.

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RE: What do tow behind your Class C?

I've towed motorcycle trailers {3 different styles} for the last 7 years. Our current {and favorite} is a 6 X 10' - 8' tall cargo trailer. Here is a shot on the new I-11 near Hoover Dam taken on our return trip from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks: On this trip I was hauling my Indian Springfield field motorcycle. I have since traded it in for a Can Am Spyder and when we don't bring the Spyder our little Polaris Rzr SXS also fits nicely. The best thing about having the cargo trailer is that for all intents and purposes it is a private garage that follows our Cass C like a faithful puppy {it also tows just fine behind our Honda Ridgeline}. Our toys stay out of the weather and the prying eyes of the bad guys. In addition to all of the use it gets when we are on the road it has served us well hauling landscaping materials {gravel, rock, lumber, tree trimmings etc.} and when we moved last year I made 8 round trips emptying one house and refilling the new one. I can easily move it around with the Rzr and just completed a new pad to park it on: It also makes for a fine quasi permanent garage {for the Rzr or the Spyder} right there alongside the driveway. Here is a shot with the Spyder loaded and as you can see there is still lots storage available: :B
Desert Captain 10/22/21 09:28am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

Let me "splain" it to you Lucy... At 55 yards long the asphalt driveway slopes a bit from the garage out to the street. I leveled the grade on the pad to match that slope. The top of the asphalt coincides with the top of the ties. I dropped 4,000+# of crushed granite into the pad varying between 4 - 6" deep and then aggressively compacted it alternating between soaking it down and driving over it repeatedly with my Rzr and then the truck. After three days the surface was extremely firm. I then carved a 2" deep trench along the ties and the asphalt and filled that as well as the rest of the pad with the top layer of the larger concrete gravel {another 2,000#}. Once again I soaked it all down and compacted it further using my truck. The second pic shows this clearly, the asphalt, gravel and ties are all the same height {mas y menos} and the compacted top layer of gravel will remain in place. Absent the ties that secure the pad and provide the requisite structure the gravel would be displaced and scattered across the asphalt every time it was driven on. Containing the gravel is the key... After 8 months the pad where I park the coach {which weighs 11,500#} is working out just fine with no gravel movement and great drainage which Lucy, is why I utilized the same construction technique for both pads. Here is a pic of the coach pad and as noted you can see that the gravel stays put: :C
Desert Captain 10/19/21 09:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

It is DONE! Woo Hoo! It took another 2,000+# of the larger concrete gravel but that was just the right amount. Total cost of this project came in as follows: 8 Railroad ties {at 150# a piece} 9' X 9" X 7" = $199.76 2' X 3/8" rebar {12} = $33.31 Gravel, 4,160# of the crushed granite = $30 2,110# of the concrete gravel = $20 Grand total - $283.07 It took 6 days working 4 to 6 hours a day {which is about all this ole man can handle}. I filled and dumped about 2 dozen wheel barrow loads of earth from excavating, putting in the ramp and adjusting the finished grade {I'm guessing each load was well over 100#}. :h By the time I finished it was close to 10,000# of earth, gravel and ties moved. The trailer sits dead level with the right wheel centered precisely on the RR tie stringer. I recovered another foot of driveway improving my access nicely. With the load ramp down I still have enough space for the Rzr {or my Can Am Spyder} to load from behind. Here are the finished pics: :B:B:B
Desert Captain 10/18/21 01:33pm General RVing Issues
RE: Antonito, CO to Chama, NM Scenic Route

Lots of folks pass through that area without any clue what a spectacular adventure the train ride offers. We rode my Indian from our site in Pagosa Springs to Chama, about an hour, then took the motor coach up to Antonito for the train ride back to Chama. Make your reservations as early as possible and I suggest opting for the middle priced ticket. The low end ticket is mostly a cattle car experience and the upper end is {IMHO} over priced. Know that it is a full day event but the vintage railroad experience combined with the views make for one phenomenal adventure. Here is a shot from our adventure: :B
Desert Captain 10/17/21 01:16pm Truck Campers
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

Thanks... I am more than happy to share the details of my projects which is pretty much the point of this thread. Having done a very similar project last year to widen the pad for my coach this one was fairly straightforward to design and execute. There are reasons for every thing I do on a job like this and unless you are on site some things might seem odd. I hope to wrap it up tomorrow with a ton {mas y menos} of the larger gravel that will be my top coat. My Honda Ridgeline has been getting a work out hauling all of the materials but with 1,477# of Payload it handles the loads well. I'll follow up with a final pic for two once I'm done. Thanks for the support. :B
Desert Captain 10/17/21 01:04pm General RVing Issues
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

Another update... Got the crushed Granite gravel down today. It took 4,000# and that was just barely enough. Oh by the way.... 2 tons of gravel set me back a whopping $30. I've been compacting it by driving the Rzr over it {me + Rzr= 1,500#} and then soaked it down thoroughly. I'll continue alternating between compacting and wetting it down. Once it settles a little more I'll drive my truck {4,300#} up and down it and then Monday I'll add the top layer of the larger gravel, probably need another ton. Here it is... :B
Desert Captain 10/15/21 05:21pm General RVing Issues
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

The three fence posts all have a concrete footing that precludes placing the ties flush with the chain link. On the driveway side the asphalt is 3.5" thick and angles down and away at a 60 degree angle. I did not want to chop into asphalt to try and make the edge vertical and leave it subject to possible erosion. Today I will add several thousand pounds of fine gravel which I will then pack down and compress. Wetting it thoroughly several times and recompressing should set it up. Finally I will add a top layer of larger concrete rock gravel. Here is a shot of the pad at the end of day 3: I still need to build up ramps at each end to facilitate rolling up onto the pad. Hopefully I can wrap this up in just a couple more days. On the bright side doing a project like this eliminates any need for a gym membership. :B I used the same basic formula when I widened the motorhomes parking pad which I expanded with the 3.5' X 24' box. This pic shows the pad after the fine gravel had been laid and compacted but before the larger concrete rock was added to fill the "box": :C
Desert Captain 10/15/21 08:45am General RVing Issues
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

Here is a shot of the pad after two days. The finished pad will be 27' X 6' {turns out the rr ties are 9' long} so two more sections identical to this one to go. Once the framing is complete I'll bring in a few thousand pounds of gravel. :C
Desert Captain 10/14/21 09:32am General RVing Issues
RE: Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

Point taken but... you assume that I actually know where each tie is going. :h LMAO... but seriously I plan on creating g a 16' X 4' box with a couple of stringers dug down flush with the top of the asphalt driveway. This I will back fill with small course gravel with a couple of inches of the larger concrete gravel on top. I utilized this formula with good results when I expanded the concrete driveway to a create a larger footprint/pad for the Class C. Obviously nothing is set in stone {sorry, pun intended}. I hope to end up with a smooth enough approach to the pad that I will be able to move the {empty} trailer off of the driveway and onto its pad using just a hand dolly. Film at eleven! :B
Desert Captain 10/12/21 04:29pm General RVing Issues
Latest project...parking pad for our cargo trailer

Our 6 x 10' cargo trailer has been an integral component for our many camping adventures for 3 years. I tow it behind our 24' Class C usually loaded with either our Rzr SXS or my Can Am Spyder. Destinations determine which toy to bring and we have nearly 25,000 miles towing the trailer. For the last year I have squeezed in onto the north side of my driveway but it encroaches too much and is far from level. I finally made the run to Home Depot for 8 - 9" x 7" by 8' railroad ties that will form the pad for the trailer. The guys at HD loaded the ties 2 at a time {they weigh 150# a piece} using a forklift. I wrestled them out of my Honda Ridgeline ONE at a time. Once they were stacked adjacent the build site the digging commenced. I hope to get the site dug down 4 to 6" and backfilled with small gravel so as to be level with the asphalt driveway. I'll drill the ties with a 3/8" bit and drive 2' 3/8" rebar to secure them in position. The last step will be to ramp gravel at each end. Here are a couple of pics... definitely a work in progress: Yep ,my little 570 RZR tows the {empty} 1200# trailer just fine. Done for the day and at my age {70 next month} it is time for an Ibuprofen and a soak in the jacuzzi... I'll get back to it tomorrow {maybe?} :B
Desert Captain 10/12/21 02:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tires - The 10 Year Rule

"The one thing that has yet to be mentioned is locale. Heat, in the form of ambient temperature, plays a HUGE role in how long tires last. Obviously tires operating around Phoenix experience a lot more heat history that tires operating around Minneapolis. So if you live and/or operate in the desert SW, you need to use a more rapid replacement schedule than someone living/operating in the northern midwest." Actually I brought this up back on the second page of this discussion, just sayin... "Admittedly Arizona is a tough environment on all tires but these had been meticulously maintained and always run at the correct psi for the loads they carried. Obviously opinions vary but IMHO if your tires are over 5 years old you are rolling the dice... place your bets." Clearly we agree. I have spent long days driving in 112 - 115 degrees and cannot even imagine just how hot the road surface actually is. Conversely as winter appears ready to pounce early this year freezing temperatures, snow and ice are all too common throughout most of Arizona {the average elevation of Arizona is north of 4,000' and we have lots of 9,000'+ passes to negotiate}. The truth is in the real world there is no arbitrary ten, seven or even five year rule per se. One must always take into consideration not only how but where your tires are being used and then decide, as in "Do ya feel lucky punk? Well ,do ya???" :S Here is a shot of us in the "Dead Zone" 30 miles west of Phoenix on I-10: :B
Desert Captain 10/12/21 10:27am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Needless kaos and carnage on the Beeline highway...

OP here... The Beeline gets an incredible volume of traffic especially on Friday's as folks from the Phoenix area flood it to access the Mogollon Rim, White mountains as well as Pine, Strawberry, Happy Jack and on to Sedona and Flagstaff. Conversely Sundays see same same volume of traffic only southbound. On Sunday afternoons it is fairly common to see westbound 260 backed up for miles where it intersects the Beeline in the center of Payson. A mile east of the Beeline on the 260 is a Circle K gas station with a double dump station and from October through May it is the first and only dump station you encounter between Show Low and Payson. {the two up on the Rim shut down with the seasonal close of the campgrounds on October first above 6,000'}. Dozens of RV's are lined up awaiting their turn from Sunday morning throughout the day with the wait often being an hour or more. If I need to dump I head over on Tuesday morning,{ it is half a mile from our house} and usually find it deserted. :B The point being while the Beeline is a convenient get you where you want to be highway choose you moments wisely. We get a lot of very nasty weather, it was closed from Mesa to Winslow last January for 4 days when most of the Beeline was inundated with heavy wet snow {we had 2.5'+ here in Payson}. It is definitely NOT a road you want to be on when the precipitation turns white. The robust monsoon {that we were blessed with this summer} also brings some serious challenges with torrential rain and extreme high winds that can really impact the winding, twisty Beeline as it climbs and drops precipitously. Here is a shot taken of our C lass C in the driveway on January 26th. Keep in mind we are just one mile east of the Beeline and half a mile south of the 260 at 5,000': :E
Desert Captain 10/07/21 09:21am General RVing Issues
RE: Needless kaos and carnage on the Beeline highway...

Chaos? Were they driving or pulling RV's? Trying to understand the correlation to the forum. Where the heck is spell check when you need it? :S The subject of driving the Beeline/Highway 87 comes up from time to time as it is a major RV access road. Many question whether or not it is too steep, traffic flow etc. so I felt sharing this experience could/would be instructive/useful to a segment of this Forum. Also hopefully it will serve as a reminder to all of us {including me} to back it down a tad especially in inclement weather. :C
Desert Captain 10/06/21 01:17pm General RVing Issues
RE: 07 E450 Class C rear air bags better handling while towing

I have 2012 E-350 24 Nexus C. When I started towing my 6 X 10' {8' tall} cargo trailer I added Air Lift5,000# air bags. Without them the rear end would sag 1.5" with a the trailer loaded to 2,600#. With the air bags inflated to just 50# the sag vanished and the top of the ball is exactly 16" high per the trailer manufacturers instructions. When not towing I keep 25# in them and this too improves the ride and handling. I did replace the original shocks at 33K miles with heavy duty Bilsteins and could not be more pleased with the results. Get your coach weighed as you normally travel and take those weights to your tire manufacturers load inflation tables and air your tires to those numbers. Works for me. :C
Desert Captain 10/06/21 01:09pm Class C Motorhomes
Needless kaos and carnage on the Beeline highway...

Highway 87 aka the Beeline Highway runs north from Mesa {just east of Phoenix} north 75 miles to and through Payson continuing on to provide a good route for the RV crowd to the I-40 corridor {Flagstaff, Winslow and Holbrook}. From Mesa it is good 4 lane {with wide paved shoulders} of mostly divided highway. It does however have a lot of steep climbs {6 to 7 percent} as it winds up through the mountains. We live in Payson and drive it often for our frequent trips to the Phoenix area. Yesterday I had an 1100 appointment at the VA Medical Center and planned some shopping while we were in Phoenix. The forecast accurately called for heavy rain throughout the day and they got that spot on. About 20 miles south of payson and in heavy rain some fool from the shallow end of the gene pool blew by us doing 80+ mph. My bride and I noted that we would look forward to seeing this moron receiving a ticket somewhere down the road... he should have been so lucky. On a long 6 percent downhill he lost control on a right hand sweeper. The rear end smashed into the concrete barrier which propelled him at a 90 degree angle across both lanes and the shoulder into the the opposite barrier. He spun back across both lanes and between the debris that used to be the front and rear ends of his car blocked the entire highway straddling the line between the lanes. We were about 6 cars and one large truck back and in just minutes the Beeline was shut down with the backup stretching for miles {no alternate routes are available, everyone was stuck}. Volunteers cleared the debris and a dually pickup managed to tow the car far enough to finally clear one lane and the road was partially opened after 30 minutes. As we crept past the wreck the driver was laid out one his back, a blanket covering him from his chin to to his feet. Eyes closed he was not moving and a man was carefully holding his head with both hands. I'll never know if he survived, frankly I doubt it but when I told another driver that he had blown by us at 80 + {in a 65 mph zone in heavy rain} he said that moments before the wreck he had just passed him doing closer to 90. Ten miles further south we came across another bad wreck involving 3 northbound cars two of which looked to be totaled. Several hours later as we returned home we encountered 3 more wrecks... at the first multiple northbound cars had been cleared and we got by OK. 20 miles later the southbound lanes were closed due to another involving at least two cars and then we came across a large box truck laying on its side blocking all of one lane and a portion of the other but we were able to skirt around it. Folks these were wrecks, not accidents. Excessive speed and and lack of the proper following distance were all too obvious throughout out our trip and the consequences were tragic. While the Beeline is generally pretty good road for all types and sizes of RV traffic give yourself plenty of time and think twice if the weather is severe {and it often can be}. Because there are no alternate routes {frontage roads or intersecting highway} once the Beeline gets shut down due to a wreck it is difficult/next to impossible for emergency vehicles to respond. After 30 minutes there were still no LEO's or paramedics on the first scene and those that we encountered further down the highway were all involved in other wrecks. Be safe out there... no reason not to. :E Just sayin,
Desert Captain 10/06/21 10:16am General RVing Issues
RE: We've had 8 years and 68,000 trouble free miles...

I learned many things in my years at sea and the importance of carrying spares was certainly one. I found that when it comes to having spares the best way to go was to install the new "spare" and keep the old one in your spare parts locker. This insures that when you have a failure and reach for that spare that it is going not only fit but work as intended. While in an isolated stretch of Mexico I watched as a friend proudly reached for his "spare" alternator when the original failed only to find it had the wrong bracket mount and would not fit. :S Replacing the module with the new one and keeping the old one as a back up might end up being my plan but then my coach is about 6 years newer than Phil and Ron's. It is always preferable to make repairs at home with all of my tools vs on the road, the trick is knowing what and when to repair or replace. A couple of years ago I noticed a small crack in the handle of the grey tank dump. I immediately went on line and ordered a complete new dump station plumbing set which I installed at home. if the grey handle had a crack I assumed the black probably would too at some point. I only had to contemplate for a moment one or both of those handles failing at a crowded dump station to know it was time to replace. Not having to scramble for parts and the requisite tools while out God knows where on the road seemed like a good "Plan A". As always... Opinions and YMMV :C
Desert Captain 10/06/21 09:39am Class C Motorhomes
RE: We've had 8 years and 68,000 trouble free miles...

Thanks Ron, never would have thought of carrying a spare but it sounds like a good idea with our 9 year old coach. :C
Desert Captain 10/05/21 08:10am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Question about tires..smell? Temp?

"Weight is based on fully loaded, full fuel, water and propane." Not sure what you mean... Weight is weight regardless of how you get there. Our E-350 with a GVWR of 11,500# can be anywhere from 10,000 to 11,500 depending on how I am loaded and/or towing. Weigh the coach loaded as you normally travel and then set your psi based upon the tire manufacturers load/inflation table. The weights shown on your door jamb are rarely accurate in the real world. Depending on your tires load rating {D, E, F whatever} your tires may be quite capable of handling their actual loads and still be well under the max psi found on the sidewalls. Max Psi and door jamb numbers might maybe be accurate occasionally but never assume them to be correct without knowing the load each tire is actually carrying. Just sayin... :C
Desert Captain 10/03/21 02:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: We've had 8 years and 68,000 trouble free miles...

We bought our rig HERE new in 2007. It is built on a 2007 E350 chassis. The rig is garage-kept, the chassis currently driven 42,000 miles, but has lots of idling hours. The house has been relatively trouble-free with exception to the generator of which I had to replace the fuel pump inside it, a problem that developed last year. As for the Ford E350 chassis, it was trouble-free until our last trip out west for a month that we just returned home from. We ended up stranded on Interstate-90, the cause was a failed fuel pump control module. The Ford dealer in Gillette WY took excellent care of us with a swift affordable repair. I am now considering carrying a spare module, an easy item to replace on a roadside. Ron, would you provide a little more detail on how to replace this (a photo or two if possible)? I may buy a spare to carry along too, depending upon how easy it is to replace. That failing, or the fuel pump itself, is a BIG concern for me. We don't tow along another vehicle, so getting stranded along the road somewhere (or worse ...maybe out in the boonies) could be a really big deal for us. Thanks is advance! Ron, yep, what Phil said... The part number/description and tools needed etc would be greatly appreciated. On my 2011 chassis E-350 the fuel pump and filter are located in the tank - where is the pump control module located? Did your engine throw a CEL code that identified the problem? I never let my fuel level get below one quarter of a tank {the generator won't run and fuel pumps are cooled by the fuel they are immersed in and I live in Arizona}. Could running with less than a quarter of a tank contributed to this breakdown? :h
Desert Captain 10/03/21 02:16pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires - The 10 Year Rule

"So your codes showed 5.5 years at the time of the incident? Or...? " Yes, the three oldest were all 5.5 years old with 4/32" of tread and looked fine and all three were on the rear. I normally start shopping at five years but as noted, my bad, just lost track of how old they were getting. When I buy new tires I always have them put on the front and rotate the fronts to the rear. As noted in a subsequent post losing a rear is bad but a blowout on one of the fronts has a lot more potential for disaster. :C Roger that. I didn't realize you had already been on a 5 year maximum plan. I thought you started that subsequent to your incident. Seems like you're giving yourself a pretty good beating when most don't replace tires earlier than 6 or 7 years... and many go to 10... and some even longer. If anything, a blowout at 5 1/2 years would make me question the tire quality much more than my change-out plan. One salient fact that I inadvertently omitted was that I consistently put 8 to 9,000 miles a year on our coach. That means at 5 years I have 40,000+ miles on those tires and it is clearly time to start shopping for replacements. As noted above folks that don't use their rigs much, that spend most of their time sitting only exacerbate the potential for catastrophic tire failure {such as I experienced} due to the the low use tires "drying out"{for lack of a better description}. I have always been a Michelin guy and while they are a bit more money tires are simply not where I want to be thrifty. My tires have always worn evenly and gotten me 40,000 mile {+/-} with a quality ride and handling. My coach has not been aligned since it left the factory in 2012,{that is the last stop on the Nexus production line} but now after 69K+ miles I am seeing a slight bit of outside edge wear on the front right. I'll be taking it in soon to have the alignment checked and adjusted as necessary. IMHO: if you consistently get 40k miles out of a set of motorhome tires on a coach that is used on a regular basis you're doing more right than wrong. The original point being that RV tires are far more likely to time out than wear out regardless of they "look". As always... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 09/25/21 09:48am Class A Motorhomes
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