Planning the big one - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-11-2007, 09:32 AM   #15
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Myron,

Check your owners manual and make sure that is not a AC cooler. Many cars (most) come with an AC cooler up there. My Pre-Runner has a huge one. My old Tacoma had a small AC cooler up front that looked like a trans oil cooler but it wasn't. Just a heads up.

Yes sold the 13' Burro. It was fine for me but my wife wanted a bathroom and my dog wanted to sleep under the table instead of in the camper shell. I was told to order a Casita ASAP!
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:48 AM   #16
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Mapquest.com reports New Jersey to Albuquerque at about 30 hours and 2000 miles. This means that three 10 hour days is doable. I would plan on either 4 days or longer days driving to make sure I made it in 3 days.

You can (usually) stay overnight in interstate rest areas, but the biggest problem that I've found is that with all the semi's doing the same thing it tends to get noisy. When my wife and I have travel across the country we have enjoyed overnight stays at KOA campgrounds. The service and amenities at KOA's are fairly consistent, reasonably priced and located almost anywhere you are going.

I don't think you will have any problems in the mountains, except having to slow down going up hill. Don't forget to use lower gears to control your speed while coming down any grade. If you use your brakes to control your speed they are likely to overheat and not work.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:06 AM   #17
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Myron;

Hat off to you; this is a major undertaking. I would make sure you have some flexible float at the end. Many moons ago I did a cross-country jaunt of this size, tent camping all the way. Saturday night found us in Kenora, Ontario with both of us having to be at work in Edmonton, Alberta at 08:00 Monday! That's a distance of 1000 miles. We did it, but I would not want to repeat it.

The way we travel now, we plan to return home 2-3 days before reporting to work. That way if something happens en-route, we have a float. Another key item for us, we stay off the highways Friday after 12:00 and Sunday after 12:00. That's the time for all the crazies wanting to either get out, or get home in NASCAR time.

Vic
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Check your owners manual and make sure that is not a AC cooler. Many cars (most) come with an AC cooler up there. My Pre-Runner has a huge one. My old Tacoma had a small AC cooler up front that looked like a trans oil cooler but it wasn't. Just a heads up.
Better still is to follow the hose/piping out of the cooler and see if they go to the radiator and back towards the transmission or if they go to the a/c compressor. My 98 Ranger (same basic Mazda platform as the Explorer) has *three* coolers plus the radiator (aux trans, power steering and a/c).
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:20 PM   #19
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I checked, and I read my Ford tech/service manual.

The 1992 Ford Explorer with the 4.0L gas engine comes with a factory installed auxilary oil cooler hooked up in series with the radiator. The pictures I posted earlier are it. Fluid travels through the radiator cooler, through the auxilary cooler, then back to the transmission. No AC cooler.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:21 PM   #20
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All advice, personal opinions, cautions, etc., gratefully appreciated.
I have done this. You can, too!

My advise, in no particular order...

This is a [b]Mission, be prepared, but most of all alert. Situations will crop up, and opportunities will come at you from the most [b]UNexpected phenomena. The best use of your time while driving will be communicating with your partner. You will be a captive audience for each other, but you must also really rely on each other to get you through this. Engage and involve [b]the both of you in every aspect, beginning NOW in the planning stages.

Do not judge. Do not criticize. Remember the scene in The Long, Long Trailer when Desi says something to cause Lucy to get into the back seat and sit in stony silence with her arms crossed. [b]This is a very real pitfall. I have stumbled into it more than once.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:22 PM   #21
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Time zone transitions will be in your favor while you are Westbound, and work against you while you are Eastbound.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:32 PM   #22
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Keep your itenerary as simple as possible. The limited time will allow for One, maybe Two major Destinations. To average 50 miles per hour (for computing daily distance covered) you will have to strive for actually driving 60 miles per hour. It is amazing what the opportunity cost (in distance covered) that potty break will cost you. Factor in Meal Stops, Fuel Stops, Potty Stops... also road construction, traffic congestion...

The MAPQUEST estimates do not take this into consideration.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:52 PM   #23
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I find AAA's Triptik strip maps very helpful for finding the GAS-FOOD-LODGING locations, and warning you of where they are few and far between. Their Camping Guide booklets have helped us find campgrounds along unfamiliar routes.
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:12 PM   #24
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Robert and I have found that, when towing a Trailer, 450 miles per day was about our physical limit. If we tried to maintain our most fuel efficient speed of 55 mph, it would take 12 hours to reach that 450 mile goal. It is amazing how physically debilitating sitting in a car hurling across the interstates can be.

When we used a 13' Compact Junior, we averaged 1/2 hour set-up time upon arrival (clocked from signing the registration in the office) and about the same to break camp before departure.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:24 AM   #25
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We went on a 3-week+, 4,000+ mile trip last year and managed to do 90% of it on the non-Interstate blue highways at 60MPH, with 9AM starts, and 3PM stops, and visits with friends along the way.

Interstates should only be used in emergencies!
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:04 AM   #26
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Good advice, Frederick. Thanks.... I hear you all. I am too zoned in on my inner gypsy? Now I'm thinking after doing Canyonlands I could drop Dear One off at the Denver or St Louis airport and continue on alone, do a normal pace, maybe get off the interstates, smell more roses, cornstalks, etc. But would she go for that?

So little time, so many roads.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:23 AM   #27
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I suggest you take along good earplugs if you intend to overnight at Flying J---unless you are such a sound sleeper that the pa system making announcements and playing music at 2 am won't bother you.

Also, we have found that parking at WalMart's is very iffy, as many municipalities ban this practice.

These observations are based upon a recent 3,000 mile trip through California and Arizona.

I agree with the others, too, who say that you will be "saddle sore" with that much driving in such a short time span.

Good luck.

Art
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:55 PM   #28
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You mentioned that you'd like to stay possibly in the Texas panhandle area. Just a recommendation for Palo Duro canyon state park off hiway 40.

One of the best kept secrets in our travels. Check out their website: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/paloduro for more details.

We just completed a 5000 mile trip with the boler, going to Texas and back in a month. Travelling 2-300 miles in a day was quite restful, and left time to see a lot of stuff. On previous trips, 2 to the east coast and back, our pace was 3-400 miles a day. I found this to be stressful. Luckily, retirement allows us all the tim we want now.

A couple of things to watch out for: it gets cold in the mountains. Water freezes at night, and you have to watch your hookups/pipes etc. Make sure you have antifreeze in your tow car.

Also, Passport America, a discount rv campground membership, about $40/year, offers good discounts in a lot of campgrounds. Typical was around $20 or less, and all had bathrooms, laundry and other amenities.
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