Road trip - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
Posts: 1,143
Road trip

10 states
7 National Parks
several other attractions
7500 miles

and one "new" trailer!

Left the Vancouver BC area on July 22 for Texas to buy the 21 foot Bigfoot in Del Rio,Texas that had been advertized on the "for Sale" forum.

Passed through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, bought the trailer and returned via New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Visited National parks: Arches, Mesa Verde, Aztec Ruins (actually misnamed as they are Pueblo Ruins) Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Yellowstone.

Also stopped at:
Roswell UFO museum
The Alamo
Seaworld in San Antonio
Meteor Crater
Drove a lot of the old Route 66 and stopped at "the" corner in Winslow Arizona - possibly the most famous corner in the US! (the girl in the flatbed Ford never showed up, !)
Bonneville Saltflats (Speedweek was happening! )

Averaged about 16-17 mpg running "bobtailed" and about 8-10 mpg while towing.
(I gotta get a new truck with a LOT more HP and torque!)

Was nearly involved in a fatal crash just outside of Roswell (a 'momentarily unidentifiable UFO" - which quickly resolved itself into a late-model Blazer doing cartwheels across the highway. The driver did not survive)

Fried the alternator on my truck while using it to block traffic at the crash scene, obtained a replacement alt in Roswell. At the same time, I bought a new upper rad hose as mine felt quite soft - more on that later)

On the return trip, the old trailer brake controller failed in Flagstaff, taking a bunch of my under-dash wiring with it! My son & I did a bunch of "patch and make do" wiring under the dash and installed a new Prodigy 3.

From then on, we had no cruise control and no anti-lock brakes on the truck, as we could not find which bits had been fried on those circuits.

Onwards.

Leaving Yellowstone, the left rear trailer tire (a new Goodyear Marathon) blew out in spectacular fashion, taking out the grey & black drain valves with it. A new tire (not a marathon!) plus a stop in Pocatello at an RV dealer to get the plumbing fixed and we were on the road again. I checked trailer tire pressures every day. Max inflation listed on the Marathons is 50 PSI and I kept mine at 45 cold.

Next day, in checking the oil before setting out, I saw that the upper rad hose had split its outer layer and ripped up the fiber reinforcement. leaving only the very thin inner layer intact. Remember that new one I bought in Roswell? Time to install it in the campground!

Most outstanding memories:

Carlsbad was spectacular, Grand Canyon was nowhere as great as Bryce, Texas heat, (115* while we were there) and the Bonneville Speedweeks event, which I will return to, possibly many times. We saw several new records set, and made a lot of new friends. (and I will bring a generator to run the A/C next time as it hit 118* one day and we were "boondocking", parked on the salt) I was aware of, but still a tiny bit surprised by the number of teams from around the world who were there. We saw 5 teams from France, 3 from Britain, and 2 from Australia among others.

Also seen boondocking on the salt:

A Scamp 5th wheel, a Casita 16, several Casita and Scamp 13's and one Surfside 14, as well as my Bigfoot 21

Also memorable:

All the US Border Patrol checkpoints all along the highways in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Seeing the Navajo Police HQ (if you are a fan of the Tony Hillerman books, you will undertand why we had to stop there in Shiprock)

And now I have to get my truck wiring fixed and then look for a "new" tug - this time I will get a Duramax "disease-el".

Disappointments:

My truck had dropped from well over 20 mpg to well under that. The new tires I put on just before leaving had a lot to do with that as new tires often get as much as 20-25% LESS mpg than "old baldies" - in my case they may have cost me as much as 4-5 mpg!

Finding that the K&N filter was also costing me some mpg as replacing it on the road with a new Wix improved things by about 1-2 mpg and added a bit of power as well.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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Oregon
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Wow! But... how do you like the Bigfoot? And do you have any pictures from your travels you care to share
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Wow, may your future travels be less eventful! Glad you are ok.

I tried one of those premium oiled foam filters (Amsoil) too, and it didn't seem to do anything good for my mpg's either. So much for the "more air through foam" hypothesis. I'm back to pleats.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
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Travel pix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Wow! But... how do you like the Bigfoot? And do you have any pictures from your travels you care to share
I have a TON of digital pix, all of the various things we saw on the trip.

Bryce Canyon - if you have never seen it, GO THERE!

Carlsbad Caverns - perhaps the most spectacular thing I have ever seen!

Yellowstone - we even saw a herd of about 60 bison, plus a small "herdlet" of 11 that were strolling along the road, and passed us by, walking about 4-5 feet from us! Old Faithful (of course!) Mud pots. By the way, if you can go to Yellowstone in the spring, the water table is higher and the mudpots (and some Geysers) are WAY more active than when we went in mid-August. Highly recommended for a spring visit. The last time we went there it was in late April and all the hydro-thermal stuff was spectacular, plus you can actually get a campsite in the park. Crowds are non-existant in April, too! (We stayed in a VERY nice campground in West Yellowstone this time - wish I could remember the name!)

Buzzards picking at a deer carcass on a Texas highway.

Route 66 stuff - esp "the Corner" in Winslow Ariz, as well as some old-timey motels and attractions from "way back when"

The petrified Forest - WOW!

And about a zillion shots at Speedweeks

The Alamo - if you have seen the pix on postcards etc, you need not bother going there as you have now seen it all.

Ditto the Grand Canyon - the pix are better than what you will see in person.

By the way - most, if not all - Nat Parx have the old Viewmaster (remember those?) 3D reels in the gift shops - EXCEPT YELLOWSTONE! Get them - relive your childhood with the Viewmasters plus get some VERY good photos, in 3D!


And BTW - the B/F tows like a dream - esp after we put the Prodigy 3 into the truck. It was then quite possible-in fact likely!- to forget it was back there - until we came to an uphill section and "Babe the Blue Ox" had to kick down as far as second gear to struggle up the grade. (and of course, when I had to keep refilling the tank at every opportunity!)

The B/F was extremely comfortable to sleep in - the A/C worked great, and it was NEEDED nearly every night. (now if only I'd had a generator to run the A/C when we were boondocking on the salt - that was the most miserable attempt to get to sleep ever, as it was still in the high 90's at 3:00 AM!) Next time, my old-but trusty Honda 3500 goes into the back of the truck!

Never even tried cooking in the trailer, nor even "camping" in the so-called normal sense - this trip was SO long and SO busy, it was a case of "go there, crawl into bed, get up make coffee, and get on the road again."

We actually stayed 2 nights in West Yellowstone, the only time we were in the same campground for 2 nights.

Advice for hot weather travel: Take LOTS of water along in the front of the tug. We put a bunch of the 500 ml bottles of H2O into the fridge each night, half in the freezer and half in the fridge itself. Fridge froze the "freezer" ones solid by morning. Then pack them into a Kool-a-tron that is plugged into the lighter, so that the frozen ones help keep the cold ones very cold. Get a 'holster" at Wally-world to carry a cold bottle around with you. At the Salt, (temps were approx 118* F) I went through 6 cold bottles a day, plus returned to the truck periodically to sit inside with the A/C running. (and even then I came close to heatstroke once!)

Now if I can figure a way to downsize my pix from the zillion or so mega-gigapixels my camera takes to something I can post here!
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:43 PM   #5
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
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By the way: The Campground in West Yellowstone was VERY nice as were a few others en route.

We stayed in ONE (count 'em - ONE!) KOA - at the NE end of Flagstaff. Holy Bleep Batman! I think I could have had a suite at the Hyatt for less!

The campground at the Navajo reserve in Tuba City was great, and V reasonable, too.
(Tuba City is strange- it is half Navajo and half Hopi. Ate at the Denny's on the Hopi side, stayed at the campground on the Navajo side) BTW: Arizona does NOT use daylight saving time, but the Navajo Nation does.

AND.... One of the reasons I got the "President's Club" at Camping World before setting off was because of their assurance that I could camp free on their lots, with services. I never once found a C/W that allowed that!

Most campgrounds we saw/stayed at were gravel parking lots with services. Sorta like a gravel version of a Wally-world lot, but with sewer, water & power plus Wi-Fi
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:55 AM   #6
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Name: Karen
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Epic journey! Looking forward to the pictures!
Karen
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:41 AM   #7
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Dave, I don't normally encourage using a picture hosting service like Photobucket, I much prefer pictures here, rather than charging all around the web looking at pics. But, if you have that many you may prefer using a service. Besides, I want to see ALL the pics!
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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Epic!! Now that's an adventure.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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If you like Viewmaster reels, you'd probably like taking your own 3D pictures. I do. On my recent trip to Glacier, I used a 1950s era Stereo Realist with slide film and a Fuji W3 3D digicam. The latter has an autostereoscopic LCD screen on the back so the pictures can be viewed without glasses or other vision aids. The slide film is sent for processing, then I cut and mount the left and right pairs into plastic mounts and pop them into a vintage Realist viewer. With the depth perception, looking at the pictures is like being there again.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:13 PM   #10
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Name: Josh
Trailer: Scamp 13
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I think I was camped a little over by you during Speed Week. I saw a Bigfoot out there and wondered if it belonged to anyone on here.

I had the 13" Scamp that had 2 solar panels on top. I was camped to the east side of the bend out at Bonneville. I was out there all week shooting a short documentary for the Speed Scotland team.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:25 AM   #11
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeckel30 View Post
I think I was camped a little over by you during Speed Week. I saw a Bigfoot out there and wondered if it belonged to anyone on here.

I had the 13" Scamp that had 2 solar panels on top. I was camped to the east side of the bend out at Bonneville. I was out there all week shooting a short documentary for the Speed Scotland team.
Yup that was me! I was to west of the fork in the road. At that point I had owned the Bigfoot for a bit over a a week or so (picked it up from Mr Ills in Del Rio, Texas on Aug 1)

My first time at the Speedweeks.

I'm already thinking about towing back there for the World Finals in Oct, but you better believe that my old Honda 3500 Generator will be in the back of the truck for running the A/C for any and all future visits.

AND for all future visits, the Bigfoot will have an awning on it. I contacted the B/F factory ( a few hours drive way) and they have agreed to put a few things on it for me - the awning, a roof rack & ladder and the propane outlet for a BBQ so we can live in comfort, plus they are a tad excited to have one return to the factory having been "around the world".

Mine was first sold by a dealer in Illinois, then it went to Florida, then to Texas and now it is "home" in BC

By the way - for any readers curious about or thinking about a trip to "the Salt" - which is holy and hallowed ground to us motorheads - a weird tip: Take along an ice scraper like you might use on your windshield in winter! Use it to scrape the salt off the soles of your shoes before getting back into your car/truck.

I saw the Team Scotland car (Flower of Scotland?) push off a couple of times while I was there. Beautiful car! I love it! They got a new record as I recall - gotta go check my notes! 1 liter, running on methanol and a bunch of turbo boost = a zillion HP!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #12
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WOW, sure glad you made'r back O.K!! Be sure to wash all that salt off, eh?
NOW, repack that trailer and head back to the U.S. this weekend to Deming WA for their Summer Fun Run. LOTS of glass there this weekend, even some (hardy rodder types) left over from the meet there last weekend..
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #13
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I thought you might be interested in one of the things I shot out at Bonneville.

HBTV: Depth of Speed - A Pinch of Salt on Vimeo

It is one of 2 documentaries I was shooting out there.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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Dave, what an adventure you had! I would also love to see pictures.
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