The hunt for BLM land - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:28 AM   #1
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The hunt for BLM land

After my egg kept in the yard for one year 8 months the lock-down was finally too much. Had to find an excuse to break out. Another field test of RM 8551 was warranted. Had to grant it a last minute reprieve from Norcold, or Furrion. New solar panel on the roof needed field testing. Even though can’t do the Colorado Fiberglass Rally next week I needed to hunt for and find BLM land camping in the area, just in case. Trailer tires needed to be rounded, new insulated curtain must be tested, and – well that was enough for me.

Thursday I took off for central southern Colorado, almost 4 hours from home. Got permission for this nice short solo trip, perfect for a systems field test and, maybe even finding some wildlife to photograph. Plan was to also scope out that Mogote campground of Route 17 in the Rio Grande National Forest.

Results? The 3-way fridge, set to propane, had failed again, pilot light went out sometime on the drive up. Red light flashing, 56°F (bummer) in there. Not surprised. BUT WAIT – at the campground I decided to reset it again to propane and - it fired up! Was at 9,000 feet elevation. RM8551 stayed on for the rest of the trip, showing 34° when I got home. (Wow) Kept the butter and the chocolate milk and the Sabretts cold. Heater worked great, 190 watts of soar on roof kept the battery happy. Did not test the plumbing. Stovetop, good. Generator good. My tow averaged 16 mpg towing, which is awesome.

Oh the other stuff? The Mogote campground is looking great, and was surprisingly empty but got assurances it would be packed for the rally this week. Much regret being unable to do this rally. In my search for BLM camping I took dirt road FS250 and ran across an excellent campground run by the Forest Service called Spectacle Lake. It is on the road along a beautiful valley to Platoro. Water but no hookups, $11/night with the senior pass. Also empty. Saw an Escape 19 parked at the Rainbow Trout Outfitters, off FS250 and the Conejos River.

Bought a Forest Service map, $24bucks! That showed BLM land but never could find the dirt roads leading into it. Was told the locals always take down the signs. Got lucky and shot one chipmunk but then got really lucky and there was a complete mountain goat family crossing the road in front of me. Made my day.

I cannot pass up a mention of two things that were unexpected. FS101 is a long, fun drive but then it turns into a road rated ‘not suitable for motor vehicles.’ Had to turn back. Didn’t want to chance knocking off my running boards. The other thing is the wonderful Combres Toltec & Scenic Railroad attraction in nearby Antonito.
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Old 08-23-2021, 06:54 PM   #2
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Ooops - my mistake. Obviously those are not a mountain goat family. They are a Bighorn sheep family.
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Old 08-24-2021, 08:05 AM   #3
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Myron, Get your fridge cold before you leave home and run it on 12 volt while in route to your destination. You have to start it about at least 12 hours ahead of time. Depending on design of trailer, propane fridge flames often get blown out while traveling. Switch it back to propane when you get where your going!
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:13 AM   #4
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I'd be careful about setting it on 12v for the trip. Depending on your system you might wind up running down your batteries.


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Old 08-24-2021, 10:47 AM   #5
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Myron, congratulations on what sounded like a very enjoyable trip. I loved the photos. Particularly the big horn sheep. Unfortunately, I am not as adventurous as you, so I miss a lot of what you describe. I wish there were more posts like yours as I find they make for a very pleasant read.

I learned that with my Dometic frige, I have to reset it when changing from propane to battery to shore power, etc. Yes, I know, it says it is automatic. That sometimes works and sometimes it does not work. I just accept that as the nature of the beast. I start mine about 24 to 48 hours prior to my trip on shore power. I travel on battery and immediately switch to propane as soon as I am settled at my camping location.
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:26 AM   #6
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Thanks, fellas, much appreciated. I did prep the RM8551 for two days on propane before leaving and it was then at 32degreesF. and ran it on propane those 180 miles up. Agree, pilot must have blown out somewhere along the way, probably when an 18 wheeler blasted past me.

The fridge subsequently doing great after re-set was to me amazing, given years of it being so unreliable. Propane issues may no longer a problem. Will now add a small shield in the back access. I do have 190 watts of permanent solar on the roof and a Battleborn battery (a constant 13.7 volts) no need to test it in transit.

Only other issues was no cell phone service up there and failure to find and scout BLM land for boondock camping. Just ordered books on that.
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:39 AM   #7
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Love trains!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Only other issues was no cell phone service up there and failure to find and scout BLM land for boondock camping. Just ordered books on that.
Great pictures! I was amazed at all of the steam coming out of your RV.

I added WeBoost to my RV. Of course, if there is no signal at all, then you are not going to have cell phone service.

It worked great on my last camping trip. With the WeBoost, I had excellent service. Without, I could get a text message out after several tries and the same for receiving text messages.
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Old 08-24-2021, 12:43 PM   #8
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Name: Kate
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Myron - Thank you SOOO much for your post, pictures and follow-up messages. Inspiring and instructive! Seems to stoke my courage to get out there and have and adventure after 17 months of yard parking.
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:19 AM   #9
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Thanks for your post

I’ve had my Perris Pacer in my yard for 3 years- no idea how to use it so it was great to read your post and get inspired! Thank you
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Thanks, fellas, much appreciated. I did prep the RM8551 for two days on propane before leaving and it was then at 32degreesF. and ran it on propane those 180 miles up. Agree, pilot must have blown out somewhere along the way, probably when an 18 wheeler blasted past me.

The fridge subsequently doing great after re-set was to me amazing, given years of it being so unreliable. Propane issues may no longer a problem. Will now add a small shield in the back access. I do have 190 watts of permanent solar on the roof and a Battleborn battery (a constant 13.7 volts) no need to test it in transit.

Only other issues was no cell phone service up there and failure to find and scout BLM land for boondock camping. Just ordered books on that.
We run our Dometic on shore power at home for the day before a trip. We find that with frozen stuff in the freezer, it holds cold pretty well shut off for the trip. Then, if no electric power at camp site, run it on propane.

I have noticed that on hot days, the fridge does less well on propane than on shore power. We never run it on propane or battery on the road. It's been debated here in the past; I fall on the 'maybe dangerous'. Some bridges and tunnels make you turn off propane anyway.
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