The tree is dying (the average lifespan of a cottonwood is 100 years). It is already dropping large limbs. The BLM could continue to cut back the limbs of the tree, but they can't save it. It is only a matter of time. Had it been owned by the state, it wouldn't be a problem because they probably would have cut it down years ago.
From the Arizona Land Department:
"In the 88 years since statehood, the State has disposed of, or exchanged, about 1,628,079 acres of Trust lands. A total of 9,228,787 acres of Trust Land remains. Almost all of the lands are under one or more leases for natural resource uses and commercial development purposes. About 87 percent of the Trust lands are in the Common School Trust and approximately 90 percent of the Trust revenues go to that Trust."
We bought this: plexiglass corner shelf. I attached it using industrial velcro. It is very light weight and seems to hold well. At night it is usually home to a drink (with a lid, just in case), the remote, and my kindle.
Driving and parking large motorhomes? We have a 34' with a toad. The driving part is really no different from any other vehicle, you just need more space to stop and more space to move over. Parking is the challenge. Many gas stations are built and arranged with cars (up to 25') in mind; with a larger MH you need to keep in mind the space you have to maneuver and an exit plan. We scout them on google maps before we enter. Many parking lots in general aren't very accommodating to larger vehicles. But, often there is a lot not too far away that you will fit in. If all else fails, find a huge parking lot, unhook the toad, and wander around town in that.
Which super C are you thinking about? If it is the Thor (Four Winds or Chateau), look very carefully at the fit and finish (floors, cabinets, etc). We were all set to buy one a couple of years ago (a 2014) and looked at three in person. All three had flooring that didn't meet the cabinets, cabinets that were out of square, nails popping through flooring, and slide problems (they didn't slide).
Top on our list:
Assateague National Seashore: best October through April, also state park located there, close to Ocean City, beautiful deserted beaches. When we lived here, went 6-8 times a year.
Shenandoah National Park: best in October and April but good May-September, many caves and small Appalachian towns, excellent hiking. When we lived here, went 4-6 times a year.
Hunting Island State Park (Beaufort, SC): get a beach side site. Best October through April, good other months (rumored to be buggy in the back area during the summer). Absolutely beautiful beach located near lovely town of Beaufort, SC. Stay every time we pass through SC, about 2 times per year.
We are doing the opposite route in September to follow the leaves. We have planned (backwards)
Niagara Falls (4 Mile Creek State Park) - Finger Lakes (Letchworth and Watkins Glen State Parks) - 10,000 Islands (Alexandria Bay) - Grand Isle (Grand Isle State Park)- White Mountains (Crawford Notch State Park) - Bar Harbor (Acadia).
We planned our route based on what 'locals' thought the best places to be were. Tops on the list: Alexandria Bay and 10,000 islands, Letchworth State Park, and Watkins Glen State Park. These three came up over and over and over.... Our exact roads will completely depend on weather but we typically decide the morning we travel based on more local input.
Best of luck and enjoy the trip!
Often, truck stops like Flying J, T/A, and Love's have propane for RVs. They have apps you can install on your phone that you can use en route. This is how we find propane.
Additionally, some private campgrounds have propane. Check their website or call if you will be in the area.
You probably have about 200AH of batteries. 100AH is usable.
You started at 2/3s full, or about 135AH. That leaves you 35 usable AH.
During your drive, you may have added 30AH (depending on your charger). that leaves you 65 usable AH.
Your coach drains AH with various systems that are always running (propane detector, dummy lights, etc). Best case is 1AH/hour or 48AH over a weekend (My coach sucks about 48AH/day - we have A LOT of dummy lights). That leaves you about 20 usable AH.
You have a 20W solar panel - it probably gives you about 5AH/day, 10AH over a weekend. So you have 30 usable AH over the 48 hours.
It will help you a lot to start with full batteries. The 66AH you didn't have would have gotten you through the weekend unless you used the furnace a lot.
When we had a tt and no solar, if we ran out of battery we hooked up to the truck and ran the engine for about 15 minutes, then did the slides with the engine on. It worked for us. If you want to go longer than a weekend, you will need either more batteries, more solar, or a generator. The tt power suck will drain your batteries otherwise.
Our Bounder has a convection microwave. If boondocking/dry camping and I MUST reheat frozen lasagna, I use the roast setting, which uses both microwave and convection oven heating. After twenty minutes, it is no longer frozen so I switch it to bake for another 15-20 minutes. Yes, I must run the generator, but if I am cooking frozen lasagna, chances are it is cold and rainy outside and my batteries need a boost anyway.
(Disclaimer: we have propane and 600W of solar. Generator use is directly related to the weather.)
We full time. We have dish. I go online and change the locals using the chat feature every couple of weeks. It takes about 5 minutes to do and I have no problems. If I'm in a location where I can't get the western arc, I can usually get the eastern arc - one of the reasons we went with dish instead of Directv.
Just an FYI - mapquest is wrong in their time estimation. 3,500 miles in 60 hours works out to 58 MPH. There is no way, on some of the roads you encounter, you will do 58 MPH. On some, you will do closer to 30 MPH though it won't be for great distances. You will need to drive about 10 hours per day for the entire 8 days to get there on time. But it is doable.
The best place to find the back woods is in the back woods - The National Forests.
Some of my favorites:
Dolly Sods, WV
Mount Rogers, VA
Linville Gorge NC
Jocassee Gorge/Jumping off Rock, SC (Horse Pasture Road camping)
Roan Mountain or Tellico River areas, TN
I have visited all the above and can recommend them, especially with a truck camper. All have dispersed camping. I have not spent much time further north, though I will be fixing that this year. Best wishes in your travels.
When we lived in a s&b we both had to commute five days a week and did errands and stuff two days a week. The gas usage was equivalent to what we use now - about 30 gallons per week.
When we lived in a s&b, we probably used the US average of 80 gallons of water a day. Now we use that in a week.
When we lived in a s&b, since we couldn't move our house when the weather got uncomfortable, we had to use quite a bit of heat (natural gas) during the winter and A/C (electricity) during the summer. Our house was 1500 sf. Now we move to where the weather is good, and avoid using either much of the time. We also have 600W of solar, which provides for most of our needs. It doesn't hurt that we are only heating or cooling 300 sf.
Are we more conservative (in the resources sense)? Absolutely. Which means we also 'conserve' quite a bit of money.
It depends on the load.
If my fully charged batteries have no load and nothing putting in amps, they read 12.6.
If my fully charged batteries have a 5-10 amp load and nothing putting in amps, they read 12.5
If my fully charged batteries have a 90 amp load (coffee pot) and nothing putting in amps, they read 12.2. They go back to 12.5 or 12.6 when the pot stops brewing.
All of this is normal.
We had Goodyear Duratracs on our F250 diesel (6.4). They lasted at least 50K miles (we sold it at 98K miles and that was our second set of tires, put on at around 48K miles). We towed 70 percent of those miles and the tires were in excellent shape when we sold it. When we purchased, we got the lifetime free rotation and rotated at every 3,000 miles or so.
You mention it is the first trip of the season - was it winterized for the cold season? We forgot to winterize ours one year and it stopped working. The check valve (under the bathroom sink) failed and leaked water all over the bathroom floor.
A couple of questions that may help people respond: How old are you? Do you plan on working while on the road?
We were lucky enough to retire in our 40's and went full time one month later - January 2014. We spent the six months before retiring renovating the house and purging it of things we didn't need or want. In one room, we piled the things we couldn't get rid of (photos, etc) and in another, things we were going to take with us. Every couple of weeks, we would move both piles of stuff. This helped us realize how much everything we were keeping weighed and how much space it took up. Over six months, our piles got smaller and smaller; we had been living with less and less and much of it was unnecessary stuff.
Seeing two grizzly bears play on the gravel beds at the foot of Salmon Glacier.
Watching the sunset over the Sonoran Desert.
Driving the White Rim Road in Canyonlands.
Kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico to Shell Key.
Photographing a meteor shower over the Badlands.
And those are just a few I could name off the top of my head.
Best wishes with your plans. The break is very freeing if you go into it with both feet and are well prepared.
We ran a 50' heavy duty (15 Amp rated) extension cord from our rig to a 15 Amp outlet for over a month with no problems. We ran a 13.5K a/c a lot (it was DC during the summer). You must make sure than any other large load is off (no microwave, water heater, battery charger, etc).