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 > Your search for posts made by 'Desert Captain' found 600 matches.

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RE: so where do you buy your tires?

Fletchers Tire is a local chain with a number of shops throughout Arizona and I think new Mexico (?). I have used them exclusively over the last 9 years for all of my auto maintenance and tire needs (shocks, brakes, fluid changes and of course tires). They have always treated me well and beaten every other company on price and service by a wide margin, hence my loyalty. If you are in Arizona you cannot do better and that includes "Discount {what a joke - yes you paid way too much} Tire", as they are not even close. My only problem with Fletcher is that they are only in this area and I travel coast to coast. Since I only run Michelin's service is available everywhere, I just wish Fletcher's was too. :C
Desert Captain 04/17/15 08:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Slide outs vs No slide outs models

Ah slides, love them or hate them just about everyone has an (often strong), opinion. Some folks simply can't live without them and others like myself have no use for them. On a 30' Class C (that the OP is contemplating). The issue of weight will need to be addressed. A 30 footer with more than one or one of the huge full wall slides is going to seriously cut into the coach's payload often leaving little for bodies and gear. Weighing any such coach at all four corners would be essential as not all manufacturers manage to balance the loads. We have a a 24' wide body Class C with a floorpan we love (101"wide with 7' of headroom throughout the coach). We don't have grandchildren and I can't remember the last time we were forced indoors for the day by weather. We just have no need for a slide and thus will never incur any of the many issues that can arise. Hardly a day goes by on this and other RV Forums without someone documenting slide failures/problems, it happens {a lot}. Best to honestly evaluate how you will actually use any prospective coach and make the slide/no slide decision rationally. Ignore the nonsense that you will not be able to sell a slideless motorhome, evaluate the consequences of the additional weight and be prepared to deal with the issues of leaks and potential mechanical failures. Consider accessibility when the slides are closed as well as your maintenance access. The folks who regularly use/maintain their slides seem to have the fewest issues. Naturally the higher quality motorhome will have better slide(s) as you still tend to get what you pay for. As always.... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 04/13/15 10:55am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Michelin LTX MS2

I put a set of M/S 2's on my F-150 and put 30,000 miles on them most of that towing a 22' 5K# TT. The ride and handling was outstanding. After trading up to our 2012 Class C, on a 2011 E-350 chassis, I got the recall notice for the M/S's that it came with. The original M/S were a 20 year old design and they were seeing some tread separation issues. The tires only had 16,000 miles and looked fine but since Michelin was buying I was happy to upgrade. Got six brand new M/S 2's ($1,500), mounted and balanced for free... one month before a 7,500 mile cross country trip. :B The potholes back east gave them a serious workout but as with my truck the performance is awesome. There are lots of fine tires out there but not many companies would stand up like Michelin and back their products. Like they say.... There's Michelin and then there's everything else. :C
Desert Captain 04/11/15 11:21am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Any financial advantages of buying new RV vs used?

I have always been a buy used guy. Just too much money on the table that can be saved by buying lightly used vs new. I do admit to having been prepared to buy new to get exactly what I wanted until our dream coach popped up on the internet with just 6,200 miles. That sort of good luck is rare (our coach was right here in Tucson for Pete's sake), but with the internet you can literally search the entire country for a specific brand or layout. In addition to the serious $$$ saved buying used and avoiding the enormous drive off depreciation a used coach will be cheaper to register and insure. In some states there is no sales tax on private party sales which can save as much as an additional 8 - 10%. A one or two year old coach has probably had any minor issues dealt with and anything major should be glaringly apparent to a knowledgeable buyer (a professional repurchase inspection is usually a good idea as well). As noted previously here, if you plan on keeping the coach for an extended period the financial pitfalls of buying new are somewhat mitigated. Unfortunately lots of folks, and not just first timers, buy the wrong coach a couple of times before getting it right and trading up after just a year or two gets prohibitively expensive. Plans and needs can change for any number of reasons and being married to a motorhome out of financial necessity, as in can't afford to sell/trade up can be a big problem. As always.... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 04/11/15 09:51am Beginning RVing
RE: tall wag/sway bar

Hi ... looking for opinions from experienced Class C users on this one. My old Class C had a tag axle and did not sway a bit. Traded it for a 2006 32 ft Class A, which wandered all over the place until I put a hefty sway bar on the rear end. I'm looking again at Class C's since they fit my needs for camping with grandchildren better, but I'm concerned about that long rear end sticking out past the axle, and worried that the tail is gonna wag the dog badly. On a new 31 foot Minnie Winnie, will I get thrown around by wind, passing trucks, etc? Tom Test drive it thoroughly (as in, in the wind, on the interstate, around town in heavy traffic and if the dealer balks, run - do not walk to the nearest exit as they obviously are hiding a defective unit). If it does not drive well don't buy it! :S The nonsense of folks buying new motorhomes and then having to spend thousands of dollars to make them "drivable" is absurd! Keep in mind that on any test drive the coach will be far lighter than it would be in a real world situation. Any coach you test drive should have the proper tire pressures and a decent alignment before you set foot in it. While these issues can be addressed why would you buy from any dealer who cannot properly set up a safe functional coach??? :h A new motorhome should need NOTHING, right off of the dealers lot to make it drive and handle well (safely). If yours doesn't you bought the wrong one. :R As always.... opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 04/09/15 07:31pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: My new "Toad", more of a "Prince" actually....

Here are a couple more shots of the trailer: http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/IMG_0435_zpsoda53q4d.jpg http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/IMG_0434_zpsbryrzrpj.jpg We even took it out to gather firewood not far from home towing it with our 1995 Crown Vic: http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/IMG_0430_zps2ycoimhw.jpg http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/IMG_0432_zpsibsn5mit.jpg :C
Desert Captain 04/09/15 11:05am Class C Motorhomes
RE: RV Fuel Issues & Prices - Post 'Em Here!

Regular is back under $2 here in Tucson. Lots of stations selling at $1.99 with a few of the deeper discount stations closer to $1.90. Saw an article this morning predicting a 32% drop in prices by summer.... I hope so. :R
Desert Captain 04/08/15 08:39am General RVing Issues
RE: Age Restricted Communities

In our (Active Senior Adult), community at least one member of the household needs to be 55 (they had to allow for the trophy wives). :B A small percentage of the community can be under 55 and every household fills out a form denoting the ages of all residents every year (the form comes with our bi annual HOA dues.) What is prohibited and enforced is anyone under 19 can not reside here, vacations, holiday visits excepted. These are the rules and everyone who lives here has to acknowledge them before moving in. I am not anti kid, heck I'm a former child myself (though my bride might dispute the "former"). If this is not your cup of tea there are lots of other choices out there. Works for us. :C
Desert Captain 04/07/15 10:22am Beginning RVing
RE: 2015 Minnie Winnie 22R vs Sunseeker 2300

We looked at the Sunseeker and were impressed with the layout and the huge rear storage bay. Unfortunately that bay necessitates the step up in the rear third of the coach as noted above. The Sunseeker can be had with the Chevy chassis which gives a little more leg room for the driver/passenger. The Sunseeker should be (a lot), less money than the Winnie, about $60k nicely equipped but for the same money you could have very nice Nexus 23P {see my sig}. We love ours as it is probably the roomiest 24footer out there {7' interior and 101" wide body}. There is more storage both inside and out then you will probably ever use. After nearly 2 years and 22K+ miles, we have only managed to utilize about 60% of what's available. The V-10/5 speed Torque Shift Trans are amazing and with the 55 gallon fuel tank there are few limits as to where you can go. Everyone has their favorites but seriously, if you haven't looked at Nexus.... you should. As always.... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 04/07/15 08:15am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Hi all Newbie here. ? about the new 2016 vs. 2015

Welcome. Another vote for buying lightly used which can save you as much as half of the cost of new unit. Very few folks buy the right RV the first time. Renting something close to what you "think" you want is another very good way to go. Often what first appears to be the perfect coach will have unforeseen issues as you and your family begin to use it. If you end up with less than the ideal unit it is much better to have paid far less as you sell/trade up to one that works better for you. In some states there is no sales tax on private party sales and your registration and insurance costs will be significantly lower on a used coach. As noted, "Run Forrest run!" from a coach that has ANY evidence of water leaks. I found ours 18 months old with just 6,205 miles on it in perfect condition for $15,000 less than new {and yes, I was very lucky}. The new models typically start showing up on the dealer lots around late September/early October. If you just "have" to have a new coach the previous years models (2015), can often be had fat a pretty deep discount once the new 2016's start rolling in. As always.... Opinions and YMMV {your mileage may vary}. Good luck! :C
Desert Captain 04/06/15 12:33pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: RV surge protection

Voltage sag is way more common. I guess it's like insurance, rarely needed but a disaster if you don't. And its use would be directly proportional to the amount of time you spend in RV parks. X2 The problem is that without surge, high/low voltage protection you will probably never be aware of the damage that is being done. When your AC runs on low voltage (as in late afternoon and everyone in the park cranks their AC up resulting in a serious drop in voltage throughout the park), you are shortening its life dramatically. The same holds true for most other AC appliances. When your AC compressor needs replacement after just a few years you can assume it was subjected to substandard electricity that took its toll. A good (I like Progressive Industries), combination surge protection/EMS will prevent this damage. :C
Desert Captain 04/03/15 11:38am Tech Issues
My new "Toad", more of a "Prince" actually....

We love our 2012 Nexus Phantom 23P. One of the primary reasons for buying a 24' C was to eliminate the need for a Toad. We can fit into any site, grocery get, sightsee etc., and after nearly 2 years and 22,000+ miles from coast to coast and then some not having a Toad has yet to be an issue but.... :W Decades ago I used to ride motorcycles and the itch to get back aboard never really went away. Take a look at what followed me home the other day: http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/IMG_0427_zpsl4ot4tvl.jpg My next door neighbor, biker and master mechanic spent the last 6 months going through this Prince making him damn near perfect but came to realize his rather small garage could no longer accommodate his SUV, Harley, extensive tool collection and the BMW. He made me an offer I could not refuse and that long dormant itch got a good, long, very satisfying scratch. The bike is a 1987 BMW R80 (800 cc), RT with 68,450 miles. Mint condition and came with its full service history for, wait for it... $3,400! :B As you can see in the background of the second picture his motorcycle trailer was also taking up a lot of valuable space so I thought "Why not?" Another offer ($400), I could not refuse and now my Prince has a second set of wheels. The bike weighs 500# and the 8' trailer just under 400# so I don't envision the V-10 having any issues towing them. http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/IMG_0429_zps0dplc8qe.jpg While "Toad duty" will not be job one for the bike I'm sure it will work just fine in that capacity should the need ever arise (although it never has). Cruising gorgeous 2 lane roads will be the Beemer's primary mission. We are planning a couple of weeks exploring the canyon parks of Utah in a couple of weeks and that should be an excellent shakedown trip for the bike and trailer. So anybody else with a small C using a bike for a (sort of), Toad? Any tips, tricks or suggestions? :C
Desert Captain 04/03/15 08:25am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Why buy a Class C?

Short answer: A class C is far safer, easier to drive, have more beds, fit more places, are easier (cheaper), to service and frankly less money than a comparable Class A. These points have been substantiated any number of times in many discussions on this and other Forums. Class A's have their plus sides as well like larger storage, towing capacity and... well that's about it. (just kidding) :B Find the floorpan that works for you, A or C matters not. If you are shopping for a quality, lightly used motorhome (and you should be, but I digress), A or C there are lots to choose from. For the record we are the happy owners of a 24' quality C (we sold our 22 TT and truck), and have not looked back. For our use no A could come close to meeting our needs. For many only an A will do so. As always.... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 04/02/15 06:10pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Why do we carry a spare tire around?

"I think most that argue against the spare tire don't know which end of a lug wrench to hold." LMAO....{Chuckle, giggle, snort} Those folks will get a little economic reality lesson when their ERS brings them a new tire. The guy who changes it out won't be the only one "bending over". You can always identify a bankrupt argument -- it inevitably ends in Ad hominem attacks. I have initiated no attacks unlike your comment calling my analogy to insurance, first aid kits and fire extinguishers, absurd {by the way the word you were looking for was "applicable"}. So I guess you're right after all but you just beat yourself to the point. Do you carry fire extinguishers, first aid kit and insurance? If so, why, as you "probably" won't need them? :h You lost this discussion turned argument several pages ago. Re reading would demonstrate that those who carry spares are prepared to use them as needed but prefer to let the experts change their tire whenever possible. They seem to understand that it is always good to have options. {No spare = no options}. With no spare you have nothing to change out and are at the mercy of what are often less than principled ERS folks who will be happy to remove copious amounts of money from your wallet "IF" they can even come with a suitable replacement tire in a timely manner. Psst, guess what? A replacement tire is not always going to be available {at any price}. So the questions is how long are you prepared to sit, with your family, in the "Dead Zone" alongside the interstate/highway hoping that ERS will come and save you? I guess you can pass the time calculating all of the money and weight you saved. :R
Desert Captain 03/28/15 09:34pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Why do we carry a spare tire around?

"I think most that argue against the spare tire don't know which end of a lug wrench to hold." LMAO....{Chuckle, giggle, snort} :B Those folks will get a little economic reality lesson when their ERS brings them a new tire. The guy who changes it out won't be the only one "bending over". :S
Desert Captain 03/28/15 04:09pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
Update from Lost Dutchman SP Apache junction

Just returned from another great trip to LDSP just outside of Apache Junction. This time of year the park is virtually full nearly every day and reservations are a must. The good news is that spring just makes this gorgeous park all the better. May I submit "Exhibit A": http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii362/Captottersea/DSC_0519_zpsngxudika.jpg They recently completed an additional 30 site loop (sites 75 - 105), where we stayed. For $30 a night you get AC (30 and 50 amp), water, trash and recycle bins. Nearly all are pull throughs and very large rig friendly. The only down side to this loop is that the showers/bathrooms are a bit of a hike as this loop does not have its own facilities. The trails are beautiful and well marked but it is a solid half mile hike to reach them. If your mobility is limited and you want to be able to use their facilities this new lower loop is not for you. LDSP is one of the best run/maintained SP's in all of Arizona and you can't beat the scenery. Lots to see and do in the area but as noted it is crowded this time of year. :B
Desert Captain 03/28/15 04:02pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Why do we carry a spare tire around?

My road service guy asks if we have a spare and since we do not, he brings one with him. The last two cars I purchased did not come with spare tires. I agree with the OP I have no intention to change a tire any longer and really don't care if I have a spare or not, you can wait comfortably in your Class B until one is brought to you. Nick The problem is you will be waiting in the "Dead Zone" with the very real possibility of dying on the shoulder of the interstate or highway. I have Coach Net and will call them if I have a tire problem. If they can respond quickly I'll wait. What I will not do is just sit there indefinitely waiting for some chucklehead to plow into my coach. I carry a spare and everything needed to safely change it out in just a few minutes. This Forum is full of stories of folks who have had to wait hours for ERS to arrive. To do so on the shoulder confirms that you have a death wish. If you don't have a spare you are going to get bent over when they bring/sell you a tire, assuming they can find the right tire. If you don't carry a spare how about fire extinguishers, insurance, first aid kits and the working knowledge to utilize them? I'm just not in the habit of letting others make potentially life and death decisions for me. As always.... Opinions an YMMV :C
Desert Captain 03/27/15 10:10pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: We've had it... It's just too darn hot in Arizona!

We are enjoying Lost Dutchman SP just outside of Apache Junction. High today is supposed to be 90, 93 tomorrow. Drop dead gorgeous and just 84 miles from our home.:B
Desert Captain 03/27/15 09:10am Snowbirds
RE: Towing at night in hot weather

We live just outside of Tucson (year round), so +10 on adding a Scan Gauge (or comparable display). As noted Ford (and most other manufacturers), install dash gauges that tell you what you think you want to hear/see. I always run with my SC displaying coolant and trans fluid temps along with average and real time mpg. The dash gauges may be right in the middle but the SC will tell a much different story. When the trans fluid temps begin to climb it is time to engage the Tow Haul (or turn off the O/D), to enhance cooling. Doing so can lower that temp by 10 got 20 degrees in just a couple of miles. I have seen the temps of 110 to 115 in June - August but that does not happen until the late afternoon which is always the hottest part of the day. I can't begin to imagine just how hot the asphalt gets. :E We like to get out early when the temps are more reasonable and as we rarely drive more than 6 hours an 0600-0700 departure will assure us of reasonable temps even in the Arizona summer. Works for me. :C
Desert Captain 03/24/15 11:39am General RVing Issues
RE: Blue Ridge Pkwy

Do you remember what campgrounds you used? How long you stayed at each campgroumd? Thanks for the input. Mitchell Mountain SP about 40 miles north of Asheville was one of our favorites, spent two nights there. It is a couple of miles down a tight dirt road but drop dead gorgeous on a nice flowing stream. Had a close encounter with a hungry black bear, nose to nose through the window at O' dark thirty. Not sure who jumped the highest, him or me. :E There were several other CG's just off of the BRP that we enjoyed but I'll have to wait until my bride returns and can check her journals for the names. The CG's in Shenandoah NP were very nice as well but no hook ups (they did have dump stations). :C
Desert Captain 03/14/15 10:32am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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