We are planning a trip to Canyon De Chelly. The two choices for campgrounds appear to be Cottonwood or Spider Rock. I searched the forum and only found comments for Cottonwood, none for Spider Rock. Just wondering if anyone has experience with either/both of the campgrounds and your thoughts of a preference.
We are planning one day to drive the North Rim and South Rim Drives and hike to the White House Ruin Overlook. A second day is for a trip into the canyon. Our vehicle is a Power Wagon so capability is not a concern.
None of the reviews mentioned the guide doing the driving. I'll have to check on that. Thanks for the heads up.
We are planning a trip to Canyon De Chelly and want a tour into the canyon which requires a guide. We are considering Leon Skyhorse Thomas' Canyon De Chelly Tours which has many favorable reviews. We are interested in a tour using our own vehicle with a guide.
I am asking for input from any who have had experience with tours in the canyon. Which tour guide companies have you had good or bad experiences and especially any experience with Leon Skyhorse Thomas' guide service. Also with a private tour we can tailor it to our wants and wondering which portions of the canyon you would recommend.
I'm looking forward to any insight you have to offer.
Just spent the evening with a local knowledgable and surprisingly honest dealer. Basically the truck is ~58" bed height and the 5ers are 58-60"... So even dealer admitted its not enough clearance and doesn't like lifts/flips etc and basically said what I knew. :(
That would be closer than my set up. You would need a 3" lift just to get to where I was to start with. Part of the problem is that you are running 35s so your Power Wagon is about 1" higher than a stock Power Wagon, although I also switched to BFG KM2s, but went with LT285/75R17 load range E which are 34", so I am about 1/2" higher than stock, but still 1/2" lower than you are. Our fifth wheel was 62" originally and now is 65" with the lift.
For first several years the fifth wheel was not lifted and I did hit my bed rails on several occasions. Fortunately only minor damage, because I was watching it closely, but finally decided to lift it before I did some real damage.
Here (before lift) the Power Wagon is starting down a slight off-camber grade. With the down grade, the back is lifting and as it is off camber to the left, the right rear corner is coming up - not good!
The BFG ATs shouldn't be an issue. They have 3-ply sidewalls and tend to be stiffer than the 2-ply sidewall highway tread tires many use. By the time you would get to their 6000+ rating per axle, you would be way beyond the Power Wagon's capabilities.
In a few weeks we will have had our fifth wheel for 7 years. The first 6 years were towing with the OEM BFG ATs. I never even ran them at their max pressure while towing. One time I bumped the pressure up and quickly noticed they were wearing faster in the center of the tread, so I dropped the pressure back down to where they should have been. Never had a problem with them.
Sorry I am late to the party. It sounds like you have already decided, but I will add my input as we both have 2006 Power Wagons, so the tow vehicles are the same.
Not all fifth wheels are the same height and you must remember the back will drop some with the weight of the fifth wheel. When we first purchased our fifth wheel we had 6" of clearance with the bed rails. It was sufficient for established campgrounds and roadways, but not enough for where we wanted to go. We therefore lifted the fifth wheel 3" and couldn't be happier with it. I was initially concerned about stability issues, but have not experienced any.
There is also a big difference in fifth wheel weights and many are far beyond the Power Wagon's capabilities, but there are some worth considering. Our fifth wheel has a 1089# dry pin weight and loaded usually has a 1300-1400# pin weight. Its actual dry weight is 6800 and loaded we are around 8000-8500, well within the Power Wagon's 10,400 tow rating.
We have weighed several times and I am usually over my GVWR (not uncommon with 250/2500s with fifth wheels), but have always been under both GAWRs (front & rear), under my GCWR and under the weight ratings for my tires. As you are aware, we have the frame, axles and brakes to handle the weight, the weak area is the softer springs for better articulation. I have added Timbrens to keep it level. They are easily removed if I am going on any off road adventures.
The tires are D rated, but at 3195# are the same rating as many (not all) E rated tires. The difference being they carry the weight at 65 PSI rather than 80 PSI, so they will not be as stable, but can carry the same weight. My rear axle weight has never come close to the 6390# capacity of the tires. I have since replaced the original BFG ATs with load range E tires, but I was never unhappy with the D rated tires.
I am extremely happy with my set up and have no regrets. I greatly prefer towing our current fifth wheel with the Power Wagon than I did the 6000# pull behind HTT we started with.
It is not for everyone, but I am still extremely happy with my set up. The number of fifth wheels that will work is limited and it sounds like the one you were looking at would not work. Also since the economic collapse in 2008 and the loss of many RV manufacturer's, the selection may not be as large as when we were looking.