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 > Your search for posts made by 'rfryer' found 245 matches.

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RE: Boondocking in S Arizona desert and Rattlesnakes

Shooting rattlesnakes? On "principle"? Although I'm convinced that most snakes are shot by fantasy roll-players who watch too much television, the following is worth mentioning (IMO): Every snake that is killed increases the virility of the rabies vector in that area. A rattlesnake bite is easy enough to recover from if you're healthy, even without treatment. The Hanta virus (mice that snakes eat carry this) has a 50% mortality rate, while only one person in history has survived a case of rabies. Most snake bites are on the noses of curious dogs or the hands of drunk men who try to pick them up, as said. And I would caution anyone who saw somebody on TV shoot a snake: If you're close enough to shoot a snake you're close enough to get hit by a fragment from your own bullet, even if you're sober. No offense, greenrvgreen, but it strikes me you’re talking from the standpoint of someone who has little if any experience with the subject. If you’re talking about shooting snakes en masse I agree with your Hanta Virus comment. But we’re not talking about trying to exterminate snakes. As far as an easy recovery from a snakebite, have you ever seen someone who has been bitten. A very nasty experience and some people don’t recover. And they’re not old and infirm. I doubt very much they would agree with your comment. Conventional advice is to sit and stay calm if you’re bit and wait for help. What help? You’re miles out in the boonies and you’re only option is to walk out and really get the venom coursing through your body. And this was decades before cell phones so you don’t have the option of merely calling for a helicopter to come and lift you out of there. Your last comment about being struck by a fragment of your own bullet really stretches credibility into outer space. I wouldn’t say it never happens, but some idiots drive their cars through Circle K windows, too. I think one is far more likely to be hit by lightening. I target shot for years and ran about 3000 rounds a year. Plus I shot a lot otherwise. I started at 15 and I’m 75 so I think I’ve easily shot over 100,000 rounds and not once have I been struck by a bullet fragment.
rfryer 09/26/14 11:09am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Boondocking in S Arizona desert and Rattlesnakes

"If you come across a rattlesnake, you will hear it. They warn before a strike, and once you have heard it, you won't forget the sound." False! They do not always rattle, this myth can get you bit. I agree the sound is distinctive and unforgettable but I have been around lots of rattlers that simply didn't. I am amazed at all of the folks who have spent lots of time out here in the desert southwest who have never seen a rattlesnake. To these folks I recommend you pay a lot more attention as it is a virtual certainty you have been in close proximity at some point, probably a lot more often than you can imagine. They are all over the southwestern deserts and their camouflage is off the chart effective. I worked as a Marshall on the local golf course and saw dozens every month, particularly in the spring when they are most active. Lots of good advice above such as not placing hands or feet where you cannot see, stay on the middle of the trails and above all pay attention. Do these things and you should not have any problems. :C I second Desert Captain; I too am amazed how few rattlers people have seen who spend any time in the desert. I long ago lost all count of how many I’ve seen and I’ve shot a lot of them. And I don’t do that for sport, only if I think they’re in striking distance and a threat. But my situation was somewhat unique, part of my job many years ago was developing maps and often that required surveying the country first. The old days, a chain and transit and you went in a straight line through brush or any other passable objects. Just the thing I advise people to avoid doing to avoid snakes. By far, most of the incidents I had with snakes were when I was working. I recall stepping on one’s tail once but he wasn’t coiled, he was trying to get away and needless to say I got off his tail pretty quickly. The closest call I had was with a sidewinder who parked himself right next to an instrument I had put on the ground momentarily. I bent down and reached for it and there he was all coiled up and waiting. I saw him just in time and shot him just on general principles for not buzzing and warning me. And it’s true that rattlers do not always buzz, he wasn’t the first or the last. I agree with Desert Captain that people are likely just not seeing snakes that are there. I still see them, even on trails in city mountain parks. But I think my senses are so highly tuned to watching for them from the old working days that I see things others may walk right by.
rfryer 09/25/14 05:26pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Boondocking in S Arizona desert and Rattlesnakes

If it’s hot they stay in the shade of brush and rocks. When it cools off at night they come out on the blacktop and pavement and open ground to absorb the heat. So pay attention where you’re walking and don’t put your hands or feet anywhere that you can’t see. If you have a dog, keep it on a short leash and don’t let it stick its nose in the brush or rocks. It’s nothing to worry about, just be aware of your surroundings and and odds are you’ll never even see one.
rfryer 09/24/14 12:15am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Newbie looking to buy first....well I'm not sure

Just a comment to correct a misstatement in packpe89’s post that most campgrounds in Yellowstone don’t allow PU’s. Only one campground there doesn’t allow canvas and that’s Fishing Bridge. You wouldn’t want to stay there anyway with a PU; it resembles an RV storage lot. But it’s the only campground with HU’s. I recommended a TT over an RV and still do, but I think a PU is a viable option. Many of us went from tents to a PU to a TT or other RV type. I used one for many years and camped all over the country with two and often three kids and have no complaints at all. If you think that might be an option do a lot of reading about the different types of RVs and the pros and cons of each.
rfryer 09/23/14 01:51pm Beginning RVing
RE: Newbie looking to buy first....well I'm not sure

I’d favor the TT; I’ve used the same one for 25 years and camped all over the country. The DW has been promoting a small Class C or a Class B for a couple of years now. Her argument is everything is in one vehicle and the dogs can be in the same space we are. We can go to the bathroom without stopping and she can fix lunch while we’re on the move. True, but a weak argument in my view. I like to stop and take breaks and one can go to the bathroom then or have lunch. And I’d prefer not to eat lunch, even a sandwich, when I’m driving. My view is it would work well for destination driving to see family with some stops along the way to sightsee. But with more shortcomings than I want if I want to camp rather than destination drive. My TT can do anything a MH can do and other things it can’t. Besides, my perception is that MH’s can be money pits compared to my TT. I know people who have spent more money to replace a set of tires than I have on my TT in 25 years. Well, until I took a recent $900 hit to replace the fridge. All RV’s have their pros and cons and it depends how one wants to use them. But if camping is the plan I think you’re better served with a TT. Rving can be a good deal cheaper than hotels and restaurants depending on the RV you’re using. Many years ago I made a 4 day trip to San Diego. I calculated I could have made a 3 week trip to Yellowstone for the same amount of money. So I’ve never been back. If you’re really new at this you need to attend some RV shows and get a feel for what’s out there and what suits you best. I agree with others, too, go used for the first unit. Then if you find it isn’t what you expected you won’t be hammered with depreciation expenses. Just have it checked thoroughly by someone you trust, water damage being the deal breaker. And focus on ones that your TV can pull without undue strain, pushing max ratings in no fun.Good luck.
rfryer 09/19/14 04:33pm Beginning RVing
RE: Travel to Flagstaff

That’s high elevation country and you will have a chance of snow. Once you’re there it’s not a big problem. I’d be more concerned about a storm on I-40, that could shut you down for a few days. If you’re going in March all you can do is watch the weather and have Plan B if you get caught.
rfryer 09/14/14 06:49pm Family Camping
RE: GVWR/Towing capacity question

The GVWR is the max your TV can weigh fully loaded to go, including everything in it plus the TT hitch weight. The towing capacity is more a marketing number and the least reliable of any of the ratings. With a ½ ton, payload is typically the rating that limits you, you’ll exceed that before you get near any tow rating. In any event, you don’t want to push the ratings if you want to enjoy the tow.
rfryer 09/14/14 06:21pm Towing
RE: Best Trips Using DIrt/Gravel Roadways

Scratch the Apache Trail, that’s not a road to pull any TT on. It could get very awkward if you met opposing traffic, which you will. The west has a lot of public land with unpaved roads that would fit the bill, though. Lakes are popular and though the roads may be unpaved they’re usually wide and well maintained and the areas scenic.
rfryer 09/12/14 10:47am Roads and Routes
RE: Searching for a Tow Vehicle

That’s an interesting idea, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any such tool. But if you post the specs for your TT I think it will be relatively easy to get some good suggestions. As a daily driver I suspect you’d lean toward a ½ ton TV. Assuming it has the payload and power to pull the TT without undue strain even in the mountains and assuming the TT is not so long compared to the TV wheelbase you get the tail wagging the dog.
rfryer 09/11/14 01:42pm Towing
RE: Missouri to Arizona

Just watch the weather; I-40 will be fine if no storms come in. If they do you don’t want to be on 40, dodge south to I-10 and come into Phoenix via Tucson. My son got caught in one and had to stop at Cline’s corner, EO Albuquerque. He was lucky enough to have stopped in time to get one of the few motel rooms. His room filled up with wall to wall travelers stuck and with no place to go for 4 days.
rfryer 09/10/14 11:52am Roads and Routes
RE: What is too long to get into State/National Parks?

At that length you will have a lot of restrictions for sites. They’re out there, but you’ll have to research the campgrounds for size limits and make reservations to ensure you get a spot. The bigger the unit the fewer sites there are for the really big rigs and a smaller RV may take one of them. Or sometimes the sites big enough but the road in is too tight to maneuver. AZ advertises a 35’ limit for the state parks and I’m told some CA park limits are 20’. I’m guessing that’s probably beach sites. I pull a small TT so it’s never been an issue to me. But I recall an incident in a campground in the Tetons where a big rigs front bumper projected slightly into the road and they asked him to leave and go to the commercial site up the road. With that big a rig I’m guessing you probably want HU’s and that in itself is a limiting factor. For example, there is only one cg each in Yellowstone and the Tetons that have HU’s.Re: the AZ State campgrounds 35' limit; where did you get your information? I have yet to go to an AZ State campground that didn't have spaces 50 feet or longer for my 41' Voltage. And there were no issues maneuvering through the park. I have been checking various parks on the State website and found that most have no length restrictions. To categorically state that there is a 35' limit is spreading bad information. My apologies to the OP, azdryheat is right. It's been a few years since I checked the state parks and I remember the advertised 35' limit. But a quick check now shows at least some are unlimited, so disregard my comment about the AZ parks.
rfryer 09/09/14 12:55pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: What is too long to get into State/National Parks?

At that length you will have a lot of restrictions for sites. They’re out there, but you’ll have to research the campgrounds for size limits and make reservations to ensure you get a spot. The bigger the unit the fewer sites there are for the really big rigs and a smaller RV may take one of them. Or sometimes the sites big enough but the road in is too tight to maneuver. AZ advertises a 35’ limit for the state parks and I’m told some CA park limits are 20’. I’m guessing that’s probably beach sites. I pull a small TT so it’s never been an issue to me. But I recall an incident in a campground in the Tetons where a big rigs front bumper projected slightly into the road and they asked him to leave and go to the commercial site up the road. With that big a rig I’m guessing you probably want HU’s and that in itself is a limiting factor. For example, there is only one cg each in Yellowstone and the Tetons that have HU’s.
rfryer 09/09/14 10:39am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Life expectancy for RV components ?

Lifespan is only a concern on the more expensive fixes. But FWIW I have a 1989 16' TT. The stove, oven furnace and water heater are original. The frig lasted 21 years. I think I've replaced the water pump twice. All the rest of the work has been minor repairs easily fixed.
rfryer 09/09/14 09:43am Fifth-Wheels
RE: I'm in a quandry, and I don't know where to start.

Your dilemma isn’t all that unusual, expenses are exceeding income. Sometimes the income is such that it’s hard not to exceed it, but in most cases there are a lot of expenses that can be eliminated or reduced and at this stage in your life you need to look hard at that. For some unfathomable reason, I wound up as a free credit counselor in my old neighborhood and helped out a number of people in financial trouble. And in every single case credit cards were the main culprit to the point I considered them an evil fostered on the people by the financial industry. So I had them bring all the data they had on income and expenses and I had them cut up the credit cards while I sat there. In all cases they had sufficient income to avoid disaster, but they had to adjust their spending to stay within it. So I think the first thing you need to do is dump the cards. Then you need to track where your money is going to see what you can reduce or dispense with. A credit counselor is almost a must, but avoid the commercial ones, there are usually non-profit ones available through some government body. As far as selling your house for an RV, remember a house is an appreciating asset and an RV is a depreciating one. You may or may not come out ahead going to an RV, but you need to sit down with someone and go over all aspects of your income and expenses before you jump into that. I thought CloudDriver made some good points, especially about paying down the expensive debt first. Bankruptcy may be your only alternative, but that’s a last resort if everything else fails. The problem is it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem, spending habits. And you’ll be bombarded with credit offers; they know you can’t file again for 7 years. I get constant credit card offers and they don’t even get in the house, they go in the burn bag in the garage unopened. So take heart, you can overcome this, it will just take some professional help and strong self discipline on your part. Good luck.
rfryer 09/08/14 02:26pm Beginning RVing
RE: Need some travel trailer suggestions...

Rv’s are a bundle of compromises and you have to weigh a number of things before you can narrow down what will work best for you. To me, size is the dominate factor. I don’t like crowds, read commercial parks and busy campgrounds. So I camp well back in mountain areas, typically national forests. I have a 16’ TT I pull with an F150 4x4 because I can maneuver it back in the primitive forest roads. Much like tent or PU camping And it weighs only 3000# loaded so it’s a piece of cake to pull even in the extensive mountain driving I do. Another advantage is I can almost always find a spot in the popular national parks even in prime time so I rarely ever need to make reservations anywhere. Anything approaching 25’ would be more restriction than I’m willing to accept. So deciding where you want to go and camp is a big factor in your decision. The down side is I don’t have the amenities of a bigger TT, like tv, microwaves, a dry bath and so on. But I consider all the “amenities” of home as taking away from the camping experience so I don’t really even want them. I can easily spend a couple of months traveling in it. Would I want to full time? Not hardly. The more time you spend in it the more attractive a bigger unit looks. We looked for a couple of years at going a little bigger, maybe up to about 19’. But all the units had a full bed up front and a dry bath in the rear with few windows and we felt like we were in a closet compared to my old ’89 Wilderness so we decided to keep it. Mine has the dinette up front and a couch – I forget the proper term – in the rear that folds down into a bed. Also a wet bath on the side and seven windows, so it feels open and airy for its size. The folding bed is very comfortable, used it for 25 years with no complaints at all about comfort. So again, you need to weigh how much space you’re comfortable with against your wish for a full bath and bed in that size range. If you’re inclined toward the more developed and easier access campgrounds and you’d like the amenities of a cabin or motel room, then size is not the biggest issue to you. Then floorplan and finding a unit you can pull without undue strain on the TV is more important. Don’t believe what any salesman tells you that your TV can pull, they’re notorious for overstating it. I never knew my F150 could pull the space shuttle over Teton Pass until I talked to a couple of them. Instead, come back on the forum with the specs for the TV and TT and you’ll get much better advice. I, too, suggest going used for the first TT. If you find it’s really not what you expected you don’t take it in the shorts on depreciation. Just check it or have it checked thoroughly before you commit, water damage being the big deal breaker. Good luck in your search.
rfryer 09/08/14 01:13pm Travel Trailers
RE: On the news: bear attack

I have to agree with down home, animals are sort of like people. Most are not belligerent unless you appear to be a threat to them somehow. But there are also exceptions that are more malicious.. It reminds me a little of the old belief that the man eating cats of Africa and India were old, infirm, or injured animals that couldn’t hunt their normal game. That’s long since been proven false by the professional hunters that were hired to eliminate them. In a lifetime of wandering the mountains I’ve never been attacked. I was trailed by a bear once while deer hunting but I think he was just curious. And I once had a lion track alongside me in the brush for some distance periodically screaming. I’m not sure what his motive was but I’m more wary of cats than bear, they’re more stealthy and faster and there are a lot of them in AZ. I know of one fellow yanked out of his tent by a bear. He was sort of asking for it, though, he cleaned a bunch of fish and didn’t clean up well or change clothes and the bear probably though thought he’d stumbled over the biggest fish he ever saw. His friend saved his butt with a 357. And a friend and his wife were scouting for deer and he stopped the truck well short of a fence and walked up to open the gate. His wife glanced out to the left and a little ahead and saw a lion crouched in the brush. Being a cat person she recognized the body language of a cat preparing to jump and she hopped in the driver’s seat and practically ran my friend down gunning the truck up between him and the cat. He was lucky she was with him. About 2 months ago my youngest granddaughter was visiting and wanted to go camping and spot a lion or bear. Good luck with that.:D In the process we ran across a guy living in a cabin in a very remote area along the Blue River. He had some black and tans and puppies he used for lion hunting and while the DW and GD played with the puppies we talked about hunting. He told me if you want bear go up adjacent to the Apache Reservation which is primitive country. He had lived in a cabin near there and said he kept a 30/30 in his living room and shot at least one and sometimes two bears a year that were coming through his window. In that case I suspect they weren’t rogue bears but just smelled food in the cabin. So I think wandering around the wilds thinking animals won’t bother you if you don’t bother them is sort of naïve at best; you’re counting on not running into that exception. Incidents like described are uncommon but they do happen and one should at least have a plan how they’ll deal with the situation.
rfryer 09/03/14 11:19pm General RVing Issues
RE: Arrogance Personified

Reminds me of a story I heard my dad tell a couple of times. Way back in the 30’s he was driving a dirt road and came on a wealthy fellow in one of the big luxury cars of the era stuck in the mud. My dad’s car was one of the “cheap” Fords of the era. He stopped and spent a lot of effort digging and pulling the guy out of the mud and when he was done the fellow made some arrogant comment I don’t recall. Probably something like I’ll have to get me one of those toys in case I get stuck again. Anyway It didn’t go over well with the old man and he “accidentally” backed up and bumped the car back into the ruts and drove on his way. :)
rfryer 08/29/14 04:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: newcomer towing question?

It would help a lot if you post exactly what you TV is. But the GVWR is the absolute max the TV can weigh fully loaded with everyone and everything in it, including the hitch weigh of the TT. But don’t use that number in your search for a TT, pulling at or near your max rating will not be a fun experience. There are a number of rating for your TV and you need to meet the "weakest" one. And put little stock in the GCVWR, you'll likely exceed some rating before you ever reach that. And never believe what a salesman tells you what your vehicle is cabable of pulling, instead ask on the forum.
rfryer 08/27/14 12:39pm Towing
RE: Need help with ideal setup (within budget)

If you are patient and look hard for the few really well cared for TV’s and TT’s I think you can do better than the 15k mentioned for them. But the chances of pulling it off with the budget you propose are slim to none. It’s likely you will be throwing a LOT more money at repairs than you’d be prepared to spend and they won’t be reliable. I have a 16’ 1989 TT that I could very easily get 2k for and it’s not suitable for the type of traveling you want to do, you’ll need bigger. And a full ½ ton TV would be best to tow it. You’ll be looking at older TT’s and that’s not necessarily bad, I think they’re better made than the current models. But the downside is being old there’s a high risk they may have water damage from leaks, something you absolutely do not want. So again it’s a search for the uncommonly well cared for unit. The only realistic option I see is to save up funds to get a decent TV and TT even if it delays your one year plan. In any event, good luck.
rfryer 08/27/14 11:26am Beginning RVing
RE: Class a vs. small trailer

No one can guess how you’ll adapt to a smaller space but you. But based on your initial comments you’ll likely feel confined and whether the tradeoff is worth it is the big question. I think there are other aspects beyond just the space, though. Pulling a small TT does have some pluses. Better gas mileage, much more flexibility in roads you take, places you can go, access to gas stations and such, and opportunities for camp sites. Plus you can park the TT and use the TV to explore or make a run to the store. And you can easily access public lands where the camp fees are peanuts compared to commercial parks. On the other hand, The TT will not have all the amenities of your MH so that’s a tradeoff to an extent. And if you’ve always traveled in a MH and commonly get sites with HU’s and want HU’s for the TT you’ll sacrifice some of the advantages of the small TT to get in about anywhere, the more pristine spots as a rule don’t have any facilities. I have to admit to being bias; I’ve been pulling a 16’TT for 25 years and have no desire to go to a MH. I wouldn’t be nervous about pulling a small TT, if set up properly and kept away from you TV max ratings I think with a little practice you’ll find it a piece of cake. Mine is. Good luck on your decision.
rfryer 08/16/14 03:55pm Full-time RVing
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