....I think what MEX is inferring is: don't count too much on the Mexican OnStar service, because the cell coverage is not nearly as stated in the GIS map mash-up screen-shot (taken by Gtla). Additionally, how reliable would a Mexico-based OnStar "towing service" call actually be at any randomly-driven stretch of road in Mexico (ie. when a foreign RV visitor is driving off the toll roads), will his/her OnStar MX link (and the service call reception to destination time frame) be reliable and apropos for the emergency situation ?
BTW: there are large parts of South America covered by OnStar currently.
IF OnStar becomes available to US and Canadian GM owners for real in Mexico, perhaps planning for the worst and hoping for the best would be prudent...
Have you got enough wheel-well clearance (the plastic well inserts) going with the 265's opposed to the OEM 245 size on the OEM 16 x 6.5 inch steel rims ?
I have to change out a set of severely cracked 6-year old 245/75-R16 Michelin LTX AT2's soon (you know we have the same trucks, down to the year and color).
I'm looking at going Wrangler DuraTrac (rated for severe snow, and used all year round) at LT265/75R16 on our OEM 16 x 6.5 steel rims, as a replacement.
....wow, I thought I had a problem with rotted wing floorboards. My situation is less daunting; much much less, the goodness!
How is the Weblon soft-side held under the metal J trim? Are there strips of compression rubber sandwiching both sides of the Weblon? Have you got a close-up of taking this section apart?
Excellent work BTW!
Well documented and impressive build ! Kudos to you. Will you be doing follow-up performance Posts as you experience the camper ?
They used to grow hundred of thousands of acres of oranges and grapfruits in even the northern half of Florida for many decades. However, those groves are about all gone now...
That's right...the first/earliest orange plantations were way up in Northern Florida around St Augustine (along the St Johns river); the brutal 1895 freeze killed off north Florida citrus plantations, and was the major forcing that caused the industry to move further south. Most of the citrus belt is south of Leesburg. The "trifoliate orange" is the most cold-resistant as far as I am aware, currently...and also diversifying to satsuma and kumquats (quite cold-resistant) would allow you to grow outside the "citrus belt" in the north.
Sorry, Back to the program...
I enjoyed the photos; thanks for posting your Alaska adventure.
Q: what is that ATV I see in your photos (I don't know much about ATVs, but I do know that it isn't just a giant drink tray) ? And, did you trailer it with you throughout the Alaska trip?
We're 2005.5, and have TPO, not EPDM (like BlueGoat)
Off the Dicor website:
"Until recently, TPO production was protected by a patent ensuring a consistent chemical composition, however, that patent has expired. As companies raced to bring variations of TPO to market it has become clear that not all TPO is created equal. In fact, TPO is now being formulated with a variety of polymers that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some of the newly formulated TPO began appearing in the RV market last year."
I believe that TPO variants started showing up in the RV manufacturing world somewhere around 2011. Your Outfitter was made way back in '04, so you have the earlier compounded polymer TPO, which is more robust when mated to current TPO-specific sealants. Now, If you have older EPDM (rather than TPO), you'll have to look into the EPDM specific caulking.
EPDM chalks like crazy unlike TPO. Try rubbing a black cloth over your roofing to see if it turns whitish.
Don't know how a TR could be more professional, and you absolutely should make a collection of your reports available on DVD. (suggested the same thing to Whazoo several times)
...I contacted National Geo, and Steve wouldn't like their profit-sharing terms for a DVD travel product :B Better that Sally compile everything (video, electronic book format, etc), and sell it direct through own website (via fulfillment agreement with any of numerous e-fulfillment companies out there).
Steve: I wonder-- how in the Devil did Thierry get that dually dump-truck in that 600+-year old stone garage; that opening appears to be narrower than the rear wheels :E
Superlative narrative and illustrations! I don't know how you fit it all in whilst traveling the World on business (almost continuously)! Your organizational skills should be commended. I could see you running the IT and security thereof at The Bank of England (Governor and Company of the Bank of England).
...just charts and sextant or communication aids other than a VHF radio
....that reminds me of radio-relaying along the Mosquito Coast (Honduras & Nica: village-to-village radio relaying); the only way (back in the '90s and before) to get your "message" to civilization from "way out there"...
....I agree entirely with Sleepy:
-IF you intend to go beyond cell coverage in North America (whether you are aware of coverage zone or not, err on the side of safety) buy a very highly-rated PLB, not a sat phone....on edit:
-also, be aware that sat phone and PLB aren't infallible (read: if you are out of sat vision, stormy weather, heavy canopy, canyon bottom, you may be SOL)
The only places I have ever carried sat phone(s) are in "exotic locales", like Central America, etc (some time ago when sat phones were ugly to deal with). One caveat: IMO, check very carefully if your PLB communicates directly with NOAA and the US Air Force (via COSPAS-SARSAT) or a private coordinator...and know what the difference is!
....just in: the Pamlico Sound side overwashed Highway 12 by 6 feet deep water; huge stretches of the 12 are under ~4+ feet of water currently. At least 1 cut (ie. Highway 12 completely cut from the sound side to the ocean side, south of Waves near Frisco). I expect if anyone left their camper(s) anywhere along the OBX, it'll likely be gone this morning.
False bravado, ignoring history, it's easy to scoff at warnings of potential disaster. All of the major hurricanes started as tropical depressions and some developed, over time, to 1,2,3,4,5 category storms. No one is able to predict exactly what, when, where, and how big they'll become.
Listen to Skip; he knows very well how unpredictable these things are. If you are still on the OBX sand bars, you have little time to evac at this stage of the game.
We rode out a TS in the OBX a few years ago (water up to the axles of the 3/4 ton truck), and this is nothing compared to what is about to happen.
I've seen 1st hand hurricane Mitch, a Cat 5 (in Honduras: 14,000+ dead), and believe me, steer far inland and give yourself some lead-time.
When Dunes and I camped in the Moab area in 2007, we had a lady camping close by (about 60 feet away) in a 4-Wheel camper. She were having a blast, no worries at all.
When I ran expeditions along the Mosquito Coast in the early '90s (Honduras Caribbean Coast to Nica, Central America: no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no roads), I had a solo traveling Swiss (late 50s) lady (medical professional, with husband back in Switzerland, giving the nod to her travels) sign on (a liability waiver in case of death) to a brutal trek from Honduras Caribbean coastal locale (my base camp), 106 kilometers to near the Nicaragua frontier (all on foot, with rafting dry bags rigged with backpack shoulder/waist straps). My expeditions were mostly moon-light (night treks) along the beach-head, with ~34 river crossings (floating across beach-cut alligator-infested lagoons using the air-entrapped dry bags). I had villages along the way arranged to provide food and shelter to sleep during the day; we trekked during the night (avoiding the 128F and 97% humidity, but by plan, encountering nesting sea turtles, and the Caribbean shore bioluminescence)...fast forward 10 months later, and I have 2 Australian guys on the same expedition (both Australian army); I end up carrying one guy miles through the jungle to a village for appendix surgery....
...this goes to show you that women can go and do anything anywhere; the only impediment is your psyche.
....you will be working in 2 of the coldest regions in the populated Americas (The Dakotas). Other than a building insulated to R40+, only specialized Arctic research vehicles and specialized military vehicles with "living units" can withstand -50F to -60F prolonged (often present in the Dakotas and Minnesota); imagine an old non-frost-free freezer with 4 inches of ice crystals inside it: the inside of an R10 to R18 camper will look that way or worse after a few nights sleeping inside it at -40F, -50F, -60F. Alaska is Florida-like compared to The Dakotas **interior continental winters** (just check last year's Alaska winter cold stats: they are Florida-like compared to Dakotas/Minnesota).
There is NOTHING in the realm of off-the-shelf RV units available to you at a **reasonable price** that will protect both your fuel system, water storage system, batteries and interior against those kinds of prolonged temperatures. You'll have to go to a specialized Arctic vehicle up-fitter for your needs. Or, pray that your schedule doesn't situate you in the Dakotas during the depths of winter.
Good luck to you,
Thanks Almot. I've been playing with that linked quote generator (adding/changing all sorts of age/medication/situation scenarios).
I ran many, many hypothetical future health scenario (for multiple countries). One just has to beware of countries currently on the Canadian Foreign Affairs "no travel" list.
....also, even if your camper is a 2011, check the replacement date embossed on your CO detector. These things expire (become ineffective) after some x date (4years? 5 years? 7 years?). I replaced both CO and propane detectors already in the 2005.5 camper; and they are again about ready to be replaced in ~2015.