OP...I notice that your sig puts you in the Chicago area...lots of snow and ice there in winter :B
Are you planning on dedicated winter tires for the dually? If so, what brand and size?
The 1st winter rubber rated tire I ever had were BFG TA /Ko's Load Rated: E; these I had on the SRW for 3 winters. I used the truck (with camper off) occasionally for one winter (the truck has been stored indoors over winter all other years owned) on our mountain roads, in a salt-free zone. Pretty good with only 300LBS sand in bed (long bed, extended cab, but nor dually). Those tires met an early demise, and am now using Duratrac (LR: E 265/75R16). The Duratracs are less that 2 years old, however, have never seen snow as yet (with truck stored indoors over winter LOL!). However, we anticipate at least some severe winter driving between Quebec and Florida upon full retiring on way to snowbirding (very soon), thus the Duratracs. I currently use the winter rated Duratracs spring, summer and fall, and don't swap them out for dedicated summers (summers I call "all seasons").
If need be, the winter rubber rated Duratrac tires are studable.
oh, in closing: whatever ya do, don't hit black ice; I've seen studded tires on trucks (duallies and SRWs) do 360s on black ice in our neck of the woods :B I think that even razorblades wouldn't keep a vehicle on the road over black ice if one sneezes holding the steering wheel or touching the brake pedal LOL
I never thought of pulling out the leaver and lubing it. Good idea. Next on my list...
Even Home depot sells Camco RV drain valves:
It may or may not be available in your local store...check on the Web first...but probably every RV parts store will have them in stock.
The valve takes all of 5 minutes to swap out.
I agree with Steve. I replaced our fresh water tank drain spigot in just a few minutes. You'll just need that $3 spigot (buy 2 more + pipe clamps while you're at it at your nearest RV parts store) and some bedding caulk (I used 3M 4200 through-the-hull marine bedding compound) available at most hardware stores.
I had enough water tube inside the camper to pull out about 1.5 inches of slack. The only problem I had was: I had to cut the plastic water pipe at the spigot barb, because the tiny metal pipe clamp had a patina of oxidation, and I didn't want to chance destroying too much of my 1.5 inches of slack LOL! Make sure you have a pipe clamp to retain the water pipe to the new spigot barb (available at the RV parts store nearest you). Our water pipe at the barb end was in excellent condition, and not brittle at all. Make sure you verify yours.
Most all the Interstates and major Canadian routes are bare surface within a day or two after a snowfall. It's not that far down to say, mid-Indiana where bad weather is the exception. I didn;t even try to de-winterize until I was in a warmer area.
I agree. We use the "live cameras" for every state we cross going to Florida....we leave end of January. This will be our 5th winter.
There are live cameras on interstates at regular intervals for every state; starting about 7 days before our departure, I heavily monitor the weather forecasts, radar and temperature, and scan the interstate road surfaces at about 150 mile intervals. If/when a winter storm hits part of our route close to departure date, I watch the interstate cams very carefully and also the 24-hour snow probability, then, knowing how far south I can drive in say 9 hours, shoot through the northern window of departure. We head straight for the I95, because it is closest to the Atlantic coast, traverses low altitude terrain, and has the least probability of traversing snow events when compared with interstates at higher altitudes further inland. ie. the further inland from the Atlantic you venture in winter, the less the relatively warm Atlantic waters will warm the atmosphere.
The above isn't an absolute guarantee you won't encounter snow or freezing rain, however, in all the past migrations we've done, only once did we have to pull off the I95 earlier than planned. It happened on the Capital beltway; very light freezing rain end of January 2 years ago. But by the next morning, the beltway and 95 were completely bare, and we then shot down to the Carolinas on day 2.
Anyhow, only you can decide what is comfortable. But I would say that leaving Ontario from November 15th to ~end of 1st week of December should put your probability of hitting snow along the I95 or ice on the I95 as far as southern Virginia to approaching nil. And, there is RV storage along the major interstates in the Carolinas; however, this will not guarantee that an ice storm or below freezing weather won't hit those states in December, January or February.
Good luck :)
On edit: we really notice a large change in temperatures when we hit New jersey and Delaware latitudes, on the I95. The January temperatures dramatically climb at these latitudes (but are still below freezing in the 20+F range on average), compared with southern Quebec/Ottawa/Albany, NY corridor's 0F to 15F
I think that the one month rule of thumb is for wet cell batteries and my understanding is that AGM batteries can last longer in storage (i.e. AGM batteries have slower discharge).
Correct. When we store our camper for the winter in indoor heated storage (October till May), I completely disconnect our fully-charged AGMs........and don't do a thing till May. Just leave in the camper. Our AGMs hardly drops in charge at all over this long storage period. If you have the old lead/acid batteries, all bets are off...they'll be pretty well discharged after this length of storage without careful maintenance.
I've been doing this since 2007 (when I got rid of those pesky lead/acids), and replaced with AGM-- at 10 years old, they are still nearly as good as new.
I once had to do all that battery maintenance during storage with lead/acids, but none of that for me any more.
This is my experience; your mileage may vary with different AGM manufacturer/model.
Those two routes have been opened and closed at times depending on the water content and season.
Ya. For sure. The park Ranger registering your "4x4 back country permit" at Needles for Salt really grill you on your 4x4 prowess and recovery equipment before handing you the permit LOL! The towing starts around $1400 and can get to well over $2000 if you ruck up somewhere back there LOL!
We had some substantial under-body skid plates, but even with that, I was reaching under and grabbing twigs, handfuls of wet sand/muck, and all kinds of **** jammed into the wheels after exiting the swing-gate!
On edit: LOVE your photos from the '70s!!!! You're lucky you didn't get buried up to the windshield :B
How about driving in quicksand? Yep, I've been there but not for a long time and not again. Right down to the frame in 1970, Salt Creek, Canyonlands NP:
...gotta love Salt Creek, and this entire stretch into potentially oblivion! Salt Creek is one of our fave' Needles back-country 4x4 adventures. Gotta love the quicksand there :B Makes for an "on your toes" experience LOL!
Canyonlands says the following to unwary 4x4 'ers even thinking about it:
SALT CREEK & HORSE CANYON:
Permits required for day and overnight use. required for day and overnight use. Roads travel along canyon bottoms where deep sand, deep water and quicksand are common. Too sandy for mountain bikes.
Good luck to anyone contemplating this one LOL, but we'd do it again in a heart-beat. This is where ya really have to know how to drive in sand! A 4x4 pick-up behind us never even made it through the "tamarsik sand tunnel" to the creek (thank goodness we went first!). We "belly skid" the Tracker/Zuke in places at higer speeds. There is a photo of Nikki driving through Salt Creek (I jog out front in the water and soup to sus-out the quicksand!) in Mello Mike's interview of us on his web-site //
"Iron butt" LOL!
Incredibly detailed photo essay. I like the compressed perspective zoom photos, they really resolve the scale of the landscape.
I'm pretty far behind on your TRs; your TRs are like books, I read perhaps a dozen a year, so I have a lot of catching-up to do!
Wow; that tow boat was really flying; what with the apparent fast current in the lock, to keep from losing steering, it has to motor faster than the lock current, I believe.
Nice video; lots of detail! What video gear and software are you using?
...is that a pool of water surrounding your vent flange?
Good idea to store nose high, but when you are camping, you need to level the camper, and if that is a natural lake surrounding your vent (and air conditioner?) bezels / flanges, you'd better inspect and re-caulk those areas regularly :B
The entire roof on our pop-up camper (Outfitter) has a very nice dome to it, with the front and rear vents at the highest altitudes on that dome.
...I met Rory (and had a long chat) at the first Overland Expo East (a couple of years ago), and actually got into his new line of campers (it may have been the first one made). I was interested in the Truma combi furnace with integrated water heater he had installed in that line of campers. The camper was a very impressive build.
If I recall, I believe those campers are factory direct.
A real attention holding, and sometimes gripping (standing at the precipice of thousand foot? cliffs) story.
All the superlatives have already been expressed by others.
Sand & Dunes
Steve & Sally:
I went through your reports quickly (exceptional! love the sub tour, and Viking ship construction)...we will both read through at a proper rate later tonight.
The Timothy Taylor's (landlord) looks interesting. I'll try and find some locally (or, in a beer outlet in Vermont). I read: ....a classic ale, with caramel and toasted malt... :)
Anyone here using semi-flexible (not roll-up) solar panels? The OP may be amenable to this genre.
My future buy would be a ~~30% flexible panel in the ~120 to ~144 watt range around 4.7 LBS, with between ~22% and 23.x% efficiency. It looks like all the higher end "thin film technologies" these days are achieving in the 21% to 23.3% cell efficiencies (NREL; Solar Frontier; EMPA; Solibro; etc...). I would carry a solar panel backing made of 0.5 inch XPS insulation (weighing almost nothing). This would be a portable/movable panel of course...
...interesting. Just showed this to Dunes. She drove that 191 from Springerville to Morenci, and on to Safford, back in the late '90s. It was girl's 2 weeks off; her and a girlfriend did this in a rented Chevy Blazer. Then, they drove the East Border Rd from near the Cochise College airport, to Bisbee Junction (today, that road wouldn't be wise for 2 girls solo offroading LOL!)...
Until I wised up, stopped using the hardwall windows with the leaky screens, and instead used the softwall screens soaked in bug repellent. Much better
We haven't sprayed our screens with repellent yet. Thanks for the tip on the hard-wall screens (that probably includes the door screening)! Interesting.
When we used the Outfitter in the Southwest, we were out of gnat season and territory; so when we do, in the future, get back into that area and in gnat-dom, will make note use only the softwall screens. Waking up in the morning with hundreds of gnat bites wouldn't be my idea of fun.
Those gaiters that Jefe 4x4 wrote about: I got mine (full-length, with belt clip/snap) from Cabela's back in ~1995 (they are really the snake chaps, double as brush walkers), I used them in Central America in 120+ F and 80%+ humidity. So, in bone-dry 115F (or so) and 15% humidity or less, they would be like tropical linen pants LOL! :D
...I'm always cognizant of out-board weight at the end of axles **gross wheel weight** (the actual weight of the tire and wheel) that will really negatively affect performance/fuel mileage (if there are any Formula 1 racing engineers here, they could explain this better than I LOL!)...
...so, I look at OEM tire + rim weight, then play with any new tire/rim combo, to determine if they will be "heavier" or "lighter" than the OEM set-up...etc...etc.
The only way our set up could go south is if we were camping in a tunnel.
...there are a lot of ways to "make it work" for sure. This is often tempered by lifestyle, and world-view. We are taking the extreme cost-effective approach, we being minimalists.
One day, it would be nice to grab a portable light-weight 150w solar panel, throw it out the door, place it on a rack on the ground, and plug the laptop into it :B