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 > Your search for posts made by 'Desert Captain' found 150 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
Everybody must get stoned, rock on...

A year and half ago I widened the parking pad for our 24' Class C. If parked on the concrete driveway it blocked most of my access to the garage {our coach is 101" wide}. I dug down and created a 3' X 27' hole, framed in 6 X 6" timbers. Ffilled and compacted this with crushed granite and topped it all off with concrete gravel. I added a few large rocks along there oujtside edge and called it good.... :R I gained 3' of additional space which freed up my garage access and it looked like this: https://i.imgur.com/dOeViVCl.jpg The problem was the outside bank dropped down 3' on a steep and slippery slope and getting in or out of the coach when parked on the pad extension was a broken ankle waiting to happed. The solution was obviously going to involve a lot of rocks. I made 3 trips to the gravel pit and lined the outside edge with rocks to help stabilize the bank and to provide a little better footing. The final solution came today... after 3 trips out into the woods on my Rzr loading large "Moss Rocks" as the locals call them I finally had enough to put in steps and a short walking path of stepping stones. The 15 large rocks were 3 to 6" thick and weighed between 15 and 60 # a piece coming in around 500+#. https://i.imgur.com/std2NpDl.jpg Now you can easily walk across the driveway, down 3 steps and proceed a few steps more before climbing the stair steps of moss rocks to the door of the coach. I hauled one huge moss rock, 30" X 16" X 5" to use under the passenger side dallies to bring the coach dead level and keep my frig happy, don't even want to think about how much that one weighed. :) https://i.imgur.com/f4WC4UVl.jpg For good measure I drove two, 2'X 3/8" rebar in front of the two largest stair steps and everything else has been set and compacted with no discernible motion from any of the stones. Don't remember how many hours I have in this entire project but today was 3 hours of hump, hump and hump some more! Being closer to 71 than 70 my afternoon is going to consist of a long hot shower followed by multiple trips to the Jacuzzi, IBprofenand perhaps an adult beverage or two. :B
Desert Captain 06/29/22 01:12pm General RVing Issues
RE: Unique situation: What tow vehicle checks all the boxes?

Very few vehicles can safely, much less actually tow their so called rated tow capacity. They simply run out of payload long before reaching that mythical tow capacity. A 9,000# trailer will need to have a tongue weight of 1,170# {13 percent of total weight} plus another 100# for the weight distribution hitch. That 1,270 # comes right off of your payload before you load anything or anyone beyond the driver. IMHO: Get a truck with at least 2,000# of payload if you want to safely tow a 9,000# trailer. :C
Desert Captain 06/26/22 09:26am Tow Vehicles
RE: Best mileage ever on a great albeit short trip...

Great post Phil. The one time I had to use the idle option was not for battery charging but to run the dash AC. We were trapped in a tiny RV park notched out of the cornfields of southern Illinois in mid June.. Tornado warnings were up, the temp was 100 with matching humidity. The roof air struggled to get the temp down to the high 80's and the humidity was miserable. I let the V -10 idle and fired up the dash air with our windshield cover in place. It was still warm and humid but far more comfortable. I let the dash AC run for about 90 minutes after which the roof air seemed better able to deal with the heat. Just another option/difference between a coach with a large gasser vs the MB diesels... just sayin. \When we checked into the park to just get off the road and hide out until the storms passed they explained their shelter situation... Down the road in either direction were a couple of farms that had large basement shelters. They urged us to immediately flee to one or other if the sirens went off. It was a long night but by morning the skies had cleared and we continued on to Missouri and Arkansas before returning to Tucson. This was our third, but not our last close call with tornados on that 2 month cross country trip. Here is another shot from our site at Hawley Lake where my bride captured a nice sunset: https://i.imgur.com/1xttB7Pl.jpg
Desert Captain 06/24/22 10:11am Class C Motorhomes
AZ 260 between Payson and Heber... expect delays

With the 4th of July weekend fast approaching be advised of delays on AZ 260 between Payson and Heber {just east of the Canyon Point CG at the top of the Mogollon Rim}. They appear to be adding an additional west bound lane which necessitates shutting 260 down to one lane and ushering traffic through using a Pilot Truck. The project does not look like it will be done anytime soon... perhaps a couple of months. :h Traffic was heavy today at 11 AM with a lot folks getting an early jump on the weekend but this stretch sees heavy commercial traffic everyday. Depending on traffic, and the holiday weekend should be a nightmare to begin with, you can expect to be sitting for 10 to 30 minutes and it could get much worse fast. :S Good luck. :C
Desert Captain 06/23/22 03:47pm Roads and Routes
Best mileage ever on a great albeit short trip...

With gas holding at just under $5 a gallon we have been taking shorter trips this spring/summer. We just returned from another this time to Hawley Lake in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Just 125 miles from our home in Payson, Hawley is the most beautiful alpine lake we have ever visited.Tthe weather was awesome with temps in the low 70's during the day with lows in the lower 50's. The Monsoon has commenced and heavy thunderstorm activity is a very real possibility on a daily basis {which we love}. Most of Arizona is under a Stage Two fire restriction so no campfires were permitted which is a shame as there is all the firewood you could ever want just lying all over the CG. Our site overlooking the lake sat at 8,300': https://i.imgur.com/X6IvuVsl.jpg Here is a shot down along the lake: https://i.imgur.com/rDPVLRxl.jpg While only 125 miles it is a 2.5 hour drive as the entire route, not surprisingly is all mountains mostly between 6 and 8,000'. We average about 55 -60 mph with a ton of climbing getting there and of course a nice mostly downhill run on the return. The lake and CG lie within the Apache reservation and UTV/ATV's are not permitted so we left ours {and the cargo trailer} at home and just drove our 24'Nexus Class C with the 6.8 V-10 lightly loaded with just my bride and I. Going up we got a solid 10+ mpg and the return trip netted us 13+ for an average of 11.5 running 87 octane. Over the last 9+ years {and 66K+ miles} I have averaged right at 9.5 when not towing or loading heavy. I attribute the mellow pace combined with the elevation where we always seem to do better for the mileage. Also not long ago I had the fuel system cleaned along with changing the oil, trans and differential fluids {always with pure synthetic} and a new air filter. Since the service the coach has been running noticeably better but this mileage improvement really got my attention. :B Be advised that AZ 260 from Payson to and through Show Low, Lakeside and Pine Top is subject to some serious road repairs just east of the Canyon point CG on the top of the Mogollon Rim. Expect to spend 10 to 30 minutes just sitting where they have narrowed 260 down to a single lane and no, it won't be done for a while. The 4th of July weekend will prove quite a challenge so if you are headed this way be prepared for the delays. :C
Desert Captain 06/23/22 03:11pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Unhooked for the night.

Another consideration is where you find yourself camping or even just spending the night. Out west {here in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado etc.} half of the state is on fire or at risk for one breaking out on very short notice. When we camped with our 22'TT I would stay hooked up and I do the same now that we are using our 24' class C, usually towing our 6 X 10' cargo trailer. I never stay hooked up to water or sewer but just use them as needed for a quick fill or dump. Being able to flee in mere minutes should the winds shift or a new fire breaks out is a no brainer. Picture the chaos in a crowded campground when a wind shift puts everyone at risk from a fast approaching fire. :S We have had to literally turn around on a two lane highway due to a fast moving fire suddenly closing down our intended route more than once. This pic was taken about 30 miles east of Zion in June of 2020. We were headed up to Jacob Lake when this fire over ran the highway not far in front of us: https://i.imgur.com/YQ0mPERl.jpg Be safe out there folks... :C
Desert Captain 06/16/22 07:23pm Travel Trailers
RE: Don't let your guard down, Covid is still out there...

OP here... First I would like to thank those who wished my friend a speedy recovery. I spoke with him a little while ago and he is on the mend and optimistic that in another day or two he will be as fine as his bride who is recovering nicely. I posted with the best of intentions and sadly so many felt the need to drag it down to a level rarely seen on this Forum. Covid 19 is and always has been real and tragic. Vaccines work, some better than others but science leaves zero doubt as to the wisdom of being vaccinated. Obviously many of those who posted have not lost a loved one to this horrible disease... sadly I have. Believe what you will folks through much of what has been posted here is just sad... sigh, but it's OK, Ron White explained it to me. :S
Desert Captain 06/14/22 09:52pm General RVing Issues
Don't let your guard down, Covid is still out there...

We {my bride and I} and our best friends have been very proactive in dealing with the Covid pandemic. We all got our shots and boosters in a timely manner, have by in large self isolated and always wore masks when we did venture out into public. They came for a brief visit to retrieve his Rzr SXS and trailer from our house as I had evacuated it a couple of weeks ago to get it out of the path of the Calf Canyon Fire that threatened their home IN Angel Fire NM. They arrived on Thursday afternoon and returned home on Saturday morning. They spent Sunday prepping for a planned camping trip with their new Lance TT and left Angel Fire Monday morning for a 4 day trip. By Tuesday Sherry had serious Covid symptoms and three days later Paul had them as well and they both tested positive for Covid 19. They are in their mid 60's and in excellent physical condition. Our best guess is that Sherry was infected somewhere between our house {in Payson AZ} and Angel Fire as it was 4 days later her symptoms kicked in. They of course notified us immediately and as my bride was going into day 2 of serious headache we tested her and happily it was a solid negative result. My bride is at extremely high risk due a number of health issues so we are and always have been very cautious. After all of this time dealing with Covid it is easy for folks to become complacent but you do so at potentially great risk. Sherry is recovering nicely but Paul is having a rough go of it. He got the anti Covid pills and an oxygen meter and hopefully will be feeling much better soon. Be careful out there folks...
Desert Captain 06/14/22 02:15pm General RVing Issues
RE: 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

I would like to add the Rim Road (FS300) in the Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests as an awesome drive. Lots of fantastic views. We're currently boondocking about 60 feet from the edge of the rim. But beware, sections of the road are narrow and rough - not much fun when towing a 42' 5th wheel. X2 Camping right on the Rim is spectacular... and free. You just have to find one of the gorgeous sites that his empty. Here is a shot from "The Rim" looking southwest towards Payson: https://i.imgur.com/Hs0Gm7el.jpg :B
Desert Captain 05/31/22 02:37pm Roads and Routes
RE: 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

DC...You must have come during spring break. Here spring break lasts SEVERAL weeks, like from mid-March to mid-April. The traffic IS insane. I can only go to the grocery store at 8am or 8pm, else I'd have an hour or more trip just to go 5 miles. The traffic is nowhere near as bad now...except on the weekends! And holidays! Can't wait for this coming Memorial Day weekend. Better get my groceries before Friday :) Definitely agree about the restaurant prices. It's not just HP, but nearly all the restaurants. We rarely go out to eat here. Actually we were there at 0900 hoping for breakfast at HP but after seeing the new prices we walked. Even that early on a weekday the traffic was ridiculous. If you can find a parking apace then you have to mess with their automated parking meter payment system. Sedona used to be fun but no so much anymore... :R
Desert Captain 05/25/22 12:44pm Roads and Routes
RE: 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

Just came from the area and it's beautiful and for us especially the fantastic red rock areas. I'd bet a dounut that the construction area traffic is faster than the Sedona area on a weekend. :B We were there in April and the traffic in Sedona was insane. We used to enjoy a visit and a nice breakfast at the HP Cafe but their prices have gone to the moon… a simple omelet is $21. :S
Desert Captain 05/24/22 08:36am Roads and Routes
89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

Perhaps one of the most scenic roads in Arizona 89A has always been restricted, no vehicles over 50’ and with good reason. Rode it this morning on our Can Am Spyder, be advised that restriction is now 30’ due to construction that necessitates a lane closure in two locations. They are rebuilding a bridge and near the north end of the canyon they are constructing large retaining walls. I’m guessing both projects will take months (as in many more) so the new restriction will be in effect for some time. Lots of LEO’s working both section so assume they will be enforcing the new limits. :C
Desert Captain 05/23/22 01:50pm Roads and Routes
RE: Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

Barney, thanks. I successfully used this URL for years and then one day it completely failed. It's great to have it back! :B
Desert Captain 05/21/22 08:36am General RVing Issues
RE: Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

Not having any luck posting pics with Imgur. i give up for now. :h
Desert Captain 05/20/22 12:16pm General RVing Issues
RE: Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

100 trees, house, garage, half acre, firesafe {I scratches my head}, one of these words doesn't fit. Firesafe consists of keeping the ground clear and free of leaves, pine needles etc while keeping the trees green and healthy with sufficient watering pending the arrival of the Monsoon. Our driveways are paved with asphalt, the small house and garage have fireproof shingles. Our trees vary from 60' Ponderosa pines {8} to assorted Oak, Juniper, a large Maple and several varieties of Pine. We also have lots of Manzanita and ground cover and nice thick lawn under the Maple. We are in full compliance with all of the applicable local firesafe ordinances. If you live in the mountains these precautions come with the territory. Thanks again to Barney for getting me back to being able to post pics. Here is a shot of our home: https://i.imgur.com/OR5eLHEl.jpg :R
Desert Captain 05/20/22 11:47am General RVing Issues
RE: Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

When we bought our Payson house the first thing we did was firesafe/wise the property. It had been a rental for 10 years and according to the neighbors nothing was done during that time. Pine needles and oak leaves were 18"+ deep over all of the .57ac. It took a couple of months and a lot of trips to the brush pile at the land fill with our cargo trailer and truck but we got it all cleared and have maintained it ever since. The neighbors were delighted as we had removed a serious hazard. I do a lot of hand watering due to the drought to keep our trees {nearly 100} from drying out. Last years Monsoon was awesome dropping 16" of rain in 6 weeks and we are hoping for another good one. Fortunately Payson is one of the very few communities up here that has a reliable water source as the city had the foresight to create a dedicated reservoir years ago to supply the city. Hopefully by mid June, early July at the latest the Monsoon will arrive but until then we will remain under serious fire restrictions and hope for the best. It is just part of the price we willingly pay for the privilege of living in this beautiful community. :C
Desert Captain 05/19/22 07:27pm General RVing Issues
RE: Photo test

Deleted
Desert Captain 05/19/22 01:06pm Forum Posting Help and Support
RE: Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

Just got off of the phone with Paul and things are looking grim The next 48 hours will probably tell the tale as the winds will be up severely and the humidity back down to about 4 percent. They have spent the last 4 days since we left packing as much as they can into the TT, his truck and her car and all three are full. They are prepared to be gone in minutes if they get the "Go" order. It is 2+ miles of dirt road winding through dense forrest before they reach Highway 434 and can escape to the north. Under the heading of "ominous" fire crews inspected every property in the Monte Verde Lake subdivision yesterday hangin colored ribbons at the top of each driveway. They were very pleased with the thorough fire safe/wise prep Pull and Sherry had put in. The only suggestion was to move all of the firewood farther away from the house and they quickly did so. Those colored ribbons will determine which houses they can save and which will have to be left to the fire. Obviously the fire crews are expecting the fire to come through...:S Nothing more we can do from here except wait and hope for the best... very scary! :E
Desert Captain 05/19/22 10:50am General RVing Issues
RE: Payson Arizona roundtrip to Angel Fire NM

Yes the trip was grueling and for the record I am 70. I have put 66,000+ miles on this coach over the last 10 years and know its {and my} limitations. About 99 percent of the trip was at 72 but occasionally traffic conditions dictated putting the pedal down for brief periods. :) A brief visit to 80 when passing to stay clear of the truckers is doable. I think driving 60 on I-40 is a lot scarier, not safer. I knew the coach would be stable as I had briefly run 80 back in March when rushing my profusely bleeding wife to the St George medical Center from Zion NP. That stretch of I-15 has an 80 mph speed limit and I-40 is 75. I had never run over 75 before and frankly was pleased with the ride and handling. Most of our journey's don't come with the urgency of those two and my typical speed is 62 - 65 on the interstates and 55 - 60 on the two lane highways. As always... Opinions and YMMV. :C
Desert Captain 05/16/22 01:19pm Class C Motorhomes
Payson Arizona roundtrip to Angel Fire NM

I just posted the tale of our trip to Angel Fire in General RV Forum under "Calf Canyon /Hermit Peak Fire in northeastern New Mexico". This post will make more sense if you read the other first but here are the details of the actual 1,200 mile run. I was up at 0400 Thursday and drove my Honda Ridgeline down to our friends hotel near the airport in Phoenix. We got back to our place in Payson {about 100 miles each way} at 8 and by 0830 we were loaded up in our 2012 Nexus 24' Class C bound for Albuquerque and on to Angel Fire. The goal was to get to AF by 1800 and hopefully ahead of the approaching fire. I-40 is far from my first choice but we were under the gun to get to Angel Fire before dark and it is 500 miles from home with a stop at the Albuquerque airport to retrieve their truck. We picked up I-40 at Holbrook, topped up the 55 gallon tank{$4.34 a gallon} and put the pedal to the metal. I set the cruise control at 72 and often had to run up to 80 +/- to get around slower traffic in the right lane without getting run over by the commercial trucks most of which were doing 80. :S We got to the long term parking at the airport by 3 and even with a fuel stop in Espanola {$4.09 a gallon} managed to reach AF by 6. I can not say enpiugh good things about our 6.8L V-10. With 72,000+ miles and driving faster than ever before we got a solid 9+ mpg loaded with 4 adults, baggage and 3/4 of tank of water. Coolant temps stayed within +/- 5 degrees of 200 with the trans fluid coming in 10 degrees below that {thank you Scan Gauge} and yes boys and girls that is using Tow Haul every inch of the way. the ride was smooth and I never lacked for sufficient power even over the 9,000'+ passes. We avoided mostly on luck, two of the worst traffic jams I have ever witnessed on an interstate. The west bound lanes as we went east were backed up {stop and go} for ten miles as they neared the Continental Divide to due to road construction squeezing I-40 down to one lane. On the return trip west road maintenance had all three lanes of east bound traffic compressed down to one lane and the back up stretched for the last 20+ miles coming into Albuquerque as you approached I-25. Getting caught in either would have spelled disaster given the urgency of our trip. Better lucky than good I guess. :h Arriving at their as yet undamaged home at 1800 on Thursday evening I had driven 700 miles since 0400. By comparison the 500 miles back home , despite towing 1500# of Rzr and 900# of trailer was a piece of cake. I dropped our speed back to 68 for this leg as anything less than that will not make you any friends on I-40. Once again we got a solid 9 mpg as verified by the Scan Gauge and the calculations at the pump. Fuel prices varied but the credit card took a $600 +/- hit. The entire trip from 0400 Thursday to 1030 this morning took 76 hours and we stayed at their house from 6 on Thursday to nearly noon on Saturday. as noted... the bottom li ne is "We got er done! :)
Desert Captain 05/15/22 04:19pm Class C Motorhomes
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