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RE: Selling my RV advice

I sold a 5th wheel through PPL, a 30' Travel Trailer through craigslist, and a smaller TT for a trade-in. All were paid off. - Other than dropping off the 5th wheel on a miserably hot and humid day, my entire experience with PPL was pleasant. Obviously, I can't state with certainty, but I might, might, have been able to pickup another $1,000 - $1,500 (on a circa $55 - $60k) sale if I'd gone the craigslist route. - When selling the TT on craigslist, I had several contacts who wanted to sell ME a travel trailer, a couple of contacts who offered a job or wanted a job, and....one or two contacts that referenced the model of my TT, a cougar...it took innumerable e-mails, phone calls, meetings etc to separate the real from the fake, although eventually I did get my asking price. - For me, any lost $$ in selling through PPL is infinitely preferable to the bovine leftovers that come with dealing with craigslist. A true private sale (like to one's neighbor or RV buddy) might be better than PPL, but I'd go with PPL over craigslist or any generic public sale method.
PA12DRVR 11/08/19 12:01pm General RVing Issues
RE: Boeing 737 crashes..........why ?

"If the PIC does not know if they are properly trained and qualified to safely fly the airplane, IMO he/she should NOT take off." I think that's the appropriate summary right there. I fly a PA-12 all the time and my buddy's PA-18 a bit during the summer months. Those two a/c are about as close to the same and as straightforward as they come, but I still (after XX years) believe it's worth it to get an hour of instruction when transitioning to the -18.
PA12DRVR 11/08/19 09:29am Around the Campfire
RE: I take back all the good stuff I've said about Les Schwabs!

I was going to chime in that I always had outstanding service from Les Schwab when I lived in Spokane for 3 years.... ...until my incipient mortality stared me in the face and I realized that "it wasn't that long ago" was actually more than 20 years ago (1995 - 1998). :(
PA12DRVR 11/06/19 12:29pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Boeing 737 crashes..........why ?

Makes me appreciate the ol' PA-12: - gear's always down :), - the AOA is very limited function (only when critical) and is built into the seat :) - gentle sashay when "stalling" (have to do a whip stall to get a break), ......and MCAS is well below where the ASI stops indicating.
PA12DRVR 11/04/19 09:36am Around the Campfire
RE: Neighborhood bear

As an almost-lifelong Alaskan, who's had some degree of firearm training and spent a fair amount of time in the bear (brownie and blackie) woods, I'd only offer a few points - First as noted in one of the cited articles, it's not how fast one deploys their firearm or spray, it's avoiding bruin in the first place. That can't be stressed enough, practiced enough, or written down in a brochure. It takes lots of time in the woods, time with the old-timers, learning not to walk through tall grass, etc. - Secondly, even as an unabashed believer in the firearm school, it's obvious that being able to competently deploy bearspray requires an exponentially-less degree of training / practice that the training / practice necessary to competently use a suitable firearm. <<<<< I think this may factor into the statistical difference on the efficiency of spray v. firearms. - Finally, sounding like the proverbial broken record, far too many people put their faith in big-ol hand cannons, paper numbers, and write-ups in the outdoor mags. As an illustration, my hunting guide friend(s) would far rather have a client with an old beat up 30-06 that they can and do shoot accurately than a client that has a new whiz-bang .36875 LoudenBoomer Magnum that they are either scared of or unable to shoot accurately. I believe there is an honest question (for some folks) whether the second-best choice for bear is firearm or spray. The best choice is always awareness and thoughtfulness. After that, it's always a personal choice. I chose my trusty H&H...many others would be better off with the spray. Oh, and BTW, there was a small brownie in the driveway two days ago (he was quickly passing through) and a momma blackie and two cubs a month ago, they were just strolling on by...:)
PA12DRVR 11/01/19 09:44am Around the Campfire
RE: Boeing 737 crashes..........why ?

I read on another forum that the training on the 737Max was "incomplete" (I can't recall a better word, but I'm trying to report rather than criticize) in that the training didn't address quite a few situations that faced a combination of: - being at some edge of the performance envelope (primarily, strangely enough, near MCAS) - Where the procedures for the 737 might not have been updated to reflect the unique computer / control interfaces in the 737Max -...and therefore the pilot was having to both deal with the aircraft envelope and was also essentially fighting the computer. This other forum has several members who are primarily retired major line ATP's, including one that pulled the plug because he was entitled and because his new routes were going to be on the 737Max <<<< the internet makes liars of us all but if that one is true, I find it interesting.
PA12DRVR 10/31/19 11:01am Around the Campfire
RE: Neighborhood bear

All these people afraid to go out in the woods without a gun because of black bears? Wow. Maybe they should stay home hiding under their beds. In grizzly country you may be be able to make an argument for a gun, but even then bear spray is more effective than a firearm. I spent my entire working career in black bear country and never felt one bit concerned. Saw plenty, never a fear. I have successfully shooed off every one by yelling and waving my arms. I have more concern over yellowjackets and poison oak. Black bears are big, but normally shy and will flee from people at the first chance. They are only a problem when their desire for food outweighs their normal fear of people. So just use the normal precautions and carry bear spray if you feel a need. A gun is unnecessary weight. I got smart and stopped carrying one while hiking years ago. There just is not a need in black bear country. With a few caveats, I've got to agree with most of the above. - I'm more concerned with bugs than with the bears if it is strictly blackie country - If it's mixed black and brown, I'm not worried about the blackies at all...they'll be running scared of their shadows - On general principles, I don't believe that spray is a better deterrent than a competently used proper firearm for a big brownie. Key being "competently" and "proper": The 600 atomic pistol that get's fired once a year isn't going to be competently used. A 9mm (unless one is exceptionally lucky) even if aimed and hitting where it should be won't stop a brownie that's decided she doesn't like you. In my personal case, I have my 10mm at the cabin for general use and for 2-legged varmint scare. Although I'm reasonably competent with it and would use it against bruin if need be, I don't use it as protection in known brownie country. If I am concerned about brownie, and being alert and aware and away from the salmon streams really reduces concern, I'll carry my short-ish 375.
PA12DRVR 10/31/19 10:52am Around the Campfire

I bought my diesel for one reason only, towing power. I don't care about the payback. As far I'm concerned it already paid me back in spades because I can now make a 1000 mile trip to Mesa, AZ and use the cruise control 75% of the time vs. none of the time with my 6.0L Vortec. It tows up the hills and brakes me down the hills 10 times better than the 6.0L Vortec ever did. ^^^ This. I don't do the RV thing very much anymore, but for the boat, the flatbed, the "will you bring your dump trailer and haul this away", and similar issues...within the same class, I always choose diesel. Having had a 6.0 vortec and now having a couple different diesel 3/4 ton vehicles, it's nice to see a response to the pedal other than a huge jump in RPM's.
PA12DRVR 10/28/19 02:04pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Alaska Marine Highway

Can still depart from Bellingham, even if the Prince Rupert stuff doesn't get sorted. In any case, if one takes the AMHS on the "Inside Passage", do not skimp on either your photography gear or your rain gear. The photo ops are incredible and not to be missed (even in the rain!)
PA12DRVR 10/28/19 09:01am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Neighborhood bear

Ditto on the "no food association".....one should keep their home as "scent free" as possible to keep bears away. Bird feeders are very high on the list of attractants to blackies, and probably the brown shade bears as well, but they just don't do as well with people as the blackies. Feeders are banned here on the Los Anchorage hillside from April-ish to November-ish (don't recall the exact dates) to avoid attracting bears during their active season. There have been tomes written on how to deal with bruin...but the best advice (as hinted at above) is to be alert, avoid them, and be ready to retreat as soon as bear shows up. Personal pet peeve of mine is over-reliance on the hand-cannons: a gentleman in Paulden AZ taught me, many years ago, that to achieve equal degrees of accuracy, one needed to practice 5 x as much with a handgun as with a long-gun. Volumes of ink have been spilled and billions of electrons spent debating the merits of the .500 whiz bang vs. the .600 atomic vs. the fuddy-duddy .44 mag....but it doesn't matter what you're shooting if you cant, under the stress of a 400# - 1,200# mean thing coming at you...hit what needs to be hit. Although I was / am a pretty fair pistolero, since I don't practice as much as I believe I should, when I'm in likely bear country, I either go unarmed (see above re awareness) or carry my short-ish .375.....and in neither case do I venture into or nearby the spawning salmon streams...why interfere when one knows it will lead to trouble?
PA12DRVR 10/27/19 08:39pm Around the Campfire
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

"Cool scenery at the bay there" "nothing to do in Whittier except have lunch at one of the couple local places" "Tunnel is cool" Those 3 items are all good enough reasons for me. Each to his own.:C Fo sho. JMO, on a 2 week tour, it wouldn't make the cut for me. Whittier's cool...but a thriving business is done at a couple of local shops selling "POW: Prisoner Of Whittier" t-shirts and hoodies. Not entirely in jest and mostly sells to the year-round local types.
PA12DRVR 10/15/19 03:26pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

Since we will be in a truck and travel trailer we will leave the TT at the campground and take the truck out daily to activities. Since we are in a truck can we get to Independence Mine from Willow on our most updated itinerary that I posted? (The latest one is heading South first then North. Just as a caveat, I haven't driven the Hatcher Pass road since 2018....pretty sure they haven't really improved it though. That road is very doable in a truck>...ideally 4WD, but not needed. Hopefully, the truck is not a low-clearance cruiser: that will cause dings on fenders, rails, etc. My most recent trips over the road have been in a 4WD 2500 Chevy Silverado (2009 version) and a 4WD 2013 Toyota Sequoia. I didn't like driving on the Sequoia's soft suspension, but that was just my bias...it handled it fine. I did use 4WD on both vehicles, but that was more to avoid spraying rocks (both vehicles were unloaded / light) than for any real need. The Willow-Independence is the rough side....a rough gravel road. FWIW, Independence - Palmer (the dirt part) while still a gravel road is more like a county road or FM / RM road in the L48. Also FWIW, the first time I drove the road (in it's current incarnation) there were a few spots where I pulled off to the side to walk around the next curve or over the crest of the hill just to see what the road did. There were also a few spots where I wouldn't pull off due to the narrow width at those points. It will be dusty in any case; car will get muddy if it's raining, but the road won't turn into a "mud" road.
PA12DRVR 10/15/19 03:22pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

A final couple of thoughts: - Hatcher Pass goes from the "Palmer Side" to the "Willow side": Independence Mine State Park (or State Historical Site or something like that) is road accessible from the Palmer Side ONLY if traveling in an RV. The road runs Palmer - Willow but from the Independence Mine area to Willow, it is at best a car road and works better in a 4WD SUV or pickup. If one is visiting Independence Mine with only an RV as a vehicle, there will be some backtracking to go to Wasilla / Palmer, up to Independence Mine, then back to Wasilla / Palmer before returning to Willow - Full disclosure: I've never been on the ATV tours around Knik. I fly over it all the time and in the summer regularly land the ol PA-12 on riverbars on the Knik River. That being said, an ATV tour of the Knik (based on reports from friends, seeing the trails from the air, and seeing the groups on the trails) seems to be about the best mix of accessibility, location, and activities available. Scenic country, even when raining. - If eating in the Noisy Goose: a) right now road work has the roads torn up. If not finished by next year, be very alert for the "Noisy Goose Access here" signs. They're not at the intuitive spots; b) when in the Noisy Goose (unless it changes in 2019 / 2020, I haven't been there since 2018), take the time to look at the various photos scattered about...just a touch of the "Alaska that was" outside of the usual tourist channels.
PA12DRVR 10/14/19 11:16am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

FWIW, for fishing, I'd double-ditto everything that Grit Dog said. The past few years for me I've been trying to justify my boat purchase, so my fishing has been off a boat, but in years gone by, I've fished all the spots he mentioned and it can be a real fishing frenzy. Similarly, a drift boat trip down the Kenai with a guide who knows what he / she is doing will be a fish slayer, unless the river is high due to rain or dirty due to fire run-off. If you hit it at the right time (mid-August or later), LOTS of opportunities for river fishing in the Mat-Su: either from a riverboat (typically you plus 3 others) or as a walk-in or as a drop-off...
PA12DRVR 10/08/19 09:51am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

As I follow it the current itinerary is: Day 1 fly into Anchorage, pick up RV, get groceries then drive to Matanuska Glacier. – Glacier hike and zipline –micaguides.com Day 2 Drive to Talkeetna – shopping/lunch Day 3 Drive to Denali National Park – Denali Grizzy Bear Campgound- need reservations- ATV tour in the afternoon Day 4 Shuttle, bus or hike Day 5 Drive from Denali to Wasilla or Willow- snowhookadvenures.com (dog sledding) Day 6 Drive to Portage/Girwood – 26 glaciers boat tour Day 7 Drive to Seward - possible afternoon fishing trip? Day 8 Day cruise Kenai National Park Day 9 Seward to Homer Day 10 Alaskabearviewing.com in Katmai Day 11 Fishing trip/walk around town Day 12 Homer to Cooper Landing (Kanai Princess RV Park-need reservation and hike to Russian River falls to see salmon spawning upsteam and fishing with a license) Day 13 Cooper Landing back to Anchorage Thoughts from someone that drives to all of these places (full disclosure, I usually zip right by Cooper Landing) on a regular basis: - If the OP is at all physically active, I highly recommend that Matanuska Glacier hike: MICA (whom I've used enough to have a family discount :@) offers a 3-hour trip that's fairly basic but it's a hike on a glacier and particularly if the weather's good, great mountain scenery - it's an honest 2 hours from my house in South Anchorage to the MICA turn-off. I always plan 3 hours and if I have 4, I'll stop and see the sights along the way. ....and that's in a car. It might be a tight trip to pickup the RV, get groceries, drive to MICA...and get there early enough to do the Glacier Hike and the zipline (both are in different locations) - I'd figure 4 hours in an RV to drive from Matanuska to Talkeetna, possibly more (much more!) depending on Wasilla-area traffic and construction on the Parks Highway - Denali to Willow/Wasilla is a fairly easy drive..but planning the drive and an activity for the same day puts some stress on time. Not sure (for this day or others) that it's a good idea to book a significant drive AND an activity on the same day. Summer traffic and construction makes the driving time for many segments a **** shoot. -The 26 Glacier Cruise is out of Whittier, which is essentially at the Portage Turnoff but there's the tunnel factor which sets the critical path for timing. They recommend making the 10:30 tunnel opening for the 12:30 boat departure....it can be done by making the 11:30 tunnel opening, but I don't recommend that - Whittier - Seward: 2 hours or so. You'll exit the Whittier Tunnel (coming out) about 6:15 p.m. or so, depending if there's a train that interferes. I'd consider going to Seward that night. - The Kenai Fjords tour is great. - Depending, somewhat, on the time of year, a fishing trip from Homer is likely an all-day event. - Keep your eyes open in Homer: you might see the cast from "Alaska the Last Frontier" if they happen to drive (on the well-maintained all-season road) the 10-15 miles into town where they can buy groceries, supplies, etc just in time to hide those supplies from view while the show is being filmed. - Seward to Homer is a significant drive: If memory serves, 38 + 60 + 75 = 170-ish miles? When calculating trips through Alaska where there are small towns, rough roads, or tourist traffic, netting 50 miles per hour is a great target. - I don't get the attraction of Cooper Landing unless one is taking a drift boat on the Kenai or getting dropped off to fish reds. That being said, staying in Cooper Landing (assuming time works out) beats staying at an RV park in Los Anchorage. Some non-specific points: - With the caveat that I've been up close and personal with bears as much as I want and that I don't understand the general fascination with bear viewing, Katmai (that area in general) is THE place to go for bear viewing. The last time I looked for commercial flights (vs. going along with my buddy) I recall pricing from $800 - $1600 (from Anchorage, it will be cheaper, I think from Homer). Go with as expensive a trip as you can...they just work out better. - If the Katmai thing is important, that will drive the time of year you should schedule your trip....and along those lines, do the research and find the best trip you can afford and build your itinerary around that. By the way, NOW is not too soon to be booking for next summer, particularly if there's any interest in staying overnight in one of the high-end lodges at Katmai. - As the previous comments have said, this is a do-able but ambitious itinerary. My concern would be the number of days that are scheduled for a drive AND an activity in the same day. It might be worth considering a reduced set of activities to be put on the list for the next trip....jus' sayin'.
PA12DRVR 10/08/19 09:42am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

FWIW, I'd suggest a day or two in Seward, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards, so would suggest the following: 1st day in Los Anchorage arranging the RV (This will be a bit of a challenge: not sure how often the shuttle runs or if it's feasible to get the RV the same day your cruise ship arrives.) You might double check with the cruise line. Most of them that come into Seward provide or at least offer transport to Anchorage Night 1: Los Anchorage Night 2 -3: Cooper Landing (Personal opinion is unless one is fishing, there are better places to visit; and this is backtracking from getting the RV in Anchorage, FWIW) Night 4: Willow ? Talkeetna? (It would not be a relaxing drive to go from Cooper Landing to Denali / McKinley in one day...but can be done if needed) Night 5: Denali Night 6 Fairbanks Night 7 Valdez Night 8 Anchorage ^^^ Of course you won't stay just one night in Denali, but the reason for listing the above is that if you're planning "2 weeks" in the RV, that's 14 days/nights..not very long to do the Seward-Anchorage-Cooper Landing- Denali-Fairbanks-Valdez-Anchorage route. I'd suggest skipping Cooper Landing, taking the 1 day / 1 night (possibly 2 days 1 night) it will take to get the RV and get headed out of Anchorage, spend several days in Denali; take the Denali-Fairbanks-Valdez drive for the scenery (possibly spending 2 days 1 night in Fairbanks), then return to Anchorage. The Museum of the North and Chena Hot Springs are cool to see in the Fairbanks area, maybe take a riverboat cruise. ...but I'd suggest with two weeks to make Denali the focus of your trip while allowing some decent time to drive the remainder of the road system and see the scenery. Use the next trip either for a different part of the state or for activities in Fairbanks-Valdez - Kenai Peninsula.
PA12DRVR 10/02/19 10:00am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Newbie question about 3.73 locking rear axle on F250 4x2

I'm a 4WD guy..but had a 4x2 F350 with the locker. It wasn't 4WD, but the locker was better than not for the slippery grass, few iced roads, and frequent muddy CG areas that I visited.
PA12DRVR 10/01/19 07:36pm Tow Vehicles
RE: General thoughts on Hybrids

Not sure if it's on point... but if "hybrid" means electric plus gas: - I had a 2005 (purchased in 2005) Prius in the Ewe-stun Texas area; - Did not use it as a Towed...not sure if it was "towable" - Owned it until 2018; it was sold at that point and the second owner put circa 25,000 more miles on it until the propulsion batter started showing significant signs of decay at (IIRC) circa 150k miles, a year after her purchase. It was traded on a small ICE vehicle. - The Prius was the most reliable vehicle I've owned. Period. Full stop. I never had a problem with the electric propulsion system or the gas engine or the running gear. The starting battery died (as in wore out, wouldn't hold a charge) and had to be replaced: very inconvenient as I had to take a cab to/from the auto shop to get a replacement, but in the big picture, nothing too serious. - The readout (FWIW) showed mileage (i.e. the combined electric / gas mileage) consistently in the high 40's at purchase decaying to the mid-30's while I owned it. - Due to tax credits, I got something like a $4000 credit at the time of purchase. Perfect vehicle for Ewe-stun (even in the 1-2" of snow that happened twice in the time I owned it) and for running around and for my then 18 mile one-way commute. Wouldn't want one in snow or even if I had to drive it through hurricane-flooded underpasses..but I didn't like to take my F350 through that either. If I lived where there was no snow and had regular need for a run-about, I'd look into a hybrid again.
PA12DRVR 10/01/19 07:31pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

I suspect you'll enjoy the scenery on the Vancouver - Seward cruise: have had guests that arrived from (I suspect) that same cruise and they liked it. Accommodations might be cramped....if it's the same line as some. I'd recommend looking into your lodging in Seward ASAP. Hoteling it during tourist season will be pretty spendy even if available. Would suggest possibly a VRBO or similar...should be able to lock that in now and (maybe!) miss the to-be-expected price bump for summer. Another alternative to get to Los Anchorage is to take the train. It's a pleasant ride and in my not-completely-informed-opinion (I've taken the train but not the shuttle bus) appears much more enjoyable than the bus. Good optics (binoculars and camera) are a must for any voyage on the water. Good to have in general in AK.
PA12DRVR 09/30/19 06:40pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Experience towing w/ 2WD F250, 2500 or other 3/4 ton

Only did the RV thing for about 12 years: - Had small (19' to large 33') travel trailers and large 39' - 16000 lbs 5th Wheel - Used everything from a 2wd Yukon to a 2500 Suburban to a 2500 Silverado to an F350 on the travel trailers; F350 on the 5th wheel. - Went mostly on the Gulf Coast with frequent trips to CO (1-2 times per year) and the Carolinas (2-3 times per year) - Had both 2wd and 4wd (in different vehicles) towing the travel trailers. Had both a 2wd and 4wd F350 thanks to an acquisitive car thief. - Much prefer going bigger for towing. Within reasonable limits, of course the 2500 will do it; more comfortable to use a 3500 vehicle. - Got stuck 3 times with 2wd: all on wet grass involving uphill and a heavy (for the vehicle) trailer. Never got stuck (even though driving twice through the same spot years later) with 4wd. - I live in Alaska...so will never own anything less than an AWD vehicle again but for the OP's use, I'd suggest (if it's an option) using the $$ on going 3500 vs. 2500 and not doing 4wd.
PA12DRVR 09/30/19 10:54am Tow Vehicles
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