For long trips on a diagonal I plan a "preferred" route then modify it to adjust to short term weather forecasts and reports of road conditions.
For example, past 35 years we've been doing winter trips (home for Christmas) to southern Michigan. The shortest fastest route is I-44 to St Louis, I-55 to I-80, then I-94 into Michigan. But day to day conditions can make some part of that unusable, and there are dozens of alternatives for different sections, like going I-35 north Through KC to DesMoines to get around problems in southern Missouri or central Illinois, or taking I-70 from St Louis to Indianapolis to avoid a storm in northern Illinois, I-70 to I-75 to go through Ohio because northern Indiana is messed up. I've even gotten as far as Chicago before diverting to I-80/90 toll roads to avoid a lake effect storm in western Michigan, and once went as far south as Memphis coming back home because everything further north was shut down west of I-57. A lot of times my strategy was to travel north-south behind a storm, delay driving through it, and certainly to avoid staying in the storm system to be running its full north-south length.
If I get off the Interstates to use the trunk highways, the number of alternate routes approach hundreds. We don't have the high density of Interstate routes you enjoy in the East, but our trunk highways tend to be almost as good and less heavily traveled.
For your trip I-90 out of Albert Lea is probably the fastest route, I-94 out of Chicago costs very little extra time (and connects back to 90 to cross all the western mountain ranges). Taking I-70 out of Indianapolis to Kansas City, then I-29 to connect with I-80 to Salt Lake City, then I-84 and I-82 into Washington adds about an hour to the trip (42 vs 41 hours driving time).
That's a choice of three Interstates across the northern plains, and two choices to cross the Rockies with little difference in travel time. You make your choices based on weather forecasts or known hazards (e.g. you don't want to cross North Dakota if the Red River is flooding, you don't want to use I-80 if there are late blizzards in Wyoming). All cross the Cascades on the same route, I don't know the weather risks for that; I think it is snow chains country.
There are three other Interstate crossings: I-80 crossing the Sierra Nevada into central California (reached from I-70 or I-80, two different Rockies crossings) or I-40 to Bakersfield and up I-5, or I-20/I-10 into Los Angeles. This most southern route has the least problems with winter weather but is at least a full day's extra driving. I-40 is usually through with winter by late March, and getting into the spring thunderstorm season. I-70 and I-80 can still have winter weather, which is why we watch the forecasts for travel.
I have drum breaks on the RV. Is there a basic method to adjust or does one just check for drag 1st? I am rather ignorant when it comes to breaks.
Going back 50 years to when they were all drum and manual adjustment routine maintenance. My mentors at the shop taught me to adjust to where I could feel the drag at the tire, then back off two notches. We always adjusted with the tire mounted; I woouldn't know what the feel should be at the drum itself. We did this every 3000 miles on cars in the 50s and 60s.
Not unusual. Parking ordinance here has 24 hour limit on any city street, many are posted shorter, some as short as 15 minutes. I've lived places where there was no overnight parking, others where it was opposite sides of street odd and even dates. General intent is to keep street parking short term, rather than long term vehicle storage.
We need to find out the rules and work within them.
FWIW, I'm limited to 72 hours in my driveway, but somebody has to complain about that.
You need to look at some travel trailers, different sizes, figure out how much space you need to live in. I'm alone, 29-foot motorhome has plenty of space for me, that is equivalent in floor space to 24-26 foot travel trailer. It was plenty big enough for two of us and could accommodate 6 people easily for a few days. A guy and his dog, even easier than two people, dogs don't get into that "I need my own space" mood that gets in the way of two people in a small space.
I'm expecting you won't be looking at anything over 28 feet, that's where the floor plans start making accommodations for even more people, such as bunkhouses for the kids. Even with the heaviest conventional construction a TT this size is well within the capacity of your tow vehicle.
Shopping new, I'd be looking at conventional construction from Northwood (Nash and Arctic Fox brands) or molded plastic trailers from Bigfoot or Oliver, but those are beyond your budget. Reason, however, is construction for four-season or at least three-season use.
You'll more likely be shopping used, then condition matters more than brand, you'll just want to stay away from lightweight construction (which gets there by thinner walls, ceilings, floors, lighter materials to build furnishings, lighter frames,,etc).
Biggest issue for what you want to do, where you want to do it, is finding a place that you can do it. You'll likely need full hookups, winter-proof water supply, and if staying through the cold seasons, a large propane tank with delivery service. Also, not always easy to find a place open year round and letting you stay indefinitely, as housing codes in developed areas often try to separate recreational housing (short term) from manufactured housing communities (we used to call them trailer parks) . Most places I've been in the middle of the country I've been able to find RV parks with long term stays (a lot of temporary work projects run a few months to several years), but noted on the news today a local RV park that had evolved to trailer park was shut down by county health and everybody thrown out.
What kind of RV? Insurance issues are quite different for towable and self powered vehicles.
After that, it depends on details of your policy and the other person's policy. Most drivers have liability coverage for anything they drive, but with limitations that will keep you from being fully protected. Some collision policies cover loaning a vehicle, others do not.
Getting paid changes everything, for you, not so much for the other driver. You would need a whole different class of liability insurance, might have difficulty getting any comprehensive and collision. Rental companies use the contract to protect themselves (just read one for any vehicle rental) then try to get the customer to buy additional insurance for the occasion.
Depends on slide out construction, but basically you have to find and use the hard points in the slide. These would include existing sofa attachment locations, seat belt anchor locations, third choice being location of any frame members in the slide floor or wall. I would be inclined to build adapter plates to bridge from any tie down points on the new sofa to the mounting location of the old sofa. Material and weight will depend on how well you want to anchor it.
Many folks don't bother to anchor replacement furniture. They may or may not bungee it in place for traveling.
Should be no studs (that's wall framing) nor joists. Winnebago roof construction is a foam core sandwiched between Filon and luan, dropped onto a welded aluminum frame. If there are frame cross members, they will be on the ceiling side of the sandwich, let into grooves in the foam.
That's also what the AC ducts are, grooves cut in the foam. One channel runs forward from the AC, the other runs back, location of outlets shows where the ducts are.
Wiring is routed in the roof by being set into grooves before the sandwich is glued together. Winnebago usually builds harnesses to cover all the options for a given model, so if there is an optional powered ceiling vent, there should be power to the usual location for installation.
Check out the brochures and wiring diagrams for the equivalent Minnie, Outlook or Access of the same model year, to see if there was an optional vent in the area you want one. Brochures and schematics are available online for the retail models, but not for the rentals.
Thanks everyone for the help.
Sorry for the late response. I liked the idea of a van or SUV but my wife drives a Lincoln Navigator and I like to have a truck around just for the odd load to the dump or hauling a motorcycle.
I'm currently hoping to go look at a 2006 F-250 Crew cab with 100K miles on it. It is a 5.4L and looks to be in great shape. It is listed for 7500. Hell of a deal. I have also found a few Ram 2500's with 130K miles on them for around 15K. Just keeping my eyes open for a good one.
I would ideally love a V10 but they are hard to find in decent shape for a decent price.
Thanks for all the replies!
That sounds like a great deal, You can set aside the savings to keep it going another 100K miles.
I went through this, wanting to hook a new TV to a stereo system that was working well for me, rather than moving on to surround sound.
I've found lately that most new TVs have only digital audio out (usually optical but sometimes also a wire) to feed a surround sound system. As long ago as eight years it was getting hard to find TVs with line level analog stereo outputs, so shop carefully. The extra outputs are more often on higher priced sets.
You can come off a headphone jack, if the TV has one, but it is not the same thing as a connection for an amplifier. Levels and exoected impedences are different, level might be controlled by TV volume control, and output is likely equalized for headphones (or whatever sound mode is selected for TV speakers) rather than being level across the frequency spectrum.
You can always add a sound bar to the TV, if it doesn't match to your stereo system.
Pay attention to the details. Most "unlimited" plans are for a particular technology delivered by a particular provider, and the rules change when your data comes through a fallback tech or you are roaming. Thus they might work well for a heavy user of data at an appropriate location but can be a problem when you are moving around, particularly when roaming.
I buy more data than I use (4GB for five devices) on a plan open to global roaming, and it is a lot cheaper for me than unlimited local offerings. When I go International I buy 250 MB plans one at a time rather than paying the international roaming fee.
Use of their services? I use their rest rooms, buy gas, but not often enough to buy into a discount program. Most of my travel is outside the old Flying J territory, where Pilot overlaps Loves. Given a choice at an exit, I'll usually go for the Loves travel center than the Pilot. Just familiarity, Loves feels more like home.
The Sharbot Lake area is less than 300 miles from Niagara Falls. Since my interest is geology, I'd be headed there for another look at the metamorphic rocks in the Grenville Province of the Canadian Shield. Haven't crawled over those for about 40 years now.
A couple days in Toronto on the way there or on the way back, I love to visit Toronto and find it easy to explore on my own (using public transporation), like Chicago, NYC or most European capitals.
What are your interests? Where you should go depends on what you find interesting.
750 miles is a huge radius, even for this part of Canada. It will get you to most of the well populated parts of Ontario or Quebec, into the Maritimes (barely) or all the way to the north shore of Lake Superior, although some of the better routes to some places might be back through the U.S.
Sounds like you are 3/4 of the way to full timing, with a snowbird travel pattern. I would probably be "camping" in a RV park near my rental property, leaving that on the rental market full time.
Except as I get older I find managing and maintaining my rental property to be more work than the value I get out of it, so if I really went full time I'd likely sell off all the real estate, and not worry about an "out."
You have to be shopping in the right place. In rural Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas I know of used vehicle dealers that specialize in trucks coming out of fleets or coming off long term lease.
Right now, here, it looks like under $10,000 is good for a 10-15 year old "work" truck, usually extended cab, with around 200,000 miles. Under $15,000 gets in that age range with 100,000-150,000 miles or newer with even higher mileage. Diesels, V-8s, V-10s, diesels often still $3000-5000 higher for similar age and mileage.
These aren't going to be the consumer models with fancy trim and $15,000 worth of optional equipment, rather base equipment on XL or XLT for Ford, LS or 1LT for Chevy, and most of them will be white.
Cargo vans (3/4 ton to 1 ton) tend to be somewhat cheaper than pickups (or stake trucks) of similar age and mileage. They are harder to find with towing options, as most commercial users of these vans don't buy them for towing, they buy pickups for that purpose.
Sample the inventory at Green Country Auto which is the first place I look locally when I think I want a good, cheap work truck. I'd venture to guess there are dealers like this in southern Alberta, as the market that buys these new is in oil field service, and the dealers are collecting them to sell to farmers and ranchers on a budget with expectations of adding not a whole lot more mileage over the next ten years, just hauling feed, moderately heavy trailers, and other equipment between their various fields.
Although Ford has been using the Michelin LTX M/S 2 (and before that the LTX M/S) as original equipment on the RV-package for the E-450, Michelin has never marketed the LTX tire line as RV tires. That does not mean it is unsuitable for that use. It just means Michelin prefers to recommend commercial tire lines, or the specialty X-RV tire, for motorhome applications. There is not really any such thing as a RV "rating" for tires. Most manufacturers do not make application recommendations.
The LTX M/S, in 225/70R16 load range E was "beefed up" over other Michelin LTX models by adding a second body ply. I don't know if that continued on to the LTX M/S 2.
"Light truck" for the tire marketing sense (and EPA emissions standards) ends somewhere around 10,000 pounds.
Seeing where this thread is going, I would not recommend any laser printer for use in a RV (and I don't think that was the original question). Laser printers are not meant to be shaken, and their power needs are hard on the limited power availability typical of RVs. For RV use, an inkjet that packages new print heads with each ink supply, and if you don't use the printer regularly, expect to replace cartridges often. My experience here is mostly Canon and HP. I liked the office grade HP printers in the Deskjet 930 series (they shared cartridge tech with the 36-inch plotters we used to print 200-500 fett of maps per day) but I can no longer find drivers and the cartridges are starting to get scarce and very expensive.
Here, we are trying to sort out the difference between "durable," the original question, and "rugged," the mobile printer issue. There are inkjet printers designed specifically for mobile use, they travel well but are relatively expensive to use and are slow compared to office grade inkjet printers.
I was going to suggest working your way along Route 66, at least to New Mexico, but that takes you well south of any part of Utah. If you want to see southern Utah, I recommend getting there late September or early October at the latest. Your route would be taking you across the Rockies about the time Colorado is seeing previews of winter weather (I posed with piles of snow in Monarch Pass late September) but the Colorado Plateau is particularly glorious that time of year.
Also be aware that seasonal RV parks start closing end of September through Colorado and Wyoming, while public campgrounds tend to stay open until they can no longer cope with the problem of clearing snow from the roads. My last trip across US-50 was last week of September, and I would not want to do it any later in the year.
I lost a 40 foot ash (really big for the prairie) to the borer more than 25 years ago. We tried topping the tree, it came back for a while, but eventually had to cut it to the ground. Now I have a substantial copse growing from the root system, but it's going to be hard to turn it back into something resembling a tree.
Ashes are incredibly tough, especially young ones, they are kind of a weed in this part of the country. Like to grow in inconvenient places and hard to kill. The borer seems to attack only mature trees.