It was a pretty good trip – got to see some of Gonbalistik’s family that we hadn’t in many years, including her 80-yr-old Dad who’s healthier than either of us.
The RV did well. The only issue was that the main drive belt came apart on the return trip. It's about 1½" wide but there was only about ½“ of it remained on the pulleys. The rest had broken off and twisted itself around the fan clutch. An hour and fifteen minutes plus some great teamwork with the Incomparable Ms. GB and we had it replaced. Big as that vehicle is, it’s still a tight squeeze working in that engine compartment.
Sleeping accommodations were comfortable, especially since we stacked a second mattress on top of the one that came with the RV. Without it, it felt like lying on a fuzzy brick. The weather was warm but we did get to check out how well the furnaces worked in the cool mornings. Everything onboard worked as it should have.
The only challenge, other than that of keeping the 80 gallon fuel tank full while getting 6 to 7 mpg, was the constant 30-40 mph wind that was hitting us either head-on or at a 45 to 90° angle the entire trip back. Made the shoulders pretty tired after a while, for sure.
We’re still getting settled and putting stuff away. I'll try to throw a couple of pics up after a while.
Here's Raton Pass, just into Colorado from New Mexico. Elevation 7834 feet. This was the third and hardest pass for the RV. Glad to get this out of the way, it was all downhill from here
Going east in Colorado toward Kansas is mostly plains and rolling hills. Many MANY antelope, but too far away to get any photos. Did see one very large male, though, haulin' ass along laughing at me, knowing I didn't have a Colorado hunting license!
Sunset from my bro-in-law's house in Deerfield, Kansas.
Cool cannon in Garden City, Ks., municipal park. It's hard to read the plaque, but apperantly Mr. Fulton, from Garden, won the Medal of Honor.
Highest point in Garden City, Ks.
Finally hit some rolling hills and something other than plains on the way home, going through the Oklahoma panhandle and north Texas.
Ms. Topaz on her couch
Mr. Sako liked to either stand up on the engine cover or squish himself between the passenger seat and the dash.
Max the Wonder Dog likes to ride either right next to The Dad or on The Mom's lap.
Saw a huge wind farm on the way into Amarillo, Texas. Looked like close to 100 turbines. Lord knows there was plenty of wind to turn them. We had 30 - 40 mph breezes the whole way from Kansas to eastern New Mexico.
It was fun, thanks. S9 -- Raton Pass was really not dangerous or scary, just extremely slow and boring. The RV slows down to about 40 - 45 mph on long hills because of the motor. It's a 454 Chev, which is large by gasoline engine standards, but not for a 19,500 GVW vehicle. I'm thinking of boosting it's power a bit if we decide to keep the beast.
Sig - YES, I feel like we helped to maintain the stock prices for every single oil company and swing the balance of trade further in favor of the Middle East, despite having traveled through the oilfields of NM, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Regular grade gas was anywhere between $2.57 (in KS) to $2.99 (in northern NM). I had never plopped down over $160.00 of my own money to fill my tank, but I have now (a couple of times).
The coach will be nice for some of the lakes we like to fish and will allow us to stay a little longer than we had been, given our tired old backs. Tent camping really is not an option anymore. But anyone who says that an RV saves money is really not playing with a full deck. Gasoline alone is almost $0.50 per mile based on $3.00/gallon. Figure in just basic maintenance and insurance and you're talking real money, real fast! No doubt we could have stayed in the nicest hotel in Garden City, Kansas and eaten the biggest steak available and still had plenty of money left, for what last week's trip cost. The payback is in the fact that the lakes I mentioned are all between 30 and 50 miles away from any motels and the time spent commuting is better spent fishing. The ranches where I have permission to hunt are over 60 miles from here and there are no accommodations available. Being able to tow my Bronco out there allows more coyote time. The other factor is that it also allows us to take our dogs with us, something not all motels or relatives appreciate.
Thanks for all the nice comments and wishes. When y'all come down to visit, we'll get in that beast and have some fun!
Just let me know. FYI, we have only one bedroom and the couch is reaaaallly uncomfortable, so you'll likely be staying in the coach. Lots of room, hot/cold running water, fridge, nucerator, TV kinda works, plenty of privacy, beautiful view of the desert and sunsets.