Friday, May 25, 2007

RV Camping - Boondocking Location Access

We boondock almost continually, so we feel pretty experienced when it comes to finding good places to camp. You must keep in mind that our boondocking rig is a 36' class A diesel pusher motor home, so good boondocking location access is a constant issue for us. There are people that would argue that what we use for boondocking is too big, but since we also live full time in our RV, we actually think we have the perfect rig.

Access issues for us include overhanging trees and rocks, road width and strength of road and campsite surface. Strength of road surface will vary from place to place. In Arizona, a section of old Route 66 is open to vehicle traffic, and the rough broken asphalt looks inviting to us. Beware of places like this because the old water overpasses may not be safe for your vehicle's weight! A tow truck would have a devil of a time extracting your RV if the bridge broke.

Forest Service roads are often quite well maintained, but beware of narrow sections in turns where water may have eroded the edge of the road. Many an RV has become trapped in a washout or have slipped off the road entirely in such places.

Currently, we're camped 8 miles up a gravel road. When we came in, the road was dry and smooth. The night after we set up camp, we got almost 2" of rain. We took the Jeep for a drive on these rain soaked roads, and I can assure you that trying to access this area during wet weather would be impossible with a large RV. We've now had a couple days of dry and the road is back to its smooth hard surface.

We think knowledge of weather is almost as important as where we camp because is will impact our ability to enter or leave and area. We don't head into unfamiliar areas with the motor home, and explore first with our Jeep. We seldom have a problem finding great boondocking locations accessible with our rather large RV.

RV Camping Home

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

RV Road Service

We're sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and not moving until we get the major diesel fuel leak repaired, or a huge tow truck arrives.

The Story...

We stopped for lunch, started walking the dog, and while the inter-cooled diesel was idling and cooling down from highway speed cruising, we saw fluid leaking from the back of the motor home. A glance at our towed Jeep found diesel covering its front end, so we stopped the engine, had lunch, and investigated the source of the leak.

Brian quickly discovered a bolt, or plug of some type had "disappeared" from the fuel distribution block causing our serious leak. We're lucky to have a good physical breakdown location as we're well off the road, only problem is no cell phone service.

We set up our Datastorm Internet antenna and looked for auto parts in the nearest town (25 miles). Since it's late in the day, we decide to spend the night along this quiet state highway, and take the Jeep into town in the morning for parts since it looks like an easy repair. Auto parts guy was helpful, and away I go with what I think I need. Get to motor home, only to find out that finding the correct plug to go into the fuel block is going to be a problem. What I bought doesn't fit!

Back into town and call our road service At first they want to tow our motor home about 75 miles which we don't want. They tell us if we can find a mobile repair closer than 75 miles, they will pay service charge and we will be responsible for parts and labor.

We asked the auto parts guy about a local mobile repair and was referred to a local shop. By this time, it's late in the day, but we are able to arrange for next morning repair with our road service and the mobile repair company. The reason I don't give these guys a plug is that they don't do much mobile repair, and they don't want to be considered a mobile repair company. We were lucky that we went into town and inquired, otherwise a phone call would have been turned down.

Repair guy showed up, and we're on our way. Coach-Net covered the service call charge, and we paid for a simple repair. This is only our most recent experience with Coach-Net. In the last 4 years, we've need them for 2 flat tires, and one other mobile service call. "Two Thumbs Up!"

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