Now begins the next chapter in our adventures, Florida to Arizona, 2019!!!

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Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 16, 2019 at 9:51am

The drive from Kerrville, TX to Fort Stockton, TX was blessedly uneventful, and we fueled up at the Flying J, and then stayed the night in the Walmart parking lot.  The total trip was 321.4 miles.  It took 35.66 gallons of diesel to top off the tank, so this leg of the journey we got 9.03 mpg!  Sweet!  We are gaining in elevation as we go further west, with a lot of uphill travel, so 9.03MPG is pretty darn good, especially with the power we now have to climb hills!

Today's trip will take us from Fort Stockton, TX, to Anthony, TX, on the border with New Mexico...about 261 miles.  So we'll be hitting the road shortly after we have our coffee.

And I know how much everyone loves pictures, so I took a bunch and will add them here!

Here is the crazy Frankentoilet I kept telling you all about.  I'll be replacing it soon with a Thetford AquaMagic low profile toilet, since this cobbled together beast leaks.

More pictures coming!

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 15, 2019 at 8:42am

It is a beautiful morning here in Kerrville, TX! It is a lot warmer this morning outside than when we went to bed...it was absolutely frigid last night.

250 miles or so to Fort Stockton, TX will be today's trip. We'll fuel up at the Flying J, and then stay overnight in the Walmart parking lot (since we are running out of eggs and Coffee Mate).

There is a Camping World in Anthony Texas off of Exit 2, so I'm going to call them before we leave here today to see if they have a low profile toilet in stock...or if they can get one by the day after tomorrow. The Dometic 300s are on sale right now for around a hundred bucks...which is better than having our floors ruined by the Frankentoilet.

I'll also be taking some pictures today and posting them up this evening.

Time for coffee...then my routine road checks...then off to Fort Stockton!

Kev

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 14, 2019 at 6:54pm

We left Brookshire, TX without filling up, and drove to the Flying J in San Antonio. There we did fuel up, and the total mileage since our last fill up in Orange TX to San Antonio was 286.6 miles. And it took 28.6 gallons of diesel to fill the tank. So yep! 10mpg on this leg of the journey.

We also dumped the tanks (those crooks are charging 7.50 now, even with my RV card!), filled the freshwater, reset the trip meter, took the pups out, and kept on driving...for 70 more miles.

We are staying the night at a rest stop near Kerrville, TX, so tomorrow's trip to Fort Stockton is only around 250 miles.

It is chilly and the furnace isn't working, so I broke out the Buddy Heater and it is keeping the RV nice and warm without having to run the generator just to run a ceramic heater. We are using our adapter hose and pony tank that we use for our grill, which is way cheaper than using the little green cans of propane. Don't worry folks...we'll shut it down before we go to sleep.

More tomorrow!

Kev

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 14, 2019 at 9:08am

Brrrrrrrrrrr is it cold here in Brookshire, TX! We'll be hitting the road shortly after all my checks...and then we'll fuel up in San Antonio and I'll check the MPG again. Since it is only 160 miles or so to San Antonio, we are going to keep going after filling the diesel and dumping the holding tanks, probably for an additional 50-70 miles.

So far this Itasca is running like a top! Still getting soot from the water heater, and still can't figure out why the furnace won't come on. I'll have to troubleshoot it when we get to Safford. Also, the horn and the cruise control don't work either, but I'm sure that is a simple wiring issue, at least for the horn (I could care less about cruise control, since I never use it...but might use it on this coach if I can get it working just to keep me at 60mph instead of 65-75, which is the speed the RV wants to go).

There was one other design annoyance I noticed...and came up with a solution for...on this RV. Winnebago decided to make the windows, including the side windows, very tall, which is great to see mountains when you are traveling. But when you are on a long trip due west, the sun beats down on the driver's face ALL DAY from the side window, even though Winnebago tinted the upper part of the windows. Simple solution! I took a dish towel and half a dozen clothes pins, clipped the towel sideways to the windshield curtain track to cover the upper part of the driver's side side window...and voila! It works!

Onward and forward!

Kev

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 13, 2019 at 5:10pm

Well that was the easiest trip through Houston we ever had! We rolled through around 2pm Central Time, and there was hardly any traffic. We pulled into the Flying J in Brookshire, TX in was seemed like no time. We hardly used any diesel according to the fuel gauge, so we aren't even going to bother to top it off here. We'll top it off tomorrow in San Antonio, and then keep driving for another 50-100 miles on our way to Fort Stockton.

The transmission fluid was again at a perfect level when we pulled in.

I set up the Dish Tailgaiter on the roof so Patti can watch her favorite show tonight, and then took the pups out.

So we'll just relax the rest of the evening, and be back on the road tomorrow!

Kev

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 13, 2019 at 11:08am

From what I understand, Jimco, there isn't enough backpressure when downshifting with a diesel to slow down the rig down hills and mountains...which is why either the factory or the previous owner added a D-Celerator exhaust braking system.  The shifter on this rig, with its Allison transmission, is a digital display push button thing.  I just found out that it might not work when the transmission is in overdrive and is dependent on RPMs, so I'll keep playing with it and experimenting with it.  This is all new to me...lol! 

Kev

Comment by Jimco_W001 on January 13, 2019 at 11:00am

Kevin, I don't think you have a exhaust brake. Isn't it part of the transmission?

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 13, 2019 at 10:02am

Today is a short trip, from Orange, TX to Brookshire, TX, just 148 miles. The goal is to get to the other side of Houston and put some distance from that city on a Sunday...because driving through Houston is scary! Even on a Sunday the traffic is insane...I can't imagine driving though Houston on a week day, especially during rush hour.

The inverter worked quite well running the little 24" flat screen TV in the bedroom last night, so that is a plus. We did take our big pure sine inverter and the Morningstar solar charge controller and breakers out of the Holiday Rambler, but I won't be hooking them up until we are back to work in Arizona...and then I have to decide on what kind of solar panels I want, and how many watts we'll need. I'm even going to do some research into those flexible solar panels that you can glue down to the roof and even walk on...not sure how much they cost per watt, how efficient they are, or how long lived they are. More than likely I'll just get a folding setup of traditional panels that can be stored in the under compartments if I can find a relatively lightweight setup that puts out around 250 watts or so. I'm also going to have to do some more battery research. The battery compartment (under the entry steps) will only hold the starting battery, and 2 golf cart batteries. So I'm going to do some research to find out which batteries currently being made, in golf cart dimensions, hold the most amount of amp hours.

We are making slow progress out west, back to Arizona...but we are not nearly as fatigued as we usually are after each leg of the trip. This coach handles so well and the ride is so smooth that it is night and day from our last 3 RVs.

After coffee and breakfast, I'll do my routine fluid and pressure checks (it is SO nice being able to check the brake fluid at a glance!...lol!), take the pups out again (they woke me at 6am this morning), start up the Itasca and let it warm up...and then it is off to the other side of Houston. I'll reset the trip meter before we leave and do another mileage check when we touch down in Brookshire.

Tomorrow's journey will be from the Brookshire, TX Flying J, to the San Antonio, TX Flying J...about 161 miles. And the next day is a longer pull, from San Antonio to Fort Stockton, about 313 miles...so more than likely, we'll fuel up in San Antonio, and then drive on another 50 miles or so and stay the night in a rest stop or truck stop. Then the next leg of the journey is from Fort Stockton, to Anthony, TX, 261 miles. Then from Anthony, TX to Lordsburg, NM, 143 miles...and then from Lordsburg, NM to Safford, AZ to stay in the nice RV park we usually stay at, but this time for only a week. That leg of the trip is only 75 miles. When we leave Safford to our final destination in Gold Canyon, AZ, we'll be backtracking to I-10 and taking the longer way around, instead of taking Hwy 70 and Hwy 60 in through Globe and Surprise. The downhills are scary going that way, extremely steep...and I don't think the D-Celerator exhaust brake is currently working on the Itasca (tried it going down the big bridge in Lake Charles, LA, and while the power light came on, the brake indicator light on the device did not, and it didn't seem to make an impact on the braking (I felt and heard no difference at all). So instead of the scary 121 miles through the mountains down 70/60, we'll backtrack down Route 191 back to I-10, which is 230 miles total, but SO worth it not having to deal with those steep inclines and declines. Once I fix the engine brake, I'll feel more comfortable with mountains, since this RV certainly has no problems climbing them!

Stay tuned for more adventures and more pictures!

Kev

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 13, 2019 at 10:01am

Will do Postman!

Comment by postman on January 12, 2019 at 7:34pm

Kevin wave as you go by exit 620.

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