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


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Comment by Kevin F Smith on Wednesday

The high windows in the Itasca make it great for viewing mountains while driving, but if you are driving due west for a long trip, the sun beats down on the driver's face ALL DAY.  Simple solution:

There was enough room behind the driver's seat to put a covered trash can and a laundry keep the house tidy.  If you aren't a fulltimer, you will have no idea how important these two items are to keeping a clean and tidy house.

When we are ready to go, the net comes off the front, everything gets stowed, and off we go.

I use 2 bungee cords to secure the flat screen TV in the bedroom from road vibrations when traveling.

The bed is all made and we are ready to roll!

Patti's Trumpy Bear watching over us on our!

Paladin is ready to go!

More pics coming!!!

Comment by Kevin F Smith on Wednesday

In the old Holiday Rambler, our German Shepherds LOVED to lay on the dashboard, and their claws destroyed it.  So we had it reupholstered with a "dog proof" cover...and they destroyed that one as well.  So I modified a cargo net to keep them off the dashboard in our new-to-us Itasca.  It works, and is easy and quick to deploy.

Don't feel TOO bad for the doggos though...they now have a SOFA!  Which they are allowed to get up on.  Patti found a matching fleece throw to cover the sofa so that it can be washed, and the pups won't mess it up.

The pups sure do love their new sofa!!!

We also installed TWO screen guards on the door...'cause we know what their paws can do to screens!

This little fairy house was already here when we bought the holds spare keys.

And we didn't forget the cat!  We bought this bamboo drawer separator to put his food dishes in, since he is such a messy eater.  It keeps the food from falling behind the table and onto the floor.

More pics coming!

Comment by Kevin F Smith on Wednesday

Here are a couple of pictures of the D-Celerator MH-1000 exhaust brake system, which I will be troubleshooting and getting it to work before we leave Arizona.

And here are the brand new front tires (same brand as the back, which are three years old).  8r-19.5 Sumitomo tires, made in Japan. 

In the front of the RV, there is a massive dead space, which I was considering as a location for more batteries if we end up wanting more than two deep cycle coach batteries.  I won't know if we'll need them until we replace the old Interstate golf cart batteries and see what kind of battery life we get with two brand new Trojans.

More pictures coming!

Comment by Kevin F Smith on Wednesday

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 Tuesday

It is a beautiful morning here in Kerrville, TX! It is a lot warmer this morning outside than when we went to 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!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on Monday

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!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on Monday

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!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on Sunday

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!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on Sunday

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! 


Comment by Jimco_W001 on Sunday

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



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