Today was filled with mountains and deserts. We drove over the Continental Divide from Colorado to Utah. We stopped at the top to take a few photos. Most of the mountain peaks had a significant amount snow.
We didn’t see any rain, but did drive through a little snow.
We passed a large herd of captive buffalo somewhere in Colorado.
The drop down into the Utah Canyonlands is pretty spectacular. Pardon the quality of the photos. I took most of them while we were underway.
We are staying at the Canyonlands Campground in downtown Moab. It has a great location, hot showers, and hook ups which was what we wanted tonight. I’m glad we called for a reservation since we got the last water & electric sites. Moab is a lot more crowded than any of my previous visits. I don’t think we’ve ever been here during the high season. We had dinner at the Moab Brewery. I’ll be cooking for at least the next 5 nights.
Off to Nevada tomorrow!
Brutal day of driving today, 35 mph headwinds reduced our speed to 50 mph and gas mpg well into single digits.
We did find a truck that makes ours look small though!
Boondocking on remote BLM land tonight – above 6000 feet and cold. Great views of the mountains in the distance.
We spent last night at the very pleasant Clarksville RV Park – right off the interstate and across the street from a junk yard (literally), but actually very nice for us in transit. The bathrooms and showers were amazing, and the office staff were very pleasant.
We slogged through several lines of thunderstorms as we went through the Ozarks today, before coming out on the other side as we came into Kansas.
Spending the night at a very scenic COE campground at Falls River State Park.
As an added bonus, I managed to get the grill going without explosions tonight. Last night I turned the grill on, but it went out and when I pressed the piezo to start it again there was enough gas inside it to create quite a fireball. I had done some work on the propane lines but not sufficiently bled them…. There was enough gas to start but not sustain a flame, so when it went out it just gathered in the grill until I tried to restart it (somewhat spectacularly).
We’re in Clarksville Tennessee. Apparently someone wrote a song about trying to get here.
Tomorrow is load out, today was working on a few cosmetic/minor details.
I used my laminator to laminate my insurance cards, registration documents, fluid capacity cheat sheet (all the fluids the truck takes, specs and amounts), etc. I find it helps me to keep organized if I laminate “important stuff” since I’m less likely to throw it away/crumple it up.
The big magnetic signs I ordered from Robert at Bull City Signs arrived today. We’re very happy with the logo that Meri at Bit Wranglers designed for us.
Mr. Fuso is now properly attired, and sporting his new mustache.
I apologize for these rather mundane posts, but I’m trying to get the hang of this new blog/CMS. We plan on using this to keep folks up to date on our travels, so I hope that future posts will be better. You have to crawl before you can walk. 🙂
Another good thing to do before a trip is sanitize the water system. It’s not that complicated – you fill the tanks, add bleach, and run every faucet (hot and cold) until you can smell the bleach odor. Then let it sit overnight – or even better go for a drive to slosh it all around and then let it sit.
Here I’m dumping my gray water tank directly onto my driveway… I don’t normally recommend this, but it was only bleach water and I had previously sanitized the tank before I repaired the outlet pipe.
I also finished dialing in my exterior LED light setup. I ran a strip of red LEDs and a strip of warm white LEDs along the out edge of our awning. This is our outside living space, and having the white light for cooking and the red light for hanging out will be nice. These lights are really bright, so I also put a dimmer in as well so we can tone it down when we want just a little light. You can see how our outside grill is situated under the awning – it usually doesn’t stay as low as in these pictures, I had it lowered so that I could reach the lights for the install.
The red switch turns on the red lights, and the blue switch turns on the white lights (couldn’t find a white switch, probably because they are automotive type and you wouldn’t want to mess up your night vision with white switches on the dash)
These lights are held on with 3M adhesive. Not sure how well that will hold up long-term… but I have plenty of zip ties with me. 🙂
Drove over to British 4×4 to take care of some business before heading out of town. Got the Fuso serviced and cleaned inside and out – Always nice to start out a cross country trip with fresh oil and knowing that everything is greased and topped off. The motor requires an oil change every 6000 miles so it’s easiest to just do an oil change before each trip and top off while on the road.
The oil was pretty low, so I’m going to need to make more of an effort to tilt the cab and check the dispstick – there is an in-cab oil-level indicator, but I’m not certain how accurate it is.
Also took care of a few minor details. The gas strut on the truck camper door had failed, so replaced that. Also, the fire extinguisher in the cab was showing empty (didn’t discharge, so maybe just a bad gauge) – since it was 7 years old I just picked up a replacement at Home Depot. It’s a little larger than the previous one and has a slightly different mount. I have an extra quickfist that I’m going to use to hold it down and make sure it doesn’t rattle. Fire extinguishers are not something you want bouncing around in the cab!
Looking at some possibilities options for the upcoming trip! Anyone checked out the Gerlach area sites?
Next weekend we are heading out west for another month+ of travels.
I noticed a leak under the Bigfoot and diagnosed it as a faulty gray water pipe. There is an over four foot unsupported length between the gray water tank and the drain valve, meaning it is always full of water and bounces up and down as you go down the road. Over the years it had weakened and finally developed what was a 5 inch crack.
Only a 15 minute repair
The only problem was that I had to take the Bigfoot off of the service body to fix it. That’s a day to take it off and a day to put it back on.
While I had the Bigfoot off of the service body, I gave everything that is normally hidden a good once-over. I found a crack in the sub-frame at the front driver-side attachment point.
This of course meant a full-stop on plans until fixed. A few days and $200 later, this is what it looks like- it’s not going to break there again!
Categories: Prep, Repairs