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Old 08-03-2018, 08:35 PM   #1
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5,000 Miles in the New Aire

We just finished a 5,000 mile, 3 week journey in our 2018 New Aire. The "highlight" of the trip was 7 days in a muddy field at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.





The big news: EVERYTHING WORKED!!!!!!!

The OnGuard Collision Mitigation System crashed twice in 5,000 miles. In both cases system came back on line by turning the engine off then back on. Aside from that, every single system on the New Aire worked without a failure.

Over the 5,000 mile trip the NA averaged 7.53 MPG with a total weight around 39,000 lbs including the Wrangler. Out on the flat plains of the midwest the NA would get around 8.2 MPG, no wind and 65 mph. In the mountains the NA gives up around .5 MPG going up and down the mountains running at the same speeds no wind.

Except for the two crashes the OnGuard Collision Mitigation worked great. The system has me fully trained now. I just tuck in behind a fast moving semi truck and the OnGuard tracks the truck at a respectable distance maintaining the set speed or the speed of the truck ahead.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:47 PM   #2
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Where did you stay in Thermal?
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:25 AM   #3
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You didn't happen to stay near the Coor's beer place in Golden did you?

We're headed through the Eisenhower Tunnel next year (On my bucket list) and plan on touring Coor's Beer facility.

Did you stay anywhere near the tunnel itself on the west side?
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:48 AM   #4
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Sounds like a great adventure! How in the world did you get out from the mud and were you on generator all week? Just curious about dry camping fuel consumption.
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:24 AM   #5
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Answering questions from several posts.

The NA's home base is a hangar at the airport in Thermal, CA. During the Summer I keep it in San Luis Obispo.

The NA handled Vail Pass and the Eisenhower tunnels just fine. Lots of discussion about the NA's power. In the real world on two lane interstate highways going up 5% to 7% grades more power often cannot be used. With the traffic on I70 through the mountains the cars are moving in the fast lane and trucks/RVs are in the slow lane. Once you start up a steep grade with a Class A you are pretty much stuck in the slow lane behind the slowest truck since you cannot really pull into the fast lane once on the grade and accelerate fast enough to get around a slow truck. Bottom line, with moderate to heavy traffic, you are stuck behind the slowest truck going up these passes. You just enjoy the view and give the engine a break by using less power.

The mud in the field at AirVenture would dry out in 24 hours after each rain storm. Several inches of mud really was not the problem but fresh rain fall would make everything so slick traction was the problem. Once the sheen was off the mud from fresh rain traction in the mud improved significantly. AirVenture has a fleet of big John Deer farm tractors that patrol Camp Scholler and pull out the stuck RV's.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:57 PM   #6
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Crossing the Desert at Night

More observations on the NA 5,000 mile journey.

Those of us who live in Central and Southern California have a special problem getting to destinations East of California in hottest months of July and August. We must cross the hottest desert in the country for up to 9 to 12 hours before reaching the high country of Utah and Arizona to proceed eastbound. This desert crossing can be brutal on man and machines. We have been having record hot weather in the Western US this Summer adding to misery. Record hot temperatures in the deserts of California in July and August is a potent mix.

When I left on my trip east bound a month ago, we departed Thermal, California with an overnight temperature of 90F and daytime temperatures of 120F. The NA was totally heat soaked during the day time crossing of the desert. Running all the AC units (generator running the coach units) could barely keep up with the heat with 120F outside temperatures. Little things become a big challenge with temperatures like this. Just letting the dog out at mid day for her duties became a major logistical problem because the ground was so hot it would burn her paws.

We made it across the desert. The NA engine and tires seem to handle the heat fine. It was such a relief climbing the grade outside of St. George, UT to Cedar City, UT up to 6,000', 90 degree temperatures and then greeted by a big desert monsoon thunderstorm to cool off the coach. We climbed that grade to 6,000' with temperatures around 107F. Cooling system temperatures all stayed in the green on the NA.

On the trip home I decided to make a night time desert crossing in the NA. I remember as a kid in the days before automotive air conditioning most normal folks always made the desert crossing to California after dark in the Summer.

So on this trip coming home we went as far as Cedar City, UT (6,000' above the desert) with the plan of departing at 2 AM for the desert crossing. This plan was great for us but probably not greeted fondly by all the folks camping in tents around me at the Cedar City KOA when the NA engine started at 2AM.

The low deserts of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah always have a surprise waiting for you in the Summer. In addition to record high temperatures a large wet monsoonal flow was coming up from the tropics creating severe thunderstorms all over the desert with high winds and flash flooding. Anytime you have high temperatures in the desert during the Summer, the monsoon flow will follow.

When I got up at 2AM and checked the traffic I found I15 Westbound had been closed West of Baker, CA when a big microburst from a thunderstorms that over turned several big rig trucks. They were cleaning it up but no estimate on opening the road. There are no alternate roads out there for a Class A. Lightning was every where around Cedar City at 2AM and there were several road reports of rocks and debris across the desert roads with the heavy rains.

We departed even with a closed I15 ahead of us hoping it would open and it did later in the morning.

This is the first time I have driven the NA for an extended period at night. The headlights are weak on the NA. I have IdleUp's new bulbs but have not got around to installing them. The Optiview display is way too bright for night driving on the lowest setting. Thankfully I had the filters suggested by other NA owners to place over the Optiview display. Driving the NA in heavy rain on wet black top roads was special experience coming down the grade negotiating the twists and turns of the Virgin River Canyon on I15 in thunder storms. The wet black top seemed to absorb all the light. It was really dark. My biggest concern going through a canyon in heavy rain at night was rock slides. Rocks were coming down but for the most part they were on the shoulder.

We made it across the hottest part of the desert to Barstow, CA by 10AM using only the dash air conditioner, then proceeded to the central coast of California by 2PM. All in all a very unusual 12 hour journey.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:19 PM   #7
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Pretty memorable trip!!

I had to drive at night in the rain once and it's no fun for sure. But mine was on flat freeway so that helped and only about 20 miles.
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