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Old 01-04-2008, 12:42 PM   #1
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We decided to "get out of dodge" for the Christmas and New Years holidays so we packed up and went North.

We started by stopping in Elk Grove, CA to visit one of my wife's cousin and family. We had a great time, shopped till we (they actually) dropped, bought way too much "stuff" and installed our new Select Comfort bed (Thanks again MM!!!).

After this we left and travelled West and South down US 101 to just outside Gilroy, CA to a little RV resort called Betabel RV Resort

http://www.betabel.com/

We had a great time but cut our stay short a little to move South into sunnier and hopefully warmer weather.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:42 PM   #2
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We decided to "get out of dodge" for the Christmas and New Years holidays so we packed up and went North.

We started by stopping in Elk Grove, CA to visit one of my wife's cousin and family. We had a great time, shopped till we (they actually) dropped, bought way too much "stuff" and installed our new Select Comfort bed (Thanks again MM!!!).

After this we left and travelled West and South down US 101 to just outside Gilroy, CA to a little RV resort called Betabel RV Resort

http://www.betabel.com/

We had a great time but cut our stay short a little to move South into sunnier and hopefully warmer weather.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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We then moved down to Buellton for a three night stay at Flying Flags RV Resort.

http://www.flyingflags.com/

The weather cleared and began to warm up.

We could only dry camp since he place was booked. This would prove to be a good test of our new coach battery arrangement. We set up camp and began to really relax. Solvang was closed for Dec. 31st so we went on Monday the 1st and had a blast.

http://www.solvangusa.com/

My wife and I have been there many times but not with the kids. They had a good time and were quite tired when we got back to the RV park...but not too tired to swim in the heated pool and hot tub.

It was then that we realized...or thought...that we had a charging problem with the coach.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:53 PM   #4
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We changed our spot to one of the "closer" packed ones with power but just as I got the coach aired down and re-leveled, my wife came over and said " I just talked to our former neighbor with the new Monaco Knight." "He asked if you checked the breaker on the generator?"

...... .....

Doh!

I "fixed" this little "problem", topped off the water, unhooked, raised the jacks, aired up and made a B-line back to our former space since it was much quieter and much more open out there.

Within an hour or so, the generator had charged the batteries back up.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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Our trip back home on the 1st proved to be a bit more difficult.

We left just after noon and headed South again towards Ventura and CA Hwy. 126. Once we passed Seacliff (just south of Santa Barbara), the winds picked up to +35 mph. It was a battle to just keep it on the road.

When we were nearing Ojai on the 126, the rear Carefree patio awning lock was blown open and torn off. This pulled the rear awning arm out from the top and started to tear the awning fabric.

I pulled over, set the emergency flashers and began to walk back on top of the Armco barrier to try and reattach the arm. No luck. Since we were sitting in the right lane, I decided to get back in and try to make it to the next off-ramp.

I pulled off and ino a gas station to survey the situation. The awning was now "tweaked" since the fabric was bound up. Any attempt at force tor the leading edge of the fabric further. With my wife and son on the rear arm and me on the bound up front, we were able to unfurl the awning and roll it back up...somewhat... so that I could reattach the arms. I finished up the roadside repair with some 200 mph tape and headed back down the road...noticably upset at this unexpected looming repair expense.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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When we got to Valencia, the winds had died down a bit from the 30-40 mph sustained winds we had been experiencing along the 126. We then headed for the transition to the I-14 North for our trip back up into the High Desert area.

We were fighting those 30-40 mph winds all the way up the 14 but when we got to about a mile South of the Agua Dulce exit we got hit by a measured 69 mph gust that sent us sliding sideways across three lanes of traffic and almost sent two SUV's into the concrete "K" rail and almost put us on our side.

My wife had gotten up to get something and found herself upside down on the couch. The kids were on the rear bed watching a movie and had no clue of the severity of the ongoing incident. With a LOT of help from "upstairs" and "some" driving skill (I hope...either that or sheer fear), I got the rig straightened out and continued on till the AD exit.

We pulled off and made our way down a side canyon to a campground that graciously offered to let us stay for the night or until we were comfortable continuing.

When we checked online (Via a gracious fellow campers Data Storm setup with open wireless network), we found out the true impact and weather conditions from the NOAA site. The sustained winds in our immediate area were averaging 35-45 mph with consistent gusts of 60-70 mph.

We spent the night and left the next morning around 9:30 to a relatively calm drive home.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
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I will say this for the experience, I am going to add a steering stabilizer as soon as I can afford it. I will also be installing my Koni shocks and ALL of the riders/family will be wearing seatbelts while we are on the road.

That may seem like an obvious thing but the ability to have others move around, cook etc while traveling is very appealing. We are all taking this much more seriously now.

I hope everyone elses travels over the holiday were UN-eventfull. Happy New Year to all.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:52 PM   #8
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<span class="ev_code_PURPLE">I'm glad you made it back safely. Hopefully the awning can be repaired and you don't have to replace the whole thing.

I don't blame you for pulling over and stopping during the high winds. It's not worth the risk, especially with kids in the MH with you. We had to pull into a rest stop for about 5 hours because of high winds. We ended up watching a movie and having dinner while we waited. We got to our destination much later than we had planned, but at least we were safe

How old are your kids ?? Ours also enjoy watching movies on our bed while on the road. </span>
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:02 PM   #9
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The kids are 15 and 8. We were in a hilly area that didn't have a lot of options for stopping over. We were lucky to find the campground we did since there were two questionalble ones we passed up for safety reasons.

I will remove the awning fabric and take it to an upholsterer to see if it can be repaired.
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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Sounds like quite an adventure! We also "got out of Dodge" for Christmas and went to Pahrump NV for the holidays. Got back to Northern CA on Jan 1. The only strong wind we had to endure (besides me after Xmas dinner) was going over Tehachape Pass between Mohave and Bakersfield. I tucked in behind an 18 wheeler and he "sucked" me right over the hill.

I'll be interested to hear if you notice any significant difference with a steering stabilizer.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> The only strong wind we had to endure (besides me after Xmas dinner) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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