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Old 09-21-2015, 10:53 PM   #1
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Are we stupid, crazy or just adventurous?

About 2 months ago my wife and I bought a 1991 Ford chasis Class C. There doesn't seem to be much wrong with it, especially the mechanical part of it (58K miles). It runs flawlessy and just feels solid and strong. Plus, during the time we have had it we have used it a lot, cleaning, repairing (camper part) and making sure everything works perfectly while camping with it. As of now my list of "things to fix" is almost gone.

So we're planning an extended tour of western America beginning in May of next year (2016). We're including several National and State parks starting with a run of the full length of Rt 66 and then up the PCH from LA to Seattle. Guessing 7-8 K miles in 3 or 4 months (but no hurry as we are retired). So I ask, are we stupid, crazy or just adventurous? Be honest, we can take it.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:57 PM   #2
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Take 2 years, you'll have a better experience IMO.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:59 AM   #3
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Really? Only 1 person willing to voice an opinion? I was so looking forward to some help here. I'm, frankly, a bit nervous about doing this and very much NEED some input.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:07 AM   #4
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Not sure what you want?
Are we supposed to say: "Sure go ahead!" or "You're crazy to even think of it!"

To me it's what YOU make of it!
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:38 AM   #5
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Go for it sounds like a Great Trip, There are thousands of people that never leave their neighbourhoods their entire lifetime,and those that go explore the greatness this country has to offer.I truly believe the explorers have Way more fun.You have the vehicle now go USE IT!!!!!!
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:17 AM   #6
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Really? Only 1 person willing to voice an opinion? I was so looking forward to some help here. I'm, frankly, a bit nervous about doing this and very much NEED some input.
Sounds like fun to me. If your RV is solid, you have the time I'd say "why not?".
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:26 AM   #7
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Crazy or..

IMHO-In the summer, head north. In the winter, head south. The Route 66 part of the trip should be OK with the exception of the tourist traps (which you may be into? I don't know you).
By the time you get to the end of Route 66 (if you do it right), it should be fall, going on winter. Not really the best time to head north on the PCH. Weather will get worse as you continue north.
Alternate route- in April/May, go north and turn left ending up in NW/US, then south on PCH and then summer trip back on Route 66. I think you will enjoy the trip more, stop and see more with better weather. Just an idea...
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:48 AM   #8
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CaptainGeezer-

I say "Go for it!"

Here's a piece of advice: Find out as soon as you can how far you two can "comfortably" drive in a day. For my wife and me, that's around 225 miles, or five-and-a-half hours, elapsed (start at 10:00 get in at 3:30). To cover 3500 miles takes about 16 days, at that rate. Slightly over a month is consumed coming and going to the far point. The rest of your time away can be spent sightseeing around the places you stay.

A question you and the Mrs. should discuss: What is your "travel style?" Some people want to "get there," others want to "see everything along the way." Both are valid styles; what's important is that the two of you understand how this plays out, because you'll be making lots of decisions along the way.

Your health, whether this is the "trip of a lifetime" or just the beginning of a series of trips, ability to get along with each other and the "furkids" in small spaces, how easily you meet and integrate new people into your lives... all these aspects and more will affect your plans and enjoyment of your trip. But, I think the two aspects I mentioned (daily travel distance and "travel style") are most important.

Mark
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:08 PM   #9
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I say go for it! We aren't retired yet so I'm jealous when I hear of these types of trips. I feel pretty good about my 1988 Itasca that we just bought it seems to be very solid and we are thinking on planning a trip. Now our trip won't be as excessive as yours but it will be away from home for at least a week if not two. Anyway regarding your trip you could easily spend a month in the Puget Sound area. We have so much to do and see I would hate to have some rush through WA state.

Have fun!
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CaptainGeezer View Post
About 2 months ago my wife and I bought a 1991 Ford chasis Class C. There doesn't seem to be much wrong with it, especially the mechanical part of it (58K miles). It runs flawlessy and just feels solid and strong. Plus, during the time we have had it we have used it a lot, cleaning, repairing (camper part) and making sure everything works perfectly while camping with it. As of now my list of "things to fix" is almost gone.

So we're planning an extended tour of western America beginning in May of next year (2016). We're including several National and State parks starting with a run of the full length of Rt 66 and then up the PCH from LA to Seattle. Guessing 7-8 K miles in 3 or 4 months (but no hurry as we are retired). So I ask, are we stupid, crazy or just adventurous? Be honest, we can take it.
None of the above, some of the above or all of the above. Just depends on your outlook.

IMO you are the former (none of the above) as long as it is what you want to do. Everyone should live their dream, just be prepared to have small bumps on the road. Those small bumps will be more than offset by the good times.

IMO you have to be prepared to look for the good things. There is something beautiful about all parts of the country. Some folks are only satisfied with large mountains, big lakes, etc. There are more sights to see and appreciate on the prairies, foothills and mountains. Just look out there and find them.

I think you will truly enjoy your trip if you are ready to recognize and appreciate the things you see and the people you will meet.

On another thread someone wrote that "Living the fairy tale is not a dream but a state of mind."

Don't forget to head north to Canada. Lots of wonderful sights and experiences up there as well.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:32 PM   #11
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You should definitely go for it. I won't retire until April of next year but we're working to get ready to full time. Got a new to us DP in May and have the house cleaned out and on the market so we should be in good shape. So my advice is based on lots of short trips and no real experience doing what you're doing. But take your time and enjoy all there is along the way. We'll be behind you somewhere.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:42 PM   #12
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I have 13 months and 8 days until I retire... not that I'm counting... We will be heading out the next February and spending a while in Phoenix, then on to Southern California, up the PCH a ways, then back home. The following year we'll head up through New Mexico, Colorado, the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, and home... Sometime in there we'll be taking some trips to Virginia to visit kids and grand kids... and some closer-to-home fly-fishing trips. Nah........ you're not crazy. You'd be crazy to have the opportunity to live some and not do it.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:47 PM   #13
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Last year I did a similar Grand Western North America Tour & Shakedown Journey in a 1994 33í Class A Holiday Rambler that I live in full time. You said that your class C is in good shape mechanically but there are things that you may not be aware of, particularly coming from the flatlands of Illinois.

Make certain your brakes are in excellent shape, you donít need the excitement of brake fade on a long downgrade. I recommend changing out the standard DOT 3 brake fluid for extreme duty DOT 5.1 (not 5.0!) brake fluid. In Illinois you may have to special order it like I did in Texas. BTW your rig has drum rear brakes which are easier to overheat than disc brakes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOT_5.1

Make certain your tires havenít aged out. Since RVís arenít driven a lot the tires will often look new and yet if theyíre over seven years old itís time for new ones.

You canít have too large of a transmission oil cooler. Not only that but theyíre fairly easy to install and relatively cheap. In the mountains theyíre good transmission insurance.

Install a set of tire pressure/temperature monitors. Not only do they monitor the pressure but theyíll tell you things such as your brakes are overheating on that long downgrade or you have a dragging brake caliper. Good stuff to know about.

Your vintage F53, like mine, has fuel pump issues. I suggest you read up about them before deciding what to do.

Are you stupid, crazy or just adventurous? I guess that all depends on you and what you expect during lifeís journey. To quote Teddy Roosevelt - Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Thatís about all I can think about for now. BTW my GWNA&SJ almost ended in disaster. Thanks to the previous ownerís almost total lack of maintenance, upon my return I had to replace a failing engine (bad bearings). The good news is I had the skill set to do it myself, with a few good friends helping on the actual install. Itís not an easy one-person job. The best news is Iíll be continuing my future adventures with a commercially rebuilt long block engine assembly, YEEEHAAA!

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Old 09-23-2015, 03:22 AM   #14
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Go for it! Why you bought it,, Right???? Got some good advice from the above poster's!
I just did a trip (March/April 2015) from Phoenix, Tombstone, Bisbe, to Illinois, stayed a week there visiting family, and back up thru Mt. Rushmore, Wyoming, Utah, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and back to Phoenix! Did it all in one month! Had a great time! All in a '96' HR Vacationer, gas coach, 454, auto /w/Od! No problems with the mountains or the snow! So have fun, take your time, Enjoy!! Rail!
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