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Old 08-03-2014, 10:33 PM   #1
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4K mile trip complete, man there's some bad roads out there!

Ladies and Gents,
Well, we just completed a 4,000 mile (almost to the exact mile) trip from our home in Lake Havasu City AZ, to the farthest point, Forest City Iowa for the GNR and, back again. In that trip, we traveled of course though Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, and, into Iowa. One the way home, we headed N. into Minnesota for a short stinch, then on-into South Dakota, then into, Wyoming. From there, it was into Utah. And, finally back into AZ around Kanab.

In those travels, we encountered some seriously bad roads. We have what we both would call, a "Nice coach". It's an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330 HP CAT. We tow an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4. Now some of those roads, just about beat us, AND THE COACH, to death. I'm almost surprised the cabinets are still on the walls and the doors are still on the hinges. We all know how much taxes are paid, each and every time we purchase fuel and, we do see some road construction out there but, by and large, it sure seems that there's a lot of neglect in terms of road maintenance.

I know, I know, there's always a ton of hands in State budgets trying to get their fare share for all the projects out there. But, we pay for these roads to be repaired. Some of the worst case scenarios are "bridge joints". That is, when approaching a bridge over another road way or, rail road tracks (which is another subject), it's like hitting motorcycle ramps. The coach bucks up and down violently. I slow down much of the time but, when your cruising at 62-63 mph and you've got people on your a$$, you can't slow down that much for those type of situations.

The road from the NE corner of Denver, to the SW corner of NE, is called "76" and, man we will NEVER drive that one again. That thing was so bad. Ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump etc. for well over 75-100 miles. Those raised concrete seams every 20-30 feet just beat that rig to death. And, that's cruising at 60-62. My tires are at the recommended pressure, based on the weight chart provided by Michelin Tire Co. My shocks are in great shape and, the coach's air bags are in order.

Now, in all fairness, we also encountered some extremely smooth and level roads too. I-90 in the Minnesota area and some other stretches was really nice to be on. Not one rattle, no shakes, smoooooooth as glass. And, we found some in the other states too. I hate to rant here but, it sure would be nice if more could be repaired. Oh well, it is what it is. Safe travels out there.
Scott
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:53 AM   #2
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Scott,

Couldn't agree with you more. I encountered simular roads in Oklahoma and actually did have a cabinet come loose. (Driver overhead cabinet). Not a good experience but made me appreciate the smooth roads even more.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:57 AM   #3
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I'm curious what your tire pressures are set to.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:03 AM   #4
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As long as your home could you drop down to my site in Parker Dam and water the grass , so it'll green up by the time I arrive in Nov.

CA-58 , between Bakersfield and Kramer Junction, RR tracks and the top layer of pavement breaking up 3? years back, was the worst I'd seen since the Gaspe rim road.
58- I could straddle the pot holes with the coach , but the toad was going straight through them I was sure there would be nothing left , by the time we got to Barstow.
The Gaspe in Quebec, the 5er I had at the time I'd towed for 5 years and over 40k miles and never broken anything, till I hit that road. Carved out of the base of a cliff, at the high tide line there are signs warning that you may be swept of the road by waves, one section under repair, detour sent you down a ditch with 6" of mud; and people wonder why I towed with a 4X4.
Glad your home safe, forget the road , or at least try, remember the good times.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I'm curious what your tire pressures are set to.
Mine are 90lbs (lrg G) on rear and 95lbs (lrg-H) on the front. Is bases on 4 corner weighing.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:17 AM   #6
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Mine are 90lbs (lrg G) on rear and 95lbs (lrg-H) on the front. Is bases on 4 corner weighing.

I should have mentioned Fire Up in the post.

A really harsh ride can occur when the tire pressure is set too high.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:30 AM   #7
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I couldn't agree with you more. We put 12,000 miles on our coach last summer on a loop from Florida through the mid-west to the west coast and back and although I have to say the roads were for the most part pretty darn good but there are a lot of them out there that seems to have fallen through the cracks. Mostly we found that the highways close to the bigger cities and towns were the worst overall, but there seems to be a problem with the decks of bridges and overpasses everywhere.It seems that the powers that be have completely did away with the idea of repairing small holes so they wont get bigger and adopted a plan to just let those small places go and see how deep and large they will really get. They seem to have completely forgotten about the added stress level that holes on the decking of these bridges and overpasses put on the structures . The plan now days seem to be instead of repairing let them go until they are unsafe and then replace them. It seems to me that keeping highways in repair would make for a cheaper solution in the long run but maybe I'm just old school. Anyways thanks for the opportunity to rant ....Alan
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:06 AM   #8
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I'm curious what your tire pressures are set to.
Arch,
I'm running 95 all the way around. And that's 5 lbs. more than what the Michlen tire pressure guide says to run, based on actual axle weights of our coach, fully loaded and ready to run down the road, with us in it. I did run the recommended 90 for quite a few thousand miles and, while there MAY have been some slight improvement on the harsher roads we encounter, I thought for this trip, I'd run it a tad higher so I could "possibly" achieve a smidgen more fuel mileage. Well, heck I don't know if I accomplished that goal or not.

I run right at 62-63 mph in that big beast all the time and, on this trip I actually broke the 8 mpg mark, quite a few times, yahooooooooo!
Scott
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
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Arch,
I'm running 95 all the way around. And that's 5 lbs. more than what the Michlen tire pressure guide says to run, based on actual axle weights of our coach, fully loaded and ready to run down the road, with us in it. I did run the recommended 90 for quite a few thousand miles and, while there MAY have been some slight improvement on the harsher roads we encounter, I thought for this trip, I'd run it a tad higher so I could "possibly" achieve a smidgen more fuel mileage. Well, heck I don't know if I accomplished that goal or not.

I run right at 62-63 mph in that big beast all the time and, on this trip I actually broke the 8 mpg mark, quite a few times, yahooooooooo!
Scott
Had new tires installed last year and the dealer put 120 lb in them. Really bad ride! Set them to the Michelin chart weight and things improved a lot so I thought I'd ask. Some people aren't aware of setting pressure based on weight.

Our roads here in California are getting a bit better but as mentioned in the big cities things are a tad rougher. Went through Los Angeles last month on I 5 and there was a lot of repair going on.

I think Florida had the best roads overall.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:10 PM   #10
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Hey Scott, sounds like you had a great trip.. and came out unscathed, except for a bumpy ride. I just put 2K miles on my '05 Itasca Horizon 40KD heading North to south via i84 and i81 then i95, and return trip. NH to SC. roads were pretty good overall.. not so much of the tough sections. I too run about 95PSI all the way around. I'm about 1,200 under the GVW of 32,000. but you are right, when you hit those sections.. I thought my front TV was going to come falling down on me. and I lost a front hubcap on SOME bump somewhere. if it was hard enough to whack a hubcap off, i'm shocked I didn't trash the tire.. but thankful

-mike
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:49 AM   #11
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Hey Scott, sounds like you had a great trip.. and came out unscathed, except for a bumpy ride. I just put 2K miles on my '05 Itasca Horizon 40KD heading North to south via i84 and i81 then i95, and return trip. NH to SC. roads were pretty good overall.. not so much of the tough sections. I too run about 95PSI all the way around. I'm about 1,200 under the GVW of 32,000. but you are right, when you hit those sections.. I thought my front TV was going to come falling down on me. and I lost a front hubcap on SOME bump somewhere. if it was hard enough to whack a hubcap off, i'm shocked I didn't trash the tire.. but thankful

-mike
Mike,
Yep, our trip was actually pretty "event free" in terms of issues or troubles with the coach, in that many miles. It's kind of funny, sort of, every time I go to put in that galley slide, we hear "groans and moans" but, it makes it in, all the way closed, each and every time. My jacks give me a bit of "guff" every once in a while. I have to get out my shovel and a block of wood to "assist" one rear or the other, to "coax" it all the way up. And, they do have the up-graded springs.
But, other than some lazy jacks every now and then, she's a good coach. That CAT C-7 330 did very well, tugging around a 5300 lb. 1500 series full sized truck. We cruised at about 62-63 for almost of the 4K miles, unless a hill got in our way.

We actually had, some really smooth roads, along with a rare encounter for me, A TAIL WIND! Talk about the ultimate in RV driving. No noise, (no air molecules being bounced off the mirrors or other surfaces to make the noise), quiet ride, engine purring at below posted speed limits, man, now that's Rv'n at it's best.
Scott
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:11 AM   #12
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Scott you are so right!! RV'n at its best. My brother visited us in while we were in SC, and I had said to him "I could drive this all day long.. wait a sec.. I DO!!"
I too set the cruise at about 62-63, and purr along it does
what are these "upgraded springs" for the jacks? Mine take a LONG time to retract.. is this something that suggests they need replacing or upgrading? they work.. just takes forever..
-mike
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:52 AM   #13
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The roads (interstates included) are very bad in Colorado they almost shake the dashboard in your lap..We didn't hit good roads until Kansas.and how about I-15 in Las Vegas. thump thump thump........
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:01 PM   #14
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Just got back from a roundtrip to Alaska from Oregon and somewhere along the top of the world highway my wife said this is about like I-5 near Stockton, CA and I agreed but added with less traffic and we can go slower. The CAT C7 ran perfect - no problems engine or running gear. One very nasty windshield chip that will require windshield replacement from a rock thrown by a truck on a paved highway in southern BC. Dry camped many nights and enjoyed very much. Some very good roads and some lousy similar to your trip.
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