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Old 01-15-2017, 02:42 PM   #1
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1st extended trip

We are leaving for an 18 day trip from KC to Mesa, to Grand Canyon, to Las Vegas, back to Mesa, to El Paso, to Kingsville, TX and then back to KC. I have noted places to stay along the way and we have family in Mesa to do laundry etc... DW has planned meals and she has a new Christmas present pressure cooker! I have Good Sams with other apps on my iphone like GasBuddy, Sanidumps and Google maps. I know there will be some changes in schedule along the way and we are flexible. Just need to be in Kingsville for sons basketball teams games that are not flexible. I would like any input from seasoned travelers on what UNEXPECTED things you have encountered? Items that are must haves for travel? (I might have item already, but good to know). Thanks for everyones input!
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
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This time of year, weather will be your most unknown possible adjustment to travel directions. Of course, starting from Kansas - you know this...

Look at the 5 day forecasts in front of the your firm dates for Mesa/Basketball, and that will give you time to adjust routes. (40? 10/8? etc.)

If you have not done so yet, having reservations for where you want to stay for those firm dates - will make that a for sure thing...

Travel safe, have fun,
Smitty
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:31 PM   #3
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I assume you've traveled in your RV already so nothing should really be any different for this trip. Do you have Roadside Insurance? That's a must. Check your tires before leaving and get new depending on the age, not the looks. The weather will be your main concern. You'll probably take I-40 and west of Albuquerque can be bad. Allow time in case you have to stay put for a day or two.

A stop at Grand Canyon could be beautiful in winter with some snow. Definitely stay in the park at Trailer Village. It's close to the Rim. Fill your water tank and run off it. Don't leave a water hose or sewer hose outside in freezing temps as they will be hard to store in the morning and the sewer hose will probably crack.

Enjoy the games and have fun!
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:51 PM   #4
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Breakdowns or accidents are the worst. A Mr Heater Buddy or Big Buddy is nice to supplement your furnace with eating up battery or propane. You still want your furnace as it heats tanks and plumbing.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:08 PM   #5
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We left the KC area on the 19th of December. We were delayed twice by weather along I-40 enroute to Southern California, once in Amarillo TX and again in Holbrook AZ... But it's the "surprises" that really catch you... We're currently sitting in San Bernardino CA having our differential rebuilt!! We were lucky, a diesel shop was able to immediately accommodate us WITH 50 amp service for the coach, the fridge is full! We're sitting in a pet friendly hotel and hoping to be back on the road tomorrow!! BIGGEST "item" to have with you is "patience/acceptance", remember, "it is what it is" so be prepared to roll with it... Life's an adventure!
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Old 01-19-2017, 03:54 PM   #6
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I would not leave home without roadside assistance. I have CoachNet and they have been great. If you are in a part of the country that you are not familiar with and have problems you really appreciate having help just a phone call away.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:11 PM   #7
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A lot of conversation on roadside assistance, read over it and understand who to contact. On our first extended trip we had a situation on I95 N in Pooler GA where a truck in front of us dropped a spool of aluminum wire and I hit it doing 55 MPH. We sat on the side of the road for 4hrs while roadside decided who should handle assistance and tow as this was an accident not a breakdown. we ended up with a torn up exhaust system and a bent drive shaft but no damage to motor coach body. Spent 2 days in hotel for repairs
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:38 AM   #8
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Have fun and keep her between the ditches!
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:14 PM   #9
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Home safe and sound... sort of..

Very pleased to announce that our 1st motorhome trip was a huge success and we enjoyed ourselves immensely! During our trip we did have one minor hiccup that ended up not costing us anything... A semi truck in the passing lane ran over a piece of 4x4 wood post that splintered and decided to rumble underneath our motorhome. Engine light and DEF light came on within 15 minutes of mishap and it worried me sick! We were in western Texas at the time on I-20 with our destination of Mesa, AZ. There are numerous Mercedes-Benz dealers along the way, but not very many that can handle the Sprinter chassis. We talked to a service rep after driving several miles and he believed that the engine light indicator just needed to be reset and to add DEF. We added the DEF at next possible stop and indicator light did go off! Set up an appointment with Chandler, AZ Mercedes-Benz dealership and they checked everything out with no known damage. Reset the Engine light and didn't charge us anything!

We did find out that our one night stays during travel were quite a good unique experience in a couple of Walmarts and truck stops. We parked in one truck stop and didn't have anyone blocked in, but a truck decided to block in another vehicle and they knocked on our door at 4am and asked US if we could move slightly for him to get out.

We couldn't have been happier with our 3.0 six cylinder diesel engine as it had really good get up and go thru the AZ mountains towards the Grand Canyon. We averaged 15.5 mpg during 5000 mile trip in 6 states. Sightseeing stops at Grand Canyon, Hoover dam, Las Vegas, PGA Phoenix Open, Apache Junction ghost town, Mission, TX retirement park, Texas A&M-Kingsville basketball and San Antonio(Alamo/Riverwalk)

The RV resorts we did stay at all were very clean and had nice private bathroom/shower facilities. The Grand Canyon RV park was the only exception and only because they got 16" of snow two days before our arrival. Very gorgeous park with snow and they had the streets plowed enough for safe travel... our site was plowed just enough for ONE of us to get out and plug in for the night. So glad we have enough room in our motorhome for me(6'5"/350lbs) to maneuver from cockpit to the living area!

BTW, our son's basketball team won both games we attended with last second shots!
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:49 PM   #10
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Thanks for returning and giving an update. Wish more folks would do this! It sounds like a very successful trip.... now you're ready for Alaska!
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:55 PM   #11
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Thanks for returning and giving an update. Wish more folks would do this! It sounds like a very successful trip.... now you're ready for Alaska!


Got to take the DW to all the lower 48 before taking on Alaska. But, I do feel like we can make that trip without any problems!
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:37 PM   #13
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Welcome home!

Glad that the trip went well and you only had a minor mishap. Also nice that the son's team won! Happy trails.
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