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Old 04-23-2015, 09:07 AM   #1
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Round Robin trip to the Southwest:

We got back a couple weeks ago, but I just now figured our mileage.

We left Minnesota around mid Feb. and got half way to Des Moines, Ia when the engine jelled and we had to limp back home. My fault, I had filled the rig with fuel prior to the Winter Blend being available. I did add a quart of a fuel conditioner that was supposed to prevent Jelling, but it didn't. That was Sunday, by Tuesday we were again on our way.

An over night in the snow in Osceola, Ia., and then on to Oklahoma City. Got the rig washed and detailed just prior to a five inch snow fall the next day. Left OKC in a mess of salt and sand. Detail money wasted.

After visiting my Foster Son in Lawton, Ok., we overnighted in Wichita Fall, Tx. Then on to Carlsbad, NM. and the caverns. The cold followed us but we had a nice stay there and the Caverns were magnificent.

On to Los Cruces, NM. Finally warm and really enjoyed our stay with side trips to Alamogordo and White Sands NP. Spent time in Missia, the old Spanish village near Los Cruses.

On to Tuscon and the Gila Air and Space Museum along with Davis Monthon AFB and boneyard. Really enjoyed that stop.

Phoenix to visit family and friends for a week. That was a little too long.

Williams, Az. and a few days at the Grand Canyon. Also explored Williams as it is a unique little town on Rte. 66.

overnight in Gallup, NM. and then a day touring the Crater Park, Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. All quite spectacular.

Overnight in Aerillo, Tx. and dinner at the Big Texan. Good food!!!

Oklahoma City again and just in time to watch a tornado pass by.

Overnight in Springfield, Mo. and on to a long weekend in St. Charles, Mo. and lots of BBQ with two cousins and their wives.

On overnight in Iowa and then home on March 31st. I had Federal Jury Duty starting April 1st.

All in all it was a good trip. The 330 hp Cat did try to heat up climbing the hills between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and I had to gear down and take my time. I had plenty of power. Our little kitty died while in Williams despite rushing her to a vet who was very understanding.. No other problems to speak of.

We drove 4516 miles. We drove in in lot of wind. The rig used no oil at all. No tire problems. The TST worked marvelously. We averaged overall 8.2 mpg pulling our VW Passat Diesel on our Demco Tow Dolly. We already have a new kitty.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:13 AM   #2
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And I completely forgot the four days in Albuquerque, NM. Drove up to Santa Fe for a day in the old city. Also spent time in old Albuquerque. Really liked the area.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:14 AM   #3
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Sounds like a wonderful trip and glad the only problems were minor (besides the kitty). We did a similar jaunt in February and hit many of the same sites. We stayed a bit longer in Apache Junction, AZ, area. Boy, we have never seen the desert so green!
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:17 AM   #4
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Yes, when we were there everything was still in bloom. It was my Wife's first time in the desert and she was amazed.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:52 PM   #5
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The 330 hp Cat did try to heat up climbing the hills between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and I had to gear down and take my time. I had plenty of power.
I have driven that road several times (last time was ten days ago). There are some sustained 5 to 6 % grades in that stretch. You gain about 6000 feet in elevation between Phoenix and Flagstaff.

Two things I do to avoid overheating.
  1. Twice a year I wash my radiator with simple green (garden sprayer and garden hose) from both sides
  2. When I start up a longer steeper grade ... I downshift before the transmission does ... and I keep downshifting so that I can maintain the RPM above 2000.

Enjoy your rig ... we just turned 122,000 miles on ours ... I think the engine is finally getting "broken in", as they say.

P.S. Have you discovered the "elevation profile" feature on GoogleEarth? If you move the cursor along the route it will show you all grades as you move along your route. I use this feature to check out the change in elevation for the day (sleep number bed) as well as the number and steepness of the climbs
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:16 PM   #6
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Thank you, that is all good information. I plan to have the radiator flushed this summer, and I quickly learned to downshift and keep the RPMs up.

I did not know that about Google Earth. Thanks again.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
The 330 hp Cat did try to heat up climbing the hills between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and I had to gear down and take my time. I had plenty of power.
I have driven that road several times (last time was ten days ago). There are some sustained 5 to 6 % grades in that stretch. You gain about 6000 feet in elevation between Phoenix and Flagstaff.

Two things I do to avoid overheating.
  1. Twice a year I wash my radiator with simple green (garden sprayer and garden hose) from both sides
  2. When I start up a longer steeper grade ... I downshift before the transmission does ... and I keep downshifting so that I can maintain the RPM above 2000.

Enjoy your rig ... we just turned 122,000 miles on ours ... I think the engine is finally getting "broken in", as they say.

P.S. Have you discovered the "elevation profile" feature on GoogleEarth? If you move the cursor along the route it will show you all grades as you move along your route. I use this feature to check out the change in elevation for the day (sleep number bed) as well as the number and steepness of the climbs
I used to use Google Earth for elevation, but now I use OnTheGoMap.com
After you click the starting/ending points, then click the little icon in lower left to see the elevation profile of the entire route. You can mouse over the profile and it will show you the % grade at that point and where on the route.
It defaults to walking/bicycling back roads, but just click on the car icon to get the freeways & highways.

Copperhawk, it's Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson.....we plan to go there this weekend.

Happy Trails,
Bill
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a great trip, except for the kitty. I'll bet you can't wait to get on the road again.
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