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Found 9 results

  1. Would like campgrounds with full hookup, if possible, and things to do in the area; any recommendations would be appreciated. Also, in the Albuquerque area.
  2. I will be traveling thru the 4 corners area national parks in May 2015. Durango, Cortez, Bluff UT. MOAB, Bryce Canyon, north rim AZ. What would road conditions be like for Snow? And will the camping areas be open for Motor homes? I looking for any information I can gleam fro anyone that has been thru these areas or lives in theses areas during this time of year. Thank you in advance. Bruce
  3. We spent Sunday night at the Wal-Mart on the north side of Tucson. Monday morning we were out just after rush hour. Making the turn from traveling southward from Oregon, we now turn into the sun in the early morning, heading east toward Texas. Traffic through Tucson on I-10 is heavy but not as bad as some city driving. About 30 miles out of Tucson the traffic begins to thin out and travel becomes easier. Tucson isn't far from the eastern border of Arizona so we are quickly into New Mexico and the switch to Mountain Daylight Time. Our day is suddenly one hour shorter which adds some incentive to keep the wheels turning. Travel is relatively easy as we pass many little dots on the map, small towns in a sparsely settled part of the country. The passage over the continental divide is as easy on I-10 as anywhere in the US. If there wasn't a sign you would not suspect that you have passed over the divide. We've never stopped to see the THING! We laugh about it every time we see all the billboards and maybe some day we'll pass by here on a more relaxed schedule and make a stop just so we can see the THING. Las Cruces is the largest town on this stretch of I-10 until we reach El Paso. I-25 joins I-10 in Las Cruces and the traffic increases, more cars and lots more trucks. This is the warm up for the passage through El Paso. There is a loop highway around El Paso and the traffic is lighter but we seldom take that route. Looking at a map, we should make that the regular route through the area but it seems that I-10 just holds on to us and we stay with I-10 through the city. At Las Cruces the I-10 turns southward and it continues right along the southern border of the US south of El Paso. Looking over the Rio Grande River in the area, you can see the mountains of Mexico. We began to encounter scattered rain showers along this stretch and those stayed with us through the rest of the afternoon and evening. One of the bonuses of driving in rain showers is rainbows. Since we are driving east in the afternoon, the sun behind us shines into the rain shafts ahead and we see some specatcular rainbows against the dark sky of the next rain clouds. The colors are really vivid when there is a dark sky to contrast with the rainbow and we thoroughly enjoyed a variety of views during the afternoon and evening hours. Traveling east, I-10 joins I-20 at its western end at mile marker 186 near the town of, well there isn't a town anywhere near. Kent is seven miles west of the junction so I guess that counts. It is about this point that we transition to Central Daylight Time, losing another hour of travel time. Staying with I-10 we continue on to Fort Stockton. Our first choice for a campground is no longer in business so we continue on through town to a one-time KOA, now Fort Stockton RV Park. It is just off the highway on some terrible road that only gets worse as you enter the campground. We arrived well after dark and had to pick our own site from the two or three that were available. We picked our way along the muddy roads to find a site that would work. Louise helped position the coach by letting me know when to stop to stay out of the road. The site looks like the toad is still in the roadway behind us but it is a wide roadway. In the morning I could see that it really was clear, what looked like road was just a muddy rocky part of the site. Clearly this was not a deluxe site. It was quiet and dark and we slept well, got showers and emptied the gray water tank before we left in the morning. We woke to the sounds of rain on Tuesday morning as a series of showers passed over us. A check of the radar showed that we should take advantage of the brief break in the storm to disconnect and get underway as a more steady rain was approaching us from the south. Back on I-10 we drove in a steady rain for about two hours before breaking out into sunshine. We made a stop for fuel at the Tres Amigos quick shop. I'm finding that stopping at small fuel stations has a fun side. There was a work crew at this one, filling up their trucks. One of them struck up a conversation and expressed his appreciation for our motor home. He had time for half a dozen questions before his tank filled. Diesel at $3.599 looked pretty good for the area but I got only 35 gallons which would get us into San Antonio where I expected cheaper fuel. We would get into San Antonio before nightfall. San Antonio would be an overnight stop for us. About an hour down the road we pulled in at the Segovia Truck Stop and filled up with diesel at $3.399, Saving 20 cents a gallon on 75 gallons amounted to a savings of $15 from what it would have cost at the Tres Amigos. We didn't see fuel any cheaper than the $3.399 for the rest of our trip until we pulled into the Wal-Mart in Edinburg. Thanks to Gas Buddy for helping us find this bargain. We pulled into the Cummins Southern Plains on I-35 at 4:15 in the afternoon, checked in and parked for the night in front of their shop. We unhooked the toad and backed up to the building. We were parked between the building and the I-35 access road, less than 300 feet from I-35. When local traffic on I-35 slows down it is quickly replaced by the over the road truckers. The whine of truck tires is nearly constant through the night. The next morning we turn over the keys and head for the Cracker Barrel next door. After breakfast we return to the motor home and relax waiting for the service tech to show up and run us out of our home. We've been making this stop a regular for many years. It is a last service stop before we park the motor home for the winter. I like to park with fresh oil and clean filters for the engine and the generator, ready for the next season of travel. No matter what direction we are traveling we'll usually come through San Antonio and since this shop is just a few miles north of I-10 and on I-35, we manage to be near it almost every year. Purely by coincidence our best friends were at Iron Horse RV just 5 miles north. After a series of phone calls, we decide to do lunch on the River Walk together. We picked them up and spent a pleasant afternoon together. The BBQ at the County Line Restaurant was good and the walk was welcome exercise after four days of near constant driving. We enjoyed the shops of the Little Village and the fun of watching the birds and the tourists. As we were returning to the car our friends got a phone call from the repair shop, their replacement air conditioner was installed and working. When we returned to Cummins we were told that they had discovered a leak in the gaskets on the exhaust manifold. I asked if they could be replaced and they gave me an estimate. I authorized the repair realizing we wouldn't have time to make the 200 mile drive to our south Texas home that afternoon. We would be a day later than we had hoped in returning home. We called to let our friends know. We decided to join them at Iron Horse after our repairs were completed. I had noticed some water leaks in our new windshield when we traveled through the rain showers the day before. They were just little trickles but they shouldn't be there. I had the windshield re-sealed at Iron Horse late in the afternoon. We would overnight there, pay the bill in the morning and be on our way south in a two coach caravan with our friends. Thursday morning we left Iron Horse at 9:00 . From I-35 we take the I-410 loop south to I-37 which is the Interstate route to Corpus Christi. The ramp to southbound I-37 was closed so we had to divert onto I-37 N and do a U-turn which added about 5 miles to the trip. US 281 departs I-37 where the interstate turns southeastward. We stopped in George West for a quick lunch stop. Then we were on the road to Edinburg, Texas, our winter home. We parted ways with our friends at Edinburg. They wanted to stop to fill up their tank at Flying J. I had decided to get diesel at the Wal-Mart since we also needed some groceries. Louise would shop while I filled the tank and added the stabilizer to the fuel. Diesel was $3.329 at Wal-Mart. Our friends joined us for dinner at our campground that evening. Home at last!
  4. Campgrounds Near White Sands, N.M.

    Hello Everyone! We'll be going to White Sands next Monday 11/4/13 and have looked at a couple of campgrounds mentioned on the Good Sams book. Any recommendations? I researched the following: 1. Boot Hill - north of Alamogordo 2. Desert paradise - South of Alamogordo 3. White Sands RV - South of Alamogordo We also looked at the Oliver ST Pk, but there was only one site available and we need at least 2. Also, if you have any comments on what to see or not go to, in the area, it will be much appreciated! Thank you! Jocelynn and Quico Power 28' Coachmen/Concord w/ tow
  5. I just published this in another forum. We're visiting Ruidoso at the moment, and the traffic and noise really stands out, compared to other cities. Others have made the same complaint, a brief online search reveals. I contacted the Chamber of Commerce, and asked that they convey the information to the local government. Of course, such things affect the RV community. We don't need to spend money on fuel, provisions and campground reservations, only to discover that the destination leaves much to be desired. For years, the wife and I have visited Ruidoso with friends; this is our second trip in the motorhome. While there are many RV parks here, they tend to be relatively modest. One exciting development is a big hillside resort being built near the Best Western on Route 70. One thing we've noticed, is the slow onset of what is best described as "road anarchy" here. Ruidoso, like some other small towns scattered across the country, is becoming a haven bikers and off-roaders. Of those, there is a small minority for whom it is important to make the same level of noise inherent to a 747 on takeoff roll. Don't ask me why; my personal opinion is that it is loosely associated with dysfunction below the belt. Further, people are in a hurry, drive with their hair on fire. Signs that the community struggles with traffic calming are everywhere: speed bumps, special enforcement zones, flashing markers, the like. It is a war they are clearly losing, at the moment. The problem is severe enough to make us re-think our travel plans, as I conveyed to the Chamber of Commerce. They have a Facebook site, as do other towns' chambers and administrations. All of us can make ourselves known via that avenue, when we wish to praise or criticize our travel destinations. The Chamber immediately replied, and I assure them that I'm not just in the business of complaining; that my wife and I had played tennis for two hours at the same downtown spot that was shattered by explosions of noise all weekend, and that we didn't hear a single open-pipe or bypassed vehicle the entire time. 'Turns out, the village adopted uniform New Mexico traffic ordinances in 2010, and there is one that specifically forbids open-pipe operations. So, it's just a matter of refocusing enforcement efforts from being aimed at truckers to what the ordinance dictates: all vehicles are supposed to have functioning mufflers. As for the aggressive driving, Ruidoso has already exerted a large effort; they simply need to dial it up a bit, on weekends and during special events. FMCA members wishing to add their two cents' worth can visit the Chamber of Commerce page or the Ruidoso Police Department page, on Facebook.
  6. Chaco Canyon, NM

    We are planning a trip to Chaco Canyon, NM. From my research it looks like camping options for motor homes at the park are limited, and staying north (Bloomfield, etc.) is the best option. Does anyone have any recommendations for Chaco Canyon? I would be interested in your thoughts on: --'Be sure to see' --Campground recommendations in the area Thanks in advance! Regards, Eric
  7. In Part 1 I described the first day of a trip from Edinburg, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley to Dakota Ridge RV Park in Golden, Colorado. I spent the first night in Ballinger, Texas. My goal for the second day of the trip was Amarillo. I always prefer to park on the far side of large towns so I don’t have to start out driving through town in busy morning traffic. The weather was mostly cloudy until I got near Amarillo. Being just over a week from my last cataract surgery, I really appreciate cloudy days. I have those big dark glasses and they work fine but they work better when the sky is cloudy. Coming into Amarillo I needed fuel. At a roadside stop I checked my phone. Gas Buddy told me the local price for diesel ranges from 3.62 to 3.75. Of course I would have preferred the former price but the stations were off the highway and were small stations. I don't know the streets so I'm off to the Flying J on the east side of town. There aren't any RV pumps at this Flying J so I circled the islands and ended up pulling in where the truck towing an air tractor (aerial spray plane aka crop duster) on a trailer had been. I have the Pilot-Flying J charge card which gives me a discount from the fuel price but it also allows me to put 100 gallons in the tank with one swipe of the card! I didn't even have to go inside to leave the card and pick it up later. That was nice. Leaving the station, a right turn put me on the loop around town which is far better than taking the N/S highway through downtown Amarillo. It is new highway and the intersection with the US 287 isn't marked with any city names. Is this the road I normally take or is there another somewhere? I don’t remember highway numbers unless I travel them frequently. The GPS wants me to go straight ahead so I follow the GPS, no second opinion to tell me where to turn. When the GPS does finally indicate an exit from the loop highway, the road is a very small curvy road, FM1061, and I wasn’t sure where it was taking me. There is no place to pull off and check the map so I drove on. I finally reached US 385 and shortly thereafter crossed the Canadian River. There was a picnic area so I pulled off and parked for the night. I had phone service which was a real surprise. It was almost dark when I parked. I ate, called Louise to advise her of my progress and went to bed. The next morning I washed the bugs off the windshield, tidied up the interior and then headed north on US 385, a decent road with passing lanes on the hills. Our normal route, US 287, takes us through the Oklahoma panhandle. The road is one of the worst we ever travel as we leave Dumas, TX until we get to the Oklahoma line. US 385 was definitely a better road than US 287. A look at the map showed that I can still get back to the normal route by continuing north from Dalhart on US 385 but the GPS was indicating a turn to the west to Raton, yes, I-25 and the Raton Pass. My initial reaction was no, I don't want to have to go through the pass and I-25 is no picnic either. Then I thought about driving west into Denver on I-70 into the sun in the late afternoon. That stretch of I-70 late in the day is pure torture. I've driven it many times and it gets longer every time. Beside all that, I would be driving I-70 through Denver at rush hour. So, what the heck I'll follow the GPS. I turned northwest on US 87 in Dalhart and headed across the northeast corner of New Mexico to Raton. I'd never driven this road before and was pleased to find good road with four lane highway and then good two lane road all the way to Raton. The scenery was wonderful. I passed Capulin Volcano National Monument, another volcano to climb someday. The Raton Pass wasn't as bad as my memory made it out to be. Interstate 25 is exactly what I expected, too many vehicles, too little road. Curves through Pueblo make the drive interesting. Road construction on the north side of Colorado Springs turned the highway into a four mile parking lot. Approaching Denver I turned onto C-470. I figured this would be a quick trip to Dakota Ridge RV Campground in Golden. On this day, it was not. Once again I was in stop and go traffic which lasted for about three miles. I pulled into the campground right at closing time, parked and took the toad across town to pick up my most valuable navigator.
  8. I have driven the motor home without my navigator beside me before but never quite like this trip. There have been a few short trips to repair shops. The only long trip was from St. Louis to Houston. On that trip Louise was following me in the toad as I returned a tow dolly to its maker. On that trip we had radios for communication on the road and we stopped for rest stops, meals and overnights together. On Monday of last week I dropped Louise off at the airport. She was on her way to Denver to be with her daughter during and after surgery. I had to remain until Tuesday afternoon for the final follow-up doctor visit following my cataract surgery so taking Louise to Denver in the motor home was not an option. We had the motor home loaded and ready to go before Louise left. My appointment with the doctor was late in the day and they were running behind schedule so it was really late when I left the office. When I got home I packed the last few things in the car and called it quits for the night. Wednesday I hooked up the toad and got underway headed north from Edinburg, Texas to Denver, Colorado. I was prepared to take longer than usual for this drive as my usual navigator/stewardess/chef/housekeeper was not with me. I know the route, we've traveled it before. We drive a 40 foot coach with a toad and the team effort makes it much easier. When the GPS tells me to turn somewhere, Louise will check the map and say we do or don't want to go that way. When we need to stop, she can scout various sources of information for rest stops or just watch the road for picnic areas or large parking lots. If I want a snack she can make a run to the refrigerator. Louise usually prepares meals. Normally at overnight stops we divide the work, I do the outside work, wash the bugs of the windshield, check tires and the toad. Louise sets up the interior, attending to slides and leveling and then securing everything before we are underway in the morning. Doing all this by myself means extra stops and doubles the time spent taking care of the coach at each overnight stop. Louise has several jobs as we travel through large cities. First, she is on constant watch for those exit only lanes that pop up from time to time. Next, she is reading the highway signs and keeping me posted on any coming lane changes or exits we need to take. Finally, she is checking the map to confirm that the GPS instructions are what we really want to do. Our local knowledge or our preferences are difficult to program into the GPS. Sometimes we prefer an interstate highway, sometimes we prefer an alternate that may be better at a given time of day. When traveling through large cities we have a running conversation going related to our route and all of the above things. When she drives we switch roles easily. Either way it is almost always a two person operation. This trip I am responsible for doing all of the above, no help except the GPS. I got derailed in San Antonio on the early side of the afternoon rush hour. I decided to take the I-410 loop west around San Antonio to keep me out of downtown but hadn’t looked at the map before making the decision. For a while the GPS was fighting me until I finally gave in and followed its directions. By the time I was outbound from San Antonio, the rush hour was definitely building. Anyway, an hour later I was clear of the city traffic and rolling along the road nicely. Later when I was able to stop the map clearly showed that staying with I-410 would have worked fine. I should have checked the map before making my decision! I stopped for the evening in Ballinger, Texas. There is a city park with hook-ups but it definitely isn't for big rigs. I circled through the park and felt lucky to get away with all my paint. So it was the Wal-Mart that night. Nice people, they welcomed me to park in the gravel lot next to the small store lot. I was joined by an empty hog truck that parked about 30 feet away. He was gone by morning and I slept soundly. I took my time getting ready to go. Wal-Mart had a sidewalk clearance sale and I found a few bargains. I had breakfast, washed the bugs off the windshield and got the interior ready to roll. To be continued …
  9. We recently made a typical trip that included some sightseeing and maintenance stops. I submit this description as an example of full-timers' travel experiences even though we are no longer full-timers. This trip is like many drives we have made as the final trip of the summer travel season. We left south Texas in early May of 2011. We visited family and I had knee replacement surgery during the summer. We left Missouri September 7 and arrived in California on September 16. After a stay of a month we departed our campground about noon on Thursday, October 13. We had an appointment to have our entry door lock repaired at Paul Everett RV in Fresno on Friday morning. They have an adjacent area with water and electric hook-ups. By sunset we were parking and hooking up electric. We had water and empty sewer tanks so no need for any other hook ups. We had been to Paul Everett for service before and they were always willing to take us in even though we have never purchased a motor home from them. Friday we lined up for service as the shop was opening. After a brief check in the motor home went into the shop. I browsed the parts store and found a few handy items we needed including a new propane detector. They were happy to install that for us. With the lock repaired we were departing Fresno just after noon. Our next destination was Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had Southwest Airlines tickets from there to St. Louis for a 12 week check-up after knee surgery. The doctor appointment was for Wednesday the 19th so we didn't have to push too hard. Still, I'd rather be sitting in a campground than driving an extra day so we didn't let any dust collect on the tires. Friday night was spent at Wal-Mart in Barstow, CA. Saturday night we parked at the Wal-Mart in Winslow, Arizona. Sunday night we were in the Santa Fe Skies RV Park in Santa Fe, NM. We talked over plans as we traveled. When it became apparent that we should be near Albuquerque on Sunday we decided to spend some time in the Santa Fe area. This was not our original intent but it was going to work well on several counts. I could take the car to the airport, leave it overnight and pick it up the next evening. Louise would be fine in camp for a day and a half without a car. We would be better off making one trip to Albuquerque for the plane flight than staying in Albuquerque and making multiple trips to Santa Fe for sightseeing. Monday we spent most of the day exploring Santa Fe. Tuesday I left for the airport shortly before noon arriving in St. Louis just after dark. Wednesday morning I saw the doctor and got the OK for six months until the next appointment. I was back in Santa Fe by 9:00 p.m. Wednesday evening. On the drive back to Santa Fe I was listening to the St. Louis Cardinals beating the Texas Rangers in World Series Game 1. Thursday we did more touring in Santa Fe. Friday we decided to drive to Taos. As we drove through the gorge of the Rio Grande on the road to Taos we enjoyed the brilliantly colored leaves so much that we made numerous stops to photograph the scenery. We picnicked along the river in the middle of a grove poplars with bright golden leaves. We barely made it to Taos when we decided to return to Santa Fe. The trip in this case truly was the destination. We would return to Taos another time and explore the area further. Saturday we left Santa Fe taking the most direct route toward San Antonio. Saturday night we stayed at the Wal-Mart in Lamesa, TX. By Sunday night we were parked at Cummins Southwest in San Antonio. Monday morning, October 24 the motor home goes into the Cummins shop for an oil change and lube. We're out of the shop before noon. We had a rock hit the windshield during our drive from Santa Fe. I used the waiting time at Cummins to arrange a stop at the glass shop for the afternoon. They were very flexible. We pulled up and parked on the street in front of the shop. Ten minutes later they were at work on the windshield. I called our next service appointment while work on the windshield proceeded. We would be at Iron Horse RV after their lunch hour. They had installed a water pump which had failed. A second had been installed and it was showing the same problems the first pump did. They made some adjustments, I changed water filters, it was working better. Will it last? We'll have to use the pump for a while to see. Now I called ahead to Texas RV which had ordered parts for repairing our toilet. They would accommodate us for the night on their lot with electric hook ups. The next morning, Tuesday, we had a tech at work removing the toilet. Inspection showed that we needed new vacuum breakers. They hadn't ordered them and it could be several days before they could be shipped from the manufacturer. After some checking they found them at another dealer in San Antonio. Now it is 2:00 p.m. and we are leaving San Antonio. We used our passage through San Antonio to take care of several maintenance items so we would be ready to go next spring. Tuesday as the last light faded from the sky we were pulling into our winter residence in Edinburg, TX. We park the motor home next to our mobile home which makes the unloading process easier. Still, late in the evening we pretty much settle for just getting a few items into the house before hitting the sack. The next day we would take the motor home out for its annual safety inspection. Once that is done, we can park for the season. By Wednesday evening the motor home is on its wood pads, leveled and we're unpacking and storing the contents in our house. Several days later we close up the slides. We left the campground in California on October 13 and have parked the motor home for the winter on October 26. Thirteen busy days from summer travel to parked for the winter.