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Thread: The Nomadic Life

  1. #461
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    NJ memories. When I was going to NPTU in Ballston Spa, NY, my roommate was from Jackson, so when we would get our four-off (rotating shifts), we would head south. The trips changed my impression of NJ.

    On my to-do list, this week is making reservations at Yellowstone for the Fishing Bridge RV park. We want to have a whole week in 2023. If folks haven't visited Yellowstone with a travel trailer, the park has full hookups with excellent water. RV's have to be hard side because of bears. I plan on taking my gravel bike. Until you've been surrounded by a herd of buffalo while riding, you haven't lived.
    Weight Doper

  2. #462
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I've heard very good things about that camp site Big man. Have a blast.

  3. #463
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Pine Barrens, huh? Look out for that crazy Russian guy....(sorry for the Sopranos reference)

    Regarding Yellowstone, that looks like a great campground, bigbill. When we were in the Yellowstone area in '16, we found a really nice campground in Livingston called Yellowstone's Edge, north of the Gardiner entrance, right on the Yellowstone River. Great location and even did a nice gravel ride in that area.

    C360_2016-09-20-13-21-01-736_x by Dan Murphy, on Flickr

  4. #464
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    315977511_5984507738234063_8621706613817012244_n.jpg

    Real world testing
    78K miles w/ ~ 1/4th pure gnarly off-road (15 Baja trips), 3rd set of tires but almost 40K on a set of 10-ply Goodrich Baja Champions but just had to replace one as the worn out ball joints caused it to wear badly before the ball joints were replaced, passenger window wouldn't roll down, had it overhauled, camper shell hatch won't latch and one knob doesn't want to turn, front brake had to be worked on as a small part cracked, running board bent from a huge rock strike, bumper dented big from a boulder, dents from desert foliage all over and huge amounts of "Arizona Pinstripe" (white is good for this) had to re-build the awning with snaps & better tie-downs, wore out two stoves, U-joints overhauled.........never been stuck but defiantly had some flats, you want a real-sized spare for sure.
    I bet there are some other things but she's a fleet truck so overbuilt with a towing package we don't use but it beefed it up from the get-go and 8' bed/single cab is the best way to maximize room while keeping the wheelbase manageable to make switchbacks on jeep roads.

    Blanca the truck gets it done - a light rig is key to not getting stuck in Baja, they sink !!!

    Also, A+ on the Thule "roll model" kayak rack

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  5. #465
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Garro's post was timely. We're heading to Scottsdale in the morning for an equestrian event. I'm pulling the travel trailer, and my wife is towing the gooseneck horse trailer with either two or three horses (big trailer). I'm not doing horse events other than supporting my wife, so I'm taking bikes since we'll be there until Sunday. West World is located near many trails and excellent roads with marked bike lanes.

    Sorry for the crappy picture, but everything ferrous in the back of my truck is "Hecho en Flagstaff" fillet brazed steel. Yes, the bike rack is fillet-brazed 4130 steel.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Weight Doper

  6. #466
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    Garro's post was timely. We're heading to Scottsdale in the morning for an equestrian event. I'm pulling the travel trailer, and my wife is towing the gooseneck horse trailer with either two or three horses (big trailer). I'm not doing horse events other than supporting my wife, so I'm taking bikes since we'll be there until Sunday. West World is located near many trails and excellent roads with marked bike lanes.

    Sorry for the crappy picture, but everything ferrous in the back of my truck is "Hecho en Flagstaff" fillet brazed steel. Yes, the bike rack is fillet-brazed 4130 steel.
    Our old roof rack from the Subaru !
    Perfect !

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  7. #467
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Inaugural trip for the new Cirrus 820. Spent a cozy night in light dizzle in Samuel Taylor park up in Marin. Morning ride out and back to pt reyes station was great cut but short by actual rain and lack of gore-tex.

    We bit the bullet on the 820 with the kids now both in college. I can work from anywhere, and so this will be our mobile base station.

    The 820 is a 2022 model which I snagged with a "discount". We looked all around at vans and whatnot and this was far and away the best bang for the buck.

    The truck is new too. I traded in my beloved 2017 f-150 2.7 EcoBoost for a 2022 f-250 7.3L godzilla. It's an XL with FX4 and some nice upgrades like sync3. For the trip I averaged 14 mpg.

    I wanted a f-350 originally once we decided on the camper, but those are in short supply where I live. I should be ok not only with GVWR but also axle weights. After doing a lot of research on airbags and other options, I ended up agreeing with the RV guys and they just added a pair of Timbrens.

    If I do upgrade the truck I will probably move to a dually chassis cab with a flatbed (still sticking to gas).

    I'm just getting started on upgrades:
    * I mounted my bike to the back ladder using some 8020 and a rockymounts DropTop. Works pretty well.
    * I installed a Victron smart 712 battery monitor to get a better handle on the charging situation with the stock 150 Ah of lead-acid batteries. (It comes with a Victron MPPT 75/15 solar charge controller, which give some info, but without the shunt it was hard to figure out what was actually going on)
    * I'm in the process of installing a Renogy DC-DC charger to charge the batteries off the truck. Still debating if I'm going to try to upgrade the stock alternator.
    * I'm going to add more battery capacity. I'm definitely going LiFePO4, but debating how much I can safely sneak into the exterior compartment where the batteries and inverter are currently mounted. I'm thinking I'd like to have ~400 Ah.
    * The system is currently wired such that the 1.2kw inverter only powers two outlets. If you want to use the microwave/convection, or the AC, you have to be plugged into shore power. I'll probably modify the circuits to allow us to at least run the microwave on the inverter.


  8. #468
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    That's a nice setup. I towed from near Kingman to Scottsdale, AZ. It was windy, and the truck/trailer was a handful for the first hour or so until we got out of crosswinds. The Garro surplus rack held up well; everything stayed secure. I will look at some modifications to carry still two bikes and my 4 K-watt generator. Didn't need a generator on this trip; West World has water and electrical hookups. I'll dump on the way out Sunday.

    I'm going to ride the Dawn to Dusk race loop today at Ft McDowell Mountain Park.
    Weight Doper

  9. #469
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Trip report. The Garro rack was the bomb; I'm thinking of a way to make it slide out. I currently have it strapped in place; I need to figure another way. The RV spot had power and water. I used a pressure reducer, but we had leakage around the kitchen sink handle. I'm going to find a rebuild kit. When I shut off the water and ran the pump off the tank, there were no issues.

    I drove home with really gusty crosswinds, as high as 40 mph. On one stretch of I-40, I was in the right lane going 60 in 75, just trying to keep everything straight. I'm going to order these to keep more weight over the front wheels. https://www.amazon.com/Timbren-FR250...d_gw_ci_mcx_mi
    Weight Doper

  10. #470
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    A friend has a Cirrus, but it has wings.
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    Jay Dwight

  11. #471
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    NJ memories. When I was going to NPTU in Ballston Spa, NY, my roommate was from Jackson, so when we would get our four-off (rotating shifts), we would head south. The trips changed my impression of NJ.

    On my to-do list, this week is making reservations at Yellowstone for the Fishing Bridge RV park. We want to have a whole week in 2023. If folks haven't visited Yellowstone with a travel trailer, the park has full hookups with excellent water. RV's have to be hard side because of bears. I plan on taking my gravel bike. Until you've been surrounded by a herd of buffalo while riding, you haven't lived.
    Like this...it was all cute util he turned towards the car. No photo there, I was scrambling for a gear.

    bruceking

  12. #472
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    @bigbill - is getting a combined travel trailer/horse trailer not an option for you guys? Seems like a total bummer to have a hobby that affords frequent road trips, but you guys have to drive separately.

  13. #473
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    @bigbill - is getting a combined travel trailer/horse trailer not an option for you guys? Seems like a total bummer to have a hobby that affords frequent road trips, but you guys have to drive separately.
    The horse trailer is a gooseneck with a bed. The big trailers with living quarters are over 16K pounds with two horses which push you into a one-ton truck range. The horse world is a tight group. Several times we have gone to horse events with just the travel trailer because some friends hauled the horse(s) with a big trailer. We paid around $30k for a three-year-old travel trailer. The big horse trailers with full living quarters are >$100k used. This summer we will make a horse-hauling run to Wyoming and then travel together with the RV.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I pulled the travel trailer with a plain ball and a weight distribution hitch. I honestly didn't feel any difference, even in some 20-30 mph crosswinds. I feel like I'm getting too much squat, which makes the front end feel light, affecting handling in crosswinds. I don't get any sway, even if the truck and trailer both get pushed by winds.

    A friend added these, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , to his truck which reduced his squat from 3" to less than an inch. Our next trip is to the Tucson area the first weekend of January. We're going to camp at Catalina while my wife has a horse event. Great cycling, both dirt and road in that area.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I pulled the travel trailer with a plain ball and a weight distribution hitch. I honestly didn't feel any difference, even in some 20-30 mph crosswinds. I feel like I'm getting too much squat, which makes the front end feel light, affecting handling in crosswinds. I don't get any sway, even if the truck and trailer both get pushed by winds.

    A friend added these, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , to his truck which reduced his squat from 3" to less than an inch. Our next trip is to the Tucson area the first weekend of January. We're going to camp at Catalina while my wife has a horse event. Great cycling, both dirt and road in that area.
    Just curious: Was the WD hitch installed properly? I installed my WD hitch myself at the advice of others who said a dealer would do a lousy job. Part of the installation involves measuring the distance between the front tire and the fender and adjusting the WD hitch to level the truck out. The goal is to get the truck flat. I heard there is some marketing video out there showing a truck/trailer with a WD hitch - and the truck has the rear wheels removed.

  16. #476
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinmurph View Post
    Just curious: Was the WD hitch installed properly? I installed my WD hitch myself at the advice of others who said a dealer would do a lousy job. Part of the installation involves measuring the distance between the front tire and the fender and adjusting the WD hitch to level the truck out. The goal is to get the truck flat. I heard there is some marketing video out there showing a truck/trailer with a WD hitch - and the truck has the rear wheels removed.
    I think originally the ball was high on the hitch because it was set up for my wife's 2500. My F250's receiver is 3" higher. To latch the WD hitch, I put the trailer on the ball, then raise it up with the trailer jack to hook the chains. The WD hitch decreases the sag. The rubber bumper normally rides about 1.5 inches from the frame and only comes into play with a trailer or heavy payload. The bumpers cost around $250 and will take half an hour to install. Our next trip is to Catalina SP near Tucson the first weekend of January, I'll report back after that.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I pulled the travel trailer with a plain ball and a weight distribution hitch. I honestly didn't feel any difference, even in some 20-30 mph crosswinds. I feel like I'm getting too much squat, which makes the front end feel light, affecting handling in crosswinds. I don't get any sway, even if the truck and trailer both get pushed by winds.

    A friend added these, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , to his truck which reduced his squat from 3" to less than an inch. Our next trip is to the Tucson area the first weekend of January. We're going to camp at Catalina while my wife has a horse event. Great cycling, both dirt and road in that area.
    I installed the rubber snubbers in place of the stock ones. It took about 30 minutes to do the entire job. There is a 1" gap between the bottom of the snubber and the plate on the axle. We'll try it out next week. I've got "before" measurements.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Some people jus don't understand payload limits.

    Dan Bare

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by PaMtbRider View Post
    Some people jus don't understand payload limits.

    OOPS!!

    Or maybe, Oh Shit!!

  20. #480
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    "Do you hear something?"
    Tom Ambros

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