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flagmanruss

Shake down cruise

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flagmanruss

At the last minute, we went away for a long weekend with my outdoor scooter & the new-to-us, camper / toyhauler. We went to visit my brother at Erie Canal Village where he works in Rome, NY, a drive of about 300 miles. We got home a little after 4 yesterday (Tuesday) with 6 hours on the road including rest stops. The big flat sided camper was a bit of a bear on the roads... all of the aerodynamics of a brick. I had to keep my foot on the fuel even down hill except for one grade in Connectiut. We averaged 10.4 mpg (diesel costs 2.99 & up) Still since we did not rent a hotel for the first time, we stayed an extra night. Cost of fuel totaled ~$190. (Driving the truck without the trailer as on earlier trips would have cost $105 + 3 nights hotel for $250 = $355 + we would have to eat out more.) When I went alone in my car, I was able to crash in Steve's camper (guy's bunk room) but not suitable for Sheila & I. We had a great time & I gave my outdoor scooter a real workout. I managed (Sheila covered her eyes) to ride in the cab of the (ancient Detroit) diesel locomotive with Steve while he did the weekend kiddie runs to "Pumpkinville". I managed to climb up the ladder & sit on the seat & when done I managed to climb down without falling... but Steve discreetely stood to break my fall if I guessed wrong. My brother & I had a good visit & he fired up the 100 year old steam locomitive (it took over 2 hours to build up enough pressure to run the train.) & we got a private train ride which we took loads of pictures & video clips. I'll put up links as soon as Sheila gets done editing. Russ

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Mopar1973Man

Wow! That good... I was just talking about that to MoparMom about how we use to do the same thing with my 1976 Dodge motorhome. We use to use it to go shopping and then allow us to camp out of it. Then it would allow us to stay in Boise, ID longer to get shopping done. So after you figure out the fuel and then deduct the hotel, food, etc it balanced out to some degree. I'm glad to see you out and still about Russ... :thumbup2:

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flagmanruss

This was an educational experience! Man that might-as-well-be straight pipe exhaust has quite a bark under heavy load. I think Sheila may be considering ear plugs! I tried hard to keep the speed between 55-60. I'm so used to feathering the go pedal on the crest of a hill & light footing or full coasting down hill (in D foot off throttle). This trailer was like throwing on air-brakes. As soon as I backed off the fuel, the speed came down... even on a "trucks-check-your-brakes" down hill grade. The nose is mostly a big flat section except for a little round over at the very top. I was hoping for better mileage than this but it is what it is. It will take a lifetrime to pay off the cost of the camper, but the cost of travel just came down.I did get much better control as we adjusted the Weight Distributing hitch some more to put the front wheels back in contact with the asphalt.Very few surprises in the camper... No manuals with it. Similar systems to the boats I used to work on, so I know what to look for. I actually enjoyed the big outdoor scooter & it has enough power to take on a steep grade. It's quick & effortless so I know I can get to where I need to be on time... saving my limited walking for where I really must.

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ISX

I know one guy who has a HUGEEE travel trailer to the point that he gave up his 3500 dmax and bought a kodiak, obviously he has a huge fuel bill to go along with it. But he put a camper shell on the bed and he said that gained him a bunch of mileage. Anything to make it a little more aerodynamic. Without the shell, the wind goes back down and has to hit the front of the trailer, with it, it only has to plow through whatever is over the trucks height.

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flagmanruss

I was thinking about a spoiler... I don't know if it would be worth it. I would not be strong enough to take it on or off myself. We measured the high point on the trailer (AC unit, thought the rear is pretty high) at 11 feet.

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ISX

You got a dozer there, strap it on and take it off.. I use my front end loader for all of that kind of thing. If you saw how I did things, a person in a wheelchair could repeat my doings lol.

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flagmanruss

Long ago, in a previous life, I used to take the cap off my mini-truck with our off road fork lift. Unbolted, popped the gaskets, slipped the slings in there. I used the forks inside only once, the first time. I have not tried to climb up on the backhoe in a while... The single step is not in the right place for my legs. Sheila posted our train ride on you tube.

Enjoy!! I held the door open on the car & dodged occasional burning embers (brushing them quickly off exposed skin.) Russ

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ISX

Long ago, in a previous life, I used to take the cap off my mini-truck with our off road fork lift. Unbolted, popped the gaskets, slipped the slings in there. I used the forks inside only once, the first time. I have not tried to climb up on the backhoe in a while... The single step is not in the right place for my legs. Sheila posted our train ride on you tube.

Enjoy!! I held the door open on the car & dodged occasional burning embers (brushing them quickly off exposed skin.) Russ
Forgot about having to get on the loader :ahhh: If it's not one thing it's another isn't it :lol: If I were you I would end up building a big ramp into the cab, probably end up breaking on me halfway up it :banghead:. At least you got to ride in that train! That would be an awesome experience. Did you get to go in the engine part of it and look at everything? Your video is probably the most I have seen of what is inside the cab of a steamer.. Tell Sheila she did a great job on video editing!

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flagmanruss

Steve & I had a good visit during the 2 hours it took to build up steam for the cold boiler. He said the insulation was wet from a recent rain & that had to dry out first. There isn't room in the cab of the "Cricket" for the engineer & as Steve pointed out that parts on a steam engine are greasy, sooty or sooty grease... No wonder he looks like a chimney sweep! LOL!! We rode in the car right behind the engine, with just a platfom in between. Steve warned us of flying embers & suggested keeping the door closed but I felt that would be blocking a bunch of the experience. To be safe (one could fall out of the car onto the tracks) we stayed seated but I propped the door open with my foot. Sheila took advantage of the opportunity to film & photograph. I did ride in the cab of the Diesel (1956 Plymouth with a Detroit in it) for a kiddie trip to "Pumpkinville" & back. Sheila did not think I'd be able to climb the 2 straight up steps bolted under the cab but I did (with my good leg). It was a challenge but because I'd been using the scooter and was fully rested, I pulled it off. Steve discretely stood to break my fall if I was wrong. The cab was pretty small but we managed. I managed to climb down without falling too.

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flagmanruss

Since the shake down cruise, we've been working off the long list of items to service. There are signs of repair in the forward bunk area & the outside corners where the front, siding & roof comes together. I see signs of the Left top corner working & the seam opening up... oh, doggie crap!!

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flagmanruss

Sheila about "had a kitten" when I climbed up the flimsy & narrow ladder, just high enough to get a good look at it. I'm trying to understand what is happening & how to fix it. Until then, we're pushing the soft putty back into the gap after every move.The roof to from seam seams to have been reworked & is tight. The front to side corner seems to be separating. It could be as simple as resealing, replacing / adding screws through the trim piece. I hate to take it to a RV place and bend over. Maybe I can get staging? I'll need help, in any event.Trailer is definately not a Virgin. (Been F*cked with before!) Anyone with experience, advise appreciated.Russ

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flagmanruss

ECV management allowed us to park / camp next to the fence... Steve's Motor-home is on the other side. Steve unscrewed a pass through so we could get back & forth. The whole rear of our camper / toyhauler is a giant ramp which drops down.

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My big Wrangler outdoor scooter.

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I brought the scooter in at night to keep the substantial dew off of it & to recharge the batteries. We shared dining space with it.

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We took rides on the horse drawn canal boat and Sheila accompanied the ECV guide in singing canal songs.

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We went along on the special rides to "Pumpkinville". I pulled strings to get to ride in the cab of the deisel switcher used for this. Notice Steve has changed hats, along with his role!

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We got Steve to "fire up" the steam locomotive... it took 2 hours to get steam up in "Cricket" so we could ride. Barely room for Steve in the cab, we took pictures from the open door of the first car (after being warned of flying embers... Yup, he didn't lie!)

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Here's the link again to Sheila's steam train video.

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