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About Jemstone

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday December 12

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  • Location
    Glendale, Arizona
  • Interests
    Rock hounding & lapidary.

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  1. We crossed back and forth between the US and Canada for much of this summer. We had no serious hassles and about equal treatment from Canadian and US border officials. The only inside inspection of our 5'er was from a US border patrol officer. One look in our refrigerator and she lost her appetite and any interest in us. Most of our crossings were between Stewart, BC and Hyder, Alaska. Stewart and Hyder are next door neighbors with the international border between them. While Hyder is in Alaska, there are fewer than one hundred residents in Hyder and there is no exit from Hyder into any other part of the US or Canada. There is no US border station or customs house. However, passing back into Canada from Hyder one must go through Canadian customs. Having to pass Canadian customs almost everyday we could see no difference in how folks were treated from those entering the US. Those Canadians who did not realize they would need proof of citizenship to leave the tiny piece of Alaska and return to Canada were in for a hour or two of unpleasant conversation with a somewhat bored group of border guards. I have specifically had no trouble in taking the truck and trailer across the border. I followed the advice of a member of this forum and created a loose leaf binder with all the important documents in it. The border guards were appreciative as they immediately had the information they needed to run their screening programs. I can't be sure the binder was the cause, but questions were few and the crossings were fast considering the HDT and large trailer in tow. There is a secondary benefit in having all of the relevant information in a binder. Canadian officers have been acting in a harsh and abrupt manner during some of my crossings. I think this is a deliberate attempt to unnerve me and have me blurt out a guilty secret, as the questions are usually about the handguns I must be carrying, since I'm from Arizona. Because everything needed is in the binder there is little need to ask me for anything, limiting conversation.
  2. My take away from this discussion is that there is no trailer maker, save the two custom trailer makers mentioned, that now build quality units. I have had nothing but grief from Lippert components and they are, by acquisition and lower pricing for lower quality parts, becoming the major supplier to most trailer makers. I hope I'm wrong on this, but it seems to me that most of the quality builders have gone under or been purchased by one of the two big RV companies and have been subject to cost cutting with cheaper components and less quality control. If Lippert is supplying DRV's frames that is bad news. The Lippert spring suspension on a new fiver we once owned collapsed within a year and draped over the two axels. I would love to stand corrected and find some company like Carriage was that now makes good quality fivers.
  3. The 17.5" Goodyear tire being discussed is a commercial tire with a G rating. Recommended pressure is 110 lbs. Expensive but reliable for heavier trailers. Biggest problem with them is that, in my experience, they are only sold at Goodyear's commercial shops, of which there are very few.
  4. To wander back a few comments to 90 degree turns, it seems like most folks are able to avoid these maneuvers by avoiding situations requiring them. In the eleven years we have been on the road from early May to November we have had to stay in a few parks that were much tighter than the owners acknowledged in their publicity. Someone on this or similar forum said that park managers are issued special tape measures that show 45' to be 65' when you inquire about site lengths and accessibility. This appears to be true. These are also often parks that have minimal maneuvering room in front of the site for a large truck backing a 40' trailer. I no longer tell the RV park reservations person that the tow vehicle is a HDT. I emphasize the length of the vehicle but not the width, as the 3500 and 350 series pickups have dual wheel models about as wide. Most folks just focus on finding a long site for me. We then discuss front access room when back-in sites are the only option. I have never had a problem when the park manager saw my truck was a HDT. Most have positive comments, if any. If I'm not sure of the room I'll have to back in I'll look at the RV park on Google Earth. The detail is enough to give one an idea of the ease or difficulty of getting into the site. However, the next time I find that the back in site requires a 90 degree turn I will use the information from this discussion and release my black water to allow my trailer tires to freely slide. Great suggestion! John
  5. Youse is to mean to Accidental collage. I's an graduate of the scool and my degree in musik (I majored in Air Guitar.) I resemble those slurps.
  6. I'm not a mechanic, but that sounds like a break in a wire. A break in a solid wire wil open as the metal cools and contracts, opening the break and disabling the a/c and heater fan. When the metal is warmed by the heat generated by the engine the wire expands, closing the break and allowing current flow. The break may be in a wire where the insulation both hides the break and keeps the wire ends almost touching. Get a can of liquid nitrogen and spray the wires slowly enough to pin point the likely short. I am guessing a computer repair place would know where to find it. (Once you have a flash freeze aerosol you are also set to have some serious fun with food, especially thin sliced items.) John
  7. You can quickly identify real men by their short stature from the constant compressing of their spinal discs and their broken teeth from hitting potholes with no suspension. By the time they finally retire they look like Igor in the movie Frankenstein. Little known fact - Igor drove for Swift. John
  8. Wyoming sounds like Arizona - very expensive commercial registration. Doesn't matter what my vehicle is used for - the only thing that counts is the weight. However, that does not mean I am commercial - just that the State will get the maximum amount of money from my vehicle. I never stop at scales or mandatory commercial truck ports of entry. I have only two axles, and an 5th wheel hitch, so I'm clearly not commercial. The higher registration fee is a bummer, but it shouldn't keep you from enjoying the pleasure of driving a vehicle built for towing big stuff. Someone may have another take on this, but I don't believe enforcement officials will spend time pulling over 5th wheels and their tow vehicles for skipping the scales since the use appears non commercial.
  9. Rodeane and I arrived at Toad River today and plan to stay a week. Toad River is at mile 422, km 651 of the Alaska Highway and has 50 residents. It is in the far Northern Rockies and not far from Stone Mountain Provincial Park, home of a flock of Stone Sheep, a local bighorn subspecies. The sheep have an area of the highway where essential nutrients can be licked off the asphalt and they have become used to cars slowly passing them at a close distance. In addition to the sheep we saw three moose and two bears on our short drive between Ft. Nelson and Toad River. The black bears were grazing on the grass along the sides of the highway. Toad River is a fast flowing river and during the construction of the Alaska Highway all traffic across the river had to be towed, giving the river its name. The person who initially opened the lodge adopted the name, but spelled it Toad. A large beaver lodge was built in the lake the RV park is located and when we walked over to see it we encounterd Junior Beaver having a dinner of aspen bark. Junior had grown up next to the RV park and was most tolerant of us. We saw one of his parents leave the lodge and swim around, but Junior let us get good photos with an iPad. When we would get too close Junior would just stop chewing and look at us. A note for folks driving into far northern BC on the Alaska Highway. At some point north of Fort Nelson the road repair crews ran out of asphalt and could no longer fill in pot holes (I assume). They did have plenty of paint, so instead of filling in in the potholes the road crews simply outlined them in bright paint. From the truck I can see them in time to avoid them, but cars would not have much reaction time. John
  10. Rodeane and I pulled into Grande Prairie, Alberta yesterday and are staying at the Rotary RV Park. We'll be here for a week, waiting for a part for our Splendide washer/dryer. We will have a chance to explore a new area, for us, and see the new dinosaur museum nearby. We will also meet Rita tomorrow, as she works at the Rotary RV Park. There was a recent discussion of Alberta Highway 40 and its condition. We drove it yesterday from Hinton to Grande Prairie. It is a two lane connecter that saves a lot of time, versus going through Edmonton. We saw one moose, 4 mule deer, and one coyote that still had on its beautiful winter coat. There were relatively few potholes, most pretty shallow. No danger to good tires. For geology fans, this road runs north through the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and crosses many of the main rivers flowing out of the mountains. On a clear day it is a beautiful drive. I usually drive 62 mph, or its kilometer equivalent, unless the speed limit is slower. During this trip we have averaged 9.5 mpg while towing by holding the speed to 62, my personal best mileage. As we continue toward the Yukon I'll post anything that might be of interest to others headed way north, when we have an internet connection. For rockhounds, my native tribe, the Canadian Rockies, as beautiful as they are, are a bust. They are all sedimentary, with the exception of the Gog quartzite. The "Ammolite" gem ammonite shell is found east of the mountains. I'm not sure where the B.C. nephrite jade comes from. John
  11. Hi Jim & Wilma, when you said Hwy 40 was a bit rough, was it frost heaves? Pot holes? Bad paving? I'm planning on taking it from Hinton to Grande Prairie in a couple of days. The alternative looks like a long way round. I don't mind going slow as long as the road is passable and won't cause vehicle damage.
  12. It's my guess that Alaska and Canada (Yukon) have never resolved the issue of who uses that stretch of the Alaska Highway, Canadian residents or US residents traveling from Haines to the Alaska Highway at Haines Junction and then on into Alaska. The Yukon has never seemed to do much more than putting little orange ribbons next to semi swallowing pot holes. I'll follow my usual strategy of falling in behind a trucker headed my way and watch when the truck swerves or sinks out of site.
  13. We will be out of the far north by fall. When I lived in Anchorage I remember getting about a day of beautiful fall weather and then the first major winter storm would move in and fall was over, often in mid September. By that time this year I'll be salmon fishing in Oregon. We don't plan on going south of the Alaska Range, of which Mt. McKinnley/Denali is high point. The Alaska Range creates a rain shadow - plenty of rain south of the Range but much drier north of it, like in Fairbanks. Warm sunny weather north and overcast drizzle in in the south. We will stay with the sun. I figure I can spend a couple of weeks gold panning in the Klondike and pay for the trip and some extras, maybe even a new truck, if I don't get shot for claim jumping. The only small piece of discouragement is knowing that thousands of men have panned all this gravel several times since gold was discovered.
  14. Thanks for the information. Driving slowly is something I'm quite good at. My suspicion of "gravel" roads is due to my life on Arizona's back roads, most of which are maintained infrequently and can shake the fillings from your teeth. It also stems from driving the Alaska Highway in the late 1960's when the trucks threw gravel up to about 4" in diameter at your windshield. I got off lucky with a broken wind wing and no other damage. It seemed like a high percentage of folks broke an axel, especially if they were in a hurry. Actually, I'll have so much gold by the time I leave the Klondike that I'll just hire a slow driver for the trip. I have my gold pan and I'll be on the Klondike gold streams - what could go wrong?
  15. I live in the Phoenix area and have had poor luck finding an RV park with lots of room and friendly owners in Flagstaff. Flag for years had a poor reputation for traveler services. The local money maker was squirting oil on a shock absorber and then talking up the danger of failing shocks. This was 20 years ago, but suspicion lives on. In cooler weather Dead Horse State Park south of Flag has full hook ups, a great location next to the Verde River and great camp site spacing.