Al F

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  1. Boondocking spots....You are a member of Escapees, subscribe to the DaysEnd listing. A very large number of free or low cost spots are listed in UT. In the last 6 months or so there have been quite a few topics on this forum about SE Utah. Do a search on this forum for Bryce, Zion, Moab, Canyonlands to find those topics. Lots of info there. And, yes, Bryce at 8000' is a good place to start.
  2. Except for the electric hookup I get all you paid for at Walmart for $0. For electric I have solar panels and lithium batteries which more than paid for themselves on our 8 month trip from Texas to Alaska and back last year. The actual Alaska trip from the US border with Canada and back was 139 days. Only 2 of those days with elect hookups. This year and beyond the solar and batteries are free.
  3. Awesome experience in Central Oregon. Got to see a bit of the sun's corona with the binoculars during the totality. Temp actually dropped about 8 degrees from the start of the eclipse to about 15 minutes after the end of the totality. Did a say "awesome"! It just didn't last long enough!
  4. As mentioned earlier, the $5 for Canada fee is a 24 hour period. Take your phone out of airplane mode in afternoon and use it till the next afternoon. Put it back in airplane mode until you have a need to use it again. If traveling to Alaska there are large areas w/o cell coverage. However we got good Verizon signal coverage in every decent sized town on the Alaska Hwy, but only in town. We lost the signal just a few miles outside of town.
  5. GIT's Geese In Training. That's a new acronym to me that's for sure. Send some of that cool temps over to Central Oregon were we are boondocking waiting for the eclipse. Even though we are at 5100' it is in the mid 80's or slightly higher in the afternoons. Right at 50 at sunrise though.
  6. What is "GIT"?
  7. As far as you are willing to go without damaging the motorhome or getting stuck. I'm not trying to be a smarty pants. I do mean that. I drive our 29' Winnebago Sightseer into many places that are a little rough and tight. Since we have a toad, I part the MH and we drive in the toad, a 2009 Chevy Colorado, to check for places we want to stay at. I assess the roads and we make a determination if this is where we are willing to drive to. When we had a 40 diesel pusher, we went into some pretty tight NF campgrounds. Sometimes we came within 12" of scraping trees going around some bends in the CG roads. It took some careful driving not to hit the trees. Where a person can drive to depends on their willingness, prior experience with driving in rough conditions, how slow and careful you will be, and probably most importantly, the willingness to stop and retreat when conditions are worse than you first thought. Currently we are boondocking in the NF north of John Day, OR waiting for our family to come up for the weekend and the eclipse on Monday. We wanted a place where we would be somewhat assured we will not have 20 other people camped next to us and yet be comfortable for the RV and son, DIL & grandson's in their tents. This general area is predicted to be quite crowded for the eclipse weekend. The pictures below show the short 26 degree incline we went up to enter our camping area. We did drag one side of the rear skid bars for about 12 inches on the way up. Also did some rocking and rolling on the National Forest dirt road on the way here. About 9 miles of gravel road. Almost no washboard though. There is not simple answer as to where you can drive a motorhome to. You have to determine where to go based on the motorhomes. One of the biggest limitations is the overhang behind the rear axle. The other is the length which limits maneuverability.
  8. Eclipse Boondocking Spots near John Day, OR Here is a link to a map of Malheur NF showing places the NF Service as suggested for good eclipse viewing locations. NOTE: there is a fire ban, no charcoal or wood fires. Also be aware there could be lightning caused forest fires. Be on the lookout for smoke and if necessary don't delay in leaving if a fire is near by. Below are some boondocking locations we have visited. We are boondocking in the area. Use Google Earth or Google Maps, or any other app which shows satellite views to see details of the areas. In Malheur NF, near John Day, OR, actually just a few miles SW of Long Creek, OR there are some boondocking spots we have visited. How long they will be available is anyone’s guess. They were empty as of Saturday morning 8/12/2017. All of these are along or near FR-3955. There is about 8-10 miles of good all weather gravel (dusty) road for access. Directions to the area: From Long Creek, go south on US-395 to MM-104, turn right on FR-3950 go ~6 miles, turn left on FR-741 and go about 2 miles to FR-3955. FR-741 ends at FR-3955. Turn right on FR-3955 and all the sites noted below are west of FR-741 along FR-3955. First-- the NF has identified what they call an SUV accessible site, called FR-250/Rock Pit. GPS: 44.555685 -119.314231. The Verizon signal on my phone was 3G with 2 bars. There is a very large open, fairly level field surrounding the rock pit with room for 20-50 rigs and tents, depending on how close together you park. Just south of the pit there is a level area under the trees with room for 4-5 rigs. It was empty as of Friday morning 8/11/2017 I would imagine this place will be packed with people come Sunday & Monday 8/20 & 8/21. Also along FR-3955 east of the Rock Pit are a few fairly level open spaces along the road, also a couple of small fields that are level. These are not established camping areas, and I doubt the NF wants people to make new camping areas, but then again this is the eclipse, and disbursed camping is allowed, soooo make your own decision. Additionally between the Rock Pit and FR-741 there are two hunters camps: is at the junction of FR-741 and FR-3955. GPS: 44.544533 -119.26461 Weak Verizon 3G with 1 bar. Room for 2-4 rigs, but it is not very level. Under trees so you will have to drive a little ways, ¼ mile or so to view the eclipse. is along FR-3955 at GPS: 44.55015 -119.30157. Verizon is 3G with 2 bars. This spot is fairly level with room for 3-5 rigs. It is under trees, so again you will have to walk or drive to see the eclipse. Lastly, if you don’t mind driving on a narrow forest road, wide enough for an RV, but some bushes may brush the sides of your RV, there is a really nice large hunters camp under large ponderosa pine trees. Room for 3 RV’s under the trees and room for many more in the sunny field. Directions: go about ½ mile west of the Rock Pit on FR-3955, FR-719 goes south (left) about ¾ mile to GPS: 44.554185 -119.336455.
  9. And just how is this different than my drive from about 35 miles west of Portland, through Portland, then on I-84 to Biggs Junction and then down the winding twisting SR-19 & SR-402 to Long Creek, on Tuesday & Wednesday. I faced the dangers of some other driver, or even me, doing something stupid or blowing a tire and having a horrible accident. BTW, the National Forest has a fire ban going. I would assume the county does as well. I think both didn't find a way to tell Mother Nature about the fire ban though.
  10. Or some of us could be called "Sunbirds" or "Hotbirds". Those of us who have S&B's in the south or southwest and head north for the summer. Since 2005, we have only spent one summer in San Antonio. We have enjoyed the cool northern weather some of those years. Some anyways. Some were HOT. Philidelphia in June, many days in the 90's. The same summer 4th of July in Baltimore, upper 90's. This summer in the Portland, OR area. About a week ago Portland was, 97, 103, 105 & 96 for a 4 day stretch. Of course we have had some very nice summers as well. Maine, Nova Scotia, & Newfoundland. Alaska last year. Others as well.
  11. The doom and gloom, predicted earlier in this topic for Oregon, may just prove to be true. Yesterday (Monday 8/7/17) the weather person on a Portland TV said the 14 day forecast is predicting cloudy and rainy skies over most of Oregon for the day of the eclipse. That is a long, long way out for weather predictions, so hopefully the weather will be nice. We are en route today toward the mountains in Central OR. We should be set up, in a place yet to be decided, by Thursday (8/10). If it is cloudy, rainy, smokey, etc that is what it will be. Can't do much about it. Mother nature chose not to look kindly on us this time around. She is usually pretty kind to us. Just got to work to be careful to seriously conserve our black & gray tank usage, or we will have to make a trip into town next week to dump. Fresh water not a big problem. I recently bought a 30 gallon water bladder to haul water from town, plus a pair of 6 gallon water tanks. To move the water from the truck to the RV I have a old RV water pump I rigged up to plug into the cigarette lighter plug in the truck. I'll be sure to update after the eclipse just what happened.
  12. I did a google search and there were 5 excellent ratings on Google. Looking at the place from Google Earth it looks like the campsites are well spaced. At least the ones I can see. Others may be in the trees.
  13. I am guessing you don't have a fairly large data plan for your Verizon account. If you have the extra large (18G I think) or the unlimited plan you get free data & voice in Canada & Mexico. That is what we used in 2016 and what I believe a number of people on this forum did in 2017. When we began our trip in early May 2016 we paid a couple of dollar per device per day. However the "day" was for 24 hours from the time you first connect the device. We left one of our phones off and just used the other phone. If we didn't need to use the phone that day, or were out of cell range no charge.
  14. A suggestion for testing your batteries. There is no reason why 2 of your batteries would not support the 130-160 amps of 12V DC required by the inverter to power your coffee maker. So rewire your battery bank to one pair of batteries and then test. Keep swapping in the batteries until you have check to see if any one of the batteries may be causing the problem. Be sure to change your charging controllers to 400AH instead of 800AH. With a residential fridge you probably don't want to do this while on the road. With 800AH of batteries at 70% SOC, I would not expect that the fridge starting the compressor with the coffee maker on would cause the LBCO to kick in, if the batteries are good. Even with just 2 batteries (400AH) they should handle the load.
  15. Goodness! All that stuff MIGHT happen. Then if it doesn't happen and someone didn't go to see the eclipse because all the stuff you mention MIGHT happen, they sure will be disappointed. Why is it necessary to talk up all the doom and gloom. By the way, I tend to look at all the doom and gloom you are predicting, with about the same eye as I would if someone was to start talking up all the horrible things that happen to people who drive on the highways in the USA. -- 30,000 to 40,000 people die every year in auto and truck accidents -- many more thousands more are seriously injured every year. Based on that same type of doom and gloom we should never venture out of our homes on to the highways. Oh, and what about the people who die in home fires? Home invasions? There is one thing that is actually happening as versus MIGHT happen. As of this week there is quite a bit of haze in the sky across most of Oregon from forest fires in BC Canada. If the haze continues, it will obscure, but not block out the eclipse. No doubt that will be a bit of a disappointment for us, but then stuff happens. I can't spend all my life not doing something because something MIGHT happen. If anyone wants to go see the eclipse, make prudent plans and GO. Don't worry about the weather. It will happen or it won't. The chances are very good the weather, east of the Cascade mountains in Oregon, will be good enough so you can see the eclipse. So go and hope for the best. Ignore the doom and gloom.