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View Full Version : Into the frozen tundra...


chockwald
11-22-2009, 01:47 PM
We are now 640 miles into our 3 week trip....we are courtesy parked in front of my brother's home in South Jordan, UT. Temps got down to 30 last night, so it was good to have the plug in to keep the water bay from freezing. Just turned on the block heater.....couldn't have both the electrical bay heater on, and the block heater on at the same time with only 15 amps available. Now the gas furnace is heating the bay while the block heater comforts our 6V92.

Our first day out we drove as far as St. George, UT where we dry camped behind the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant....very nice, safe place. Had breakfast there yesterday morning, and then continued north toward Salt Lake City, where we are now (just a few miles south, actually).

Today we will head to Idaho Falls, about 230 miles north of here where the temperatures really will be seriously low tonight. Tom has referred me to the Snake River RV Park which is owned by a former neighbor of his in Mesa, AZ. From Idaho Falls, we will head toward Missoula, MT to meet Jennifer, and her coach, then on to Spokane for Thanksgiving.

The trip has been so delightful so far....all systems functioning well, and the weather has cooperated so far....no snow, or rain....just miles and miles of dry interstate!

zcasa
11-22-2009, 03:27 PM
Uneventful is good. Dry Interstate is good. All systems working is good. Great start to your trip, Clarke. Pictures look very nice. Looking forward to the rest of your journey.

David and Denise

prairieschooner
11-22-2009, 03:30 PM
yea but I miss the singing.

chockwald
11-22-2009, 10:51 PM
Well, the snow started coming down with a vengence about 70 miles south of Idaho Falls.....we are overnighting in Idaho Falls at Snake River RV Park....recommended by Tom....his former neighbor owns it. Snowing as I write, but supposed to clear up tonight...no snow for 3 days. Other than snow, it was an uneventful drive.....having that same issue with the right rear slow to come to ride height....never quite got there, but it was never over 30 all day, so that's probably my issue....just like Gallup, NM last April when it snowed there, but it warmed up to over 40 eventually and the ride height did too. Watching Sunday afternoon football, and thanking God for working electric heaters...we're using 40 of the 50 amps available to us to run the block heater, and the three electric heaters (including the water bay one).

tuga
11-23-2009, 01:53 PM
I have a question. In the last picture of Clark's coach in the RV surrounded by snow, how do you drive it out from the site when departing for another destination? Do you have to dig it out with a snow shovel? Does the RV park help you dig it out?

Keep in mind that I am from Louisiana where it rarely snows.

Wally Arntzen
11-23-2009, 03:09 PM
Tuga, these rigs are not any different than the 18 wheelers or buses in the snow. Driving out of an RV park should not be difficult with up to 6" of snow. If you get drifting due to wind that is a different story because it can be 6" of snow with 3' drifts and thats trouble.
One of the benefits with our coaches with tag axcl's is to let the air out of the tag so that all the rear weight of the coach is on the drive axcel and once you get going put the air back.
Most of the prevost's can lift the tag and that is probably even better.
In the north buses and trucks do not alter their schedules due to weather and driving in snow and even heavy snow does not hold them back.
Our coaches are made to go in any kind of weather we just have to be careful. It is not advisable to use your cruise control when driving in snow and if you brake and start sliding you should leave up on the brake, stabalize the coach and pump the brake at short intervals.
If not experienced at driving in the snow or ice drive very slowly or park it and wait for the salt trucks to get the roads in better driving condition.

tuga
11-23-2009, 09:57 PM
Thanks Wally for the great explanation. I have always wondered how driving in ice and snow would work out in a MH. We are planning a snow skiing trip this year in Angel Fire, NM. We are going to drive in my Honda Pilot from Louisiana to Albuquerque and then on to Angel Fire. The Pilot has 4 AWD so this will be our first trip in the snow. I'll take your advice and drive very slowly in snow and wait for the salt trucks to salt the roads.

zcasa
11-23-2009, 10:17 PM
Tuga, the thing about the wonderful feature of a 4WD vehicle, is that it gives us tremendous confidence. Here in CO, we have a lot of experience on snow and ice. What happens to many people in a 4WD vehicle is that we get overconfident and go go go. However, what each of us will ultimately find out, is that, it takes just as long or maybe longer, to stop an overconfident 4WD. This is where most people get into trouble. Too much speed for the conditions. I've met you, and you are a good cautious guy. You will do fine. We always say here in CO, speed controls everything. Have a great ski vacation.

David

tuga
11-24-2009, 01:42 AM
Thanks David, looks like we will just go slow and enjoy the white stuff!

Comments are greatly appreciated!

chockwald
11-24-2009, 05:10 AM
As Wally said these coaches are made for all weather....had no problem pulling out of the spot....no slippage at all. Drove well on the highway in the snow yesterday and today. Check out my blog for pictures and the story:

http://whatsnewell.blogspot.com

zcasa
11-24-2009, 02:36 PM
Clarke, your blog and pictures are awesome. We are soooo jealous of your adventure and courage. Great job. We have 5 weeks to go before we get to start having fun again with the Coach. It is great to live vicariously through your travels and adventure for this three week period. We look forward to your postings every day.

Safe travels.

David and Denise

chockwald
11-25-2009, 12:17 AM
Thank you David and Denise.....we arrived in Spokane safely this afternoon around 1pm.....after a stop at the giant Cabella's on the Washington/Idaho border. We are courtesy parked in front of my sister's home....there is just a big enough flat space to put the coach and get it level. We have access to two separate 15amp circuits so we will have no trouble with power. Temp is at 40 at this writing (4:15pm). Elaine and I are wrapping up some work for our respective jobs on the more than adequate 5 bars of WiFi from my sisters wireless router. Will update the blog later with pictures, etc. We'll be here until Saturday when we will take 2 weeks to reach home again.

Met Jennifer Stackpole and her 1987 Newell on our way through Missoula, MT. Jennifer is a very interesting person and a wonderful addition to our family. We were able to spend about 4 hours together talking about Newells, of course, and everything else under the sun. She is a true Renaissance Woman who has pursued more interests and occupations than most of us put together. Some of the more interesting occupations are blacksmith, musician, dancer, and welder....what great skill sets to have as a Newell owner. Wish we would have had more time, but we will return, I promise!

zcasa
11-25-2009, 12:53 AM
Great Clarke. Now you can relax and enjoy a few days of R and R. Well done. No worries for a while that is good. Pictures look great, Jennifer's coach looks very nice. Enjoy your well earned holiday with family. Nice to have your own bedroom with you.

David and Denise

prairieschooner
11-25-2009, 07:07 PM
BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR looks cold.
Drive Safely guys.

chockwald
11-30-2009, 04:26 PM
After a wonderful 5 day visit with relatives in Spokane we headed westward on US Hwy 2. What a great 2 lane secondary road. Well maintained, and almost no traffic until west of Steven's Pass. Had no rain yesterday, but saw the aftermath of all the snow last week as we crested Steven's Pass in the Cascades....probably 4-5 feet minimum, but the road was clear. We overnighted in Mt. Vernon, WA at Mt. Vernon RV Park, which I highly recommend. Found them on RVParkReviews.com, and were not disappointed. We will travel the final 50 miles down to Coupeville, WA (on Whidbey Island) to visit with our friends for a couple of days before heading over to the Olympic Peninsula for some exploring. It's a little rainy this morning, but temp is as high as we have seen in a week at 45...it was over 50 when we parked last night at 6:30pm....man the sun goes down a little after 4pm in these northern latitudes, and comes up after 7am.

All is good....all systems are doing their individual jobs to make our travels more than enjoyable. As David says....."life is GOOD!!"

zcasa
11-30-2009, 07:28 PM
Great to hear that you journey is continuing and I can sense the anticipation and excitement in your postings. We took our bikes on the ferry over to San Juan Island and toured around. If it is warm enough and you are able to do that, you would enjoy for sure. BTW, your blog of Thanksgiving is wonderful. By chance, do your in-laws refer to you as the Griswald's? lol. That is some house. Be safe and enjoy everyday. Life is soooo good.

David

chockwald
12-02-2009, 06:25 AM
Departed Coupeville on Whidbey Island early this morning and 2 ferries later was on the Olympic Peninsula. Getting on and off the ferries was a snap, and way easier than I expected. Our timing, though not intentional, was impeccable today. We arrived at each ferry within minutes of departure, so no long waits. In between the two ferries we took on 126 gallons of diesel. We'll pass the 2,000 mile mark tomorrow with another 1,600 to go. Tomorrow we'll continue westward on US 101, and then south toward Oregon....we'll be on the Peninsula for a couple more days....finally have a window of three straight days with sun, and no rain and/or snow. Life continues to be good....got out the BBQ for the first time on this trip this evening. Enjoying a beautiful full moon this evening...a few shots of the Olympics for your pleasure.

zcasa
12-02-2009, 02:56 PM
Sure looks good, Clarke. Here in Denver it is 15 degrees right now with overnight low of 2. They refer to this as an arctic blast. Going to last 4 days. Your pictures look awesome and we are very happy for your adventure. It is going quickly and you are having such a good time. Building memories is what this life is all about. Cheers!

Richard and Rhonda
12-02-2009, 11:17 PM
Clarke,

Thanks for the update, we're also getting some of that arctic blast. It snowed in Fort Worth this morning. Brrrrrrrr.

Keep the pics coming. That's a nice way to let us see your trip.

chockwald
12-03-2009, 02:08 AM
It was C-O-L-D last night (Port Angeles).....frost on the ground, and on everything not covered. We had all 3 electric heaters going full blast all night (3rd one is in the water bay) plus the block heater, thus using a significant portion of our 50 amp allowance, and we were very comfortable, as we have been the entire trip. We were the only ones in the Port Angeles KOA last night. They were closed for the winter, but provide three sites with power that you can self register for, and pay for. We were grateful for every single amp we had access to last night. We got out of camp around 8am.....we had about 170 miles to drive today....our original destination was Aberdeen, WA....down in the southwest corner of the the fair state of Washington. The scenery was amazing as we drifted first west on US 101, then south on the same. We took a small detour into the Hoh Rain Forest, which was so cool.

We hit Aberdeen around 1:30pm, and I was hungry.....we spied a rare Mexican restaurant on our left, and swung around the block (101 southbound is one way in this part of town), and pulled into the parking lot......just to the right of the parking lot Elaine spied a small taco place, which looked empty....she said "we always have great luck with these little 'hole in the wall' places....what do you think?"....she is right, and we went in and had some of the best carne asada tacos I have ever had. If you are ever in Aberdeen stop in at Taqueria Y Mariscos El Mar!

After vanishing the tacos I felt revived, and asked Elaine how far the next town was....she says "Raymond"....about 27 miles. I pulled up the internet on my Netbook, opened RVParkReviews.com and found the one park there...right on the Willapa River....what a view! We called ahead, and the owner said to take the first spot on the left...the only pull through...$20 for 30 amps. We arrived, set up, and then took a mile walk along the river on the bike path....now I'm waiting for the great chili and cornbread dinner Elaine's loving hands are preparing as I type. Life is great.....

urfreeman07@gmail.com
12-03-2009, 02:40 AM
I'm jealous! But Iam glad someone is out having "Newell Fun".

fulltiming
12-03-2009, 04:08 AM
Since I know that Clarke is aware of this, I would like everyone to remember that with true 50 amp service you have 50 amps per leg (theoretically 100 amps total if you could balance the load that well between the two legs) so running multiple 120 volt electric heaters that are several off of the two legs in a reasonably balanced manner should not be a problem as long as neither leg exceeds 50 amps.

zcasa
12-03-2009, 05:39 PM
And another 9 days to go? Lucky man. Enjoy.

chockwald
12-03-2009, 09:31 PM
Yeah David....9 more days...enjoying ourselves inspite of the cold....3rd sunny day in a row.....Michael....thank you for the reminder.....I do remember that now...50 amps per leg...so I was way under maxing out...I think I had 30 amps on one leg and 12 on the other. Is that the same for 30amp hookups, or do I just have 30 amps total....15 per leg??? This electrical stuff always gets me....

fulltiming
12-04-2009, 12:19 PM
With 30 amp service you have a total of 30 amps but with a splitter the balance between the legs isn't an issue, it is the total of the two legs can not exceed 30 amps. Many people think 50 amp service is no big deal since 50 is only a 66% increase in amperage. In reality, with good load management, 50 amp service will provide about 3 times the current flow of a 30 amp service.

chockwald
12-04-2009, 03:59 PM
I think, now, I will remember....thanks a bunch Michael!

chockwald
12-06-2009, 04:17 AM
Have made it south to Newport, OR.....weather still clear....five straight days of sun, and no rain.....parked in the shadow of the Yaquina Bay Bridge....watching the Texas v. Nebraska game.....10-9 in favor of Texas wityh 5:24 to go in the game. Life is good, but cold!

chockwald
12-07-2009, 05:35 AM
The Oregon coastline is just simply amazing......we spent the day "ooohing and awwwing"...we finally settled into Brookings, OR at Harris Beach State Park. $18 per night for full hookups, and cable TV....best deal on the trip so far, plus a great view of the Oregon coastline. Life is good......

prairieschooner
12-07-2009, 05:11 PM
Enjoy the Oregon Coastline while you can, it looks wonderful.
We had a few inches of snow last night, add that to the 4"-5" left over from the last storm and it makes it tough to get around. They are calling for 1' to 2' more snow from this system with more coming at the end of the week.
I just took these pictures a few moments ago and the worst is on the way. While this isn't much snow it sure puts a bind on coming and going as well as doing any outside work.

Richard and Rhonda
12-07-2009, 10:02 PM
Loving both sets of pics. Good on ya both for posting them. The sunset pic is spectacular.

zcasa
12-08-2009, 12:04 AM
yep, great pic's for sure. I'm sitting here in 7 degree weather in Denver and looking at 3-6 inches of snow on the way. We won't get above freezing until Friday. Nasty weather pattern for the past week. Looking forward to your pictures of this week Clarke as you head down the coast to LA.

chockwald
12-08-2009, 01:10 AM
I just talked to my daughter who lives near us in Ontario, CA and it has been raining steadily since 10am this morning, with temps in the 40's....on the otherhand we are in Nothern California where, so far, it has been sunny for almost 7 days straight. We have been through this area several times over the last 30 years, and this is the first time we have had sun day after day. We are overnighting in Fortuna, CA...about 150 miles south of the Oregon border. Temps still in mid to low 40's, but no precipitation, and lots of sun. Our plan is to be "home" on Friday, but everything in between is negotiable...lol!

Steve, how much longer will you be in Idyllwild? Looks like winter is setting in with a vengance!!!

Richard.....my theory on taking pictures is if you take enough of them you will get a few spectacular ones....that was one of those. We have seen the last of the Pacific Ocean on this trip. We will continue further inland tomorrow, and ultimately will cross the State to Napa, and then return home through the Central Valley on I-5.

prairieschooner
12-08-2009, 02:13 AM
David,
I wouldn't want to minimize 7 degrees Fahrenheit (-13.88 Celsius) that takes you breath away!! We have had almost 13" of snow and then it has been raining for the past few hours. I went into town earlier and the roads were slush, very dangerous because of the Flat-landers (not 4 wheel drive and no chains on their mini vans).

Clarke,
We have reservations at Doheney Beach for Christmas. We are packing right now and hopefully will be leaving before Christmas unless this D*#@% weather continues. I am thinking seriously about Mexico right now!!

I dug the 8N Tractor out and started to Plow our Road (1/4 mile of an un-maintained access road) and got the 8N stuck, pulled it out with my Tahoe. Then I got my Tahoe stuck and pulled it out with the 8N! This picture (for Richard) is at 7:00 AM and it snowed all day. Thankfully we own a Newell and will be moving aboard soon., Golden Village Palms Resort here we come. Sorry for the rambling but we are snowed in!

chockwald
12-08-2009, 04:56 AM
Steve...didnt' know you had a tractor! Cool!

folivier
12-08-2009, 12:06 PM
Yeah he obviously uses it to create ruts to get his Tahoe stuck, then justifies having it by using it to pull his Tahoe out the ruts!

prairieschooner
12-08-2009, 03:16 PM
and I guess that I giggled the whole time while making the ruts.

Seriously I picked up the old 8N when we got the Cabin. It didn't run when I got it but after a few weeks of effort it came to life. The 8N has been earning it's keep ever since and even one 4th of July Parade a few years back.

folivier
12-08-2009, 05:34 PM
I understand Steve, I have a Ford 1720 that was used often when we had some property we recently sold. Couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. Kinda like a chain saw there's always a reason to have a tractor!

prairieschooner
12-08-2009, 05:37 PM
I have a few of those Chain Saws as well, sure gotta be careful using them.

chockwald
12-09-2009, 04:25 AM
And now we return to our regular programming......uhh, OK, left Fortuna, CA at 8am and arrived in Napa, CA around 2pm...it's slighly warmer, but only a degree, or 2. Will only, however, get down to 36 tonight.....supposed to get up to 52 tomorrow.....that will be the first time we've seen anything over 50 in a while. One thing we have seen a lot of lately is the sun....8 straight days now. Couldn't have planned that any better. We'll land here at Napa Valley Expo RV Park two nights, and depart, hopefully, just ahead of the rain, which is forecast for Thursday afternoon...ha! We have been just a day, or so ahead of the bad weather.....Elaine's friend reported that it started snowing the night after we left Jewell, OR, and that temps were down to 7 degrees today! 52 doesn't look so bad. David Z. reports temps at -8 degrees in Denver. Spokane had a high today of 26, the high in Salt Lake City was 18, Missoula is currently -8....everywhere we've been is now frozen. It's not much warmer in our home town....48 today, and into the low 30's at night....sounds like our current weather up north! We're off to explore Napa Old Town, and visit a few local wineries in our limited time here....but we will be back!!!

chockwald
12-11-2009, 11:22 PM
As it turns out, the temperature the next day in Napa only got to 42...so much for weather forecasting. We left Napa Thursday morning and continued our slide south to warmer latitudes. We landed in Pismo Beach, where, at last, temperatures never got below 40 last night. We left Pismo this morning (over 50 degrees at 9am) fully intending to drive the last 244 miles home. In a moment of weakness I exited HWY 101 at Seacliff Drive in Ventura around 11:30am, to take a break, and have a bite of lunch before the last 2 hours home. In my heart I really didn't want the trip to end.......Elaine made me a great sandwhich, and while she had her last conference call of the day I walked down to the local county RV park (Faria) to see if any full hookup spots were available....to my surprise there were 7......the rain, and continued threat of rain has, obviously, dampened the enthusiam for camping.....I walked back to our coach, and arrived just as Elaine finished her conference call, and reported what I found......it really was an easy decision.....we drove the 1/8 of a mile to to the park and pulled into space #22, and are sitting here watching the tide come in, and miracuously, the sky has cleared, and the sun is out. Does it get any better than this??? The end of our trip has been postponed one day, and we will sleep listening to the waves (about 40 feet from our coach), and/or rain if it comes again. Elaine is being blinded by the unexpected sun as she does some "work". Life is good.......

zcasa
12-12-2009, 02:04 AM
Clarke and Elaine:

Life is more than good for the two of you and all of us that have enjoyed following your courageous trip into the Frozen Tundra. Wonderful blog, great pictures, poetic and creative writing, you have caused most of us to have Newell Envy. Because of the excitement that we feel when reading such adventures as yours, it is only natural that we get excited about the next journey in the Newell as well. Thank you for that and safe travels home tomorrow. What a great trip that we all were able to share with you.

Best wishes for a wonderful family reunion and holiday season.

David and Denise

chockwald
12-13-2009, 07:06 AM
We arrived home around Noon today after a delightfully rainy night in Ventura, and crashing waves just feet from our coach. It rained the entire 128 miles home...sometimes torrentially. The coach is mostly unpacked. I'm sure there are a few odds and ends we'll remove over the next few days. If it doesn't rain tomrrow I'll scrub some of the road grime off the coach. We covered around 3,400 miles, and the coach performed flawlessly the entire time. No mechanicals! Thank goodness our heaters all worked wonderfully...electric, gas, block and chassis.....they were in use every single day, and all night. I don't plan to do much winter travelling, unless it is in the southern latitudes, but it is great to know our Newell is up to the task in any kind of weather.

jmacstack
12-13-2009, 10:26 PM
Sounds and looks like you two had a great time and I had a great time living vicariously! Thanks for the trip adventure it was great to meet you both and I look forward to seeing you both again. Did you venture out for anymore Thai food? Have a good rest of your "Winter!"

chockwald
12-16-2009, 08:26 PM
No more Thai food, but we have had several local recommendations, which we plan to explore in the coming weeks. I am definitely a Thai fan now!

We enjoyed meeting you, too, Jennifer.....we have never been disappointed when meeting fellow Newell owners who are members of this forum. Looking forward to seeing you again when the weather is more favorable.....lol! I hope interest picks up for a mini-rally in the Montana area this summer.

chockwald
12-19-2009, 06:56 PM
Just posted the video from the first 4 days of our trip to Spokane....here is the YouTube address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fAbWvktuhU

Enjoy.....

express1
12-20-2009, 10:16 PM
You guys have so much more conversation while traveling than Connie and I.

chockwald
12-21-2009, 06:35 AM
Yep, we are just a couple of "Chatty Cathys"....LOL!

express1
12-23-2009, 01:13 AM
After further discussion with Connie, she told me the story about the doll.....:confused:

Wally Arntzen
12-23-2009, 05:53 AM
It looks to me that this has become a personal discussion area and I don't understand the technical nature of any of it. Is this really the purpose of this web-site or am I missing something. I hope someone can explain. I do no question any body's character but I do think that something is going aray.

chockwald
12-23-2009, 04:38 PM
After further discussion with Connie, she told me the story about the doll.....:confused:

Wow....I am really dating myself, aren't I?

Wally......Living It Up In A Newell is a kind of discussion forum......Matt and were just having some fun.

Heard from Tom you are up in Minnesota for the Holidays.....brrrrrr!