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Live2Camp View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: getting ready first road trip HELP
    Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 10:47pm
Originally posted by valrenter

I am renting for the first time r-pod 190 2019 and towing it with a 2015 honda odyssey ex-L. it is just me, my mother, and my daughter. My daughter has autism and has had a very hard life. she made a bucket list and i want to knock off two items with this trip.

1. see a REAL dark sky
2. visit a REAL ghost town

for 1, I selected Chaco. for 2, i have rented a jeep in silverton, CO.

Now I am discovering how HARD it might be to GET TO both locations and to LIVE in chaco park assuming we manage to get there! 

I need serious help from experienced people! I don't want to accidentally kill my own mother and daughter (the 2 most important people in my life)! 

So … all the advice here, very sound. Thanks to all and especially LostAgain who is on the other side of the Sierra from us, where we spend a lot of time but he lives there and knows his stuff. I was also going to suggest Bodie State Park in California but not knowing your starting point, it’s hard to know what area to suggest. I can tell you though, that in a lifetime of a camping, backpacking, rock scrambling, x-c skiing, etc., etc. the only person I have ever chosen to put at risk, is me. 

When I have others with me and/or I’m with them, then it’s the appropriate group mentality of planning to the least experienced AND/OR the most at-risk person AND/OR loved ones who I don't want to be at risk. 

Or to put it another way, please don’t do this trip as you’re outlined. You very obviously love your daughter and your mother and want to have a positive experience. As well, your daughter (and your mom!) most certainly need you to stay safe. Please camp at a place where you can have the trailer and all needed services, and then drive (without the trailer) a short distance, as others have mentioned, to view the night sky. The comments specific to your daughter's medical condition are also extremely noteworthy. 

It doesn’t take much, to get away from lights. You also asked really good questions but it’s also clear that you do not have the expertise for the equipment and the extremely rugged trip you’ve planned. Don’t take offense at that! I choose ALL of my trips, according to my expertise. When I’m with my guy, which is more often than not (especially in recent years because I’ve made some promises to loved ones about certain things I won’t do solo anymore) then the circle of expertise – and backup – is stronger because we've joined forces and combined skills. You are the mom. The one who is responsible for making this trip as safe and fun as possible. Note that “safe” comes before “fun”. Please also consider adopting one of my mottos which is, “live to camp and tell about it”. Oh, and one other thing along with the others’ advice re: carrying drinking water [AND FOOD YOU DON'T NEED TO COOK] and such – take a canvas tarp. Not a plastic one (well they’re good for other things so take that too), but a good canvas one. As someone who has spent a lot of time putting on tire chains, reaching under vehicles for various reasons, changing tires, etc., there is no replacing a good canvas tarp. Especially when the ground is hot and down to bare mineral soil (pebbles, rocks). They also make great shade walls, ice chest covers and other purposes. Very versatile! Please let us know what you decide, and please know that all of my comments are given with sincerity and heart for wanting you to have a really good outcome for your family. And wanting you to come back and tell us how positive it was. 


2017 R-Pod 179 HRE (the green one)
His:Ford F150 double cab 4WD; Hers/mine:Tacoma V6 double cab 4WD
Still love rugged, diggin' comfy too
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 11:08pm
Originally posted by Pod People

I can tell you from personal experience that you DO NOT want to take an R Pod to Chaco Canyon. We were there.  It took us about an hour and a half to go the 20 miles of the roughest, rutted, wash board , slimy, muddy terrible , insanely ridiculous road to get there. Get my point?
DO NOT GO THERE!!
 It was wonderful once we got there, truly amazing in respect of the abundant ruins and truly dark sky. but boy, did I dread the return trip! I will never go there again and advise anyone to do the same unless you can fly there.
There are lots of other areas where you can see dark sky in a much easier and safer location.
just my opinion.
Vann

Agreed! 
2017 R-Pod 179 HRE (the green one)
His:Ford F150 double cab 4WD; Hers/mine:Tacoma V6 double cab 4WD
Still love rugged, diggin' comfy too
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 9:31am
Thank you so much you kind r-pod souls! I was researching getting 5 new tires for the Odyssey, 3 new tires for the r-pod, all "one load up", getting a fancy remote blu tooth 6-tire "monitor every tire in every conceivable way possible right from the driver's seat" monitor, getting a complete package "do it yourself" kit to keep proper temperature and pressure AND to change any tires that might blow out, etc etc etc! Our "save money with an r-pod" trip was becoming more expensive than an African Safari!  

Here is my plan B as it is currently shaping up in my noggin: drop the r-pod off (and the grandma if she wants) in Bloomington at a full hook up, wi-fi, laundry, cafe, convenience store, hot showers type RV place. Then take the Odyssey, the kid (high-functioning, no seizures since age 3, cleared by her 3 doctors), tent, fly, cooler, aux battery, and minimal sundries down into Chaco via the NORTH roads, weather permitting. Sleep in the tent with the kid Sat night, June 16, IN Chaco canyon (for the midnight tours and observatory they have on Sat nights for campers ONLY). Go get grandma Sunday morning for day tours of Chaco Canyon (if she want to) or otherwise play Sun by ear. 

Is this a forum where I could post my whole intended trip? I sure would like to do that...

Also looking at the Dolores recommendation! and feeling so blessed to have found this forum.

more later, I'm late to my appt to get the hitch put on the car
Val


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 1:59pm
Also Highway 550 north of Durango is currently closed from Hermosa to Purgatory ski area due to the 416 forest fire. You can go around to the west but it is a LONG drive around it.

Not sure when you are planning to travel, this could be an issue as well getting to Silverton. North east of Silverton is Animas Forks, a small ghost town of a former mining camp. All the jeep places at Silverton have trail maps for you when you rent.

Lots of great jeeping around Silverton, will be there again in the later part of July.

Ron
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 2:17pm
Originally posted by valrenter

Thank you so much you kind r-pod souls! I was researching getting 5 new tires for the Odyssey, 3 new tires for the r-pod, all "one load up", getting a fancy remote blu tooth 6-tire "monitor every tire in every conceivable way possible right from the driver's seat" monitor, getting a complete package "do it yourself" kit to keep proper temperature and pressure AND to change any tires that might blow out, etc etc etc! Our "save money with an r-pod" trip was becoming more expensive than an African Safari!  
Here is my plan B as it is currently shaping up in my noggin: drop the r-pod off (and the grandma if she wants) in Bloomington at a full hook up, wi-fi, laundry, cafe, convenience store, hot showers type RV place. Then take the Odyssey, the kid (high-functioning, no seizures since age 3, cleared by her 3 doctors), tent, fly, cooler, aux battery, and minimal sundries down into Chaco via the NORTH roads, weather permitting. Sleep in the tent with the kid Sat night, June 16, IN Chaco canyon (for the midnight tours and observatory they have on Sat nights for campers ONLY). Go get grandma Sunday morning for day tours of Chaco Canyon (if she want to) or otherwise play Sun by ear. 
Is this a forum where I could post my whole intended trip? I sure would like to do that...
Also looking at the Dolores recommendation! and feeling so blessed to have found this forum.
more later, I'm late to my appt to get the hitch put on the car
Val



Well, I feel better about your Plan "B" vs Plan "A".

I am curious about the "aux battery" and why new tires for the Rpod???

You bet you can post as much as you want about your whole intended trip! We'd love to hear about it. You may want to create a new discussion topic in the "Camping Adventures" area. For security reasons, I discourage members from posting exact dates/times in advance of a trip. We are on the internet and viewed by hundreds of "non-registered" people every day. You just don't know who might be looking in. As I type, there are 4 members logged in and 72 "Guests" looking/reading the forum.

I certainly admire what you are attempting and am out here pulling for you.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 3:29pm
Val, you know your daughter best and are the best judge of whether she'd enjoy tent camping at this time of year at Chaco Canyon.  The heat may be an issue.  We were in Lee's Ferry about a month ago and it was already hot enough that we ended up leaving earlier than planned to find somewhere cool.  That's kinda how we ended up in Dolores.  

I'm a little unclear on why you would want to buy tires for a rental travel trailer.  The RV rental place should be giving you a trailer with serviceable tires.  They'll likely give you load range C tires, which are perfectly fine for highway traveling.  In your Odyssey you are not going to be traveling beyond the speed capacity of the tires, even if you wanted to.  If you have tire concerns, make the rental company put fresh tires on the trailer.  With all the stuff you have mentioned putting on the trailer, why don't you buy a nice used R-Pod?  Then you can go off on overnights and longer trips with your daughter any time you feel like it.  I suspect, based on our autistic granddaughter's fondness for camping, that you'll get a lot of use out of it.  [She and her sister will be camping not less than 3 long weekends in June, and we haven't even gotten to the July and August schedule.]


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 6:19pm
Hi lostagain, thanks for the comment. So, the bit about the tires involved a little bit of hyperbole (but only a little!-I did entertain the idea in my head for a brief moment). That was back BEFORE anyone had answered my first call for advice-when I thought maybe, juuuust maaaaaybe, I could pull my rented r-pod down into chaco canyon! I didn't want to ruin the rental tires, and I wondered if getting some kind of magic tires on my Odyssey just might make that road do-able.

BTW, the 2019 r-pod 190 is supposed to come with 15 in, D-rated tires, which I think is fabulous!

My daughter is 18 years old (about 15 in terms of social development, about 28 in terms of "formal" cognitive development). She loves camping and knows she loves camping. We have a lot of TENT experience and equipment, but I usually wrap my camping trips around water--preferably rivers! I just have never used a trailer before in my whole life, never pulled anything with my own vehicle larger than a little U-Haul box, never handled electricity-powered/propane-powered/sewer-related living 'stuff' while camping before, never 'done' a desert, and never driven any mountain roads in the USA (I've driven the alps plenty, but in passenger cars).

The idea of buying a trailer has been on my mind for about 20 years, I'd say Smile. I thought, well, now I own a vehicle that is supposed to be able to tow, let's try it out. My mom's getting to the age where tent camping isn't much fun for her, but she still loves it, so for about 2 years we've been doing the 'rent a cabin' thing when she comes with us. It's not the same. It feels like a motel and you don't go outside nearly as much as with a tent. So I figured with this rental trip I could get a feel for whether or not my family would like trailer camping, and if they do, then maybe next year I could look into buying a used one.

When my mom and I first planned the trip, we just based it on my daughter's dreams and didn't think to look at the actual ROADS until about two weeks ago, which is when I discovered what we had done, lol. 

There is so much careful preparation with tent camping, and I think what happened is we both just sort of thought (without realizing that's what we were doing) "oh, well now we have a camper, we don't have to do anything! we can just jump in it and go" 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 7:22pm
Originally posted by David

Originally posted by valrenter

 
Here is my plan B as it is currently shaping up in my noggin: ...


Well, I feel better about your Plan "B" vs Plan "A".

I am curious about the "aux battery" and why new tires for the Rpod???


The idea about the r-pod tires was I didn't want to hurt the rental tires. Little had I realized at that 
time -- while I was trying to scheme up some way to make the ROADS good by attending to the TIRES (hahahahaha) -- that the tires could have been the LEAST of my concerns: I've since read blogs where people are proud (PROUD, I tell you) that Chaco only TWISTED their camper's frame, as opposed to, I imagine, snapping the frame to pieces or something.

You don't know about the "Leisure Battery"? Boating types (LAKE types, mind you, not we RIVER types, we NEVER use aux batteries because it ruins the mystic of quiet desolate hand paddling amidst clouds of ravenous horse flies, and who in their right mind would want to ruin THAT?) anyway....LAKE boat types are always bragging about their fancy Leisure Battery Boxes and all the gizmos and attachments those smart boxes come with to accommodate any number of electrically powered gadgets:

You take an innocent 12v deep cycle battery that never hurt anybody, and you stick it in a smart box and wrap the box's numerous wires and connectors around the terminals, clamp the box shut and voila: power your cell phone, drip misting fans off of it, string romantic lights all around your pontoons, heat up your George Forman grill, run your mpv player and usb speakers on full blast for the benefit of other boaters nearby, beef up your boat's battery so you can be out there partying all night long, plug in your mini-heater, ... you name it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 7:47pm
I like the new plan.  Looking at a map, you must be talking about leaving Mom and the Pod in Bloomfield.  I don't know about road conditions, but Google says that's about an hour out of Chaco.  That's nothing in New Mexico, and assuming the roads are much good at all it should be a beautiful drive in and out twice.

Your timing is great too, with a new moon on the 13th. 

I still don't get it about the extra battery.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 8:03pm
I meant to add that if you haven't already it's probably a good idea to call the welcome center now and before you lose cell coverage on the way in to ask about road conditions, weather, and ask for any other advice they might have for you.

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