To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

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JackoftheGreen
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#181 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:06 pm

The Saga of the Motorhome

So let me recap this story, just so we're all on the same page.

About a year and a half ago, Carrie and I picked up a Class C motorhome. We'd been wanting one for awhile, so we could travel in comfort to fun riding destinations with the bikes trailered, and then do the fun riding once we got there.

The motorhome we got, which we traded my Ninja 500 and some cash for, was a 1986 Itasca by Winnebago, or Winnebago by Itasca, or however the heck that works, on a Ford E350 chassis. It was old, but well maintained, with meticulous service records. It ran very nice and rode comfortably for something so lumbering, and we were pretty happy with it.

Until, that is, we tried to take it for our first big long camp. There's a place out here we really like called Soapstone, it's about 90 minutes away up in the mountains. Beautiful camping, cool at night even in the summer heat, maybe a little rainy. GORGEOUS place. Well, about half an hour into the drive, cruising along at a comfortable 55 mph, the motor suddenly loses power and we start to slow down. It didn't die completely, but I couldn't get it to go any faster than about 35mph. We limped it home, bought some tents, loaded up our little enclosed trailer and headed out to do our camping as we intended.

The motorhome sat until we could put together the money to fix it. I sent it to my mechanic, who doesn't normally work on motorhomes but made an exception for us, and he ended up rebuilding the carb. We took delivery and it was excellent, ran strong and accelerated fine and just did great. We planned another campout, this time in Mantua, the little town featured in the very first post of this blog.

Narratives being what narratives are, I'm sure you know what comes next. On the way up the canyon road to Mantua, the motor again started to miss and lose power. Not as dramatic as before, and thankfully we were almost done climbing, but it did it again. We had our campout and drove home, and on the way home that old Ford 351 ran fine.

We talked to my mechanic and decided it may have been vapor lock, or perchance the carb had some unseen defect and made it eat jets. I have 100% faith in my mechanics skill, and he offered to take another look at it, but by that point we were several $1,000s into it and tiring. There were problems with the coach too, water leaks and poor charging on the house batteries and a few other things that meant it just wasn't worth investing more money in. We parked it with notions of selling it at the beginning of this season for whatever we could get out of it.

In the interceding time we had looked half-heartedly at new motorhomes and even driven a few, but never pulled the trigger. This last fall though, we had some investments pay off and made a lot of progress with our finances. Because of all that, we decided about a month ago the time was right to revisit the idea of a new motorhome. We attended a big RV expo two weekends ago, and really got an idea of what we wanted, and after the expo visited a local RV lot and had a look around. Then we had a drive around. Then we had a sit down. Now we have a motorhome.
patrick.jpg
His name is Patrick, and he's a 2018 Coachmen Leprechaun QB210 (21' long!) on the E450 chassis, 6.8l Triton V10. He's got 60k on the clock and runs like a TOP, and we're madly in love with him. We're already planning road trips to Carlsbad Caverns in NM, Boise in ID to visit my niece, and Columbus OH for the AIMExpo in October.

Now, of course, we have a new problem. We can finally tow our bikes around like we've always wanted, but we have larger bikes than we did when we bought our trailer. First world problems right? We need either a larger trailer, so we can haul our big bikes around, or a pair of Z125s to put in the smaller trailer. We could deploy them like TIE fighters. :) I'll even do the pew pew pew sound effects. So if you know someone from Kawasaki, please tell them to get in touch.

So that was the Saga of the Motorhome. We've achieved a three-year goal with this one, and we couldn't be happier. For our TMW coverage, this will mean we can cover a lot more events, because even with that thirsty 6.8l, driving will be cheaper than flying, car rental, hotel stays and eating out. So follow the link to the YouTube channel below and get subscribed, because this season is going to raise the bar.

Thanks for tuning in!





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blues2cruise
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blo

#182 Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:23 pm

Too bad about the old one. congrats on the new one.
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#183 Unread post by NorthernPete » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:46 pm

We have been doing the camping with a mid 90s jayco pop up camper. It’s been a lot of fun.
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#184 Unread post by blues2cruise » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:19 am

Still better than my camping. I sleep in my truck or a tent.
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JackoftheGreen
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#185 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:32 pm

Another Monday update! This is how busy our weekends have been.

Pete: We have a little pop-up camper as well, we picked it up last year but so far haven't had a chance to use it. A previous owner replaced the roof with some heavier composite than the original, and the extra weight makes it incredibly taxing to raise and lower. My plan is to mount up a 12v shaft motor to the crank to make it easier to take out. Then we'll either pull the pop-up behind the motorhome, or just take the pop-up for rougher camping. Either of our SUVs pull it very nicely.

Blues: Nothing wrong with tent or truck camping! The last two big campouts we've gone on have been tent camps, though we do pull a little 4x8 utility trailer to load all our shiite into.

Onto the rest of my post!

We took the motorhome out last weekend for our first shakedown trip. There's a wildlife preserve located on an island in the Great Salt Lake called Antelope Island, it's a state park as well. A paved causeway connects it to the mainland. You might think there are antelope there, and there are a few, but mostly it's buffalo being preserved on the island. Anyway, there's a lot of recreational activities to do out there, and camping is one of them. The sites don't have hookups, but they do have gazebos and concrete firepits. We took Patrick out for two nights and he performed very well. Everything works, and there's enough room we can all scrunch in and enjoy each other's company. We read some local ghost stories, ate too many Rice Krispie Treats, and generally had a great time. Then it snowed Sunday morning, but that was alright because we were planning to come home anyway. We scooted out of there before breakfast instead of after, but otherwise didn't change any plans.

We'll probably go out to Antelope a couple more times this season, but really camping is only any fun out there Feb-Mar and Oct-Nov. From Apr-Aug it's brutally buggy out there, giant clouds of gnats of mosquitoes just swarming the place. A lot of people head out there anyway, but we'll probably avoid it during bug season like we usually do.

I think Sunday's snow storm was the last snow we'll get this season though, as temps this week are supposed to reach the mid 60s. I think spring is finally underway, so I'll be planting clover in the yard and doubling down on getting the CTX into the shop for new rubber. No more fooling around. It's going to be a very busy summer, between Utah Rider Ed, traveling in the motorhome, the summer rodeo at my nieces place in Idaho, and of course as much riding as we can fit in. We've got a pretty impressive lineup of review items in for the season already, so those will start to roll out as temps rise and we can put stuff to the test.

That's all for now! Please enjoy the following pics from our weekend excursion!



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