Dealer inspections?

On YouTube: The Latest RV Dealer Scam – Lehto’s Law Ep. 4.52 — Steve Lehto is a lawyers with a focus on consumer protection. His general advice is not to buy a new RV (links to his videos on this are provided). 

 

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SNU Rally at Lassen RV Resort 2018

beautiful September weekend. The oak trees were showing hints of fall colors. Sky was clear. Temperatures mild. Facilities excellent. So too, people and food and, even, a troubadour to lead with song an guitar at the gathering around the campfire.

check out the photo gallery links on the information page!

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SNU Rally at Glass Creek

Glass Creek campground near Deadman Pass on US 395 was the site for the August gathering

Glass Creek Rally Page

See the photo galleries and links to additional information!

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Weed Heights

A gathering in an old mining community.

Good times. Good friends. Good food.

See the photo gallery!

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Tourist site planning help

From the Coyote Blog: I Can’t Believe I Have Been Taking Long Driving Trips Without Consulting This Site First.

Roadside America.  I feel like tourist traps have been going a bit out of vogue, but I feel like this is exactly the sort of thing that is going to make a comeback as millenials have kids and start travelling with their super-hip airstream trailer.

The website has been around since 1994. RoadsideAmerica.com is a caramel-coated-nutbag-full of odd and hilarious travel destinations — over 12,000 places in the USA and Canada — ready for exploration.” They do have an app for your smartphone or tablet but is Apple only.

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Crocker on the Beckwourth Genesee Stage Route

The SNU May Rally met at the Crocker Campground for a relaxing weekend in the pines with friends.

Crocker Campground

See the photo gallery!. Lots of rocks and trees make this a bit difficult for RV’s but …

Here is a document about the road project prepared for Plumas County.

For a rundown on historical markers in the area, see the Plumas County Museum Association newsletter.

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USA Parkway Nevada Route 439 Option

If you are looking for a shortcut between Reno and Silver Springs, the USA Parkway, Nevada route 439 (wikipedia) might save you ten miles. Whether it will save time is another matter. KOLO TV says “The parkway is projected to reduce travel times by as much as 38% for people traveling between U.S. 50 and I-80.”

Route 439 is a four lane divided boulevard between I80 and US50 to provide transportation services to the warehouses and manufacturing facilities at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC). It is considered a “Minor Rural Arterial” (NDOT Report). Here is what the report says about time savings:

“Once USA Parkway is fully built from I-80 through to US 50, the distance between Reno and Silver Springs will be reduced by about 10 miles. It is believed that most of the travel between these two locations will use the new USA Parkway. The average velocity on the existing route on US 95A, through Fernley then on I 80, is 60 mph. The new USA Parkway will have a posted speed limit of 50 mph so that was chosen for the average velocity

The reality after construction is that the first few miles with the most congestion has a 35 mph speed limit and much of the rest is 45 mph. In addition, most of the route is up and down hills. The grade on these hills is like going over Donner Summit on I80 or heading north from Reno on US395. With an RV or heavy vehicle, you will need to keep in mind the drag going up hill and the push going down. The road has been subject to controls during storms over the last two winters. 

The ‘old’ route to Fernley and down Alt US95 has a shorter congestion path, excellent gas prices, and only one grade of note. It is freeway and highway with higher speed limits than the boulevard. This route may have a lower wild horse hazard as it is better fenced and, it seems, the folks in the TRIC seem to think horses wandering around is a feature and not a bug.

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Automatic route planning – a 32% grade?

You may have seen stories about neighborhoods being annoyed by social traffic apps routing around congestion into their streets. Here’s one: Waze’s crazy routing over a 32% grade road is driving residents nuts by Cyrus Farivar – “I’ve seen five or six cars smash into other cars, and it’s getting worse.” No, it’s not Route 89 around Zephyr Cove or San Francisco somewhere, it’s in Los Angeles.

It’s a common story: small towns and residents living on once-quiet streets are sometimes annoyed by the influx of traffic that Waze, traffic wayfinding apps, and ride-hailing services have wrought.

But residents along Baxter Street in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood—reportedly one of the steepest streets in America (comprising two major hills)—are now banding together to try to change local traffic patterns. Neighbors have contacted city officials and Waze’s parent company, Google, to try to mitigate the problem.

They believe that a lot of drivers are using Baxter as a way to avoid Glendale Boulevard, a nearby thoroughfare.

That might be an OK detour for a commuter but it highlights a problem with automatic routing for RV’s. Even if you use satellite views you might not see the grade. 

Back in the day, the kids could grab a free map at the gas station to see where they were and how they were going to get to their vacation destination. Those maps only had major routes and highways with very little detail and nothing about local roads and city streets. These days, the navigation applications have a lot of detail about roads including those planned but not yet built, speed limits, and whatever else can be scraped from user map edits (see the Open Street Map project), state and local map data, and other sources (e.g. the Census Bureau TIGER). Don’t forget web sites about low clearance roads, either (e.g. Low Clearance Bridges and Overpasses: How to Watch for and Avoid). Then there’s the satellite views and street views that get melded into the maps. 

So we are, or can be, buried in a mass of data and detail. This is an opportunity for exploration but it is also a risk. When you get off the beaten path or on to unknown trails and roads, take care you don’t find yourself on a dead end or facing a 32% grade or other RV hazard.

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Gas asphyxiation and tire troubles in the news

In the news are two stories where careful reading and consideration is needed to avoid jumping to inappropriate conclusions.

Propane gas killed Iowa family vacationing in Mexico, police say — Las Vegas Review Journal. A cause of death in several old Perry Mason shows results from the murderer turning off the pilot light on a gas heater. What happens is that the oxygen in the room is replaced with methane or propane and the sleeping victim dies from lack of oxygen. Since the victim can expel CO2, there is no strangulation struggle. Preventing suicides this way is why helium balloon tanks often come with 20% air these days. The question is why the odorant in the propane was not noticed.

In the RV world, this is why gas appliances have the combustion path outside and why some catalytic or other heaters that burn fuel inside have oxygen depletion sensors and why the stove says it is not to be used for space heating.

Goodyear Knew Of Dangerous RV Tire Failures For Over 20 Years: Court Docs by Ryan Felton — There is an understandable tendency to blame tire (and other) failures on the manufacturer rather than to consider poor maintenance or improper use. Sometimes it is difficult to determine exactly why a failure occurred, especially if it takes time to develop. Goodyear motorhome tires, the G159 275/70R 22.5 seems particularly problematical and people have been going after Goodyear for its failures and damages for years.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. received failure claims over a tire that was installed on thousands of RVs and is linked to at least nine deaths, dozens of injuries, and hundreds of crashes as early as 1996, the first year it was manufactured and installed on motorhomes, according to court documents obtained exclusively by Jalopnik. The documents also show that Goodyear appears to have vastly underreported the number of failure claims it had received over the tire to federal regulators during a previous inquiry more than a decade ago, and confirm the tire is almost certainly still on the road today.

One problem with these stories is that it is difficult to properly place the complaint. It does cover suggested causes of failure but that doesn’t really refute the manufacturer’s claims. It doesn’t provide any information to properly weigh the significance of the rate of failure or other relevant variables. It doesn’t even provide judgments from court proceedings being that it a story about the issue going to court based on the complaint.

What you can learn from what is known so far: (1) don’t take shortcuts with RV energy sources and (2) take care of your tires and monitor them closely.

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Silver Fox Field Tripping resources

Looking for Nevada Tours this summer? Check out Links: Field tripping in Nevada, mostly along I-80 and Highway 50. There’s enough to keep you going for quite a while.

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History of highway and railroad across Wyoming plus early Airstream history

100 Years on the Lincoln Highway, a Wyoming PBS video on YouTube (57 Minutes) — see what was and how it was built and how it grew: good scenery and a lot of insight into transcontinental automobile travel. It is about the roots of the RV experience.

Published on Jun 1, 2017: Before the Interstate Highway System, before famed Route 66, before highways were even numbered, there was one road that started it all, one road that changed America forever: The Lincoln Highway. “100 Years on the Lincoln Highway” is the story of the first coast to coast automobile road in the United States and its impact on Wyoming.

The focus is on Wyoming, of course. A sister video is End of Track (1 hour) and is about the “Transcontinental Railroad’s construction march across southern Wyoming and the growing pains of a state in its infancy.” The railroad preceded highways by 50 years and built many towns across the great plains.

Another bit of history is about the Airstream Clipper article and the 1930’s RV experience.
https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/12/22/what-the-airstream-clipper-wasnt/

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Road Trip ’54

Road and Track has this one. Here’s What the Family Road Trip Looked Like in 1954 By Bob Sorokanich — “No GPS, no satellite radio, and a nation without a unified highway system. Here’s how your grandparents did it.” This is more likely to bring back memories many of us have about our first days with the family on the road.

I recently came across this 1954 film produced by Chevrolet, teaching the average American family how to have a happy, safe, stress-free road trip. Produced by Jam Handy, the prolific maker of training, instructional and engineering films, it’s a charming look back at the concerns of the typical family heading out on the road.

 …
while you might not need to use your wristwatch and the sun to fashion a makeshift compass today, there’s some tips and tricks in here that are sure to make your next family road trip easy.

What’s changed that’s really important? See the video and think about what strikes you.

 

 

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Your next tow vehicle?

The hype is strong with Musk (see the Coyote: Elon Musk Is The Master of Yelling “Squirrel” ). The latest is his tractor. See Tesla Semi: 500-Mile Range, Cheaper Than Diesel, Quick to Charge By Bill Howard. The key item of interest is energy storage and both the Coyote and Howard comment on this.

The Coyote says Here Are the Two Problem With EV’s — energy density and recharge time.

15 gallons of gasoline weighs 90 pounds and takes up 2 cubic feet.  This will carry a 40 mpg car 600 miles. … the Tesla gets  0.22 miles per pound of fuel/battery while the regular car can get 6.7.  That is a difference in energy density of 30x.
 …
 The problem is that it is MUCH faster to refill a tank of gas than it is to refill a battery with a full charge.

and here is Howard on the tractor:

As for battery capacity, Tesla gave us a hint: Tesla says the Semi uses “less than 2 kilowatt-hours” of energy per mile. Based on vehicle battery packs in use now, we know lithium-ion battery packs of at least 50 kWh weigh about 15 pounds per 1 kilowatt-hour of stored energy. So if the Tesla Semi uses 1.5 kWh per mile and travels 500 miles, that means the battery is 750 kWh and weighs 11,250 pounds. If consumption is closer to 2.0 kWh per mile, the battery at is as much as 1,000 kWh — 1 megawatt-hour — and 15,000 pounds.

Now, if you want to recharge via solar, a typical cargo container has 320 square feet of roof. At 15 watts per square foot, this could accommodate about 4800 watts of solar panels. At 2 kWh/mile, bright sun might get enough energy from the roof of that typical semi-trailer cargo container in an hour to run the vehicle 2 miles.

Another way to look at this is that, at a 60 mph highway speed, the tractor would need a 30 kW power delivery. (60 miles, 2 kWh/mile, 1 hour). A gallon of diesel has about 38 kWh of energy storage. Since the battery and electric motor efficiency is about three times that of a heat engine like the diesel, these calculations indicate the electric tractor running at the equivalent of about 5 miles per gallon. That sounds a bit low but isn’t that far off.

I wonder what an RV park would do if you pulled in for the night to recharge your tow vehicle from a day’s driving. They aren’t geared up for covering a night time use of 400 kWh energy draw (2 kWh/mi and 200 miles). At ten cents per kWh that would be $40 of electricity and most places have more expensive electricity. Compare that to the current headache, A/C on a hot day, where a large RV might pull 30 – 50 kWh. That’s an order of magnitude increase in energy needs.

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The 2018 Calendar For Roadtreking Rv Lifestyle Gatherings describes a philosophy and approach towards the RV community that illustrates how technology has enabled and facilitated new ways of getting together and building friendships.

We don’t call our events “rallies.” We call them gatherings. There’s no membership requirements. Any and all types of RVs are welcomed. Tenters are welcome. Even people who camp in the pack of their car are welcomed.

There are no dues. No nametags. No agenda.

It’s all about the RV Lifestyle. The only requirements we have is that you have fun, are independent enough to plan your days on your own and are a nice person who gets along well with others.

That said, our gatherings have lots of activities you can participate in. Or not participate in. It’s all up to you.
 …
Most of our gatherings are intentionally kept small – to no more than 30 rigs and 50 people. That way, everybody gets to meet and make friends and, if we agree to go to a local restaurant for dinner, we don’t completely overwhelm the servers and space.

There is much to be learned from an approach such as this. Some of the old, classic style, organizations could learn a lot about matching their identity and purpose to the modern RV experience.

One should note that the website is a part of a growing empire as a journalist found a niche and started a blog, a news site, a Facebook and YouTube presence and other activities to keep him going. See Mike’s Story.

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SNU November News

SNU Folks,

*The November 2017 Newsletter has been posted*
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/snu/2017/17-news/index.html

Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can also be found there.

_Topics in the November newsletter_
November lunch in Fernley -|- Boca Rally Review -|- Airstreams in the news -|- Caravans, Clubs, & Rallies -|- Pet Friendly RV’s -|- Fun & Games -|- Wally Byam Foundation -|- Numbers Ideas

*November Lunch at Black Bear*

Saturday November 18, 2017 the SNU luncheon will be at the Black Bear Diner located east of downtown Fernley at 1190 E Main Street. Please let us know if you plan to attend. Email: hq@sierranevadaaristreams.org

Although plans are nebulous at this time, there has been talk of having an impromptu campout at Rye Patch Reservoir East of Lovelock either before or after the luncheon. Whether or not this occurs depends on weather and other factors. If you are interested let us know.

Keep Informed about the SNU

* SNU Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/178368645651150

* What's new on the SierraNevadaAirstreams.org
http://www.sierranevadaairstreams.org/snuze/index.php?cat=14

*Email: hq@sierranevadaairstreams.org
— SNU HQ

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The SNU at Lassen RV Resort

Catch the updates to the Lassen RV Resort rally photo galleries?

See the photo galleries index page for the SNU Lassen RV Resort Rallies.

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Notice any changes?

The Roadtreking blog does. 

The one consistent thing we’ve noticed in our Roadtreking travels this year is how many new RVers we are encountering out there. 
 …

Those campers are younger and younger. In KOA’s 2017 North American Camping Report, the company sayid millennials and Generation Xers now make up 72 percent of the 75 million households in U.S. that are regular campers.

Most of those younger campers are in tents and towables 
 …
 across the board for the whole industry, sales of smaller Class B campervans have been seeing double digit growth
 …

Where we have most seen it is in the places we go boondocking.
 …
We used to never have a problem finding a spot, let alone have neighbors as we retreated deep into the woods or on Bureau of Land Management properties. Now, we usually always have neighbors and sometimes actually find all the good spots taken.

There’s growth. Growth in population. Growth in wealth. And there’s reductions in costs for the conveniences in modern RV’s and camping equipment. 

 

 

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SNU Rally at Boca Rest October 2017

October weather! Warm for prep, gusty with rain and cold on first night out then sunny afternoons and warming. 

See the photo gallery!

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Lassen Trails

On Project Gutenberg: Lassen Trails by Stephen Halsey Matteson — from the preface

Since most of Lassen Volcanic National Park can best be seen and enjoyed by walking the trails, this booklet is written to help those who wish to know more about the park. Much can be observed from the Lassen Park Road, including some of the best scenery and most interesting geology, but to become thoroughly acquainted with the park and to appreciate fully what it has to offer, there is no better way than walking the trails.

Thirty-four trails are briefly described in this booklet. Rather than give a complete description of each trail, an attempt is made to indicate the highlights of each, giving enough information so that a hiker can decide which trails will interest him most.

Assuming the trails are still active, this is a guide with maps and illustrations that provides information to help you see and notice what is special about the park. If you are taking a tour out of Northeastern California, this ought to be in your eBook reader.

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SNU Rally Photo Galleries – Lassen RV Resort and SNU October News is up

SNU Folks,

*The October 2017 Newsletter has been posted*
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/snu/2017/17-news/index.html

Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can also be found there.

_Topics in the October newsletter_
Lassen Rally review -|- October at Boca Rest -|- Salem in 2018 -|- Trash -|- Historic Bridges -|
- The SNU 1980 Mid-Nevada Caravan -|- SNU Business, Renew your membership, October Annual Meeting -|
- Dyann’s Memories -|- Wheels Dry Camping -|- Tinker Toys

*October Rally At Boca Rest*
Thursday October 19 to Sunday October 22, 2017 the SNU rally will be at Boca Rest near Truckee, CA. 
Take the Hershdale exit off I 80 head north over the bridge and past the dam. 
Continue around the east side of the reservoir about a half mile. 
The campground is just off the road on the left. 
Bring wood for campfires (but see http://www.firewood.ca.gov/ and
 https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tahoe/recarea/?recid=55534).

Keep Informed about the SNU
 * SNU 2017 Rally Schedule – Mark your calendars
 http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/snu/2017/17-events/17-rallyschedule.html
* SNU Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/178368645651150
* What's new on the SierraNevadaAirstreams.org
http://www.sierranevadaairstreams.org/snuze/index.php?cat=14
*Email: hq@sierranevadaairstreams.org

SNU HQ

Also – See the Pictures!

See the photo galleries: 2017 rally photo gallery 1 -|- 2017 rally photo gallery 2 -|- 2017 rally photo gallery 3 -|- Video of Doris singing -|- Video of Russell singing

This isn’t the usual full service RV resort. They have a number of features to make a rally something special, including this layout.

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