Well I’v managed to do it again, a HUGE break in between posts to the blog. My last entry had me sending my sister Kim back off to Boston after spending time with me in Colorado. That was way back on August 30! I cannot believe
how time has flown by. Leaving Colorado I spent a couple weeks in Wyoming. I made a couple day stop in Lander, WY, where I stayed the Lander City Park. They actually allow RVers to stay up to three nights for free at the park. My spot was amazing, right on the river and only a few feet from the bike path to town. I put a ton of miles on the bike just running around and exploring town. Lander Brewing Company had some great beers and I meet a couple of great locals there as well and chatted it up for a few hours! I really enjoyed the town and actually wish I could have stayed longer, but I adhered to the three day limit. In the words of Arnold, “I’ll be back”. The next week plus I spend based out of Curt Gowdy State Park a few miles west of Cheyenne. I’ve stayed in this park before and love it. I snagged a secluded spot elevated up above the lake with a sweet view. I spend the entire time riding the mountain bike and Jeeping. The MTB trails at Curt Gowdy are way cool, I think I rode most of them several times. I took the Jeep out (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
My next stop was boondocking in Crested Butte Colorado. Even with all the traveling I have done around Colorado, I’ve never been to CB. As with many other small town in Colorado, I had high expectations. I was certainly not disappointed. For starters, the spot where I camped was amazing. I was out in Washington Gulch, only five miles from town. The wildflowers were blooming everywhere and there were views in every
direction. And to make my two weeks here even better, I was meeting up with several friends. Dave and Shannon had arrived the day before me and Jase and Lauri has already been in the spot for a week or so. The spot that Dave picked out took us down a little bit of a precarious road. It was not all that steep, but it had some pretty deep ruts that went across at an angle as well some fairly off camber spots. The Seneca handled it with flying colors, although I’m pretty sure the twisting did not do it any good. I gave the rig a good once over for anything loose as a result. Dave made it his mission for the next few days to collect rocks and create a bridge thru the ruts to make the exit easier. His work was quite impressive!
One thing I had to take care of right when I arrived was a problem with my supplemental braking system for the Jeep. I use the ReadyBrake system, actually have had it for more than five years and it has worked flawlessly. I love that it is totally mechanical. It has close to three years of fulltime
travel on it now, and I started to notice that is was getting pretty sloppy. Well, when I stopped to fuel up in Montrose I noticed it was beyond loose, it actually had become bent! And not just a little bend, it was pretty extreme. Once I setup in Crested Butte I took the tow bar system apart and was shocked at just how damaged it was. I contacted ReadyBrake and explained the situation. They agreed to make repairs or replace it under (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
My time at the cabin in Forest Lakes was very relaxing. I had a good solid two weeks and it went by quickly. I handled some RV projects, including the installation of my hot water recirculation system. I made a video on that install that I embedded below. I also build a storage box system in the Rubicon, completed a video
on that project as well. I managed to get the cabin all cleaned up and organized my little storage room and garage. Beyond that, it was really a lot of just working and relaxing. I did have my friend Joe come up with his son and a friend for a weekend. Been more than a year since we had a chance to catch up. We our course played a ton of darts, enjoyed some beer, went hiking at the lake and just generally enjoyed the cool mountain air. It was great to get caught up. I closed up the cabin for the extended period I will be gone and pointed the RV back towards Flagstaff.
I scheduled to arrive a couple of days before the Made in the Shade Beer Festival. As I believed I mentioned previously, it has been four years since I have attended this event. While we lived in Arizona it was an annual trip for many many years. My cousin and other friends would be making there way up to Flagstaff on Friday in their fifth wheel for the weekend. My great friend Allen also decided to make his way up from Prescott to join in the fun and hang with me in the Seneca. As an added surprise for everyone, my oldest son Matthew was given a weekend off from the Army in Georgia and he also came up and joined us! It was almost like old (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
Our journey in Michigan took us into the upper peninsula to the town of Wells. Just outside Escanaba, Wells is located near the shores of Lake Michigan on the southern portion of the UP. Toni’s dad lives here and was kind
enough to allow us to driveway surf for a few weeks. The spot was perfect, complete with an electrical hokup. I attempted to earn our keep helping out with some work around their house. They are in the midst of a full basement remodel. There was some electrical work to be done, which happens to be my specialty. It was only a small list of desires for electrical work, but I turned it into quite a bit more. As usual for this type of project, whoever started it before they purchased the house had no idea how to properly do electrical work. It was quite the system of junction boxes and a maze a wiring. After some thought, we basically decided to just redo the entire thing. Thus began a couple days of electrical work that ended in a correctly wired and functional (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
Hard to believe Christmas is already over and we are staring right in the face of the New Year. It has been a great time with family and friends so far on our visit, and we still have much fun to come over the next couple of weeks. One question we have had very consistently….”how many miles did you cover so far?”. So, drum roll please……. 5136 miles since 9/1/2014 and 7 states visited. Be sure to check out our travel map to see just where we have been. As I mentioned in a previous post, we do feel we were moving too fast, but we had a great time regardless.
We have to thank my uncle for allowing us to “backyard surf” for the past couple of weeks. It has been great to spend time here. I do miss the afternoons I spent with a cold beer in the workshop. And being in town has made it easy to jump from place to place for meet-ups.
It has also allowed some time for all important projects around the RV.
My office chair has been a bit of an issue, the padding is very worn and it basically felt like you are sitting on steel bars. The first idea was to replace it with a new one, but we quickly found out that these european chairs are CRAZY expensive, no way that was happening. Then the idea was to get it re-covered, but that was also pretty pricey. My brilliant idea was to take it apart and add some webbing and new foam ourselves! Took a little convincing, but I talked Toni into it. (WRONG, Toni reminds me back when I started complaining it was her idea to replace the padding….oops) After some shopping, and a clever use of a vacuum “space bag” we made it happen. And wow, it is amazing, better than new.
On the mechanical side, I wanted to add a relief valve on my waste dump valve. Our sewer hose is always
attached and we use a Valterra D04-0250 Dominator 15′ Sewer Hose Kit, which we love. But, the issue is that once I close the dump valves and put the cap on the end of the sewer hose, I cannot collapse the hose back into the storage area because the air is
trapped. So I drilled and tapped the piping after the dump valves and installed a 1/4 turn valve. Now I can open the 1/4 turn valve allowing the air to escape, collapse the hose tightly and close the 1/4 turn valve. Perfect! Just one more little improvement that helps make travel easier.
While being in one place, we also managed to purge a bunch of items we decided not to drag around with us via Craigslist. Pretty amazing, over three days we sold everything we listed! This included a bike stand, a bike rack, a car buffer, a dog cage, a Dremel saw and our old Canon camera. This dropped 98lbs of cargo and emptied some basement storage. Hard to believe, but we actually have more space than we need, a couple of areas are simply empty. This should be the about the last of the “shedding” of things. What we have now is what we need and use on a normal basis. I am still pestering Toni for a panini press!
The Jeep needed some attention as well. The Liberty was never really meant for real 4wheeling, and we have been pushing it pretty hard. While we upgraded most of the suspension to Old Man Emu, there are still some stock parts that have 115,000 miles on them now. Had to replace the rear end tri-link, which was not very fun. We also managed to blow out both rear shocks, the only suspension parts I did not upgrade to Old Man Emu (to saved a few $$ I used the Rocky Road Outfitters shocks), so now I have to buy the OME ones anyway. Brilliant move. Hopefully this will take care of all the rattles and issues for the moment.
I also have spent some time working on our website. As part of the whole “travel blog” operations, I use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, as well as our Kuhl Odyssey website. I decided it would be cool to have our videos available on our website as well as YouTube, so I added a new page on the website for videos. This way those that are not normal users of YouTube can still check out the videos.
I am going to try my hand at a “how to” video this week. I need to change out the fan motor on our Atwood RV heater, so I thought I would see how I do with a video, showing the process. Not really sure how it will turn out, but hey, it sounds like fun to me so what the heck!
Hopefully we will visit some breweries here in the Phoenix area over the next couple of weeks and I am looking forward to starting work as a driver at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. There is still more family time to come, it is AWESOME to get all our boys together this week. My mom will be coming to town and my littlest sister will be back in town with her kids. And then there is New Years to celebrate.
So from Toni and I, have a Happy New Year and we hope everyone has had great time with family and friends.by Kurt Kuhl