Travel

Motorhome Navigator Upgrade

Now that we have resolved some of the issues with our Thor Palazzo 35.1 Motorhome, we are anxious to get back on the road with it. We have a trip planned to head over to Bullhead City, AZ and then to Williams, AZ and return, which will keep us close to home in case we encounter additional latent problems with the RV. Hopefully, these (if any) will not be show stoppers, but things we can note and get fixed back home.

The original GPS we purchased for the motorhome is a Garmin Nüvi 2797 which is still operational and a very good unit with a companion smartphone app that works through bluetooth. We might have been content with keeping this unit which has served us well, but we had a bug planted in our ear by a You-Tuber we watch, Traveling Robert, who mentioned the RV-specific features provided by some of the new units.

I did some research and found that Garmin’s RV series GPS units have the RV-specific features we were looking for. We purchased a Garmin RV 1090 10 Inch GPS Navigator which has the RV specific features we were looking for and more. The most important features relate to where an RV can safely navigate, avoiding sharp switchbacks and low pass bridges, etc. I opened the box (left, clickable) and after updating maps and software via WIFI (no computer attached), I plotted out some routes to see how things worked. One feature is when you search for campgrounds, the unit already knows your RV dimensions and will show those places where you are going to have no trouble.

So now, we will be cleaning out the RV, mounting the new GPS up front, draining the black tank bleach solution and recharging it with the chemical packs plus some other things that need to be done before getting back on the road. I’m anxious to see how the new RV 1090 unit performs.

Safe Arrival at Home

Cactus Wren on Saguaro Buds

We’re safe at home today, after a five week absence. We drove from Bullhead City over to Kingman and then down US 93, also called the Joshua Tree Forrest Arizona Highway, but there is lots more to see along that scenic route going from I-40 down to Wickenburg. Damsel and I are happy to be at home again, having missed our beautiful retirement home. Our two small dogs seem equally happy to be getting back in their routines.

The Cactus Wren in the image above was waiting on the big saguaro out front to greet us. It is our State Bird perched on the buds of our State Flower. Click on the image to enlarge.

Camping at the Colorado River

Camping at the Colorado River

Tonight, we’re camped at a neat little RV park right on the Colorado River in Bullhead City, AZ. The campground is less than 300 feet away from the river where we enjoyed the view that Damsel captured in the image above. It is a lot warmer here than we have had during the entire trip with the mercury hitting a bit over 100° at check in time this afternoon.

Yes, we’re finally back to our home state. We got here by a circuitous route designed to avoid Las Vegas metro area. From Beatty, NV, we went down US 95 Veterans Memorial Hwy and actually went back into California along CA 127 to Baker, up I-15 a ways and across again to Searchlight, NV, Laughlin, NV and finally arriving here in Bullhead. There is always plenty of beautiful scenery along all the desert highways. We had sunny weather and a pleasant drive with only some minor gusty wind conditions in mountainous areas.

Our plan is to head home in a couple of days after relaxing here and enjoying the summer-like weather in the RV resort. The RV’s dual A/Cs keep the temperature comfortable inside.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Next Camping Spot – Beatty, NV

Hills near the campground

Our route from Hawthorne, NV, took us along Veterans Memorial Highway (US 95) through Central Nevada. We drove through several little farming and mining towns along the way. Tonapah and Goldfield were the most interesting.

Tonight and tomorrow night we will be here in Beatty, another old mining town but with casinos being the main attraction these days. The image above is the view directly across the road from the campground. Click on the image to enlarge.

Eight Years

Eight YearsEight years ago today was the first day of retirement for me. Almost immediately, Damsel and I set out to begin looking at places where we could relocate outside of Kalifornistan. Within a week we were in Southern Arizona on a combination of vacationing and looking at potential places to eventually live.

That first trip wasn’t very fruitful other than us having vacation fun in places like Pima Air Museum Tombstone, Mission San Xavier del Bac and Saguaro National Park. Arizona is a very scenic and interesting place.

We took a couple of other trips in the early part of 2010 with more serious focus on relocation. We finally decided on Wickenburg after some research and having visited here several times. We made a deal for some property and after some delay in getting financing, construction on the house began late summer of that year.

It’s coming up on seven years that we have been happily relocated to our retirement home. With continued good health and our nest egg holding out, we expect to have many more blissful years of retirement here and on the road.

Phoenix Metro at Rush Hour

Metro at Rush Hour

Due to missing a turnoff when returning from Mesa, AZ, Damsel and I encountered the daily Phoenix Metro area rush hour traffic. Damsel snapped this photo as we crossed AZ State Route 51 in heavy traffic. Had I made the turnoff from Loop 202 to Loop 101 as originally planned, we could have saved a lot of time and aggravation rather than merging onto I-10 with everyone else.

Our purpose for visiting Camping World of Mesa started out to be a look and see of their diesel motorhomes, but it wound up with us making a commitment to purchase a new RV. We will post more about that next week when we take delivery.

Other than the messed up traffic, look at the beautiful, clear day the Valley was having. Click on the image to enlarge.