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Leavenworth Washington
#1

Howdy Gurus!  I just returned from Leavenworth, Washington and thought I'd just say a few things about our journey and some insights.  Feel free to comment on any of it!

We are still relatively new to our coach, having purchased #125 in April and driving it 1300 miles from Arizona to Oregon.  Because of a busier than normal schedule, we couldn't take it out until late June for our first actual vacation and we just returned back from our 3rd trip and are continuing to learn more about the coach as we go :-)

We live in Salem Oregon and the trip to Leavenworth "according to Google" is a 6 hour trip.  Having owned RVs for many years, I know better.  There are breaks to take, traffic issues, and the fact that our rigs don't generally travel at 80 mph like the passenger cars do.  When I estimate my drive time, I generally figure my time at 60mph average and then add time depending on what I think the road conditions (winding mountain roads, etc) and traffic conditions (went through Seattle on this trip) might be, and I add in a little bit of time to stop at a rest area for anything over 2-3 hours of driving.  

So on this trip, I figured 6.5 to 7.5 hours depending on traffic.  Let me just say as a caveat... I haven't been through Seattle in a while.  Haha.  The trip up to Leavenworth was on a Saturday, so there was no rush hour traffic.  But still very busy, with a slowdown of 40 minutes for the last 2 miles before I got to my exit.  We were also traveling with RVer friends with a 5th wheel who needed additional fuel stops (2) and a bathroom stop.  We got to our destination in 8 hours.

Leavenworth, for those who are unfamiliar, is a Bavarian town.  All the downtown area buildings look like they are from an old town in Germany or Austria.  They have many choices for German food, but also standard fare for those who have had their fill of European dishes.  There are lots of shops to look through and spend money at, of course.  Haha.  There was also an outdoor amphitheater where we enjoyed an excellent live rendition of The Sound of Music.  During the winter, this mountain town is filled with not only tourists, but also those who are in the area for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

We traveled back yesterday, a weekday, and I thought I would get through Seattle traffic prior to rush hour at 330 pm.  Not even close.  Haha.  What occurred was a cascading of events that led to a 2 hour stint of stop and go traffic over about a 50-60 mile area and hitting rush hour from Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia.  

I'm a pretty patient driver, so I know it's just a matter of time and I'll get through it, but with drivers who like to cut in front of "slower drivers", it's imperative to be alert and at the ready for those drivers who don't contemplate the stopping distance of a large vehicle.  My father was a charter bus (i.e., Greyhound) driver for 25 years and taught me to always  anticipate things ahead of them happening.  I have to say, it's some of the best advice I have ever had regarding driving a motorhome.  

We only took one 1 five minute break during the whole drive, as we were driving separately from our friends on the return trip.  Our journey took 8.5 hours.  

A few notable things during our trip... 

My fuel gauge showed "just over 1/4 full" when I was filling up the morning of the trip.  119 gallons went in.  My main tank is 240 gallons (per the dimensions) and the gen tank (I have them joined) is 60 to 80 gallons (I haven't measured yet) for a total of 300 to 320 gallons.  It's clear to me that my fuel gauge is not a good measure of remaining fuel.  Haha.  

Along with that, I returned with over a half tank, so my MPGs exceed my expectations.  I'll have a better idea when I fill up again, but I seem to have exceeded 6mpgs with an expectation of 5.  I tow my 8k lb Ram 3500.  

I filled the propane tank for the first time.  I don't know the gallon capacity, but I was told it might be 67 gal? The gauge said it was about 1/4 full when it was parked and running, but once I drove it around, it was at about 1/2 full.  I put in 25 gallons to fill it.  So still not sure, but 50ish maybe?  I know that will last me a very long time, so I'm not terribly concerned.  

The Jake Brake is a godsend on steep mountain declines.  I never once felt out of control of my rig.  More importantly, my wife never felt concerned, and was relaxed during the trip.  :-)

I woke up at 6 am on our last morning in the RV park to find that I had no electricity.  As my wife was sleeping, I didn't want to make a lot of noise while investigating.  So I waited an hour.  I switched from the electric heaters (which weren't operating.  The inverter is right by her side of the bed and I didn't want to disturb her) to the propane furnace to warm things up.  Its fan seemed to run off the batteries just fine without needing to switch on the inverter.  

I did check all of the breakers, having had tripped breakers on my last trip and not knowing where they were located until calling the previous owner.  All the breakers were fine.  I was a bit mystified.  So I waited an hour for her to wake.  When she did, I went outside and checked the 50amp breaker.  It was fine.  So I scratched my head a little in confusion, but turned on the inverter and made coffee, hoping that would give my brain a little more go-power to figure this out.  

A couple of coffees later and no more answers, it was time to walk the dog.  So we went outside and the "neighbor" was outside and asked if we had power, because he lost all of his.  It never dawned on me that the park may have lost power!  Mystery solved!  I had been contemplating what it was going to take to figure out this latest issue and was so relieved that it wasn't the coach!

I turned on the generator for a while and let it run under load of the (3) electric heaters, outlets, etc. And after about 20 minutes it shut down suddenly. I then wondered "why?", "what's wrong with the generator?", and "how long is it going to take for me to figure this out?". It wasn't until later that I realized that the park electricity had turned back on and there must be a "kill switch" on the genny when that happens. I ran the generator the next day at my house with the AC on, and it ran flawlessly for about an hour as we were emptying and cleaning out the coach.

Home for a couple of weeks and then heading to the Oregon coast for a few days.  More opportunities to learn more about our coach! Haha.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  I hope it was entertaining! FYI, the gray skies in the pictures are smoke from the forest fires in Canada. It was mostly blue skies on the day we returned.


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Steve and Linda Burleson 
28 years of RVing
Current RVs: 1986 Newell #125 w/2004 Ram 3500
2006 Keystone Raptor Toyhauler 30' stays at the family farm 
Previous RVs: 1989 Rockwood Driftwood 35' gasser
1978 Georgie Boy 28' 
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#2

As for your fuel gauge and fuel burn, try to get hold of a Silverleaf VSMPC. I'm not sure if they are still available from manufacturer. Mine measures fuel consumption almost to the tenth of a gallon.
Reply
#3

(08-25-2023, 09:20 AM)ccjohnson Wrote:  As for your fuel gauge and fuel burn, try to get hold of a Silverleaf VSMPC.  I'm not sure if they are still available from manufacturer. Mine measures fuel consumption almost to the tenth of a gallon.

Would this be compatible with a non DDEC 2 stroke from 1986?

Steve and Linda Burleson 
28 years of RVing
Current RVs: 1986 Newell #125 w/2004 Ram 3500
2006 Keystone Raptor Toyhauler 30' stays at the family farm 
Previous RVs: 1989 Rockwood Driftwood 35' gasser
1978 Georgie Boy 28' 
Reply
#4

no. Silverleaf requires ddec

Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )
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#5

Sounds like you had a great trip thanks for sharing I remember when you bought it in Arizona and made the trip to Oregon. Hearing about having to run a heater in August make me envious and dream of fall.

1999 45' with tag axle, #504 "Magnolia"
Gravette, Arkansas
Reply
#6

(08-26-2023, 03:44 AM)Jack Houpe Wrote:  Sounds like you had a great trip thanks for sharing I remember when you bought it in Arizona and made the trip to Oregon. Hearing about having to run a heater in August make me envious and dream of fall.

Haha.  I didn't even think about that comment on the heater until you mentioned it, but yes, we were in the mountains and it was about 57 degrees every morning.  Being in bed under covers was fine, but walking around the coach was a little chilly, so the second night I planned ahead and set the thermostat to come on at 66.  Great temps for taking our doggie on the long walks she demands of us. Haha.  The daytime temps only got to about 81 or 82.  Couldn't ask for better weather.  Rolled back into Salem and we were back in the 90s again.

Steve and Linda Burleson 
28 years of RVing
Current RVs: 1986 Newell #125 w/2004 Ram 3500
2006 Keystone Raptor Toyhauler 30' stays at the family farm 
Previous RVs: 1989 Rockwood Driftwood 35' gasser
1978 Georgie Boy 28' 
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