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Old 08-04-2016, 07:01 AM   #31
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ZOMG... the steering rack was a pain. Followed up by some differential bushings. All done and tucked a few trips along the way. Time to start posting them up over the next week.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:27 AM   #32
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6/23/16

State Forest State Park, CO – What a goofy name for a remote part of the Rockies. Pulled out of Ft. Collins and made a traffic free drive up to the park. Our goal was to see how well we could pull a pass without being run down by the big truck. The temp gauge came up between ½ and ¾ but never moved after that. It would cycle up and down in that range, I suspect from the changing transmission temp. Through this I worked to see where sweet spot was between engine rpm, speed and transmission load. Struggled quite a bit near top of Cameron Pass 10,200ish feet. Once over, next up was making sure we did not develop the runaway train. Kept the transmission shifted down to 3rd and the foot off the brakes for a smooth drop into the park.

Ranger Lakes Campground along with a few others has been decimated by the pine beetle epidemic. We went reservation free with hopes to get an electric site and a backup plan to test out the system with it. Luckily they had 4 sites left, so we setup for the evening.

Next up was a trip out to explore the Park. This is one of the larger parks in the Colorado State Park system with sweet Moose Visitor center and lots of back country to explore. It sits just north of RNMP so we had high hopes of finding wildlife as we explored the backcountry. The ranger at the visitor center recommended an off-road trail that made for a great drive through the park. Shortly after turning onto the trail we scored some pictures of Moose but stayed otherwise wildlife free aside from a few deer. Along the way, we found so many great campgrounds that are off electric and dispersed. At 7200 feet there seemed to be little need for AC.

Once back at the campsite we set the boys out to run and made up some dinner. Mosquitoes were quite bad, it was a good thing we picked up a screen tent a week before. Early evening, the storms started rolling in fire was drummed out and we finished our beverages in the quiet of the camper.

As we came back down the mountain the next day, we found some great BLM campsites along the Cache La Poudre River that were quickly added to the “To-Camp” list. Mission accomplished as we were planning a week long trip at the end of July to Grand Junction.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:50 AM   #33
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State Forest State Park, CO – What a goofy name for a remote part of the Rockies. Pulled out of Ft. Collins and made a traffic free drive up to the park. Our goal was to see how well we could pull a pass without being run down by the big truck. The temp gauge came up between ½ and ¾ but never moved after that. It would cycle up and down in that range, I suspect from the changing transmission temp. Through this I worked to see where sweet spot was between engine rpm, speed and transmission load. Struggled quite a bit near top of Cameron Pass 10,200ish feet. Once over, next up was making sure we did not develop the runaway train. Kept the transmission shifted down to 3rd and the foot off the brakes for a smooth drop into the park.

Ranger Lakes Campground along with a few others has been decimated by the pine beetle epidemic. We went reservation free with hopes to get an electric site and a backup plan to test out the system with it. Luckily they had 4 sites left, so we setup for the evening.

Next up was a trip out to explore the Park. This is one of the larger parks in the Colorado State Park system with sweet Moose Visitor center and lots of back country to explore. It sits just north of RNMP so we had high hopes of finding wildlife as we explored the backcountry. The ranger at the visitor center recommended an off-road trail that made for a great drive through the park. Shortly after turning onto the trail we scored some pictures of Moose but stayed otherwise wildlife free aside from a few deer. Along the way, we found so many great campgrounds that are off electric and dispersed. At 7200 feet there seemed to be little need for AC.

Once back at the campsite we set the boys out to run and made up some dinner. Mosquitoes were quite bad, it was a good thing we picked up a screen tent a week before. Early evening, the storms started rolling in fire was drummed out and we finished our beverages in the quiet of the camper.

As we came back down the mountain the next day, we found some great BLM campsites along the Cache La Poudre River that were quickly added to the “To-Camp” list. Mission accomplished as we were planning a week long trip at the end of July to Grand Junction.
Dirt, rocks and boys just go together!

Thanks for sharing your photos, certainly some beautiful views, not to mention the pic of the moose. The wife would go nuts if she saw one. Come to think of it, so would I as we don't have moose where we live....
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:07 AM   #34
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Dirt, rocks and boys just go together!

Thanks for sharing your photos, certainly some beautiful views, not to mention the pic of the moose. The wife would go nuts if she saw one. Come to think of it, so would I as we don't have moose where we live....
That they do!

I am pretty lucky spotting Moose. Seem to find one every year, sometimes in the middle of a small town. They are huge, mean but pretty if kept at a distance. Your trepidation is well placed.
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:14 AM   #35
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Bunk Bed Conversion

Bunkbed Conversion

We started with a Pack-N-Play in the beginning for the boys. Tried 2 and they just would not fit. So I devised a “temporary” conversion for the bottom bunk to a crib. Installed a child safety latch on the window, then put this err… “gate” up to keep em safe inside. It works pretty well, but the latches rattle, so we use binder clips for the time being. No more rattle and the boys are safely tucked inside. They do not normally sleep in the same crib, so this makes for a fun time for them when we go camping. They really love it!! I Probably could do a whole bunch more to make it cooler, but it is only until they get to the point of being able to climb in and out of bed.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:13 AM   #36
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Hengs Fan

Hengs Fan

One of the issues with our Starcraft being a more entry level camper is the lack of windows. When the AC is not running, and the windows open, it just does not seem to move enough air through it. Perhaps it is just the warm summer we have had. I really want something like a Fantastic Fan, but did not want to mess with the seal on the roof just yet.

$55 for the Hengs variable speed fan does not seem like a terrible investment. Installed it and it seems to work ok but it is noisy sometimes. Possibly will add a Maxx Air Vent covers in the future, to help with keeping the vents open when driving and rain.

The fan was easy to put in while using existing vent hardware. I tapped the electric from a lamp in the bathroom and fishing some automotive wire between them. Those fiberglass rods are amazing.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:06 PM   #37
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7/21/16

Prospect Campground - US Forest Service (Dillon, CO) - Our goal for this trip was to see how we made the climb and subsequent down hill run through the Eisenhower tunnel/pass. Made sure the tanks were empty, decided to shop for grocery up there at the expense of outdoor time. Dropped in behind some big trucks I-70 to climb at their pace and not push the vehicle too hard. Without a trailer, and living here for quite a while the mountain passes are not normally a big deal, but you have to respect the elevation. Overall it took us 20 minutes longer to go from North Denver – Frisco slower than without a brick attached. Thermostat never moved, transmission held the vehicle at the right speed coming down into Frisco. 5.7 Hemi gasser was breathing hard at 11,000 feet though. Cars zipped past us at 75+, but hanging out with the big trucks it was not really that big of a deal.

The next part of the plan was to go to Heaton Bay Campground. When we stopped there it was so pretty but there were no sites with electric. We decided to explore the area with the possibility of dropping the electric idea. Just got the fridge going on gas…

We had quite the issue with our fridge running on propane from beginning. Our delivery guy said it was running before we arrived but never demo’d it with us. Found out the gas cylinder was never filled and he never really showed us how to start it. I read directions, watched videos, called them… nothing could get it running. Took it to the dealer and they said that it just needed to be primed and they fixed it. At this point, I suspect they lied to me, but as long as it is fixed I am good with it.

Asked about some other campgrounds with electric and heard about Lowry. Went up there and found the area decimated from the beetle kill and some campsites right on top of each other. Holding out, we headed down to Prospect Campground. Found a nice site with great view towards Breck/Frisco although it had no electric. Prospect had some damage, it was not as clear cut as Lowry and a bit closer to the water. We chose Prospect.. So purty #66

Took the boys out for some lunch and some grocery shopping, then as it turns out some storms rolled in. We took them out for their afternoon siesta and a peaceful drive for us north of Silverthorn. Found a ton more US forest service sites north of I-70. Almost want to kick yourself for choosing a spot to early sometimes. Alas, we will have to come back another day.

Arriving back at the site, the boys had a great time running around in between storms. It ended up being rainy night, cooked dinner under the awning while trying to campfire. All in all a successful trip over the pass and back. Our big trip to Idaho should be alright.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:18 PM   #38
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7/28/16

Vedauwoo Campground, WY

Headed out for a longer trip and our first stop what turned out to be an amazing campground. There were no electric sites but it had some primitive bathrooms right across from our spot. We only spent one night here, but darn it is so worth a return trip! Most spots are tucked right into the rocks.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:41 PM   #39
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7/29/16

Jefferson Campground, Rigby ID

Spent one night here, great hook ups, kids swimming everywhere. Just seemed kind of crowded for our liking. We originally planned on staying a few days here, but decided to move on the next morning.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:53 PM   #40
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7/29/16 +++

Our next goal was Boise but heard there was a huge concert close to city and camp spots were in short supply. But seeing all that national forest out there, we decided to take a gamble.

Stumbled on Craters of the Moon National Monument. Whoa.. amazing

Alas, the campground is under a complete re-construction. Rumor from the ranger that there was national forest spots just past Stanton, ID.
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