Saturday, January 31, 2009

Propane Run Over to Safford, Az.

I could not find these pictures to post yesterday. Teri found them for me. Here you can see how Steve reinforces the torsion bar "holes" for lack of a better term. I am drawing a blank. You know what they are. You might have to "click up" the picture size to see just what I am talking about. He puts a strap around the thing to make it tougher.
Edit, Edit.
These are Toronado arms so this strap had to be added to make it as tough as the factory welded GMC arms. The braces shown in previous post were the additions to the arms for reinforcing.
What do I know? I am no mechanic, ha.
Thanks for the help here Rob.

Call Jim K. for a set of these babies. Will be the last ones you ever need.

Today we made a propane run over the mountains. My son in law, Cody, loaned us his two 30 lb. bottles from his Travel Trailer. We carried them over to Safford and saved 1.25 a gallon. 2.75 is still a dog gone rip off. We can afford gasoline now but propane is killing us. Teri woke up to 34 degrees in the coach this morning. The furnace never kicked on. I bumped the thermostat and it took off and warmed up the coach so we could get our showers. It gets cold on this mountain at night. We never used heat over in Quartzsite but will need it most nights here. We are almost 3,000 ft. higher here and it gets colder. It was a 70 degree day here about noon. I talked to a friend, who is still at Quartzsite, tonite on my ham rig. He said it was a perfect day over there.

We were not the only ones getting lp today. Had a line going when we pulled up. This was our third stop trying to get gas. The others were out. For some reason Safford only has 3 or 4 places that sell lp to the public. At least that is all that we can find. I suspect most rvers get their's at the many rv parks over there.
We took our 2 bottles and stuck them in the back seat of the car. On the other side of the seat was our grandson, Cdub, 5 years old. He held the bottles up straight for me when we went around curves. I guess I wore him out as he was sleeping when we got back home. We shopped at Walmart for a few things while we were in Safford.
So, that is about it from Duncan, Az. tonight. Our daughter Melanie called and gave us an update on the progress, or lack of it, in Dexter with the electricity. Hopefully folks will have juice soon. Clyde sent me an email telling me that he checked our home for us today also. Took pictures and will email them when he gets electric and internet back at his house. I can't wait to see some pictures.
Hope all of you have a great weekend. Dan

Friday, January 30, 2009

Storm Damage

As many of you know our home town was one of the worst hit by the ice storm that swept across Southeast Mo. I don't have any pictures to post yet but when the power is restored we hope to have some sent to us. My brother was over there today checking our property. He says we are the luckiest two people in Dexter as our home is not damaged by any falling trees. He did say that my ham radio antennas are down. They are wires strung from my 50 ft. tower. I needed to replace them anyway as the wire was 5 or 6 years old. Apparently our next door neighbors house got hit good, even had the electric box pulled off the wall. Their truck got smashed by a falling tree. We have some real large trees in our town and in our yards. Teri told the neighbors to move into our home until they can get their's up and going again. They have 2 young sons. My brother said that folks were fighting each other in gas lines in one of the little towns north of Dexter that had some power to run the pumps. Sounds like a real down home good time back there. We have been watching the local news from channel 12 on the internet. Have read one paper on line. It seems the paper can not publish everyday without electricity.
To all of our family and friends back home, we are praying for you. When you can get back on line please send us a note and let us know how you are.
Just wanted to update folks as this has been on my mind all evening. Dexter has set up some shelters so folks without heat can come and stay so they are warm. It seems that Dexter may not look the same with so many of the 100 year plus trees now down in the streets, yards, and on roof tops. I am glad that we did not have damage. Wish we were there to help out but at the same time we are glad to be here.
Oh, I got ripped on lp again today. Was charged over 3 bux a gallon. This is totally rediculous. They are holding us up. Gasoline is cheap so some folks are tearing us up on lp just because they can. We are taking two bottles into town this weekend to get filled and will use them for heat instead of the on board tank. Two days after I paid 4 dollars we saw lp in Safford for 1.79. I am sure it has gone up some but I bet it is not much over two dollars. It is a shame, got a new heater and we can not afford to use it. Looks like since times are hard that some gas station owners are sticking it to us.
Well, that is it for now. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Leaving Friends

It is always hard to leave friends. It was very difficult to leave Steve, Nancy, and their two little dogs. I had a blast playing with those two little dogs. They took right up with me. I guess I just have a way with dogs. Not cats though. They run from me, ha.
Steve cooked us a big breakfast this morning. I could not believe it. I had just got into the shower when Nancy knocked on the door and said that breakfast was in 10 minutes. That was a fast shower for me. We had eggs, potatoes, sausage, toast with the best jelly, and a big V-8 to drink. Steve sets a very bad example for some of us. Not only does he cook the meal, he also washes the dishes. Not good.
So, we finished up and headed outside to prepare for our departure. Teri and I could easily have stayed another night when we were invited but we don't want to wear out our welcome. I am afraid that our friends might call ahead and we could get a cancellation somewhere. I will say this, the GMC community are the best of people. We have been invited to so many homes. We also always extend invitations to our friends to park in our driveway back in Mo. Just call to see if we are home. If we are not, you may still park in our driveway and I will make sure the neighbors get you a key to our home. Once again, I can not say enough about how Steve and Nancy treated us. Was just a great few days. We will come back.

I did take a few photos along our way. This rv dealer is a good one to do buisness with. Last year Steve sent me out there and I was treated like a real customer should be treated. These people are just great. A few miles south of I-10 and just north of Sierra Vista about 12 miles.

I am one of those guys who does not like abusing my engine. I try to climb every mountain using my vacuum gauge. I do my best to keep my foot out of the accelerator and top the pass with at least 5 inches of vacuum. So, we chose not to hook the Vibe up til after we got over the pass at Texas Canyon. I made it over with vacuum to spare. We hooked the car up just east of Wilcox.

I always find these rock facsinating. Round and smooth. Looks like they are just balanced on each other.

I have the utmost respect for police officers. They were out again today. This one seemed to enjoy looking at our coach as we passed and waved just after Teri took this shot.

Coming down the mountain into Duncan, Az.

I think this is a 53 Ford sedan. Looks like they blasted it good with yellow paint. I doubt that it looks too good up close. It sits on the outskirts of Duncan.
Was a beautiful day for the 150 mile drive from Steve and Nancy's to our daughter's here in Duncan. As I have stated before, I hate to stop when we are rolling in this motorhome. It rides and drives so good. I have to thank Jim Kanomata's mechanics for putting the final touches on it last March. It drives with one finger now. Took a hand before they got hold of it. When we bought it I needed 4 hands to keep it in the road. I do not think it can steer any better but I am one of those guys that can not leave well enough alone. I will have new lower control arms on it before too long.
Thanks for riding along. We loved your company.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bisbee, Arizona

Ok, for my GMC friends, here is the finished product. These 2 lower control arms are now finished, wrapped, and ready for transport. Steve is a real pro and very particular. I am telling you this will be the last set of control arms that you will ever need. We put the bushings and ball joints in this morning. There is no way these ball joints can come loose. Call Jim Kanomata and grab a pair of these.

These shots are from our afternoon tour, courtesy of the Fergesons. We had a blast. Some of these places Teri and I have seen on the Travel Channel.

These rv's and the boat stay in place. They are rented out like motel rooms. Now, I bet you recall this story on the travel channel.

Hmmm, kinda wierd seeing that name on a realty sign. GMCers know what I mean.

What an afternoon. Had lunch at a golf course where Arnold and Jackie Gleason used to play. Lots of pictures showing them. Right on the border. Noco Az. What a place.
So, there you have our Thursday. I had to take a nap after the meal at the golf course. Early this morning Teri and Nancy were at a gym. I don't know what they were doing there but they came home with some stories about a few wierd folks hanging out there. Felon was a word that got tossed back and forth a few times. They were there while Steve and I finished the control arms.
We have been down in this area several times but this is the first time that Teri and I have had some very good tour guides. Thanks Nancy and Steve.
We will be on the road again Friday. Come on and ride with us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For My GMC Friends

Today was a long one for Steve and me. Last year I was at Blaine Merrell's and he gave me two lower control arms. The plan was to build these up for our coach. Steve Ferguson told me to bring them out and he and I would build them. I wanted a set of his super duper lower control arms for future use. Today was the day that we began work on them. As all of you know I am no early riser but today I was awake by 8 am. I was freezing to death. It took me until 9 before I could get the courage worked up to hit the floor of the coach with my feet on my way to the shower. It was 28 degrees outside. So, by 10 am I was ready to get busy with Steve.

We pressed out the old parts and cut the ball joints out. Steve went to work cutting off stuff that we were not going to need.

I ran the sand blaster. That took a lot of my day, getting these control arms clean of paint and grease.

Steve went to work welding the new reinforcement metal on the arms and then I blasted them again before the paint went on.

These babies got painted and we will do the rest tomorrow. We worked until 5 pm on them. I think most of the hard work is done. Steve reinforced the torsion bar holders but I failed to get a photo of that.
Now, if any of yall want a set of these, call Jim K. He sells them. Once you install a set of these it will be the last set you will ever need. We built these from a set of Toronado arms. I am thankful to Blaine for letting me take these off a Toro front end last year. If you want a thru the bumper hitch, call Jim K. He sells Blaine's hitches. I love mine.
I can not thank Steve enough for the work he is doing for me and letting me learn from him. I have always been weak in knowlege on the front ends of these coaches. This is one way to get a real first hand understanding, better than reading a book. This has really been good for me. Now, to get them installed and my front end lined back up. Maybe a Bean Station gathering????

Look here. Tonight Steve and Nancy took us to a place down by the Mexican border for supper. This is an old place that has been re done. Look at the old bar. I can see a gunfight going on here. I was told that the original owner was indeed shot and killed right here.

Here are three of my favorite people sitting in the resturant enjoying their visiting. We had such a good time tonight, ribs, and last night it was Mexican. We will see what Thursday evening brings.
I got word that our home town was hit hard by the ice storm. My neighbor has a tree though his roof, according to our daughter. She looked around our house and could only find my ham radio wire antennas down. I hope I can get someone over there to take pictures for me. Am hoping we do not have to make a trip home to take care of this. The whole area is without electricity. I watched our local 10 pm news tonite on the internet. They say it will start warming up tomorrow. I am hoping none of our trees break down. Maybe they will thaw out Thursday. I sure hope so.
Well, there you have it. I am sure that I have left out some important information on the control arms but maybe you can see enough to realize just how labor intensive this buildup is. As I stated earlier, if you get a set of these there will never be a need for anymore. These will out last the coach. Stay with us. We may do some sight seeing Thursday afternoon if we get finished with the control arms.