We are a Big Rig looking for a Tent Experience.
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We had been a week staying at Varney fishing accrss so time to move on as it has a seven day stay limit.
We stopped in Ennis for groceries, RV dump at the local RV park, and to fill up our now fixed LP tank. YEA!
Our plan was to get to BLM Red Mountain campground and stay over Labor Day. But to do that we would need to spend a night somewhere else as to meet the 14 day limit at Red Mountain. So just a few miles north of Ennis on Ennis lake is a free two site BLM campsite and boat launch. Now look at this view. One of the clearest days we have seen so far.
Next day off to Red Mountain. We have stayed here several times in the past.
The left loop right on the Madison River is reservable (didn't used to be so) but the right loop is fist come first serve. with signs on the posts must occopy site each night. Which means no dumping units and coming back a few days later like on Labor Day weekend.
From our site we can stillsee the foaters going down the river. Theere is a big drop off site with shuttle service and raft rentals a few miles up river and on Labor Day (or any day that is) hords of people foat this section.
Terry the othr day got up and tried his luck at fishing after the camp host told what lure to try. He caught tthree rainbows. He claims on was 12-13 inches.
Since there is NO as in NO cell service here our HughesNet Gen 5 satellite internet dish is a must.
I can on my phone set it to WiFi Calling to make calls. We will rung out of bandwidth and have to start a new cycle in the next day.
We get 35 Gig down a month. But the best part which I tested out last night is they never shut you off when you reach your limit. But cut you back from about 40 Meg down to 3.5 Meg down. 3.5 Meg down is fast enough for most surfing. Even YouTube works. Just thinking when I had my old DataStorm dish at that time the fastest speed you could get was 1.2 Meg. So even with the cut back still happy.
We took a day trip to Bozeman MT (about 20 miles) yesterday for a little Big Boy and Their Toys shopping. Got a new Coleman LP Grill. We have a grittle but never seem to use it. Can get grittle insets for this one so will be able to leae the other grittle at home. And with campfire restrictions wanted to do some BBQ. Charcoal is also off limits. Also as you can see we have a protable LP campfire unit, which is OK to use. Bought chicken and steaks so there is gonna be some good eaten goingh on, since we will be here for the full 14 day limit and over Labor Day.
Poor unused fire grate. But if it helps pervent wild fires so be it.
Who would thiink we moved again. This time to Varney Bridge Fishing Access Site.
A Montana fishing accesses site that is $12 a night with a MT fishing Lic. which Terry has.
This is again just south of Ennis, MT
We are going to try to move up north on Ennis lake to stay for a couply of days so as to gt an early spot at Red Mountain BLM Campground and stay through Labor Day. Like all fulltimers you have to find a place to land early on holiday weekends.
There are three sites usable here with the forth one used by boaters as a ataging area so you would be nuts to try to claim it.
We are in site 3.
This is the view out our MH window. We have had quite a time here as Terry at last got our leaky LP tank fixed. The Lumber Yard in Ennis had the last part we needed and he sez the leak detector is not buzzing at all so we are confident it is fixed, at last.
So that means a pot roast tonight as we are watching the NYC Homecoming Concert on CNN on Amazon Fire stick via our Verizon phone hotsot which with a WeBoost we are getting over 30 MEG down. I may just call this home.
All has not been rosy here at Varney Bridge. When we pulled in to check it out on our advance drive lookiing to see if we wanted to move here, as we were set up futher south. So found a site and placed a tag on it and left a chair and carpet and this guy came up in his ATV and said you just can't leave stuff at a site. He claimed he was the Manager here which we know was not trure. We just ignored him and later brought our MH to the site. He later came back and claimed we we were not displaying the tag correctly and not paying for the site and he as manager would have us kicked out. We had told the Fish and Gmme warden aburt it but with the escalation we had to call the Fish and Game hotline. He came back out and took our report and he had stopped this guy and he lied to him about it all and the warden related about this same guy spouting off to river guids that they were not allowed to even ride the river at all. The warden took all our inofo and we shall see what charges they put on him. We will be out of here on Monday. BTW as for yesterday it has been rainoing light and cool but this morning we had this view of the mountians to the east. Yes that is snow up there.
Yep we moved again up to Ruby Creek Campground. (See map below)
Stilll have LP issues and reached out to people on the iRV2 forum for ideas and one guy suggested we get a poppane leak detector. What an idea, why didn't I think if that.
The local True Value accepts UPS so order away.
Boy that leak detector worked great. Removed the tank cover and found big leak in the swivel connector. Also found the tank cut-off valve. Didn't get it turned till all the LP had leaked out. Was hissing so bad didn't want to go back under the MH. Low and behold the local True Value in Ennis MT had the fitting. Installed and ready for new fill. Will leave the value closed till after fill and when back at camp turn it on and test for a leak.
Another issue fixed I hope. We shall see.
Back to the starter issue. The towing company called and said the warranty company denied the claim and I owe them big time. I have since put in a appeal to the warrantly company to review the claim. The are doing that and will get back to me. A claim first goes to a service company who denies everything and then you take to the home warranty and they review and most times accept the claim.
New MH house batteries are now doing fine aftrer I got them fully charged, but the chassis batteries are not holding charge when we are boondocking as they are charged of the engine running.
And so it goes.
Terry is off conferring with the fly shop this afternoon as fishing has ben slow and he is looking for tips.
After we got the starting issue fixed we headed more north to a BLM campground on the Madison River.
BTW this is the old camp host site with is not in use so we grabbed it. Has water and dump. What's not to like. Power pedestal is locked.
When Terry went to fire up the propane stove we found the LP gauge said empty. We had filled it about July 4th and it should last all summer we thought. Esp with a residential fridge. So our thought is it must have a slow leak.
So we have been researching who we can get to look at it. Can't find any shop that wants to touch it.
When looking under the coach at the tank saw this
Thought maybe the 3/4 brass pipe plug fell out. The drip is where we tried too soap spray for leaks. But since the tank is empty that didn't do any good.
Sent this picture the Manchester LP Tank company and they wrote right back and said
That is the tank pressure relief device! Under NO circumstances, I repeat…. Under NO circumstances should this be plugged.
You need to take it to a qualified technician for diagnosis.
But they have not been able to tell me who to take it to.
So the next move well will add a small amount and soap spray test the connections.
This not stopping us as we have solar and new batteries and generator and can use portable table top propane stove when needed.
Electric hot water heater for showers.
Maybe we just used a lot of propane and it is not leaking. We shall see. Think it is a 20 gal or 60 lb tank.
It has been very windy and afternoon storms up hear in MT south of Bozeman. Should be calmer next week.
Moving to Ruby Creek campground on Monday which is just south of Ennis MT. We are now in Palisades Campground.
BTW Terry has visited the local fly shop and is catching fish.
Just got a storm warning. 60 MPH winds. We are the blue dot in the center. Going NE so should miss us, I hope.
We are flabbergasted at this picture our neighbor back in Mescal AZ sent us of our property.. There was nothing but dirt there when we left. Didn't think anything would ever grow again. That is our greenhouse frame in the background.
We are so gratful for him looking after us!
July 27 my birthday
Having a great day.
Broke down in Island Park ID just south of West Yellowstone a couple of days ago.
Went to move up the road and MH wouldn't start.
Starter just clicks once and nothing.
Called our towing service Coach Net and as this place is kind of out in nowhere land hard to find a mobile repair person.
Finally found one and they came out to where we are boondocking and tried everything and nothing worked.
Took out the old starter and it wouldn't spint with jumper cables from the tow truck so the company sent up a new one from Idaho Falls and it wasn't the right kind.
So today waiting for them to send another one.
If this one doesn't fit they may have to rebuild the old one.
The Cummins dealer in Idaho Falls sez there is a starter in Denver and could ship it overnight.
Meanwhile I have four new Lithium MH house batteries sitting up in Bozeman at a mail drop that we need to get to. They are very understanding and will hold them.
Changed out the chassis batteries last week.
Here is the key to it all (changed out the chassis batteries) This was the first time trying to start the MH with new batteries.
Found this thing had deep cycle batteries in it for chassis batteries instead of starting batteries.
When the new starter it wouldn't turn ove rth motor either.
Took it back out and tried to make it spin on power direct from tow truck. It spun so either other power problem ahead of it or the motor is seized up. Been getting verbal help for Source Eng on Eugene OR form the guy that orig designed this thing.
Well the repair then started looing for the two solanoids and relays that allow this to send power to the starter.
Low and behold one of the cables to the starter sel was not tight. That fixed it.
It must have worked loose when Terry was replaing the chassis (starting batteries).
Glad we hve Coach Net for service calls and Wholesale Warrantries for labor and parts. Still $500 deductible.
As you can see are we having fun yet......
We have moved on to Palisads Campground on the Madison River south of Ennis MT.
The Madison River is in the tree line.
Yellowstone is at the bottom right corner.
We found the camp host site vaccant so grabbed it. It has water and dump. Power is locked. But two out of three ain't bad.
Drove up to Bozman MT to pick up new (house) batteries for the MH and stopped at Walmart.
The clothes dept hardly had anything in it. The clerk said you should have seen it last week.
Said they are short over 100 people and asked if we wanted to go to work.
Then went to check out. Get this absolutely NO check out clerks. Not a one. Every one had to do self check out. Unbeleivabvle.
In Island Park , ID
As a gateway to Yellowstone, It has gained a reputation as a destination independent of the National Park as well. The area is known for its wildlife, flowers, majestic mountains, Henry's Lake, the Henry's Fork of the Snake River, the Island Park Reservoir.
Blue Dot marks the spot.
We can camp here for 14 days and for free. We get afternoon shade from our very own pine tree. What's not to like.
From here we can explore Island Park and West Yellowstone. And with our new truck the back forest roads. Adventures to be found. Terry goes fishing in the AM while I of course sleep in. Us old people need our beauty sleep.
We did have a taradgey my WeBoost celll signal booster crapped out. No light on it. That ment we had to get out our HughesNet Gen 5 Satellite unit and set it up. Trying to find a WeBoost replacement was a challance. Best Buy in Idaho Falls could order it in a week. . But online Besty Buy could ship 2 day. So using my cell phone got it ordered. The local gas staion offeres free UPS and FedEX dropoff point so that it was a done deal. Expept when Best Buy sent a tracking code it was for USPS. They don't deliver out here and have PO Boxes. So went to the post officce and they said that happens all the time and they would hold it for me. Whew. Got it and it is working just fine. I like to say we are a Big Rig lookinng for a Tent experience, but with cell internet service of course.
A fellow camper told Terry about a forest road that leads to a remote fishing access on the Buffalo River. So off we went exploring. Well we had a huge wind and rain storm the niht before and found trees blown down across the back roads. So much for that idea.
This was just a small one. I was surprized at the other big one and forget to take a picture. We had discussed getting a electric small chan saw but didn't do it. Would have come in handy.
We have two MH bays full of fire wood but can't use it as Campfire bans are in effect unless in a orgainized campground.
One day we just had to head off the West Yellowstone for lunch. About 30 miles. Found it just we had left it years ago. Busy with tourists. But most were off in the park during the day. I bet this place gets crazy late in the afternoon when they all return.
We found a nice Chinese restaurant right next to the IMax and hardly anyone in it. It was their first day from moving from an other location.
Just try to find a parkign spot on main street.
We have solar panels on thop and a solar charge controller and a big Magnum inverter and of course our 10K Onan onboard generator so we have power to bondock all we want. But with oiur curent AGM batteries and having a redidentual refrideger they just do stay up to charge alll night like they should. They are four years old and have equalized them but swtill we need a little more night time power. We get up and run the big generator for a few mins and alll is well again. But now looking at replacing them with Battle Borne liltium batteries. My currect inverter and solar controler will work with them but each battery is, get trhis $900, and we would need four of them. Sure they last for over 10 years andaare cost effective as they say, but still.
Now for the why.
Last ten times longer.
2 -3 times more power.
Charge 5 times faster.
Lighter 1/2 to 2/3 the weight of lead acid.
Hight discharege capabilities.
10 year warranty
Here in an older post .
Back at our old campground hosting site that we did for three years. 2017 - 2019 seasons
We got there on Monday June 28 to hopefully make sure there would be sites available for the next weekend of the 4th of July.
The 16 electric site were mostly already taken. Not by the rules mnid you be by dropping units and for them to come back later in the week for the 4 th.
That had always been a problem for us as this is a first come first serve campground and to hold sites is a NO NO.
Guess the current hosts are not so strict with the rules.
But never the less we got just the camp spot were were hoping for. Way up on top in the dry camping sites where we could overlook the whole place. Best site in the house so to speak.
We were at the red spot
We have an onboard 10K watt generator and full solar so why not just sit back and enjoy.
BTW with Sernior Discount the site was $2.50 a day.
I'm sure we disappointed many other campers as they came on about Thursday and were hoping to get our site as they like to camp in groups of many units and gather around. This site is the ideal spot for that but they found we had it already. So they had to go down the hill a bit and regroup in other areas. I think all had a good time in any case.
We brought two bays of firewood but for the first few days we use are Little Red Fire propane unit.
It works swell and later on we may be in fire restricted areas so it should be handy.
The hose curles up and pop on the lid and all ready for travel.
We found the grounds to be much better maintained, like in mowing the sites and picnic areas.
We met the current hosts and they knew all about us as the prior hosts and we talked about the BLM managment.
The host told us she had insisted that the mowing be done. She seemed like a incharge type of person and we were not like that as we felt the BLM was the maker of what should be done, not us demanding it.
We had a good time just being there and not having to be incharge.
On the 4th weekend the village people, as we like to call them, compete with bragging rights with fireworks. Some people have summer homes right the inlet and have money to burn or shoot off as the case my be.
On Saturday it started around 9:30 and lasted till after midnight and about the same on Sunday the 4th.
Us being up on the hill over looking it all. It was some show with each home onwer tring to outdo the other.
We knew this woudl be this way as we had hosted here for three years so one of the reaons we wanted to came back for the show.
While at Blackfoot Res. we tried to do a telemedicine video call with Terrys Dr. back in AZ. Long story short it didn't work off HughesNet Gen 5 Satellite so it was reschedluled for July 8 th.
So we had to move to get better internet service. I tried Idaho falls fairground and they we not open for overnighters due to a special event. The Indian Casinos were full but I found Bannock Evnent Center with openings. So reservied online.
That way we would be assured of great cell hot spot for the next tele med meeting
Now moved on to the Pocatello Fairgrounds (Bannock Events Center) to be exact.for a couple of days. $45 for FHUs. Kind of pricy but the A/C feels nice. Got to let the weekenders go home so we can move into the wilderness on Sunday. Needed better cell service for internet as Terry has a telemedicine video call later this afternoon. Went to Sizzler for lunch. Don't have to do that anytime soon again.
Terry had Dr tele appointment and he prescribed new meds Victoza which has to be kept cold. Working to get script sent to local Walmart in Pocatello. There is no CVS here. Local Walmart is bending over backwords to get with Dr. to get it. BTW Victoza is not cheep. It's only money.
The script came through. 60 day two pin. Had hoped for 3 pin 90 days supply. But 60 day was $806 if cash and $310 for us with the Silver Script Part D plan. Walmart was higher than the Part D plan said it would be was to be $345 for 90 day. It is what it is. Century Link now Lumen pays for our Medicare Sup plans and Part D so the extra is not a huge deal. Most everything else was already free to us.
So this morning was the time for Terry to get his first shot. I had taken this years ago so we were not new to it so to speak. It weat well and if as with me after a time I was able to get off it and return to good A1C levels. I was even down to 5.9 and am now at 6.2. So hoping Terry will get his levels down after a while. He is only just a little above 7 so not like this is life threating.
So here we are at Bannock Events Center.
Kind of dry but, there is a drought YA know.
We have been touring the town as we will be here till Sunday AM when we head our for more adventures.
Found the Sporting Good Stores have abandoned camipng stuff and are more fashion centers for the pretty people who jog or play tennis. SAD. Most camping stuff was at Walmart.
Today Saturday they had a huge horsey event and the horse trailers showed up big time and almost overpowered the place. Barrel racing, calf roping, and team roping. All the good stuff horsey people love to do.
We stopped and Fried Myers and I found a nice pair of new shoes.
When we got back to the RV park Terry looked at mine liked them so well he asked if he could go back and get a pair for him.
So off he went. So we want to be the bopsie twins. People aready ask if we are brothers.
Well he came back with pair just a little different.
Are we having fun yet.
His mine are above. BTW they were on sale. $55
On onward north tomorrow to Henry's Fork .
Looks like temps may coming down a bit.
We stocked up on food and I'm surprised the residential fridge (even with it's size ) can handle it all.
YA ALL HAVE FUN OUT THERE......