Skip to content

Crazy, Not Crazy

It was a good news day.

After spending the better part of yesterday morning on the phone with American Standard, I found out that we actually have a 10-year warranty on our AC. After hearing this, I called the local American Standard dealer who charged us $500 for that AC fan install. Long story short  . . . we were able to get the OEM fan installed (it’s better) and our bill reduced to under $200.

We’re also planning to install a Diversitech “voltage monitor” that will disconnect the power to the air conditioner if line voltage gets too low. The device is similar to Surge Guard or Progressive Industries units used for RVs.

Diversitech DSP-1 Air Conditioner Voltage Monitor

Back to Crazy

It’s Always Something

We arrived back at Crazy Horse Campground on Wednesday, September 11th. Temperature in the 100s, but it’s “home”.

Transferred the essentials from our RV to our park model. Turned on the park model AC, set it to 75 degrees F, and waited for cool to arrive. It seemed to take longer than we remembered, but it got cool after several hours.

 

 

Starting about Noon on Thursday, our park model’s temp climbed into the 80s. Called a local AC repair place and they came out Friday morning. Of course, our AC was working again. So they checked stuff and cleaned things and charged us $75. Fine.

However, a few hours later — Noonish again — the house began warming up again. Called another AC service place. Long story short . . .

 

Ended up replacing a $500 fan

 

Lake Mead & Hoover Dam

Click on map to enlarge

It was about a 3-hour drive from Zion River RV Resort to the Lake Mead RV Village. For the most part a pleasant drive. The only slightly hairy part was the last stretch of Interstate 15 in Arizona before entering Nevada. There were some steep slopes here.

Originally we were going to stay a month on Lake Mead, but changed our reservations to only 4 days. We’re home sick now, and the temperatures are HOT. Continuous triple-digits limits outdoor activities.

Our spot near Lake Mead

 

However, as soon as we arrived, we saw how beautiful it was, the color of the landscape, lake, and sky. We’re glad we came.

 

 

HOOVER DAM

On our 3rd day, we took a trip to nearby Hoover Dam about 7 miles from our campground. It’s a lot of concrete . . .

 

 

One of the dam’s power plants

 

Lake Mead’s Bathtub Ring — the New Normal

 

Lake Mead Water Level when we visited

 

Campground Internet Report 2

Updated on September 10, 2019 — Methodology added.

We’re at our last stay in our West Coast trip. It’s our 43rd campground in 8 states and Canada.

We’ve been keeping track of our Internet use since we started our journey a little over three months ago on April 1st.

I published first Internet report in June after we had visited 16 campgrounds.

MY FINAL CONCLUSIONS

Again, I’ll repeat what I said previously in June: any conclusions are tentative as 43 campgrounds is just not enough data. That said . . .

  • “Satellite Internet isn’t necessary because cellular reception is available at the vast majority of campgrounds” – this is a common statement found on web RV forums. I only had to use my HughesNet Gen 5 dish in 3 of the 43 RV parks we stayed because there was no Verizon and AT&T cell service and no campground WiFi available. Would I sign up for HughesNet Gen 5 service again? I’m not sure now.
  • “Campground WiFi is crappy” – another popular web forum notion. Though I wasn’t expecting much, I found campground WiFi to be much better than I thought it would be. For example, 67% (29 of 43) of the campgrounds we visited had at least “usable” WiFi, that is, you could use it for web browsing. In addition, 42% of those 43 campgrounds had WiFi fast enough for streaming video on a regular basis.
  • “Verizon is better than AT&T” – I’m not finding that to be true. Based on these 43 campgrounds, I would not drop my Verizon plan (unlike what I said in my 1st report) because Verizon service was much more available than AT&T (91% compared with 77%).

NOTE: The “Streamability” percentages in this 2nd report are “stricter” than in my 1st report. In my 1st report the percentage was based on total availability. The 2nd report is based on the total number of campgrounds. For example, in this report Campground WiFi Streamability is 42% (18 of 43). In my first report, Campground WiFi Streamability would be calculated as 62% (18 of 29).

 

  • Click on graphic to enlarge

     

METHODOLOGY

Equipment: VM6200 (AT&T Mobley) and a USB730L Cat 6 LTE modem (Verizon) with 2×2 internal MIMO and Carrier Aggregation connected to a Cradlepoint MBR 1200B router. No exterior antennas or cellular amplifiers were used.

Testing: Internet speed was measured once when we arrived at a campground, typically between noon and 3 pm. Speedof.me was used to measure Internet speed on a 2017 iMac using the Chrome web browser. For each Internet source (AT&T, Verizon, campground WiFi, and HughesNet Gen 5), two Speedof.me tests were done. The 2nd test results were used.

Zion

Click on map to enlarge

 

We arrived at Watchman Campground in Springdale around 2:30 pm on Tuesday, August 27th. We stayed 4 glorious nights and left on Saturday for Zion River Resort where we are now . . . until we leave tomorrow (Saturday, September 7th).

View from Watchman Campground

 

 

This is my favorite park and it’s pretty high up on Jan’s list too. We were in Loop B, Site B2, a secluded campsite next to the camp amphitheater and trail along the Virgin River. We backed into our electric only site. It’s 50A so we’re happy as the arrival temp was 102 degrees, and we needed to use both air conditioners.

 

Our Site B2 in Loop B

 

 

Though Watchman Campground does not have full hookups, only electric, and in fact the campground itself only has bathrooms — no showers (so bring a lot water), despite all of this, it is a gem.

We’re a few steps away from the Virgin River which is great for human and dog swimming. Walk a bit farther, take a foot bridge across the river, and you’re in Zion Canyon Village:

 

Click on graphic to enlarge

 

On our first night we walked to the Zion Brewery for dinner.

 

It’s good

 

DOG DAYS

Flirt is a water dog. From day one. We’ve had four Golden Retrievers, two males and two females. Jack and Flirt are the water dogs. Jack had no common sense. When we lived on a lake, he jumped off our dock and started chasing ducks towards the middle of the lake. We rescued him. Flirt, on the other hand, has become a thoughtful, conservative swimmer. Polite.

Swimming in the Virgin River

 

 

From time to time we put her out . . .

 

Dog shoes (hot asphalt protection)

 

But Flirt rebounds and takes the “command chair” to survey her domain . . .

 

Flirts chair

 

THE NARROWS

We were in Zion National Park about 2 years ago. We stayed 6 days at the Zion River Resort . . . which is only 10 miles or so from the park, but you have to get up early in order to get a parking spot in the park.

This time we spent our first 4 days IN Zion. A big difference.

This time we decided to attempt hiking up The Narrows.

So we did. I think we only hiked less than a mile into The Narrows, but a great experience . . .

 

Zion Shuttle – End of the Line at The Narrows

 

We dressed right

 

It’s a walk before you get into the water

 

Up The Narrows

 

. . . and up

 

The woman on the right started cracking up as soon as the woman on the left began pushing on the other lady’s ass

 

 

THE HELICOPTER RIDE

Expensive, but the best. On Tuesday morning, September 3rd, we hopped on one of the Zion Helicopters for a 35-minute aerial tour of the area around Zion. Priceless.

I hadn’t been on a helicopter since I medevaced a German Shepherd sentry dog while I was in Korea in 1971. So it’s been a while.

 

Well, we LOOK confident

 

We had GoPro video of our flight, and I’m only able to post 2/3s of the movie. It’s just too big to upload, but you’ll get the idea.