My first draft for two ladies driving my lil Rig down south.
Anything I am missing other than spell checker?
-------------------warning---- long post---- with typos and wretched grammar=
Driving the Toyota RV to Phoenix 2019
This is the road that I would take:
I would take either through Detroit or Port Huron or cross at Ogdensburg and go south of Lake Ontario , both routes would kinda lead you to Toledo or back roads parallel to the lakes. You could always stay at Mry and Bills if yo go via Detroit/Port Huron route. or something and I would go down through Toledo which is not too bad it's a little rusty belt I will go over to Fort Wayne I which is 69 down through Indianapolis and then you can either take 65 write down to Elizabethtown.
you don't want to go through Nashville I don't think unless you want to park outside and and Uber in but I would go from Indianapolis I take number 70 over to this like a sort of Interstate 57 in that goes down it's a nice nice you know double-lane four-lane highway and it's not that busy and it goes down through Shawnee National Forest which I find a nice RV place and then go down and look up to 55 and I-55 I'll take you right down to outside of Memphis and then you can even if you want to stay at Graceland you can find an RV place there and then I would leave after you leave Memphis I'd head over to Arkansas and I stayed at Hot Springs it was very nice spot so it will park I don't know if you can get in there but it's really nice and then go to Texarkana you're on Highway 30 then and then you got to somehow get through or around Dallas and I think of you takes 30 you can answer to maybe go above it I'll have to do some more research then get back on 28 over to Abilene and then you're kind of been a rough area there so you might want to avoid that's the Permian Basin oil field and you kind of want to stay that it's very busy but trucks so somehow you want to get over to El Paso so you might have to you must do some freaking around or you could go right down from you know I care Arkansas down to Austin somehow this lots of roads in Texas by Tamar back roads once you're nauseous and you can stay Ravine and then just don't a couple days rest up and then head over to get on Ten and Tennille take you over to El Paso and then you're in you know Mexico border Tucson next at the Gilbert Ray place in Tucson that sell very nice.
This is good route in that it will avoid like big cities like in Cincinnati which I felt very busy of big and there's so many trucks it's like Chicago and you know you'll see some nice country going through southern Indiana it's really pretty and Arkansas is nice and it's not too hilly and yeah just Dallas I had a bad experience just so many lanes of trucks it's it's too much I wouldn't go through there again ever you have to go around Dallas awesome is not too bad. I think original Louisiana Grover through Houston to Austin that's what we did, back which was a good trip and the other alternative right is to go down Spruce St Louis and then Oklahoma and Albuquerque and then you're going through some really hilly country but it's announced that that bad that's the other room that's the shortest route but kinda bleak and mountainous but then the route throu El paso has all those signs scaring you about dust storms. Guess you gotto monitor weather situation too and be adapable and most important . HAVE FUN and STAY SAFE Y
Staying is on 4 lane expressways is better and faster as roads are smoother and less windy. Back roads are winding, bumpy and filled with stops. Once she is going the rig rolls along and eats up the miles.She likes to roll with the big rigs!
The Rig likes 4 lanes. The down side is the wind caused by big trucks and big bus motorhomes - they push you to the right when they first approach you on the left and then when past, they pull you into the left lane. Constant vigilance is required to watch for them or you can be surprised and over-react, turn the wheels to much to compensate and go off the road or worse. And they sneak up on as they are going a lot faster.
I would stay about from big cities freeways as there are so many eeeeeee trucks - maybe a hub road like around Cinncinato Ohio has one. I dont think Mempis is too bad as they are not as big as Ohio Valley freeways. All interstates are bisy but less so as you head further west past the mississipi river valley. Then you are out of the businest.Chicago is terrible, and I think that Nashville is bad but not sure but it is a very biig city.
The rig is not a quick take off vehicle. It is pretty heavy for the motor size. But it has the heart of a lion.
Cold mornings - let it warm up a bit. There is white steamy condensation that comes out for a few minutes until it warms up. Doesn’t seem to hurt anything. Takes awhile for cast iron sleeves to heat up i read.
It never heats up
Couple times it missed and lost power but since i used the additive it runs great. Richard is going over it before it goes south
Brand new tires on rear in spring 19 and I will put 2 new tires on front just to be sure.
There is a jack and spare but if you get a flat call CAA.
There is no AC but lots of heat in cab area.
All lights work except back up lights.
Gas stove top must be lit by hand.
Hard to get a low heat.
Oven must be lit by hand but you can leave the pilot going if you are stopped for awhile.
Can fit small pizzaz or whatever. Works well I have had some great meals off it.
Back window does not open so no draft when cooking.
Microwave only works when plugged into shore power (term used for plugging into RV camp power or somebodies house power)
Toilet flushes ok.
Blue handle to right of when you sit down must be opened to flush as water pump keeps coming on and there is a leak in bathroom.
Super good vortex fan in ceiling so use it whenever almost good as cooler for evening times.
Was a smell at times from black water tank but I think the new vent I put off has solved that.
Dont put any toilet paper in toilet.I use only for peeing but in a pinch go for it. Poo dont do but as last resort.
RV parks -pulling in and hooking
There is a cable that you can plug into for power for microwave etc
And adapter in case it wont take regular plug in.
When you plug in it charges the solar battery bank
Hose is in the back to add water but wont load up too much as it is harder on gas and everything. There is special adapter to slow down the water pressure as to much will burst the tanks ?
Takes 50 gallons to fill it. When filling the water tank keep pressure down. Turn to half pressure to make sure it is filling slowly
WAter heater must be started from outside but I doubt you will need it and don't drive with it on please.
Electric space heater- Microwave oven and AC unit
Using the electric space heater while plugged into RV park power (or other power)
There is an electric space heater in cupboard below refrigerator that will work when plugged into the outlet by fridge or sink but it only works when the rig is plugged into power.
Microwave is the same thing as is the AC unit.
I will have an extenion cord onboard so will the plug from the rig which is about 20 ft and the extension you should have a 80 ft line but shorted connection lenght is always better as amperage rises with lenght of cord (not good)
Dumping the Waste Tanks
Both black (poop) and grey water tanks are drained on driver side at the back. Unscrew the cap and open the valves of course after hooking up the hose which is in the rear bumper.
Do this at RV stores or parks or at a pinch pull off on a remote road and let her drain.
There are rubber gloves in back storage unit.
BE SURE to screw the cap back on as if not it will rip off if you drive away with it hanging down. Not hard to put on, just bend over and two barbs to put on.
You can go 55 mph hour pretty much. 60 for a spell and 64 going down a big hill.
Odometer works and is in Kilometers.
Running lights are on during the day and it does take a little more gas to use them but if you want to turn them on. But it is pretty hard to miss seeing the rig eh.
The Tachometer on left side of steering wheel indicates your RPM. Usually at 3100 RPM in 3 gear and in OD it drops to 2300-2400 RPM but I was told never reve it up to 4000 rpm.
Only use OD when you have a good tailwind, or going down a hill as it is actually harder on gas and might blow the transmission. What happens is it heats up and though it seems it should be OK the weight of the camper makes it a failure point for these units. BEWARE The Toyota user forum is full of tales of people doing just that. The motor reves in 3d gear but it will run for 1000 like that and in the mountains the OD will not work. Something to do with pressure at that aliditude.
The Orange light on right side by passenger dash indicates it is not in OD. By depressing the shift button on right side you can easily flip in and out of OD. If you cruising on a back road and going below 50 mph and not too hilly you can use OD.
If the transmission is switching in and out of OD to 3 gear it could blow the Transmission as that is what happened to me in my Ford truck coming through Michigan.
If you go the southern route through Texas and New Mexico you will not encounter too slow speeds but OD does not work above 3800 ft above sea level.
If really steep you might want to manually put it in 2nd gear.
Going down - if too fast then break gently and also put it out of OD as it will slow you dow a bit.
Crosswinds are bad in the mountains so slow down.
What’s it like to drive?
Feels kinda lumbering and flops along but it is pretty tight and smooth drive after you get used to it. I find it very comfortable and fun to drive. Breaks are drum so not like modern cars. It stears well with dually back tires. It is really just a 1 Ton truck with box on back.
Lots of people like it and wave or ask about it when you stop.
I will fill it up before you go and it will easily get you there. Fridge will be on and there is starter buttons inside fridge door. Hold one down and push the other button and it sparks.Not necessary to turn off while driving.
Light the burners and oven manually.
Furnace - Propane
Works well. It THINK doesn’t start right away and sometimes takes a few trys but it blows a fan first then you hear a click, whoose and it is on. Keeps it pretty nice.
Water Pump and toilet
Turn water pump off as it keeps coming on every few minutes.not sure why. I cannot find a leak.
And to flush toilet you must turn a blue valve to the right as you sit on toilet seaw. Reach down and turn on then off when you are done flushing.
Use it for pee only and don’t flush any toilet paper down it. Poop in gas stations or road parks etc. unless there is a dire necessity.
Or grocery stores or motel if you stay there. Bring TP for roadside emergency too.
Lights I will show you.
Solar power runs all lights etc.
Road Side Emergency Procedure
Don't call me! Kidding call me after you call CAA.
I never had any problems, always starts and runs like a clock. Lotsa people fix these Toyotas and they have a good name.
Rainy days and rainy nights
Seems airtight but park with cab uphill if you can a bit so to run the water off as it has leaked on passenger up window sometimes.
Never leaks while driving only while parked and I think I got it mostly fixed.
Gas and Oil
Fill up with regular gas and use the additive I have every other fill up.
The low gas light works. You have 15 miles when light is on. So keep gas tank filled especially In New Mexico.
If going through mountains you might try medium octance gas but I never noticed any difference at all.
ALL GUAGES Work including HEAT.
Oil will not need to be changed. Transmissio should be good but check into a jiffy lube for free check up. I will change oil when I get there.
It might use ½ cup of oil every 2000 miles so you should be good but Jiffy lube will top it for us.
I cannot back up and there is not back up lights so I always park where I can pull straight out. You are two so maybe you can.
But I don’t advise it. Don't ding my new bicycle please!
TV needs to plug in the antenna and the TV (in cig lighter)
Need to scan for stations. Not worth while unless you are somewhere for a few days.
Routes and timing
Your call on routes.
I did Chicago to Memphis, Arkansaw, Texas through Dallas (which I don’t recommend) then on to El Paso and over to Tuscon
I left Chicago at 5 AM and got to Arkansaw and staying at Hot Springs state park. Then in Big Springs Texas then next night in Tuscon at the Gilbert Ray municipal park behind the mountain. Don't take google map route to it but head a little west of Tuscon then up as it is much less hilly. I will send directions. Great park with electricity but no showers
So I did about 500 miles per day atw 12 hour days. But you can do it in 4 with no problem camp easily. I was pretty refreshed after a night sleep. Weird but I do not get tired driving it.
Campgrounds are not too busy in mid November either.
Albuquerque route - shortest route but boring
Has more hills and mountains over to Flagstaff then it is a bit coast down.
It is about 7900 ft at highest and in comparison the El Paso route is about 3800 but either is ok.
When you arrive in Apache Junction you can stay at ...