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New Year/New Us! We have made a lot of new additions to our rig and we are getting some new eyeglasses and some new dental work done while we are still in Tucson. 

AND- we are gearing up for a new trip – to ALASKA! So we are planning, dreaming and watching lots of YouTube videos about RVing in Alaska.  We are looking at possible routes and things to see along the way, although we won’t be leaving Arizona until sometime in May. 

I’m going to let Mark fill in the details on the Old Glory upgrades:

1. We replaced the original fifth wheel Westlake brand (80psi) tires with popular Sailun tires. Still a China tire, but we’d bought Old Glory used and had no idea of the number of miles the previous owners had racked up on the Westlakes.  The original tires had some definite bald spots too.

We put on new Sailun S637 trailer tires with 14 plies. Tire pressure is 110, so steel valve stems were required.  The Sailuns got some good reviews, are supposed to improve towing performance and help with fuel efficiency.  We feel much better about heading to Alaska with these babies.

 2. We went from old 4-leaf springs to 7-leaf since our old springs weren’t really made for full-time rv’ing OR for rough Canadian/Alaskan road travel. This UPgrade raised our trailer 1 1/2” by itself (see what I did there?) The old springs were definitely “flat” and had come to the end of their life.

3. We replaced our old Equaflex suspension system with MORryde SRE4000– heavy duty ride suspension for tandem axles; Also added X factor cross member to aid in keeping suspension squared to trailer when taking sharp corners or uneven roads. Also replaced were the shackles to 1/2″ from 1/4″ (silver plates connected by bolts in picture above), the bolt’s nylon bushings to brass for added life of parts and an even better working suspension , and new wet bolts fitted with grease fittings, less friction-longer component life. MORryde was super helpful in ordering the correct parts for our rig.  They even sent some great MORryde T-Shirts for us!  We look forward to a smooth ride now.

4. We also replaced the original electro-magnetic drum brakes with Kodiak brand electric-over-hydraulic disc brakes; actuator/reservoir is electrically actuated by our tow vehicle brake signal or manual trailer brake controller.

So to sum it all up, we are preparing for the Alaska trip and any rough roads we may encounter between Arizona and Alaska.  Many thanks to Professional Trailer Repair in Tucson who did an awesome job of installing our upgrades. 

That’s not all we’ve been doing while we wait. We visited Catalina State Park. It’s a super place to hike – just watch out for rattlesnakes. We met a Park ranger on our hike and he was surprised to hear that we saw a baby rattlesnake. We showed him this picture and he confirmed that it was a young diamondback. He told us that this is a little early in the year for them to be out.

According to the ranger, young rattlesnakes can be more dangerous as they can not control the amount of venom they release. If they bite, they release it ALL. So, now we know to watch carefully where we step in Arizona!

This Arizona State park had sunscreen stations. Good idea – you can even choose which SPF you prefer.

We also tried a couple of new places for coffee, ice cream and fast food.

So good! and on Saturdays Culvers has $2 pints of ice-cream!
Our first stop at Dutch Bros

Culver’s has delicious butter burgers and Ice Cream! Dutch Bros is an awesome drive thru coffee shop, with great nitrogen infused cold brew coffee, among other things.

After all the ice-cream, burgers and iced coffee, we realized we need to be more consistent with exercise and more careful about health and weight management, or else a new wardrobe will be in our not-to-distant future. So with that in mind, I upgraded from my fit-bit charge 2 to a fit-bit charge 3. The biggest plus is no more cracked screen but ALSO it’s much easier to use. I can easily access all my apps – even weather- from my fit-bit. The battery seems to last a little longer with the Charge 3 as well.

Finally, we had the opportunity to meet some of our favorite YouTube bloggers. Mark saw that Ray and Anne from “Love your RV” were in Tucson at the Gilbert Ray Campground. He messaged Ray and was able to arrange a time to meet at their campsite. It was so surreal to actually talk to Ray and Anne. We have been following their RV journeys for years leading up to and throughout our own adventure.

The campground where they are staying is in a beautiful part of Tucson that we had not visited yet. We plan to go back on a nice day when we have more time to visit Old Tucson, the Saguaro National Forest and the Desert Museum.

There are still a lot of Tucson hikes and sites in our future. We’ll be blogging more about Tucson next time.