Chinook RV Forum

Devil’s Highway to the Arizona Alps
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Author:  Rokrover [ June 14th, 2017, 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Devil’s Highway to the Arizona Alps

This may sound incongruous, but Arizona lays claim to their own Alps, with Alpine at just over 8,000’ presuming to be the gateway. Beyond this small villa you come to Eager, Springerville then Show Low on the Mogollon Rim where sunbirds from Phoenix congregate in hordes during the Summer.

Our favorite mountain drive is AZ Route 191 or the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway from Clifton to Alpine. Prior to 1993 this used to be Route 666 or the Devil’s Highway. It is famous as one of the best sport motorcycle rides in the States. RV-ers may think of it as the Devil’s Highway for another reason, namely 427 sharp curves and steep grades along the 100 mile section north from Morenci. The preferred big-rig route is by the more gentle Route 180 across the border in New Mexico.

However, since our Chinook is an SURV or Sport Utility RV thanks to nimble handling we enjoy the more scenic and often challenging byways. The route starts in earnest from Morenci, home to Freeport-McMoRan’s largest open-pit and acid leaching mining operation in Arizona. Sometimes 191 is closed briefly for blasting operations when all cell phones must be turned off. This alien moonscape is quite a contrast to the alpine meadows and pine forests beyond yet fascinating in its own right.

We started out confident our rig had been well sorted out and indeed the performance was flawless. But, like the game whack-a-mole another problem surfaced! This time the Fan-Tastic Vent Fan lid was sucked open by turbulence and my rooftop inspection revealed a stripped gear on the elevator arm. Fortunately I had just added Gorilla tape to my extensive toolbox consisting of vise grips and hammer so could temporarily secure the lid shut.

We stopped for lunch next to 191 at the Sheep Wash Ecosystem information area in complete solitude. Next up was the beautiful Hannagan Meadow then Alpine, where we left 191 to head east on 180 for an overnight at Luna Lake. We were lucky to get an open site as the next few days through the weekend were booked solid for a local festival and Father’s day.

The night was unusually cold and I was glad our furnace had been restored to operation with a new thermostat. Early next morning we treated our eager puppy to delightful aromas hikng around the pristine lake before continuing the drive into New Mexico and an incredible lunch at the Adobe Cafe & Bakery near Reserve. This isolated cafe is a true gem and I indulged in an elk burger while my wife enjoyed the vegetarian omelette special of the day. Afterwards I couldn’t resist the Key lime pie, made with real Key limes no less!

Our two-day loop covered a mere 460 miles but was packed with variety and interest. The Chinook is champing at the bit for more but needs to be patient while a suitable replacement Fan-Tastic vent is sourced.

File comment: A suitable spare tire for our Chinook at the Morenci mine
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File comment: Hiking around Luna Lake
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File comment: The Elk burger breakfast special at Adobe Cafe & Bakery
IMG_0184.jpg [ 354.56 KiB | Viewed 183 times ]

Author:  kdarling [ June 14th, 2017, 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Devil’s Highway to the Arizona Alps

Okay, now I'm jealous of your trip... and hungry to boot!!!!

Author:  A Rooney [ June 15th, 2017, 6:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Devil’s Highway to the Arizona Alps

Thank you for the post,enjoyed reading it and will definitely check it out,first hand when opportunity arises.Rooney 2001 premier

Author:  Blue~Go [ June 15th, 2017, 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Devil’s Highway to the Arizona Alps

Cool! I would like to explore that area - took one quick trip sort of through (going from Phoenix up to I-40 headed east) but that wasn't the real deal.

Say, on your Fantastic vent - did you know you can easily just put in a new "operator"? That's the part that includes the female threaded bit where the knob attaches, the gears, and the arm that goes into the lid. To remove it, you take out the white screws (4-5) that you see when you look up at the fan from inside the Chinook (they are just outside the boundaries of the round screen, plus remove the knob.

That whole inner flat panel will then lower down (still attached by wires but there is enough slack). At that point (assistant may need to hold flat panel) there are two screws that hold the operator in. Remove them and the whole works will come down into the Chinook, and can be replaced by a new one.

You also need to disengage the operator arm from the lid. To do that work the roof end of the arm/lid so that the little bobbin on the upper end of the arm will go through the "keyhole" area in the slot that's attached to the lid (where the arm slides as you open and close).

That's it.

(Course you may want to change fans for some other reason.)

Author:  Rokrover [ June 15th, 2017, 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Devil’s Highway to the Arizona Alps

Thanks for the fan tip about replacing just the operator part, B~G. At first I thought you meant me ;)

Unfortunately plastic parts were brittle and didn’t inspire confidence the fan would survive a transplant. Then I became fatigued cleaning out corroded contacts, sand, desiccated spiders and other suspicious remains in 100-degree heat so a new unit seemed like the easy option to soothe burnout.

An authorized retail outlet just a few miles down the road sealed the deal. Besides, I never liked the full-featured, forward-reverse model with power dome and ‘smart’ technology to sense rain and temperature. So I ordered the basic 1200 series with manual lift dome and 3 forward speeds only, just like my reliable old Sturmey-Archer bicycle hub. Hopefully no more moles to whack for quite some time :mrgreen:

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