Monsoon storm. Motorhome clearing. Motorhome and dealer research.

dust strom
A TV screen shot showing the storm through the West Valley tonight.

The temperature dropped from 109° to 74° in 30 minutes. 0.84 inches of rain fell in less than 30 minutes out near Lake Pleasant. A dust cloud rose ahead of the storm, towering 2,000 feet or more high. Winds blew in excess of 47 mph. The storm moved into the Valley from the north-northeast. That’s what we got from watching Channel 5 news tonight. In fact, that’s about all they were talking about during both the 5:00 and the 5:30 news segments. This was the first big storm of the 2017 monsoon season. That storm moved down through the West Valley (Peoria, Glendale, Goodyear, etc).  There was also another storm traveling in roughly the same direction but much further east – out near Superior and Globe.

A reason they were on continuous reporting is that these storms change rapidly. The tremendous energy of these cells is usually greatly dissipated in 15-20 minutes as the cell collapses, but conditions are so unstable that another cell can quickly form right after an earlier one collapses.

basement stuff
Here’s the remaining stuff I removed from the Phaeton’s basement compartments today.

I spent about an hour late this morning completing the emptying of the basement compartments in our Phaeton. I had moved out all the stuff in the two roll-out compartments some time ago; those two held the bulk of what we carried. But I still had the wet bay, the electrical bay, and four other smaller compartments to finish. Those were the ones I did today. I brought all that stuff back to the house and stored it temporarily in a section of our patio. Elaine said it is starting to look like Fibber McGee’s closet! I will go through it all and sort it out. Most will go into the next motorhome we get, but some will get pitched.

I spent a couple of hours doing research online about Class C motorhomes and dealers. I read lots of reviews of dealers in the Phoenix area and found most of them have average ratings in the 3-4 of 5 range. I especially paid attention to the 1 to 3 star ratings to see what the reported problems were. Many of them were circumstantial and not likely to be repeated. And we can report some of those from our own experience, with La Mesa RV in Mesa as well as other dealers around the country to whom we have had to go for service over the years. But that won’t necessarily keep me from going back to La Mesa; we started our looking at their new Phoenix store.

Having decided on a Class C motorhome my next task is to decide which one. I am looking for a mid-range unit; some brands are too high-priced for us. But I want to stay away from the low-priced units whose quality can suffer. That leaves me with just a handful of manufacturers, and I am looking into the various lines and models each of those manufacture. I think we want something in the 26-28 foot length range. So still more research to do.

Our previous experience has been with Class A motorhomes. Our first was a 2006 Itasca Sunrise 35A, a 36-foot gasoline engine rig. Our second is a 2012 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH, a 40-foot diesel pusher. The Sunrise struggled some on the steeper grades and higher elevations, but the Phaeton pulled with little slowing. In both cases we were towing a vehicle behind: with the Sunrise it was a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, with the Phaeton it was a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox. The Phaeton can develop about 1,000 ft-lb of torque with its 380-hp engine, but the Class C units I have seen are mostly on a Ford E-450 gasoline engine chassis that develops a peak of 420 ft-lb torque with 305 hp. So I wondered how well those Class C units would do towing our Equinox on western mountain grades. I posted this question in the forum at RV.NET and got some good responses; in general they said the E-450 should do well up to 6% grades but will slow down some on steeper grades. So I suspect it will perform similarly to our earlier Sunrise.

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