Deschutes River State Park, a little salmon, a big steelhead, and new tires!

I meet a fisherman while the crew and I walk the riverbank.

1-DSC00611Spike insists on meeting the man’s dog which, of course, initiates a conversation between me and the man.

“Had any luck?”  I ask.

“A little,” he responds modestly.  “Caught a salmon yesterday.  It wasn’t very big.”

1-DSC00618“Oh, really?”  My interest is piqued.  “How big was it?”

“Fifteen pounds.”

“Fifteen pounds!  And that’s not very big?  How long was it?”

He holds his arms apart. 

“Thirty-three inches.”

He pauses while I repeat his words in astonishment.  Then he adds, “My wife’s the better fisherman.  She caught a twenty-pound steelhead.  That’s a good fish.  That’s what people are fishing for.”

1-DSC00612“And how long was that one?”

 Again he puts his arms apart. 

“Thirty-eight inches.”

And, dear reader, that’s no fish story.  Well, it is . . . and that’s what the man said.


Now for an abrupt shift in subject matter . . .

It’s time to talk TIRES!  I tell Pete the Camp Host that I want to replace the tires on my van (aka PTV).  He’s sitting in his little green cart, typical of what camp hosts motor around in.

“Oh, go over to Les Schwab in The Dalles,” he immediately suggests.  “I’ve been going there for forty years and they always fix me up right.  They’re a good bunch of people.”

I ask him what tires they put on his truck.

“I don’t know,” he responds with a shrug and a smile to indicate he doesn’t care to know.  “I just go in there and they give me good tires.  I’ve never had a problem.  I know they’ll honor the warranty, too, without a lot of hassle.”

Les Schwab’s is an easy drive from Deschutes River State Park.

The crew and I zip westward on I-84 for 12 miles and take the first exit for The Dalles.  The tire place is right around the corner from there.

I leave the crew in the PTV and go inside.  I explain to the woman behind the counter what kind of driving I do.

“I tow a trailer with that van out there.  It’s a Chevy Express 1500.  I drive it on gravel roads to camp in out-of-the-way places.  Sometimes I go over some pretty rough roads with sharp rocks.  Then I also drive on a highway for three hours or so at a time.”

“So you’re going to need something heavy duty,” she replies.

We go outside and she takes a look at the PTV and its sorry-looking tires.  Then she gets on the computer and makes some suggestions.  We narrow it down to a few choices.

“Let’s go look at the tires,” she says.  We go back into the rows of tires.  She commences to describe the tires, how they’re made, why they’re made that way, what they’re good for, how much four of them cost, highway versus off-road, quality of ride, gas mileage, etc.  Gee, this woman knows tires.  I ask her a gazillion questions and she has the answers.

Long story somewhat shorter . . .

I can get four good tires for around $740.  Or I can get four super-duper tires for a little over $1,000.  Hmm . . . tough decision.  Be a miser and save $260?


What Would My Readers Do?  Gee, my Amazon earnings off-set the difference in less than a month.  I touch the deep tread of the primo tires.

Oh yeah.  I’m going for the gold!

1-DSC00624Okay.  I’m going to tell you what I bought. 

But first let me say, I’m very happy with these tires and with the price.  Please don’t tell me where I could have bought them cheaper or what lousy tires they are or what I should have bought instead.  I don’t want to hear it!  Don’t rain on my parade!

I’ve had enough rain, dadgummit!


Ain’t that a purty tahr!

I bought Toyo Open Country A/T II.

These are 10-ply, all-terrain, 50,000 -mile, 15-inch tires costing $232.72 each.  Metal stems cost $7.75 each.  The wheel spin balance cost $15.00 for each wheel.

So to wrap it up . . .

The four tires cost $930.88, plus $31.00 for the tubeless metal stems, plus $60 for the wheel balance, for a total of $1,021.88.  (No sales tax in Oregon.)

The DOT stamp on the tires says:  CX9XJK3113 which means they were manufactured in the 31st week of 2013.  I get free tire rotation every 5,000 miles and a great warranty.

Warning:  Another abrupt subject change ahead.

We’ve changed campsites!

After one night with electric and water hook-ups ($16), I move us over to the non-hook-up sites ($5).  I needed to move because people with reservations are coming in.  No matter.   The hook-up site has a great, big, green lawn as shown in the previous post, but I don’t like having such close neighbors (see photo above).

Here’s our new site which is much better.

The photo is a bit blue because I took it very early in the morning and I haven’t learned how to adjust for that yet.  Bear with me . . .

See the Deschutes River?

1-DSC00625What’s icing on the cake is we’re camped here free for two nights!

It’s a long story why.  Suffice it to say the ranger let me move to this spot, waiving the fee to make up for a hassle I had earlier.  It was no big deal.  However, if I try to explain, it will make persons look bad who aren’t.

I told the ranger I’d be happy to pay, but he insisted!

1-DSC00616Unfortunately, we have to move out of the state park on Friday.  Everything is reserved!



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120 Responses to Deschutes River State Park, a little salmon, a big steelhead, and new tires!

  1. Tina says:

    Those look to be some great tires! Wise choice for all the out of way places you explore : )


  2. mockturtle says:

    I love Les Schwab! Could the tires be Toyo rather than ‘Toro’ by any chance?

    Good going on the campsite! Looks perfect. 🙂

  3. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Sorry to hear you have to leave that lovely spot, but at least you’ll be on the road to your new destination with brand new wonderful tires! Onward and upward!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      That’s right… Off we go to some place else on new tires!

      • Gayle says:

        Thought I was scared for your safety during the storm. Glad I didn’t know you were out there on marginal tires! I like the part where you say ‘don’t tell me about a better deal.’ I thought it was just me … every time I buy new tires someone tells me their uncle could have got them for half price. I hate it when that happens, and it always does. How many tire stores owned by uncles are there?!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hahaha! That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day! Nice to know someone relates to what I wrote.

  4. spumoni says:

    Those look like good sturdy tires, good choice.

  5. Alan Rabe says:

    Those are great tires, just what you need. You are ready for dirt, sand, snow, whatever you run into. So where to next. Heading down 395 again. There is nothing but national forests on the east side so you should be good for boon docking. Elevation is a little high so you might get a little cold at night. Try and get south of 26 and Canyon city. There is a BLM and Forest ranger station in the same building in John Day Or. They should be able to steer you in the right direction. But you probably already know that. 🙂


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      Hate to post future plans, but at this point I’m thinking Route 97 south. We won’t get on 395 until California.

      You’re right about the national forests in this part of the country. The elevation increases rapidly in a lot of cases, not soon after you cross into the forest.

      Thanks for the thumbs-up on the tires!

      • B (real name ... or nickname) says:

        When thinking of national forests, be aware they might not be available. At least one down here (Cuyamaca) is “closing” a lot of the facilities.

  6. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    Great tires. We have been buying Toyo Tires for over ten years on all four of our vehicles and will buy Toyo again when we need tires. Your new site look a little more like you. Glad you got out of Washington before all the snow hit. Looking forward to whatever you choose to do next. Just remember to enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      Great to hear a reader’s testimonial on Toyo tires!

      Yeah, the BLT does look out of place next to all those other rigs, hooked up to those funny poles.

      I haven’t figured out where we will camp next, but that’s not unusual. Seems like I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants a lot lately. I’ll do as you say, in any event, and “enjoy.”

  7. Love your new tires!! Definitely not something you want scrimp on with type of roads you drive at times.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Pam,

      The next time I’m on a hellish road I’ll calm myself by thinking how great my tires are.

  8. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Great purchase!

    Throw back a fish that large? Guess you only keep the ones that pull you off the banks while you’re trying to reel it in!

    You and the rangers! 😉 Have a marvelous day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I guess salmon can be so big that the one he caught was considered small. And steelhead don’t get as big so the one she caught was really a biggie. (I’m learning about fish here.)

      Hope all is well with you . .

  9. Teri in SoCal says:

    Good choice on the tires, price doesn’t seem bad to me. I always feel so much better with good tires on my truck. There were some very lean years for me when I had to drive around with bad tires, always worried about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      I’ve been there, too. My heart went out to the people at Les Schwab making payment arrangements. I’m grateful that now I can pay as I go.

  10. Hi Sue
    Great tire Choice. We are Toyo people too. My Grandson has been with Les Schwab in Sandy, Oregon for seven years. He says great people to work for. Love where you are parked. Safe and Happy travels.

  11. kgdan says:

    Don’t want to disparage Les Schwab but last winter we had a couple of very serious, dangerous and expensive experiences as a result of our local Les Schwab. Before leaving home we had everything related to tires checked on our Casita. Just north of Grants Pass (about 300 miles later) we had a blow-out coming down a steep bend with heavy 65mph traffic, including semis surrounding us. Luckily were able to stop the car and get the vehicle to Les Schwab in Grants Pass—brand new tires installed.

    Coming home, again, about 45 miles north of Grants Pass a wheel bearing burned out; causing a flatbed tow back to Grants Pass, dire diagnosis and finally connection with a fabulous, magic Steve the Muffler man, who is a genius with axles and wheel bearings.

    Now we always touch the trailer hubs when we stop for anything and if one or the other is too hot to touch we know to grease them. So far, we have not had any other problems.

    • Chuck Hajek says:

      kgdan, Suggestion for wheel bearings:DON’T touch them!!!! Been there, done that,burns like H&$$ when you find a bad one! Harbor Freight(and Amazon) sell real inexpensive heat imaging guns, $30 or so. Buy one!!! The burn on your palm takes a looooong time to heel.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kgdan,

      I don’t know much about mechanickin’ but your experience seems kind of weird. Are you sure it was the fault of Les Schwab?

      Sorry you went through all that. I can see where it would make a person super-cautious.

      • Alan Rabe says:

        I seem to remember a earlier post dealing with casita’s and a burned out wheel bearing and a messed up axle, and now a second one. Sounds like a pattern. I have checked the web and I believe your casita has a grease fitting on the end of each axle. Looks like a little nipple in the center of the end of the axle. They recommend they be greased once a year, But I doubt that most Casitas get the mileage yours does. So please go to an Auto parts store and buy a cheap grease gun and a tube of bearing grease and keep them well lubed, maybe every couple of months. Have the parts store show you how to do it, it is really very easy. You don’t need an out of control trailer or loss of your home when $20.00 will prevent it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I asked about bearing grease when the PTV had her brakes checked when we were camped in Congress, AZ and previously when the PTV had her oil changed in Borrego Springs, CA.

          It’s a good reminder for me and for all readers.

        • kgdan says:

          That’s what we asked them to do before we left home. After the fact, we had a good tutorial from Steve the Muffler Man in Grants Pass, Ore. and we now have grease, a grease gun and a set of bearings should we need them. When confronted with a bearing and/or axle problem with a Casita, most places don’t seem to know what to do as they are specialized axles. After explaining our problem to Tim, the parts guy at Casita, he put us in contact with the manufacturer of Casita axles who was able to get us to the right person where we were. He even told us he could get a new axle to us in 4 days if we needed one. Luckily we didn’t. My advice, whenever a seemingly unsolvable problem emerges with a Casita, call Tim at Casita.

  12. Chuck Hajek says:

    Hi Sue!!!
    Toyo Tires are a great choice, and that is a good all around tread design and at 10 ply
    very sturdy. What PSI did they put in them? Do not inflate to side wall pressure, use the max on the van door plate. Tires may be stronger than the wheels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      You’re gonna’ be real proud of me when you read this:

      I ASKED what psi are best for my new tires and the way I drive. I was told to keep them at 50 psi and I can go higher if I want. (They take up to 80 psi).

      The van door plate recommends 45 psi which was what I was doing with the old passenger-type tires that were on it.

      • Chuck Hajek says:

        Sue, You are getting so SMART!!!!
        But the tires can take the extra inflation but the WHEELS cannot. Does the door plate have a DO NOT EXCEED PSI? You now have stronger tires than wheels IMHO. 50 psi should be good for both.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Chuck! I’ve ALWAYS been smart!

          The door plate does not have a “do not exceed psi.” It has a “recommended cold tire air pressure for the original tires.” That number is 35 psi.

          I’ve never had the pressure that low and I don’t know what the original tires were because I bought the PTV used.

          Two different shops dealt with my previous tires and they both put the air pressure at 45 psi. That was with my ol passenger/highway type tires.

          I’m going to trust that Les Schwab knows what they’re doing when they put the PSI on these all-terrain tires at 50 psi. Capeche?

  13. Diann in MT says:

    Great decision to go for THE GOLD! You and the crew depend on your wise choices. Hey! I bought some things through your Amazon link! Finally! I don’t buy often, but I when I do, I will use the link.
    Also, need to tell you how impressed I have been by your courage throughout the unrelenting stormy weather in the Northwest.
    Continued Good Fortune, Wayfarer and Crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! For complimenting me on my “courage,” for confirming my choice of tires, and for buying Amazon stuff through my blog!

      Wow! The trifecta! Nice to hear from you, Diann . . .

  14. Barb George says:

    We love Les S too! As you well know! The PTV got its BLING ON!!! YAY!!!

    What a pretty space. I am kickin’ myself for not puttin’ my foot down to go campin’ this weekend. 🙁 All the rolling oldie buddies will be at Champoeg State Park this weekend… Poo.

    Hugs from Sunny and pleasant Hoquiam,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Barb! Yeah, the PTV is looking very good with her dark, black and clean tires on. The desert will take care of that look.

      Oh, sorry you’re missing out on the camping weekend.

      • Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

        LOL! PTV’s got bling!

        I was imagining the PTV’S with spinner wheels!

        All is well….thx!

  15. Carla says:

    I just love brand new tires. That’s something I enjoy getting and cruising around on even I’m mostly city driving. Glad you got some really good ones that meet your needs

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carla,

      These new tires certainly do boost the looks of the PTV and they give me a morale boost, too… not that I needed one!

  16. Linda says:

    We just bought all six new tires, plus the spare, for our little motorhome. It was PAINFUL, and maybe not quite yet necessary, but I couldn’t stop worrying about them and decided the peace of mind was worth it. Maybe I was having a premonition!

    Love your new location!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda…

      Ouch! Seven new tires at once. But you’re right. The peace of mind is worth it. And really, it doesn’t make sense to totally wear out your tires. That’s asking for trouble.

  17. Vicki & Kitty campin' says:

    Long time reader/follower & first time poster. Bought, new to me, 2007 Winnebago 30′ class A in November & went full time (solo) in January 2013. Love your blog & all the places you go, go, go. You proved to me that us women can go out on the road & you proved I’m not crazy not wanting to be around people all the time! 🙂 You find some really beautiful spots. Thanks for sharing about the Benchmark maps too :).
    I too just bought 6 new tires from Les Schwab a week ago (9-25) & got Toyo’s too. I had always heard good things about Les Schwab & Toyo tires. My old tires scared the heck out of me. The new ones are 16 ply… I’m soo glad I got new tires!
    Hugs to puppies!
    Thanks RV Sue & your crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Vicki!

      Thank you for being one of my “long time readers” and for following my blog. Isn’t it great to be out on the road by yourself, going where you want to go?

      Good for you putting new tires on your rig… and you got 16-ply, a good idea, no doubt, as they’re carrying more weight. I appreciate the testimonial on Les Schwab and Toyo. Makes me feel even better about the purchase.

      Aren’t the Benchmark maps great? I was looking at mine a few minutes ago trying to figure out where we will camp over the weekend what with the state parks full and the NF/BLM campgrounds closed. Ah, just another challenge in the life of a vagabond, right?

      I’m glad you decided to break out of lurkdom to drop in here . . . Best wishes to you and Kitty.

  18. Dawn says:

    I was hoping you’d go for the better tires! I think that was a wise investment in your safety. Wish you could stay longer, but you’ll find a new beautiful place and I can’t wait to see where it is.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Well, the situation being what it is, plus looking for a camp on a Friday… I’ll be happy if I find a place to spend the night, beautiful or not. We shall see . . .

  19. Susan in Dallas says:

    Free camping at a site that charges, can’t beat that. Hope you still got to use the showers!
    New tires and hot water – ain’t life grand!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      Oh, yes, I’m still allowed the showers. At least I went over there and no one stopped me!

      Gee, Susan, put out the word … The crew and I came back from our nightly walk a few minutes ago. Weekenders are coming in one right after another. If a woman is looking for male companionship (which I’m not!), this is primo hunting ground. The ratio of women to men is about 1 to 50. Of course, she’d have quite a time getting their attention away from fishing . . .

  20. gingerda says:

    We don’t have Les Schwab in Las Vegas where I live. I am wondering if you are traveling in an area that doesn’t have one of their stores, can you go to any tire store for the warranty on the tires, if you have a problem?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good question, Ginger. I understand they’re widely scattered around the West. I figure if I have a problem where there isn’t a Les Schwab, I’ll give them a call and see what they suggest.

  21. Laurie from Southern Oregon in South Dakota :) says:

    Hi Sue
    I have Toyo open country on my rig and they work great off road and on road too. I dont think they make the ride rough at all. I have been all over the Black Hills on every dirt road I could find and my tires are almost gone and still no problem. Great Choice! Soon I will be able to leave here as the season is winding down. Six months in one place is wayyyy to long. We are suppose to get 12” to 2 feet of snow in the next day with 70 mile per hour wind gusts. Oh Boy what joy. No one is here now that Mt Rushmore is closed. Oh well Nov 3rd I will be headed back to Oregon. Been following along and glad to see your enjoying Washington. I may do that next summer. Have a blessed journey!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie! I was thinking about you!

      Boy, you have taken to full-timing like you were meant for it…. And I agree, six months is too long in one place.

      Good heavens, what a monster storm headed your way. No one should be on the roads in that weather! Stay put and stay safe.

      I’m so happy with the fun you’ve had . . “all over the Black Hills on every dirt road I could find.” Way To Go!

  22. Linda says:

    Hi Sue,
    Good choice on getting the best tire you can find. A LOT depends on them.
    I miss you money updates and all the places you have been that month. It was a real favorite.
    Happy trails, Linda

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Linda . . . I have been bad about keeping that up-to-date. I promise I’ll take care of it really soon. Your feedback that it’s a “real favorite” gives me motivation.

      • Linda says:

        Dear Sue,
        Your budget gave me the courage to believe I could afford to become a full timer, too. With S.S. and a little workcamping I think I can. Right now I’m in Fernley, NV working for until Dec. 23. Then off to Phoenix.
        Thanks Again, Linda

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Linda! Good luck working for Amazon!

          The “courage to believe”… I like that.

  23. Mister Ed says:

    Look at it this way seeing as how u like to crunch the number look at what the tires cost
    New when u started out way back when divide the miles time tire cost =???

    Now your new tires might be a right off in your Amazon tax right off next year
    Don’t u need to be in Internet range Tires to get u there
    Well 930$– 50000. Comes out to 0.018. Pr. mile. No dump fee 2$ each PLUS no tax a savings of about 9 x 11%
    U see if u add all your costs (thats anything even a paper clip )up pr year and divide that times miles Time month time 12 u will learn a lot
    it pays to pay your truck if your trucks happy your happy
    No ones happy on the side of the road (unless it’s a photo op,)
    As a trucker I run 3 acc, books truck to miles/ pay pr mo, x 12 / me /
    Now if you would like to do my truck at 348 $ each I would love to be your redheaded step child
    good deal kido

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Haha! No, thanks, Mister Ed. I’m having enough trouble taking care of my own figures (and figure, for that matter!). I’m three months behind on monthly reports.

  24. Tawanda says:

    Wow, it must be so exciting to catch those salmon, I have reeled in one in my life eon’s ago in Washington on the Cowlitz river, a Chinook salmon and it was quite by accident as I was fishing for trout with 8# test, talk about a thrill, only a 15 pounder 😉

    Oh, and, WTG getting new treads for the PTV, I don’t know much about brands but definitely you won’t be sorry you went “for the gold” or to Les Schwab, your covered no matter where you go, pull into one anywhere and have the tires ck’d and filled if needed.

    Looks like that storm did indeed go around you are and then came south to us, temps in the 30’s now with the ‘S’ word in the overnight forecast… So not ready for that yet!
    Look forward as always to see where the road leads you and crew next!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      That does sound exciting! You did well pulling it in on 8 lb. test.

      My big thrill was hooking into a ladyfish off the jetty of Ft. Pierce, Florida. Ladyfish are no good for eating… They’re full of bones and lots of muscle. However, they’re tremendous fighters. It wasn’t very big, only about 12 inches, but, man, that fish wore me out, had me jumping around on those rocks.

      Another time I was fishing on a T-shaped pier, down at the end. I hooked into something so big it took my line from one end of the pier to the other. Everyone had to bring up their lines. People were cheering me on and shouting advice like they always do…”Keep your rod tip up,” blah-blah…

      Finally, whatever it was tired enough so we could get a look at it. A huge manta ray!!! And I had snagged the poor thing. That kind of soured me on fishing. I had to cut the line in order to free it.

      • Tawanda says:

        So sorry for the mantra ray experience 🙁
        I’ve always preferred fresh water fishing, streams and rivers, exclusively fly fishing now catch and release most the time.

  25. Mindy Reed says:

    OOOOHHHH just the thought of Salmon and Steelhead makes my mouth water and me home sick! Congrats on the new tires sounds like you made the right choice!

    Love the photos!

  26. Cari in North Texas says:

    I echo all the other commenters who commended you on getting the better tires. You do enough driving that you need the best shoes for the PTV. My motto has always been quality over quantity, i.e., buy a high quality item once vs. low quality items many times.

    Looks like I will be making a similar trip to the tire store in a few months. I took my car in to have the tires rotated & balanced, and they told me they were reaching the end of their usefulness and I’d need to replace them in 3-4,000 miles. I highly recommend Discount Tires to anyone looking for tire purchase and/or service – I’ve been a satisfied customer of theirs for years. They do free air pressure checks for anyone in addition to servicing their regular customers.

    I see you found the disadvantage to staying in state parks – sites/cabins can be reserved, thereby limiting walk-in / drive-in business. You got another beautiful spot, and the price was definitely right!

    Safe travels on this next part of your journey! Any idea when or where you’ll hunker down for the winter and stay put for awhile? I know, I know, you don’t make plans that far in advance and you sure don’t tell us – I’m just wondering 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      There aren’t that many choices if one wants free and warm with groceries, water, propane and dump within reasonable distance . . . plus some privacy and seclusion. I’ll probably stop at Borrego Springs (can’t go to Joshua NP again as I had hoped), Sidewinder Road area west of Yuma, and Ajo, AZ.

      I have some other ideas… Those I’ll leave for a surprise!

      Yeah, this reservation business doesn’t suit me. It’s one more thing to work around, which was easy before this shut-down situation.

  27. Lacy G says:

    GOOD CHOICE on tires Sue! Way to go. Now you can travel in rain IF YOU HAVE TO! – with less worries. And we, your loyal readers, won’t have to worry so much about you and the crew.

    Thanks for always sharing….you have no idea how much I look forward to reading your latest exploits 😀


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy G,

      Yeah, these tires should do us well. Maybe they’ll keep us from getting stuck in soft dirt and sand, too.

      It’s great to hear you enjoy my posts. I think I’ll keep writing them!

  28. jeff says:

    remember the commercial “when the rubber meets the road” and those tires look like they will do the trick. its always a good feeling to have new treads under your feet when traveling.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jeff,

      I was in fear that people — primarily male readers — would criticize my choice of tires (hence the snotty paragraph in this post.. haha!).

      It’s great to hear you approve! Yes, it’s a good feeling to have new tires. I was not feeling very good about those old ones, although they served us well.

  29. JD says:

    Great choice of tires! Over the years I have had very good experiences with Les Schwab. I once asked for the price of a single used tire because I was selling an old truck that needed one. They gave me a decent one for free!! They sell great “easy on” snow chains. Sold me slightly used ones for half price! They work much overtime when snow hits putting chains on cars for a fair price. One reason I moved back to Oregon was because of Schwabs.
    Am making a list of all the great places you see and stay. We hope to hit the road in about two more years. Thanks again for the great blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JD,

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you like my blog.

      Your experiences with Les Schwab are impressive. No wonder they have a superior reputation. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if ALL companies treated their customers so well? Sure would cut out a lot of aggravation and unnecessary expense from people’s lives.

      Two more years to go? That time will fly. You’re welcome to visit all of my favorite places, but you’d better tell me about the ones you find, too! 🙂

      Best wishes to you and yours as you make plans for ‘lift-off.’

  30. Gaelyn says:

    When in the PNW I Always bought my tires at Les Schwab. Sure wish they came down as far as the SW. Shouldn’t have to replace those for a while.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gaelyn,

      It’s a good feeling, knowing the next tire purchase is far away!

      I’m so sorry about the Grand Canyon closing. I know how you love your job and I hope you can get back to it soon.

  31. Deborah says:

    Wow! Tires must be a rather provocative subject given the number of responses tonight! While I don’t know much about tires – and I cannot believe I’m about to say this – I have to say that I think your tires are quite beautiful! It always surprises me how much better new tires feel on a vehicle!

    I want to thank you for posting every night! I get your post just before I go to bed and it makes for great bedtime reading. I’ve got something like 150 days before I’m on the road, assuming all goes according to plan. Reading your adventures always reinforces my decision to get on the road which is a good thing. Thank you so much for being such an intrepid soul and being there for the rest of us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Deborah!

      Wow! You’ve reached the point where you’re counting the days . . . How exciting! I hope “road living” is as rich and satisfying for you as it is for me.

      I apologize for the days I don’t post. I try to post every day. Sometimes there are technical/power issues. Sometimes I just can’t get myself to write (I can be a moody little gremlin at times). I remember how I hung on every word that Tioga George would write back in my dreaming-of-retirement-and-fulltiming days.

      On behalf of the PTV, thanks for the compliment on the tires. 🙂 She is looking mighty fine!

      • Deborah says:

        Part of my “getting ready” has been all about getting a website up and running for a couple of blogs. When they are ready I hope you will come on over for a virtual visit! For now, we are still under construction! :-

  32. Glenda from Glendale says:

    I’m glad to hear you treated yourself and the crew to the better tires. You can’t put a price on safety! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures of the Pacific Northwest. I could almost smell the sea spray!! Safe travels Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda from Glendale,

      One of the biggest pleasures of my vagabond life is sharing the places we visit with other people. I didn’t anticipate this… It’s a surprise bonus. I appreciate your comment.

      Always nice to hear from you . . .

  33. PNW Alison says:

    I’m with you, Sue. I always get good tires.
    I’m curious about tires on the BLT, do they wear out as fast is on a car or truck?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alison,

      Good question. I don’t know the answer though (too many variables, too little experience). Maybe a reader will share thoughts on this.

      The BLT’s tire were new, of course, when I took possession in Aug. 2011. They show some wear but I can’t tell if it’s less or more than if the tires were on a car or truck.

      I’ll shout out the question for you . . .


      • Alan Rabe says:

        Trailer tires are smaller and thus rotate more per mile and run hotter also they swing side to side a little. They usually have a higher pressure. All this translates to a faster wear rate. So it is a little more important to watch the tire pressure in order to maximize their life.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Aha! But the Best Little Trailer doesn’t have little tires. Her tires are just as big as the Perfect Tow Vehicle’s tires. You give another reason why I’m glad I opted for the higher axle and bigger tires.

          Good info… Thanks, Alan!

  34. Hi Sue,

    I was shocked to read that you are here, essentially in my backyard. I live out in the country, east of Gresham, OR, about 10 minutes from the Columbia River Gorge. Hearing that you are so (relatively) close to where I live made me wish that I could somehow, actually have the opportunity to meet you and the crew in person. I don’t know what your plans are for the coming week or so, but I would love to at least share with you, what some of my very favorite gorgeous places in Oregon are, especially because the weather this coming week looks like it’s going to be greatly improved over last weeks very early and unprecedented storms. I would definitely recommend that you retrace your steps and go back to see the Columbia River Gorge. There are so many beautiful spots there to walk/hike, photograph and camp. There are way too many places to describe them all here in writiing. Depending on what your plans and preferences in the way of scenery are, I’d be glad to speak to you live on the phone and tell you about some very special places I’ve experienced in various areas of Oregon. I know Oregon very well, having lived here since 1989. I think it’s probably the most beautiful, special and varied in scenery and ecology of all of the states in the U.S. If you want to call me, my phone number is (removed). I would be glad to tell you about many of the places I’ve been to that are spectacular and where you can camp for free or for very little, see rivers, lakes, amazing volcanic eruptions, soak in hot springs, see waterfalls, and more, all in one area. Also, if you wanted to explore the gorge and surrounds, I’d be glad to have you camp for free on my scenic property which is out in the country 10 minutes from the Gorge and 20-30 minutes from the Mt. Hood Natl. Forest, which is also gorgeous. If you want to, you are welcome to hook up the Casita to the electricity in my house. You could use my washer and dryer if you’d want and shower also. I would, of course, respect your need for privacy and not bother you, leaving it up to you whether or not, or how much interaction you’d desire. No pressure – just an offer. If you do want to call me, tomorrow, Friday, I have a veterinary appointment at 10:45 AM for my new little bunny and should be back here by noon. I see only one client tomorrow from 4 -5 PM. Otherwise, I should be available, unless I’m outside exercising myself and my dogs for an hour. I have an answering machine, so you could leave a message if I’m not able to pick up, with some good times to call you back. I should be around a lot over the weekend and Monday as well, if you want to call then to get some advise on where to go, that you haven’t already been, judging from what I remember from your posts last year. Again, just an offer, no pressure. I just get very excited about sharing some of the places I love here, with people whom I know will truly and deeply appreciate their beauty, and you, of course, are one of those people.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carol,

      Thank you for your kind and generous invitation. I can tell you would make an enthusiastic and informative tour guide of this area. You apparently love it!

      However, we won’t be staying. The crew and I are moving camp as soon as I finish answering comments, so I have to decline your sweet offer.

      It’s important that I continue south at my own pace at this time of year. Otherwise I can get caught in cold and/or snow and have to drive hundreds of miles in one day to “get out of Dodge.” My “touristing” is over for a while as I migrate south.

      I also rarely respond to personal invitations to meet people, as kind and appealing as they may be. I tried that in the past and it didn’t work out. It’s hard for me to accept invitations, what with my lifestyle, my nature, and the fact that my blog has become popular in the RV community.

      If I do get together with someone anyway, I’d blog about it because I blog about my days. Then it would snowball into more invitations, and before long my simple life would not be simple any more. I hope you understand.

      When you read in my blog about me getting together with someone or a couple, these are people with whom I’ve already developed a real-life friendship. (And they are few and far between!).

      I removed your telephone number from your comment. I know people publish their phone numbers on the web all the time, but I don’t feel comfortable about it. I wouldn’t want my blog to lead to any unpleasantness in your life. (There are some weird folks out there!)

      Thanks again, Carolyn. Your last sentence is compelling and I got a heart pang when I read it, knowing I would decline. You do sound like a kindred spirit (without the hermit part, of course… LOL!)

  35. Rob says:

    Getting the best tires you can afford is the way to go.

  36. Laurie from Southern Oregon in South Dakota :) says:

    Well the storm is here. The electricity went out at 4am and who knows when it will come back on. Unfortunately I have no generator or a handy dandy wave 3. This is a good lesson to RVers that you should have either a Generator or a heat source that runs on propane. I called the power company and they said there are wide spread outages and couldn’t say when it will be back on. Isn’t it amazing I have no electricity but I can still cruise around the internet with my MiFi. The charge usually last 6 hours and can be charged with my phone car charger 🙂 I think there has to be 6-8 inches out there and still snowing. I will be buying a generator for that freak snow storm you are bound to run into sometime if you are a full-timer. I don’t want to be caught with my pants down again. LoL! I’m taking it all in stride because it wont last but a couple days. Have fun and enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, dear Laurie . . . I’m so sorry you are in that fix. Bless your heart — “taking it all in stride.” How are you keeping warm? In your car? Darn!

      I opted for a Wave 3 propane heater which I’ve very happy with. I don’t own a generator and don’t plan on getting one.

      Gee, are you going to be warm enough tonight?

      • Laurie from Southern Oregon in South Dakota :) says:

        yep I am warm. Using my burner every now and then and hiding under the covers.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, good . . . well, it’s not good but at least you have some heat. Of course you know to ventilate when using your propane stove.

  37. PNW Alison says:

    I wonder if anyone has come up with a hydro system for boondockers. I mean, all that moving water (in rain like earlier in the week) could provide a lot of power!

  38. stan watkins says:

    Wow! I just got new tires for my Sportsmobile camper van andlike you got AT (all terrain) tires. I was going to post that you should get AT ‘s when you bought new tires. I had to hold my breath until I read down to the part where you told us you got AT ‘s. I don ‘t know that I would have bought from Swab only because you winter down south. I would have tried Walmart first,but I dealt with them last summer in Klamath Falls and although they did not carry the tire I needed,they gave me the number of the guys who did. I know it is a big expense but have you considered also changing the spare ? Tires rot after about 5 years.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Stan,

      No, I’m not going to change the spare even if it is rotten. I don’t ever plan on using it. For one thing, it’s up under the PTV in an impossible-to-get-at position. Secondly, I couldn’t lift it into place anyway. Third, I have enough options that make changing a tire not necessary.

      Options? Fix-a-flat works great or I could call Good Sam Emergency Service or I could keep good tread on my four wheels to better the odds of never getting a flat!

  39. Barbara says:

    Hi Sue,
    Love the photos & excitement of your travels. Wonder what the gentleman thinks is a good size fish??
    I do have a question? Have you decided to stop updating the financial page? I have noticed that there haven’t been any updates lately. Just wondering.
    The new tires look just fine to me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      I don’t know what he considered a good size fish! I wanted to get some photos of fish before leaving but no one was having any luck.

      I’ve been procrastinating on the financial pages. Having too much fun to stop and do them… too much like work! I promise I’ll get them done. You’re the second reader who commented that they miss those pages.

  40. stan watkins says:

    Check Good Sam.Odds are they won ‘t go down dirt roads to get to you. But some kind soul may help. I think your Karma card is on the plus side in that event. Even kind souls can ‘t get a rotted spare to hold air not to mention the danger of driving on said tire. We care about you and the pups.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t expect Good Sam to come get me on a lot of the roads I travel. I’ll manage, in any event.

      Thanks for your kind words, Stan.

  41. Reine in Plano says:

    Glad you got new tires. We had to replace the spare on the Truck after a blow out on Memorial Day on the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We were planning to get Wal Mart tires until we found that the Walmart in Flagstaff AZ doesn’t carry tires. You have to go to Sam’s Club and we aren’t members. We’ve found in our travels that just because the Walmart in one location carries something doesn’t mean that Walmarts in other locations will. Just a caution for your readers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right about the WalMarts. I went into one WalMart and left feeling sorry for the people who live in that area. It was the only store of that type for many miles (This was Texas) and it wasn’t much at all. The grocery part was a few aisles and a few freezers.

      That was crummy… a blowout on Memorial Day on the way to the North Rim.

  42. We lived in Oregon a long time and only used Les Schwab for our tires. Their customer service is well known. If you get a flat, they will fix it free. You can go to any Les Schwab and they will put air in your tires for you (customer or not). If you buy tire chains and don’t need to use them, they will take them back and refund your money for up to one year (with receipt). Our family all use Les Schwab. Too bad they’re not in Texas.

    You did good.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great testimonial! I’m very happy that I went to Les Schwab.

      • Sherry in Oregon says:

        You have touched on a couple of the things that make me proud & happy to be a life-long Oregonian …. Les Schwab is the ONLY place to get tires …. they’re reasonable, honest & skilled. We also use them for batteries, alignment, brakes & a lot of other services … their “Sudden Service” is no joke! We love them.
        Second, the gorgeous parks & wild areas and the very nice people who will help you out in campgrounds & state and/or county parks.
        I’ve traveled … a LOT …. in all parts of the world except North and South Pole (but I did get to Iceland last year) & Australia, and while I find a LOT of places I wouldn’t mind buying a vacation home, I really can’t think of my home base being anywhere but the Beaver State.
        Hope the Oregon folk continue to treat you well.
        Gee … do I sound like a tourism ad for the joint? Heck yeah.

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