Picking Up Our 22′ Alpenlite

After we decided upon the 1985 Alpenlite 22 we found in Woodland, CA a whole bunch of work was set into motion in preparation.  The weeks leading up to us leaving to pickup our new RV seemed to take forever and drag on and on. Here are some of the reasons why:

We had to design and build a custom 5th wheel trailer hitch to save money and make sure it would work with our airbag suspension. We had to install an electronic brake controller so we would be safe stopping with our new trailer. We needed to replace our 4×4 transfer case since we destroyed our previous one on our trip back to Colorado from PA. We had to figure out how we were going to install safety chains to our 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter to be DOT legal. We had to move our WVO tank to the front of the truck bed so that the new trailer would clear the top of the tank when making sharp turns. We had to fix our dash light dimmer switch and pack for the trip. As the time neared, we made a trip out to Gunnison to pick up a 55 gallon drum full of WVO, which turned out to be 50% garbage. By the time we were done, we had scoured both Montrose and Telluride for all the WVO we could find. We spent almost a full day filtering oil and a couple days helping our friends get their VW Westfalia ready for a similar trip they were taking to Las Vegas and California.

Finally packed and almost ready to go.

Finally packed and almost ready to go.

When we finally left the area it was around midnight and we had spent the entire day filtering oil and packing in Montrose, then drove to Telluride to fabricate our safety chain assembly and finish filtering the second half of our 110 gallons of WVO for the trip. Adrienne drove most of the night till we got to Northern New Mexico. We stopped for food at, perhaps, the worst diner we had ever eaten at which was like rubbing salt into the wound after waiting 20 min in the parking lot for them to open at 5 am. We got to Peters house in Albuquerque at around 2:00 pm and managed to average about 40 mpg or better (Adrienne was driving extra slow) I was asleep so I’m not complaining.

While in Albuquerque, we went sailing with Peter on our sailboat that we sold to him. While at the lake, the rangers stopped us and gave us a real hard time for not having the boat registered yet and almost didn’t let us go sailing. We had a great time and when we got home, had a great meal…which is how all stories with Peter end. The following day we went and met up with a guy from craigslist who was selling an industrial air compressor made by Saylor-Beall. It looked like a good deal because I was a high displacement unit made in the USA, in great shape, and had no tank, which I didn’t have the space to transport anyway. We bought the compressor and then had to load it from the guy’s truck to our Subaru wagon. The guy we bought it from, a volunteer firefighter that fit the stereo type, told us that he was not going to help us move it because he didn’t want to hurt his back. He advised us to take everything apart and move it one piece at a time, we didn’t take his advice and the three of us picked up the entire compressor and moved it to the back of the Subaru in one fell swoop. This act earned us the title of “Beasts” as the seller told us that 5 grown men struggled to move it into his truck—not a surprise though weighing in at a bit over 400 lbs. When we got the compressor home to Peters, I coaxed him into letting me wire it up to his service panel for testing.

Getting ready to go sailing in New Mexico.

Getting ready to go sailing in New Mexico.

Eating a tasty meal with Peter.

Eating a tasty meal with Peter.

Peter cooking a fantastic dinner on the grill.

Peter cooking a fantastic dinner on the grill.

Our new Saylor-Beall 705 compressor loaded into Peters Subaru.

Our new Saylor-Beall 705 compressor loaded into Peters Subaru.

Testing the Saylor-Beall compressor while Peter worries on the phone with his wife.

Testing the Saylor-Beall compressor while Peter worries on the phone with his wife.

After going sailing, eating many good meals, buying an industrial air compressor, repairing an espresso machine, giving Peter trailer backing lessons, and other adventures I’m forgetting about, we headed West and stopped in to visit a previous co-worker of Adrienne’s in Prescott, Arizona. The drive was spectacular. Here are some photos along the way. At one point, as we passed by along the side of the highway, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, jugs of WVO. We quickly pulled to the side of the road and ran back to confirm our findings. Sure enough, 3 full 4.5 gallon jugs of filtered WVO. Perhaps the most bizarre find on the side of a highway I have ever seen. We loaded it up and used it to power our truck later in the trip. After talking to my Uncle from Santa Barbara, California on the phone, we arranged to meet up with him and my Aunt the following day and got a tip on a sweet Hungarian meat market along the way.

Our sweet find: 3 jugs of WVO sitting on the side of the road, filtered and ready to burn. WTF?

Our sweet find: 3 jugs of WVO sitting on the side of the road, filtered and ready to burn. WTF?

A shot of our load, including Adrienne's new freebie--a singer sewing machine.

A shot of our load, including Adrienne’s new freebie–a singer sewing machine.

On our way to Joshua Tree as the sun began to set.

On our way to Joshua Tree as the sun began to set.

The sun setting over the mountains as we near Joshua Tree National Park.

The sun setting over the mountains as we near Joshua Tree National Park.

We stopped for a night and day at Joshua Tree National Park and had an awesome visit before heading on to Santa Barbara. We arrived late in the afternoon and decided to go straight to diner with my Aunt and Uncle after checking into our hotel. We had a fantastic diner of seafood right on the waterfront accompanied by great conversation about our new life in Colorado. The next morning we headed to a great beachfront breakfast café that came highly recommended and ate breakfast before taking a dip in the Pacific Ocean and hitting the road for Northern California.

Our camp site in Joshua Tree National Park.

Our camp site in Joshua Tree National Park.

Jake taking pictures in Joshua Tree.

Jake taking pictures in Joshua Tree.

_JTH3595 copy

_JTH3676 copy

_JTH3647 copy

_JTH3614 copy

We decided to drive up coastal RT1 the entire way north from Santa Barbara to the Golden Gate Bridge. The drive was unlike anything we have done yet. The scenery was outstanding as the road wound its way up the coastline. We stopped for a few hours at the famous Hearst Castle for a history lesson and a mind-boggling tour of the estate.

The California coast along RT1

The California coast along RT1

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

The California coast along RT1

The California coast along RT1

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge.

When we finally arrived at the RV dealership to pickup our new home, it seemed a bit surreal as we hurriedly moved all our stuff from the truck bed to the RV, installed the gooseneck adapter, adjusted everything, and finished paying for it. We spent about an hour in the local DMV trying to get all the paperwork straight for our trip home before departing for Sacramento to visit another previous co-worker of Adrienne’s. After driving the 20 miles to Sacramento one of our 4 trailer tires was flat. Over the next few days we spent in Sacramento, we got all new trailer tires installed, saw old town Sacramento, bought an LED TV at a California state surplus auction, went wine tasting, spent the night at a cabin in the woods in Arnold California, met up with our friends from Colorado who left around the same time and went on a hike with them the following day through the redwoods at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Picking up our new Alpenlite 5th wheel.

Picking up our new Alpenlite 5th wheel.

Goofing off at the midtown farmers market in Sacramento, California.

Goofing off at the midtown farmers market in Sacramento, California.

The California State surplus auction.

The California State surplus auction.

Our new TV from the surplus auction.

Our new TV from the surplus auction.

Towing the RV through wine country--stopped for a tasting.

Towing the RV through wine country–stopped for a tasting.

Stopped for a wine tasting on our way to Arnold, California with our friends from Sacramento.

Stopped for a wine tasting on our way to Arnold, California with our friends from Sacramento.

Our friends from Colorado hanging out with us in Arnold for the evening.

Our friends from Colorado hanging out with us in Arnold for the evening.

The gang by a tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

The gang by a tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

After enjoying ourselves thoroughly, we headed back east with our new home in tow. Knowing we were taking some roads less traveled, we didn’t expect what we encountered: very steep mountain passes that seemed to follow back to back, over and over, winding country roads through small towns. It was a serious test of our trucks capabilities. We drove through the night and landed very early in the AM at one of our favorite hot springs in the Nevada desert. We spent the morning at the hot springs and did some exploring before hitting the road again, now with Colorado in sight. We couldn’t help but stop in Moab, Utah the following night and get some great burgers are a highly recommended burger joint so far off the beaten path you’d never stumble upon it without knowing ahead and asking someone how to find it. All-in-all it was a successful trip and a blast of fun. Now, it was time to clean up and setup our new home.

Roads less traveled through California headed to Lake Tahoe.

Roads less traveled through California headed to Lake Tahoe.

Stopped at our favorite hot spring in the Nevada desert.

Stopped at our favorite hot spring in the Nevada desert.

We spot a 1963 Studebaker Wagonaire somewhere in Ely, Nevada.

We spot a 1963 Studebaker Wagonaire somewhere in Ely, Nevada.

Driving along as the sun sets.

Driving along as the sun sets.

Arches National Park.

Arches National Park.

Arches National Park.

Arches National Park.

Arches National Park.

Arches National Park.

Eating a delicious burger, fries, and a milkshake at Milts in Moab, Utah.

Eating a delicious burger, fries, and a milkshake at Milts in Moab, Utah.