Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Incredible Big Fish On The Road To Aticama

Hello Fellow Travelers,

As some of you may know I have been a motorhome person since the mid-70's, more than 35 years. I once hauled a 1962 Austin Healy across the USA in one.... stories upon stories,

Anyway, I have had the good fortune to meet a very nice full time RV person named George who lives in Ms. Tioga. Recently our little family set out on our yearly sojorn south to the little fishing/ancient pirate village of Aticama, Mexico in our motorhome - The Big Fish. Reading Georges shoutbox, I have decided to address some of his readers concerns about the fortitude of The Big Fish. Hence:
The Big Fish was created sometime in 1970 as a Chinook Mobile Lodge, one of a handful of these amazing class A couches to make it into production before the opec oil embargo (remember that?) damn near killed the rv industry. 26ft. long with a body of 1/4in. marine grade fiberglass laid up on two huge molds and bonded in the center with more glass than any motorhome ever built, she sports a Dodge M375 chassis with a Chrysler 413 Industrial Wedge motor and a 727A tranny with oversize torque converter. 417lbs of honest torque at 2,000 rpm, she was the reigning power monster of her day. This is a powerful machine by any standard. Built to take a load. A spicer 70 third member and Michelin LT tires can carry 30 percent overweight and we are doing just that. We roll down the road at a Cat Certified Scale weight of 16,100 lbs - 10,000 lbs on the rear axle at a blistering speed of about 40mph. She will go 70mph if you have the nerve and the pocketbook. At 40mph we get 9.675 miles to the gallon. If we go 44 mph we get only 6 miles per gallon. Fact. Over 2500 miles this translates to around $325.00 usd savings and takes about 10 hours longer. We travel with and do our road calculations with a Garmin Rino 530cx gps so you can bet my numbers are spot on. On steep grades, like the siskiu pass (highest on Interstate 5) we run up at about 15mph and down at 34mph. Never an issue with motor heat or brake fade....

Dense pack. The rig is very balanced, and, as any experienced Rv person know, is much more important than the overall weight. No space is wasted. We are carrying about 2500 lbs of food - canned, frozen and bulk grains and flowers, 22 gallons of paint, 600 pounds of tools, loads of building materials, spare parts, 7 batteries weighing a total of 575 lbs, 7 guitars, 6 computers, hundreds of pounds of concrete color, and full compliment for a family of 5 with a dog. Not to mention 2 20ft. ladders, 3 spare tires, 5 bicycles and a christmas wreath on the front. Full kitchen and bath and who knows what all else. 50 gallons of fresh water, an onboard compressor, modified 120/240 Onan genset, 100 gal. waste tanks and 70gallon fuel tank. Full side extra screen room and two cases of oil. Large propane tank and 2 large refrigerators.

A typical load for us minus a trailer. We did not have time to put that all together. Next time.....

Ok, now tired and off at first light.
Tomorrow I will post photos of The Big Fish packed and road ready..



  1. Your family reminds me of the pioneers who built this country. I wish that your thriftiness, creativity and can do attitude could be passed around. This country really needs it right now.
    Merry Christmas, my friend.

  2. I will need to see a photo before I can believe that you got all of the above into the "Fish" and Weng was still able to cook and find a place to sleep.

  3. Would still like to see photos of "Big Fish," both inside and outside.