>I normally OC and don't give it much thought here, but...
Not here. Not yet.
>I'll be going to Van Horn... passing thru ElPaso (I-10). I have a validArizona CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit). I'll be carrying a 1911 in a vertical shoulder holster or a leather concealment vest. I usually have another pistol of some type in the glove box. CWP's alsoinclude knives.
So long as they are concealed on your person or in the vehicle, you are fine.
1. What can I expect if I get stopped for anything? Should I divulge I'm carrying as a courtesy (as I do here) or keep my yap shut?
A: Yes. Simply give the officer your AZ CWP. She/he will ask if you are carrying. That is the easiest way to handle it. The law changed recently, to remove any penalty for failing to give your permit with your DL, but the law still requires you to do so. (The change was simply to avoid penalizing someone who forgets to hand it to the officer initially.)
2. Close to the border or when traversing long stretches of desert (here) I normally carry a long gun (EBR carbine or shotgun). My normal EBR is a bottom folder AK clone. The normal shotgun is a 18" Rem 870 with a pistol grip. I have an enclosed carry bag for one and a scabbard for the other. I suspectthat'd be more of a possible liability than an assetupon entering Texas tho. Any thoughts?
A: Long guns are fine. I don't recommend leaving them visible when you are out of the vehicle. There are no real restrictions on long gun carry.
3. Pistol in the glove box... 'holster' required on that or not?
A: No holster required.
4. Rest stops... restaurants that may sell alcohol. Legality of carryng concealed in the absence of signage to the contrary?
A: OK to carry unless they post a specific sign with a red "51" on it. Not to be confused with the blue sign prohibiting the unlicensed carrying at places which sell alcoholic beverage. If it is a bar, you can bet you shouldn't be carrying. If it is a restaurant, you will generally be OK. Watch for one other sign at the entrance to any building: called the 30.06 sign. Check the Texas rules to understand the requirements.
5. Attitude of local LEO's?
A: Don't let your weapon be seen and you'll be fine. State law requires concealment, and prohibits intentionally showing a handgun.
6. Maybe it don't matter, but I'm a 'cowboy/vaquero' type in appearance.
A: You'll fit right in around west Texas.
7. I'll be driving an SUV w/luggage.
A: Shouldn't have any problems.
There have been problems with gun running and drug trafficking in the area, so avoid unnecessary stops. The speed limits are 75 and 80 mph, so that shouldn't be too much trouble.
The DPS/state troopers in the area are generally great guys.