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  1. -Gramps-
    Latest Entry

    LIVING SMALL

    May 22, 2016

    From my Blog:

    My rules for full time living in a small space, that happens to be on wheels. 

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  2. When I think about RV travel, I envision places, destinations, camping, adventure, and the open road.  There's also lots of mechanical and how to stuff that comes to mind.

    But RVing is also a people activity.  It can be done with groups, by couples, or solo.  I have yet to RV with a group, but I've done it with my wife, son, and solo.  I don't mind traveling solo.  But, having a partner along to share the fun and adventure with enhances the whole RV travel experience.

    There are blogs and articles written about how to do solo RV travel.  But, I haven't seen much written about the interpersonal aspects of RV travel.  And, that got me thinking about this subject.

    I was going to write a piece about how to enjoy RVing with your partner.  But, then I turned it around and thought, perhaps writing an antithesis piece on this subject would be more fun.

    Being married for almost 40 years, my wife and I have quite a bit of experience in driving each other nuts.  In fact, I may be an expert at it.  My wife and I are polar opposites.  She's an extrovert and I'm an introvert.  She's left brain and I'm right brain.  She's a touchy feely socialite and I'm analytical loner.  But most of the time it works really good for us because we complement each other and fill in each others gaps.

    Author Robert Fulghum said - "Where ever you go, there you are."  When we're RVing, our personalities and behaviors come with us.   I can attest that what drives us nuts in our normal life, also drives us nuts in our RV life.  Driving someone nuts is not all bad.  It's just part of normal life.  We are all capable of doing it.  When traveling with a partner it's good to know what some of the triggers and behaviors are so you can minimize the breakage and misery.

    I know from my experiences that these nine things can drive your RV partner nuts!

    1. Never Doing What Your Partner Wants

    A trip plan / idea has to start with someone.  On many trips, I usually take the lead on the trip planning.  But, not soliciting input from my wife on the timing, schedule, places, or attractions is a sure recipe for a trip disaster.  Also, not listening to her ideas on things to do is just asking for fight and will easily lead to items #3, #6, and # 7.

    I always review a trip idea and potential schedule with my wife before I book anything.  I know how she likes to travel so I plan accordingly - no long drive days and plenty of rest stops.  I also try not to over schedule so there's extra time for unexpected stuff that she might come up with.

    2. Over Reacting to Little Annoying Stuff

    I've been guilty of this.  Your partner cooks a meal and sets off the fire alarm in the RV.  How about flushing the toilet while you're flushing the black tanks.  Or, your partner doesn't understand conserving power while boondocking and drains the house batteries by leaving all the lights on for hours.

    Some of this stuff can be maddening.  But I have to remind myself - it's all little stuff, it's all easily fixable, and not worth having a hissy fit over.

    3. Holding a Grudge

    The small confines of an RV are a bad place to hold a grudge.  Driving down the road with hours of the silent treatment takes the fun right out of a trip like a flat tire. When I sense that something is bothering my wife, I try to get the issue out and discuss it.  At least we're talking.  And I try to resolve the issue before nightfall so we don't ruin another day.  If it was something I did, I am quick to apologize and try to make amends.  And, I try to remember the adage - "Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?"

    4. Not Sharing the Work

    I don't expect my wife to do all the cooking and cleaning on a trip.  We share the chores.  I cook about half the time and do my own laundry.  When traveling we've worked out our routines.  I do the driving. She cleans out the RV when we stop, helps with the setup, and keeps me fed with snacks and treats when we're on the road.  We've found a good balance so no one person feels overburdened.

    5. Constant Critiques

    This rarely happens with me or my wife, but it is one I'm sensitive to.  I have certain codes of conduct that I live by.  One of those codes is to never ever criticize or make fun of your partner in public.  Also, if you feel you have to give a critique, then pick the right time, say what you need to, and be done with it.  Don't belabor a point or constantly relive a bad experience.  Constant critiques will lead to the next item.

    6. Not Wanting to Be on the Trip

    Traveling with someone who is miserable is no fun.  My wife doesn't enjoy traveling as much as I do.  So, when contemplating a trip, I always make the offer to my wife - "Is this something you want to do or do you want to pass?"   I don't want my wife to feel pressured to do something she won't enjoy.  It's no fun for her and no fun for me.  That's the main reason I travel solo at times.  My wife is fine with me going off on a solo trip.  She's not holding me back and I'm not imposing something on her.  If a trip isn't going well, it's best to turn around and head home.  RVing shouldn't be the source of misery.

    7. Non Stop Texting & Talking on Your Cell Phone

    This is sort of related to #6 above and a pet peeve of mine.  If you can't be present on a trip or can't stand to be away from your friends, then don't go on the trip.  It's fine to be sending pictures and messages to friends while on a trip and to stay in touch with family and friends.  And, if a real family or friend emergency comes up, then you need to deal with it.

    But, ignoring your partner so you can be consumed with the daily minutiae of your friends lives or spending the day on the phone helping them deal with their child's latest bad behavior crisis, is bad behavior in my book.  It doesn't happen often but when it does, it drives me nuts.

    8. Not Giving Your Partner Girl / Guy Down Time

    RV travel can foster closeness with your partner.  But unlike being at home, when you're in the RV there may not be many opportunities to go off and have some girl time or do some male bonding.  I'm sensitive to this.  My wife needs her nap time, shopping time, Facebook time with friends, etc.  Every so often I need to go off and do some male bonding or zone out on TV sports.  Not respecting these needs will cause discord.  My wife and I are pretty good at respecting each others needs for down/alone time.

    9. Driving Around Aimlessly

    This one drives my wife nuts. Trying to find a place to park the RV when out shopping or dining can sometimes be a challenge.  I'm a little picky about where I leave my RV.  I want enough space to get in and out  and need a space that's fairly level.  My wife doesn't seem to fully appreciate this because she doesn't drive the RV.  So, when she catches me driving around searching for the right spot, it drives her nuts.  It's right up there with being lost and not asking directions.

    I know this behavior can set her off.  So, I have to prep her, keep talking about what I'm trying to do, give assurances, and make fun of myself when I'm caught driving around aimlessly.  Otherwise, there's a risk of getting the silent treatment.

    So that's my list.  My wife helped contributed to the list so it's really our list.  Such a list may make us look like a couple of psychos, but we're two lunatics who love each other and most of the time enjoy traveling together.  We've learned to be aware of each others crazy quirks and are doing our best to deal with them or make light of them.

    Driving each other nuts has been part of our 40-year journey.  It's not all bad, because driving another person nuts is one of the key features of real true love!

    Follow more of my travels athttp://jdawgjourneys.com

  3. Our travel schedule for this summer is taking shape. We have a short trip coming up in two weeks so it is time to get the motor home road-ready. I took it out for a short drive several weeks ago and had it safety inspected for the Texas license renewal. Lights, wipers and horn all work. A brief look a the tires and a check of the current registration and insurance papers, verify the VIN and I'm good to go.

    On that drive I was reminded of a recurrent problem we've had. Our alternator has been slow to kick in, sometimes taking 5 or 10 minutes to start producing current. Once it gets going, it is good and has never failed us completely. I've taken it to a shop and they've checked it and found it working properly. Of course the problem is that it is thoroughly warmed up when I arrive at the shop. The problem shows up when we've been parked for several days or longer.

    I talked to a friend who has the same model and year coach as ours. He had his alternator rebuilt at a local repair shop, Ernie's Service. He is a NASCAR fan and has done some racing so he knows engines and engine service. I'm not a mechanic, I don't even play one on TV. I've done shade tree mechanic things like oil changes and simple replacement of parts of varying kinds. Using his information I tackled the removal of the alternator.

    Our motor home is a diesel pusher. The engine is mounted backward with the "front" of the engine facing the opening at the rear of the coach. With a side radiator arrangement, the engine compartment looks like there is plenty of room to work until you get yourself into that space. I've got a hose clamp strap end poking me in the chest and the oil dip stick digging into my shoulder. My feet are planted on the engine mounting frame and I'm leaning over trying to reach the wires which are located on the back side of the alternator as I'm looking at it. Not only are they on the other side of alternator, they are at the bottom of the alternator.

    So I'm hunched over the engine, my back is against the top of the compartment, I've got a trouble light to illuminate the area but nowhere to place it that will allow it to stay as I struggle with wrenches and stretch to get a better view. With my head now down behind the alternator, my glasses start slipping up onto my forehead. Whenever I tackle a job like this I always develop an appreciation for those who go to work every day to face challenges like this.

    There are five wires, the two main lines and three small sensor lines attached to our Leece-Neville alternator. I had been cautioned that one of the lines was hot even when everything in the coach was shut off. I did unplug, shut off the auto generator start, shut down that inverter/charger and then shut off the battery disconnect switches for both the house batteries and the chassis batteries. I checked voltage on each line and found only one of the sensor lines with an active current. I disconnected all the other wires and then the live sensor line. I had no problem, no spark so that seemed to be the solution. I covered the end of each wire with electrical tape to avoid inadvertent contact and sparking. Each wire had to be labeled to be certain that they were re-attached to the correct terminal. I used colored electrical tape to identify the wires and photographed the terminals on alternator to help me remember exactly where each should go. There were two terminals that had no wires attached.

    The next challenge was removing the serpentine belt. I understood the nature of the tensioner but didn't know exactly how to release the tension. Checking with my friend, I got the low-down on the relatively simple procedure. I hadn't even noticed the square indention in the arm of the tensioner. That indentation serves as an attachment point for a 1/2 inch socket driver. Use the breaker bar as a lever and pull the tensioner just enough to release the tension on the belt and slip if off the alternator. Louise provided the third hand that I needed as an awkward position and ability to release the tensioner required two hands on the breaker bar. Louise was able to easily slip the belt off the pulley on the alternator.

    The final challenge was to remove the mounting bolts. The top one was easy, the nut came off without a fight. The second bolt, on the bottom and more exposed to the spray from the rear wheels was stuck tight. Of course the only place I could get any torque on that bolt was on my back under the motor home. I sprayed a little Liquid Wrench on the bolt and gave it a few minutes and it finally came loose. Once broken loose, I could remove it working from above.

     

    I slipped the top bolt out of its collar and the alternator was free. Now I had to lift it free of the mounting and out of the coach. I had to stop several times to re-grip, the pulley doesn't make a very good hand grip! An alternator is filled with copper wiring and is quite heavy. Working in an awkward position with limited space to move makes lifting something much more difficult than just picking it up. Getting the alternator around the mounting points and clear of the wires and other obstructions was something like solving one of those puzzles with two pieces of wire linked together. Once out I placed the alternator in a plastic pan lined with cardboard for it's trip to the repair shop. I didn't want it rolling around in the car.

    I couldn't find Ernie's Service on my first try. It is located at the intersection of two interstate highways, I-69 and I-2 in Pharr, Texas. It is difficult to explore the access road in the area so I started to make a second try. As I circled back toward the area where I though the shop was located I spotted an auto repair shop. I stopped and asked directions. The mechanic in the shop knew right away where the shop was and how to get there. I was two minutes away and had been looking in the wrong place.

    Pulling into Ernie's Service, I assessed it to be a pretty simple operation and I was correct. They work on generators, starters and alternators. Walking into the shop I find myself among a sea of scrapped electrical equipment. Ernie is definitely waiting for the price of Copper to rise. I told him I needed an alternator repaired. He asked what kind of vehicle it came from. I replied "a motor home", expecting a groan of some kind from Ernie. But that isn't what I got. He turned to his assistant and said, "probably a 2825." I went to the car to retrieve the alternator and sure enough, there on the label was "Sales No. 2825LC." I thought, "OK, this guy knows this alternator, this is good."

    Re-entering the shop a woman who had been standing next to Ernie met me in front of the counter and took the alternator off my hands. She took it to Ernie, he looked it over commenting on the condition as he turned it over. He was pleased it wasn't corroded, my work with the wire brush had paid off. He said they would put it on the test stand, "no charge." They hooked it up, their electric motor spun the alternator, faster and faster and still the needle on the gauge didn't budge. They hooked up a battery and still no current could be detected.

    Ernie agreed with my assessment of the problem, brushes might be the problem. He would fix it if he could. He muttered something about possible other problems, electronics, etc. He said they would replace the brushes and bushings. The charge would be for parts and labor, labor being $40.00 per hour. Then he said, "11." I'm thinking "11, 11 what, 11 hundred, as in dollars?" He meant 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. I was stunned, it was 4:00 p.m. and he was going to have it done tomorrow morning. Our trip is coming up in two weeks and I was just hoping I'd be able to get it back several days before then. His assistant assured me they had the parts in stock.

    He called about 10:30 the next morning to let me know that the alternator was ready. When I picked up the alternator, Ernie showed me the brushes. They were little stubs about the size of a pencil eraser. New ones are over an inch long. There was hardly anything left of them. Ernie said they were stuck in the channel that holds them, he had to force them out of the holder. That would explain why they weren't making contact until things warmed up. We were lucky they hadn't failed in some remote location like the roads we traveled last fall in Labrador! The bill for the repair was less than $80.00. I was amazed. If I had gone to a shop and had the alternator removed and a rebuilt one installed in it's place, the bill likely would have been more like $800, I know because I've had it done several times. Of course that would have involved someone else doing the removal and re-installation. So I was well paid for my mechanical adventure.

    Re-installing the alternator was easier and faster than the removal process. I didn't even drop any of the tiny nuts or washers. An inventory of tools used and putting everything away finished the process this morning.

    If you are in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and need starter or alternator service, Ernie's Service is the place to go! The shop looks humble but the service is fantastic and prices are really reasonable. Even if you have someone remove the part for you, take it to Ernie, you won't be disappointed.

    Next on my list of things to get road-ready is the water system. Louise wants to do some cleaning and has informed me that she needs to have the water on. Each day will bring another task, loading clothes, food, tools and other supplies. Tires are on the last thing on the list. I'll adjust the pressure when we're ready to leave. The Pressure Pro sensors indicate the tires have held their pressure during the winter. I've got a set of tires waiting at a shop on the way to our destination for this first trip. With the new set of tires we should be ready for a good summer of travel.

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    i took my 2016 Newmar Dutch Star for a wash at Blue Beacon Truck Wash. For $36.00 I thought it was a good idea, not true. They are very fast and don't care about their work. While bushing the wheels they broke off two tire pressure monitors worth $100.00 and immediately denied the damage even though one was laying on the floor next to the wheel. I guess it must have rolled along from Florida with us and ended up taking the same route to El Paso Texas. Don't expect anything fro corporate headquarters because their $11.00 and hour supervisor said he did not break them off even though I was in the coach when both tire sensor alarms went off went out and saw him brushing the last tire.

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    I started by finding wasted space to store the sewer hoses and connectors, I used two heater duct about 5 feet long with end caps. One is 6 inch dia and the other is 5 inch. 5 inch will work just fine. Click pictures to make larger.

     


    IMAG0219 BURST002


    This show the hose going in the 5 inch duct with connectors. These ducts will hold 20 feet of hose with connectors each.

    IMAG0220 BURST002


    I brought two ten foot plastic gutter the cheap 4 inch wide and cut off 25 inches off them to fit the length of the cargo bay. It is wasted space where I put them between the wall and cargo tray slide.

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    This is the gutters on the ground ready to be put together to make a tray for the drain hoses.

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    This is the two gutters snapped together to make a sliding tray for the sewer hose

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    This is the sewer hoses laid in the gutter tray. Make the gutter tray slightly longer than needed for the sewer hose.

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    I used 10 inch bungee cord to keep the snapped part of the gutter tray together

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    This is the final setup to have the hose run off as best as you can get without dips to trap sewer water. I have two problems this solved, the coach is low in the rear and the campground drain would only allow the tip of the elbow to be inserted.

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    This project to me is better and cost less than what is out there. The two gutters and bungee cords cost about $15. The duct work with caps was less than $25. This makes managing the sewer hose system so much better and less messy.

     


    Source: Drain System Management

  4. My wife and I are planning our first major road experience in our new/used Fleetwood Excursion 39S. We want to start off retirement with a trip to see the Grand Canyon and New Mexico. I'm in planning mode, spontenaity doesn't come easy, and I'd welcome ideas and recommendations from veterans of similar trips.

     

    We'd welcome your input on everything from sites to see, routes to take, restaurants to try, RV Parks, activities , events and special locations to visit.

     

    We are starting out from Minnesota in late spring. My wife and I turn 60 this year so we should be up for most activities. Our coach will be ready to roll and we welcome hearing from everyone that's been there and done that.

     

    Thanks!

  5. I am sure there are some of you all out there that have previously make the trip to Alaska. We live in Florida and would like to find a route from here to Fairbanks. I talked to a couple last summer in South Dakota
    that traveled through I believe he told me Montanna into Canada. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Lex and Karen Cauffield
    Lake Placid, Florida
    Gulf Stream Tourmaster Constellation 45g
    Jeep Grand Cherokee

    medic103b@gmail.com

  6. blog-0985766001447339366.jpg

    It was once suggested to me that celebrating Thanksgiving in our RV was an utterly ridiculous notion. “HOW can you prepare such a grand meal in such a small space?!” “WHAT on earth could you serve without access to a full kitchen?!” “WHO would ever want to join you on such an adventure?!”

    Never one to back away from a challenge, I am here to break it all down for you. Hopefully, by the end, you will be convinced that you, too, can have your own epic campout for your next Thanksgiving.

    Thanksgiving and eating go hand in hand. Good eating, that is. So if you are going to eat well, then you need to prepare it well. RVs are not known for their spacious kitchens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make magic happen. You just need to be creative!

    • The turkey fryer – The first time that I heard about this method, I was completely repulsed. Turns out that this way of preparing a turkey is DELICIOUS! The outside is crispy and the insides are super moist. But it's important that you take precautions. Do not do what anyone did
      . Or
      . If, after seeing these, you would still like to try frying your turkey, then you can use an indoor fryer or an outdoor fryer.
    • The toaster oven – Everyone should have a toaster oven. I have a full-size oven in my home, and my toaster oven is used far more. It just makes so much more sense when considering heat and energy output. Some toaster ovens offer fancy options while others are quite simple. These compact ovens are perfect for a batch of mashed potatoes, stuffing or baking a pie.
    • The slow cooker – This kitchen wonder saves my life every holiday season. Slow cookers come in all shapes and sizes, large and small. They can handle casseroles, ciders, breads, dips and so much more. One year we even used ours to cook our holiday ham.
    • The barbecue – No RVing adventure would be complete without the ol' trusty Bbq. There is something so wonderful and comforting about cooking outside over an open flame, and to do so on a holiday makes it that much more special. Have you tried barbecued turkey breast or grilled root vegetables? Divine!

    I don’t know about you, but I like a Thanksgiving dinner that offers a lot of options. A few main dishes, a lot of sides and a generous array of desserts is the perfect ticket. The joy of holiday campouts is that you get to eat all of this amazing food for at least a few days. Meal planning is an important part of RVing, even more so on holiday weekends. I have thrown together a sample of what one of our Thanksgiving plans would look like:

    • Turkey breast – to be roasted in heavy duty foil in barbecue.
    • Many types of sausages – to be cooked on barbecue.
    • Onions, carrots and celery – to be roasted with turkey breast on barbecue.
    • Stuffing – Prepare before trip and store in zip-top bag. When ready, empty contents into 9X13 pan and bake in toaster oven. When finished, remove and cover in foil.
    • Green bean casserole – Prepare and bake while stuffing is cooling.
    • Sweet potato casserole – Thanks to my slowcooker and Pillsbury. Works every single time.
    • Mashed potatoes – Make these ahead and freeze. When ready, pop in the microwave and serve hot.
    • Gravy – Heinz Home Style with some beef bouillon added for depth. Microwave and serve.
    • Cranberry sauce – Okay, the child in me still can’t get enough of the cranberry in a can action. You can have your fancy cranberries because mine are so awesome, they don’t even need chewing.
    • Buttered peas – Microwave the frozen peas. Top with a pat of melted butter.
    • Black olives – Again, canned. No Thanksgiving is complete without 10 olives on 10 fingers.
    • Pickles – Every year these make a showing on our table. They are small, they pack a punch and they have just always been there.
    • Cheese platter – This doesn’t need to be fancy. We like sharp cheddar, swiss, a soft goat cheese, nuts, fruit (dried and/or fresh) and some crackers.
    • Hawaiian Rolls – Always buy more than you think you’ll need. They go really fast.
    • Banana Cream Pie Jars – Banana pudding, Cool Whip and crushed Nilla wafers layered in a mason jar. YUMMM!!
    • S'mores – We kick these up by including peanut butter cups, Starburst (yes, Starburst), pretzels and caramel filled chocolate squares.
    • Spirits – wine, beer, Kahlua, Bailey's and bourbon. For sharing of course. ;)

    Speaking of sharing, this is really what Thanksgiving is all about. The camping community is made up of wonderfully adventurous, kind and lovely people who just want to have a good time. Mix that with a four-day holiday dedicated to food and fun and you have the recipe for epic memories. It is a beautiful experience to see how campers come together to share and care. The drinks flow freely, the food is never-ending and you are surrounded by people that become lifelong friends. I know a group of people who met for the first time at a campground’s Thanksgiving party in 2007 and have gotten together every year since. After all, tradition is what Thanksgiving is all about, right?

    So there you have it -- the how, what and who explanation as to why you should spend your next Thanksgiving in your RV. You don’t need an enormous space to create an unforgettable meal for your friends and family. While planning and patience are critical, gratitude truly is the most important ingredient for your ultimate Thanksgiving campout.

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    genepopeye
    Latest Entry

    My name is Gene and I am new at this RV activity. I live in the Sacramento area but I am visiting my sons on the East Coast. While in Bradenton Fl. I purchased a 39 foot 2004 Sahara Safari. On or about the 15th of this month I will start my adventure home. I will be leaving from Yulee Fl. This should be an interesting trip for me lol, wish me luck
    .
    I joined this club hoping it will teach me a few things along the way. I have been a boater for 30 years and joining a boat club was the key to a great life of boating.

    I am a 69 year young single man that is not afraid to try something new and looking forward to getting started on my trip home. I plan on stopping at rest stops and Flying "J's" for rests each night.
    So if anyone out there has any tips for me, I would love to hear from you. I will take advice from anyone experienced in the RV world. Man woman child, whatever, lol.



    Gene

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    Hello guys!

    Anybody know how to meet stamp collectors here? I'm collecting cars on stamps.

    Looking for friend to trade stamps. Also you can find me on the best stamp collecting forum http://philatalk.com

    Best wishes in New year!

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    The Florida Caverns State Park is one of those perfect half-a-day side trips, offering a guided tour of a fascinating geologic wonder, some nice hikes and an opportunity to kayak and explore a wilderness river that offers up a blue hole as a bonus.

    And at the end of the exploring, there’s a nice campground available, too, if you’re in need of a place to overnight.

    Located near the town of Marianna in Florida’s panhandle just off I-10, the underground tour offers inspiring vews of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies.

    Formed about 38 million years ago when sea levels were much higher and the southeastern coastal plain of the United States was submerged. Shells, coral and sediments gradually accumulated on the sea floor. As sea levels fell, these materials hardened into limestone. During the last million years, acidic groundwater dissolved crevices just below the surface creating cave passages large enough to walk through.

    You can still see some of those fossilized shells, as well as fish skeletons embedded in the limestone throughout the subterranean system . On the ceiling of one of the underground rooms our guide used his flashlight to show off what he says is an ancient shark’s tooth.

    The tour lasts about 45 minutes and reminded us a lot of the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Developed in 1935 during the height of the depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Projects Administration. Both groups emerged from President Roosevelt’s New Deal, established in 1933 to provide jobs to men during the Great Depression.

    Using not much more than pickaxes, shovels, wheelbarrows and a flatbed pickup truck, it took nearly a decade to carve out an underground path that wanders between “rooms” of the caverns. Most of the tunnels and caverns are about 25 feet beneath the surface, Subdued lighting runs throughout the system and, like any good cave tour, there will come a moment when the guide will turn off all lighting to show how totally dark it is underground.

    Although the tour is not strenuous, there are places where the passages are very narrow and low, meaning you need to be flexible enough to be able to duck down and walk under spots that are no higher than four feet or so.

    A welcome bonus in visiting the caverns during the hot and steamy Florida summer is the constant year-round temperature of 65 degrees in the caverns.

    Hiking trails run throughout the 1,319-acre park and kayaks can be rented to paddle the Chipola River, which has a deep blue spring – named the Jackson Blue Spring to differentiate between the Florida’s Blue Springs State Park near Orlando – flows at an average rate of 76 million gallons of water a day. With five other smaller springs, it feeds Merritts Mill Pond, a major scenic and recreation area.

    Click the image to enlarge:

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    You enter the caverns through a door that takes you 25 feet beneath the surface.

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    Some of the rooms are quite large.

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    A statue out front honors the nearly 10 years it took for CCC workers to excavate the path through the caverns.

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    They call this the “Wedding Cake.”

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    It requires you to stoop to navigate through some of the spots.

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    A ranger explains how caverns and caves are made.

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    More beautiful formations

  8. Our 1998 Southwind was overdue for a roof rehab - see photos 1 and 2. The original top layer was almost gone in places and we were having a lot of trouble with chalking and grey streaks forming on our windshield, windows and side panels.

    I researched various treatments in forums, ads and websites. I wanted something long-lasting and relatively easy to apply, since this would be a do-it-yourself venture. I was tempted by an expensive two-part liquid roof system, but the cost would have been over $1,000. Following up on an ad in one of the magazines, I found Ultimate Roof, from RV & Marine Technologies. Theirs is a one-part acrylic laytex rubber that is applied with brushes and rollers. They use a fabric reinforcing strip over joints and seams. You apply two heavy coats of this material. It is supposed to last 10 years or more. Because you put it over all your existing caulking, they say you don't have to caulk again. Their website is www.rvroofing.com. They sell the materials and application kits, or you can hire them to do the job for you. The materials and application kit for my 33 ft coach cost approximately $650.

    I got started late last fall on this project, which turned out to be a problem. I was trying to do this in early October in Maine. I didn't get enough warm weather and sunshine to cure the material before the dew started. We also got frost, then a heavy rain that washed off much of the uncured rubber from my edging job. I cleaned up and recoated the damaged areas, but I could tell that I was fighting a losing battle. We called our warehouse and made arrangements to get the MH inside immediately for winter storage.

    This spring, I was doing another project at home in my "spare" time, so I was a bit late getting back to the MH roof rehab. Today, we finally finished it. Yea! I think it came out well. Check out the photos.

    Now, I can give the coach a good thorough outside cleaning and it should stay much cleaner than it used to. Our coach has never had water damage on the inside. I think we can keep it that way for a good while yet!

  9. I hear this question often, and the answers vary…

    “Motorhome or Towable … Which is best for me?”

    The simple answer is “It Depends…”

    But…that’s probably not what you want to hear.

    Honestly it depends on how you answer this 1 simple question…

    “What’s your intentions?”

    Do you intent to ‘camp’ or ‘travel’?

    There’s a difference…

    If life is busy and weekends are your primary escape.

    If your plan or desire is to visit campgrounds for long weekends and the occasional week long getaways or vacations you fit into the ‘camping’ category.

    If your desire is to travel longer distances, visit sites along the way and move frequently then you fit into the ‘traveler’ category.

    Towable RV’s are great for short term stays, infrequent use and are low cost entry points for camping.

    Motorhomes excel at comfort on the road often granting quick and easy access to supplies and facilities.

    Setting up and breaking camp is often less time consuming when compared to a towable RV.

    I’ve owned, traveled and camped in pop ups, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pickup campers, class C, Class A, bus conversions and diesel pushers.

    When traveling and discovering a beautiful beach, hiking trail or roadside attraction - having all supplies on board are often the difference between, ‘maybe next time’ and ‘let’s do it!’.

    The comfort, convenience and mobility of traveling in a motorhome is my current choice.

    What’s your choice and why?

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    I own a Thor Motor coach, Tuscany XTE, since the purchase in 2014, I have now 4 EMS boards replaced.

    My rear A/C turns the compressor of, and it is a frustrating problem.

    Does anybody having the same RV experienced that problem?

    If you had, please let me know what was been done to fix it.

    Thanks

  10. blog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgFL 4-13-15

    As we near the end of our winter get away we decided to spend a few days unwinding. Yesterday we took a drive over the mountain to Culpepper VA. It was another beautiful blue sky day. The views from the mountain were spectacular. The balance of the day was spent at our CG enjoying the 70 degree weather.

    Today we traveled over the mountain again to have lunch with another Bradford neighbors. The Marshall's were in Virginia visiting Judy's sister Karen and her husband Mike. When we found that out we just had to have a get together. After a few stops at restaurants that were still closed for the season, we managed to find a Pub in Sperryville. All had a light lunch and 2 hours of nonstop conversation.

    Tomorrow will be spent getting Gracie ready for a 4 week rest in PA until we return for a wedding and finally bring her back to NH for the summer.

    Did anyone find the deer in the pictures with my last Blog?

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    jananddave
    Latest Entry

    We're planning a summer trip f/ our home in South Carolina to Canada's Maritime Provinces. We'll be traveling in our 39' diesel pusher coach. We've done a fair amount of research but would sure appreciate any helpful ideas or suggestions of places/things to see/do while there. Also, we're a little concerned about the availability of diesel fuel that far north as well as being prepared to cross the border into Canada.

    Is there anything special we should know about Canadian Customs and/or bringing a coach this size into their country? Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Just sitting here trying to plan another trip and wondering if I should get involved with blogs and posts. I have reviewed the forums and have learned much as we are new at this since August 2014. Any thoughts or ideas?

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    I've attached preliminary listings (Adobe PDF files) of Crafts and Seminars at our Western Area Rally in Indio January 7-11 2015. The Rally theme for 2015 is "Out of This World"!

    See you in Indio!

    -- Warren F352839

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    Hi Travelers,

    I am getting the word out about the upcoming 2015 WARE (Western Area Rally for Escapees) Rally in Yuba City this coming April 12-16, 2015. This rally is open to all RVers, and will be located at the beautiful Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City, CA. The fairgrounds have 200 electric/water RV sites, with grassy fields, large shade trees and spacious buildings.

    There are many events planned, from RV safety seminars to crafts, vendors, a classic car show, and much more.

    To see what is listed for the WARE rally, just go to warerally.com to our newly updated website. You can register for the WARE rally online, or print out a registration form and mail it in. You can purchase Tee shirts for the raaly, and there are pictures of the past 3 WARE rallies, as well as information about Yuba City and the surrounding areas. There is also a contact page for questions, and a volunteer page, as well as a donation site to explore.

    Come see what the Yuba-Sutter Valley in California has to offer. The are has a rich history that goes back to the 1800s and the gold fields which drew thousands of miners to the area. Yuba City, Marysville, Sheridan and the Sutter Buttes offer visitors a new view of a California area rich in agricultural, historical and cultural traditions. Come take a peek at the website, and you may be surprised at what you will find at the 2015 WARE rally.

    Also, we invite you to join our FaceBook page at WARE (Western Area Rally for Escapees), where you will be updated with new information about the Rally in an ongoing fashion.

    Please remember that although this rally is open to everyone who enjoys the RVing experience, not just for Escapees. Call Rally Director Kathy Perry at 541-659-7208, or Publicity Director Donna Betteridge at 541-664-2130 for more information.

  11. blog-0570785001410019505.jpgOne of my favorite things to do is lie on the sofa, close my eyes, and recreate a trip....the miles, the feel of the road, the terrain, the people I see and meet along the way.

    I started in 2007, no sense pretending my memory is that sharp....so, I'll begin with the most recent..my Labor Day trip to the northeast Georgia mountains to visit an old elementary school friend and her husband. For this venture I invited another school friend to join me. Can you imagine three girls who have known each other since kindergarten! This immediately changes the category to family, not just friends....I knew it would be crazy fun.

    Her husband is a peach and emailed me a new route. He starts, "I know you are a seasoned traveler, but here are some suggestions". Listen, if you can't take some good advice, then you deserve to be stuck in traffic in Atlanta, bogged down with construction or anything else that you might have encountered.

    Route 75 N to 285 W around Atlanta (avoid 675), on to 575 (branches right) and becomes 515. Takes you nicely into Blairsville, Georgia. Good road all the way. About a 10 hr drive for a normal person. Hey, what's the rush.....it takes me almost that long to get bread and milk!

    Rivers Edge RV Park.....privately owned lots......it is a slice of heaven in the mountains. I was greeted with crepe myrtles,hummingbirds and a babbling brook! What more could you ask for. Check it out....better yet, take a trip up there.

    The laughing began.....and one of us doesn't even drink! The challenge was to name every nun we had from K-8. So many stories...turns out the one lay teacher that I emulated, my friends hated! Who knew....

    Ever hear of Brasstown Bald? Booger Hollow? You gotta luv NE Georgia......

    Now for the best part.....the Appalachian Trail - all 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine. First thought, we should all put this experience on our bucket list...........but wait, first read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. My side hurts from laughing...

    Stay tuned!

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    washtech
    Latest Entry

    Good Morning Fellow Travelers:

    One quick question, I'm considering traveling out to CO and visiting the Durango area. It appears that highway 160 running "west" off of I-25 is the most direct route. Does anyone have any "experience" with this particular highway?

    Thanks for any input.

    Washtech

  12. blog-0382258001403466100.jpgSince picking up the new motorhome, we went to Jon Walker's lake house in Southern Michigan, to Glamarama in Goshen, IN, then to our spot in Hearthside Grove at Petoskey, MI.

    We enjoyed our time spent with Jon and Sondra Walker. We parked at their lake house on Baldwin Lake in Michigan. There were several things to be done to get things ready for the summer; like get the party barge in the water. It had to be launched from across the lake. They go to the landing and Jon brings the party barge back to the house. Jon left Charlie to bring the truck and trailer back to the house. Charlie wasn't familiar with Jon's GPS and he didn't have his wallet or cell phone so he was left with no way to call for directions when he decided he was lost. After an hour and a half driving all around Michigan and Northern Indiana Charlie found his way back to the place where they had put the party barge in. He saw a man close by and asked how he could get across the lake and pointed to a house with a Razorback flag flying. The man said he would get in his vehicle and lead Charlie back across the lake. Charlie finally made it back to Jon's and promised he would not go anywhere without his cell and wallet again.

    If you didn't go to the Glamarama Rally you missed a good rally. They were completely booked with a waiting list. The entertainment was good, the food around Goshen was the best, and Jane Roush and her volunteers were excellent hosts.

    I really enjoyed the Ladies Tea. Along with the goodies, Pat and Sarah Getto were our speakers. Pat told about raising Sarah and most of us know what a special person Sarah is. Sarah and Pat answered questions from the audience.

    After Pat and Sarah, the pillowcase dresses that were made during the year for "Dress a Girl Around the World" were presented. The pictures below show a few of the dresses. There was a clothes line about fifty feet long filled with dresses. This organization receives donations of dresses that are simply made and given to girls around the world who needs dresses.

    blogentry-38545-0-98264400-1403466759_th This would be a quick and easy project for ladies who need something to do at their rallies. You can go to the website, www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com, to find out about this organization. blogentry-38545-0-29341700-1403466495_th

    We traveled to Petoskey after Glamarama and it has been cool and rainy most of the time. Seems like everywhere we go it rains. Maybe we should travel to where there are droughts since rain seems to follow us. We have enjoyed the cool days. The cooler nights are great for sleeping. We are now rested up and ready for our next adventure to the northeast.

    We were visited Friday by Jon and Sondra Walker. They arrived in their new Tuscany. They were really excited about getting the new coach and they were giving it the shakedown ride. We are happy for them. I know their grandkids will enjoy it when "Nana and Papa" takes them on a trip.

    We went to a classic car show yesterday in Bay Harbor. They had cars that were from the early 1900's through the 1960's. Most of the cars were restored with original equipment. There were a few muscle cars and a "something" that started out as a GMC motorhome. It was called a "Deco-liner".

    We had visitors today from the Northeast. They are on their way out west and drove through Hearthside to look around. They saw our sign in the window and stopped. We had a good visit with Bob & Judy Constant and Dianne & Jeff White. Hope to see you again down the road soon.

  13. blog-0558550001401559165.jpgDownsizing from a 1400 sf townhouse to a 34 ft 7 inch Motorhome was pretty easy. We gave away just about everything - without much hesitation. Unless you count the 10x15 storage unit....... It is full of books and Christmas decor. But no coffee makers reside there.

    Pot 1: Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker

    It was too big for the counter.

    It pulled too much electricity.

    Did we really need a 10 cup coffee maker for just the two of us?

    So it found a new home with our son. We can lovingly use it when visiting our in-law room there.

    Pot 2: Keurig

    No mess usage.

    Still too big for the counter.

    Very expensive to buy K Cups.

    Made the lights flicker.

    Bought those do-it-yourself K-Cup filters and pods.

    Too much trouble.

    So we moved the Keurig to the office. (I - Delly - had stocked up on the K-Cup sale at Target - couldn't miss the chance to buy all of that Caribou Reindeer Blend!) Just can't waste all of that coffee.

    Pot 3: French Press coffee pot

    No one really knows how to grind coffee for that pot. And you have to boil water first. And it is too much mess to clean...

    Pot 4: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker

    It fit on the counter.

    We could use our favorite coffees.

    Never had a decent cup of coffee from it.

    It clogged most of the time - thus flooding the small counter it resided on.

    Spent more time cleaning up a mess than actually drinking coffee.

    SO, no more holiday commercials for Pop!

    Six months and four coffee pots later we left home for a month with one purchase on our list: buy a coffee maker that was small, easy to use, and produced good coffee - we gave up on great coffee.

    POT 5: STOVE TOP PERCOLATOR

    We wandered into Ace Hardware in Greenville, TN. Asked the salesman (he was older than us and thought we had dropped out of crazy somewhere) if he had a percolator coffee maker. "You mean one of those camp types?" "Well, we might have one somewhere over here....."

    Sure enough - there were actually 2 on the shelf ...... along with years of dust.........

    "That's it!" we exclaimed as the salesman walked away, pretty sure we had lost our minds. We couldn't wait to get back to the RV and make some coffee.

    Small.

    Does not need counter space - fits in a cabinet when not in use.

    Does not require electricity.

    The coffee is actually hot.

    The coffee is good - we will work on the grinding and perking to maybe one day have a GREAT cup of coffee!

    So why did I give away 6 antique percolators only to go looking for a new one?

    Now we have a new "grind and brew" system.

    Next quest: Find the perfect coffee beans, roasted just to my taste ....

  14. Picked up the coach today. Brand new, warranted, Cummins 6BT 5.9 diesel. Not a long block as we expected. Rocky Mountain Cummins Coach Care really took good care of me in this deal!! I came out smelling like a rose!

    Spending the night at Mountain View RV Park in that Infamous RV city of Van Horn, TX. Appears to be a very nice park.

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    blog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgWebsite promotion is time-consuming and costly, but extremely important in the process of development and promotion of the business. Owners of web resources the help of professional SEO specialist in Milwaukee WI http://mkewebdev.com to make the website appear in the TOP search engines, and it was visited by interested users. Even those who promote your own site, sooner or later turn to the services of specialists. Is it better than to waste their time and money on getting the result, far from ideal.

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