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    We will start RVing full time this summer and are very excited to start this new life style!  We want to tow motorcycle trike and also have a car.  Suggestions on towing?  We have also considered towing the trike, selling the car and renting a car, as needed, as we travel across country.  Has anyone rented vehicles while RVing?  Thanks for your suggestions. 

  1. I have a set of Good Year tires that was put on my 40 ft Monoco Camelot  in 2010 outward they look good but all I have read leads me to think now is the safe time to change all 6 tires . Am I correct in my  thinking ? What would be the best tire ? 295/80R/22.5 /H Thanks   
     

  2. August 11, 1999 Louise and I traveled to Paris to see a total solar eclipse.  The trip was our first adventure to Europe and was a wonderful adventure that helped convince us that there was much to see in the world.  Our trip was a success, we saw the total eclipse briefly as the clouds parted during totality.  The sight was spectacular, something that many people may live a lifetime and never experience.  I had traveled with my family to Hawaii July 11, 1991 to see the total solar eclipse there.  Spending the night alongside the highway in the desert on the western side of the big island, Hawaii, we were clouded out and sat through the eclipse in a light drizzle.  Then, June 21, 2001 Louise and I traveled to Zambia in southern Africa to see the solar eclipse once again.  It was another great adventure filled with African wildlife and many memorable experiences.  Once again, we were successful and were able to observe the total eclipse of the sun.  This time the sky was smoky as it was the season for burning off old crops in preparation for the coming planting season.

    I describe all this to emphasize the importance many people attach to chasing the shadow of the Moon.  The total eclipse is only visible when you are within the total shadow of the Moon.  You can see an eclipse in the partial shadow but it will only be a partial eclipse.  I would never pass up a chance to view a partial eclipse but the real prize is the total solar eclipse.  The thing about a total solar eclipse is that the full shadow of the Moon from which you can view the total solar eclipse is a very narrow band.  For the eclipse in Paris, it was about 70 miles wide at its widest point.  The eclipse in Hawaii had a shadow width of 160 miles at its widest point.  The African eclipse was almost 125 miles wide at its widest point.  To experience the longest possible time in the Moon’s shadow you must be near the centerline of the path of the shadow. 

    Given all that, Monday, August 21, 2017 you will have a chance to see the Great American Eclipse.  It has been many years since a total solar eclipse could be seen in mainland US.  This eclipse will cut a swath across 12 states starting in NW Oregon at about 10:18 a.m. PDT and will exit the US at 2:48 p.m. EDT in Eastern South Carolina.  Other states that will see the eclipse include Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, extreme northeastern Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, northeastern Georgia and the western North Carolina.  You won’t have to travel to a distant country, this eclipse is coming to a state near you!  All areas in those states won’t see totality, the shadow is only going to be 71 miles wide at its widest point.  You will need detailed information to get as close to the center of the shadow as possible. 

    In an article on the History of FMCA from May 2004 FMCA Magazine there is a reference to a meeting of motor homes at a total solar eclipse at Hinckley School in Hinckley, Maine on July 20, 1963.  Out of this gathering of 26 “coach owning families” grew the present organization.  That eclipse was one of a series of eclipses in a sequence that astronomers call a Saros.  From one eclipse to the next in a Saros is 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours.  It happens that this eclipse was number 19 of 77 eclipses in Saros 145.  Its path came onshore in North America in western Alaska, crossed Canada and exited the continent as it passed across Maine.  Alaska and Maine were the only states where the total eclipse could be seen.

    There have been several other eclipses in Saros, 145.  In July 31, 1981 number 20 in that Saros crossed Russia.  It was not visible in North America.  On August 11, 1999, number 21 of Saros 145 crossed Europe, the Middle East and exited into the Indian Ocean from the eastern coast of India.  Louise and I traveled to Paris, France to observe this eclipse.  There were clouds around and we drove frantically across northern France looking for an opening in the clouds as totality approached.  When I took a wrong turn at a roundabout and then attempted a U-turn on the road the wheels mired down in mud when I pulled onto the shoulder.  We slid into a ditch.  A passing couple from Belgium stopped and said (in perfect English) they would call a wrecker.  We watched as the clouds parted and the partially eclipsed sun became visible.  The wrecker arrived just as the shadow of the moon was within seconds of reaching us.  We shared our Mylar glasses with them and then put the glasses aside to watch the total phase of the eclipse.  We weren’t on the centerline but were well within the path of totality.  It was our first total solar eclipse and we were hooked. 

    During the total eclipse the corona or outer atmosphere of the Sun becomes visible and any prominences (loops of solar material) or flares will show up.  All these can be viewed without eye protection.  Looking at the rest of the sky, planets and bright stars will be visible.  Being aware of other circumstances, the temperature will drop as if the sun has set, birds may sing and then grow silent as they roost for the short night caused by the eclipse.  Right at the beginning of the eclipse and again at the end you may observe the diamond ring, the last glint of direct sunlight through a lunar valley as the rest of the Moon is surrounded by the faint light of the corona.  If you are hampered by thin clouds you may be able to watch the shadow of totality sweep across the clouds. 

    That brings us to the Great American Eclipse of 2017.  This eclipse occurs on August 21, 2017.  It is number 22 in Saros 145, 54 years and one month after the eclipse in Hinckley, Maine.  This total solar eclipse will cut a swath across 12 states starting in NW Oregon at about 10:18 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and will exit the US at 2:48 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in eastern South Carolina.  Do the math, that is about one hour and 30 minutes, coast to coast across the United States.  At any given location, the eclipse will last for about two minutes to as much as 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  Other states that will see the eclipse include Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, southern Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee and the northeastern tip of Georgia.  All areas in those states won’t see totality, the shadow is only going to be 71 miles wide at its widest point.  You will need detailed information to get as close to the center of the shadow as possible. 

    You should make plans to see this eclipse in person.  You can watch it on TV, view it a hundred times on YouTube but there is nothing like standing in the Moon’s shadow.  Everyone in the US, part of Mexico and Canada will be able to see a partial eclipse but only those in the narrow total shadow of our Moon will see the total eclipse.  That path is widest and the eclipse will last longest in western Kentucky.  More important will be the weather across the country.  Watching weather patterns as the eclipse approaches may give you a general idea where to set up to see the eclipse.  Then plan to take the toad to the actual observing point.  Expect to be joined by throngs of people from around the globe who are also scrambling to see this spectacle of nature. 

    As the eclipse draws closer, I’ll fill in more suggestions for observing the eclipse.  In the meantime, consult some of these websites to find information on your own.  Some RV parks near the path of totality were already taking reservations for the time around August 21, 2017 last summer.

    References:

    NASA

    Accuweather

    Great American Eclipse

    Eclipse 2017

     

     

     

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    Habitat for Humanity

     
    Going back to our last RV trip, we stopped in Americus, GA. The world headquarters of Habitat for Humanity is located here.  Not far from the headquarters building is an information center where you can learn about the work of the organization around the world.  A volunteer will give a brief overview of the operation followed by a very impressive video of the sad living conditions of millions of people.

     
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    After you watch the video, you can walk thru a self guided tour.  First on the walking trail is examples of how the poor live in various countries.  After you complete this section, you enter an area where you will see the types of buildings that the organization builds for families in countries around the world and how their design matches the culture and climate of these places.  They make the point that this is a self help program.  Those selected to receive a house must work on the project themselves and must pay a no interest loan back.

     
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    If you have never seen these living conditions, it is an eye opening experience.
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    jentech48
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    Hi,  My wife & I are new to RVing. We recently found out that the 3,  32" SEIKI TV's in our Thor coach will not receive/download digital cable channels.

    I have covered every possible solution and come up empty. I was told that this type of TV doesn't have what is called a QAM Tuner; therefore is unable to download digital channels. I didn't realize that anyone in this day & age made a TV that wasn't cable ready? Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so does anyone have a solution, short of buying new TV's. My coach is a 2016 and I would think that the MFG (THOR) would have put better quality TV's in their coaches... I'm frustrated and upset.

    Cal Jennings

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    vargish
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    We are planning a trip in the spring to the Florida panhandle.  Any thoughts on where to go, sites to see, etc.  We have a 43 foot rig.

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    jeromepoole
    Latest Entry

    I am interested in. seeing some spring Braves baseball I was thinking of camping at Fort Wilderness in Orlando. Has any one tried this ? Let us know. Thanks Merry Christmas12

  3. Over the past 16 years, I've done a considerable amount of travel in Florida.  I did some of this travel as a vacationing tourist, then as a cyclist, and more recently as a Florida snowbird. Living on the east coast, Florida has been an easy and warm place to get to.  It's also a diverse and fun place to visit.

    I can't say I've been everywhere (like Johnny Cash) nor am I an expert on Florida.  But I've been to enough places that I felt I could share some of my Florida snowbird wisdom.  This post is not meant to be complete or exhaustive.  It's just my take on some areas and things to consider when snowbirding in Florida.  Let me start by telling you why I started going to Florida.

    Discovering Florida

    Growing up in Maine, I endured my share of harsh winters. As a kid and young adult, it was actually a fun time because I was an avid skier. But as I got older and couldn't handle the black diamond trails any more, winters became something that I had to tolerate and wait out.

    When I became a long distance cyclist, spring became a favorite time to head south for a week-long biking vacation. Even though I was still working, each March I would head to Florida for a week-long bike ride with the Bike Florida group.  I did those rides for 8 years and got to explore many areas of north and central Florida from the seat of my bike.  It was these rides that gave me the notion for escaping the New England winter and spending that time in Florida

    When I retired 8 years ago, the winter escape notion became a reality.  It was so easy to hop in my car, drive south for three days, and be back in summer like weather.

    At first, we started out going down to Florida for a month and renting a condo.  We began our stays near the northern east coast areas, which I was familiar with.  Then we tried extending our stays to two months.  We rented houses in The Villages and in New Smyrna Beach, condo's in St. Augustine Beach, and quickly got hooked on the snowbird lifestyle.

    When I started RVing, I did the math and found out that renting a site at a Florida RV park for 2 months was much less expensive that renting a condo.  It was a no brainer to turn a two months stay into three months.  This year we'll be staying for four months.

    We've spent our snowbird time at many places in Florida.  You can see the places we've stayed on the map below.  Some of these places have been for months at a time and others have been for a week or more.

    Florida Snowbird Map.jpg

    Areas of Florida

    Some may think that once you cross the border into Florida winter weather disappears and summer time magically appears everywhere.  Based on my experience, that's not the case. Some areas can be down right chilly during the winter.  Here's how I separate Florida into climates zones.

    1. North Central - from the GA border down to Daytona, over to Ocala, and up to Lake City. Jacksonville, the east coastal areas, and Gainesville are the populated areas.  Everywhere else is pretty rural.  This area is more of as summer time destination and less of a snowbird destination.  Winters can be chilly with daytime temps getting up into the 60's.  Some days may hit the low 70's, but those are infrequent.  Other than Daytona, the coastal areas are not as developed with high rises as they are in the southern area. There are some nice coastal State Parks in this area.  Fort Clinch, Little Talbot Island, and Gamble Rogers all have camping near the water.  Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine is one of my favorites places to stay.
    2. The Panhandle - those areas west of Lake City to the Alabama border.  Other than Tallahassee and the coastal areas, it's very rural.  It's one of the most diverse and prettiest areas in Florida.  Also, it's my favorite area to visit.  The Emerald Coast with its white sand beaches and emerald colored water are beautiful.  The area from Panama City to Fort Walton Beach is densely populated and a very busy area.  Winter temps can be cold (in the 40's and 50's) and the weather can be wacky (e.g. snow, hurricanes). Like the North Central area it's more of a spring summer destination and winter is the off-season.  My favorite area in the panhandle is the Forgotten Coast near Apalachicola. There are several nice beach side coastal State Parks in the panhandle.  St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is my favorite.
    3. Central - those areas south of Daytona to Melbourne then over to Tampa and up to Ocala.  The big cities of Orlando, Tampa, and St. Pete dominate this area.  The large 55+ community of The Villages just south of Ocala is in this area.  There are lots of RV parks along the I-4 and I-75 corridor.  I did theme park trips when my kids were young so those aren't a draw for me but they are for many.  We have spent snowbird time in the Tampa area and found the winter temperatures to be moderate with lots of days in the low 70s.
    4. Southern - everything south of Melbourne to Tampa.  The winter weather in this area is more warm with daytime temps in the 70's and 80s.  Overnight freezes are rare.  The coastal area from West Palm down to Miami is very developed.  It can also be pricey. The gulf coast side is less developed and more laid back.  I don't know the reason but this area seems to attract folks from the Canada, Central and Mid-West states.  I like the gulf coast side the best.  To me, folks on the gulf coast side seem more friendly.  The winter weather is warm, it's doesn't have the high-rise sprawl like the Atlantic side, and the casual atmosphere is easy to take.

     

    Securing a Place to Stay

    If you want to spend some snowbird time in FL, I recommend that you reserve a place ahead of time.  Heading to FL during the key winter months of January thru March without any reservations is a recipe for major disappointment.  Most of the nicer RV parks and campgrounds in popular areas are booked months in advance

    Florida's State Parks are popular places during the winter because of the price and their locations. But stays are limited to 14 days.  Sites can be reserved a year in advance and in some places like the Keys, they are booked within minutes of becoming available.  The demand for campsites seems to follow the weather.  State Parks in the southern area get booked up more quickly compared to the Northern areas.

    For my winter stays at Florida State Parks, I've booked six months in advance and have always found a site. If you wait until October and November, the selection and duration will be limited.  Many state parks hold a certain number of sites for walk ins.  The popular municipal Fort Desoto Park near St. Petersburg gets booked up quickly.  Non-residents can reserve sites 6 months in advance and the good sites get taken quickly.

    Private RV parks are popular places for snowbirds.  Many offer amenities like swimming pools, pickleball, tennis courts, and cable TV.  The social amenities like theme dinners, card nights, golf outings, and dances are also draws for the snowbirds.  Parking shoulder to shoulder for a few months in an RV park may not be for everyone.  But I have found that the social interactions and making new friends is an unexpected benefit of the RV park lifestyle.

    Many RV parks offer seasonal discounted rates for month-long stays.  The park where I stay in Fort Myers Beach offers seasonal rates for 3 month stays.  Many snowbirds find a park they like and then keep returning year after year.  Some parks cater to their returning customers and will let you keep the same site as long as you reserve it a year in advance. This is what we have started doing.  Before we leave Fort Myers Beach in April, we'll book our reservations for the following year.

    Renting a house or a condo, works almost the same as getting a campground or RV site. You need to book in advance.  Many local realty companies offer rentals or you can try sites like vrbo.com and airbnb.com.

    If you rent a house or condo, you may not get the social interactions that you can get at an RV park.  I found this to be true when we rented at St. Augustine Beach and at New Smyrna Beach.  The Villages is an exception to that statement.  We spent one winter renting a house in The Villages and it was one of the most fun times we've had.  I played golf all winter on the free golf courses, rented a golf cart to get around, took several dance lessons, and went to music events just about every night.  It was a blast and I really got hooked on that lifestyle.  When my RVing days come to an end, I may settle down in The Villages.

    One strategy for finding a place is to select some different areas and do short stays to see how you like it.  Trying different areas for a week at a time is a great way to explore Florida and find out which areas appeal to you.

    Cost

    The cost to stay as a Florida snowbird is all over the place.  As I mentioned above, the coastal areas are more expensive than being inland.

    The Florida State Parks are the best deal at around $28 per night for most parks (some are less and some are higher).  But you are limited to a 14 day stay.  You can move around to different sites within a park, but in many parks you must leave the park for 3 days before you can return.  The max number of days you can stay at a specific State Park is 56 days within 6 month window.  Moving to different parks is also an option.

    Private RV park rates vary widely.  A beach front site at the Red Coconut RV Park in Fort Myers Beach will run you over $100 per night (no seasonal rate is offered).  The monthly winter rate at Bryn Mawr RV Resort at St. Augustine Beach is around $1,200 per month ($40/night).  A seasonal 3 month rate at Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell will cost around $600 per month ($20/day).

    For a 4 month stay at Fort Myers Beach (just a mile from the beach), I pay a monthly winter rate that averages out to be around $37 per night.  The normal daily rate is $62 per day.

    Boondocking opportunities in Florida are limited.  There is dispersed camping in the Ocala National Forest and in the Apalachicola National Forest but stays are limited to 14 days in a given month.  I've been through both of these forests and they are very remote.

    Not all Wal-Mart in Florida allow overnight parking due to city and county ordinances. There are some truck stops along the key Interstates that allow overnight parking but these aren't intended for snowbird stays.  Boondocking may work in some places if you're doing a short stay or just passing thru but it's not a strategy I would recommend for an extended stay.

    Condo and house renting prices also vary by location.  We rented an ocean view condo in St. Augustine Beach for around $2,900 per month.  A small house in The Villages will cost around $3,300 per month and higher during the winter months.

    Snowbirding in Florida can be pricey,  If you are focused on reducing expenses, then look for places away from popular areas and try for places in the Northern and Panhandle areas.

    The Snowbird Lifestyle

    For me, I put lifestyle over cost.  It all about how I want to spend my days.  I prefer to spend my winter months in a warm climate near the ocean.  I like to spend my days being outside walking, biking, kite flying, or just sitting on the beach.  I also like not having to drive to get to places.  In the afternoon or evening, it's an easy walk to several places where I can enjoy some live music.

    Also, I have grown to enjoy the RV park lifestyle where I get to socialize and spend time with my fellow snowbirds.  We attend the weekly Saturday morning breakfasts at the RV park and play in the weekly corn hole tournament.  Sunday afternoons are usually spent dancing at Doc Fords Rum Bar.

    It's a great way to spend the winter.

    You can see more or my journeys at my website:  jdawgjourneys.com

     

    Disclaimer:  References to specific campgrounds, RV parks, or websites is for example only.  These aren't listed as recommendations and I have no affiliation with any of the businesses or websites that are listed in this post.  All rates and prices listed are approximate based current published rates at the time of this posting.

     

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    jeromepoole
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    We have just purchased a used RV and are looking for the best insurance coverage.  We would like replacement cost.  Any suggestions or experiences would be greatly appreciated. We also like any suggestions on what we should include in the purchased coverage as some policies let you pick and choose. What would be the best companies to deal with in customer service and coverage.

  4. We plan on an extended trip January through mid March. Has anyone dealt with DakotaPost or other services. Thinking about having a family member check and forward our mail but a little concerned if it becomes a problem for them.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    eagle43

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    How elmers out there help Amateurs get on the air with Ham Radio in Motor Homes

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    jonesdnl
    Latest Entry

    Merchant Alert!!   Recently we experienced a failure to our cooling unit on a Norcold refrigerator.  I opted to purchase a new cooling unit with a lifetime warranty.  The Cooling Unit was purchased from Arcticold Refrigeration--Renaud Mills. New Brunswick E4V2X3 at a price of 700.00 delivered.  It was supposed to be in stock and ship right away.  MISTAKE.  We have been taken for our money.  Searching this companies background we find they have been shut down and seized in the past.  Canadian law allowed one of the owners to reopen and they are right back at it again.  We are not negative people and we only want our money returned.  To date we have involved FMCA, Good Sam Trouble Shooter, Better Business Bureau of Canada, and the Consumer Protection Agency of Canada.  Its been over 2 months and Arcticold will not answer emails, phone calls, or respond in any way.  Since Canadian law is so lax we just wanted to warn other FMCA members and any others that may read this to not make the same mistake we did.  It can cost you!!!!

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    I am looking for a replacement lens for the center brake light on our 03 journey.  The existing lens has faded a great deal. Winnebago has the entire assembly, but I was hoping to find a replacement lens.  Any ideas?

  5. Garry

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    PlanB
    Latest Entry

    Any one know a good rv park .

  6. large.IMG_1282.JPGlarge.5774982d00609_ViewfromsidewallVent.JPGlarge.5774982c10bee_OldComingOut.JPGlarge.5774982b2471a_NewFridgeBracedandfinished.JPGlarge.57749829a6695_EmptyFridgeSpace.JPG

    Well the new residential Fridge is in. I had it done at RV Services in Ashland, VA. They did a great job. They were able to take the old one out and move the new one in though the passenger side window over the couch. They had to trim the fridge space opening frame just a small bit. They widened the front frame by about an inch and the height by about 3 - 4 inches. I will add a piece of quarter round trip on the right side but overall it's a done deal. Wife loves it. Definitely won't have any problem keeping the beer and soda cold. :) Also had the oil changed, fuel filter changed, and chassis lubricated.

     

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    We bought our coach last February and have been having a/c issues since last summer. It has a TrueAir basement system, which we thought we would love. The heating system works great but the cooling system can't seem to keep up with temperatures at 90 and above. We have had to replace circuit boards, a relay switch, both blower motors and a fan over the course of a year. Each time we think it's fixed for good as soon as the temperature gets really hot it still can't keep up.  As we speak, they're now doing a freon check (because the temperature coming out of the vents is reading slightly higher than it should be). If it's a freon leak we will probably get two new compressors.  If not, the Tech is saying that brand just may be putting out as much cooling as it can( as with the factory installed units on all Alfa motorhomes. That company then started offering an option of adding a rooftop unit to compensate for the basement unit.)  Our Tech is suggesting we may have to do the same.

     We have an extended warranty and so far they won't authorize a new unit because we haven't completely exhausted all possible solutions. Can anyone contribute any advise/solutions on this? We love the coach but this is driving us crazy.  A rooftop unit would be installed in a cut out already housing a vent so the job would probably cost about $1200. It would be located in a central area so air flow would supposedly flow forward and back.  Spending the money on this is one thing...as long as it solves the problem.

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    Baystar57
    Latest Entry

    Can anyone recommend a tire insurance company that actually delivers on advertised promises in the event we should have a tire issue while traveling.

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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.

    IMAG0213 BURST002


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

    IMAG0214 BURST002


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

    IMAG0215 BURST002


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

    IMAG0216 BURST002


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

    IMAG0217 BURST002


    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.

    IMAG0218 BURST002



    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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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.