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About this blog

This is our journey into RVing.  As our kids grow up and move on with their lives my wife and I thought that RVing might be for us as we get closer to retirement.  

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I guess like all RV’s, ours started showing the dreaded window fog in the double panes.  Since we have decided to keep the current rig for the foreseeable future, need to address the issue.  Now the fun part.   Replace or repair?  A little research into window replacement left us in sticker shock.  Luckily, in my Google travels, I ran across a place in Hudson Florida that did repair.  All the reviews looked good so we scheduled an appointment.

What a setup they have.  For those coming from out of state, the have areas and hookups that allow you to stay with your rig while they do your windows.  Luckily, it was only a three hour drive to Hudson so we dropped it off.  It was very comforting to see so many nice Class A rigs when we pulled in.  After checking in, we went over our requests with one of the technicians.  These folks are window pros so I was looking for recommendations for a couple of windows since it looked like they had been ‘repaired’ by the previous owner. 

We decided to do all the windows – 8 in all with 4 needing glass replacement.  It took a bit longer than first thought due to glass replacement.  Moment of truth, Lisa an I set out on the 3 hour drive to Hudson FL.  I have to admit, I was apprehensive on the drive over.  Once we pulled up, my apprehension vanished.  The rig looked great.  It cost a bit more than quoted, but that was due to additional parts need to correct the previous ‘repair’.  It was totally worth it.  They got it done on time and the windows (all double pane and defogged) never have looked better.  SunCoast really are RV window pros. 

I cannot say enough about SunCoast Designers in Hudson Florida.  Great people and quality work.  Oh yeah, by the way the - windows come with a lifetime warranty against any additional fogging.  I hope my next upgrade adventure (Tires/Shocks) turns out as well as the windows... 

Update / Tip:  After getting a few trips on the rig, I noticed I was getting a lot more wind noise on the driver side window.  Turns out Suncoast Desginers also properly cleaned and  fixed the weep holes on all the windows when we did the repair.  Once I installed weep hole covers the noise was gone.  These covers block the wind noise put still allow the windows to drain water as needed.  What a difference. 


Our next excursion had us running up the coast to Hilton Head South Carolina.   Since it was the week before Christmas, we figured it would not be overly busy.  All packed up, so off we go.  We did not get far up the interstate when the TireMinder TPMS went off in it’s oh so subtle way…  Funny, when that particular alarm goes off, the dogs completely freak out.  Maybe the alarm broadcasts on the frequency only dogs can hear like a dog whistle?  Whatever the reason, good time to pull off and check it, calm down the pups, get fuel and a propane fill since it is going to be cold in SC (we hope…)

The TireMinder alarm turned out to be ‘Nos’.  ‘Nos’?  What the heck is that?  While the diesel pump continued to drain my wallet, I grab the TireMinder manual… ‘Nos’… ‘No Signal’.  Ah… one turn on the valve stem and back in business.  At that point I gave them all a ‘twist’ just to make sure we did not get the ‘Nos smoke alarm’ again.  Back on the road.

We arrive on time at the Motorcoach resort that is literally smack in the middle of town.  What a fantastic place!  It’s hard to describe since you are in the middle of town, but seems like you are in the woods.  We could walk or ride our bikes to anywhere we needed to go.  As an added plus, there are really good bike paths everywhere.  I highly recommend this resort if you are in the South Carolina.

Jacks down, all hooked up – time to sit back and enjoy the area.  As Lisa and I walk through the park (daughter and pups in tow), we are again struck as to how many friendly people we run into from all over.  I have to say that Hilton Head generally has very nice / friendly people.  Maybe we hit at the right time and everyone was in the Christmas spirit.  Either way, the beach area is superb and dogs where allowed on the beach (which they enjoyed immensely).  The shopping seemed to meet the approval of both my wife and daughter which like the diesel pump, tends to drain my wallet.  Glad to do it as they are totally worth it!

I have to give the park an A+.  The staff was very friendly and accommodating and the resort was spotless.  The spots were large and well cared for.  I would be curious to return in the summer to see how the experience would be different with a summer crowd - the pool at the resort looked amazing, but i was not brave enough to jump into the cold water.  Well, back home to map out our next outing….




Our original booth dinette in the rig was showing its age.  Not that it had seen heavy use, but the original equipment furniture was definitely not what I would consider high quality.  Besides, the booth was the last remnant of the paisley originals that needed to go.

So the question – replace the booth with another booth or put in a table / chair setup.  Lots of info out there and ways to go, but I guess it just boils down to personal preference.  In the end, we decide to go with another booth – one that matches the sofas that had been already been replaced.  Local shops wanted in excess of 3k to do the job.  DIY time. had the match we were looking for and the price was reasonable.  Six weeks after ordering it show up ready to be installed.  Let the fun begin…

Taking out the old unit proved easier than expected.  I guess demo is always the easier part of the process.  During demo, I was amazed at the lack of finish for an electrical outlet (120v) that was on the backside of the old unit.  I am no electrician, but this install (from the factory I assume) was terrible.  Mixed conduit that did not match, junction box not properly sealed, and the list went on.  The scariest part was when I disconnected the wiring coming up under the side – burnt wires.  Apparently, at some point water from an open window got into the junction box.  I am amazed the outlet even worked. 

OK, time to install the new unit and wire the outlet properly.  I decided to relocate the outlet and junction box to provide better access and protection.  Despite best efforts to identify everything I would need, several return trips to Lowes and Ace hardware needed… as usual. The install went really well.  Needed longer lag bolts for the seat belts on the forward facing side.  The electrical went very well too.  Moment of truth – turn on the breaker and test the outlet with volt meter.  Everything works!  Time to move on to the next project…






I must admit, I use to be one of ‘those’ drivers.  I was very impatient with slower drivers and large vehicles.  It became like a chess game for me, plotting my next move to get me ahead of the perceived roadblock to my progress.  Then… we bought our RV over a year ago.  Thirty-eight feet plus our Jeep Wrangler in tow.  Suddenly, almost amazingly I am quite content to ride in the right lane at or slightly below the posted speed limit.   ‘Look at all these crazy drivers out here’ I say to my copilots (wife and pups).  ‘Wow! That one was close!’ I exclaim on a regular basis.

I discovered something again during our RV adventure… there are good people out here in the right lane.  Slow lane?  I think not – more like careful, experienced drivers that see the big picture of arriving safe in one piece (not to mention saving on fuel). 

So I take ranks now with my brothers and sisters in the right lane.  As the rest of the world speeds by – changing lanes rapidly, talking on their cell phone and yes TEXTING at 90 mph, I will be holding my own in the right lane, safe and steady. Strangely enough, I drive this way now even when I am not in RV.   Seems like the good habit of courteous / safe driving has rubbed off on my ‘civilian’ habits as well…. who knew….


Here we Go

In preparation for our Key West trip, we decided it might be a good idea to take the family and rig out for a weekend ‘shakedown’ prior to leaving.  All packed, frig loaded, tow car connected – ready to go… Well, no.  We had just made it to the end of the street and the dreaded “check engine light” comes on.  Abort!  Back at the house, I dig through the freightliner manuals I have and of course hit up good old ‘Google’.  Fault number found, it appears to be an EGR valve (did I mention you really have to not hate fixing things on an RV???).  Long story short, my local repair facility did not have the EGR valve in stock and we were scheduled to leave in 6 business days.  Thankfully, they overnighted the part and had it installed just in time to load up and hit the road… Not exactly the way I wanted to start off.  Leaving at 4:00am for the long drive, I thought we hit a bad omen with the interstate being closed at our exit.  Sign from above to abort? Nope – press on and let the chips fall where they may ( membership is current I hoped).  I never watched the dashboard as much as on that trip.

All in all, a smooth trip down to Blue Water Key Resort.  Wow, the website really did not do it justice.  What an amazing place and staff.  The fishing, food and atmosphere of the Florida Keys were perfect.  Seven days flew by and we really hated to leave.  On the last day, my wife and I reflected on our RVing experiences up to that point.  What really amazed us is how many friendly people you meet.  Walking through RV parks with the pups, we really have met some nice folks.  It kind of renews my faith people, which honestly gets tested from time to time in our daily lives.

The trip home from the keys was smooth and uneventful.  Once we got home, my wife and I discovered we were thinking the same thing.  In the past, we loved going on vacation, but we were all “glad to get home” when it ended.  This time, we did not have that feeling.  While it was nice to be home, we missed being out in the rig in a new place.  Even the kids felt that way.  Stress level at an all time low.  Well, back to work / school / normal lives to raise the cortisol levels again…




Like so many others, our kids are growing up and moving on with their lives.  Happy to see them grow and become independent, but sad to see that part of life ending.  At this point, my wife and I kind of looked at each other and asked, “what’s next”?  Great question.  I grew up RVing and always enjoyed it and thought it would be cool to do in retirement, but my wife was a hard sell.  Strangely enough, it took hurricane Matthew hitting us in Florida to help my cause. 

As the hurricane bore down on us, we (along with thousands of my fellow Floridians) had to decide to stay put or evacuate.  Having pets, it is difficult to find places to go besides an emergency shelter or hotel hundreds of miles away.  At that point, I told Lisa that if we had an RV, we could just pack up and go – kids, dogs, bird and rabbit.  We decided to hunker down…

The hurricane passed – lots of damage – no power or water for a week.  Another opportunity to mention if we had an RV, we could at least have a cool place to sleep and take a shower.  We started the RV search the  month after the cleanup 😊.

What to buy?  New or Used?  Class A or C or 5th wheel?  After many discussions, going to RV shows, wearing out my fingers on Google and looking at about everything for sale in 200 miles radius we decided on a used Class A diesel.  Growing up, my family had a Class A and it was a great way to travel so I think I certainly leaned that way.    

During our first months of being “newbie” RVers, I discovered a few things. First, RVing was VASTLY different to what I remember as a kid.  In those days, we had an old 25-foot Banner RV on a Chrysler chassis that rode like a tractor.  The new RV rides like a town car and probably has as much square footage as the house I grew up in (not really...).  With all the advantages I assumed there were going to be some disadvantages.  I was right.  This new RV is a complex rig.  I quickly came to the determination that if you don’t like fixing things or understanding how they work your rig will spend a lot of time at a repair facility. 

The first six months was us literally learning the systems, operation and monitoring of this new house on wheels.  Fortunately, we had the bonus of being able to park the rig at our home and plug it in to 50 amps – helps the learning process and gave me a ‘man cave’ to hide in from time to time and read the stack of manuals I had.  We would take the new member of the family out for short trips, hoping our two dogs would acclimate quickly.  One did… one did not… Oh well, time for the first vacation in the RV and test our plan.  Off to Key West…

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