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An Unexpected Move

Let me introduce our motor home, VGER.  VGER is named for the villainous character in the first of the Star Trek movies.  VGER has been in our family going on 15 years this summer.  It (VGER was an it) was purchased at a Monaco Come Home Rally in Raine, LA.  We traded in a 10 year old Monaco we had purchased as a used coach in the spring of 2001.  We sold our home and moved into that used coach full time on July 7, 2001.  VGER was purchased new, 1235.4 miles on the odometer when we took possession on November 14, 2003.  Today it has 177,326.1 miles on the odometer.  From November 2003 until October 2010, we lived in VGER full time.  Starting in the fall of 2010, we move into a mobile home each fall and move back into VGER each spring.  When in VGER, we travel.  A long stay is on the order of 3 to 4 weeks.  Those stays are when we are visiting our children and grandchildren.  Once a year we move into our children's neighborhoods and become neighbors for a period of time.  In between time we follow our noses.  We've visited 49 states and 12 provinces in Canada.  We have begun slowly remodeling VGER.  Carpeting, lights, some furniture, plumbing and more.  Some of the remodeling has been out of necessity some just to keep the coach looking modern.  Our work continued this summer, right up to the time we found our next motor home.  While at Gillette, first at the Monaco International pre-rally and finally at the FMCA Convention, we purchased a 2015 Monaco Dynasty.  The Windsor is up for sale, look for the ad in the Family RV'ing Magazine (FMCA) January issue. We transferred the license from the Windsor to the Dynasty, VGER lives on.  Since the purchase we have put 4500 miles on the Dynasty and are enjoying many of it's features.  There is a trade-off when moving from a 40' coach to a 45' coach.  The two are not directly comparable as they are of a different age.  Right away we realized that the relative frugality of the Windsor was dramatically different from the Dynasty.  Fuel mileage dropped from 8.3 with the Windsor to 6.5 with the Dynasty.  That was no surprise, I figured it might even be lower.  The Dynasty has an Aqua-Hot for hot water and heat.  Both run off the fuel tank as does the generator.  With the Windsor only the generator shared the fuel tank.  With all these uses for the diesel fuel, I have lost the ability to get a true mileage performance figure.  Due to the demand for electric, we have an induction cooktop, the Dynasty really needs to be plugged in regularly.  The generator will run things but using the generator extensively is an expensive proposition.  The water and waste tanks are roughly the same size as the Windsor but the water usage in the Dynasty is going to be greater.  The toilets use significantly more water with each flush.  The shower has a rain shower head which is a big water user.  That means we will have to be hooked up every two or three days.  With the Windsor we were able to go close to a week without hook-ups and longer if we really needed to stretch it. When we pulled up to our home at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas we faced another challenge.  Our parking space is adjacent to our mobile home.  The driveway barely accommodated the length of the Windsor with our toad parked behind.  I knew that and planned to park the toad cross-way in the driveway, that worked fine.  We also had to maneuver a longer coach onto the driveway.  The park road is fairly narrow and there is no way to run off on the opposite side.  We always had to make three or four passes to jockey the Windsor into the driveway.  I didn't even know if we could get the Dynasty  into the driveway.  As it turned out, we made it, a few more passes than the Windsor.  With all the slides open we have about 6 inches between the Dynasty and the roof of the mobile home.  Whew! That is close.  Surprisingly, the space in the storage bays is less in the Dynasty than the Windsor.  Some of our gear made the trip home in the toad rather than in the storage bays.  We'll go through some winnowing of our gear before departing next spring.  All in all we are quite happy with our new VGER and as we get to know it better I'm certain we'll continue to look back to the Windsor with many happy memories while enjoying the luxury of the Dynasty.

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Greetings

I’ve decided to start a Blog.  I will be sharing our RV adventures in the near future.  As a River Towboat Captain I work a  month on, month off schedule.  We will be headed to Pelicans Roost Campground at Mayport Naval base after Christmas for a week.   I have a few maintenance items to knock out before departing our home in South Carolina for Florida.  I do all maintenance and repairs to the Motor home myself (so far). I find that Motor homes are very similar to large boats that I work on with all the same basic systems on board.   So, stay tuned as I chronicle our trips!   Patrick  

Bosun

Bosun

Annual Review as We Begin Our 6th Year

As we enter our sixth year of retirement and RV'ing it was time for a review of life. It is always good to look backwards in time to review how plans, goals and reality match up.  We continue to evolve in our RV lifestyle.  My advise to anyone just entering or planning on RV'ing is to be flexible and open to change.  Our original plans when we first began in 2013 have grown, evolved and today our lives look much different than our first plan. We began with a 13 year old motorhome because we had no idea if the vagabond life style would suit us.  We knew that Mexico would be part of our plan, but we were not sure we would love being in a third world country.  We had no plans to travel internationally, but we have now visited 19 countries.  The financial advantage of RV living for us was that it opened up possibilities we had never considered.  We can park the RV and suspend almost all our costs while we try different things in life. Life in Mexico is working great for us.  The financial savings each year finance our travels the rest of the year.  For us it is impossible to spend an American retirement while living in Mazatlan.  Each month we have "left over" money. After seeing how our first five years have gone it was time to up our commitment to RV'ing.  So we purchased a new-to-us diesel motorhome and a four wheel drive Honda CRV.  These vehicles should take us through the next many years until we hang up our traveling shoes.  I went back to what I had written 12 months ago to see how our plans have worked out.  We seem to be on track. Here's what I was thinking last year:   Thursday, October 19, 2017 Why Did We Change Motorhomes?   Our new-to-us Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT - 3 Slides
330 HP Cummins Diesel with an Allison Transmission So the question to answer today is, "Why did we buy another motorhome?"  Was it "RV envy"?  Did we need a bigger motorhome?  Was the LaPalma giving us problems?  Was it just time for a change after owning the gasser for 6 years?  Was I tired of owning a sea foam green RV?  Was it because my brother-in-law bought a 40' diesel pusher?  Was it because I had done all the improvements that I could do to the LaPalma?

There was no one answer to why I wanted to change.  I thought that it was time to own a big boy coach.  Here's how my thought process worked.
  Our faithful old Monaco LaPalma 34 SBD
It sold a couple days after we traded it in on the Endeavor. Six years ago we bought the Monaco LaPalma 34' SBD with two slides and a Ford V-10 gas engine.  It had 48,000 miles on it.  This year we passed 78,000 miles.  That's 5,000 mile per year during the time we owned it.  It was a great RV and we spent close to $16,000.00 repairing, improving and maintaining it during those 6 years. The depreciation on the motorhome during that time was another $16,000.00.

Our cost of ownership was $32,000.00.  That comes down to $444.44 per month over those 6 years.

Now 32 grand sounds like a lot of money but compared to owning the home on Raft Island it's a bargain.  My property taxes and insurance on that house were higher than my monthly cost of owning and maintaining an RV.

The LaPalma was a starter RV for us.  We didn't know if our dreams of traveling and being vagabonds was really something we would like and want to do for many years.  As we start our fifth Winter we are nearing the midway point of our 10 year plan.  We still love our traveling lifestyle.

A question I asked myself was, "Is the LaPalma going to last another 5-6 years and would we still be happy with it after 100,000 miles?  Was it time to start over with another low mileage motorhome?

The new-to-us Endeavor has 28,400 miles on it and it should be our last RV up until we are too old to travel this way.  I didn't want to get down the road 2 or 3 years and be faced with the decision whether it was worth changing RV's for the last few years of our travels.  I don't want the RV dictating that it is time to retire from our planned 10 year goal.
  The most important feature is my 'old man recliner'. So for me it was a long range plan to get an RV that would get us through those coming years.

We loved owning the LaPalma.  It was a part of our successful plan.  Hopefully the Endeavor will take us into our 70's when it will be time to hang up our traveling shoes.

Life is good  Russ & Terri Ranger Travel since July 2013 5 months - Winters in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico 6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome 1 month - International Travel -19 countries, so far http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com Page 1 of 1  sorted by Oldest FirstNewest First  

RussRanger

RussRanger

The Weeks Before our First FMCA Convention in Gillette

Devils Tower - Wyoming  This is how we spent our time before our first ever FMCA Convention.  We needed to fill a few weeks before we got to Gillette, Wyoming.  We visited 3 states, one of which was North Dakota, our 49th state visited.  That leaves only Alaska, which will be our destination for 3 months in the Summer of 2019. Needles Highway through Custer State Park in South Dakota. We dry camped in Wind Cave National Park for a week.  The wild life was abundant and every day we added to our list.  Custer State Park which is 70,000 acres borders Wind Cave NP became our favorite state park in the USA.  We hiked and drove for days to take in the amazing sights.     Next up was a week exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  We stayed in Cottonwood Campground in the South unit of the park and drove on a day trip to include the North unit.  Seeing herds of Bison was great.   We also enjoyed the burros and wild horses.           Our next stop was at Devils Tower in Wyoming.  The campground at this National Monument is right under the shadow of the Tower.  An amazing night sky and a great hike around the Tower were the highlights for us. The view from our campground. The view back down to our camp site from up on the Tower hike. Not my friend. Fortunately this guy did not visit our campsite.  As a Ranger I would have been obligated to beat him with a stick.  I hate snakes. We are enjoying a very slow pace as we work our way West.  Our plans change every few days as we find new things to see,. We will spend six days in Gillette, Wyoming at a Family Motor Coach Convention.  It's just us and 1,600 other RV's.  We'll be attending great seminars on the RV'ing life.  It's hard to choose from the 150 classes, but we both look forward a good week of learning. Eva is loving life on the road.  She has learned to sit up like a Prairie Dog.  She would sit with her head out the window and listen to them talk.  Every time we would see a colony we would have to pull over so that she could listen. Eva's new BFF. Life is good for the wandering Ranger's.

RussRanger

RussRanger

Captive in Wyoming

We don't seem to be able to leave Wyoming.  After being here for two weeks we still have a week or two of sites to see.  We both agree that Wyoming is beautiful and we are nowhere near Yellowstone yet.  There are still great things to be seen and done. Ten Sleep Falls near our boondocking spot in the Big Horn Mountains. We have spent the last 7 nights boondocking or dry camping at 3 different spots in the Big Horn National Forest in north central Wyoming.  Each day has been spent hiking and four wheeling through very amazing canyons.  The new Honda CRV is four wheel drive and we could not have done the dirt roads we traveled in our old Honda Fit. It's hard to pick a favorite day, but the day spent in Crazy Woman Canyon may be it.  The dirt road/path was a challenge.  The river running through the canyon was beautiful.  And Eve loved it all. One of our campsites was on this beautiful lake. The view out our front window. One morning a moose walked about 50' in front of us.  I was so excited I forgot to take a picture.  We've seen lots of different wildlife, but my favorites have been the various moose (or is that mice). Another windshield shot as we squeezed between boulders. Our last three nights were spent boondocking off a dirt road between Bear Lake and the Ten Sleep River.  We could listen to the water cascading down the river from our RV. Ten Sleep Lake We enjoyed our warm 3 mile hike beside this lake. The next day we decided to change our scenery so we drove out of the mountains to see Castle Garden.  Again it was many miles of dirt road but well worth the effort. Time to climb a Hoodoo.       We needed to do laundry after two weeks so we headed into the town of Ten Sleep (population 250).  We'll spend the day here getting water, dumping tanks and getting ready for another week in the northern portion of the Big Horn National Forest.  Next stop will be Lovell, Wyoming. The reason we came to Wyoming was to attend the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) convention.  We both enjoyed picking our favorite seminars from a list of 150 classes.  There were over 1,600 motorhomes in attendance.  It was alot like a big county fair for RV'ers. Great concerts every night. We're loving life on the road this year.  The new-to-us motorhome is a pleasure to drive and we are getting to know all the different systems.  It has kept us cool on 100 degree days and warm through chilly nights.  This was the hail from a few nights ago up in the mountains. Not snow, just large hail stones. Life is good....driving down the road to somewhere unknown.

RussRanger

RussRanger

From Gillette to Three Weeks in Wyoming

Fifty years ago someone rolled up this barbed wire fence and hung it up on an old fence post. In 1968 the federal government purchased 35,000 acres of ranch land in the Pryor Mountains to protect the wild horses that roam this area. Today we went hiking and once again found out how beautiful Wyoming is.  We began on an old ranch and drove 3 miles up a canyon on an old rutted path.  When we ran out of road we began hiking the winding path up a canyon between two mountain ranges. After about a quarter of a mile we forded a small stream and had a constant sound of falling and tumbling water for the rest of the hike .  The canyon narrowed and I thought in was time to test for an echo.  I whistled loudly and was rewarded with 3 or 4 return whistles.  Cool! Eva "the wonder dog" led the way up the trail. Eva and Terri pose on a rock.     I think when the arrow points up they really mean it.  The elevation here is well over a mile high so I wheeze as I go.  It was a great hike, Eva loves her job as leader. One side of the boundaries is the Big Horn Canyon.  The road follow the rim of the canyon as much as it can, but hiking a mile to the very edge was worth it.   This canyon led us into Montana.  The water/canyon is 56 miles long.  We only saw a hand full of other cars all day.  We felt like we owned a private canyon.  We Rangers must be rich (in experiences at least).   A big bend panorama. If you climb high enough this is the reward. It's named Big Horn Canyon for a reason.  We also saw wild horses, but at a great distance.
There were 9 Big Horn in this group.  I couldn't get them to cooperate and stand facing me in a nice line.  No group picture for these stubborn animals.   It was another warm day topping out at 91 degrees.  We had gotten up early and had our hiking done by noon, so we missed the hottest part of the day. We are staying in a small town park in Lovell, Wyoming.  The town built a new park with 5 RV spaces and we can stay for three days FREE. We hadn't  climbed to the top of the canyon yet. We were still smiling. Life is good in Lovell.

RussRanger

RussRanger

Heading Back To Washington

We didn't want to wear out our welcome in the beautiful state of Wyoming, so after 3 wonderful weeks we are headed home.  Slowly.  We passed through Yellowstone quickly.  Drove all day to get out of Montana.  And tonight we are on the shore of Moses Lake, in warm Eastern Washington. Our plan is to go south around Mt Rainier and then work our way back north to Tacoma next week. We haven't traveled Hwy 12 in a few years and we haven't camped there in years.  It's time to go look around. Here are a few photos from this last week.  Most are from the area around Shoshone National Forest.  We had a wonderful campsite right on the Shoshone River. The view out our front window. One afternoon we could feel a sudden storm blowing in.  We picked up our chairs and secured everything knowing what was coming over the ridge in front of us.  First wind, next lightening, than thunder and last sheets of rain.  Mind you all of this time it was still brightly shining on our campsite.  Here's a photo out our front windshield. It came down in buckets a few minutes later.  There was enough rain that it turned the crystal clear river to brown in a few hours with all the run off from the mountains. Bright sunshine and rain? We stopped and looked at Buffalo Bill Dam.  They had a vast collection of driftwood piled against the dam.   When it was built it was the tallest dam in the world. Shell Falls As usual we were able to find many falls and a few great hikes along our way.  The only drawback to hiking in these areas is oxygen.  The air gets pretty thin above 8,000 or 9,000 feet.  I just keep climbing and wheezing my way up. Five Springs Falls Here's my high climbing buddy.   Sunset at our last campsite in Wyoming. Life is good..... we're heading home to see Grandkids.  Thus ends a 7,000+ mile trip that has taken 125 days.  It will be good to be back.

RussRanger

RussRanger

Poor Truck Stop Performance

So this summer I got underway from my Tennessee home and headed to parts high and west. It gets pretty muggy and warm in Tennessee in the summer as you might know!! In preparation for this, I made sure my Good Sam card and towing service were up to date and checked the FMCA and good Sam, Pilot / Flyin J & Love’s cards were connected up to these accounts for fuel discounts. All armed, off I went on my 6200 mile sojourn.   I drive a 1995 38 ft Beaver Emerald Marquis. I tow a 2016 GMC Canyon. The Beaver has a 365 HP Cat and likes diesel!! Here is what I found; All of the Love’s, Pilot/Flying J’s as well as most TA centers located on the interstates were charging up to $0.40 / gallon more that the surrounding areas! Additionally, they would often advertise a cash price of say $3.25 and a CC or Debit card price of $3.45!  or 6% more. (my Visa card charges the merchant 1.5%!) So not only are you gonna pay more than fueling stations located a bit off the freeway, but better carry large sums of greenbacks too!! So the fuel discounts are a come-on and gain you nothing.   Here is what I did. In my journey this summer, I purchased fuel only once from a Loves, not a red-cent to the others. When I’d get to about a half of a tank or so, I’d take the interstate alternate route into a city or town. As soon as you are out of site of the freeway – viola – diesel prices ranged from $2.94 to $3.19 / gal!! the highest I paid for fuel was the $3.25 once. So this is way better that the fuel “discounts” they purport.  My savings for this trip were about $360.00!   Other than that, and having to replace my generator starter during the trip, I had a great time.   R/ DH

Danheinemann

Danheinemann

 

Back to paradise...

It has been almost a year since we visited the Florida Keys.  We stayed at Bluewater RV resort in Saddlebunch key – about 14 miles to the north of Key West.  A truly epic vacation adventure.   Six weeks after we left, hurricane Irma hit.  We watched the updates from the park on Facebook as the hurricane moved in.  Then silence… I would check daily to see if there were any updates on the staff and the park we grew to love.  Finally, after what seemed forever, there were words and pictures.  My heart sank… The damage to the park and the Florida Keys was devastating.  No other way to describe it.  As we started planning our summer trip for ’18, the overwhelming destination vote was Bluewater Key… Checking on the park from time to time during the winter, I was amazed the staff had the facility up and running.  What better way to help the Keys recover than go down and spend some dollars.  On the trip down, the damage was still evident (especially on Big Pine Key), but we were all amazed at how far the recovery had come. Pulling in the park our hearts lifted – it was just how we remembered, even better.  I have to admit, I worried that going to the same spot it would somehow not live up to the expectation.  Thankfully, that was not the case.  Once again, we had a great time – different experiences and adventures all their own - connecting with some really good folks during our stay.

markandlisav

markandlisav

 

Cornice Board Upgrade

I have wanted to do this upgrade for some time now… Looking at the dated fabric on our cornice boards made our coach feel old, even though it is a 2011.  Pulling the old ones down was a breeze since they were barely attached with a couple of small screws… Let the fun begin… I have never seen SO many staples holding something on in my life!  As I started pulling them off (and killing my fingers in the process), I thought maybe there was a better way.  Since the fabric coverings can fade and go out of style (as ours did), I decided to take another tack.  How about wood cornice boards?  I could either stain them or paint them as desired… hmmm… off the Lowes for materials to build a prototype… Three prototypes later, I decided on a somewhat basic configuration with some extra trim pieces to make it look a bit more elegant.  Measure twice, cut once… A few hours later I had the first one complete.  We decided to paint ours to give a contrast against our light stained cabinets… I trusted the wife on this one and boy was she right!   The added bonus is that each one of these new cornice boards are only on average 2.1 pounds heavier than the original.  What a difference.  Four down, two to go…

markandlisav

markandlisav

 

I Should Have Bought a Squirrel

In the 2001 movie, Rat Race, Kathy Bates tries to sell a squirrel to Whoopi Goldberg and her daughter.  They defer but ask Kathy Bates for directions.  Being a race, they are traveling at breakneck speed down one road after another following the directions.  Finally at one point, hurtling down a gravel road with dust billowing behind they pass a sign:  "You Should Have Bought a Squirrel."  That is followed by a scene of them going over a cliff, landing on a pile of rusted and wrecked cars.  It is one of our favorite moments in a favorite movie.  It is also a quote we use frequently as we travel, not only on the road but through life.  One or the other of us will turn to the other and say, "We should have bought a squirrel."  Our travels this spring have brought back that saying frequently.  It starts with a problem that I've been trying to get fixed all winter.  Repeated visits to repair shops still yields no solution.  We have no taillights.  The turn signals and brake lights work.  The emergency flashers work.  We still have no taillights.  So we are restricting our travel to daylight only.  For the most part, that isn't a problem since I have avoided night travel for the last several years.  Given that condition, we departed early on the morning of April 18 to attend the Lone Star Chapter of FMCA rally in Johnson City, TX.  Arriving there just after noon, we parked.  I went to step out of the coach and found that the electric step hadn't opened fully.  After stepping out of the coach carefully, I examined the step to find that a link from the motor to the step was missing.  Not broken, it was gone!  I carry a separate step for those days when the front of the coach is raised well above the ground.  So we used that step for the rally.  I used zip ties to fasten the disabled step in the retracted position for travel to our next destination, Austin.  Monday I had an appointment to get two new Michelin tires mounted on the coach.  I have adopted the practice of replacing the front tires every two years and then moving the used front tires to the rear, both tires replace the oldest pair of rear dual tires.  In this case, the coach wasn't in a shop, the work was done outside the shop so I had complete access to the coach and could talk with the workers. An aside, I have yet to find a tire tech who knows how to properly torque a lug nut. As they were mounting the tires on the rims, I inspected the brake rotors and gave the underside of the front of the coach a good looking-over.  Peering into the area behind the drivers-side tire I noticed something strange.  There was a large object dangling there in the center of the coach.  I recognized this as the supplementary air compressor which is part of the HWH air leveling system.  It maintains our  level position when we are parked and it was still working. The pump and it's mounting plate weighed at least 30 pounds and they were hanging by the air hoses (2) and the electrical supply and control wires.  Had this dropped off en-route, who knows what would have been destroyed in the process.  After bouncing along under the coach, it would have encountered our GMC Acadia!  I considered myself very lucky, fortunate to have found this dangerous  condition.  I found a large C-clamp in my tools and was able to clamp the remaining mounting plate to the frame.  I've added a second clamp to help secure the assembly just to be sure.  I have an appointment at the factory service center to get this properly remounted but we will travel at least 1500 miles before that happens.  I'm not going to turn over welding on the frame to just anyone.  What had happened to the original mounting plate?  It had cracked, all the way across a 3/8" steel plate that was about 10" wide.  Apparently 170,000 miles of highway travel had vibrated it to the point that it broke!  The piece that was welded to the frame is still there and it matches the piece that broke off.  Metal fatigue had nearly done us in. I ordered a rebuild kit for the Kwikee Step, new motor, linkage, control center, it was all different since our step was new.  I was able to successfully install that at home before we left for the summer on May 5.  Our second day out we stopped at an RV park in eastern Louisiana.  The next morning, Louise cranked the engine to air up in preparation for bringing our slides in before departure.  She turned the key, the engine answered, "Uggg."  I stopped my disconnecting process to go inside and jump the engine battery with the house batteries.  Successful, I went back outside to finish getting us road ready.  Before leaving we decided to run the generator but the house batteries didn't have the umph to crank the generator!  So with the engine now running I jumped the house batteries with the engine battery.  The generator started. Now with everything running, I got on the computer and then the phone to call a RV shop along our route.  With luck, I called Billy Thibodeauxs Premier RV Inc. near Lafayette, Louisiana.  Finding the shop was an adventure, if you decide to follow in our footsteps, check their website for the best route to get there.  Ashley was very friendly and efficient.  By the time we arrived just before noon I was informed that the batteries would be delivered to the shop by 1:30 p.m. and they would install them as soon as they arrived.  Believe it or not, we were back on the road by 3:00 p.m., $1900 lighter but with good batteries. Leaving I-10 for I-59, we left the heavy traffic behind and pulled into a truck parking area just before sunset (remember our coach turns to a pumpkin after sunset).  Our final adventure for the initial trip occurred in Chattanooga, TN.  Passing through town on I-59/I-24 to get to I-75, we were in the center lane of rush hour traffic.  Coming down a hill I applied the brakes as traffic came to a stop.  The fuel in the fuel tank sloshed to the front and the engine stopped!  Yes, I knew we were low on fuel, a station was just up the road on I-75 and we planned to make that stop our night stay at Walmart.  I tried to restart the engine, no luck.  Whoever was behind us on the right side must have realized our situation because they stopped to allow us to coast down the hill through the right hand lane to the shoulder.  I came to a stop just before an overpass but on level ground.  Now on the level, the engine started.  I wondered how long that would last but pulled back onto the highway and we continued on.  Now I stayed in the right lane. Looking for the Walmart and the accompanying Murphy station, we came up empty.  It wasn't where the GPS led us.  I had established several years before that Murphy isn't a subsidiary of Walmart and there are stations that are located at separate locations.  It turned out the station was there but Walmart wasn't.  As we passed it later, I looked and it would have been a difficult in and out for us. Passing the location, we noticed a small station on the opposite side of the street.  They had  diesel and at the same price as Murphy.  We frequently patronize small stations but I do approach them with extreme caution.  The canopy has high enough, the in and out route was do-able so we looped through a large parking lot and returned to that station.  Louise got out to scout for the diesel pump as I idled on the road in position to pull up to the diesel pump wherever it was.  She signaled a location and I pulled in.  I put 109 gallons of diesel in a 127 gallon tank.  I had to laugh when I retrieved my credit card and got the fuel receipt from the clerk in the Citgo station.  We had refueled at the "Save a Ton #2" in Chattanooga!  I thought,  "That little station saved us a lot more than a ton!"  By the way, I think I made the foreign clerk's (owner?) day when he handed me my card and receipt for $291.34.  What a big smile.  And no, he didn't furnish his house with my credit card.  Good people are everywhere!  I love it when trust is rewarded. During the winter we had the coach in the shop several times.  The Aladdin system monitors our fuel very accurately but this time it was off by more than normally expected.  We had run the generator quite a bit, that might account for some of the difference.  So maybe I should have bought a squirrel. 

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

The Man Born Blind

I suppose that many people have a favorite Bible story.  I do.  It is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 9, It is the story of Jesus and The Man Born Blind.  This is a Bold Story, one that I can relate to, my whole family relates to it actually. The Man Born Blind

gramps

gramps

 

stabilizing open entry door

The entry door opens perpendicular to the body of the motorhome and can not bend back toward the motorhome. When the wind or breeze comes by, it moves the door back and forth. I am concerned the air will bend the hinges on the door. What can I use to keep any damage from the wind/breeze? The body of the motorhome is "smooth", nothing sticking out to attach a rod or bungee cord. How would I attach a rod to the body of the motorhome? Some kind of hook?

Pazahora

Pazahora

 

2019 Alaska trip, camping/travel buddies

We are planning a trip to Alaska for around June of 2019 for about 60 to 70 days round trip. I have a MilePost book, and was looking at the Suggested route #4 to go up and a different route coming back. Would like to see if a small group of 6 or less,  would like to travel together.  We will be newly retired. We live in Southern Illinois, and would like to meet this year. Would not mind going with a family. We are fairly new to the TT world. We have a 24 ft TT.  We are planning 3 or 4 short trips between now and then, could meet up. 

Falcon@112

Falcon@112

 

FMCA Convention in Perry Georgia

We figured out that this year was our 26th time presenting seminars at the FMCA national conventions. Back in 2004 we were there presenting seminars for Coach Connect, a company who installed WiFi in RV parks. After they went out of business we were invited back to FMCA on our own and Geeks on Tour was born in 2006. See this blog post for more history.
This year, the convention was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia. Here was our seminar line up this year: Technology for Travelers Smartphones: What does this button do? Google Photos: What to do with all those photos? Smartphone Photography Create your online travelogue See descriptions of all our seminars on this web page. We got off to a bad start waking up at 6am to a freezing 29 degrees. We had always needed to be at our table by 7am on the first day to take registrations. We were there by 6:45 only to find the building wouldn't open till 8 ... grrrr, I mean brrrrr. We survived that and gave our first seminar to nearly 400 people. We had to squeeze our normal 90 minutes of material into a new 60 minute format ... I talked fast! But we got some great feedback. FMCA has always been limited to motorhomes, but they just recently opened up membership to trailers as well. I had a brilliant idea to convince my friend Alex, to join FMCA with her Casita trailer and come with us to the rally and help out at our table.
To my surprise, she said yes! And, she was  great help. We stayed at her place near Gainesville the night before and then followed each other up the road to Perry the next day. Alex with her Casita and our Roadtrek on the way to Perry.   Alex helping out at our table  It was a very busy week, and lots of fun seeing old friends and making new ones. Sometimes it's both old and new! One woman attended several of our classes and she came up to me more than once saying, "How do I know you?" "You look SO familiar." We couldn't come up with anything, but on the last day, she gave it another try and asked, did you go to high school at Nova?
OMG - Yes, I sure did. And so did she. Nancy was the captain of our drill team, the Titanaires, and I was co-captain - way back in 1970. Will wonders never cease? She now lives in Georgia and enjoys traveling by RV - and learning more about using her smartphone! FMCA makes it a small world!

GeeksOnTour

GeeksOnTour

 

Making A Comeback

Comebacks are not easy, quite the opposite, and for that reason they are sometimes celebrated. as my daughter says...Just Keep Swimmin' Making A Comeback!

gramps

gramps

 

Window Repair

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. 

markandlisav

markandlisav

 

And Off We Go...

So now it's spring 2017 and we're set to go on our 1st real trip in our new coach.  Our first tour, we set sights on heading north from our domicile in Southwest Louisiana, beginning in May 2017 to some key waypoints we've always wanted to see & visit. These include travels northward up through Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts before turning back southward through Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, the Virginias and Carolinas, through Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi before returning home to Louisiana. What starts out as a 4-month trip spanning close to 8,000 miles. And we're off. Fully loaded and stocked up for our trip with both the Garia and our Jeep Grand Cherokee in tow we head out by traveling slightly west to Houston, TX where we overnight for a couple of days (May 27-28) to visit and dine out with some family members and friends who live there, then we're off to Lewisville, TX, (on May 29th, and home of our Newmar Dealer, NIRVC to get a few minor warranty items done for 2 days) before setting our sights (Nav System) through Arkansas onward to Tennessee. Shortly thereafter we arrive on June 4th in Nashville where via the KOA we've docked at, we get out about visiting various Music City venues, take in the Grand Ole Opry (which for us was somewhat a disappointment) and of course, try some of Nashville's fine dining establishments. Departing on the 9th, we then moved onto Anchor Down, a beautiful terraced RV resort located on Douglas Lake not far from the local attractions of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg as well as the Smokie Moutain National Park where we spent the next 7-nights taking in the sights, exploring the Park and simply relaxing. We also met some new neighboring RV friends from N. Carolina and spent a day out on the Lake with them in a rented pontoon boat (there are marinas close by Anchor Down that rent boats, jet skis, and the likes for enjoying beautiful Douglas Lake and its Dam). The Kentucky Horse Farms It's now day 20 of our tour and we're off from Dandridge to Lexington, KY and we arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park (RV park). A somewhat "simple" RV park which principally serves to cater to the needs of folks participating in events there, we found it to be mostly grassy sites and a bit challenging to back our big rig into but we made it successfully and spent the next 2 days visiting both the Horse Park itself as well as many of the surrounding farms. A nice and simple stop for us. The Indy 500 Next up on our schedule of stops was Indianapolis where we had set plans to visit the Indy 500 Race Park but due to what had become inclement weather conditions, we aborted (as we experienced severe heavy rain storms and high winds while traversing the roads to Indy and during the 2 days our our travel through Kentucky. We both agreeing that "getting out" in the weather that was forecasted for the present and oncoming days would not be the experience we wanted - agreeing the we'll be back in that part of the Country another day, another time and can return to Indy to see the park and possibly even take in a race or at least, some trials. Nappanee IN - Home of Newmar Corp. Having taken dealer delivery of our new Coach, we added Nappanee into our tour schedule in order to participate in their "factory tour" and arrived there on June 19th, now Day 24. We docked at Newmar's factory overfill lot as Camp Newmar was packed. The next day we signed up and took the tour which was interesting to say the least and somewhat amazing at how their production line works. As well, it might not have been foresight but we had developed a few issues that manifested themselves during the early phase of our trip and took being in Nappanee as an opportunity to have them addressed. (we actually had made a service appointment earlier on ahead of the start of our trip to include having our 1st house and chassis service performed). We ended up being in Nappanee for close to 3-days longer than we had planned but used the time (while Newmar was servicing our coach) to drive about and sight see the area known as the "Heritage Trail" which included visits to Elkhart, and the surrounding towns of Goshen, Shipshewana, Middlebury, Wakarusa and Bristol all the while driving through the Amish farming communities. This included a Jazz Concert event we attended on the streets of Elkhart which made for a wonderful Saturday afternoon outing. Rock & Roll Next up on our travel plans was a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Having previously made site reservations at a KOA nearby, our delay in Nappanee once again brought cause to abort the visit owning to other locations ahead where we could not alter other pre-existing reservations (no space available). This, Cleveland, became another one to be visited at a later date. Why Jackson, Ohio of all places? During the early onset of our tour we had (by chance, i.e. Facebook) learned that a dear old friend of both Lydia whom we'd not seen in close to 25 years had recently relocated to Jackson (for a new job) and so having our schedule kind of messed up at those moments, altered our trip by turning SE through Columbus to Jackson where we ended up spending 4 enjoyable days visiting with him and docked in a very small yet cozy state park. The visit was worth it as we had a great time just sitting outside the coach entertaining ourselves and our friend. Its' now day 37, July 1 and our plans have changed considerably. Niagara Falls has too fallen from our list and become another "future" venue for a later date but we're back on track with our earlier plans/reservations and heading to DC for the 4th of July. Cherry Hill Park  July 2nd, after "boon-docking overnight in a WalMart in Morgantown WV on the way, we arrive in College Park MD (close to DC) at Cherry Hill Park RV Resort. From here, we can easily get into DC to visit. We also get online and manage to scorer up some front row concert tickets for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Canned Tuna and the Wood Brother at Wolf Park and outdoor amphitheater in Vienna VA which turned out to be a great show. The next few days we primarily spent visiting DC and included being on the National Mall during the 4th of July fireworks event as well as taking in the monuments by means of a pedicab night tour which was very memorable. We highly recommend the night tours as seeing them under their special lighting is quite amazing in comparison to daytime visits. Lydia has to Go! After spending 10 nights at Cherry Hill and having already had a previously scheduled Dr.'s appointment in Houston to which she had to maintain, Lydia boarded a flight to Houston from Baltimore and left us (me and our miniature Schnauzer "Nike") to our own devices for a few days.  Next Stop; Williamsburg VA. With Lydia gone, Nike and I load up and drive out, onward to Williamsburg VA. Plans being to visit the Colonial Villages (towns) of Williamsburg and Jamestown. Arriving, Nike and I find ourselves destined to fit into a very small, simple RV part that we were likely too large to fit into but managed after the staff moved a few vehicles to assist with my backing into the spot they had for us. The next two days I spent time exploring the area (some places with Nike and others while leaving him in the coach) and found it to be a charming place but somewhat less than expected likely due to the absence of Lydia. She would have drug me through countless small shops and likely the huge outlet malls they have there. Overall, it was fun but not what i personally had expected. In any case, Nike and I made the best of it without here for a few days, then once again, pulled up 'stakes" and headed southward. Hilton Head Island  Next up on our tour list was HHI where Nike I and I arrived on July 15th we were reunited with Lydia who flew into nearby Savannah, GA. Docked at the Hilton Head Harbor Marina and RV report (vs. the HHI Motor-Coach Resort further into town), we used it as a platform for visiting both HH and Savannah over the course of the next 12 days. I will state here though beautiful, the daily traffic into and off the Island was horrendous and we spent a lot of time just sitting on the roads, waiting for traffic to move on way or the other. We're about to start heading home. Day 61, we depart HHI for Lawrenceville, GA which was just a stopover on our way to Foley, AL at NIRVC's newest location north of Atlanta to get the coach washed & detailed. We spent 2 nights there and departed on July 28th to Foley. Bella Terra RV Resort Foley, Al is approx. 6 miles north of Orange Beach, Al and the beachfront of the Gulf of Mexico. Pulling into Bella Terra, we quickly knew it was going to be a relaxing stay and once checked in and dock at our site, we were met with a spacious lot facing it's man made lake and fountain. Here we stayed for another 12 nights to include enjoying the company of another pair of great friends (one of which being my former work colleague) who reside in Mobile.  Too much food and fun, the margaritas were great as too the omelets at brunch.  The Big Easy Next up and the final stop ahead of our return home was to be the New Orleans French Quarter and Warehouse district but once again, leave it to "mother nature" to forego such plans. As it so happened, we soon learned (while still in Foley) that NOLA was once again experiencing flooding due to some dense and heavy rains that had been ongoing for a few days. So, needless to say, we cancelled our planned stay there and returned home, 8,400 miles later on day 76 of our first tour. All In. We had a meaningful and memorable experience on our first tour in our new motor coach and such that we were convinced of "finding the roads that await us" will continue to bring forth new adventures, fun and excitement. Next Up. Newmar's International Rally - Sedalia MO to be followed by the Albuquerque Intl. Balloon Fiesta.   Nashville KOA During a stopover in Mocksville, NC for factory installation of Magne Shades The Kentucky Horse Park - RV Park, Lexington. Local Art in Elkhart as well as the surrounding towns on the Heritage Trail Elkhart A fine little boutique style diner. Cherry Hill Park - College Park, Maryland On the National Mall, Washington, DC July 4th 2017 Hot Tuna, belting it out at Wolf Park in Vienna, VA Night Touring the Monuments via Non-Partisan Pedicab. Gettysburg Hilton Head Marina and RV Resort. Bella Terra Motorcoach Resort, Foley, AL

Rewillia

Rewillia

 

The Garia 2+2

So in continuation,  here we are back again....1 month into new ownership of our 2017 Newmar Essex and we've yet to make a "real" trip yet. We've spent 2-weeks in our Dealer's on site camp ground going through the PDI and day to day orientation on using all the systems installed in our new home on wheels. ( that period included our having taken the RV Driving School's training mentioned previously as well as our shopping for a new vehicle we can tow behind the coach). Our existing two cars were not flat tow capable and we had no desire to use a dolly or trailer). Oh yeah, now we need a Tow Vehicle. So we began looking at popular flat-towable vehicles using various forms of information such as FMCA's towables guide and determined the Jeep was clearly most popular and one of the easiest to pull.  We'd also noted that many others pulling in and out of NIRVC during the course of our stay were equally pulling Jeeps so it became clear they are popular with motor home owners. So off to the dealers we went soon to find out that were by far "to proud" of their new inventories and not so willing to deal on pricing (Basically, we must have visited 5-6 separate Jeep dealers in the DFW metro area and all were asking full MSRP for their Jeeps so off to the pre-owned lots we went). At this point we're still flexible and open to consider both the Wrangler Jeep or the Cherokee (SUV). So we pull in a pre-owned dealer's lot and as Lydia sights, there sits a pretty, sharp looking Wrangler Rubicon that is all white sitting on oversized wheels and tires with a slight upward lift kit. Lydia likes it and is drawn to immediately upon stepping out of our car.  Of course, within seconds a salesman pulls up in his golf cart and is already engaging her even before I've been able to shut off our car and get out of it. I already know it's not the vehicle for us but I need to let Lydia make her own decisions, Anyway, 5-10 mins. later we're off on a test drive only to make it about a 1/2-block down the street where we quickly realize that it's not the vehicle for us. (she's driving). Heck, I couldn't even find the door window button while the jeep is beating the  smile out of both of us on what was a reasonably flat and good hard paved surface. She's looking at me and I'm looking at her, both of use laughing and saying NOT!. Just too hard a ride for us. We wanted something with more comfort and besides, we agreed at 62/66 we'd already passed our use by date to be driving something like that. We returned, got out of it and walked the pre-owned lot some more looking a few other vehicles we might want to consider but then left to head to the next lot. We couldn't stand the salesman tagging along with us trying to convince us we need to buy something from him right then and there. As I said we left and visited a number of other pre-owned dealers in the DFA area throughout the next few days which had turned to looking at brand new Grand Cherokees by that time. Wow, talk about sticker shock...In short, I'd told Lydia "I've never paid MSRP (full price) for a new vehicle in my life and I'm not going to start now". We can find a better deal in Houston than from these "stealers" in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I was wrong, the new car pricing in Houston was the same, i.e. full sticker price, so soon afterwards we suspended our search telling ourselves there was no rush to get a new tow vehicle and that we'd eventually find something to our liking at an acceptable price. It came to be in the form of Autotrader.com. and 4 weeks later when we ended up once again back in Houston (actually Katy, TX) where we'd found a pre-owned 2016 Black Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 SUV with the prerequisite Quadra Trac/Quadra Steer II option (required to flat tow the SUV model Jeeps). It was a one owner with 4,300 miles on it that had been traded at a BMW dealer and we bought it for $44k which was then, approx. $16k less than a new '17 with the close to the same features. A Black car, We did not intend to buy a Black car but the price was worth sacrificing the color. It also has the Hemi while we'd wanted the V6 Diesel but again, it became a matter of value for money spent. We've since come to widely appreciate the JGC. This RV stuff. Wow, one can spend a helluva lotta money in a short period of time. The purchase of coach, or better our 40% cash downpayment by itself was by far the largest check we've ever written (it was actually a cashier's check but you get the picture). Since then, we've bought a car to tow behind it and as well need to get that sorted out in the form of towing gear. Now armed with a new Tow Vehicle we soon returned to NIRVC (our Coach dealer) in Lewisville, TX (as we had some, a few small warranty repair items already to be addressed) and had them install the towing gear. At their recommendation, We agreed and opted for the Roadmaster set-up (base plate/tow bar) including the Blackhawk II 10,000 tow bar, together with the SMI Air Force One braking system. All systems a go, we latched onto it and headed back home to SW Louisiana.  Enough? Well not quite (for me). Leave it to me to want something out of the ordinary and shame on both of us for dropping into a Golf Cart shop in Houston, TX (I'm thinking street legal golf cart at this point). I had been wanting one for use in our small neighborhood even before we purchased the motor coach but now..its something even more to consider. I may not have mentioned earlier, when returning to the US, we'd decided to downsize, get out of the big S&B houses in the form of a smaller 2-hr townhome which within it's Home Owners' Association (and the fee we pay) takes care of all the exterior including lawn care & maintenance - making it easy for us to come and go (in our new motor home) at our leisure without having to worry about the home. This was a good choice for us given that its just the three of us now (Us + our pet Miniature Schnauzer) Back to the cart, Oh I tell her (Lydia), having something like this to use at home as well as carry along with us when traveling in the coach would be so much fun. What is it we ask the sales persona, whereby he informs us It's a Garia 2+2  and it looks and smells just like a golf cart but isn't. Its a fully street legal US DOT compliant 4-passenger low speed vehicle (LSV) manufactured and imported from Denmark. We're sold, got to have it and it just so happens we learn that Garia's Americas & Mexico distribution center is also located in Houston, whereby a few days later we're back, visiting the distribution center with our sales person from the Golf Cart shop and choosing the color combinations (for both the LSVs exterior and interior) of our liking which of course were those which would match up as closely possible with the paint scheme of our new coach. Done. 4-weeks later the Garia is delivered to us at our home in SW Louisiana and a week later it's been legally titled, state inspected and registered (as a legal motor vehicle) in the State of LA to include being issued it's own license plates. We're legal! albeit per US DOT laws (and all states as well), our use of the Garia on public roads is restricted to roads where the published speed limits are 35-mph or less unless we're crossing an adjoining roadway to connect to another 35-mph road whereby we can traverse such roads with speed limits up to 50-mph including driving down them up to 1/2 mile if similarly connecting to another 35-mph road/street. All that's ok with us as our intention to use it will be when we're camping ("glamping" might be a better term here) at RV parks or resorts in populated areas where we can use it to drive around locally. This I can mention now has worked out very well and it's truly a lot of fun not to mention quite a conversation piece as well given its somewhat uncommon appearance. We have learned that some Valet's don't take to parking it for us but it's always fun to ask them to. Also (and as of the writing of this blog,) in 12-months of use we've yet to be stopped by a single police officer anywhere we've used it (likely owing to the fact it's clearly displays a state issued license plate on the rear).  I might add here, We also opted for the single high capacity SMI Samsung Lithium battery in the Garia (which replaces the 6 6-vlt conventional golf cart batteries). The Lithium battery gives the Garia something in the range of a 40-mile distance charge, is totally maintenance free, will hold a full charge for up to 6-months while being guaranteed for 10-years for the date of purchase.  I have to say, while the idea of it may not be to the liking of many, the Garia is a "load of fun" and actually has both "eco" and "sport" modes whereby the maximum speed obtainable (as built) is 25 MPH (but a slight re-programming of the onboard CPS enables it to achieve 40-mph, but please don't tell anyone). Oh and yes, Garia does make a "golf cart" version but those are not street legal. Pricey, yes. The Garia 2+2 is not a golf cart and is quite more expensive but to each his own as they say. We liked it, wanted it and now own one. How do we add this up - a Jeep SUV and the Garia + the Motor-Coach? Next up was to determine how best to transport the Garia on/with our coach. We looked at number of options including trailers, but finally made our decision of go with a special built Hydralift mounted on the rear of our coach (also available for ATVs, Trikes, and golf carts). NIRVC, again our Coach dealer helped us work with Hydralift and special order the lift which was specifically designed to handle transporting the Garia by means of its 50" x 96" platform which we purchased and had installed by their expert technicians. The lift is quite impressive, built using strengthen alloy steel components and nicely powder coated. Installation took the better part of 1-week and included special welding of its substructure to the tow/hitch receiver of our Spartan K3 chassis rated for 20,000 lbs towing capacity put us well within our capacity being only ~ 6,700 lbs. (Lift @ 650 lbs + Garia@946 lbs + Jeep SUV@ 4,933 lbs + Tow Gear @200). Prior to the installation (as well as before purchasing it), we checked with both Newmar Corporation and Spartan Chassis to reconfirm our coach's capacity to handle both the Lift and its cargo (being the LSV) to which both agreed would easily be accommodated (and not influence our OEM warranties on either the coach or the chassis). What else? While having the Hydralift installed by NIRVC, I also opted to use the opportunity to to have an engine compartment fire suppression system installed. Purchased online from Fire Fighting Products Inc., it is a 40-lbs nitrogen and chemical fire suppression filled bottle with 2 separate nozzles which were mounted above and on both sides of our ISX15 Cummins power plant. Fully automated, the system will deploy in the event temps inside the compartment reach a pre-determined level (i.e. fire).  The system was relatively cheap, approx. $400.00. and can be seen in the photo of the rear engine compartment below (red bottle). Next Up - our inaugural 1st trip/tour. With plates on the shelves, and the pantry and fridge and freezer loaded up, the Garia on the lift and the Jeep latched to the rear, we're soon off on our first real RV adventure. It's going to a 5-month trip that will take us over 10,000 miles from SW Louisiana up to Niagara Falls, NY/Ontario then back down along the East coast to Florida before returning to our home base in LA. The subject of our next blog entry. Our Grand Cherokee with Roadmaster set-up. The Garia 2+2 visiting neighbors a few streets over. NIRVC Hydralift Installation along with the Fire Fighting Products Inc, Fire Suppression System. Set-up to Go. Garia's colors worked well and match up to the coach. Note; The rear passenger hand rail which host the State License plate is removable and stored in a basement compartment when loaded and being transported behind the coach (due to DOT width restrictions). On our way back home with the Hydralift installed. All in, 70' 3" OAL. Just another view of the Hydralift & Garia for those whom may be interested. The photo makes it appear that the Garia/Platform are wider than the coach but they are not. is the DOT maximum limit

Rewillia

Rewillia

 

Good Business Sydney Nebraska

As our RV aged and so did we, it got harder to hear each other as we traveled down the road. On this day’s end when we pulled in the engine was very loud.  Roger decided it was the manifold.  It was 4 o’clock on a Friday and we need a mechanic to access the problem.   We found Sauder’s  here in Sydney, Nebraska.  Chris Sauder, the owner’s son, came out and told us it was a blow gasket on the passenger side.  He could not get us in until Tuesday and then parts would need to be ordered.   Roger needed to get to Reno (1,100 miles) as his brother was dying.  Therefore, Roger went to Reno in the car and I stayed with the dog and cat to get the RV fixed.   On Monday Chris called for the vin. number and ordered parts, on Tuesday I was across the street at 8:30.  RV was tore down and ready to put back together  by 1:30. I spent the night behind the business plunged into their electric.  On Wednesday they ran into trouble do to a bolt being broken off.  The job was not completed until 4:30.  Both the shop and the machine donated time for part of the working on this bolt. During these 2 days Chris came often to the waiting room to bring me up to date on the job, offered me use of a car, and watch my dog while I walked next door for a sandwich. I can’t say enough good things about these people.  And if that wasn’t enough the place I stayed was Cabela’s campground at their corporate office.  They were so nice and ended up giving us 2 free nights. So if you are in the area these two business while treat you right.

Gloria13

Gloria13

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