Monday, April 30, 2012

Full Timing & Vehicle Financing

Full timing and getting a loan can be a big problem nowadays.  Before 2008 it wasn’t no problem for just about any bank to loan money.  Now it is more difficult but definitely not impossible if you have good credit.  Something about our residence is mobile and banks get a little excited about that.  We use the Escapees Mail service and it is a legal residence and is recognized as such by the state and federal government. We can vote and such using our address.  Most mail services are not legal residences.  If you can’t vote using the mailing service address then it is not a legal residence.  When asked where we live we say we reside in Livingston.  On loans we give our complete Livingston address.  No problems for us so far.  I do not tell them my life story until after the deal.  We are professional tourists who travel a lot enjoying retirement.  Oh so true.

Anyhow, when we bought the Dodge truck we financed thru the dealer because we got an additional $500 rebate.  Their bank was Chase and we got 6 yrs at 3 % and the payment was $300.  Well, our bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, of 30 plus years is now 1.99% for 6 yrs plus will give us $250 for refinancing with them.  Our payment is now $287 and will get the $250 after the first payment.  I spent about a half hour on the phone with Navy Federal and it was a done deal.  I go with who ever gives me the best rate.  I’m just a drop in the bucket to any finance company bottom line.  So, I feel the same way about them.    That’s how we buy our vehicles too.  I shop around a lot.  The internet is outstanding for this type of knowing what prices should be, etc.  We bought our Phaeton (new) via the internet (Lazydays, Seffner, FL)with a trade-in even.  I look on the internet to see what a particular model/year is going for if buying used.  Get pre-approved for a dollar amount before hand so as to avoid embarrassment and save time.  Where ever, who ever has the best deal will get my business.  It’s business to them and it’s business to me.  We aren’t special when the deal is all done.  NEVER had a problem getting warranty done with anybody either.

So, check around a lot.  You got the time and good luck.

Mark came over for diner and could only handle one of my 10 oz cheeseburgers.  Afterwards I showed him my Razor.  We went for a short ride around the block.DSC_0001 DSC_0003

Mark really likes the Razor.  I’m sure we will be doing some riding down the road.

See ya.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Oh how generating and fun to meet newbies.  Carol & I just met Bill & Beth who had been full timing for 3 weeks now.  They were like two kids in a candy shop for the first time.  It was enjoyable hearing them talk about getting ready to hit the road and the things they experienced.  It brought back our own memories that are very similar.  They talked about their plans to do this and that this year to include getting a larger 5th wheel.  They have a 28 footer now and are getting a used 38’ in a few weeks.  We had nothing but words of encouragement for their future adventures.  They also are cat lovers and two travel with them.  We answered their questions in a short time frame we had to visit with the.  They were getting ready to depart so time was short.

Carol & I remember walking out of the house settlement office and see our 5th wheel at the end of the walkway.  My thought right then was, “Oh crap! What did we just do?”  We departed in our 1998 34’ fifth wheel towed by our 1996 3/4 ton Dodge diesel. It was a 5 speed with a 4:10 rear.  It was set up to tow.  We had already decided to head for Alaska for our first big advetnure.  It was June 4th 2000 and our first trip to Alaska.

The rest is history…….like it is for a lot of us fellow full timers and those that have retired from full timing.  We are all newbies and we enjoy or have enjoyed the full timing life style.

See ya……………

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shiny Wheels

If you are not into shiny wheels and how to get them that way, there is no need to go further.  See ya tomorrow.

Otherwise… we go…DSC_0003

Now that NASA is out of business I don’t have to worry about the shine interfering with their satellites for take off….smile…

Basically there are two types of wheels on motorhomes,  some 5th wheels too.  Those that can be shined and those that can be.  BIG difference.  Accuride wheels have a plastic covering over them called Accu-shield.  These are meant to be washed with soap & water and that’s it.  They shine but are not real shiny.  I have these.  The others can be polished with abrasives and man do they shine.  You have seen these on big trucks probably.  How can you tell the difference.  If they are less than 5 years old and they are on a Freighliner or Spartan chassis they are probably Accurides with Accu-shied coverings.  If you have a different chassis they might be Alco’s and might be polishable.  If your wheels are turning a light grey then they are probably polishable and you can use the good stuff on them like most aluminum polish.  i.e. Mothers, Never Dull, Bush, and so on.  Check your owner’s manual or call the manufacture if they are still in business.  If they still are pretty shiny but just need a LITTLE TLC like mine, here we go.  I use these products…DSC_0002-001

First I use Swirl X which is a very very light cleaner.  Then I use Tech Wax .  I follow that up with a very light Ultimate Wax spray.  I use a separate rag for each and finally a micro cloth when I’m all done.  The rags (old socks) I throw away and wash the micro cloth.  It takes me about 15 minutes per wheel and I got all of of them done today.  Now I will be able to just wipe them off when ever I want unless I drive in the rain.  Then I wash with soap & water then wipe with a micro soft.  Over all they shine just a little bit more than just the normal wash with soap and water.

I really like shiny wheels so I don’t mind working a little extra to have them.

See ya………………….

Friday, April 27, 2012

Looking Good & A School Friend

I got the truck title from Chase bank yesterday. Yea… Now I can get tags for it.

First I had to get the truck inspected.  Brand new truck and had to get it inspected.  That’s a little dumb.  I guess they need the money or can’t think that through the legal process to correct.  After the inspection at a local Dodge dealer I went to the local DMV.  Very nice and helpful people the way a public office should be.  The truck is now tagged, washed, filled with fuel and ready to hit the road. I still need to put the Polaris Razor in it.  That will probably happen Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursday is our departure date.DSC_0001

I reinstalled the Beast’s mud flap that I’ve been working on.  I straighten the frame behind it out a little bit.  Used Aerospace 303 on it and polished the chrome.  I also raised it up as far as I could which was about an inch and half.  The higher the mud flap is from the ground the less debris and rocks it will toss on your tow behind.  It’s the same for a truck towing a rig. I learned that years ago commercial towing RVs/motor homes and reinforced again towing in Alaska.

An old friend of mine from high school has died.  I grew up with this individual as a teenager during the 60’s  He was into booze heavy back then and remained that way.  We were “IT” back then at least we thought so. He died of cancer.   Don, save me a seat at your favorite bar.  We can talk about the good old days if we can remember them. 

P.S.  Don’t hold your breath for me.  My plans don’t include seeing you anytime soon.  You are on my very long list though.

See ya down the road Don.  Thanks for the memories.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alaska Here We Come

Nope not this year for us.

In 2011 twelve people departed as friends and twelve people returned as better friends. We didn’t get in the way of each others adventures.DSC_0015

  If you are one of the ones going up this year I would like to suggest several things for your to consider.  The Milepost book is the 1st thing you should have and probably do.  It’s published every year and I believe it comes out in March.  The second book you want to consider is called Alaskan Camping by the Church’s.  It’s a down to earth campground guide that gives you a true perspective of what to expect in the campgrounds and even includes free ones.  The other thing you might want to look at is a coupon book called Tour Saver.  I know you don’t want to mess with coupons and all that.  We’ve been up there four times and wouldn’t go up without it now.  It WILL save you money unless your your a stick in the mud and don’t do any tourist stuff up there.  It can been seen at

Top Of The World Highway. DSC_0079

If you go this route I would suggest doing it on the way up north and not waiting for your return trip.  The reasoning is that later in the seasoning the dirt road can get very rough from all the traffic.  If it has rained a few days earlier don’t go on it and if it’s calling for any kind of rain when you are planning to go, cancel.  It just ain’t worth it.  No views and roads become treacherous and I use that word sparingly.

Getting diesel or gas, dumping tanks, getting fresh water is no problem.  Prepare to dry camp (no hook ups) and you will be fine.  Don’t be in a friggin hurry.  It will get you in trouble.  I would say keep it under 200 miles a day to be comfortable. 

Early morning starts and you will see more animals.  What’s early?  Maybe between 7 and 8 AM.  Not everyday of course but some days. 

No need to make reservations.  I suggest you don’t because then you HAVE TO BE somewhere at a certain time.  We never made reservations for campgrounds and NEVER had a problem.  MAYBE a week from Denali Nat Pk call and make reservations might be the only exception.

Check with your credit card company and see if they charge you any type of a fee for using your card in Canada.  That could cost you more than you think. If they don’t charge you any fees then use it of course.

Please NO WEAPONS into Canada.  It’s a big major problem if caught and they probably will catch you sooner or later.

Food in the grocery stores run about 30% more I would guess.  In restaurants probably about the same.  We carry a lot of canned goods and frozen meat.  Meat if you cook it a little and freeze it you are better off.  Canadians inspectors don’t like the not prepared meat.  Check and see before hand of course.

I would suggest turning left in Tok, AK and heading south rather than Fairbanks.  The rainy season down south is July and August so you want to try and make that in June if possible.  If you don’t, the rain isn't really that much just more of it.

Liard Hot Springs is a must stop for a couple of days if you are into natural hot springs.  It’s pretty nice.SDC11379

Pull off areas are neat places to spend a night.  No big trucks because they can make it where ever they need to be in a day in Alaska.

Anchorage is just about like any big city.  If you need any kind of maintenance that’s the place to have it done. Campgrounds are scarce and expensive there.

Be willing to explore new and unusual places that you wouldn’t normally stop at.  Eat at those Ma Pa type places.  Go into those little roadside places.  Take your time is a bigee.  Stop and smell the dung (po).  I couldn’t resist saying that.

If you are bored before you go read our blog from last year about our trip up.  Here is where it starts

So, good luck and see you up there in 2014 if you decide to stay.

Been there done that and will again….

See ya..

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Full Timing & RV Washing

For a full timer to wash their rig can be a bit troublesome at times.  If it needs washing maybe where you are at they don’t allow it.  Or you are where they do allow it but your not ready.  Some parks are charging you to wash your own RV.  Maybe $2 and I wouldn’t have heart burn but when they get to $5 and especially I have a tendency to let them know what I think of their excess charging.  The mobile washers that will come to you will charge you an arm and leg which is about $3 a foot and they don’t even dry it.  Then they want a total of $7 to wash and wax.  Sorry, I’m just too cheap.  When we are in Yuma we get the RV washed and hand waxed for between $100 & $125.  Now that’s a deal.

Another good deal is the Streakin Beacon which goes by the the name of Blue Beacon Truck Wash.  They are open 24 hours and have over 100 locations.  Their web page is  How much - $35 to wash any large RV.  It’s will worth it.  Don’t get any of their other wash options unless they can dry it for $15 if they have the people.  I usually tell the washers easy on the soap and heavy on the rinse please.  Sometimes their soap will leave steaks if not washed off or dried off. Thus the name Streakin Beacon.  I suggest you do not have them wash your tow behind if you have a motor home.  They do rinse the roof off via an automatic sprayer from the ceiling.  But then the water comes off going down the road and on your tow behind. they are usually around large truck stops.  Just get in line with the trucks – no big deal what so ever.

I popped out of bed at 7 AM this morning.  In other words I dragged my sick butt out of bed.  I was on top of the Beast by 7:15 AM.  No the Beast is not Carol, it’s the RV. I washed the top and the slide out toppers.  Carol asked why was I washing the roof if it’s going to be replaced in a couple of weeks.  Because if it rains, or just condensation, all that crap from the trees that setting on the roof comes down the sides of the RV. Anyhow, I then washed the entire Beast.  Then cleaned the tires and wheels, not polish/wax yet. The water softener & sprayer didn’t work the way I thought it would (less spotting).  I will give it a few more try's.  So, I hand dried the Beast top to bottom and it’s looking good.  I finished at 10 AM.DSC_0002

Here’s the products I used.DSC_0001

I did notice being 20 lbs lighter that I worked a lot easier and wasn’t huffing and puffing like before.

See ya……

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

See My Butt

Here’s my butt.DSC_0012

It’s been cooking for about 15 hours at 190 degree at this point (9AM). It’s not a pork butt but rather a picnic. It has more bone and the taste/texture can be a little different at times compared to the butt. It was on sale for 98 cents a lb so I got this 10 pounder. What the hell!  The butt is running 2 bucks a pound and that’s just too high for me.  Maybe I can get some butt from the Secret Service cheaper like they do.

LATER……The butt on the left is the left over.  Some people add all this garbage together but I don’t.  I like clean meat with some crust in it. DSC_0015

I got about 4 lbs out of that ten lb picnic cut.  I get 5-6 lbs out of the butt usually.   More bone in the picnic.   We had this for dinner and froze the rest.DSC_0013

I was back on the roof by 9 AM.  I still had the brackets to remove along with the lug screws to remove.  DSC_0009 DSC_0011 Then I had to recaulk the holes even thou it’s just for about 2 weeks before Newmar removes the roof.  It would rain if I didn’t you all know that.  By 11 AM I was done and the humidity was setting in.  Now I will wait to wash the roof until the caulk dries.  I will also wash the slide out covers, awning and the Beast itself.  Then I will use what a reader recommended which was Jet-Dri a dishwasher thing.  I will apply it with a MiracleGro garden feeder hooked to a hose.  Who knows?  Maybe the Beast will grow another foot or so.  Then last I will shine and wax the wheels of course.

The sagging roof caused this excessive water on the slide out cover because the roof is slanted that way as a result.  Yes, it’s hard to explain. DSC_0010 I need to learn how to lock the slide out cover in a position.  The cover is out of alignment due AZ wind down near Yuma.  Anybody know how you do that, lock it in position with an A & E slide out cover?

The 4 solar panels went here on the slide out.  DSC_0007

The boxes on the slide out went here.DSC_0005

So, that’s it.

See ya…….

Solar Panels

Today I undid the roof solar panels.  Wayne helped me get then down off the roof.  Newmar said they won’t touch the roof unless all the “extra” customer installed items are removed.  OK – sounds reasonable to me.  The Datastorm-HughesNet dish is gone.  Now the solar panels are off and stored.

I have 4 solar panels. Two are 120 watts and two are 125’s for a total of 490 watts. That’s pretty good.  They are hooked up to 6 six volt batteries which again is pretty good.  Now this did not happen all at once.  I started off with one solar panel and then another.  Then when my Mom stopped RVing I got her two solar panels.  If you went out to buy all this stuff at once it would cost between $2,500 and $3,000. 

What do I think of solar panels.  It’s great but the cost is too great.  If I was starting from scratch again it would just cost too much to get everything at once.  I think batteries are the way to go.  Get extra batteries.  As many as you can carry safely of course.

The most we ever boone docked (no hook ups) was 58 out of 60 days in Alaska years ago.  We used the generator because we didn’t have solar back then.  It’s nice not to have to turn on the generator if you are staying somewhere a few days without hook ups.  We now can go indefinitely without needing electricity as long as the sun is out for a few hours each day.  Of course if it’s in the 90’s it’s time to move or get hook ups. Can’t run the AC.  Also, if we use the RV heat system a lot it will eat up the electricity especially in the Beast because of the Hydro Hot system.  This system has 6 fan motors that run the heat.  This is when we break out the Mr Buddy heat machine.  It does us fine.

Bottom line -  if you got money to spend get large solar panels, a high end controller and a lot of batteries.  Otherwise hit the generator button.

See ya……..

Sunday, April 22, 2012

RVing Communications

This is what works for us…………..

Internet – was Datastorm-Hughes Net for years.  I bought used/refurbished equipment in 2005.  Over the years it had some problems but nothing that money couldn’t fix for sure.  We could push a button and have internet anywhere we wanted.  That was very nice especially when we had a business to run.  It made two trips to Alaska and we always had the internet. We now no longer had the business and the old equipment was getting very out dated.   Now you can get a used one installed for about $1,500-$2,000 then $79 a month.  Steve O’Bosky is an outstanding rep and point of contact for this equipment. His email is  Tell him I sent you and he might buy me a hamburger or at least a turkey hot dog.

We now have Verizon MiFi for the internet.   The MiFi card was well used & old when we got it.  Maybe that’s why it works so well for us.  It was a hand me down from Walt & Kellie so you know it was well used.  It has worked fine for us since February.  From what people say is that we will have problems when we get in real crowded places like a large rally.  OK, I don’t think they all get up 4:30 in the morning like me.  No big deal. $50 bucks a month.  You know, I don’t have to be on the internet everyday anymore even though I am.  BUT I don’t have to be bottom line.

Cell phone – Verizon……….Have had it for about 10 years.  It’s outstanding for where we have gone and go. We have three simple plain phones. One for me, one for Carol and one for my Mom.  We just reduced our plan to I think 800 nationwide prime minutes plus their normal free minutes, etc.  I use to have the cell phone glued to my hip for business.  Now I don’t carry it usually.  It just lays on the desk waiting for Walt’s call.  I think this plan and the MiFi is $130 a month on the Verizon bill.

TV….We have Direct TV and with a roof dome.  Their plans vary in price.  The roof dome came with the RV and it works great even in light to medium rain. We have had Dish and they pissed me off years ago and we have been with Direct TV ever since.  We started off with the outside tripod for years and that worked fine too.  We do not have the new equipment thus do not have digital reception.  We are too cheap to buy the $1,500 dish.  Too us, it ain’t worth it when ours works fine.  When, not if, fails to work we will see.

Some people have simpler and cost less plans/equipment and some have a lot more expensive things for what ever the reasons.  What ever floats your boat basically.  We try to keep it simple for us.

See ya………..

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friends & Food

It’s easy to meet people while RVing. Just set outside your RV in a campground. People will walk by and you just wave at them to come on over. Make sure you have at least two extra chairs out. Otherwise they might not come over or if they do, they don’t stay long. If you can wave you can meet new friends. It’s really that simple. Having a box of wine out helps too!

We made some new friends the other night, Lisa & Jim Koca.  We casually met them last year but didn’t really get to spend time with them. They happen to be the new Directors of the Escapees  HOP Program.  They are also deeply involved in the Escapees Boot Camp Program.  Take a look at these programs they are really good.

We all went to the Texas Pepper here in Livingston.  The place has been here for years and now has new owners.  It’s been two years since our last visit and it wasn’t nothing to speak about with the previous owners – just kinda OK.  This time it has greatly improved.   It’s not the greatest we have ever had but it is worth another trip before we leave for sure.

Yes, RVers love to eat.  While traveling across this great country you get the opportunity to try these one owner, one restaurant places.  We have ate at some real dives that turn out pretty nice.  We are really not brave enough to walk into a real dive so we rely on going with someone who has already been there.  We stay away from the ones that say “Fine Dining”.  They should also say you will pay and the food might be good. Plus I don’t have a sport coat.  We really like seafood like shrimp, scallops and blue crabs boiled with Old Bay Seasoning.  Although we eat Mexican, I don’t like eating anything I can’t pronounce. My tongue don’t twist that way and I’ve tried. Taco is just about it.  Beans & rice, there are two things that are hard to mess up. Too each to our own…..

We still go to a few of the big chain food places like Mickey D’s, and Carol’s favorite breakfast place which is Cracker Barrel.  I love that Popeye’s Chicken. While traveling we prefer to stay at Cracker Barrel overnight than Walmart by a long shot.  They are quieter for one and breakfast in the morning.  They have maps that tells us which ones are RV friendly.

So, food and friends do go together great!

See ya……..

Friday, April 20, 2012

Your RV – Change It!

Every RV we have had we have made changes to the interior. Some were more extensive than others.  Since full timing when we make a change it’s because it’s our home.  We made major changes to the living room of this Beast within a couple of months (3 weeks really) of buying it. Now we are making just little changes.  I guess it’s called fine tuning. We made some chair changes. Carol moved her rocker into the mobile in Livingston and got my chair.  It’s a pretty comfortable chair from the mobile. The rollers come off when we start moving often. Yes these are old pictures because Brandy the dog is in them.  She is no longer with us as is Patches the cat.SDC11919

I brought our euro chair out of the mobile that was originally in the Phaeton. The dining table in the corner comes completely out when needed plus it has a leaf in it. My computer and printer are in the cabinet/drawer’s next to the chair.SDC11918

Then the cat have these two spots on the couch among many others………..  SDC11920

like on top the chairs or on the dash. Basically where she wants to sleep. The covers on the chairs are to keep down the tear marks even though the cat is declawed (front paws).SDC11921

When we were just RVing on weekends and vacations we never changed around any RV.  We usually just added batteries. Now that we live in it we change things around like many full timers do.  Again, it’s our home.  A lot of people learn that they can renovate any RV to their liking.  You are only limited by your bank account and carrying capacity.

Like most “senior” full time RVers, I got a lot of  “stuff” in my head about RVing.  All I had to do is turn on the light. Some of my readers are not full timers yet so I go off on different subjects to give my/our experience to help them decide. Some readers are just curious. Some readers know I have a thing about finding “not so great situations”. I try to look at things outside the box.  Who said it was a box anyhow?  How about a circle. I’m not a writer like Nick Russell in his blog much less his writing of books.  I try to get my stories across even though I have to use the Queen’s English. 

So, I guess what I’ve said in an around about way is that I will blog what ever pops up in my head.  It could be scary……! I will try to keep it RVing related.  I think I normally do.

See ya……………..

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Full Timing - Medical & Relatives

When we started full timing in June 2000 we were in pretty good physical condition.  We just had annual check ups and I continued a few meds.  We are lucky in that we have full coverage at minimal cost.  Although I’m retired military we are still in a group medical plan and have to pay.  Carol or even I can not go on a military base for medical reasons.  Those type of benefits went away many many years ago. If it’s an emergency we go to a nearby emergency room (duh) and it’s paid for.  If we need a regular Dr appointment out of Texas we have to get permission, etc.

If you are thinking about full timing then medical is one area you need to check real good.  There is no perfect plan out there that fits all.  There are just too many variables.

Full timing and relatives. This is a subject that comes up a lot. More the relatives the more obligations you can get yourself into. Some full timers only go to those “real” special occasions and others try to make everything. Then it becomes a little hectic at times trying to go to every birthday and graduation. The only thing we have etched in stone on or schedule is to attend our daughter’s graduation this September in California. If she changes her mind for what ever the reason and doesn’t go to her formal graduation, we  are OK with that. It’s all up to her. We always have a Plan B & even a C. For her it will be a logistical & money thing if she can’t attend it. She completes in May and moves to the east coast. Then would have to return to CA in September. As time gets closer she will know and then we can adjust accordingly. We will support her in her decision.  We are proud of her.

Carol is on the down hill side of having bronchitis the last 10 days or so.  It was pretty rough for her.  I now have a sore throat so she might have given it to me.

Back in Nov/Dec & early Jan I had blood tests that weren’t so hot.  The Doc’s agreed to wait 90 days to see if the tests changed after I stopped taking some meds.  We came back in April and did the tests again.  The results were not so hot.  Result was surgery where my gall bladder was removed.  That was about 2 weeks ago.  Earlier this week I had additional blood tests.  So today was a double Dr day to see what’s up now. The results were…………I’m no longer pregnant.  I lost 20 lbs. mostly in my belly.  I can now look down and see my toes and “other things”.  Not a bad view.  It’s been awhile.

The bottom line is ………..I’m almost normal.  They said everything was looking a lot better and we could go out and play some more.  They will take a close look at my next tests in Nov but for now – exercise & weight loss of an additional 15 lbs. on top of the 20 that I have lost is what I agreed with them.

Two weeks and we are out of here.  Why wait?  We have stuff we want to do and not be rushed.  The solar panels got to come off the roof and stored in the belly of the Beast.  That will take some special packing. Plus we are waiting for paperwork on the new truck.  Then we can get it tagged for Texas.  We might even take some stuff out of the Beast and leave here.

I also want to do some cooking.  Let’s see…probably a smoked hickory ham and a smoked mesquite pork butt at least.  Then freeze it and we will have some flavored meals down the road.


So it is time to say

See ya…………………

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RVing Hit List

I always have a hit list of “things to do”.  This way I don’t have to remember nutin.  I don’t keep track of bills or money normally.  Carol does that.  My list is things that I have to get done – sometime in the future.  I give everything a number but not in sequence.  I might have several number ones which means these are things that I would like to get done before other things.  I tried to give things “to do” a single number in sequence and that didn’t work for me.  Groups are good for me.  I have six groups.  At present I have nutin in group one or two.  In group six I have get the RV state inspected.  As we leave here I have a place I will stop at and if they can inspect it great.  If not, oh well, I erase it off my list and go on down the road.  Hope I didn’t confuse you too much.

This morning (Thur) it was 56 degrees when I got up at 4 A.M.  It’s been in the high 60’s the last few weeks in the mornings.  The days have been in the 80’s with moderate to high humidity.  That means not much hard work after 11 or so.

So this morning was wash the truck and the car.  This was the first time the truck was washed since we got it.  They both were just a little dirty so it was pretty easy to wash and dry.  I got to dry them because of the hard water here.

Then the rest of the day off and on was to to fix the mud flaps.  The one behind the tires and the big rear one needed to be worked on.  Here you can see where I put two pieces of metal to stop the tearing.  I had to do both the left and right side.DSC_0003

Next I took down the rear mud flap and took a rubber hammer to the the back of it.  The frame was a little bent and I needed to take out a little aggression.  It worked out pretty good.  Then I sprayed it with Aerospace 303.  Next I will use a cleaner wax for the chrome and reinstall another day.  I think I will raise it up one inch.  It’s better to have these things up high than down low.  When they are low they will actually kick up gravel on your tow behind car. DSC_0004

My little cactus had a bloom today.DSC_0001


The little green man still has his cowboy boots on from Gillette. DSC_0002

See ya…………………..

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hitch Itch BAD !

Man O Man,  I read blogs about friends at the SKP west coast rally.  I read about our friends at the SKP east coast rally.  I read about our friends the Geeks and their rally in FL and all happening right about now.  Here we are waiting for Dr BS in Livingston.  Being a full timer and waiting for Dr appointments is not all that unusual and it’s becoming a little too much like normal.  I might have to start eating healthy,  exercising and losing weight like a lot of people are suppose too.   Oh no!!!!!!!

I’m ready to rock & roll, cook up some food, do a little partying, go ATVing, do something rather than setting here.  This is OK but I rather be doing other things.  I got the rest of 2012 mapped out with a plan A, B and even a C plan.  It all depends on what might or might not happen.  I got 2013 mapped out with just a plan A.  I am also tuning our 2014 schedule.  That’s when we go back to Alaska.  I got us going up the west coast beforehand then crossing over the border.  We have 6 RV’s (I count RV’s rather than people) that have definitely said they are going.  Doing this planning for Alaska reminds me of the Blues Brothers movie.  They were getting the old band back together.  Well, I’m getting the old Lossey Goosey Gang back together and have added new members.  We all understand that reality might change things that are not within our control. So be it.  It’s nice to be able to plan and I really enjoy planning for an event.

Back to reality.  Today I want to wash the truck for the first time since buying it. Key word is want.  It’s been raining a lot the last of couple of days and should be past us by now.  The truck hasn’t been driven in the rain yet but has set in it and under trees for sure.  I need to get one coat of McQuire’s wax on it in the next couple of weeks.  I need to wash the RV too. 

I’m trying to rejuvenate my old  water softener.  I put the required salt substitute (what it uses) in it and ran it.  Now I need to find some hard water test strips to test it.  It it works – great.  If it don’t, then I have to decide if I want to mess with getting and putting a new special resin in it or buy a new one.  We used it for several years then it became too big and bulking to carry.  Now I have room again and the extra weight is fine.  It’s nice washing vehicles with it and not have any hard water spots especially on the windows.

By the end of the day I hadn’t wash the truck.  I bought some test strips to test the water softener.  I tested it and it isn’t working like me either.  Oh well, I gave it a try.

See ya.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Berries & Pork

The other day Carol & I took the Razor out for a ride and we came across some wild blackberries. DSC_0006-001 Nothing like picking warm berries and eating them. DSC_0002-001 DSC_0003-001 DSC_0004-001


We have had this for a long time so it was time to cook it.  I cooked it on the Weber.DSC_0017

I started off with rubbing the pork with mustard.  Then I used some Pappy’s Seasonings.DSC_0001-001DSC_0008-001

And I used a temp probe.  We went and picked the berries and we got back it was done. 

Monday we went to Conroe for my blood test.  We left about 5:45 AM and go their at 7 AM.  This was a brand new facility we went to.  So new that we were their first clients.  They didn’t open until 7:30 so we even beat the staff.  When they arrived they turned on the lights for us.  This was a big 4 story building and it was brand spanking new.  We were told later that a moving company came in over the weekend and moved all the medical equipment from their previous location.  Anyhow, my blood test began at 7:45 and ended at 9 :45.  All done.  I will know the results come Thursday during my two Dr appointments.

Bernie & Carole came over for diner.  We had the pork that I had fixed and it turned out just OK.  Their waiting for the weather to clear up before heading up to Missouri.  It’s been very bad weather up north the last few days.DSC_0001 

We got to bore them with over 2,000 pictures of Alaska.  It will be awhile before they are back.  smile…

Oh, got the taxes done Sunday.  Glad that crap is over. I really hate doing them.  Should be easier next year with no business to do.  One year I did them early which was about a week ahead of the dead line.

See ya………….

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Full Timing & Looking Good

Damn did it rain a lot and heavy last night (Sunday).

I spent a lot of time on cleaning this baby up real good the last couple of days.  Over the years we have had several “toys” and enjoyed keeping them clean and ready.  We as full timers and like a lot of full timers we like our toys.  DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 DSC_0004

Toys come and go for us (me mainly).  Hey, time is getting short so why not try something you see and might like if you can afford it.  Yes they usually cost.  We didn’t want to spend the money for a new Razor so we bought a used one.  Another time it was bicycles.  We went with the big ones and that didn’t work.  Then we bought a folding one on super sale and and then a used fold up.  They worked great for awhile.  We might get back into them.  Here they are. With a little prep they are ready to roll.DSC_0006

The RV or truck are toys in their own right.  Some people go bananas keeping them shiny.  Some keep their wheels extra shiny.

I’ve always liked barbeques/smokers especially since full timing.  I have a few.  I have carried all of these at one time or another.  One and even two at a time.DSC_0009 DSC_0010

Everything to the left is a commercial type grill that has to be put together.DSC_0011

The one I use and carry now.DSC_0012

Really like my Bradley Smoker.DSC_0013

Burnt this one up.DSC_0014

I’m, too lazy to uncover this Coleman which is very portable.DSC_0015

I think that is 10 but only 9 are usable.

By the time you read this Monday AM I will be starving for a variety of blood tests.  I think I’m a quart low.  Some people say I have always been a quart low.  One test will be for sugar diabetes.  I won’t get any results until Friday when I see two different docs’. I think everything is gonna be OK and we can get back on the road. 

Starting to get hitch itch like most full timers get after setting.  This amount of time of setting for full timers varies of course.  We use to be about 4-6 days.  We are around the 3-4 weeks now, mainly me.  That depends where we are setting and what we are doing too. The cost of fuel has very little impact on where and we want to do.  Alaska might be the exception to that.

See ya……………..

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Towing Accessories/Roof/Alaska Note

ALASKA  NOTE for those that are going this year:  Camping world carries a Transport Film (clear) to cover the front of your RV/car/truck or what ever.  We used it(other brand) in 2012 and it worked pretty good.  Plus it keeps the bugs off too for just regular buggy areas.  I saw it Camping World’s catalog and it’s pretty cheap too. Our trip for 2014 now has 6 RV’s going.  In 2012 we had 10 or so going a month before the departure and 6 went.

Did you know in California a motorhome is classified as a House Car and when you tow a vehicle behind it, it is classified a trailer?  So when you see those speed limit signs that say cars towing a trailer speed limit is 55 MPH that means a motorhome towing a car. Yepper!  Absolutely positive.  That also includes fifth wheels and straight trailers too for the 55 MPH.

I have a collection of towing stuff.  Remember my Mom was a full timer also so I have some of her old stuff too. DSC_0009

Each time we come back to Livingston I go thru it and pick out what parts I will use again.

It’s hard for me to throw out “stuff”.  This chord is shot but still works.  DSC_0010

The connectors are why I still have it.  Sometime in the future I will take the connectors off and thru the chord away.  I have the chord now that I use plus a new one I have never used.  I might exchange them out this time.  I haven’t decided yet.  Pull pins come in different shapes with different size safety pins I have learned.   I carry an extra set of pull pins & safety pins.  I carry an extra pull plug for the break away switch and and extra pull plug and wire for it also.  Hey, they just seem to accumulate.  I use to use Blue Ox tow bars but switched over two years ago to Demco. I was pissed at Blue Ox at the time I needed another tow bar so I went to Demco.  I got one of their new model tow bars (Dominator) and after they replaced it twice it has become a very good tow bar.  It has some  do dads on it than the Blue Ox doesn’t.  Plus the color matches the Beast…..that wasn’t planned.DSC_0002


I also use a heavier safety chain connectors due to the truck and razor weighing about 6,300+ lbs.

Prepping the roof for replacement. I have to remove everything on the roof that is not factory installed.  The Datastorm dish is gone but the rails had to be removed and holes filled today. The solar panels are for another day.  I got three weeks.DSC_0018 

This gives you an idea of our small two story barn in the background. DSC_0020

I never thanked the Olson’s for the steering wheel cover.  Thank you…..DSC_0021

Hey, not everyone has an orange steering wheel cover.

Sunday morning I weighed 201 lbs.  That’s down 20+ lbs from my weighing in at the hospital 9 days ago.  I want to see if this weight reduction is going to effect my in depth blood tests Monday.