Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cannon Ball Express Wake Up

The geese are ready.DSC_0007

The men are ready…DSC_0008

A Boom it was.  Men and their toys in the historic state of Virginia DSC_0011


We spent Saturday finding Flea Markets.DSC_0017

DSC_0018  DSC_0020


Now they were serious about this…….DSC_0015

This chair was made for those guys that didn’t want to be tied down………………


This is part of Carol’s side of the family or at least 3 of the four.  The girl on the right isn’t.SDC10543


See ya……………

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eating, Kayaking & Playing – oh what a life!

We’re camping so we eat outdoors and kinda healthy.SDC10513

It disappears quick!SDC10518

Trying it on for size.SDC10515

We went out for 5 hours.  We went up river against the slow moving water.  About 3 up and 2 back with the flow.  We had to get out of our floating devices 3-4 times because the rapids were too shallow. You have to do it – no choice.  No big deal after a while. SDC10522

Here’s Dad almost tipping the canoe over but didn’t.SDC10525

the water was about 6 inches to a foot most of the time.  The small rapids we encountered both coming and going were not that difficult at all.  The water was nice and cool and it wasn’t screaming hot out either.  Just right….SDC10526 SDC10528


Then came some more play time.  Hey, when was the last time you had a good old fashion water fight.  Of course I was the only so called adult.  I even got a Gatorade thrown on me.  We had a blast and ended up laughing a lot.SDC10531



I took three showers this day.  It was another fun day in paradise…..

Tomorrow we go to the flea markets and then will try another kayaking adventure.

See ya………

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Broke - Kinda

How are you kinda broke you ask.  It’s called waiting for approval then waiting for parts.  Today I was told that the EGR part would be under warranty and that it couldn’t be done until Monday.  So here come the jello plans that were setting up to get hard especially with the three reservations we had.  Oh well, we will cancel and make some more jello plans.  Not sure other than we will head west.

The Silverleaf engine monitoring product ($400) would not load into my computer.  Another “thing” to be worked out.

Well, we’re off to Front Royal, VA today for the weekend.  This was going to be our last outing with Carol’s brothers and then we leave for a year from there.  Now we just turn around and go back to Baltimore to get the Farton worked on.  We didn’t want to change all of our reservations for this weekend, etc.  So, let’s go kayaking……

Front Royal is a nice little town, nothing special other than it calls itself the Canoe Capital.  I guess because of the three rivers in the immediate area.  Skyline Drive is right here also.  From Baltimore it’s about a 100 miles west to the Cost to Coast Park – North Fork Resort.  50AMP FHU $10 bucks.  It sets right on the North Fork Shenandoah River.


Carol’s last bro and his young son pulled in about 8:30 PM.  Hey, the working people got to do that.SDC10500

Here’s a rare picture with Carol and her two bros.  She has two more bros out and about – one more in Maryland and the oldest in Texas.


See ya…………..

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time To Service The RV

Baltimore Freightliner is where we get our RV serviced.  Why – Carol’s bro is a Tech/Mechanic there but more important he’s a damn good mechanic. I spent six  hours there today.  Well, the EGR valve is bad and it’s not covered under warranty bottom line.  The part is $600.  I go back tomorrow to get a regeneration done on the emission system (warranty)and talk more about this EGR thing.    It’s the probable cause of my decrease in power and fuel mileage.  Friggin Farton.



I guess you could say it’s a little tight.SDC10498

I got the SilverLeaf program/plugs today via UPS.  Denny Orr has one and speaks very highly of it.  It’s a program that plugs into a dataport under the dash like the techs do.  It basically tells just about everything about the engine via your computer.  Well, the computer the cat jumped on and broke back in November – I fixed it. It’s basically empty so it will be perfect.  Now I have to do is install it.  That might take some time the way I’m with computers as some of you know first hand.

See Ya…………….

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shiny Rig & Po Po

This morning about 7AM I washing the Farton.  It wasn’t that dirty but I don’t see an opportunity to wash it again anytime soon. I use Meguiers products when it comes to washing and waxing.  I waxed this thing in April.  I had one paint expert tell me that all wax jobs only last 4-6 weeks in hot weather.  I’m starting to believe that.  Tiffin has worked on this paint job twice.  What I have learned is that they compounded and then used a filler wax.  It looks real good until the wax disappears.  I waxed this in April and the swirls are already back.  They will be really back by the time “Bob Tifffin” sees it in Oct at the Pomona RV Show.  He said that he would look at it “again”.  Now he tells me swirls are normal.  Two years ago I was told I was crazy and that this rig had swirls because I did something to the paint and I was the only one with the problem.  Two years have past and now they (Tiffin) say it is normal.  I say “bull po”. If customers accept wrongs long enough it does become normal but not correct.

After I washed the rig (& car) I wiped it down.  The water spots weren’t too bad but it really looks good without any.  Wheels – they are pretty shiny but need a machine cleaning.  I was done in a couple of hours.  Then there was a boo boo.  This time I put the slides in before I washed the rig.  I wanted to get above the slide outs, etc.  Well, our little doggie did a poo poo and I brought the slide in and over it.  I didn’t know it until I put the slide out.  Of course it’s the only place we have carpet – the bedroom.  Would anybody like a little hairy doggie.  This is her second accident in several months but………… 

Washing your RV while full timing is something that you have to be on top of.  Some campgrounds have been going thru a phase the last several years it seems.  First it was free, then $5 or even $10 to wash and now it seems to be more of no washing at all.  I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for this trend.  Bottom line it’s something I do when ever I get a chance.  If you have your RV washed like at Blue Beacon ($36) make sure they also dry it ($15).  The soap they use is very strong and it leaves bad streaks when it dries on paint or stripes.  It’s common for me to wipe down the rig with a bucket and several rags when I can’t wash it normally.  I try to wash the front end due to the bugs every time we stop overnight.  The bug do do eats paint and paint coverings like Diamond Shield.  I have to take more care of the Diamond Shield than I would if it was just paint in the front.  No more Diamond Shields – too much EXTRA care than the paint itself.

Oh, back track, I have the Datastorm internet dish up and running automatically now.  Steve O’Bosky sent me a part to use while he reprograms my part that I sent back to him yesterday.  I did the swap out and then called him and he lead me thru the initialization stage.  Works fine.  Thanks Steve.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Our plans were to go to Michigan and meet Sharon & Don and do some kayaking.  Don the Navy guy fell off a ladder and broke “stuff”.  So they now have new plans based on his recovery.  Our plans have gone from being firm back to jello and now back to firm.  We will continue with our plans to go to Michigan and do some kayaking.  We just won’t have the expertise of a Navy man.  There goes the taxi service of the Navy.  Don – get better quick so you can taxi this Marine around.  Susie - I can fix that wrist with a little bit of duck tape and epoxy glue. 

We will have about three weeks to mess around and kayak some of those big lakes that they have up there in MI.  The route will be in jello with only one reservation so far.  We will make more once we get to Munising, MI.  We’re scheduled for 7 days and will decide when we get there if we should move sooner.  We don’t stay too long where we don’t particularly like the area, campground, people or weather.

We will be doing several seminars at Nick’s rally next month.  How about one on Alaska, two on driving – duh, maybe one on kayaking for beginners.  I think that is it without looking at my notes.  I plan on taking hundreds of pictures while there to share.  Nick’s blog is  His blog is not bad for a rookie – just kidding Nick… I'm the rookie for sure.  I was talking to Butch, a friend of at least several decades, about Alaska last night.  He came over and we fixed most of the world problems.  All it took was several beers.  Back to Alaska – as you have heard before we have jello plans to go in 2011 again.  Wednesday the Farton goes to Baltimore Freightliner for a M3 service (heavy duty).  This will hold us over till we get back from Alaska service wise.  Our 6 house batteries are real good as our the tires, etc.  A lot can happen between now and then but there is nothing wrong with having jello plans and adjust accordingly.  You have to be like that in this life style or you would drive yourself crazy not being in control.  Being in control and doing what you want to do is nice but not always the case.  Hey, poo happens a lot – adjust accordingly – it will get better most of the time – I have been told that so it must be true.

Well, guess I will go wash the rig before the sun hits it.  Have some jello on me……

See ya………..

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Flea Market & Double T

We got up early to go to this little flea market about 20 miles away.  We skipped breakfast beforehand due to the temps.SDC10493

I saw this car in the parking lot.  This person had everything you would ever want at your finger tips while driving.  The rest of the car was the same.SDC10492

It took about a 1/2 hour to walk around.  Good ole flea market for the person wanting to find used stuff.  Not items that are new and someone trying to run a business.  This was just a good old fashion flea market where Joe the plumber brings his “stuff”. The produce was from the sellers gardens too.  We got a yellow (inside) watermelon.  It was sweet and plenty of seeds.SDC10494


After that we went to the Double T Diner for our late breakfast.  They should call it Double The Price.  The first diner was around Baltimore about the early sixties.  It’s where we would go when everything else closed after a night of partying.  Now there are 6 or so of them and they have gotten all fancy and prices to match.  We picked from the seniors menu and it made the price more manageable. “The food was sufficient in quantity and quality.”  This was a standard phrase I used to write in the duty officer log books during my duty days in the USMC.  Wow, I just realized the Marine corps taught me to be a food critic before I got old.  They also taught me to properly fall off things like ladders.  I guess the Navy didn’t do that, right Don?  Don fell off his ladder the other day and broke his wrist and ankle.  I bet he looks funnier when he walks.  He’s doing OK and Sharon will keep me posted with his condition.  He’s in ICU pending operations.  Their trying to find a Marine Dr to work on him., just kidding, smile Don.  He’s probably smiling at the wall with the meds he’s on.SDC10495

Don, we all wish you a speedy recovery…we will be coming by to see you and give you instructions on the proper use of a ladder.

Later that day a weather front came through.  Whoa is what I say.  According to the hippy dippy weatherman it moved in doing 55 MPH with gusts to 70 MPH.  I don’t know about the MPH but boy did it move through fast along with heavy rains.  My temps here went from 96 degrees to 77 degrees in under 15 minutes.  It was nice the rest of the evening.

See Ya………….

Saturday, July 24, 2010

9 PM and 90 Degrees

Here’s our son getting ready to go to work Friday night.  He works the night shift and wakes up when he gets there. He resembles me or Carol…….SDC10480


We had 100 miles to go today up to Carol’s bro place up near Baltimore.  That’s north on I-95 around DC.  The best time to drive this is maybe Christmas morning about 5 AM.  We had no trouble although traffic was heavy at times especially south bound. SDC10482


We get to Baltimore and settle in to our place next to the garage which is great.SDC10488

Then one of Carol’s other brother’s come over with his canoe that was retired about 15 years ago.  He’s going to patch it up and plans to use it next weekend.  He hasn’t figured out how to haul it and his 30 foot 5th wheel yet.SDC10485


Now here I am working.  Carol’s other brother is helping me fix our awning.  I’m the one holding the ladder.  I’m even using my left foot and hand at the same time. Speaking of ladders – Don Del Rosario (Sharon’s Don) fell off a ladder yesterday and broke his ankle and wrist.  I think Don the Navy guy didn’t want to kayak in the same water with a Marine – me. Him being Navy I would want a taxi ride.   When I fall off ladders I try to land on my head so I don’t break anything. They don’t call us “jarheads” for nothing.SDC10490

It was 90 degrees at 9 PM.  It’s now 6AM and it’s 82 degrees.  Another scorcher for sure.

See Ya………………..

Friday, July 23, 2010

114 is hot so deal with it!

OK it’s HOT!  85 degrees inside the rig.  114 heat index! We turned the generator on and ran both AC’s to cool down.  Tomorrow 102 degrees actual temperature  but we will have 50 AMP at Carol’s bro place.  We moved a couple of sites down this morning here at this park.  We knew when we checked in we would have to move because a member wanted our spot – OK as long as I know ahead of time – no big deal.

The animals know where to keep cool – on the tile floor.   The tile floor has never gotten hot.  SDC10465

They don’t move.  They have taught us to walk around them.SDC10466

Carol says she saw one.  Carol was on meds too!SDC10476


Here’s our house that we left 10 years ago as of last month.  The RV site was next to the garage.  We lived here for of 7 years.  I spent my last 2 years in the Marine Corps stationed at Quantico which is up Interstate 95 about 30 miles.  SDC10473

Tomorrow we move to “ballmor” (Baltimore) for a few days.  Steve Obosky sent me a datastorm part that I will exchange out with mine that needs reprogramming.  Steve has been great over the years with my inability to “work” the datastorm.  If you  need a new one or used one – He’s the “man” to go out of your way to see.  We had the internet datastorm even in Alaska and it worked great.  We have jello plans to go again next year.  Want to go?

See ya……….

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Water Water Pressure

Well (pun intended as you will see), not much water pressure inside the rig.  First I disconnected my three large filters in the water compartment.  No difference.  The fourth filter, on the right - factory, turned out to be the problem.  I took the filter out of the filter casing and the pressure rose inside the rig.  I put a new sediment filter in the factory filter casing and the pressure remained good.  I did not hook up the extra three.  I will wait tell I get back to Carol’s bro’s place this weekend.  They were all 3 months old.  I think we picked up some dirty water at TTN Va Landing.  Carol checks the quality of our water where there is any doubt. She has one of those testers and it works pretty good – it seems.

I usually have two sediment, one charcoal and one charcoal block filters.  Carol likes her water.  Maryland and Virginia have good water where we go.DSC_0027


This was suppose to be a damn good water gauge (glycerin filled) and adjustable regulator.  Key word is suppose to be.  This is the second one.  The first one went bad and I got it replaced by the seller.  The seller was the water filter guy at the big Flea Market in Yuma.   Now this gauge is reading about 6 lbs off again.  It doesn’t return to zero when disconnected. Junk…… I will probably get an additional gauge from Lowes and install on this so I can adjust the flow correctly.DSC_0026

I went to Lowe’s and made this water gauge ($26) and put it together just to test the expensive one.  How do you like the pink pipe tape? It read 50 lbs while the expensive one read 57 lbs.  Only 25 feet of hose separated the two.  I trust my gauge that I built.DSC_0025

So, that’s the number of that.

It got to 91 degrees today.  THAT was in our rig, no joking.  We decided to cook dinner in the convection oven.  AND we have to turn off the only AC we can run on 30 AMPS.  Wellllllllllllll let me tell you it got friggin hot about dinner time.  We turned on the generator for about 30 minutes and cooled the inside down below 80 degrees.  I don’t think we will cook in hot weather again with only 30 AMPS. … It’s amazing we didn’t learn this before now.  That means we will forget again and will probably due it again and then say “Oh yea”.

See Ya   …Dennis

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breakfast By Mom

Today I went and picked up Kraig, our son, and brought him back to our rig.  He wanted Mom’s breakfast.  He’s doing pretty good after his heart attack of several weeks ago. He thanks everyone for all of the thoughts of him at a very hard time and we do too!

It rained.

Skipped lunch.

Then for dinner I cooked some really nice tender T-bones out on the grill and he really liked that.

Then we took him back to his place..

End of day

Tomorrow read about my adventure with water – inbound……

See Ya………..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting Ready and OOOOps.

We have 75 miles to do today.  The park we are going back to is the Coast 2 Coast Wilderness near Fredericksburg, VA. While getting ready we put in the awning at least we started to  - wham on the side of the coach.  The awning roller came loose from the arm while starting to come in.  No wind present or past – it just broke.  You can see how excited Carol was.DSC_0003


It took us about a half hour to get it rolled up but not operational.DSC_0001

Cheap pot metal couldn’t stand the stress of being a  off center.  DSC_0002 

Why is it off center you ask.  Last year Tiffin worked on it because I complained that the front arm wasn’t aligned properly.  So after they finished the front one was aligned but the rear one looked like this and still does.  I think Carol’s bro and myself will fix it this time. DSC_0006 Poor workmanship again by Tiffin and using poor quality parts.  True not all Tiffin’s fault but if properly installed this would not happened on a two year awning for no cause other than rolling up crooked all the time.  I wasn’t going to wine about this but last week the fresh water drain handle broke off – cheap plastic connection exposed to the weather – duh….surprised it lasted this long.

The check in person here at the Wilderness Park has been the best we ever had in the 10 years coming here.  We even got a pretty good site but only 30 AMP.  The one little snag with this park is that check out is 10AM and check in is 2PM and they are pretty firm with that. They haven’t learned to spell RV yet but our check in girl got the first letter right. DSC_0004

On the bright side our black water tank level gauge hasn’t worked in about a year and half but is now.  I’ve tried everything and have been over all kinds of roads – no luck.  But today, I used about a 1/4 cup of Walmart concentrate laundry detergent and put in about 30 gallons of water.  It worked.  Hey I think they call that persistent or is it being obsessive.  Glad I didn’t ask Tiffin to fix it.  I’m sure they would have attempted. Oh, we are going back to Tiffin to get our driver and passenger chairs recovered, leak in slide out fixed and driver window replaced.  I’m going to be like a fly on poo watching them this time more than ever.  Poke us – we are really done………….

We took our son out to dinner to Arby’s.  That’s where he wanted to go so that’s where we took him.  Then he wanted to go bowling so we went bowling.  He beat Carol and I the first game, then Carol beat everyone the second and of course I won the last game.  We dropped him at his place and returned back to the Farton.

All is well….  see ya….

Monday, July 19, 2010

18% GRADE or Ding Bats

Two unbelievable “things”


This would make any driver pucker……………….and it’s in the mountains…….near Baltimore on a back road. Think about it.  Have you been on anything steeper and survived?  Hey Pennsylvania, Maryland has some mountains too!SDC10301


SECOND…..Ding bats.  This is really so unique. Here’s the park.DSC_0001


Real nice campground water & electric with nearby views in the park.DSC_0004

They even provide wagons for tenters.  I have never seen this.  DSC_0011

This was the Shenandoah River that we kayaked on the other day.DSC_0005 DSC_0006 

This is where we went into the main part of the river. DSC_0020

We launched from here in about two feet of water.DSC_0021

Oh yea the bats………… People have walked by and didn’t even notice the bats.  Others like us, where very surprised. Their in the left display case.DSC_0024

These are live bats that take refuge in this State Park information display case.  The white portion is a picture of bats in the case with them.  DSC_0012 

I lightly pressed on the plastic cover and they moved around.  There must be a hole up top for them to get in or out.   They were really not that bad looking – kinda cute.DSC_0013 


Pretty neat…………

See ya…………