Friday, December 31, 2010

Late Start?/Happy New Year

Last day of the year and a late start at 9AM, no not really.  If you have no planned time of departure then it can’t be late when you leave no mater what time it is. That’s a fact Jack!

I was going to stop in Eloy and fill up the fuel tank.  You know what?  I got a little less than 3/4 tank and we might not need fuel again in this coach.  That’s all I’m going to stay. 

Time to give the coach a special treatment.  Wash & Dry for $55 at the Blue Beacon…looking good.DSC_0011

We arrived at Denny'’s & Susie’s and had a real nice dinner soon there after.  Then the people stated to arrive.  DSC_0012   DSC_0018 DSC_0021 DSC_0022

Then we walked down the road to the Pelly’s where the New Year’s Party was happening. The pictures do the talking from here.

DSC_0024 DSC_0027 DSC_0028 DSC_0029 DSC_0034 DSC_0036 SDC11173 SDC11176

People started leaving around 9:30 PM.  We left a little after 11PM.  I guess it was more important seeing friends than bringing in a New Year.

It got down to 22 degrees last night.  That’s cold.

See ya…………..

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And The Adventure Continues

We left about 7:15 AM in the rain and wind to get to La Mesa RV here in Tucson to get our tank repaired.  We arrived and got into a bay with half the coach sticking out due to working on the water tank.  The tech was taking off the outside body panel and it just about fell off the coach. Tiffin didn’t screw the panel to anything.  He filled the water tank up and there was the leak at the overflow connection.  It wasn’t screwed into the tank properly and appeared to have stripped the threads in the tank.  If bad, the tank would have to be replaced.  He had a very hard time getting to the overflow connection and turning the fitting but with some ingenuity and experience he got to it.  He cut it out.  Tiffin workers had done some thread damage but it was repairable.   DSC_0001

He replaced the connection (properly) and added a flex pipe to keep the stress off the connection.  The piping on the right is Tiffin’s work.DSC_0003

This guy (Donny) is a master tech with over 25 years experience.  He wanted it done the right way this time.  He then readjusted the outside panel and installed it correctly.  You could see the disgust on his face from the work that the Tiffin workers did.  I would trust this guy to do repair work on my rig again no matter the brand.  That’s rare for me to find.

3PM today at it’s 42 degrees.  It could get down to 22 degrees tonight.  I wrapped the water pipes in our water compartment. I might even turn on the propane tonight.

Can you see the snow on the mountains across the way? That was from last night.DSC_0004

Last night (Thur) it only got down to 30 degrees.  That don’t sound right to an RVer “only 30 degrees.”

We leave Friday for Congress, AZ and meet up with Denny/Susie and Don/Sharon there.

See Ya………….

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

77 Miles today – WOW!

Here’s the Ft Willcox RV Park.  Nothing fancy but OK for sure.DSC_0001

Sun rise….DSC_0002 DSC_0004

Hey, what can I say.  When we have to put down miles we like the first day to be the hard day (500-650 miles), the second day a medium day (300-400 miles)and the last day a very easy day (200 miles or less).  This usually gets us about 1100 or so miles in a few days.  Again, this is when we have to because we sat at our last place longer for what ever the reason.  Normally we like to travel about 200-300 miles a day is OK.  We enjoy the sights/memories that we have seen a lot more than once.

Today was about 75 miles to the Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson. When we left Willcox we went up the road to Benson and stopped at one our favorite breakfast chain restaurants – Denny’s.  DSC_0017

We parked along the road across the street.  there was a dirt lot nearby also.  I had the two buck biscuit/gravy and hash browns. Coffee was $1.85.  Carol had her waffle/strawberry, etc.  $14 bucks plus tip ($2) out the door.  Cracker Barrel I think we go out the door for about $10 (plus tip) and get more food.  We order for one and share the monster breakfast.

It’s a RV is the only thing I can about this.  Who, what, don’t know and we missed the tag.  DSC_0008

Just going down the road…DSC_0012

Not many clouds but that changed later.DSC_0013

The storm is coming…DSC_0007

Davis Monthan Campground.  $17 FHU 50 AMP and can stay 21 days if you so desire.  Later today the weather changed.  Windy as hell.  We must be near Yuma. Then some rain.DSC_0018

We went to La Mesa RV to check it out.  No problem getting there or pulling in for tomorrow.  We talked to a salesman and the the manger just funning around. They’re slow and they didn’t have anything we wanted.  As we were walking out a couple stopped us.  Hey, aren’t you the driving school?  The guy pulled a pin out of his pocket that said RV Driving School Alumni.  Now the La Mesa people saw this and knew we had something going on.  Their curiosity was fixed when they came over and joined the conversation.  The couple had just purchased a Mobile Suites from them.  Anyhow, it was a nice meeting and we invited them to our get together in Quartzsite.

That night the wind was really howling.

See Ya………

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Texas, New Mexico & Arizona


And 435 miles and we are in Willcox, AZ.  Yes it is spelt Willcox – two L’s. 

Going down the road you can see where two of the three animals are. DSC_0041  We’re at another Passport America – not to bad.  $18 bucks for FHU, 50 AMP, cable TV & internet. Plus, a free waffle breakfast starting at 7AM.  This is at Fort Willcox campground.

I forgot to tell the rest of the water tank saga yesterday.  We are going thru Texas which gives everybody time to think for sure being so big.  Anyhow, we gave Sharon & Don a call. They get their Tiffin serviced at La Mesa in Tucson. They gave us a good report on them and their tele number.  I called them and their first opening was Thursday morning so we took it.  Tomorrow (Wed) we will try and get a spot at the Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson.  It’s a first come first serve thing.  I called them and they are expecting 8 departures. It’s getting colder and colder each night.  The next few nights in AZ are gonna be damn cold.  Where’s the warm weather?  Anybody got first hand info on the Aqua Hot System dry camping, going down the road and general usage?  If so, email me at please.

Our datastorm is working here.  Last night it wasn’t and it said something about it couldn’t range in.  Steve Oboksy our duty expert said it was a Hughs problem and not an equipment thing.  Hey it’s working now………..

It’s great being back on the road…….

See ya…….

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday late report & getting better!?

We did not have internet Monday night so this was prepared Tuesday evening…for Monday..


We got to the repair place at 7AM Monday.  A little after 9PM we found out they are closed all of this week for the holidays.  I called the guy from Tiffin. He wanted me to turn around and go to Houston.  Nope it ain’t happening.  I said what about Phoenix.  He gave me two repair shops but didn’t have numbers.  He also said if going down the road I see some place I like, go ahead and have it repaired and give them his number. 

So we are off to Phoenix to arrive before Friday due to New Year’s Eve and all that stuff.

We stopped at Bastrop and had lunch with Frank & Marlene Hinman at this road house cafe.  What a hoot!DSC_0029

Notice Frank is in long pants….Marlene and PINK!!!DSC_0028

We called Tommie Sue and said so sorry, we ain’t gonna make it to their place again.  We did the same thing last year because of the real bad cold spell.  Her and the crowd (Bob & Molly) understand – at least they said they did.  The truth is that they weren’t going to have steak & shrimp so why go!

We made it to one of our favorite over night Passport America parks in Balmorhea, TX.  Hey, 600 miles today.  What a nice sunrise the next morning….. DSC_0032 DSC_0030

See Ya………….

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Last Day – Get Ready – Here We Come

This morning it was 58 degrees in the rig.  That’s with three heaters going.  No wonder I slept in till 7 AM.


Today is get ready for departing Livingston.  We got to turn off the water and drain all the lines especially in Mom’s mobile.  We will leave the electric on.  Plus we leave fans on in the mobile. Our rig is almost ready.  I got to get on the roof and get the water off the slide out toppers.  It’s suppose to get into the 20s tonight.  Ice and toppers don’t go together. I have to unhook our sewer/water today also.  Again because of the hard freeze expected tonight. 

Well, I was putting water in the fresh water tank when it happened.  I had water coming out other than the over flow pipe.  I was so pissed.  I was provided a cell number of Ken Neal who is Bob Tiffin’s right hand man. Tiffin is closed this week.  Yes, I called him the day after Christmas and on Sunday without hesitation.  He got a big chunk of what I thought of his repair facility. He’s lucky it wasn’t 5 AM in the morning. End result I am to take this Farton to a repair facility about 60 miles away tomorrow morning and he said they will have carta blanche to repair it.  So, that’s the number of that.

Stay tuned………….I’m sure it will get even better.

See Ya…………

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Yes, Merry Christmas it is….no snow!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.  And those that don’t, have a merry day.

Major holidays for full timers can be difficult in unusual ways that the non full timers don’t realize.   Full timers can’t be near relatives on all holidays.  “That” presents the unusual problem  which is finding a campground that is not full or for members only.  Seems simple to find one but it isn’t.  We belong to a variety of membership campgrounds of which only one let’s us stay in during any and all holiday periods.  That one is Thousand Trails/NACO (TTN).  We bought our membership used in 1999 for about $1,200. We now pay $460 a year dues.  We get 2 weeks in at a time (unlimited times) and then have to stay one week out. We can make our reservations 90 days out.  There are many different TTN contracts.

We are here in Livingston, TX for Christmas.  For New Years we will be at North Ranch, Escapees Park, at Denny & Susie's.  We already have reservations (except Quartzsite (Jan) of course) thru March.  Southern California and Yuma gets crowded during the winter months because of the  snowbird RVers looking for that warm weather.

So, have a peaceful, wonderful, calm day…….

See Ya………….

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dominator Tow Bar/Moms/Caring

Demco sent my repaired Dominator back to me.  I  really was hesitant to use this hitch again especially going to Alaska. As matter of fact, I had already brought my Blue Ox tow bar out of retirement and was going to use it.  Well, after looking at what Demco did to their tow bar I was very satisfied that it appeared to be updated correctly.  In the picture below you can see what appears to be a silver bar.  It’s a manual release lever so when you move the black handle down it pushes the silver lever and the tension is released on the bar that attaches to the car.  It appears to work well.  We’re going to use it and leave the Blue Ox here.  So, If you have a Dominator Tow Bar by Demco, call them and ask for Scott.  He is familiar with the updating they are doing on the bars they sold over the last year or so.  Tell him I said to call him, the guy from the RV Driving School.  Good guy and very concerned on making it right.  Us being full timers give us more insight to certain products and sometimes the manufactures need and desire our input on new products.  What they do with that information will separate them. DSC_0009

I still had to brake out my tools.  I don’t care for the straight cable that came with the Dominator. I like the curly ones so I changed them. Personal preference.DSC_0007


I have a lot of extra tow bar parts that I don’t have to carry with me anymore.  DSC_0010

I decided to try and put my clean butt in the frig.  Where do you keep your clean but?.  You ask what is clean butt.  Well, OK, clean smoked pork butt doesn't have any crust, really. Makes sense don’t it?  Anyhow, our frig is a 12 cube frig (4 door) and half the freezer held the 29 lbs.  That should feed 100 people or so.  I turned off the freezer underneath and will take it for Alaska fish booty.DSC_0004-1


Bud & Cathie Carr dropped by our place to bring us a card and gift.  Hey, for them to take time from their grieving of losing their loved ones shows their true character of caring for others.  Both of their Dads would be proud.

Mom update.  Both are out of the hospitals and doing fine.

See Ya………..

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Loading Up

Loading up is a little strange for us.  We don’t unload the coach unless it’s to rearrange our “stuff” and it only takes a day.  We have been back and forth out of Mom Hill’s mobile with our stuff.  The coach has been about half full for over a month.  We could actually forget to put something in.  We haven’t been in this situation in over 10 years.  Very different for us.

This nice little coach is ready to roll.  I had to take the picture at dusk otherwise the wheels would have been to much of a glare for the camera……..I need to put a coat of wax on this coach before Alaska.   I will get in done down in Yuma sometime.  Hand wax for about $100-125 I hope.DSC_0004

The kayaks went on top the car today. I put them on a few days before we leave so I can check them for tightness as we travel around the city. DSC_0006

The extra water filters for southern AZ got installed today also.  I have three.  The first two are cheap. The first one is a string filter and the second is charcoal.The last one is a block charcoal.  The first two I change when we leave the AZ area.  Maybe the first one in February.  Then the rest in late March.  After that I won’t change until October probably.DSC_0005

The freezer  I went ahead and put in the coach.  I went back and forth on carrying this hunk of heavy mental.  I think the 12 volt is broke on it which means it has to have the inverter on all the time with stuff in it.  Where are we going, Quartzsite and Alaska.  Maybe Denny can help me fix that problem.  Hey, I got a 12 volt little inverter.  Now I just have to find it.  It’s in the barn some where.  I found it and it works fine.  It’s that little device on the lower right.DSC_0013

Then Carol wanted her Belgian Waffle Maker. There’s my aluminum pot that I make what ever in.  I use it for group cooking.DSC_0014 

I went back and forth on the turkey cooker too.  It’s going.  I’m bringing a small electric deep fryer also.  Oh what the hell, bring it all!  If we use them great, if not, return them to Livingston next year after Alaska, Escapade, Pomona, etc…..DSC_0015

Alaska – we ALL are preparing.  The “Alaska Gang” has 5 coaches that now have plans on going.  We have been exchanging ideas/information and it’s starting to come together. I got some long johns and a cold weather jacket. These are usually for the boat trips out in the cold water. Carol still has these from our last trip.  I got an extra set of windshield wipers and one gallon of oil for the coach.  I usually carry a partial container of oil.  No air filter.  It’s just to big and bulky. Never needed one in the past, why now?

Diesel in Anchorage has gone up less than 5 cents a gallon the last six months or so.  It’s about $3.67 a gallon now.  In Washington state it’s about the same as Alaska. Here in Livingston, Texas it’s $3.09. In California it’s running just about at $3.50 a gallon for diesel.  On the Alaska trip many months ago I figured about $4.10 a gallon so I’m still within my original estimates.

The Mom’s – Carol’s Mom had to go back in the hospital toady because of fluid on her lungs.  My Mom was taken to the hospital late tonight due to a reaction to her new meds.  Both are expected to be released tomorrow.  Hey, what can we I say?

See ya………

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joe Peterson Escapees #1

Joe suddenly passed away shortly have 2 PM today (Wed).  Our hearts and prayers go out to Kay and family.

He will be missed dearly by oh so many people.

Bob Bear #42 passed away not too long ago.  These two “guys” are up there right now joking around with each other.  Joe is asking Bob, “What time will those special biscuits and gravy be ready?” Bob will probably reply back with something like, “As soon as you tell me a new joke which means a long time.” Everybody around Joe has “those special personal stories” and hopefully they will be heard again and again as time goes on.

All of us down here want new jokes and hot biscuits & gravy when we all arrive.

See ya two….hopefully not to soon!  That’s to give Joe some time to gather some new jokes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Carol’s Mom in Baltimore

We did not get the Patriot Thunder because the dealer, PPL of Texas, does not take trades (buy) valued over 100K.

I was asked why I tell everybody about the faults with our Tiffin if I expect to sell it. Well, I tell the faults but I also have ALL of them corrected.  I would sell our coach to a friend and would prefer to because it’s such an outstanding deal.  Besides, Tiffin works on their coaches and most of the time there is no charge or a minimal one.  Try that with ANY other manufacture. Tiffin is the best customer service repore with their owners than anybody.  Ask a good repair facility how Tiffin treats them.  Again, better that the rest.  I am real picky about our coach and I want to be in excellent condition no matter how old it gets.  A lot of full timers are like this – I think!

Our Tiffin Phaeton 40’ QDH today and the last day for sale is $140K.  Why so low?  Because we can buy the Thunder low.  It’s that simple!  Call me now (530) 878-0111 if you want it!

Not good news.  Late today Carol’s Mom was diagnosed with active cancer and prognosis is poor.  Treatments, if any, will be discussed with her after Christmas .  She’s home and in good spirits.

Our immediate schedule will change accordingly…

Monday, December 20, 2010

2005 Beaver Patriot Thunder

We left early for Conroe so Carol could finish up her yearly medical check up.  She got done about 11:30.  We then decided to go to Houston to another RV dealer, PPL.  They had a coach we wanted to check out.  It was a 2005 Beaver Patriot Thunder with a lot of options to include the 525 hp Cat engine & 22K miles. We found an RV we both liked.  The price was a steal.  We said OK we will tentatively take it.  Let’s work on the trade in.  He gave us a trade in value and it was a done deal.  It was really a comfortable and livable deal.  I was thinking Oh poo, here we go!  Then the bomb.  They wanted us to buy their rig and put ours on consignment.  We take all the risk and they take all the money.  I don’t think so.  I asked the salesman if they had full hooks.  He asked why.  I said if we are going to live here we wanted full hook ups.  The salesman looked puzzled.  I said we were full timers and lived in our rig.  Needless to say if it’s too good to be true, it probably is and it was.  That Thunder was ours.  We went all over that coach and I even crawled under it.  So, if anyone wants our 2008 Phaeton QDH for a quick $148K, call us now! We got all the bugs out of it now so it’s time to sell it. Isn’t that how it normally goes. If you are interested I can send you more info. Hey, it’s Christmas time, it’s that time, just do it!

It’s 6AM (Tue) now and the outside temp is 64 degrees.  Why leave?

See Ya………..

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I slept in till 7 AM this morning.  That’s rare especially since I wasn’t up around 3 or 4 AM.  I guess this week of being at Tiffin and then at a dealer wore me out.  Being at Motor Home Specialist dealership was a story in itself.  Saturday morning I waited 1 1/12 hours and 3 phone calls for my salesman.  I was pissed!  When he arrived I chewed is butt and said he was fired and I got another salesman.  The next salesman was a little intimated to say the least.  I guess he was to be sacrificed.  It was very quiet with this guy.  I found water damage in the Dynasty.  So that was a no no.  I found “checking” in the paint of the Thunder and Camelot.  Checking is where these very tiny hair like cracks come from underneath the paint.  Bad fiberglass or something.  Jo & Pete Peters have had their coach (Newmar) sidewalls replaced twice because of it.  No thanks.

I got a little low on fuel when I left the dealer.  When I filled up it took 87 gallons and I got 8.9 MPG. I’m not pulling a car so that was probably part of the fuel increase.  My Sliverleaf engine monitoring system said I had 13 gallons left and had got 9 MPG.  That’s pretty close.  Usually it’s about 3% off on the fuel mileage

I had a compartment door on the coach that was coming open ever once in awhile and hard to close.  I broke out the tools and took the door handle off and got to the internal door latch/locking device.  Fixed it and two others.  I guess I’m a Tiffin worker.  Nope, not yet.  I didn’t brake anything or scratch anything!

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?  Carol learned today that lobsters are not only from Maine.  They are in Florida too she remarked after reading Nick's Blog. Yes, I learned how to do hyperlinks. Thanks Sharon.

This week it’s supposed to get into the 70s in the day and 50s at night here in Livingston.  How sweet it is.  I will get the coach washed and try and put a coat of wax on.  I wonder if I can get it waxed in Yuma for $100 or so?

Tomorrow Carol finishes her medical check “up”.  that means we have to leave about 5:30 AM for the hour or so drive to Conroe’s hospital.  We should be back about 1 or 2 PM.

See Ya………….

Saturday, December 18, 2010

America – it’s so beautiful

This 3 minute video is hard describe other than beautiful and so true. 

Full time RVers, RVers & Wanabees– This is what it’s all about.  Set back and enjoy.

Oh, I’m in Livingston…

See ya…………..

Friday, December 17, 2010

What Time Did I Leave?

This can go on my Tombstone…Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...Thank you Jesus ...what a ride!"  I was sent that and I like it.

I pulled out of Red Bay about 4 AM.  Bob & Molly can verify because I gave them a little toot by their window as I went by.  Love those Hadley horns.  Shortly after leaving I got an idea.  Why go to Livingston, why not go to Fort Worth? It’s only 700 miles away.  What’s there?  It’s another RV dealer that has some coaches I want to look at.  Hey I can make it by 5 PM and I did, 4:30 PM.  They close at 6.

I didn’t even have time to stop at Nick’s Place.DSC_0002


The salesman greeted me upon my arrival and parked me in my nice FHU space. Hey, it’s free.  I even got my sat dish up and running after pulling out from the roof.DSC_0004

We went riding around on his golf cart.  He saw this was going to take awhile.  He gave me a cart and said he would catch up with me later.  I was in out of coaches like a hungry mouse looking for cookies on Christmas eve.  I found the coach.  It’s a ………… No need to tell you yet.  Carol gave her tentative yes.  There’s just one little tiny problem – they want too much for the old clunker I found on their back lot.  Tomorrow I will crawl under it and see if it has an engine.  Then I will start the dickering.  Hey, I have no problem making them an offer that they can and probably will refuse.  They have already on two other coaches.  I’m use to being told “no” a lot.   I believe in wearing them out – not them wearing me out.  Best defense is a good offense, charge…………

So it’s time to go back to bed so I can rest and be prepared in the AM to dance around these sales people like I know what I’m doing.

Then 225 miles to Livingston. 

Note..Carol’s Mom (in Md) has cancer.  Not sure how much, etc.  This week coming up is a whole bunch of tests to see what’s going on……

Yes, our jello schedule just got some water added meaning it could change very easy depending on life as always.  We are very very flexible with our schedule until March (Nick’s rally).  Phaeton’s don’t go into cold weather (Baltimore).  This new used clunker can!

See Ya………….

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who Wants To Get Tanked?

At 7AM the two workers went to town on removing the flooring under my fresh water, gray & black water tanks.DSC_0001 DSC_0002   DSC_0008DSC_0004DSC_0005 DSC_0010

In with the new & better flooring.DSC_0007

Swamp John’s for lunch with Bob & Molly.DSC_0011

Back to Tiffin.  The workers finished up about 1PM then the rig was off to get it undercoated in town.  By 2:30 it was parked in my site.  Then I went to the office to settle the bill for the flooring, replacing the driver window, reupholster two dinette chairs and the pilot and co-pilot seats on our 2 1/2 year old coach.  The charge – zero money due.  Now you know why Tiffin owners like Tiffins.  Try that with ANY manufacture and they would really laugh at you.  They have the best customer service in the industry – hands down. They made a note that when I return they will reupholster the entire driver & passenger seats as originally planned & not just piece repairs.

This week was a lot of fun with Bob & Molly here.  We got to moan & groan a lot about our Tiffins.  Misery loves company.  Plus we got to go to the few of the local eateries.  It was really a nice time – thanks guys…..

So, early tomorrow morning (Fri) I will be en route back to Livingston.  This time it will be 625 miles.  I’m going back the more west route back.

See Ya………..