Thursday, October 31, 2013

Puddle Jumping Along

Wednesday was a pretty nice day.  We had visitors like Roger & Shirley and others (like Jack) that I just can’t remember their names at this point in time (Fri).  Sorry guys.

During the day Wednesday we watched the weather reports saying a big storm was coming our way.  About 5 PM we did something that we do sometimes for no real big reason other than we can so we did.  We hit the road about 6 PM Wednesday.  Around 9 PM we pulled over at a JC Penny store for the night.  That lasted about 30 minutes when security chased us off.  They were very nice and polite about it so we were too.    Hey we’ve been chased off by the best stores.  We then went to Walmart and spent most of the night there.  I say most of because about 4 AM we were both awake and left.  We got fuel down the road for $3.59 a gallon (dsl) at a Race Trac car station.  I drove around that station like I owned it.  It was a little tight but I went slow.  That was a nice price since most other places it was above $3.75.  My dash MPG instrument said I was getting 8.7 MPG which was mostly back road touring.  Well that was wrong for sure.  It got 8.8 MPG.  NICE and especially for back roading it.

Here’s our dash set up. Yes two GPS systems.  I’m still learning the in dash Rand McNally one.  I like the 10 inch screen.  Plus it works with the side cameras and the back up camera if I want it to.  The Garmin trucker GPS I use at the same time.DSC_0012

About 7 AM we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  I really don’t know if our stove in the Baby works yet.  Carol is in no hurry to find out either.  Back on the interstate.  My fuel MPG instrument says that we were averaging 10.2 on the interstate and appears about right with the fuel gauge (1/2 tank).  Double wow!!  When it got windy and raining it dropped to and stayed at 8.9 MPG.  I can handle that for sure.  Now we are getting severe rain/wind reports and even tornado warnings for the roads up ahead near Orange and Beaumont, Texas.  We kept going.  The new Baby needs a water and wind test anyway.  Boy did it.  We ran right into the bad weather and it poured.  The interstate got down to 20 MPH.  The Baby’s first bath was happening and it was a doosey.  It’s hard to take a picture of rain.DSC_0027It lasted for about a good 1/2 hour and we were on the other side of it.  Flooding due to the heavy down pour was very evident in most nearby areas. DSC_0029  

We arrived in Livingston, Texas at noon.  We pulled into our lot, locked up the Baby and jumped into the Mercury and headed for the Thursday lunch bunch at the La Colona Mexican restaurant.  Neither of us jump up and down for Mexican food but we go for the friends and stories.  We had a few stories this time. 

Back at the lot we got the rig all set up.  The thing is very dirty and with the tiny gritting sand from the road due to the rain.  The Baby wet it’s pants in two areas due to the rain.  Two compartments of which one was really soaked.  Winnebago put a plastic hole with a sliding cover over it for cable (TV/elect ?) in a front compartment.  It isn’t waterproof.  I will make it before we leave for out west for sure.  The other compartment was just a little wet but for the heavy rain and big puddles it was OK.  No interior leaks what so ever around anything.  That’s good in any RVers book.

We had visitors right off the back welcoming us back and wanting to see our new Baby.  Wayne Roberts was our first greeter.  then came Jon and then Sue Glick.  Later on the Bernie & Carole Patton did a surprise visit.  It was really nice seeing all and helped us get over our tiredness. 

So I’ve driven this little puddle jumper a 1,000 miles.  I think it did a real good job considering the short (228 inches) wheelbase.  It drove real nice.  It does have a pull to the right on LEVEL roads whish was a little tiring but correctable for sure by Freightliner in the future.  In the wind it did a lot better than I thought it would.  Two handed driving but not white knuckling even in the high wind.  It does not turn as well as the 43’.  That was a big surprise.  The 43’ turned sharper in tight spaces.  It’s still very doable.  The storage areas are deep and VERY tall and will hold enough “stuff” that would make any pack rat happy.  Overall – it’s a keeper – AGAIN!

Oh, we forgot it was Halloween.  Happy Halloween if there is such a greeting.  No kids in this park.  We would have ate the candy ourselves any way.

We will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off for the next few days.  I get tired of thinking what we have to do.  We will be back on the road Sunday to get the tow brake installed Monday up north.  We will return Monday evening and let the dust settle down.

See ya……….

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Day In Summerdale, AL

That’s where the Escapees park Rainbow Plantation is.  For SKPs it’s $20 a night for FHU 50 AMP HU.  The sites are all on level (?) ground and a lot are shaded with trees.  DSC_0015-001DSC_0001 DSC_0013-001 DSC_0014-001  They have a club house and a pool for the daring ones.  Their location is out in the farmland and is quiet.  Oh, Carol said more important there’s Line Dancing everyday.  We paid for 3 nights but thinking we should stay here for Halloween vice being on the road.  That would still give us plenty of time to get to Athens, TX for the tow brake appointment next Monday.  It’s 565 miles from here and that’s an easy 3 days of traveling (Fri-Sun).  The weather people are now calling for 100% chance of rain here Friday.  That might change things even more.  I avoid driving in the rain if at all possible.

We went to the local Huddle House for breakfast figuring why not.  I like taters and Carol likes not to cook.  The Huddle House is the capital of getting your taters your way.  They got about dozen or so items you can add to them.  I’m in tater heaven. 

Carol went to Line Dancing for a couple of hours.  I cleaned the bugs off the front end of the Baby.  Maybe the windshield another day.  I moved some “stuff” out of the large bay into small bays.  The big bay can hold 16 big plastic bins, four deep four deep.  I’ve got half of them empty or will be in Livingston.  These two large doors have to open to get to the sliding tray.  DSC_0002-001

A 90 gallon fresh water tank on the right plus a few soft things that I can fit in there with no problem.  Underneath the slide is a storage area.  Same same on the other side also.  On the left side is just an empty area for other “stuff”.  Kitty litter is in there now but could carry about 6-8 of them or other things of course.DSC_0003-001 I will remove four bins on one side and put the 10X10 tent, fire ring and a 20 lb LP tank.  I might stick a ladder in there somewhere.  I can’t carry a fiberglass ladder in the back.  The stock ladder is way too high on the coach to attach a ladder to it.  I will figure it out in Livingston.

The rest of the afternoon was watching TV and thinking about Alaska.  We are packing as we are going because we are.  There’s not a lot of difference from what we normally carry because we try to always carry what we need thus full timing, not part timing.

See ya…..

Monday, October 28, 2013

More Red Line Roads

Red Line Roads are those roads in like Rand McNally maps that are red.  Not the interstates. They are usually the roads that go thru small towns and real America.  It’s where you see the small shops and eateries or the beaches or the small farms.  The speed limits go up and down along with stop lights.  It’s just another way to see the USA and you don’t have to be in a Chevrolet.  Us old farts remember that TV ad from many years ago – that sang, “see the USA in a Chevrolet”.  OK quick singing it.  I think I hear you.

Before I show you some pictures I have to tell you how the day went.  I called Lazydays Tech info line to find out how to turn on our dash heater because ours wasn’t working.  When I drove big trucks we could turn off the front dash heater in the summer by turning handles (water) under the chassis.  I gave a quick look and didn’t see any.  The tech said there was one on the passenger side up next to the engine.  I looked again and by George there was one.  I turned it in the opposite direction which was only a half of turn.  One hour later going down the road no dash heat. Around lunch time we stopped and I looked again but on the opposite side of the engine.  Wow, another one just like I figured.  I turned it in the opposite direction with confidence.  Down the road we went.  We now have dash heat and is it good.  Of course by now it was time to turn on a little AC which worked fine.  Problem resolved.  The automatic door locks are working again too.  I think it’s a metal contact on the door and door frame might have some goop on it.  The Baby is doing fine with another 250 miles on the odometer for a grand total of 500+ miles.

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Whew…what a day…DSC_0050

See ya….

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Red Lining It On The Beaches

Tomorrow we go about 225 miles to the SKP park The Plantation via about 200 miles on route 98.  This is a red line road along the beaches most of the way.  Hopefully I will be able to see some new styles of bathing suits along the way. 

We will be able to judge the Baby’s overall fuel mileage by staying on red line roads.  The super highways is where we get the best mileage usually at least in our other RVs.  So, if the red line roads get our worst and it stays 8.5+ that will be real good.  Not knowing more than the Baby has a 100 gallon fuel tank it’s hard to estimate MPG based on the fuel tank gauge at this point.  If I had to pull a number out of a hat it would be 8 MPG right now.

We are heading for Athens, TX to get a M & G tow brake installed ($900) on the Jeep by the manufacture of them.  We got an appointment for Monday morning 4 November.  We will spend Sunday night on their property with 30 AMP hook up.  We should be done by noon and be in Livingston later that day.

Gas in Livingston is now under $3 a gallon….yea.  Diesel is running in the $3.60s.

I got lost a little there so back to today…….a walk across the street andDSC_0013DSC_0001 DSC_0005 DSC_0008 DSC_0012  DSC_0018

On the bottom these are what I call site lights.  The can only be turned on while parked with the key off.DSC_0024

These awning lights are nice at night.DSC_0025

See ya…..

Saturday, October 26, 2013

On Our Way Via Red Line Roads

Friday we continued to have a real nice time hanging around Larry & Marilyn and their friends at Sumter Oaks.  That evening we invited Larry & Marilyn over for a pulled pork dinner.  They were our first guests over for dinner.  We all had a real good time.

Saturday we left about 8:30 AM.  We even hooked up the electrical chord for the tow behind this time.  Larry & Marilyn suggested we take several routes since we said we wanted to take the red line roads.  They suggested routes 27 to 98 and we did.  Nice red line roads.  DSC_0005  DSC_0009 DSC_0007DSC_0011 DSC_0013 DSC_0016 DSC_0018 DSC_0020 DSC_0022

250 miles later we arrived at Carrabelle Beach Resort.  We got a coupon from Lazydays for 2 free nights so what the hell.  It’s $43 a night normally.  No sales pitch either. DSC_0028   

After setting up we realized that we lost a front hub cap off the Baby.  It’s the same one that Lazydays replaced because it was dented.  Our automatic door lock due hickeys won’t work.  They worked yesterday.  I figure it’s a loose wire somewhere.  What’s more important is that our dash heater didn’t work.  I will call Winnebago Monday and see who’s on first.

Here’s our site.  We drove forward into the sight as required.  That was weird.  That’s the Gulf of Mexico on the other side of those trees.DSC_0027

Think I will put my tiger striped speed O on and go for a dip..

See ya

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It’s So Nice….Fulltiming

What is…..this lifestyle of living in a RV and traveling around, going wherever, staying as short/long as you want, making new friends, see old friends, seeing/visiting places that are sometimes off the beaten path and seeing famous tourist areas before the heavy season or just afterwards.  And don’t forget the ability of seeing the difference in work ethic/costs of repair shops across the country.  Plus, when you get lonely and want to see some old surroundings you can always go to WalMart.

This vehicle tag says it all.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.DSC_0008

A bunch of us SKPs (11) went to Oakwood BBQ place for dinner.  Wow, the best ribs I’ve ever had hands down.  The cooked in flavor was not over powering and a BBQ sauce was not needed.  I will have to try their pulled pork next time.  Carol ate a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs.  Damn there went my left overs from her dinner.  Larry & Marilyn bought our dinners and thanks guys.  I guess they know we are now broke due to our new Baby.  It’s a cute little thing.DSC_0001 DSC_0003 DSC_0021

Earlier in the day I cleaned the front of the Jeep and the rear of the Baby due to the continued Hydraulic fluid leak.  I drained some more fluid off to just above the line that says minimum cold.DSC_0002

Here I am with a couple of buddies, Denny, Ed and Larry.DSC_0014

I thought Texas had large Lilly pads.  I wonder if there is a nuclear plant around here.  These things were huge.DSC_0020

Damn, I don’t get my head rubbed like that.DSC_0016

Pics around the park… DSC_0011 DSC_0005DSC_0012

Escapees just added a weigh station here.  It will be up and running soon.DSC_0009

Tomorrow, I mean Saturday, we head for the SKP park Plantation in southern Alabama.  Don’t know if the Baby can travel 450 miles in one day yet. 

See ya…..