Monthly Archives: February 2011

An Amazing Blog that Puts IT In Perspective

I still keep up with my local news. By local, I mean Rochester, NY. I wrote a food news column for Rochester City Newspaper (one of the best alternative papers IMHO), and I still read the Democrat and Chronicle.  I say it’s because I still work for a local company, but mostly it’s because Rochester is a really cool place. We just couldn’t get past the 6 months of winter. Anyway – perusing the articles of today, I ran across this article that was centered around this inspiring blog. I started with the first post and throughout the day, have finally caught up. It makes me appreciate our decision even more to do what we want, when we want – even though it is going to be challenging to live a life on the road. I wish only the best for you Bret, and your slogans of ‘ Today is My Best Day ‘ and ‘Ride in a Good Direction ‘ will be forever etched in my brain. Happy Trails for as long as you can.


Water Leakage = Happy Friday!

So it seems ‘it’s always something’ will be a theme. It sure is as we prep for our fulltiming journey, and from the sounds of other people already living the lifestyle, it will continue to be. I will say, at least the RV made it through the storm better than our rental place!

A insanely strong storm barreled through Georgia around 4am – loud enough to wake both of us up and freak out our dog (who usually isn’t bad at all during storms) We both looked out at the RV, which we still haven’t moved back under the pole barn and wondered how much of a mess we were going to find. Turns out, not too bad, but unfortunately not leak free.

First – the rental: The rental roof (which is a tin roof) has some serious issues. Luckily it missed our dining room table & leather dining chairs, but managed to make a huge puddle. Me, on my way to my office, stepped in the leakage and thought it was the dog. She doesn’t really like ‘getting busy’ in the rain and while she’s only had one or two accidents, when I step into a puddle pre-coffee, thoughts automatically go to the dog! Luckily I didn’t yell at her (as I wasn’t totally sure) but she definitely went out side as I was starting to clean up. Keith got up to help and get the ammonia so I could log in on time to work. A few minutes later, he confirmed it was a roof leak (since it was still dripping!) and not a Sammie accident. Whew that’s good (and bad – the last rental we had down here it literally took them 4 months to get a leak fixed and only after we said a lawyer and rent payment withholding is next..) Let’s hope it’s not the case for this rental (and our experience so far has been very positive). We’ve always owned our homes and while we are super glad we didn’t buy in this city, renting can be a real frustrating experience!

Next up was checking out the motorhome. I was really hoping for no leaks so we didn’t have to add another item on to our ever-growing fix it list. We did find two leaks, and they don’t seem too bad. They will, however, need to be addressed. One is the skylight in the bathroom over the shower. Skylights in a home are a popular leak spot and I didn’t really figure it would be any different in an RV. We’ll have to take that apart and see how big that issue is. The other leak is the window by the couch. For the ferocity of the rain, this still wasn’t bad – but it is something we’re putting on the list. The roof seams all seemed okay, and all of the other windows seemed fine so it could be a lot worse.

Are we having fun yet? 🙂 At least it is Friday.


First Video Posted

Our first video and my first editing job. Needs LOTS of work and LOTS more exciting content…but fun to put together during my lunch break today! P.S. If you are not related to us, I don’t expect you to watch the entire thing. Or really, even if you are related to us…you are off the hook on this one.

First RV Trip


Campground Notes – Pine Mountain RVC

As this was our first trip in an RV, this review will be rather informal. They may stay that way, or I might explore some structure – items we look for to have the best experience possible. Since we are new, a flat spot rocks and makes us happy. We stayed in site 201 and liked being on an end spot. We also liked that they had a ‘curb’ on the hookup side, making it less likely to knock the utilities down.

Overall we found Pine Mountain RVC to have everything you would expect in a private park. They had a spacious guest check-in, where they also served coffee, wine and beer. They had two laundry rooms that we saw, and restrooms scattered throughout the park. Since we have an RV with a good sized bathroom & a washer/dryer combo, we didn’t pop our head in to check it out on our brief overnight stay. The majority of spots were pull through and I thought they were situated rather nicely, if mostly out in the open. There was a pool, playground, and horseshoe pit and while you couldn’t walk to any attractions, the park was a short drive to downtown pine mountain and the surrounding FDR park.

We paid $35 for one night,  but compared to state parks and what they seem to offer, we may trend away from private places that are not closer to hiking trails. We did find the staff to be pleasant and helpful, and our surrounding neighbors friendly & quiet. We camped during the off season which I am sure contributed to the quiet! While we didn’t use it, there was a small fenced area for the dogs to run and also a spot to wash your TOAD. Based on our overnight & first time camping – we would return.

Please feel free to provide feedback on what you might like us to note in our reviews. Again, I am sure we will start becoming pretty particular once we frequent a few.


Success, and a massive to-do list

Well, we did it! Our first camping trip in the RV and overall – it went really well. We only went about a 1/2 hour to Pine Mountain and stayed at Pine Mountain RVC, which is a private campground. I will write up another post about it, but we thought it was a nice place for a first time visit. It will be hard to ‘review’ properly since it’s our first park, but we will still give it our spin.

The drive was a pretty easy one and we tested out our video camera on Samantha – not as much of a reaction when the coach started moving – we thought she might be a little more freaked but she travels so well in our Jeep that besides a few ear twitches, it wasn’t a big deal.  When we arrived we were shown our spot – nothing like a little concierge service in a campground. The nice thing about traveling on the off season? Space..and quiet. It took us about an hour to set up, which isn’t bad considering we were just trying to figure out a pattern and everything that needed to get done. On our first walk we had a couple that was in a Pace Arrow come over to chat a bit. They had a different model Pace Arrow, but their friends had an identical one to ours so they had to snap a shot. We took a quick walk around the park and then went back to the coach to pop some bubbly on a successful first outing! We made a pineapple and blueberry salsa for our mahi mahi and actually found the kitchen to be ‘bigger’ than expected. Always a good thing. We packed all glass, since as fulltimers we don’t intend on using plastic. We did have to make a stop on the side of the road to place the port & champagne glasses in a drawer, but overall we like the cabinet as glass storage and everything made it. We puttered around inside some and then settled outside to relax.

We forgot (among an entire list of other things) a tie out for Samantha. Since the campground was relatively empty, we decided to test her(and us). We have spent a ridiculous amount of time training her and she is under voice control and responds quite well. Since we were on an end spot, we had a little more space. Keith walked Samantha around the ‘perimeter’ so that she understood what was ‘hers’. She was awesome – sitting down by command when someone passed which impressed the people walking. She is a big dog and we will still need a tie out, but it was a nice feeling that while the park wasn’t too busy, that she was good enough to listen and obey. This caught the attention of our neighbors across the way. Cuvee  and Catherine walked over – which began an evening long chat around the campfire. Excellent ribs, too much wine  (water bottles was another thing that didn’t make the trip and needed to). I went through my one bottle of San Pelligrino way before campfire time.

Sleeping was a little tough the first night – the heaters we brought ended up being pretty loud, the propane kicked on and woke us up, and Samantha needed to check things out a few times. The mattress was like a rock and it just felt weird. The next day we chatted some more with Scott & Catherine and then took another walk. While we were finalizing our to do list, we caught Samantha being a total cutie.  Time to pack up and it took us about an hour or so — we flushed the grey tank first and should have flushed the black so we used the black tank flush. Keith got pretty soaked, but luckily only with clean water. 🙂 Everything else seemed to pack up ok, and then Keith noticed we seriously needed some air in the tires. The tires are original, so we knew we were looking at a replacement but we were hoping towards the end of this year. We brought up the wifi (first time we brought it up!) and tried to find a service center for trucks/rv’s. Nothing was coming up so we asked at the desk and they pointed us to downtown Pine Mountain. We pulled into a gas station and backed up to the air dispenser – Keith is getting quite good at navigating already. The tool that we thought was meant to take off the hubcaps to air up, didn’t work. Some gentlemen told Keith there is a tire place next door and he should be able to help. Luckily, he was there (usually gone by the time we rolled over) and helped Keith tremendously – tires aired up and a lot of advice given from a former truck driver) The cost? “Whatever you think it was worth”. Keith handed him a $20 and the guy said are you sure you don’t have like a ten? Keith learned more from that 20 minutes so we were happy to pay. Our first trip out and running into very helpful people made me glad we are downsizing & doing this.

So we ended the overnight trip with two lists. One of things we need/forgot, and one of problems to solve.

We forgot:

-smaller ziploc sandwich bags – I only packed quart bags which was overkill for a half of jalepeno

-cable tv antenna – we didn’t really want to watch it, but we were going to test it

-water filter – this may fall under problems to solve, but the campground water was not drinkable in my book

-hatchet/axe/saw – for firewood

-outdoor games – we forgot bocce and horseshoes

-Samantha’s tie out

-coffee scoop

-matches – we brought one box but need a few more

-trash can for outdoor kitchen

-bathmat

-fingernail kit

-better coffee pot – the sellers left us a cute little 4 cup, which equals 2 cups, which is not enough caffeine

-trash carrying bag – carrying three little 4 gallon bags to the dumpster was a pain considering the distance.

-timer for cooking

-vacuum – the coach got messy quick and only one of our animals came along. We need to find a smaller but powerful vacuum

– scissors

-extra hose

– Y connector for hose

Problems to solve:

-Leak from hot water heater

-awing auto retracts – retracts all the time and doesn’t stay out.

-leak from waterline over rear passenger tire

-MUST silence dinette rattle

-mattress slips on bed stand

-leak in fresh water inlet

-tack down mats in kitchen drawers

-find a replacement for the ‘locks’ that snap in the food drawers – those little buggers are a pain.

-figure out if we can make the A/C fans & bathroom fans quieter

Overall a great last minute trip – we have so much to still do but we really enjoyed it and with some adjustments, can really see a fulltiming future. YAY!