Category Archives: On the Road

Second Shakedown RV trip to West Point Lake

Hello from chilly West Point Lake in Georgia. Yes, that is about 5 miles from our rental home. ๐Ÿ™‚ We wanted to make one more short trip to test out the rest of the RV before we haul it in for new tires & some work. We stayed 2 nights instead of 1 which was nice โ€“ we actually had a relaxing Saturday! No wifi and no piles of stuff to sort, sell, etc. I think Samantha liked the break as well โ€“ no Great Pyrnees stalking her & her house, no cats to take care of, walks around the park โ€“ even if it does include a pesky leash. Everyone needs a little vacation!

Here is what we learned on this trip:

When making popcorn on the stove, vent the kitchen. The smoke alarm works.

When the coffee maker breaks, you can make coffee by boiling water on the stove with a tied up filter & some grounds. I don’t think it will ever be Starbucks approved, but it was drinkable!

Having a tow vehicle is a must – it was nice to drive into ‘town’ (West Point) even if there wasn’t much there to do but walk around. I am impressed that people travel without one!

The TV position wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, so we will replace it with a flat screen. We watched Once, which we really liked. It’s nice to watch a film that doesn’t have a Hollywood ending and to watch a type of film where both of the previewed films (Waitress & The Namesake) are also now in the netflix queue.

Gray water tank needs to be about 80 times larger. Seriously! Okay, I know that this really means is we need to conserve water a lot better. By Sunday morning we didn’t even take showers yet and the tank reads ยพ. Ouch! We do not use paper products, so a lot of it was dishwashing & cook prep. Not sure how this bodes for our boondocking opportunities, but time will tell. Another downside to a gas Class A that isn’t a fully equipped tank wise as some diesel pushers out there. We also found out what happens when the tank gets full. No more water. At least there is no confusion and chance for overflowing. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also ran the Splendide washer/dryer and need to research how many gallons of water that takes. I am hoping that is what is pushing our gray water to a high level quickly! I found that this worked WAY better than expected. I did some reading and many people seem to have problems with clothes coming out super wrinkled & unwearable. I was thinking if that was to be the case, it wouldn’t be worth the weight. Well, I will have to give up the idea of only doing wash once a week, but my test load was yoga pants, a thin long sleeved hoodie, a tank top & some undies. Washed & dryed AWESOME with NO wrinkles. Now, I hope to be able to put a little more in but it seems like the key is not to stuff it with clothes. I am sure we will still have to hit the laundrymat but the less of that the better!

We ran into an issue with the propane not heating the water and having to use electric. Because we are 30 amp, we then had to do some switch flipping to use the microwave. Good times. The electric did heat the water, not sure yet why the propane didn’t. It seemed to fire so we are not quite sure on that one.

Speaking of microwave convection oven, my first attempt at brownies failed. I read the instructions, lowered the heat as indicated & they were a TOTAL fail. The tops were still good, but that’s was it! I decided to not follow the instructions when baking dinner, and it turned out perfect. Hmmmm…. I may have said this before, but if this is going to be my home, things we do at home have to transfer well here. I know there will be modifications, but still โ€“ we need to cook! So for dinner we made a grain mustard marinated tilapia, a spicy split pea and sauteed peppers. Okay, we cheated on the split pea since that was leftover from dinner on thursday that we made in the house, but still. We could bake in the convection oven & it worked, Keith used the outdoor kitchen for extra space and that seemed to work out. Now to figure out where our wine cellar goes…

For more pictures, visit Geeky Explorers on Facebook & like us – that’s where we’ll be putting all the extra pics for our posts!


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,ย  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.ย  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. Cuveeย  and Catherine walked over – which began an evening long chat around the campfire. Excellent ribs, too much wineย  (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.ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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


-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!

So much for a relaxing evening writing a post…

As you may be able to tell, we are total RV newbies. Our parents both dabbled, but it’s different when you are the clueless kid along for the ride – no need to worry much about maintenance or such silly things like pipes freezing. When we picked the RV up and got it home, we checked and saw the propane was at 1/4 of a tank. The weather here in Georgia has been ridiculously cold (ha – ha this coming from a former upstate NYer) and we had hoped that the propane would at least get us through until the weekend. Not so much. This evenings festivities were trying to hit a bunch of retail stores to find an electric heater, and to our dismay, found that they have all been sold out for some time because it is so cold down here. What stinks is as we downsize, we have been selling or donating items we no longer need and – you got it – an electric heater was one of those items. So thanks to the iRV2 forum suggestions, we have set up work lights and we are hoping for the best until we can fill the propane tank.

The drive home was a long one, but went rather smoothly. I was a bundle of nerves, Keith was relatively calm. If you have ever seen Finding Nemo and thought the interaction between Marlin and Dory was hysterical, we rather resemble that pair. Keith is a total Dory..just keeping swimming, just keep swimming – WAIT what was I doing? Oh yes, swimming…wheeee! I on the other hand, a total type A worrier. We are quite a match, but actually manage to balance each other out pretty well.

So, I am following in the Jeep and notice that Keith keeps kissing the white line. I thought a few times he was going to take out a mailbox or two, then a car, then a tree – couldn’t call him because we didn’t have cell service for most of the trip and in retrospect – it was probably good he was able to do the first drive without hearing me gasp for breath repeatedly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One of the best things about the trip was he was able to drive on just about every road out there, all in the same day. Nothing like plunging in head first. He drove down a dirt road, then to a very rough one & a half lane road – through small towns with some tight turns, to some divided highways, small bridges, interstate freeway with traffic, construction on said interstate with traffic, two lanes with logging trucks and semi’s flying past, grades where he now realized why people like pushers, and the final path down our twisty driveway.

The construction area was the worst driving behind him. He said for him it was the logging trucks going by. All in all, I must say again that for being a usual Dory while driving (Me: Keith, please keep swimming in a lane, preferably the correct one…) he did a fabulous job. Hopefully I can keep my dramatic intakes of breath under control the first time I ride with him. ๐Ÿ˜‰