Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas.............A Happy Time

We have been here in Tomball, TX now for about four weeks and have been enjoying our stay. We have visited with the other kids and their families, seeing the grand kids playing and having a good time. Tonight we will join our oldest daughter's family for dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. Should be fun.

Sherry and I decided to build a Christmas gift for one of the kids and we finished it up yesterday. Now getting it over to my daughter's place could be another thing. I can't say what it is because I am afraid that they may read this post.

The Christmas shopping is done and so is the wrapping. Depending on the gifts, wrapping in an RV can be quite the challenge. But none the less it is done. Now that that project is finished I can start on the other one.......Laying down new wood laminate flooring in the trailer. We have purchased the flooring so I must get it done before we leave here. No Pressure, No Pressure at all!

Once the carpet is up and out of here, laying the floor down should be pretty easy up to the angle part. I am not going to say that I am bad at angles, but I want to make sure I do it right with the least amount of waste. Right like that's going to happen. I have a game plan and I will start ripping the carpet out in a few days. Sherry will be taking pictures along the way so that way I can give you a post about the whole thing.

As the title of this post, Christmas should be a Happy time for all. But as we know it isn't always a Happy time. We will meet at our eldest daughter's house and the other kids will be there as well. We will all have a good time and then go home, put the kids down to sleep and wait for Santa Clause. Should be fun.

Some families will continue with their regular traditions and some will start new ones as like my third oldest daughter, with her new husband. The families in Newtown, CT will have a hard time I'm sure this Christmas. I can only hope that they will have a wonderful Christmas and know that the world will be with them in thoughts and prayers on Christmas Day. Especially knowing that God will be with them to help them overcome this.

To all of our armed forces serving our country and won't be able to make it home this Holiday season I say, "Thank you, be safe and have a Merry Christmas this year."

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.

Until next Time................Be Safe.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas..... Full Time RV Style

When one decides to go full time Rving some sacrifices will have to be made. Downsizing, possibly sell the "sticks and bricks", and what to do about the Holidays.

We have met some real nice people on our journey. One couple comes to mind that we met in San Antonio this past Thanksgiving. When I asked her what their plans were for Thanksgiving she said,"Oh probably just go out for dinner." I guess that's OK for some but not me. I love Thanksgiving and love to cook. I used to deep fry a bird but that was one of the sacrifices.

Christmas time around here is like any other house, but smaller. Since we travel with our daughter Brianne, and being 10 years old, we feel she needs a regular Christmas. Now do we go out and get a Christmas tree that is 6 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter? No. We still have to be practical even when it comes to the tree.

We started out with a four foot tree in front of the TV and decided that didn't work to well. Next Sherry came up with the idea of a table top tree and we have been using it for two years now.

See what you think.


Not bad. Sherry and Brianne decorate it like any other tree but smaller. Bri had a good time putting the ornaments on. I like this tree because I don't have to mess with any lights. This tree is small enough to fit into a box and is kept in the belly of the trailer.

Sherry continues to decorate the trailer to give it that homey feeling just like at our old house. One year Brianne asked us how will Santa get in since we don't have a fire place. Mom told her that there will be a "Golden Key" hanging just outside the door.(old skeleton type) This way he can use the key to get in to deliver your presents under the tree, on the table, on the floor, under the table.......Well you get the idea.

We have found that you really don't have to give up any of the Holidays just because you full time. This year starts a new tradition with us. We work in the later part of the summer and the fall and take the month of December off for the Holidays. We will go back to work sometime in January.

All things are possible with a little imagination and thought. Have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Until Next Time......................Be Safe.
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Does a Smartphone Get So Smart?

Quick update on what's been happening. We left San Antonio and headed for Houston and arrived at our favorite county park in Tomball. We got there on the Monday after Thanksgiving. It is our favorite because it's free. We left there the following Saturday, the first, and went to Corral RV Park also in Tomball.

When we were at our job in south Texas one problem we have is that our bank is no where around. So we usually open an account at a local bank. No problem until we decide to close it and they have no cash to close us out.

We saw a commercial from our bank on this mobile banking thing. You use a smart phone and take a picture of your check and Boom it's in your account. We started to think, "Would this work for us?" I did some research and talked to our bank about it and they said that it should not be a problem. The only thing is how much we can deposit in one month but overall still a good thing.

When we got to Tomball we have a list of things that we need to get and a Smart phone was one of them. I asked my oldest daughter about which one to get and she recommended the Samsung Galaxy S III. So now I have a phone in mind and was told that this was a good one to get. I have no clue about these phones. I have seen people with them and have seen some aspects of what it can do, especially pictures.

So into the AT&T store we go to get this thing. I told the guy we already have an account with them and he started to go to work. In a nut shell we walked out of there with the phone, my same number, some instructions on how to use it, and gave them over $300 dollars. Is this a good deal??

I figured out how to download the bank app and was able to do that. Then is came time to turn it off and couldn't figure out how to do it. So I texts my son-in-law and asked him how to do it and he replied back saying, "In a soft voice say, Pleas turn off". So I thought well it's a smart phone I guess this will work. I did and it didn't. Then he texts back and said "No not really I'm kidding." Then he told me how to turn it off. Boy I felt like an ass.

I even had a hard time making a phone call, but was able to work it out. We got our mail and our last check was in it. So I followed the instructions on taking pictures of the check and it was deposited into our account. Yahoo it worked. This will definitely will work for us on banking and I can figure out the rest of the stuff later.

Until Next Time.......................Be Safe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Locked Out, Oh Great!

On Monday we finally left the desert of South Texas and headed towards San Antonio to an RV park that we stayed at once before, called Hidden Valley. It's a nice park mostly with residents but quiet and reasonable.

We arrived mid afternoon and Sherry backed me into our site. I must be getting pretty good at this because I didn't have to re-adjust or anything, just straight back. I better not get too cocky about this. We did our normal set up routine and I finished up by getting the satellite dish pointed and now watching TV.

We met a nice couple who are also full timers and we talked for awhile. I took Gizmo out for a walk and I don't think he likes it too much. He seems very nervous around here.

We decided not to cook for that night and go out to dinner. We put Gizmo into his cage and proceeded out the door. Gizmo started to bark and I went inside to calm him down. Left the house and locked it like always with the dead bolt. He started barking again and Sherry went this time to calm him again and she said that the door would not unlock.

Great, the dead bolt would not completely unlock. Now here we are all three of us outside and no way to get back into the trailer. I went to our new friends to see if they had any ideas but no experience there. I decided to get after the lock with my drill.

I figured what the hell it is not going to unlock so I will demolish the lock. I drilled the tumblers out and continued drilling when I broke a bit. Put in a new bit and continued, broke that bit and now getting upset. I was able to see the two bolts holding the lock together and started to drill them out.

The dead bolt is starting to move some and I was careful drilling for fear of breaking the bit again. I was able to finally get the dead bolt off the door and play around with the bolt slide to where I was able to open the door. Thank you Lord.

Here is what's left of the lock.


It may not look like much but if you look close enough you can see some of my handy work.

I placed white duct tape over the hole and we were able to lock the latch itself and went out to dinner. Needless to say Gizmo never barked anymore. The next day we had some running around to do which included getting a new dead bolt. We came home I put the new dead bolt on but it now won't lock. I think the problem is the strike plate and hole. We still can lock the trailer and the hole is covered.

Well once again something new on the trailer, drilling out a lock. I am just thankful that I had the tools to do this job and not have to call a locksmith.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving...................

Until Next Time...........Be Safe.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

Well here it is, Friday November 16th and Christmas is only a month and a half away. Where in the world did this year go?? It seems like only a few months ago that we got this new job with this company and in reality it was last December.

Our time at this location will be coming to an end on Monday. We will be heading to San Antonio to a park that we once stayed at back in May. Here we will stay for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We like our Thanksgiving and last year was the first time in our 5ver. Let me see about this.....We went full timing in 2010 and had Thanksgiving with my Mom in Mesa AZ, then 2011 was in Branson, MO, that's when we bought our first turkey or a chicken on steroids and now this year. OK that's right. I like to cook and in years past I would deep fry a bird for lunch and cook another one in the oven. Good times.

Sherry and I enjoy this Holiday when she can snuggle up with a blanket and watch football with me. She also likes when the smell of the turkey cooking in the oven lingers all throughout the house. I better make sure I have enough propane. To cook such a large meal in an RV takes some doing.

We first pick a turkey that we think will fit in the oven, once that is done everything else is done in stages. You may not have all the room that you are used to but you will make room as you go. Improvising helps a lot. Our table is the biggest challenge because it is a catch all. Sherry usually takes care of that and when it is time to sit down we actually can. After going to peoples homes I feel so out of place that I just rather stay home and cook.

After Thanksgiving we will leave this place on Sunday the 25th and head towards Houston. We will make one stop on Sunday night and take off for Spring Creek Park. We like to stay there because you can stay 7 nights on a concrete pad with full hook ups for nothing. That's right FREE!!!! How cool is that. The only draw back is that the park is locked up at 10pm. So you better get in before then or you will be locked out until 7am. We will stay here until December 1st and move to Corral RV park just down the road. We can stay there for the month and come and go as we please. This will be good and we can stay out as late as we want. Great now we won't have to leave early from my daughter's house on Christmas Eve.

Christmas in the 5ver is not too bad. We went from a 4 foot tree down to a table top tree and Santa puts the presents on the table and floor. Sherry and Bri take care of all the decorations for the tree and the house, looks pretty good when they get done. Just like any other Christmas morning Bri will rip and tear into her presents, Mom will be taking pictures and I will be picking up wrapping paper and bows. This year will be our dog's first Christmas, I wonder how he will handle all of this??

You know Holiday time in an RV is not too bad. I guess you have to make the best of it and especially have a good time.

Until Next Time...............Be Safe.

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Death of a Friend

It is always difficult to find out that someone you know has died. Depending on how close you were to them, may or may not make it harder to handle. I found out yesterday that a good friend, whom I used to work with, took his own life.

I have always had a hard time dealing with death anyways but to commit suicide is a whole other subject. I have never known anybody personally who has committed suicide up until now.

Some questions, which we may never know the answers to; Is it really that bad? Isn't there something that somebody can do for you? Why didn't you contact me? Why are you so selfish? Is this what God wants you to do?

I just don't understand the thought process and I guess I never will. My friend would do anything for you if you just asked. When we got our bumper pull I asked if he would come over and help me with a few things and he did. We spent the afternoon together, had a few beers, even fixed the trailer. Great friend, but not anymore, he's gone. Time can be a terrible thing.

The last time I saw him was about 4 or 5 years ago. Now mind you it wasn't one of those friendships that we always stayed in contact but would have been nice to hear from each other. Plus he said back then he was taking a job that would put him out of the country.

I can only hope that God has taken him in His arms and welcomed him to Heaven. Rest In Peace My Friend.

Until Next Time..................Be Safe.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Full Time RVing With a Child........Holidays

Well Halloween had come and now it's gone. To me this starts the Holiday Season, the stores all ready have all the Christmas stuff out, TV channels are advertising Holiday shows and the decorations for the house start to come out. Sometimes it's hard to get into the spirit of things when you are still using your air conditioner like we are.

The weather here in south Texas is warm in the day time and somewhat comfortable in the evenings. We are still wearing short pants with no intention of getting out the long pants in the near future. Maybe by Thanksgiving, who knows?

This year is the first time that we had to change gears for Halloween when it came to Brianne. For the past two years we were at a campground called Compton Ridge Campground were we worked. They had activities for two weekends in a row that allowed children to go trick or treating. Brianne dressed up and we went to different RVs that were handing out candy. She did pretty good. This year no where to go.

Stuck in the middle of "NO Where" and just outside of "Any Where" in south Texas, we had to come up with a plan for Brianne and Halloween. Brianne picked out her costume and we got some candy and the game plan was to hide the candy around the trailer and she had to say "Trick or Treat" when she found some. She dressed up as a Vampiress and she was scaring all the vehicle occupants as they drove through.


Here she is in her costume, pretty scary, huh?

She had a good time dressing up and scaring people. Brianne was never the one that liked going to people's houses for fear of being scared. So in the trailer she was in control of her surroundings and we think she enjoyed it just fine. The other holidays are not too bad for her.

Easter, no problem there. She gets her Easter basket from the Easter Bunny and we hide eggs for her that she colored the night before. Christmas is the big one for her as it would be for any other child.

We purchased a small table top tree and the girls decorate it. The lights are already on it so I don't have to mess with that. This year we are taking the month of December off so we have plenty of family time. We usually all go over to my eldest daughter's house on Christmas Eve and have some fun. The biggest problem with Brianne is getting her to sleep so Santa Clause can come by and drop off her presents. A few years back she was wondering how Santa was going to get in since we didn't have a fireplace. Sherry found an old key and painted it gold and told her that we would hang it outside so he can get in.

Travelling around with children is not a reason not to do this. You just have to be inventive and think outside of the box. Sherry does most of that kind of thinking. Now where can I put that turkey, the freezer......might be too small! Oh No.....another dilemma in an RV.

Until Next Time......................Be Safe.
 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Full Time RVing With a Child

When we decided to go to this full time RV thing we did have Brianne in mind. At that time she was 7 I think. When we had the "sticks and bricks" she was going to public school like any other child. Boy I remember her first day going to school I had to stay home from work because Sherry was a basket case. We started to develop problems at her school and we even started to talk about pulling her out and home school her.

During the year that we were having our yard sales and prepping the trailer I decided to do some research on homeschooling materials. To my surprise there was a lot of stuff out there and boy it was pricey too! The very first time I ever heard about this was years ago when my two brothers home schooled their children. Sherry and I were so against it that we thought my brothers had lost their minds. Since then we have changed our minds and now I have two aces in the hole for advice. Sherry and I discussed the subjects and went looking for the material. Our first major shopping spree landed us at Barnes and Noble and we bought about everything that we thought was necessary. Now we don't have any set curriculum but have information that pertains to the subject matter.

Brianne is in the fourth grade now. Once Sherry and I decided on the subjects, math, science, history that sort of thing we buy material to suit her. After a few years of doing this we have noticed that Bri is a visual learner. We have purchased some DVDs on math and science and we are giving it a try to see how it works with her.

What we do now is once a year, usually in the summertime we go to a teacher's supply store and get the material needed for the next year.

When we told our other kids that we were going to go full time RVing they were not too happy about us homeschooling Bri. My son-in-law, who is a teacher said "I think you are being selfish." He also was concerned about her socialization with other kids. I told him that I am sure there will be other kids around for her to play with plus she will have so many Grand Parents around her as well. Meaning the people we meet. I asked him will you ever go and take your children to see Mount Rushmore and he said probably not. So the only way your children will see it is in a book. With this lifestyle we will see it.

We have school with Brianne at any time of the day. She may sit at the table or work on a TV tray in the bedroom. She does her work and reading and she is done, all this may take about an hour and a half, maybe longer or maybe shorter. Sometimes there are days where we don't do school because she may be sick or it may be a holiday like Halloween. How we handle the holidays will be in the next post.

Until Next Time......................Be Safe.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Now What??..........The Stove???

It was time to start dinner and Sherry's turn to cook. This means I have dishes afterwards. She is making strogonoff and I am looking forward to it. I usually have two helpings. I am doing something, maybe checking a licence plate, when she yells out, "Hey my two burners went out." Oh crap, really?

I tore out of the trailer to check the propane tanks and sure enough the tank was empty. Here's the problem BOTH TANKS ARE EMPTY!! Needless to say no strogonoff that night. This is the first time in three years living in this trailer that this has happened.

The first tank I knew was empty but thought that I had enough in the second tank to get us by until Friday. This is when I was going to have them filled. Obviously no such luck. This is the only thing that bugs me about the propane tanks, how much do you have in each tank?

Now I know that there are a lot of "do-dads and gadgets" out there that you can put on or attach to that will tell you how much is left. But how accurate are they. Even the regulator has a little "green and red" button that will tell you if there is propane but will only show you red when you are empty. My regulator is so fancy that they tell you to open both tanks and when one is empty then it will start on the other one. Now you have become so complacent that both tanks are empty. Not me I only open one tank at a time and when that one goes dry I switch over to the other one.





What about the weight? What about it? I know that a 30 pound bottle weighs about 30 pounds empty and will weigh about 55 to 60 pounds when full. Takes about 7.5 gallons of propane. So I go outside undo the hold down mechanism and lift the bottles and say, "HHMMM, feels heavy, I must have propane." Yea right, this is about as accurate as those little magnetic gauges you put on the tanks. Maybe I should put bathroom scales under each tank. Would this work, well the idea sounds good until you tighten the hold down and then this throws off your reading.

In this day and age of wonderful electronic wizardry one would think that they would come up with a device that would tell you the level of propane from inside your trailer. Now maybe they have and I just don't know about it and if they do how come there is not a add on kit? Now come on, they have the sensors for all the tanks that contain liquids why not for the propane, its liquid?

Well I guess I better get off my soapbox and let you go, so..............

Until Next Time......................Be Safe.


 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let's Get Level Headed About This

In all the years that we have been camping, one of the the most dreaded jobs to do is to level our unit. We first started with a pop up which was so small I had no problems leveling that one. The next one was a motor home which was tail heavy so that one took a lot of boards to get it level. Our travel trailer wasn't too bad but still took some doing. Now the fifth wheel that we are in is the largest and most difficult to level but we have a system.

The fifth wheel has been a learning experience from the word get go. Hitching up and unhitching, pulling, making turns, braking, backing in and leveling. On its maiden voyage we went to one of our favorite spots which was the Indian Reservation just outside of Livingston, Texas. We pulled into our spot, leveled the unit and started to unhitch. When I pulled the release it wouldn't move. I pulled real hard and the truck and trailer both moved. I looked at Sherry and she looked at me and we both said, "What the hell was that?"

Since then we have developed a system for leveling and unhooking. But why is it so important to level the RV? Well besides the obvious it comes down to your refrigerator. That's right the fridge. The fridge works partly on gravity so all the liquids and gases can perform efficiently. If the fridge is not level then their is a possibility for damage to happen. How the fridge works in detail is a whole other post. So let's level this puppy!

Once you pull up to your site, what we do, is get out and take a look around. Look and see how level the site is and don't forget to look up for those low lying tree limbs. From this point I will explain how Sherry and I get level. After looking at the site, I will tell Sherry where I want the tires to be. Once I have the trailer where I want it to be, straight, centered that sort of thing, we discuss how many boards or what we use, the orange blocks. Sherry will start to get the set up on the blocks and then she guides me onto them. I always try to backup onto the blocks. The reason is that the trailer hitch pin will be far enough away from the locking jaws and no pressure so I have an easy release. If you pull forward onto the blocks and then try to release the trailer there is pressure from the hitch pin on the locking jaws and this will make for a difficult release. This is what happened to us at the Indian Reservation.

Sherry guides me onto the blocks and stops me just so she has enough room to place the wheel chock on the other side. Then she continues to have me backup into the wheel chock so she can place the other chock in the front. After this I will unlock the jaws to release the trailer and Sherry starts to lower the front legs. I move the truck out of the way and place a x-chock between the tires. When this is done I will lower the stabilizer legs in the back at each corner. Now remember that the stabilizers are for stabilizing the trailer not for leveling, they are not designed for leveling. I have a tool that can be used to lower the legs but instead I use my cordless drill with an adaptor to except a socket. This makes the job easier and faster. Once this is all done I am confident the the trailer is level and secured.

I must stress safety at this point. If you use good common sense and think safety first you won't have any problems. There may be times when you might forget something during your routine. We were in our TT when I started to unhitch from the truck and the trailer started to roll backwards. I quickly lowered the trailer back onto the ball hitch and started to see why it would roll. To my surprise I forgot to place the wheel chocks at the tires. You have all the time in the world so don't forget a major item like I did.

Now that the trailer is level and the fridge will work fine it's time to go fishing.

Until Next Time...............Be Safe.


 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Look At It This Way........(cont)

We had many yard sales and sold most of what we had. It came time to sell the fridge and to our surprise the first time we put it up for sale, boom it was gone. I really didn't think we would sell it so fast. So we used an ice chest for the rest of the time.

Now the house is starting to look a little bare. As a matter of fact we decided that this would be our last yard sale, and the washer and dryer have not been sold yet. We were just about to close up when this lady and her daughter came in and not only bought the washer and dryer but a bunch more stuff as well. She was helping her son outfit an apartment.

In the mean time I am trying to sell the house and property as well but no takers. Sherry and I decided to talk to the land developer from whom we purchased the house and property from. What he said was that he would give us some cash (not much) and we could stay until January of 2010. We took the deal and we no longer own the house or property. This happened in October of 2009. After finally giving away the remaining items we had left it was time to leave the house and go to a RV park and start our journey. Since it was December now we stayed until the holidays were over and took a job in Virginia.
We took off to Virginia in early March of 2010.

There were so many events that took place that I didn't think was going to happen. Sherry and I were going to go full time when we retired but after we looked at the fifth wheel a few times and her comment "To hell with it let's just sell everything and go full timing." I told her, "Why not?" How everything fell into place was perfect. The Lord does work in mysterious ways.

Sherry has this little voice inside her and she listens to it. While in Virginia the voice kept telling her that we needed to be in Springfield, MO. Well the job in Virginia was a nightmare and lasted about two months and we headed for Springfield, MO. After getting settled and Sherry's niece's house we went into Branson to find a job and the next day we got a call from one of the contacts. We were parked at their campground and working within a week.

We met some good people in Branson and we liked it so much that we came back for another season and stayed until November of 2011. One of our friends, who also does the type of work that we are doing now, told us about this job. We made contact with the company, filled out paperwork and we are now hired. The voice inside Sherry kept saying to give this a try. Well it worked out fine and paid us well enough to fix the ac unit and also take the summer off and travel.

We figured this much so far, this whole full time RV thing is great but we think that we are supposed to be doing this according to God's plan. We will continue to do so until He tells us otherwise. He protects us and provides for us. This is His plan and we will be happy to follow His plan. We will also be listening to Sherry's little voice for loud and clear messages.

So if you have one of those little voices in your head talking to you, you might want to listen to it and try to figure out what it is saying. It just might be a message from God.

Until Next Time......................Be Safe.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Look At It This Way......

Have you ever wonder why things happen the way they do?

I first pondered this question when Brianne was born. Brianne was a gift to us when my, back then, youngest was 14. Brianne was born 3 months premature and stayed in the hospital for three months. I still ask Sherry at times, "Why is she here?"

Our full time RV lifestyle was and still is a plan that was laid out to us. Yes we did make the decision to do this, but we had help from God.

Let me tell you a story that might take two posts.

Our journey began in late 2008 when I lost my job. I can let you think that the economy made me lose my job but actually I was fired. I was with this company for over 19 years. OK, I was a little nervous but for some reason not worried. The day that the axe fell I went back home and took Sherry out to lunch. We talked about me finding a job, so I did the internet thing for awhile with no such luck. I went on unemployment and we applied for food stamps.

I used to have a business sharpening clipper blades and scissors. We started to look for a vehicle so I could go mobile. We came upon this car lot and there were no suitable vehicles for the business but we did find the fifth wheel in the back. We went to look at it and began thinking to ourselves, could we do this?

After a long discussion about buying the fifth wheel and truck I cashed in my 401k at the beginning of the year and now we have a truck and fifth wheel in our driveway. But before this purchase we were on our way to town when we were in an auto accident that totaled our vehicle. Why on earth did this have to happen?

Nobody was hurt in the accident, we settled with the insurance company and the vehicle was gone. I am still not understanding at this time why the events were unfolding the way they were. Now to fast forward to the early part of 2009.

After making the decision to go full time, it is time to get rid of the house, property and sell off the stuff inside or give it away. We also decided to home school Brianne so we needed to find out how to do that.

Now let me recap and see if I have this in order:

Lost job.
Totaled vehicle.
Purchased RV and truck.

So far things look like it is going to plan. We may have made the decision to go full time but it is definitely God's plan.

Next up the yard sales and selling of the house and property.

Until Next Time.......................Be Safe.

 

Monday, September 24, 2012

What's bugging Me? BUGS

At our current job we have to use those outdoor type lights and boy do they attract the bugs. The moths I can understand but there are some out here that seem to come out in groves.

Our trailer must be some kind of an attraction to them. I have moved the lights further away from the trailer but that doesn't seem to work. They still keep coming. Take a look and see what they have done to the trailer.

 


If you take a real close look you can see that they are all over the trailer. It seems to me that they land on the trailer and somehow die there. They don't fall off either, if you try to brush them off they smear real bad.

Here are some pics up close.



Well the last pic isn't that much of a close up but you get the idea. Last night was really weird. A bunch of winged bugs were all over the ground, it looked like the ground was moving. There had to be thousands of them. All they would do is fly around the ground and then this morning they were all dead. Needless to say when you open the door they are inside and we are swatting them left and right.

Well if the nights are bad enough during the day I have to deal with the pesky gnats. These little creatures fly all around your ears and eyes. Oh yea, one more thing, biting flys. That's right biting flys, they land on your legs and bite you. It stings a bit and annoying.

So what's been bugging me lately, THE BUGS. I need a cold front to come through.

Until Next Time....................Be Safe 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Uh Oh....Water On The Floor!

One of the most terrible things to happen on your RV is to discover water in a place that shouldn't have water there. The plumbing system is of a basic thing and similar to your house. The problem is trying to find where the heck the leak is. I am going to try to break this up into different parts. All of this has potential areas of water leaks.

The Pump and City Water Connection.

Your water pump delivers water to your RV from the water tank. It runs off of your battery so you can have water pressure at any time, as long as there is water in your tank of course. The pump provides about 45 psi of pressure. When you are hooked up to a park's water system you might have too much pressure and a water regulator is needed. The RVs plumbing system is rated usually for no more than 45 psi. (pounds per square inch) Also when hooked up to the park you do not need to run your pump. I do recommend an RV water hose for your unit.

The Water Lines:

The water lines in your RV are made of a durable plastic tube. They may or may not be color coded for hot and cold. The connections are normally hand tighten type and can be found at your local hardware store. At least check them out before heading to the RV store. There's not a lot you have to do here but I would check the tightness of all your connections. If you use your unit frequently the travel may loosen some of your connectors. This happened to us under the bathroom sink. Water is sneaky and can do damage before you even notice that there is a leak.

Funny Looking Gadgets:

I mention this because you might have a leak at this gadget. What I am talking about is a Vacuum Break Diverter Valve. It is used on your toilet when you flush. What this valve does is allow some air into the flow of water after flushing. When you take your foot off the pedal, water will stop flowing and this is when the air is introduced. By allowing air into the system it prevents a suction of water from your toilet. This way your water system will not be contaminated. I have two of them, one for the toilet and one for my flushing of the black water tank.

Freezing:

There might be some confusion on this. If you purchased a "All Season" RV this doesn't mean that your pipes won't freeze. What it does mean is that your gray and black water tanks are not exposed to the elements underneath. They may or may not be heated as well. What you can do to help prevent freezing is to have your cabinet doors open during the night or day when temps drop. What this will do is allow heat to the pipes. In my fifth wheel I sometime will turn on the lights inside the cargo area, aka the basement.

If you experience water leaks the repair is easy, it is finding where the leak is that's tough.

Until Next Time................Be Safe.

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

In All His Glory

Our current job puts us right in the middle of the South Texas desert. We are pretty close to nowhere but not too far from anywhere. Outside our front door lies a rood which takes you back to civilization, which is about 35 miles.

We have seen many roadrunners, bunny rabbits and even coyotes, but no rattlesnakes as of yet. When we compare our last job to this one we don't have to deal with all the dust from the road but still have to contend with the rain.

Yesterday was a very soggy day. The rain started about ten in the morning and didn't stop until five or so. I was able to pull the awning out to keep dry as when I would be inspecting vehicles for proper license plates and such. I didn't have to many to inspect because of the rain. An easy day.

With everything said about our jobs and all the misery that surrounds them it is nice to see something surprising.


This place is pretty barren, small trees or very large bushes, sticker plants and no color, just brown. When I walked out the door this morning I was very surprised to see this little flower. I thought to myself how wonderful to see this little beauty in the middle of nowhere.

God's graces are all around us if we just take time to look. I know I will start looking a bit more often.

Until next Time......................Be Safe.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

BRRRRR......It's Cold In Here!

Here in the near future we all might being saying this. This past summer's heat I would think we are all looking forward to this winter. At least I am, I am having dreams of wearing a coat. Some people may not like the cold at all and therefore must have heat to keep them comfortable.

Do you like to go camping in the late fall or winter? If you do then you better check out your furnace before you take off. There is nothing more miserable than to get where you want to be and turn on the furnace and have no heat.

My experience with furnaces go way back to our first motor home. We bought it knowing that the fan didn't work on the furnace. I bought a fan for it and replaced it and the furnace worked fine. The next problem occurred in our travel trailer. The fan worked but no heat. A friend of mine and I pulled the furnace out and discovered that the electrode was covered by a mud dobber. Basically no spark. The last problem happened when we purchased our fifth wheel that we have now. Once again the fan worked but no heat. I pulled the furnace out and found that the circuit board was bad. I replaced the circuit board and now we have heat.

The basic operation of the furnace goes something like this:

  1. Set your thermostat to the desired temp.
  2. The furnace fan will start to clear any propane in the area.
  3. The burner will light and you will have heat.
Propane is used to give you heat in your RV. Your furnace uses the most propane in your RV. So if you like it warm and toasty then you will be using bunches of propane. Once the thermostat calls for heat propane will start to flow into the burner and will ignite by way of a spark. The burner area is the heart of the furnace where the air is heated and forced out into your trailer.

You may or may not have a CO (Carbon Monoxide) detector in your unit. If you don't have one, get one. As propane burns it produces CO and this can kill you. The furnace has an exhaust that vents outside your trailer. If your burner is cracked it can leak CO into your trailer and kill you. You will pass out and never wake up. This will ruin your day.

If you are a handy person with tools and have common sense then you can make repairs on your own. All I do is research the model of the furnace that I have and read up on it. Make logical decisions and go for it. It sure pays off in the long run. On the other hand you can always take it to a repair shop and have them fix it. Its just a choice and what you are comfortable with. Myself on the other hand don't have that option do to the fact of where we are and what we are doing at this job.

I hope that I have given you some incite to the operation of a typical furnace. So stay warm this winter and enjoy the cold or heat, depending on how you look at it.

Until Next Time............................Be Safe.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's So Hot About Water?

AAAHHHHH, the wonders of taking a hot shower. If you had a day that you were sweaty, dirty and sticky from the high humidity, you know taking that hot shower is very relaxing. In the winter I love to just stand there and soak it all in. How do we get hot water in an
RV?


Hot water heaters come in many different sizes for an RV. For this post I will use mine, which is a 10 gallon, direct ignition, propane and electric water heater. Let's take a few minutes and see how this works.

The water heater in an RV is pretty much the same as the one in your house. Water is fed into a tank, made from aluminum, and is heated by way of propane, an electric heat strip or both. When the water heater demands to heat the water an ignition of the propane will start and go off when it hits the desired temp. The desired temp is set at the manufacturer and can not be adjusted on most units. This temp is about 140 degrees, so be careful.

The operation of the electric portion is usually used in combination with the propane. By turning on a switch inside your trailer, this will help with the propane in a faster heating of the water. I normally don't use the electric heater and use only the propane. When using the electric heater it pulls too much wattage especially during the summer when the a/c is running.

The size of the eater heater will determine how much hot water you will have. Remember it is not like at your house where you may have a 40 gallon heater, in an RV they are small. You may have to adjust your shower time based on how much hot water you have. You only have a few items to take care as far as maintenance.


Here is mine without the cover. Yours should look similar. Most of what you need to do will be done outside. There is an Anode Rod that needs to be replaced about once a year. What this rod does is help protect the aluminum tank from corroding. To find where the rod is located can be a mystery. Sometimes they are located where you would drain the tank, located here at the bottom on mine.


Sometimes they can be a bear to get loose so be careful and don't break anything. If you are not sure where to find the anode rod check the internet on your model.

Lighting the propane portion of the water heater can be done in two ways. On mine all I have to do is flip a switch on the inside of my trailer. Some others you may have to light a pilot light to get it started. If you have to light yours manually follow the instruction on the cover or inside of the water heater. Once lit you can see the burner heating up your tank.


Here is the burner on mine so I can see the flame once it fires up. Do you see that pinkish wire looking thing? It is similar to a spark plug wire. This supplies the spark needed to light the propane. This is called "Direct Ignition". Having one of this type does not require a pilot light. I like this type.

Now for safety. When getting ready to travel, make sure that all pilot lights and switches are off. In some states it may be required that the propane be shut off at the tank(s). So go and enjoy that hot shower now.

Until Next Time..........................Be Safe.

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Staying Put!

Well it appears that this new blog is not working out too well. I think I will just stay here at this blog site and continue like I have before. I tried to customize it and even write something but it just wasn't comfortable and difficult to maneuver in it.

To be honest with you I thought by switching to the other blog site I would get more comments about the items I write about. If you have tried to give me a comment and was unable to publish it try under anonymous and sign your name. This way you don't have to have a google account. If you do have a google account then you will have to sign in. (I Think)

I do have a request to blog about the RV furnace and hot water heater. I will be posting these items in two different posts.

Until Next Time...........................Be Safe.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time: An Interesting Concept

We have so many different sayings when it comes to Time.

What time is it?
Where did the time go!
How much time will it take?
Time for bed.
Can the day be any slower?
What time do you have?

Well I guess you get the idea. It is interesting that they say "everybody has the same 24 hours in a day." Which is true but to some it is measured differently, some how. When you look at a clock and say, "Wow, where did the day go?" or "You mean to tell me that it is only 3 o'clock?, you have two different concepts of time.  One, of course, is fast and the other slow. Time is constant until you look at your clocks and realize that they are running too fast or too slow.

How can this be when plugged into an outlet, (unless it is battery operated)? Normally at your house you usually don't have a problem with your clocks. Plug them in, set the time  and there you go. In an RV when plugged into the generator you may find this to be interesting to know that your clocks may run faster or slower.

In my previous post I was plagued with a problem and I figured out why this happens. I will try to explain this as best I can.

If you were to take any one of your appliances and look on the bottom you will see 120 volts ac (120VAC) and 60 hertz (60hz). So what is a "hertz"? Go and get a piece of paper and a writing utensil, I'll wait..........................Oh you're back.

On the paper make a straight horizontal line........... Great looking line. Now on the line towards the left, start upwards and then make a curve downwards, pass the line and then start to make a curve upwards and stop at the line. What you have just drawn is a "sine wave". Now if we were to measure from start to finish in seconds then we would have one cycle per second or one hertz per second. Electricity is measured in hertz per second which happens to be 60 cycles per second or 60 hertz.

OK enough of the theory so let's apply this to a generator. Generators are a great tool to have in areas that frequent power losses. We went through Hurricane Ike when the power to the house was out for 2 weeks. We lived in our trailer, in the driveway, on a generator, even ran our washing machine as well. Generators run on engines which maintain a constant speed controlled by a govenor. Now that's a whole different story.

From what I have learned is that generators are measured and set at half load. This will produce about 120VAC at about 60hz. Notice that I said "about" in the last statement. So let's take a typical day in the trailer running on a generator. During mid-day we have the TVs on, the a/c is running and you are cooking something in the microwave. The clocks seem to be just fine. Now it's time for bed. The generator is running with a much lower load which means that it is running faster and so are the clocks. When you wake up you may notice that they are a bit fast and have to reset them. In general, when the generator speed is running faster so are the clocks and visa-ver-sa.

I hope that this makes sense to you all and helps explain why the clocks do what they do on a generator. If by chance that my information is not correct, please do not hesitate to let me know so I can correct myself. If I am wrong let me know, we are all learning and I can take criticism.

Until Next Time.................................Be Safe.





Friday, August 17, 2012

Time Creeps Slowly or Speeds Up

We have been full timing now for about three years. We also have had some interesting jobs. From feather dusting the outside of a bath house to cleaning rooms at a lodge and cabins.

When we were at these places we were plugged into their campground power, no problems.
For the past year or so we have been using a generator. Now I don't mind using a generator but it has some interesting features. Can I run everything that I want? Well as stated in one of my earlier posts the answer to that question would be no.

I consider myself to be somewhat educated and knowledgeable about most things. But there is one thing that has baffled me lately that I just can't get a grip on. When using the generator the clocks in the trailer may run faster or slower. But never on time. OK I guess you all know what the next question is? Why does this happen?

This much I know for sure, 120 volts ac at 60 hertz. This is the same power that you would normally have in your house. A generator's voltage is based on how fast the engine runs. The faster it runs the more voltage of course. Since voltage can fluctuate on a generator, does the hertz do the same? This is the only thing that I can come up with. I know one thing for sure is that I will be researching this out in the near future. I just hate it when I don't know something.

Well kind of a short post today and food for thought.

Until next Time...................................Be Safe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Can I Say, What Can't I Say??

We arrived in Whitsett yesterday, not a bad drive but that Texas Highway 72 coming from Yoakum could be just a little smoother.

After getting set up I went to the office to let them know we were here and I was given a two page letter. Sherry and I read the letter and it basically says that we are not allowed to give out any type of information about anything especially on the internet. I can't even take pictures anymore. OK I can understand this so far, I think.

I need to make an apology to some of my followers for getting upset about this.  I heard about this a few weeks ago and posted some comments on their blog, Sorry Debbie and Vicky. I do understand now since I have seen it in writing. We should be getting our assignment by Thursday we hope.

Now in the past, I posted a few things about the job but felt that it was general statements, nothing specific. I am not sure but I don't think I mentioned any names. I am getting old and the memory is short lived now a days. So what does this mean?

What this means to me is that I will not be posting anything about the job or who we work for and what we do. I will be posting our personal experiences and continue posting about our RV lifestyle and information about RVs in general. There is a lot to say about everything and anything, I just have to be careful on how to say it, which I am not very good at. I usually say what I mean and what is on my mind, I have been told that I have very little tact.

I have been following a couple of blogs about this lifestyle and now they have cleaned up their blogs that you won't find anything about this job. One blog doesn't even work for them anymore and won't be coming back either, but that's their choice.

I think that the internet is a great source of information and is a wonderful thing. I have purchased many items on the net, resourced items like my air conditioner, but it also can be a cruel tool. In this day and age posting or publishing anything on the internet is out there for good.I have a facebook page but don't really post anything there and I have no idea what this Twitter thing is all about and don't care to know either. My cell phone can make and receive calls and believe it or not that is all I do with it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I understand where they are coming from and will do my best to abide by the rules of the game.

Oh, what do you think of the new layout??



So Until Next Time...............................Be Safe.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Almost Over for Us, Final Chapter


I left on in the last post, I think, leaving Nails Creek and heading to Fredericksburg, Texas. We decided to stay at an RV park called Oakwood RV Resort. Boy were these sites tight. I mean TIGHT. I had a hell of a time getting the 5ver placed where the side would come out and not hit any trees. Outside of the site the park was nice and we had a good time in Fredericksburg. When we left Fredericksburg we headed to a State park called Lost Maples and to get there we tackled the "hills" of the hill country of Texas.

This park was nestled inside a canyon with mountains and trees all around. We stayed about 4 nights and if you want to get away from it all this is the place, no internet and no cell service. It was nice for a change. We travelled to some small towns to see what was there and to our surprise we stopped in a town called Utopia.

What makes this town special is that the movie "Seven Days In Utopia" was filmed here. This film is about a golfer and starred Robert Duvall. One of our favorite actors. We had lunch at a cafe called "Lost Maples Cafe" where some of the movie was filmed in. We bought the movie but have yet to see it. Looking forward to it.

We left Lost Maples and went to a city called Bandera. A nice little city but stayed at a park called Pioneer RV Park which was not so nice. The park was nice but the managers we rude and mean plus they charge 4 extra dollars for an extra person. I guess I will never understand why they do this. In Bandera we found a county park for only 15 dollars a night and we moved there for about 3 nights before taking off to Inks Lake State park.

This was a very popular park for the locals and was busy when we got there. The first site assigned to us was a no go and received a much bigger site just across form the bath house. We tried a little fishing and had a good time there. Sherry and I decided that it was time to start to head back to the Houston area one more time before we head to a gate. So off to Bastrop State Park.

Bastrop State Park was involved in a major wildfire last September which consumed about 95% of the park. We stayed for awhile and toured the area and it was pretty bad. The park is a nice one but will take years for it to be as beautiful as it once was. The next State Park we went to was called Buescher which wasn't far.

We were able to get the camp host site which had sewer and that allowed us to stay for a week. A real beautiful park that has a small lake for fishing so we took advantage of that one day. One nice thing about this park is that the sites are cheap, only 15 dollars a night, not bad.

Our time was up at Buescher and off to Stephen F. Austin State Park. We were at this park once before many years ago when our son was in the Boy Scouts. We picked our site which had sewer and set up camp. One of our neighbors was a first time, brand new 5ver camper. They had problems, but that's another posting. Knowing that this is our last park before heading back to a gate, we went to Tomball where we are at now.

We visited with the kids and grand kids last night but our son and his family was not able to make it. Today we have laundry and a few things to pick up at the store before we head off to our gate adventure for the next three months or so.

So Until next Time..........................Be Safe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Almost Over for Us Pt. 2

Let me see where I left off. I think we were leaving Amarillo and heading towards Wichita Falls, Texas. We stayed at a state park called Lake Arrowhead.

This park started out bad when we registered. The lady asked if we ever stayed there before and I said no and then proceeded to tell us to pick a site. For the most part this park was a hell hole with no shade and the power kept cutting out in the middle of the hottest part of the day.

The only saving grace this park had was a "Prairie Dog Town" that featured a small area of prairie dogs. It was pretty cool to watch.

Our goal was to head back to Houston and visit with the kids again. So we left Lake Arrowhead State Park and headed to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to another state park called Cedar Hill State Park. This park was real nice and shady. We went to Camping World one day and got caught up in a terrible rain storm on the way back.

Our next stop took us to Huntsville State Park. This is a popular park being so close to the Houston area. We had a nice site with plenty of shade but because of the trees we were not able to get a satellite signal, so DVD movies and antenna TV for our stay.

We are now in our favorite stop in Tomball which is where we are now. We visited with our kids in the north Houston area and then headed south to visit with our son and his family for a while. After that we wanted to head towards Fredericksburg, Texas. We were in Fredericksburg once before but only stayed one day so it deserved a few more days.

Before Fredericksburg we went to a state park called Nails Creek. There sites were very small and they gave us a site which had sewer but was a few dollars more. It was a bad park that we didn't like too much. I don't think that we will be back in the near future.

Wow, after looking at our log of where we have been I think I should stop now and continue later. I didn't realize that we have been to so many places this summer.......So

Until Next Time.................................Be Safe.






Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Almost Over for Us

Well unfortunately our summer vacation is coming to a close. We are at Stephen F. Austin State Park and will be traveling to Tomball on Monday. We will be there for about a week to see the kids and grand kids. After that we will be heading back to gate guarding in south Texas.

We have had an interesting ride this summer. We had a scare with Brianne passing out on us to watching a family with a new fifth wheel camping for the first time. Let me see if I can recap some of our most memorable moments.

We left the gate at the end of March and spent some relaxing time in Laredo. We  left Laredo and headed towards where our son and his family lives in Dickinson, TX for a bit. We went to Tomball for our daughter's wedding. Finally got her married off. Now the fun starts.

Went to the Alabama-Choushatta Indian Reservation to camp for a week and this is the place where Bri passed out on us. She is fine now and doing well. We decided to go to the College Station area to see the George Bush Presidential Library. If you have never been to one you really need to see one they are just fantastic.

A change in plans and a pit stop in Austin to see the LBJ Presidential Library. This library is under construction and very little to see. So we will make sure to visit again when completed. Now we head to the River Walk in San Antonio. We stayed just outside of San Antonio at a park which happened to flood out during a bad rain storm, no problem for us though. Our plan is to travel up to Amarillo, so off to San Angelo for a few days and then to Lubbock which was interesting.

While setting up I had encounter with a scorpion which stung me twice in the right thumb. Boy that hurt but ok now. Off to Amarillo now. We stayed at an RV park which was somewhat uneven and had rough roads. Here we had a lot to see and do. We went out to dinner in a limo, went to see the "Cadillac Ranch" and cruised Historic Route 66. Our main goal was to see an RV Museum there. it was free and very nice. They had the RV motor home from the movie "RV" starring Robin Williams.

After thinking about our summer I think this post may be too long so I will break it up into another post later on. So........

Until next Time....................Be Safe.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What Ever Happened to Common Courtisy?

I remember watching old western movies and in some scenes I would see the cowboys at the camp. Then I would see a stranger coming to their camp yelling, "Hello in the camp". Of course back then if you didn't acknowledge the camp you probably would have gotten shot. But today it is a whole different story.

I come from a long line of campers. My parents loved to go camping and I watched them go from a very large tent to the great looking Starcraft tent trailer to an Apache pop up with fiberglass walls, no canvass. I joined the Boy Scouts and learned even more about camping and the proper rules that go along with it.

When I got married I introduced Sherry to camping and she loved it. For over 30 years we have been camping and enjoying it ever since. We took our kids and taught them what we learned in the past. One of the first things that we taught our kids was the proper rules that you must apply while camping.

One of the first rules that we tought was "Never pass through someone else's camp!"  Even if you have to walk a good distance around you never go through somebody's camp. I call this Common Courtesy! Can you tell that this is one of my pet peeves?

While we were at Inks State Park we had quite a few unwanted guests come passing through our site. One man was walking through with his child and I asked him if he could please go around our site instead of through our site. His reply was that his little boy had to go to the bathroom. Where is the consideration for your fellow man??

I guess in this day and age there is a different type of camper out there. They leave trash at their site when they leave, don't pick up after their dog and keep you up all night with their loud music and partying. From what I have witnessed in the past, they just don't care.

I went online to look for camping etiquette and came up with a bunch of sites, so maybe some people need to take a look at these sites to get an idea on Common Courtesy for your fellow camper. Enough said and time for me to get off my soapbox.

So Until Nest Time.................Be Safe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Addition

Well it's been a while since my last post because we were in an area that had no cell service and no internet. I guess you would call that a dead zone. Actually it was kind of nice up until the time we had to figure out where we were going. We were at a state park called Lost Maples and surrounded by mountains, it was pretty cool.

Before we got there, we were in Fredericksburg and decided to go to a second hand store for the local SPCA. Needless to say Sherry wanted to go look at the dogs in their shelter next door. We stumbled upon this little dog, a Chiuaua mix. I don't think I spelled that right but I think you got the idea. I just ran spell check and no luck, oh well.

We took the dog out of its cage and went into another room so he can get a feel for Bri mostly. In short we adopted the dog and named him "Gizmo".


He seems to be adapting fairly well. When we left the park he road in his cage in the back seat. After Fredericksburg and Lost Maples we headed for Bandera, TX. When we left Bandera we had a short trip to Burnet, TX and decided to see how he would ride out of his cage. Gizmo did very well with no problems. We are now at a state park called Inks Lake State Park.

This place is very large and has a beautiful lake within walking distance from our trailer. It seems to be a very popular place. When we got here they assigned us a spot but after looking at it, we would have never been able to fit. So back to the office and they gave us a real nice long site. No problems getting the unit in here. We will be until tomorrow and then head for Bastrop State Park.

Last September Bastrop State Park was engulfed in a wild fire which burned about 90% of the park. The CCC back in the 30's built 13 cabins out of rock and the firefighters were able to protect them during the fire. Almost 10 months later it will be interesting to see what mother nature has done to this park. I also feel that this could be educational for Brianne. Hopefuly I can get some pictures and post them later. So.......

Until Next Time....................Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What To Do, Where To Go and The Tree

This full-time RV lifestyle is great but it does have some problems of its own. Being forced into retirement early, I never thought that I would be faced with a problem of "Where to go and what to do?"

We are here in Fredericksburg, Texas now up to this Friday. The park that we are at is nice but very, very close together. There are trees around which makes the sites skinny. When we pulled in I had to place the door side tires almost on the concrete patio just so we could bring the slide out. This left only about six inches before the slide would hit the tree. It is quiet but next time we will request a site more conducive to us.

Speaking of trees, a few posts back when Sherry drove the truck and trailer for the first time we went to a park that day and started to back in. After adjusting a few times I ended up very close to a tree on the driver's side. I think overall we were only about two inches from it. Sherry was worried about it especially when we pull out and if we will hit it.

Well guess what, I DID! Here's my thought on pulling out next to a tree. I wanted to pull out and go right. I figured if I can get the tires just past the tree I could start making my turn to the right. Well that theory didn't work out so well. Sherry was outside yelling at me to stop but like an idiot I had the window up, a/c on high, and the radio on low. Needless to say I couldn't hear her.

Now for the damages. My city water connection was ripped out and the trailer has some bad scratches on the side. I was able to fix the city water connection and learned that when you have the water pump on and start to disconnect the city water connection water will start to flow out of the connection. In the city water line there is a one way check valve which allows the water to stop at the city connection. More lessons learned, when close to a tree you can not start to turn in either direction until the back of the trailer has cleared the tree.

The park we are at now I face the same problem again. This time I have to turn left to pull out and make sure that I clear the tree. I guarantee you this,  I will not be hitting any trees. Once I clear the trees I will have to go down to another empty site and back in to that one just so I can turn around to get out of this place.

We like to stay at state parks here in Texas but are finding out that they are filling up fast. So we will have to get creative about where we want to go. As we wind down our vacation I am trying to plan to get back to the Houston area for a doctor's appointment in August. After that if the plans hold up we would like to visit Corpus Cristi as our last hurray and then head back to the gate guarding thing. If any of you have any suggestions please let us know.

So until next time.........................................Be Safe!


P.S. Today is Sherry's Birthday............................Happy Birthday Honey, I Love You!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ever Have One of Those Days???

I am sure the obvious answer is yes!!! Now I am not going to whine and cry to you all but just state the facts, ma'am, just the facts. I had to throw that one in there. Who remembers the show??

Ok on with it. We left Dickinson yesterday and drove to a state park called Somerville. They have two parks on each side of the lake and we are at the Nails Creek Park.

When we arrived there was no one at the office. We thought that was strange because at every state park we been to the office was always open. The sign on the door said "Out to Lunch." So we went on to look for sites. We found one that had some decent shade trees and started to back into it.

The temps outside had to be reaching into the upper 90's by now and after about 4 or 5 trys I decided to end it and see if anybody was in the office and ask if we can switch to their other park. Now I can hold my own when it comes to backing into a site, I don't claim to be an expert at it but I knew I could do it. The heat outside was pretty intense and I didn't want Sherry in the heat anymore than she had to be.

We discussed our delema with the office and they offered the camp host site which was a pull through and it had sewer. If we took the site, and we did, it was only $20 a night instead of the normal $16 a night. We still have afternoon sun on the driver's side of the trailer but it will do.

What we do now is as soon as we are level and Sherry starts to bring down the front legs I go and connect the electric power and start the air conditioner inside. This way the trailer starts to cool off some before Sherry goes inside to do her thing, whatever that is. I am going to have learn what she does.

As soon as I plugged in and flipped the breaker it TRIPPED!! Damn what the hell happened. A couple of trips back I had to put on a new plug end and I thought something happened inside the plug, sure enough it did. The white wire came loose and was touching the black. I started the repair and boy I was sweating up a storm. Bri and Sherry are in the truck trying to stay cool while I was outside until Sherry came out to find out what I was doing. I told her what had happened and she started to help me and noticed how sweaty I was. She told me to go to the truck and drink some water and cool off some. I told I was almost done and wanted to plug it in and see if the a/c would come on.

Well it didn't, so I got out my meter to test the box to see if it had power and it didn't. I called the office and they sent somebody out to check it and she said the breaker in the building may have tripped. Sure enough it did and the a/c started right away when I flipped the breaker on. YIPPEE!! The building next door to us is a brand new bath house which is great since I like taking showers at the places we visit. Just something different. After finally getting set up and the satillite working, got to have that, we decided to check out that great bath house.

Sherry and Bri checked out the womens and of course I checked out the mens. To my surprise I found an unwelcome guest in the urnial. Have a look.


And later when I went back to take the above picture I found this little guy by the door.


After having a run in with one of these little fellows before I think I will change my mind about taking a shower in this bath house. As they say, "Been there, Done that".

I need to take you back to last Friday when the most unthinkable thing to happen to you, did happen to us.      THE COMPUTER WAS INFECTED AND WE LOST EVERYTHING.

We went and bought a new computer but I am going to keep the other one and try to fix it, what's the worst that can happen, the hard drive takes a dump, it already did, oh well poo poo happens.

So Until Next Time...........................Be Safe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

There's Another Driver In Town

Awhile back, I think we were in Lubbock, I was setting up and grabbed one of the bags for the leveling blocks. To my surprise there was a scorpion in it and I got stung twice on my right thumb. Boy did that hurt. I have never been stung by anything before, not even a bee.

We called the CDC and they recommended soaking my thumb in bleach and water diluted of course. I took some aspirin for the pain, it didn't work, and went back to setting up. The pain lasted into the next day and then went away all together. I told Sherry that at least it happened to me and not her or Bri. She commented back to me and said,"That's not good. If anything happens to you we are stuck until you get better." I started to think about it and she was right. I also thought it's time for her to learn how to drive the truck and pull the trailer.

We were at the county park this past week and I told her that she will be pulling out and driving around the parking lot. I figured this would be a great place for her first time. It was big enough and had some up and down hill parts in the road.

She got in the driver's seat and adjusted her mirrors and proceeded to pull out into the parking lot. She started out slowly and came to her first stop and made a left. She made the turn and started to go down hill. She applied the brakes and noticed that it takes a long time to stop. After the first time around the park she said she wanted to do it again, and so she did.

We came to a large part of the parking lot and I wanted her to try to back the trailer into an area. I got out of the truck and went to the back and she started to back up, then I stopped her. She almost jack-knife the truck. She pulled forward and continued backwards. At one point when backing she said, "I lost the trailer in the mirror." She continued backing and adjusting the truck and trailer until I told her to stop and get out and look where she was. The trailer was straight and right on the mark. Good job Babe!

She was a little nervous but has better feel for what is behind us. When we were talking about it I told her that driving on the interstate is easier than driving in the city. The next thing to teach her is what I do while driving, when to down shift, when to kick it out of overdrive, that sort of thing.  There's one thing that I won't teach her and that is how to hit a tree.

So Until Next Time.......................Be Safe.