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.