Our Schedule

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Presidents

Onawa, Iowa

After our ordeal with the spring hanger back in Ohio, we have really traveled the miles.   Our first stop was at Forest Bo Woods COE park in Sullivan, Il.   What would a camp-out be without Smores?

One day we drove the short distance to Lerna, IL and the log home of Abraham Lincoln's father and step-mother.  Abe never lived in this house but visited often.  The last time was after he was elected president but before he was inaugurated.

Re-inactors are working here and answering questions.   At the visitor center children get to choose to dress in period costume.  Abby was game but Charlotte only wanted an apron.

There is a nice picnic area on the grounds, of which we took advantage since it was lunch time and we had packed a lunch.

The next day we drove to Springfield, Il.

This is the home that Abe and Mary bought and lived in prior to moving to Washington.   It was originally a story and a half, but with a growing family additions were necessary.  Their son Eddie died in this home from TB shortly before his 4th birthday.

Mary's bedroom.  Ugly wall paper. No  wonder she suffered from Migraines. 

Following a visit to the house, we then toured the Lincoln Library and Museum.

And drove by his burial site....

We left Sullivan on June 22 and drove to another COE park (Linder Point) in Iowa City, IA.
Shortly before we got to the campground we saw sign for

Alrighty then.... let's visit.  It was only about 7 miles from the campground in the small town of West Branch, Iowa.   This small house is where he was born:

The Museum and Library:

We left Iowa City this morning and are currently overnighting at Blackbird Bend Casino in Onawa, Ia.   This casino has 14 RV sites with 50 or 30 amp electric.   Just pull in, plug in and stay for the night.....FREE.

Tomorrow we will go about 360 miles and overnight at a truck stop in Kadoka, SD.  Then on to the sights of SD.

Until next time.....

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Eliminating stress

London,  Ohio

Sometimes one is weighed down looking at various options when making a big decision.  Today we make one.  I feel better.  Less stressed.   Let's review:

In 2009 we bought our 3rd RV.  But our first new one.  A 2009 Montana.  We had few problems with it.  We lived and traveled in it 5 years.  But having an RV fridge just didn't cut it.

 A few stresses we caused.  Worse one was when Len got too close to a gas station barrier and separated the back cap from the side walls.   This happened in May, 2010.  The repairs were finally done in late August. NO, we didn't cause the delay.  Blame it on the dealer. During most of this time we lived in it with a temporary fix.

Oh, we've had flat tires, etc.  Many flat tires.  Once we had two blow outs in less than 3 hours.  Both on Interstates. In the busy northeast... Connecticut then New Jersey.  Both on same side. That was lucky as damage was done to the rig. Nice is wasn't on both sides.  This was on a Saturday afternoon.  Could not find a place to buy trailer tires.  Betty Barnes came to the rescue.  She and Dave were 54 miles away and had a 2010 Montana.  Got their spare, put it on and got back to where they were working security.  Got new tires Monday morning.

Back to the issue with the repair work on the back cap. When we got the rig back, they had changed out the steps. The bottom step was now 24 inches from the ground. Said they needed to be changed.  Why?   No reason to change steps when the damage was done in the back.  Who damaged the steps while at the shop.  Could not get satisfaction until I wrote to Good Sam.

Should have changed out the RV fridge to a residential in the Montana.  Instead we bought a 2014 Cedar Creek.

What a mistake.  First issue...... we were wearing out the tires.  The unit leaned 1 1/2 inches to the left.  We called the manufacturer, Forest River.   They told us to move things around. What the HELL!   They built the thing.  What should we move?  The refrigerator?  The stove? The fireplace? the hot water heater? the pantry? the shower? the furnace?  The cabinets for pots and pans and dishes?  The table and chairs?   Just tell us how to do that.

So we replaced the 7,000 pound axles with 8,000.  At our cost of over $5,500.  An extra leaf was added to level the rig.  A few months later the spring came apart. At the base of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  Luckily they were working on the bridge and the left lane was closed.  We were in the next lane.  We destroyed about 10 barrels.  Could not get through the tolls as the rig was pulled at a right angle from the truck.  Len had recently had surgery.  To the rescue my brother Norman, my nephew JR and SIL Scott.  At the base of the bridge.  In the rain.   Shop that put on the springs and hangers would not make good.  Well, they agreed to cut the repair bill in half.  Whoopee.  Len checked their work later and the torque was not right.  Probably wasn't right the first time either.

Not too long after,  lights were flashing while we on I-10 in San Antonio.  Bolts on the rack on the back of our rig broke.   We were dragging our generator.  Len put new bolts on.  Lasted 2 miles.  On the overpass.  No place to pull off.  In heavy traffic.  A sweet young man stopped to help.  This was not long after Len had knee replacement.

This rig.....  sometimes the residential refrigerator works while not plugged to shore line.  Sometimes it doesn't.   Been in shop twice for it. We had the rig only months when we noticed a split in the skin near the bedroom slide.

 Took it to the dealer where we bought it.  They had  a body shop do the repair.  Lasted 35 miles.     Then a spring hanger on the left broke chewing up tires.  Took it back to the shop.   Five days in a motel.

And who can forget when moving into our house in Alabama.  Rig was stuck in saturated ground. Len hit the gas backing up.  I yelled to stop.  He didn't hear.  Backing up, backing up, backing up.  Yelling, Yelling, Yelling.  Windows up in truck. Crash

Then  heater stopped working.  We paid $360 to a mobile repair person who said it must have had a spider or dirt it in.  Worked a few days.  Quit.   Took it to  an Open Range dealer 46 miles from where we now live.    They fixed the split in the skin.  They fixed the heater.  They hit the roof going under an overhang.  They  damaged awning.  We have a new awning. They damaged the roof. They patched the roof and will replace it when we get back to Alabama.

This brings us to today.  Len inspects the rig quite often when traveling.  You never know.   One half on the right spring hanger is broken.  Needs welding.  So here we are.

When preparing for  this trip, I planned to overnight at the Pilot truck station near London, Ohio.  When this happened 150 miles back, I Googled Open Range dealers in Ohio.  There are three.  One is in London.  Can you believe a little good luck?   It is RIGHT NEXT TO PILOT.  We will be there when they open tomorrow morning.

But, it the meantime.  Len and I have had enough.  Enough I say.  After this trip, the RV gets sold.  We have a nice home to Alabama.   We've had 7+ years of fulltime RVing plus part time for almost that many years.   We don't need this stress.  Our sanity and health comes first.

We used to love it.  Now we hate it.  We have two RV sites on our property.   We thought one would be empty for guests.  Soon there will be two.   RV friends.... come visit.  We will have plenty of room.

Anybody in the market for a PIA RV?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

May 31 to June 13, 2017

Ocean View,  NJ

On May 31 we pulled out of our friends driveway near where we used to live to our destination for two weeks.  It is about a one hour drive to Lake and Shore Thousand Trails campground in Ocean View.

After getting set up we headed back to my sisters house to bring her rig to the campground.

This is a family friendly campground with a lake, pool, arcade, mini golf, etc.  As school was still in session in NJ, the campground was quiet during the week.   The weekends, not so much.  Rigs are really packed in.

Being an old biddy, I like the quieter times and wide spaces we find at Army Corps of Engineer Parks.  On the flip side, I would not enjoy long term stays at 55+ parks.  Gotta hear kids laughing and playing too. That is why we like to mix it up a bit.

While in this area, we have enjoyed the company of friends and family.

June 4:    A visit from our good friend Tom.  And an introduction to the new lady in his life.  Monica. I am thrilled to say, we hit it off from moment one.

June 5:   My brother Norman visited along with his friend Donna, another nice lady. The woman on the right is my sister Debbie who got off work early enough to join in the visit.

June 8:   Our granddaughter Charlotte graduated 5th grade down in Maryland.   It was a 128 mile drive each way but we would not miss it.

Daughter Amy started a new job to day before with the State of Maryland so was unable to attend.  In years previous the graduation was at night so when she accepted the job she thought it would not be a issue and did not attempt to negotiate the day off.  But she found out two weeks before, the graduation would be at 9 am.  Here is daddy Scott and Charlotte.

June 9:   Several years ago we attended an RV show in Atlantic City with our friends Helena and Adam.  At this time they were thinking of getting an RV.  Well this year they did it.  They are now considering selling their home and hitting the road.  They came for a visit to "pick our brains".  Good thing they came now as we notice we lose brain cells on a daily basis.  Here are Helena and Adam (and Leonard).

June 10.  Another long drive.  But for a special reason.  June 10 is our 28th wedding anniversary but even better it's Abby's 8th birthday.   So this day was an even longer drive. All the way  from the south Jersey shore area to York, PA for a luncheon at a Chinese Buffet.   Abby loves her sweets.  As a special treat, today she was allowed to eat all desserts.  (She did have some mac and cheese too).  Also joining us were Grandson Justin and his beautiful girlfriend Karlie who drove over from Philadelphia.  That's Abby on the right forefront.

After lunch and a visit to the girls favorite huge consignment store in York.  Justin and Karlie came back to the campground for the night.  On Sunday they toured the Cape May Zoo.   If you ever have a chance, this is a must see in the area.  Then they went to the beach and back here for steaks before fighting the traffic back to Philadelphia.

June 12:  A visit from my cousin Mae and her son John.   We always enjoy good conversation with both John and Mae.  So happy they were able to get down here for the day.

WHEW!  We leave here tomorrow.  First we will take Debbie's rig back to her house.  Then we return to our friends driveway for one night.

On Thursday we go to Cordorus State Park in Hanover, PA.  On Sunday we leave with Charlotte and Abby headed west to visit some interesting, historic and fun places.

The picture of the bird in the header is a baby oriole.  I heard this poor baby crying.  He must have fallen from a tree and landed on the screen we have attached to our awning.  When Len went to move him, he flew to the ground.  There he hopped around and attempted to fly.  I watched as his mother came to him several times but very briefly.  Not long enough to get a  picture.  The last I saw him he had hopped under my sisters RV.

Until next time.