Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Although our RV park offers free Wi-Fi service it is not a secure connection. We were on a Verizon Wireless Jetpack plan that gave us up to 10GB a month for $80. We decided to drop the Verizon Wireless account and went with Millenicom’s no contract Jetpack plan of 20GB for a month at $69.99. The Jetpack connects to Verizon Wireless networks yet support is directly thru Millenicom.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Our plans for 2014 are to continue to live a simple life as that seems to work for us. Our life style is not complicated nor filled with drama or what if's.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Monday, March 12, 2012
Storage unit F-29 purchased at auction on February 23, 2012 for $250 had the following items within it’s contents.
James Dean collectibles in the following: Framed photographs, jigsaw puzzle, deck of playing cards, shot glass, 1/18 scale model 1949 Mercury Coup, 12” action figure doll, collector plate, large serving tray, 3D framed poster, movie collections in VHFs and DVDs.
50 Star Wars action figures
Movie collector cards for, Indiana Jones series, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.
75 DVD movies all all kinds.
200+ VHF movies of all kinds.
20” Leg Lamp like in “The Christmas Story”.
An antique iron bed with head, foot, rails and slats.
A Lava Lamp.
An antique Drop Leaf dining table
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Yesterday we were going through a storage unit which we purchased at auction on the 23ed of February. We found a tin with some change in it (coins). Thinking it was just pocket change like we normally find in storage units we just tossed the tin in a small box to bring home. After supper we opened the tin to count the change, 48 dimes, 27 quarters and 2 half dollar coins. All these coins were dated in or before 1964. We had silver in our hands. We removed three Mercury Dimes from the batch to save for ourselves.
Today we took the coins to our special metals buyer. The face value of the coins we took him was $12.25 in return he gave up $200. Not a bad find from a $250 storage unit.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Over the past 12 days we have been going through our storage unit. Items we have found that were in sellable condition have been placed in our new flea market booth at 49 Flea Market on highway 49 South of Hattiesburg, MS. We occupied our booth this past weekend, one of the slowest weekends of the year. We did sell a few items making back our booth rent and storage locker rent plus a little extra for the next auction.
Today was our last day sorting through the clothing that was stuffed in duffel bags. This was the unit that kept on giving as today we found a set of wedding rings at the bottom of a duffel bag that had women's cloths. We took the rings to a jewelry store and got a value on them, size 5.5, 14K white gold, .38 karat diamonds value $849.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Today was our first storage auction unit with a real WOW factor. Below is what we were able to see before the bidding started.What caught our eyes were the plastic storage containers, the lack of furniture and the shoes. These were very good signs that this was the locker we would want. All kinds of ideas came to mind as to just what could be hiding in those containers. Cloths, knick-knacks, dishes, toys and the list could go on forever.
Quick look before we called it a day and came home. We found 14 pairs of almost new Nike shoes, three pairs were Air Jordans. Three new designer wallets, a Coach, a Christian Dior and a Prada. Dozens and dozens of movie DVDs, Music CDs, Play Station and computer games.
Also in this storage unit are military uniforms, ammo pouches, a bullet proof vest, gas mask, holsters, empty ammo clips, a tank helmet, a 70 pound backpack and three duffel bags.
We won this storage unit for $375 which was a steal for what we found however for what we could see during the bidding we thought we were over bidding. We sure are glad the other bidders felt the same way and didn’t run the bid up any higher.
Just counting the Nike shoes and the three designer wallets we see those items bringing in over $1,200.
Monday, December 26, 2011
This truly was a quiet Christmas for us. Not one firecracker was heard in our area. This is something we have never experienced in all our years together. Also we were concerned that maybe the end of the world was upon us as there were no lights on at any of the RV’s parked in this campground the past two night other than our own lights. It was as if we were given the blessing of tranquility which in a way was a bit spooky.
Our Christmas time was spent right here at home in our RV. No trips to town and no reason to venture out beyond our door. This in it’s self is a real blessing to us. Not having to deal with the hustle and bustle of shopping or all the traffic, how cool is that!
We hope all our fans had a wonderful Christmas this year and received blessings beyond their expectations.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Prospects today was for 26 storage unit auctions spread over six locations however by days end there were two locations with a total of five units. All others were canceled at the last moment for one reason or another.
The first storage facility auction we attended was at 10:00am and was to be six storage units which ended up being only one 5 x 8 storage unit. From the door we could see a queen size mattress, a fold up bed frame for the mattress, a huge (and we do mean huge) TV, a washer, an exercise bike, a few old boxes and some clothes laying on top of the boxes. This unit sold for $480 and the buyer has 48 hours to clear it out a job that would take them less than an hour.
The next and last storage facility auction was at 11:00am. This location was to have five storage units up for auction and ended up with just four units.
First up was a 10 x 10 storage unit. We were advised that this unit contained “Junk” according to the manager. The contents were a dresser made of particleboard, the drawers for it were stacked on top of an entertainment center also made of particleboard, a small what-not shelf and a baby swing that all. This unit sold for $180.
Next up for auction another 10 x 10 storage unit. This unit contained a queen size mattress and box springs, a free standing kitchen storage cabinet , a dusty torn suit case, about 12 boxes, several bulging black trash bags, a microwave, head and foot boards for what looked to be queen size, a child’s doll stroller and a plastic set of shelves. This unit sold for $365.
Next up for auction an 8 x 10 storage unit. This unit contained what looked like a nice table which had several items on it as if it were being used. Things like File folders, a cup with pencils and pens, an open case showing a video camera, a small CD holder with a few CDs in it, A baby stroller, a folding chair, 4 boxes and one bulging trash bag. This unit sold for $295.
Last up for auction was another 10 x 10 storage unit. This unit had what looked to be the best contents. A dish washer, large microwave, 10 or 12 speed mountain bike, folding camp cot, large rocking chair, several boxes, two nice suit cases, a vacuum cleaner and a set of end tables. This unit sold for $390.
As you may have already guessed, we did not place a single bid today.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tomorrow looks like it will be a busy day for us. Six storage facilities with a combined total of 26 storage units will be up for auction within our local area. The first one will begin at 10:00am and the last one starts at 2:30pm. They are not quite set up like ducks in a row as several require backtracking and our mileage could reach the 100 mile mark by days end if we attend all of the auctions.
We do not expect to see high quality contents at either of the locations. The facilities are located in middle to lower income level areas of the city. One location however does have a climate controlled storage building and may or may not have units within up for auction.
As stated in a previous post, our intent is not to bid on any units during the winter months but rather have our presents known. This assures our competition and the storage facilities that we are still in the game. Contents will dictate whether we actually place a bid or not.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Winter is upon us. The days are getting colder and this means we have to bundle up when attending storage auctions. We also need to take a thermos along with hot coffee which helps break the chill. Ok, bundled up, hot coffee, cold weather, we think you came guess where this is leading. Did we mention in some cases there is no facility on the property in which to relieve yourself.
Thru the winter months we will continue to attend storage auctions however our intent will not be to purchase any units. We are more curious as to how “Auction Hunters”, “Storage Wars L.A.” and the new show “Storage Wars Texas” will effect the bidding process at our local level thru the winter months.
Over the past few months we have seen an increase in the number of people attending our local storage auctions due to the viewing of the fore mentioned TV shows. Far too many are mislead thinking there is fast and easy money to be made. It doesn’t take long at all for those that have the idea of fast and easy money to go broke or become quickly discouraged.
Although our intent over the winter months is not to bid and purchase any storage units we will have the funds on our person in the event a great unit arises.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Attending storage unit auctions is a learning experience. No matter how much you read or see TV shows about them not everything about the auctions are covered. You simply have to attend a few storage auctions to get a better understanding. These events aren’t for everyone no matter how appealing written articles and television shows make them out to be.
The actual process of finding auctions, attending auctions, bidding on units, cleaning out the units, transporting the contents home, sorting thru the contents, selling the good items and tossing out the trash and junk is definitely hard and dirty work.
You will find that you may have all kinds of filth to contend with. Spiders and spider webs, mice and rat droppings, bugs and creepy crawlers, soiled diapers, and dirty clothing as well as large amounts of dust and dirt. If you are not ready and willing to contend with this type of filth, then storage auctions are not for you.
With all this in mind it is best to bring a few sanitary items along with you to the storage auctions where you intend on bidding. These items should include work gloves, safety goggles, coveralls, dust masks, large trash bags, hand cleaner and a roll of paper towels. It also is not a bad idea to take a square end shovel alone. This could come in handy in the event you come across one of those mice or rats that left the dropping for you.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Finding storage facilities that auction abandon and foreclosed storage units is the first key to going to storage auctions. Let’s face it, if you don’t know where an auction is how will you be able to attend. Here we will look at several outlets one has toward locating storage facilities.
Newspapers: In most areas of the United States a storage facility must notify the public the location, time and date of abandoned and foreclosed storage units. These facilities use local newspapers for such public notifications. These notifications are usually located in the legal section of classified ads.
Internet: A good place to start your search using the internet is a site called AuctionZip.com . At AuctionZip.com you can set the distance you are willing to travel. Menus within their search fields have several types of auction formats to choose from. The dates will be displayed. Clicking on an active date will show the auctions, dates and locations.
Telephone: Contacting storage facilities via a telephone is yet another good way to locate storage auctions. You can use your local telephone directory to find storage facilities within your area. The managers can advise you as to when they expect to hold auctions at their facilities. In some cases the facility manager will be the actual auctioneer for the facility. In some cases the manager will put you on a contact list to be notified of up coming auctions.
The Hard Way: The hard way requires you to get out of your chair and actually visit the storage facilities you are willing to travel to. Personal contact is the very best means of finding where auctions will be held. You will find that there are storage facilities that hold auctions once a year and others that have auctions as soon as the unit is foreclosed on. Getting to know the managers of the storage facilities within your area has it’s benefits. A bond of trust can quickly develop and these managers in turn may offer to waive any cleanout fees required upon winning a bid on their storage units. These managers may even offer you the contents of storage units that were left behind by previous renters.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Hopefully by days end we will have our own storage unit emptied out. All that’s let in it is a coffee table and two end tables. We received a call last night from a lady wanting to purchase them. They were listed on craigslist for over a week, however when we reposted them yesterday evening we received a call within an hour.
As some of our readers know we had to replace both of our computers this month. On one the motherboard went out and on the other the hard drive died. Today before lunch we took the hard drive out of the one that the motherboard was bad in and put it into the other. We reformatted the drive and installed Windows XP Pro. Then we placed an ad on craigslist and received a call for it within 20 minutes. The guy will be here in an hour to purchase it.
More Storage War tips:
(7) If you see something of interest inside a storage unit keep your mouth shut and listen to the chattering. Others may or may not have seem the same thing. What you want to listen for is if others are talking the contents up or down. These are your competitors if you plan to bid on the storage unit. They want to “Low Ball” the unit and in most cases they can be easily out bid.
(8) Put on your “Poker Face”. It’s hard to tell what a person is going to do if they give no indication whether they intend to bid or not. Keep your intentions to yourself until you are ready to place your bid.
(9) You found a unit you really like. This takes patients on your part when the bidding starts. Before you place your bid wait until all the bids stall then yell out. At this point the bidding will most likely be between you and one other person. You then have a 50% chance of winning the bidding.
Monday, November 28, 2011
We attended a storage auction today. Prospects for this auction seemed good when we left home. Windy, light rain, temperature in the low 40’s and all units being auctioned off would be outside in the elements. Like us you would think this would mean a small turnout for the auction.
The storage auction had advertized 16 units would be up for auction today. At 8:30am we arrived to find that there would be 12 units being auctioned. At 9:00am the instructions were given by the auctioneer and the number of units actually up for auction were 11. Yes someone came in and paid for a unit at the very last minute.
Back to the “Prospects seemed good”, not so. Over 100 people showed up in this nasty weather to try and win bids on the storage units. Just as expected from the size of the crowd bidding went right thru the roof. $50 value units were going for $180 and up. One unit that was 10x5 and full of boxes went for a staggering $1,100 followed by a unit with half as much content went for a whopping $875.
We would have loved to be able to take photos of the lockers as well as the crowd that turned out however that if not allow. Something about “Right to Privacy” laws prevents us from documenting the events using a camera. Of course once you own the storage unit contents you are free to click away as much as you want, as long as no one outside of your party is in the photos.
We didn’t come home empty handed because we still had our cash in our pockets. We hope for better luck next time. Maybe today’s winners have spent all they had for the month.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
We have gotten on text call lists of some of the auctioneers within our area. Late last night a text came in notifying us of a storage facility auction with 16 units starting at 9am Monday. The first time we had received such a notice we thought WOW that’s a lot of storage units, however when auction time came there would be only 3 or 4 units being auctioned. The reason being, customers would pay up the morning of the auction rather then loose all their items. On a good note we have seen the advertized number of units actually being auctioned.
Ok, you get notice of a storage auction. Several things will go thru your mind whether you are a pro or amateur “Storage Warrior”. How much cash should I take along? How many units should I try to win? How high should I bid on each unit? This is what I call the “Pre-Auction Jitters” and it happens every time I get notice or find an up coming storage facility auction.
You have to stop yourself from over thinking the “How much, How many, and How high’s” else you will drive yourself crazy!
My rules of thumb: Take whatever amount of cash that makes you happy. Bid on as many as you are willing to labor over. You have some time to decide the value of the storage unit contents, set your top dollar and try to stay under that amount.
Tips: Although I am willing to offer some tips I use for storage auctions I will keep some to myself so I will not loose my all of my advantages.
(1) Arrive at least 30 minutes early so you can study your opposition as they arrive. Take time to meet and chat with them a bit but do not ask how well they are doing in this business.
(2) Be sure you bring your locks. Keep them out of site so you will not offend your opposition. Displaying your locks will draw attention to you very fast. Displaying locks is an intimidation trick that causes the weak people not to be against you, it also marks you as a villain.
(3) Look the contents over as best as you can. The auctioneer gives plenty of time because the better look the bidders get the more he/she can get out of the bidding. You do not need to be the first one to the door so do not panic.
(4) Tell signs. If the contents in the unit look as if they were thrown in the unit in a rush chances are they were. This could very well mean the contents are what’s left from a yard sale. If most of the content are in those dark type trash bags it means the owner was either too lazy to pack or they were too cheap. Don’t expect fine quality goods out of trash bags. When you see furniture assume all of it is made from faux wood unless you know for a fact it is real wood.
(5) When bidding make sure that the auctioneer can see you. Listen close so you know what the asking bid is. If you get confused speak up and ask the auctioneer what the last bid was, he/she will be happy to let you know. If you try to make someone over pay for a unit by driving the bid up, keep in mind that you also made yourself a target for over paying and such an action can and will backfire.
(6) Someone wants the unit at any price. These guys are dangerous bidders. They do not intend on reselling the content but rather keep it for themselves. They usually win the best quality and quantity packed storage units. To out bid a dangerous bidder means you will not profit if you intend to resell the contents. Most of the time a dangerous bidder is easy to spot as the bidder will have a few other people with him/her, kind of like a family outing.
More tips and tricks to come later.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Wow has it been that long? Time flies when you get up there in age!
We are in the same RV Park that we landed in back in September of 2010. Although we have looked at many others none compare to this location for our needs and wants.
Due to our health we stay at home a lot so there hasn’t been much to write about. We did however start a new endeavor. We entered the world of “Storage Wars”. How exciting is that?
I know you are saying, “How could we enter the world of Storage Wars while living in an RV”! The answer is easy, we manage. We rented a storage unit about a mile from our camp site. When we are able to win a storage unit at auctions we load up and bring the stuff (JUNK mostly) to our storage unit. Then we sort thru it and sell what we can in hopes of making a profit. I must say that this endeavor is not for everyone. It takes a lot of risk and hard work. There are no WOW items as seen on several TV shows in real day to day storage unit auctions. There may be an item that was overlooked before the auction however this is really rare.
Selling the good items found in storage units is not a hard as disposing of the trash and junk items. You can put trash and junk in trash bins at the storage facilities, however this would get you a stiff fine or even some time spent in jail. Dumping at storage facilities is just not allowed. We could transport the trash and junk to a local landfill but there is additional cost involved. Our solution was to find someone that would take the junk and trash off our hands at no cost to us. In turn we have such a person now that we can call before the trash and junk reaches our own storage unit. How cool is that?
The following photos shows the recent pile of what we call junk. Items that were in need of some type of repairs. Easy fixes for someone that wanted to fool with these things. Also boxes and bags of miscellaneous items as well as the trash. “Good ole Charlie” answered our craigslist ad for free stuff and came and got it all today and said he would be more than happy to take what we did not want to keep, trash, junk or whatever. He’s on speed dial now.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Over time the plastic covers on vehicle headlights become faded and dull. These plastic covers can be restored at a much lesser cost than replacing them. The cost of having our truck headlights restored was $45.00 and took about an hour. We found this service on craigslist under Services/Automotive. The advertiser was WWW.CLEARVUEHEADLIGHTS.COM
Sunday, January 30, 2011
We have been living the last 18 months without a microwave oven. It’s not that we didn’t want one, we just didn’t have any room for a microwave oven of any size. Our main use would be for baking potatoes quickly and popping popcorn.
To acquire the necessary room for placement of a microwave we removed the passenger seat in the RV and placed a small table in it’s place. This gave us the room for a medium size microwave oven.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday night as Beverly was cooking coconut pies for a family get together on Saturday, she noticed the light in the refrigerator was not coming on. Outside it was dark, cold and misty. Not a good time to go poking around searching for electrical problems.
Using an extension cord I was able to get power to the refrigerator from an outlet I installed next to the breaker box last year. This solution would see us through the night.
Saturday morning I was able to check all the breakers for power and all of them were showing as good. This to me meant that there has to be a short somewhere in the line that powers the refrigerator. With my volt tester I began to check for outlets that did not have power. Of course the refrigerator was the first that I checked, there were six outlets on one side of the RV that had no power. These outlets seemed to be connected one to the other, but then the mayhem of it all.
One lonely outlet with a ground fault on the opposite side of the RV above the vanity in the bathroom. The safety had been tripped. When I tried to reset the ground fault switch it would not hold. Ok, this means I need to install a new GF outlet.
To avoid the holiday shopping madness I chose to stop at a hardware store on the way to the family get together and install the new GF outlet Saturday evening when we return. Wouldn’t you know it, the hardware store was closed. Sign said “Gone shopping”. Short on time I decide to wait until Sunday morning to purchase the GF outlet.
It was getting late, close to bed time so I decided to try and reset the GF outlet one more time. The switch held and I again had power to all the electrical outlets that were dead. I still intend on installing a new GF outlet in the bathroom, one that has both plug-ins ground faulted. I also intend on changing the way the GF is wired in so next time only the bathroom power will shut down in the event the GF trips.
When the new GF outlet installation is complete I will post images of what I did and how I did it.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Yesterday when we emptied our black water tank we noticed sewage water exiting around our connection to the RV park. We then noticed waste exiting from the drain pipe in the next site over from us. The first thing entering our minds was “Did we cause a blockage in the RV parks drain system?”.
We informed the park management of the overflow and were told they had called a septic tank cleaning company earlier in the day to pump out a blocked septic tank at another location in the park and would have them pump out the one close to us too.
Blockage problem solved? No. The cause of the overflow for us was not a full septic tank, or was the blockage caused by our waste tank content.
One of the RV park occupants had inserted their sewer hose into the drain pipe without using an adaptor elbow fitting. The hose was pushed so far down into the drain pipe that it had blocked all the sites above it from proper drainage. Sewer hose elbows are not expensive and every RV park sells them so there is no excuse not to purchase and use the elbow for proper drainage. This problem was cause by pure stupidity.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Yesterday we reached our last straw of aggravation with the WiFi at our location. Having to go and reset the WiFi here several times a day had gotten to be just too much of a hassle.
We decided to purchase a MiFi from Verizon. The credit card size unit is sleek, less then a half inch thick. The MiFi creates a WiFi hotspot and is password protected to keep unwanted users from connecting and stealing bandwidth. The cost was a bit high however we are not under a service contract or equipment lease and can stop service at anytime we choose.
We are starting out with 10 gigabytes a month for $80 + tax. The Verizon MiFi 2200 set us back $288.89 and we will be billed for the 10 gigabytes next month.
How it works for us
We don’t have laptop computers like most RV’er do. We have two desktop computers and neither came WiFi ready. To enable us to use a WiFi connection we had to install hardware into each desktop. We did this by purchasing two EUB-362 EXT - High-Power Long Range Wireless G USB Adapters. These would locate any WiFi signal in the area that we could connect to.
To setup the MiFi we just turned it on, let it connect it’s wireless communication to the nearest cell tower and it was ready to use. When we booted up the computers they were able to find the new WiFi hotspot we created. We highlighted our WiFi connection from the list, clicked connect and entered our password and bingo we were online again.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The title says it all, dark and rainy today. This translates into a lazy day filled with television, internet activities and napping
We both have the vice of smoking. The cost of smoking continues to climb every year so to cut the cost we decided to start making our own cigarettes. We buy tobacco by the pound and filtered cigarette tubes by the carton then use a small device to cram the tobacco into the tubes. Cost of our brand of ready made cigarettes is $36.37 a carton. When we make our own cigarettes the cost drops to a whopping $8.22 per carton.
Before you start in on the rants and dislikes of smoking take a moment to understand that we are adults. Our choice to smoke is just that “Our Choice”, not yours! Our liberties to smoke in privately owned establishments such as bars and restaurants have already been stripped from us. As tax payers we can no longer smoke in government buildings although high ranking officials right up to the president of these united states can and do so. We are not uneducated so we know the so called risks involved even though none have been medically proven.
Our intent within this post is that for those that do smoke there is a way to cut the cost.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Cypress Hill RV Park does not offer cable television connections for their campsites. This is due to the fact the RV Park sets along the De soto National Forrest on highway 49. The cable and telephone service stops 3 miles from the RV Park. The owner has done everything within his power to encourage the cable companies to extent cable to Cypress Hill RV Park however they will not comply.
We chose to purchase a satellite television service to meet our needs. Local channels were too few with fairly bad reception. We decided to get Dish network and had the dish installed on a tripod so in the event we relocate it would be easy to pack up and move it with us.
The campsites here at Cypress Hill RV Park are quite large as you can see in the photos.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We are almost settled in here in Mississippi at Cypress Hill RV Park for the time being. We have not decided how long we are going to stay in this location so it’s just a month to month thing for us for now.
Finding a Doctor has been the most troublesome obstacle we have encountered thus far. Due to the pain medication we are on these doctors want us to see a pain specialist. Their fear is not weather we need the pain medication or not but rather fear of the DEA for them issuing such medications. The one doctor we found so far insisted we take a urine test to verify that the level of medication issued is in our systems and that we are not selling our pain medications on the black market.
Although we had a few problems with our MH on the trip over from New Mexico, we have not had to do any repairs since we parked it here. The sites are large for such a small RV park. Each of the back in sites have concrete patios and there is plenty of room to park a vehicle between the patio and the next RV site.
Amenities do not include cable TV. The WiFi is untrusting as it is always getting knocked off line and requires the park manager to go to the center of the park and flip a switch to reset the WiFi . When we are able to connect the strength is “very low” usually one bar. This make surfing the internet a real pain. We are looking into purchasing our own WiFi or MiFi system as well as satellite TV system. This will depend on us making up our minds as to how long we can live without these amenities.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
This morning when we turned on the AC in our living room it ran for about a minute then kicked the breaker. Ok this means another day of repairs.
We called “The RV Doctor” for help. He arrived around 12:30 pm and inspected the AC unit that was failing. Sure enough we needed a new AC unit in our living room. He didn’t have any AC units on hand and refused to even help install a new one if we were to buy it elsewhere.
We call a local RV sales and service company “Bison’s RV” and they said if we could get our motor home there by 2:30 pm they could install a new AC unit today. We scrambled to get things tied down and stored as we haven’t moved our MH in over a year. We arrived at the RV service place at 1:30 pm.
Being the fact that both our AC units were over 20 years old we elected to replace both with brand new units. This took a huge bite out of our savings however it seems worth it to have both AC’s replaced at the same time.
They were able to remove the old AC units and install the new AC units in one hour and thirty minutes and tapping our wallet a whopping $1,659.47. They were nice enough not to charge us the disposal charge of $40 per AC unit and we thanked them for that.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
A week ago we contacted an auto repair shop to see if they would come to our RV park and work on our MH. This morning they called and said they were on their way. We wanted them to completely flush the brake lines. They used 2 quarts of brake fluid and was able to get all the old fluid out as well as a few air bubbles. Then they told James to go to their repair shop to pay the bill and get the invoice.
While James was at the repair shop he asked the owner if he would like another repair project. “Sure, whatcha need done” was his answer. James explained that our 1999 GMC Sonoma leaks gas when we fill it up. This has been a problem since day one when we bought it off a used car lot. The repair shop owner said they can get right on it and it would probably only need an O-ring where the pump goes into the tank.
The repairman found several old O-rings in the bottom of the tank, so this means the repair has been attempted several time. The problem wasn’t the O-rings at all, the fuel pump that the O-ring goes around was the wrong pump.
While they were waiting for the new fuel pump to arrive the shop owner gave our truck a 50 point inspection and had the mechanic complete any repairs that did not require parts (such as tighten oil pan and transmission pan bolts, belts ect. at no extra charge)
The repair on our Sonoma took 6 hours to complete however this includes the time they waited on the new fuel pump to arrive at the shop. James was not expecting the repairs on our Sonoma to be done today as it usually takes a week or more to get a service slot at that auto repair shop.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Our 1990 Georgie Boy Motor Home has a Ford 460 engine and was in need of a new water pump. After several months of trying to find a mechanic that would come to the RV park and work on our RV we all but gave up. James decided to pull the water pump out his self and with an ear infection to boot. His biggest fear was breaking a bolt off in the process. He managed to remove the bad pump without too much trouble.
James spent another two weeks trying to get a mechanic to install the pump. Five different mechanics told James they would be happy to install the water pump, however none of them would show up as promised. Guess they didn’t need any extra income.
Yesterday afternoon at 3:30 pm James got a call from one of the mechanics asking him if the water pump still needed to be installed. The mechanic said he would be here in thirty minutes and actually showed up right at 4:00 pm. The job was finished just before 9:00 pm.
Our Motor Home is now mechanically road ready and September is looking good for our departure from NM.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
As many of our followers know, we replaced our RV refrigerator with a low cost compact one. Up until today we had not secured it for traveling however that condition has changed. How did he do it?
Being the lazy kind of person James is he chose to make the process simple. He went to a business that sells iron and purchased one 3/16th inch x 3 inches x 23-1/2 inches of flat iron. Next he went to Wal-Mart and purchased a set of 1-1/2 inch shelf brackets, a set of 2-1/2 inch “L” brackets a can of black spray paint, and a pack of 3 inch x 3 inch Velcro pads.
He cleaned and painted the flat iron then installed the shelf brackets to the flat iron using self tapping screws. Next he placed the two Velcro pads onto the top of the refrigerator, peeled off the remaining tape cover and placed the flat iron onto the Velcro pads. Next he screwed the shelf brackets into the side walls of the refrigerator cabinet using wood screws.
Next he went outside and installed the “L” brackets to the back of the refrigerator using self tapping screws then used wood screws to fasten the “L” brackets to the cabinet floor.
The refrigerator is now ready for travel, neither of us could get the refrigerator to budge by pushing, pulling or twisting it after James had completed his work securing it.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Okatoma Resort & RV Park located a few miles North of Hattiesburg MS will be our new location in September 2010 for an undetermined amount of time. Okatoma Resort & RV Park will have us living within minutes from where we both grew up.
We came to the conclusion that New Mexico has given us as much cold and hot weather as we can stand. We are getting old and require less sudden changes in temperatures which can be quite dramatic here at times. The wind is another factor that we have grown tired of, as well as the dust storms that come with the extreme winds.
This doesn’t mean that we have not enjoyed the past 11 years while living here in NM. We will miss the beautiful sun rises and sun sets in this big sky area of the state. We will miss the beauty of the plateaus, grass lands, mountain ranges and all the other enchantments NM has to offer.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Yesterday evening a sever thunderstorm rolled through with straight line winds clocked at 70 MPH. Surprisingly we didn’t feel any rocking motion. The winds hit us semi-broadside from the northeast. We watched several other MH owners exit their RVs to wait out the storm in their toads.
Later in the evening people were out gathering their lawn chairs, BBQ grills, area rugs and anything else that had been blown about during the storm.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Last week we moved the stabilizer jacks to the outer edge of our MH. This stopped the rocking during windy days. We are very pleased with the outcome. Although we haven’t had 65+ MPH winds we did have a few days of 50+ MPH winds and didn’t have any rocking motion in the MH.
We checked all the jack contact points to be sure the beefing up the areas held up. No bending or crimping was found. In our opinion our stabilizing of the MH was a success.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Our Motor Home doesn’t have leveling jacks so when the wind blows our MH rocks back and forth. There are several options however few fit within our budget.
The option we chose were screw jacks that can withhold 6,000 each. We first placed them under the MH frame at each of the wheel locations. This helped somewhat until we had 65 MPH winds. The location of the jacks caused the center of gravity to be smaller making the MH feel as if it would tip over with every gust of wind beyond 65 MPH.
Move the jacks to the edge of the MH. This would require beefing up the areas of contact of the jacks. We purchased 2 inch channel iron and 1/4 inch flat iron to do the beefing. This would prevent the areas of contact from crimping or bending.
Four 8"x9"x4" Concrete Blocks (cost 10.58)
Set of Four 6,000 lb. Jacks (cost $38.00)
4' Channel Iron 16" 1/4" Flat iron (cost $10.87)
4”x4”x1/4” flat iron screwed to bay frame below installed channel irons. Jacks contact points.
The object is not to lift the Motor Home off the ground but rather stabilize the MH against wind gust that caused rocking of the RV.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Last Wednesday (May 12th) we decided to replace the faucet in our shower. The old one had gotten to the point that it had just two settings, full blast and off. The access panel made replacing the faucet child's play being very easy to reach both hot and cold connections. The whole job of replacing the faucet was less than twenty minutes not counting the time it took to go to town and purchase the faucet.
Having the new faucet on site our first step was to turn off the water coming into the RV and open the water access panel for the shower. Next was to open the lowest faucet to drain water from the lines. The shower faucet was the lowest drain point so there was a small amount of water that was in the piping when we disconnected the pipes from the faucet. One sheet of paper towel was all that was needed to dry up the spill out. We removed the two locking nuts that held the old faucet in place, removed the two rubber gaskets, removed the old faucet and cleaned any gunk that was under the old faucet.
We were now ready to install the new faucet which means reversing the steps used in removing the faucet. First was to place the new faucet in the shower, slip the new rubber gaskets into place and screw on the locking nuts. Next is connecting the hot and cold water pipes. These pipes are plastic as well as the faucet pipes and the connectors which means you only need to screw them on hand tight. Turned the water back on coming into the RV, open faucet to remove any air in the pipes, inspect the pipe connections to insure no leaks and close the access panel.
Last night on our way to bed we found water on the floor next to the shower access panel. What the heck is going on. We removed the access panel to find water shooting out from the cold water pipe connection. After dashing outside to turn off the water coming into the RV we were able to inspect where the water was coming from. The connection which had been hand tightened was loose and almost completely off of the faucet.
We retightened the loose connection, dried up all the water, turned the water back on coming into the RV, inspected the connections again for leaks and closed the access panel.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Looks like you 2 are good at keeping your costs down. I have two questions: 1) How are you doing in the 1999 without a slide? 2) How does your budget look?? we want to go fulltime, have to decide on type of MH will have under 4000.mo income. Can we do it??
Rich, first of all you need to ask yourself (and spouse) if you are looking for an adventure or a change of life style. Adventures look toward constant travels crisscrossing the nation with or without travel plans. Life style changers down size their cost of living by looking for RV parks that offer affordable sites that offer all the necessary hook ups at one monthly price and usually stay put for long periods of time.
Rich you stated that you will have around $4,000 a month to work with and in our opinion that is quite a bit. Set your budget at $1,500 to $2,000 a month and bank the rest in a savings account that you would have to actually go to the bank to withdraw any of it.
Our MH is a 1990 35 foot Georgie Boy without slides and this hasn’t affected our getting around inside it. In our opinion slides offer more room for foot traffic, slides are mechanical which means it’s just something else that can become a problem. Oh something else, we paid cash for our MH, do the same if possible.
Our budget is as simple as we can get we chose to live on $1,000 a month we bank the rest. We will show our fixed costs first. Our RV park site cost us $300 a month. With that we get water, cable, internet connections, sewer, garbage pick up and 50 amp electricity. We have two cell phones under one plan at a cost of $35 a month. Full coverage on our vehicle and RV runs about $412 for six months so we stick back $68 a month to cover that. Our tags cost us $166 a year so we stick back $14 a month for those.
If you have been keeping up with our expenses so far you will notice we still have $583 to work with. How can we make the month on what’s left? We can control how we spend the $583.
We plan to remain here for a few years so the park owner let us place a 120 gallon LP tank next to our RV. We get the LP tank filled by an off site gas company as needed for almost a dollar a gallon less than the RV park sells it for. Also we don’t have to move the RV when we need LP gas. We cut our LP gas expenses even more by using a toaster oven to bake / broil in and a two burner electric hot plate for stove top cooking. We use one electric heater in the living room and one in the bathroom. Our average LP cost is $37 a month.
Cloths: We have a rule. If I buy a shirt then I have to throw a shirt out. If she buys a new sweater she has to throw out a sweater. Always pay cash.
Food: Eat at home 28 days of the month. Eat before you go shopping for food. Always pay cash.
Everything else: Is it a need or a want? Always pay cash.
Always pay cash! Why? There are no fees or interest when you pay with cash!
Good luck Rich.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Don’t get us wrong as we do oppose drinking and driving in every sense of the meaning. Seems every day on the news or in a news paper someone has been arrested for drunk driving. In many cases the arrest makes that persons third, forth or ever nineteenth time. Stiff fines do not seem to deter drunk driving. Jail time hasn’t worked for most either.
Here’s an idea, why not remove all alcohol products from establishments that sell gasoline, diesel, propane or other fuels for motor vehicles. Allowing alcohol products to be sold from the same real estate as motor vehicle fuels promotes the use of alcohol while driving.
City, county, state and federal governments rely on the funds generated by the taxes on sales of alcohol products. What better place to allow the sell alcohol than the same location as the sell of motor vehicle fuels. This way our governments generate yet another source of revenue by means of Drinking and Driving Laws.
Although the law has been extended to include the use of illegal drugs and some legal prescription drugs the outcome is the same which amounts to catch and release. This creates a constant flow of revenue for our many governments with no concern for those that have lost their lives due to drunk driving or drunk drivers.
This post is our opinion based on our own observations and does not reflect the view of others on the topic of Drinking and Driving.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
We have a 1999 GMC Sonoma that was in need of repair. The “Service Engine” light would come on whenever we added gasoline. We also could not fill the gas tank because gas would spill out the top of the tank. We went to our local GMC dealership to inquire about the cost of the repairs They gave us a quote of $140 plus a $40 diagnostic charge and would require the truck to be there all day.
Not wanting to pay the diagnostic charge due to the fact we told them what the problem was, we chose to shop around for a reasonable repair price. We went to an auto repair shop and they told us the cost would be $140 plus $45 for the O-Ring that seals the gas tank. They also said the repair would take two to three days.
We then went to an auto body shop to see if they would even give us a quote. They said they do not normally do this type of repair which required the removal of the gas tank. However they did say they could remove the truck bed and make the repair without removing the tank if we would purchase the O-Ring ourselves from an auto parts store. They didn’t know what the charge would come to but assured us it would be under $100.
We purchased the new O-Ring and new locking ring for $17.52 at a parts store and took the truck to the body shop the next morning. They told us we could hang around because they were going to start working on our truck right away. They removed the truck bed, replaced the O-Ring and reinstalled the truck bed and gave us the repair cost of $60. The time that it took to complete the job was one hour and fifteen minutes.
So much for higher priced repair shops and days to get you vehicle back. It pays to shop around and compare prices.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Today our old refrigerator decided it had worked long enough (20 years). Time for a new one. Not wanting to fork out over $1,500 for a new Dometic brand that would fit smug into to same space as the old one we chose a Frigidaire Compact Refrigerator. The total cost was $299.75 and took about 30 minutes to change them out.
We know we will never boondock or setup anywhere there is no electric service so there is no real reason to purchase a two or three way refrigerator. We were not using the full 7 cubic feet of space in the old one and all our items fit nicely in the compact 4.4 cubic feet refrigerator.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Hi, James here. Yesterday our WiFi connection was extremely slow and was dropping packets at a rate of 52%. Not being able to do anything online I decided to remove some of the programs from my computer that I no longer use. My computer is several years old with Windows XP Professional Edition and with all the clutter it had it would take 1 day and 3 hours to back it all up using the Windows Backup utility.
I decided to remove my hard drive and use Beverly’s computer to format mine as a slave drive. Then I put my hard drive back into my computer and installed a clean Windows XP Professional Edition operation system. Simple right! I have done this very thing several times throughout the years.
All went well at first. Moving my hard drive from one computer to another and back took only minutes if you don’t count the time it took for the formatting process. Installing Windows XP Pro was a snap as well. Then loading the few programs that I use either daily or weekly went smooth too. Wow I’m done and I have time to watch one of our 680 movies from our D: drive before supper.
What the hay!!! Why does the movie look mosaic! Pixeled edges and not smooth? Better check the system hardware in the Control Panel. What no Video Controller? Ok, off to the internet to find video drivers, but remember the WiFi connection is still dropping packets which knocks me off line within minutes.
It’s 4:30 something in the am, I’m tired from messing with this computer for the past 17 hours. So off to bed for a few hours sleep.
It took all my energy not to boot up as soon as I woke. Beverly went with me to town for a few grocery needs and she fixed lunch when we got home. I was back working on the computer shortly after noon. Still downloading and trying new drivers.
Most of you know about our big screen TV so I won’t go into that right now. Well anyway while downloading I happen to turn my attention to what Rick Sanchezs on CNN was saying. Something about Twitter and he pointed to a big screen TV and that is where the answer came from. I have a Y cable connecting my computer to both the monitor and TV. No wonder the computer couldn’t find the right drivers. So I removed the Y cable and connected the monitor straight to the computer. The monitor screen was fuzzy so I rebooted and found I had no picture. I remembered that during my quest for drivers I installed a different video Bios so here I go again with another full reformatting and installing Windows XP again.
Two hours later I’m watching that movie I started to watch yesterday.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
When snow melts more snow comes along to replace it as did yesterday. Heavy snow at times throughout the day along with light rain. The dumpsters appear to have about two inches of snow on top however this does not account for when the park manager removed over two inches of snow off the tops around 2:00 pm yesterday. During one of the RV chat secessions this week the idea of selling our snow to areas of Canada that have none came up. Although it seemed to be a great idea the fact that snow melts brought up yet another issue, State water rights in which New Mexico would fight to the death over any loss of the byproduct of melting snow.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong this time. Here is what he predicted.
Windy. Slight chance of rain in the evening...then occasional rain...sleet and snow after midnight. Snow and sleet accumulation 1 to 3 inches. Lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s. East winds 10 to 15 mph increasing to northeast 20 to 30 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 40 mph.
Windy. Snow and sleet in the morning...then snow in the afternoon. Snow and sleet accumulation 7 to 9 inches. Highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph decreasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 45 mph.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sunday our RV’s TV said it had enough. Not bad for a 20 year old TV. So off to Wal_Mart for a new one. So many to choose from in all kinds of sizes and price ranges. We are sure we don’t want another 13 inch TV even though it would fit into the dash. 13 inches is just too small, let’s get something just a bit bigger.
How about a 22” or 26” TV, humm that’s not much bigger than our computer monitors. Let’s get the 32 inch Vizio, (he thought). The price is not that much more than a 26 inch TV. Cash in hand James put a 32 inch Vizio TV into a buggy and then on to the checkout he went.
Quick stop at Lowes for shelf brackets, screws and a 1 x 12 x 4.
Back at home, James removed to old 13 inch TV then constructed a shelf attached to the dash to set the new 32 inch TV on. Easy to remove for traveling and easy to set back up when we stop.
Today James went back to town to fetch some cables so he could connect his computer to the new TV. This way we can watch our avi formatted movies on a big screen rather than his 21 inch monitor. The quality of the avi movies are the same quality as DVD movies. We can also watch DVD movies through his computer so we don’t have to purchase a DVD player.
The cables James came home with for the video was a 10 foot monitor cable with a male and female end, a 4 foot monitor cable with male and male ends, a Y monitor cable with one male and two female ends. These cables are 15 pin connection monitor cables. For audio he bought one 20 foot 1/8 inch headset cable with a male and female end, one 3 foot 1/8 inch cable with male connections at both ends.
James connected the male end of the Y cable to his computer then connected his monitor to one of the female ends of the Y cable and the other female end was for the TV. The TV has a RGB 15 pin female connection so that is where he used the 4 foot male/male cable and then connected the male end of the short cable to the female end of the long cable. Video connection completed. For audio he used the short male/male 1/8 inch cable to connecte the back of the TV and the long male/female from his computer speaker jack. Audio complete.
To watch our avi formatted movies all we have to do is open a folder on his computer, locate the movie we want to watch and double click it. Once the program opens the movie we click on “Full Screen” and pause the movie. Then use the TV remote to change the input to RGB and then start the movie. James turns off his computer monitor while we are watching the movie on the TV.
Isn’t life great"!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We checked on the price of a new refrigerator at our local RV parts center. Their quote was $1,597.00 however because parts sales are slow they would cut the cost to $1,300.00 if we buy it this month.
James replaced the electrical outlet and rerouted the refrigerator drain tube. Since these repairs we have had no problems with the refrigerator and see no need in purchasing a new one at this time.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Our Motorhome has a Dometic refrigerator that is about 20 years old. Thursday night around 11:00 pm we noticed that the freezer was self defrosting. For a freezer that is not frost free this is not normal. Something was wrong and had to be seen to quickly even though it was 14 degrees outside with 20 to 30 MPH winds. What were our options at 11:00 pm under those conditions?
First we turned the refrigerator switch off then removed the contents of the freezer and finish the defrosting using a hair dryer. We turned the switch back on and set it to a cooler setting then it had been on. We waited almost an hour to see if the freezer was starting to get cold again. Problem not solved at this point.
Ok since the freezer is not working what should we do. Thaw and cook all the meats that were frozen? Run to Wal-Mart and buy a big ice chest and bags of ice in hopes to save the meats that were thawing? Go out into the cold night and try to find the problem?
James bundled up to avoid frost bite and ventured out into the cold. He has his tools stored in one of the basement bays and needed to get his electric tester to troubleshoot the refrigerator from the outside. He unplugged the refrigerator and tested the outlet for power which showed not having a current. James tested the outlet once more and found there was a current so he checked again and there was no current. Ok faulty outlet, maybe some water had gotten into the outlet housing and caused contacts to become out of place.
James plugged the refrigerator into one of the outside outlets that are on the side of our motorhome. Within a few minutes the freezer started to create frost on the damp areas inside the freezer. Problem temporary solved. We will wait until the weather warms up a bit before James replaces the faulty refrigerator outlet.