Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lazy Day

Today we are spending our time watching college bowl games and snacking on tortilla chips, nacho cheese dip, pineapple cheese ball, crackers and fresh sliced ham.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Marshall vs. Ohio
Meineke Bowl: Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
Emerald Bowl: College vs. Southern California

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Colder than predicted

We checked the weather this evening and saw that it was only going to get to around 16 degrees tonight. Strange thing, it’s 10:30 pm and it’s 8 degrees outside.

Tomorrow if it warms up enough to thaw water lines we can expect to be without water for sometime. Last week there were three broken water lines in the park which left us without running water for just over an hour. We don’t store water in our fresh water tank so we used other containers to fill with water so we can make coffee and flush the toilet.

Too many people in this park do not prepare for cold weather. Over half the RVers here have their sewer hoses laying on the ground. This causes the waste water in the hoses to freeze because the dump pipes are above the ground. Less than half of these people don’t have there inlet water hoses wrapped and of those that do most don’t use the heat tapes. Guess $39 is too much of a cost to prevent frozen water hoses. 

If we have any problems with freezing it won’t be because we didn’t do our best to prepare for the cold weather. It will be something we will just have to deal with and tomorrow being Christmas Day there will be no place that one can purchase repair parts. With any luck and our preparations we will make it through the night without any freeze ups.

White Christmas

Wanted or not we will have a white Christmas. Last night snow fell or should we say blew in with 30 to 40 MPH winds straight out of the North. Drifts are behind every RV in the park. Ours has the highest snow drift at about 3 feet. Our high today is expected to get to 31 degrees however we don’t think it will as it is 23 degrees at the time of this post.

The park manager did drive his tractor around the park creating passages through all the drifts so people could get out if they wanted or dared to. This made it easier for us to make a “have to” trip into town for medications.

If you would like to see photos of the snow and drifts you are welcome to come on over, stand out in 30 MPH winds and the cold and take all the photos you want.

Merry Christmas

James & Beverly

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Volkswagen Beetle & Camper

I was surfing through today and ran across an interesting concept for RVing. A camper designed for use with a Volkswagen Beetle.

Volkswagen Beetle and Camper

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another Snow Day

Woke up to find snow covered campground and a temperature of 18F  degrees. Not sure how long the snow will be falling today but it does look nice and fresh though.

RV 017

Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanksgiving was very pleasant as we had roasted turkey breast, mashed potato's, sweet peas and pumpkin pie. The turkey was juicy and tender having baked for 6 hours at 250 degrees in our toaster oven. Left over turkey will be served with steam fried potato’s tonight along with the last of the pumpkin pie.  

Today we went to town and got groceries for the next seven days. Snow is in the forecast for Saturday through Monday night and we don’t want to get out in that kind of weather. We took advantage of the sales prices and were able to get all we needed for $38.43. This means we will end the month below our budget again. 

One of our shopping secrets to saving money is to stop off at one of our local Dollar Stores. We buy things like coffee, cereals, and some can goods that are at least 20 cents cheaper than at other stores. We always make a list of needed items before we leave home. If it’s not on the list we don’t buy it. This cuts down on impulse shopping.

One of our favorite stores to shop at is S & S Super Market. We have a link to there sales flyer on our side bar. We always check to see what’s on sale before we head out to shop. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Getting ready for cold weather entails making sure your black water tank, gray water and fresh water inlet are protected from freezing.

Our RV has a compartment that is quite small however we did find a way to keep the temperature above freezing without placing so much heat in the area that would cause the holding tanks to melt. We used a small shop light with a 40 watt bulb. If the temperature drops below the heating effect of the 40 watt bulb we can replace it with a 60 watt or even larger watt bulb.


RV 015

We also placed a thermometer in the bay so we can keep track of how well our heating bulb is doing. Next we wrapped our water line with low a wattage heat tape, placed insulation around the line and tapped over the insulation.


RV 016

Friday, November 6, 2009

Considering an RV Life Change?

Are you considering changing your life style to become a full time RV dweller? There are many ideas about the RV life styles. Some have the desire to travel from place to place site seeing the country. Some have the desire to stay in one place long term. Then there are some that are drawn to the idea of the option to come and go as they please.

RV’s come in many shapes and sizes, tow trailers, 5th wheel trailers, motor homes, vans and so forth. Each has their own degree of comfort and amenities. This also holds true to the many different kinds of RV Parks and campgrounds that are dotted throughout the country, be it the United States, Canada or Mexico.

An RV regardless of it’s type or size has limited living space as well as limited storage areas. This brings to mind the pioneer days that our countries were built from. Small one room dwellings to escape the elements. Is that the real factor that draws us to downsize our home environment. Sort of roughing it one might think.

Although living full time in an RV seems simplistic it by no means is less difficult than what may be left behind. Adjustments must be made as to how you once managed your living. This may include your cooking habits, shopping habits, and entertaining friends and family.

For some people once the idea of living full time in an RV strikes them they jump right in. For others it may take years of planning before making the life change. Some even resort to renting an RV to try out the life style first. Each person has their own period of adjusting to the idea for such a life change.

For us the desire to live full time in an RV started out as a dream. A dream of exploring all the areas of the United States that we have so long wanted to visit. Through chains of events we were forced into our full time RV living in order to survive within our income range. Having the idea of living in an RV already planted in our minds helped us to adapt to this life style change with more ease. At the time we had two options, either move into an apartment or purchase an RV and move into it. We chose the RV and are enjoying it more than we could have imagined.  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

First Snow

RV 013

   We received our first dusting of snow last night. The temperature got down to 30 degrees however we remained toasty warm. We only had to run one of our two furnaces. This tell us our RV was very well constructed. More snow is in our forecast for this morning and evening. There is nothing that we know of that would cause us to be out in this weather. Isn’t retirement wonderful? 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DVD Storage, Is It Needed?

Living in an RV no matter what the size there is always a limited amount of room to store items. One must also take in to consideration the added weight of the items chosen to store. Simple items like DVDs can add up in weight, not only the actual DVD but the case although light add up in volume.

We chose to convert all 681 of our DVDs movies to AVI format and place them on a 1TB hard drive. The benefits this offers us is there are no DVD disk/cases to store and locating a certain movie is super fast. We use either Windows Media Player or VLC Media Player to view our movies in full screen mode on our 22 inch flat screen no glare monitor.

How we did this:

First we copied a DVD to our hard drive using a program named DVDFab. This program rips the files from the DVD so they can be copied to your hard drive. DVDFab can be found on the internet for downloading and installing.

Next we converted the DVD movie file to AVI movie format using Prism Video Converter. AVI movie format take up a lot less disk space than DVD format. Example: 3:10 to Yuma in DVD format uses 4.3 GB, in AVI format it uses 0.7 GB and plays at the same quality as the DVD format. Prism Video Converter can also be downloaded off the internet.

Some DVD movies are over 4.7 GB so when converting to AVI format the program will split the AVI movie in to 2 separate files. These two files will need to be reconnected in order to view the full movie without interruption. (starting the second half of the movie).

To connect the two halves of a split AVI movie we use VirtualDub. This program can also be downloaded off the internet. Example: Waterworld in AVI format was split into two 0.7 GB AVI movie files. Using VirtualDub we were able to connect both parts into one AVI movie file that is 1.4 GB

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting Ready for Winter

The weather has started to turn cold now so we started getting ready for winter. We shortened the water hose that feeds the RV and wrapped it with a low voltage heat tape. We also covered the hose and tape with insulation and duct taped over it as well.

Our water inlet, black water and gray water tank drains are located in a basement bay. To ward off freezing in this area we placed a shop light with a 40 watt bulb in the bay. We may need to change the bulb to a 75 or 100 watt bulb when the temperature gets below 20 degrees.

We leave the gray water drain open and only close it during the time we drain the black water. The drain hose is set at a good elevation so no water is standing in it. This will help stop any freezing in the drain hose.

Our fresh water tank is located under our bed and is empty. It will remain empty until we start traveling.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


We spent the morning washing the drivers side of our RV. It didn’t seen to do much good other than remove the top layer of dirt and grit.

RV 007There is so much crazing that we think we may have to use a fine grit sand paper to get the dark lines out. We will do some research before we attempt any sanding. The decals will have to remain crazed unless we decide to replace them.   

Later today if the wind doesn’t pick up we may wash the other side. We will wait a while before we apply wax. If it turns out that we can sand off the crazing then after sanding would be the time to put on the wax.

The front and back of the RV doesn’t have any crazing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Up On The Roof

Today we took time to inspect the RV roof and make any repairs necessary. Repairs were made easy using Thetford premium rubber roof cleaner & conditioner and applying Eternabond Microsealant tape where needed. We feel better knowing the roof is ready for snowfall.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Interesting RV Chat

Last night while searching Google for similar full time RV blogs we ran across an interesting web site that contains an RV chat. The site is , which not only has a live chat, it has over 130 pages packed full of information.

We decided to check out this new found RV chat room and met several wonderful people that are either RV-ers or want to be RV-ers. Some were full time and some were weekenders. Either way all had an interest in RV-ing. We enjoyed the chat room very much and plan to be regular visitors

Thank you for hosting such a wonderful means for RV lovers to gather and communicate in a live chat environment.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We have received several inquiries from people that are interested in our new life style. Many are concerned about the cost of an RV in today's economy. Although the appeal of living in a small environment with fewer monthly costs is the main attraction the fear of the start up cost is a deterrent.

We are very proud of our modest 35 foot RV. It was advertised as a 1989 model, however it is indeed a 1990 model and it is soon to be 20 years old.

The exterior does look weathered and could use another cleaning. The interior was not in the best of condition when we purchased it, however with a bit of soap and elbow grease it was easy to get back in to a comfortable living condition.

Our purchase price was less than $7,000 and at that price we did expect that we would be required to spend some money to get our RV in to a reliable traveling condition as well as make it livable within our own standards.

Although our RV is not be best looking RV in the park, our comfort is no less than those that have better looking or newer RVs. So do not let the age of an RV stop you from pursuing your dream. Your home is what you make it and best of all, it is not a keep up with the Jones' life style when it comes to living full time in an RV.

Regardless of the age of your RV, it is a better life style then you could imagine, if you have only dreamed the dream.

We are also asked, "How much does it cost to live in an RV?". The answer to that is "How much do you want living in an RV to cost?" After the cost of your camp site, how much do you want to spend?

Larger through illusion

Today we decided to make a change to the appearance of our overhead cabinets in the living room. There are nine overhead cabinet doors. Three of the doors had mirrors covered with stencils. Frosted background with gold trim and flowers. These stenciled doors were not in the best of conditions. All had some sort of flaking and deterioration.
Course of action: Take the doors off the cabinets, remove the stencils, clean the mirrors, reinstall the doors.

Tools needed:
Square tip screwdriver
Single edge razor blades
70% alcohol

We removed the screw on the door support then removed the top screws on the hinges. Placed the door face up to the table and removed the stencil using a single edge razor blade. Next we cleaned the mirror with Windex and used the razor blade again to remove any traces of the stencil we missed. Next we cleaned the mirror again with 70% alcohol which removes any streaks left by the Windex. Lastly we reinstalled the cabinet door.

Maybe it was plain luck or the fact that the stencils were on the mirrors for over 20 years, either way it took less than 30 minutes to complete each door.



After completing the cabinet doors project the living room had the illusion of being much larger than before. We like the outcome very much and plan to remove the stencils from the overhead cabinet doors that are in our bedroom in the near future.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Water Leak Found

Yesterday we found water on the bathroom floor. Not much water but enough to get our full attention. Being a Sunday and no where to purchase actual RV parts we were a bit worried.

The water leak was coming from the feed valve on the toilet. Each time we stepped on the valve lever a few drops of water would spritz out. The water valve has an end cap on the bottom that contains a spring. We removed the end cap and reseated it which stopped the leak.

This morning we went to our local RV parts shop and purchased a spare water valve to have on hand. Next time we have a water leak from this valve we will not panic, simply replace it with the spare.

The $45.00 we spent on the spare water valve is worth having peace of mind knowing we don't have to panic.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stand alone heaters

We went to our local Wal-Mart and purchased two stand alone heaters. The first is a REMOTE CONTROL CERAMIC TOWER HEATER with DIGITAL DISPLAY by Lasko, Model 755320. Wal-Mart price $45.00 The second is a Holmes Ceramic Heater, Model HCH4051-UM. Wal-Mart price $18.00.

The REMOTE CONTROL CERAMIC TOWER HEATER with DIGITAL DISPLAY by Lasko, Model 755320 is a very nice heater that takes up hardly any room at all. This heater breaks the early morning chill in a matter of minutes. Actually in less time than it takes to make a pot of coffee. By using this unit for a few minutes in the mornings we can lower our night time settings for our LP gas heaters.

The Holmes Ceramic Heater, Model HCH4051-UM is the perfec size for under our dining table so our feet can stay warm while the RV heats up in the morning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Troubleshooting your RV

Upon the event of any problem you may encounter with your RV there is no need to panic. The Internet is full of articles about troubleshooting and repairing your RV.

Case in point, We had one of our furnaces that would not operate correctly. We did a Google search using the the key words "RV heater troubleshooting". We found all the answers we needed to correct the problem. The information saved us both time and money.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Electrical Problem

Electrical problems can and do arise from time to time. Our first encounter with loss of power occurred this past Sunday. We were in the process of cooking lunch and when we placed French bread into the toaster oven it had no power. We used an extension cord from an outlet across the room to finish our cooking.

Once our meal was out of the way I (James) proceeded to locate the problem. I did not have any kind of electrical tester so tracing the problem would be trial and error for the time being.
I started at the power box supplied by the campground. The breaker had not tripped so I moved on to the main breaker box that is on our RV. There were no tripped breakers there either although there was no power to half of the electrical box. It was as if one leg of power was just gone.

Ok, this means a trip to the hardware store. Being a Sunday that means Lowes was the only place to go for parts. I knew that any unused parts that I purchase at Lowes could be returned so I decided to purchase all new breakers as well as a voltage tester. I purchased one 50 amp main breaker, two 20 amp double breakers and one 20 amp single breaker.
When I returned to the RV I tested the power coming into the main 50 amp breaker. Power was coming in on both legs however when I tested each of the 20 amp breakers every other one had loss of power. I pulled the 50 amp breaker out and found that the connector tab on one side had burned to the point that the connection was lost.

Temporary fix:
I removed all the breakers and moved them one space to the right.

Permanent Fix:
I replaced the electrical box and all the breakers. I was able to use the old electrical box cover and keep the same placement of the breakers. This way I did not have to remark each breaker as to what they controlled The products I chose to use were Square D brand. Total cost, $140.67

Thursday, August 27, 2009


We decided not to travel until Spring so we ordered a 120 gallon LP tank. This will keep us from having to move our RV every few weeks to fill up our onboard tank. Current LP fuel is $2.12 a gallon if bought at this RV Campground and $1.35 a gallon if delivered to our 120 gallon tank by an off site LP company.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Having been in our RV for over a month we are surprised as to how comfortable we are. Getting used to the small cooking area didn't seem to be a problem at all either. It actually takes less time to clean up after a meal then it did in our old kitchen.

We bought a few items of luxury that we did not have in our house. One was an electric flat grill which we store above the couch until we want to use it. The grill fits nicely over the stove burners too. We also bought an electric skillet with a lid, it too fits over the stove burners. We use it for frying chicken and slow cooking roasts.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting Your Mail

Vehicle registrations and drivers licenses require a physical address. Just having a Post Office box does not meet this requirement. Also when you travel you may want your important mail forwarded to you and the U.S. Postal Service does not forward your mail for you.

Although you can find mail forwarding services online they are a bit costly so we chose to use a local UPS Store to handle this for us. We rented a box at the UPS Store for a year to start with. We do not have to drive there to check our mail as we can call them anytime during business hours to find out if there is mail waiting to be picked up. We also paid an advanced payment for forwarding our mail should the need arise. This payment covers the cost of postage and fees involved when mail is forwarded to another location.

Using a mail box service has another advantage over the U.S.P.S. You can receive packages and mail sent through carriers other then the U.S.Mail. This means you can still shop online and have UPS, Fed-Ex and DHL deliveries as well as items through the U.S.P.S. Also items not picked up within the U.S. Postal Service time frame will not be returned to senders. Big plus, no more pure junk mail.

Monday, August 3, 2009

From House to RV

Our house was 1040 sq. ft. more or less. It had two bedrooms, a living room, bath, kitchen and den. The spare bedroom was used to store stuff, lots of stuff. Our computers were in the den set up side by side. We enjoy each other and prefer it that way.

For the seven years we lived in our house our meals were cooked in a toaster oven and stove top. We spent our time at either the kitchen table where we liked to talk to each other or at our computers researching things or playing games on line.

For the past year or so we talked about how nice it would be to be mobile, like travel around the country. We researched that idea a lot and decided that staying in an area for a month or more would give us plenty of time to site see the areas. Daily and weekly RV space rent would eat our income before the end of a month, so monthly rentals was the answer.

Before taking the plunge in to the purchase of our RV we researched our own living environment. The actual space we used on a daily basis. How long we spent in each area of our house. We found that a motorhome that is 32 to 35 feet long would surely suit our needs.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Residential Vehicle

We found a 1989 Georgie Boy IMPULSE class A motorhome on eBay in May of 2009. The bid was tempting so we placed our bid not expecting to win at all. Fate had other plans for us and gave us the winning bid. At that point we knew the motorhome would be ours come what may.

Was it the smartest decision we ever made, by all means no! Could we have done worse, we would have to answer yes to that one.

Let us start at the beginning. What were we looking for and for what reason.

What we wanted:
1. Full or Queen size bed.
2. Toilet not close to our bed.
3. Booth or table.
4. Enough room for both computers.
5. Gas engine
6. 32 foot or longer
7. Under $10,000

Reason we wanted a Class A Motorhome.
1. Downsize our cost of living.
2. Do some traveling.
3. Save on fuel cost when not traveling.

Back to the 1989 Georgie Boy IMPULSE class A motorhome. It wasn't as described however those conditions were not known until it was ours and over 1600 miles down the road. The motorhome was in Reading PA and we were in New Mexico.

Upon purchase the first thing that happened were the front brakes had blown out the brake lines. We were lucky that it was being driven by the person we bought it from when that event happened. The seller paid for the repairs.

The next thing that happened one of the fan belts broke and caused the rest of the fan belts to brake. This cause the engine to overheat and blew both head gaskets. This happened right in front of a KOA campground near Elk City OK. We were able to make it from the interstate highway into the KOA campground without further damage. At this point we were just 250 from getting it home. 15 days and $3700 later the motorhome was finally parked in our back yard.

Now with the motorhome in hand we were ready to put our plan in action. The first thing was to check out the motorhome to find what was working and what needed repairs. We found that the motorhome had not been winterized as stated. The hot water heater had frozen and split across the top. There went another $549 and change to buy a new one.

We removed the two swivel chairs and the small table between them and installed a 6 foot long table top for our computers. We also washed all the cushions that are on the couch and booth. Painted the stove hood and replaced the vacuum cleaner system. Repaired several places on the roof that were leaking. Repaired leaks in the water lines to the kitchen sink and toilet.

We moved the items we wanted to keep in to the motorhome and waited for the day to come when we would actually move in. That day was July 22, 2009. We drove the motorhome across town to a nice campground where we could pay by the month.

On August 1, 2009 we auctioned off our house and all the contents. Smart move on our part, why pay a house note when you don't have to.