Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Brenda
We have found that with all the trips we have been on, RVing by far is our favorite mode of transportation and an awesome way to travel the country. We liked the idea of sleeping in our own bed every night. Cooking our own food for meals. Bringing our pets along. We didn’t just want to sight see and be tourists. We wanted adventures.
We’ve been to small town America as well as large cities.
We have dipped our toes in the Pacific Ocean and enjoyed the late afternoon sun in the deserts of Arizona.
Looking back, we’ve done a lot since we started traveling in 2008. This country of ours is so vast and different that it would take a lifetime to see it all. And let’s face it, flying over the country at 35,000 feet, you really can not see a lot, other than clouds. Air travel is not what it used to be.
Life is to short to only explore the small corner of the country that you call home. Here, let me say it this way… GET OUT AND SEE SOME OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS AT LEAST ONCE VIA RV! (Did you hear me?)
So, if you are looking for a nice vacation idea and you don’t want to invest in an RV for the couple times a year you may use it, then renting would be a great alternative. Then even exploring the opposite side of the country that you live is not out of the question, just fly in and rent an RV from that locale. That way you can maximize your time exploring. And there is a lot of that you can do.
We see rental units everywhere we go. There is one in the campground that we are at right now as a matter of fact. They came in from Calf and rented to see NYS. They are making memories around a campfire and exploring areas you just do not see unless you hit the road.
Another thought on renting…When we started RVing in 2008, we jumped full in. We were lucky. You see, we have come across many couples that thought they knew what they wanted in an RV only to find out after being in it for a while that it really is not the right fit for them and their needs. They would like something bigger or smaller, a fifth wheel vs a class A. They end up loosing money trading in their RV for something that they truly want. Renting an RV could have saved them much frustration as well as saved their pocketbook. And if this happened to you already, I do apologize for rubbing salt in the wound.
We came across a novel website for those looking to rent. A site called RVShare, which helps to rent out people’s personal RV’s! That’s right…No big RENT ME sign on the side. (It’s worth it just for that.) You can find all shapes, sizes, and types of RV’s to fit your travel needs as you look to explore.
And here is an idea…if you are considering buying an RV, renting a personal one first would be a great advantage to determine what type of rig is right for you before you spend your hard earned money. And renting through RVShare, you talk directly with the owner of the RV that you are considering. That could prove to be a big advantage before you buy.
And if you find yourself in a rental unit that is shrink wrapped with an advertisement that just screams “RENTAL”, don’t mind us staring at you. You are our entertainment for the evening when you try to park and hook up. (Come on, we all have been their.) Hopefully you won’t be as bad as Robin Williams in the movie “RV”.
And if you don’t get that reference, make sure you get the movie before your trip so your family can be prepared for their own adventure.
Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by Brenda
Well…It’s hard to believe but July 1st was our 20th wedding anniversary. Time really does go quickly.
We had a relaxing day watching the FIFA World Cup and biting our nails with the USA game. Bummer that they didn’t pull off a win.
In the last few minutes of the game there was a knock at our front door. It was Danny, our favorite chef, from Bella Pasta, here to cook us dinner for our anniversary!
David had arranged the whole thing. My favorite dish of Chicken Parmigiana over pasta.
What a shock!
Then he gets out our very expensive, last bottle of 1995 Chateau Mouton Rothschild that we’ve been saving for a special occasion.
Well, 20 years happily married is a special occasion.
So he pops the cork and we cross our fingers that it hasn’t gone bad. Thankfully it had not.
It was really good.
So Danny got to work cooking our Chicken Parmigiana. Being a professional chef, he is used to cooking on a gas stove. He knew we had an induction cooktop and he was curious as to how it would compare. (Side note…we installed a Fagor IFA30AL Induction cooktop in place of the standard one that comes with the coach.)
Well, he loved it. He was surprised at how evenly the cooktop heated everything. He didn’t have to turn the pan to get even heat as he would have with a gas range.
One of the things we were worried about was grease getting splattered every where. Well, with the induction cooktop you are able to control exactly where you want your temperature. So he was able to heat the oil in the pan without splatter.
Dinner turned out wonderfully. Danny is a great chef and the kitchen in the Tiffin 45LP Allegro Bus with it’s accommodations worked well for him. The coach galley was chef approved!
So Thank You Danny for making our night extra special!
After dinner we took our golf cart (we borrowed one from the park) and drove around the rv park. It was a nice evening and the humidity finally broke.
Once we were back in the coach we finished the night by watching the latest Peter Gabriel concert, Back To Front, that just came out on Blu-ray. Great concert by the way.
All in all it was a great day of relaxation, a wonderfully delicious surprise dinner and a concert.
I can honestly say that I truly have a wonderfully sneaky husband.
I’m just glad that he uses his sneakiness for good and not evil.
Posted on June 24th, 2014 by Brenda
It’s amazing what one year can hold. The possibilities. The apprehensiveness. The hopes and dreams. The trepidation. The memories. The tears.
The good as well as bad.
It was one year ago, to this very day, that we drove away from our house one last time. Starting our full time adventure.
Saying “See Ya Later” to friends.
We’ve had our ups and our downs. That’s putting it mildly.
Like not taking possession of the 2013 Winnebago Tour that we had custom ordered. I’ll spare you all the details in this post. You can read all about that fiasco here.
And the loss of our dear sweet Angel in August. She is still missed to this day. Always in our hearts.
Being stuck in Wisconsin for over a month was not fun. We were only passing through for a couple days. Then David had a kidney stone attack and ended up having to have 2 kidney stone surgeries. Looking on the positive side, the hospital, Meriter Hospital in Madison, WI was lovely. Not that we want to go back and visit any time soon.
That’s life on the road. You never know where you’ll end up. There’s generally no time line. You just go with the flow. It still doesn’t make it any easier when you are stuck somewhere though.
We quickly became Florida residents. Getting fully out of New York with their high taxes was an easy decision for us.
We’ve made new friends on the road that we know we will go and visit. Ronnie, Ginger and Annette at the RV Ranch of Keene, inviting us to their family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
And Geri and Art, camp hosts extraordinaire, at Camp Red Bay, aka The Tiffin Service Center.
And while in Denver, CO we met up with some online friends that also fly quadcopters and got some flying in around the park.
We’ve stayed in some interesting campgrounds. Some nice and some, let’s just say, we won’t be back anytime soon. Whitey’s Fish Camp was one of them. However, it was the only campground around the area in Florida where we had to be to change our residency. So one night was all we needed. Thank goodness.
We met up with some rv friends, Tricia and Keith of Geeky Explorers, and in turn met new friends, Don, Christine, Oliver and Kerry.
We finally had a new coach built and are now enjoying every minute of it! Thanks to Tiffin for that.
So in March we said Good-Bye to our old 2008 Tour Master T40B and Hello to our new 2014 Tiffin Allegro Bus 45LP.
Who knew we’d be calling Camp Red Bay, aka The Tiffin service center campground, our home for a few months time. We did unfortunately have to go back there once we picked up the new coach. We were having fan clutch issues and Tiffin was working on the fix.
Side note: We have a new proto-type fan clutch now and it’s working wonderfully. The new buses will be getting the new fan clutch in July we were told.
If you are interested, and haven’t already perused the entries of our build process, here’s a link to the entire build of our new 45LP Allegro Bus. From start to finish with time lapse video.
You do get to know your neighbors well at Camp Red Bay and it’s easy to make life long friends, as we did for sure. Jim and Beverly, Tom and Sue, Marc and Josee and Marty and Diane just to name a few.
Not to mention it’s nice to be able to compare notes with someone that has the same coach as you.
We have seen some spectacular sites this year. Some National treasures and some awesome driving roads.
Just breath taking!
We’ve seen our share of gorgeous sunsets too.
Looking back at all these photos and memories makes us want to keep on driving. We’re currently in our home town of Rochester, NY at Southwoods RV Resort. Visiting with family and friends. Getting the very important doctors appointments all caught up. And looking forward to getting back out there. Making new memories.
Where ever the road may lead you, we wish you safe travels and happy memories.
Posted on June 22nd, 2014 by Brenda
With all the traveling that us RVers do, it’s inevitable that one day you will get a rock chip or worse a cracked windshield. This unfortunately happened to us recently. At first it was just a small rock chip. If this happens to you, it is imperative that you get this repaired as soon as possible. A glass company can easily fill in the chip so that you may never even notice that it was there in the first place. Not to mention, when you get it filled in it will stop it from spreading.
Unfortunately, we were not so lucky. As not two hours after we got the rock chip, the pressure outside changed with an approaching storm. So our simple, fill in the chip in the windshield, grew to a large crack spanning almost the entire length of the windshield wiper blade.
Not repairable at all at this point.
We happened to be on our way to the Rochester, NY area to stay for a while, visiting friends and family. So we started making our phone calls. First to the insurance agent. Then to Tiffin to find out how we get a hold of a replacement windshield. They were wonderful. They found a local glass company that could install it at a Tiffin dealership in the Buffalo, NY area, just an hours drive from where we’d be parked. Which happened to be the closest also.
So we made our way to Rochester and waited for the windshield to come in. When it arrived safe and sound the glass company made arrangements with the dealership to install the windshield. This is an important step as once the new windshield is in place, you can not move your rig for at least 24 hours while it cures. So it’s vital to have a place that you can stay parked for at least that long.
Special Note: It is very important to inspect the new windshield BEFORE you touch the old windshield. If the new windshield comes in damaged it’s best to know before you take out the old windshield. So we opened the giant box that the new windshield was shipped in.
Thankfully, nothing was wrong with the new windshield.
The windshield’s on the 45LP buses are actually different than other rv windshields. Other than being giant, they are not held in the traditional way, by a rubber seal. They are actually held into place with an adhesive and sealant. Like a car windshield. So in order to remove the old windshield the seal has to be broken and peeled out.
It’s also important to note that once the windshield is out, it’s important to clean the area up of all adhesive and sealant so when the new windshield goes into place it can sit as flat as possible.
Once everything is cleaned up, the new adhesive get’s applied.
Now it’s time for some man power!
This is one heavy windshield.
All I kept thinking was, “Please don’t drop it”.
Oh my! Now that’s some man handling. I know when Tiffin installs the windshields at the factory they use a lift. So to see these guys man handle this glass was nerve wracking.
They did a great job though. Talking and coordinating who was where and who needs to move where next. Nice communication.
Now once the windshield is ready to be set, you don’t have much wiggle room. So you want to make sure that you have all hands on deck and that everyone is straight on. You don’t want any gaps.
Once the windshield is in you can slide it a tiny bit to make all the gaps even, but not much. The adhesive works fast, so they must work fast too. Better get it right the first time because it’s not coming out anytime soon.
Once they are happy with the placement, small spacers are placed underneath the windshield to make sure it doesn’t slip down as it’s curing.
The glass crew then leaves for a few hours while the windshield is setting up.
They come back about 4 hours later and start filling in around the windshield with a sealant.
Once this is done, we sit. We can’t even move the coach to the other side of the parking lot. So this is why it is important to make prior arrangements with the dealership as to where they want you parked.
So we sat in front of the service bay overnight. Not that we haven’t done that before.
The next morning the glass crew came back for some touch ups and to add another layer of sealant.
After a few more hours of sitting, we were set to go.
So what happens to the old cracked windshield? Well, it get’s recycled of course.
One windshield replaced…