Posted on March 11th, 2017 by Brenda.B
First Lajitas, Texas. Lajitas is an unincorporated town located between Big Band National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. Yes, I did not know there was also a state park named Big Bend, but there is.
“Welcome To The Other Side Of Nowhere” is the saying down here. Where you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere but sometimes that is exactly what you need. Just to get away from the cities and the noise. To go somewhere were the skies are vast, the views are spectacular and the air is pure. The hiking and off-roading trails are boundless and plentiful, so be sure to bring your Jeep or dirt bike. What you don’t get a lot of here is options. There are a few decent and some what famous restaurants around the area but there are no big grocery stores, just a small corner store where you can get the basics and meet the local mayor, who happens to be a goat. A, dare I say, bigger store is about half an hour away in the town of Study-Butte, TX with a population of a whole 267 people. So you can imagine the size of that store. We were surprised and happy to see that they did carry Blue Bell Ice Cream though.
There are a few RV parks to chose from when you are visiting the Big Bend area. Some are closer to Big Bend National Park and are located right in Study-Butte. However, we chose to stay a little further out at Maverick Ranch RV Park. Maverick Ranch RV Park is part of a luxury resort with a world class golf course (which we don’t play), spa, Equestrian center, Skeet and Clay shooting, Zip lines, restaurants and even an International Airport so you can fly in with your private jet. When you stay at the rv park, you are privy to partake in all of the resort and it’s activities, for an additional fee of course.
David got to play with Trevor Hickle one night in the Thirsty Goat Saloon while I sat and enjoyed a Prickly Pear Margarita, a specialty down there. We had dinner there as well. It was good food but let’s just say that it certainly reflected resort prices and leave it at that.
Maverick Ranch RV Park had some nice big sites, enough for our 45 foot Motor Coach and Jeep. Some back in spots were shorter but most were plenty long. We were in site 29 and we had no issue leveling our coach. Being right on the end we had a nice grassy corner next to us and the WiFi antenna was right across the way. We are happy to report that their WiFi actually was usable and worked thru out our stay. This was a good thing because the one thing we did not think when we booked this place, about being down in such a remote location, was our Verizon signal. Our phones were on extended network. Even with our cell phone booster, we could only stand in one spot (near the antenna booster) inside our rig to make calls. Our Verizon MiFi box was on roaming. So having the parks WiFi work well was a real big plus in our book.
The wonderful ladies in the office know all the great things to do in the area. They also have a big community center, laundry facilities and full bathrooms for your convenience. Weekly entertainment can be found in the community center as well as in the lounges and restaurants.
The Maverick Ranch RV Park was a great jumping off point to our adventures in the area. We set out to explore Big Bend, of course, as well as the towns of Study-Butte and Terlingua, TX.
National Geographic named highway 170 as a must drive and one of the “True Last Frontiers” to explore. When you make your way into the Big Bend area, you start your journey on this scenic highway, continuing all the way through Lajitas, dubbed River Road, and through to Presidio, TX. All the while traveling along the Rio Grande River.
Mexico is an easy crossing from inside Big Bend National Park or from Presidio. However, once a year in May the (unincorporated) town of Lajitas put on a festival called, “Voices From Both Sides“. It’s a gathering where the communities from both Lajitas, the surrounding towns and the Mexican communities get together and celebrate the coming together of two Nations. They wade across the river, singing and rejoicing at the reunions of old friends, while enjoying festival food, music and good times together. Now that would be a site to see and experience.
So, would we stay at Maverick Ranch RV Park again? Yes, yes we would. With the understanding that it is a distance from anywhere (but UPS does deliver out there). The people are great and super friendly. The food and entertainment good. The views are boundless. The quietness and peacefulness enveloping.
You know that saying, it’s not about the destination but the journey. Such can be said for this area. So enjoy the drive and the scenery as it passes you by. The quietness of the surrounding hills and canyons. The peacefulness at night walking around underneath the big star filled sky. For you’ll be in a big city again where the noises and lights will filter inside and you’ll long for those dark skies at night once again.
I will write up more on this area in another post. The things that we explored, our afternoon trip into Mexico and David playing at the famous StarLight Theatre. Until then, enjoy this video of Maverick Ranch RV Park from David.
Posted on March 4th, 2017 by Brenda.B
So OOBerfest 2017 has come and gone. If you missed it, you can read all about it here.
We all had a good time but one of our favorite memories, one that we are still talking about to this day, is the Notes From Neptune Concert we held.
You heard me right. We held a concert, out in the middle of the dessert of Quartzsite, AZ, dry camping, for over 200 of our friends/followers, with 5 huge bon fires and LED lighting provided from our coach. Oh….let’s not forget the tequila too :)
In our previous OOBerfest post, we gave you a little taste of the concert.
But we really did not feel that was enough.
So David spent hours upon hours editing over 3 hours of raw video footage to bring you the full experience of OOBerfest 2017 Notes From Neptune Concert.
We hope that you enjoy this concert as much as we did. Now fair warning, it is 1 1/2 hours long. So throw it up on your tv, grab some tequila or wine or what have you and fully immerse yourself in the OOBerfest experience. We hope this brings a smile to your face. And to those of you that attended OOBerfest, we hope this brings back some fun memories of our time together.
Remember to use Full Screen view mode. :)
Posted on February 24th, 2017 by Brenda.B
When you find yourself driving to Big Bend National Park in far west Texas, you drive along some very desolate roads. You may not see another soul for miles.
This is not where you want to find yourself with a problem. And recently when we were driving down some of these roads, we found ourselves in such a situation.
You see, we were just driving along, admiring the scenery and isolation when all of a sudden our EEZTire TPMS started beeping at us. David was driving at the time and he noted that our rear passenger tire on our tow vehicle was steadily loosing pressure. Of course we were in the middle of no where without another soul around and we were on a 2 lane highway with little options to pull off. But the lucky part…we were in a construction zone. Lucky?
Yup…you read that right. We were in a construction zone in the middle of no where. However, as luck would have it, because of said construction zone, they had widened the highway with an extra driving lane, as they had one of the normally used driving lanes closed off with cones for them to work on.
Seeing we were also driving on a Sunday, it made the roads more desolate, however, it also made the construction zone a perfect place to pull over as no one was working at that time. So yes, we pulled over, through the cones (which thank goodness were spaced far enough apart for us to squeeze through) and onto a construction area. Which, looking back on the situation, we have no idea what they were actually doing to the road. It wasn’t freshly paved and it didn’t really have any signs of being worked on recently, other than the cones. Oh well….I shouldn’t take it for granted since it really was a perfect place to pull off safely, out of traffic, if their was any.
So what to do next? Well, after examination of the rear passenger tire on our Jeep, David determined that we had picked up a nail or something, in the construction zone of course, and it made a nice big hole in the tire. So air was rapidly escaping.
A tire patch kit would come in handy right about now.
Alas, we did not have one. We thought we were prepared for everything. We had a spare if need be but David wanted to try to seal it first. So we did have some Green Slime for car tires.
The theory is, you take the cap off your tire and add the Slime inside the tire. Then air up and drive so the Slime oozes (technical term here) around on the inside of the tire. The way it works is when air hits the Slime, it hardens. So when you roll the tire, in theory, as the air wants to get out of the tire at the hole, air hits the Slime as it tries to get out and thus sealing the hole. Umm….you heard me say, in theory right? Well, We think our hole was just too big for the Slime to seal it properly. So most of it oozed out of the tire, through the hole. Live and learn. (If it had worked, you want to be sure to get the tire to a repair shop as Slime is not meant as a full repair.)
So plan two. David took a piece of rag with Slime on it and shoved it into the hole, plugging it in a sense. All we needed to do was limp to the next town, which was only a few miles up the road. Well, once we got some air into the tire and saw that it was holding pressure, that seemed to work long enough for us to get to the next town. That town was Valentine, Texas. Now Valentine, TX, as of the 2000 census, has a population of 187 people. And of course, this being Sunday, everything is shut down for the day and there is not another person in site. So we pull over into a parking area while David tries to patch the tire again. You see, at this point, we determined that we could not just change our tire too easily as the lug nuts were on there really tightly.
As David was working on the second plug, low and behold, a Good Samaritan (GS) who lived in Valentine came along and asked if we needed help. David jokingly said, well, if you had a patch kit that would help a lot. The next few words the gentleman said were a mystery as his west Texas accent was undecipherable to us upstate New Yorkers. He then took off in his truck and we pondered what he had said while trying to work on plugging the hole. About 20 minutes later, the GS came back and low and behold…he had a tire patch kit! Exactly what we needed! After talking to him a little bit more, we discovered he did not have a patch kit but his neighbor did. So he drove off to his neighbors house to retrieve it.
So after just a couple plugs, which took all of less than 10 minutes, we were back on the road with a fully functioning tire. Thanks to the GS that stopped to help out strangers in his small town. I’m sorry to say, we do not remember his, nor his wife’s name. We offered to buy the patch kit from his neighbor as we did use it and they would not take anything for it. They just wanted us to pay it forward. So nice and very much appreciated. The perfect solution to our problem.
And before you say it, yes, we do have CoachNet Roadside Service. I actually was on the phone with them, in Valentine, TX, as the GS pulled up with the patch kit.
NOTICE: We just got off the phone with Costco where we purchased the tires last Sept 2016. We wanted to set a time to come in and have the tire checked and repaired properly if needed. We were told because we did a patch on the road, the tire warranty provided by Costco may be VOID. OUCH! So, while we will still carry a kit, we may think about it next time depending on where we are. We never would have thought that fixing a tire with a tire repair patch would void your warranty and we will find out for sure when we see them next week.
So back to the title of this post…How the TPMS system saved us from a worse situation. Well, that is totally true. If we did not have a TPMS system, air would have steadily leaked out of the tire without our knowledge until it was completely flat. We would have ended up dragging our Jeep down the road, on the rim and shredding the tire and then starting rim damage. It is way too easy to drag these tow vehicles down the road with the torque that is behind these giant diesel pushers. Sad to say, we have seen it happen. So a TPMS system will alert you to a leak or a high temp on your tire or what have you, before it becomes a bigger problem down the road.
Here is our blog post and video on why it’s important to have a TPMS system.
And the lesson that we learned was, no matter how seasoned an RVer that you are (we’ve been traveling since 2008), there is always something to learn. We learned that we were not as prepared as we thought/hoped we were. We need to carry a patch kit no matter where we are and let’s face it, they’re cheap enough to always have one. Also be sure you carry a small air compressor to put air back in the tire. (In this case, seeing we had the coach, we used the air system from the coach.) Leave both the patch kit and compressor in the tow car so you have it. After all, you never know when something may take place be it when the car is being towed, or you are driving it.. But rest assured, it is there for when you do need it. But ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be sure you have a good TPMS system!!! We use the EEZTire TPMS from EEZ RV Products.
Posted on February 14th, 2017 by Brenda.B
So OOBerfest has come and gone. Even though there were high winds and it rained on and off all week, which was very unusual in this area, this time of year, everyone still had a great time.
What? You don’t know what OOBerfest is? Well, last year when we got together in Quartzsite, AZ in January, during the big tent event, to have a meet and greet for the first time, our guests named it that…OOBerfest. Get it? OOB…Outside Our Bubble? And you, being a reader of our blog are now dubbed our OOBies. And we love our OOBies :) So we decided we would meet up again in Quartzsite. This being our second year for this get together, we had 74 RV’s show up to join us this year! Wow! That felt great and is very much appreciated.
We arrived a few days early to try to stake our claim to our land. Thankfully, some OOBies were already there holding our spot from last year. That was great because as you may know, this is all held on BLM land. So it’s really first come, first serve.
We were able to get in one movie night before OOBerfest officially started. Hoping to get another in during our event, but alas, the winds were just too strong.
We had some great people come out and we had great seminars set up during our time together. We had a beautiful sunset that was the backdrop to our welcome talk. The following day the hardy souls that came out in cold (again, unusual for this time of year in Quartzsite) got treated to various seminars. Everything from coach weighing and the importance of the correct tire pressure for your weight to tech talks with David and everyone joining in on tips and tricks. During the few days of OOBerfest you had the opportunity to get your coach weighed, all four/six points and get a summary of what your tire pressures should be set at. A great service that Steve & Susan Kass from RV Weight offered at a small charge to our guests.
The evenings were filled with campfires and gabbing. Getting to know each other and making new friends.
The first evening while we were all getting to know each other, one of our guests brought out a pitcher of Sangria. This was so popular it was later dubbed, “OOBer Sangria” and many pitchers were shared throughout the event. So Thank You Kathy for a great memory and for those that are wanting the recipe, here you go!
One of our friends even brought their Hot Air Balloon as they are pilots in Napa Valley! Alas, no rides were allowed. They were helping their granddaughter get her hours in piloting the balloon as she was studying for her pilot’s license. That didn’t stop our guests from enjoying the early morning set up and take off’s, joining in on the chase crews and helping out where they could. Thanks Ken, Diana, Kristy and Grace for the enjoyment and excitement.
Of course Saturday was the opening of the big main tent event in town. Thankfully the weather cleared up that day, the wind had died down throughout the day and it was a nice day to explore the goods for sale that you know you could not resist. Well, some of us could :)
While everyone was out enjoying the day and shopping until they dropped, David, myself and a few volunteers set up some very large bonfires, closer to the staging area, for that evenings entertainment. So when everyone got back from their long days, we all got together for a potluck dinner. Of course with 74 RV’s, we had A LOT of food with a good variety as well. It was enjoyed by all.
And what better way to say Good-bye to our OOBies than to throw a big party out in the desert. So party we did. We hired a band from Phoenix to come in and play a concert for us.
We had 3 large bonfires by the band and 3 outer-ring bonfires going all night long!
Our coach was used as the lighting and staging area. It really worked out perfectly. We have to admit, we were stressing out a bit about the weather all week long. But in the end it really turned out beautiful for that evening’s entertainment.
Oh My! And entertained we were. Thanks to Notes From Neptune for a great concert in the middle of the desert. A different venue for sure for these guys to play.
Everyone, including the band, had a great time. They performed a lot of great songs, including one special request from us for “Purple Rain” by Prince. When they started up the song, everyone broke out their purple glow sticks (that were handed out at the pot luck) and waved them in the air as a special surprise for the band. It was well received to say the least. Grins from ear to ear. So much so that the singer, Thomas, even broke out his phone and recorded all of us waving our glow sticks in the air! An experience like no other.
Their may or may not have been some Tequila involved with the evening festivities.
And apparently we kept BK awake well into the night. He was trying to get a glimpse of the concert but alas, all he could see was the good time had by all.
There were, of course, lots and lots of pictures and video taken of OOBerfest just with our cameras and phones alone. So we created a link for a public album of all the photos that were taken, so that you may relive the fun. We also opened it up so that any of you that were at OOBerfest can upload your pictures as well for all to see what a great time we all had. So PLEASE upload some photos and videos. :)
Here’s the link to the album…
The next day was departure day for some but most stayed well into the week. Time to relax and chat with new friends. Sit around the campfires and reminisce. Exchange emails and info to keep in touch. Make plans to meet up down the road.
We, of course have to give a big shout out and Thank You to the volunteers that helped us park rigs, build fire pits and everything else! We could not have pulled it off without all of you. So Thank You!
And while the weather was a little off this time, with high winds and on and off rain, it did clear up towards the end of OOBerfest. And as one of our guests pointed out, it’s not about the weather, it’s about the friends and experience that make OOBerfest what it is. So we are thankful for everyone that came out to meet us and have a good time.
We feel very privileged that we have such a great following of people. We are lucky to be able to travel like we do and meet new and interesting people where ever we go. We hope that someday, if you have not run into us by now, that we may meet.
And who knows…
Maybe there will be another OOBerfest….
Until then, enjoy this video that David put together of our gathering in the desert, OOBerfest 2017.
Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by David.B
Ok, ok, we get asked some of the same questions all the time. These questions we are kind of proud to be asked. Questions such as…”How do you keep your coach looking like it does.”, “Is that new?”, “What do you use for wax?”, and “How do you wash your coach?” So in the past we had made a video on how we wash the coach and that can be found on this page, however there is a secret to how we keep the coach looking so nice that goes beyond washing it. That is, we have it professionally waxed at least once if not twice a year.
Now not all washers and waxing companies are created equal and we surely have had our issues with some right down to not using the proper items to clean the coach. So it is important to know some things and what to watch for when having your coach or RV detailed. The first rule is when you find someone that does it right, keep them! Go back to the area at least once a year as good help is very hard to find, but when you do, you know it. So that is why we have only two people that work on our coach other than us. That is Andrew of A.N.S. Detailing and Dustin of Tiffin Motorhomes.
Andrew has been doing this for some time and is not only the owner of the company, but has personally trained his excellent employees to do the work as he would, and more importantly, as it should be done. As a coach owner himself, he more understands the needs and what needs to be done. (IMHO) They do not just wash and wax coaches and RV’s from Prevost on down, but also exotic cars some of which cost more than a coach. He also works directly with the Meguiar’s company even training with them as well as training for them. So all in all, you can see why we trust him to work on our home. He can be found in the Fountain Hills area of Arizona during the winter and Spearfish, SD area in the summer.
Dustin works for Tiffin Motorhomes as a painter in the service department. He has worked not only in the build plant doing paint work, but really shines when he works by himself or with a teammate under his guidance. Seeing we had special work done paint wise on our coach, Dustin is the one I ask for and choose to only work with, as he understands the needs of this particular coach. So along with that, he is the only other one that is able to wax it when work has been done. I trust his work as he takes pride in making something look factory new again. He is polite, funny, and just seems to care. Not that others are not the same for we have worked with various people at Tiffin of course, but in the case of paint…he is my go to guy.
So, back to washing and waxing. Of course we made a video on it which talks about the items to use, how to use them, and what to look out for when having your coach or RV washed and waxed. But in a nutshell, Only Lambswool for washing with poll head or Lambswool Mitt on the paint areas, use Boars Hair Brush Head (which is actually soft and not cheep!) for items like the roof, slide toppers, and slide topper casings, more or less anything that does not have paint. And the most important item….Deionized Water for rinsing!!! The use of Deionized Water allows for your coach or RV to dry almost spot free thus not needing you to dry it, which can actually make for fine “spider” scratches. Some of you may know, we carry with us CR Spotless Water Deionizer unit to use when we rinse. HINT…Based on where you may be, try NOT to wash your coach if it is windy and there is dust in the air as that will just collect in the water drops and make for spots. As far as what to use for soap. If you do not use a foam canon (you will see one in the video) then using baby shampoo and 1/4 cup vinegar does wonders. Just remember, it is the suds that clean…So you want a lot of suds.
For the waxing we use Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax which is applied via a random orbital buffer. I carry with me a Black & Decker WP900 unit. The wax is then removed by hand using very soft micro fiber cloths like the AmazonBasic Microfiber Cleaning Cloths which I buy in 25 packs. Why so many? Well that is another tip…when removing wax be sure to adjust the cloth often and even change cloths or you will not only be removing wax, but also have the chance at leaving wax build up from the wax coming back off the cloth.
So that’s our secret, we use a professional when it comes to the waxing of our coach. Of course before you can wax it, you need to wash it and let it dry. I surely could wax it ourselves, after all, we do wash it. But overall, well, I hate waxing so I hire it out, but only to someone I can trust and would do it like I would.
UPDATE: Our friends at CR Spotless once again liked our writeup and has offered our readers 10% off there purchase! Use Coupon Code OOB15 (it is good to go for all water systems, wands, replacement hardware but is not applicable to sale items or the resin exchange.)
Posted on January 21st, 2017 by David.B
You read the title right…RV Windshield Repair for $10.00! (Prices vary) No, I am not kidding and it is not all that hard. In fact with the Rain-X Windshield Rain Kit that you can get from Amazon, you will be prepared to stop a rock chip and small spider crack from spreading to the point the windshield needs to be replaced.
Not a lot of people seem to know about these kits. In fact when I was making the below video, we had 4 people stop and ask what I was doing. When I told them, each of them replied they did not know such a thing was available.
Sure you can call a windshield repair guy to come take care of it. But what if you are not in a area that they will be able to get to you any time soon. You run the chance of that currently small rock hit becoming a full size windshield crack that now requires the windshield to be replaced.
It happened to us. We had a rock hit and called to get it repaired. They could not get to us that day and by the next morning due to the cold, we work up to that rock hit now being a full size crack. We then needed the entire windshield replaced. See blog post here.
So having a chip repair kit on-board could make all the difference and it really is not all that hard to use. However, there is one thing you really need to know. Once you use the kit, if it does not turn out well, a chip repair guy can not then come in and fix it. This is because the resin that is used would now be blocking the path for his resin to get into the crack. I will say however, I have personally repaired this current windshield four times now and a one other time it was done by a professional. All four of my repairs actually came out better then his. (Maybe I am just lucky.)
So, without going on and on, we made a video talking about the kit and showing an actual repair we did on our windshield. The things we do for our readers. It was quite hard chipping the glass just right in order to make the video for you. (Kidding!!!!!!)
Kit Used Click Here: Rain-X Windshield Rain Kit