Dec 24, 2009

Between Chanukah and Christmas

This blog is a mixed up (like most if us) - a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. We are in between holidays, weekends and places.
We moved further west, and had some quiet time between the holidays. I share my thoughts about RV Trip planning, The RV bathroom  and essential accessories.  Read on…Your comments are welcome

Moving West - From MS to LA

Tuesday, 12/22/2009 – We woke up to sunny day, finished packing and by 11:00AM we were on the road (Why always the sunny days are when I have to work or drive, and when we camp, it rains?) The toads in Louisiana are not the best roads to drive on, and the truck was rocking back and forth like a boat in the ocean. This is a very good motion for… you know…  but not for driving. The traffic was heavier too.
On the way, on hwy I-10 we crossed  lake Ponchartrain - 11 miles driving on water. It feels like you are driving on the sea! You see nothing but sea all around you, almost like virtual reality game or something. I tried to take a picture through the windshield while driving (don’t tell) but it doesn’t do justice to the view. You got to see it to feel it.  arrived to St Bernard State Park, and were greeted very nicely by the the park ranger. She told us to drive around and pick a site, and then come back and Register.

Camping exactly the way we like!

We chose a site that was a little remote, and backed up to the woods – giving us some nice view from our main back window. iPhone 001 Even the door was facing the woods, giving us some extra privacy and allowing Moe to be outside without growling non stop on anything that moves. It is wonderful when you can feel actually in the nature with all the conveniences of a campground. You are secluded yet have people around. Couldn’t ask for more. (well I could, but I don’t really need to).
I backed up the trailer, extended the stabilizing jacks and unhooked the truck. One of the first thing we usually do is connect electricity, but ouch – the cable was short maybe 10 inches. iPhone 001There was no room for me to back up further unless I positioned the RV so that the bike rack would fit perfectly between the 2 posts on the back. All other sites around us had the same configuration – the power was on the back.  So back on the truck hooking the RV and maneuvering again. It took a few extra minutes but we got it. The cable reached exactly. iPhone 002 Since our extension cord from the older RV was only 30 Amps, I had to add to the buying list a 50 Amps extension cord. By 3:00PM we were fully connected with Internet and all.

Number One, Number Two

Do you use your RV toilet for Number one only or number Two too?

First – let’s define Number One (#1), and Number Two (#2). Well, yes, these are numbers but also have some different meanings. Click on those definition to see how those are defined in the Urban Dictionary.
Now that you are fully educated, we can move on. Well – There is nothing wrong using the RV toilet for all bodily needs, but at least when it comes to a fifth wheel RV – this is just not comfortable. Without getting into too much detail, #2 does not exactly smell the best, it has some different sounds associated with it, and the door is not exactly sealed. Also, when you clean the sewer hose I don’t think it is a nice feeling to mess with solid waste. So we are using the RV for #1. We take sanitizing wet towels with is to the campground bathrooms when we use it.

Helping with Homework

Across the Ocean

I am originally from Israel, and I still have one daughter living there with her mother. She is a Senior this year, and took as a Major in computer science (Following her dad – that’s me). She called me few days ago and told me that she has to present a project by Wednesday (that is today) and since they are at school break (for Chanukah) she can’t use what she already started - it is on the school computer, and the school is locked. Being a developer, I had no choice here but starting the whole project with her. We have worked already three full days on this project (ASP.NET and C#) and had still some features to complete. It was so late, and my daughter could not stay awake anymore, so I found myself yesterday finalizing her project connected to her computer in Israel and working remotely.
It’s amazing what you can do nowadays with technology. So that was the end of yesterday.

Christmas Plans

Pot Luck in the campground

Wednesday, 12/23/2009 – Up until yesterday we had no clue what we are going to do for Christmas. We thought we will just have a nice dinner the two of is, and that would be it. iPhone 007
When I went last night to use the bathroom (yes – you got it = it is #2) I saw a note on the door from one of the campers announcing a Pot Luck – and asking people to sign up. There was only one name on the list – that is the organizer. 
When I came back to the RV I mentioned it to Patti and said that it would be very nice if we can meet other people like us, Full Timers. So today, when Patti went to use the bathroom she signed up! So we have a plan! We are celebrating this holiday with 5 more couples (as of now) and I am very excited about that.
You read about the kindness and the great atmosphere among full timers, but we did not experience it first hand yet. So I am sure I will have lots of stories from that night. When you are always on the road, you have no neighbors or friends to go to, and your social life are pretty much around your significant other (That’s how they call it, I think… well – your spouse) and other campers, mostly full-timers. If you like to meet new people, that is great!

Planning Ahead

TX reservation

TX Today for the first time I decided to make reservations for the next couple weeks while we are in East Texas. We wanted to stay by the ocean a little more, before we move west, and will probably not have anymore ocean in this time around. We chose the general area area close the border with LA, not so far from Houston, and narrowed down to 2 places. One was a state park on Galveston Island, and the other one was a little north at Bolivar Peninsula. We called the park first, and found out they did not have available ocean-side sites over New Year’s time. We made reservation for the second week of January and called the other campground and made reservation for the first week.
TripPlanning That by itself wasn’t so hard, but it is planning for only two weeks ahead (more than we ever did so far). We started our trip late fall, and never had a problem of availability. This allowed us to have the freedom to decide at the very last minute where we want to go, and change our plans as needed. But this time, when we actually found out that there were no sites (well at least not good ones) where we wanted, got me thinking how is it going to be in the summer?
How long do we need to plan in advance to be able to travel according to OUR plan and not according to availability?

Getting Accessorized

RV Must have, Nice to have, or not today

I spent most of my day today at Camping World in Hammond, LA.
Since the campground we are now does not have full hookups, I wanted to get an external sewer tank. This can become very handy in case you need to use the dump station, as it allows you to empty your RV tanks to the portable one, haul it to the dump station and empty it, without moving your RV.
On the other hand – this is a very big tank to haul around, and with a limited space you may need to make some compromises.
I also bought 50 Amp extension cord. We almost had to give up camping here with our short cord. Luckily it reached. This a very expensive item. Over $100.
iPhone 003 Since, like many others, we are on a tight budget, and like most other – on a limited space, those are limiting criteria for what you should have, what is nice to have, and what you should not take at all. One other factor is what activities and places you like to go – are you planning on boondocking? Staying on resort style campgrounds? etc.
Here is a list of items you will find in our RV.  I included only major items, either by size or price. This list is probably going to change, and may be very different than yours – but it is a good start and nice reference.
Outside, in the storage compartments:
  • Sewer hose and connectors
  • External Sewer tank
  • Electric Cord extension and adapters
  • Spare propane tank
  • Car Battery charger
  • Long Extension cord
  • Extra garden hose with spray
  • RV Cleaning brush bucket and soap
  • Tools hand bag and screws-organizer
  • Outside chairs, and folding table
  • Patio carpet
  • Cooler
Inside the RV:
  • Dehumidifier we use it especially when Patti is cooking or when it is hot and humid. This helps protecting the RV interior, and keep moist out of the walls.
  • Shark portable rechargeable vacuum cleaner
  • Carpet vacuum cleaner
  • Espresso Machine (We love coffee).
Wish List:
If I could afford it, I would probably buy a generator. That would allow us to go camp for longer periods completely unhooked, and this is something we would like to experience.

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