Sorry about that butt shaped divot in your couch!

January 24th, 2009

After two months sitting around in a house and sinking further and further into the couch, we’re finally back on the road. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time with Jenn’s aunt, uncle, cousins and the grand kids, but we made the mistake of hooking up the idiot box. Now, I can pretty easily sit in front of the tube all day if there are enough movie channels to keep me interested. I KNOW it’s dumb and not the best way to spend my time and have spent most of the last ten years without TV or without cable at the least. Still, when it’s available, I think ‘well, it’s temporary, so I can indulge’.

Somehow, we finally got motivated and winterized the house, moved stuff back to the camper and hit the road. However, we’d lost some hobo mojo and things went wrong the moment we tried to leave. First we got enough snow to make driving a bit hazardous for two days, then we developed a leak in the camper (probably from the thaw/ice cycle of the snowfall), broke a PVC pipe while disconnecting the house water and the camper fridge went on the fritz.

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Are ya’ll the Pirate Campers?

June 20th, 2008

campsite2

Yup. That’s how the locals know us. ‘Those nutty pirates up on the ridge.’ The day after a camera shy black bear strolled through our campsite, we decided to pull out and refill on water, dump our tanks and go grocery shopping.

We stopped to orient ourselves and ran into a fella that’s full-timing in an even smaller rig than ours. He’s riding a mountain bike and pulling a small trailer behind him. After chatting with him for an hour or so and giving iffy directions to two other people that stopped by, we hit the road.

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Back to Conibear!

April 20th, 2008

It’s been quite a week. Tuesday night, we got a friend to watch the cats (thanks Eduardo!) so we could take the camper over to Lakeland for repairs. Pretty minor stuff, but we wanted to get it fixed before we hit the road at the end of the month.

Tuesday night was spent in another beautiful Wal-Mart parking lot. The ‘master list’ of Wal-Marts that do not allow overnight parking shows both Wal-Marts in Lakeland as off-limits, but there were several RV’s and trucks already parked and no signs posted, so we went inside to check and were told to go ahead. The following morning, the guy in the class A next door came out to see us off, quiz us about the large pirate flag flying from the ladder and show off his pirate tattoo. People in RVs are weird. And they’re following us.

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It’s Official!

September 2nd, 2007

Yesterday, we put down a deposit on the camper. We added and removed a handful of things that should really optimize the overall comfort for two people.

  • No oven. Really, how often are we going to be baking cookies? A stove is plenty and Jenn wants to play with a solar oven anyway. Maybe we’ll pick up a small grill to go with the thermal cooker. We get a large cabinet where the oven would be.
  • No dinette seating. We opted for the couch instead. This should be more comfortable for general lounging. There is still a table we can set up in front of the couch, although I think we will probably build our own articulating desktops.
  • Wet bath. A lot of people don’t like wet baths. They do, however, provide a lot more room to move around by combining your toilet and shower space. Additionally, we get a very large wardrobe next to the bathroom by saving space. The only real downside in our mind is that the ‘bathroom storage’ is limited to what will fit in a medicine cabinet. But with all the extra storage we gain outside of the bathroom and the increased space to shower properly, it’s a net win.
  • Full wall wardrobe in the cabover. This was a bit more difficult decision. It cost us a nice window, but the extra storage space is considerable. For long-term living, storage is one of our most important concerns. Besides, the window on the driver side is a wide escape hatch instead of a narrow, divided window.
  • No skylight in the kitchen. The benefit of the skylight really seemed questionable to us as we stood in the unit on the lot. It added some light, but only in a limited area. It is one more potential leak and one more place to introduce heat and cold. We save a few bucks by getting rid of it as well.
  • No generator. The standard generator burns LP gas inefficiently, is rather noisy and costs about $3k. We can pickup a quiet, efficient gasoline unit for around $800. It won’t make quite as much juice and we can’t push a button to start it, but overall I prefer this route.
  • 7K BTU air conditioner. Hopefully, this will put an end to my search for the perfect AC unit. It’s a bit higher wattage than I’d like, but I’m more comfortable with it’s ability to cool the camper. Sadly, we actually had to pay more for a 7k unit than if we had gone up to a 13.5K unit. However, with this unit, we should have no problem running it on our downsized generator.
  • Thermal pane windows. They really charge a premium for these, but if we’re going to be in the cold weather, it’s thermal pane or storm windows. And just where are we going to store those storm windows when we’re not using them?

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Geared up for RV shopping

July 27th, 2007

Well, it’s almost the weekend again and we finally have what I think is a pretty good shopping plan worked out. We keep records of everything we’ve looked at or considered looking at. At the rate the good RV’s are getting snapped up, we figure we have to hit the new listings ASAP. We can quickly cull through anything that we’ve already deemed unsuitable and will probably assume anything that was already listed in a previous week is also unsuitable.

We’ve done a bit of this earlier in the week; a handful of publications have already come out for the weekend. We compared everything that was roughly the size/price we wanted with the ones we looked at last weekend and only had 1 unit to look at. It appeared to be in very good condition, but had recently developed a leak and was holding a gallon or two of water in the cab over.

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