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Old 02-19-2022, 11:59 AM   #21
Ram Nation
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You're a better man than me. No way I could live in a trailer. About 6 weeks of being on the road and I get itchy for home.
How about this instead
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:45 AM   #22
CWtheMan
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Looking Back #1

We have entered the twilight years, but our minds are clear and the thousands of pictures we took during our RV traveling years are stored on discs with trip and highlights.

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We still travel, just in a different way, SUV. October 4th will mark our 64th year together. We will spend it at the monster Cherokee resort casino up in the NC Mountains, at Cherokee, NC. It’s a nice drive up there from our home in the foothills section of SC. They comped us for three nights which was nice of them.


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We made our last trip west from SC and return. It took us to 19 states with a 3-month layover at Yuma, AZ. Being seasonal travelers, we always wintered in the south. CA – AZ – TX – LA – FL was our southern hunker down states. Our northern lay over states were ME – NY – ND – SD – CA. We did spend a couple of weeks one time at my cousins CG in NH. However, it was mosquito season and after two weeks of that we headed for the Maine coast and a parking site in the sun.


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For those of you that have followed our traveling posts you may have noticed our bat antenna is often extended when we are using our Dish system. That’s because Dish and ABC were almost always bickering, and that service would be interrupted. When that happened and we wanted to watch ABC, I installed a switching system that allowed us to switch between the dish, bat and CATV connections. We had a two-box dish system, and I added a line connection to the bedroom. Some pictures will show the TV line hooked up going to the bedroom TV. It’s near the RH bedroom window.

I’ll add to this from time to time when that little light bulb in my head lights up with an interesting subject.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:15 AM   #23
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Thanks for the post Cal. Happy 64th a couple of weeks early!! Hope it's a great day for you.
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Old 09-23-2022, 10:51 AM   #24
CWtheMan
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Looking Back #2

During our 23 years in Jacksonville, FL we had two homes built from the ground up. It was fun going by and checking the progress and inspecting the work. The first one was a smallish all brick 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms on a ¾ acre lot just 5 miles from Naval Air Station Cecil Field, where I was stationed. The second was our retirement home. It was much larger with an in-ground pool and in a golf course community. Linda and I both loved to golf and were planning on retiring and travel around America where golf courses were plentiful. However, Linda became disabled by a chronic condition and could no longer work full days or golf. Because her condition is not life threatening or debilitating, we started looking for other retirement options. We had traveled around the USA a lot but were never able to take the time to look around and enjoy America. We started reading trip, travel blogs and decided to hit the road in a small RV home. At the time of retirement, I was 63 and retired from the Navy, DOD and on SSA and Linda was on SSA disability retirement at 60. Well, we sold nearly everything in the house, plus our car, boat and truck and purchased a new 38’ fiver and a Cummins powered Dodge Dually to haul it with. The first couple to look at our home purchased it without any haggling. They even brought us gifts to the closing because the house was completely ready for them.

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You know this is going somewhere, don’t you? Once we started advertising and selling things from our home, we found eBay. Most of the things we sold there were by auctions. It was fun and exciting and once we hit the road it became one of our enjoyable things to do. Linda always liked to read. I liked fishing and old military things. I had opened a separate eBay banking account when selling home things and linked it to a PayPal account. On the road we went to yard sales and flea markets and purchased things we thought might be profitable. We allotted enough RV storage space for 200#. To ensure our weights (GVWR, GCWR, and GAWRs) were remained within the limits set for them, we scaled our rig about 3 times a year. My items were mostly old fishing lures, military Zippo lighters and pocked knives. My prized finds were Cattaraugus knives. I found a few that looked like they were in such bad condition I wouldn’t have put them in my junk toolbox, and then they would sell for hundreds of dollars.

Linda was very good at finding pristine condition 1st edition books which can also bring in hundreds of dollars. But, remember this, it was a hobby we could do together, and it was fun. We had some really nice dinners from any profits we made. (We shipped from where we were at and return shipments went to our USP mailbox at Jacksonville, FL. (Our sons managed our storage space).
During my Navy years we transferred coast to coast 5 times. From the time our two boys were in 1st and 3rd grades we rented pop-up trailers and camping equipment from Navy MWR and went camping and fishing. By the time our boys were in their early teens they had been to a dozen or more national parks/forests. From Acadia in Maine to Los Padres NF in Calf they explored wildlife and forests even walking on fallen red woods in Sequoia. From all that experience we decided to never dry camp in our retirement adventures. And we never parked in someone’s parking lot. You can count on one hand the places we parked with only water & elect. I think we did gray water dumping less than 6 times.

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Here are some places we do not recommend. The Salton Sea, it stinks. John W. Star SP, Starkville, MS. FHU? Yes! Still yucky!

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Helpful hints about some of the things a full timer will eventually add as necessary. Almost all Military CGs with FHUs will have an extra 15 APMs available at the power connection area. Some civilian CGs will also have the extra power available. I got a 15 AMP extension cord and run it up through the laundry chute into the bedroom, where the extra power is welcomed for hair dryers and curling irons, those things that often got me hunting for the CG circuit breaker box.

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Old 09-23-2022, 03:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWtheMan View Post
Looking Back #2

During our 23 years in Jacksonville, FL we had two homes built from the ground up. It was fun going by and checking the progress and inspecting the work. The first one was a smallish all brick 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms on a ¾ acre lot just 5 miles from Naval Air Station Cecil Field, where I was stationed. The second was our retirement home. It was much larger with an in-ground pool and in a golf course community. Linda and I both loved to golf and were planning on retiring and travel around America where golf courses were plentiful. However, Linda became disabled by a chronic condition and could no longer work full days or golf. Because her condition is not life threatening or debilitating, we started looking for other retirement options. We had traveled around the USA a lot but were never able to take the time to look around and enjoy America. We started reading trip, travel blogs and decided to hit the road in a small RV home. At the time of retirement, I was 63 and retired from the Navy, DOD and on SSA and Linda was on SSA disability retirement at 60. Well, we sold nearly everything in the house, plus our car, boat and truck and purchased a new 38’ fiver and a Cummins powered Dodge Dually to haul it with. The first couple to look at our home purchased it without any haggling. They even brought us gifts to the closing because the house was completely ready for them.

Attachment 41713 Attachment 41714

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You know this is going somewhere, don’t you? Once we started advertising and selling things from our home, we found eBay. Most of the things we sold there were by auctions. It was fun and exciting and once we hit the road it became one of our enjoyable things to do. Linda always liked to read. I liked fishing and old military things. I had opened a separate eBay banking account when selling home things and linked it to a PayPal account. On the road we went to yard sales and flea markets and purchased things we thought might be profitable. We allotted enough RV storage space for 200#. To ensure our weights (GVWR, GCWR, and GAWRs) were remained within the limits set for them, we scaled our rig about 3 times a year. My items were mostly old fishing lures, military Zippo lighters and pocked knives. My prized finds were Cattaraugus knives. I found a few that looked like they were in such bad condition I wouldn’t have put them in my junk toolbox, and then they would sell for hundreds of dollars.

Linda was very good at finding pristine condition 1st edition books which can also bring in hundreds of dollars. But, remember this, it was a hobby we could do together, and it was fun. We had some really nice dinners from any profits we made. (We shipped from where we were at and return shipments went to our USP mailbox at Jacksonville, FL. (Our sons managed our storage space).
During my Navy years we transferred coast to coast 5 times. From the time our two boys were in 1st and 3rd grades we rented pop-up trailers and camping equipment from Navy MWR and went camping and fishing. By the time our boys were in their early teens they had been to a dozen or more national parks/forests. From Acadia in Maine to Los Padres NF in Calf they explored wildlife and forests even walking on fallen red woods in Sequoia. From all that experience we decided to never dry camp in our retirement adventures. And we never parked in someone’s parking lot. You can count on one hand the places we parked with only water & elect. I think we did gray water dumping less than 6 times.

Attachment 41716

Here are some places we do not recommend. The Salton Sea, it stinks. John W. Star SP, Starkville, MS. FHU? Yes! Still yucky!

Attachment 41717 Attachment 41718

Helpful hints about some of the things a full timer will eventually add as necessary. Almost all Military CGs with FHUs will have an extra 15 APMs available at the power connection area. Some civilian CGs will also have the extra power available. I got a 15 AMP extension cord and run it up through the laundry chute into the bedroom, where the extra power is welcomed for hair dryers and curling irons, those things that often got me hunting for the CG circuit breaker box.

Attachment 41719
I use one of those cords for my 14K btu portable A/C and have another heavy duty cord as I plug in my microwave via an outside receptacle on the back of my camper. Got sick of the microwave on and the A/C needing to be turned off or the main breaker would pop.
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:25 AM   #26
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Looking Back #3

On a summer trip going north to Nova Scotia we took a two-week layover at a family CG in the town of Alfred Maine. It was a sort of base camp because I have family members living in Sanford and Portland, ME. Linda had never been north into Canada, and I wanted her to see the largest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy. However, it was not to be. Linda’s mother in SC had taken ill and was given a wrong prescription from a pharmacy that would eventually cause her demise.

Never let a family member find a place for you to park your RV, especially someone that is not familiar with RVing. When Linda’s brother called and told us not to worry, he would find us a nice place to park all we told him was it had to be a 50-amp FHU. Well, he found us one about 12 miles from Linda’s mother’s home. Its name would be April Valley CG and it is for seniors. To be honest, it did evolve into a nice quiet place to park, and it’s gated and very safe. Trees were planted around the pond where we parked and have grown into nice shade trees for those that park there. It was in the process of opening, and we were the first RV to park there. A $100.00 a month discount of the prospective monthly fees was offered, and my brother-in-law paid the first month’s rent. It was almost like dry camping. Located far away from busy highways, shopping areas and other home development areas gave us the feeling of being completely isolated. However, there was a nice hilly golf course about 5 miles away and their restaurant (19th hole) served three scheduled meals a day plus snacks for the turn.

The park had a manmade fishing pond that was stocked with pan fish and catfish. There is a mountain stream flowing into a small freshwater pond in the upper section of the park land. Its popular fish is the rainbow trout.

Here are some pictures. It was full summertime and we had zero shade. I would try to keep the black truck cool by parking under nearby pine trees. The owner and his family home are on the park property and acted as the park office while a camp office/store was being built. In the link provided below you can see how it has improved since we were the first to park there. A notation must be made to inform you I was 65 years old when that last picture was taken and learning how to eat ice-cream, crab legs and fried catfish.

https://aprilvalleyrvpark.com/

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Old 09-26-2022, 11:17 AM   #27
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Looking Back #4

Our primary goal for full time RVing was to see America. Many of our parking areas provided us with a location where we could take side trips and explore a large area of attractions/locations we wanted to visit while parked there.

We had long time friends from our military years that were also traveling full time and their goals were much the same as ours. They also had a fiver and diesel powered dually. Our first time together was in Johnstown, PA.

When we purchased out Everest at Lazydays RV in Seffner, FL we were given a handful of complementary gifts. One of them was for a one-year membership at KOA CGs. KOA Johnstown was the first one we used for a long-term parking and exploring layover for a month. We had reserved 2 weeks but decided to stay another 2 weeks. We had to move to another site because the one we were in had a reservation.

Our site at this KOA was a large, level, grassy, back-in with a lot of tree cover making it very hard to find a dish TV signal. After a half dozen tries, I finely found a signal. The KOA is large with a full-service camp store and a huge fire ring area where there was live entertainment on the weekends. Thank goodness we weren’t parked close to it. Our friends were coming from Pieria, IL and were a day behind us.

Our first side trip was to Lititz, PA where we took a buggy ride from Intercourse, PA through an Amish farming community. We ate breakfast at a little café across the street from a wonderful candy factory (Wilbur Chocolate Co). While having breakfast, a discussion started about one of Linda’s friends, Erma Miller. Linda and Erma had become friends while I was on a deployment to faraway places. The year was 1965 and we lived in Virginia Beach, VA. Shortly after my return from the deployment Erma’s husband was killed when he ran his car into the backend of a school bus. No children were hurt. There was no indication he had tried to avoid hitting the bus and no skid marks. An autopsy revealed he had a sudden instant death heart attack. Erma had two small children. She moved back to her hometown, Lititz, PA. Our waiter in the Café overheard our conversation and found a local phone book for Linda to look and see if Erma was still using her married name (Miller). Because of the way her husband was killed she was eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). It was a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty. She could receive monitory benefits from the program until her children finished schooling, including collage. The catch was, she could not get remarried. If she did, she would forfeit the DIC benefits. So, her name was found in the phone book. She and Linda swapped Christmas cards for many years but as they aged, they trailed off, and contact had been lost. Later that day, when we returned to the trailer, Linda called Erma. The following day she came to the trailer, and they talked like school kids that whole day. Don and I went golfing. (Erma’s children both graduated from college).

Continuation of this story will be in the next installment, Looking Back #4A.

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Old 09-27-2022, 11:27 AM   #28
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Looking Back #4A

After two weeks of exploring from our KOA CG we decided to stay a couple more weeks. However, our original site was already reserved for another rig, and we had to move. The site we moved to was very similar to the first except for TV reception. Heavy tree cover in the new site prevented any hope of finding a dish signal. Oh no! We had to rough it with our bat antenna. We got all the major networks fairly clearly and Linda had her books and I just love the extra time to post on the numerous forums I visit daily.

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We did a lot of driving around in areas within range of our CG. We visited Mennonite villages and towns and a huge Mennonite flea market. They live much the same as the Amish but not nearly as strictly. They have phones and electrical power. However, they do have large families and when in the flea market it sure looked like every family had attractive teen-age girls. They were dressed in ankle length skirts with a large apron and a white bonnet. We didn’t take pictures. They shy away from cameras, so we never tried.

As the cotton mills went out of business, they left a lot of very large buildings behind. Many were converted into loft apartments and others became department stores. On a day trip to Reading, PA we found a huge outlet mall that had been converted from cotton mills. Top name brand “seconds” were sold there at a tremendous savings.

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On another day trip to Hershey, PA we visited the Hershey chocolate factory. It was a nice tour and there were sections where candy and other foods and drinks were served. However, much of the tour centered on automated mock-ups. Very little of the actual candy production processes were shown. But there were samples everywhere.

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Old 09-27-2022, 09:15 PM   #29
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Looking Back #4B

I’ve been saving the best side trip for the end of this lengthy post. On a nice clear day, we all got-up early and headed for Philadelphia, PA. The closer we got to the city the heavier the haze. We didn’t have a plan or agenda. We were just going to look at the historical areas open to the public.

After we just about walked our butts off, we found a nice place for lunch. We got talking with the people seated next to us and they highly recommended a city buggy ride/tour. We did it and they were right, it all depended on the knowledge of the buggy driver. Ours was middle aged and had been doing his job for many years. He took us to all the popular attractions, and more. We gave him a very generous tip as I’m sure others do as a reward for his knowledge and pleasant demeanor.


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