Our New House

It was brought to my attention that we haven’t updated our Blog since 2013. Since we have become stagnant and haven’t really traveled for a while I didn’t have much of interest to post. Not that our life isn’t interesting, there just isn’t much RV Travel going on.

Well recently we have turned another page in our lives. We decided since we like our lifestyle so much that buying a house wasn’t in our plans. However we have pretty much outgrown the RV so…

We bought a Park Model home in the same resort where we have lived for the last 11 years in the motor home. If you are not familiar with a Park Model, it is a small 400 square foot manufactured home. Ours however is a bit more than a simple park model. First off ours is set in the ground so it is ground level, then a 200 square foot addition was added making it 600 square foot overall and the whole thing is stuccoed and the roof is tiled. There is also a 117 square foot building on the property, which serves as a laundry room and a shop. This building is attached to the house by a covered patio with outdoor kitchen. Along with the real residential appliances they topped it off with an air conditioner that can turn the house into a meat locker in the 120-degree Arizona summers. You can see more photos by clicking on the link in the left column.

I have added a link to the photos of our house HERE.

So, although we are keeping the motor home, it looks like we are not Fulltimers anymore.

Best wishes to all our readers and I hope your travels are as enjoyable as ours.

I will leave the Blog up because I know others enjoy reading about our travels.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Interesting Spottings

Are we there yet?

24 VOLT?

Isn’t it obvious?

To old for bicycles?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Back Peddling

While we were in Calico Susan got a phone call that her father was in the hospital. He had a valve replaced in his hart a while back and it seems to be acting up. Since we didn’t really need to be in Las Vegas until March 9, I decided to make a U turn and head back to Vista so Susan can be with her family. We are now staying at the Elks near her parent’s home for a while. By the way, her father is doing well and will be released tomorrow. It is just another detour in our travels.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Calico Ghost Town

We are in Yermo at the Calico Ghost Town. They have a campground right at the Ghost Town. This is a stop over point on the way to Las Vegas (about half way). We intended on staying for 2 nights (2X2X2) but after setting up I noticed we were setup in a site that is reserved for tomorrow. Instead of moving we decided to visit the Ghost town today and move on down the road tomorrow. The campground is very rugged and it took me a while to find a site that was fairly level. As it is, I had to run one side of the motorhome up on blocks so the wheels wouldn’t be off the ground when I lower the levelers. We do have full hookups though. As I said, we visited the Ghost town today, which was created by Walter Knott, the creator of Knott’s Berry Farm. He donated it to the county many years ago. It is nowhere near as big a Knott’s Berry Farm. This is the setting of an old silver mine. I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here but it was on the way so here we are. If it weren’t for the bus loads of Japanese there wouldn’t be too many people here. Funny thing is, Our Verizon cell phone signal in marginal out here but my Verizon Aircard for the Internet has a good signal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

James Dean

I just realized that yesterday, on the way here from Paso Robles to Bakersfield that we drove through the intersection where James Dean had his fatal car crash 51 years ago.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bakersfield CA

San Antonio Lake was great. The rally was really fun with some old friends and some new ones. Susan and I gave a Seminar on Fulltiming and it seemed to go well. It was a lot longer (almost 3 hours) than I had planned but everyone stuck it out. There were a few future-fulltimers there that were eager to hear what we had to say. It rained most off the weekend but we had the clubroom and kept nice and warm and dry. The food was great and we played Bingo with White elephant gifts. The park is full of deer, squirrels, and a variety of birds. No one wanted to go home.

Last night we spent the night at Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles. We left the San Antonio Lake Rally and in about an hour we were at the Wine Country Resort. As you know we don’t travel very fast, or far. The Wine Country Resort is nice but we just used it as a stopover on the way to Bakersfield, which is where we are now.

We are at a favorite RV park called Orange Grove RV Park. It is appropriately named because it is in the middle of what used to be an orange grove. They cleared enough trees to put in some paved roads and gravel sites. They let you pick all the oranges you need which is what we did today. They are real juicy and sweet. We will stay here for a couple of nights to get some laundry done. I will hit the Camping World store here too. The weather finally cleared up and today was sunny. It is still cool but at least it is not raining. As we were heading here we drove past a few almond groves. The trees are in bloom so they brought in some boxes of bees for pollination. Some of the bees must have been Kamikaze bees because they are all over the front of the motorhome.

Friday, February 17, 2006

San Antonio Lake

We woke this morning to rain. I was hopping it wouldn’t rain until we got here at San Antonio Lake. I don’t like to drive in the rain unless I have to. Well turns out that the rain stopped as soon as we hit the road and held off until we got here. It’s raining pretty good now. The drive was good. I took the long way up around the north side of the lake and back down to the south shore. This was a much better route than the last time we came up here with less twisties and steep hills. It took a bit longer but we are never in a hurry. There are already quite a few people here and there is more coming in tonight. Looks like in spite of the rain it is going to be a good rally. We at least have the clubroom to our disposal the whole weekend so we can keep warm and out of the rain. This place is loaded with deer. They just sit on the side of the roads and watch you go by. They are lying under the trees in the vacant sites around us. Tomorrow we will be giving our first Fulltime Seminar. This should be interesting.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Today we visited the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach. This is where thousands of Monarch Butterflies come each year to mate before moving on to the local milkweed plants to lay their eggs. It is close to the end of their season (they say they will be gone in a week or two) so there were only about 5,000 in the grove. Usually there are tens of thousands and in the past there were hundreds of thousands. All the orange in the photo above is butterflies. During the peak season the leaves in this eucalyptus grove look like they are covered with dead leaves. In reality it is all the butterflies.

It was cold here today. It never got out of the 50s today and the wind was blowing pretty good so there was a wind chill factor to boot. The Host here says it is not usually this cold. Tomorrow we are heading further north and will be at about 1000 feet so I am sure it will be pretty cold. It is supposed to rain so it might be a little warmer or we may have a pretty cold rain. The group we are meeting up with have the club room at the park so I suspect we will be hanging inside most of the weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Elks Stop

For the next 2 nights we are taking advantage of our Elks membership. We are at the Elks Lodge in Oceano, CA. The Camp area is pretty nice with water and electric hookups. The driveway is gravel and the sites are grass. It is very nice and clean and Dave, the camp host, is a great guy. Turns out Dave put us right next to a friend we made at the Bus Nuts rally in Yuma last year. Brian recognized us right away and jumped out of his Prevost to greet us, and Shirley wasn’t far behind. The Oceano Elks is about a block from Pismo State Beach and Pismo Dunes State Vehicular Recreation area. We can look out our front windshield and get a good view of the dunes. Tonight is all you can eat spaghetti at the lodge, darn Susan just fixed spaghetti last night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day

Since we had a lot of laundry to do, Susan wanted a site near the laundry so she didn’t have to lug everything so far. I guess you can’t get much closer than this.

As I mentioned, we headed into Solvang this morning to Paula’s Pancake House for breakfast. We always enjoy our stay here at Flying Flags RV Park. The place is nice and the staff is very friendly. We are not near a major city so I am not getting Broadband Internet access but I am getting National Access, which is 50K, still is better than dialup. Tomorrow we are back on the road again.

Oh Yeah, I added some photos of the Drag Races to the photo site. Click on the photo link at the left to see them.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Buellton, CA

We are presently in Buellton, CA. Once we got out of the LA area and along the coast the drive was great. It was a 3 hour drive which, as some of you know, is about our limit. We like to keep it under 3 hours as much as possible. We will be here for 2 nights then off to the Pismo area. Right down the road from Buellton is Solvang, which is a little Danish town. We are heading in tomorrow for breakfast at our favorite little pancake house, Paula’s Pancake House. I go for the Danish pancake, which is a very thin, light and tasty pancake, YUM! So far the weather has been absolutely fantastic. They are talking about rain this weekend, especially a bit further north where we are heading. Just a minor annoyance.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What a great weekend

We spent the weekend with good weather, good friends, and some good racing. It’s always sad when it ends but it’s off to the next get together tomorrow, well actually it’s not till the weekend. We will make 2 more stops before the weekend. When I get a chance I will post some photos of the races. Until then above is a couple of photos.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

NHRA Winter Nationals

Yesterday we traveled another 26 miles down the road to Pomona where they hold the NHRA Winter National Drag Races. We met up with some friends and are having a great time. These are a fun bunch of people that get together often and know how to have fun. We went over to the races today and spent about a half day watching the cars do about 325 miles per hour down the ¼ mile in 4.5 seconds. They don’t know for sure how much horsepower these things are generating because there is nothing that will measure them but they are estimating around 5 to 7 thousand…Yes I said thousand horsepower. These are not jet cars. They are good old piston engine cars. Not your usual piston engines however because these burn nitro methane fuel. Now you just can’t imagine how loud 5 –7 thousand horsepower sounds. You just have to be there. The sound waves just pound your whole body as they go by. It is just one of those thing you can’t describe. You just have to be there. Yesterday and today was qualifying. Tomorrow we are heading over for the final race of the weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Today we got an exclusive

We got an exclusive private tour of a new motorhome plant. I was reading on one of the Internet forums about this motorhome called a Flounder…yes I did say Flounder. Everyone on the forum thought it was a hoax. When I found out the factory was in Rubidoux, CA I thought, wait a minute, that’s were we are. Since everyone on the forum was thinking this motorhome was a hoax I thought it my duty to prove or dispel this hoax. I found the address and punched it into my GPS and there it was. I rang the bell at the security gate and asked if they were giving tours and was asked it we were “The Fulltimers”. Apparently they read my post about finding the factory. They were happy to see us since they also wanted to set the record straight. We got a personal tour guided by Susan Thomas the co-founders wife. John Crean who was the founder of Fleetwood Trailer Company in 1950 and Steve Thomas, his son-in law, founded Flounder Motorhomes. John was the designer of the famous Fleetwood Bounder, perhaps where the name Flounder comes from. The Flounder is a 40-foot (actually 39’10”) gas motorhome built on a stretched 258” wheelbase Workhorse chassis. This motorhome is designed more for fulltime use since it sports large holding tanks and residential appliances. I said residential, not residential style. There is a real stove, dishwasher, trash compactor, garbage disposal and stackable washer and dryer as you would find in a stick house. Interesting fact; I found out that Flounder bought it’s chassis from Rexhall, the manufacturer of our motorhome, because Rexhall sales are down and they needed to get rid of some inventory. If you are interested their web site is at www.floundermotorhomes.com. You can download a brochure and read all the facts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Do they need blood too

We moved on to a Riverside county park today. When we pulled in and asked for a site they asked for our driver’s license, vehicle registration for both the motorhome and car, proof on insurance for both motorhome and car, and our Passport America card (50% off camping club). NO KIDDING! I was waiting for them to ask for proof of US citizenship and a pint of blood. Then they put us back in the ghetto section which, needless to say, Susan was not happy with. I unhooked the car, backed the motorhome into the site, jumped into the car and went back up to the office to ask for a better site. Seem that all the good sites are under the reservation system and the junk is for drive-ins. They did however call the reservation system and get us a better site. I appreciate that and we are happy now.
Man is it hot and dry. We are experiencing, what they call here in Southern California, a Santa Ana. This is where the winds come out of the desert instead of the ocean. It makes the weather hot and dry, which is not good for fire season.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Cough Cough Sniff Sniff

When we pulled in here at Lake Elsinore Marina and RV Resort one of the first things I noticed is our site was raked up. Nice touch, I thought. Later that day the grounds crew (a couple of kids in a golf cart) came through and started raking up some of the other sites. They kicked up quite a bit of dust but I thought, Nice touch. Today they were out there again, this time with a blower. They kicked up so much dust that I had to run inside and close all the windows, vents and door. Now there is a fine layer of dust on everything inside and the outside of the motorhome is a mess. I now have a cough and Susan is all stuffed up from the dust. Good thing we are moving on tomorrow. I did however, get a kick out of watching a good ol’ boy taking apart of an old junk trailer. He would knock off a piece or two then stand there and stare at it for a while then knock off a couple of more. Not the sharpest took in his toolbox. I over heard one of the residents say, “He might have that trailer taken apart sometime this year”.

Their Photo

My Photo

The above is a photo of their picnic area as they show it on the web and as I found it in real life.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Passport America

Passport America is the Original 50% off camping club. It is a one time per year signup fee of just $44 and that’s it. There is NO long-term commitment. If you don’t like it you simply do not renew. That’s It! Our Passport America membership paid for itself in the first use. I saved $40 just today for our 2 night stay here at Lake Elsinore RV Resort and will save additional money at our next stay. Passport America has saved us hundreds in the year we used it. At only $44 a year you can see it will pay for itself in only one camping trip.

There are thousands of participating campgrounds around the US, Canada, and Mexico. You simply present your membership card and your stay is Half Price. I highly recommend Passport America. If you would like to sign up, Please mention my name and member number [Daniel Fleming #R-0171525]. The easiest way to sign up is to Click Here.

To find more information, visit their Web Site.

Lake Elsinore

We made the big move today. We moved 24 miles down the road to Lake Elsinore. Why? Because we can. We need to kill a few days between now and the NHRD Drag Race so we will make a couple of short jumps and enjoy the change of scenery. This place is not a Resort such as Pechanga even though they call it a resort but it isn’t all that bad. It is right on the lake and we get a pretty good view of the lake from our site. It is a Passport America park so we got 50% off the normal rate, which in my opinion, brings it into right about the right price.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Costco is great

I finally bought a GPS unit for the car. The laptop with Microsoft Streets and Trips works great in the motorhome but the laptop is just too big to use in the car. After looking long and hard at reviews and trying to find the units I was interested in at the local stores, I decided to but the Magellan Roadmate 360 from Costco. It was a bit more money than I wanted to spend but it was available. I played with it for quite a while, while sitting in my recliner in the motorhome and was not totally happy with it. It just didn’t seem to be worth the $530 (inc tax) I paid. I then took it out to the car to locate a suitable mounting location. No matter how hard I tried I could not find a place to mount it that I was happy with. Once I found an OK place to mount it, I realized that I could not plug it in because of the tightly coiled power cord they give you. If it wasn’t a coil cord I could have made it work. I thought about picking up some parts and making my own cord (What A Hassle!). Finally after playing with it more I found, although it does have a touch screen, the keys are not too responsive, specifically the scroll keys. I then went online to Amazon.com and read reviews on this unit. Not So Good! Should have done this before I bought it. I then read reviews on the one I really wanted (Garmin i3) and found No negative reviews. Oh sure there were things that some reviewers wanted that the Garmin didn’t have but I think I can live with this being the Garmin is nearly half the price as the Magellan. The Garmin is smaller so I should be able to find a suitable location to mount it. One reviewer says he sets in his cup holder. Also I noted that the power cord is Not a tightly coiled cord. The Garmin even runs on batteries if I don’t want to use the power cord (the Magellan didn’t). I finally decided to return the Magellan to Costco. Here is where the kudos for Costco comes in. I looked up Costco’s return policy and found it has a 6 month return policy. I decided to order the Garmin and pick it up in the next 6 weeks when we return to our home base. In the meantime since I have 6 months to return the Magellan I will give it a good test run. If I decide the Magellan is in fact the better unit I will return the Garmin. Otherwise the Magellan goes back.

We’ll be back

We just can’t seem to get out of this place. I thought that once we leave Temecula for our 3 Rally trip that we could finally start heading east. Then I woke the other morning with a horrible though. The Service Center that couldn’t seem to replace the muffler properly has to finish the job. I got so frustrated by them after replacing the wrong muffler then later ordering the wrong one the second time that I told them to forget it and I will have the job done elsewhere. Not so because, they screwed it up, they have to fix it according to the warranty. So after our 3 Rally trip, it’s back here to see if they can get it right the third time.

The 3 Rally Tour

Finally we are back on the road. Tomorrow we will be leaving here for a 3 Rally Tour. We will be heading up to Pomona first for the NHRA Winter National Drag Races. After that we are heading up to San Antonio Lake for an RV.net Rally. We will be presenting a seminar on Fulltiming at this rally. After that we work our way up to San Francisco Via Monterey. On the return trip we will be touring the Winchester Mystery House. We will be working our way down to Palmdale for a Rexhall Pre Rally. This is a Pre Rally to the Big FMCA Rally in Pomona where we volunteered again to work the trams. It should be a busy and interesting next 6 weeks.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

No Taxes

Since my only income is the interest and dividends from my investments, I decided to take the test on the Fed and California website to see if I even need to file. The result? I do NOT need to even file. My investments have done a pretty good job of offsetting my spending but that’s all on paper. I am only taxed on interest and dividends received. They do not want you to file if not necessary because it waist their time and money.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Is it just me

Or has everyone gotten incompetent.
One of my goals while sitting stationary for a while was to get things done on the motorhome and car that needed to be done. The RV service center ended up replacing the wrong muffler, ordering the wrong muffler the second time so that never got done. They charged me $20 to tell me my leveling jack had a leaking seal, which is what I told them when I brought it in. That never got done due to parts on order. They did however replace a slide topper that needed to be done. As for the car, I needed the valve stems replaced with shorter ones to accommodate my tire pressure monitors. The ones they installed weren’t much shorter than the stock ones and were unacceptable. I bought a set and returned them to the dealer for installation. They managed to get 3 on OK but the 4th was not tight and leaking. When asked about it their reply was, “That’s as tight as I can get it.” So they delivered it to me with a leaking valve stem and said nothing until I found it. Then the guy got mad when I brought it to his attention. They got it tight on the second try but I am still concerned. We are leaving here on Monday and I didn’t get much done. I’m not a very happy camper right now.