Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Trailer axle repairs

   I can't remember if I mentioned, in earlier blogs, that we bought a new 14ft enclosed trailer before we left Michigan. Thought it'd be handy to transport our tools and crafts stuff.
  I really did some homework on trailers. Found out that most single axle trailers were built to carry 2000 pounds. I found a place, in Michigan, that sold one rated 3500#'s. Now I don't often buy new stuff but this seemed like a good deal for the money. I kinda shy away from new stuff 'cause I have had bad luck in the past. At least when I buy used stuff it gives me some space to fix it.
   We left Michigan in October, new trailer in tow, went our zig zaggy way to Mississippi. We noticed then that our "new" trailer seemed to have crooked wheels and some serious wear on our "new" tires. Hmmmm!! From there we ziggy zagged our way to South Florida. By then our " new " tires were looking very worn out. The trailer axle was sagging.. Hmmmm..
  So today I pulled the tires and axle off the trailer and sure as hell the axle tube is bent. Overweight ?? NO!! I was careful about the weight, had it weighed before we left and it weighed 2840# stand alone on the scales, when I hooked it up to the motorhome it transfered 400# to the rig, end weight 2440#. The simple fact of the matter is the cheap " made in China " (per the data tag on the axle) axle has failed.
   I found another new axle, via the internet, at Northern Tools for  $130. Luckily they had one and held it for me. Gonna pick it up in the AM and it shouldn't take but a few hours to install. Project for tomorrow.
  Have you ever researched buying a new trailer axle? Overall length, backplate spacing, inner and outer I.D of bearings, load rating, tube diameter, etc..Sure hope it fits..let ya know next blog.

  I think I mentioned that a new bridge to the Island is being built.Last night they decided to work thruout the night. JUST WONDERFUL !! BEEP__BEEP__BEEP...All night long. This is not conducive to a good night's sleep.  Thank goodness they don't do this often.
  Went down the street last night and heard a real good band, Grayson Rogers. . Great crowd and a good time.
  Had a bit of cloudiness this A.M but sunny in the afternoon. Another great community dinner and good happy hour.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The process of establishing a new home base.

   I've read a lot of blogs during the last few years. I found out that almost every blogger that made a home base move had the same tale to tell regarding the steps necessary to change home states. I carefully took notes and made up a spread sheet so I would have a reference to follow and and check off as the tasks progressed.
   We have our lifestyle geared for simplicity. That in itself is a blessing. We, like most fulltime RVers, still have insurance, phone,satellite TV & internet obligations. We also have SSI & other income sources and of course financial institutions to deal thru. All of these require notification when you transplant.
   We decided to use a mail forwarding service address to establish residency. We will be getting our licences and vehicle titles and insurances reregistered to Florida.
  This month we found Health Clinics and Doctors nearby. Gotta have annual checkups and a Doctor for the few scripts we need. We are lucky to have good health and want to keep it that way.
  A great source to read about any advantages or drawbacks is
http://www.rv-dreams.typepad.com  Howard & Linda Payne have covered these steps very well and have been an inspiration in our decision to fulltime.
   We decided to take all of these manipulations one step at a time and check our list occasionally. After all, we have months to get it all done.
   We've been on the island for 2+ months. It's a great place for a home base. The overall plan is to winter down here and travel from May to October. The motorhome lifestyle allows us to "field trip" on a whim.  It sure eliminates monotany. "Just turn the key" , an option not available when you are tied to stix & bricks!
   I hope everyone is enjoying life as much as we are.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Winter's update for Feb.

Here it is the middle of Feb already! Time is flying. Just realized I haven't made a post since Jan 22nd.  Doesn't seem that long ago!
   Last post I told you about a live bait box we'd built and how well it was working. We have had a couple of catostrophic failures. Our first sump pump burned off it's plug, had a warranty to cover that and then one of the extension cords failed. We finally ran a permanent circuit out to the bait box area and so far all is well. Been testing the revived shrimp as often as we can. The training session of the shrimp and using mini-gafs is going well. Another thing we've done is borrow 4 crab traps and baited them with chicken bones and we have them tied off the dock. Blue clawed crab is the goal and we've been catching them a few at a time. They're able to regenerate a claw and you're allowed the keep any claw over 2 3/4" long. Once you harvest the big claw you release them and they grow a new claw in a few months. One thing we've learned is to NOT let them pinch you, they can really grab ahold of you and it'd hurt. I watched one scramble around in the trap and it's facinating to see how easily they can move around. We've trapped quite a few large snails and catfish. 
   The new drawbridge is progressing. We watched a major, almost dangerous, screwup with the big crane. They were pulling out some old pilings and a sling broke which made the crane act like a long fishing pole and backlashed which made a big backlash of all the cables. I thought the crane was gonna flip off the barge.They're still trying to fix that mess 2 days later.
   As usual we've been going down the street to listen to good music a couple times a week. On Wednesday it's bike night (aka free shi* Wednesday) and they issue raffle tickets as we go in. Heather has been winning something ( CD's, Shirts, etc) regularly. Sure do enjoy this routine. Had a few park cookouts with our neighbors and smoked 6 chickens last Sunday. Fed 14 people and had a lot leftover.

   Been helping Carl, the park mgr, finish off a new unit. Plasterboard finishing and wiring. Good exercise and something to do. It's fun and we're seeing progress.
  We get visited by 2 cats every day first thing in the morning. Been feeding them. They also show up when it's hot and we have the AC on. They just walk in or come thru the window and flop in the chair to cool off. Funny how cat's can sense cat people!
  Hope everyone that follows our blog is enjoying life as much as we are.