Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Thursday, December 25, 2014


We just got back to the rig from the RV Park's Christmas dinner. As usual I ate way too much. So did everyone else. Had a nice turnout and everyone brought a bowl of sides to pass. The park provided the ham & turkey and there were a lot of tasty sides and then ( drumroll here) THE DESSERTS..that last part is what got me. Oh my ! Pies, cakes, cookies, whipped cream !!

We waddled back home and I'll betcha I'll be fighting off a nap soon.

We heard from the kids today and everyone is safe and happy.

My daughter, Nicole, and David, made it up to her moms in Michigan.

I've been enjoying all the blogger's best Christmas wishes. Hope all my fellow bloggers have a happy and safe Holiday Season.

What bloggers ?? Check out www.hitchitch.com if you are curious.

It's a whole new world in the blogger world. Sure beats reading the news today. Happy people !!

The yawns are overcoming me so for today I'll say goodnight.


Charlie & Heather

Monday, December 22, 2014

To shroud or not shroud ??

Fan shroud or no fan shroud ??

Saturday, 12-22-14--- I've been debateing with myself about the fan shroud we left off when we put the engine back together. I figured it'd be easier to see if anything was leaking and would allow me access to tighten up anything. Last evening I fired up the all powerful “new to us” 454. It runs really well. I let her run about 45 minutes and watched the temperature guage. When we drove the rig home the other day it maintained a normal temperature. Hmmm..climbing past normal and it kept going up. Of coarse, now, there was no air flowing like when you are driving. And the temp. kepy climbing up !! NOT good. Shut 'er down. She was hot to the point of boiling into the overflow bucket. It took about a ½ hr to cool off.
Got on the internet to educate me...Many hours later I was still befuddled. Opinions varied from no shroud to gotta have it. Now what ?? I did see one forum that mentioned the distance between the fan and radiator..Now that makes sense. Our rig has about 12” there and the theory was the air from the engine compartment would recirculate instaed of pulling air thru the radiator.
I decided the shroud needed to be on. So I retrieved it from the tool trailer. This shroud is in 2 pieces and after I looked at the area to install it I decided to remove the staples holding it together horizontally and will bolt the 1/2s together after they're in place. Another part of my internet education says the fan blades must be removed to enable reinsertion from the top and from inside via the doghouse. ( have I lost ya yet?)
Gonna take a lot of contortions. But not by me !! I decided to see if my mechanic, Robert, was available and he was..YAHOO!!
He was here within an hour and had it all done in 1 hour. Ya gotta love it !! I'd abeen ( is that a word?? LOL) all afternoon and sore in the AM !
We also changed the thermostat to a fail safe 165F one. Had a 180F in it and Robert said we should lower the temperature range. The fail safe feature costs a bit more but if the thermosat fails it will be open instead of closed. That way we won't boil. Good idea!
Engine got fired up again and we let 'er run for quite awhile. Definately a big difference and a lower temperature. Checked for leaks and found a tiny leak at an oil fitting on the new oil cooler hose which stopped after a tweak.
I fired up again in a few hours and all is well...PHEwwww!
We will try a run into town tomorrow and if all is well I'll dump the radiator water and add the antifreeze. I haven't wanted to find a leak of antifreeze. I'm glad all this is done today as the weather guessers are calling for rain over the next few days. No FUN working in rain.
Shopping tomorrow for the RV Park dinner on Christmas.
Heather and I sincerely hope all our friends and blog followers have a wonderful and Holy Christmas !!


Charlie & Heather

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Puttering ( in my mind ) -small stuff

We had rain most of the night. I really like the sound of rain on the RV roof. Hit the sack last night about 11PM and didn't blink until 0830 this morning. AHHH !!
My mind went to thinking before the coffee was done. I still have to make permanent connections to the replacemant starter solenoid wire. We've been starting the rig by touching the temporary wire to positive of the battery. Robert did trace out the wire to the firewall. It was a pink wire. Hey, that oughta be easy ! After coffee we got a break in the rain so I figured I'd give it a go. I tried to lookup a wiring schematic on the internet, hmmmm..no can find. I found Chevy trucks..Chevy cars...no P30 Chevy motorhomes. Oh-oh !! So I decided we'll do it the old way, with a DC light probe tester.
I told Ms. Heather I'd need help. She grinned and I thought she was going to get into work clothes and find her gloves and tie her beautiful hair back..WHOAH girl !!!...all I needed was a key turner ! Hahaha ! I really love her ambition ! I took the tester outside to the firewall passthru of the wires and stuck the probe into the wires one at a time and had her turn the key to the start position several times while I probed the “ pink wire “. Of course there were 3 of them ! Finally found the “start” wire and had her shut the key to off. Then I cut the old wire and spliced in the new wire we installed the other night. Now it was “ TEST” time ( insert drumroll here! ) The engine roared to life as it should..YAHOO ! Back to normal on the “ Start Circuit “ !
I still have a few more items to reinstall. We left the fan shroud off to allow for any leak adjustment that might be needed. It's simply impossible to access the radiator hoses and oil cooler hoses with it in place. I suspect the shroud is needed for temperature control as the fan is almost a foot away from the radiator. This is a simple job ( famous last words) but it was my decision. I want to run the engine several times up to temperature and retorque the hoses and exhaust manifold bolts before I reinstall the fan shroud and heat deflector. I also have to rehook up all the front lights. Oughta be easy as we marked all of them before disconnecting them. There's a few misc. wire to resplice too.
We'll spend a few weeks running the rig around the area and then enjoy the Holidays and RV Park festivities right here before we continue out Southbound venture.
Charlie & Heather

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rolling Earthquake liftoff ( finally )

At 0730 we were up ! 42F BRRRR! I woke up a few times last night with thoughts of what we had to accomplish in the morning. It's just the way my mind works. Lots of little details to get done before blastoff.
Morning came early but we don't mind that. Had to pickup and clean tools, round up the debris from the motor changeout, it was too dark last night to see anything, filled a large box with that stuff. Ms. Heather and I put the front end grill and bumper back on the rig

and I zipstripped all the wiring harnesses in place.I found an anti-freeze leak at the lower hose and had to relocate the clamp. That stopped the drip but it managed to drain a lot of antifreeze overnight soI'll have to freshen that up in the next few days. I put all our tools back in the trailer and Heather secured the inside stuff for travel. That all took about 4 hrs. I decided to call my buddy, Phil, before we took off to see if he could act as an escort for our 5 mile trip back to the RV Park. He was already enroute and arrived about 5 minutes later, musta been just up the street !! No reason in particular except it would make me feel better for the maiden voyage. We left the repair site at 1400 hrs. New engine fired right up and sounded and felt good. This new engine has a lot of zip to it and I'm happy ! Phil brought up the rear and we were recamped at 1430 hrs at Wilderness RV Park. Already have the rent paid thru January 14th. ( $300/mo )
We both had sh** eatin' grins on our mugs and a good feeling about the last month's decisions. Time will tell !
When we got back, a lot of the folks here walked over to see how we were doing. Nice to feel their concern.
Phil drove me back to the repair spot again, about 5 miles away, to retrieve the Goldwing. We'd been using it to get around last week.
As soon as we got back we got all hooked up, Phil and I went to a local party store and restocked for Happy Hour. I'm definately in a mood to unwind !
It'll be 1-Relax, 2- beer, 3-Hot shower !! I'm not going to do a damn thing for at least 2 days !!!!!

Charlie & Heather

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We Have Liftoff ( finally! )

12-15-14 and more thru 12-17-14

We got back to our rig from the motel on Monday 12-15-14 about 1130hrs. Robert was working, intently, on the rig. He had removed the broken engine and had it's replacement installed.( his sister and brother in law, Jason helped him ) He still had to reconnect & install all the accessory components like oil cooler lines and radiator and electrical stuff. It's a lot to me. We decided to stay there til it was done. He kept very busy til about 6PM and was hoping to finish up in the morning.
Bright and early Tuesday he was back at it. Had a problem with the oil cooler lines yesterday, found a cracked spot on one and they definitely needed to be replaced and we had to order new ones. They came into the parts store about noon and Robert went and picked them up. $123 later he found out that they had the wrong fittings on one end so back to the supplier to get that fixed. Did I tell ya my blood pressure takes a rise over this kinda stuff? All of these “ glitches “ eat up time and money. I'm old enough to remember when we ordered a part years ago, it was right the first time. Nowadays, I'll bet 50% of the time you gotta go back to fix it again. Is it just me? Do any of my blog readers have that kind of luck ? Ha ha ha ha !! Oh well !!
Wednesday 12-17-14-- Here we go again at 0800. Robert was in high gear today. I don't blame him ! He's gotten to the point of apologizing for the time this is taking ! I've helped a little and so I've been seeing him being very fussy and meticulous. I told him to not stress out as we don't have any place to be. I think he's been takeing time off from his normal job to get this done. He's quite sure this will be done today. Ms. Heather and I have been trying to help where we could. Not much but we did do a few things to assist him. We poured all the oil and anti freeze from the old engine into gallon jugs for later recycling, picked up and cleaned tools, handed tools to Robert, put oil & antifreeze in the new engine and other trivial things. Finally at 5PM we were ready to start the engine. GRRRRR !! NOTHING !! Here we go again in the dark. After a bit of trouble shooting it was determined that the ignition feed from the starting circuit wasn't getting any voltage to the starter solenoid. Off to the parts store went Robert. He decided to run a new wire to the solenoid. Another hour ! When he got back about 630PM with the parts I wanted to call it quits for the night because it was pretty cool, but OH NOOOO, not Robert !! Down under the rig he went with trouble lights. He disconnected the solenoid wire from the starter and connected the new wire and ran it to jumper around our suspected bad wire. “OKAY”, lets try this startup again ! After a few tense minutes and some sprays of starting fluid the engine came to life !! YAHOO !! We ran it for awhile and it sounds real good. Ran it up long enough to check for leaks and get some temperature showing. The only adjustment was to tighten up an exhaust gasket clamp.This part of the job is fun !! Robert was grinning from ear to ear too !!
Whenever you buy a used engine you never know for sure how it will run. I've had engines completely rebuilt and I've bought used engines in the past and I've had better luck with the used ones.
I won't judge this engine until we put on some miles. We're figuring on staying in the area for a least a few weeks and run around a bit so we can rebuild our confidence in our power plant.
Robert goes back to his primary job tomorrow. Ms. Heather & I have a few wrap up chores to do in the AM. We have to put the front plastic and bumper back on, which will take a couple of hours. Gotta put tools and misc. away. I'll make final & permanent connections of the new wire. Planning on being back at our RVcamp in the afternoon. Gonna have one good Happy Hour tomorrow and a good hot shower if all goes well !!!
Our fixit spot hosts, Jason & Jessica ( Roberts sister) have been wonderful ! I'm so grateful they let this repair happen in their yard. They are wonderful folks. I made sure to donate some $$$ to them too! Robert and I squared up and I made sure to include a good tip too. There was no way I could justify our agreed upon price. He's sure been a “ guardian angel “ to us. ( did I mention my Craigslist ad found him?? ) I'm also grateful that the weather has been agreeable for the project. ( can you imagine if we had been up North instead of in South Alabama ??) Thank You God !

Charlie & Heather

Monday, December 15, 2014

12-13&14 Moteling it

Spent a few nights at the Super 8 in Foley. Al. while the motor is being changed out in our motorhome. We picked this motel because it's walking distance to eats and for it's prices. At $60 per night it raises our camp fees considerably.

Robert, our mechanic had the weekend and Monday off ,so he's been working on our rig every day. Took a day to get everything disconnected and a day to pull out the engine and plant the replacement. That ate up Friday and Saturday and part of Sunday. He was working on reconnecting all the oil lines, tranny lines, electrical wires and gas lines when we got back on Monday. Had to order a new accelerator cable (got bent during engine removal), which won't be at the auto parts til Tuesday at 2PM . I tried to order new oil cooler lines ( which were aged and leaking) and they are “ not available” so we have to have them made & that will slow this job down. But, all in all, it's all progressing.

Went back Monday night to the rig at the work site. Going to return to the motel tomorrow for 1 or 2 nights.

Robert is starting to worry about time constraints so I told him to take it easy. I know this is a lot of work. I certainly have “ been there, done that” !! No sense in doing this half assed. If we find stuff that is showing it's age then we need to fix it. It's understandable when you're driving an Classic motorhome!! Most of the repairs are do to age (1984). Hard to believe Rolling Earthquake is 30 years old ! Part of the game. We decided that a long time ago. I know that you can have big problems even on a new rig. The nice part of all of this is The Rig Is Paid For !! ( grinning ). Most of our repairs don't even equal a new rig's payments.

I've had a few of my friends make comments about how they couldn't stand the stress...that's never been my problem ! Our backup plan has always been to go buy another “classic” rig if we have to!


Charlie & Heather6

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday progress 12-13-14
Out of the rig earlier than usual. Got work to do ! Robert was working up to high gear very quickly. Loosen this, take that off, wrenchy, wrenchy. I guess the best thing to do is get out of the way.
We stuck around til 1300 hrs and then loaded the Goldwing for tonite. We're going to the Super 8 Motel in Foley, Al. . I don't know if we'll stay 1 or 2 nights, it depends on Robert's progress. I will probably go back to the work site for awhile tomorrow. Ms. Heather took some of her craft stuff to keep her busy.
In my usual, old, pessimistic mind I'm guessin' the engine change will take a bit longer than 2 days. I worry if we spent more that a few days in the rig that the holding tanks would get full and I really don't want to have to go thru that mess. Better safe than sorry. Have I mentioned that Rolling Earthquake's holding tanks aren't as big as in our previous MH ? We used to get 4 days before dumping.
The Super 8 Motel here in Foley is about a ½ hr away. Nice room, close to eateries. After we checked in and unloaded the cycle bins (and it does hold a lot of stuff ) we went next door to Ruby Tuesday's and had happy hour. Met a few locals but when the conversation went political we said goodbye. Then we walked to KFC and picked up some dinner. YUM !!
I sure dislike these early sunsets. It always cools off about 4PM and is dark be 5:30PM. I reserve 8PM for blog reading. In between we usually eat and then I watch the clock.
Sunday 12-14-14

As in most motels, the noise started about 7AM. Sun's up so so am I. Got dressed and to the office for coffee and “ continental breakfast” . Never have figured why it's called that. Cereal, waffles, cinnamon buns and COFFEE !! Good coffee. Lots of coffee. Puts a smile on my face.
We whiled away the day reading, watched the news and got a couple good walks in. I decided to keep out of Robert's way and stay in town today.  Discovered a Wally World was a short walk away so we spent about a ½ hr wandering around in there. I've got the Detroit Lions on via internet. The gourmet meal toight was compliments of Wendy's !! LOL. Been awhile sincee I've had a good burger. YUM. ( Heather looks at me digusted !! ha ha) We decided to stay here tonight too.
6PM..got a text from Robert, old engine is out, new engine is in. He has to do all the bolt ons yet. He's going to work late tonite and may/may not get done. He's gonna call me by 9PM tonight.

I'm getting excited !! Ya Man !!
    Charlie & Heather

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12-12-14 Engine change weekend.


Recieved a text early (Friday 0609) this morning from my mechanic, Robert, verifying he was going to be off from his primary job for 3 days this weekend. Engine change out is on !!! We talked on the phone about 0845 and made a plan for meeting up after 1200. He's going to be prepping the new engine this morning. We have to travel about 5 miles down the road to his sisters place. I hope the rig makes it. I'm sure we'll be smoking !! If the rig can't make it, Robert will tow us.
The weather forcast is for mid 60's and sunny for the weekend with 70's next week. Kinda critical for this work.
At about 1200hrs we fired up Rolling Earthquake and slowly drove 5 miles to the repair spot. Wow, did we smoke up the route. I'm going to guess we may have lost a compression ring or have a cracked piston. Still had plenty of power but had a slight miss in the engine. I was still towing the trailer and that weighs near 2500#s.
Robert got right to work. I had already prepped the front bumper and fiberglass cap last week so that all came off in ½ hr.
Robert, Heather & I worked together to strip the replacement motor and the one in the rig. We finally called it quits for the day about 6PM and it was after sunset. It cooled off rather quickly so we put the motor doghouse back in place and cranked up some heat. Gonna stay in the rig tonite.

Saturday-- I heard Robert rummageing around outside about 8AM, so the day begins. Hot coffee tasted especially good this chilly morning. We're planning on going to a motel this afternoon. 
     Charlie & Heather

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12-3-14 Living with Glitches

12-3-14 First Glitch
It's a good thing I'm patient. If you read the last blog you know I'm worried about “glitches” happening during this engine swapout. My mechanic, Robert, was gonna be here by 2:30 PM to look at our rig and take me to the salvage yard to pick up the replacement engine. He called about 2PM and said he was having problems with his vehicle. OH-OH ! We needed to be at the salvage yard by 5 PM. I called the yard and told them we may or may not be there today.
Robert limped his truck here at 4:30PM. Seems he has a bad tranny fluid leak on his truck. He had just put in a new tranny seal yesterday and universal joints. He was very apologetic. Since I've done a few of those, years ago, I can relate to that headache. We looked over the rig and he took note of what was needed & looked at parts I've accumulated. . The revised plan is for him to pick up the engine Friday AM and then we will all travel to the repair spot. Oh well, a slight change in plans.
One of our neighbors, Phil, has been a monsterous help to me. He's driven me to stores and to get misc. parts any time I've asked ! That sure makes this whole mess easier.
Glitch #2
On Friday about 3PM Robert called and said he got called into work and was stuck at his primary job & has to work Saturday too ! So we revised plans. He's going to try and pick up the engine Saturday afternoon and we agreed to do the engine swap next weekend if all goes well.
He called at 3 PM Saturday and now has possession of the engine from the salvage yard. He sent pics of it in his truck and has it covered in a tarp. Later in the day he stopped by our RV Park to discuss the job and look over our rig again.
On Monday (8th) he called to say he moved the replacement motor to the place we're getting the work done at ( His sister's house). He said he bought a new vehicle to replace his undependable truck. Still on for next weekend.
I read a lot of other's blogs. Billy Bob's tells a story of an uptight trip to Texas. His engine keeps dying which causes the emergency brake to engage. Very scary ! Seems he has a bad ignition switch. To condense the story, he finally made it. Makes our problem seem simple. If you are curious about the other blogs just look up “ www.hitchitch.com “ It's a good site to get an education about this lifestyle.

Charlie & Heather

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

12-2-14 Enroute to engine change

12-1-14 Lots of details for Engine Swap
My friend, Phil, and I met up with Robert, the mechanic, at the salvage yard last Saturday to see the used 454 engine and to get an out the door price. The engine has 35K miles on it and is out of a 1983 motorhome per the Baldwin Auto Salvage yard owner, Juan, he said he heard it run before it was pulled and it ran strong. I'll pay for it today ($1150) and Robert will pick it up Wednesday with his truck.
Robert is now making arrangements for a place near us to do the work. His sister has 2 acres nearby, about 5 mls. He's trying his best to keep us near where we are at so I can drive there with no hassle. Gonna look like a big mosquito chaser going down the road ! That will save a lot versus towing.
I have been WD40'ing any nuts and bolts we need to remove and marking all the wires ahead of time. This will save time I hope.
As agreed with Robert, I'm picking up gaskets, oil & filter, etc today . ($150). I preordered all of it. Supposed to be ready at 1PM.
Looks like we're all set for Friday. Robert says 2 days for the work to be done.
12-2-14 Tuesday

I'm getting in to my “ more geeked out” mode as the day nears to get this engine changed. Bad habit from years ago. I'm over worrying and over thinking this whole thing ! I've never been very good at letting someone else do things for me. I really dislike being old! I was sitting here this morning and I suddenly remembered that I forgot anti-freeze yesterday ! BAM, there it was! *&%*....The shop I'm getting parts from didn't have a carburator gasket yesterday so I have to go there again tomorrow. I wonder what else will be forgotten ? I woke up a few times the last few nights with all of this on my mind.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014


11-29-14 Planning the engine change
Still in Robertsdale, Alabama at Wilderness RV Park.
I've been on the phone and internet a lot this week ! As you might believe, trying to plan an engine change this far from home can be a challenge. Locating a mechanic and an engine has taken up a lot of time. I put an ad on Craigslist for a mechanic and got a call that evening from “ Robert “. He lives about a ½ hr from us and gave me a fair quote for labor. I located a low mileage 454 engine with 33k miles on it that has been taken out of a motorhome.
My friend and neighbor, Phil, gave me a ride today to meet Robert at the salvage yard and we all checked out the engine. So far, so good ! Robert is supposed to call in the next few days to set up a date for the work to be done. He's guessing next week and 2 days.
I'm praying this all happens without any glitches.
Since we live fulltime in our rig we'll probably have to grab a motel nearby for a few days. Gonna research that soon. Might be in Loxley, Alabama for that, judgeing by my preliminary search.
I've done a lot of “wrenching” in my life so I have some knowledge of what needs to be done. If we were back home it would make all this seem so much easier. Probably would be done by now. But, be that what it may, here we are. I started out with estimates around $9K and now have it down to less than $2K..not bad !! This whole job should take about 2 to 3 short days, about 24 hrs at the most. ( at Geezzer speed ! ) Robert is, I guess, about 30 years old and seems knowledgeable. I remember being that age ! Full of confidence and brawn !! Oh, those days were crazy !!! But, we got a lot done back then !
I'm not totally without transportation. Got the Goldwing. I'm hoping the weather allows me to ride. I'll try to help out where I can and try to stay out of the way. I know how I am when it comes to having someone hanging over my shoulder when I'm wrenching. Interruptions only confuse the whole job. It takes a lot of focus to do this kind of job.
So, next up is a call from Robert to set a date for the work.


Charlie & Heather

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11-26-14 HAPPY THANKSGIVING & we're thankful in Alabama

11-19-14 Robertsdale, Alabama
What happened to Southern good weather?? Last few days have been chilly. Night freezes. Mid 20's last night from 9PM til 9AM. The RV park had notices on everyone's door that the water would be off at 6PM. We made sure our onboard water tank was full. He water was back on at 9:30 in the morning.
There was a potluck dinner at the clubhouse last night so we went and met some more of our neighbors. Nice bunch of folks. Got back in the rig by 8PM and the walk back was cold! We had lowered the heat setting before we went to dinner and raised it immediately as we walked in the door. The furnace and the electric heater got a good workout last night. It was below freezing til 9AM, as predicted, but the sun is shining today so it'll warm up quickly. I'm looking forward to getting back to normal this weekgave.
To update our engine failure progress: I found a repair shop about ½ hr ride from here. Our new friend, Dave, gave us a ride to check out a MH for sale. It was a mess! The shop owner had it for sale. I asked him if he could replace our motor. Had a lengthy conversation with him and he said he'd research the possibility and call me in a few days with a quote. I walked around the shop and he definitely has the facility to do the work. He said we could campout there if he did the work. Time will tell. We're leaning more towards the idea of getting another MH even though I hate to do that after all the repairs and $$$ we've put into this one. Time will tell and we're not in any rush. We are in a great RV Park with FHU's and good neighbors.
The Goldwing starter has been replaced. I had to changeout the gear reciever for it too. I had a hell of a time getting that done ! When I pulled the starter a few weeks ago it came out easy, I cleaned up the armature and put new brushes in, it went back in easily. The starter then worked, but still wasn't right so I order a completely rebuilt one. Gonna be an easy out, easy in, Right? NO WAY. The new starter just wasn't gonna cooperated going back in. It came with a new gear reciever so I carefully replaced the gear. A feat in itself ! This gear is inside the case, inside a chain. My repair manual says ya gotta pull the engine to do that. HA !! Of course the repair manual say ya gotta pull the engine to replace the starter too! I held the chain by fingers and used an offset needle nose to pluck out the gear and to install the new one. I found a couple Youtube videos to show the repairs and so I proceeded. Success followed..back in business again. Some times I wonder who writes those manuals. It sure makes the dealers a lot of moola!! Hmmmm !!
11-26-14 Wednesday
Re: Motorhome engine repairs...The previous comments re: the shop I was at the other day fizzled out ! The guy never called me back and doesn't answer the phone or texts. So much for his story about wanting to make $$$ for his daughter's college bill. Oh well !! We've got an old friend that lives 25 miles South of us in Foley, Al. And he gave me a few leads. I put an ad for a “mechanic wanted” on Craigslist and a fellow named Robert called me this morning. I'll go and meet him after Thanksgiving and check it out. I've located an engine and it just so happens that Robert has dealt with the place before. I think (cautiously) that this all sounds like it may work out. I hope so.
Tomorrow is Turkey day. The RV Park has a big dinner planned. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I know we have a lot to be thankful for !!
Charlie & Heather

Thursday, November 13, 2014

11-12 & 13-14 PLANNING THE FIX

11-12-14 PLANNING THE FIX !!
I've been chatting with our neighbors at Wilderness CG about our failed engine problem. Got some new leads going. I sure pray that some of them pan out! Of course I know talk is cheap.
I expect the new starter for the Goldwing to be here in a day or two. It'll only takes 1 hr to install it. Then, I will be able to chase down some of the leads I've been given..
I've located a few engines under $1000, now I need a mechanic that is priced fairly. My first few calls made me laugh at their quotes for labor ( $6 to 9K). If I was home I'd change this engine out in less than 3 days at 8 hours a day. I'd put a fair price at $2000 for labor. Not bad for a few days work. I really believe repair people today overcharge tremendously! I see the RV dealers and many mechanics charging upwards of $150+/hr. How do they expect anyone to afford their work?? Then you couple in the stupid hours they estimate. A 24hr job is quoted 60hrs. Rip off !! I've wrenched on a lot of stuff and I know these charges are robbery. Now I now a lot of people will disagree with my thinking but my logic has gotten me this far so I won't change my ways of thinking. Good, honest deals are always around the corner if you look hard enough. ( I always tip well too!)
11-13-14 Thursday
The Goldwing starter got delivered yesterday. Wow, that was fast. California to Alabama in 3 days. Now all I need is for the rain to stop so I can do the changeout. Our weather is supposed to be crappy for a few days. I'll just wait impatiently !! It's a bit cool to use the shower house ( no heat) so we'll just use our rig's conveniences. It got down to 42F last night. A bit cool for South Alabama ! It may be cooler for 4 days but it's going to warm up by Monday. Looks like a lot of reading for a few days and some TV (ukkk!).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11-07-14 BREAKDOWN !! Alabama

 11-07-14 I really hate having breakdowns !! They mess with the grand plan!!
We were rolling along EB I-10 without a care in the world for about an hour when suddenly we heard a weird sound. We both noticed/heard a change in road sound. I slowed a bit and we turned the radio down and everything seemed to be okay. Hmmmm! But then a car pulled up on the drivers side and pointed “ pull over” ! OH-OH ! So I did.
As soon as we stopped we noticed a blue puff of smoke. Got out and the right side exhaust was putting out a lot of blue/grey smoke. NOT GOOD !! So we put 'er in D and limped to the next exit. Alabama, EB I-10, Exit 53. I immediately saw a “truck repair” to the North. Pulled into it and a guy said pull the rig in and we'll take a looksee ! Whew!
After an hour, he started the engine, took the valve covers off and said “ do you hear that rod knock? He then proceeded to quote a repair bill of $7 to 10k TO REPAIR IT !! HA HA HA HA HA !! “ I have worked on a lot of engines and really didn't hear anything except lifter noise. So I had him put the valve covers back on ( with silicone? That'll never work ! ) and researched the area on internet. Found an RV park about ½ ml South and limped there with a lot of smoke about 5PM. OKAY Now , FHU and very good rate. I guess we'll work this out from here! Didn't do anything except hookup and pop beer! Whew...what a day !!
The next morning I had a coffee in hand and went out and sat on the picnic table. Gotta think !! Had quite a few neighbors stop over and after intro's I told them about our dilemma. Got a lot of info about the area. One of them, Dave, drove me to a store and took a scenic route. He pointed out all the thing we need to know. Stores, repair supplies, etc. , he knows the area because his daughter lives here. My friend, John Nichol, lives about a ½ hr. South of here in Foley. I called him today and he said he'd be home by the weekend from his job as a truck driver. He said he'll help us if he can.
Sounds like it'll be a busy week. Tomorrow I'll do a compression test and see what that tells me. Sure am glad I have tools with me.
11-11-14 … Took a few days off...(decompress) .. We're safe, FHU's, good neighbors..all okay !! I've been making a lot of local calls. No luck on finding an affordable mechanic yet. I found a few 454 engines nearby. Also found a few used motorhome deals too ! It's always been an escape plan of ours to just find another used motorhome if we had any catastrophic failures. We may go with that plan! One of the great things about driving an older rig is that there are a lot of good deals out there.
My Honda Goldwing has been having problems with the starter. Before we use it for chasing down a deal I decided to order a new starter. It should be here by Friday. It only takes an hour to replace. I have 4 motorhomes I'd look at within an hour of here. I found most of them on Craigslist.
I really don't care if we stay here for awhile. Wilderness CG has FHU's for $300/month and is close to shopping. Our neighbors are friendly and helpful. Ya gotta love other Rvers !
I dug out the test tools and ran a compression test today. NOT GOOD !! #4 cylinder is flatlined @ 28 #s. 120 to 165#'s on other cylinders. Kinda looks like bad news.
And the saga continues !!

Charlie & Heather.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

11-01-14Honda starter rebuild


I finally have all the parts and supplies, cleaning fluids and weather to pull the starter out of the Honda cycle. Woke up ( Ocean Springs, Ms.) to 45F, a bit chilly to start this job in the A.M. So I'm waiting for Sol to warm it up a bit.
Last week the starter decided it was gonna take 10+ attempts to start the engine. After some analyzing I decided ( guessed) the starter brushes need maintenance.
When I first checked the Goldwing Maintenance Manual it said the engine had to be removed to remove the starter. I checked on the Honda Goldwing internet forum and found out that was NOT necessary! There were some Youtube videos available showing the whole procedure from removal to repair to reinstall. It's supposed to take 2 hours so I'll guess, for me, about 4 hours. I've got the bike in back and up on the cement picnic table area. Good work area in case I drop any parts. I didn't want to be searching thru the leaves for anything.
The project finally started about 1100hrs when the temps got tolerable ( 60F). I tried to guess what tools I'd need and laid them out. Now I know some of you are laughing and I don't blame ya. I kinda use the Billy Bob method! Let's see how that plan works out.
There's only 7 screws/bolts/nuts to remove. How tough can that be?? Let me tell ya, I didn't realize I needed to be a contortionist to get to them! Sideways, upside down and inside out is the best way to explain it. I don't think there was even one of those bolts that were easy to get to but I persisted. I had to take off the left running board
( 3 nuts). The shifter arm. ( 1 bolt). Now I was down to 1 nut & 2 bolts to pull the starter. A little wiggling and prying and YAHOO, the starter was out !!
Over to the picnic table to disassemble it and cleanup the innards. Remove the brush assembly and clean up all the carbon dust with our air compressor. Sprayed a lot of electrical cleaner/ degreaser and blow it all out til it was dry. Regrease the bearings and geared drive and put in the new brush assembly, finally, put it all back together. The whole process so far was 1 ½ hrs.

I wasn't aware of time as all of this was going on. Ms. Heather made up some breakfast sandwiches and it was a good time to take a break. Yummy! Recharged !!
Going on 1400. Let's get this put back together! Bolted up the starter, tested it and put all the running board/shifter stuff back on !!
Another ½ hour. Now we're back in business !! Seems to work like new!
Now comes the Billy Bob part! Whoa !! Where'd all those tools come from?? Is someone sneaking tools out here?? No way I coulda used all those tools !! The cleanup took an hour. Gotta wipe 'em all off and put them away properly ya know!!

1500 hrs-- time for happy hour !! Gotta celebrate my mechanic's mighty fine job!!
Now I'm a HAPPY Honda owner !!

Charlie & Heather

Thursday, October 30, 2014

10-22-14 More Mississippi



Have ya ever played musical chairs ?? This Davis-Bayou National Park has always been a first come first served park but not anymore ! As of about a month ago it went to a reserveable system via Recreation.gov. Of course this has created some very unhappy campers. We've seen folks, that have been coming here for years, pulling in here and get totally confused to discover the melee in the park ! Many have pulled into an empty site only to discover, in the morning, that they have to move and sometimes only for a few days. Then they move again. I suppose it'll all straighten out in time.

We've been on our site for 10 days and have to move on Friday to another site because ours is reserved for 3 days this weekend. It all seems kinda silly to us but “ oh well “ !! I did go on the net site and “reserve” the new site yesterday for 10 days. Whewwwww !! We're staying here til Nov 3rd.

I was doing some research regarding SW Florida CG's and noticed some have reduced their rates from last year and many are becoming Encore Parks. That's another reservable system that is weird. A few years ago we pulled into an Encore Park and the office told us we had to have a reservation. I went out to the rig, made a reservation via the net and went back into the office and all was well. Pretty stupid in my opinion.

We've noticed a lot more snowbirds are on the roll. I guess the frost and colder weather is getting the migration into gear. There's a lot of Northern license plates showing up.

Managed to have a small bonfire last night. Got a nice Honda ride in to pick up some scripts. Cheated on dinner tonight and had pizza with our friends. Dropped a chunk of change at Wally World on groceries. I found an Ace hardware and had some extra keys made for the Honda for $5, sure beats $40 at the dealer !!

In the evening I like to sit outside at the picnic table at dusk. Been seeing bats and rabbits. Last night I left a bag of dinner trash on the table and some critter tore it up overnight. ( things do go bump in the night !! )

I've been getting a few motorcycle rides in almost every day. My coordination and confidence are coming together. We received Heather's new helmet in the mail yesterday. I found that on the net at ½ price of anything at any dealers in the area! It's even got a built in sunvisor that flips out of sight. I may order one for myself ! I'm gonna guess after I get another 100 miles of riding in we'll try riding together. Looking forward to that !


Charlie & Heather.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

10-12 thru 10-18 2014 Davis Bayou Camp 128 Ocean Springs, Ms.

On the road at 0930 Sunday morning from Evergreen, Al.. 140 miles today. Usually Sunday traffic is light but the last half of this drive had a lot of traffic. We made really good time and arrived at Davis Bayou National Park in Ocean Springs, Ms at 1330.
Setup was a breeze, we had a nice level site and in the shade. It was 88F so the shade was welcome. The drive into the park was real woodsy, hard to believe it's right in town. It'll be easy to do our shopping as most of the stores are less than a mile to the campsite.
Monday was a good visit day. Our friends from Mich. Are hosting here. Jerry & Kathy started “ workamping “ a little over a year ago and love it. This is their 3rd or 4th gig. . We all managed to chit chat for hours getting caught up on our adventures.
This Davis-Bayou National Park is on the smallish side compared to other National Parks. There's only a limited number of campsites with water & electric, there's a dump available. As is true with most National Parks everything is clean. The best part is I get my geezer discount, 50% off !! Last week the area had the “Cruisin' The Coast Festival” and every RV Park in the area was full up. We saw that festival a few years ago and I heard this year was it's biggest. We saw a lot of antique cars heading North on Sunday when we were Southbound.
Monday night a serious storm pounded the area. We monitored the weather closely as there were tornado watches issued. About 2130 the warnings were cancelled but the rain and lightning continued for about 6 more hours. We left our shades open and enjoyed the show. This morning the news reported there were 1000 lightning strikes per hour at the height of the storm and some areas had 3” of rain. When we got up at 0800 the roads were dry in the park and by 0830 the sun was shining again. Gonna be 88F today.
Took the motorcycle out of the trailer and rode around the area. This was the 1st time for me to unload the bike from the trailer and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Now I'm hoping I can get it back in ! The 5MPH speed limit in the park makes driving the bike a little slow. It's much easier to ride a little faster.
The area around the park is very woodsy and beautiful. The area outside the park is busy. I remember coming thru this area 5 years ago and a lot of cleanup was still in progress from hurricane damage. You'd be amazed how much has been rebuilt. Hard to believe it's the same area !
Our mail has finally caught up with us. I think it's been 2 months since I had it forwarded. As usual 90% was junk. Recieved a few packages of stuff that was ordered a few weeks ago. ( motorcycle accessories ). We use Passport America mail service and as always, they do a good job.
We went to a flea market today ( Sunday ) with our friends Jerry & Kathy. A lot of junk but no treasures. Stopped on the way back to camp for some ice cream, found out it was homemade. Yummy !! Also found a fresh shrimp supplier. Gonna get some this week.
There's all kinds of good weather this week and forcasted for all next week. It's about time.

Charlie& Heather

Friday, October 10, 2014

10-10-14 Camp #127 Evergreen, Al.
I was surprised to wake up at 0630 (central time) but shouldn't have been, as that's 0730 Eastern Time. That's my normal wake up hour. These time zones really throw my timing off. Coffee right away and a nice leisurely morning as usual. The sun doesn't pay any attention to our stupid timekeeping and it was shining thru our windows very soon after I got up. A lot of campers at Cherokee CG are in the area to work so the traffic in the park was rolling at that hour.
We decided to start the get ready to travel routine about 0900 and were ready about 0920. Tough routine, ehhh ?? Pulled out of the park about 1000 for our long 140 mile trip.
Traffic down I-65 in Alabama was zipping along at the speed limit except around Montgomery, as usual for any large city the idiots that wanted to be “ up there yesterday “ did their usual tailgating and hitting their brakes. I just dogged along and did my thing. The sign on the rear of our rig says it all.

We pulled into Owassa Lakeside CG about 1330hrs and were all setup by 1400 in Evergreen, Al.. No one answered the phone here and a note on the office said to just setup and they'd catch us later. The roads in the CG were a little rough but the sites were nice. Very few rigs in here, again ! We picked a spot with some shade and declared “ Happy Hour “ right away !
We'll be heading for Davis Bayou National Park area on Sunday morning. Then we can settle down for awhile.

Charlie & Heather.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

10-3-14 Camp # 125 Ten Mile Tennessee Hornsby Hollow CG

10-3-14 Friday , Ten Mile, Tn.
Woke up at 0730 in Hornsby Hollow CG to a downpour. It rained a good portion of the night. I love the sound of rain on the rig's roof. Got the coffee on and by the time it was done the rain stopped. Big puddles but the sun is coming up.
By 1200 the sun was shining and I got ambitous. Picked up a new battery for the chassis at Wally World enroute yesterday. The deep cycle marine batteries were on sale, I'm guessing because it's the end of season. I found a large marine deep cycle battery for $64. Too bad the state sales tax in Tennessee is 9.25%, kinda jacked up the price. Got out the tools and spent about an hour installing it. Of course I had to clean & polish & wash & no-oxide all the connections and the battery area. The chassis battery has about 12 wires connected to it and they were all corroded a bit. I do try to make a yearly effort to keep that area cleaned so it wasn't too bad. My before and after voltage readings went from 11.1volts to 12.9 volts. The old battery was using a lot of water and just wasn't maintaining a good voltage for the last 2 months ( 11.1v in the morning). I can't complain about the old battery, it gave us over 2 years of good service. ( Amazing that the warrenties are for 2 years!! Isn't it !!) Being an older rig, we use a lot of DC voltage. Another thing I've noticed is the charger has gotten a lot quieter.
10-4-14 Saturday--
Wow, got an excellent night's sleep. Didn't get up til 0830. It got Rather cool out last night and woke up this morning to 46F.. Extended our stay here 1 day due to forecasted wind gusts of 35MPH. You've heard me say before that I don't like driving our Class A in the wind. Sunday is supposed to be a good weather driving day and traffic is usually light. Next move will be to Ft Payne, Al, about 200mls.
We checked our to do list, nothing major but still needed doing. After an extended coffee hour we puttered around and vacuuming, window cleaning and fixing our screen door and other small chores ate up most of the day til Happy Hour.
The park has been really quiet. You can sure tell school is in session as we've only seen a few kids. The park is mostly empty.
I'm personally enjoying the solitude. Last night, about dusk, we could see the bass jumping in the lake.
I see a few of our friends in Michigan's U.P. and in South Dakota are expecting S N O W tonight !! YUK !!

Charlie & Heather

Thursday, October 2, 2014

10-1-14 Wednesday, Camp #124,
On the road at 1000hrs. Goodbye Mt Vernon, Ky, enjoyed the 3 day stop over.
We crossed into Tennessee in about an hour. I really dislike driving thru the mountains here. It seems like a roller coaster all the way thru on I-75. We only had about 1 hr to our exit at Caryville, Tn., staying 1 night at Cove Lake State Park. This is one of a few states to offer all seniors a discount, an electric/water RV site is only $16.39 per night.
We drove around the Park a few times and settled on a site. All we had to do was call the office and do all the registration business via phone. So easy ! I wonder why other states don't do this instead of having to drive back to the office to do 2 minutes worth of business. The layout here is nice. There's 3 loops and lots of choices of the many roomy sites. About ½ of them are level and long enough for a 50 footer rig. It's close to I-75 and nestled in the mountains and close to town for shopping, even has a Super Wally World. We're only staying for 1 night.
10-2-14 Thursday, Camp # 125
We left the above State Park at 1000hrs and jumped on I-75 N by accident. Heather, the co-pilot noticed the mile markers were increasing---oopps--U turn required—now we were on track. It's nice to have a good co-pilot!!
The first thing we encountered was a rather lengthy and busy construction zone. I think the road crew assumed model T's would use these lanes. VERY NARROW !!!! A lot of the lane barrels had been hit and of course everyone wanted to be up front. NOT a good way to start the day.
We only had about 83 some miles to drive so it didn't take long. We got off I-75 S and went to 40 W and then S 58. Very pretty area & much more relaxed driving.
Pulled into Hornsby Hollow CG in Ten Mile, TN about 1300hrs. Wow, is this a nice CG !! A bit off the beaten path but well worth the $26 per night. Nice young couple with excellent host skills. I'll put this place on my okay to back to list. We pulled into lot # 31 with a lake view and plenty of privacy.

Heather went down to the Lake and was soaking her feet and the minnows were cleaning her feet.. Tickles !!
Planning on 2 nights but that may become 3 due to weather reports. ( windy on Saturday predicted).
We're aiming at SE Mississippi sometime next week. No rush and No schedule, all plans are in jello !! LOL

Charlie & Heather

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9-29-14 Renfro Valley RV Park in Mt Vernon, KY.

Last night was one of the first nights we could leave the windows open and all the roof vents open. It's nice for a change to maintain 65F all night. Daytime temps are hovering around 75F. It's what we call the ideal weather days.
When we pulled into town we instantly recognized the fact that we've been here before. Renfro Valley RV park caught my attention when I was planning our stop as it's a Passport America (PA) 50% off park. I always check PA first when laying out a trip plan. Over a year they've saved us a ton of money. We've belonged to PA since we started travelling 5 years ago and highly recommend their benefits. The only other better deal we've found was Corps of Engineer RV Parks with my senior discount, usually $8 a night.
I found out how to travel within a retirees budget by reading www.hitchitch.com years ago. It's been an amazing dream come true to find out how affordable this lifestyle can be. We've met a lot of people on the road and we all share the deals we've found with each other.
This RV park has become a destination point for a lot of music lovers. They do have some big name entertainment regularly and the rustic village setup is amazing. It's not far off I-75 and has all the hookups and cable tv. Easy in & out and is very clean. It's a quick walk to the main drag for almost anything you need. It isn't very full from Sunday to Wed..
I wonder where our next stop will be ? Probably about 100 miles further South. It's always fun planning our moves. Since we quit making reservations it's been less stressful trying to keep an agenda. All I do nowadays is find 3 possibilities in a given area and head there. That always leaves us wide open to change our minds midstream if we see something interesting enroute.
9-30-14 Tues.-- Got a plan for tomorrow. Going to drive a short 93 miles South. Weather is supposed to be good. We enjoyed Renfro Valley RV and it was good to sit for a few days.

Charlie & Heather.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

#122 Ohio rest area, #123 Mt Vernon,KY

Camp #122- Ohio rest area milemarker 81

Pulled out of Wayne County CG, Bellville Mich.,9-27-14, at our usual 1030hrs and hit I -275 S towards I-75 S, near Monroe, Mi.

For a Sat the traffic was very light so we made excellant time. Once we crossed into Ohio we stopped for $150 of gas and a stretch and ran to Exit 81 near Piqua, Ohio. We don't very often layover at a rest area. It was nice to just stop and after 173 miles I was ready. Got a good night's sleep.
    Our chassis battery hasn't been doing too well even though I had it load tested. Gonna change it out this week. It's been using a lot of water and doesn't seem to be holding a charge very long. When we got up in the morning it didn't have enough umphhh to crank over the generator. Now it's messing with my ability to watch TV.

   Back on the road Sunday morning and drove 214 miles to Mt Vernon, KY. Stopped at Renfro Valley CG, CAMP 123 ,and decided to do 3 days at our Passport America rate. $45 !! We've got FHU & cable, great deal. This CG has a reputation for great music fests.

    Our trip also entailed throwing a fan belt but I was able to coast into a Auto Value parking lot. The rig was starting to overheat but we made it ! I let it cool down while we ate lunch and then procured the belt ($6) and it took about a ½ hr to install it. Managed to blow out some anti freeze so I refilled that too. Back on the road after a 2 hr delay, probably would have been quicker if I could have found a belt routing diagram. I'm sure glad I've got some mechanical ability left in this old body.

   Eventually I'm gonna have to look at a map to figure out where we'll head for after we traverse the first ½ of our Southbound trip. I think it's fun to “just head Southbound” !! We're already in an area that is warmer at night. We both want to hit Mississippi, we've got some friends of ours that are workamping in the SE corner of Ms. that we're looking forward to meeting up with.

   We managed to get into the mountains today and the views were spectacular. The cloud formations today were glorious. We've always enjoyed this corner of the country. Luckily the weather has been wonderful. High 70's in the daytime and hi 60's at night. How do ya beat that? We haven't needed AC or heat at all.


Charlie & Heather

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Camp 117 to 121 Michigan travels and visits.

 Camp 117, June 16th to 22nd--Moochdocked at John & Kathleens for a week. We try to visit them every year. It's like one of our favorite couples to spend time with. Their property in Croswell, Mi. is on the Black River and is beautiful. Woke up nearly every morning with a herd of deer outside our window. While we were their I renewed my membership at the American Legion as that's my home post. I've known these guys for decades and our friendship gets better & better. As usual, Croswell is an inviting town. It's small and hasn't been ruined like other cities. 
    June 20th, Camp 118..We reconnected with my young friend Tim Robison & his wife Robyn..I keep in touch with Tim on FB but it's been a lot of years since we've seen each other. He put on a BBQ Saturday night and we camped in the yard. It rained a bit so we all partied in his man cave in the garage. Some other friends stopped in and we enjoyed George & Sheila McGinnis and John Tubbs company. It was a fun evening.
   We moved on down further South and stopped in to visit Jean & Leon Calvert in New Baltimore, Mi..Camp 119... Jean & I worked at DTE for a lot of years. She saw us last winter in Florida. Her daughter Amy was there with Abby, her daughter. My, My, these kids grow fast !! Jean made up a pot of chicken soup with dumplings that was to die for !! Leon suprised us with a couple of new camp chairs, just wait til I put pictures of them on here later on. 
   Suprisingly my old friends, Dan & Rose Forrest, live just around the corner, like 3 blocks, from Jean's place so we spent a night at their place, Camp 120..Ate a great dinner and sat around a bonfire til wayyyy to late chewin' the fat. Dan took us out, for a quick trip, to a marina to see his recently aquired boat. It's more like a yacht !! Made me miss my boat ! I haven't seen these folks since about 2001. I sure enjoy reestablishing friends like these. 
   We pulled out of New Baltimore about 1130hrs and headed to Belleville, Mich. We pulled into the Wayne County Fairground Campground about 1400hrs. Our route was more or less across the Northern edge of Metropolitan Detroit. More traffic than we normally like but not too bad. We probably saw more traffic today than we usually see in a month !! The sun was up and temps were in the low 70's and no wind so it made for a pleasant drive. 
   So here we are at Camp 121  for 2 days. It's just a short drive from my sister's house in Canton. I gave her a call and she's gonna visit us in the morning. I'm really looking forward to seeing her as it's been years since we've been face to face. 
  It feels good to be on the road again. As you may surmise, we're just poking along as usual. Gas prices have been lowering and I hope that continues. 
   I want to make a shoutout to everyone that has extended their hospitality to us..THANK YOU for the good times!! What a wonderful bunch of people !! 
Charlie & Heather.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Friday afternoon 9-12-14 we got setup on 'THE HILL' , that's the CG for Mt Pleasant Casino. We hit the casino via the shuttle bus. Had fun but didn't get lucky. Usually we do pretty well there. Stayed 2 nights, $18/nite, and departed Sunday A.M.at our standard 1000 heading to Lansing to see my daughter.
Got recamped at 1200. Had to drive 70 miles !! Whew, what a grueling schedule. So now we're at Cottonwood CG, the only CG in Lansing. We've been here before and it's a nice park. FHU for $33. Only 1 night here and then we head to Crosswell in the ' Thumb “ to see our friends John & Kathleen.
We been noticeing the trees are changing color all along our route. Seems a bit early to see so much color. It might have something to do with the 30+ degree nights lately. Farmer's Almanac says an early winter and a repeat of last year. I heard there's been snow in the NW already! YUK !!
Got a lunch date with my daughter and her fiance in about an hour..good, I'm hungry.

Charlie & Heather

Friday, September 12, 2014

9-12-14 ON THE ROAD AGAIN !!

Friday, Sept 12, on the road. Loaded the few remaining things and disconnected power. Pulled out of our friend's yard (Camp 113) in Houghton Lake, Mi. about 1000hrs. Did a few chores in town, gassed up and said goodbye to our “ hometown “.
Decided, last night, to take some different roads for a change. West to Lake City on M-55, South 66 to West 20 into Mt Pleasant. It's overcast but no rain or wind. Hardly any traffic encountered so it was a nice 3 hour putzy drive.
The new brakes are working very well and the added weight in our trailer was hardly noticable. We literally floated down the road since the lube job too !
We set up at Mt Pleasant's Soaring Eagle campground about 2 miles South on the casino. They have shuttle service to the CG. Our usual routine is to go gambling in the later evening. Seems we have better luck with that schedule. Of course Lady Luck has been invited to join in the fun.
It's supposed to be on the cool side til next Tuesday and night temps are going down to the high 30's. BBRRR !! LP is full so we ain't scared !! LOL
It felt good to be rolling again. We've seen Canadian geese starting to flock together. Kinda reminds me of the migration of all us travellers.
I hope you all join us and follow the blog, or better yet, hitch up and travel this winter !
Charlie & Heather

PS..once again, Thank you to Jerry & Terra !! Miss you already !!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Michigan departure pending!! 9-9 &10-2014


Tuesday 9-9-14 was a Great productive day ! My buddy, Jerry, put new brakes on the front of the rig. He did the rears last week. I was surprised the front brakes weren't as worn out as the rears. Actually had less than 50% wear. He also lubed the upper A frame that the lube shop had such a hard time with. I'm sure glad I know such a good mechanic. He's taken care of both our motorhomes and always does a meticulous job.
Jerry and I slipped a quick ride in on the motorcycles after that and I was following him. On the way home we noticed his bike was smoking out the left exhaust pipe.. We got home okay and he concluded that it might be a head gasket leaking as we could smell antifreeze. I guess his riding this year is all done. At least he had a nice riding summer. Next week, Michigan weather is taking a dive into the 50's. We're glad to be heading South this week.
We loaded and tied down the Goldwing in the trailer. It was a tight fit but anchored down real nice. I went to the scales and had everything weighed. Our trailer is rated for 3500# and it weighed 3100# . Good to go!! I'll probably add a few more straps to the bike to make me feel better. Springs and shackles and new tires all checked out okay. We're all hooked up and packed up all the outdoor BBQ gear and chairs. The yard is looking bare !
Sat around a bonfire after our busy day. We were all a little teary eyed realizing it was Bon Voyage time. It's been a fast 6 weeks and so totally enjoyable. Terra doesn't want to see us leave, she's so sweet. I think that even their dogs, Ceasar & Browner, detected the overall mood. They were kinda huggy squeezy last night !! LOL.
The weather this morning, Wednesday 9-10-14, is glum. Rain and high 50's with thunderstorms for today so we wont be hitting the road til all this junky weather clears up in a day or so.
Today we'll while away the day surveying the pantry and maybe a trip to the store to replenish some things. I still have to check our fluids. Might be ables to slip that in between raindrops. I still need to take down the satellite dish. I'm glad I left that up last night so we can watch some shows while it's raining. That's a quick job to do.
When we do leave we'll head to Mt. Pleasant Casino. It's a little over an hour away. With any luck we might take some of their loot and pay for the trip South. ( wishful thinking, ehh ??)
Looking forward to writing “travel” blogs. They seem to be more fun for me to do. Wonder where our wanderings will lead us?

Charlie & Heather.