Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1-21-15 Wonderful January !!
We're finally decompressed !! It's taken a few days. No driving, no breakdowns, no schedules at last ! Just good weather and relaxing.
I had LP gas delivered to our park and filled up the MH tank and 2 portable tanks so we're all set for quite awhile as the furnace isn't running anymore.
We left old man winter in the dust and I don't miss him at all. Our daily temps here on Matlacha Island are warmer than Michigan's August weather.
Nice sunrises and sunsets as usual. Happy people everywhere. Great music at our local pub. AHHHH !!!

1-23-15 Heather has been setting up her jewelry stand all week at The Olde Fish House in the afternoon. Lots of lookers. She usually is there from 1200 til 1500.
We managed to go listen to some great music a couple nights this week. Same laid back crowd and everyone was well entertained.
This weekend is The Taste of Pine Island fair. Lot's of good eats and music. There will be a lot of people out this way for 2 days.
Most of the week has been balmy & sunny but today, Saturday, was overcast and what we call, less warmer, even though the weather guessers keep using the C word.. I think the local newscasters should spend a week up in Houghton Lake, Mi.!! They'd quit using the C word permanently ! We're supposed to have a week of good warm sunshine next week.
Last weekend and this weekend Houghton Lake, Mi. has their annual Tip-Up-Town Festival going on. The largest winter festival in the country. Temps there have been freezing but 1000's of people go to it. They even have a carnival on the ice.
I hope my Michigan friends Dawn , Tammy & Jean all recover from their broken ankles !! Yeah, you read that right. They all have broken bones !!! Been a tuff winter …..
The island traffic is noticeably getting heavier. Snowbird season seems to be in full swing. When we went shopping yesterday the Publix store was packed at noon. Traffic was very heavy too.

1-25-15 SUNDAY....
Sun's up !! Temps are 70's ! New musical group at The Olde Fish House this afternoon. Ms. Heather was all setup to sell her handcrafted jewelry by 1200 at the Fish House. I knew it'd be a great day.
I drifted down to see how Heather was doing at 1500 and was amazed at the traffic on the island today. Pine Island, which is just West of us , has the annual “Taste of Pine Island “ festivities this weekend so there's a lot of ppl out this way & the traffic has to traverse Matlacha's main drag to get there. She was ready to pack up and call it a day at 1500. We carried all her wares back to the trailer and returned to listen to “ The Good Bad Boys Band” and I'm glad we did. They were very unique and held the crowd til the last set. I love it when we hear good music ! Sure makes a few beers taste good !!
We stayed til the end and got back to our rig, 5 minutes away, about 1800. I like being able to walk home after a good time. The evening brought “ less warmer “ ( I refuse to say colder) temps and we got comfortable by turning on the small electric heater.
This morning I ordered some original driver's foot pegs off E Bay for the Honda Goldwing as I'm not comfortable with the floorboards. Seems my 31 inch legs aren't long enough to be comfortable while backing the bike up and they are in the way. I'm gonna try taking the floorboards off to see if that's better. This bike is very top heavy.
Looking forward to our next week and the good weather.
Charlie & Heather.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Island Time !!


1-16-15..FRIDAY..We had a short 12 mile drive this afternoon from my friend Daniel's house and pulled onto Matlacha Island at Sea Isle Resort at 1330hrs. The Friday traffic coming thru Cape Coral was heavy. Noticed a few new businesses have opened along Pine Island road since last year.
Whenever we pull into our winter home we're greeted with a lot of hugs & handshakes. Now that's a great feeling ! Our good friend and manager of Sea Isle Resort, Carl, has still got his wonderful personality in place and it was great to see him. He'd be a blessing for any RV Park he works for. 
I really took my time getting all connected and settled in. No reason to rush at all. Of course, in usual Island Time standard operendi , we got right into a Happy Hour mode ! I took 2 days to get all of the gear out of the trailer and setting up the patio, sat dish and winter standards. Our new Jack Antenna, which we didn't have last year, is getting 16 over the air channels. Wow ! That's 4X better than the old bat wing.
Just vegged for 2 days and got a couple good nights sleep. Our friend, Carl, found a good deal on fresh stone crab claws so I ordered some . WHAT A TREAT !!! No dippin' sauce required for these, no sir !! Made me wish we had ordered more. We had some gator yesterday at The Olde Fish House. What a life !! The eats down here are one of the reasons we love Island Life. I would have taken some pics but they were gone too fast...
I just ordered our mail sent to us from our Passport America mail service.
Gonna try and find a Honda mechanic to put new timing belts on the engine and rebuild the 4 carbs. Just routine maintenance and nothing I'm in a hurry for.
I'll be ordering 4 new hinges for the MH hoods. I've already located them on the internet. Ours are all pitted and one has a crack in the casting. These are marine hatch hinges.
I'll probably start blogging less often while we're parked for the winter, maybe weekly. I notice a lot of us bloggers do that. It's kinda silly to repeat the same good news & weather on a daily basis.I will blog whenever something worthwhile is going on. I wish I had the same ambition that The Old Fat Man & Billy Bob do for blogging every day. If you wonder what they blog about just check out www.hitchitch.com That site is great !

Charlie & Heather

Thursday, January 15, 2015

BRAKES AGAIN !!!???1-14-15

As you know we're SB again in Florida. The new engine is doing just fine. I planned on a stop in Silver Springs, Fl. to hit “Harold's Repair Shop” to get an oil change & lube job. We've used that place many times do to their good service. We should have about 400 miles on this new engine and I figured it'd be wise to refresh the break in oil.
As we got near Panama City I detected a change in the feel of the brakes and there was a weird noise. NOT GOOD !! We pulled into a Walmart lot and the brake pedal went to the floor ! We parked and got out and I looked for leaks and checked the master cylinder brake fluid level, all seemed okay..hmmm! I started back up and pulled forward and reverse and the brake pedal was back to normal. This doesn't do a thing for my confidence. Hopped on the internet and found a truck repair place very nearby. Drove slowly over there and the mechanic had the rig jacked up and spent about an hour inpecting and found nothing wrong. I had him bleed the brakes to make sure there was no air in the system and there was none..hmmmm!! I really hate come & go problems..needless to say I was going to drive cautiously to Spring Hill !
We got into Spring Hill about 2PM and made an appointment at Harold's Repair Service for the next morning and got settled into a nearby RV park for the night. It really poured rain that night, about 4”. The next morning was very foggy and we crawled into Harold's for a 9AM start.
I had a small list of minor things to get done and I told our mechanic, Mike, about the brakes. Up on the truck lift again. I don't think it took him 5 minutes and he said to come and look at something. The rear wheel backing plate has 2 observation ports and he showed me that one of the brake pads was gone ! 5 MINUTES !!We just had all new pads installed last September. After Mike disassembled the wheels he pointed out that the rivets to adhere the pads were too tightly installed and that cracked the pad. He just poured out 1” chunks of brake pad from the wheel drum. Another great aftermarket part ! GRRRR!! The thing that makes me mad is the previous mechanic didn't find that and charged us $95 and put us on the road again !! I'm a great believer in preventive maintainence and I don't like reactive maintainence. I also like to have superb braking available to stop this 14,000# rig.
We left Spring Hill and headed towards Sarasota where we found out that the park we were aiming for was full up. Hopped on the internet and found an alternative. Spent the night at Windward Isle RV Park. It was okay for a night but they really jam the units in tight! We got the next to last place that was open.
Up a bit early, for us, in the A.M. And on the road at 1100. Only have about 70 miles to get to Fort Myers. YAHOO !!
We pulled into my friend Daniel's yard at 1215. Gonna visit for the night.
Oh yes....did I mention it's warm !!

Charlie & Heather

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Feels good to take a break from driving !
We're at Manatee Pub & RV Park n Homosassa, Fl.. It's one of our infrequent stops. We're nestled in the trees and Spanish moss and on a canal and the park has a pub. We know a few of the yearly residents and as usual they had hugs and handshakes as soon as we landed. Gonna stay here for a few days.
The owner, Gary, was friendly as always. Last year he was full up so we stayed across the street at another RV park but we were able to walk over to join the Happy Hour crowd.
Just up the street is the Homosassa Wildlife Park zoo that is very popular as a tourist stop. Since we've been ther before we won't go this year but we recommend it.
It's supposed to get in the 70's tomorrow. YAHOO !! If it keeps this up we may not have to buy any more propane. The Pub has some entertainment at 1400 tomorrow. Sounds like a fun Sunday.
The weather guessers are predicting even better temps as the week goes on.
Just a quick blog today.

Charlie & Heather.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1st run on new engine & damn brakes Mexico Beach


We departed Wilderness CG in Alabama @ 1030. This is the 1st distance run for the new engine. Decided to keep off the Interstates and use some main roads to stay under 60MPH for this trial run. Of course I'm all geeked up and all my senses are in hyper gear. We already topped off the gas tank with mid grade yesterday. Not too bad a price either! Only $2.18/gal ! WOW !!
Nice normal trip, engine wise, no problems! Seems like our gas mileage was a lot better. Pedal response is flawless. So far so good.
HOWEVER !!! HMMMM!! We were in Panama City, Fl. And I think we hit every red light in town. We suddenly heard a schreeching sound from the front brakes! I couldn't believe is was brake pads as we just put them on before we left Michigan last September but ….I pulled over in a Walmart parking lot and the pedal went to the floor. OH-OH...checked underneath for any leaks and didn't find any..so I pumped 'em real hard and suddenly they were okay..can't have that! Researched the internet and found a shop so I called them and they said they could see us right away. I went to pull out and the brakes were dragging so I stopped, put her in reverse and backed up a bit while pumping the brakes and then they were okay..I hate on & off trouble!
We carefully meandered the 5miles to the repair shop and wouldn't you know it, the damn brakes seemed normal !
The mechanic heard my story and jacked us up and checked those damn brakes carefully. We pumped 'em and tried to create a leak by jammin' 'em on hard and nothing !! Yesah, NOTHING !! I had him bleed 'em, no air found. Now what??They're grabbin' and letting go as they should and seem fine. Yeah. Sure !! We pulled around his parking area and they're fine!! Damn Gremlins, I'm telling ya !! What'd that cost?? $95 !! Oh well, now I'm in a real turmoil.
So, down the road we go with me on edge every foot of the way. And ya know what? They worked just fine. HMMM....
Anywhos, we continued to Mexico Beach, FL and were all hooked up at 1845. Time for a beer ya betcha !! Of course I know what my dreamin' is gonna be about tonight..GRRRR !!
It's supposed to get cold tonight. There's a hard freeze warning between midnight and 0800..gonna take a nice hot shower and eat and disconnect the water line tonight,gotta sign in in the A.M. as the office was closed tonight when we pulled in. We've been to Rustic Sands RV Park before so we know the routine. Pick a spot and see 'em in the morning. FHUs & cable, Passport America rate $22/night.Only 1 night here and continue towards warmer weather.

Charlie & Heather.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I decided to take advantage of the good weather today. It's high 60's and sunny for a change. But, it's supposed to be cold and windy tomorrow, Wednesday. We loaded up the trailer and cleared the yard and loaded up the motorcycle. The trailer is full again and everything is strapped down.
If you've been reading this blog regularly you know this was not a scheduled stop. We've been here since Nov. 14th due to the engine failure. We were lucky to find Wilderness Campground near Robertsdale, Al.. if we had to get stuck, this was a good place for it to happen. George, the owner, and all the folks here have been so very helpful to our plight. I'm so thankful to everyone for their help. They've driven us to town a lot and have offered assistance regularly.
Ya gotta love Rvers !
We were thinking about hitting the road tomorrow but the wind is supposed to be bad. I don't like driving in wind so we should leave on Thursday. It's going to be 27F tonite and worse on Thursday night and we don't have any long johns with us !! Time to migrate!!
I'm happy to be looking at a route plan again. I'm happy to see our destination of Cape Coral is having it's typical warm temps. We're looking forward to getting to our wintering area.
Gotta get back to the check list..catch ya down the road.

Charlie & Heather

Sunday, January 4, 2015


(1500hrs) I never thought South Alabama would cool off so much at this time of the year. I now know that we'll never plan on being here from December thru March in the future. We were planning on staying here until Jan 14th but the weather is getting pretty testy. The weather guessers are predicting freezing temps at night over the next few days and barely mid 40's in the daytime. I'm all for pulling out tomorrow but it's supposed to be very windy for 48+ hours. I dislike driving in high winds so we'll wait for it to calm down. Maybe Wednesday or so.
Been planning a route down the West side of Florida. We'll use 98W to Perry, Fl. And then 19S. We'll probably make it a 3 or 4 day trip to Cape Coral area. I see it'll be South of Bradenton until we get above 75F. I really am looking forward to getting into shorts again. So Tuesday we'll be busy loading up and secureing everything in the trailer.
We'll also make a stop in Homassasa, Fl. To get a lube and oil change at our favorite repair shop, Harolds. Should have about four hundred miles on the “new to us” engine by then. I figure that it would be wise to treat this engine like I'm breaking it in as the oil probably is polluted with junk from sitting on the pallet for a year. ( hyper mode again ??)
Had a visit tonite by my old friends John & Lisa. I've known them from the late 80's. They live in Foley which is about a ½ hr drive South of here. We were all neighbors years ago in Michigan's Thumb region and they know my kids. We did some reminising
and had some laughs about those days. They relocated down here years ago and love the area. I always call them when we're nearby.
I hope all of our followers are enjoying the New Year so far, I know we are !!

Charlie & Heather

Friday, January 2, 2015

1-2-15 Test Run

At 1300hrs it was “ We have liftoff” !! Took the rig for it's first extended test run since the engine change. Now, I don't know how your mind works, but mine goes into hyper gear rather quickly. We've run this new engine several times in the RV Park but not on the road except for the trip back after repairs and that was only 5 miles. So—started it up, ran it for 10 minutes til we had some temperature showing and down the road we went. Made a run into Robertsdale, Al. which is about 15 miles from the park. I probably drove Ms. Heather goofy with questions. Any smoke? NO..Any weird sounds? NO..How was the reponse to the accelerator? Nice..Dash instrument readings? Nice.. Chargeing? Yes..Oil Pressure?? 60#s+..Any smoke?? “ NO !!”..(again)..Of course after we got into a parking lot I exited the rig and did a very careful under unit inspection..any leaks or drips? No !! OKAY, breathe a sigh of relief ( for the moment ) ..
The accelerator pedal response was very good..the brakes were good..the sound was good..and No Smoke !! So far, so good!
We got some grocery shopping done and other misc. stuff. Ate a Burger King. I love 'em!!
I did an underbelly inspection again ! I told you I was in hypergear !! LOL
On the way back to the RV Park I played around with response..OK...Hey, Ms. Heather, any smoke?? Okay, okay, I won't ask again !! ( But I did check the rear view mirrors carefully.. & No Smoke !)
So all went well. 1st day of confidence building went well. Of course I'll check all liquid levels in the A.M. Again, just to be sure. Is there anyone else out there that has done this? I know me..I'll be on high alert for a month for drips, noises or anything abnormal.
I'm guessing we'll do a few more run arounds and head South in about a week or so.. So, Ms. Heather, there will be a few more “ Smoke Tests”.

Charlie & Heather 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1-1-15 A NEW YEAR

Our new year starts out in Wilderness RV Park near Robertsdale, Alabama.
Never saw midnight, again, last night, so we missed ringing in the New Year until this morning over coffee. Woke up to a partially sunny day and cool temps.
All the social networks were declaring Happy New Year greetings and everyone's resolutions. I started to realize that in our RV World we do this everyday. Whenever we move on down the road we're greeted in the next RV Park by happy folks and we all have daily resolutions, don't we? I read a lot of blogs and constantly see people resolving to be better than yesterday. I especially like the newbie's blogs as the learning curve makes their life more organized.
If all the stix & bricks people got along as well as Rvers do, life would be great. Haven't we all resolved to do things better and smoother every day? Caring and sharing is a way of life for Rvers.
We're starting to get hitchitch. I think we'll get on the road by Jan 10th and start South again to find some warmer temps. I'm guessing we should be in SW Florida near Cape Coral by the end of January. We plan on following the Gulf via hwys 19 & 98. It certainly is a lot more scenic than the Interstates. As usual, we won't have any reservations so there's no deadlines.
Our new to us engine seems to be running quite well. Last week all the bolts and oil lines and radiator connections were retorqued. Gotta do that after the first few warmups. We''l take it easy for a few hundred miles. It's gonna take awhile to get my confidence up again.
Our mechanic, Robert, has stopped in a few times and called me to verify that all is okay. I recommend him to anyone needing repairs and passing near this area.
We hope 2015 treats you all with respect and happiness and good health.

Charlie & Heather