Friday, December 30, 2011

Day-Night Shades

This is the Day-Night shade over the kitchen cabinet . For those not familiar with day-night shades, they pull up and down with the night position (as shown) not letting anyone see in or out. Raise the bar that appears white (plastic reflexs the light while the fabric absorbs it so it appears white) and the curtain is sheer for day and you can raise the bottom bar and have no curtain at all.

The whole shade is like an accordion with strings running top to bottom to control the action.

A string in this shade broke shortly after we bought the trailer but we didn't have it repaired because we live in it fulltime and it would have to go into the shop for it to be repaired under warranty. After the warranty had expired and we could take it to the shop for repair the cost was over $100.

Last week the strings in the big day-night (it has four strings) shade in the living room broke and fixing them was now a priority.

I googled the string and came up with , it showed how to fix the shades and I bought the strings at a craft shore.

The sight says the rv day-night shades use 1.4mm string but the smallest I could find was 1.8. I bought it and repaired the small kitchen blind but the 1.8mm was smaller than what came in the shade. I bought a larger size string for the living room shade because it is raised and lower every day.

Total cost for both shades was less than $15 including a large needle I purchased to thread the shades.

Our shades are tan colored and the only thread I could find was white but they actually blend in better as the original thread was a much darker color than the shade material.

Friday, December 16, 2011

London Bridge

No we didn't take a trip to England. The London Bridge is in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Originally constructed over the Thames River in London, England in the 1830's and dismantled in 1967 piece by piece and reconstructed like a puzzle to become a tourist attraction for the newly formed Lake Havasu City.

It was all over the news at the time and people my age knew about it but many may have forgotten.

Even the original light fixtures are on the bridge.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More changes, maybe

We will soon be parked here for a month and I see solar panels in our future. We are using about one gallon of gas a day in our generator. I know $3 and change a day for gas will not make solar panels cost effective for some time, but not having the generator noise is worth something.

We are energy hogs but I think 400watts or so will be about right for our rig, as we have 450amps of battery capacity. We plan to buy them when we get close to Phoenix.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Dang it's cold

We are still in Laughlin and the days are pleasant but the nights are in the mid to upper 30's.

We still don't seem to be making any effort toward leaving here. We plan on attending the RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) held by Bob Well of fame in January.

I have never been around Quartzsite, Arizona and it should be quite an experience.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hey Buddy

The temperature is suppose to drop to the mid 30's Sunday night and I did not want to hear the inefficient rv furnace sounding like a jet plane so I purchased a

"Mr. Heater Buddy" . It has an output of 4,000btu on low and 9,000btu on high. It operates on the small 16.4oz propane bottles and with a larger bottle if you buy the optional hose. The white looking pad glows orange but the camera flash hides it.

A 1500 watt electric heater puts out approximately 5100btu on high as 1watt=3.41btu. As you can see, this little heater puts out almost that on low and nearly twice that on high.

I plan to use the bottles so I can move it where it is needed. I will buy an adapter so I can fill the little bottles from our 30 pound tanks.

Even though this is a short lived cold front, I know this heater will be a nice addition as it uses far less propane than the rv furnace and no amps from our batteries.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Much Better

We awoke to a very cloudy day but the wind subsided to a more manageable breeze. We extended our slides and puttered around the house all day.

We are headed to see a move tonight and for the first time in over 2 weeks we did not gamble today. We are still ahead of them and that is very satisfying considering how often we have frequented the casinos.

We saw J. Edger last week and I can say it was the worst movie I have paid to see in a long time.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


High winds started last night and we pulled in our slides because high winds can damage the awning that cover our slides when they are extended.

Woke up to a light sporadic rain and it appears the wind will last three or four days. Just enough rain that one has to say it rained or be disingenuous.

Appears we will be "slideless" for a few days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Time to hit the road?

I think not. We decided to stay a few more days so we drove across the street to Riverside RV Park and payed five dollars to use their rv dump and fill our fresh water tank.

I have been using the casino restroom during the day to help not fill our waste tank as fast.

Katherine's Landing is located on the Arizona side of the Colorado river seven miles from Laughlin just up lake from Davis Dam. It is part of the Lake Mead National Recreational Area.

Nice campground with no hookups for $10 or $5 for Senior Pass holders. The Senior Pass holders also do not owe the day use charge.

If you enlarge this photo you can see our red Dodge just to the right of the building in the center. We used their laundry and I have taken two showers in their pay shower house. This let us stay longer without dumping.

They have a free dump and water refill but it would cost more than the $5 in diesel I paid across the street to dump.

All this makes staying at Riverside Casino very easy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Still hanging out in Laughlin

Sunday night finds us still hanging out in Laughlin at Riverside Casino. Probably head out in a day or two.

Tomorrow is wash day, just goes to show that life still happens when you are having fun.

In case you haven't heard, "the weather here is great."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What an ass!

Oatman, Arizona was on the original Route 66 but the road changed in 1953 and left the town to die.

The town in now only viable because of the tourists interested in the Mother Road as Route 66 has become known.

This is old Route 66 through town,

the main drag is about 1/4 mile long, actually the only street through town.

as you can see the road is very narrow. I am taking this from the opposite sidewalk.

This guy "works" in the street so it makes a very narrow street, one usable lane.

By far the most notable building in Oatman is the Oatman Hotel circa 1902.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned here in 1939. Don't know who they are: why are you up this late on a school night?

Now the burros are the main attraction as they roam the streets. It was getting late and they had left town where tourists feed them carrots (readily available in any shop in town) and heading back to the hills for the night.

They are descendants of the burros left behind from the miners of the 1915 gold rush.

This one ass was looking for a carrot. I laughed so hard I cried.

Have I mentioned lately how great the weather is?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Secret Meeting

I can't proof it but I think the Laughlin casino CFOs has a meeting last night to discuss their resent losses and conspired against me and finally recovered 25% of their money from me.

While they were having their way with me, they took their eyes off Judy and she slipped away a winner.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Mercy

I continue to show "no mercy" toward the Laughlin casinos. If you own their stock, I think I would unload it quickly. ROFLMAO

We checked out the other casinos that offer free rv parking and while Riverside is the most convenient, it is by far the most crowded. Tropicana has the best with extra wide spots to accommodate slides on both sides and they have a dump station for those that register for free rv parking. All require proof of ownership and insurance.

We had a gourmet meal for lunch, two polish dogs combos from Sam's Club.

To my b-i-l Steve, eat your heart out sucker.

Friday, November 18, 2011

99 cent breakfast

We had breakfast at Avi Casino where their breakfast of two eggs, hash browns, ham, and toast costs an outrageous price of $.99.

After that we left with $25 of their money. Did our usual Wal-Mart shopping, hit two more casinos and again escaped with their money. At this rate we may close all the Laughlin casinos down. Yea, right!

Highs in the 70's and about 55 tonight. I need help, this life is hard work.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Laughlin, Nv.

Yesterday we drove about 150 miles and parked for the night in Mojave, California. Sierra Trails RV Park is another great Passport America member park that has long drive thru sites so we didn't have to unhook. The price was $13.25 tax included.

I grilled hamburger steaks and Judy nuked a couple of potatoes. First grilled food in over two months.

A bit longer drive at 240 miles but we are safely snuggled into the Riverside Casino parking lot that is designated for free rv parking. After unhooking we learned we had to move to another spot about 50 feet away. No big deal, just hookup and move.

Paved parking lot with just dry camping and no hookups but you can't beat the price. We will probably be here for at least five or six days.

Again I will just say, "Life is good".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last Night

Seems strange to be leaving here after two months. It really has been a nice place to call home but it is time to "get the hell outa Dodge".

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

1 Week

One more week here in Kingsburg, California. It will seem strange to be traveling again after being planted here for two months.

I have been doing several minor maintenance jobs including but not limited to:
Changing the oil in the generator
Checking water in the Trojan batteries
Cleaning the battery terminals
Repairing the bent arms on one of the stabilizer jacks
Washing the bugs off the front of the camper

I have been walking for exercise in the field behind the rv park and was stopped by the owner of the property and invited to glean anything I want from his garden.

Mostly regular tomatoes, roma tomatoes, bell peppers (green, red and orange), several variates of hot peppers and egg plant. Needless to say, tomatoes are being eaten at every meal.

Fresh garden vegetables are the best.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

2 Weeks

If things work out we should be pulling out of here in two weeks. We will be heading for the Arizona/Nevada line. Should take about two driving days as it is about 400 miles.

We will spend at least one night getting there but that is always subject to change.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Still kicking

We are still in Kingsburg, California and I am doing great. We will probably be here another month.

The weather here is fabulous, highs in the upper 70's and lows in the lower 50's.

My hands are 95% well for the first time in three months.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Heart Attack

This is long overdue update. We did Cody, Yellowstone, Custers Last Stand, Sturgis, Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, and Crazy Horse.
We moved though Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and finally into California.

We signed up for a month in Kingburg, Ca. to be close to my wife's aunt for awhile.

Two weeks into the stay I decided to have a heart attack. I am now the proud owner of a stent.

I'm doing great but will be here longer than we thought.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lander, Wy.

Lander is a interesting "cowboy town" and we stayed 4 nights to soak it in. We drove out to Sink Canyon and was treated with beauty and a little enlightenment thrown in for good measure.

The Sinks Canyon received its name from a very unique feature of the Popo Aque river.

Two photos of the river before it "sinks"

This is where it reappears,

looking downstream after the pool where it reappears.

Driving deeper into the canyon and the road climbs with a series of "switchbacks" that will take you breath away (just ask the wife!).

This was taken about 2/3 the way up at the first pull out and I was duly informed that we WOULD be turning around and heading back down.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lincoln Highway

Interstate 80 is "The Lincoln Highway" and at a tourist information center we were greeted by this statue.

We then drove a few miles and spent the night at Curt Gowdy State Park (yes the sports announcer). Very nice park on a lake.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cheyenne, Wy.

We are south of Cheyenne a few miles and just 2 miles into Wyoming.

Terry Bison Ranch is a real ranch raising bison and they have a campground and several building to replicate the frontier experience.

They offer train and horseback rides through the ranch and try to be a mini Six Flags but that part of the business seems to have fizzled out. Could be a different story during Cheyenne Days.

The feed lot for the ranch sits several hundred yards (thankfully) behind the compound but I thought there might be bison grazing in the pasture beside the highway.

No bison in the pasture close enough to take pictures, just a couple camels.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


We are camped at Raton, New Mexico for a couple of days so we drove over to Taos for the day. Lots of antelope, mule deer, and goats were beside the highway and the Boy Scouts of America own 137,000 acres (no, that is not a misprint) in the area with a large compound that looks like a small college.

Taos is your typical tourist trap town but still an interesting place to visit, but the real reason we went was about ten miles out of town on hwy 64.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is very unassuming as you approach it. Just looks like a 1280 ft. bridge over a shallow river like so many others you cross out west.

Walk on the bridge and look over the end and these little mt. goats are playing.

The real attraction is the 650 ft deep gorge the bridge crosses. The bridge has apeared in several movies including Wild Hogs and Natural Born Killers.

Friday, July 08, 2011

New Nexico

We are finally out of Oklahoma. I never thought of Oklahoma as being so wide but the narrow strip of the panhandle seems to go on forever.

We are Raton, New Mexico at a private campground for a couple of days as we want to drive over to Taos (yes, I know it's a tourist trap) tomorrow.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fort Supply Lake, Ok.

We are camped at Fort Supply Lake in western Oklahoma just east of the panhandle. We have a nice covered picnic table on a concrete slab with paved camper and truck spot.

At about 1,800 acres this is not a large lake but it sure is a nice one. We are about 20 feet from the water. A breeze has been blowing the whole time we have been here.

There is a historical Fort Supply but it is closed. This will be our third night here and we will be moving westward tomorrow as this spot has already been reserved for the weekend.

We have just kicked back, played on the internet, watched satellite and local tv, and grilled.

Remember we are fulltiming and not on vacation so there is no urgent need to be going and doing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fort Gibson Lake

We are nestled in at Taylor Ferry South CG on Fort Gibson Lake just east of Wayoner, Ok. We signed up for 8 days to be off the road on the 4th of July weekend.

Our sight is lower on the slide (left looking forward) side and I plan to purchase 2x8 lumber tomorrow to augment my leveling blocks. 30amp with water, our satellite tv and internet air card are working fine.

We are just outside Wagoner and it should provide all our needs for the next week.

Time to kick back, rest, read and play on the net for a few days.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Beaver Lake

We are a few miles northeast of Fayetteville, Ar. on the southern tip of Beaver Lake.

Camped at the top of a hill over looking the lake with 30amp electricity and aircard internet service. The trees are positioned so I can't get satellite tv but the local channels are great.

Our fresh water tank is full and our waste water tanks are empty. War Eagle Park is an older COE park with smaller sites but ours is one of the larger ones. Plenty of room for the Cardinal (about 39ft. hitch to bumper) and our Dodge 2500.

We plan to leave on Monday but those plans at set in Jello.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Westward Swing

We picked up our Cardinal today and everything is back to factory specs. Leaving Little Rock and heading west was very rewarding.

We are spending the night in Alma, Ar. before heading north to Fayetteville for a couple of days and try to figure out where we are going to spend the 4th of July weekend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

C.O.E. parks

U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Parks, a.k.s. COE parks are always nice and a bargain for older or disabled people as we get 50% off the normal camping fees.

Camping for 14 nights is allowed before you have to move out of the park. Not a problem as most areas have more than one park and you can alternate between them.

This 2 week limit is generally extended during off season to 4 weeks. Most sites have electricity and water. You will find a few parks without individual water hookups. A few COE parks will also have some sites with sewer hookups.

Maumelle Park on the Arkansas River in Little Rock is a park that we consider our "home park" as we have stayed here numerous times over the years.

This is the view from our front door and out our living room window. Our site for this stay is A17 and is a pull-thru site about 75 feet from the water with 50 amp service and water hookup.

We chose a 50 amp site we can run both a/c units as it is near 100 degrees here. 30 amp sites are $22.00 and 50 amps sites are $26.00, so this great spot costs us $13.00 a day total.

COE parks are great because the sights are so large, our neighbor in the Airstream is about 100 feet away,

our other neighbor is at least 150 feet away and the position of our camper makes the distance seem greater.

I am standing by the bathroom and shower house just a short walk from our camper.

We have a shower and bathroom in our camper but our holding tanks will only last 7 to 10 days max, then we would have to hookup and head for the dump station. With the bathrooms and showers across the road we could extend to our 14 day limit if we so desired.

We are here for just two days as our Cardinal goes in for repairs tomorrow morning.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Alternative energy

Nice home and garage with a pool in the back yard owned by a gentleman that has worked at a coal powered electric generating plant for decades.

What makes this home "special" is the wind turbine and solar panels in the front yard.

He has nine TriStar 210watt solar panels with a vertical and horizontal tracking system producing approximately 2000 watts,

and a 10,000 watt Ventera wind generator on a 100ft. tower,

all controlled by this panel in the garage. It is set up for net metering.

Net metering means his system is tied to the electrical utility grid and will make his home electrical meter run backwards when he is producing more electricity than he is consuming.

He has had the system for almost 11 months and has zeroed out this utility bill. He does expect to use more energy this summer than he produces as it will be his first full summer of a/c usage and his pool was installed late in the summer last year.

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