Friday, January 28, 2011

A Little Trip

We took a little trip over to Pensacola today. Hey, we had to fill the new freezer, didn't we?

Just a few miles east on I-10 and we stopped at a Florida rest area. Very modern and very friendly people and a nice place to take a break if you have been traveling for awhile.

Since the Navel Air Station at Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels, this plane is in the parking lot of the rest area.

We visited the National Naval Aviation Museum on the airbase for a few hours. Easily could have spent all day and not seen everything. They have over 150 planes and more than 4,000 artifacts.

This is just a small portion of the main floor. Airplanes sitting and hanging everywhere.

Being a gearhead I had to get a closeup of this WWI ambulance.

Just had to take a picture of this TOMAHAWK (similiar to a P-40). Yes this is the plane that make the Flying Tigers famous or was it the other way around.

The Flying Tigers were immortalized in films like The Flying Tigers and God is my Co-Pilot. They were members of the 1st American Volunteer Group under the command of Chennault and one of the most famous pilots was "Pappy" Boyington. Do you remember Black Sheep Squadron tv series?

I couldn't resist sitting in a cockpit. They also have a flight simulator where you can "fly with the Blue Angels", all for $5. I passed as I saw no need to upchuck.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This is the freezer that arrived today. Basically it is 20 inches square and 34 inches tall. Very compact (for a freezer) and it will sit by the wall leading to the bathroom. We will move it to the kitchen when we pull in the slide for traveling.
Inside it is slightly over 14 inches square. Did we need it, well NO!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We have been here a week today and I payed for another week. Since this is our lifestyle and not a vacation there is no hurry to move on. The weather is nice and Judy did the laundry while I cleaned the spark plug on the generator.

The generator ran out of gas before we left and after adding gas I have not been able to start it. Took the plug out today and it was black with smut. A quick rub with a wire brush and it was as good as new. Reinstalled it and the generator roared to life. I need to purchase a spare spark plug to have on hand.

Another reason that we are staying another week is that we ordered a compact chest freezer to supplement our rv freezer. Small at 2.1cf but it is lightweight and about all we need.

Monday, January 24, 2011

LuLu's Beach Party

We had lunch at LuLu's Beach Party, a very iconic restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

A totally cool place on an inlet to the gulf.

It was a little cool today so the plastic curtains were down.

This is a better photo take with my camera by the waitress. Judy had a shrimp salad and I had the "Cheeseburger in Paradise". Does that sound familiar? Yes, it was named after the Jimmy Buffett song.

Will LuLu get in trouble? I doubt it as LuLu is Jimmy Buffett's sister!

An outside bar is used when the weather is nice .

More of the ambience.

These are docked behind LuLu's.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Satellite TV

We have been Dish Network users for over 15 years and I have had a tripod to set up when moving.

I have a meter to help with the aiming of the dish and usually have it up and working in under 15 minutes or less.

Now that we are on the road I really did not want to deal with it as sometimes we might just be spending one night. Then there is the possibility the we would not be allowed to set it up at all.

The simple solution is the Winegard Carryout. It will find the satellites when you are in a stationary position. There are systems that will lock on to the satellite while you are travelling but since no one will be riding in the Cardinal there was no need to buy the more expensive model.

The Carryout is designed to be used anywhere within 50 feet of your rv. It comes with 50 feet of coax and 50 feet of 12volt power cord. The 12volt power cord is the limiting factor. One can go out further but the 12volt will loose the amps necessary to run the motor that finds the satellite.

You can run a 120volt extension cord and use a ac to 12volt adapter to overcome this problem. Add enough coax and you are in business as you can place the Carryout on the ground or use a tripod.

I chose the optional ladder mount and it will stay there unless trees block its view of the southern sky. It has one bolt that must be removed if I need to remove it and place it in a more favorable location on the ground.

Overnight locations (Wal-Mart, truck stops, rest areas, ect.) should have an open southern exposure. I don't foresee moving the Carryout and I brought along my regular dish and tripod to use instead.

I read the instructions (didn't know I could do that did you?) for the ladder mount and quickly had it all set up, or so I thought.

After mounting and wiring the Carryout, it would not find the satellites. Back to drawing board. Now I read the instructions for the Carryout and find it is factory set for Direct and not Dish.

I remove the one bolt and take the Carryout down, remove the dome cover and throw a couple switches on the inside and return it to the ladder rack. Even simple jobs seem to be overly complicated for my feeble brain.

It now works great with only a momentary pause if the channel selected is on another satellite. The Carryout supports all of my Dish satellites and I am pleased with every thing about it but the price. I justified the purchase because we are not on vacation but this is our life style.

The unit draws about 5 amps of 12volt power but once it locks onto the satellite it can be turned off and only needed to be turned on if using another satellite.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Robertsdale, Al.

We arrived safe and sound at Azalea Acres in Robertsdale, Al. and are here for a week.

While their mailing address is Robertsdale, we are several miles from Robertsdale and a mile or so off Exit 53 on I-10. About half way between Mobile, Al. and Pensacola, Fl.

It is a nice adult park with friendly people. We are just miles away from the beaches of Gulf Shore, Alabama. Nice level sight with FHU, WiFi, and laundry room.

Hard to believe the closest Wal-Mart is 25 miles away in Foley, Alabama. We stopped by on our way to the beach yesterday. Nice beach but I forgot my camera, but I am sure we will be heading down there again before we leave.

Cooler today, 65 as opposed to 70+ yesterday. Maybe my lock will not freeze!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wiggins, Ms.

While our spot at Maynor Creek Water Park was nice, we had no cell phone service, internet, or satelite tv service (just too many trees) so we headed south to Wiggins, Ms.

We stopped at Lake-A-Way RV Park but decided it wasn't for us, so we headed for Flint Creek Water Park just outside of Wiggins and settled in for three nights.

We picked an area with a view of the southern sky for satelite tv and we had cell phone service but the aircard internet service was marginal and very slow.

We were in a section all by ourselves. With no one around I could cuss, yell, and have wild sex........two out of three ain't bad.

Had the internet been better, I could have stayed for a week or so.

We took a day trip to Gulfport and Biloxi. Judy donated to the gulf economy and I played on the computer in the casino parking lot.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Waynesboro, Ms.

Leaving Philadelphia, Ms. after a week was not without its problems. We have been having inclement weather and that caused a problem when hooking up.

I use a lock on the tongue hasp to keep it from coming unlocked and just lock it back when unhitched to keep anyone from hitching to the trailer.

It was still well below freezing when we hooked up and the lock was frozen. I tried the key but it was tight and would only go in part of the way. Frozen solid!

I carry my key to the campground restroom and heat it with the hand air dryer and it still is frozen. I climb over the bed (the slides are already pulled in) and get the hair dryer. Back out side I get an extension cord from one of the outside compartments and heat the lock. Still no go, that sucker is really frozen, the key is still tight. OK, I really heat the lock up and when I reach for the key.

Damn, I have been using the wrong key!! Right key slides right in and unlocks it. Did I mention I'm freezing my butt off this whole time!

We finally moved to Waynesboro, Ms. to Maynor Creek Water Park. It sounds like a commercial water park but it really like a state park on a lake.

This is our "coffee view" out of our front door.

This is the Cardinal nestled into our spot.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Off Line

I will be off line a couple of days but catch everyone up shortly.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rear Bumper

We are not moving today, so I will show you my modified rear bumper I put on the Cardinal.

The original bumper bolted to the I-beam trailer frame and was made out of schedule 14 steel bent into channel. I needed to add about 18 inches to it.

I unbolted the bumper and used my angle head grinder to grind away the welds that were holding aluminum covered box tubing bumper. The box tubing bumper holds the stinky-slinky (sewer hose) and I wanted to keep it for appearances.

After designing, I had 4-inch channel (big improvement over schedule 14) cut to lengths. One for each side and one to run crosswise. I brought the pieces home and drilled the holes to bolt it on. I then contacted a retired welder that has a small home shop and he welded everything. It is now stronger than before and the right length.

Back home it was just a matter of bolting it on. I now have a place to carry my generator. As an afterthought I decided I wanted a box on the back also. In retrospect, I really couldn't do without it.

To save weight and for appearances I wanted a polished aluminum box. After checking several websites I found the right size box at Tractor Supply and they were 20% off before Christmas making it cheaper than a metal box.

I used some spare angle iron I had and built rack to hold the generator and bolted it to the bumper. I had originally wanted the generator on the right and the box on the left but after investigation realized it I put the generator on the right I would have to raise the taillight.

So box on the right and generator on the left and of course the ladder bolted to the rv ladder. The exhaust of the generator clears the box over an inch but I want to add a tail pipe and run it upward to lower the noise of the already quite generator.

Looks like the factory built it and it is strong enough I can add a receiver hitch to haul my motorcycle if I choose to do so.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Staying Put

Hoping for the "best" but at least we didn't get the "worse". We did receive some ice and a little snow but it should be gone today. It is suppose to get to 38 degrees today.

We are warm, dry, have the internet,Dish tv, and plenty of food. What more could we need.

We are staying one more night and hope to head further south tomorrow.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Snowbirds are too slow

We hit the road to get away from snow and ice but I guess we are moving a little too slow. We should have moved further south yesterday and now we are going to be hit with a brief snow and ice storm. It will be short lived but we are holding up here for another day or two. There is no way I am pulling this rig in inclement weather.

One hundred miles south and we would be dealing with rain only. Story of my life, woulda, shoulda, coulda!

I thought I was back in Arkansas last night. We made a Wal-Mart run and there was absolutely no loaf bread of any type and less than one dozen total of hotdog and hamburger buns, and milk was going fast.

Being retired from the milk business, I know all about the snow and ice storm effect. People that normally use one gallon of milk a week will buy at least two for a one or two day storm. It is the same way with bread.

We bought a loaf of soft sliced French bread from the deli that is very delicious. We normally buy wheat bread so it is a pleasant change for us.

We have developed a water leak when we turn on our 12 volt water pump. The fitting to the tank must have worked loose as it does not leak when hooked up to campground water. No biggie, just need a nicer day to tackle it.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Mississippi Giant House Party

Neshoba County Fair grounds is home to about 600 campground cabins and families come and stay for an eight day block party during fair week.

I stole this one picture from the Fair's website that shows the cabins around the racetrack. All the rest of the photos I took standing at the entrance gate.

The cabins are handed down from one generation to the next but every once in a while one will come on the market.

These are just a small sampling of the 600 or so cabins, they are everywhere. Can you imagine the memories these families share year after year. It would be like a giant family reunion.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Williams Brothers General Store

Amzie and Brown Williams opened the general mercantile store in 1907 and the original part of the store is the right part in this picture. Second and third generations are now operating the store that has continuously served the farm and city population through changing times. In 1939 National Geographic featured it as a "needles to horse collar" store.

The store is truly a step back in time with individually priced items with no bar-code readers. Right in the middle of the store is a meat cooler and they are slicing and packaging bacon any thickness you want and having trouble keeping up with the demand.

The Williams Brothers store has one other "small" piece to it's heritage, that being Olivia Williams. Say you never heard of Olivia Williams, how about Olivia "Williams" Manning. That's right, that Olivia Manning, Payton and Eli's mother.

Marty Stuart

Philadelphia turned out to be an interesting little town, driving down Main Street we spotting the Marty Stuart sign and later drove about seven miles out of town to see the Marty Stuart Drive monument.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


NO, not that Philadelphia but Philiadelphia, Mississippi. We left Tunica about 10:30 am and headed south. I used the distribution hitch to add a little weight to the front end. I hooked it as before and took up one more link that deceased the front bumber height by a little over 1/2 inch. It handled better but next time out I will add a little more air to the air bags.

Stopped at a rest area for lunch and one more stop at a Wal-Mart for groceries and arrived at Frog Level RV Park about 3:30pm. After an uneventful 207 miles, we checked in for three nights.

We plan on resting a little, sight seeing, and I still need to attach our tv so I don't have to take it down every time we move. Can't beat the location, there is a Lowe's across the street.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tunica, Mississippi

Robinsonville, Ms. is really where the Tunica county casinos are but everyone just refers to it as Tunica. We are at SamsTown RV Park for two nights and will be leaving in the morning.

It was a lazy day for us as we visited the Tunica Museum and had lunch at Harrah's at the Paula Dean Buffet, the food was great and of course we had to add to the profits of the Harrahs Cooperation.

I fueled the truck in anticipation of us leaving tomorrow. I don't want to pull in for fuel with the Cardinal in tow unless it is necessary.

Our overhead mpg monitor was spot on, after fueling I calculated the mileage at 12.16mpg.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Finally on the road

All hooked up and ready to leave Bryant, Ar. for the last time. I started the day by weighing the truck and after hooking up to the trailer we returned and had it weighed again. Overall we are a little under the towing limit for our truck and that is with 40 gallons of fresh water. I will not normally be carry that much fresh water but wanted the tank full when it was weighed.

The surprise was the tongue weight. I know I added the 4 Trojan T-105 to the tongue but I also extended the back bumper and added a generator and tool box. The trailer added 2500lbs to the drive axle and took off 800lbs on the steer axle. I will have to play with the distribution hitch and air bags to add the 800lbs back to the front.

After stopping at Camping World one more time we traveled I-40 to Brinkley, Ar. (62mph) and hit the two lane to Tunica, Ms., I prefer to travel at 55mph when possible.

We fulled into SamsTown rv park and will be staying a couple of nights before making our way south.

We started with 56100 on the odometer and 56294 when we parked for the night. Our MPG readout showed a little over 12 mpg for 194 miles of towing a heavy trailer.

Monday, January 03, 2011

False Start

We thought we were leaving today but our living room slide decided it did not want to retract. I called a mobile rv tech and it was finally determined it was a loose ground in the distribution box.

It was one of those things where we tried everything and finally it seemed fixed. So $200 later I have my fingers crossed but at least I have a better understanding of how the slides work.

Well hopefully we are "out of here" tomorrow.

On a side note. The rv tech was the same guy that did our PDI when we bought our Cardinal.

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