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.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Litchfield, Illinois

We are in Litchfield, Illinois for a week and the weather is cooperating. Mid 70's and a gentle breeze.

We are staying in a nice campground far enough off the Interstate to be quite and right on old Route 66.

A small park with mostly overnighters.

I am not a bird watcher and I know these are not the best photos as they were taken thru a window but these little Yellow Finch birds are beautiful.

They are at a bird feeder and spend more time eating upside down than right side up.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Cape Girardeau, Mo.

We traveled over 200 miles today and are now staying the Cape Camping & RV Park in Cape Girardeau, Mo. for one night and plan on moving to a C.O.E. park in Illinois for 2 days.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Plan B

We are pulling out Thursday (tommorow)morning for Litchfield, Il., Judy's family reunion is on Saturday the 18th.

We had originally planned to stay the whole week leading up to to reunion and then head west on Sunday or Monday.

It's a little over 400 miles and I can but don't plan to drive it in one day. The soonest our camper could go in for repairs was Tuesday of next week with repairs taking two or three days. That is cutting it too close and if problems arise then all bets are off.

Since our camper is still livable with only the slightest inconvenience, we have decided to just take it to Litchfield for the week and put it in the shop when we return.

Fulltiming added flexibility to our lives.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Still Waiting

We are just sitting and waiting for the second insurance estimate to hit our agents desk.

Things could be a lot worse. We are very happy to be in an area we know and at one of our favorite campgrounds.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Happy Camper, NOT !

I washed the camper over the weekend for our move on Memorial Day to Little Rock, Ar. for a week or so.

Our Cardinal TT came with Karrier Load Star 10 ply tires, made in China!!!! Before we started out west in the heat of the summer I intended to change them out for a national brand. The tires looked great having traveled about 4500 miles since new. I washed the tires and wheels, checked them over for problems, and made sure they were aired to the recommended 80 psi. I know what to look for when inspecting tires having worked and later owned a tire store in my earlier life. Everything was OK to make the 100 mile trip to new and better quality tires.

Forty miles into the trip, BOOM!!!, I have a blowout. Tears off the plastic fender, puts a hole in my water line and rips out some 12 volt wiring. I call Coach Net, my road service provider and was back on the road in about and hour and half.

The wire on the floor inside the door is what was ripped out ( all that I know of).

This photo shows how the tread shredded from the carcass before or after it blew. It did not damage the tail or stop lights.

I found the front tire on the other side to now have a knot on the side wall. With no spare we managed to make it to Maumelle Park and get setup for the night.

Now we see the extent of the damage. No ceiling lights, no outside lights, slides will not operate, and several other 12 volts circuits in the command panel have no power.

I am hot, tired, my nerves are shot but we are safe and unharmed. After calming down I was able to jump across the terminals on the hydraulic pump that activates the slides and get them to open. The pump is fine just the wiring is ripped out.

Tuesday we head out with the blown tire and wheel to have a new tire mounted so we will at least have a spare should another tire blow on our way for the other tires. Sounds easy doesn't it?

Having already done research on tires, I knew the choices were slim. I knew they had to meet my criteria; name brand, 10ply, and Trailer Service Only.

I considered GoodYear G614 tires as they are 14 ply and the same tire used on 18 wheelers only in a 16 inch size. Costs nearly as much too, after checking my wheels I knew they were not rated for the 110 psi the G614 tires needed to carry maximum weight.

So I knew the GoodYear Marathon 10 ply Trailer Service Tire was the only thing left. Damn, there are none in Little Rock and will have to be ordered.

I already have an appointment where I bought my Cardinal to have an insurance estimate written on Thursday. No way I am moving the Cardinal without a spare and then only to have tires put on it.

Camping World gave a great price on the tires and could have them Thursday about noon. As fast as anyone as they had to come out of the Ft. Smith or Memphis warehouse.

I called and had my estimate appointment moved to Friday because the place is 25 miles south and again I am not moving without tires.

Camping World called Wednesday morning and said the tires had been delivered ( they made it on the truck even thou the warehouse said the truck had already left).

I drive the 25 miles east to Camping World and have one tire mounted and came back for the Cardinal. Can not believe we made it back to the store without another blowout.

They mounted the tires and wrote an estimate for the damages, over $2,300. Now I just need to get the other estimate tomorrow and fax them in to the insurance company and should have the OK in about 2 or 3 days.

Then made an appointment to have it fixed. Should take 2 or 3 days.

As for now, we are still able to live in it as we can work around the 12 volt issues and I made the repair to the water line.


Free Web Counters
South Beach Diet Food