Friday, December 19, 2008

"Six for the Road"

TLC has shown a couple of episodes of the Loud family who started fulltiming in an older 5th wheel in October of 2007. It's good to see people on the road who actually choose to downsize and see the benefit of living in an RV fulltime. They homeschool the kids and can see geography and history as they study it.

I was also glad to see they upgraded their 5th wheel to a new customized toy hauler. The old one was becoming unsafe. We've upgraded our 5th wheel, too. Living in one fulltime, it doesn't take long to see the flaws of a floorplan and decide what works best for your family and lifestyle.

Most of the Fulltime RV population is older, retired and don't have anything interesting enough to make a television show about. But having 4 children, Mom, Dad and two dogs being able to move around at will, you're going to have different more exciting experiences.

Hopefully, the episodes will continue, will improve and encourage those who want to do this someday!

Go LOUD Family!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Another Turkey Day up in Virginia. It's a little harder cooking a big feast for just two, but it helps keep the RV warmer!

This is our second winter in a row in Virginia. We arrived earlier this month after spending time in the south. Since we were in Birmingham doing a project, we could take a few weekends to visit with our kids and grandkids. Now we're in colder part of the US and have already experienced some snow days in the last two weeks!

I think we missed out on fall this year. The leaves were just turning in AL by the time we left on November 7. The nights had finally cooled off. The ride up through GA, SC and NC the trees were brilliant colors. But once up into Central VA, the trees had already lost most of their leaves.

This weekend, we moved into an RV Park that is one mile from jobsite. We're doing our part for Global Warming and keep the price of oil down!

Happy Holidays to all.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

RV/MH Hall of Fame

We had some time to stop in and see the RV museum inside the RV Hall of Fame. They moved to their new much larger building. It was our first time in Elkhart, IN, so it was the first time viewing the various Motorhomes, Travel Trailers and Pop up Campers on display. After looking at what's new and current, they had many interesting older versions on display. Some brought back memories and some looked pretty innovative for as old as they were.

I would definitely recommend it. It's a great self-guided tour showing the Evolution of camping. Upstairs has a fairly large Library of manuals and materials to browse through. It's in a good location at Exit 96 on Interstate 80/90. So if you're headed that way, stop in.

DoubleTree Factory Tour

Up until now, we thought it wouldn't be worth trading off our 5th wheel for a new one. After all, we have one of the best insulated ones out there. It's taken us through snow days and below freezing weather. And of course through some hot humid summer days.

We took a few days to drive up to Howe, IN on the 4th of July weekend to take a tour of the DoubleTree factory.

They were busy in production , so it was a little noisy. Many other factories were taking time off during the slow time. DT has already been producing some new 2009's. While we saw some on the floor of the plant in various stages of production, we didn't see any finished units. It was too close to the first of the month and they had all left the plant.

We do know the floorplan we have is great, but are looking at one of their others next time. We will try to custom order with a few special features. By the time we order, they may have turned some ideas into an Option. RV dealers are constantly upgrading as they get Customer feedback.

Just a few of What's New for 2009.

New Trailair levelers
Frameless windows
Water softener
Hanging pendant lights over kitchen island/sink
Short shag carpets in darker colors
New darker kitchen flooring

Increased insulation with Arctic package.
A-Pak includes 2 furnaces and tank heaters

We were glad we had the time to check out the Factory from the Inside Out. Quite the place. We had also gone through another brand's MiniTour the day before. Big differences in building structures. We came away knowing DT is still one of the better 5th wheels made.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Eat Mor Chikin

This is what David has been building the last few months. Those are Union picketers at his jobsite in WV. There's a first time for everything. He sent the Cow out to help them think "Happy Thoughts".

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Wilds in Cumberland, OH

The Wild's is a 10,000 acres conservation area reclaimed from strip mining the SE Ohio area near Cumberland, OH. Mostly endangered species that can be traded around from zoo to zoo for breeding. The area is mostly grassland. Quite beautiful compared to what it used to be.

We chose to ride the Open Air Safari rather than the enclosed bus in the first picture. Some animals came quite close to the bus, while others were off near water. There were unusual animals, like the Sichuan Takin and two different types of Rhino's. The standard White and one that prefers water. The Cheetah's were added in 2007.

It's quite an enjoyable trip and takes a few hours to go through the park. Stops are included so you can get out and walk closer to some of the animal exhibits. It's much different than the Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR where we could drive our own vehicles. In Ohio, the animals are enclosed in sometimes a series of gates. The buses use a clicker to open to allow us to go through and then they are closed behind the buses.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dangers of RV

The dangers are real. This morning, I opened our back curtains to see firetrucks nearly in our backyard. One of the campers behind us had caught on fire and the firefighters were already trying to put it out. It seemed to be centered on the refrigerator area.

No one was home and another RV owner was walking his dog heard a pop and spotted the flames. It is a seasonal camper and the owners aren't there very often. But with highly flammable propane on every camper, it could have had serious consequences for the other campers or those in their RV's like us.

We've seen multiple RV's on fire on the road from overheated engines or in accidents. This is the first campground fire we've seen. Not the best way to wake up in the morning!

Amish Country Winery near Dover, OH

A few miles East of SugarCreek is one of the many winery's of Amish Country. The Breitenbach Winery is quite colorful. It's in a beautiful setting of green hillsides. This is the view from the winery heading back to main road, Old Scenic Route 39.

Amish Country of SugarCreek, Ohio

This part of Ohio is just one areas of the country that has a high population of Amish. They are easy to spot because of the traditional clothing . Some were working in the Restaurant. It was interesting, some came using a Horse and Buggy parked in the grassy area near Customer parking lot. Another Amish woman arrived to shop in the Gift Shop in an SUV.

Cemetary view is from the parking lot of the Dutch Valley Restaurant.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Years Eve at SeaWorld

Flew down to Orlando airport to take a week to tour Disney World & see SeaWorld FL for the first time. We spent the first two days at SeaWorld. Went to breakfast with Minnie at The Beach Club & took a boat ride to MGM. Then the following days we went to Epcot, Magic Kingdom for lunch with the Princesses & finally the last day at the Animal Kingdom.

It was Chelsea's 7th birthday that week, so it was a memorable birthday for her. The girls got to go to the Bibbidy, Bobbidy Boutique. She met another Great Uncle & even lost a tooth while we were there.

We stayed onsite at DW's All Star Resort. Made it convenient to use Disney transportation to get to each of the four Disney parks. Here's a few pictures to share the fun. First few days were nice & warm. Then it turned windy & bitterly cold.