Destination: Berea, Kentucky

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Day 2.  We were up early, anxious to get on the road.  A few of the other overnighter’s had already left when we woke up.  We were on our way by 7:20 am.  Traffic was quite heavy for the first hour.  After the traffic settled down, we stopped at a Burger King for our coffee (which was awful) and breakfast.

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Shortly after our breakfast break we entered our destination state of Kentucky.  We made it to Berea, Kentucky by 11:00 am, ready to visit with our daughter Karen and her family.

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Walnut Meadows Campground was easy to find off I-75.  Our daughter Karen prearranged our reservation for us.  We were given a pull-through site with full hookups.  This made it easy to unhook the car and get settled in quickly.

The owners are a very nice older couple who made us feel very welcome.  The campground is small with many permanent residence. It is also very convenient for shopping, restaurants and the well know Artisan Center, which we can’t wait to visit.

Loving the lifestyle,

Until next time,

Kathryn

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The Adventure Begins

Friday we were able to get Winnie in to General RV to have the outlet in the bathroom replaced, along with the dinette slide out cleaned, adjusted and lubricated.  Hopefully we are all done with needed repairs for a while.

Saturday was spent with family.  I have mixed feelings about leaving.  I am anxious to get going and see what we can see and enjoy our retirement, but I will really miss my weekends with family and all the other times together.

Day 1:  Sunday morning in Michigan was cold.  We got up early so that we could get on the road and begin our new adventure.  After packing up and getting the motorhome ready for travel, it was time to hook up the car to the motorhome.  We had only done it the once when we bought the hitch.  Would we remember how to do it this time? As it turned out, we knew what needed to be done, but couldn’t figure out how to accomplish it.  We called our grandson Tristan who came right over to help.  He showed his grandpa what to do and how to do it.  It just takes some muscles and a little luck.  Tristan was able to help grandpa get us all hooked up and on our way.  Thanks Tristan.  I don’t know what we would have done without him.

We then went to breakfast with Tristan and his mom, our daughter, Melissa.  We said our goodbyes and were on our way. The adventure begins.

Our goal was to make it at least half way to our daughters in Kentucky for the night.  As we were only looking for a place to sleep and then head out early in the morning, I decided we would try stopping at a Wal-Mart for the night.  We stopped in Middletown, Ohio which was 262 miles total for the day.  We arrived a little after 4pm.  There were already a number of truckers stopped for the night.  After we found a place to park, we went into Walmart for a few items and to get something to eat.  When we got back another motorhome was parked for the night too.  I felt completely safe and comfortable there.  It was a busy Walmart but it did quiet down in the evening.  It was a free and convenient place to stop.  I think we may do it again.

Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

One More Trip to General RV

We thought we were done with repairs on Winnie.  Nope, not quite yet.  When I went to plug in my blow dryer into the bathroom outlet, it wouldn’t work.  We checked the breakers, reset the switch and still nothing.  Hopefully Jennifer can fit us in sometime this week to have it looked at before we leave on Sunday to head south.

As long as we are at it, I will have them look at the dinette slideout. It is making a lot of noise going in and out.  I hope it won’t be anything major.

Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Another Day at General RV

Friday was another full day at General RV to have the new propane gauge installed and to have our water problem looked at.  We were having problems filling up the fresh water tank because the water was going into the toilet tank.

As usual we got up at 4 am to teardown and drive to General RV, where I sit and wait until they open at 9 am and Clyde takes the car to work.  They have 50 amp electric hookups available for customers to use, which we took advantage of.  I don’t mind the wait.  I have everything available while waiting that I do at the campground.  No matter if the problem takes an hour to fix or all day, I still have to wait until Clyde gets off work to drive us back to the campground.  If the problem is fixed early I sit and wait for him in Winnie.  If it takes longer, I wait in the lounge area where I read a book.

This time it took the entire day to repair Winnie.  The water issue took the longest.  The problem was two-fold; a broken part in the toilet and another part broken on the outside where you fill up the tank.  The part needed outside they had in stock.  The part for the toilet needed to be ordered and who knows how long it would take to arrive.  We are planning on heading south in a week.  Waiting for a part was not our first choice.  The other option was to put in a new toilet.  A toilet is a lot more expensive than the part, but the labor to put the difficult to get at part was more than the labor to install a new toilet.  In the end, we decided to install a new toilet and not have to worry about getting the part in time before we leave Michigan.  The difference in cost:  $30.  We also will not have to worry about another part on the toilet breaking.

Hopefully this is the last of repairs and issues for a while.

On another note, I can’t believe how many campers are here this late in the season when the temperatures are in the teens.  We even have a tent and pop-up camper here.

Still loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Propane 101

We are continuing to learn more about our motorhome the hard way.  Is there any other way?  We had our propane tank filled up at Corrigan Propane in Brighton before heading out to St. Clair, MI. to see my sister and her family for a few days.  We knew it was going to be cold out and we would need to keep the heat on.  We didn’t want to run out of propane while we were there.  Our problem was that after filling Winnie up with propane the gauge wasn’t working to let us know how much propane we had used.  The gauge did work before filling it up.  We tried turning the propane off and then on again to see if that would work.  Nope. Nothing.

We didn’t run out while we were there, but being we had no way of knowing how much propane we had left in our tank we decided we’d better get it topped off before setting up at Proud Lake for our last 2 weeks in Michigan.  We also thought maybe when we had the tank filled up again the gauge would start working.  Nope.  After setting up the gauge was still reading empty.  We used about 5 lbs. over the 3 day weekend.

Now what?  It is Michigan and the weather is getting colder.  Heat is a necessity.  We knew we had a full tank of propane, but we had no way of knowing how long it would last using it 24/7 for heat.  We thought the next time we took it over to General RV to have them fill it up we would have them look into our gauge problem.  That time came sooner than we had anticipated.

Only 2 days later, in the middle of the night, the heat stopped working.  Isn’t it always at the most inconvenient times that problems occur? We took Winnie over to General RV first thing in the morning.  It’s a good thing they are nice and close to the campground.

When they opened Jennifer, our fantastic service rep, had them fill the propane tank up again.  We had not used much at all.  They determined the problem was an air pocket.  At that time they also detected the broken gauge.  We had them order the part and made an appointment for Friday to have it installed.  Tomorrow we will be back at General RV.  Hopefully this will be our last problem before we head south for the winter.

Still loving the life style.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

Getting Hitch

Time to get the hitch on the motorhome so that we can tow our car 4 down.  We have a 2016 Ford Focus, which we chose because it was a lighter weight small car that could be towed 4 down.   We ordered the parts we would need at General RV and made an appointment for October 30th to have the work done.  We were told it would be an all day job needing both the car and motorhome, which was ok with me.  I have a book to read while I wait and hubby is at work. This is our most expensive project so far and hopefully the last, costing us about $5,000 for both parts and labor.

It did take all day.  After the work was completed it was dark and raining very hard.  We were given a lesson in hooking the car up to the motorhome and headed on our way to Brighton Recreation Area.  We were low on water due to a water main break that affected all of Oakland county where we had been previously staying.  So the first thing we needed to do was fill up our tank even though we were tired and it was dark and raining.

With no lights to see what we were doing, we still needed to unhook the car from the motorhome.  We decided it would probably be easier to do while we dumped and filled up with water.  We were tired, cold and not thinking as clear as we should have been.  We unhooked all the components between the car and motorhome and as the last chain was unhooked the car began to roll down the incline.  The end result was a car door that wouldn’t close and front panel that needed replacement.  Lesson learned the hard and expensive way – always take the car out of neutral and put it in park first before doing anything else.

Our car is now in the shop being repaired.  Hopefully we will be able to remember how to hook the car up to the motorhome when we get the car back in about a week.

Still loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Playing Catch-up

We have now been FT RV’ers for 53 days.  I need to catch you all up on what we have been doing.  I haven’t posted because we haven’t done anything exciting lately, but I’ve been told to post anyway, so here it goes.  I will update you in segments over the next few days.

First up is where we’ve been camping.  For the most part we have divided our time between Brighton Recreation Area and Proud Lake, spending the maximum time allowed of 2 weeks in each park.  Both campgrounds are Michigan State Parks.

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Brighton Recreation Area-Upper Level-site #24

We spent our first free night in General RV’s parking lot with 50 amp electric hook-up the night before we had the hitch put on the motorhome and car.  More on that experience in a later post.

We also spent a few nights in Saint Clair, Michigan while visiting my sister and her family.  While there we camped at the St. Clair Boat Harbor which was officially closed for the season due to the boating season being over, but we happily were given permission to spend a few nights.

I figured out our camping fees so far average about $24 per night, $720 per month.  I hope to be able to lower that amount when we take off in a little less than 2 weeks by adding more free nights, staying longer in one place utilizing park discounts for extended stays or in our National Parks using our senior passes.  I would like to average no more than $15 per night ($450 per month).

As I mentioned before, I miss my washer and dryer.  Doing laundry in a laundromat is expensive.  I figure doing laundry costs us an average of $12.50 per week or $50 per month.

For our LP usage, we are going through a lot more now that the weather has turned cold.  One thing we did learn is that for our motorhome the electric heater is only for taking the chill off on a cool summer morning.  It is not meant to heat our unit 24/7 on cold days. I haven’t figured the cost of LP out yet.  I do know we used about 5 gals over the 3 day weekend which was about $19.  I guess that would be about $190 a month if we used the propane heat 24/7.  Time to go south.

More updates tomorrow.  Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn