Wills Point to Livingston Texas

AS usual it took longer to get going in the morning than expected. There always seems to be one more thing to do and then another thing to do. We didn’t get on the road until almost 9am. The trip to Livingston always seems to take a long time. I guess it is the state highways that go through so many towns and the lower speed limits when in those towns, also the traffic lights.

When we got to Livingston we stopped at Walmart to buy some fresh produce and other necessities and then went on to the Escapees Park. Sign in was simple and we are parked on the same street as the one we spent a winter on the winter before this one.

The tradition here is to attend the daily meeting at four o’clock. All new arrivals introduce themselves and give a little about their trip plans. I know some folks here and there were hugs all around. Seems like we just started up the conversation where we left off. Tonight was movie night where they play a DVD of a movie and serve popcorn and snacks that folks bring to share. I stayed a while and felt tired from the drive so I left early and went back to the rig.

When I got back to the rig the fur kids wanted a walk so I got my hoodie on and took them for a short walk to let them take care of business. Nice night with folks out walking and all the rigs with little glimpses of light peeking out looked nice.

I found a problem with the city water connection the threads on the coupling on the rig are worn and won’t hold the water supply hose, therefor it has to be replaced. I tried the valves on the waste water dump pipe. The valves are stiff and hard to move, maybe with use they will loosen up a bit.

I don’t think my mileage was to good today then again I am guessing my mileage cause I made some small trips to get the oil changed and to get the LP tank filled. So when I fill the fuel tank tomorrow we’ll see if I am crying the blues. I also kept the highway speed down to 55 maybe that isn’t the best speed for this beast. Also as noted we had a lot of stop and go traffic and speed limits restricted because of going through towns. We’ll know soon enough what the cost is going to be on this trip. The space tonight costs $15.00 that included the $2.00 nominal fee for electric. I also got to pick up our mail at the mail service facility here and as usual there was a bill I wasn’t expecting-darn adult stuff always catches up with you.


Packing up Revised

Packing up the RV for the trip. Seems to be going on to long; I keep thinking of more stuff to take with me. In the back of my mind I keep thinking some of this stuff is not necessary and will just add weight and take up space. On the other hand I always forget something. Sigh.

I don’t think the designers of RVs ever spent much time in them. The storage spaces are awkward and the wrong size for standard packages. Also, the catches on the doors of cabinets are not very strong and it is possible that they could come open and dump the contents of the cabinet while driving down the road, especially a bumpy one.

There are still some systems I haven’t checked out yet; one is the dump system that’s where you attach a hose to the waste tank pipe and put the hose in a dump station and then open the valves letting the waste water go down into the waste water system. The other system is the city water system were a hose is connected from a water bib to the RV to have city water and pressure without using the on board electrical pump. I’ll have to just have faith that these systems work if not …… we’re in trouble….

Okay back to work packing the RV

This is Monday night and most of the “stuff” is on board now I need to stow the loose stuff for the trip to Livingston TX, where I will spend the night and then go on to Houston to pick up Samantha when she gets off the plane. Hopefully I have packed everything we need and haven’t forgotten anything important. Stopped by the DMV office here in town to get a copy of the registration, but it doesn’t look like a registration just hope I don’t need it. I also stopped by my Cardiologist’s office to get my B/P checked and get a refill on an Rx. Went to the Post Office to change the address to the Escapees Mail Service. It seems that one cannot change one’s address to a unique ZIP code on line, Escapees Mail Service is such a Zip Code, so one has to go to the Post Office to do it. They don’t do anything special because it is a unique Zip they just put in the way the change of address card is filled out.

So tomorrow is the big day I pull out of here and head to Livingston TX.

Update from the Ranchito in Texas

As you can see this is NOT Mexico

Snow on the truck and RV Brrrrrr

We have had our issues here since coming back to the Ranchito. While we were gone the weather tuned nasty with several deep freezes. This caused the pipes to burst under the house and if it hadn’t been for the neighbors who knows what would have happened to the house!

I tried calling plumbers to come out and fix it, but their cost was prohibitive so I decided to try and do the repairs myself. Crawling around under the house in the mud and crud took its toll on me and after a couple of days of replaceing pipes I took the advice from the man at the hardware store in town and hired a local man to finish the job. Even this guy took longer than he expected to complete the repairs. The only saving grace was that his prices were very reasonable compared to the plumbers I called.

In all this work and other goings on the weather turned freezing cold again and it was a chore to stay warm. When coming back from Mexico we visited the RV dealer that was selling the fifth wheel I owned. Looking over the lot of RV’s I saw a small class A that had low mileage and worked out a trade between the two RVs. I don’t think I got a smok’n deal as the salesman was grinning to much. I drove the new to me RV back to the Ranchito and got back to work on the house.

So one would logically ask how does an RV and Mexico go together? Well, here is the plan; I plan to drive the RV to the Baja and spend next winter in Mexico at the beach. I’ll have my own little place to live. I wont be so far south that I can’t drive out to get my meds and pick up Samantha when she can visit. Let’s see how all this works out.

Spring? In Texas?

The back pasture

Our barn

The front gate
We got blessed with snow last night and this morning. It looks cold and is cold out there. The dogs went out and had their pee and wanted right back in, they’re no fools better to spend the day in their doggie beds than getting their paws wet and cold.
Looking forward to next week it should be in the sixties, it is hard to believe that it will be that warm in just a few days.
I would rather be camped on the beach in Mexico, walking the dogs along the shore listening to the waves and birds than shivering at my door looking at this stuff.
I went out to check on the RV and noticed that one of the vent covers was wide open and flapping in the wind…. CRAP! I went inside to figure out why it was flapping away and found that the arm that extends the vent cover was off the guide. I found some wire to poke through the screen to catch the vent cover only to find that the vent cover its self had moved and wasn’t aligned with the vent so it wouldn’t shut. This caused a dilemma I don’t care for heights and when I climbed up the ladder and looked at the ice and snow on the roof I chickened out and climbed back down. Now what do I do ? I figured that I could get the screen off from the inside I could reach up and adjust and close the vent cover. No such luck, no screw heads inside. Damn ! So I figured I better get this flapping cover under control quick or it is going to break and then I am in a pickle; if it breaks I am left with a hole for rain and snow to get in and heat to get out. I bravely cut the screen and got the cover wiggled back into alignment and closed. I got the arm attached and for safety sake wired it shut. Now I have a project to get the screen replaced or repaired.
Another job is to figure out the hot water heater I tried turning it on but I smelled gas and turned it off. I think the pilot light is out. The water heater is supposed to work on electric also
but when I turn it on to what I think is electric the function light goes out and then in a few seconds comes back on so I shut the darn thing off. I’ll work on that problem later, to darn cold and windy outside to try and fix this now. Like the old lady in the shoe said “If it isn’t one darn thing it’s another”. 🙂

Still in Texas

Shelby looks like she is ready to go RV’ng, happy dog 🙂
We are still in Texas. There was a problem with the water pipes under the house, during a storm while we were away in Mexico the pipes froze and burst. I called a local plumbing company and their price was outrageous $130 an hour is way out of my range. I decided to do the repair work myself. I didn’t get it all done, I got battered and bruised crawling under the house not to mention hypothermia crawling in the mud, cold water and crud that was under there. Finally after three days of fixing breaks I gave the job to a local man to finish and he even he had some trouble crawling under the house and replacing pipe after pipe. He did get everything to work and now hot showers and laundry can be done. Houses are a pain in the ass, from the day they are built they are trying to fall down or fall apart. Home maintenance is at least a part-time job. Fixing/repairing, mowing, painting, cleaning, replacing just keeps on and on.

I often wondered why elderly folks eagerly gave up their homes to move into condos in places like Florida. Now I know why. They got tired of taking care of the old homestead, the constant labor and worry wears on one. It is nice to leave the maintenance and repairs to someone else.

Getting anxious to hit the road, but the weather isn’t cooperating, since our return from Mexico we have had snow flurries, cold, rain and hail; we are due for another winter like storm; possible snow flurries and a freeze this weekend ….. brrrrr. Spring oh sweet Spring where art thou????

Some thoughts

Looks like she’s ready to hit the road 🙂

I have now owned four RVs, a class A Winnebago, Class C, a 5th wheel and now another class A RV. I have traveled from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, from Tucson to Hampton Roads VA from Kentucky to Texas and back through La. Ms. Al. to Fl. and then up through Ga and Tn. I have learned some expensive lessons. Old RVs are just looking for a place to be repaired, if you can’t do it yourself your going to pay through the nose for someone else to do it for you. New units are not immune to being broken and getting them fixed can be a nightmare dealing with dealerships and their (lack of) service departments. First off RVs are built to get a person to spend money, lots of money not to work well or last a long time. Even if I pay a lot of money to have something done I can’t expect that it will be done right the first time and can’t expect courtesy or respect for spending my money at their place of business. Maybe it is because the usual customer they deal with is a demanding chiseling old bastard and they are just trying to get even with the next customer. I just know whether buying something or getting something serviced or repaired I have to be on guard to being treated badly or even ripped off.

RV parks and destination parks. Unless you get a personal recommendation from a friend, you don’t know what your going to get even with franchise operations. Almost all don’t give value for the money; many are outrageous with their charges and crowded facilities that are poorly maintained. Frequently their staff are rude uninformed and uninterested in you. Just pay your money obey the rules and don’t complain or need anything they can’t sell you. This extends to those communities that don’t want RVs parking in the business parking lots either because the local RV park is owned by somebody with political pull or the town is so snooty that they don’t even want quarter million dollar units there because it doesn’t fit in with their idea of paradise. I have some choice words for them mostly bad words ending with good-bye I’ll take my money else where.

Clubs and organizations are another sore point with me. Most clubs are businesses out to maximise profits not for fellowship or aid to the RV’r. You’re an economic unit to be used and milked while bull-shitting you into thinking they are doing you a favor by taking your money. Most organisations have some Byzantine rules and procedures that only the inner circle knows how to work to their advantage. Also be aware there is a hierarchy of membership first those with the big expensive rigs think they run things and will be quick to let you know it, if they will talk to you at all if your a lesser creature, the one with the older or less expensive unit. Next are the people that feel they have senority and privelage and tell you how things are run usually to their advantage where they feel more in control. Then there are the rule Nazis, the usually self appointed people who enforce the rules on others whether the rules actually exist or not. However these same Nazis don’t usually bother the big guys as they’ll be sent packing real quick. There is a sub group I call the scouts they have to find out all about you, where you come from, why your here,where have you been, what are you politics, who do you know, what is your sexual preference/religous affiliation, how much money you have or don’t have, what did you do in your previous life, yadda yadda yadda…crap they never stop asking questions and spreading the news. Be aware there are some serious politics in these “clubs”.

So you ask “If you don’t like RV businesses and clubs then why do you RV?”. I use an RV to live in, to travel and see this part of the world. Traveling sooths a deep seated need within me. I have always been on the move since I can remember, never staying in a place for to long a time just a few months, maybe if forced a year or two, then I pack it up and hit the road. A new place, new people, new experiences are to me, like going to a smorgasbord and being hungry, it satisfies my need.

I enjoy the natural beauty of the world around me and enjoy meeting new people (up to a point). Camping out in the woods or desert with nary a soul around sooths me like petting a furry pet, either you like/need it or you don’t. I need the experience of travel and solitude to me moving is life; birds do it, elk do it even butterflys do it.

I am going to try and fix things myself and be as aware as possible to the actual costs involved in maintaining my unit. I am resolved not to use RV parks if possible and if I do for only as short a time as possible. I will participate in clubs only to the extent I feel comfortable, if I don’t feel treated well I am out of there! I hope that when treated ill by someone I have the nerve to tell ’em to go fry ice and leave me alone I don’t bother others or treat others badly and I don’t want to be treated less then how I treat others. Fair enough I say….

Up date since the storm

This is the back end of the rig, 29′ in good shape (I hope) and
it has twin bunks with real mattresses so we should sleep well,
fridge is bigger than the 5rs, 38k miles barely used.

Looks like my dog Shelby is ready to hit the road, this time
she wants to drive. Silly girl she hasn’t a license …. yet 🙂

Notice the silly grin on the old girl just the thought of hitting the road again
brings joy.

A lot has happened since the last entry to this blog. To make a long story short we decided to buy another sticks and bricks place and went shopping for it. We ended up buying a place just outside Dallas about forty miles or so. The place is ten acres fenced and cross fenced with a double wide mobile home sheds and a barn.

Since being here I have learned this was a mistake for me. I am a Gypsy at heart. I made several visits to Mexico since buying this place. The last visit I spent three months there in Mexico renting a lovely two bedroom house. I was about forty-five minutes from a beach town and loved taking my dogs for walks on the beach. The cost of living was very reasonable and I enjoy Mexico.

So what was my problem? Two things one I am on some medications for heart disease that are not available in Mexico yet and getting the medications to me in Mexico was complicated and expensive also uncertain, without these medications I could have some medical problems. The second problem was I felt …. trapped, I wanted to be on the road again, I felt like I had to get moving / traveling. Once Samantha, my sister arrived and we packed up and got on the road I calmed down and felt better. Once back in Texas and before I got home I went to an RV broker where I had an RV consigned for sale and traded it for another RV. I didn’t care for some of the tactics used by the dealer, it was the same crap used car dealers pull to make a sale. I had to return later to close on the RV and drive it back to the ranchito. Fortunately, it works fairly well and even though there is a loose cable on the starting battery that gives a problem now and then, but that can be fixed. I am anxious to take the rig out for a real shakedown trip to check that all systems work well.

Now I am planning to take some trips and my time is consumed by researching the net for places to go and things to see. This time I don’t want to spend a lot of time in RV parks. RV parks have to many rules and rule Nazis. Seems I attract rule Nazis. If there is an asshole within a mile of me he or she will find me and make me a target. My reaction is one of trying to obey the rules while seething inside knowing that the same Nazi breaks rules and gets away with it. My goal this time to limit my contact with the rule Nazis, the only I think I can do this is to boondock frequently. If boondocking doesn’t work I will buy a piece of land to hide out on so I can be the resident rule Nazi. I also hope to travel by RV to Mexico and enjoy the beaches on the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. Time will tell if all this comes true.

This is the plan spend winter in Mexico in the RV at the beach and summers traveling where the weather is cooler and feeding my need to roam. Jeez sounds like a hobo or something…. what the hell why not?