Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Last Week In Review

So we got home last night from out 2,700 mile trip to New Jersey to pickup our 2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 30’. We stayed in five campgrounds, counting our last campground at River Ranch, our new home away from home.  I thought I'd pen some observations.

The experience was nearly perfect.  I say nearly because our rear AC stopped working. But it did not impact our experience.  We had a blast. We enjoyed the trip up in two days, stopping in Savannah to reminisce about a previous experience we had, and I had the most delicious bag of glazed pecans ever.  Our trip back was over five days and we stayed in several campgrounds.  They were all nice and clean, but nothing like River Ranch.  We are pretty excited about our lot purchase.

I learned a couple of things about myself.  Like the most I can drive non stop is two hours. My butt starts to hurt after that, and I need to get out and stretch.  I also learned it is virtually impossible to eat healthy while on the road.  I know some people manage.  I can't.

I really dislike New Jersey. I'll temper my comments as I don't wish to offend anyone, but that deal with the no left turns at intersections is crazy.  And the roads up north starting around Maryland are in need of repair.  As we entered South Carolina the road quality greatly improved.

There are a thousand things that could've gone wrong, but didn't.  A part of me felt that ignorance is bliss, and that buying a trailer in New Jersey from Tampa is no big deal.  Well, it was a big deal, but nothing went wrong. All went according to plan.  We had a fairly detailed plan as to where we wanted to be by when, but I planned very conservatively and that helped. I learned a lot about my limitations while towing 7,000 pounds.  And about the patience required to drive under the speed limit for 1,300 miles.

The end result is a new home away from home.  A place we can plan on spending our weekends and that we enjoy hanging out at. A place to give us something to do.  Something to look forward to.

A great big thanks goes out to Patrick Boticelli and his crew at Colonial Airstream for selling us our Airstream.  Honorable mentions go out to Cherry Hill Park, Americamps, Pecan Park RV Resort and Fayetteville RV Resort.  All picked via the Good Sam website, all good picks.  And the folks on the Airstream Forums for sharing their knowledge and experience so freely.  Thanks!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Perfect Marshmellow

Roasting the perfect Marshmellow for the perfect Smore is a lot harder than it seems.  It takes patience.  I don't have any.  This was a lot of work. 

Our First Fire!

No, not in the Airstream. In our very own fire pit.  I had never lit a fire (intentionally) before.  It seemed to take an extraordinary amount of lighter fluid to get it going, but once the logs caught fire we were in business.

Happy Memorial Day, and a great big thanks to all those who have sacrificed to ensure we remain free. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Welcome Home!

We made it. River Ranch RV Resort.  Our new home for our Airstream.

I need a beer. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Pecan Park RV Resort

So we checked in at Pecan Park RV Resort.  It's nice and clean, with all the pads in concrete and pull throughs.  But barely any vegetation.  Nothing like River Ranch. 

Welcome to Florida!

We made it!  We never pay attention to the Welcome Centers when we drive past them, but this time we stopped and allowed Florida to welcome us home. 


On to Jacksonville

We left Fayetteville early this morning hoping to arrive early at Pecan Park.  We stopped at a Cracker Barrell. They are very RV friendly.  

I95 was particularly trouble free today. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

On to Fayetteville

I hooked the hitch for the first time today.  It was cake.  On to Fayetteville.

We stopped at a truck stop and parked next to the big boys. 

Some parts of I95 were particularly congested due to construction. 

The paperwork on our RV lot finally came through.  I had to unhitch in Fayetteville and look for a Bank of America to do a wire transfer.

We had lunch at a place called Bubba's 33.  Pizza and beer place.  Very nice.  Great service. We ordered onion rings and pizza.  They had to be one of the better onion rings I've ever had.  And the pizza was great.  They gave us a free coupon for our next visit.  Too bad they're not in Florida.

The Fayetteville RV resort is nice.  Too bad we are only here for the one night.  Tomorrow, Florida!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Wife The Photographer

My wife wants the credit (well deserved) for the videos and some of the pictures.

Good job honey.

Holding Tank Calibration

The Airstream has three tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water (water that goes down the sinks or shower drain) and one for black water (from the toilet).  All three tanks are tracked by a Micro Pulse sensor that registers how much "contents" in each tank.

The black water tank was reading 3/8 full even though we had just emptied it.  I found the instruction booklet for the Micro Pulse sensor, and we performed a sensor recalibration.  Basically, you empty all tanks, then tell the sensor they are empty.  Then you fill them up with water, and then tell the sensor they are full.

Well, let me tell you, emptying and then filling up the three tanks is barrel fulls of fun.

Mission accomplished.  Sensors are now calibrated.  Whew.

Our Second Tow!

So we left Chery Hill.  Can't do a proper review other than to say the cafe is a lot better than it seems.  We came and went too soon and didn't do all the things people do when they go to Cherry Hill.  We'll have to come back and stay a few days.

We headed over to Americamps in Virginia.

I disconnected the hitch for the first time. That was our plan all along.  We had plenty of time to go shopping for a bigger waste basket and a big lunch. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Our First Tow!

This morning we left Colonial for Cherry Hill Park, Maryland. 

Our first tow!  It was a bit nerve wracking.

But we made it.  Our first "real" camp.  I am soooooo tired.

Our First Night!

We camped in the Colonial parking lot our first night.  We wanted to be close to the dealer in case something went wrong as we tested all the Airstream's systems.

Nothing went wrong.

It was chilly, about 50 degrees F, so we tested the heat pump and furnace.  They work as advertised.  We were a little disappointed to learn our ACs do not have the dehumidify option, something we will need during the hot Florida summers.  But we'll manage with the Fantastic Fan.  And some other dehumidifying tricks up our sleeve.

The toilet works.  I tested it.  Twice.

I toasted a bagel in the morning.  The toaster works.

What else can I say?

Perfection.  Today we leave on our first "real" trip to Cherry Hill Park in Maryland.  We shall see how that goes.  So far so good.

Monday, May 23, 2016

We Did It!

Ok, we did it.  We handed over a check, we got the keys to a shiny new Airstream. New to us anyway.  We tested every single switch, latch and button.  A couple of minor things were fixed on the spot.  I am sooooo tired.  We camp in the Colonial parking lot tonight.  It's amazing how many Airstreams they have.

The Big Day

So we started the big day at 6am.  Mostly because I couldn't sleep.  We don't have to be at Colonial until noon.  So what to do?  I washed the car. We killed an hour at Lowes. 

I had to buy something.  I bought a hitch lock. 

Three more hours to go...

We'll grab a bite to eat at Joe's. 

Ok, with a belly full of shrimp we head on over to Colonial to start our adventure. Wish us luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trip to Colonial, Part 2

We got another early start today, and decided to start it right. 

We finally made it.  12 hours later.  We are tired.  Stopped at a chinese/Japanese/Thai restaurant (you can't make this stuff up) and are going to turn in early.  Tomorrow is a big day!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trip to Colonial, Part 1

We left at 5:45am to head on over to Colonial Airstream.  I figured it would take us two days, so I planned on staying in Fayetteville, North Carolina  On the way we stopped in Savannah, Georgia for lunch, home of the world's best hush puppies and glazed pecans.

We arrived at Fayetteville at 5pm and we were very tired.  We travelled about 550 miles today. So we decided to crash (as in go to bed :) Tomorrow is Part 2 of our adventure. Stay tuned.