Workcamping and Savannah

On this rainy day in Savannah, I’m sitting here at the table in the motorhome looking out the front window watching people tear down getting ready to pull out while Dave is changing out some of our lights. We’re replacing the overhead lights with LED lights. 

CreekFire RV resort is less than a mile off I-95, it seems most of the campers here only stay 1-2 days. Since part of Dave’s job here is to escort campers to their site, he gets to talk to some of the people that come here.

A couple across from us just pulled out. They’re full timers, driving a motorhome and pulling a car, similar to us. They’re a young couple that work from the motorhome. He does some kind of consulting work and she writes a blog. They told Dave they’ve completely redone the inside of their motorhome. I would have liked to meet them and get to know them a little, but they’re gone already.

The couple next to us, who are not workcampers,are here for a couple months. They’re also full-timers but are from here in Savannah. She has to have surgery and wanted her doctor here to take care of it. As soon as she’s cleared by the doc, they’re back on the road again.

We just met a woman from Ohio who is a traveling nurse. She travels by herself with her small dog and is here for a few months.

I’m watching another couple load up their golf cart. I think they’re going further south for the winter.

Dave met another couple from Ohio. They planned to travel with their friends also from Ohio. When the Ohio weather report called for a major cold front moving in the couple Dave met called their friends and suggested that they needed to go now. Since the friends said they couldn’t go yet, the couple Dave met told them I’ll see you there and took off. Their friends arrived two days later.

Another couple we’ve met here are workcampers too. Well, at least he is. They’re also full-timers. They have a son here and another one out west somewhere. We’ve only seen her once. CreekFire requires couples to work 32 hours a week in exchange for a full hookup campsite. So he’s working all the hours. (Anything over the 32 hours is paid.) They don’t seem to do anything or go anywhere when he’s not working, I asked him if they’ve toured Savannah and he said they only go to visit their son and his family whenever they aren’t working. If his son is working, he said, they just stay here.

Such a shame. There’s so much to see here. So, let me tell you about one of them, The Pirate’s House Restaurant. The structure of the Pirate’s House building now is actually several buildings put together. Inside the buildings is the oldest house in Georgia. Built in 1733, it’s a white little 2 room house with a fireplace between the rooms and a sleeping room above them. Over time this little house evolved and more buildings were added. It’s been restaurants, serving no alcohol, a ladies tea room, restaurants serving alcohol and bars. Now all the buildings are under one roof with a gift shop and dining throughout the several rooms. The location of The Pirate’s House is just off River Street. As the port became busier, privateers started arriving hoping to make their fortune. Following them, the pirates came in. This area became a very scary part of town. The owners of The Pirate’s House at that time decided the restaurant absolutely needed to serve alcohol to all these sailors coming in off the ships. The placemats at the restaurant tell the history of The Pirate’s House on one side of the placemat and on the other side, it tells about the house being haunted and Robert Louis Stevenson getting his inspiration for the book Treasure Island.

Remember, the tunnel I talked about earlier so that sailors and merchants could get up to the city? Well, the tunnel also came up into the Pirate’s House. This made it a quick route to the alcohol.

Many, many, pirates sailed into this area. And, many, many, drunk young men sailed out of this area unaware they were going to be part of the Pirate’s ship’s crew. When the captain was in need of crew members, he headed to the Pirate’s House found a few local young men, got them drunk, carried them out of the tunnel and when they woke up, they were at sea. They could either stay or swim back. Many of these men were never seen again.

Again, I have to add my disclaimer about doing your own research. This information came from the placemats, the tour we took at the Pirate’s House and some Savannah tour books. Our tour guide, dressed as a pirate, was also a history teacher, so most of our information came from him and from the guidebooks.

Here’s a few pictures and one more bit of random information. Whenever your walking on the sidewalk in the Savannah squares and the sidewalk changes to slate, that means you’re in front of a historical building.

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River Street – Savannah

River Street Old Town Trolley Tour Stop

Stop 10 on the Old Town Trolley Tour is River Street.  Appropriately named since it’s the street beside the Savannah river. This was probably the first street built in Savannah since it was used to deliver commodities to the city from the ships that sailed up the river from the Atlantic ocean. The Atlantic is only 18 miles from Savannah’s River Street.  The city sits up high with a significant drop off to the river.  This created a major problem for the sailing crew to get their products and supplies from the ship to the city above.  Because it made a good look out point for the military Savannah was built at this location

Originally, they tried to carry supplies up the cliffs to the city. That failed. Another attempt was to make some sort of a hoist system with ropes and pulleys. Because of the sandy soil, everything kept coming loose and that failed also. They couldn’t get any leverage to carry anything up.  One solution was to dig a tunnel which worked and I’ll write more about that later. Another solution was to use the stones they had used for ballasts on the ship and make a road up the hill.  The pictures below are ones I took showing the ballast road, some street views and some of the steep crooked steps.

This street now still has most of the original buildings and consists mostly of gift shops, souvenir shops and restaurants.  You can also get on one of the river cruise ships here. They offer dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises. I believe the tour guide said originally the river was about 14 feet deep, but now is 42 feet deep and there is a plan to make it deeper. It is now the 5th busiest port in the U. S.

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Savannah, Our first visit

Since  we are going to be in Savannah for the next couple months, most of my next blogs are going to be about Savannah.

On our first visit to Savannah, we parked in the Whitfield street parking garage as was suggested to us by the folks at CreekFire R V resort. It’s an underground parking lot that costs $5/day and opens into Ellis Square.

The city of Savannah was designed to be built in 24 squares. One of those squares was Ellis square. At one time the city tore down Ellis Square and put up a 6 story parking structure.  Recently, I’m not sure of the exact time, the city “reclaimed” that square. They tore down the structure and built an underground parking garage. They are in the process now of rebuilding and replanting the center square.

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We’re here now. Where’s the…?

We arrived in Savannah at the new work camping site. As you may already know, our 10-year-old Weimaraner travels with us. Since we don’t want to miss out on exploring the area, one of the first things we do is look for a dog boarding place. This is helpful to have so we can enjoy the new location, use daycare if we’re going to have a long day or if we want to go away for a few days.

There are several places we actually start looking for and in no particular order. But, the first two things we needed to do was get the laundry done and get some groceries.

The laundry was easy since there’s a laundromat on site. Google searches are great when you can just say “grocery stores near me” or “dog boarding near me”. I kind of like Food Lion grocery stores and there happened to be two nearby. We also got a list of dog boarding places to check out by doing the google search for boarding places near me. Let me tell you, most of them look a lot better in the pictures! I think we spent 2 hours driving around looking at kennels. We found one that seemed ok. We checked it out by taking Sarge there for a few hours of “doggy daycare” while we checked out a little of Savannah. Sarge played outside the entire time we were gone, got a little muddy, they cleaned him up, dried him off and everybody was happy. So, that’s the one we’re going to stay with.

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We’ve Arrived at the Creekfire RV Resort

 This is the site we left in Florida on New Year’s Day. We gave ourselves 2 days to make the 8-hour drive to Savannah so we didn’t arrive grumpily and at night. It didn’t take us too long to tear down, get loaded up and leave Florida. We were trying to beat the rain. We arrived in Florida in mid-October and I think it rained almost every day! The day we left the ground was soaked and big puddles everywhere.

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New in 2019

Most of us have read or heard part of it. My guess is most of us don’t know all of it.

So here’s the full Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting, that He will make all things right if I will surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen

I thought this would be a great way to start the new year. Make it your best!

#serenityprayer

R V Teardown

We’re three days from tearing down and moving on to the next work camping site at Creekfire R V resort in Savannah.

Our 10 week stay here in Milton has been good. We got to spend time with family and friends and be back at our home church. We’re going to miss them all very much.

Tearing down an R V takes a little time but we’re getting the process down to where it doesn’t take us too long now and to where we only forget one or two things we should have done before we pull out.

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Christmas in an R V

Like many people, we used to spend hours un-boxing and putting the artificial  Christmas tree together, testing the lights and hanging all the special memory ornaments. Then time was spent sorting out and checking the outside lights, setting up the ladders and hanging those lights. We spent time shopping for and wrapping the special Christmas presents and mailing those off for family that won’t be with us that year.

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What’s the best R V for me?

What’s the best R V for me?

There are many types of Recreational Vehicles to choose from so how do you know what is the best for you.

I looked at several R V websites, R V forums, R V group sites, dealers and from personal experience, I combined some information and suggestions to help you make a decision on the R V you want to buy.  Don’t forget there’s also tent camping for those who like a little more nature.

Remember, whatever you buy you have to learn how to drive  it or tow it. So make sure you’re going to be comfortable with it or are sure you’re going to be able to get comfortable with it. You’ll be backing it in sometimes, too, so you’ll need to learn how to do that.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself.  We’ll review a little more about  these later.

  • Why do you want an R V?
  • Do you plan on going on short trips or longer trips?
  • Do you plan on staying in R V parks or go boondocking?
  • Do you want to haul motorcycles, bicycles, ormaybe ATVs?
  • How many will be traveling with you?
  • Taking any pets with you?
  • Will you fit in it?

This questions are important to help you choose the right one.  First, why do you want an R V?  Do you want it just to park it at a lakeside park you are very fond of that has utility hookups and you’re planning on leaving it there?  That helps you decide if you need to be concerned about getting a gas or diesel model, how much power you need, how much storage, and maybe even how large a model you want.

If you’re planning on taking it on longer trips you may want a model with a lot of storage.   Basement storage (the compartments under the motorhome carriage) would be important in this case.  We have several storage compartments. The doors on ours open up from the top. I would much rather have the doors that open to the side. Some of them hit me in the head when I’m trying to get stuff out.

If you’re boondocking, camping in remote locations with no utilities, your motorhome size is a concern. The larger motorhomes require more space and more level ground which may not be available if you’re camping in remote areas.  And, you have to carry everything with you. You will need to have the largest water tank, gray water, and black water tank you can get.  Your water tank holds your water coming into the motorhome and is your drinking, toilet flushing and washing water. Gray water is the waste water from that and Black water is the sewage water.  To find how long you can go on full tanks, it’s a good idea to do a couple practice runs.  You’ll know when you run out of water and many of the campers have warning signals when the waste tanks get full. That will tell you how many days you can go before you have to find a dump station. The fuller your tanks are, the heavier your camper and the more possibility of additional swaying.

Are you planning on taking motorcycles or an ATV with you? Or do you want a party deck?  If so, then you may want to consider a toy hauler. These have a storage area, with ramps, and can convert to a little  outside deck.

How many passengers will go with you and how tall are they? Will you fit in the shower?  How about on the bed?  Most RVs come with what is called a “short queen”.  It’s the width of a queen bed but shorter. Most of the 5th Wheels have a king size bed. I’m not sure if it’s short or not.  Do you have enough beds for all your passengers?  If you go with a small camper or Class B RV it may be one where you have to assemble the bed each night. Such as pulling out the couch or lowering the table to make the bed.  Are you ok with that or would you rather have a permanent bed or bedroom?

If you’re going to be traveling cross-country or long distance, you may want a larger unit. If you want to pull it, you’d be looking at a 5th wheel, travel trailer or 5th wheel toy hauler. If you want to drive it, then you’d probably want to look at a Class C or Class A.  Class As come with either a diesel or gas engine.  Class A diesel pushers have the engine in the back.  They have better mileage and last a little longer than gas engines, but they require more oil and repairs are more expensive. And it’s harder to find someone to work on them, especially, if you break down somewhere on a trip.  Class A gas engines are less expensive, don’t last as long, and get slightly less mileage than the diesel.  Since diesel engines are in the back, the cab is a little quieter when you drive and there is no “hump” between the driver and passenger seats.  Gas engines, since they’re in the front, have that hump between the two seats and the cab is a little noisier.  

Another consideration in the choice of a vehicle is A/C when driving. In most of the units, the A/C doesn’t cool the cab area well enough when you’re driving.  Sometimes you’ll need the “house” A/C running.   With most units this is possible. But, usually, a small fan works fine. 

If you like to cook and like a big kitchen most of the 5thwheels have a big kitchen area with bigger refrigerators and pantries.

There are so many things to consider, right along with the price. I hope this has helped you get started. I would suggest going to R V / Camper shows, possibly even renting one to try it out before you buy.  Rentals are usually  Class C motorhomes.  Don’t rule out a used one either. Just check it out really well and ask for maintenance records. Many times people are just looking to move up to a larger motorhome and there isn’t anything wrong with the one they have or they discovered they’re not using enough to keep it.

Whatever you buy, remember you have to learn to drive it or tow it, fill and empty the tanks and hook up the utilities.

I’ll talk about towing a vehicle in another blog.

I’ve added some pictures below.  I hope you found this information helpful.  You can subscribe to future blogs below. 

#toyhauler #ClassC #ClassA, #choosetherightRV

TRAVEL TRAILER
TOY HAULER
TOY HAULER WITH DECK
CLASS A -DIESEL PUSHER
CLASS A -GAS
5TH WHEEL
CLASS C
CLASS B