R V Life – Tips for when you’re moving down the road

Here’s some RV helpful hints I’ve been reading about as well as some things we’ve discovered on our own through our travels that I think you’ll find helpful when your RV is moving . These are good for both travel trailers and motorhomes.

On TV, or in the movies, you may see people traveling down the road moving around or cooking in the RV. There’s a famous scene in the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez film called the Long, Long Trailer where Lucy is cooking in the travel trailer while Desi is driving. As expected, she ends up with more food all over her and the trailer than on their dinner plates. And you may see a scenes on TV showing Dad driving down the road and Mom gets up, opens the refrigerator and starts making sandwiches. In reality, this will not work. EVERYTHING moves around when you’re moving down the road, so it’s a good idea if you don’t move around too much.

Usually when we’re driving we try to just have sandwiches ready and CAREFULLY open the refrigerator and grab them out before everything else falls out. Refrigerator handles have push buttons on them that you have to push before you can open the door. That keeps them from flying open and everything flying out. It’s too dangerous to even think about using the stove while we’re moving. We turn off the water heater, but we do keep the refrigerator on so everything stays cold and nothing thaws out. I read recently where some people set their plugged in crock pot in the sink and dinner is cooking while they’re traveling. I think I’ll try that the next time we on a trip.

Things in the refrigerator will move around too. When we buy eggs we usually buy either a 6 pack of eggs or cut a 12 egg carton of eggs in half. By doing that we can tuck the eggs in next to something else and keep them snuggled up tight so they don’t slide around. We place items in the door trays close together so they don’t move around and bang into each other. And we try to fit as much as we can in the drawers.

I wanted to put in some pictures of things we’ve done and some of the products we use in the motorhome. Since most of them came from Amazon. I put in the link for the products we use. The disclaimer is that if you click on the link and buy something we may get a referral fee.

When we get ready to move, Dave usually gets everything unhooked and secured outside. Meanwhile I’m securing everything inside. We use velcro or command strips on anything we have hanging on the walls so it stays tight. We have velcro on the edges of our curtains so we can velcro them to the edges of the windows to keep them from swaying all around. I used command hooks to hang up a shoe holder that we use to hold all kinds of small items.

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Guest Writer

Robyn’s away so I’m writing this time. Never done it before so we’ll see how it goes.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you… My name is Sarge. And, By the way, today’s my birthday and I’m 11 years old. I picked out Dave and Robyn to live with when ….I’ve never seen that squirrel here before…when I was 4 months old. I like Dave but I like Robyn more. She listens to me when I tell her stuff. But, Dave takes me on nice long walks so I like him too.

Sometimes, I get to go to places with them, but not all of the time. This time they took me to that place with our own little rooms and a big yard to play in outside. Miss Theresa treats me very nice… There was this one dog there that peed in places I like to pee … They went to New Orleans.

From Pensacola, Florida it’s only about a three hour drive to New Orleans, but as long as we all lived here, none of us had made it over there yet. They said I can’t go to New Orleans. This trip was only for a day and a half but they said they enjoyed it and they walked a lot… and it was very hot.

The Blake Hotel in the commercial district is where they stayed. Since they were there for a vacation package presentation the hotel was paid for but the parking wasn’t. The parking for guests staying in the hotel is $30 per night so it costs them $60! They told me they decided not to buy the vacation package.

Since they were there only a short time, they didn’t do any of the tours or see much of the history. Maybe the next time. They took the trolley from the commercial district to the end of the line at Frenchman St. and explored that area a little. Instead of taking the trolley back to the hotel, the walk back gave them the opportunity to see a little more of the Frenchman street area, the French Quarter and walk down Bourbon street. Bourbon street was narrower, and dirtier, than expected. They also had a lot of street repair going on at the time.

Here’s some pictures and a little video they took.

This is from Cafe Beignet. The cafe was full of statues of famous musicians and there were some live musicians playing on the small stage in the center of the cafe. Of course, the beignets were wonderful!

Marie Laveau’s on Bourbon Street.

To learn more about Marie Laveau, click on this link https://allthatsinteresting.com/marie-laveau and play the song by clicking on the link below.

Marie Laveau by Bobby Bare

Miss Teresa took these pictures of me when I visited her. She owns I Love Lucy Place dog boarding. You can click on this link to look at it. http://www.ilovelucyplace.com

Robyn will be back soon, so I think I won’t be writing any more posts.

Milton, Florida

In the last post, I mentioned Milton, Florida so I thought I’d write about it this time.

Founded in the late 1800’s, Milton is one of Florida’s oldest cities Since it was built beside the Blackwater River a timber mill was constructed and Mill Town, as it was called at the time, thrived as a ship building town and a supplier to other ship building industries. Later, citing they preferred a one word name for the city instead of two, the Post Office changed the name from Mill Town to Milton.

According to Wikipedia, the town also went by several other names over the years. The most notable of these were “Hell Town” because it was a “muggy, inhospitable land covered with briars, mosquitos, thorns and snakes”; Jernigan’s Landing”, after one of the founders, “Scratch Ankle”, due to the briars that grew along the riverbank and “Hard Scrabble”. I’m not sure where that last one came from.

Milton is located in the center of the county and is the county seat of Santa Rosa County.

Pensacola across the bay from Milton, has one of the larger Navy bases, NAS Pensacola. Whiting Field is one of the two of the Navy’s primary pilot training bases and is located just north of Milton, FL.

Withing minutes of Milton, you could be fishing or boating on the Blackwater River or in the Gulf of Mexico. The Blackwater River was so named for the tinted color of the river that comes from the vegetation’s tanins that stain the water a transparent tea color. Along the river curves you can relax on the white, sandy beaches or sandbars.

The Blackwater river runs through Milton. Walking on the Riverwalk, along the river in Milton, you’ll find the Veteran’s Memorial, a concert pavillion and at the end of the riverwalk a grassy area where you can listen to the Bands on the Blackwater concerts or watch a movie on a large outdoor screen or even rent little mini boats. Numerous festivals throughout the year are held here, too.

The Blackwater State Forest is also within minutes from downtown Milton and is a great place for hiking, fishing, canoeing or camping. In the park, along the river, you can find canoe liveries where you can rent canoes, kayaks and tubes. They’ll take you up river where you can float back down to them. There’s also a place nearby where you can zipline.

About 30 minutes from Milton, you can be at the beautiful white sand, clear water beach called Navarre Beach. The lack of numerous restaurants and souvenier shops makes Navarre Beach one of Florida Panhandle’s least commercialized beaches.

West of Milton, on the other side of Escambia Bay is Pensacola. Pensacola is known as the City of Five Flags and has a great history of it’s own. The flags that flew over Pensacola were Spain, France, Britain, the Confederacy and the United States. The Navy’s Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola. The Cincinnati Reds affiliate team, the Blue Wahoo’s a minor league baseball team is located in Pensacola and they have a beautiful stadium in the Community Maritime Park. Pensacola is also home to the Ice Pilots ice hockey team.

Going south from Pensacola and Milton, you can get to beautiful water and white, sandy beaches of Pensacola Beach. There you can parasail, jet ski, swim, dine, shop, soak up some sun, or listen to some great live music.

At the west end of Pensacola Beach, is Ft. Pickens. Ft Pickens is a pentagon shaped military fort that has a very interesting history. It’s named after American Revolutionary war hero, Andrew Pickens.

It was one of three forts that guarded the entrance to Pensacola Bay and the communities on the mainland shore from European invaders. During the Civil War, it was the southern most point controlled by Union Soldiers. In 1886, Ft Pickens became one of Florida’s first tourist attractions. When Geronimo was captured and moved to Ft. Pickens for imprisonment, admission was charged to view him and his family.

With the proximity to Pensacola, Eglin Air Force Base, the two Navy bases and the beaches Milton is a great place to live and visit.

I hope you found this post both informative and interesting. If you like what you’re reading, there’s a place on the side where you can subscribe to future posts.

Full-time RVing- What’s it like?

We moved to Milton in 2003. Before we became house parents in Live Oak and Tallahassee, we lived and worked in Milton, Florida.

We went full time RVing and Workcamping in April 2018

Since that time we worked 5 months in Virginia, a short time at a site in Florida, 3 months in Savannah, spent a month in North Carolina with our oldest son and his family and now we’re back workcamping at a campground in Milton. Our younger son and his family live here in Milton.

We get a lot of questions about full-time RVing. I thought I’d answer a few of them in this post

The most frequent question is “Where do you put all your stuff?” If you think about it, most of us don’t need all the stuff we have. I can definitely say the closets and the basement ( the compartments beneath the RV) are not big enough. Before we took off, we had several garage sales and sold things on facebook and craigslist. And, we have a storage unit in Milton. Most everything we have in storage is stuff we need to keep. We have tubs full of photo albums, memories,Christmas traditional items, some household items, clothes we change out seasonaly and a few things we could probably get rid of but I want to keep.

We keep rearranging things in the RV thinking to better utilize the space. We’ll eventually get it, or we’ll find more we can do without.

Our R V has a set up bunkbeds. I moved the top mattress to the bottom bunk and put my computer, a file cabinet and my printer on the top and use it like a stand up desk. On the bottom bunk we have a couple baskets that we use for temporary storage for different things. This has been a great use of that space.

Our bedroom closets are small, but we’ve found, especially when we’re workcamping, since they usually supply us with shirts to wear, we tend to wear a lot of the same things over and over. We’ve been able to weed out some more clothes and donate or store them. It’s easier to not buy new clothes when we know there’s no place to store them. As far as laundry goes, we have a dirty clothes basket in the hall between the bedroom and bathroom. Most campgrounds have a laundramat on site and a housekeeping washer and dryer. Workcampers usually either get a laundry allowance or free use of the housekeeping washer and dryer.

Food storage is also limited. We do have several kitchen cabinets and drawers and we put some canned and boxed goods in a tub in the basement of the RV and it works out pretty well.

Some RVs have full size refrigerators and freezers. Ours does not. Here’s a picture of our fridge. We were making frequent trips to the grocery store. We’ve slowed down on our grocery trips to the grocery store since we purchased a new 100 quart cooler that is supposed to keep ice 8-10 days. So far it’s working. Since we’ve only had it a few days I’ll let you know later how it works out and I’ll give you more information on it in case you want to get one. That pretty much covered the storage questions we get.

Another question we’re asked is “How can you live in something that size all the time?” We don’t live in the camper, we live out of the camper. I admit there are days we spend most of time inside either because of heavy rain, very high or very low temps. We have lawn furniture outside and usually enough to do around the campground or in the area that we don’t need to just stay in the camper.

We’ve always looked for dog boarding places wherever we are so we can visit people or explore the area without having to get back to take care of him and resenting him for cutting into our time away.

Rarely have we found a place that Sarge didn’t like. He’s almost 11 years old so he’s not as active as he used to be so he’s ok napping in a kennel or in the R V for longer periods of time.

And, the last question for today. “What’s workcamping and what do you do?” Workcamping means you camp at different RV resorts, campgrounds, state or national parks and work while you’re there. They’re all different. We base where we go by what we want to do in the area, what’s the weather usually like during the time we may be there?, is it a paid position or vounteer work?, what is the work exchange for the site? – which means how many hours do you need to work to cover the site . What are the paid hours? Are there laundry benefits? And, what if any, are the other benefits?

I know there’s other questions about how we get our mail, do our banking etc. Since this post has already become a little lengthly I’ll address those things in another post.

See you later – Enjoy today!

Here watch this.

Want to Boondock?

What’s boondocking? Boondocking is also called Dry Camping, Off Grid Camping and on Federal Lands it’s called Dispersed Camping. Basically, it’s camping with no hookups in a non-campsite area. Usually, it’s in a Wilderness or Public Land area such as a National Park or Forest.

You’ll also find that places such as Casinos, Wal-Mart stores, Camping World, Bass Pro Shop, and some truck stops will let you dry camp on their property. There are more places that will let you camp in their parking lots, but just make sure you ask permission.

Harvest Hosts, http://harvesthosts.com, is a membership required organization that has a network of places that you can camp for free as long as you are self contained. Some of the places in their network are farms, wineries, museums, orchards, etc. You can check out their website for more information.

Some RVers, that I know, will usually stay in a Wal-Mart or some other parking lot if they’re traveling across country to a specific location in as short a time as possible. If you’re not in a hurry, maybe some place like HarvestHosts would be for you since they’re usually off the beaten path and in relaxing locations.

If you’re Boondocking, you won’t be hooked up to any utilities, so it’s probably a good idea, before you travel too far from civilization, to check out a few things. Find out how long you can last without hookups.

Since, you’ll be carrying your own water, figure out how long it will last before you have to fill your water tank. Maybe camp at a location with hookups but don’t use them until you run out before you’re ready to leave. Then you’ll know, for example, that you carry just 4 days worth of water. This, of course, all depends on the size of your R V and the size of the water tank. So if you’re going to be out for a week, have a water use plan if you only carry 4 days worth.

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TOAD… WHAT’S “TOAD”?

If you want to have a vehicle available to drive when you’re parked at a campground or boondocking there are a few options. If you’re pulling a travel trailer or 5th wheel, you just unhook your RV and you’re good to go . If you’re driving a vehicle separately from your motorhome; no issue, your vehicle is right there. If you’re in a motorhome like we are, you’ll be towing something to drive. That vehicle is the “Toad”.

We prefer not to drive our car separate unlike our friends at http://www.modernmountainlife.com. They prefer to drive their vehicle separately as a chase vehicle.

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Mr. and Mrs. Carl Sandburg

Flat Rock, North Carolina. That’s where we stayed during our recent visit to North Carolina. Specifically, we were at Lakewood RV Park in Flat Rock. It was the nicest, closest, affordable park, we could get close to Pisgah Forest where our oldest son, daughter-in-law and three granddaughters live.

Flat Rock has a national treasure in the former home of Carl and “Paula” Sandburg. This is one place we always visit when we come to visit the family. The Sandburg former home and farm is now part of the National Park Service.

I wanted to share a little about the Sandburg family since I find them very interesting.

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North Carolina Waterfalls

Recently, we had the opportunity to spend a month in the mountains of western North Carolina.

We had the opportunity to do many things which I may write about later. This post is about the beautiful waterfalls.

In the Transylvania County/Pisgah National Forest area near Brevard North Carolina, there are over 250 waterfalls.

I’m only going to write about a few of the most popular ones and ones that we visited.

RAINBOW FALLS is on Horsepasture River and is also called High Falls. It got the name Rainbow Falls because of the large amount of mist that rises from the falls and creates rainbows. Once you get to the observation deck, you’ll appreciate that mist! From the parking lot, it’s about 1-1/2 mile walk to the falls, but there are a lot of hills and stairs to climb. If you go, take lots of water. Take your time and if you have them use walking sticks, they help.

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Our visit to the Bold Rock hard cider company.

Last week we visited the Sierra Nevada craft beer brewery. This week it was the Bold Rock hard cider cidery also in Mills River, North Carolina. Although this is a much smaller operation than the Sierra Nevada brewery it is also a good benefit for the community. There’s an abundance of Apple orchards in the area and many of them were struggling financially until the cider companies, particularly the hard cider companies, came to the area.

There are at least 10 cideries in the Asheville area. Each one is a little different. The one we visited, and I think one of the largest, is the Bold Rock hard cider company.

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