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RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame (Elkhart, Indiana)

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Hello everyone and welcome to the RV/motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana.

For those of you that dont know, I am no longer in Michigan due to non agreement issues with the camp I was hosting, now we are in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin.

As I was making my trip to Wisconsin, I was struggling to find boondocking locations to stay overnight, but soon came across the RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame that allowed free boondocking. What a gold mine!

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Later that night the place got packed due to having prom night at the exbo center exactly next door. It was loud until midnight, but got to see the firework show they had going which turned out to be a pretty good show.

The next morning, I patiently waited until 9am for the museum to open up (which of course I was the first one in the doors) to see what all of the hype was on this place and boy, it is the place to see if your in the area! Yes, just like Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 there is an Air Stream Ranch (Need to put that on the list of things to see).

The museum is 2 stories high with the top floor mainly a large library of all of the classics. On the first floor you will find a gift shop, a theatre, and you will start out at the new RV’s and slowly make your way to the classics. Some of these classics are the rarest you will find as old as 100 years, still original. Some are 1 of a kind or the very last ones atill around.

This Airstream is the smallest Airstream in the world, and was the only one ever made sitting at 10′ in lenght.

Some of the very first motorhomes built.

I gotta love the vintage trailers. These are the newer models out now. Below shows the process that is done to build trailers and motorhomes.

Well, thanks for reading, and I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures. We will see everyone in Wisconsin to learn about the new camp Im working at, and we will be taking a road trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to check out the main Harley Davidson Museum in the world. Have an awsome day everyone.

NASA Rocket and Space Center (Huntsville, Alabama)

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Good morning everyone! I was having issues posting to my blog, but now everything is working good.

Last Sunday at 6pm I recieved a call from KOA asking me if I would be interested in running another camp in Michigan so I accepted the position but still had 1 more place to see in Alabama before I left… Yes, you guessed it! I spent the next day at the NASA Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

This place was about 3 times bigger then I thought, and for only $25.00, you can spend a good 4 hours just checking out the main exibits. There are also diffrent tours, and 4 diffrent I-Max theatres for an extra cost.

When you go into the main entrance, you will have this main lobby area that have plenty exibits to see, and my favorite, plenty of buttons to push. This is where you can get a bite to eat at the cafe, operate a computer generated rover, take a tour at the underwater exibit, or get in the seat as a space station controller.

They had an upstairs area in the main complex that you can find Alabama’s first Aviator.

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Once you head over to the Mars complex, you will be greated by a huge hanging space ship, diffrent rockets, and other misc. exibits.

Outside around the whole complex you will find multiple rockets, military stuff, and simulator rides to spend a good hour checking out.

If you ever wondered if astronauts drink soda in space… Well, here you go. The picture on the left is the soda machine, middle of course is there can, and on the right is the nozzle. It looks pretty complex just to have a soda.

One of the new exibits is the military complex that show some of the futures drones, rockets, and soldier gear that is currently in the works as we speak.

This green screen is set up to feel like a weather man and to di a weather report as if you were on Television. I watched one guy do it and stayed behind the cameras.

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Some more aircrafts and a spaceship by the main entrance. These spaceships look so much bigger in real life. This A-12 Oxcart only made 15 of these planes with only 7 left that are still around.

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If your ever in the Huntsville area, defently take a trip to the space and rocket center. We will see you guys in Michigan. Have a great day everyone!

Dirt Track Racing (Danville, Alabama)

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The smell of racing fuel, mud in the mouth with chills going down your back… This is what a friday night out in Alabama is all about.

A guy from work (Eric) and I decided to take a night out to head over to Danville, Alabama to see the dirt track races. If your not familiar with Alabama, this is a racers dream state. When you come out here there are dirt tracks, and drag racing tracks all over the state with multiple NASCAR tracks within driving distance. Since Eric’s cousin was racing that night we got to head down in the pits to meet alot of drivers, and get up close and personal with the race cars.

Had a blast last Friday and you will know where to find me this Friday! Have a great day everyone.

 

 

Boondocking Washer & Dryer

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Hello everyone! Just wanted to go over a new boondocking device that will save you time and money… The hand crank washer and dryer.

Some of you know that I had my old off grid washer/spin dryer that did its purpose until the machine quit working. Once this happened, I started researching something smaller, and didnt have to run on power. After multiple reviews on diffrent products I ended up finding the ecowash. There are multiple benefits I found with this unit that fit more of what I was looking for in a unit:

  1. The unit doesnt require a power source which means that is less ‘stuff’ that can go wrong. Just crank it 50 times with your water and detergent, let set for 2 minutes, then crank another 50 times and bam, your clothes are washed. The spin dryer is the same but is 100 cranks only.
  2. Uses have the water as my last unit but will still hold a 5 pound load. If your just getting started into the boondocking lifestyle, you will quickly realize that water is the most important thing to have.
  3. With its suction cup legs, and 360 rotation, you can put these units on the wall to do your laundry, and have that extra floor space.
  4. Less time is needed to have a load washed and dried. You can see how much product goes into a load in the picture below by how much weight you will have. This spin dryer will get your clothes between 90 to 95 percent dry, then hang them in the sun or over the fire to dry the rest.
  5. The washer comes with a drain hose to drain the water out after each load. The best thing to do with this water is store it in another container, to use for flushing the toilet. That way you have saved that much more water to last a little longer before you need to refill

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The whole goal in boondocking is to be away, and live off of your supplies for as long as possible. It does take research and a little upfront cost at first, but could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.

Thanks again everyone and have a great day!

 

The Breakup of the Rat Pack

Hello everyone! Well, some of you know, and some dont, but Brandy and I have split up to take diffrent paths.

This post isnt about poor Brandy, poor kids, or poor Jason. This is directed towards the future RVers with families or couples that havent yet started fulltimeing, but are looking to pursue the adventure.

The best advice I can give is make sure everyone is 100% on board, and triple check that your on board. Instead of looking at only the good things about fulltiming, look at the negative also. Both, as a couple need to research everything together, not just one person.

This lifestyle has its challenges, just like everyday life but the challenges are diffrent. This isnt for everyone, and if your both not fully 100% on board, that this is what you have always wanted to do, then things may take a turn down the road. I dont want to scare people out of doing this because there are plenty of families and couples that have been doing this for years and are still happy. Im just trying to make a point that it isnt for everyone, and as your significant other may say “ya, I want to do this” they may be just saying this to make you happy. If one partner is not 100% on board, you may need to review your decisions on what is most important.

On a better note, meet the new member of the pack “Drifter” He was a stray that I picked up a few days ago to join Calypso and I on our wild adventures.

Take care everyone and have a great day!

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First Documented Town In Alabama (Moorseville, Alabama)

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Welcome to Moorseville, Alabama, the first documented town in the state of Alabama. This is another town that should be on everyones to see list if in the area.

Located just East of Decatur,Alabama, this is a stop right off the freeway heading into Huntsville, Alabama. The town is set in its own little community that you will find 19th century fencing surrounding the neighborhood.

In the middle of town is where the main history is, that talk about the old tavern (unfortunatly isnt in operations anymore) to the oldest still operational post office in the state, to there first church that hasnt been in operation for many years.

Once you visit the old buildings, take a stroll in the neighborhood to see all of the 19th century house that are still standing today. These houses range from large 19th century victorian mansions to little cottages that takes you think you just landed in a fairytale.

While taking your stoll, you will find the still operational church (Moorseville Church of Christ) that was established in 1854. Its truly amazing on the history on this part of the country.

If checking this town out for commercial photography, you will be required to purchase a permit to take photos.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and we will see you soon!

Old Historic Decatur, Alabama

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Hope everyone is having an awesome day today!

I woke up this morning to a warm sunny day, and decided to take a trip to the old historic part of Decatur, Alabama. We have been through there, but have never really experienced of what this town had to offer. Those of you that know me, or have been following us for awhile know that I love the history of these older towns.

I started my adventures off to see the old historic bank built in 1833 which is probably the biggest attraction for the histiric part of this town. Unfortunately the doors were locked to see inside, but I was happy enough to see what the outside had to offer. Below is a brief history on the bank with a couple of pictures.

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After the bank, I hit the road on foot to see old downtown which felt like I went back in time. All of the buildings are the existing buildings from the 1800’s that are still standing today. I was surprised that with the storms out here that these wouldnt have been demolished yet. With the old alley ways, and good ol southern charm, you can find mostly antique shops, with a few taverns/bars (non were opened until 4pm) to old style barber shops. Deeper into town you will find the old Princess theatre where you can spend a night out watching a play.

After experiencing the town I decided to check out the historical neighborhoods surrounding the district. Most of the houses were built back in the 1800’s and most of them had signs outside of the houses that named the confederate soldiers that lived there during the fight of Decatur

Coming out of the neiborhood, I stopped by the amphitheater that sits on the same grounds as the bank. Below is a little information on that.

The First United Methodist Church shown below was the first methodist church established in Decatur built. One thing about the state of Alabama is that churches are big and on every corner.

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Once I finished in the downtown district I headed off to see Delano Park that is still in the old district, but is far enough to drive instead of walk. One thing Ive noticed about parks in Decatur is that they are large, and very well maintained. You can find everything to a play structure, to a mini water park, to pristine baseball diamonds and tennis courts.

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Across the street from the park is the Delano Park Rose Garden which was a spectacular place to visit. Unfortunately, the roses havent bloomed yet, but was still worth checking out.

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Decatur, Alabama is an amazing place to see. When out of the old town and in downtown Decatur, you will find everything you need ranging from grocery stores, to miniture golf. If your ever in the area, defently make it a stop to see some old history, and eat some good southern BBQ.

Have a great day everyone.

Where To Refill Propane

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I wanted to give a little information on where to get your propane refilled for the cheapest and the best part of it, is that this place is all over the country and well known. Go to U-Haul for your next fillup. Since being on the road, I have always went to gas stations to have my tanks refilled until someone told me about U-Haul having the cheapest propane refills. After doing some research online, I decided to try my luck on a refill at U-Haul and found that there is a huge savings. Before, I would go to a gas station that did refills or actual gas companies which cost me close to $20.00 to refill a 20 pound tank. U-Haul charged for the same tank $11.68. That saved me about $8.00 on a 20 pounder. Wanna know how to get even more off? If you register with U-Haul they will send you coupons for even more savings.

Being a fulltime RVer, it is extremely important to research deals, best prices, and anyway to save a buck or two. Even when your camping for free, fuel becomes a major expense in your trips that becomes a nusense after awhile.

So lets look at what we will be running in propane in the near future:

2- 20 pound tanks (about $16.00 in.           savings

2- 30 pound tanks (about $24.00 in           savings)

1 -60 pound tank (about $24.00 in savings)

Thats about $64.00 saved in propane refill.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little blog on ways of saving for your next fill up, and we will see you soon.

Used Motor Oil (why keep it?)

0413180658When you decide to start fulltiming, you have put dependency on yourself especially when doondocking. Knowing how to reuse materials for diffrent things and doing things on your own is key of lasting longer then 2 weeks on the road.

Knowing how to do general maintance on your vehicle is an area that will make or break the bank. Unless your making alot money, taking your car to the mechanic all of the time will send you packing back home. There are alot of advantages in learning how to do general maintance to your rig:

  1. You can become more reliant to yourself
  2. You save money
  3. You learn a new skill

This post is focused on used motor oil, and why you should take it with you.

When ever I perform an oil change on my truck I keep all of the used oil as a fire starter when mother nature doesnt want to play nice. The wood can be wet, frozen or what ever other condition the wood may be in and will still light instantly.

I understand that most will see this as common sense but is something that might be overlooked for people just getting started in this lifestyle.

Have a great day!

 

 

Solar systems 101

Hello everyone! I wanted to get some information on another hot topic that some are curious about, others want to go this but are still on the fence about going solar. I was going to do a video on this due to the amount of information I am going to explain but decided to have this in writing so that it can be a reference to come back to. I will explain the goods and bads about solar, how to maximize power in the winter months, and show how easy these. Kits are to install.

The easy part is installing the panels. With just a few screws and bracket, you can have your panels hooked in. Depending on if your part timing or full timing, or just taking a weekend trip may determine if you should buy angle brackets for your solar system. These angle brackets (brackets with a bunch of holes) give you the option to angle your panels. Now why would I do this? In the winter season the sun is lower then the summer time which makes it hard to get the maximum exposure to the sun. You typically want to be at a 90 degree angle to the or you may lose up to 40 percent of your power. To figure out your angle use the formula:

Latitude x (0.9) + 29 degrees

This will put you at a good 90 degrees from the sun. There. Are many types of these brackets out there ranging from $25.00 to $100.00. When you buy these, make sure you have the ones that will give you multiple angles. I paid $50.00 per bracket for this set

Once you have your panels installed you will see 2 cables with a male and female end. You will need to hook these in as refered on the diagram below. This set up is a 500 watt system so diagrams may vary by the panels you buy. I highly recommend sketching out a diagram first before panels are installed.

Once you reach your last panel, you will have a breaker that connects to your main power down to your controller. There is no right or wrong way of running your panel cables down since every rig is diffrent. We cut a little hole in our vent screen to feed down into the bedroom, then drilled a hole in our sink cabinet down to where our main trailer battery supply is.

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Now the fun part… The electrical! This can get a bit confusing which happened to me also when I hooked everything up I blew the fuses in my inverter. Which brings me to another point. My 1,000 watt inverter holds 4 40amp fuses so if you here a pop and see smoke, tear the inverter open to check the fuses. See the diagram below for proper install. When I printed the diagram everything was in black ink so I had no color code to go by so it became a guessing game which could be a pricey one if not installed correctly.

You cant just put a car battery in and call it a day. You will need deep cycle 6v or 12v batteries to run. They are pricey (mine cost $375.00 a piece) but will earn your money back in the long run. The ones I run are used in military aircrafts, never need refilled and are 100 percent maintance free. You get what you pay for. You will beed to make sure you have enough battery power to keep up with your panels but not to much that would fry your system. I go by 1 battery for every 200 watts in panels.

Your inverter is where your power source will be to plug in your electronic. Im running a 1,000 watt inverter for my system but I would recommend a 1,500 watt if running a 500+ watt system. Juwt to give you that extra cushion.

Your controller is used to make sure everything is equalized so that your panels or batteries dont fry up. The one I use has a key chain for manual shut off. If the system runs hot, my controllet kicks in to level everything out.

You will have a control panel for inside your RV that reads for power levels, temperature of system and many more details of how your system is running.

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The amount of watt system needed will vary on your load. 250 watt system is pretty good for 2 people to do there every day tasks of showering, watching TV and running appliances. I do recommend having a back up generator though and not soley depend on solar power. Also, solar wont power your air conditioning unit since it requires a couple thousand watts alone to turn over. Another one is your microwave.  My unit will power it but barely. When shopping for a backup generator, I recommend nothing under 3,000 watts and be a duel fuel system to run propane and gas.

Maintance on these systems is nothing more then a squirt bottle of water and a rag. I recommend wiping the panels clean once a week unless you are in an area like Arizona with dust storms. Then I woulf recommend every other day. The shade of something as small as a twig will have a huge impact on your power.

The goods: saves on cost of having free power.

The bads: cant be soley depended on.

I hope I covered a good chunk about solar power and feel free to message me with any questions you may have. For those of you just interested, have a great day, those if you just starting, hope to see you on the road sometime and for the experienced RVers stay safe and keep the wheels turning.

Have an awesome day everyone.

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