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Lake Havasu, Arizona (London Bridge)

 

 

 

 

Yes, that’s right, we went and saw the London Bridge in the Arizona desert. The bridge was built in the 1830’s to span across the River Thames in London. In 1967, the bridge was dismantled and sent to Arizona for reconstruction to where it stands to this day. Some of you know that I love history so this was a really neat sight to see.

Under the bridge was a little European looking village that had everything from boat rentals to take out on the canal going into Lake Havasu, to the biggest candle Shoppe in the world. Along the canal, you had swimming areas, a nice dog park, trails along the canal, 2 play sets, volleyball, basketball, gift shops and bars/restaurants.

When on top of the bridge, you will see at one end of the bridge a lot of padlocks from different people over the years. Its pretty neat seeing oddities like this as we continue to travel. We will be back here before we leave to see the hot air balloon show, and possibly just to spend another day hanging out.

Lake Havasu was a wonderful place to see with plenty of history, places to see, and things to do. If you are ever in the area, this is a stop that you don’t want to pass up on your travels.

Have a Happy New Year’s

 

Which type of RV should I get?

 

There is no simple answer to this, since all have their positive and negative features that you may be looking for. I will do my best to give you some of the positives and negatives about the different RV’s to try and save you a few headaches to better help you on making a decision if you are interested in living this type of life style.

Truck Camper:

Pros: Better fuel mileage for your truck, can easily park anywhere you  want, don’t have a vehicle or trailer to tow, less maintenance needed. Cheaper then any of the other RVs

Cons: Limited living space, if your vehicle breaks down your home goes with it (unless you are in an area that you can off load your camper), limits your truck bed to haul additional supplies that may be needed.

Bumper Pull Trailers:

Pros: Can haul with a smaller truck, open truck bed to pack additional supplies that you cant do with any other RV, if your truck breaks down just unhook your trailer so that you still have your living space (which you cant do with a truck camper or mobile home), more living space then a truck camper, is cheaper then going with a motorhome or 5th wheel route.

Cons: Bumper Pull Trailers don’t play as well with the wind as the 5th wheels do, smaller living space then a 5th wheel, cant make 90 degree turns when backing up if needed unlike the 5th wheels, and truck/campers, depending on the size your looking for, this may limit your areas to park at campgrounds. One thing I’ve learned is if you can, 35′ is the max length you want to go since you can still get into 90% of the parks. Once you go longer, your percentage drops fast.

5th Wheels:

Pros: Has the most living space which makes it better for bigger families then other type of RV’s, easier to tow then Bumper Pull Trailers, can make sharper turns then a Bumper Pull Trailer, loading/unloading is quick. Brandy and I have got it to where we can unload the 5th wheel, fully hooked up, slides out, and leveled in about 5 mins. Once you have a routine down it goes fast. Less maintence then a motor home (a 5th wheel like a Bumper Pull Trailer has wheels and an axle). Like the Bumper Pull Trailer, we can unload our home if we have mechanical problems with our truck.

Cons: Less room for additional supplies in the bed of your truck, a 5th wheel may be lower in cost then a motor home, but is more then likely going to require buying another truck unless you have a min. of a 3/4 ton. I would recommend a 1 ton diesel for towing if you can afford it. The 1 tons wont get as good as mileage as a 3/4 ton off tow, but on tow you will get about 2 miles per gallon better then a 3/4 ton. A 5th wheel hitch will need to be purchased also which could run another few hundred bucks for the budget.

Motorhome:

Pros: Your living area is your driving area (you can cook bacon while still driving if you have someone with you, or use the bathroom while on the road). Better view of the road while driving then your typical truck and trailer. Doesn’t require having a truck or a vehicle (but is recommended to have a small car for towing). More comfortable for long distance driving then any other RVs. (not sure, but hear the class A’s seem to be the best in this area). You will have better access of getting into parks since some of the parks are motorhomes only.

Cons: Maintenance is going to be a lot higher then a truck. Last I heard an oil change will run you over $300.00 if taken to a shop. Does not corner as well as trailers since there is no pin point for turning. Once a motorhome breaks down, you better have extra funds for a motel or a tent to set up since your vehicle/home is in one. A lot more expensive then a trailer, if towing a car, you may need to unhook your car first if you plan on backing up (this will depend on your towing set up). Smaller living area then a 5th wheel, more maintance will be required, if you don’t have a tow vehicle, you may be stuck where you park due to your size unless you call uber to pick you up.

Conclusion: Over all, you are going to find the good and bad with all of them and will never really find the perfect one. I just hope that I took a lot of the headaches away that I had to deal with when shopping for what would best suite us. Please comment on your experiences with what you have, had or any other info that I missed to help others interested in starting this life style but don’t know where to start with choosing the best RV that fits there wants and needs.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

FHD0161We just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Due to limited internet out here in the desert, most photos and videos will not upload. We do have videos and Christmas pictures done, and will have up as soon as we can.

Christmas Eve we had a pizza party where the camp bought the pizzas, then everyone pitched in to bring dishes. Lots of food, and great people to meet. Today the camp made turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, and everyone brought dishes. For Christmas Eve Brandy made chocolate chip cookies, and Christmas day she made her banana bread that became a hit with the others.

Now for more donkey stories! Two days ago, we had the dog chained up on a 50′ lease, I brought her food and water outside, then came in to do some CAD work. It wasn’t 30 minutes later when I was hearing banging on the trailer, so I went out to see what was going on. As I swung the door of the trailer open, I ended up hitting the ass of an ass, with 4 others raiding the dog food with our guard dog hiding under the trailer. Yesterday I hit one in the head opening the door to the trailer. I guess he was just standing there looking at the door… Stupid animals! Our neighbor said he saw one the other day with the sewage hose ring on his leg, that I believe is behind our trailer now.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and stayed warm… We sure did!

Dirt, Sunshine, and lots of Donkeys

Well, we made it to Parker Dam and are loving it out here. For $370.00 a month, you can get yourself a nice site right on the Colorado River. There is nothing like being able to go swimming in the middle of December. We have been averaging the mid 80’s for the temperature out here the last few days with lows of 40’s. Getting out here can be a bit nerve racking since you will have about 230 miles of nothing but desert and no cell service, with 1 gas station averaging every 60 miles if your lucky.

Ok… there are wild donkeys everywhere out here, and they have no fear of humans. You need to have your food inside, or they will be over looking for a Cheetos or 2. Yesterday I was opening wrapping to finish up the wiring on my solar panels. We had a donkey come right up to see what I was making, then he decided he wanted to make himself a home and try to enter our trailer when Brandy opened the door to get pictures. At least Raine had the opportunity to pet the donkey. We hear them all night also. Just for your information, if you do end up out here, its a $1,000 fine for feeding the donkeys.

Last night we had a get together with some others from Washington around a campfire, and just talked about our ‘adventures’ getting here of the good and bad. Its always a good laugh looking back on it. Met some great people out here. Some are seasonal part timers, some full timers, some just started like us, and others have been on the road for over 40 years still hitting the highway. We got some good advice from many folks out here. Most of the advice is because it was us screwing up… The awning doesn’t come out with an extra bar, and using regular toilet paper may cause a clog. Seems like everyone here has some sort of donkey story. We had one guy telling us that when he first got here, he was walking around checking the place out, eating a bag of chips until he started getting bumped. He turned around and there was a donkey trying to eat his chips with a sticker on his head saying “DONT FEED ME”. Good times.

We will be here for a month, so we will have some of these posts based on other topics for people interested in getting into this life style, or are just interested in learning what we do, and how we are able to live this life at a younger age. Stay warm this winter, and have a good day.

 

I just wanted to give my respects to my grandma Sawyer that recently passed away. Unfortunately I cant make it back for the funeral. I love you grandma, and you will be missed.

Knotts Berry Farm/Pyramid Lake RV Resort

Falling behind due to travel , and L.A. road rage… Over all though had a blast at the Knott’s Berry Farm park in Southern California. We showed up right when they opened to have a chance to beat the crowds before it got to late in the day. We ended up having a high of 85 degrees that day which is very rare in December when your coming from the pacific northwest. We ended up staying the whole day until about 8pm so that the kids had a chance to watch the Snoopy Christmas Show. If your a thrill ride seeker, a must see ride is the Supreme Scream. Dropping at 50mph at 252ft in under 3 seconds is a must try ride if you ever get a chance to visit. By far my favorite ride in the park. There are plenty of other thrill rides available also that are well worth the trip also.

If you have ever traveled I-5 to Southern California by car, then you should already know about the “grape vine” Seems to be the hill that never ends when your hauling a load. On top of the “grape vine” is an RV resort right before pyramid lake that wasn’t the best since your away from any stores, and a cup of noodles will cost you $1.00 per cup, but they do have full hook up, and hot showers. A bit pricy but good for an over night stay since it is only 50 miles North of L.A.

After 2 nights here at the Pyramid Lake RV Resort, we are ready to head out to Parker Dam Ca. to finally settle in for a month. Merry Christmas everyone, and have a happy new years.

Jelly Belly Factory Tour – Fairfield, Ca

All of us woke up this morning from the Flag Stop RV Resort in Lodi, California with a sweet tooth, so we decided to take a little road trip out to Fairfield, California to visit the Jelly Belly candy factory to see how the jelly beans are made and to see the different flavors that you never here about.
The factory was very large with multiple gift shops, free Jelly Belly samples, free chocolate samples, and they even had a full cafeteria. The tour was amazing and very informative of the process on how the jelly beans are made. I have never seen so many Jelly Bellies in my life. They produce about 120 bags every 5min. or so.
Now for the new flavors we had. Well, of course my first sample was a beer Jelly Belly. Yes, it did taste like beer, but they made it to where non beer drinkers could enjoy it also. Wasn’t my favorite but it was ok. We head over to another free sample area and out of over 100 different Jelly Belly samples, I end up choosing Tabasco sauce, canned dog food, and skunk spray… I should of had something to drink first with me because there wasn’t a water fountain in site after that. Another new package that we saw that are being made now are Crispy Kreme donut Jelly Bellies.
We spent a good few hours there, bought a bag is Jelly Bellies, ate some free samples of Jelly Bellies, and chocolate then decided to keep moving until we ended up arriving in San Francisco. We went over the golden gate bridge to check out the Golden Gate park but had problems finding the main park so we headed back over the bridge and stopped off at the view point to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Luckily is was a clear day out so we had no problems getting pictures of Alcatraz. One thing I learned about San Francisco is that I am so glad that I wasn’t hauling my 35′ fifth wheel there, and that San Francisco isn’t dully happy there with the skinny highways. Over all, we had a great time today, stayed busy all day, got to see new things, and I can drive a dually there, even if I have white knuckles gripping the steering wheel.
We will have 2 separate videos on our trips today but only one will be up today, and hopefully I will have another short one done tomorrow.
No matter how scary it may seem, it will never be as bad as it seems. Life is to short to live a life your not happy with. Live how you want, and not how people think you should live.

Corning, California

After leaving Redding California we continued driving South for about 30 min. until we arrived in Corning, California (about 100 miles North of Sacramento). We ended up staying at the Rolling Hills Casino RV park for 2 days since the price was right, and Brandy was ready for a little break from the constant driving. The price for staying at the RV park is $35.00 per night with full hook ups, showers, internet, dog boarding, access to the motel, and lodge swimming pools, and for the younger ones, there is an arcade in the casino with most of the games $0.25 per game play.

If your not familiar with the town of Corning, this town is the biggest producer in the United States for olives, and boy do they have a lot of them. If you are passing by, take a trip to the Olive Pit. This place has 120 different types of olives, some amazing jams, and spreads. Yes, there are free samples on all of there olives also. Once we left, we decided to just keep driving and ended up in the country to a big olive with a toothpick in it. Wasn’t what we were expecting to see out in the middle on nowhere, but these are the things usually found in weird locations. We then turned around until we came across a sign pointing to a state park on the Sacramento River that we decided to check out and found it to be quite interesting. We came back to the RV park, ate lunch, and went swimming. This has been a great adventure to see this town and all of us have learned so much about it… mainly olives. We will be pushing to get to Placerville, Ca. tomorrow to see an old friend of the family. Stay with us as we travel on.

http://www.olivepit.com

 

Those Damn Lights!!!

After our wonderful stay at the Seven Feathers resort, we decided to push some miles that day over the Siskiyou mountains to avoid ice and or snow in the early a.m. to land at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California (the biggest olive producer in the U.S.A.). Things were going great, we were making good time, and knew that we would beat the dark by about an hour. Coming into Redding California and BANG!! Lost power steering, and brakes, so I pulled off the next exit to see what happened this time. We ended up blowing the fan belt due to a freeze up. You thought driving one of those smart cars with a blown belt was bad? Try a 1 ton dually with a 35′ 5th wheel with no brakes or power steering. It will sure have you with white knuckles gripping that steering wheel. Since we had no auto parts near by, we ended up calling Good Sam’s Road Side Assistance to have a mobile mechanic fix the issue. Once the issue was fixed, I asked him if he could check to see what his thoughts on the tail lights to the trailer was and then the fun started.

The mechanic changed the fuse and bam, all of the lights were working again. Boy were we happy, but should have known that this wouldn’t last long. Not even a city block away heading out on our way to the casino in the dark the tail lights went out again. We ended up pulling over to find a spot near by since we couldn’t drive without tail lights and ended up finding an RV park 3 miles away right on the Sacramento River. Great! We will use our trusting GPS to show us the way. We plugged in the address and followed the directions. The GPS took us to a mobile home park and called our final destination where 2 cops were at a house taking a call… Are you kidding me!!!! The cops were on the right hand side I turned left, lightly touched the brakes to show there was tail lights on the trailer. After that happened we decided to not only use google maps for directions, but also named the GPS Bob.

We finally found the park and were just relieved to have found it. The park was 42.00 a night, was on the Sacramento River, had tennis courts, and disk golf, with cold water showers. Wasn’t the best, but could have been a lot worst. Brandy always liked the white picket fences, so she got one. We did get 46 TV stations on our antennas for free which was nice, and to have that warmer weather was nice also. Our next blog will be based at the Rolling Hills Casino (where we are right now for a couple days)