For Sale

In just over a month, we would have been living in our Big Horn for three years. They’ve really gone fast! We’re very glad we chose to full-time. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed living in the fifth wheel.

But…when we moved in, we thought we would travel more than we have. We planned to workamp in a place for three or four months, working around twelve hours a week each and then move on to the next place. But things haven’t worked out the way we thought they would. We’ve struggled to find workamping jobs that were what we wanted. And we also found that we love being in Florida. We don’t mind the summer heat and we love the warm winters. In the last year, we’ve only been in two locations, both here in Florida. And we’re near family here. In fact, I think we’ve seen more of my family in the last year and a half than we had in the previous decade.

And, so, we’ve decided it is time to give up the house on wheels. We love living in Florida and probably would never have moved here if we hadn’t come here in the fifth wheel. We’ve found a mobile home in a gated 55+ park that we like and we’ll be buying that, hopefully by the end of the month. And we have the Big Horn and the Ram truck up for sale.

So now I’ll put on my salesman hat.

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This combination is perfect for anyone who wants to full-time. It is a 2011 Big Horn 3670 RL. This floorplan has been discontinued and is a great floorplan! Even though it is considered a 2011, it was built after Heartland made the changes that they would use in the 2012’s. If you’ve read our blog, you may remember that it has automatic leveling and that we’ve put the MorRyde Independent Suspension and disc brakes on it. We’re asking $28,300, but that’s negotiable if someone wants to buy it quickly. But not before September 1, as we need to stay in it until we can get into our new home.

The 2012 Ram 3500 ST diesel dually has the max tow package and less than 6500 miles on it. It has a GCVWR of 28,500, spray in bedliner, bed cover and the B & W Companion Hitch with a Blue Ox Bedsaver. The price for the truck is $42,000 and that price is firm. We can sell them separately, but won’t sell the truck until the fifth wheel is sold.

If you are interested, we have it listed both on RV Trader and on Orlando Craigslist. There are more pictures on the craigslist ad because we decided not to pay extra for more pictures on RV Trader, but here are the links to both:
http://orlando.craigslist.org/rvs/5224377682.html
http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2011-Heartland-Bighorn-3670-RL-115622272

So it’s time to move on to a new season in our lives. We’ve enjoyed the last three years so much! We’ve met some wonderful people who I hope to stay in touch with in the coming years. We’ll never forget them. Thanks for reading and  Happy Trails!

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Water Damage!

Once again we are spending the summer in Florida! This time we’re in Avon Park at Adelaide Shores RV Resort. This place is the nicest park in this part of Florida for the money. It is less expensive than many parks that aren’t as nice. If you are here during the season – November to April – and stay for the summer, the summer rate is truly unbelievable. But even the season rate is very nice.
This spring, Kev became aware that a corner of the floor in one of the slide-outs had become rotten. He’d kept an eye on the caulking, and thought that it was still good. Nevertheless, there was rot. So, he cut out the offending piece and fixed it. And he caulked. We thought everything was fine.
Then we kept smelling a musty smell in the bedroom. We thought it was our air conditioner. Kev did everything he could think of to address the issue, pulling apart the air conditioner without finding anything to explain the smell. Then, one day we had the mattress pulled out to make the bed and the smell was stronger than ever. The next thing I knew, he had the bed pulled apart and sure enough, there was rot in the floor board to the bedroom slide-out. At first he thought it was only a small area, but as he explored he realized that it was also all down the edge of the board.

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We checked into having it fixed, and finding it was pretty expensive he decided to tackle it himself. It was a big job.
He basically put the slide-out on stilts.

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He took careful measurements and cut a new board an inch thick.

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Then it was time to spread the glue to adhere the outer material. He actually ended up doing this twice because the glue he got at first didn’t work and he had to get something else.

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With a little help from me, he got the new board put in place.

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He also put new putty tape under the edging, and, of course, caulked everything he could find to caulk!

This makes it seem like a fast job, but it wasn’t. It took a few days just purchasing the materials and supplies and getting them ready.

So then he checked all the floors of all the slide-outs. Sure enough there were two other places that were a bit soft. He decided to fix them, too.

One was under the refrigerator.

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The other was under the sofa.

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All done! And all caulked. He became convinced that one of the problems was water getting in around the screws, as some of them were rusted. So, he replaced some more putty tape and may have caulked some screws with clear caulking.

Hey, folks, even if you think the caulking is still good, it might be a good idea to do it anyway!
Good travels everyone!!

Leaving Okeechobee

Yes, we’ve left Okeechobee. We worked for an hour on Friday to finish out our commitment there, and pulled out about 12:30.

Workamping is really a learning experience. Our experience in Okeechobee was mostly positive. The summer was great. We found that we really didn’t mind the heat. We thoroughly enjoyed the pool. And even work wasn’t too bad. The hours were a bit much. It is surprising how different it feels to work 15 hours a week rather than 12. Most places require about 24 hours of work, 12 each for a couple, to pay for site and electricity and sometimes some other perks. The Okeechobee job required 30 (15 each). However, this fall things started changing there, and we finally decided that we didn’t want to be there anymore.
Here are some of the things we learned. We don’t really like working quite so long for our site, especially at demanding jobs like housekeeping. So, in the future, we probably won’t consider jobs that require more than 24 hours for a site. And we don’t want to work more than 3 days a week. If the park belongs to a corporation, we’re going to want a contract directly with the corporation, rather than with the park manager. When looking at a job, the attitudes and character of the manager matters a lot.  A manager can make things more pleasant or more difficult in subtle ways that are hard to describe, but easy to feel.  There’s not much you can do about it if the park changes managers at some point, but at least going in you want a good manager. And lastly, we’re retired, so if we’re not enjoying being somewhere anymore, it’s time to leave. We just don’t have any need anymore to grit our teeth and hang on. There are always other options.
For us, the other option this time was to rent for the rest of the winter. We had visited our friends Jim and Dee, Tumbleweed,  in Adelaide Shores RV Resort in Avon Park, FL, last winter, and liked the looks of the park. It’s about an hour north of Okeechobee and less than an hour from my parents. And it is pretty reasonable in price. So, on Friday, we moved here! So far, we are finding the park extremely friendly and we’re very happy to be here!

Summer In Florida – We Must Be Crazy!

When we left Crystal River, we didn’t head north. We went south! Yes, we are spending the summer in Florida this year! And yes, we must be crazy!

We did look for a workamping job farther north, but didn’t find anything that felt right to us. Somehow, with every opportunity, there was some reason it didn’t work for us. We even made a road trip up to Atlanta, GA, to check on a couple possibilities in that area, but found that we didn’t want to be at either one.

Then Kev found this opportunity in Okeechobee, FL. We knew we wanted to be farther south next winter, but in the summer? But the management at Silver Palms wanted someone during the summer to learn their routines and help them out and then stay for the winter. Since we were in Florida already, we made a trip to see them and interview with them. They liked meeting us in person, and we loved seeing the place in person. Pictures really only tell you so much. We liked the pictures of one of the places we went to in Georgia, but in person we didn’t like it at all! Silver Palms RV Resort is absolutely beautiful!

This is a five star resort. I’m not sure how much it costs to stay here as we aren’t paying for it, but I doubt that we would feel we could afford it for the season if we weren’t workamping for it. It truly is the nicest and most beautiful place we’ve ever been.

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The Clubhouse:

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Pool Area:

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The pool area is behind the clubhouse and across the pool from it is the Member Lounge:

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The gas fire pits are also in this area:

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The park has lovely facilities for tennis, racketball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, bocce ball, volleyball, and basketball.  There’s also a laundry room and bath house.  They’re kept beautifully clean!  Just ask me how I know!

We chose to be in the newer area where most of the time there aren’t any other campers.  Of course, during the season the neighboring sites will be occupied.  We’re on a large corner lot and have lovely, open views in every direction.ImageImageImage

 

Goodness, I could post a lot more pictures!  Everything is great!  They have all the amenities anyone could want, I’m sure!  Their website is: http://www.silverpalmsrv.com/

Work is going well. Technically, we’re both in housekeeping, and we’ve both been trained for that. But Kev is also doing some maintenance during the summer. By the time the season starts, there will be other workampers here, some of whom will have been hired as maintenance, and then Kev will be doing mostly housekeeping, too. It’s great starting in the summer, because by the time the season starts in October/November we’ll have it down pat and be completely comfortable and up to speed with all that we do.

We are liking being in Okeechobee. It seems like we always end up someplace that is a distance from shopping. Both in Ohio last summer and in Crystal River we were about 20 miles from Walmart. Here in Okeechobee, it is a mile or so up the road. Publix is just around the corner. There are restaurants, shops and churches all within a few miles. It’s nice to be close to everything for a change.

I’m sure some of you are wondering how we’re handling the heat.  Well, it is very hot, but we both tend to feel cooler than most other people, so that helps.  Also, there always seems to be a breeze here.  I’m looking out at the palm trees waving at me right now.  The heat really hasn’t bothered us.  I suppose it has something to do with the location and being fairly close to both the Atlantic and the Gulf.  We get thunderstorms almost daily.  But we also get lots of sunshine every day.

We’re loving it here!

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Winter in Florida

Since it is over, I thought a recap of the winter would be a good idea. We spent it north of Crystal River at Nature’s Coast Landing RV Resort. It was a great place to spend the winter. The sites in the park are individually owned and are rented directly from the owners. We found the cost very reasonable for what we got. The only drawback for us was the distance to shopping like Walmart and to the church we liked. The park has many activities. There are potlucks and dinner dances. There’s road golf and kayaking. And that is just a sampling of the available activities. The people staying there are a very friendly group. We can’t recommend this park too highly.

We arrived the first of November. As my parents live in Lake Alfred, FL, we were able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with them. Because of various circumstances we had never been able to spend holidays with them, and to get to spend both with them in one year was great! My sister and her husband live next to my parents and in February we attended my niece’s wedding. That was wonderful, too, as we were able to see other family members who came to the wedding that we hadn’t seen for a while. Of course, we visited my parents other times, too. One of my mom’s brothers lives nearby and it was fun seeing him and playing rummy 500 with him and Mom.

We found a church we really loved. It was a bit of a drive as it was 20 miles away in Homosassa. But we enjoyed it so much that we actually stayed a month longer than we had planned. The church is LifePoint Family Church with Pastor Doug DeRespiris. If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss the chance to visit there.

There were a couple of good flea markets in the area, and many weeks we went to one or the other of them to see what was on offer. Many of the tables at these flea markets were like good yard sales, which made them more interesting and fun than the kind where all the tables seem to be businesses.

One of my favorite things about spending the winter in Florida has to do with the weather. While there were some nights there were freezes, the weather was so much warmer than farther north. I was delighted to get through the winter without a single cold or flu, and I attribute that to the warmer temperatures.

But all good things must come to an end, and the time to leave finally came. On Sunday we said a sad goodbye to the people at the church. On Monday, we spent the day getting ready to leave. Kev works harder at that than I do. It seems like there is much more to do outside than inside, and even on the inside, he does some of the needed rearranging to be able to put the slides in. By supper time on Monday, we had the truck hitched up to the Big Horn.

On Tuesday morning, we did all the last minute things, put the slides in, and started out. By a few minutes after eight we were waving goodbye to Nature’s Coast Landing, our 2014 winter home.

North Carolina and Florida

 

From West Virginia, we went to North Carolina. There is a park just across from the Charlotte Speedway in Concord called Ver-El. The location is good for us as we have friends in Charlotte and it isn’t too long of a drive to spend a day with our sons in Graham. The park is in a convenient location, is very well kept, and we like the people there. So that’s where we go when we go to NC.

We spent an uneventful month there. We got up to visit with our sons. Kev went to a doctor’s appointment. We visited with our friends and got to see some we hadn’t seen in a long time. And we got to go to church at New Day, the Church at High Point.

There was one event that I want to mention. Some water ran down a cable into the Progressive Electrical Management System (EMS) box. We fixed the situation so that can’t happen again. But, as a result, the motherboard was damaged, so the EMS kept shutting the power off to the rig. The next morning, Kev contacted Progressive to see what we could do. Progressive is located in Morrisville, NC, so we ended up removing the motherboard and the remote display and driving them up to Progressive. It was a long drive, but saved us waiting on the mail. The technician at Progressive diagnosed the problem and programed a new motherboard for us. The display wasn’t damaged, but the back wasn’t properly attached so Progressive replaced that, too. And there was no charge for either, even though the fault wasn’t with the EMS. Once again, Progressive showed itself to be a company that truly cares about its product and its customers!! I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with a company with better customer service. They really back up their product.

We had made arrangements to stay at Nature’s Coast Landing, an RV park in Crystal River, FL, where the lots are owned by individuals. We’re renting from the owner of the lot we are on. We rented it starting November 1, and we decided to take two days to make the trip, so we left Ver-El on Thursday, October 31. When we attempted to put our slides in as we were preparing to leave, the door-side slide wouldn’t go in properly. One side of it was going in, but the other was not, skewing it. Kev got under it to see what was going on, and saw that the one side wasn’t turning. Then he found a bolt on the ground and realized what was wrong. Apparently the nut had come off, and the bolt had fallen out. It took some work, and moving the slide in and out by inches, but Kev got the bolt back on, and put a new nut on it.  It works like new! Fixing it didn’t take longer than an hour, and since we had been a little ahead of schedule we were on the road about a half hour later than we had planned. I’m so thankful to have a husband who can handle so many of these things. If we had needed to get an RV technician out there, we could have been days later leaving. Instead, we were on our way after a slight delay.

We stopped for the night at Inland Harbor RV Park in Darien, GA. This is a very good park for an overnight stay. It’s just off the highway, has many pull-through sites and gives a friendly welcome. The sites aren’t very long, so we were glad we had made reservations to get one that was long enough for our rig and truck.

On Friday we finished our trip to Crystal River. We settled into our new site where we plan to stay until the end of April. The weather has been mostly beautiful and it is so nice to be somewhere warm!

We’re located in walking distance to the Withlacoochee Bay Trail. This is a five mile paved trail to the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve ridden it twice on our bikes. It makes a great ride and I’m sure we’ll ride it many times over the winter. The first two pictures are from a spot along the trail. The other two are from a pavilion at the end of the trail.

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Goodbye, Battle Run Campground!

 

I had, of course, heard about the possibility of a government shut down, but I didn’t really believe it would happen. It’s threatened so many times, and not happened that it had become, to me, almost like the boy who cried “Wolf!” We hadn’t heard much news because we weren’t able to pick up any TV stations where we were located in Battle Run Campground. About September 27 or 28 we began to hear rumblings about it from the rangers and other camp hosts, but we still didn’t take it very seriously. So when Monday came, we were surprised to realize that it might actually happen. We had people leaving the campground hoping they could get another weekend in before the end of the season, but it wasn’t meant to be.

On Tuesday the word went around that all the campers had to be out by 8:00pm on Wednesday, and that we camp hosts had to be out the following day. There was only one ranger left working. We called Stacy the Lone Ranger. The others were all furloughed, with no guarantees that they would get back pay. The gates at the campground were closed to discourage people from coming in to camp, but not locked so that those who were still there could come and go. And of course, signs were put up. ImageImage

By Wednesday morning there were only five campsites and two camp host sites being used. We were working at getting our rig ready to go. I got out our checklists and started going through them. Kev was mostly outside. He changed the oil in the car, checked tires, rearranged and stowed stuff, etc. I helped him put the bikes on the new bike rack on the back of the rig.Image

We also talked to some of the campers who were still there. They were all people who had been there nearly the entire time we were, so we were saying goodbye and just chatting one last time. It was kind of sad. Image

By mid-afternoon, only the other camp host and us were left. Don and Pat have been great to work with and become friends with. They’ve been so good to us in so many ways. They’ve been camp hosts at this park all but one of the last ten years and were originally from the area. We loved working with them! So I felt kind of bad that we couldn’t even say goodbye to Pat. She was on a trip with friends and left Sunday and wouldn’t return until the following Sunday. But we’ll stay in touch. We meet the best people in this nomadic life we’re living!

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Late Wednesday afternoon, we said goodbye to Don and he pulled out leaving us alone in the park. He and Pat have some property in the area and he moved their RV there. The rangers, before they were all gone, had put up the off-season gate at the entrance, and Stacy locked it after Don left. We had a key, so we could come and go, but that way there wouldn’t be people driving in that we would have to deal with and turn back. We went for a walk through the park, and it was just so surreal, going through the empty park.

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We had hitched the rig up to the truck on Wednesday, and done absolutely everything we could to get ready, so Thursday morning it didn’t take us long to get ready to go.  There was a beautiful sunrise.  Image

Stacy showed up just as we were getting ready to pull out about 8:00am. It was sad saying goodbye to her, too. We gave her the keys, and she would lock the gate behind us.

Goodbye, Battle Run Campground! It was great while it lasted!