Well yesterday, it rained off and on all day. Linda stayed inside working on bracelets while I sat outside under the awning compiling and refining the epic known as "Recap - One Year On The Road." :)
We have received some great responses on "Recap", yet there were still a few questions that have come in recently about our first year that were not answered. So, we are going to throw those in today.
What happened to our desire to do volunteer work in each community we visited?
Many of you may recall that we wanted to do at least one day of volunteer work or community service anytime we stayed in one location for a week or longer. Apparently that goal was a little too structured for us.
We started out with a bang and then Hurricane Katrina hit and we got heavily involved in assisting evacuees in Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama. After that, we have continued to do a little here and there, but definitely not a day a week. The volunteer work we have done has been overwhelmingly rewarding, but trying to find single day opportunities was a little tough.
Our diligence in seeking out opportunities has been replaced with our diligence to keep our websites updated and assist the growing numbers of those considering full-time RVing. And the rewards keep coming. :)
Whoa! Hold on! This Journal entry has been interrupted. The hummingbirds are swarming the feeder while it's in Linda's hand! Gotta get some pics.
I told you the hummers have been wild! What a thrill! Apparently our window feeders also work as handheld feeders. :)
Now if that doesn't make you want one, I don't know what will. So go to Ho Hummers and get yours now. We just got in a new shipment so we are stocked up - and back in the hole. :)
Okay, back to our regular programming and more questions.
What happened to our interest in Geocaching?
Geocaching is a terrific activity for us, and just like anything else we do, we started off with complete gusto. We still really enjoy doing it, but we tend to include it in our activities when that slightest hint of boredom creeps in. I'm bored ... hey, let's see if there are any geocaches around that will take us to a beautiful place we would not otherwise see.
It takes some digging into the descriptions of the "hides" on Geocaching.com, but we have been fortunate enough to find some great spots. However, with our three unexpected months in Louisville, we didn't have time to be bored or think about Geocaching. We will get back to it soon. :)
Aren't you spending an awful lot of money on non-resident fishing licenses for little actual fishing time?
It depends on the state. Tennessee is ridiculous. Florida requires separate freshwater and saltwater licenses if you want to do both, but the annual fee is reasonable if you are going to be there a few months. Alabama was not bad and Georgia was $7 for seven days.
So, I don't just get a license as soon as I get to each state - it takes some contemplation. I will say that I have been fishing less because that license thing is always on my mind. The good news is that several states now give us the ability to purchase licenses online and print them out at home.
Passport America has a petition going for a national fishing license for seniors, but that doesn't help us. :)
Are your bikes worth having since you don't seem to be using them that much?
They are a pain to get in and out of the basement, so we do really need to come up with some type of bike rack solution. But, we would not do without our bikes.
Even if we can't find a bike path nearby, they are handy to have for just riding around campgrounds. We like to park away from bathhouses, so the bikes are often really handy for making those trips when we don't have hook-ups.
Many states have great shoulders on their roads for bikes and we won't do much road biking without bike lanes or good shoulders. So one of the reasons we have not been riding much is because Kentucky has no bike lanes or shoulders and we just haven't had much of a chance to get out over the past few months.
For us, bikes are close to a necessity. I'm still undecided on our choice of bikes - at least for me. I might have been better off with a mountain bike rather than a cruiser. But, assuming the cruiser is ultimately the right choice, we made a good choice on the model.
What did you get rid of to make room for your new boat?
This question was to find out what stuff we brought on the road and later determined was dispensable.
We had a large plastic bin filled with camping supplies. We still think there will be a time when we will want to take our tent out into the wilderness, so we kept the bin. But we figured that we have everything we would need in the rig, so the stuff in the bin was duplication and, therefore, the space was more important than the bin full of stuff.
We also left behind our former air compressor, a wheeled briefcase full of papers I had from our full-timing research, and an old camera and bag.
What are you still carrying that you haven't used yet?
We still haven't used our small dome tent and our mesh tent that we put up over picnic tables when we tent camp. But we haven't yet given up on the fantasy that we will use these later.
We are still carrying a folding picnic table and bench set that we haven't used since we have been on the road. Again, we think we will have a need as we find campgrounds without picnic tables or do a little boondocking out west.
The only other sorta large thing we are carrying that we haven't used is our dive bag with our fins, snorkels, masks, dive logs, etc. That may be the next thing to go as I'm pretty sure we won't be using that stuff much. :) We can just rent on those few times the opportunity will arise to snorkel or scuba.
Other than that, there is nothing that we have any attachment to. We do periodic purges, so we have gotten rid of clothes, games, and other stuff we weren't using. We still have some colder weather clothes and coats that we are keeping as we are pretty sure we will need them some day.
So, because we haven't explored the west and other climates, we don't feel we should be too hasty in getting rid of everything we haven't used in the first year.
Thanks to Grant for that set of questions. :)
What have you done for stabilization of the rig while you are parked to prevent shaking or bouncing?
This was a bit of an annoying problem, but not a huge deal. Still, we thought we would see if a kingpin stabilizer would help. Some people think they do and others think they don't help enough to justify the weight, storage space, and the hassle.
We got a Tripod Kingpin Stabilizer at Camping World and tried it out. It is definitely a challenge to work with. It is not light and, if your are not extremely careful, you can get some severe pinching of fingers and hands and even some bruised shins.
However, Linda says there is a very noticeable difference when we do not use it. So, we have space in the back of the truck and we are keeping it for now.
If you get one, be sure that it has as much "up and down" range as possible. Sometimes you have to put the front a fifth wheel way up or way down to be level front-to-back. I would NOT carry one that I couldn't use 95% of the time. Also, Camping World has a new lighter, aluminum version, but I have no idea if it can handle the kingpin weight of the steel versions if the rig settles.
Now, our stabilization has been enhanced further by our recent purchase of these Deluxe Wheel Locking Chocks from Camping World. We recommend these highly for safety and stability. In fact, doing it over, we would buy these first and then consider the kingpin stabilizer later.
As for slideout stabilizers, we have no experience with them. And with our current combination, we don't feel they are necessary.
Thanks to Woody for that one. :)
One more. This next question came from Rudee when she came to visit us last Saturday. It is one of the few times we were both speechless. :)
If you had to give up full-timing, which of you would be more disappointed?
Wow!! Linda and I just looked at each other. We tried to answer the question, but couldn't - I guess that is a good thing. Let's just say both of us would be devastated if our new lives suddenly had to change.
Okay, moving on. Yes, we must be crazy. Because yesterday and last night, I established the RV-Dreams Community Forum.
Yep, something else for us to keep track of. :) You see, I was just not satisfied with responding to comments in the Journal and I felt like the emailed questions were questions most others really wanted answered.
So, we started our own little forum for four reasons:
- So many people want to hear from Linda, but she is just not comfortable sitting down and writing out of the blue. She wants to be given questions and topics to work from, then she will be glad to share. So we created a forum called "Around The Campfire With Linda". Here's your chance!
- We felt the need to have more topics and questions and answers viewable by the public. The forum provides an easy searching mechanism and it also gives us an easy method for polling our readers.
- We wanted to build upon the knowledge and experience of those full-timers and other RVers that have been doing it a lot longer than we have. Now there is a place where we can take advantage of a wider knowledge base and we can learn with everyone else.
- We have not hidden the fact that we believe our website and Journal readers make up the best community of great people in cyberspace. We wanted to create a place where all of you could interact and experience just a bit of what we already know about the RV-Dreams family.
So with that, who is going to be the first to open a topic? If you are familiar with forums, this one is pretty simple. As topics are introduced, I will create new subforums to go along with the ones that exist so far. Or, if you want a new subforum, just email us.
We want to keep out the spammers, bullies, and have some accountability, so we do require you to register to post entries. No anonymous posts will be accepted, but anyone can view the forum topics and threads.
When you register, you can establish your profile. You will then get a confirmation email just to be sure you were the person that signed up. Just follow the link to confirm and then you can start posting.
We hope that this new feature will further enhance your RV-Dreams experience. There is a link on the sidebar at the top and a new page on RV-Dreams.com where you can preview recent topics: RV-Dreams Forum page.
Well, that's enough work for me for. We have to move tomorrow and get our shower fixed. Fortunately, the dealer is letting us stay on their lot and they have 50 amp electric. Until then. :)