The RV Road Trip Blog - May 2010

May
1
2010
This is it! This is the month we start full-timing.. albeit the last day of this month. :) Today we're having a fellowship breakfast at our home church but after that we will work on moving things from the house into the camper. We already know what it will be because we had to create an inventory of all our personal effects for the full-timer's insurance. It's amazing the things you can fit in such a small place and how much it is actually worth should you have to replace it.
May
4
2010
Grand Finale Yard Sale This week has been pretty hectic as we prepare for the grand finale yard sale. The weather looks good for the weekend, the ads have been placed in the local papers and tomorrow we will go put out the road side signs. We don't have an abundance of stuff but what we do have is good stuff. And you know how people like stuff!

The house is down to the bare minimum of life's necessities. We're even selling all the silverware, dishes, glasses, pots & pans, etc. We bought all new things for the camper so we could start out fresh. After the yard sale all we will have left is what we will take with us. The camper is about 75% loaded and all that is left to load is the clothes we plan to wear between now and May 31st and food. We'll start loading the non-perishable food next week and then we'll hook up and head to the scales. I hope we're not in for too big of a surprise there - LOL. The camper has a 3,629 pound cargo carrying capacity and a GTWR of 7,346 pounds. The truck has a max trailer weight of 8,200 pounds so we'll be good to go no matter what. We'll post the actual weights when we get them.
May
8
2010
That's it, we're done. We will never, ever, ever have another yard sale! We have to admit we did well and sold everything we had of any value. All that was left were antiques no one wanted to spend the money on and junk we couldn't even give away. But it is all gone, all done and the yard is back to normal. These 2 pictures show most of what we had for sale including items that were donated to us like the car seats (we really don't have 11 small kids). But now we have 22 more days to listen to this echo in the house. :)
Yard Sale

Yard Sale

This coming week comes the task of loading the camper up and taking it to get weighed. All we have to put in it is the mattress (remember it is on the floor in the house for us to sleep on), put in about 5 days worth of food and a few remaining small things. We want it loaded so we can get an accurate weight of the truck, the camper and the tongue weight so we'll know if we need to adjust or shift anything.

This week we paid for 3 years worth of Good Sam's and Passport America. We also paid for our first year of Coach-Net and switched over to full-timers RV insurance. We also put our yard sale proceeds in the bank to add to our emergency fund (that we hope we'll never need). See how much fun it is finalizing all the little details as the date of departure draws closer? :)
May
13
2010
We got the camper weighed and we are well within our limits. The truck and camper together can weigh as much as 14,000 lbs and we rolled off the scale at 11,702 lbs. The truck by itself can weigh as much as 8,600 lbs and it left the scale at 6,824 lbs. The camper by itself can weigh as much as 7,346 lbs and it was only 4,878 lbs. These weights are with all of our belongings loaded in the truck and camper... full fuel tanks, our scooters in the bed of the truck, about 20 gallons of fresh water in our holding tank, etc. For more info on weights and weighing, check out this page.

Only 18 more days from today before we go, time is flying by. We've done all that we can do except for little things that we have been putting off. We scouted out the first area we will visit, Dahlonega, Georgia. We'll spend a few days there as this is a prime area for gold panning and we enjoy doing that. We'll be arriving at the end of the Memorial Day weekend, just as everyone else is leaving so we won't need to make reservations. We already know to be in place at least a week before any major holiday so we won't be traveling or looking for a place to stay during peak camping weekends.

We're considering a mobile broadband card so we can keep in touch with everyone and keep the site updated more often. The best price we found so far was at the 3G Store where we can get a Verizon MiFi card with 5GB of data for $49.95 per month without a contract. I think we'll see how hard it is to find hotspots before deciding but we'd like to know what to get if and when the time comes for needing it.
May
14
2010
Since it will be peak camping season along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) when we head out, we felt it might be a good idea to make reservations at a few places that are popular on the weekends. This year is the 75th Anniversary of the Parkway so we figure there will be more people than usual. Our first stop will be Etowah River Campground in Dahlonega, Georgia. This is a full hookup site. We'll spend 2 nights there then head on to Cherokee, North Carolina where the BRP begins (or ends, depending on which direction you are headed). We will spend 4 nights here at the Smokemont Campground which will be boondocking. They do have a water supply and dump station and with our solar we can provide our own electricity. We'll move from Smokemont to Mount Pisgah Campground where we will remain for 7 nights. This is also dry camping but this is in a more populated area so there will be lots to go see on the scooters. We'll venture along the BRP and Skyline Drive for the next 17 days spending the night wherever we happen to be. On July 1st we'll roll into Loft Mountain Campground and there we'll ride out the 4th of July holiday. We'll depart there on July 8th. After that, we'll just wander north up Skyline Drive en-route to Amish country in Pennsylvania.

We're have no idea where we will be able to find Wi-Fi hotspots so we may not get to update the site until we get to some sort of civilization. For this reason, the "Where are we?" page may be a little behind. We'll get pictures and notes up as soon as we can as well. We are so excited!
May
17
2010
We got to thinking... with all these nights at campgrounds without shore power, we wondered if 1 pair of 6v golf cart batteries would be enough. We decided not to risk it. So, off to Sam's again for another pair of GC2 6v batteries. We dropped them in the battery box, wired them up and we now have 440 Amp Hours instead of 220. We had to change a setting on the solar charger to let it know how many Amp Hours we have now so it can accurately tell us how much usable power we have left. For info on 6v and 12v batteries, how to correctly wire them together and how to properly charge them, visit this page.13 More Days

13 more days until we hit the road. We're bouncing around like kids during the last week of school. We already know that neither of us will get much sleep the night before we leave. We'll be way too excited - LOL.

Thanks again to those who shop via our Amazon Store and those who clíck the ads that interest them in the right hand column. Those simple actions benefit you and it helps us pay for the site!
May
21
2010
Last night was Awards Night for seniors graduating from Jemison High School. Our son Robby flat out raked it in! He walked away with Valedictorian, a Mu Alpha Theta cord, an English Honor Society cord, a Beta Club tassel, a Key Club medal, a Student Government cord, a Scholars Bowl cord, a Yearbook cord, an Honors stole and a Scholastic Excellence Award from the US Marine Corp! He also won Teacher's Pet, Most Likely To Succeed, Mr. Jemison alternate, PLUS an Engineering Leadership Scholarship and a Presidential Scholarship from the University of Alabama valued at $93,000! That's my boy!
May
26
2010
We're almost there, 4 more days. We're doing all the last minute things we can think of, no doubt we'll forget something - LOL. We went ahead and had the coolant system flushed in the truck, we replaced the power steering fluid and brake fluid as well. We had a fresh oil change done using Valvoline Max Life synthetic blend oil. We also greased up the trailer axles before stowing the grease gun in the abyss that is under the bed. We washed the camper from top to bottom and will wash the truck on the 29th. We applied a nice coat of wax to the travel trailer, doing a little extra on the front. We don't want bugs to stick any more than necessary.

As far as we can tell, everything else has already been done. You can only do so much preventative maintenance... but hey, we'd rather be safe than sorry. We do have Coach-Net but we'd rather never have to use them! Everything is packed into the camper except the clothes we are wearing and the food we'll eat between now and Sunday. The things we use in the bathroom are in a basket in the house, ready to be carried to the camper at the last minute. We've even started using 1-ply toilet paper already... that's a BIG change.

We'll load the final things into the camper Sunday after the morning church service. We'll then take the camper up to the church parking lot and there we'll spend our last night. The church is having a farewell party for us Sunday night at 6:30 and they all want to see the camper. The church will let us plug in for the night and they have Wi-Fi so we can do one last update before hitting the road.
May
31
2010
And so the journey begins! (To be honest, this was uploaded about 9:45pm on the 30th but we figured we better make good use of the Wi-Fi in the church parking lot.) We're on the road today towards Dahlonega, Georgia and we're hoping the weather doesn't keep us inside the whole time. We'd really like to get in a little sight-seeing and gold panning once we are there.

We probably weigh 300 pounds more than we did the other day when we weighed as we brought along some things we thought we weren't going to keep. We can always ditch them later if we feel the need but we can't get them back if we got rid of them beforehand. As soon as we can, we'll get some pictures uploaded and update the site. We will be relying on hotspots so bear with us on the updates.


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