The RV Road Trip Fulltimer's Blog for July 2011

JUL
1
2011
This marks the beginning of the 4th of July weekend! Where will you be camping? I know that a lot of weekend campers really love the major holidays but full-timers tend to lay low during them. We don't mind the busy holiday weekends at all, it adds a little spice to the camping season. We don't mind the kids and families, we just don't like loud drunks and open frame generators. One good thing about being full-timers is that we can be in the campground long before other people start showing up. This allows us to avoid the rush coming in and going out. Most people have to be back to work on the 5th so there is a mad dash on the 4th to leave. We can wait as long as we want and not have to get caught up in that. This year is different for us since we are in one spot for so long.

July and August are typically the hottest months no matter where you are. We're as ready as we can be for the RGV heat. It can't be any worse than Alabama this time of year, at least down here there is a non-stop breeze to help you feel cooler. Next summer we fully intend to be at a high enough altitude so that we do not see 90+° temperatures. That's the plan anyway.

And... Cynthia's PET scan came back 100% negative. The 2 spots we were so concerned about are definately not cancer! Praise the Lord for answered prayers!
JUL
4
2011
Happy 4th of July everyone! Hopefully, you are all camping somewhere, having a great time with friends and/or family. This 4th it is just me and ol' CJ. Cynthia flew home to Alabama to see her son before he deploys overseas again. She'll fly back to South Texas this coming Saturday so I am stuck a whole week without her. I don't like her not being here with me.

We were rearranging the cab-over bed and had rolled up the 2.5" memory foam pad and laid it on the floor for a minute. It turns out CJ likes a memory foam mattress as much as we do. We may have to look into finding a small one for his cage.

CJ resting on the memory foam pad.

JUL
5
2011
There's a momma mockingbird who has a nest in a nearby tree. The eggs finally hatched and there are 2 squeaky babies in there. Unfortunately, momma now sees CJ as a threat to her nest. Whenever CJ is outside, she torments him by squawking at him and swooping down on him every chance she gets. I made a video of it from inside the motorhome and the short version is shown below. It is about 45 seconds long. The background noise you hear is the A/C running. It is July in South Texas, you know. :)


JUL
7
2011
Cynthia can't get home soon enough. It is only Thursday and her plane doesn't land until 3:30pm Saturday! To help pass the time I've been working on little projects around the camper, doing things that I have been putting off for one reason or another. One of the projects is something Cynthia has been wanting but I can't say what it is yet. She reads the blog and if I post it, it will ruin the surprise.

I've been surveying where to mount the rear view camera I bought. I am nervous about drilling a 3/4" hole in the back of the camper for the cord to go through. I have to make sure there is no stud in the wall there, no wires in the way and that once I am through the wall, I can get the cord routed to the underside of the motorhome without it being visible anywhere. It looks like the cord will come in somewhere in the kitchen cabinet above the sink. I've measured and re-measured and it looks good but I want to make sure I haven't overlooked something.

I ran the generator for 2 hours this morning with the A/C as the only load. Onan recommends a run like that every month to keep things lubricated and to get rid of any moisture inside the unit. When I last filled up the gas tank, I added Sta-Bil Ethanol treatment to counter the ill effects of the ethanol they put in the gas. Hopefully, some of that got sucked into the generator to protect it as well. I also cranked up the engine and let it idle for 15 minutes for the same reasons.
JUL
11
2011
Cynthia is back and settled in again. Her plane landed... an hour late... and some friends and I were there to pick her up. When she came out from the passenger only area, I ran (as if I could actually run) towards her with open arms. At the last second, I turned and hugged the lady next to her and said "I missed you so much!". The lady laughed and hugged me back, and Cynthia promptly stated "You're crazy." I reckon I am.

About Cynthia's surprise, I added a new wall outlet in the kitchen for her. The only one in there was mounted under the cabinets and none of the cords would reach it. You can see the new outlet on the left side of the following picture.

The kitchen.


I bought a few 2x4s and a sheet of OSB to put some shelves in the nose of the enclosed trailer. Everything is just sitting on the floor now and when spread out like that, it takes up too much space. The floor needs to be clear for the scooters, the wheelchair and the ramp. I'll work on building the shelves in the mornings when it is still cool. By about 9am it is far too hot inside that trailer to work in there. I'll be sure to post pictures when I am done.

I got the backup camera installed and it is great. The hardest part was threading the cable underneath the camper. There's not very much room to crawl around under there. I mounted the monitor to the windshield in the center where, for some odd reason, a rear view mirror is mounted. You can buy this same camera at Amazon if you are in the market for one. Here's a shot of the new camera on the back of the motorhome.

Backup Camera

JUL
14
2011
I (Jerry) had an appointment today at the VA clinic in Harlingen. The appointment was for 10:00am and I arrived at 9:30am, presented my VA card and my appointment letter. They had no idea I was supposed to be there! Luckily, they got me in to see the orthopedic doctor about 2 hours later. That's the good news.

Turns out I have a damaged nerve in my left knee. They are going to approach it in stages, starting off with protecting the nerve via a padded brace all the way up to surgery to sever the nerve if nothing else works. My luck, they'll saw my leg off. :/ The doctor noticed my gait and did a few tests, determining that I need to be wearing an exoskeleton type brace on my left leg. Gee, I'll really beep at the airport now! He set up another appointment to get that looked in to and explained that if I use the brace when walking AND use my power wheelchair instead of walking every chance I get, I might have 10 more years of being able to walk left. So if any of you out there had any hopes of taking a leisurely stroll with me, you've got 10 years or less to get it done. :p

After I left the VA, I rode over to the Iwo Jima Memorial since it was just down the street from the VA. It wasn't much other than the giant statue, but that was quite cool. Here's a shot of it...

Harlingen Iwo Jima Memorial

I took the scenic route back home, following Military Highway that runs parallel with the Mexico border. There are quite a few Historical Markers along that road and I stopped at a few of them. I uploaded all the Pictures I took today in the gallery under "The Rio Grande Valley". Here's a link to save you some clicks.

I wore a helmet for today's ride due to the distance I was going. If I don't wear a helmet, I get that wind blown hair look. This shot is from the other day. We were out riding and decided to stop by Cruisin' Burger for dinner. Here I am... LOL.

Wind Blown Hair

JUL
16
2011
We added a little flag counter in the right hand column today. Normally, only we can see where all the visitors to our site are from but this little addition will let others know as well. While the stats on the new counter will only show numbers from today forward, we figured we might as well share a few statistics from our own logs. As of this posting, here are our stats:
  • The site was launched on October 7, 2008.
  • We turned on Google Analytics on July 9, 2009.
  • Since then we have had 419,706 views from 142,299 unique visitors.
  • That's an average of 569 views per day!!
  • We have been visited by people from 131 countries.
  • The US ranks 1st, Burkina Faso is last.
  • People view an average of 2.95 pages per visit.
  • Visitors spend and average of 3 mins 40 seconds per visit.
  • 50% of our visitors are new, 50% are returning friends.
  • 48.26% of our traffic is from referring sites.
  • 28.62% of our traffic is from folks typing it in their browser.
  • 23.13% of our traffic is from search engine results.
  • Our most visited page is the home page.
  • Our 2nd most popular page is the blog page.
  • Our 3rd most popular page is the mods page.

We are so thankful that so many people enjoy our site. We really enjoy posting all the info and sharing our full-time life with you. So tell your friends and feel free to link to us. For you techies, the QR code on the home page will send smartphone users straight to our site. :)
JUL
18
2011
Walk the Walk with Leslie Sansone.Ok ladies, if you are trying to lose a few pounds or just want to start your day off with a great in home walk, you should try Walk the Walk by Leslie Sansone. I have 2 of her DVD's and they are great. The DVD that I use most often has 2 complete workouts on it, a 1 mile & a 2 mile.

What I like about it is that you don't have to know a lot of dance steps or be able to keep up, you can do it at your own pace. Besides walking, there are a couple other simple things you will need to do like side steps, kicks & knee lifts. It is so easy and only takes 15 or 30 minutes, depending on which workout you do.

I will let Jerry video me doing the workout and post it so you can get an idea. It really does make you feel better to know you are making some kind of effort to stay healthy. This particular DVD is done to Christian music.
JUL
22
2011
Had to make another trip to Harlingen today, this time to a medical supply store to pick up a knee brace. Won't be long and I will be looking more like a cyborg than a human. Oh well, that's how it goes I reckon.

I've pretty much got the enclosed trailer organized now. I added some shelving and some hangers on the walls for things like hoses, cables and cords. I attached brackets to hold the ladder and the blue boy against the wall and also anchor points to hold the scooter and wheelchair in place while traveling.

I rotated the trailer so I can have the wheelchair ramp land on the patio instead of out in the grass. Since I am supposed to be using the wheelchair all the time now, I figured I better make it so it was easier to get in and out of the trailer. The ramp is 10' feet long and the trailer isn't very high off the ground, so it is not a very steep ride up or down. Nevertheless, I still yell "Wheeeeeeeeee" when coming down. OK, not really.

We added more pictures to the Mission Bell folder and the Rio Grande Valley folder in the picture gallery. Head on over and take a look. When new images are added to the galleries, they are displayed at the bottom of the page by default. Here's one of a really nice mural on Route 77 in Harlingen. Notice the car is pulling a camper!

Route 77

JUL
26
2011
Here's a picture I took the other day when out riding. It is a church near Santa Maria, TX that was built in 1880. On the day of the ground breaking ceremony, they had a snow storm! Obviously, the building is no longer in use but you can see how well it has withstood the test of time. Not bad for a 131 year old building. I don't think anything built today could last anywhere near as long.

1880 Church

Church Marker

JUL
27
2011
Every evening we let CJ out to do his business before coming in for the night. He knows that around 7:00pm we usually take him for a ride on the golf cart. Starting around 6:45pm, he will start pushing us with his nose then go stare at the door. As soon as we let him outside, he makes a mad dash to the golf cart and takes up his "ready to ride" position. He gets very disappointed if we don't actually go on a ride. I swear that dog can tell time!

1880 Church

JUL
29
2011
The new MaxxFan is installed on the camper! It was a chore to get the old crappy vent off but once that was done, it was smooth sailing. The fan works very well and it will really get used when we do more boondocking. I wrote a review of the fan and you can read it here. I also added it to the mods page because that page gets tons of visits a day. I guess the next big installation project will be to put new solar panels on the roof. That'll be fun... or not. Anyway, here's the new fan from the outside and inside.

MaxxFan 5100K from the outside.

MaxxFan 5100K from the inside.

Tropical Storm Don will be rolling through this evening and tonight. All of the outside stuff is stowed in the trailer... the grill, the folding table, our lawn chairs, etc. The awning is rolled up and secured and the plants we have are under the neighbor's carport. The weather people keep changing their minds about where it will hit so we'll just prepare for a direct hit. Max wind gusts are only about 50 MPH but there will be lots of rain. All I can think about is that old REO Speedwagon video, "Riding the Storm Out". LOL


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