The RV Road Trip Fulltimer's Blog for August 2011

AUG
1
2011
And so, August is ushered in by another 99° day! That's pretty much how the entire month of July was! According to The Weather Channel, August is the hottest month in the Rio Grande Valley. But what they say the highs in August generally are is what they have been all dang summer! Oh well, 2 more months then the temperatures start to fall. We can't wait!

This time next year we should be somewhere around Utah or Arizona, visiting the National Parks on that side of the country, fresh off our visit to Yellowstone!! And ol' CJ will be on his first cross-country RV adventure. He loves to ride and whenever I get in the cab of the motorhome, he hops right in the passenger seat. If only he could talk...
AUG
3
2011
Early yesterday morning I was over on the Mission Bell side of the park and I heard the strangest bird. I eased over towards the sound and spotted a duck in the trees. Now in Alabama, ducks quack but this thing was whistling and screaming like he had just found out Obama was spending more borrowed money. So I went online to look it up and an aptly enough, the bird is called a Black Bellied Whistling Duck. I wonder what he tastes like? :)

Black Bellied Whistling Duck

We added more pictures to the Mission Bell gallery and as of today, there are 242 pictures in that one gallery. We also posted the expense summary for July in the RVer's Library. Be sure to read the footnotes on the expense summary page as they explain a lot of what you will find there.
AUG
5
2011
We've had about all we can stand of this nasty South Texas water. It stinks, it stains anywhere it puddles and it tastes terrible. We always keep a "blue torpedo" style filter from Walmart on the water line between the spigot and the pressure regulator and we have a PUR faucet mounted filter at the kitchen sink. We get our drinking water through the PUR filter but our showers are only filtered through the blue torpedo.

We went to Lowe's and bought a whole house filter housing for $22 and a pair of 2 micron filters for $12. We stopped by Camping World and grabbed a mount for it for $13. We mounted the bracket on the frame between the camper and the rear bumper. We installed quick disconnects on each side of the filter so we can easily hook and unhook it when a filter change is needed or we need to take it down to change campgrounds. Now the water is filtered before it ever enters the motorhome and we don't need the PUR filter anymore! Each filter lasts about 3-4 months and they are about $6 each.

Whirlpool Water Filter

AUG
6
2011
We had a little issue with our web sites yesterday, so I called GoDaddy tech support to complain. The pages weren't loading properly and many of them were quite slow. The first guy I talked to was no help at all. He read from that card that says "There is nothing wrong on our end, Obviously, you have changed something on your end." I called back and got a different guy and he was more helpful. We pinpointed the issue and I determined I wanted my sites to be hosted on a more up-to-date server so we put in the order to have them migrated. He said it would take up to 24 hours which would put a completion time of about 3:00pm today, but thankfully it was completed some time in the middle of the night last night. Now everything is running at top speed with no loading issues whatsoever.
AUG
9
2011
People without an RV don't understand workamping. Of course, they also don't understand a lot of the terminology we use. Thankfully, most of the people we encounter are RVers so we don't have to explain ourselves too many times. Just for fun, we decided to take a picture that represented our full-time RV lifestyle. And here it is...

Will Work for FHU.

For those of you that like geocaching and similar activities, the fine folks at Opencaching.us have come up with a new cache type that is easy to make and easy to hide... and fun to find! It's called a BIT cache and you can read more about it at http://www.opencaching.com. All you need to play is a GPS and most of us have one of those already. Since the cache type is new, there aren't a lot of them out there yet but that will change soon... especially if you hide some. Take a look, it might be something you would enjoy playing.
AUG
11
2011
We received an email from a company offering to send us one of their products to review. No big deal, we've had several RV product companies send us items and all they ask is that we publish the review on our blog. This company also wanted to buy an inexpensive inline text ad for a year but wanted it placed just below the banner ad on the home page. I explained that this is not an appropriate place for an inline text ad on our site. The fellow got defensive and said "Text ads is what I do daily... and I'm sending you one of our products for free, why can't the ad be on the home page?" This offended us.

It implies that he was doing us a favor by sending us his product to review and we in turn owed him a favor. This may be how things are done in the business world, it is not how we do things. To be honest, we already have an RV cover and don't need another one, but we agreed to use and review his product since that is something we do. Who knows, it might be better than the one we have... or not. Anyway, once we have reviewed a product, we publish it on the site... good or bad, we give honest reviews. If someone solicits us for a review and implies we owe them something other than a fair review, we do what we did in this case. We told the man that he could just hang on to his cover and we'll refund his ad money.

UPDATE: We received another email from the RV cover company and they said we simply had a misunderstanding. The rep explained his side of things to our satisfaction and apologized for the misunderstanding. Fair enough, we're easy to get along with.
AUG
14
2011
Today the oil change indicator light lit up on the scooter. I already had everything I needed so I set about the task. I changed the engine oil, oil filter and the gear oil. I did notice I had a slight leak around the oil cooler so I cleaned the whole area very well so I could see where the leak was coming from. My first guess was that I did not tighten the filter sufficiently last oil change. That was not the case.

After returning from a 4 mile ride, I noticed fresh oil on the oil cooler... but none around the filter itself. Luckily, the unit has a 2 year warranty so I will be taking it to the dealer on Tuesday. An inconvenience for sure, but it needs to be taken care of.

Cynthia and I are going to Rancho el Charro tonight with some friends from the park. I'm not real sure what all is there, but from what I have been told it is a nature park and they have an outdoor restaurant. We'll get all the info and take lots of pictures so we can post it here.
AUG
15
2011
We made the short trip to La Joya, TX to visit Rancho El Charco. It is only about 10 minutes or so from Mission so it was a quick, easy drive. We rode with friends and some other friends went in another vehicle, for a total of 8 of us. The place looked really cool as we drove in through the gates. We parked and walked up to the entrance. Here's a shot of that.

Rancho El Charco

They had a stage with a singer, a water fountain, and a fair number of outdoor tables. This is an open air establishment so no A/C in the summer and no heat in the winter. We sat at an outdoor table so we could at least get some of the breeze. Even with that, it was still quite hot.

The scenery is all that was good about this place. The table service was horrible, yet not as horrible as the prices. Had we not rode with someone, we simply would have left. We ordered 2 hamburgers, 2 fries and 2 drinks and it was $28.00! And the servings were pathetic. The burger were OK but small, the french fries tasted terrible and you only got 12 fries (no kidding!), and the drinks were in 8 ounce plastic cups and there were no free refills.

We may return when the weather is cooler to take the wagon ride through the ranch part, but I can say with certainty we won't eat there again. So if you are ever in the RGV, feel free to take the wagon ride at Rancho El Charco... but stay away from the restaurant! More pictures are available here.
AUG
16
2011
Just a little update today... we added a direct link to the Product Reviews page in the menu on the right. Those pages are viewed quite a bit so we thought we'd make them a little more accessible. We've reviewed things like Eternabond, Lynx Levelers and many other things that RVers use. We even provide links to the manufacturer or distributor web sites and in many cases, we even provide direct links to where you can buy the products. So take a look if you feel inclined to do so, you might see something you need.

There's been an influx of new ads on the WorkampingJobs.com site as well. Workampers have been adding their "work wanted" ads and employers have been adding their "help wanted" ads. If you need a position or have a position to fill, place your free ad today. And be sure to tell all your friends about the site! You can also submit reviews about your workamping experiences.
AUG
20
2011
We started running low on quite a few things, both grocery and non-grocery items. So we straightened up the motorhome, unhooked everything and took the motorhome to HEB, the local mega grocery store. Of course, while crossing the railroad tracks, a cabinet pops open and out come the contents. Naturally, the pancake syrup busted open and made quite a mess. It also filled the camper with a very sweet aroma. Undaunted, we continued on to the grocery store.

HEB is only 2 miles away so we found a convenient location in the far reaches of the parking lot and started cleaning up the mess. We had the generator running so the A/C was on the whole time, so at least it was comfortable inside. Once we had it all cleaned up, we headed inside for some serious shopping.

We had our coupons and the sale paper as well as our list. On Saturdays they have little stations set up all over the store giving away free bites or drinks of certain products. By the time you have run the gamut, you gotten a free lunch. We made our shopping selections and headed to the checkout. $109 was the total before coupons... $91 after. Not too shabby but certainly not good enough to be on a reality TV show. Besides, on that show you have to buy 47 bottles of hot sauce, 9 cases of juice, and 63 can of English peas. Ummm, no thanks. That's not reality.

We made it back to our spot in the RV park without any spillage and everything is put away and the camper is hooked back up to water, electric, sewer and satellite. It was an adventure but it was fun. CJ certainly enjoyed the outing.
AUG
23
2011
There is a cactus plant near the main office of the resort that blooms for a few hours each day. I'm guessing the cactus also secretes something sweet because the ants just love this thing. I set the Droid X camera to macro mode and snapped a picture of the bloom while it was open. Here it is but you get a better view if you click it and then zoom in on it.

Cactus Flower

I just glanced at the forecast for this week and it looks pretty... pretty HOT!

Hot enough for you?

AUG
25
2011
Grrr, I am very annoyed at GoDaddy again today. Apparently, they have a script they read from when you call tech support. They say "It is working fine for us, it must be something on your end." Even when I tell them that we have users from all over the world having trouble accessing our site, they scratch their heads and read the line that says "Ummmm." They are unable to determine why the ASP pages will not load properly, so my only recourse is to move off of GoDaddy or rewrite the site using PHP. Neither option is fun. I knew I should have chosen a Linux server - LOL.

Anyway, please update your links to point to http://RVRoadTrip.us/blog.php instead of http://RVRoadTrip.us/blog.asp if you point directly to this particular page. If you point to the home page, please just use "http://RVRoadTrip.us" without specifying a page. Thanks and sorry for the trouble.
AUG
26
2011
Cynthia sent me to the store to get a muffin pan and muffin mix. I got the pan and corn muffin mix, aka cornbread. She says that isn't what she meant. So she sent me back to get blueberry and strawberry muffin mix. While in the store I spotted some fresh cut Angus sirloin kabobs, so I bought 2. When I got home, I asked Cynthia what was for dinner. She replies, "leftover spaghetti". I said, "let me fix dinner, hon... and the rest is history." Dinner was delicious!! I should have taken a picture of it.
AUG
29
2011
It actually rained the other day! And it is supposed to rain later this week! Could the seasons actually be starting to change? We sure hope so. We want to do some more riding but it is just too hot during the day. We did manage to get around to a few places and snap a few pictures. We found a pond with some ducks and geese on it. The ducks were ugly so no pictures of them but the geese were pretty. Just as we snapped the picture, one of them got camera shy.

Geese!

Cynthia brought home a flyer for Harbor Freight and it was full of coupons. After thumbing through the pages I determined there were 4 things we just could no longer live without! I clipped a 20% off the total order coupon, a pair of heavy duty scissors for .69¢ (reg. $4.99), a pack of electrical connectors for $6.99 (reg. $14.99), a 7" orbital polisher for $29.99 (reg. $49.99) and a coupon for a free flashlight with any purchase. The polisher will make cleaning and waxing the camper much easier than doing it by hand. Even so, I will wait until it is a cool day before tackling that job!

We hope everyone that was in the path of Irene is OK! We watched it on the news and from what we saw flooding was the worst part of it. Hopefully, all of our campground friends will still be able to be open for the Labor Day camping weekend!


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