Category Archives: Fulltime RVing

South to Florida

After leaving Kentucky, we headed south to see family in Florida. We took the familiar route of I-65 towards Montgomery, Alabama.

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A favorite stop has always been the Welcome Center in Alabama. Not many rest areas in the US can boast having a full scale Saturn IB rocket. This is the type of rocket that the crew of Apollo 7 took into Earth orbit. It is the smaller cousin of the Saturn V that took the US to the moon.

Once we got to Montgomery, we took a different route, as we wanted to stop in Crestview, Florida to check out a mail forwarding service we are considering using during our travels. On the way there, we came upon this little gem:

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This is the day use area at Blue Pond in the Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama. Too bad there wasn’t any camping, as it was ideal!

We arrived in Crestview and met with the folks at My RV Mail. They were very friendly and extremely helpful. Once we finished in Crestwood, we continued on to Ft Walton Beach. When we arrived, we discovered a huge benefit to shoulder season travel: no huge crowds! We drove into a large public lot at the beach and had no trouble at all finding a parking spot. We had a wonderful grouper meal overlooking the gulf and then we walked the beach.

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This is some of the best sand in Florida, and we were happy to see that there were no visible after effects from the BP spill.

Once we left the beach, we headed east towards Leesburg to see family. Diana’s brother lives there, and our niece and her family live in Fruitland Park. Along the way, we discovered the importance of doing a rig walk around. Jim thought he heard a noise on the road, and he noticed the fuel mileage decreasing. We pulled into a rest area and noticed the right front wheel was considerably warmer than the others. Turns out that we had a “stuck” caliper. This happened to us one other time on a different truck, and is a result of the right front wheel catching so much curb slush and salt in the Michigan winters. We found a garage in Tallahassee that got us in and out in a flash. A special shout out to Al Bass and Bass Automotive for the prompt service. This event really drove home the fact that we need to be aware of our rig. A simple walk around at each stop can save a lot of headaches down the road.

Safe travels!

A New Chapter Begins…

Today, after 30 years of home ownership, we closed on the sale of our home and have moved forward into a new chapter of our lives.  We are now officially full time RVers!  This past week has been a flurry of packing, sorting, storing and cleaning. For a while, it seemed as if our stuff was appearing out of nowhere in our home, and progress was increasingly harder to come by.  One dear friend likened it to sweeping the dust in a circle and not quite being able to get it into the dust pan.  But Thursday evening came, and we knew we were headed to the finish line.

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Mom Belisle used to paint landscapes, and we knew she was panting the Thursday evening sky from Heaven to assure us all was well.  We were able to get everything done, shy of sweeping the garage floor.  That was done this morning, and the circle of dust was in the pan.

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We hooked up the rig, loaded Jenny in the truck and headed on our way!

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The clock on the truck showed 9:26 AM on 9-26-14.  We then headed to Woodchip campground and set up in our spot.

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This is the spot we will be setting up for this winter, so you all have an idea what it looks like without snow.

Following our setting up, we headed to closing.  All was said and done by noon, and we were free to enjoy the rest of this beautiful autumn day!

Safe travels to all!

RV-Dreams rally

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This past week, we attended the RV-Dreams fall educational rally in Goshen, Indiana.  It was held at the Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds, which was a nice facility for this type of get together.  The rally itself was extremely informative and a lot of fun.  RV-Dreams is owned by Howard and Linda Payne, a charming couple we first met in Grand Rapids this past winter at an RV show.  They have been full time RVing for just shy of 10 years, and have chronicled every bit of it on their website RV-Dreams.com.  Although we were planning this lifestyle for years, they can certainly be credited for our accelerated move into it.  We highly suggest that you follow their journeys, as they know their stuff.  Salt of the earth folks, for sure.

We met so many wonderful people at the rally, and we are sure that we will keep in touch with them in our travels. Of those that we weren’t able to get to know, we are sure we will catch up down the road. One of the nice features of the rally was the “open rig walk-throughs”. A lot of us opened our rigs for people to look at, which was very informative.  Another feature of the rally was tours of the local RV manufacturers.  We took a tour of the DRV facility, which we found to be extremely educational.

The last night of the rally was a catered dinner, followed by a glow party.

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We hadn’t danced that much in years!  Definitely a great time!

On the final morning, we had a catered breakfast, followed by a goodbye speech by Howard and Linda.

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Linda sang “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.  Howard tried to join in, but was a little choked up…as were most of the rest of us.

As we pulled out, we had our rig weighed by them. They are safety specialists with RVSEF, and they weigh each individual wheel.  We were pleasantly surprised that we were only heavy on one tire in the entire rig, and we can easily remedy that with a shift in our cargo.  Howard gave us recommendations for tire inflation, which we will be sure to follow closely.  It was a huge relief to know our truck and 5th wheel are correctly sized for each other, and that we also don’t have to jettison weight.  We came fully loaded for what we feel we need on the road, including our kayaks and bikes.

We will be finishing up packing the house this next week in preparation for our closing on Friday. We may be a little busy up until then, so we will try to post an update after that.

Safe travels to all!