Friday, December 28, 2007

The Mis-Adventures of Fulltiming!

I think I am going to rename the blog: “The Mis-Adventures of Fulltiming!"

We have only been on the road 3 days and we seem to have something go wrong every day. So far this has NOT been a relaxing way of life! :-)

The mis-adventures of fulltiming day 1!

It took us about three hours to hitch up Wednesday morning in a very cold very strong wind. We used a checklist to make sure we didn't forget anything. The trip down to Paso Robles was about three hours; there was a lot of traffic but, we only actually came to a stop a couple of times early in the trip. We had a strong tail wind the whole way. Since we need to leave so early for our appointment at the dealers; we didn't want to unhitch so we got perfectly into the spot, put the slides out, chocked the wheels, run down the jacks. Then I find out that I am 2 feet short of the power pole. We had to run in the slides etc. and then drive around the club house to get closer to the pole. I think it took us 2 hours from the time we arrived until we were all setup!

The mis-adventures of fulltiming day 2!

The dealer only needed about 3 hours to fix everything. Well most things; they didn't have a hydraulic hose and it will take two weeks to get one. The leak is very small so I will wait until Arizona to have it fixed. While they had the trailer we had breakfast, got diesel for the truck, walked Raider and read a little.

Problem 1. I lifted the trailer too high and blew the fuse to the motor that runs the jacks. When picking up the trailer at the dealers.

Problem 2. I pulled out of the dealer when I shouldn't have, cut the turn too tight and the right side of the trailer ran off the driveway and through a drainage ditch. When we got back to the RV Park and opened up the trailer almost EVERYTHING was on the floor and half of the dishes were broken! Oddly none of the glasses or cups got broken. It took us more than two hours to clean up the mess.

The mis-adventures of fulltiming day 3!

It took us until 10 AM to be all hitched up a ready to leave this morning. I always check the tires on the trailer before pulling out. One of the tires was down 12 pounds in two days. I called our dealer who referred us to a tire store. We went there to a very busy parking lot on a very busy street. I pulled in the wrong way and blocked the exit with my 55 feet of truck and trailer. Someone came to tell me that I needed to go to the truck entrance around back. I could try to slalom this monster through a overcrowded parking lot with cars and trucks double park and then make a tight turn onto a small street with cars parked everywhere. Or I could back out the way I came onto the very busy street and then try to drive around the block. My backing skills being what they are, I opted to do the slalom. If those people knew how little skill I have at this stuff they would have been running each other down trying to get their cars out of the way. It took them about half an hour to get to us. The problem turned out to be a leaking valve stem so they replaced it with a metal valve stem. This thing looks so much better than the original valve stem, I asked if they would change all of the stems. They said they could but, not today they where backlogged. So, off we went with only the one stem replaced and 2 hours behind schedule. Today was about 230 miles, skirting the northern part of Los Angles. Traffic on 101 was heavy the whole way down and since we were 2 hours later than planned we got some of the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. It was a long day and when we got here to Acton it was cold and windy. We are staying at the edge of the desert at 3000 feet.

Isn't it warm anywhere in this state?

PS Yes, I know all of these things could have been a lot worse and no I am NOT losing hope. :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today truly was the first day of the rest of our lives

I have nurtured the dream of fulltiming for almost 20 years since my then boss Tom Dowd retired at 55 to travel fulltime in his motorhome. It was a revelation to me that people did that and that you didn’t have to wait until 65 to retire. Over the years Tom and I stayed in touched and each year he would come through town so that we could have lunch together and I could get caught up in where he had been and what he had been doing. When I reached the age 50 we started serious planning; beginning with a week at Life on Wheels . After years of dreaming and planning; today we left our hometown of the past 30 years and started out on our fulltime life. We had been living it the 5th wheel since we sold the house in September but, I was still working. My official retirement date is 12/31 but, my last day of work was 12/21. We are heading to Arizona and hopefully warmer weather.

What could be a better entry in to the fulltime life style than to have at our first night destination to be met by RV Dreams Community forum members Jim and Ellie with a bottle of wine for us!!! Thanks Jim and Ellie! There blog is:

I had answered a question on the RV Dreams forum about a route from Arizona to Paso Robles that would avoid Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.

Fulltime RVing is really a small community; shortly after I had been in contact with Jim and Ellie they met our dear friends Fred & Jo Wishine (there blog is: ) in Arizona.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

First, Kathy and I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and our hope that you receive the blessings and good tidings of the season!

For our non-RVing friends I wanted to tell you a little about Christmas in an RV. We do decorate; most of the outside of an RV is fiberglass so not real good for hanging things. We do have a wreath in front of our trailer hanging from the pin box. Inside we have an 18 inch Christmas tree complete with little ornaments and working lights. We also have garland and lights in the dining\living room area. By necessity gifts need to be small so that they are easy to hide and don’t take up much room. Kathy got a couple of books for Christmas and I got some small astronomy accessories. Just like in our “sticks and bricks” house we had our son and his girlfriend over for a turkey dinner with all of the fixings. Day to day life isn’t all that different in an RV.

Merry Christmas to All
Grant & Kathy

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We have begun

Yesterday was my last day of work and to all of my staff, colleagues and friends at Meriwest. I sincerely thank you for your kind words and good wishes. I already miss you and of course will NEVER forget you.

We sold Kathy’s car today to the mechanic that has serviced it for the past 10 years. The car is 14 years old and still had less than 100,000 miles. Kathy was sad to see her faithful Honda drive away.

Since we have been living in the trailer after selling our house three and half months ago, we have spread out and purchased more things we think we will need on the road. Now, we are feverishly trying to pack everything for our departure on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Making Progress

As I wind down things at work I am adding to the blog site and learning how the blog tools work.

Saturday, December 1, 2007