Archive | July, 2012

RV Shows

29 Jul

James asked me if I wanted to spend next Saturday with him looking at used RVs at PPL in Houston.   This business is a huge concrete parking lot with rows and rows of pre-owned, consignment RVs of every size, shape, and color.  Sounded like a great strategy until I considered that it is the last week of July with a heat index in the 100’s.   The RVs are completely shut down–not even the windows are open for a breeze!  So——

I spent time yesterday scanning the internet trying to find when the next indoor RV shows would be in our state.  Finding out what the options are from multiple manufacturers seems a reasonable route to go.  We’ve found that RV businesses tend to choose one or two brands to focus on for selling new rigs.  This way we could look to our heart’s content (or until we drop from exhaustion).  Here’s what I found:

RV Supershow               Dallas Market Hall                                Sept 13-16, 2012

Houston RV Show         Reliant Center                                        Feb 6-10, 2013

Austin RV Expo              Austin convention Center                   Feb 21-24, 2013

I think I’ll go back to decluttering the house and wait 6 weeks until September!    ~Pat

Where Do You Put a Desk in a Rig?

27 Jul

I am tickled to death!!!!  Somebody is actually reading and commenting on my blog!  Amazing!

OK, so here is the issue–hubby has always had a large work desk in the house along with 1-2 file cabinets.  Changing habits of a lifetime can be tough, and sometimes change is not the best choice.  So for his comfort, he still will need a work desk area in the RV.

The dining table is not going to be an option because his desk usually has carefully structured piles of papers all over it.  He is looking into getting one of those machines that scans bills and such to cut down on the paper.  (He uses one at work frequently.)  However, he will still need a space to call his own.  I’ve seen a couple of rigs that have built-in desk areas, but they sacrifice storage space to accomplish this.   Pat

What are other solutions to meet this need?  How can we have maximum storage and a work desk?  Suggestions?    ~Pat

Getting Back to Camping

23 Jul

We have been a bit lax with our camping schedule this summer.  The TrailManor has been sitting since June when we got back from our “park hopping” vacation.  It’s hot here in Texas, but the humidity is the real killer.  The temperature might be 95, but the heat index is 108!  Not nice!

We need to get out and interview other RVers to find out what is working for fulltimers and what to avoid.  Sitting at home won’t get us there.  So I spent the evening building an excel file of weekend square and round dance festivals that we can attend in the fall and spring.  We might as well enjoy dancing while we educate ourselves about the RV lifestyle.

Unfortunately, we both still are working so heading to South Texas with the snowbirds during the winter months is not an option.  We’ll just have to be diligent and head out as soon as we can.  I bet the Texas State Camping Squares  can help.   Pat

Any other suggestions?   Pat

Priorities

21 Jul

James and I had a long discussion yesterday as we surveyed each room of the house in order to decide how to get rid of “things” we’ve acquired over 32 years of marriage.  It seems that we need to figure out our priorities.  It stands to reason that de-junking/trashing outdated “stuff” should come first.  Going through every drawer, cabinet, and shelf is an overwhelming task, and I just can’t get motivated to start.

After teaching for 36 years, I’ve accumulated a wealth of materials at every grade level you can think of.  As I look at my treasures, I realize that most of it is so outdated that no teacher today would want it.  I’m talking about spirit master sheets to run on a mimeograph machine (Do I have a mimeograph machine?–NO!), used carbon paper for a manual typewriter (typewriter?? HA HA HA), and idea books that cost a fortune then (1970’s-1980’s) but are no longer useable because the pictures are relics.  Also, what do I do with the bulletin board decorations that I handmade to go with specific units?  Decisions, Decisions!!  The list goes on and on—

AH! Mimeo Memories

I’ve watched those shows about de-cluttering and now understand the challenge that families face when they are asked to put things into the keep pile, sell pile and give-away pile.  James is even rereading The Messies Manual in hopes of gaining an ounce or two of wisdom.

There has to be a way to start this process without losing my mind.         Pat

Vacation RV or Destination RV: What’s the difference?

20 Jul

It seems that the RV world has a vocabulary all its own. Even though I’m not new to the camping scene,  the search for understanding full-time RVing has brought to light just how “wet behind the ears” I am to this lifestyle.   I ran across two websites that had a general list of RV terms that have helped me to figure out just what some of the forums and blogs are talking about.

Trailer Life glossery seems to be more technical in nature about the parts of a rig.

Woodall’s glossery is more global in nature.

Unfortunately, both sites seem to focus on vacationers.  So where do we find info specific to long-term Rving?    Pat

Wow! The RVs Have Really Changed!

18 Jul

We have been so delighted with camping in  our Trailmanor, there was no need to watch the development of the RV industry.  Boy, were we out of touch!!

A couple of weeks ago, just for a lark, we decided to check out new RVs.  We wanted to see what changes had been made since our last search 10 years ago.  We expected minor changes.  Now really, just how many ways can you rearrange the inside of a 300 square foot metal box?

We boldly marched through the double glass doors of a major dealership and were promptly greeted.  It seems you couldn’t get past the information booth without a sale rep.  No exploring and wandering around allowed.  So after explaining that we wanted to look at new RVs, the rep popped us into a golfcart and away we went in search of mobile accommodations.  We specifically asked to see travel trailers that were under 5,000 lbs, thinking that we could continue to use our current tow vehicle, a GMC Yukon.

OMG!  I couldn’t believe the changes.  Every bell and whistle you could possibley think of were available.  But even with all of the advancements, none of the beds were long enough.  Seems that the RV industry cut the bottom 4 inches off of the bed, calling it a “Custom” RV bed!  Poor James!  His feet hung off every bed that he tried.  There must be something that we are missing about RV beds.  They can’t all be so short!

Are there any rigs out there with “real” beds?  I would really like to have a standard queen-sized bed.  Any suggestions on how to modify the length to make it full length?    Pat

The Challenges of Downsizing

16 Jul

Diamond Video Capture VC500

As James and I have talked about the challenges of downsizing into an RV, we started looking at the variety of “stuff”  that we have accumulated over the years.  A number of years of ago when VCR taping was popular,  we would tape our favorite movies from TV to be able to watch at a later time and have accumulated a mountain’s worth of video cassette tapes that are stored in cabinets and on various shelves.  Not all of these tapes are what I would call “keepers”, but there are some of the movies we would like to save.

We tried to use our combo VCR/DVD recorder player to copy the tapes, but were continually frustrated by a machine that would not cooperate.  So on Saturday I did an Internet search to try to find some way to move the tapes onto a DVD disk.  My luck!  I found the website of TechMediaNetwork (http://vhs-to-dvd-converters-review.toptenreviews.com/) that gives unbiased reviews as well as sided by side comparison charts of various products.  Since we were headed to Houston on Sunday, I ordered a device, Diamond Video Capture VC500, from Fry’s Electronics.  It turns out that this cord connects your VCR to your computer via USB port.  You download the VHS tape into your computer, get rid of the unwanted commercials, and then burn a copy to a DVD disk.  It sounds like a workable process.

I’ll let you know in a few days how it works out.       Pat