Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and HAPPY Holidays to all of you. The weather outside is frightful and its making my mind wanted off to all the great SUMMER camping we did last year and will do this coming year. I can't wait. SANTA was good on the camping front, stocked up on several things specifically for the camper. MORE VERY SOON...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Becoming MORE self contained

I picked up a new generator this last weekend. Cabela's was having a great sale and I had a coupon so this generator became part of the family.

My big thing with a generator was, "WILL I REALLY ever use it?"

3500 watt generator will basically get you about what a 30 amp hook up will get you as far as power goes, you'll have to manage your power a bit but essentially we'll be free to camp ANYWHERE we want to camp. Now granted we generally use hook ups at parks that include electricity but opportunities to camp in remote areas where no power is available is pretty exciting. I'm sure it will come in handy on our trip to Augusta in the spring as well, opening up the doors to a lot more possible adventure :-).

We'll have one now if the power goes out at home, last time the power went out due to a big storm it was off for about 24 hours, just long enough for about 1/3 rd of the basement carpet to get soaked. Realizing AFTER the fact that the sump pump needs electricity to keep the water out of the basement... LIVE AND LEARN.

Until Next Time... BC

PS: About the ONLY thing I need to upgrade now is having a second deep cycle battery in the loop on the TT, with that I'd be set for absolutely anything.

Link to Cabela's site for Champion generator.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Topper Added

Last Monday I found a topper that I couldn't pass up taking a look at. It was on a 2004 Ford F-250 and it was white. The price listed on CRAIGSLIST was $100 so even though I saw a picture I wasn't expecting too much. Well it took me all of 30 seconds when I arrived to say SOLD, so we have a topper for the new truck and are pretty stoked about it. Its not a PERFECT fit but so close that I am really satisfied. Just so happens that my mileage went up this trip to the gas station, we'll see if thats a fluke or not next time. (See the charts on the right)

Now if spring would just get here we could do some camping...
Until next time - B

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our New Honey - Ford F-350 6.8L V10 Short Box Dually

Now that's a mouthful.

We had a truck in the back of our mind's for next summer but as things turned out I was made a deal we couldn't refuse and therefore we have a new TV. 24,000 miles on a 2005 is pretty nice. The previous owners did pull a fifth wheel with the truck but parked in unless they were camping so therefore the below average miles. (or so the dealership says)

I pulled the TT to the storage facility on Tuesday night and WOW, I mean WOW. The 1500 worked fine but this is a MONSTER. Really its hard to tell you are pulling anything and that is VERY cool. Mileage in the 1500 ranged from 8 to 13 towing but the engine usually had to work pretty hard, especially in the hills. The ease of towing and power associated with this truck means it wont have to work so hard so I fully expect to get at least 10 to 13 with this truck if not a bit more. I've heard from some of the guys on the RVNET forum that claim to get 12 to 16 when towing so we will see. Driving style is the biggest factor in maximizing MPG anyhow. The one time I did get 8 (actually 7.5) was going 75mph down the interstate into a head wind and being in a hurry (really does nothing for mpg)

A few things that are taking a little getting used to.

A. Duallys make the back end exactly the same width as my TT. SOOOO, no curb checks yet but my driving habits have changed a bit and I drive it just like the TT is behind it. (NO MORE FAST FOOD DRIVE THROUGH BUT THAT CAN'T BE A BAD THING)
B. You don't sit down into it, you climb up into it. In the silverado I could get in and sit without using the running boards to get in, NOT ANY MORE.
C. The BLIND spot on the passenger side is REALLY a blind spot. A lot of cars are shorter than the back end of the truck and are HARD to see even looking over your right shoulder. I've got blind spot mirrors built in so that helps a bit but I have to be very careful. I actually almost took out a little Honda Civic who was traveling right in my blind spot the second night I had the truck.

Anyhow, I know I'm a geek but I am pretty excited, and the best thing to boot is that my truck payment went down almost $100 a month although now I have 60 months left instead of 8. Insurance is only up $150 for the entire year, better than I expected.... YAY

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Winterizing, Storage and Break IN

Well the beast is winterized and knock on wood I did everything right so we wont have any surprises come spring time. The big key is to get all the water out of the plumbing and pump some antifreeze (special RV antifreeze) into the plumbing. A little down each drain of all sinks and tub and a little in the Grey and Black tanks as well as the hot water heater after draining it. It's been parked at home all week since it gives me a little flexibility to work on it a bit here and a bit there.

I wish it was possible to keep it at home but its not and our storage is pretty reasonable. I am curious though as there are a couple in driveways all the time in our subdivision and I know its against the covenants. OH WELL, its probably better kept in our storage facility where its out of the way.

One kind of interesting tidbit is that our storage facility did get broken into about a month ago and the culprits tried to get into a whole bunch of RV's including ours. We had our deadbolt locked so they moved on to others but did manage to break into 4 units and stole a couple of big flat screen TV's. Not real sure I'd keep an expensive flat screen in my camper but if I did I'd definitely keep the dead bolt locked.

An expensive lesson for them.

The police suspect gang activity and some sort of initiation. WHAT the HELL, that's why we chose this location for storage. 159th and Pacific right in the heart of "suburbia". Who'd of thunk it.

Enough rambling for now, next post we'll discuss the new "TV" (tow vehicle) we purchased yesterday... WOOOOOO WHOOOOOOOO...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trip 11 - Ponca State Park

Ponca State Park was a GREAT time. We met up with Rob Johnson and his family and had a great time. The weather was cool but not too cool and it was very refreshing.

The Johnsons, our camping friends from Columbus and their kids (with Alyssa above) and their rig below.

We were set up just across the road from them and I was luck enough to be right near a water faucet that had two faucets on it. I hooked up and ran city water all weekend and nobody said anything about it so that was nice.

The fall colors at PSP were very evident and it was a beautiful settting. These two shots were taken walking in the trails that started 30 feet behind our site.

We came across some turkeys on the trail and for all the times I've gone Turkey hunting with Eric this is the time they were close enought that we could have easlily had a nice turkey dinner over the campfire.

Walking back up the trail toward our spot.

Another gorgeous shot of the sunrise on Sunday morning. This doesn't do it justice but it was very inspiring.

Rob turned us on to Dutch Oven cooking and the setup is definately on our Christmas list this year. Here Valerie and Rob discuss the finer points of cooking peach cobbler in the dutch oven. WOW, how AWESOME.

Alyssa and Toby out for a walk.
The CLEMENTS Clan - Taken from the new camera on a 10 second timer.

Our set up at site #38. I'd try for that spot everytime.

I love to fly the flag when camping, some people may call me a dork but its fun. Now I just need a Cubs flag to fly below it and I'd be set.

A very neat "Retro" camper was in the site right next to us.
Ponca was fun and its sad to say but with winter upon us opportunites will be fewer until the spring. BUT, I have no problem going in the snow and it might actually be kind of fun as long as its not below ZERO.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I am starting to lose focus as I am really ready to get on the road.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ponca Again

We have reservations for the weekend of the 17th of October for Ponca and are looking forward to what may just be our last scheduled trip of the year. As the weather gets colder we'll have to play it by ear and after winterizing the camper we will have to be a little more primative with water during the winter.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Trip 10 - Spontaneous, spur of the moment, OOOPS...

We'll you learn as you go I guess.

Friday we decided late in the day to make a trip this weekend and we had NO reservations and a late start. We had a party at a friends house between Mo Valley and Logan and decided we wanted to camp somewhere in the neighborhood, now there are actually quite a few choices but when you leave late and have no reservation things can be a little tricky.

We pulled into Wilson Island State park at about 8pm and it was dark and upon finally getting to the park entrance we were greeted with "All Electric Sites Full". We'll shoot, we knew this would be an adventure so we headed back in the opposite direction toward the interstate. I knew the Mo Vally City park had electrical and would be pretty much empty but we really wanted a regular campsite so we knew it would be there for a last resort.

We ended up north in Onawa at the KOA, I decided to go for the FULL HOOK ups since this could possibly be the last outing before it gets cold and I could really get the tanks cleaned out good there. Plus I wanted to try the KOA before, they are always a little pricey it seems (actually everything is when you compare it to State Parks or "govt" sites). It wasn't bad but at $72 for two night compared to $24 to $30 for a state park I think I'll plan a little better in advance moving forward.

We did have a good time, after all we were camping....
KOA main building complete with awesome shower's, laundry and a convenience store.
Blue lake and Lewis and Clark state park are behind the KOA - We did drive through Lewis and Clark and will go there sometime for a weekend for sure.
Our site was in the midst of a bunch of full timers and was rather small.
We rented the three wheel recumbant bike and both Alyssa and I both really liked it. They were selling it and we came close to bringing it home.
Until next time....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Trip 9 - Two Rivers State Rec Area

It was nice to be able to camp over the long holiday weekend but it all seemed kind of rushed and last minute. AHHHH, Well, I guess that's because it was. As mentioned in the previous post we got the last campsite available and it wasn't real pretty, but it worked.

We spent time on both Saturday and Sunday wading in the river just on the opposite side of the campsite, it was fun but it was a workout.

We revamped the flag pole and got it back up during this trip and even had a little HUSKER decorations for the first HUSKER game.

Two Rivers has a unique set up for CABIN camping in that they brought in 6 or 8 cabooses from UP and converted them into Cabins. I understand they are nice and you can read more about them by hitting the link in my LINKS area on this blog. Might be something neat to try sometime.

What's camping without some SMORES...

Alyssa was a great helper this trip as she was more than willing to get up on the roof and sweep off the slide as we were getting ready to ship out.

One of the FIRSTS for me was having to wait in line at the dump station on our way out of the park. I realized that with this weekend being a holiday and the park being full that we would probably have to. We didn't hurry around and get out of there early and by the time we left at one minute before the checkout time our area was pretty empty. There was hope but ALAS it was not to be 45 minute in line wasn't really that bad as everyone ahead of us didn't dilly dally around doing their duty.

I really enjoyed the face time with my girls as school is starting and fact time will no doubt be harder to have during the school year.

Until Next Time - B

More Two Rivers Pictures

River Access


Campsite for next time...

DUH Lumpy...

Lets go explore...

Hanging out having fun...