Tim and I headed for Lake Nacimiento after Paso Robles. Rainbow Rv Members Rich and Steve invited us to camp at their lake front home. I didn't have any expectations but I had an idea this would be a beautiful and relaxing week with friends.
Tim and I took off on a 10 day trip at the end of March. Our first event and destination was the Central California chapters second annual Paso Robles event. PasoR is a Vineyard winery town north of Los Angeles less than midway to SanFran .We hooked up the Rainbow van at home as our tow and made our way to fill the Bus 300 gallon diesel tank with a bit of love.
"two diet cokes and put the balance on pump 15 please" "OK Sir, $997.00 on 15"
The bus cruised without issue at about 67 mph. My dump-truck s computer shuts down the throttle at 57 mph. I like to take advantage of the added levity to pass up a couple of big rigs when I drive our bus. Tim doesn't like to drive when we tow the Van so I dint ask him to switch up. What I don't understand is why he insists on finding a Jack-in-the box that will accommodate a 65 foot long rig when part of that rig is a fully stocked kitchen?
Today is our first official day as full-time RVers. Although we have been staying in the coach for the last two weeks while we packed up the house, it really didn't feel official until last night when we turned in the keys and left with the last two car-loads of 'stuff'. Those days of working all day and packing the house at night and heading to the coach just to sleep are thankfully behind us.
Are we crazy to give up 2000 sq feet for a 40ft motorhome with 2 slides? We'll let you know. We both still have our full time jobs, so we aren't traditional full-timers in the sense that we can't just go exploring as we would like. What we realized however, was that when we were in the RV, we hated to go home. The only parts of the house were were using was the kitchen, family room and bedroom. We had all that in the coach. Our lease was up, and we couldn't another house we really liked, so we decided to just go for it. If we hate it, we'll find another house, but not really worried about that.
All I can tell you is that today has been soooooo relaxing. We're on a beautiful private lot. It's quiet and peaceful and it has been a great day doing all the 'setltling in' things and putting the last of things away. The best part is, we didn't have to go home after a great Sunday in the RV. We were already home!
Just made reservations with Kieth @ Dave's Resort. Sounds like it could be lots of fun. Not many hook ups avail. first come First served.
Larry and Steve
More bad weather forecasts, but we forged ahead just like the two times before. This time it all worked out better. We left home Thursday afternoon, had some rain overnight and the next morning --but the skies cleared and we enjoyed our first truly nice weekend out in the Airstream.
Had to start with a little challenge though...... setting up camp has already become routine, but for a little problem with the tongue jack. It became frozen, completely bound up --would not move in any direction despite all manner of coaxing. Of course it was quickly becoming very dark as we worked and worked with it. Kinda nice to have no artificial light in the camp at all --but not a good place to work! The camp host brought her flashlight and helped as much as she could, but in the end, we pulled the scissors jack out of the Jeep and leveled up the next morning. Only 4 inches out of level that first night.! Noticeable but OK. Working in the dark, just wasn't working and dinner time had come and gone --but we didn't skip dinner of course, just a little late.
The hitch chores were completed after the rain subsided mid morning. We were able to explore our area, the camp area is small, only 28 sites, most of them with great views of the lake, none of them far from the lake at all. Nice trails to the beach area.
Saturday morning we had bacon and eggs underway pretty early --we could tell we were in for a very pretty day. Our first really nice sunny, reasonably warm day of the season. The season we started out intentionally very early! Anxious to get out!
The camp area is pretty, Spring has not really arrived yet, but we have a nicely wooded area, gentle hills on the shore of Lake Russell. The park includes the camp area, a separate cottage area (very nice cabins which all look quite new), a beach area, waterfront picnic and playground area, and the old steel trestle bridge.
We ventured out on the extended trails on Saturday late morning, miles and miles of tails. Our hike was much longer than planned, since we misunderstood the signs. why would we have "The Cottages" and then "Cottage Loop Trail" as two distinct areas? One with cottages and one without. It was about a two mile side-trip, which is OK, but we were feeling a little lost in the woods --not a great feeling in the early season in unfamiliar territory and few other people around! Just a slight tinge of panic. We finally found the cottages and found a more direct route back to the campground.
The side-trip afforded lots a great view of the woods and the water. We would have missed a lot if we stayed on the direct trail.
Saturday afternoon, we drove to Bobby Brown Outdoor Rec Area, south east of Elberton --another state park (decommissioned) much the same as Lake Russell Park. Nice camp area and water views. this is a huge parks -lots of trails, huge natural area far from the highways, really secluded overall.
On the way home, another side-trip, planned this time to the Georgia Guidestones. About 9 miles directly north of Elberton. Lake Russell Park is about 9 miles northeast of Elberton. The guidestones are weird all around. Hard to understand how the project was ever important to anyone, but now we have a fun curiosity in the area. Stonehenge it's not.
Kerry insists it has the fingerprints of Ted Turner. Who knows who funded this in the early 1980's. Pretty well guarded secret. http://www.thegeorgiaguidestones.com/Message.htm
Back to the camp for steaks on the grill. A very nice warm evening with campfire and lots of kids running around. Pleasant kids actually --but very active!
On the way home, a stop at Watkins Mill Bridge State Park. A very interesting covered wooden bridge -and very pretty setting on the river, rocks, mill stream etc. The truss is a diamond truss --a little unusual -- fastened with wooden pegs. You can drive through the bridge if you are less than 9 feet tall and weight less than 3 tons. We were out of luck on both counts.
I thought the sky above the bridge looked like a nice airbrush job.
The bridge in the distance --rocky river bottom --perfect for play in warmer weather I'm sure. The park has a large equestrian component, a nice campground. Again a small campground with sites arranged around the rim of a ridge --views into neighboring valleys all around. The sites are spread out nicely too. The covered bridge is not only means of crossing the river, so one must plan which side to access. Campground and trails on one side, equestrian area and riverside picnic areas on the other. You can walk the covered bridge as well --traffic was certainly not a concern at this time of year anyway.
Back home mid afternoon on Sunday. The trip is 97 miles each way --but not an interstate trip at all, so the 97 miles, reduced speed with our rig, and many small towns and stop signs makes it a solid 2 1/2 hour trip each way. Still not that far from home!
RT (my RoadTrek) and I have reservations on the July 31st ferry from Prince Rupert, BC to Skagway, AK. Previously we have covered most of the lower 48, except the northeast. This will be the first trip north and the first out of the country. Over the years I have camped and RVed through most of Europe as well as Japan, Australia and New Zealand. I'm excited about finally making it to state number fifty.
I'd welcome any suggestions on what to see/do on this trip from RRVers.
What Fun. The event wet off well. This was one of the events where it was truly a group effort. My highlight was the Italian dinner. I know the forums were buzzing with us boasting about serving 300 folks in under 25 minutes but it was all fun. I often fear referring to members as a number but it is cool that a group of 300 friends can come together and self organize 8 social gatherings in a weekend. Tim and I stayed in camp the entire weekend but we never felt captive to the responsibility. It was simply a bunch of Fun.
We arrived at the Park on Thursday with Glenn Morris and Ron. Shortly after we made it there, the crew from Bigtop Tents showed up to set up two party tents. We have in the past priced purchasing party tents for the club but I think not. The crew of 5 took almost 3 hours to set up and the same time on Monday to deconstruct. There was not much for us to do on Thursday so we relaxed with the may early bird members who arrived from states as far as Minnesota. Glenn&Ron , Jim&Chuck and Tim&I Had dinner in the Casino Thursday Night. Great Food, Great Conversation And a wonderful surprise treat.
Friday morning Tim pushed me out of bed at 5:30 to start some coffee. Tim keeps a spreadsheet of quantities for future planning and budgeting so I knew not to sneak a bagel or scoop too much coffee into the 60 cup makers. Over the last 6 years morning coffee and beagles have become a favorite for members to plan their day and meet new members. Typically everyone starts working the toasters around 7:30am but this crowd was full of early risers and we we having fun and laughing together at 6am. Victorville Motors one of our club sponsors set up Valentine gifts for welcome treats to arriving members and we moved our attention from the Coffee pots to the Check in Pool area.
We had anticipated long lines of rv's and set up a plan to move some members to their sites with a request that they walk back to the centrally located check in at their convenience. This seemed to work well because rarely were there any more than 6 rigs parked at the office waiting to check in and start the weekend. Glenn and Ron kept things rolling along and proved to make sure members fond their way. Tim did his Wine County offering with a bottle to each rig. I am not a wine connoisseur but I herd a member say that the wine was Chateau' Latrine? that takes me back to Rutgers 1984.
Friday night club members gathered at the community room and tents for a Meet and Greet. We set this meet and Greet up just like a cocktail party and tried not to create a flow or potluck line. I like the way this system went off at Beth and Elias Borrego 2011 event and am glad we repeated it. This kept members on their feet and the atmosphere was like a Hollywood A list Party. Gathering members together is a core objective of these events. Booze and food are often the excuse but the intention is always conversation and fellowship. Pechanga2012 Meet and Greet was a perfect BYO Cocktail party. I met several new members
Funny, the weather report in advance was not unlike the report before our first time out, the maiden voyage. I sure hope we haven't established a trend here. We really do prefer mild weather --but it is still February and even in the south, it is still February!! As long as we leave out the tornadoes we'll be happy.
Just like last time, we forged ahead in spite of the rainy weather forecast. This time we are going to In The Woods camp, which is really not far from home. And its definitely off-season and we're up for that. We were at this camp just once before --middle of the summer last year and had a nice time --met some great people! Great pool too!
This time was very quiet, Tom and John, the owners, kept us company. Several of the full time guys came to say Hi while we were setting up --and the overall atmosphere here is nice and friendly. The camp is big enough for nice long walks, perfect for our Bentley too --he only walks so far and then gives out. They have a very large meadow area with wide mowed paths leading through it --very nice spots along the way for future picnics. It was an off-season weekend and just right for a little quiet time --grilling, campfire, catching up on some reading. Good time together which is what this RV adventure is all about for us anyway. Not much of a party time this time.
The guys were nice to fire up the hot tub --so we at least had that little treat. Otherwise we had a nice quiet weekend on our own and we will return here a couple of times in the regular season this year. Good contrast. They have a nice tree swing that served as our meeting place for discussing our set-up-camp-take-down-camp checklists. It was nice enough to sit outside --at least sometimes.
My new life begins this week with the shake-out cruise in the new-to-me motorhome (not yet named). I'm staying at Killens Pond State Park in Delaware. It's beautiful here, with nature trails, a big lake, holly and tall trees, 30 amps of heat pump driving power and nobody else around except the campground hosts. In fact they just joined me for wine and cheese and chat. They are toughing out the winter in a popup! I loved my popup, but I could never spend more than a week or so in it and certainly not in the winter.
My two cats, Osito and Brindie, are adapting nicely -- Osito has adopted the broad dashboard as his favorite place to nap and Brindie has found enough hiding places to feel secure. I'm feeling very secure as well. (Maybe it's the wine or maybe it's the fact that there are other people in the camp.) I haven't even bothered to pull the curtain over the windshield.
I've pretty much figured out how everything in the coach works except for the satellite dome. I don't think it works because it just keeps searching endlessly for a sattelite but never finds anything. I can live without satellite TV especially since I'm pulling in a couple of very good OTA broadcast stations. I could almost live without TV entirely but I'm not ready to give up PBS.
I'm not so happy with the flaky nature of the HW heater. The first day the water was scalding hot. Now it's lukewarm at best. So much for trying out the shower. At least the campground has good hot showers in a heated building. (It's winter here in Delaware.)
It's nice being one of the only people here. I'm enjoying the feeling that my site is acres rather than 20 x 45 feet. The tranquility is soothing. I could see this turning into a full-time lifestyle. Maybe it will. I'll keep you posted.
Even though the weather forecast never did look promising as we approached our first planned weekend trip with the trailer, we never considered cancelling or changing the schedule. We just decided to go with whatever conditions came along. After all, it is January, the trailer is winterized, and we just want to enjoy the new rig. We also need to have this trial run, not far from home, in order to be sure we have all the things we think we need for the next trip. Sooner or later, we'll be well equipped!
The trip from home included drizzle some of the way, gray skies, more and more precip as we neared Pine Mountain. So we had to realize we are going to set up camp in the rain! No bad attitude though, we are just going to play along --have a great weekend no matter what.
We did the best job of backing the rig ever. We have communication issues, and backing the trailer is one of those situations that can bring out conflict right quickly. We had our choice of nice sites, not many crazy folks out at the campground this weekend!
The camp area has really nice paved roads, mostly level sites, good access, and nice layout with "comfort" stations always near by. A nice convenience store, "The Trading Post" was open Friday evening --full of condiments, ice cream, fire wood, bug spray -- lots of stuff that is convenient when you have forgotten something.
I've never blogged before so I'm not sure if this will even be seen, but here goes... My partner of 23 years, Joel, our two small dogs, and I are heading south for a few weeks. I just retired from Chipotle after 13 years and wanted to spend a bit of time in the sun relaxing and sipping a few cool drinks. We leaving Chicago this Thursday, January 19th, arriving Boyd's Campground in Key West on Monday the 23rd. We've been to Key West a few times but never in an RV, so we're hoping Boyd's is really as good as it looks in the brochure!
We just bought a 2012 42' Itasca Ellipse but won't be getting delivery until mid-February, so we'll be camping with our current baby, a 2008 35' Tiffin Allegro Bay. We tow a 2008 Mini Cooper convertable, which is an absolute ball to drive around at our destinations. I'm considering trading it for a new Jeep Wrangler with an automatic so Joel will be able to drive it - he's not too keen on the 6 speed. I don't have any experience with a Jeep but I understand it can be taken out of gear and towed 4 down as an automatic, which makes it easy and fun since the top can be taken off/down.
If anyone will be in KW during the last part of January and the first part of February, please look us up; I'll buy the first one!
Ed & Joel
It has been awhile since I blogged on RainbowBlog. I sit down to write but end up working on other parts of the site then surf too long to write good content. What I decided to do is just Blog when I feel like and often. Blogs are personal and only open to subscribed members of the site. and what the hell, like any RainbowBlogger, I can edit the words I don't want to eat.
Tim and I are winding down the third year at the helm of RainbowRV. Members often ask if we thought it would be different or less of an effort? I remind them that Tim is one of those 'All out - All or Nothing' types and I am his biggest supporter. We have worked together 24 7 for the last 23 years as self employed Contractors. You can imagine in all those years we have enjoyed ups, and endured downs. Tim has an encouraging way to help us also enjoy the realtime success in picking ourselves up. He is motivated and our endeavors with the club have never been dull. We always understood stewardship would be an arduous effort and realized we were 'ducks out of water' so there was a learning curve but our history together proved most endeavors worth the experience. Different? I had no expectation.. Less Effort? Learning is an effort I enjoy. Image of old rv is from the origional rainbowrv website
Tim and I love Rainbow RV events and look forward to Riverside Mission Inn Christmas KampTrip. We planned and saved to attend the Florida December event with Chip but issues with family force us to stay close and ready to respond to the drama we have going on with our personal lives here in California. Florida Chapter of Rainbow RV is much like California where the group is large but split up due to the distance between members. Our chapter Rep Chip has work tirelessly keeping the group active and together. Like my Tim, Chip is motivated and one of those 'All or Nothing' types. Chip also gives me motivational talks ,kind words and professional insite dealing with my mothers changing health. I'm lucky to have Tim and Chip for candid talks.
OK... Mush Mush Mush ,now for fun past stuff and KampDish
CAPismo2011..... What a blast. there were 250 members and over 120 rigs. Tim and I arrived several days early and dry camped at the state park ($25.00) a night. We moved into Pismo Coast Village on a Wednesday and set up Tim's new Wall of lights. The things he dreams up. 70 foot long and 16 foot High. The display took 8 people to put up. Milton, John, Don Dennis, Tim, two passers by and I erected the structure and threw the switch for what turned out to be a show stopper. Tim hosted a Dog Drag show. Steve, Craig, Jim and Tony did the Bingo. There were two potlucks, several trophy competitions and great early morning coffee gatherings. I wish there was a way to centralize the meeting area but all in all ,anyplace members camped was not too far of a walk. Check out the images in members photo albums
We stay at John Prince Campground. This is a great place for extended stay in Florida for RVers
We will take side trips to Disney for the Dec 9th rally.
We will also stay in Ft Lauderdale at Easterlin another county campground, not quite as nice as JP
Hope to meet up with other Rainbow RVers
After much tire kicking over a few years I purchased my first motor home, a 2005 Tiffin Phaeton, (Steve has nicknamed the coach King Triten not sure why) this past summer. The dealer agreed to replace a foggy drivers side window. A surprise to both of us, it took 8 weeks to get this accomplished. I finally took possession of the Tiffin in August, only to find the batteries were not functioning, but an easy fix. Next I put some water in the tank and started the pump, only to have the faucets leak everywhere. Appears the previous owner didn't winterize her correctly. The dealer agreed to fix everything so I decided to take our first trip up to Maine to visit family, waterless, so that I could get a feel for things and find any other issues. On the whole it was a nice trip, relatively event free regarding the motor home. We did get to see a moose in front of my sisters place and a bear near my brothers. Neither my sister or brother had seen the wildlife in there yards before!
Upon return the dealer picked up the home and had everything repaired. I thought getting an extended warrantee was in order so I did a search and followed the motor home blogs to make a decision on the best company and coverage. I also took out a road service agreement. I of course hope I need neither, but if I do I hope I made the right decision. My truck mechanic went through the chassis and got everything up to date, so I made a reservation for the Catskill Mountains for Halloween weekend, additionally my 54th birthday, and billed it the official shakedown cruise. Steve and I loaded up, hitched up the tow dolly and car and off we went. We arrived at the camping area and were directed to a nice pull through site and proceeded to get situated. For some reason I could not get the slides to open. I tried everything I knew, called my brother who is pretty knowledgeable about such things, and even had the park manager try but we were unsuccessful. My brother looked online for inherent problems with Tiffin slides but still no extension. As we know, everything is still functional inside so I was not going to let the slides ruin our weekend! We also had an issue when extending the leveling 'pods'. There was an apparent air leak seemingly from the air bag, rear drivers side, when the home was up on the levelers. I never noticed this before so was concerned. Next the way the utilities were setup on the site, we could either have water and no sewer or the other way around as we didn't have long enough hoses to do both. we decided on water naturally. The first night went well except for climbing over each other all the time. Functional the home may be without the slides, life is much more pleasant with the walls out! The next morning we were made aware of the intensity of the storm heading our way. Who would have thought we would get a Nor'easter in October! We decided staying put was our best option so we went to Walmart, the only general store around, to get a few necessities and came back to reorganize. I moved the motor home to take advantage of all the utilities with the extra hoses from Walmart. We got all hooked up and were content. I decided to retry the slides and out they went! WHAT! With the snow starting to fall I didn't want to leave them out so back in they came and we hunkered down! The park had been busy most of the day as seasonal campers winterized their sites, but now we were alone! We watched videos, read and used the combo micro/bake oven, a new thing for me, to fix dinner. I made an apple pie as an oven test item and was very successful. Then I turned to grab something from the fridge and noticed "no AC" flashing on the panel. We had lost power from the land line due to the storm. No problem, I turned on the generator and felt comfortable... until I noticed the electrical/inverter panel is not showing the batteries charging. Another reason to panic. Out in the boonies, and maybe no power.... Not much we can do so we retire for the evening and hope all will be well tomorrow. I'm up around my usual 4am. and turn on the faucet for coffee water.... no water, it has frozen at the tap, and I emptied the storage tank earlier afraid that would freeze! I scoop snow to make the coffee and get out the numerous manuals to try and figure out what is going on with the power panel... a lot of information but no solutions. As it gets light out the scene is beautiful, but we have at least 8 inches of snow, and I have sneakers or sandals! I find a couple of store plastic bags, tie them over my sneakers and venture out to look over the situation. I get all our "tethers" picked up and stored and we decide to head home. The 'air leak I was concerned about is not now affecting the coach air brakes. Another fluke??? Steve and I are ready, but unfortunately, I could not find a sole around to plow a path! Trudging thru the snow in my plastic bags wasn't fun, and it was then I realized we were in the most remote sites in the park. On the third walk out, I see a plow truck plowing the pool area (go figure!) so head back to get ready to go, assuming the plow will continue to our site. An hour later we are still waiting. Patience depleted, I decide to see if Tiffin can plow through the snow, assuming any movement towards the park exit was good. We take off. No problem, she cuts right through like it was bear ground. Relieved, as I drive commercially and would have never tried this in my box truck, we get to the plowed area, by the pool!!!! and regroup for the trip home. As we know now,New England was devastated by the early nor'easter and we saw much of it going thru Connecticut and Massachusetts. As I write this 5 days later many of my neighbors are still powerless!
So that was the shake down outing! I was very happy to be home! I am still confused as too why the slides didn't work, what the apparent air leak was about and why the electric panel didn't seem to register a charge from the generator. If anyone has any suggestions I'd be thrilled to get your thoughts. My mechanic will check the air and, as he is a motor homer, look the other things over too.
Our next trip will be Florida in December/January. My brother tells me every trip will be an adventure. UGH! I need to know more than I do now about the motor home as I'm not fond of the stress. I have had 3 knowledgeable individuals take me through the motor home and its many functions, but I still find things that were not explained or not explained to cover specific events!
More importantly, Steve and I are still talking! Hopefully we will not have the tension on every trip or this dream will go back where to where it came from... E bay auction!
I joined Rainbow RV a year ago and haven't posted a thing. :( Through this difficult economy I have managed to keep business afloat, thanks to some really great opportunities. One was July 2011: we purchased all of the rv parts (wholesale value of $1.4million) from the old fleetwood plant in Pendleton, Oregon - 15 semi-truck loads. The most recent was from Monaco National Parts Service Warehouse in Harrisburg, Oregon on August 21, 2011, with a wholesale value of $2million. We've been collecting, so to speak, for 14 years now and have quite an impressive inventory of hard to find items. To say the least, we have a lot of parts. :)
The particularity of this Campground besides all the services it offers like 50 amps, pull thrus, inside swimming pool, wood fired sauna, whirlpool, game rooms, 18 feet screen, pot luck dinners , the 2 ponds, fishing, (I caught 5 bass) and the list could continue...is the fact that it is a gay clothing optional heaven.
We were supposed to stay there a week, we are now in our third week.
The management is exceptional, friendly and they maintain the premises spotlessly clean.
Will add some pictures soon
Does anyone know about Red Beach Camping grounds? It is located on Camp Pendleton. For a fee of $60.00 you can register to join and camp all year round, that is when it is open. The military train their, but when they are not training, they open it to civilians. It is right on the beach or the bluff if you choose. I would like to go soon, are there any others who would like to go? Hit me up.
Heading to Roy's Hideaway for the weekend. July 21 to 24.
Buying a RV and finding ourselves in the first month few hundred miles offshore on a group of islands is to say the least unexpected!
We want to explore North America and decided that we would travel as far East as we could to start with. We were not disapointed, where can you find so close to home hundred of miles of sandy beaches, the only drawback is the inconvenience of taking a 5:50 hours ferry ride to get there but its worth it. 4 small villages, quaint fishermen houses, very friendly people and what to say of the fresh lobsters and the abundance of seafood.
verything that is good has an end, leaving tomorrow for the mainland hoping to be in Maine beginning of August
For those that could be interested in following our whereabouts, just click on the following link: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0SrJVD4qLDY2aq8abCh3AJeAITqnMy7br
Hello Rainbow RV members. Ken and Mike have a 2004 Bigfoot class C, any other Bigfoot owners out there?