Working a job that tells you where to go has it’s benefits… 

We were down in Orange City, Florida for 2 weeks while Allen was working on a tower there. They finished up the Tuesday before Memorial Day and we were supposed to head to a job near Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Then the customer in Arkansas decided he didn’t want to be off the air while they worked on his line for his antenna so he was contemplating getting a standby antenna (so he could still broadcast but his signal just wouldn’t be as strong as the main one). So the company told us to sit tight while he decided. All the equipment was on the site in Orange City that they needed in Arkansas so we got a couple days off. 

We went to Blue Springs State Park the first day. There’s an aquifer where fresh water comes out of the ground at 72 degrees year round and feeds the St. John’s River. It was beautiful, plum full of huge gar and other fish… You can swim but we didn’t get in because it actually wasn’t too hot out. 

The next day we went to DeLeon Springs, another state park not far from Orange City RV Resort where we were staying. There’s the same sort of aquifer, 72 degrees year round, but this one is sort of built up to be more of a swimming attraction. There are no fishies, and there are lifeguards. We got in this time and it was like taking the polar plunge! There’s a pancake house at an old sugar mill right next to the spring where you make your own pancakes (aka Allen takes me out to breakfast and I still cook for him!) 

By Friday, they knew no matter what, because of the weekend and the holiday, we weren’t going to get a truck until at least Tuesday morning so we made plans to head over to the coast. We went to Port St. Lucie RV Resort for a couple nights. We had an early dinner at Conchy Joe’s (fabulous!!!) and walked on Jensen Beach. There’s some of the clearest water I’ve seen in the ocean there… Saturday we headed to Blind Creek Beach on Hutchinson Island after picking up a beach umbrella and some sandwiches. I’ll let you click that link if you’re curious as to what kind of beach this is… 

Afterward we wanted to try somewhere else for dinner so we went to    It’s pretty chainy and touristy and the service was pretty bad even at the bar and they weren’t crowded. So we had one drink and went back to Conchy Joe’s for round 2! Altogether there we tried their conch chowder, snow crab legs, 2 different kinds of grilled shrimp, mahi mahi, plantains, more snow crab, wahoo, and swordfish… We ate really well! 

Sunday morning we went over to Paradise Island Campground in Haines City where we had made some friends at the end of last summer. We had 3 days and 3 nights of fun with them. We rode motorcycles over to Cherry Pockets for some gigantic peel and eat shrimp and saw a baby gator swimming, played some cornhole, and had an overall great time! 

Tuesday morning we left early and headed back to Orange City thinking the truck would be there about noon. Allen got a call halfway there saying it wouldn’t be until noon the following day so we parked on site and started the generator. Once the sun went behind the trees we pulled out our 50′ 30amp homemade cord and some adapters and ran some 110 electric from the building on site. A couple of the guys showed up in the morning and they got the truck loaded. 

We headed out and now the job in Arkansas was put on hold so we came up to Chandler, IN for a week of OSHA classes at the shop. We are staying at Lynnville Park Campground next to the boss. 

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda as far as the next job but I want to get somewhere for at least 2 weeks. Our back air conditioner went out when we got to Haines City. The condenser isn’t working, the fan just blows hot air. We tried replacing the tin can board (the motherboard basically) that we had gotten for the middle a/c (that magically started working again on its own) but that didn’t fix the problem. It’s covered under warranty but we need to be somewhere long enough to have a mobile tech come and (I think) replace it. From what I’ve read when the condenser goes out it’s cheaper to just get a new unit. It’s a closed system which means you can’t add freon unlike a car or truck so the whole condenser situation has to be replaced. 

When we bought the camper we had a xzilon coating out on the outside that guarantees no waxing for 5years and included in that was the inside (all the wood and hard surfaces as well as something they put on the carpet to resist stains). With two years of moving and 2 little puppies (one of which was hard to potty train and turns 1 today!) it hasn’t done well at resisting those stains. So I called before we left Orange City and they want us to get two estimates from carpet cleaning companies then they’ll pay to have someone clean them. But, we have to be somewhere long enough for that to happen also which means I definitely need those two stationary weeks at a minimum to make that happen. 

As Allen says, let’s let it play out… It usually works out how it needs to. So this week we are in Lynnville, IN and trying to organize our lives after our 2 weeks of moving and partying! 

Lippert 6 Point Hydraulic Leveling System: leaking hose, DIY fix

Oh Lippert… They certainly stand by their products with a spectacularly long one year warranty. Our camper is 2 years old. 

We noticed hydraulic fluid on the foot of the front door side jack when we got to Orange City RV Resort (review coming soon) and got set up. We couldn’t see specifically where it was coming from so we wiped everything down really well and separated the hydraulic lines to pin point the culprit. We have the six point Level-Up hydraulic leveling system

A few days later we had it narrowed down to one line so I called Master Pro Mobile RV Service and set up an appointment with Cindy for this past Tuesday afternoon. The tech named Mark called me Tuesday morning and said he’d be over around 2 or 3pm. 3:30 rolled around and I gave him a call on his cell to see if he was still coming. At 4:15 I called the office number. Mark returned my call at 4:30 and said he wouldn’t be here until after 6pm, that he was too busy to be on the phone all the time. Cindy called me back shortly after that and reassured me that if he said he was still coming then he would be here. 

He got here. I explained the issue and how we had narrowed it down to the one hose. In less than 10 minutes, he wiped everything off, like we had done and said he would be back Wednesday around 8-8:30 to check again then left. 

Wednesday morning he called and said he wouldn’t make it until 9am. At 9:15 he pulled up, looked at it again, said he couldn’t be sure where the leak was coming from. He said if I wanted to “talk to my husband and see what he wanted to do” then let him know, he could replace the hose Thursday but he couldn’t be sure that would fix our problem. He left at 9:24am.  

Allen got off early because there weren’t enough guys to do what they had to do on the tower so I called Lippert and spoke with John. He walked me through how to replace the hose. So we took it off and took it to Ring Power, a CAT dealer, they made a new hose for us, we stopped and had pizza, put the hose back on and were done by 1pm. 

Here’s how we did it in case you need to do this yourself at any point. 

We got a bucket handy to catch the hydraulic fluid in the line. Then we put jack stands under each side of the front of the camper frame. We raised the jacks a little to take pressure off of them. Loosened the fitting on the leg side of the hose and let the fluid run out. Then removed it from the inside by the generator. We pulled it through the hole. 

To put the new one on, we fed it through the hole, tightened it on the inside by the generator and put it loosely on the jack leg side. Then we put some pressure on the jacks to get the air out and fluid into the hose. We tightened that up, removed the jack stands and were finished! 

Easy peasy! Now whenever we hook up the truck and have all the jacks and slides retracted we will check the hydraulic fluid level and add regular transmission fluid (per Lippert) to fill up what we lost in the process, which wasn’t much at all. 


The new hose we got has a seemingly more high quality fitting than the original. Also they didn’t make thermoplastic hoses like we had on the camper originally so they made us a rubber hose. They used a 2 wire hose (2 layers of wire) that is good for 5000psi whereas our original was good for 3000psi. It’s slightly larger but it still fit. Thermoplastic hoses, when then bend, can crack on the inside, allowing fluid to seep between the inner and outer “shell”. On ours you could see little bubbles that were darker than the rest and those were full of fluid. So it could’ve been leaking from anywhere in those. I looked into getting a UV dye to add to the hydraulic fluid, that way we could see any leaks with a black light but I don’t think that would’ve helped much in our case. I do think that would work if you had a leak somewhere on a fitting though so I’ll keep it in mind for the future. 

It’s always something! 

Between regular maintenance and things that go wrong, I sometimes feel like we can’t catch a break! 

We left the Happy Traveler RV Park near Tampa on Monday and got over to Orange City RV Resort. They gave us a first time special of $149/week – not bad!!! We got set up then were sitting outside when we saw hydraulic fluid on the foot of the jack… oh great! 

We wiped it off, checked inside the propane cubby where all the lines come in from the reservoir then spread out to each jack and the slides. We have the Lippert 6 point Automatic Leveling System. We wiped off all the lines, couldn’t see a visible leak or wear anywhere so decided to wait and see what happened. Maybe it was just pressure from being so hot, who knows?! 

Friday night we noticed more fluid on the jack pad. So we removed the hanger that holds all the lines in place and separated them. We put the suspected culprit on the propane tank so we could see if that was actually the leaky line. Saturday morning confirmed it! Hydraulic fluid all over the tank. 

So I called a mobile RV repair service and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. Hopefully they can get the line replaced and fixed sometime next week. I know we will be here through next weekend at least, so I’m grateful for that. 

UPDATE: We fixed it ourselves! 

Right before we left Tampa, we had someone come and pick up our Splendide 7100xc washer dryer combo. Since it had been throwing an f13 error code from the first week we had it, they agreed to refund our purchase price. I’ll write a more detailed post on that next week, there’s a lot to cover! 

Now we are on the hunt for a new combo unit because I despise having to take everything to the laundromat and we are incredibly spoiled with the convenience of having a unit on board. I found a dealer here that can order a Contour brand combo for us but I can’t find ANYTHING online when I’m searching for it, so we haven’t decided if that’s the one we will go with. 

We did manage to take the pups to the doggy beach while in Tampa and they loved it! 

I hope all you moms have a great Mother’s Day weekend! 

Saint Augustine, Florida & a review of Compass RV Park

Compass RV Park

1505 State Road 207St. Augustine, FL 32086
(904) 824-3574
http://compassrvpark.com/
We were here for 4 nights in April 2017. We paid about $60/night for a FHU pull thru 50amp site with cable. The roads are paved and the sites are gravel. Most have concrete patios and some landscaping. All have picnic tables and some of the sites have fire pits. 
This was a nice park. Close to historic St. Augustine and within walking distance to Dollar General. They escort you to your site and everyone who worked there seemed friendly. There’s a huge doggy park, but despite what the website says, there aren’t   separate areas for large and small dogs. Charlie and Eustace enjoyed our stay here. They are supposed to open a pool this summer, and that’ll be really nice. They have social events on the weekends: campfires and live music and pancake breakfasts. 
Allen worked the whole time (11.5hrs and 12hrs) but we did get to go out one night. We did the free tour and tasting at St. Augustine Distillery, and I highly recommend that to anyone visiting. Be prepared to spend some money though, their booze are delicious! We had dinner afterward at Hurricane Patty’s. The food and drinks were decent but the service was severely lacking. 
The parking situation in St. Augustine is not dually friendly, so if you’re planning to go for the day to sightsee, I recommend taking the shuttle that picks up at the campground. They have 3 day passes for $25. 
We are now on our way to Tampa for the next job. We are staying at The Happy Traveler again in Thonotosassa. It was mine and Eusy’s very first RV park! They have a pool and some shady sites so it shouldn’t be a bad week! We were sort of rushing to get on the road this morning because Allen had to meet the truck (coming from Jacksonville) at the job site over in Tampa but the truck driver said he’s not going to make it today… It’s a 3 hour drive, but okay! I’m hoping we get time to take the puppies to the doggy beach (maybe today!). I think Eustace will be a natural swimmer and absolutely love it!

Leaving Lynnville

We left Lynnville Park Campground in Indiana this morning. We had a really nice spot this time, and rent is only $130/week for a 50amp FHU pull thru… Allen has to start work in Jacksonville on Friday so we have a couple days to get there. 

Whenever he works at the shop, I feel like we have so much more free time than normal. He works 8 hour days Monday-Friday so it’s a whole lot less than we are both used to. Friday he surprised me with tickets to see Lee Brice, Justin Moore and Brett Young in concert at the Ford Center in Evansville! It was so much fun! We hadn’t been to a big country concert since the last time we were in Jacksonville almost 4 years ago!

The rest of the weekend we did some maintenance on the camper. Allen washed the roof and applied a UV coating called 303. You spray it on with a squirt bottle then rub it in and wipe it off. We put it on the slide seals as well to keep them in good condition. We sprayed the slide tracks and rails with some CRC and Allen touched up some rusty areas back by the garage ramp door with rust stop spray paint

This morning we packed it up and hit the road! We are heading to Compass RV Park about 45 minutes south of the tower site in Jacksonville. I called 12 RV parks before I found one with an available spot! There must be something fun going on this weekend that I don’t know about… We will be there until Monday then have to chase the truck to Tampa for the next job (that’s the plan as of now anyway)!

Hurricanes & Tiny Tornadoes

Let me start with: I love Florida!  Hermine is gaining strength and almost to hurricane status.  hermine Continue reading

Meet the newest member of our family: Eustace!

We were lucky enough to welcome Eustace into our family last night! He’s about 10 weeks old, super tiny, snuggly, and full of energy! Continue reading

Pickled Jalapeños!

If you like pickled jalapeños, you’ll LOVE this homemade version!

I hit the Big Top Flea Market again Saturday to get some more really cheap and fresh produce. I picked up some more jalapeños and some little red peppers that I think may be cayenne peppers… Continue reading

Big Top Flea Market in Thonotosassa, Florida

Thonotosassa… Try saying that 3 times fast!

Thonotosassa (I love the name) is home to the Big Top Flea Market, aka Rachel’s version of heaven!

They have just about everything you could want and when I found out Allen had a job in Riverview, FL and we would be staying at the Happy Traveler RV Park again, I got super excited! Continue reading