New year = New things!

Lots have happened since our last post. Things have been hectic, to say the least!

Let me start by saying we have put over 16,000 miles on the camper in 2017!!! And I can only see things getting more go-go-go…

We left Vegas and headed back to the shop in Chandler, IN to regroup, did a small job in Springfield, IL (we stayed at Double J Campground for almost a week) then headed down to Florida.

Punta Gorda was first and we stayed at an Encore Resort called Gulf View RV Resort. It was nice, the people in the office were extremely friendly. The site was a pull-thru but pretty tight to get into. The roads were really narrow so it made it a little tough for a 43′ camper to pull in after dark, but Allen rocked it (like always). We were there for almost a week. The tower they were supposed to plumb and tension had frayed guy wires so that nixed the original plan! While we were there, Allen found a Smart car online… (I love that man!) We got a Carfax report on it and went to check it out. It’s ours!!!

It’s a 2008 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet convertible! I love it! We managed to fit the motorcycle and the car in the garage. We added some tracks to the garage floor for tie downs and got some giant ratchet straps for it. It’s 1800lbs and the bike is about 550lbs so we are under the 2500lb garage floor rating. We’ve been wanting to get a Smart car since we started looking for a new camper over 3 years ago!

When we left Punta Gorda we headed over to West Palm Beach where they were supposed to plumb and tension another tower. We stayed at John Prince Park Campground. It was a nice place although the lady in the office gave us completely wrong directions upon check-in so we wound up having to drive around the park to get into our spot from a different angle. The Walmart up the street was the WORST I’ve been to. We had a bunch of equipment from work in the bed of the truck so Allen got the privilege of staying in the truck while I shopped by myself among the craziness and last minute holiday shoppers… We would’ve taken the Smart car but we couldn’t get a temp tag from Florida so it was stuck in the garage. The wires on this tower wound up being way too large for any of the equipment they had so after the first day we headed back to the Cincinnati area for the holidays.

We stay at our best friend’s property whenever we are back in town, down in Sparta, KY. We have 50amp and water, and a septic so it’s pretty perfect.  The dogs can run around and chase chickens and they love it. Plus we get to see Brandi so that’s always a blast.  I went to my mom’s on Christmas Eve and Allen did his family thing. We had dinner at his parents’ on Christmas then cooked at my mom’s that night.

On the 26th we got Allen’s kids and headed back down to the camper with lots of leftovers! We had a constant bonfire, played some Apples to Apples, the kids rode the 4 wheeler… It was fun! Allen took the kids back home a few days later then my mom came down on the 30th. We had a massive bonfire on New Year’s Eve and already have bigger plans for next year!

We also did a lot of work during winter “vacation”… Allen and I dropped the aluminum underbelly on the camper to check everything out. It had been 2 years since we put it up. Everything still looked pretty good as far as the insulation was concerned. Allen put some foam pipe insulation on the water lines going to the kitchen, as far back as he could reach, because that part tends to freeze first. It’s because the lines touch the steel frame. It seemed to help but we did lose hot water for a couple of days when the temp was in the single digits. While we had the aluminum down we noticed a couple of the hydraulic lines didn’t look too good so we took those to a CAT dealer and had them make new ones for us. We had the steps for the patio mounted under the garage but we’ve only used them once when we first bought the camper so we left those behind. Our Edgestar washer dryer combo started throwing an E3A error code a couple of months ago and they said they’d replace it. We had to wait until we had an address for long enough so we scheduled the delivery and pick up of the old unit. The shipping companies got all messed up with the schedule so Edgestar wound up telling us to just do what we pleased with the old unit, just scratch the serial numbers off, and not worry about sending it back. Good deal!

So we are in working order on the laundry front, just hoping we get no more error codes for the rest of our lives! We have the worst luck when it comes to these units… We finally got the Smart car registered in South Dakota and have the temp tag for that. But work brought us to Shiloh, North Carolina right after the bombogenesis struck, so it’s snowed in the garage! We were staying at North River Campground. This month they have a half off daily rate special! It was a nice place with super nice owners. We were there for about a week and half. Came in after a snowstorm and left after another one!

Monday when Allen got to work, one of the guys ran the forklift into a ditch that was covered in a snowdrift. The engineer’s truck got stuck and Allen had to pull him out. Our truck got stuck in 4WD and wouldn’t come out. Then it wouldn’t move at all. The farmer that owns the land the tower is on called a tow truck and they took it to the Chevy dealer for $215. Allen got a ride to Enterprise and rented a car. The Chevy dealer called yesterday and it’s the electronic 4WD system that’s messed up. The transfer case…? They had one in stock so replaced it for approximately $900.

We are now almost to Union Springs, Alabama for a few days of work. We are planning to stay on site, hoping there’s water!

Life has been a bit of a fiasco here lately!!!

On another note, I’ve been helping Hubble Foundation with their golf tournament coming up in April. So far we have donations from Disney, Southwest Airlines, Zoo Atlanta and some other companies. Tower King II, the company Allen worked for previously, also did our first sponsorship! Hubble Foundation helps families of fallen telecommunications technicians who perish on the job. We lost BJ, Marcus and Brach in September. Allen worked with all three of them and they were good friends of ours. When we were in Springfield, IL we found out there was another accident. Once we got to the shop we found out that it was Clayton Barnhill, another guy Allen has worked with… It just touches really close to home. So I’ve been staying busy with Hubble Foundation.

Our friend Brandi started The Kentucky Chapter of The Cure Starts Now in honor of her daughter RaiLee who passed away from DIPG in November 2016. They had their first annual golf tournament in August last year and just set the date for this year’s tournament. So I’ll be working on getting donations and sponsorships for that here soon.

It feels good to be busy, I just hope our “being busy fixing things” situation chills out for a while! We still need to take the Smart car in to get checked out and get an oil change, but we did replace some lights and the windshield wipers so that’s a start!

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Hi! We’re Rachel & Allen and we live full time in our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385 fifth wheel toy hauler.  We travel the country for Allen’s work, often only having a couple days notice of where we need to be next. And we love it!

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Allen, Rachel and Charlie

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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

Moving On… In more ways than one

Yesterday we left Steamboat Bend Campground in Cincinnati after 4 nights. We got to see family and hang out with some friends. It’s never long enough, but at least we got to go home before Christmas, even if it was just for a couple days… Continue reading

Storm runners – NOT chasers!

We left Abe’s RV Park in Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, around 4pm.  A little later than planned, but work took a little longer for Allen.  Plus, we went to the races on Sunday for the last time, I celebrated pretty hard (with not enough food!) and I was paying for it on Monday! Continue reading

Crawfish Country = Heaven

We’ve settled in to Farr Park RV Campground here in Baton Rouge and we’ve been loving the food!

 Sunday we went to Sammy’s Grill to have some much needed and missed boiled crawfish… Yum!    Continue reading

Tower Takedown at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas

I thought I’d post some pictures Allen took while they were removing the tower at Fair Park.  It’s crazy to me how big some of this stuff is!

 

the giant crane they used

  
    
    
  

all gone!

 

Here’s another post with some good photos also… My Boyfriend’s Crazy!

Operator won’t you put me on through…

I gotta send my ♥love♥ down to Baton Rouge…

We found out Friday that we need to be in Baton Rouge for work on Monday. It just so happens that “Callin’ Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks is one of my all time favorite songs! So I’m sure Allen will be good and sick of it by the time we get there! Luckily for him, it’s less than 500 miles, so he will only have to deal with my musical selection and singing for one day…

 

We are avoiding Dallas, so it’ll take about a half hour longer, but it’s well worth it!

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I always try to use the Good Sam Trip Planner, just so we don’t get taken into any RV-unfriendly places…

We should be in Baton Rouge for a few days, then I THINK we’ll be heading to Oklahoma City… If that’s the case we will be there by the end of next week. I don’t mind this plan at all!

I’ve never been to Baton Rouge. Our friend Doug, out at Candlestick RV Park in San Francisco, went to LSU and LOVES the tigers, so he will be thoroughly jealous!

I’m super hoping we can get some delicious crawfish… I love them so much… My mouth is already watering… 

I’ve looked at the weather and it looks fairly warm. Rain on Tuesday but maybe that’ll give us time to see a little bit of the town (fingers crossed for a weather day!)

And then our friends Bob and Karen are at Abe’s RV Park in Oklahoma City so it’s always good to see them!

I found a campground right down the street from the tower site that I’m hoping works out for us. Water and 30AMP service only, but it’s only for a couple days so it shouldn’t be too bad, and they have a dump station. It’s at an equestrian park… I’m just hoping this little angel puppy of ours can behave herself and not act like a wild banshee the entire time we’re there!

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Spoiled little Charles…

I’ll probably have to bribe her with treats… So if you’d like to help out with that, you can put some money in Charlie’s Treat Fund 🙂

Blowing this joint!!!

Goodbye California! Well, we still have 7 days and a wake up! (As my brother would say…) We are getting Charlie out of the parking lot and heading for greener pastures! 4fa5624ca9922c60b5fa80bbf9dc0cc2

The tentative plan a few days ago included leaving here, driving to South Dakota to change our domicile, get a new mailing address, register vehicles, etc. then head on to Dallas for the next job.

But, plans changed as they usually do and the next job is in North Dakota now! So our little stop in South Dakota isn’t really out of the way at all!Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 2.34.05 PM

I’m excited, I’ve never been to the Dakotas and I’ve never been that far north period. I’m hoping for Allen’s sake if nothing else that we don’t get snow while we are there, but it’ll be an adventure nonetheless.

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We have Texas and California now. Allen says we should have New Mexico and Arizona but I say we only count the states that all three of us (Allen, Charlie and I) stay in THIS camper.. And since what I say goes (most of the time-sshhh!) they are not on the map yet!

I love traveling and I get a little hard to deal with (I think) when we sit somewhere for longer than a month or two. I just get antsy and want to get on with it already. And I can’t wait to add to our map!

The tower they are going to be working on was the tallest structure in the world when it was built in 1963. It’s now the 4th tallest structure in the world (after some buildings in Tokyo), THE tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest radio mast in the world. Pretty cool…

 The KVLY-TV mast is in Blanchard, ND (almost exactly halfway between Fargo and Grand Forks). Blanchard has a population of 26. Yep. Small town. And I thought Convent, Louisiana was tiny! (Population 711, right on the Mississippi River)

 The closest RV park is in Hillsboro and that’s a little bigger, population 1,603 in the 2010 census. It’s 1 square mile. There is a family restaurant, a Burger King, a Subway, gas station, grocery store, bakery, and a florist and I think there MAY be 1-3 bars but I can’t really decide if they are still open. From what I gather online, the RV park is also the town laundry mat and a fried chicken place. It should be interesting!

 I’m pretty sure I can walk everywhere in less than 15 minutes (if I don’t let Charlie stop and smell ALL of the roses!)

I know this isnt Charlie and these aren’t roses but I couldn’t resist the adorableness!

I’m super excited to be getting out of the city and out into the country. I get to where I need open spaces after being in a city for too long. I’m excited Charlie will have some grass! And Allen will be glad to get back to real tower work (not just painting and piddling).

Today is full of typical San Francisco fogginess so I’m making my hillbilly chili for dinner and trying out this new recipe for Chili Bread that I found… I’ll let you know if it comes out delicious!

I also made these pillow covers for our friend Brandi back in Kentucky and mailed them to her this week… Her boyfriend went and installed a 50AMP outlet for us so we can stay in their yard during the holidays. Talk about some awesome friends!

 And I made these for us… I’m loving the teal and brown combo…

  
If you would like to see one of many tutorials on the web, this one by me, you can check out this link or this one!

For now I will leave you with some cuteness… Charlie and her parking lot pals… Cheers!

Cisco the friendly husky pup.

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Cisco gets bored and tears things up… For instance, his bed.

Duke and Daisy being lazy

A Little Camper Fixing

It’s kind of nice that Allen has been getting Saturdays off work. That doesn’t happen too often. But it gives us a chance to do more things… So this Saturday we fixed the ladder on the camper and lowered the top bunk in the garage to give us me more storage space. Continue reading