Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kalamazoo!

We finally escaped Elkhart and made our way to Kalamazoo to Markin Glen Park.  We absolutely love this place.  Full hookups...plenty of space between sites, and concrete pad and patio.  All for around $26.00 a night!  I hesitate to share this info because I think it is one of the best kept secrets going as we rarely have an issue getting a site here and they only have 38.  I do know; however, they are full this weekend!

Today we will get on our bikes and check out the biking/hiking trails.  The weather for this upcoming week is supposed to be stellar!  Highs in the 70's to low 80's and plenty of sunshine.  Oh how I have missed the sunshine!

Now that we have had a chance to 'live' with our repair decisions, I have to say we are glad we did all we did.  The shower is awesome....so roomy and looks so nice...loving the ice maker in the new frig....and don't know why we waited so long to upgrade the awning to 'push button' ease....man what a 'life changer'!  I know sounds silly, but not having to worry about staking the awning down....knowing we can 'roll it up' at any time with the simple push of a button.....AWESOME!

We will be here in Kalamazoo till Tuesday and then we will head over to Frankenmuth till time to head down to hear those wedding bells chime for my son and his bride!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Finally Fini!

It was a long journey....with many ups and downs....no water inside the rv for 3 days...had to use the facilities at the rv repair shop.  They did their best to make us as comfortable as possible, but I'm so glad we are done and have moved on to the Elkhart Campground.  After almost 3 weeks, Full hook ups have never been so welcome!  Here are some photos of the work......
 This is why we needed a new shower.....leaks...the old shower had a crack in the shower pan which could not be repaired.  This 'platform' was not needed for our new shower....good riddance! 
This photo shows our new floor installed and the beginnings of the new shower installation.  What you don't see is the work that was done under the floor.  It was decided that we needed to 'strengthen' the underlying structure to support the new shower and prepare the area for the new drain placement.  We did add a few more pounds by having actual glass doors.  The doors before were acrylic.  I don't know what the weight of the old shower was, but this new one is around 125lbs.  To compensate, Billy actually cleaned out the basement and got rid of about a 100lbs of extra 'stuff' that we just didn't need to be hauling around.
The potty and bedroom and bathroom doors, bath vanity, as well as all the trim were removed for the floor installation. 
This photo shows the roto-port Bill had installed where the vanity will eventually reside.  Originally there was a 'laundry chute' here which we never used, but Bill liked the idea of having access to the bath area...so this was the solution.
Here is the finished install!  We only have one small issue.  The area I circled in red.  That is where a 12 volt light resided, it had to be removed as it didn't clear the shower frame.  Ron (our repair guru) is on the look out for a new "thinner" light.
Here is the inside of our new shower.  Many of you will think the shower control is a bit high, but I assure you it is easily reached.  We had no choice but to install it at that height.  The refrigerator is directly behind that wall and would not allow us enough depth to install the fixture at a lower height.  It took 3 long days to install this shower and a lot of head scratching and redesigning to make everything work....but it does work and is very roomy
Yes....that's the hole....soon to be filled with our new refrigerator.  This time we opted for an ice maker!  An added expense, but we really love it!  The new one went in with no problems and looks just exactly like the old....on the outside!

We also opted to upgrade our manual patio awning to an automatic.....should have done that a long time ago....makes life so much easier!  Work was also done on the roof.  Some vents were replaced and new caulk was added all round!  We also replace our rv steps with some 'new to us' steps.  We painted them to look like new again and Bill installed them.  Unfortunately, neither of us are sold on them.  The rise is higher on the middle step and just doesn't feel right.  We will live with them for now, but I think we will have to replace them in the near future.  One more stop before we continue on to Michigan.  My washer needs a new selector knob and we have an appointment at the service center here in Elkhart to have that done on Tuesday.

Needless to say...our repair budget took quite the hit this year, but with the exception of the awning....everything else was pretty much necessary.  Yes...we are still considering a motor home, but we didn't want to be rushed into a decision because of needed repairs on our fifth wheel.  Now we can take our time....and make sure we find the right motor home for us and if we don't .....well, we are pretty happy with what we have right here!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Waiting......

The waiting game....Ron and his crew are good at what they do and because of that they seemed to always be continually running behind.  So...we sit...we wait.  I do know the refrigerator is here.  We decided to go back with a Dometic, but this time it will have an ice maker for Bill.  We also decided to go ahead with the automatic awning.....expensive....but we think we will really enjoy the convenience of it. 

The shower....wow that has been quite the experience....finding a replacement has not been easy.  We just were not happy with what we were seeing in the RV showers.  Decided to look towards residential units.  Problem was that most of those needed a two to three week delivery time.  We had just about decided to patch the thing and wait til next fall, when we ran across this little number at Menards.  You can see it here.  It is going to be tight and they will need to relocate the drain, but they think they can make it work.  Fingers crossed on that one.  Since they are completely replacing the unit we are also going to have new vinyl flooring installed.  Found a bargain ($50.00) at a local surplus store. 

Since we were sitting here twiddling our thumbs, we naturally did some shopping.  I was really tired of some of the 'cheap' light fixtures in our unit.  It has been hard to find replacements for the 110 volt ceiling lights because they have their own on/off switches.  I found some that I really liked and Bill figured out how to remove the switches from the old lights and add them to the new........
Love these and Bill also switched out the sockets so they take LED bulbs!

Next up were those ugly plastic 12 volt lights....but I finally found some replacements that I liked online and turned out the supplier was right here in Elkhart!  We spent part of the day, yesterday installing these little babies.  Again LED and I love them....they even look like they 'match' my new ceiling lights!

Weather here took a turn for the cold side.  Temps are in the low 60's overcast and drizzle.  Had to dig out my long pants and sweatshirts!  Aw well, I do love the crisp fall season!  Warm Cinnamon flavored coffee...mmmmm!  Just wish the waterworks would shut down for awhile!



Friday, September 5, 2014

Elkhart Indiana and Repairs

We finally got outta Lafayette and traveled to the big city of Elkhart, Indiana.  Currently parked at our favorite repair shop, RV Specialties.  Ron Green and his crew have always done a great job for us!  This time around we are in need of a new refrigerator and replacement of our shower.  We are also thinking about upgrading our awning to an automatic system.  The good news is that we are parked right here at Ron's facility and are pretty comfortable with power, water, and a dump station when we need it.  Hoping to have everything completed by next weekend.

Our next stop will more then likely be Kalamazoo Michigan.  There is a great little county rv park called Markin Glen.  We have stayed there before and it is beautiful with paved sites, full hookups, walking and biking trails.  Even a small beach area on the lake. 

Eventually we will move up and over to another little rv park known as Pine Ridge RV in Birch Run Michigan.  The park is located about 3 1/2 miles south of Frankenmuth...which is a fun little German town.  We plan on staying there until time to head to Sterling Heights Michigan for our Son's wedding.  Birch Run is about an hour north of Sterling Heights....so an easy travel day.  We were unable to find anything closer.   We did get an ok from the hotel to park our rig in their parking lot area for the weekend wedding celebration....but we will be boondocking....not something we are especially fond of.  We have booked a room so at least we will have access to shower, but we do plan on staying in our fifth wheel at night....can't leave my furbabies ya know!

That's the 'Goodelife' for now.....I know many of our rv friends our heading to their winter locations about now....so be safe and enjoy your travels!


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Wedding Bells are getting closer!

Yes....that is the happy couple!  Isn't love a beautiful thing!

The wedding is less then 2 months away and we are all so very excited for the big day.  My Mom and I are hosting a bridal shower in a couple of weeks.  I think we have invited around 40 friends and family members.  Should be quite the happy gathering!  Can't wait!

In other news....we had a little excitement here at the AOK Rv park.  I know I have mentioned before that we are here because it is the only rv park close to our family and friends.  The park is a bit run down and we only have 30amp service.  On the up side, we do have some great neighbors.  Unfortunately one of those neighbors had enough of the constant traffic through the park and made an accusation about someone selling drugs here in the park.  The police were called.....but as far as I know....no one was arrested.  Funny though, we did notice a decrease in traffic after that day.  Our neighbor, however, decided it was time to leave and relocated.  But before he left....he made some phone calls.  This park is plagued with sewer problems....back ups especially during heavy rains....occur on many of the sites.  Our current site has never had a problem, but we have been on some sites where it was a problem.  We always let management know, but nothing ever seemed to be done about it.  Well....seems our neighbor had been not only reporting the problems to management, but also documenting it as well with video.  So....the day after he left.....a surprise inspection took place by the State of Indiana including our local board of health.  I don't know what all transpired, but I do know that one of the worst sewer sites was dug up and repaired the very next day.  Makes one wonder about what we can't see.....underground....hopefully the 'state' will be keeping a closer eye on things.

All this makes us even more anxious to begin our journey to Elkhart.  We are going to head out right after Labor Day....having a few repairs done and then on to Michigan.  The Bride is from Michigan and that is where the wedding will take place.  Michigan is such a beautiful state....especially in the fall.  We are going to be in the Sterling Heights area...which is just north of Detroit.  If anyone out there in RV land knows of any good rv parks please let me know......


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Beatles, birds, and refrigerators.....

Let's start with the refrigerator.....it is broken!  Yup, opened the freezer section just the other day and nothing but water, water everywhere.  Thank goodness we have a backup.  Our fifth wheel came with 2 RV refrigerators.  The down side to that....is the downsize...we got used to having two so downsizing all our frig items to one was a bit difficult.   We think we have a broken coil, but we will have to have our RV repair guy take a look and see.  So...looks like we will be down to one for a while.  We are heading to Elkhart  in September for some other repairs and we will just add that to our list.
We had some uninvited visitors to one of our slide outs....it seems 'mama robin' decided this would be the perfect place to raise her little ones.  They really were not causing us any issues at this point....so we let them be and I'm happy to say that they have since all 'flown the coup"!  I was hoping to get a photo of mama feeding them, but she just didn't trust me enough for that one!

Then there were the Beatles!  The singing kind....went out last night with family and watched a great show!  This particular group of 'impersonators' have been together 30 yrs and their sound and 'look' were very close to the originals.  We had a great time and a beautiful night for it.....low 70's cool and comfortable. 

I guess that is about all the news for now......the summer has really been going by so very fast.  Next up will be a couple of bridal showers and before we know it we will be back on the road!

Friday, July 4, 2014

LIfe's Ups and Downs.....

Yesterday was just full of bad news......my Mom called early to let me know that my step father was going back into surgery.  It seems fluid had collected around the first surgery site and was causing problems with swallowing and eating.  I spent yet another long day at the hospital, but the good news is the surgery went well and we are hoping once the swelling goes down his swallowing will improve.  Right now he can't even eat or drink and is relying on IVs for all his nutrition and fluids.  NOT FUN!

As some of you may remember, last summer we were fortunate enough to have a dear friend offer us his property to park our fiver on.  It was so very generous and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.  Beautiful country....lots of peace and quiet.  WE loved it.  Got the call just a few days ago that they are selling the property.....called to see if we were interested.   We had to pass.....as we are looking to settle (eventually) in Arizona.  I know they will have no problems selling and we wish them all the best....BUT...a little sad too.  We will miss them and their little piece of paradise they so generously shared with us!

And...finally....some RV friends just lost one of their sweet fur babies to cancer.  My heart and prayers go out to them.....

Life is full of ups and downs.....I'm ready for a few UPS now!