Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Starved Rock....Visiting friends.....

We had a beautiful day at Starved Rock....but it was a pretty long one.  In fact, Bill is now referring to the experience as the "death march"....LOL!  We kinda got lost and in our humble opinion, neither the maps or the trail markings were very clear to us.  When we finally came out into a parking lot, we could not find our truck.  We realized we were in the wrong parking lot and so back in the woods we went.  Finally arrived in the correct parking area and found the truck....both of us pretty well "done in"! 
We are currently in a little rv park called Galesburg East Campground in Illinois.  Not a bad spot, but it is fairly tight for larger rigs.  We have been visiting with some rv friends we made on one of our Arizona winters.  It has been so nice visiting with them again.  Today we are taking the furballs out to their farm where they can run to their hearts content.  Who am I kidding, those two are the original "couch potatoes" of all time....LOL!  There may be a little waddling, but I seriously doubt I'll see any running!  Ha!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Utica Illinois

The past few days have been a blast here in Utica, Illinois.  We are staying at Hickory Hollow Rv park....just a few miles from Starved Rock.  I have been visiting with some of my "artsy" friends that I had connected with online.  It has been wonderful....sharing our art, love, and laughter with one another!  Today Bill and I are going to head over to Starved Rock and hopefully do a little hiking.  The weather has been rather cold and gloomy of late, but today looks to be sun shiny bright! 
Tomorrow will be a travel to visit some of our "rv" friends.  So excited to see them again......

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are we there yet?

Well folks, didn't make it to Utica.  We were about an hour or so down the road, when we pulled off into a rest area.  Bill has been monitoring our new oil bath bearings closely and turns out that was a very good thing.  He found all 4 tires very low on oil.....and he had just "topped them off" before we left the campground in Birch Run.  Time to regroup our travel plans.  I checked the mileage and found we were only about an hour away from Elkhart and our repair shop.  So, Bill refilled the bearings with more oil and we headed for the repair shop.  Upon arrival, Bill found the bearings to be almost dry.....all 4 bearings were leaking from the back...the seals....the brand new seals....were failing.  Ron and his group were great, before the day was over they had determined what our problem was....the seals were for greased bearings not oil bath.  That was not their fault as Bill was the one who had provided the seals.  Somehow he ordered the wrong ones.  Ron told us he we have the new seals by morning and should have us ready to go again by noon tomorrow (Wednesday).  True to his word.....he did.  We opted to stay another night and leave this morning once again heading to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois.  Sure hope, "Murphy" gives us a break and allows us to complete our journey today!  I swear, our tires have been off this fifth wheel more then they have been on these past couple of weeks...LOL!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Travel Day

We will be leaving Frankenmuth today and making our way back over to Markin Glen County Park back in Kalamazoo.  We really loved that little park and it will make a nice stop over on our way to Utica Illinois and Starved Rock State Park.  We have been to Starved Rock and I have wanted to go back and re visit the is going to be the time.  Again the weather has just been, crisp nights and sunny 70's during the day.  I just love the Fall Season...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Frankenmuth Michigan

We did make it to Frankenmuth last Monday afternoon and we have been busy seeing the sites everyday.   Last night cooler temps and rain moved in, but it has cleared this am and is a beautiful fall day.
Our campground is actually located in Birch Run, but we are only about 7 miles from Frankenmuth.  It is called Pine Ridge Campground.   We are comfortable here....nice clean campground, but lots of trees.  The first site they tried to put us in was a no go.....
See those trees on either side....a little too close for comfort.  Especially since the road we are turning from was narrow and allowed no room for a wide turn.  Fortunately, the site next to it was open and we were allowed to park there.
Here we are in the site next can see the sites are fairly close together.
This is the narrow road that led to our site.  Lots of trees and post right where you don't need them to be!  Still it is quiet and close to everything and we were able to get our satellite up and working.  Lucky us....cause most of the sites have too many trees.  One thing I will say is that I would not want to be here when this campground is full!  I doubt it would be quiet and peaceful then....LOL!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pulled into Markin Glen County Park in Kalamazoo Michigan, yesterday around 4pm.  It is a very nice little park with full hook ups and larger than normal sites.  Love the level concrete pad and all the green space.
Here is a look at the last of our little repairs and upgrades we had done in Elkhart.....
The repair of our "boo-boo" from our Texas stay.  All that is left is a small scratch on that trim strip.  We opted not to replace that whole strip for one little imperfection.  The main repair was filling the hole in the fiberglass and painting.  They did a great job!
After our incident with the bearing fail,  Billy decided to upgrade our "hubs" and put in oil bath bearings.  We did notice a little leakage from a couple of the seals yesterday....hoping that does not continue.  Billy knew that was one of the drawbacks to this type of bearing, but he wanted to give them a try.  I guess time will tell on these guys.
We also had our old antenna replaced and some new p-traps put into place.  The p-traps are called Hepvo Waterless Valves.  Just follow the link, to learn all about them.  We were having a problem with sewer odor seeming to come behind the washer/dryer area.  Everyone suspected it was due to the p-trap drying out in between laundry days.  The odor was most pronounced when Billy was emptying the black tank.  I happy to say, since the Hepvo was installed, no more odor!
Today we will be heading up to Frankenmuth, an area I have been waiting to visit for quite some time.  So excited to explore the area.....and the weather has been awesome....crisp, clear fall air....LOVE IT!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Hitch, Bedroom AC

We are still in Elkhart, parked at Recreational Specialties.  It was a quiet holiday weekend for us, just the way we like it.  Come Tuesday morning, our new hitch was being installed in the back of our truck.  Not a simple procedure since the thing weighs in at around 400 lbs.  Can you say, forklift!  Our new hitch is a TrailerSaver Heavy duty version, made by Hensley Mfg.  It is a monster....take a look.....
It also came with a monster of a price tag, but hubby assures me it is worth it.  We are looking to buy a Semi to pull our fifth wheel and this new hitch is what we will be needing to make the switch.  With this new hitch, it was time to say goodbye to our Fifth Airborne pin box.....

 and replace it with a standard pin box.  We opted to add a shiny new cover to it...ain't we style-in now!

Next came the installation of our bedroom AC.  We have lived with one roof mounted AC for 5 yrs and finally made the decision that we needed to add a second one.  It has just been to dang hot!  Especially after a day of travel, the inside of the trailer would be over 100 degrees by the time we parked.  It would take most of the night for the one AC to bring the temp down to a comfortable level.
AAAHHHH....I can already feel those cooling breezes.......

There is more to stay tuned for more photos and more upgrades in the next blog!