Posted in RV Living

RV Life, April ’17

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There are so many fun things to do here!  But first, let’s talk about Full-Time life in the coach.    First things first, we have to learn to share the car and the WiFi.  Barry traveled around this area for the last 2 weeks making sales calls, this left me home alone without a car.  My sprained ankle is improving buy not yet ready for long bike rides.  My problem is that I am not content unless I am doing “something” and go about making to-do lists.  First:  wash the floors and vacuum the RV thoroughly √ … clean the vent fans by taking them apart from the inside √ (I need to get on the roof to clean the outside but can’t do that unless Barry is here) … clean the windshield and apply RainX √ …. launder all the bed linen √ …. find the nest of a Killdeer on the campsite across from ours and wonder at nature √ …. wallpaper border removal …. well let’s talk about that….

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Originally our coach had a burgundy wallpaper border in the bathroom and parts of the kitchen and bedroom.  Someone tried to remove it in the bedroom, ran into a bigger job than they were prepared for, and left about 6″ of paper scratched off the wall.  They then covered the kitchen  and bathroom border with a beige border (see above) and to ensure it would not come down, glued the top edge with some type of SuperGlue (what were you thinking?).  Where the beige stuff came into contact with water around the sinks, it became loose and wanted to pull away, leaving just the top glue line remaining.  IMG_0514

You can just barely see the line above the burgundy border here.  After looking online, I decided to try to use my steamer and a fabric softener / water mix.  So for 3  days, I alternated spaying the border with the mixture, rubbing it in well, and then using a paint scraper to work it off / applying a ton of steam with a wire brush attachment on my steamer to soften then paper.  The steaming process is just a mess with hot steam right in my face in a tiny bathroom space, bits of wet, soggy wallpaper clinging to the wire brush, and a bucket full of cool water to pull the goop off the brush in between sprays.  The steamer removes the paper well, but the glue underneath it is another problem.  The water softener/water mix get sprayed on the wall, then rubbed vigorously with my hands to work it into the glue layer before using the scraper to very carefully peel it off the wall.  RV walls are usually a thin piece of lauan (thin wood panel) covered in a full piece of vinyl paper with matching strips at the edges.  So, trying to remove the border without nicking the underlying vinyl is tricky, here is my first attempt with some scratched up places.IMG_0516

The bathroom is just big enough to turn around and either use the toilet or the sink (or both if you are Barry-sized!), but not big enough for a stool.  I had to straddle the toilet to work all around it, with rags all along the floor to catch the bits of paper that fell off.  The weather outside was blustery with a chance of rain and the perfect time to work inside, but after 3 days, my back was tired of sitting across and backwards on the toilet  as I worked, my hands ached from the scraping and spraying and rubbing the walls, and I was at my limit of mindless work.  I stopped for breaks from time to time and to walk the dogs also.  One afternoon after I had walked the dogs, Barry stopped by with a client just as I was getting ready for a shower — YIKES!

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I only removed about 6′ of the border, including 4 inside corners and 1 outside corner in 3 days of work.  After we get to a spot where we are parked for a while, I am going to try to paint over the wall areas with a nice neutral color.  I like the look without the border but have to re-assess the removal around the countertops.  The wallpaper was installed before the counters and they caulked over the seam where the two meet……just great…..this is going to be a PROJECT….

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Posted in Campgrounds

Longview Campground

We love Kansas City!  First, this is right in the middle of Barry’s Midwest states work territory and he can access so many accounts from here.  Second, KC feels better to us; kind of hard to explain, but just a better vibe than St. Louis.  Safer?  Yes.  Less clique-ish, more highways to access everywhere, less “that’s not how we do it here” attitude, more shopping!  But first, let’s talk about the campground!

imageimageWe are staying at a Jackson County Parks campground, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.  This was a private estate/farm built almost like a private, self-sustaining village in 1913-14 by a lumber baron/philanthropist, R.A. Long.  All the remaining estate buildings are beige stucco with red clay roof tiles, only the mansion is available for public use, mostly private events.  The lake is man-made with lots of standing timber submerged and tons of fishy-looking spots.  The campground is just off the lake, surrounded by trees and lots of quiet.  Surprisingly quiet to be in a metropolitan area.  We have full hook-ups at a gravel site with good satellite TV; the only downside is that there is zero WiFi.   The park’s paved roads are great for walking and there is convenient shopping and dining nearby!  I have walked those short-legged dogs so much, they even like a little trip to the lake when possible to cool off their bellys!

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All in all, we love this campsite, have figured out how to share the car and WiFi, and can’t wait to return to stay and work here for longer times.  This is truly the beginning of our new life!

Posted in Campgrounds

Belleville RV Estates

First, a disclaimer; I made this reservation as this is the closest RV park to a hospital.  My father-in-law was at Saint Anthony’s Medical Center in February and, as we did not know the length of his stay, this seemed like the best choice.  For that reason alone, it was the best choice.

IMG_0030However, as an RV park, I would not recommend it for a couple of reasons: road noise and flood plain.  The park is just off a major outer belt around western St. Louis and there is road noise all the time.  There is also a couple of biker bars within 1/4 mile and quite a bit of motorcycle engine noise here.  As the floods go, a small waterway, Saline Creek, runs right next to this park; when there is heavy rain, it floods and you need to be ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.  We did not have that problem; however, when it rains at all, many of the sites flood and we would step out into a small pool of water as we left the RV.  Our dogs were sopping wet every time they went out….and wet dogs just don’t smell good.  Also the water hookups were below ground and as the rains came, the space filled with ground water.  When we needed to unconnect and reconnect after a short trip, the idea of reaching down into that pit of water was just yucky.  And I am not sure how long I ran the water inside the coach to make sure that no ground water worked its way into our fresh water……yuck….

For the good points, this is a relatively inexpensive metropolitan park if you stay for a month.  They have full hook-ups with 50 amp service and WiFi.  There are many trees near all the sites for shade and the entire site is paved (at various heights though so our car was about 2″ below the RV pad).  Several Sweet Gum trees are here and they leave all those prickly seed balls all around the park, ouch!  They do have mail service onsite also and we had good exposure for our satellite TV.  The neighbors were mostly long-term residents working in the area, several mobile homes were also here.

The road into this park is in terrible condition with potholes everywhere and several speed bumps.  The entrance is a 90º right turn, then a 90º left turn, speed bump and another 90º right turn…..fun in a big rig with a tow car……Not.  On a good note, there is an IMO’s and a Domino’s pizza very close and Saint Louisans can get their IMO’s fix everyday!  This park is also close to a large shopping area with a movie theater, restaurants, and Starbucks.  A nearby QuikTrip gas station has good prices for diesel and is RV accessible.

We will probably not stay here for any length again.  We both prefer a quiet site without threat of road noise or flooding.

Posted in Campgrounds

Gun Creek Campground

This is our second CoE campground in a week and I think we might have found some new favs!  This campground is one of several situated on Rend Lake, IL; there is also North and South Sandusky, South Marcum, and Wayne Fitzgerald State Park.  (Note:  North Marcum is day use only.)  Gun Creek includes 50 amp, water and sewer hookups at paved sites with small gravel picnic areas, and fire rings.IMG_0052We picked site #23 and had this great view from the front of our coach!  They have walking, bike and horse trails around the lake.  There is also a nice golf course at Rend Lake; sadly, I sprained my ankle in Tennessee and could not play.  There are several boat ramps and apparently good fishing here.IMG_0079

We took some time to explore around the area.  Benton, IL is just south of Gun Creek, and the home of the Cozy Table Cafe, they have a great breakfast!  Sesser is just east of Gun Creek and Burton’s Cafe is there.  We love fried chicken and home cooking; Burton’s is all that and more!  A fried chicken dinner for me included 2 thighs and one drumstick with two sides – I chose mashed potatoes with brown gravy and black eyed peas) and sweet tea!  Barry had the white meat plate that came with 2 breasts and a wing!  This is a comfy little diner that takes pride in the offerings, especially the fresh baked pies!  Coconut creme was good, cherry was better!

All-in-all, Gun Creek is a wonderful, quiet, pet and family friendly campground at a great price.  The park is not lit up at night and the stars shine down brightly.  We will definitely return!

Posted in Campgrounds, RV Living

Seven Points Campground

A weekend in Nashville, Tennessee!  So happy to spend time with our youngest son, Tyler and relax in this fun area!  It has been rainy and chilly up to now this Spring and some warmer, sunnier weather was just what we needed!

This is a Corp of Engineers campground located on J. Percy Priest Lake just east of Nashville.  We arrived on March 31, but had to boon-dock at a local WalMart as none of the campground on the lake opened until April 1st!  No exceptions!  The WalMart was also in Hermitage, Tennessee and had a nice quiet side lot for overnight parking; thanks!

The next morning (no April Fools!) we were able to pull into our reserved site (#48) at the campground.  Water and 50 amp electric service, but no sewer.  Nice paved sites, with a curb all around, little hard to maneuver back into, but after 2 tries I was able to get us parked.  Our site looks toward the lake, has trees all around, concrete table and fire ring on a gravel patio. There is no WiFi here; we relied on our Verizon JetPack for that.  Had to really work to find a satellite signal for the TV (it is March Madness time!), but were finally able to get that working.  (Side Note:  we have Dish service for the coach and have to call them every time we move to “turn on” the local channels.  It is slow and painful.).

During the weekend, we visited Belle Mead Plantation, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, and Loveless Cafe.  Belle Mead is a lovely 1800’s style former horse plantation with great history explained by staff in period costumes.  There is a nice winery onsite!  Cheekwood is a former mansion grounds turned botanical gardens and art museum.  The mansion is closed this Spring for rehabilitation but the grounds were popping with tulips and Spring flowers.  They have a beer garden onsite also.  Loveless Cafe is a Nashville favorite with great, down-home, country cooking!  Long wait but worth it for the food!

The campground was completely full by 3:00 that afternoon as everyone came out to enjoy the first open weekend here.  By Sunday afternoon, many had left for the next workday though and the campground became quiet and peaceful.  The rains came back as we pulled out Monday morning……..sigh……great memories!