Friday, April 23, 2010

Watching The Radar and An Easy Day.

We have had warnings all day about very severe weather we can expect early Saturday.

Watching the radar as these storms develop to the west has not been comforting.

A lot will depend on from what direction the storms come.

We have been told since the day we got here that if the storms track in a way the wind comes down the river, between the hills, we had better hang on!

Today the campground manager reviewed the shelter we are to go to should it get so bad we need to abandon our RV.

She also shared with us the strongest part of the building to go to.

While the storms may never get that bad it is nice to know that they take the precaution of letting everyone know the options.

So we wait to see what Mother Nature has in store for us over the next 24 hours.

The idea of bad weather seems to take on a greater significance when you are sitting in a motorhome and exposed to the potential winds that can come.

While in our house we watched the weather but felt much more secure with all the bricks and mortar around us.

We have the motorhome ready to raise the jacks in the event we see high winds.

Due to the ground we are on we have our rear jacks fully extended.

If we were to see high winds the potential for side loading of the Jacks is a potential and not a good thing for jacks.

So I would lower the motorhome to a point where the jacks are barely touching but still providing support.

We will not be level and I just need to make sure that I am uphill of Nanette so she doesn't roll over me!

Today I took it easy and recovered from my illness.

I am feeling much better now. I am glad to get it over with before we hit the road in about a week.

Next week I have my last doctor's appointment for a while. That is the last thing on my list.

Nanette informed me that she has completed everything on her super-secret list.

She beat me again! Must be a woman thing.

We learned about awning clamps or locks today.

It seems awnings can unfurl on you while going down the road under certain conditions.

Kind of sounds like a good idea.

Does anyone one use these or think we should?

This is my first post at the new time so some of you may need to scroll down to see the post from this morning.

Well we will write you from the other side of the severe weather!

Thank you all so much for visiting our blog!

We look forward to having you follow along our next phase - it should be quite a ride!

Ken and Nanette

A Late Post...Feeling Better and Some Upgrades.

I know we are posting our blog later than usual.

The reason is I didn't feel up to the challenge last night.

It is 8 am on Friday and I am sitting outside under our awning watching and hearing a gentle rain fall.

There is fog draped over the trees on top of the rock cliffs that surround us.

It is peaceful to say the least.

It appears I have a sinus infection going on. I can not hear well out of my right ear.

It is better than yesterday when I could hear nothing from my ear.

Overall I feel better this morning.

I did make it to my business appointment yesterday morning and things went better than expected.

Do you remember the wiring problem I had a while back with the Transfer Switch on our motorhome?

The wire had melted at a connection.

Well this has bothered me ever since. I made the decision to replace both the Transfer Switch and the 12 Volt Converter.

Due to their age and appearance I felt it was time.

The cost of these 2 items was surprisingly low and for the peace of mind I decided to make the upgrade.

I decided to upgrade to a Progressive Dynamics PD9260 12 Volt Converter.

This is a 3 stage computer controlled 12 volt Converter unlike the old single stage "just throw the power at it" Converter.

It has built-in protection against high input voltage, high temperature, direct short and reverse polarity.

It also has a remote display to indicate what mode the converter is in based on what "it has determined" the batteries need including Storage Mode and Equalization Mode.

There is also the ability to override the units computer decision and manually choose the mode - although not recommended.

It also has fan cooling which only comes on if the temperature of the converter requires additional cooling based on how hard it is working.

I installed this unit yesterday. It took about 15 minutes to do so.

Once done and energized it worked as described and went immediately to normal charging mode.

It is also silent without the fan running unlike the old one that had a constant hum plus it is about 1/3 the weight.

I am not sure of the fan noise level since it has not needed it to run but from the reviews it is not very loud at all and cools the unit down quickly allowing the fan to shut off.

I watched the amperage draw on the EMS when it powered up and it started at 4 amps then stepped up to 6 amps and then to 8 amps. After about and hour it started stepping down and now sits at 3 amps.

I will write about the new Transfer Switch once it arrives and is installed.

This job will be tougher since I am going with a stand alone Transfer Switch opposed to an integrated one, will relocate it and will also relocate the EMS box so that the converter, transfer switch and EMS are together and MUCH easier to get to.

I will let you know how that goes.

Well that is all for today or I should say yesterday.

By the way I am going to be posting earlier than usual since I am getting used to using my Blackberry so that we can post from the road much easier. I will be posting around 8 or 9 PM of the same day if everything goes well. Also if there are some formatting mistakes I apologize up from since it is a little more difficult to catch them when not on a big screen computer.

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Still Not Feeling Well Today.

I pretty much did nothing today but try to recover from whatever this bug is.

Thank you all for your comments and email regarding Workamping!

I want to add one thing more about this subject.

Today I visited a forum for Workampers and read a discussion about how things have changed in the last couple of years.

It was agreed that there are more younger people and families entering the Workamper arena.

These observations are from those that been Workamping for a number of years.

It is impossible to tell if this is happening out of necessity or desire for a different lifestyle.

It appears it is becoming an industry that is growing for one reason or another.

I just found it interesting to read all of the observations of those that have been around awhile and to see that it is so evident.

I have the last major item to take care of tomorrow in the business arena. Then a visit to the doctor and my list is done.

Nanette still has a few things on hers I think - but since it is super-secret I will never know for sure.

She always gets her stuff done though. I am the one that usually lags behind.

We haven't had a chance to go look at grills yet but we will soon and let you know what we decide to get. It is between the Weber and the Coleman. We just need to get our hands on them to see the differences. We better get something soon because we are missing out on some good grilling weather!

Well I think I am going to cut it short today and go to bed early.

Thank you all for visiting - our numbers of readers continues to grow and we are honored!

Ken and Nanette

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Rainy Cool Day and Some Thoughts On Workamping.

Very cool today and the rain has moved in.

I took care of a few more items today on the list and it keeps getting shorter.

I have a few more things to take care of before the end of the week and the list will be complete.

We really don't have much to report today since it was mostly business stuff.

For some reason I am feeling a little under the weather today.

Perhaps a little rest will help.

We have been staying very busy and it may be catching up with me some.

I was thinking about our budget today.

We will need to be very careful sticking to our budget.

I know this gets discussed a lot online but of course every situation is different.

This is a big change for us and will take some adjustments as we go along.

As I am sure most are aware of you will never get rich Workamping.

We believe with the right assignments however you can make a living with no other income. It takes work - hard work sometimes but we think it can be rewarding.

We also think that one opportunity can lead to another.

I actually think that in light of the current normal job market there is more stability and more opportunities in the Workamping arena right now.

If one finds the right opportunity and makes the right moves the possibilities exist to find long term stable employment. Although the amount of money one can make may be limited - I think that it is a better option today than the mainstream employment.

I know people that have been on unemployment for over a year with very few prospects in sight. And those prospects are for much less money than they were making.

Plus the competition for the available jobs is fierce and make no mistake about it - employers even in the mainstream are taking advantage of being able to hire the lowest bidder even if not the most qualified.

We are about to find out if what I suspect is true regarding making a living while workamping.

I think the best way to find out is to try it.

We have faith that opportunities will open for us and while it may take a while to really hit our goal we feel it is the best opportunity to live the life we desire.

I am certainly aware that the vast majority of full timers have other income. While we are different in that regard our dream is the same.

I had an email from an executive friend of mine the other day that said that according to their analysts wages may never be recovered by those that have lost their jobs.

He also said that the wage levels have taken a hit to the extent that it may take years to recover.

So not a pretty picture for the unemployed or even the employed.

In my opinion nobody's job is truly secure. If they are not considering the possibility of unexpected unemployment they are making a very big mistake.

With unemployment rates as high as they are and business still being gun shy to spend money then why not go where the money that IS moving is.

There are opportunities for management and even ownership should one desire to pursue it.

So we march boldly forward into a new environment and a new way to earn the money required to live.

It is an adventure just like we have always accepted. It isn't just a vacation it is a new way of life.

An uncertain life perhaps but in such an uncertain world why not choose a lifestyle that brings out the best in life while you navigate the uncertainty that is truly unavoidable?

We believe this is the best path for us - we know it isn't for everyone - but we think it is a dream worth following.

At the end of the day having lived your life the best way you know how is all we can ask for.

So keep dreaming and move toward it and don't let anyone stop you.

Well enough of the soapbox thing.

Ken and Nanette

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Things Done...Testing The On-Board Generator and We Were Hired!

Got my Driver's License renewed and renewed the tags on the Highlander.

Both were going to expire while we would be in New York.

It was funny when the clerk saw the expiration date on the Highlander tags.

I think she was shocked that I actually wanted to pay the taxes on it BEFORE they were due.

She actually asked me I had looked at the expiration date.

Probably something they don't see often.

We are beginning to see the issues that exist with us not being in our state of residency.

For the most part I think we can do everything from out of state.

The one thing we have yet to figure out is the doctor and dentist requirements. This is especially important for the kids.

There are three more things that I need to take care of and then we are free to leave.

It looks like I will have everything completed by Friday as long as there are no surprises.

We have moved our date of departure to May 1st officially.

I put our on-board 7KW generator through it's paces today.

I started it up and then loaded it up.

I put a meter on it to make sure voltage, amps and frequency were to spec.

Since our generator puts out 57 amps it is hard to really load it to full capacity but with the help of a couple of electric heaters and other equipment I got it loaded to 54 amps.

Everything was amazingly stable even at these levels.

Our generator has a computer controlled voltage and frequency regulator and apparently it really regulates - even with loading and dumping power as I was - it stayed rock steady.

I will share more later but we were hired today for a position through the end of December.

We start October 3rd. This will give us a month off after our job in New York to do some exploring!

Needless to say we are thrilled!

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day for me as I take care of a very important business issue that must be resolved before we leave.

That is all for today - each day we inch closer to the next phase of our adventure!

Ken and Nanette

Monday, April 19, 2010

Trip Planning and Deciding The Departure Date.

We started our trip planning today for our trip to North Hudson, New York.

We have communicated with some people that are very familiar with the route we are taking.

The main thing we wanted to do was to avoid the toll roads along the way if possible.

So we now know how we will get to where we are going.

We will be getting on I-75 in Lexington and head north.

We will go around Cincinnati and take I-71 to I-90 to I-86 to I-88 to I-81 to North Hudson.

It appears the I's have it!

I am sure we will take some side trips but this will be the basic route.

Of course now the question is when we pull out.

Once we got the maps and campground directory out we really got motivated to leave.

If everything goes well next week then by next weekend we are free to leave.

Nanette gave her notice at work today and she told them she would be available until the 30th.

So we could leave Saturday the 1st which we probably will.

We have picked a mix of campgrounds and State Parks along the way to stay at.

It looks like we will be averaging 200 miles a day with us staying a couple of nights in one place or another.

So there you have it.

We are getting ready to cross another threshold in our adventure.

We moved in here on December 28th. If you remember we were originally not going to be moving in here until April 15th.

Then things got moved up and things became a blur. We spent the winter here at the campground. A very cold and snowy winter!

Now we hit the road and start our first Workamping job at Paradise Pines Campground in the Adirondacks on May 8th.

For those that like pictures - get ready - because we are going to really get the cameras working once we hit the road.

I should warn you - I have been known to take some very - well - "interesting" photos at times.

I like to tell stories with a camera. I think you will get the idea rather quickly.

Yep, things have moved quickly and have worked out very well.

Of course we have no earthly idea what we are in for but then again we had no idea what we were in for when we went full time.

Next week is going to be a very busy week for us with all the last minute stuff we have to get done.

In the next few days I am going to share a story or two with you from my younger years that I think you will find interesting.

I also want to share some thoughts on current events in this 'ol world.

I guess I will end this post for today.

Ken and Nanette

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Flushed and Sanitized - Yippee!...and A Couple of Special Visitors.

Today I did the thing that is most unpleasant about RVs.

I flushed the grey and black water tanks.

I thought about getting a Hazmat suit but decided to just brave it out.

The indicators on the black water were stuck on full all the time.

Which meant there was something stuck to the sensors.

Sometimes it amazes me the disagreements that will happen on the internet and what they are over.

Just ask the question about sensors readings being stuck and let the fun begin.

Some say put ice down the toilet and drive around -- some say Pinesol will do the trick although there is disagreement on how much not to mention some say it is not good for the tank. There are also a bunch of home brews people use.

I read all the disagreement and fighting and fussing and decided to just use some common sense, a flushing wand and test my ability to hold my breath for an extended period of time.

We have a fixture where our dump valves are that you hook up a hose to -- turn the little valve and it shoots water right into the tanks. Nifty little gadget!

That cleaned out a lot but I still had a sensor issue.

I have a little device that also hooks to a hose and has spray jets at 90 degree angles that goes down the toilet and you rotate it so that the spray cleans 360 degrees in the tank.

That did the trick. Everything works just like it is supposed to.

A little maintenance, albeit not pleasant, goes a long way to avoid big problems in the dark nether regions of an RVs sewage system.

We have not used our on board water tank or pump since last fall so I decided to sanitize the fresh water tank and pump.

The recommended process is fill tank add 1/4 cup of bleach for each 15 gallons of water run all faucets to get solution throughout water lines and pump . Let stand a minimum of 3 hours (overnight is best) drain - fill tank with fresh water.

You are then sanitized.

So that is what I did - now it is done.

The exciting things this full timing exposes me to sometimes!

Rowdy and Penny made comments, really good ones, that we should just leave now. Believe me I would jump at the chance. However while the RV is ready we still have a doctor and dentist appointment to get out of the way next week.

BUT after that - we may take Penny and Rowdy's great suggestion and just go.

There has to be some nice places between here and New York to see.

Thank you all for the grill suggestions! That was exactly what we needed.

We are going to make a trip to look at both the Weber and the Coleman. It is hard to visualize size and accessories without looking at them.

We will let you know which one we get and then invite everyone over for a cookout. Well we may need more than one though.

Today I had a couple of special visitors -- Bill and his son James stopped by.

Our campground is about 5 miles from where he lives. Bill is a regular in the RV-Dreams Chat Room that I visit almost every day. We have been chatting since we moved in here but had never met.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Bill and James -- what a delight it was for me. Bill is one of those people that you are just drawn to when you meet. We sat around for a while and talked about kids, dogs, camping and full timing. We told a few stories and well just had a good time visiting.

He brought Brownies for us that his wife made!!!

It is somewhat sad that we are leaving here now that I have met Bill. But we will be coming back here and you can bet we will be stopping and seeing them.

Oh and the brownies? WOW!!!

That's our story for today and we are sticking to it!

Ken and Nanette