Monday, March 30, 2015

Surprise

I had an old Yamaha on Craigslist. It was a non runner that I'd bought to part out years ago and somehow never got round to tearing apart. Over the years I've made money buying cheap old motorcycles and parting them out on E-Bay but somehow this one survived.
I put the ad up on Monday and a guy called on Friday. He showed up around 5pm and we quickly struck a deal that let me  make a few bucks over what I paid for it. Then he noticed the motorcycle license plates hanging in the wall, we agreed a price for each one and he said he'd buy them all. I think he was a bit surprised when I pulled a big stack of them out of a cupboard! We counted them - 27! That and the Yamaha put another couple of hundred dollars in the bank.
He's going to call me about the radial arm saw I have too.

A pretty good day! Then it got better when I noticed a box sitting on a shelf, when I opened it I found all my old model airplane engines. I put them on e-bay and I'm another $100 better off with 6 more yet to sell.

Today we have another "San Diego Bucket List" item to check off.
As an avid motorcyclist I have spectated at just about all known forms of motorcycle sport. Motocross has always been a favorite and I've enjoyed it from small club races to International and World Championship events in Europe and the US.

One form of motocross I haven't experienced yet is "Super Cross" which is a race on a man made track in a stadium. This is a spectacular show with lots of huge leaps and tight corners.

We are off to the San Diego Padres stadium Petco Park right in the heart of the Gaslamp District in down town San Diego. 

If you visit San Diego be aware that parking near the Gaslamp is in short supply and expensive. Much more convenient is the San Diego Trolley which goes right down to Petco and we can pick up from a stop not far from home. As seniors we can get there and back for $2.50 what a deal! The trolley will take you right down to the Mexican Border at San Ysidro if you would like to visit Tijuana sometime. Just be sure you have a passport for the trip back!

We spent 10 hours at the Super Cross! Good job we took stadium seat cushions with us. Both of us enjoyed the event and it was a unique experience in that the cheaper seats were the best ones! The expensive seats are close to the track but due to the way the track twists and turns to fit in the stadium we found it was difficult to follow the flow of the qualifying races. We later went to our assigned seats up in the "Nose Bleed" sections and we could see the entire track from up there and we could follow each rider much more easily. So it was a good day out except for the $11 beers and $10 hot dogs.

I got inspired to push forward on our plans to sell the house and dug out all the old CD's and cassette tapes to donate to Goodwill, then decided that as we are going camping this weekend and I need to get clothes sorted out and in the rig that I'd go thru my closet and throw out all the T shirts I don't wear anymore. So I ended up with another pickup truck load of stuff that won't be coming back!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Learning every day (LED's)


Big update 11/6/19

We bought a new RV and this one has totally different lighting. The new one is all halogen light fixtures. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for what I discovered about those fixtures!

It's amazing what we don't know.
It's amazing what you think you know and find out that you don't know it at all.
It's amazing how people come and help!

My latest decision was to replace some of the light bulbs in the rig with LED's (Light Emitting Diodes).

LED's use way less power than the old fashioned bulbs and if you are boondocking your batteries will last way longer than if you are using regular bulbs.

Some searching on the escapees.com forums brought lots of information so I knew everything I needed!

Wrong!
LED's come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colors, power, voltage ranges and other things I'm sure I don't know about yet.

Shapes.
There are LED's that are flat arrays, round like bulbs, flat like mini spotlights, have single contacts, double contacts, two level light (Like auto brake and running light bulbs)



Sizes.
I'm including compatible sizes for auto and RV bulbs such as 1157 1056 and 1057.
1157 bulbs and compatible LED's are the brake/running light dual filament type used in the rear lights of vehicles. Generally they aren't used inside RV's but can be used in candelabra type bedroom fixtures. They have two contacts on the bottom.
An 1157 dual filament bulb

1056 bulbs and compatible LED's are single contact single filament type generally used in turn signals, running lights in vehicles and overhead lights in RV's.
An 1056 single contact single filament bulb

1057 bulbs and compatible LED's are two contact bulbs but have a single filament. They are used in candelabra type fittings in RV's which have no ground thru the side of the fixture.
From left to right 1157, 1057, 1056


Colors.
White is white what's the problem?
Well in the LED world white can be several shades of white.

AARGH!!

The problem is that the lights in our homes and RV's aren't really white. Filament type bulbs actually put out a yellow tinged light that you would never see until you put it alongside a pure white LED light source.

Then it becomes really obvious.
Pure white LED left, 1056 bulb right


LED's white light is extraordinarily bright which seems great, but it can be hard on your eyes. It's kind of like being in a white room with a bright white spotlight on. It can give some people headaches.
The answer is Warm White LED's which mimic the color of filament type bulbs.
Two warm white LED's


LED's are also available in every color of the rainbow and can even be remotely controlled to change color at will.

Power.
Filament bulbs come in 5 watt (W for short), 10, 30, 50, 100W etc.
The higher the number the brighter they are. You can't measure the light output in watts, watts are a unit of electric power so the wattage is actually telling you how much electricity the bulb will be using when it's switched on.

LED's use a unit called Lumens.
If you want to see how bright or dark an area is you use a light meter. It's units are lumens. A lumen is a measure of how much light is falling on something. The higher the number the brighter the light.

An LED might be labeled as 50 Lumens, 100 Lumens, 200 Lumens. With a light meter you could measure the brightness of them.

So far I think the 200 lumen ones are about right in Warm White.

Voltage Ranges.
Cars and RV's use 12 volts right so we need a 12 volt LED?

WRONG!

When we are running along the road the alternator on the vehicle will be charging the battery and it takes more than 12 volts to charge a 12 volt battery. It may reach as high as 15 volts even in a system that's working properly. The Generator and Shore Power in an RV can do the same thing.
When we're boondocking and leave the lights burning all night the batteries can get run down and the voltage can fall way below 12 volts if we're not careful.

LED's were invented in the electronics industry and used for warning lights etc. Generally the voltage in those applications is constant and LED's designed for constant voltage work very well there.

Standard electronic industry LED's DON'T like varying voltage and burn out quickly, so for auto and RV use we need to look for an LED that has a voltage range as wide as possible. 8v to 15v might be good and is what I currently look for.

And then?

And then I bought some single contact LED's and put them in our candelabra lights over the bed and started blowing fuses. I replaced the bulbs and fuses and everything was fine. I tried the LED's again and blew the fuse again. What the heck??
Candelabra fixture


Turns out when I looked again at the bulbs they were two contact 1057 type not the single contact 1056 I'd bought. The 1057's don't ground thru the brass base like normal bulbs but thru a second contact in the base. They look a lot like the 1157 brake light bulbs and in fact when I looked at the bulbs I took out they were 1157 type but worked in the fixture OK.
The single filament type just connected the two contacts in the fixture together via the brass base and blew the fuse.
1056 top blows fuses
1057 bottom doesn't

Happy 1057 type LED's


A little mail order later and I had it sorted out. I used the 1056 ones I ordered wrongly in the overhead lights and they work just fine up there.

You see? I'm Learning Every Day

Update April 2017

This article turned out to get the highest number of hits of all on my blog!! THANKS!!
Since I wrote it we've moved from a regular house and RV'ing occasionally to living and travelling full time in our RV. We've been on the road 2 years now and using the LED's I show above every night.

So how have they held up? What have we learned?

They have held up GREAT! We have had only one failure in any of them and that was the 1056 type that we fitted in the outside light over the entrance door, which failed after a year. 

Now give this bulb it's due. We spent last winter in Arizona in the same RV park. We kept forgetting to put the outside light on when we went out before it got dark so I just left it on ALL THE TIME, day or night that bulb burned for 3 months straight then a row of the LED modules went out, a few weeks later another etc until there was only 1 row left BUT IT STILL PUT OUT LIGHT!
We replaced it with another we had left over from the original purchase.
This winter we spent 4 months in Florida and the outside light with the new LED stayed on for 4 months straight with no failure.

So what did we learn?
LED's are great and there is no problem with the cheap ones we bought on E-Bay.
See Ya
Brian

Another Update September 2017

The Outside Light failed again which I didn't understand at first as it was a brand new one from exactly the same batch as the rest.

When I looked at the failed one it was immediately obvious what had happened.
We stored the rig for the summer in hot, humid Florida. The LED was VERY corroded, so much so that the individual elements were falling out. We've never stored in a hot, humid climate before.

CONCLUSION:

Maybe use a regular bulb in the outside lights if you live in a humid area.

Another update May 2018


Flat panel type LED.
The 4 flat panel type LED's are the oldest we have and 3 of them started flickering within a couple of months of each other. I bought some more cheap 1057 LED's on e-bay and replaced them. The original 1057 types are still working well except the ones we tried in the outside light. We've gone back to regular bulbs out there as we kept all the ones we replaced with LED's

BIG UPDATE NOVEMBER 2019

In September 2018 the engine on our old coach died and we went upmarket to a diesel pusher made by Monaco.


New coach, new lighting fixtures

This one has totally different lighting and instead of traditional bulbs it uses halogen bulbs which are both smaller and brighter than regular incandescent type bulbs. They also put our a LOT of heat and you can easily burn yourself if you touch one.

So SAFETY FIRST! Let them cool before you start working with them.

Another point to note is that touching the glass with your bare fingers even when they are cold will seriously reduce the life span of halogen bulbs. The grease and acid in your skin if it gets in contact with the glass can etch it and cause hot spots leading to burn outs. So use a clean cloth to take them out and replace then.

Most of the lights in our new coach are recessed ceiling types. The exceptions being the reading lights in the bedroom and the vanity lights in the bathroom.

Being frugal I only intend to replace the bulbs that burn out rather than replacing them wholesale. The exceptions being the reading lights in the bedroom that are very bright and also very hot.

To access the recessed lights involves removing the flat glass covers from the fixtures. When I looked there are two types of fixtures and the differences aren't obvious from the outside.

The first type are in the overhead. The fixtures are apparently fastened to the structure. Removing the cover simply requires gripping the edge of the cover and turning it thru about 45 degrees, at which point it is free. The bulb sits inside the reflector. To remove it just pull it horizontally and the two wires holding it will come away with the bulb. EASY!

Ceiling lights with cover on. This type is fixed in place.
The second type is in the bottom of the overhead cupboards and at first appears identical to the first type. When you try and turn the cover the whole fixture turns with it. A little tugging reveals that the fixture is kept in place by spring arms. By carefully pulling you can ease the springs out of the hole the fixture fits in. Remove the cover by twisting. Replace the fixture by holding the spring arms vertically and slipping them back in the hole.

This type is in the cabinet bottoms and is removable

Pull it out gently and the spring arms snap down like this.

Squeeze the arms up like this and push into the hole to replace them

I ordered some LED replacements from an e-bay supplier looking for the voltage range as before. The description is "G4, Clear, 
Warm White"

Once I figured out how to get to the bulbs pulling them out was easy. When I compared them there was obviously 2 different existing bulbs and the replacement was another size.

Top 2 are halogen and different sizes. Bottom is the replacement LED.

The good news was that after bending the wire prongs a little I got the new LED bulb to fit in BOTH fixtures. Not that it was easy as my bifocals were upside down for working in the overhead! That's why I took the spring loaded fixtures out, it just made it easier to get the new LED's in.

The LED's weren't a perfect fit but they didn't interfere with the covers going back on.

The LED in place. It hangs out a little at the bottom but the cover still goes on OK.
From a light perspective I can see absolutely no difference in color or light output between the halogens and the LED's. The big difference is that the LED's are cold whereas the halogens were very hot to touch,
One's LED

The other Halogen. I can't tell the difference.
The next fixtures to tackle were the reading lamps in the bedroom which my wife and I both think are too bright and too hot to the touch.

The bedroom reading lights are too bright and too hot.

Searching E-bay left me confused, there are many types of this bulb variously described as "Long", "Extra Long" and a whole lot more. I finally decided to order a couple of "Long" type and try them out.
I ordered "Leisure Light LED Spotlight Bulb, Bayonet RV 1156, 2.1 Watt, Warm Long".

This is the old one.

The LED top is much shorter.
Fitting the new LED wasn't too easy. To remove the old bulb just push up on it and twist it to get it our of the bayonet fitting. The new LED was much shorter and so sat further up into the fixture. I had to balance it on top of my thumb with the fixture exactly vertical to get the bayonet into the socket and not jammed between the side of the socket and the fixture. It took a couple of tries before I got it.

When we turned it on it was obvious that the LED was WAY brighter and a much harsher white than the old bulb. My wife didn't like it so hers stayed as it was and I was too lazy to change mine back!

My side is very bright and a glaring white

Barbara's side with the original bulb.
We will have to experiment some more another time.




Friday, March 20, 2015

Home is where you make it

Domicile.
Residence.

They are the same aren't they? After all wherever you are a resident then you domicile there too surely?

We yes and no! How's that for a definitive answer?

To reside somewhere it is enough to lay your head on a pillow for a night. The next day you move on and reside at the next stop for a night.

People who are full timing in an RV and have sold their home can choose where their "domicile" is going to be.

I'm not a lawyer, I do not play one on TV and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn last night so don't take anything I say here as gospel. 
If you decide to change domicile seek professional help. 
A great source for the latest information is Escapees.com. They can set you up with everything you need and that is where we went to set our domicile up. 

First - why would you want to change domicile from your home state in the first place?

All states have different rules for registering vehicles, annual testing, smog tests etc. They all charge different amounts to register the vehicles and charge more or less sales tax when purchasing a new or used vehicle.

All states have different ways of raising taxes. Some have income tax on earnings, some tax social security payments, some have personal property taxes, some have sales taxes, some don't.

If you could choose which state you could live in it would be a great thing! 

Well you can. If you are full timers with no home base your RV is your home base and you can take it to the state of your choice.

The great thing is that you don't have to reside in a state to be domiciled there. If you INTEND to be domiciled there at some future point that's enough. However plans can change so if you don't end up there when you finally settle down that's fine, so long as at the time you set out you had the INTENT.

If you have property, possessions and various other items still in another state then you may find that that state will come after you for taxes, even though you appear to have set up domicile elsewhere. They may (and can) take you to court and show that the fact that you left stuff in their state proves you didn't really INTEND to move to the second state. 
California is especially tough on this and large fines can be levied if they show you have been less than honest. The line between tax avoidance and tax evasion is a thin one. It's legal to avoid taxes. 

Remember though that they finally got Al Capone on tax EVASION.

That's where you need to talk to a lawyer. Escapees can steer you to a lawyer who specializes in this type of situation.

So it comes down to presenting a picture of your actions which tell a story of how you set up you domicile. It requires several things.
Getting a Drivers License
Changing your vehicle registrations
Getting a voter registration
A library card.
Changing the addresses on your business documents, bank accounts, credit cards.
Changing your mailing address
Changing wills and trusts to reflect your new state.

There are several other things that will reinforce your case. Talk to that lawyer or go to an Escapees seminar, their forums also have good info and the office in Livingston TX can get you set up.

So which state?
Another positive answer.....DEPENDS.
(Not the adult diapers, they may come later).

The current favorite states are Texas, Florida and South Dakota.
They have no state income taxes.
They are flexible in letting you use a mail forwarding address as a permanent address and may charge less than other states to register your vehicles.

For most Texas is a good choice and people use the Escapees Mail Service as their address as well as their mail forwarding service.

We have decided to use South Dakota, for the following reasons (given that none of the 3 will tax our SS income).
South Dakota has no vehicle inspections and no smog checks so we don't have to go back every year to get the registration renewed. We can do it by mail.
Texas and Florida do have annual inspections.

Be aware though that South Dakota doesn't have a state Health Insurance registry so if you need to get insured thru ACA South Dakota will be very expensive. 
If you have Medicare/Medicaid then it makes no difference.

South Dakota also has very low rates for vehicle insurance.

We set up everything thru Escapees who now have facilities to set you up in either of the 3 states. Our legal address will be in South Dakota but we will be using the Livingston TX mail forwarding address for mail.
If you are on our Christmas Card mailing list you'll see a change of address soon.


We set up our Domicile and Mail Forwarding at 
The Escapees Booth during their Escapade Rally

Saturday, March 14, 2015

What a dance

Dinner and drinks at the Q was good last night and a few more of the Shanty Shakers were staying there on the way home.



Barbara ready for dinner at the Q

Q

Free dry camping area

Casino

John and Debbie were limping along with either a bad battery or a bad alternator or both!! Their diesel rig can run with very little battery power unlike our gas rig! We kept calling and texting until eventually they got to the Love's truck stop in Yuma and pulled in for the night.

This morning we called them about 8.30am and arranged to meet them for breakfast. We drove the Fiesta over to Love's but when we got there they had pulled out and were heading over to Cracker Barrel. I was worried there was no RV parking there as we'd been before and hadn't seen any. John had found on street parking across from the place.

20 minutes after putting our name on the list we were seated, John was now concerned about his tires as although they were less than 5 years old, they had run the rig through the Escapees "Smart Weigh" program where they weigh at each wheel. The results were scary. They were heavy on one front tire. Plus the tires on it were "G" rated for load and that meant the tire was over it's designed weight capacity. It should have had "H" rated tires which would have brought it within the tire's weight range. At $450 a tire it gets expensive fast.
John and Debbie's rig. 
We were within hours of buying this when we bought the Rexhall.

They decided to stay and investigate the tire situation and thought that the battery/alternator problem was under control.

As it was gone 11am all ready, Barbara and I said goodbye and headed west for San Diego. Barbara kept in touch with John and Debbie by text from the passenger seat while I drove.

Temperatures in Yuma had been hitting 90F yesterday and today was predicted to be the same. The road out of Yuma goes thru the Imperial Dunes area which is a harsh desert and was used to film movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Rommel, Desert Fox". There are very few turn offs and no services for many, many miles.

We were 50 miles out of Yuma and with no place to turn off when they texted that although they had the engine running there wasn't enough voltage for the transmission to shift.

Unfortunately we couldn't help them, but at least they were in Yuma and could get help. We were worried about them all the way home. I suggested a few things they could try. Eventually they said they were going to try swapping a house battery that they had charged with the generator for the dead chassis battery. It must have worked as we got a message they were leaving Yuma, then various reports until they said they were home. PHEW!!

So we unhooked the Toad, bicycles, the fridge, dirty clothes, food out of the pantry and headed into the house. It was hot in there too! 85F in San Diego. We opened all the windows put on the ceiling fan and I promptly fell asleep in the chair.

Trip over.  

The dumber you are.....

The dumber you are the faster you learn.

At least I hope that's true as I put the laptop in the overhead when we left Tuscon only to have it fly out and crash to the floor when we stopped in Casa Grande to meet some friends for lunch.

Luckily the laptop survived (or I wouldn't be posting this).

We escaped from ESCAPADE!!

After going to the departure breakfast around 7.30 this morning and having coffee and muffins with Chapter 25 we packed up the rig and hit the road.

I was expecting a traffic jam on the way out but it was really pleasant. Before you could blink we were West Bound! The plan was to get to Casa Grande and meet up with Karen and Paul who we met thru Rvillage.com on our Christmas/New Years trip. http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2014/12/where-heck-is-casa-grande.html. We called them as we hit I10 around 9.30am. Our ETA in the Iron Skillet was 11.00am. A mighty brunch was had and Paul gave us a coupon for 2 for 1 meals!! What a guy.


It was great catching up with their year so far and their plans for work camping in Arkansas this summer. We may have to stop by and visit again. If not we are thinking we'll winter back in Casa Grande and catch up with them again there.

The truck stop certainly made our rig look small!!




Next was Yuma. We've been there lots in the last year and we actually bought the rig there (See previous blog). We like it because the gas is cheap compared to San Diego. This time Casa Grande was 17 cents a gallon cheaper than Yuma. It's all at least $1 a gallon cheaper than San Diego!

We eventually stopped at the "Q". Exit 166 on I8 on the west side of Yuma. A casino that lets you park for free as long as you like so long as you keep your site clean. What a deal.

We may hook up with John and Debbie again tonight. They stopped in Casa Grande to have their rig serviced. We called them when we got here (Around 4pm) but they sounded as if they were having trouble. Hopefully we can get together for the last night before we get back to reality.

At last count Barbara has 4 weeks today until retirement and I have 83 days 21 hours 51 minutes and 54 seconds......

Friday, March 13, 2015

TTFN

TTFN?

In UK that's short for "Ta Ta For Now" which in turn means "Goodbye"

Thursday is closing ceremonies followed by......

See if you can guess.

RIGHT! A PARTY.
You are a genius.

First there was the Chilli Cookoff
Marilyn of Chapter 25 photo bombs

My favorite red hot chilli

The Ham O Rama players with John of Chapter 25 on keyboards

Once we had filled up with chilli we had lunch! Followed by farewells and....

Chapter 25 does what it does best

And does most frequently

Of course all good things must come to an end and at 7pm we all went indoors.
And partied some more!!

In between all these parties we squeezed in the Rvillage.com 1st anniversary party. We met up with the guys behind the scenes and traded cards with Gary and Sue Alexander who are on parallel tracks to ours.In fact it sounds like we are in a race to see who can hit the road first!

Nice seeing you Gary and Sue. Isn't Rvillage a great resource?




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Burning out

This morning it was hard to get going. Jesse left and we wandered over to a seminar on "How to make a Bucket List". Sounds a bit boring but we actually have TWO Bucket Lists!!

The seminar was pretty good with examples of what the presenters had on theirs and how they financed it, what to add and what to delete. The audience got well into things to do.

Our two lists are for different purposes.
One's the things to do before we die, the other is things to do before we leave San Diego, we did a couple of things on that list a month or so back and blogged them.

After that we went round the vendor area, back to the rig for a nap, made lunch, napped some more then went over to the RV show for free wine and cheese. Unfortunately we napped too long the last time and only got one free wine so we ended up at John and Debbie's again snacking and drinking beer.

Man this RV'ing thing is hard work.

I did a little drawing over the last couple of days. My online art club paintbasket.com have a monthly challenge. They publish a photograph and everyone tries to paint or draw it. We all vote at the end of the month for the winner. This month's challenge for drawing is a monkey. Here's my attempt.
Monkey drawn with regular colored pencils

At 7 we went to "Ham O'Rama" where fellow RV'ers demonstrate their musical abilities. (Or occasionally the lack of them). One gentleman on an accordion got the room to it's feet. Several acts were very good indeed.

Tomorrow is the last full day of the Rally. Boy that went quick.

If not Monday then it's Tuesday?

An old and entertaining friend of ours Jesse called to say he was in Tuscon. Jesse worked with me in San Diego and we are both motorcycle riders so we got on well. About 5 years ago he moved to Chicago and lately he's been teaching in El Paso. 

It's Spring Break so he's out enjoying a ride. 
 Jesse

We hooked up for breakfast and then he became fascinated with our RV adventure and ended up paying a daily admission to the rally to see for himself.

We had a good time showing him what the RV lifestyle is like and we ended up at the "Shanty Shakers" happy hour just 2 rigs away from ours.

Of course we stopped at the RV Show Happy Hour for free beer and cocktails on the way! (Seagrams and 7 or a Screwdriver).

John and Debbie were hosting "Taco Tuesday" for the chapter and expecting about 20 people. 42 showed up!! Luckily there was enough Pollo Asada and Carne Asada to go around and everyone brought enough side dishes to feed an army. There was even ice cream for desert.
John mans the grill

Barbara and the cream puffs

 Debbie
Mike (l) and John

We had so much stuff to grill that I got our little Coleman Roadtrip grill out and set it next to John's grill and between the 2 of us we soon had everyone fed.

Jesse was impressed by the friendly people, the good food and the free beer! 

Later we went out for the "Star Gazing" party but to be honest it was a bit of a bust for us as it was right next to the entrance road and the car headlights killed our night vision. We wandered off to a less populated area of the fairground and used the night sky app on the cell phone to identify the constellations that way.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What day is it?

I must be getting into the Full Timer mindset as I can't remember if it's Monday or Tuesday and further more I don't care!!

It must be Tuesday so I better catch up with what happened on Monday. The Rally is both a social and an educational event. All day long there are seminars on subjects from legal issues related to full timing to how to clean your rig! And there are at least 4 seminar rooms going simultaneously from 8.30 am to 4 pm. Barbara and I went to a couple that we really liked. One on how to tour Alaska in an RV and another about strange and wonderful things to see on the back roads of this country. Both were very well presented and whet our appetite for adventure.

On a more businesslike note I attended one on the legal ramifications of changing your domicile from one state to another when you hit the road and how to make that change stand up in court should your previous state decide it wants to tax you after you leave. Again an outstanding presenter who is registered to practice law in both Texas and California.

We had intended to try line dancing classes which are held in a pavilion.
Early morning line dance class
Originally scheduled for 7 am (!!!!!!) they rescheduled them to 9am but this morning that clashed with our Alaska seminar so we didn't make it. Maybe tomorrow?

Scheduling is a problem here apparently. There are things called "Happy Hours" where a group meet up at a certain time and place and everyone brings chairs, snacks, drinks etc and sit around getting happy. At 4 pm we were scheduled for a Free Margarita Happy Hour at the RV show, another one in the main pavilion for First Timers and a third at one of the Chapter members campsite for our local Chapter in San Diego "The Shanty Shakers". We couldn't make up our minds which to do. Eventually we dropped the First Timers event and stopped by for free margaritas on the way to the Shanty Shakers. (Pictures later).

This high pressure intellectual stuff was wearing us out so after we ate and went back to the main hall at 7 pm for the daily door prize drawing we decided to skip the evening entertainment in favor of an early night.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Big rally, Big Step


RV's of every shape and size are at Escapade

There are supposed to be close to 900 rigs here this week plus vendors and an RV Show! I got up on the roof to try and get a feel for the extent of the place! I'm impressed to say the least and people all are friendly.

We needed ice so decided to go early to Walmart which is just a couple of miles down the road and get breakfast while we were out. 

Intentions are good but we had to stop and talk before we got going. Then we wanted to get another of those "BIG STEPS" accomplished and sign up for South Dakota addresses and Texas mailing services, and we stopped by the Escapees booth on the way out. By the time we got back with the ice it was lunch time!

If you don't know about domiciles and mail forwarding, I'll put out a separate blog about it later, but briefly once you sell the house and hit the road you can choose where "Home" is. For various reasons we chose South Dakota as our Domicile and we chose to use Escapees headquarters in Livingston Texas as our mail forwarding service.

Barbara (left) signs us up for South Dakota domicile.
My wallet looks on as David and Teresa help us with the paperwork.

Later in the day we went to the "First Timers" orientation followed by the opening ceremonies and the evenings entertainment all in the big Thurber Hall on the fairgrounds.


We even managed to fit in a champagne reception for the launch of a new branch of the Escapees tree. Xcapers is aimed at younger RV'ers with kids who share our love for this lifestyle. With more and more workers being able to "Tele-commute" working on the road has become a real possibility. I hope this young energetic group flourish.




Talking of possibilities and RV's of all shapes and sizes. I have got to find the owners of this rig.
That Smart car must have some whacking big engine hidden somewhere to pull that gigantic 5'er. Never thought that would be possible.

BnB