Friday, August 30, 2013

Dwindling down....

The last week or so, and specifically today and tomorrow, is being spent figuring out what's important enough to take up weight on the adventure and what's not important enough.  This was fairly easy with an empty shell, but now it's becoming more and more difficult.

Am loading up a storage unit here and was only intending to keep some antiques and family heirlooms in there.  If got rid of these things some grievous bodily injuries would occur from the people who brought me into this world.  This wouldn't be a good thing in my view.

So, as the cupboards are filling up, the storage space underneath is filling up, and the couch is already full, decisions will be made...

Loveseat Monroe Style Drawing
Home Reserve Loveseat
Have already added some items to underneath storage which will be used up fairly soon.  One of the items is a couch/loveseat, from Home Reserve.  Have had this a couple years and haven't assembled it in current apartment.  It will take place of the sleeper couch, and has underseat storage to boot, which is a nice feature for the dwindling down aspect.  There are a couple modifications to make to it, like getting L-brackets and bolt down to floor, cutting holes for the central heater air ducts, and who knows what else.  The biggest problem will be finding way to dispose of the current couch/sleeper bed.

Am filled with both anticipation, and unsured-ness as the clock ticks down.  Tonight is the last evening at my current place before the official start.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Towing and hitches and trailers

I was somewhat hoping to bring my car along for the ride too.  As mentioned prior, have a motorcycle lift mounted onto the back hitch, as shown in the following picture.  I was somewhat hoping to also attach a tow dolly to pull my car behind it.  Upon further examination, it looks like it's possible to do it with some minor manipulation.  Besides the legality of doing it that way, there would be a lot of stress happening at that point, with forces that I am unaware of, so thinking it's generally not a great idea.

Some items was considering to mitigate the risk were getting some hooks welded to the hitch and the lift, then using tie down straps, or chain with a tightener, to make it much more stable.  It still doesn't feel right to do that.  The main concern I would have is when stopping unexpectedly, as we know that happens, and all the forces generated from that which might cause more damage than it's worth.

Will add the tie-down straps so the mount doesn't move around all that much while tooling down the highway.  Instead of welding things, will wrap the strap around the hitch (easy to do), or maybe do something else with a clamp.  The goal would be to not modify the hitch at all, but still add some stability.

The hitch on this RV is a Class IV, so it has a 1000 lb tongue weight and 10,000 lb hauling weight. 


This RV used to tow a race car by the original owner from what I have gathered.  There is still evidence around of the racing association he was a member of, plus all the stuff he added to the RV.  As such, am sure it will be more than enough to pull a larger trailer, with a 20 foot bed or so, for a car and a motorcycle.  Depending on what happens in the future might be looking at this option.  Found some very nice flat bed, and enclosed trailers, that would work great, and the rig would have no trouble pulling it, even through mountain passes.

Here are the different types of trailers have been considering.
car trailer, car tow dolly, hdxl model, motorcycle trailer, atv trailer
Car dolly with motorcycle storage area

flatbed trailer (this one has a winch)

General enclosed trailer
When it gets closer to that time will weigh the options and my needs then figure out what's best.  Figured would document so don't forget..

Embarkation Date

Tonight have made a decision on the date that will mark the official start of my Journey.

It is...


September 8th, sometime early afternoon.

First destination will be Leavenworth, WA
Map of Leavenworth, WA

Think I need to talk with someone there about something, or just check out a touristy trap of a bavarian town.  Not sure, but it will be fun, or at least what I make of it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dangers of Motorhomes....

To lift the spirits, here is video of some "real" dangers of living in an RV

Patching the roof...

So, we all like roof leaks, right?  Well, I haven't seen any so just patched the roof to prevent seeing it.

Supposedly have to do this roughly every year, until replace it.  More on replacing at a later point, just need to make sure no damage is done by the rain.  Rain damage is not so welcome...

Step 1 - Gather Materials

Ammonia/water, roof sealant (in caulk tube), caulk gun, rag, and roofing "tape"
  1. Cleaner (windex/ammonia/water in my case)
  2. Scrubby thingie/rag
  3. Rubber roof tape
  4. Special caulk for edges
  5. Caulk gun

Step 2 - Clean area

Used a clean rag, and ammonia/water combination, to clean area prior to laying patching tape down
Large spot by front AC Unit
Seam at front of roof just past windshield area

Small one on other side of front AC

Different view by front AC




 Step 3 - Apply Tape after area is dry

Step 4 - Apply Caulk

After applying "caulk" using the caulk gun, spread it around.
Big spot on left side of Front AC

Small spot on right side of Front AC

Seam at front of RV Roof

Final look after 24 hours.

Front seam, looks ok still sticky

Large spot on left side of front AC

Small on right side of front AC

Can't wait till I can get to the step on replacing the roof.  That will be a great thing to do.  Didn't get under the Air Conditioner so that will probably bite me a bit later but overall am quite happy with how it turned out.  How the roof degrades is interesting a little to me, guess it's just like a regular house roof in that regards.  Come on Wofati...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Meaning....

Newport, OR beach (copied from

The meaning for my upcoming journey has eluded me.  While people have asked all the standard questions as to why I would embark on this foolishness of a journey, I could not give them a clear and concise answer until a recent trip where visited a great friend in Newport, OR.
It was during a magical walk on the beach, while enveloped within a passing cloud, where that magical moment finally hit.

During this walk, talking with my friend, and following a beach river and sounds of the surf, it just sprang forth in one moment.  You see, we couldn't see at all as we were walking, in some cases not much more than thirty feet in front of us.  Heard people talking and frolicking and yet we were alone, senses ablaze, just wandering towards the surf.  A gentle breeze was blowing, the river was flowing, and the crash of the surf could be heard.

Suddenly we were there,  staring at the Pacific Ocean.  Thought we saw it couple times through the cloud, but now we are truly there reveling in all it's glory. Can see in clear detail as the mighty waves came crashing to shore, petering out at our bare feet in a whisper.  Nature is a wonderful and mysterious creature.

It was in this magical moment of looking out at the surf, ankle (or so) deep in water, and burying our bare feet in the sand, that it finally hit me.  The Meaning. It was one of the most clairvoyant moments in my life, of one thing, or many things, that have been hindering my progress in so many aspects of life.  The Meaning is very simple to some, very elusive to others, and nearly impossible for me so far.  It is something that I will get out of this upcoming experience.

For now, the real meaning will remain hidden, but for those who have questioned, and will question, rest assured I have at least a part of the meaning, I think it's the most substantial part as it will enable much more.  It's not a feeling, it's not an emotion, it's not related to someone or something.  It is something which I have acknowledged before, ignored, and didn't dare do anything. Times change and now is the time.

And to my great friend, no words can express my thanks to you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Initial RV Statistics

1994 Fleetwood Southwind - 34' 6" long.  It is a diesel pusher and the interior is in pretty good shape.  The first owner did all sorts of improvements and will list them below, expanding as appropriate.
  • Standard 230'ish HP 6 cyclinder Cummins Diesel Engine
  • Upgraded Diesel engine with Banks Power Pack (to 320'ish HP)
  • Allison 6 Speed Transmission (factory)
  • Original owner installed many gauges.  Ones that work are exhaust temp and oil pressure
  • Enclosed satellite dish on top
  • Generally good condition, carpeting little worn, it's also drab blue, so will be replaced

These are some current issues with it that I am currently aware of.

  • Odometer displays Err1 instead of mileage
  • Some of original owner's custom installed gauges are non-functional
  • Roof needs patching every year (original I think)
  • Fuel gauge appears non-functional
  • Levelers non functional due to fried control board
  • Water pump switch (in stove hood) not functioning 
  • Unsure how to turn on dashboard lights (to see spedometer, rpm's, etc).
  • No air scoops on side for custom duct work into engine.
  • Lifter? arm is worn, a part in the front suspension
  • Some switches installed don't function or are unknown
  • Awning showing signs of cracking/wear

Items have added/upgraded initially

  • Manual Hydraulic Motorcycle Lift

Items on immediate list to upgrade/repair/replace

  • Interior/Exterior lights converted to LED
  • Remove excess wiring 
  • Roof replacement
  • Identify, and label, switch useage
  • Add gauge for air cleaner serviceability
  • Add bypass oil filter
  • Add 3rd brake light

Sunday, August 18, 2013

First Post, figuring this out

New to blogging

So, this is my first foray at being a "blogger" and am trying to figure this out.  Words come easily, but meaning behind things that I do are generally not really thought provoking.

Am looking forward to documenting the trials and tribulations of being in an RV, for others who think they might want to pursue this lifestyle.

About me

Was born in 1971 in the NorthEast and lived in that geographical area most of my life, with the exception of military service and, more recently, the prelude to starting this blog.

In 2011 moved to the West Coast and embark on the beginning of my life changing journey.  Had no idea what would be, and currently is, in my future.  Am looking at this as just part of a big adventure.

Have been a Software Engineer since 1998 and thoroughly enjoy what I do.  This line of work is giving me the freedom to work remotely and be able to travel, with an internet connection.

Consider myself a jack of all trades, with enough knowledge of a variety of things to get me into trouble.  Some of my talents have completely remodeled homes, worked in kitchens, enjoyed gardens, repaired automobiles, and most anything with computers.  The joy is in just trying different activities.