Saturday, April 28, 2018

Let the Adventures Begin ...

... hey, wait a minute! We haven't even left yet! Yep, that's right. Stuff happens even before we're leaving.

As any good RV'er knows, before departing on a trip, especially if you haven't been out in a few months, you check your levels, tanks, etc, and then load up the stuff that lives at home when you are not traveling. Soooo, after having tires checked at Ray's Goodyear and other RV stuff checked at Camping World, we brought Wolf home from his den to load some odds and ends.

So far, so good. The process includes prepping the toilet with a bit of water and adding what I refer to as toilet meds, tablets that you drop in to the black water holding tank through the toilet to help keep it working and more importantly, odor free. Geoffrey went to do this and discovered the toilet was broken, it wouldn't flush! A rather critical item on the road.

So we abandoned most of the rest of our loading plans and headed off for our friends at Camping World ... again! Of course, this involved backing out of the driveway. The backing up path having changed a little since we weren't going to share the driveway with a car, Geoff had pulled up more in the middle of it. Between that and worrying about hitting the recycling containers set out for the recycling trucks to pick up, he some how managed to smash an across the street neighbors mailbox, right off its post even. Wish I'd gotten a photo of that mailbox, it was definitely smooshed!

Anyway, this wasn't fixing the toilet so after putting the poor smooshed mailbox and a note on the neighbor's porch, off we went for Camping World, stopping at Wolf's Den to pick up the car which Geoff had left there when he brought Wolf home. The guys at Camping World said they would get it taken care of the next day. And, if you think it was that easy, think again!

The next afternoon, off we headed to Camping World to check on how they were doing with poor Wolf's plumbing. They were just getting started on it so we settled in to the lounge area and waited. Soon our apologetic service man came out to talk to us and it was some sort of interior hookup problem and we had two choices, replace the toilet which they should have in stock, or order the parts needed for a problem requiring considerable labor. The cost factors being about the same thanks to what the repair labor would run, we voted for the replacement which would be faster anyway.

In the meantime we had called around to find the guy that fixes the mailboxes here in our development and luckily he was able to get it fixed for our neighbor the very next day! This little incident has definitely added to our desire to some how resolve the rear view problem but so far research has not found any good solution so we persist dealing with the poor visibility in the rear view system that came with Wolf. Definitely the eye in the back of his head needs help!

With a few days to go we have Wolf back in his den and a few days to go before heading to Georgia. Maybe we can make it through a week long trip without more adventures? I don't think we should hold our breath on that one.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Traveling On Our Stomachs

There is probably a huge variable in how various RV'ers do meals. This may be somewhat related to our individual cooking styles whether or not we are on the road but must be affected by the generally small size of the cooking and food storage areas. I think I've mentioned some of our discoveries here and there in these blogs but a few more need mention.

A recent discovery is Duncan Hines Perfect Size for 1 cakes you can microwave in a minute or so in a coffee cup. There are I believe about 14 varieties/flavors of these cakes and all you need add is 2 to 3 Tablespoons of water. Just add the specified amount of water, stir well, microwave for 55 seconds or 1 minute 10 seconds and voila! a delicious cake snack. I have not tried them all yet, probably only about half of them, but it seems that if the cake specifies 2 Tbs then it microwaves for 55 seconds and if it is 3 Tbs, microwaves for 1 minute 10 seconds. They make a great snack including at work and seem ideal for the limitations of RV traveling.

A drawback on an RV is the tiny sinks and limited amounts of water. I took a coffee cup, spoon and mix packet to work several times but then had to bring the used cruddy coffee cup home again to clean it. Our sink at work is even more useless than the kitchen sink in Timmberwolf! My first thought was those disposable styrofoam cups used for coffee to go but most of those aren't very good for microwave use!

This is the busy time of year for me at work but Geoff had the time and researched microwavable disposable cups and found some! Dixie makes two types actually, one called Perfectouch and another called Dixie To Go. They are available in 12 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz sizes and most if not all come with snap on lids. I have tried/tested these for the little cakes and they are perfect, just toss that messy cup.

But now I'm thinking ahead ... I really hate trying to wash much of anything in Timmberwolf's tiny sink even though it is a double sink, both tiny! We've migrated our eating habits on our RV trips to a lot of microwaved, dehydrated, or prepared foods which cuts out the pots and pans but now with these microwaveable cups we can cut out a lot of dishwashing.

One of our frequent breakfasts is the Mountain House Biscuits & Gravy or their Breakfast Skillet. Each pouch is a serving meal and we split it. Of course that leaves nice messy bowls etc to have to wash up. Now that we have discovered these microwavable cups with lids, all we have to do is split the pouch between two cups, add the boiling water (half in each cup), give it 8-10 minutes with the lid on, and voila! breakfast with only two spoons to wash!

A trial run for biscuits & gravy is in the cards for us here at home in the near future since it opens up a lot of possibilities if it works. This should also work with various soups and with some of the prepared and dehydrated entrees.

One of the things we found out starting with our first trip is that restaurants are just too easy to be a default meal choice which leads to higher costs and added weight! The easier and pleasanter meals in the RV are, the likelier we are to choose it instead. Last year discovering the ready-to-eat choices helped reduce our restaurant tabs. Since we are not grill cook-out people, anything we can learn to encourage us to eat at the coach will help!