Thursday, February 15, 2018

Our trip to the Tiffin Rally Part 1 - A week in Riverside

For almost a year, we have known about the Tiffin Motorhomes rally in Tucson Arizona was going to take place in February of 2018. Several months ago, we found out that Carol would have a series of Cal-fire exams held at the Riverside training facility by the name of the Ben Clark Training Facility which is a multi-agency facility located on land adjacent to the March Air Reserve base. This land was originally part of the sprawling March Air Force base, before it was decommissioned.

Ben Clark serves as the southern California ‘Academy’ for Cal-fire operations as well as that for the California Highway patrol, in addition to Riverside county fire (which operates under the umbrella of Cal-fire) as well as the ‘Riverside county sheriff’s office’.

Since the exam dates backed right up to the week for the Rally, we decided that we would make the trip one where we would make two trips out of one. Since we own dogs that are considered by some to be pit bulls, we needed to find an RV park that would allow us to come in and stay a week and not be in violation of their rules. We selected the ‘Rancho Jurupa Regional Park’ in Riverside for our home base, and we could not be happier! This parked turned out to be the perfect place to stay. The park is nice and quiet and a beautiful location! It is a gated park with controlled access that provided the additional passive security that is always welcomed.

We wish we could have found a location that was a little closer to Ben Clark, but the ability to have our dogs with us was of paramount desire. The park is only 22 miles from Ben Clark and most of the commutes were in the reverse commute direction so the drive didn’t take long at all. The old downtown Mission District of Riverside is just down the road from the park, and there is some beautiful old architecture down there.

Though Eric doesn’t miss living in Southern California at all, the Riverside area has been good to us during this visit and it’s hard to beat the sunsets!

Our next stop, tomorrow, Friday the 16th of February is Alamo Lake which is north east of Phoenix!
Safe Travels all!
Eric and Carol Anderson

Sunday, January 21, 2018

An ode to 960 Clay Street

In 1979 Eric’s Sister Karen and her husband Mike moved to Ashland Oregon with their Infant son Marquis in tow. Shortly after buying a home on 960 Clay street, they would have a second child Kristin and they would find their home filled with a lot of love. Over the years, their home has expanded to better provide for the need of their family. With Marq and Kris grown and moved on to their own budding homes, In 2018, Mike and Karen decided the time has come to sell their home and downsize a little bit.

With the expectation that the 2017-2018 holiday season would be the last one in this beautiful home, Eric visited the home to capture in images and video. Eric then put together this video about the home to serve as a reminder to the Wraights, years down the road, of the wonderful home that 960 Clay Street has served as. And to others, it will show how a modest two bedroom home has promise to become anything that a family may desire.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Christmas 2017

Hi there everyone,

Here is a video that I put together about our Christmas holiday around here at Aspen Grover RV and Mobile home park in Rancho Cordova, and also the festivities on Christmas eve up at Sandy and Bill Ealy's in Pioneer in the Sierra foot hills.

Safe Travels

Eric and Carol Anderson

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ready for Christmas

Well, we are just a couple short days away from Christmas 2017. This our first year with Rex in our family. And, actually, at 10 months old, this is Rex's first Christmas ever. He's not quite sure what to make of these sorts of changes going on around the house, especially when it comes to things that directly involve him, such as when Eric put a Santa's elf head piece on Rex. Rosie and Charlie however, take this with speed since this is far from their first Christmas's in our home.

Once again, we have plenty of Christmas gifts to go around. It seems like even in years like this one, where for those in our home, we have only bought items that we 'needed' rather than things that we wanted, we still have a tree full of stuff, even there really isn't anything that we need. Clearly, in order to have more Christmas gifts, we would need to have a bigger motorhome! :-)

As always, even though we live in our 2003 Allegro bus, at an RV park in Rancho Cordova, we still have plenty of family and friends who we exchange Christmas cards with. As always, we have an area full of Christmas cards that we have received from many that we care about.

Lastly, we decorated the outside of the rig and a part of the yard to be enjoyed by us and our wonderful neighbors around us.

We hope that your Christmas holiday is a wonderful and safe one for you and all of your family.

Warm regards and safe travels...

Eric and Carol

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

We had a great get together with Mike and Karen at the Durango RV park in Red Bluff California. We like Durango because not only is it centrally located between Ashland and Sacramento, but also because it is a very nice facility where we enjoy visiting with our RV. Eric had taken the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to take care of some planning for the Christmas Holiday that is coming up. After that, Eric took the motorhome to get propane on board and then hooked up with Carol at her office at 2:00 PM when Carol was let go for the weekend.

After a drive of just about 3 hours, we pulled into Durango RV park to a sight adjacent to Karen and Mikes. Another plus to Durango is the fact that they have 'Buddy' sights where our doors face each other! :-) After we arrived, we went to Luigi's pizza for a little pizza pie for dinner. As always the Pizza was very good there. We don't eat there every time we come to Red bluff, but when we do visit there, we always enjoy it. This is Rex's first Thanksgiving with us. He is 8 months old and he is about the same size as Charlie, so he is going to be a big dog, but he is still very much a lover.

We had agreed with Karen that we would not exchange gifts this year, but there was an entry mat that Karen had found that she thought we needed to have, and she was right because we love it! On Thanksgiving day, we enjoyed time just hanging around the RV park. Though there wasn't really any staff on duty during Thanksgiving day, the rec hall was open so that we could go in a play Phase 10 and enjoy some Clam dip.

Prior to dinner, we sat outside for a little while and enjoying some hijinks that mirrored a gag that Karen and Mikes son Marq had done a few years earlier. Carol Prepared a wonderful turkey and mashed potato's while Karen prepared vegetables and fruit salad.

This was the first time that Carol had ever used the Crockpot to prepare the mashed potatoes. She cooked them in the crockpot on high for 3 hours, added some milk, Garlic, salt and pepper and three hours later, mashed up very nicely! :-) As always, dinner was wonderful! On the Friday after Thanksgiving we went to play miniature golf and had a wonderful time. For dinner we had Hamburger pie which is always a favorite of the families!

Once again, our visit together was wonderful to do some long needed catching up. We are so thankful for the family that we have.

Happy Thanksgiving all and Safe Travels!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The family getting some exercise

This is our favorite time of year! Last Saturday, the weather was halfway decent and so we decided to take the three dogs out to the bike trail near the aqueduct here in Sacramento. It's a great place that gives the dogs an opportunity to run off leash and get a little exercise. They were having a great time this day out on this beautiful day. It's also good for us to legged folks, cuz Carol and I can get out and get some exercise as well. :-)

Safe travels all.

Eric and Carol Anderson

Friday, November 10, 2017

Advise for those considering full-timing

So a family member of ours wanted us to share with them the wisdom that we have obtained so far over the 6 years that we have been full timing.

First off, be informed that full timing is not for everyone. Over the last 6 years, full timing has worked very well for my wife and I. Before you start your full timing adventure and making all of the investments associated with it, we would suggest that you try renting an RV and taking it on a two week road trip. You will find that this will give you an indication (though by no means a guarantee) of how full timing will work for you. Also, it will give you a sense as to what sort of items you would need living out of an RV full time. You might want to be sure to pack a rain coat, umbrella and beach chair as part of your supplies, even if you don’t think the weather will require it. The idea being, you will start to get a sense as to just how much room you will need. Also, if you rent an RV for a couple weeks, you find out if it is a lifestyle you think you might enjoy before you make a big purchase and take the rig off the lot.

If you like to cook, then take pots and pans and dishes with you. You will start to get a sense as to what you want as far as an RV kitchen and again, how much space you will need for all your supplies. When the two of us pulled the trigger and started our full timing adventure, we started in a 30 foot fifth wheel. We had the two of us, three dogs and two cats and it worked fine. But, we ultimately wanted a motorhome, so the 40 foot motorhome has been very comfortable for us. We selected a motorhome by Tiffin because of their reputation for quality products. For us, we knew this was a direction our lives was going to take for a number of years to come, so we spent the extra money for a Diesel pusher. There is an extra cost with the purchase of a diesel pusher, so if you think you might keep the rv for only a couple years, you might want consider a gas propelled motorhome as opposed to a Diesel rig. The gas motorhomes can be a lot cheaper to get into.

If you are living full time in a rig, you will want to be comfortable in your rig. So, you will probably want one that is at least 30 feet with a full shower and bath room, a kitchen area and decent sized refrigerator as well as dinette and a couch. If you do go with a motorhome that is 30 feet, you will find that this size vehicle isn’t convenient for running for groceries in. So, you will either want to go the trailer route where the trailer is towed by a pickup or other hefty vehicle, or the motorhome route where you tow a ‘Dingy’ vehicle behind you. If you go the trailer route, be sure your tow vehicle is big enough to easily tow your trailer and all your belongings. If you go the motorhome route, be sure the motorhome is able to tow a ‘Dingy’, and make sure that your dingy vehicle is able to be towed. Motorhome magazine is a great resource for determining what vehicles can be towed behind a motorhome. Be sure you are looking at the specific year, make and model of your towed vehicle before you hook it up and take it for a drag behind your motorhome. If you are living in a trailer, be sure that the tow vehicle has an adequate transmission, engine power and transmission cooler to adequately tow your trailer you are considering.

We love dogs, we have learned that dogs don’t care so much how big the house is, just how much love the house has in it. During the time that we have been full timing, we have had up to 3 large size (55 to 75 pound) dogs living in our motorhome with us. Yes, we work full time at brick and mortar jobs and so we are gone for a good portion of each day, but we always make sure that the dogs have been out and exercised prior to leaving for work for the day. Our vet has always been happy with the health of our dogs and the care they receive. While on the topic of dogs, be sure to feed them a good quality dog food (Blue Buffalo, Natures Domain (from Costco) or similar well rated food of four stars or above from a dog food rating website). Also, be sure to have extra copies of the dogs rabies vaccinations available, because frequently RV parks will ask for copies of those.

Today, we both work for brick and mortar jobs. We will admit however that the allure of ‘Teleworking’ while being on the road had a great attraction to us. Teleworking or telecommuting has its own set of plus’s and pit falls that go along with it. Unless you are extremely focused, telecommuting from your RV can be tough to do, especially if you have your dog that wants to play, or other travel companion who wants to share a story with you. Also, don’t rely on WIFI at RV parks for the ability to telecommute. Though WIFI is becoming easier to find with each RV Park we go to, we find other campers are watching Netflix on the park Wi-Fi and taking up all of the band width of the network. So, we suggest using your phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot. This does require however that your data plan be adequate. If you have a job that requires a lot of band width, telecommuting may not be for you.

As far as staying in touch with current events and your local TV programming we would suggest you consider just going with broadcast TV and skip the Satellite option. For 5 years of our full timing experience, we survived off of broadcast TV very nicely and we didn’t have to deal with the expense and challenges of using Satellite equipment.

There are some things that you will find different about living full time in an RV. Some RV parks don’t take certain types of dogs. We have three pit bull style dogs and so we have to take care on which parks we choose to stay at. Holding tanks don’t last forever. You will find that if you are disconnected from utilities, that your freshwater tank, your toilet holding tank, and your shower drain tank will only last 3 to 5 days before they need to be dumped or refilled. Also, in the colder months, you will find that you may need to fill the propane tanks every week or two. You will find however, that cleaning your home, takes almost no time at all! 
We love full timing and we wouldn't change it for anything in the world. 
Well, that is just some of the thoughts that come to mind from our full timing RVing experience. We have been enjoying it for 6 years and for us there is no end in sight.
If you want to get a sense as to what our setup is like, check out our video that we did a couple years ago. 

Safe travels!

Eric and Carol Anderson