Monday, June 13, 2011

Twin Grove

Our first trip of the year to Twin Grove..   This is where Kim and I got married.   The only thing this place needs, is a fishing pond.   Staff is great,  activities are outstanding,  just a great time always.   Golf carts are $50 a day,  and lots of fun,  especially when they have the super soaker hayride.   That's next trip.  
Anyway,  I was working at Ft Indiantown Gap,  which is a few miles from Twin Grove,  so I took the car to work and Kim drove the motorhome to Twin Grove.   When she got there,  she was holding a piece of the weatherstripping through the window.   It came off and smacked all over the left side of the RV.  She had to pull over on Rt 78,  during rush hour on a Friday.   She was pretty well a wreck when she got their.   So we got set up,  and went to the restaurant for supper.   We both had crab melts.   Later,  we went to the arcade and ride area,  spent some money,  as usual.   Well worth the fun.
Relaxed at the campfire till about 11.   Went to bed,  Karel,  our daughter,  woke us up about 12:30 with a bad headache and a stomach ache.   Got her back to bed fairly quickly,  only to be woken up at 1 am by thunder,  and more thunder,  and more thunder.   That storm lasted till 5:30am,  non stop.   Extremely heavy rain,  and lightening like I've never seen before,  even in Kansas.   I pity the people next to us in a tent.   So Saturday,  needless to say,  the campground was pretty mellow, probably because everyone was up all night.
Crafts in the morning,  always a great selection.   Kim and Karel went swimming after that,  and I took a much needed nap.   4pm was tye die t-shirts,  and they used a different technique.  They actually sprayed the die on,  which gave some neat looking patterns.  
After that,  supper at the restaurant.  this time it was the Yuengling fried haddock.
the restaurant at Twin Grove is always under new management.  But every time we go there,  the food is absolutely excellent.  Plus it's kind of nice not having to cook for a weekend.  Saturday evening we had another quick t-storm.   Went to the arcade to kill some time.  Sat at the campfire later for about 10 minutes,  then when it thundered again,  it was time to go in.
So back up a bit.   Saturday afternoon,  Kim came out of no where and said it might be time for a new RV.  She knows I'm fighting a battle with oxidation,  and now I got some strange spots on the rear panel.  Her with the weather stripping,  and the occasional mystery puddle in 1 of our upper cabinets,  I think made her say that.   So now to find a new Class C,  probably with bunks,  for the price we saw at the shows back in January.  We'll see what happens.
Sunday we packed up,  and I flushed out the black tank.   This is a must do at Twin Grove,  because their water pressure is great.   That being said,  be sure to use a pressure regulator.   On a previous trip,  we saw 2 different people blow their plumbing in their rv's apart.
So in less than 2 weeks,  we head to Cape May, New Jersey for 4 nights.
Until my next post,  check out the forums at Camping Pa.

Pocono Vacation Park

Memorial Day weekend.  Very crowded.  Most sites here are tight for any type of trailer or motorhome.  The sites on the end row are the biggest,  and that is where we are.  Pretty level and grass,  with a stone slot to park on.  Friday was hot,  and now,  Saturday afternoon,  it is absolutely beautiful.  Partly cloudy with a nice breeze.  We have a big group here with us,  which is unusual for us.  Kids are having a blast together.  Campground had tie dying this morning,  and I think this is the first time we have done tie dying for free.  Even the shirts were free. Staff here is great.  I just called down for another fire ring and it's already here.  The original plans were to head for Quiet Valley farm,  but it looks like now we will be going to The Pocono Snake and Animal Farm, which is a mini zoo and a lot fun. Wow,  forgot to finish this,  here it is 2 weeks later,  as usual.   Snake and Animal Farm was fun,  found out the wolf died of old age last August.
So Sunday,  very hot and humid,  we went to the Delaware Water Gap Trolley ride.   If you are ever in that area,  go ahead and spend an hour and take a ride.  It's amazing how many famous people have lived in the area around the Delaware Water Gap.  Although we didn't do it this time because the water was high,  when you are done,  head over the river to new Jersey and take the first road to the right.  There is a nice beach on the river,  which you will see on the Trolley.
Sunday's dinner was Dutch Oven fried chicken.  I think we got a bad batch of chicken,  because it just wouldn't get done.   Even tried the microwave,  but it just wouldn't cook right.   No biggie,  there was plenty of other food.   Spent the rest of the night relaxing at the fire.
Thunderstorm rolled through in the early morning,  so packing up was a wet task.  Not the first time,  won't be the last.  
The drive home sucked.  Pa route 33 is still under construction,  and the 45 mph speed limit was way to fast on that rough road.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2nd trip add on.

I just realized,  I didn't mention the main attraction of the weekend.   Elvis made an appearance.  Robin Hill had an Elvis impersonator,  who was pretty good.  I missed out on it because I was suffering a major allergy attack,  but the rest of our group enjoyed it.  The King was camping a few sites down from us and had to drive passed us when he left.   After he was gone,  my 8 year old daughter proudly proclaimed...Elvis has left The Campground.    Not sure how I missed that on the original post.

3rd trip......the toad dilemma or to tow or not to tow

We are leaving tomorrow for our first 3 nighter of the year.  Kim's dad is in from Kansas and will be going with us,  along with his 2 dogs.  That means my best 2 camping buddies,  Rebel and Zeus,  won't be going with us.  I hate pulling out of the driveway with Reb and Zeus not with us.
Anyway,  we usually don't tow on shorter trips,  but we plan on going to Quiet Vally Farm, so we will be taking the toad.   I thought I'd throw this post in,  just to give an ideal on what is required for towing a car behind a motorhome.
We tow 4 flat,  so my comments do not relate to towing with a dolly at all.
Our toad,   which is short for towable car,  is a 2010 Jeep Compass.  We ended up with the Jeep,  because the price couldn't be beat.   To tow,  we needed the 5 speed manual,  front wheel drive version.   Toad selection is very important and requires research.
it can be very expensive to set a car up for towing.   Tow bars and brackets,  brake controller,  toad lighting,  mud and stone flaps,  all stuff to consider when towing.  The price can add up,  but there is a way around the high cost.
We got our tow bar on Craigslist,  about a year before we got our toad.   We paid $100 for it,   compared to $596 new.  That leads us to the tow brackets.
We had to get brackets for our tow bar and also that would fit our car.   These were found on Ebay for just over $200,  compared to $350 to $500 new.
Brake controller.  we didn't go used here,  although we could have.  we went new on sale and paid $1100.
Mud flap was $80,  and I made an easily removable bracket myself from parts I had laying around.
Lights for toad.  From research,  the safest,  easiest,  and cheapest way is to get the kit which adds a bulb to your light housing.  This kit was only $56.
I was short on time when we needed the toad,   so I had our mechanic do the light wiring and bracket installation.   The cost for that was around $300.   I installed the plug for the lights,  the breakaway switch,  and the cigarette lighter on it's own fuse.  i would have done the complete wiring,  but I had 1 weekend before our Disney trip.
That's a basic outline of what is needed.  Kim and i can hook the toad up in minutes and be on our way.
We have had our Class C for 3 years now,  and it is nice to be able to have a way to get around if needed.
There is no reason to be intimidated on towing a car behind a motorhome.   Just remember it's back there,  and make sure you follow all your car's requirements to towing.
I'll add pics and maybe a video on setting up a toad.
Another post coming soon after our trip,  until then check out the forums on Camping Pa

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2 trips in

Camping season is finally here.  1st and second trips were just weekend trips to local campgrounds.  Sill's was the 1st.  Small,  family owned campground.  Nothing fancy but a nice,  close weekend getaway.  owner's are friendly.  Surprisingly they had no activities.  It was the weekend in April so I guess it was too early.  Campfire pies for breakfast and t-bones over the campfire.  It was nice to be back out.
2nd trip was to Robin Hill.  Local,  owned by a bigger company.  Lots of activities,  as always at Robin Hill.  It's nice to have something for my daughter to do.  Very surprising how empty the campground was.
We made a list of what we needed in the camper so we will be well stocked for our Memorial Day Weekend trip.  The first longer trip of the year is usually 1 of the best trips of the year.  We'll be in the Poconos,  which is 1 of our favorite places to be.  We may even take the car along to do some sightseeing.
The LED bulbs I put in are working great.   Both of our Coleman coolers broke,  so when Kim gets home today,  we are going cooler shopping.
For my Pennsylvania friends,  a great camping site is Camping Pa.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

3 weeks away

First trip of 2011 is still a long 3 weeks away.  Just a weekend trip at a local campground.  It will be Kim's Aunt shakedown cruise in their new trailer.  We put an equalizer hitch on that last week.  Anything I can do pertaining to camping or rving is keeping me from going completely insane.  Major case of Cabin Fever going on here.  I finally upgraded the interior RV lights to LED.  Hope to wash the roof today,  but it looks like mother nature may be doing it for me.  Weather guys wrong again.   O well,  nothing much to say here in the off season.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Continued off season

it's still a boring time of year,  although it will soon be camping season.  Went to the Allentown RV show for a fix.  That lasted for that day.  Took a trip to Camping World.   Nothing special.
Just looking forward to a busy camping season.  We already have quite a few weekend trips booked and are adding more.  Kim's aunt and uncle just got a new hybrid trailer,  so camping with them will be fun.
Looking out the window,  I see the RV needs a good wax.  That's on the spring list.