Friday, June 24, 2016

MA – MassGathering in the Berkshires

Time for a girls weekend in the Berkshires!  It was a warm and steamy weekend, but we made the most of it.  Having the genny and A/C was awesome, and a real treat after the half marathon we ran.  The festival was held at Ski Butternut and there were quite a few good local/regional bands.  The headliner was the Gin Blossoms, but sadly a string of thunderstorms and flash flood warnings forced us to head for home before they took the stage.  Maybe next year!

NJ – Tall Timbers

This place isn’t really a campground and is 95% ownership lots/sites with trailers and park models that are semi-permanent…but it was the closest place to stay overnight for the NY Warrior Dash mud/obstacle race that we ran.  Plus, it allowed us to finally put on our New Jersey sticker!  The people here that we talked to were all very friendly, and the management office has at least one site that they allow transient nightly rentals on, so that’s what we did.

The race itself was great!  They just relaxed their age minimum to 12, so Theo was able to do it!  No more mamby-pamby kids races for him!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Gash and a Fix!

Now that she's all fixed up and back at home, I'm ready to post about the gash I put into the side of the Winnie at the end of our one and only fall trip a couple of months ago.

If you read my post about Wilderness Lake Campground, you may have wondered what I was hinting at when I mentioned the small circular loop driveway that their dump station is on.'s what happened: Kevin and Theo had gone off to drop T off for football so the dogs and I said we'd meet at home after I did a quick dump and rinsing of the tanks.  Dump and rinse was done and I was navigating the rest of the curve, being careful about the right side berm and trees...but not being mindful of the GIANT CONCRETE DRAIN PIPE THING on the left side.  I didn't take a photo when I was hung up on it, but once I got it backed off of the thing I snapped a couple:

So in a showdown between concrete and fiberglass, it turns out that the concrete WINS. EVERY. TIME.

A few more pics of the damage, once the hanging hunk fell off: 

We have Progressive coverage on the Winnie, and I have to say they were wonderful.  From the claim intake person being compassionate and saying kind things and not making me feel completely stupid, to the inspecting adjuster telling me that as bad as I think it looked it really wasn't that bad. Flo's team did not disappoint!

Progressive provided us a list of shops in our area as suggestions, but it was ultimately our choice where to go.  Since we had good results from Arlington RV (the dealership we bought her from) when we had them do some body work on the Winnie before we took delivery, we turned to them for the work.  We worked with Vince, and he was fantastic keeping us apprised of the progress.  The thing that took the longest was the backordered storage hatch door from Winnebago, but it finally arrived and she's good as new now!  Phew!

Friday, October 30, 2015

CT - Wilderness Lake Campground

Since Theo is playing football this fall we really haven't been able to get out now that the Winnie is back at home, but desperate to get out at least once more I decided to book a campground that is only about 20 miles from home.  This campground is a lovely property and has really nice folks running the place, but we all agreed that it would be more of a gem if the sites were thinned out and not so close to one wasn't really the closeness that was weird, but the irregularity of the sites - tough to know where ours ended and the next one began as we weren't really lined the point where I wasn't sure which fire ring was ours (turned out that ours was the one that was literally 3 feet away from the neighbor's RV but the friendly staff guy moved it for us to a much better spot away from their RV).

We were in site 25.

Another thing to note about this place is that I'd say a good 80% are seasonal sites, the people we talked to were all very nice, but I have to be honest - when I see RVs sitting still I feel bad for them not out having adventures with their people.  Just my humble opinion.

We were in view of the little lake, which was lovely!  There was a tent site in front of ours, but being a chilly weekend there were no tenters braving it, so we could traipse through the site without worries.

Theo caught a little sunny right off the bat: 

And he built me a nice fire (Kevin had a work function, so he joined us later in the evening)

More fishing and chilling and fire building:

And also some gorgeous running weather and terrain (hilly!), but no pics from that :)

Another thing to note about this place - the sites are water and electric only.  The dump station is a tiny little loop that a big rig or even a somewhat large rig would never make it through (more on that in a different post in the future.)  Since so many sites are seasonal they offer a pump service that any rig of size would have to utilize...or go 20 minutes into East Hartford and hit Cabela's dump station (now $5, but would have been worth it!)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hard Wired Surge Protector

My parents' 2002 Bounder ended up being totaled since the front end work would have required expensive fabrication of parts because of the age.  Their new replacement Bounder is a 50 amp and came with a built in surge protector so we are the happy recipients of a hand-me-down Progressive hard-wired surge protector like this: EMS-LCHW30 which has a lot more features than the $100 plug-in one that we've been using.

Thank goodness Kevin has confined space certification, because he sure had to use it in the tiny space that our power cord is housed at.  OK, HE didn't go in, but his arm sure was in that confined space!

There it is back in there:  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Chalkboard Table and Refrigerator

The Winnie is back home!  However, between scouts and football, we remain grounded on the time for some mods and stuff!  (and sitting in it in the driveway trying to imagine we're in Vermont - yeah, it didn't really work)

So first up was something I've been noodling on for a little while: some facelifting with chalkboard paint!

I bought a pint of the Rustoleum brand at Michael's with my 50% coupon, a foam paint roller for cabinetry and a hunk of furniture grade birch plywood from Lowe's and off I went.

The fridge panels were harder to remove than anticipated because they were stuck in there with some double-sided tape-goo, but our carpenter's square helped me get it loose since i needed something stiff and strong and thin to slip behind it and break the seal.  Apparently, according to the Norcold website, they usually just slide in and out.  So I don't know if it was because ours was a rental or if the panels were rattling and annoying the previous owner.  Anyway, after some wrestling I got them free.  The backs looked good, so I just used the same panels for painting.  That way the original wood grain is still available on the other side if we, or anyone else in the future, want to use it again.

Lots of sanding and more sanding on both the fridge pieces and my new tabletop, a wipedown with tack cloth, then I was ready to paint.  I lost count of coats but it is at least 6 or 7.  I just went out and threw on another coat every couple of hours over the course of a couple of days.

Meanwhile I took the original table out (this new one is about half the weight!) and removed all of the hardware.  Another quick trip to Lowe's for new screws for the tabletop portion since the old one is 1" and the new one is 3/4" and I was good to go.  We very rarely use the dinette as a bed, but we decided to still use all of the hardware to allow it to swing down.  It will be 1/4" off rather than level in the center portion now, but I'm thinking it won't be too noticeable with the cushions not being terribly level anyway.

So here's the end results:

Here are some before pics: 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Winnie Has a Summer Job

So, why no blog posts since April?  That's because the Winnie has a summer job this year - campground hosting at West Thompson Corps of Engineers campground in CT.

So, as bad luck would have it, my parents were on their way up from Florida to host again this summer and were about an hour away from Thompson when they were in a fender bender on the highway.  Luckily traffic was moving slowly and nobody was hurt, but their Fleetwood Bounder got crunched and will be in the shop for at least a few months.

Since we had a pretty light spring and early summer camping season scheduled it was kind of a no-brainer to cancel the handful of reservations offer the Winnie to salvage their summer and allow them to fulfill their summer commitment.

So the Winnie is full-timing it as a host, with the bonus of having a certified RV tech living in her (my dad).  He's doing a few mods and upgrades for us in his down time! :)  Plus,we're finally getting to some much-needed garage and basement cleaning at home that has been too convenient to put off by heading out of town!