Tuesday, January 27, 2015

RV park...

We are staying in the LazyDays KOA while in Tucson.

Generally, I am not a big fan of KOA - they seem to be the higher price option in most places, because they offer plenty of "family amenities."  This park wasn't a KOA until last year; it has been affiliated with the large RV dealer that is on the same premises.

What I DO like about this park: it is designed for big rigs...


Nice wide streets, giving you room to maneuver into a site.  Their sites can accommodate any size rig (we don't have to unhook the cargo trailer), and all have cement patios, patio furniture, and most have a citrus-fruit tree (ours has grapefruit).  Yes, you can pick the fruit (within reason).  50 and 30 amp power, cable TV, laundry, two pools, etc.

This is the difference between "camping" and an RV resort: notice it is not heavily wooded - no issue with scratching up your rig on low-hanging branches, and plenty of sky, to get satellite TV.  No big smoky campfires.

There is an Airstream Rally going on here right now: the gleaming aluminum travel trailers are all over the park...


Well, they aren't all travel trailers...


That one is a well-preserved Airstream motorhome.  I don't think they make the aluminum motorhomes any longer, but they do make fiberglass motorhomes along with the more typical trailers.

This oldie caught my eye...


Someone had put a lot of work into it: shiny!

Of course, there are other types of RVs in the park...


RVers remind me somewhat of boat cruisers... and, they like their dogs.  Lots of people walking dogs all day long (especially first thing in the morning); yes there is a "clean up after your pet" rule.  Some of us prefer the company of the feline furry kids...


That sign was on the front of a 5th wheel.  Little Isabella likes it here...


She likes that bush... pretty sure every dog in the park has "marked it" at one time.  Yes, she gets cleaned up before she can go back inside.

Not everyone likes pets...


This site had a couple of those signs, letting people know to NOT let their dogs poop in the yard.  I have to find some of these - we have some bushes at home that are occasionally "gifted".

Every RV park we've been in has a low speed limit...


They are letting you know to keep it UNDER 10 mph... safer for everyone that way.

Nice day to be out and about.  We are sitting out on our patio while I write this.  Sure beats the heck out of slogging through the snow.  ;-)


The cargo trailer...


A new plug and pigtail on the cargo trailer and we are good to go.

It is mid-70s, sunny, and just down-right gorgeous in Tucson.  A few raindrops on the roof last night and this morning, but they were gone by the time we got up.

Back home in the Tropical Tip, it will be 72º today; sunny, light breeze.  In the Black Hills (western South Dakota), it will be about the same - now that is unusual!  Nice to be anywhere except the northeast today, I guess.

Just enjoying being RVers and the lovely weather... head to Phoenix tomorrow to see our little girl... and Dan and grandcat Torrie.  Can't wait.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sunny. I like sunny...


We relaxed in most of the morning.

We spent the afternoon getting more RV ideas.  Not an easy decision process, since we are looking for smaller... without feeling like we are living small.  I keep going back to the Sprinter-chassis motorhomes, but they are snug.  Too snug?  Maybe.

I also like some of the shorter Class A motorhomes, but the industry seems to be more concerned about making "entry level" models in the shorter sizes.

Same with most Class Cs.  Another interesting option is what some manufacturers call a B+ and others label them "aerodynamic Class Cs"... they don't have the big cab-over sleeper and feature rounded corners in most of their exterior styling, instead of right angles.  Nicer interior appointments and full body paint add to the appeal.





Tucson has a bunch of RV dealers, and this is their season - the snowbirds are here.  There were plenty of people checking things out.

Making our shopping around more pleasant: beautiful sunshine.

:-)


Friday, January 23, 2015

Tucson...


Much better today, compared to yesterday.  Here's a shot from yesterday afternoon, after the snow stopped and some of it melted...


Before pulling out this morning, we had to get this shot of the pink flamingos... in the snow... in the site across the road from us...


As I mentioned in the previous post, it was a cold start to the day.  But, no falling snow.  Out of the RV park and onto the road...


The roads were mostly dry, snow on the ground.  50 miles down the road...


No snow... and look at the beautiful blue sky.  And desert.

Settling in for a few days...



We are safely into a site at the LazyDays KOA in Tucson.  The snitty lady that called this morning was "in the back office", but they had all the paperwork just fine when we pulled in.  I did mention to the nice lady that checked me in about the unpleasant one this morning... I got an understanding smile and she mouthed the words, "I know"... guessing Miss Snit is the office boss.   Roll Eyes

The Love Shack is grubby after the last couple days of rain and snow.  (It was sunny, but chilly today!)  There is a rig washing service that advertises on the KOA vehicle tag - Joan said, "You've worked hard enough the past week; call them and get on their schedule.  Thanks for getting us here safely."

What a woman!   smiley   cheesy

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!


17º this morning.  The RV park in Tucson called this morning and chewed me out for not showing up yesterday... even though we called them at 10:39 am yesterday to let them know we wouldn't be in.  Apparently they don't talk to each other in that office.  Apparently, they could use a friendlier person to make their outgoing calls.   Roll Eyes

The sun is out, so we intend to let that thaw out the ice on the roads before we get rolling.  Yes, we were comfortable in the HitchHiker last night.  Little Izzy is confused with the slides in... it hampers her "race track" mode, going from the bedroom up front to the couch in back. 
grin

Thursday, January 22, 2015

We ain't movin'...


Update from this morning's post.

We stayed put.  The Interstate westbound was closed until this afternoon.  A pretty lazy day around the Love Shack.  There was some guitar playing, internet surfing, chili for lunch, and everyone got in a nap...


That is an electric throw (smaller than a full size blanket) that we bought for the boat, but only used a time or two.  Izzy likes our electric blanket on the bed, and went right to this one.  The cat knows comfort.

I remember years ago an RV salesman saying, "There is nothing hotter or colder than an RV."  The implication was: they are hot when it is hot outside and cold when it is cold outside.  HitchHikers are considered "4 season RVs"... I didn't consider it much until today.  We could hear the next door neighbor's furnace running - it is pretty close to the large window by our dinette.  Our HitchHiker has a 2-stage furnace; it warms up the coach, then has a smaller fan/heat source that keeps it to temp.  Most RVs run at one pace until it gets to the set temperature, then turns off until it gets cold, then turns back on again.  The 2-stage is quieter, uses less propane, and keeps the temp more consistent.  We could hear the neighbor's furnace running about 3 times more often and longer than ours.  May be the difference in insulation... or maybe they are growing hot-house tomatoes?

You have time to think about things like this when you are sitting in a place you didn't intend to be, and you really can't move.  Well, I suppose we could unhook the truck and go exploring, but we didn't even put down the front landing gear on the coach when we pulled in.  Less to deal with when we are ready to roll... hopefully in the morning.

It did make it all the way up to 36º this afternoon - enough to melt some of the snow.  The wind is down from the ugly gusts earlier.  At 4:30, the sun is trying to come out.  It is going to be cold tonight - the weasels are calling it 22º for a low.  Sunny and cold tomorrow.

The new plan is to let the sun warm things up a bit before we hit the road.  We have more elevation to climb before we get to the warmth.


What the hell???


In the words of the furry philosopher, Isabella.

We were up at 6:30... well, we were awake much of the night - the wind howled like a banshee and we could hear something pelting the side of the coach.  "Probably isn't snow," I thought, "Snow doesn't usually make noise when it hits.  I looked outside: sleeting rain, driven by that nasty northwest wind.  In protected areas, like the side of our slide-out, it was accumulating as snow.

"Yeah, we need to get out of here."


We stopped at the nearby Flying J and topped off the truck; Carl's Jr. to top off my belly.  It was 33º, windy, lightly sleeting.  Not pretty, but not bad...


The goal for the day: make it past Lordsburg, NM, and we will be out of this weather system; about 140 miles.  We started seeing cars in the opposing lanes with snow accumulations.  Not good.  Half way to Las Cruces, it started to snow...


Really snowing...


Turns out that Las Cruces is getting the worst of this system.  The lighted sign on the Interstate said "Road Closed to All Traffic at Exit 132."  We were at mile marker 136.  People were driving crazy, switching lanes and over-driving the conditions.  The snow was coming down so fast that the heat on the roads from the traffic wasn't melting it - ice was accumulating.

I told Joan, "There is a Loves Truck Center at Exit 132 - we'll pull in there and wait this out."

That plan didn't last long: a half mile further, traffic was stopped on the road.  Two Highway Patrol Cars had the road blocked and were diverting traffic off the Interstate at Exit 135.  I saw a sign for a KOA at this exit and asked Jill (the GPS) to navigate us to it.  In the meantime, Joan got on the phone to see if they had a site long enough to accommodate us.

The good news: they have one site left that will handle our length.

The bad news: as we pulled up to the campground, I could see the road into it was uphill and about 4" deep in snow.  I switched Big Red into four-wheel-drive and slowly made our way up the hill... with the occasional slip and slide.  I had to go by the office to get to a level spot, hoping we'd be able to get moving again.

The lady in the office had no idea the roads were closed.  She said, "It is fortunate we have a site left - no one is moving today."

No kidding.  Not the exact words that were in my mind.

I paid, and we pulled into the site.  It is narrow, and deep enough in snow that you can't see where the concrete is to park on.  This is nasty...


We are here until the road opens.

Joan put Izzy's sweater on before taking her out to the truck first thing this morning...


We only have one of our three slides open.  I had repositioned us on the site to be able to get all the slides out, but we are living with just one for right now, hoping that there won't be much more snow accumulation.  The low tonight is supposed to be in the mid-20s.  We have heated tanks, so that shouldn't be an issue, but... everyone say it with me: Cold and Snow SUX!

Little Izzy is looking out the window at the falling snow...


"What the hell??"  Poor little girl is confused.  We drove a grand total of 27 miles.  We put her in a sweater.  Cold and snow.  And now the moving house is only half as wide as it normally is, and it isn't level... "What the hell??"

I'm right there with you, Iz.

On the really bright side: I am guessing the Interstate was closed due to accidents - we weren't involved in that.  We are safely off the road (around 8:30 am).  We have 50 amp power, cable TV, and plenty of food.  Little Izzy is under a blanket on her Momma's lap.  We are watching the Today Show - they are talking about schools closed on the local breaks.  This is only an inconvenience for us; it coulda been way worse.