Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Birthday

  Had a nice visit with Wendy's parents this past weekend. Her mom was having her 80th birthday. She says she doesn't celebrate birthdays- it's just another day.(now I know where Wendy gets that sayin.)
 Her folks are doing pretty well for there age. It goes to show staying active is the trick.
 Her dad was building a chicken coop. He says he had been thinking of doing this for a couple years and decided to do it. He plans to just have a few layers and some to eat also.
  Her dad is really a marvel,as a past farmer he puts in a large garden, cuts and splits wood that he burns and sells. He also for the past few years has worked the cranberry harvest in the area. At 82 he is something.
Becky, Patsy, Mom and Wendy
  Her mom is also something- she goes to bed early 7ish but gets up at 12:30 am. And the lady doesn't nap. She works on jigsaw puzzles in the mornings. Wendy will pick them up at Goodwill/Salvation Army stores.
   Tested the Rand McNally 7710 on the trip. We really like the features and ease of use-But. did think it had a terrible glare unless you are looking directly at it. I had read of this issue but thought it may have been related to class As with big windshields. On the way home it seemed worse.  Then I did read that when on battery and not plugged in it goes to power saving mode and reduces light power. We think mounting it on the dashboard it would be better. Will try that and if it's not better will send back.
   Had a house showing on Sun. and one Tues. have not heard from realtor how they went. Nice to keep the showings coming.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Counting down

  Another week of work done. If I counted right we have 31 more weeks to work. Oops, Ray has 6 weeks of vacation to use up. I have 2 vacation days :(  I just started this job in Dec. We have been saving my pay checks for truck and camper tires. Also for the toys Ray has been buying.
  Ray will try out his new Rand McNally 7710 GPS this weekend. We are headed up north to my parents house. My mothers 80th birthday is on Sunday.

This is what we woke up to this morning. 5-6" of HEAVY wet snow. The only good thing is that on Sunday it's suppose to get to 43. It's not going to last long.        

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring fever

 As our winter has remained above average, spring fever is setting in early. We made a trek to the Chicago RV show on Saturday. The crowd must have felt the same and was quite large. Driving in and parking a pain. We made the trip with Wendy's brother and (maybe someday sister in law)tic. They were looking at bunkhouse 5th wheels. Saw one that was a possible. Wendy said she didn't see one she liked better than ours, whew!
 There is usually one thing or two at shows that stick out as the best new thing. We saw some with complete outdoor cooking centers, stove, fridge, and sinks. The neatest thing I saw was in a 5th wheel which name escapes me, but it had a  double long bunk that was driven up and down by elec. motors. The neat part was it was in the large slide out over a couch and table. Probably 10 ft or more, said to hold 800 lb. yeah, got to do better at taking pics for the blog-sorry.
 I was waiting to the end to hit the booths, looking for those items that we have been waiting to buy for fulltiming. I found a nice set of wheel chocks. So now I can burn the old chunks of firewood that I have been using.(moving up now:). Hey, I did paint em yellow. I also almost pulled the trigger on new GPS, but did not like the 9.5% sales tax. Really glad I didn't as later searching I found the unit cheaper and got a15%  Quartzite discount. with no tax saved about $80. We ordered the Rand Mcnally 7710 from Recreation Nation.
 Well, Wendy said she would be happy if we have at least one showing a week. Got a call for one tomorrow. Keep the fingers crossed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

No more roughing it.

    Our camping adventures started in 1976 with tent camping. Our oldest daughter, Mandy, started camping at 10 months. Her playpen took up half the tent.

 Then we bought a used tent camper. It had basically beds on the ends and a long bench along the side. No stove, sink, fridge or furnace. We still used the screen tent. We were happy, we were off the ground. And our daughter, Colleen, started camping at 6 months.

 Next was the small Lark travel trailer. It was a little small and heavy. We only kept it for a year.

 Then, we found a used Apache hard sided popup. This worked great for us. We started taking 1 and 2 week vacations during the summer. After a few years, our son started camping. Nate was 6 weeks old when we went on a 1 week vacation. The girls would sleep in the van so Nate wouldn't wake them up.  We had the Apache for about 17 years.

 We liked the low profile of the popup, so the next camper was a Towlite by Hilo. Yea, we now had a bathroom. This was a nice step up. We had a fridge and air. Mandi and Colleen were out on their own and not camping with us much.
We owned 2 of those, a '96 and then a 2002. Then our grandkids started to appear and we would begin taking them.

In 2007 we attended a Life on Wheels seminar in Iowa. While there,nearby we had seen on the internet a 5th wheel that looked to be what we wanted. Though we were planning to wait a couple of years we ended up with our dream rig.

Monday, February 6, 2012

weekend and more planning

We had a nice weekend with our camping club members, no- we didn't camp yet. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Milwaukee. We did a Friday fish fry and toured the Sprecher brewery and the Harley museum on Sat. We played some farkle and had a good visit. The club is made of owners of Excel campers from Wi. Excel campers are made by Peterson Ind. in Kansas. We usually do 3 camp outs a year. I do worry about our club as there are no dealers in Wi. which makes hard for getting new members.

On Friday we met with our financial planner. He is a very nice young guy and although he hasn't dealt with anyone planning to fulltime he has been very helpful and very much on board with our plan. He did give us a bit of warning that we must stick to the budget we have discussed. We realize that doing this at 55 will mean some frugality's to maintain long term. But this we pretty much knew.
 We have been tracking our spending this past year and have put together a plan as best we can. Many items are difficult as mileage cost may vary greatly. We made a budget for so much per day camping, this may be less as we hope to workcamp some(get site for free) and moochcamp (Wendy taught me that term) some, stay with friends/relatives.
 Many people reading the forums ask how much fulltiming cost?, and the best answer is how much you got?:) What is enough for some may not cut it for others.

Friday, February 3, 2012


   Finally the weekend. We still work, so we look forward to the weekends. We are going on a Excel Icicle Winter Outing. No, we're not going camping (we're in WI). We belong to the WI Excel club and in the winter we get together for a outing. This year we will be in the Milwaukee area. We'll be spending the weekend at the Hampton Inn. Starting with a fish fry tonight and a few different tours tomorrow.
   We joined the Excel club when we bought ours in 2008. Just about all the members are retired. We have 2 campouts a year and sometimes an unofficial outing. They are a great group of people and we're glad we joined the club. We don't get new members very often, they don't sell Excels in WI.
   We had another showing. Hopefully with spring around the corner, more buyers will be out.