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Smokey Mountain National Park, Newfound Gap

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Flushing NY–SNOW!!


I have not posted for  a while.  We still are shooting for a mid January departure. BUT, who knows.  We just got a lot of SNOW.  About 12” – 14” or so.

I should not have any snow on the truck or camper.

Could not get any pictures of the camper because I cannot get out to it.  It is parked out in Amityville which is 30 miles from the house.

When we leave. If we can get the camper dug out.  We will head strait for Quartzsite Arizona and warm weather. And no SNOW.


to be continued…..

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just an Update – Flushing NY

I haven’t updated in a while, so here goes.
The plan is for Ann to retire the end of December.  

We are going to hit the road for 3 months and be back the beginning of April.  We will head south to Jacksonville Florida and then go west along the Florida Pan Handle towards Texas and Arizona.
We want to be in Quartzite, Arizona by January 22 for a big RV show and Rally.  After that we will go the Congress Arizona for an Escapees Boot Camp.  Escapees is an organization we belong to that is devoted to Full Time RVing.  The have what they call a Boot Camp that is a number of workshops covers all phases of RVing.
More upgrades to Roan IV.
I installed a computer desk in the truck to hold my laptop.
We have Streets and Trips program running on the Laptop with a USB GPS to give us our present location. It is a full blown mapping program. We are also connected to the internet via a Verizon Air Card.
Also installed is a high gain Cell Phone antenna to be able to pick up the cell signals in marginal conditions. (the Antenna on the left is the high gain WiFi antenna previously installed.)
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                      Before                                                    After
I added a shelf over the bed in the bedroom for extra storage because there are no end tables on either side of the bed.
Well we hope to be going out in the middle of October for a three day weekend if Ann can get the time off.
To be continued……

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Second Shake Down Cruise – Greenport NY


This post is dedicated to Karen.

On the second shake down cruise we went back to the same campground, mainly because it is easy to get to.

I picked up Ann Friday from work at 3pm and headed straight to pick up the camper at Amityville where it is stored.  We hitched up and went directly to the camp ground.   We arrived at around 7PM (the traffic was very heavy) so there was plenty of daylight to get backed in and hooked up.  Backing up the trailer is getting a lot easier.

We broke out he grill and make corn on the cob an hamburgers for dinner.

After sending up the satellite dish and the WiFi we were set for the evening, or that is what I thought.

After a few minutes the power went out to in the trailer.  I check the power at the pedistal coming in at it was OK.  I checked the power in the trailer at it was 134 volts.  The voltage should be between 104 and 132 or the EMS system (Energy Management System) I have in the trailer will shut down the circuit to keep the everything in the trailer from dammage.  So the EMS is doing it’s thing properly.  I went to the pedistal and checked the voltage of the outlet to the next site that was not being used and it read 126 Volts.  So I just moved our connection to that socket and all was well.


The next day the plan was to go to Orient point which is at the end of Long Island’s north fork. There is not much to see there besides a small park and a Ferry dock where you can catch a ferry to Connecticut and Fire Island.


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There is a trail through the park the leads to the beach and some gorgeous homes.

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The light house is all the way out there.

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So we didn’t go to see it.

We then went on a search for a Farm Stand to get some fresh vegies.

Afterwards we went back to the coach to relax for awhile. 

Around 5pm came the realy big decision, where to go for dinner.  We drove into Greenport and walked around.  We finally decided on Claudio's Restaurant at the end of the pier.

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After the weekend Ralph and I finished the entertainment center. We installed the 40” LED Samsung HDTV. We installed it the TV on an arm so the TV and be moved and viewed from anywhere in the room.  We also instlled the 22” HDTV on an arm in the bedroom. 

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To be continued……

Monday, June 21, 2010

Maiden Voyage of the Roan

Well we made our first camping trip. We both came back alive.

We went to a camp site about 1.5 hours from Amityville, where we keep the RV. It is on the north fork of Long Island in a town called Greenport. The camp site is Eastern Long Island Kampgrounds. We stayed only one night but had a great time.

All the practice paid off. The site was in a open area so it was easy, for me anyway, to back in.

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The two of us are getting to be a real team with setting up and breaking camp. After getting the coach into the right position we unhitched the truck, deployed the automatic levelers, connected the electric, water and sewer hoses.

After connecting the water I noticed that the city water pressure at the faucet seemed low. I check the pressure gauge on the water regulator and saw it was 0, which could not be because there was some water flowing. I replace one of the water filters cartridges and the flow improved, but still seemed a little slow. Without knowing what the pressure at the source is, it is hard to know where the problem lies. It was good enough for the one day we were going to be there.

I sent up the Satellite dish and it locked onto the three satellites it is supposed to. I turned on the satellite box and the TV. It scanned for the satellites and downloaded the programming guide, but kept on trying to lock onto the satellites. So no TV, OMG. To be fixed when I get back.

Next I setup the WiFi hotspot to connect to the internet through their WiFi system. The reason I did this is two fold. One, My WiFi system has a high gain antenna on it to bring in weak or intermittent signals from the local system. Second, my system has it’s own router and firewall for extra security.

We then setup inside the coach.

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I helped too, but someone had to take the pictures. ( I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.)

We then relaxed outside for a little while under the awning. I relaxed too, but someone had to take the pictures. ( I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.)


We took a ride around the area. We wanted to check out the area, there are a lot of wineries and farm stands in the area. We found a place that had both.

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We bought two bottles of Chardonnay. One to have with dinner and one to bring home.

There is something that I have to tell you about Ann that no one knows except me, I know, no one who reads this will tell anyone. Ann has this “thing “ for Carousels, whenever she sees one or hears about one she has to go on it. No matter the cost or where in the world it is (she has ridden carousels in France; Washington, DC; NY). Well, she read that there is a Carousel in the town of Greenport, so we had to go and find it. After some time looking we finally found it. It is housed in it’s own building in a beautiful park on the waters edge.

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See Ann’s new hat.

When we got back to the campsite it was time for supper. I setup the new propane grill, sorry I forgot to take a picture. While Ann baked a potatoe in the microwave. I made a nice London Broil and we ate dinner under the awning at the picnic table, with the bottle of wine of course.

After dinner we walked around the campsite for a while and decided to just go inside and relax because it was getting a bit cool.


I relaxed too, but someone had to take the pictures. ( I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.)

The next day, after breakfast we disconnected everything dumped the tanks hitched up and brought Roan IV back to Amityville.

To be continued…….

Monday, May 31, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice


The plan for this Memorial day Weekend was to go to a local campsite.  Well that didn’t happen.  All of the campsites have been reserved since January.

So yesterday Ann and I went for a practice run.  We closed up the camper and got it ready for travel using a check list.

Backed up the Truck hitched up connected the camera system, locked down the hitch and retracted the auto level jacks. 

With the use of radios Ann did an excellent job (as usual)guiding me while I backed out of the driveway.

We drove around a while to see if I could find an open parking lot to do some practice backing into a spot similar to a camp site. Finding none we came back and pulled back into the spot where we are parked in Amityville.

It was worth the practice.

To  be continued ………

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Satellite Antenna

When I bought the coach it came with a Winegard Moving View satellite antenna.


The Moving View is not setup for HDTV.  One cannot  Rough it without HDTV.  I tried to get it to work on regular TV but all it did is keep searching for a satellite but could not lock in on one.

I purchased the Winegard SK-1000 that is setup for Dish service.

Since I already have an account with Dish TV at home I just purchased a new receiver and set it up in the coach. When it comes time to Full Time, I will just transfer my boxes at home to the Camper as well as the Dish account.

This model dish has 3 LNBs to lock in on 3 different satellites at the same time, so it can get all HD channels.  We also ran another cable to the bedroom where there will be another TV.  Hi def of course!



The Antenna is amazing.  After powering it up, it raised itself, spun around a few times, twisted its head, searched for the proper satellites and locked right on.

HDTV, Satellite TV, Internet, Hot and Cold running water, shower, and refrigerator for chilled wine.  Life is going to be Rough on the Road for a homeless couple!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

High Gain Wi-Fi Antenna


This is the outside High Gain Antenna that we installed to help bring in Wi-Fi signals when stopping in RV parks that offer free Wi-Fi.  The Antenna is a  Hawking Antenna 9dBi OMNI Directional which I ordered through Walmart.

We first cut  a 12”X12” plastic plate and using Stainless Steel Screws and RTV sealant attached it to the side of the RV.  We then attached the antenna to the plate. The cable was fed down the refrigerator vent and into the cabinet above the refrigerator where all of the equipment is to be placed.

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We ran 12VDC up through the back of the pantry closet, next to the refrigerator, to supply power to the routers. 

Also we ran two CAT 5 cables (one spare for future use) from the router down the pantry closet and over to the entertainment center where the desktop computer will act as a server to store all of the pictures, music files and documents are stored.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Installation of OTA antenna




The work continues….

The OTA  (Over The Air) antenna has been installed. We installed a Winegard Sensar IV   We spent a lot of time tracing the wiring and figuring out how the existing wires were run.  We have them all done except one coax cable which we cannot find where it terminates. We will keep working on that. 

We drilled a hole in the roof to bring the crank handle down through the roof.



The crank handle raises and lowers the antenna and turns the antenna when it is raised so you can get the best picture on the TV.

We brought the coax cable down into the closet where the Bedroom TV will go.


Sealed and screwed down the antenna and cable.

Connected it to the plate supplied with the antenna.


The Plate lets you connect two TVs and brings 12VDC up to the amplifier in the antenna.  We tapped off the light in the closet for the 12VDC.

We connected the second TV connection to  the existing coax that goes over to the entertainment center in the living room.  So now we have OTA Digital cannels in the bedroom and the Living room.

When I say We above I am referring to Myself and my good friend Ralph, who has helped me all through these upgrades. For that matter has helped me renovate my house and just about anything. Thanks Ralph, I could not do this without you.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Waking up from a winters sleep

The winter is over and spring is here.  The trees are blooming and getting green.

Time to pull the 5th wheeler out of it’s long winter sleep. 

First thing is to de winterize the water system.  I connected my water hose to the City water system to flush the antifreeze out of the water lines and all I heard was water pouring out of some place.  I looked in the basement and saw water on the floor of the basement.

There are two water filters in line with the City water connection and the water was coming from that area.


It seems that when I winterized the rig in the Fall I used the water pump to pull the antifreeze through the system and never drained the water filters and put  antifreeze in the City water side. 

Oops! The bottom of both filters broke. 


I looked up the web site of the manufacturer of the water filters and found a dealer near me.  I called and explained my problem.  He said they did not have any in stock and would call his distributor and get back to me. Of coarse he never did even after several more calls.  I then called another dealer of the filter in New Jersey and same thing.

I then emailed Richard Dahl at the RV Water Filter Store who was very helpful. He said he did not have the exact brand but the brands he did carry should fit and work the same.  He also recommended a different filter cartridge setup that works better.

I ordered the new filters brackets and cartridges from the web site.  I installed them.  They were a perfect fit. All I had to do was unscrew the brackets holding the filters to the wall and disconnect all of the fittings.


After that the process went  smoothly, The filters filled with water and the water flowed properly. I filled the fresh water tank and ran the water to flush out all of the antifreeze.

I guess I won’t make the mistake again.

Next is to power wash the rig and clean the solar panels.

The work never ends!!