Looks like we are heading to Italy next, I should be excited but it means I need to do something with my RV.
I put so much into this thing and it deserves to be on the road and not stored for a few years. 😍🛣
Who wants an amazing RV that all the work has been done for you? 🙌🙌
1988 Holiday Rambler Presidential, 34CS
Class A, 33 ft
Attached bike rack hitch.
Seatbelts: 7 (3 in sofa, 2 living room chairs and 2 in front seats)
REMODELED & UPDATED!
New tires with TP/heat sensors- 9 includes full spare)
Lots of motor work done! Not inclusive but some of the big items- New transmission with warranty, heater core repaired, fuel pressure regulator, new spark plugs, Cab AC retrofitted for R134a, (along with other repairs so fully road worthy)
Outside has been waxed and polished.
Generator, fixed some issues (new transformer, rectifier, cleaned carburetor)
Inside has been fully updated!
White & blue cabinets, light gray walls.
New lux vinyl plank flooring.
Bathroom has been fully renovated, new toilet, faucets and tile surround in tub area.
Gas stove top
Convention/air-fryer toaster over (not built in)
Dinner was removed & replaced with: Mini washer/spin dryer. (Plumbed in) & Custom built butcher-block counter with storage underneath & 2 folding stools.
Back bedroom with 2 twin beds, new memory foam mattresses
Tons of storage inside!
Jack-knife sofa in living area with new memory foam mattress and custom fabric.
Pull down twin over cab (hold up to 150 lbs, but not the best sleeping space, ok for child/tween. I currently use for storage but will buy new mattress if needed)
2 roof AC with toggle switch if using shore power
30 amp shore power- new power cord
Will include: All hoses- stinky slinky, drinking water hose, extra hose for cleaning.
Bedding for 2 twins & jack knife sofa, all throw pillows.
Kitchen items- Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven, Vitamix blender, Instapot 8qt with accessories. Electric hot plate and pans, Tea kettle, silverware and metal dishes for 4, dish rack and drying pads, etc.
Misc items like engine fluids or repair items I have on hand.
Well we were FINALLY able to make plans once all the RV repairs were done! If you ever need RV service or parts and you are in PA, I highly recommend John’s RV & Trailer Center in Jacobus, PA.
Leaving was a bit hard. The only times I’ve seen my dad cry is when I leave and oh man it breaks my heart, but it was even harder because he enjoyed the boys so much! I am so grateful for our time in PA and although it was RV issues that kept us there for so long, I know God had his hand in the mix and knew we all needed the time together!
I decided to leave on a Thursday night after my dad got off work and we had dinner together. I figured it would be easier to say bye at night & I could beat the morning traffic, thankfully I did that because it snowed overnight! Not a lot but enough to of made me nervous driving in the snow. My husband flew into BWI and I found a Crackle Barrel to park at overnight right outside of the airport. He landed at 6am & took an UBER to the RV. We went right back to sleep and the boys didn’t even wake up!
After a hardy breakfast to “pay” back our over night stay we hit the road to Virginia Beach to visit some old Navy friends. It was a quick overnight stop, but we had a great meal,
snuck in a quick ER trip before breakfast and had some yummy pancakes before we left in the morning.
I was REALLY bad about taking photos, we were just too busy chatting it up!
The next day we headed out towards Charleston, SC! We were all so excited to go back to our old hood and visit all of our friends! I think we all feel like Charleston is our home, especially our kids because they remember it the more then Hawaii but it’s truly because of our amazing friend in our old neighborhood!
The drive was SOOOOO long! We all just wanted to get there! We were a few hours latter then we had anticipated pulling in about 9pm at night. We were staving so we had to stop for food. We were craving wings from Voodoo Tiki Bar. I had pulled over so my husband could jump out and go pick up our togo order. I told him I would pull through the neighborhood behind the bar and pick him up on the other side. Well I turned a bit too soon and ended going through the back ally of the parking lot. It was a tight fit but thankfully the RV handles like a boss! We were planing on just sleeping in the RV outside of our friends house, but ended up staying inside, who can turn down a big bed you don’t have to pull out! lol
The next day was filled with hanging out, walks around the park, potluck with friends, kids having a blast together again, RV tours, being reminded how bad the bugs suck , lots of drinks and laughs late into the night.
We had a great visit in Charleston, it defiantly wasn’t long enough but we are on a time line to get my husband back to the ship! We decided to drive straight to San Antonio, TX so we could have a day to sight see, so that meant 2 very long days of driving! The first day was good and we pulled off before Biloxi, MS at a rest stop for the night.
Longest day ever!
We left at 7:30 am
Hit traffic at 5pm so pulled over for few hours to eat, take a shower & relax.
8pm back on road but after 2 hrs I was DONE driving! It took me 3 rest stops to finally find a spot to pull over at for the night. We didn’t quite make it, but we only have 133 miles left to go!
San Antonio TX !! I booked us at a KOA. We stayed 1 night, and its a very nice RV park! We had an upgraded camp sight with patio, table, fire pit and grill. Every camp sight should have those amenities! The boys enjoyed the playground, playing hockey with dad and diner and S’mores over the fire pit!
After we checked in we took an UBER to the Riverwalk, found a TexMex restaurant… where I could enjoy a margarita of course!
We walked around and went to the Alamo. It was the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo which I had not been aware of when I planned our trip. I wish they had some sort of Jr Ranger booklet like the National Parks do but I didn’t see anything.
We decided to do the Riverboat cruise which was great & very informative! We defiantly learned more on the cruise then we did walking around the Alamo!
Long Drive day with a over night stop at a rest area. I am so grateful I chose a Class A RV to travel in. It makes traveling so much more comfortable and easy to just pull over and stop. If we had a trailer or 5th wheel it’s still doable but a bit harder, especially if you have slides or are not set up to boon-dock!
White Sands National Monument, NM
Bucket list items!!!
Way cooler then I expected! Loved we could drive the RV right in and hang out! They had these great little picnic tables with shelter over them, which would be perfect for hot days! Since we got there in time to enjoy lunch we took full advantage of them! We got some sledding in before the winds made us run back to RV! That sand hurts!
The boys worked on their Jr Ranger booklets in the RV and we went to the visitors center to finish them up, They then turned them in & received their Jr Ranger Badges!
We decided to skip our next stop after I realized it would be a few hour round trip off the highway and just drive straight into San Diego. We were doing good on the mountain climbs but I made the mistake of pulling off for gas before a BIG climb, like literally right at the base of the hill. Once I started to pull onto the highway I knew it was going to be hard to get up to speed with such a climb!
Before that it was easy sailing at 70mph but I was only pulling 55 up the hill, Big Betsy was doing pretty good. Unfortunately I was watching the heat gauge creep up when I found out I actually have a heat alarm! Devils pass on I8 into CA almost got us, but thankfully they have places to pull over for overheating vehicles. We only needed 5 mins of cooling off the engine. It was 40 degrees outside so that helped! I had pulled over almost at the top so restarting wasn’t to bad! Then it was back to normal speeds for us!
We pulled into our RV spot just after the office closed so the night host showed us to our spot. We got all set up and the next morning we woke up to water views! I am defiantly going to enjoy this beach front living!
People keep asking me what my travel plans are and honestly I am not trying to make any anymore! Which is so hard for me, the planer and organizer! I have had more delays or issues that have come up then I had ever imagined.
But everything is in God’s greater plan and although frustrating it has giving us more time with my family then I had planed on, and that I am grateful for!
We spent most of the summer with my in-laws, completely taking over their house, using their space to renovate the RV but most importantly the kids enjoyed time with Grandma and Grandpa. They learned how to cook new foods, how to shoot guns, how to ride 4 wheelers, and how much they hate bugs! I truly got to know my in-laws more and have a deeper appreciation for what amazing people they truly are!
We arrived at my parents a bit earlier then expected because our Canada trip was cut short due to my generator needing work. After a short stop in MA at my sisters and a trip to Boston, my husband flew in to spend a few days with us and drive with me to my parents in PA. After my husband left we got to spend Halloween Trick or Treating with my Dad.
Thanksgiving came and our plans to head south got halted once I realized I had a leak when I went to change my oil. That put my RV back in the shop. It was going to be a few weeks so might as well stay for Christmas.
Then I decided to fly out and see my husband in CA. We needed some couples time and he was in port. 2 weeks we spent together. I don’t think I have ever had so much time with him alone in our entire marriage!
I was able to get my RV out of the shop and I don’t even want to admit how much I had to drop to do that. But at least it will get me back across the US!
But first I have an art event I decide to try and do since I was here. I have been painting a ton and unfortunately I can’t hang all the art in the Rv! ha!
Next, my Dad’s Birthday is coming up and we have got to stay and celebrate!
As of right now my husband is planing on fly out in a few weeks and he will drive with us cross country back to CA. Unfortunately, I have to do it quickly so I can get Keanu and Kai back for some testing they need to do but we should be able to hit of some good sights along Route 66!
This year has not gone as planed but I truly feel God has put me on a path of spending time with family and we have so enjoyed it, the boys have learned so much and are in a better place to start traveling and exploring! I really excited to have my husband along for part of our journey too!
The water lines were below the base I made. I took out one dinette bench and this took its place. The other bench had water heater so that stayed and tuned it into a shelf and counter. So water lines run from bedroom in back through bathroom, under fridge , under the stand and into other bench. So I was able to tap into hot and cold water lines.
My dad helped me with this project. I had never plumbed anything, other then switching out a faucet. We found the Shark Bate connectors at the hardware store and it made the job so easy! I had pex pipes to I got some more to build the water line into the washer. I should of added a shut off for hot and cold because of the back flow of hot into cold. I forgot to grab the extra shut offs not thinking it would be a big deal and then someone pointed out my error! I’ll be fixing that after Thanksgiving!
The outside lines took a bit to figure out but I used a rubber tube to step down the built in hose to the port I got.
To my surprise there were wires running below my hole. But I was on the look out for them so I was able to hold them out of the way as we made the outside hole bigger.
Cutting through the outside wall was nerve racking!
The drain port is a standard one used in pop up campers that a garden hose can hook to. I’ll drain to a 5 gallon bucket if boondocking or run it in to sewer hose when hooked up. This way I avoid taking up my gray tank space and trying to plum that would of been a bit harder.
You can find the washer here. The spin basket does get most of the water out but I have thought about the increased humidity it can cause. I’ll be hanging the clothes in the bathroom and I have a small dehumidifier I’ll run. I can keep door closed and even open vent if I need. My other option is drying at campground laundry mat, especially if I get behind on laundry! If I’m just drying I can at least reduce my cost that way!
I had ordered a memory foam mattress which was a great price, under $150! It was very high quality and comfortable but it was just too big. It did not fold well going up and down and was constantly slipping down into the walk way.
I knew I was going to need to cut it down but I needed the sofa to be more comfortable for me to sleep on. I sure do miss my Sleep number bed!
The two problems I had was the front of the sofa slanted down so I was sleeping at an angel. The other one was that I could feel the springs through the mattress on that side because it has less material then the top part.
It was a family affair with my dad and mom both helping me with the project.
My dad helped me figure out how to fix the downward slop of the front side of the bed, reduce the gap in between the back and front when its laid flat, and making it a tab bit bigger but still be able to open and close.
I decided to mount the mattress after it was cut down onto plywood boards. I adjust the thickness of the boards for each 1/2 to make up for the decline I was experiencing. This also solved the issues of firmness and feeling the springs.
My mom helped me pick out the fabric and upholster the cushions. I decided to use two different colors to break up the look
There is storage underneath the sofa. The original wood door was not in good shape and I trashed it when I redid the floor. I had curtains up temporally until I decided what I wanted to do, but I really disliked them once I had the sofa done!
Since I had extra wood and fabric I recreated a similar flip down door.
I removed the old microwave convection oven because it hardly heated up water after 2mins and it was most likely giving me cancer 🤣🤣
I love vintage stuff but a 30 year old microwave…. nope!
I’m totally obsessed with my Cuisinart oven fryer and it fit perfectly in there with room on the side for the cutting board and induction cook plate. I still need to figure out what to put over the front so it’s secure when I’m driving, but that will come another day!
I ordered a electric kettle for less then $20! This way I can boil water quickly which is really the only thing I use a microwave for anyway. I truly don’t like to heat up leftovers in the microwave because it makes food taste like rubber! Plus with cooking smaller I am hoping for less leftovers!
To Canada!! I have to say I was pretty excited to travel through Canada. I have tried to see Niagara Falls a few times but the plans fell through.
I had arranged to stay at another Harvest Host location that was a farm and winey that had a bunch of activities for the boys to enjoy so we were looking forward to that!
I crossed the boarder with no issues. The traffic was very quick to move, to my surprise! I have my US Passport but for kids you only need a Birth Certificate if you are driving (not flying). Also it is recommended to have a notarized letter from an absent parent stating you have permission to cross the boarder with your children. For detailed & up to date rules please check the US Customs website.
I will offer one tip about crossing the boarder, fill up your gas tank BEFORE you cross! It didn’t even dawn on me to do that and oh man did I pay for it, literally! At almost $5 a gallon it hit me right in the pocketbook! I needed a 1/2 of tank which is about 30 gallons.
It sure was getting hot in the RV! It was about 85 outside when I filled up gas so once we were done filling up I told the boys I would turn on the Generators and crank the AC units.
Started her up and ….. then it shut off. Now our generator has been pretty reliable. Had her serviced, new spark plugs, oil change and new filters and after a quick adjustment to the ideal it ran perfectly. But now nothing. It was not even turning over. I pulled over at the rest stop and tried to tinker with it and the couple who was parked next to me also looked at it. I figured it was the fuse since it wasn’t turning over. The fuses inside the RV were good but I couldn’t tell if the 5v glass fuse was ok that was on the generator. We hung out at the rest stop for a bit and then I got on the road again heading to a Walmart close to our Harvest Host location. I had also found a shop near there that could service the generator.
We arrived at the Walmart and surprisingly there was only about 8 cars in the parking lot. Very odd! Once we got to the doors we found them locked. It was only a bit after 5pm so I was stumped. We wondered over to the Starbucks which seamed to be open and we were promptly greeted with “Happy Thanksgiving!”
The boys looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders and laughed a “Happy Thanksgiving” back at them The guy was quite kind and asked if we enjoyed our dinner and I explained we were from the US and had no idea it was Thanksgiving! He was surprised and happy we were visiting. We chatted a bit about our adventuring plans while my drink was made.
On the way back to the RV I noticed there was an open Dominos Pizza behind the Starbucks. With no working generator we were stuck eating PBJ or cereal but GF pizza just sounded nice!
The next morning I called the auto shop and he said to come down and he could squeeze me in.
Took it in and found the fuse was blown. But the new one that was put in blew right away too, so it was a grounding issue. About 3 hours latter he had an answer for me: The transformer was melted and there was a non functioning rectifier. My generator was really broke and it was not an easy fix,
I was planing on boon docking through Harvest Host locations though Canada and NY so that wasn’t going to fly, plus the 90 degree heat wasn’t going to be doable without AC.
They guy called for parts and pricing but told me he knew I could save 40-50% on parts if I just crossed the boarder. He gave me a full write up (with photos!) and the parts number so I could easily get the work done. Thankfully I’m on my way to my sisters and her husband is a mechanic so he can help me.
If your in Ontario, Canada and find yourself in need of a repair shop I highly recommend Trinity Automotive. They were kind, professional, worked hard to figure out what was wrong and didn’t try to take advantage of me just to make a sale. It took the guys 3 hours to figure out what was wrong and they only charged me for one hour because that’s what I was quoted!
We left the Straits State Park and headed to my husbands Aunt & Uncle house in Owosso, MI. I have been truly blessed to have married into such a great family. Most of the time I visit my husbands family without him. Last time we visited his Aunt & Uncle they were living in Texas and Keanu was a baby!
It was a long travel day and we were all excited to arrive at their house. Polly is an amazing cook and she had dinner all ready for us when we arrived! Unfortunately I have no photos since I was too busy stuffing my face. I got the recipes and will be cooking those up soon!
We ate, we drank wine and hung out for the evening. Danna told me all about Michigan and how much there is to do and see in the state. We will defiantly be exploring MI next summer! He told me about many small coastal towns, wineries and orchards and how unique the weather is in the state. He was a wealth of knowledge!
The next morning after breakfast and showers we headed out for a grand tour of Owasso. It is such a beautiful small town with lots to see. They have a cute little historic village that is open and holds events through out the year.
We drove over to the Curwood Castle and it was open so we ventured inside.
The castle was used as a writing studio of James Oliver Curwood in the 1920’s.
Right next door was a small art gallery we checked out too! The river that runs through the area has a nice walking & biking path and swinging bridge. We walked over the bridge and if the weather was not so rainy we would of walked a bit more.
After some touring looking at all the great architecture, we were on the hunt for some shoes for Kai. We were checking out at one store and Keanu wanted to ride the horse. I usually just tell the kids to climb on and pretend because half the time they never work or I don’t have quarters. Well this was only a penny! I think Keanu was a bit embarrassed once it started moving! He is getting so big! The horse would not stop either! I was standing there with heavy bags and finally had to ask him to just hop off! He defiantly got his penny worth!
Dana noticed my tail light was needing a bit of repair so he offered to fix it for me. He removed it, cleaned it, glued and taped it and got it back on the next morning! I was so grateful for the help. I have so many small projects that still need to be done, now its one less! Thanks Dana!
We left Norther Sun Winery and headed off to a Walmart down the road about 12 miles. I found out that the area I was in was a zero T-mobil area, that AT&T had the area locked out. I also found out that we have limited roaming and that my sons phone was set to roaming which zapped that in like 2.5 seconds. Thanks YouTube.
Thankfully Walmart had free wifi! We had to get a few items anyway, so it was an easy stop!
I wanted to stay close to Mackinaw Bridge, hopefully on Lake Huron side since we would be seeing Lake Michigan while we drove. I called the Straits State Park and they had availability.
Driving through the top portion of MI is beautiful. Lake Michigan looks like you are driving along the ocean. There are huge waves crashing on the shore and all you can see for miles is water. I never knew Michigan was so amazingly beautiful! It was an un expected hidden gem and exactly why I want to travel, I want to find the unexpected.
We pulled off at a rest area about 1pm and I kicked on the generator so I could cook the pizza the boys requested for lunch when we were at Walmart earlier. We parked right along the curb next to the beach access. Yes beach access at a rest area! After we ate we took Koan for a walk down to the beach. It was so beautiful!
The really amazing thing I was not expecting while we were driving was the sand dunes! And I mean big sand dunes on both sides of the road! Sand dunes and ever green trees. If it was not for the evergreens, you would easily think you were driving the coast of Florida!
We got to the camp ground and found our spot. It was a bit uneven but I did my best to level it off. Unfortunately we are ass end in the air.. downward dog style. At least we are level side to side.
The kids had a blast playing at the park right behind our sight! I like they were so close while I set up.
The boys rode their bikes down to the water. It was so windy and overcast, but the water was still a beautiful blue color.
The boys played a bit more at the park while I cooked up a fast and yummy dinner of Squash Soup.
It was a hit! They both had seconds
1 bag of frozen squash
4 cups of Water and Chicken base
Cinnamon, Salt and Pepper to taste
Blend in Vitamix on high speed for 5-7 mins.
I served with Udi’s gluten free rolls
I had Keanu jump in the shower but quickly realized plumbing can’t be doing downward dog to work. So needless to say Kai and me had to wait for showers till the next morning. I pulled over at a rest stoped and just hoped in! How awesome is that!? That is one of my favorite things about our RV, just being able to have the freedom to do anything!
All clean and ready to it the road!
I was hoping to do the ferry out to Mackinaw Island but the weather is not the best, cold, windy and raining, so we will save that for the next visit out here.