Category Archives: Uncategorized

Freightliner Service at Gaffney, SC

Gaffney, South Carolina
Freightliner Lobby waiting for Service

For those RV owners that have motor homes with a  Freightliner Chassis, you may be familiar with the Freightliner Service Center located in Gaffney, SC.  As opposed to all other Freightliner Service Centers, the Gaffney location specializes in motor homes and is considered by many to be the best place to have your chassis serviced.  That’s not to say that there aren’t other great service centers, it’s just that Gaffney focuses on the motor home and treats it’s customer base in a way that builds confidence in their ability to properly handle all your needs.  In addition, they offer a two day course (Camp Freightliner) on their product to educate owners in proper maintenance and on performance of the many motor home chassis.  There is also a second follow on course that allows the owner to participate in the actual maintenance.  To facilitate your Continue reading Freightliner Service at Gaffney, SC

Time to Update the Blog and Hit the Road

We are about to get back into the RV world again instead of watching from the sideline.  We just had two new AC units installed at the house – Ughhhh – and everything setup for our extended absence.  Plus, Liz is doing better and ready for an extended trip. WhooooHooo!!  We did take three weeks at the end of May to meet some of my retired friends from work at the beach in NC, to get our yearly service from Freightliner in Gaffney and to spend a week at Lake Lure, NC at a nice motorcoach resort that we discovered so it hasn’t been a complete drought.  More on our trip a little later.

Below is a map of our upcoming adventure which will start on August 18th and end sometime the last full week of October.


An onlooker witnesses an annular solar eclipse. MY1211 1500684 CC: YS4
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Our first stop will be in South Carolina to view the eclipse (see previous blog post).  We have tickets for the Roper Mountain Observatory in Greenville, SC.  It’s in the path of totality and they have programs all weekend on the event and will have astronomers on site during the eclipse to explain what is occurring during each Continue reading Time to Update the Blog and Hit the Road

The New Year Brings New Challenges

Liz at Beau Ridge Casino
Christmas scene at Beau Rivage
Beau Rivage Lobby

We ended 2016 and started 2017 with a New Year’s trip to Biloxi, MS. If you have read some of our previous posts, you may know that we occasionally stop at casinos for a little entertainment. Well, if you haven’t been to Biloxi and like casino hopping it might be a place for you to consider.  It is a small city on the Gulf and easy to navigate. It has several great casinos, numerous RV parks, great sights and some great restaurants. The Boomtown casino has its own RV park with concrete pads and full hook ups for only twenty some dollars a night.

Bloody Mary on New Years Day
Oysters Bordeau at the Half Shell Oyster House

For the most part Liz and I had a great 2016. We were on the road more than home, had no major mishaps, saw a big section of this great country, attended several rallies and made many new friends. It was not, however, without its challenges.  We had our own ongoing  health issues and spent about five weeks managing my mother’s situation in Illinois.

When we returned home in November our goal was to get our bodies fixed and the house ready for the market in the Spring.  Our challenge to meet that goal became more complicated when Liz hurt her back trying to hold the dog back from chasing a golf cart in our neighborhood.  The twisting force caused her to herniate a disc in her upper spine which then pressed on the nerves connected to her shoulder and arm causing pain and some loss of use.  One doctor wanted to do surgery immediately and one wanted to wait 30 days to see how much improvement in her condition would occur.  We chose to wait the 30 days as the pain seemed manageable.  While in Biloxi, Liz  bent over to pick up something and felt a sharp pain in her lower back.  Unknown to us at the time was that the herniated disc injury  probably aggravated a 4 year old injury to her lower back which  ended up flaring up over New Years when she bent over.  Without going through all the trials and tribulations we had dealing with the local doctors since then,  we have finally ended up at the Mayo Spine Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.  We went there on January 17th.  She has at least 7 compression fractures in her spine and one herniated disc.  The good news is that we are hopeful that  we will find a path forward for a full recovery.  We return on the 31st for a followup.

Now…… We still have my knees and eyes to deal with.  The knees  have been a problem on and off for the whole Summer and Fall.    Without going into a lot of detail my knees have a lot of arthritis in them and the right knee has two tears in the meniscus.  So, the doctor has given me some medicine to hold me over till we can schedule arthroscopic surgery.  However, the long term solution appears to be total knee replacement.  As far as my eyes are concerned, before I left in June, my optometrist advised me that I would need cataract surgery when I returned.  I saw an ophthalmologist this month and I am scheduled for lens replacement on January 25th.    The good news is that I upgraded from the basic lenses and I shouldn’t have to wear glasses.

I tried to keep the medical descriptions of this post as short as possible, because I didn’t want to bore everyone with our personal health issues, but medical issues are an important consideration for everyone planning an RV lifestyle.  We are fortunate to have good insurance that is accepted nation wide so we are further ahead than many folks in that category.  I know with the unknown changes that might occur with the health care system under the new administration, many folks are concerned as to what their situation might be in the future.  Our concerns are more on the side of how debilitating the issue might be and can we handle it living in the RV?   Our answer to that question so far is yes.  We see no reason that our current medical situation couldn’t be managed from the RV.   The only real obstacle are the steps into the coach.  With Liz’s issue, its not a challenge  right now.  When it comes time to replace my knees, the steps will be a problem for a time.  My initial thoughts are that we can impose on our children and put the RV in short term storage.

I think in the vast majority of situations there is always a way to meet your medical needs and still stay in the RV.  We would normally schedule a return to our regular doctors for the routine stuff at a specific time of year.  If we needed to return for some emergency that we didn’t want to handle elsewhere, we would simply fly or drive the car back and leave the RV wherever it might be.  We would do the same for a family emergency.  If we couldn’t take the dog, he would have to go to a local kennel for a few days.  If it turns out that the time away from the RV would be longer, that can be worked out too.  FMCA members have a benefit where someone will drive your RV to your home location if you are unable to due to medical reasons.  The important thing is to be thinking about a plan of action and have a Plan A and a Plan B in mind should something happen.

Our situation has forced us to cancel our plans for the Tampa Super Show and our reunion with the Newmar Kountry Klub and Hoots folks.  To those of you who happen to check into this blog, we hope you all have a great time and we miss you!!


Time for the Holidays, Family and the Doctor

Happy Holidays from Liz and Steve
Happy Holidays from Liz and Steve

I haven’t posted in a few weeks because we have been in the process of taking care of our medical issues and enjoying our family for the holidays.  Once Christmas is behind us, we will start to focus on our January travel plans which will include the Tampa Super Show and taking care of a Cummins engine recall.

We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving holiday with our son Doug and his wife Jana in Northern Virginia.  We traveled the 650 miles north from Brunswick in our car, leaving the motor home behind this time.  Continue reading Time for the Holidays, Family and the Doctor

Our Trip Summary


We finally arrived home on November 7th pretty much emotionally and physically exhausted from our adventure.  We had a great trip and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery, special events and people we met along the way.  I’m not sure that there is too much we would have done differently.  However, you have probably heard the phrase “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.”  This is certainly what happened to us on this trip.  Unexpected issues involving my mother’s situation in Illinois Continue reading Our Trip Summary

The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

The Balloon Fiesta was certainly the highlight of our trip.  It is impossible to describe how spectacular the launch of approximately 600 balloons in a two hour period can be.  This, added with the predawn “morning glow”  and the dawn launch of  the balloons with their propane burners lighting the multi colored balloons make this a must see event.

Morning Glow
Morning Glow
Ready to Launch
Ready to Launch
The Launch
Dawn Patrol

The Fiesta usually takes place in early October, lasting nine days and encompassing two weekends.  There are numerous ways to attend.  We chose to go with the Newmar Kountry Klub and travel from the Continue reading The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

From There to Here…

In the last post I briefly listed the stops we had on our way from the Black Hills of South Dakota to where we are currently in the Hill Country of Texas.  This post will give a more detailed overview of those stops.

Scott's Bluff National Monument
Scott’s Bluff National Monument

Our first location of interest was Scott’s Bluff National Monument in Nebraska.  Neither Liz nor I had been to Nebraska before and this monument was on the way to Colorado so we decided to visit.  It is unique in the sense that it the first large rock formation as the Great Continue reading From There to Here…

Catching Up!!

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last posted.  We have been so busy enjoying our travels and dealing with life situations that I just didn’t feel like pounding out posts on the keyboard.  Since leaving the Black Hills of South Dakota, we have been through the corner of Wyoming and Nebraska (Scott’s Bluff National Monument), stayed next to Rocky Mountain National Park, spent a week at the Newmar International Rally in Pueblo, attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, took a hot air balloon ride, visited White Sands National Monument, dealt with issues involving my mother’s health care that threatened to take us back to Illinois, and escaped damage to our home from Hurricane Matthew.  Phew!  I think it’s time to get rid of that house so we have one less thing to worry about.

Each one of the above named places and/or events deserves an individual post, but in the hopes of catching up on my blog, I will be posting the “Reader’s Digest Version”.  I do plan to write more about the pros and cons of attending rallies at some point.  This type of event seems to have a love/hate relationship with many RV’ers.   I also want to reflect on our first year of ownership of this motor home.  It is hard to believe, but we picked it up one year ago this month in Nappanee, IN.   October 12th to be exact.  We have spent seven months of that year in the RV and needless to say we have enjoyed every minute of it.

We are currently in Kerrville, Texas at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort attending our third event – The Hoots Rally.  “Hoots” is a group of Newmar owners who also are active participants on the iRV2 forum and love to share information about the Newmar product line and modifications they have done to their RV’s.  There are currently 37 coaches participating with numerous activities and seminars planned for the upcoming week.  Once we leave this event we will begin our journey back to Georgia (unless life’s events take us elsewhere).

More to come soon…..

Black Hills South Dakota – Part 2

Great Faces – Great Places

Mt. Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore
Crazy Horse Memorial
Crazy Horse Memorial

You will see these words – Great Faces, Great Places – on the license plates in South Dakota.  I think it really captures the essence of the most popular attraction in the state – Mt. Rushmore, but also highlights that it has much more to offer.   In addition to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse we loved the town of Deadwood in the north and its counterpart, Keystone in the south.  Then there are Continue reading Black Hills South Dakota – Part 2