03.27.20 The wildest RV purchasing experience EVER – 10.13.12 Conroe, TX here we come

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED October 13, 2012 – WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY VERY LONG BLOG. HOWEVER, IT IS WORTH READING AS YOU WILL SEE WHEN YOU READ IT. SORRY, I CAN’T SAY AT THIS POINT IN THE BLOG WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR OTHERS TO READ IT.

During all this fun we were having, I had two eye surgeries to have the floaters in my eyes removed. Both surgeries left me with bloody looking eyes for about a week after each one so we tried to limit my public exposure during those times. I can’t even describe how creepy I looked with my blue eyes surrounded totally by blood red where the whites use to be.

I tell you this because it was after the second eye surgery, right after the garage sale, when my eye was at its most bloody looking that we found “the perfect RV for us”. We had only been doing “research” on RVs up to this point when the day after the last eye surgery I found on Craigslist a 1997 40 foot Holiday Rambler diesel that had been updated to a 2009 interior. The floors were granite, sofas were leather and was a diesel pusher for only $40,000. It was near Houston, Texas and I thought we should make a road trip to see this one. Even if we weren’t ready to purchase we realized this might be too good to pass up. I was on sick leave from eye surgery so I was off work already for a few days. I called my husband, sent him the information about this RV and said: “Let’s take a trip to see this one.”

This was around 10 am one day and by noon that same day we were on the road to check it out. This spur of the moment road trip is not how we normally operate. I like to plan and Roy likes plenty of notice so this was very unusual for us.

During our 5 long hours of driving, we discussed many things including making sure we took precautions like checking the seller’s driver’s license to make sure it matches the title. We brought cash with us for a deposit since the pictures and all we learned were so enticing. We pulled up at this million-dollar mansion behind a huge brick fence with a remote-controlled gate. We instantly felt better when we saw this beautiful home because surely it was all legitimate. We pushed the button and told them we were there. They opened the gate for us to enter. We noticed a shabby appearance to the landscaping which made their story of falling on hard times more believable. But then we saw the RV and forgot everything else!

Mansion in Conroe, TX. The RV we were trying to buy is in front.
Mansion in Conroe, TX. The RV we were trying to buy is in front.

When we originally spoke on the phone they told us that they were financially strapped and selling the RV was a good way to raise some quick capital. That all made sense to us and when we saw the house we felt better. Upon seeing the RV we were almost immediately sold. When we went in it was even nicer than the pictures. Granite floors, new leather sofas, 1 slide and they were only asking $40,000.00. It was, of course, a 1997 but you wouldn’t know that from the renovated interior. After hearing it run fine and really looking it over well Roy said we’ll think about it and we prepared to leave. After we got in the car and drove around to the front of the mansion Paula was still outside but by the front door of the mansion. Roy told her the most we could do was $20,000 and she said the lowest they could was $35,000. About 5 minutes down the road we got a call from the man, Rick Gonzales. He said he’d take $30,000 for it. Roy said you’re at $30,000 and I’m at $20,000, how about we meet in the middle. Roy and Rick agreed on $25,000. Roy watches all those shows where they go back and forth over the price and it seemed to be paying off! We were ecstatic, we were getting a great RV for $25,000.

We drove back to the mansion where the RV was located. Knowing we needed to take some precautions I asked to see the lady’s driver’s license and the RV title. They looked fine to me, though she did look a little young in the driver’s license. Once we were satisfied with everything we gave them a large cash deposit and they gave us a bill of sale showing the deposit and that we’d pay the remainder within 15 days. Since we had started the financial process with our banker of the phone on our way to Conroe we decided to stay overnight (totally unprepared) hoping we could finish it up the next day.

We had not planned to stay overnight and didn’t bring a change of clothes, toothbrushes or ANYTHING. We found a very cheap hotel nearby that didn’t provide complimentary shampoos or even have a hairdryer like we’re used to having at hotels. The hot water must have been used up by others at this cheap hotel before we got to it in the morning so all I could do was stick my head in the shower, wash it with a bar of soap and dry my hair over the air conditioning vent. I put on my well-used clothes from the day before and between my lovely looking hair and my bloody blue eyes, I looked like a crazed possibly homeless woman. I’m sure my husband was so proud to be seen with me when we went to breakfast before heading to the bank!

Our bank had a branch in a nearby city in Texas. Our bank officer Barbara, in Louisiana, worked with the Texas branch after breakfast that day to get our loan transaction completed so we could take the RV home the following day. I asked our banker to please let the Texas branch know in advance I don’t normally look like I did that day! The people at the branch were very nice to us during the long visit we had with them. Our loan processing went well and we got approval in the early afternoon. While we were waiting we arranged insurance for the RV with our State Farm Agent back home. I called Rick Gonzales several times during the day to get information the Bank needed. He was generally cooperative but as we neared lunchtime he got kind of pushy about when we’d be bringing him the money. He needed us to give him the entire amount in cash as his bank would put a 10-day hold on the check and he needed the funds now. We arranged for that and tried to meet every requirement he put out.

In the late afternoon, Paula brought the RV title and Paula’s driver’s license to us at the bank. She owned the RV and Rick Gonzales was her boyfriend. Our banker questioned the appearance of the title since it looked different than the ones we are used to seeing in Louisiana. The branch there confirmed that is how a Texas title looks like. When our banker compared the two documents she noticed that there was a misspelling on the title compared to the driver license by one character. What was an l on one was an i on the other. Because of this, she said we’d need a one in the same affidavit. She also noticed that the title showed the RV was one year older than our Bill of Sale. We asked Paula to draw up a new bill of sale and go get a notary to provide her with a one in the same affidavit saying that Paula Baltadano was the same person aS Paula Baitadano. This is a very common occurrence and didn’t think she should mind doing it. She said she would and left the bank.

We waited two hours for her to come back and finally Rick called us. He said Paula would not be coming back and they shouldn’t have to help us get our loan, we just needed to come up with the money. I explained to him that we had our loan already and that they would have this same problem with anyone they sold it to because the problem was with their title. He started getting ugly with me on the phone and I started sensing something was really wrong. Roy and I were sitting in the middle of the bank (which had closed the lobby doors by this time) with the Texas banker and their security officer within hearing distance. I told him that we’d just come and get our cash deposit bank and call the deal off. He got really ugly and said no we won’t be giving your deposit back. He said, “You’ll bring us the rest of the money to pay for the RV” and hung up on me. I was shaking horribly and Roy listening was white as a sheet.

We quickly told the banker that we wouldn’t be making the loan and asked their security guard where the police department was. During the time Rick hung up on me and the time we left I contacted Barbara, our banker in Louisiana and told her what happened. I asked her to fax to me a letter from her saying our loan was approved and the only hold up was the seller’s documentation. She also faxed a copy of Paula’s driver’s license and the problematic RV title.

We knew we had to go back to their house to get our money. We also knew our only hope to do that was to get a police escort. We headed over to the Conroe, TX police department. Since it was after hours we explained through a speaker in the wall what we needed and in about 10 minutes an officer pulled up in front. We explained to him what we needed, showed him our documentation and he said for us to follow him to the house. We didn’t know it until we got there but the police department already sent another car over to the house as soon as we gave the person behind the speaker in the wall the address.

When we pulled up to the iron gate in front of the home we saw the other officer’s car. We called the house from the entry station out front and got no answer. Roy called them on the phone and after several rings, Paula answered. I gave the phone to the officer that was with us and he spoke to her for a while. He told her they needed to give the money back and gave her various scenarios if they didn’t. He could have the district attorney seize the RV and give it to us for the money we already gave them, he could have her arrested and other things. She hung up on him!!!!!!!! We knew for sure this was going south for sure at this point.

The officer went to the mailbox and checked the name on the mail inside. It did not match. He called for back up. Shortly after he placed the call several police cars pulled up and out came what looked like SWAT officers. They had bulletproof vests over their uniforms and big machine gun type guns. They surrounded the wall and after one found a way in through the golf course in the back they all went in and hid for a while. An officer arrived with a search warrant – man I thought it only happened that fast on TV. The original officer went up to the door, Paula answered and she came outside to talk to him. We were still outside the gate and couldn’t hear anything but saw the heavily armed policemen enter the house. My biggest concern through this waiting time was her five children inside seeing it all happening. I wanted to get them out of there but had no control over all that.

It was a huge house and one of the officers came out to tell us they were searching for it and that would take a while. After about another hour the officer came out to tell us that they found Rick hiding under his desk holding a bunch of money. Quite a picture, since he was a stocky short man I had difficulty imagining him fitting under a desk. They said they were sure we’d eventually get our money back but it would probably have to go through the judicial system because it would be held as evidence. That was our first glimmer of a little hope!

The heroic Conroe, TX police department!
The heroic Conroe, TX police department!

They searched for a while longer, spoke to Paula outside for a while longer, meanwhile, we were sitting in our car texting everyone we knew and posting all about it on Facebook. We were hungry, tired, stressed out, dirty from not bathing and wearing old clothes and just wanted it all to be over. About three hours after it all started two officers came out from the gate holding some money!! He said they made a deal with them. In exchange for them giving us our money back, the police wouldn’t charge Rick and Paul with the crime they committed against us. They said that the documents our banker provided us, and what they saw when they arrived, gave them reasonable cause to enter the grounds around the house. Gosh, we were feeling very NCIS worthy around that time! The original officer told us that what started out as a routine escort turned into a major bust and thanked us for coming to them.

They brought Paula out in handcuffs at one point and she was just screaming in Spanish at the officers.

It turns out the officers found in the search that multiple crimes were going on in the house. As one officer put it “Whatever you can imagine is going on in that house is probably going on.” All he could say was that there were drugs involved, falsifying documents and a lot of online crime. Guess who got wrapped up in that last one with them – The Chauvin’s! The police didn’t need our little crime since they had so much against them so we signed for the money and got our money back!!!!!!!!!!! Roy and I were absolutely stunned but ecstatic at this turn of events. God was certainly looking out for this couple that night, as He always does.

When the officers told me we could leave, we were out of there! We drove the five hours back home, stopping about halfway to pick up a part for the toad that Roy had previously purchased on eBay. After calling the elderly man who sold it when we were on our way out of Conroe, the man said to come no matter what time of night it was. Before we got there the man put on a fresh pot of coffee for Roy. What wonderful people they were. I stayed in the car and the wife came out in her robe and asked me to come in. I was so exhausted I couldn’t move so she gave me a hug and went back inside. They were so caring and concerned and it meant so much to us after the experience we had just endured. By the way, the part Roy bought from them didn’t fit his truck when we got home!! He has since then sold the part on eBay to someone whose vehicle it will fit.

When we got home I think we slept for 24 hours we were so drained and still in a state of shock from our experience. How could two intelligent adults be so bamboozled as to not see what was happening from the first? We realized that we wanted it a little bit too much and got swept up in the whole thing, putting caution outback instead of upfront. Had our banker not been so conscience and looking out for the bank and our best interest we would have lost our money and had a real set back in our RV dream.

The Conroe, Texas police department and our Whitney Bank officer, Barbara Davis were phenomenal in the care they gave to us and in handling their responsibilities. We wrote letters to the Conroe Police Chief and Mayor telling of their speedy response and how caring they were of us, two scared strangers from Louisiana. We let Whitney Bank know about Barbara’s actions and they honored her for protecting both our interest and that of the bank. People like these folks need to be recognized for their exceptional service and I’m glad we did that.

We learned later that the couple was both arrested and bailed out. When they did they went back to the house. Turns out they were renting the house paying cash to an elderly couple who lived nearby. After bailing out they took everything in the house, even the appliances and left town in the RV! The FBI is now involved because their crimes were internet crimes covering several states. They’ve been arrested for this before and left town each time.

I said originally it was important for others to read this because they are on the loose again and will most definitely try to pull this or some other internet crime on someone else. The phone number it seems they use in most of their dealings, and ours, was 832-696-3741 so if you see anything being sold on the internet associated with that phone number, call the Conroe, TX police department – or better yet, let us know – we’d love to help put them behind bars so they don’t hurt anyone else!

ONE DAY CLOSER TO OUR DREAMS!!!!!!!!!! – NOW TO FIND A LEGAL RV TO PURCHASE!

 

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Our faith in God is getting us through this.  We know that He is in control and whatever comes our way He will be beside us all the way. Do you have this assurance that comes through salvation making God your Lord and Savior of your life?  I hope so, if not ask me.  I’d love to share what God has done in our lives and how he’s walked with us through the valleys and the mountain top experiences.

Have a Blessed week!

 

11.16.18 – Renting Out Dora – Part Eight – It’s Getting Better!

Friday, November 16, 2018 – We are on a good roll right now with our rentals.  Dora has been a very good girl and the renters have been very good renters!  We were a little concerned about what could happen if we rented Dora for football/racing tailgating.  We’ve now had four of those and they all turned out great. Dora was loved and well taken care of each time!

We have figured out that short three or four day rentals are the best for Dora.  The original ones were 14 to 16 days. She traveled with the families from Louisiana up to Maine then to Texas and back to Louisiana.  Then she traveled from Louisiana up to North Dakota then down to Arizona and home in Louisiana.  Both of those covered more mileage in two weeks as much, or nearly as much mileage as Roy and I would have traveled over a period of 6 to 8 months.  We believe it was just too much for Dora and very expensive things went wrong.

The first of the last two rentals went to LSU to tailgate for the LSU vs. Mississippi State.  The renters for that event were a terrific young couple who have had experience renting and driving motor homes.  Yay!!!  We had a little difficulty communicating with them prior to the rental which caused some concern.  Communication is extremely important to us to show that the rental isn’t a scam.  It wasn’t a scam in this case, the communication just wasn’t as smooth as we’d have like.  We loved this little couple once we met them and they brought her back very clean and happy!  They also expressed an interest in buying a motor home instead of continuing to rent one.  Selling our motor home is something we will be pursuing soon, so hmmmmmm……

The second rental was with another terrific person, a mom of two college football players.  One of her sons plays for LSU. The game she rented Dora for was the big game of the year, LSU vs. Alabama. When she came for her training we all agreed that it would be best for us to deliver Dora to her and pick her up from the LSU campus.  We negotiated our deliver/pick up fee down to something we all could live with.  It was actually fun for us to go to the LSU campus and see all the preparations on campus to welcome (maybe welcome isn’t the right word) the visiting Alabama supporters.  We’ve never been to an LSU tailgating event. To arrive and see all the motor homes setting up in just one lot (there are several lots) with all their LSU decorations was quite cool!  When we arrived the morning after the big game, our renter had everything clean and they had already completely moved out of Dora.

 

I always make a painted rock for the renter to remember their time with Dora.  For this renter I made one for each of the renter’s football player sons to remember their time playing football for the two teams. She said they loved them!

We have a week long rental starting tomorrow for Thanksgiving and a week long rental for right before Christmas in December.  That will wrap up this year’s rentals.

We have also decided to put our motor home on the market to sell.  We’d ideally like it to happen around end of this year after the last 2018 rental.  Wouldn’t’ it be nice if what we’d like to happen actually happened that way!  We’ll see!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

09.24.18 Top three blog posts and Renting Dora

Monday, September 24, 2018 – The three posts with the most views on this blog, Dora and the Explorers, are about as different from each other as they can be. Everyday the WordPress system gives me stats that include the number of view that day for what blog posts were viewed. I can also get the stats for a month of views, a year of views or the views from the beginning post on Dora and the Explorers. Two of the posts I find very odd that people would be interested to such a big extent.  I thought I’d share the top three with you.

Number One with 1609 views is 06.25.15 RV Entrance Door Lock Repair – TriMark 030-0900

Weird right?  Lots of people must be needing to repair or replace that exactly motor home door lock!

Number Two with 1224 views is 09.27.15 Getting settled in Las Vegas, Nevada!

What’s weird about this one is that it’s just information about Las Vegas.  Not about all the things we’ve seen with photos and videos which I think are much more interesting.  Those don’t have anywhere near as many views!

Number Three with 808 views is from 10.13.12 Conroe TX Here We Come

Obviously a lot of people liked the first two but the number three post is something everyone should read.  It was the wildest, scariest, weirdest day of our RV Lives, maybe even all our life.  Check it out if you haven’t already!

Also, I’m sure you’ve notice advertisements on my page.  If you do see something that you might be interested in please click to check it out.  I get a few cents per click so thank you in advance if you do check anything out.  Every penny counts!

We’ve also started listing Dora for rent on a bunch of Facebook groups and the Marketplace.  It’s caused quite a lot of new activity.  Just had three folks interested on one weekend tailgating at LSU.  One of them booked and paid first so they got it!  We are ordering an exhaust extension for Dora so we can provide it (for a fee) to anyone wanting to tailgate at LSU.  Let us know if you’re ever interested in renting Dora.  If you tell us you saw it here on our blog we’ll give it to you at a special price!

All the information you’d need to know can be found at: at: https://rvshare.com/rvs/details/1099791   Dora MUST BE RESERVED through RVShare.com so that you are covered by insurance.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

 

07.16.18 What’s Dora Been Up To???

Monday, June 16, 2018 – Our sweet girl, Dora (our motor home) went out on her first vacation without us in Mid June.  A sweet family from New Orleans took her to Tennessee and Arkansas where she enjoyed a week with them.

When they came back they left us with Haagen Dazs Mango Sorbet, Blue Bell Peaches and Cream, Blueberry Eggos, two white nectarines and two bags of river rocks for me to paint!!!! I’m kind of looking forwards to the renters returning from now on! The bar has been set high!!

I’ve painted rocks for each family of renters and gave them theirs when they brought Dora home.  I hope to have many painted rocks give to renters over the next months and years!

We had a 24 hour turn around before Dora left with the next renters on a trip all the way up to lobster country in Maine and New York before coming back through Texas and arrived back home on Thursday evening.  Theirs was a 17 day trip.  When leaving for home at the end of their reservation, these renters said how much they will miss Dora and that she was a big flirt with the big rigs!!  They too brought me some rocks that they collected along their vacation for me to paint.  These renters own a successful business and were kind enough to give us some very useful suggestions of things we can add to our free list to make future vacations even better for upcoming families.

Dora leaves our home here in Amite Monday morning for the beauty parlor at Dixie RV in Hammond. Here she is with Boots hooked up to her once again.

We have almost two weeks before the next renters arrive to take Dora out west for 14 days.  We’ll probably show before and after photos when she’s finished with her appointment.  They kept her today at Dixie RV to do what work they can get done before she’s needed back on the road.  When we left I asked them to please take good care of our girl!

We are learning so much about this RV rental business with each reservation.  One thing we’ve learned is that we are making some lifelong friends with the renters who are getting to live in Dora during their travels.  We have gotten to know them well enough that we know what their prayer needs are.  They are prayed for everyday now.

We’ve added to what we provide our renters, a small ironing board and iron; bath towels, wash clothes and hand towels for six; a big trash can for the kitchen with bags; and shampoos for the dispensers (salon quality, kids no tears and head and shoulders).  I’d like for it to be very easy to take a trip with our Dora.  The less they have to bring the easier it will be on them.  Bring your clothes, your camera and some food!  That’s where we’re going with this.  We learned that while we thought the price we started out asking per day was a lot, Dora is worth much more than that per day, so her price has gone up.  There is an RV Owners Facebook group page for both companies we have Dora listed with.  That’s where a wealth of information is available and someplace I check out each day.  All of our rentals except one have been through RVShare and that one exception is a three day weekend rental with Outdoorsy.  This three day weekend rental include our first delivery to their home and pick up from their home so we’ll learn from that first.  If the three day weekend thing (she’s going to an LSU game) turns out well we may put together a three day football game package to attract rentals for those.

That’s what Dora’s been up to and what her near future plans are.  The video below has nothing to do with RVing but I found it so fascinating I had to share!

While we were in Hammond today I saw my family doctor, Dr. Hugo Valdes for a knee surgery preop and also to have my a1C checked one more time.  I T   I S   6.9  W H I C H  I S  A M A Z I N G  T O  M E!!!  I give God all the glory for working this very amazing miracle in me!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

05.25.18 – Please share!! Dora is for rent starting June 10th!

Friday, May 25, 2018 – Please feel free to share.  We ask (plead and beg!!) that you do share this blog post with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

As we move towards moving into our house in Amite on the 4th we are making plans to hopefully rent out our motor home.  We wrote a little bit about it before but this is hopefully all the information, all in one place.

I am working on a YouTube slideshow of photos and information about Dora, our pretty girl.  I’ll post it here when it’s ready. For now, here’s a link to a Facebook album with all of those photos in it.

Dora’s Photo Album

We have registered Dora with the twowebsite that I wrote about recently. Links to the two companies are below:

Outdoorsy.com listing

RVshare.com listing

If you don’t feel like clicking on any of the links above, here’s most of the information on the websites !

Dora is a 2005 Fleetwood Excursion 39S and is 39.5 feet long, with three slide outs – two in the living room, kitchen and dinette and the third in the bedroom.  Automatic Transmission, Cruise Control, Power Steering are features that make driving Dora a dream!

She’s available beginning June 10th to rent for vacation, weekend event, to see if you’d like to live in one, and any number of other reasons.

RATES:

  • 195.00 / nightly
  • 1300.00 / weekly
  • 5500.00 / monthly
  • Minimum Nights: 3 Nights
  • Refundable damage deposit: $1000.00
  • 250 miles per night included with rental
    • Excess mileage: $0.32 per mile
  • 4 hours per night generator usage included with rental for fr
    • Excess generator usage: $5.00/hour
  • Cleaning Fee if not returned in same clean condition that it was in when picked up: $150.00
  • Additional Driver: $25.00
  • Insurance: approximately $29.95 per day (sales tax not included) (each website has a different insurance rate)
  • Roadside Assistance available for purchase on each website.

DESCRIPTION:

7 days notice is required before start date of rental. Minimum rental is 3 days.

-Luxury abounds in this beautiful motor home. This coach is powered by a 350 H.P. Caterpillar Diesel Engine that delivers plenty of power; whether you want to drive your family to Disney or cruise up California’s beautiful coastline Hwy 1 to San Francisco. The Spartan Chassis with an air ride suspension will give you a very stable and smooth ride. The Caterpillar Engine brake allows you to stop with confidence.

-Driving is enjoyable with oversized heated powered ultra-leather seats. Tilt and telescoping steering wheel let you find ‘your own’ exact fit while the oversize windshield lets you enjoy a panoramic view of the scenery ahead while the backup camera allows you to see directly behind you. Your passenger will be relaxed in a luxurious reclining heated ultra-leather seat with power foot rest.

-Setting up camp is simple with automatic hydraulic jacks that level the motor home with the touch of a single button. You can open up the living area with the touch of another button. You’ll be amazed of its huge size as the walls extend out. In the master bedroom, touch another button and watch the queen size sleep number bed slide out giving you even more room there. Combined with the 84′ ceiling height you’ll feel like you’re in the Superdome!

-The ultra-leather couch folds out into a queen size bed while the adjacent sofa converts into a Double sofa J-Bed. Enjoy your favorite movie or program on the 40′ H.D. TV with your choice of Antenna, Dish Hopper DVR Satellite, Cable or Blu-Ray/DVD with surround sound that will make you feel like you’re part of the action. You may choose a movie from our library or bring your own.

-The kitchen area is a Chefs’ delight! It’s equipped with a Convection microwave, a 3 burner gas stove, an oven, deep double sinks, side by side refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, large Corian counter tops, and plenty of cabinets and drawers!

-Without starting the generator, the 2000-watt inverter allows your family to watch a movie from any one of the three TV’s onboard. You can also use the microwave, a few outlets, brew a cup of coffee.

-If full power is needed at a remote campsite the 7500-watt Onan quiet diesel generator will light up the whole coach including both thermostat controlled air conditioners.

-Do a load of laundry with the built in washer/dryer.

-There is a huge closet in the bedroom to hang up all your clothes combined with all the cabinet space and basement compartments there is ample room to bring lots of your favorite things.

-If the weather is right, head outside and set up your lounge chair, swivel the outside TV in your direction, and relax your cares away. If the sun gets too hot, or the rain starts to come down, push another button and watch as the awning automatically extends overhead.

She’s available beginning June 10th to rent for vacation, weekend event, to see if you’d like to live in one, and any number of other reasons.

Minimum driver’s age: 25 years

No Smoking inside

No Pets

INDOOR AMENITIES INCLUDE:

In dash Air Conditioner
2 Rooftop Air Conditioners
Garmin RV specific GPS
Heater
Dining Table with extension and two extra chairs
Convection/Microwave
Stove/Range
Refrigerator
Kitchen Sink
Inside Shower
Outside Shower
Toilet/Sink
Satellite
Awning
Generator
Tow Hitch
Color Backup Camera
Extra Storage
Leveling Jacks
Washer/Dryer
TV/DVD
DVD/Blue Ray Player
Radio
Inverter

WHAT’S GOODIES ARE INCLUDED WITH DORA AT NO EXTRA COST!!

OUTSIDE
• Medium size outside table
• 6 foldable outside chairs in bags
• 9’ X12’ Outdoor Mat with 4 hold-down stakes
KITCHEN
• Toaster
• Coffee pot and filters
• Hand held can opener
• Quality dinner size paper plates, smaller paper plates and bowls
• Stainless forks, knives and spoons
• Plastic Solo Cups
• Coffee cups
• Large and small pots and skillet
• Cooking utensils including two spatulas, large spoon, slotted spoon, 2 chopping/slicing knives, basting brush, ice scream scoop, spaghetti scooper, measuring cups, measuring spoons
• 2 cake pans
• 1 cookie sheet
• Several Dishtowels
• Pot Holders
• Dish drying rack
• Dish drying mat
• Roll of Paper towels and Paper towel holder
• Two plastic storage containers for left overs
• Sandwich size Glad ziplock bags
• Quart size Glad ziplock bags
• Aluminum foil
• Saran wrap
• Salt and Pepper Shakers, onion flakes, garlic seasoning
• First Aid Kit
• 2 new sponges
• Plastic gloves
• Interior cleaning products
• Two dishwashing liquid dispensers are full
BATHROOM AND SHOWER
• Several rolls of Toilet paper stored under bathroom sink
• Bath mat
• Six bath towels and wash clothes, two hand towels – effective August 2018
• Dispenser filled with shampoo
BEDROOM AND SOFA SLEEPERS
• Bed linens and bedspread for one queen size bed and one full size sofa bed provided.
• Blanket provided for the Double J-Bed
• Six pillows with pillow cases
• Splendide washing machine detergent
DINING AREA
• To expand the seating area to accommodate 6 people there are 2 wooden folding chairs, table extension located in closet
LIVING AREA
• Folding coffee table located in closet
MISCELLANEOUS
• Small ironing board and iron
• Coat Hangers
• Bike Rack for 2 bikes available upon request
• Vacuum hose and accessories located under bed for use with Built-in vacuum
OUTSIDE HARDWARE
• Optional outside entry step ladder
• 3 X10’ Rhino Extreme sewer hoses
• 1 X 5’ Rhino Extreme sewer hose
• 1 X10’ red sewer hose
• 1 Dominator, 20′ Extension sewer hose
• All sewer adaptors necessary to connect to campground
• Sewer Hose Supports – 2 solid and 1 expandable
• 2 X 25’ Fresh Water hoses and high flow water pressure regulator
• 30 amp male to 50 amp female power cord adaptor
• 4 jack leveling pads if needed
• Spare Tire

Optional outside entry step ladder
Spare Tire

The cancellation fees changes from website to website but is generally: 50% refund up to 14 days before pickup, then no refund after that

The listings are not 100 percent complete but they are pretty close. The per day, per week and per month rental rates have been lowered from their original prices.  We hope this will attract renters so we can see if this is worth doing.

If this doesn’t prove to be worth it, Dora will be for sale at $85,000 which is a steal, she even has all new Michelin tires!!

Roy and I will be moving into the house that we built three years ago in Amite, on June 4th.  We will then be working hard to have Dora spotless and ready to rent by June 10th. It may seem like it shouldn’t take much to move from Dora into the house.  However, we have several large storage areas underneath Dora in what we call the basement.  They are all pretty much full of things we don’t use everyday but have needed as we travel.  Every cabinet and drawer in the motor home has to be cleared out also.  The closet is full of clothes and under our bed is a huge storage place that is full.

I’ve started going through each cabinet and drawer to see what can be taken out now and packed so that the “big” move is a little easier. We’re only moving things across our front yard so that helps!

The biggest undertaking is writing a Renter’s Manual for those who “we hope” rent our motor home!   There’s a lot to share with a renter, especially to those who have never driven one of these big girls before.  We’ve made great progress on this and my goal is to be finished with it this weekend.  We’ll send it to Kteam Printing in Hammond and have it made into a spiral bound book.  We also plan to save it as a .pdf file and email it to the renters before they pick Dora up so they are familiar with things ahead of time.

You may have noticed that advertisements are back on our blog posts.  I actually earn money from these things anytime someone clicks on one and checks out the advertised product.  It’s not going to make us rich but it might take us out to dinner once a month so they are back.  I truly hope it is not too distracting and that ya’ll are okay with it.  If something does catch your eye, feel free to click.  It won’t take you somewhere terrible, it’s all reputable businesses.

Ya’ll come back now, ya; hear!Image result for motor home scripture quote

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

 

 

 

03.25.18 What Not to Do in an RV (an RV Newbie Mistake), by Duet Justus

Sunday, March 25, 2018 – RVers can get themselves into pretty bad situations especially when you’re new at it.  This was so awful and had an unexpected ending that I just had to share it! We have never experienced this particular challenge but over the last 5 years we have had our own share of embarrassing moments!

Duet Justus (the RV owner and video maker) wrote about this video:

Today, we’re sharing the scariest moment of our lives. This is what NOT to do in an RV and is without a doubt the biggest RV newbie mistake we’ve ever made. Lesson learned? Don’t mess with mud!!!

Other You Tube videos from Duet Justus can be found at:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeTn13FYQI1YL4InzvuWuQ

cooltext1838781539

11.07.17 Top 5 Feuds Between RVers, a blog post on RVillage by D.R. Racklefrack

Top 5 Feuds Between RV’ers

A featured blog by Dirty Rotten Racklefrack!  More of his blogs can be found at:  https://www.rvillage.com/pages/blog  You may have to become a member but it is free and becoming a member take one minute!

The RV community is unique in that we’re a tight-knit group of like-minded wanderers united by an unparalleled passion for travel and exploration. We’re eager to befriend fellow travelers, we’re happy to lend a hand to other RV’ers who need it and we always agree on everything.

Well… maybe not always. And certainly not everything.

Spend some time in any RV social group and you’ll soon discover there are several topics of conversation that are virtually guaranteed to start a heated argument. These conflicts pre-date the relatively minor squabbles of Apple vs. Windows, XBox vs. Playstation, or even Betamax vs. VHS, and they’re far more likely to pit brother-against-brother on a scale not seen since the American Civil War.

Big vs. Small

RV’ers in general are a very accepting bunch; we don’t discriminate against those who travel in RV’s that differ from ours no matter how different they may be. Your new best friend could be pulling the smallest pop-up trailer or navigating the largest land yacht and it wouldn’t matter because we’re all out here doing what we love, and that common ground is what matters most.

But watch what happens when you ask “Which is the best RV to travel in?” Oh… the best, you ask? Well, that’s a whole different thing. Sure, your RV is fine to park next to for a few days in a some-of-my-best-friends-are-vandwellers kind of way, but is it better than mine? Is it the best?!? We can argue about different types of RV’s all day long – and we often do – but in the end it nvariably boils down to a single common denominator: SIZE. (Doesn’t everything?)

On the one side you have the Purists who believe that an RV must be able fit into every national park and Walmart parking lot in North America or else it’s too big to serve any purpose. Who cares if you have pull over to pee in a bucket? On the other side you have the Idealists who prefer to travel in comfortable luxury at the expense of having to cross their fingers they’ll find a spot big enough to park their behemoths anywhere in the same time zone as the place they want to go… fuel mileage be damned.

Sure, there are some RV Goldilocks who travel in RV’s that are not-too-big and not-too-small, and it might be just right for them, but unless they take a stand in favor of one extreme or the other they’re really just cannon fodder in this argument.

So, what size RV is the best to travel? Not so fast there, Speed Racer… we haven’t even scratched the clear coat yet.

New vs. Used

The feud between new vs. used has always struck me as odd because we really couldn’t have one without the other. As good as new RV sales are, there wouldn’t be enough of them on the road to financially support all the parks, repair shops, after-market manufacturers, etc. without the vast number of used RV’s taking up the slack. And, obviously, you can’t buy a used RV until someone else bought it new first.

RV’ers in favor of buying brand new RV’s will argue that they want everything to be clean, unused and in perfect fresh-from-the-factory condition. Their detractors are all too happy to remind them that their RV was likely rummaged through by hundreds of lookie-loos before they bought it and that new RV’s break down almost as often as used rigs… often with wait times far longer than for used RV’s because of the warranty process.

RV’ers in favor of buying used rigs often argue that their RV’s are already “broken in” and they get much more bang for their buck. New RV proponents will quickly point out that the “bang” they got for their buck was probably an axle snapping when they hit that speed bump, and good luck getting parts for that “classic” you’re driving.

The most common bottom line for both sides of the debate is that the other is “wasting” more money: one on the retail price, financing, dealer mark-up and depreciation of a new rig; the other on repairs, upgrades an inferior construction and components of older RV’s. The funny thing is, few of us will be able to sell our RV’s for what we paid and put into them, so the point is moot at best. If any of us were counting on a financially profitable return on our investments, RV’s would be just about the last thing to invest in.

Dolly vs. 4-down

Moving on to the silliest feud between RV’ers, it’s hard to imagine why this one keeps popping up as often as it does. In truth, no one really cares how some other RV’er tows their car until some newbie asks, “What’s the best way to tow a car behind an RV?” or even “What’s the best car to tow behind my RV?” Ugh… newbies. We gotta love ‘em, but they really know how to stir up the black tank.

4-down advocates will almost always profess how much easier it is to hook-up a car to a tow bar… which is funny, since most of them have never owned a dolly and have no idea how hard or easy it can be. Dolly tow-ers will turn right around and argue that they can tow anything that fits on the dolly and they don’t need to switch out tow assemblies when they buy a new car… which means nothing to the RV’er who plans on keeping their tow-car forever.

In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that I dolly-tow my car, which of course means that dolly towing is best. I can tow any front-wheel drive car I want, I don’t have to install towing packages or auxiliary braking systems, and I can hook up my car in 7 minutes flat without breaking a sweat… after I find a place to store that monstrosity out of the way for a week or two at a time and then picking it up and rolling all 700 lbs. of ungainly iron into position, not to mention having to replace the not-inexpensive tires every 8-10,000 miles. Yep, dolly towing the best… isn’t it?

Gas vs. Diesel

Few discussions between RV’ers will generate the level of frenzied intensity as the debate between gas. vs. diesel. But unlike the silliness of the dolly vs. 4-down feuds, gas vs. diesel is an argument that at least has some real merit, though the answers are almost never as easy as they would have you believe.

Defenders of gas-powered RV’s regularly argue that the initial price and the cost of maintenance and repairs is so much higher on diesel-powered rigs that they’re a waste of money. It’s true: Diesels are more expensive to purchase initially, but it’s difficult to compare the costs of maintenance and repairs vs. a gas-powered RV since their maintenance schedules are so different. And, of course – it goes without saying – diesel-powered RV’s never break down. “It’ll run forever and ever!” or so I was told when we bought ours.

Supporters of diesel-powered RV’s almost always point to the lack of horsepower and torque in gas rigs when compared to diesels, which is a fair statement, but it’s only relevant if you need  that much power. Many RV’ers don’t haul everything they own in their rigs and they don’t tow multiple trailers loaded down with every vehicle, toy and tool they own. The other most common argument in favor of diesel-power is the much longer expected lifespan of the machine itself compared to a gas-powered RV. Again, it’s a fair statement, but it’s only relevant if you plan to keep your RV that long… or want an RV that will outlive you.

The Mother of ALL RV Feuds

I have naturally saved the most contentious controversy for last. No single topic is more hotly debated on a daily basis than this; in fact, so many RV’ers butt heads over this septic rivalry that it’s both the #1 and #2 feuds of all time. I am, of course, talking about none other than…

RV toilet paper vs. household toilet paper. The time has come to finally wipe the slate clean on this topic and put it behind us once and for all.

“Household toilet paper will clog your black tank!”

“RV toilet paper is so uncomfortable to use!”

“Household toilet paper contributes to climate change!”

“RV toilet paper is more expensive than my loan payment!”

We’ve all heard this verbal diarrhea before, but according to my logs there hasn’t been much movement from either end of the conversation. What we need is for everyone to take a seat so we can flush out the truth… then we’ll all be in a much better position to bear down on the facts.

I humbly propose the following rule-of-bum as a possible answer to all our concerns: If it’s plush, go ahead and flush. If it’s strong, it’d be wrong. I’d say more on this subject but I’m all out of puns.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Smarter-than-average RV’ers will undoubtedly notice that I left out one of the most prevalent feuds online: Pop-up vs. Tear-Drop vs. Camper vs. Trailer vs. 5th Wheel vs. Class A, Class B, Class C, Super C… now do you see why I left it out? The reason any of these feuds endure is because there is no one answer that’s right for everyone in every situation. Hysterically, RV’ers who routinely engage in these arguments almost always recommend what they own and what they do as the best solution… how convenient is that?

A big, used, dolly-towing, diesel-powered RV that easily tolerates any ultra-soft household toilet paper is absolutely the best RV… FOR ME. You’re the only one who can decide which one is best for you.

I always love reading whatever D.R. Racklefrack writes and I thought this one would be helpful to Dreamer RVers or Newbie RVers or even experienced RVers.

The decisions we’ve made concerning all of the above is:  Big, Used, 4 Down, Diesel, and Sam’s Club Members Mark Toilet Paper! We made those decisions early on in our RVing life and are still quite happy with those decisions!

To read more of his blogs go to

Ya’ll come back!

 

10.19.17 OOOOH! Some one found our painted rocks

These are rocks I painted this past week!

October 19, 2018 – Several months ago I started collecting rocks.  I first collected them from our gravel road and then as we traveled I collected them from local streams that had a rock base and sides.

I painted and hid them in cities we’ve traveled to around the country.  The purpose is to bring a smile to the finders face and hopefully bring a smile to their heart!  When I paint a rock I put a typed message on the back of the rock.  I have four different sizes of messages to fit the variety of rock sizes.

The messages all ask the finder to post a picture of the rock on the Facebook group RVing Rocks.  There are Facebook rock pages for a lot of cities around out country.  I joined the Facebook rock group of the city we were traveling to next.

During our time in a city, we always hid rocks. I’d try to post a picture of the rocks that were hidden in that city and a hint of where.  I posted on both RVing Rocks and that city’s rock group.

As time has gone on we’ve seen more and more of our painted and hidden rocks posted as  on Facebook.  Sometimes I took a screen image of what the finder posted.  This first one had a comment in it that made me so happy.  Angie DePew made a comment below the photos that says (in case you can’t read the small print: “Their rocks are amazing.  We found one of theirs in our town of Summerset, South Dakota when they were in town!”

I am not sharing these photos just so you can see that folks found them.  Most of them have a comment about what it meant to them, or their child, or their parent to find the rock.  Those comments keep me painting more and more rocks!

You can click on any of the images to enlarge them.   Found in Old Town Colorado Spring, Colorado

Found at rest stop in Arkansas on Interstate 40

Found at a gas station in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Found at a rest stop somewhere!

Found at Wind River View Campground in Boulder, Wyoming

Found in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Found in Cottonwood, Arizona

Found in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Found in Pinedale, Wyoming

Found in Shawnee, Oklahoma

Found by Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico

Found in Williams, Arizona

Found in Old Colorado City, Oklahoma

Found on Pikes Peak Road in Colorado

Some of the people that found them, now want to paint and hide their own!

Chip’s family came over Sunday afternoon with a bunch of Popeye’s chicken and sides.  Misty, Madisyn and I painted several rocks.

Here’s a few that Madisyn and Misty painted.  I kept most of them to spray a couple of clear coats on them before giving them to Misty and Madisyn.

Misty’s beautiful rocks!

Madisyn’s art work with two Grannie made.

Roy just purchased me a folding table that I set up outside in the shade of our awning.  All my paints, glitter, stencils, stickers, paint markers, etc. are all set up out there.  I stay inside a lot so this will help me get outside and enjoy this beautiful property we have. These old eyes of mine can see much better outside which can only help with painting rocks!

I think that’s enough about rocks!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

10.17.17 Six months of RV Stats. by Tom and Joy at RIGHTLANERS

This is one of the main reasons I am happy we’ve lived our lives RVing fulltime the last five years!

October 17, 2017 – Today’s blog post was written by Tom and Joy at RIGHTLANERS, their blog.  When I read it (they are RVillagers like we are) I thought it might help someone out there thinking about becoming full timers.  You’ve read about our experiences but everyone does it differently.  Tom and Joy’s first six months of stats is very different than ours so I thought it might help to see information about a different life of RVing Fulltime.  They learned a lot in their first 6 months that surprised them, we did too so there are some similarities.Here’s a link to their blog if you’d like to read more from them.

https://rightlaners.com/

Six Months of Stats by RIGHTLANDERS

It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road for half a year already. It seems like we just left.

In the beginning, when we first had the idea, I thought we’d have time to see the whole country in six to nine months. Now I know better! We have only had our motorhome in 10 of the 49 states possible. And we haven’t even explored them fully.

For those of you interested, here’s the breakdown:

We traveled 22,686 miles: 13,401 in the motorhome and 9,285 in the Jeep. Our total fuel costs (gas and diesel) averaged $70 per day. Which is approximately 27 cents per mile in the motorhome and19 cents per mile in the Jeep. Yes, our Jeep is a gas guzzler!

We spent:

83 nights in California,

24 nights in Arizona,

08 nights in Nevada,

03 nights in Utah,

04 nights in Colorado,

03 nights in Nebraska

13 nights in South Dakota,

02 nights in Wyoming,

05 nights in Idaho, and

33 nights in Oregon.

Our six month average cost per night of camping was $16.32.

Our average traveling miles in the RV was 167 per day we traveled.

The average number of nights we stayed in one spot was only 2.

We spent:

13 nights in driveways of relatives

12 nights in parking lots or casinos

03 nights in truck or rest stops

09 nights in County fairgrounds

34 nights in City or State Parks or Recreation Areas

30 nights in National Forests or Corps of Engineers

14 nights in BLM  land (Bureau of Land Management)

62 nights in RV parks

We have spent $5,033 in repair and maintenance costs for the motorhome and Jeep. Yikes!That’s after we hit the road – not in preparation.

We have spent $230 in doing laundry. That’s an average of $9 per week. That is a cost we did not have before!

However, we have not dropped a dime in gardening costs or pool maintenance!. Not one penny for utilities like gas and electric or water and trash. No housekeeping costs, no storage fees, no mortgage payments. It’s very freeing to think about all of the expenses that we no longer have.

tom mowing lawn last time

We have spent more time star gazing, talking around campfires, learning about our country’s history, playing games, and hiking than we EVER did before.

We have seen more types of trees and flowers and rocks and landscapes than we could imagine. We have seen such a variety of wildlife – in the wild – that we’ll probably never visit a zoo again.

We have made new friends and added items to our bucket list. We are far from done!

My only hope is that the next six months doesn’t go by so quickly!

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy