Grant me patience....NOW!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm normally a fairly patient person. I sit quietly in traffic, waiting my turn. I yield the right-of-way to merging traffic, subscribing to the "take one, give one" method. I stand in line, studying those around me in order to pass the time more quickly. Cool, calm and collected....most of the time.

But now that I have decided to sell the house, buy an RV and hit the road full-timing, I want to do it NOW! I want my house to sell so I can take the next major step, finding and buying my "Lily Pad".

I spend hours searching, browsing, reading all the various want ads. I've found the perfect rig at least a dozen times. I'm sure I'll find it a dozen or more before this is all through.... My Camping World catalog is already dog-earred. I've bought the "perfect" rechargeable lantern. I've bought my Corelle dish set. I'm evaluating all my kitchen appliances to decide what stays and what goes. I'm starting to sort things out to send to my kids. I'm putting things on eBay that I no longer need, things that will sell better on-line than in a rural yard sale.

I'm SO ready to make this move....I'm SO ready to have the final yard sale....I'm SO ready to start the next adventure in my life. So, Lord, please grant me patience....just do it right NOW!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

It's Officially Spring!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Spring is truly here....first it was listening to the Bobwhite's whistling cry, so very distinctive. Then it was the little male hummingbird hovering close to me, thinking that my bright shirt was a flower. Today it was the Killdeer mother, protecting her nest from me and Trixie during our walk.

I have never seen a Killdeer before so had to research them a bit.


These are truly amazing birds....actually considered a type of shore bird (which I had wondered about after seeing her close-up). They like to make their nests in gravel. This one had made hers just at the edge of the road that runs in front of our house. Fortunately for her, it's not a busy road.

If you look at the photo on the right, you will see her sitting on the ground, rapidly flapping her wing as though it were broken and she was stranded. If you ignore her she'll and don't move, she'll get louder in her squawking and come closer to draw you away. Once you start moving towards her, she'll move away from the nest, continuing the broken wing charade. Get too close - she flies away.

It's quite a sight to see and until the eggs hatch and the babies take off on their own, I suspect I will see much more of this activity. It's an awesome thing to behold....

Learn more about Killdeer
HERE.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

"You may be right, I may be crazy."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Thanks to Billy Joel....I know it seems crazy that I can't make up my mind about what rig to finally get. The saga continues.....from motorhome to toy hauler to diesel pusher to toy hauler.....what will be next?

Today I visited another local dealer who carries the KZ line of Toy Haulers. I really liked them the quality was good and I could actually close the 10' ramp without much difficulty. That said, I do prefer the 12' ramp since the slope is not as steep. I spent several hours there....small family owned business, great people. The prices were definitely in my budget as well.

I spent about an hour by myself inside a 36' model, checking out everything I could. As I started REALLY looking around, I realized that while the living space was good, the storage space (drawers, cabinets, closets) was actually pretty slim. Yes, I could store stuff in the overhead bunk (keeping in mind that you want more weight down low) and yes, I could store more stuff in the garage/cargo area. But that would be stuff that I don't need to get into frequently (off-season clothes, old books, tax records, that kind of stuff).

I decided to take another look at carriers/lifts for a motorhome. This is a long-term decision for me...I can't afford to buy something and then not be comfortable in it. It also helped me realize that 36' would probably be the smallest toy hauler I would want to get. The definitely increases the length of my rig. I already knew that a 30' motorhome was just fine and if I had to add a toad, it still wouldn't equal the length of the fiver.

Since Allegro is my motorhome of choice (had thought about a Four Winds Hurricane but discovered the NCC just isn't high enough for me), I wanted to check out what frame they were using in the year range that I thought I could afford. Turns out that many are on the Workhorse chassis which gives me a lot of weight latitude.

I also found a great site for lifts, Cruiserlift RV Motorcycle Lift System and another solution from the same folks which is a tow dolly with a motorcycle carrier on the front, Tandem Tow Dolly. Although I know a tow dolly can be a pain to deal with, it would allow me to keep my Rav4 as well as carrying my motorcycle. Something to consider....

So, the pendulum sways back to the motorhome solution....but that also means I will most probably have to give up the washer/dryer (unless I happen to find one in my price range that already has them). Another plus for me is the automatic levelers, definitely easier than leveling a fifth wheel.

Other than the swinging pendulum, the day was great. While stormy earlier in the day, by afternoon it had cleared. Blue skies with temperatures in the mid 70's, perfect for sitting outside. The trees are filling out quickly, the sound of lawnmowers filled the air and a little male hummingbird thought my peach shirt was a flower. Brought a big smile to me.....definite signs of spring in full bloom.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

No News is No News

Friday, April 21, 2006


I haven't posted in a while because there really hasn't been anything much to write about -- thus the "No News is No News". The house has been shown maybe 4 times - asked the realtor today to add a sign at the highway to direct more drive-bys to the house. Today I got a literature box to hold flyers with information on the house. Created and printed up a flyer with a few of the pictures that the realtors took. Hopefully this will help drive traffic as well.

tries, my little Katrina rescue pup, is doing really well. We visited her new vet today, she's gained half a pound since I got her. She's definitely bonded and knows that she is supposed to potty outdoors. But since she doesn't really bark, she hasn't figured out how to tell me she needs to go out - other than going to the door and waiting. Since I may be in the other room, once she gives up waiting, her deposit is left close to the door. LOL!

The visit to the vet was precipitated by the realization that I was going to have to kennel her while I attend the Life On Wheels conference in Bowling Green, KY next month. When I made my reservations she wasn't in my life. Checking out local kennels yesterday showed me that she still needed her innoculation against kennel cough (bordetella). So today, in the pouring rain, she got that done...and charmed everyone in the vet's office including the Schwan's delivery guys.

As to the rig, although I have thought more about the motorhome and the simplicity of it, the fifth wheel/truck solution is still the better one for me. I really don't want to sell my current motorcycle if I don't have to...the toy hauler would allow me to add a little 250cc bike for when the campground would be risky for my 1450cc cruiser. I know I can find used trucks in my price range even when getting a new (2006) model toy hauler (still mostly considering either the Keystone Raptor or KZ's Sportsmen Sportster).

I have to admit to being pretty excited about getting on the road, even though I know I will be intimidated driving the rig the first couple of times. I expect I will be very careful in planning my route. I've finally started to sell some of my extra motorcycle gear - started in the forums and what doesn't sell by Monday goes onto eBay. Once this first batch is done, then I'll continue on from there. Have a lot of things to sell, especially knick-knacks. Figure I'd better get started now!

Till next time- keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

This is it (one can only hope)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Well, this is it - at least I hope it is. After much more ruminating, researching and rusticating (okay, so that doesn't fit but needed a third "r" word), the decision is finally made. I'm going back to my second choice. I will be getting a new or close to new fifth wheel toy hauler and a used 1-ton pickup truck. This solves all my issues, gives me something to drive when the weather is bad (or I just don't feel like climbing on the bike), place for a combo washer-dryer as well as all my riding gear and lots more. I'm NOT changing my mind.... ;-)

I'm still undecided on the brand of toy hauler. I liked the quality of the Keystone Raptor but a few design things irritate me (not being able to see the tv when the slide is in). I have found a lot of '06 model KZ toy haulers that don't have that problem and seem to have everything else that the Raptor does, for a little less money (a good thing with my tight budget). I haven't seen them in person so can't compare quality yet.

Oops, just got a call from my realtor. They need to show the house in 30 minutes so I'm outta here for now!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The wheels on the bus go round and round.....once again the pendulum swings. Yesterday I drove to a local dealership and checked out the Keystone Raptor toy hauler (fifth wheel). I really liked it with two exceptions. Even though the ramp has a spring-assist, it would be too much for me and I would have to get some type of winch affair added to it. The other would be a part-time quirk - the living tv would be hidden with the slide in. Talk about bad design....I could watch it in the garage (it's on a swivel) or I could watch the one in the bedroom, but that's beside the point. I also looked at a couple of other brands/models but the Raptor was definitely the best buy for what I am looking for.

Well, I think, maybe the decision is finally made. So I come home and start doing some research on trucks to pull the Raptor. Looking at something like a Ford F-350 dually. Found several, slightly higher in price than I wanted but still decent deals. Then I meet a friend at breakfast

But I'm still not sold....what happens to all that garage space when I no longer ride? Yes, it's good storage but more than I would need (and I do have to watch the weight of the trailer). Hmmmm, maybe I should take a look at used diesel pushers. Then I could do the motorcycle lift/carrier and add a toad at any time.

All three options hold attractions.....where will it all end?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Vacilate is my NEW middle name

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Vacilate is my NEW middle name... First it was a motorhome but a toy hauler. Then it was any toy hauler. Eventually it rolled back around to a Class A motorhome, and one of 2-3 brands. Yesterday I started thinking about the toad issue. Today I am swinging back towards a large pickup truck and a toy hauler fifth wheel (fiver).

Am I nuts? Probably...although the fiver would be more difficult to backup, I had hoped to never had to backup the motorhome (and with a toad attached would never backup without first detaching). The advantages to the fiver solution are two-fold. First, I would have a vehicle to drive other than the motorcycle. Second, and this is something not really addressed earlier, I could add a small washer/dryer combo machine (like the Splendide 2100) to the garage area. MAJOR convenience AND budget savings, no campground laundry facilities to be endured or paid for.

So, more research and internet bookmarks - found one brand and model I really like and haven't found anything posted to the negative. It's the Keystone Raptor - only downside is the smallest unit I like is still between 36-37'. Now I do realize that part of that overlaps the pickup, so in effect it's not a lot longer than a 34' motorhome.

Decisions....decisions....I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

To Toad or Not to Toad

Friday, April 7, 2006

To toad or not....for those who don't know, a "toad" (in RVing terms) is a "towed" vehicle. This helps differentiate it from a "tow" vehicle which designates one that does the towing. Confused yet? LOL!

My first inclination was to go "toad-less", using my motorcycle as my only transportation. With that decision made I started to research carriers for the back of the RV. Discovered that unless I got a diesel pusher I wasn't going to be able to go this route. The weight of my current bike combined with the lift/carrier would be too much for the frame of the motorhome.

From there I moved to the idea of maybe towing a pickup truck and loading the bike in the back of that, again using a lift of some sort. I eventually tossed that idea out since I figured I'd need a full size pickup and that again brought the weight factor into play, this time it was tow weight.

Next thing tossed into my mental mixer was the sudden realization that campgrounds are often more dirt, gravel and grass than pavement. Not a bit deal, you say. Well, for an in-seam impaired motorcycle rider like me, it can be....at least with a 750# motorcycle. Hmmm, maybe I should rethink what motorcycle I really need. No more ego trips....I've had almost 4 years of riding Harleys. That's more than some folks ever have.

I had already been researching sport tourer bikes, maybe that would be the way to go. Lighter bike would mean less problem holding it upright on those uneven surfaces. Unfortunately my being in-seam impaired makes this a difficult challenge as well. Extended my search into more dual sport bikes and found there are two bikes that I might want to consider, the BMW 650GS and the Suzuki V-Strom DL650. Both are still tall bikes but both are supposed to be able to be lowered enough that I might be able to handle them. They come in the 500# range which, while better than my Harley, are still probably heavier than I want.

Stopped at the Suzuki dealer (maybe I already mentioned this, sorry if I did), but I found what could be the perfect bike for what I want. It's close to 300# (great weight) and when I sat on it, the ergonomics were wonderful. What this would allow me to do is carry it on the back of the motorhome, at least with the right lift.

From there my mental gymnastics started contortions....it suddenly occured to me that my early thoughts of just using the motorhome to swing into Wally World, etc. for groceries would only work if I were moving a lot. Since I plan to workamp as well as take advantage of monthly rates as much as possible, I won't be moving too often. So, no "toad" means no convenient way to get groceries, etc. Sure, I could bum rides but I really hate to do that. And what if I'm just not feeling like riding. Well, with the option of this little Suzuki GZ250, I could easily add a lightweight "toad"!

Now that I'm thinking along these lines, I am researching other little 250 bikes, there are several to choose from. Something small, lightweight, nimble and very appropriately named "Hopper".

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Quandry becomes my middle name

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Quandry becomes my middle name...yesterday I mentioned that I had found the "perfect" (for me) motorhome in AZ. I heard back from the owner's daughter and they are willing to hold it till July with a non-refundable deposit. I've never been much of a gambler but am wondering it I dare take a chance that my home might not sell between now and then. I am working on a counter-offer that would extend the timeframe a bit....not ready to toadily give up on it.

The house was shown again today and my neighbor has a friend that is going to tell someone she works with about it as well. Keeping my fingers crossed that something happens quickly.

I spent time working on updating my website, My Prime Years, not fixing the links, just the formatting. Also adding Google links, easy way to generate a little income. Feel free to nose around!

Today ended up being a nice day....bit overcast but beautiful temps. Looks like we're going to pay for it tomorrow...rain starting sometime in the morning, changing to severe storms (again) by tomorrow afternoon. Will be interesting to see how well Trixie and I do making potty runs in the rain.

Sometime this weekend I will drive over to Pigeon Forge to meet a group of lady RVers appropriately named the "Groovin' Grannies". I look forward to meeting them and checking out THEIR rigs.

Spent more time reading...getting into the more technical side of things: water, electric, etc. At least the basics for "Idiots" like me (yup, bought the "Idiots Guide to RVing". I need to get a notebook and start writing things down - things to remember, questions to ask, general notes about RVing.

Yes, I'm still very excited about all this....in fact that is part of the problem, I'm ready to do it NOWWWWWW!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Choices and Logistics

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Choices and logistics - that is what is driving my crazy. First I thought a Class A, since that is what we had before. Then I started looking at Toy Haulers (now also called Sport Utility Trailers or SUTs as well as Toy Boxes, Sport Haulers, Fun Movers, etc). While I really like the concept, nothing to tow with a motorhome toy hauler, the prices are soared out of sight in the last year (thanks to their popularity). The ones that I can afford are too minimalistic for my tastes. The used ones only come in the minimalistic design...who knew they would be so popular?

So next I looked into Class C motorhomes....they seem like they would be easier to drive. Well, at least they would feel more like being in a normal-sized vehicle. Downside is that they are just as wide as the Class A and you lose a lot of vision. Bigger downside is the lack of available weight for my "stuff" due to the lighter chassis that must be used.

So here I am again....back at a Class A. I took a trip to Nashville and visited several dealers there. I knew that 34', the size my husband and I lived in, was much more than I really needed. After walking through several Class A and Class C motorhomes in the 30-31' range, I knew that was more than adequate.

So next step was to start hitting all the classified ad sites....there are a TON of them. I saved the links to homes that I thought would fit my parameters, sticking with Tiffin Allegro, Four Winds Hurricane and Winnebago Adventurer. I also wanted 1999 or newer, preferably 2002-2003 vintage. Slides are a bonus, I can live without them. Levelers, generator & heated tanks are a must...would add the levelers & generator if I had to.

Now the logistics come into play....I can't buy until I sell. Once I sell, then I will know the timeframe I am dealing with to get moved out onto the road (buy the rig, get it here, move my stuff). Time to get things packed up to store at my youngest daughter's, time to pick up what I'm keeping and time to SELL everything else! LOL!! Then I get to figure out the logistics of getting the motorhome I want, getting it brought back here to load up and hitting the road. Oh, and did I mention that I have to learn to drive this thing?

I did sign up for the Life on Wheels Conference in Bowling Green, KY on May 12-15th. That should be very informative and although I probably won't be able to get driving lessons, there will still be a lot to learn. I've also rejoined Escapees, reactivated our lifetime Good Sam membership and found out what our old FMCA number was so that I can activate that once I complete the deed....

I have found one motorhome that would be perfect for me....it's an Allegro that looks remarkably like our old one did....makes me feel at home just looking at the pictures. It's a 2003, 31' long with only 10k miles on it. The owner's husband passed away unexpectedly in January and since she won't be using it, they've put it up for sale. I'd love to have it but.....logistics, those darn logistics!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

On the road again...I'm gonna be back on the road again....

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Well, the decision has been made and the house has been put on the market. Oh, what decision? The one to return to the full-time RV lifestyle. Now the fun begins....what stays, what gets packed away, what goes and what to buy.

Before making this decision I considered moving to a smaller house, either here locally or in another part of the country. I even went so far as to visit several areas - north Georgia and eastern Oklahoma/western Arkansas. While there were pluses, there were minuses as well.

The idea of full-timing had already been presented to me but I had several reasons that I felt it wouldn't work. Then when my youngest daughter brought up the idea of again, I had ready answers. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I'm not getting any younger (no wisecracks, please), I love to travel (remember, I just spent 7 months on the road traveling 27k miles across the country by motorcycle, alone), and I hate yard work (and so does my aging body). I have already been a full-timer so I knew a lot about the lifestyle and realized that it would work for me. My only reservation is the DRIVING....I never did that before. There are lots of other things, such as hookups & dumping, that I've never done but they don't worry me.

So, this blog will chronicle my progression through this journey, moving from "stick" home to "rolling" home. Oh, whatever the new rig is, it already has a name - The Lily Pad.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna