Berkeley 3” Shad on jig is Best Fishing Bait … EVER.

Our whole family loves to fish. It’s kind of our thing.

So while we were staying up in Tomahawk, Wisconsin visiting the Grandparents as part of the RV Grand Tour” we were introduced to Berkeley 3” Shad bait by Grandpa Ken.

Smelt – 3 to 3.5 inch

The boys caught 3 different types of fish on a jig on two different days at different times on different lakes:

1. Walleye

2. Two Species of Bass; and

3. Northern

This is some Awesome Bait.

Highly Recommend.

We Made it to Wisconsin! No Snark here.

Ah, the great northern land of Mosquitoes as big as a baby’s fist. Once the sun sets (and after s’mores by the fire) you better get inside quick like!

Kid practicing his fire-making skills (closely supervised of course).

My husband and I were born and raised in Wisconsin. We don’t go back much – ‘cause it’s freeze your ass off cold in winter and humid, hot, and construction exasperating in summer.

That being said, occasionally… there are summer days that are just glorious here. Where the temperature is cool (70s and not humid). Day 1 in Wisconsin is that day.

Tomahawk, Wisconsin

So I am working from RV, husband is doing chores, grandparents are entertaining kid, and dog is mostly snoring. All in all, not a bad day.

Working from RV is going great!

I’ll talk about RV Electronics and working remote in my next bit….

Here we go again. New Delano RV – breakdowns, idiot lights, and other inconveniences….

We are on the road… again! I know the burning question on your mind is, “but did they have idiot warning lights, sleep in a truck stop their first night, and have breakdowns this time?”

Let me answer all of your questions with:

Yes!

Fun fact: There is a slot on Mercedes Sprinter where you have to (occasionally? Randomly?) click key fob (not the key) into in order for it to work. It’s really fun trying to figure out where it is in the dark at a rest stop after driving for like 8hrs….

1. Did they have to sleep in a truck stop overnight on their first night again?

Yes!

We left two hours late on our first day – in part because the refrigerator in our garage broke and we had to empty it into the house fridge so everything wasn’t rotten when we returned! That would have been nasty….So we couldn’t make it to our KOA reservation and slept overnight in a truck stop…again.

And we discovered halfway through first day of trip that fridge in RV wasn’t working (need green light to be on) because we had not turned propane (LP switch) “on” – switch located outside on tank. Oops. Our stupid.

2. Do they have any major broken parts/issues on the new RV?

Yes!

Water leak (stream of water) pictured below. Water is just pouring out of this thing in a steady stream. Figure with a 30 gallon holding tank…we’ll be empty – soon. No – so huge leak stopped eventually and we still have water in tank so we think (and service guy over phone did as well) that it is likely a tank overflow issue?

Did they have any minor problems? Yes! The bathroom mirror has the weakest magnet on the planet. It flies open even at gentle stops from the weight of the – 2oz paper cups? We are trying to figure out a fix. Also, have had to McGyver loosescreen corners and flapping window shade with 3M Velcro strip things? If you are buying a new (or any) RV – pack adhesive Velcro strips….

3. But have they had to call Good Sam repair service again?

Yes! (Shout our to Russell the service guy!). Called re stream of water gushing out of new RV.

Also, in the minor problem category – the LP gas detector started screeching – we are running LP because fridge. It reset when we hit the button so hopefully no real problem there….

4. Are they headed to dealer service center for repairs?

Maybe? As I mentioned- the water did stop streaming out after some time on the road. The water gauge says full. And water to house/toilet and pump is still working? 5.5 hrs to nearest service center and they (Good Sam and Dealer Service Center) said ok to drive….

Is it only day 3 of them owning yet another RV?

Yes!

Also: in case you were wondering our elderly golden retriever dog (Callie) is doing rather well following surgery, etc. The first day there was a ton of whining and upsetness. Not second or now morning of third day.

We put a bean bag in stairwell so she wouldn’t fall down the stairs and we have her bed on bath mats, which are on gorilla grippers so she won’t slip.

We also started giving her Thunder Wunders.

Stay tuned! We may ultimately be headed to a service center…5.5 hrs away.

Here goes….

Buying an RV Snark: To Make Snide and Sharply Critical Comments.

Buying RV from Large Camping RV Company.

First gratitude. The child safety seat and latch are working fabulously. They (dealer) switched the model they had in stock with a related dealer in one day for the one we needed. They double checked child safety part – and got part for us quick even though this is a seller’s market. Getting a safe RV was the MOST important thing.

Now…the snark.

1. We spent just under $120k on a new 2020 Thor Delano FB. It was not so classy of a buying experience.

Not so Classy of a Buying Experience.

A. You HAVE or really should have the following in order to use RV. And the dealer didn’t provide:

i. sewer hose;

ii. electric plug for house;

iii. Hose for water;

Iv. water regulator attachment;

V. Bio pouches for black tank.

If you go to Amazon, you can buy a starter RV kit for $62.00. The dealer would sell this type of kit to you with your brand new $120k RV – for $399. Gimme a break. We just dropped a small fortune on this RV thing and you can’t cough up for the sewer hose?

2. You need fuel. Obviously. They didn’t give us a full tank of gas (gave it to us with less than 1/2 a tank) and a partial tank of DEF (diesel additive). Would have run them about $58.00 – See close to $120k purchase.

Things dealer also didn’t include – front window screen/curtain. I’m going to have to purchase that separately. No idea re cost.

I’m not kidding. No sewer hose, no water hose, no gas. About $120 on their part would have gone a long way toward making us happier about the $120k on our part. It truly is the little things that grind your gears the most. And getting nickel and dimed over sewer hose? Really?

And FYI, when we bought the used Serenity for 90k from other dealer-We received all of those things.

Serenity

Last, but not least – when we did the Thor Delano walk through – “how to use your RV” – they (dealer) could not explain the Sprinter electronics (think Siri and Alexa have a baby). Also, they couldn’t explain Winegard WiFi system. Told us to read the manuals. Read the manual? How about a one page quick start guide? Still working on that manual thing….

Next Episode: Here we go again….

Dog surgery went well and we have child safe RV!

It’s been a long day.

First, our dog’s surgery went well. Growths were removed (as was an unknown broken tooth).

Callie isn’t happy – but she is OK.
Her eye still looks yucky.

We also picked up the Thor Delano RV. The dealer was able to install latch system child seat part!

Forward facing car seat.

I’ll write more about dealer experience tomorrow. It has been a LONG day.

Test driving a Portable Washer for RVing.

I’d hate to jinx us…again. But we needed to test some stuff before we (hopefully) pick up the 2020 Thor Delano FB tomorrow.

2020 Thor Delano FB

So we “plan” on getting on the road this Saturday. One of the things we purchased in the wake of the Serenity misadventure (and after reading numerous reviews) was a portable washing machine. We didn’t get what we wanted because it’s out of stock…Covid-19? China trade war? Who knows? Does this sound familiar?

Anyways, what we got was a portable washer/spin dryer from Costway. It is 26” long so we plan on storing it in Delano’s shower as we travel down the road. Hopefully it fits.

Costway Washer/Dryer
Load Running

So it has “challenging/amusing” instructions like “unplug the electrical cord from the outlet to avoid thunderbolt.” Also, “Turn off spin tub and dewatering cover.”

We had purchased:

Hose attachments recommended on review forum.

some hose attachments – none of which worked with machine and outside hose at home. So we filled the sucker with water direct from hose (very cold), Tide Powder, and a few pieces of clothes, set it in the backyard and let ‘er rip.

Important note- The hose drains while it is running. Be warned.

On our first run we had used the 1 load guide on the Tide powder. There was a BUNCH of soap left when it finished so we drained it and put more water in and rinse. Again. And again. We did this three times – way too much soap. It wants you to spin then rinse. But too much soap on our test run.

This sucker definitely takes enough water that I will only be using it at RV parks where we are on shore/power & water. Unless we get better at using it.

Spin cycle …doesn’t fit whole load.

So we tried to fit the whole load in the spin side. The loose plastic top you are supposed to insert went flying over the edge and we almost broke it. So apparently it takes two separate spin cycles before it is ready for rinse with a big load?

The timing mechanism is totally off – their 5 minutes is about a minute.

Anyways, we think this will workout. We’ll report back.

Tomorrow: RV Pickup!

The Wild Weight Ride: What the Heck are we going to do for food and exercise in RV on the road?

Spring and Summer 2020 are now known in our house as the time of the Covid – 19 lbs of weight. (I jest about Coronavirus because there is nothing amusing about it. If we don’t laugh we’d cry). Thank you (not) quarantine home cafe. My husband is a good cook.

Anyways, my husband and I were, let’s say not at our ideal weight when Covid cut loose. I may have in fact had a co-worker ask if I was expecting (I was not) just before Covid happened. She’s really nice and wasn’t being a bitch. I just gain in the soggy middle. So, yeah, my weight gain already wasn’t exactly pretty pre-Covid.

In picture below we are at correct weights (ballroom dancing competition weight). We are the couple on the right. We’ll call this “Before”.

My BMI at this weight is 21. I’m 5’9” (I like to lie and say 5’10”). In above picture, I’m about 143lbs.

Notice – Normal Weight (21 BMI) is/at at 142 and Overweight at 180 (26 BMI). Sigh.

I’m not going to debate healthy weight. I’m just going to say I feel good at around 143lbs.

And then our weight got even worse. I’m not showing you the now (after). I’m trying to maintain some dignity.

So, in the space of five short months – we put on an extra 20lbs a piece (we were 20 over already up – so now 40 extra lbs). And I can’t fit into my pants or suits. It’s like putting 20lbs of sausage in a 10lb sack. And that is the big (pun intended) problem.

My choices were diet (a vicious four letter word) or buy new suits and up another size of pants. Yeah, no. I’m not buying new suits and I’m not going up another size. I’m not buying new clothes!

All of which has resulted in us dieting. 1200 calories per day dieting and …?uh, exercise. I’m using My Fitness Pal and Health Mate.

Also, diet from hell pictured below (not appearing is coffee creamer – because I’m not a sociopath).

I’m running a mile every other day – my husband runs four miles. Husband says he likes to run. Whatever (Weirdo).

I just hate running. I like to go dancing. I think people who enjoy running don’t know the true pleasure of a perfectly made margarita (Dos Caminos makes the best), chips and guacamole, and a good book in a chair under an umbrella in the DR. Also, you can go dancing salsa and eat chips and salsa – see how this all works?

Dis Caminos – Frozen Perfection

Not to mention the perfect joy of Marion berry pie. But I digress….

In summary, I’m 40lbs heavier than when I started my job. My nice coworkers think I look pregnant. And I can’t fit in my suits.

So I started dieting beginning of June and running. Thank you Road Runner Sports for the insoles. My tired butt (and feet) need all the foot support they can get.

I probably walk faster than I run right now and I can’t run a mile without taking at least 2 breaks. This is after over a month of running mind you….

Look – Drastic times (pandemic weight) call for drastic measures (dieting and running). Ok, really just having to buy new suits is panic/cause enough. I’m even drinking gin and diet tonic water with ginger powder in it to cut the crappy diet taste. Oh, how I long for a ginger gin and tonic at Gramercy Tavern.

I tried light margaritas, but damn. They taste awful. I’ve got to cut it with water to choke it down – and then what’s the point?

We (hopefully) are picking up Thor Delano FB next week. Fingers crossed that child seat part comes in and it works.

Thor Delano FB

So now with us hitting the road we need to figure out what food to pack. We packed too much last time.

We need Real food for kid – rabbit food for us.

And we need to figure out how to exercise on the road. That will likely be the topic of many other posts (but probably none of them happy…).

Yeah. This diet food/exercise thing while traveling in RV with 6 year old is going to suck.

Tune in for episode: Wasting away in Margaritalessville to see what food we packed.

Yeah, So Surgery Needed for Elderly Dog.

So, we got a new RV (Thor Delano FB) coming. We think? It has a car seat attachment part we can have installed for kid!! We are ecstatic that this might work out after all!

And…our elderly dog (Callie) needs eye surgery.

‘Cause nothing ever goes as planned.

So Callie has a growth that has been growing daily on her eyebrow/eyelid? Eye area? The damn thing keeps getting bigger…fast.

Eye Growth Thing.

Our vet can’t get her in for surgery until Thursday, July 23. They have to put her under (dangerous for elderly dogs) so we are having her teeth and another growth removed at the same time.

And of course it would be excessively stupid (and we try to be only a bit stupid) to leave the next day. So… we are leaving on Saturday, July 25.

We are fortunate that husband’s sister is a veterinarian so if ALL GOES TO HECK on the road…we can call her and get fre…I mean good advice.

Tune in for episode: “On the Road Again…And we Mean it this Time!!!”

Paradise (and no Dashboard Idiot Lights?)

Success!! Maybe?

So we found a different RV (waiting for child seat part to arrive – but they say it’s coming…). Quick RV Requirements Review. We wanted:

1. Used

2. 24 feet long

3. Diesel fuel

We needed- an RV with a child seat option. HAD to HAVE.

Well, we didn’t get a used RV.

We got “stuck” with a new RV. We like it. We’re happy. Really. But Meatloaf’s song is playing in the back of my head right now. It’s good, really. No really. I keep telling myself this. But the truth is I can see it’s faults – and I just didn’t feel that way with the used Serenity.

So lets talk this through, shall we?

We are buying a 2020 Thor Delano FB. 24ft. Thor Industries owns many RV brands, including Airstream, CrossRoads, Cruiser RV, Dutchmen, Jayco, Starcraft, and …Thor Motor Coach.

So they mass produce RVs. Here it is:

2020 Delano 24ftFB

It’s…tan. My voice rises when I say this. Remember that sleek Grey Serenity. The Thor feels like it’s sort of from from Florida. Serenity? Sleek lines. Looks more hip van than the Thor.

Cabinets. Thor owns a bunch of RV brands and so mass produced builds and Leisure is more shall we say…custom? Thor cabinets (are these plastic laminate?). Thor sells these as “Italian” cabinets. Yeah, well. I’ve been to Rome.

Husband carrying asleep kid through Vatican during tour.
Wish I shot a photo of cabinet interior. They are … not put together as well as Serenity.

Serenity cabinets:

Serenity cabinet quality was great.

Thor Delano – plastic toilet.

Delano plastic toilet.

Serenity – porcelain/ceramic?

Serenity

Look, I could poke holes at Thor’s Delano FB all day. But we still are (hopefully – child car seat willing) buying it. I didn’t get what I wanted and it makes me sound ungrateful, spoiled, and petulant.

But on the other hand we just spent a bunch of money on something that isn’t exactly what we want. Poor us. Boo hoo. I got it. No one is sympathetic to us – and they shouldn’t be.

What it does have – and I called Thor to confirm AND read the manual – is a child safe seat option. And their staff is super helpful BTW. This is THE most important thing for us – because if it can’t take a kid it’s not useable.

Never mind that you can barely walk to the bathroom when bump out/slide isn’t out.

Or even open fridge?

Compare to Serenity:

Bathroom is back right – no slide outs on this build.

Or that black water setup is crappy/cramped.

Or that over cab bunk is mostly useless and Downright Dangerous for young kid to sleep in. Thankfully, dinette turns into bed for kid.

Queen size Murphy bed over couch for us.

Wall behind couch is actually Murphy bed.

I had wanted a B cap (Serenity) and not a C style over cab bunk (Thor).

Serenity B style cap
Thor Delano C style cap

Look- I think I’m going to be happy with the Delano FB RV we got/are getting. I do. But, it’s like the Meatloaf “Paradise by the Dashboard light” song. I want you, I need you, but I don’t know if I’m ever going to love it. I’m a bit skeptical, but it’s early.

I’ll let you know.

I’m not sad. ‘Cause nothing ever goes as planned. And well, “two out of three ain’t bad?”

Up Next (hopefully): sign, car seat part install, and RV walk through.