Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Las Vegas

We rolled in a couple of days ago with @laurieandscott and it's been a whirlwind of chasing down the "must see" areas from Fremont Street to the High Roller and there just isn't enough time or money to see it all.

The Vegas Thousand Trails rv park is nothing to write home about but all we need it for is sleep. It's not like we're hanging around the park looking for things to do.

The Venetian was a real jaw dropper with its indoor canal and high end shopping mall. I know I must have looked like a tourist with my slack jaw looking up at the fake sky ceiling.

I've driven by Las Vegas several times in my life while headed somwhere else and never stopped to explore. This has been an experience we will never forget.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Dry camping on what used to be lake bed

Ten days ago we rolled in here on a tip from our friends Laurie and Scott from and we've been here ever since.

After repositioning the coach to maximize the power of the sun on our tilted solar panels, we rolled out our carpets and went on a water run to the nearby town of Overton NV. We can haul 42 gallons at a time in 6 seven gallon totes with our car so as long as we conserve and don't do laundry every day, we can make our 110 gallon capacity last quite awhile.

Once we get back, 28 miles, with our load, we pump it from the totes, into our tanks with the help of a 12v sureflow diaphram pump.

Laundry day uses about 40 gallons for 3 good size loads so I try to haul in an extra trunk load of water when it's time and we run our little Honda eu1000 to keep the batteries up while the washer runs. The dry cycle takes too much power to run off battery so we hang dry which actually works great in this climate.

When all the chores are caught up, we get out and explore all the many attractions and cultures this area has to offer.

All of this leg of our trip would not have been possible without a tip from these two fantastic individuals. Be sure to check them out at and on instagram @laurieandscott. The sting of homesick we feel with Christmas so close will be so much easier to deal with with good friends next door that feel like family already. Merry Christmas all! We will post again soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Nevada the wonderful

Before our checkout at the Thousand Trails in Oregon House CA, we asked if we could restock our wood hoard with some of theirs from their stockpile. The VW woodtruck did well hauling short rounds!

Once all the wood was split and stowed we rolled up and set out for dryer weather. It didn't take long and we were through the mountains and drying out nicely.

We had previously made reservations for a stay in Smith Valley NV at the Walker River RV Resort. Once we arrived, both Jessica and I were impressed with this park. So far, one of the nicest rv parks I've exer been to. The kicker was that we had it all to ourselves!

While parked in a gated campground for a few days, we are afforded the ability to take the car and branch out to other nearby attractions without worry. Virginia City NV is a must as well as the Genoa Bar.

Once we felt like we'd blown enough tourist money it was time to hit the road again. 200 miles later we land in Tonopah NV, an historic silver mining town with an elevation of over 6000 feet. This is our window view this morning from our free urban boondocking site, aka a casino parking lot.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Attwood 10 gallon Hot water heater rebuild

A shot of the replacement tank I ordered from Dyers RV and Trailer and had shipped to our next destination in California.

About 600 miles north we had noticed some pressure loss in the fresh water system but couldn't locate the leak since it wouldn't stop raining long enough to see a drip. While still in Oregon I reluctantly pulled the hot water heater and removed what was left of the old insulation to find a pinhole in the bottom.

Since my backup system wasn't quite finished, I had no choice but to wrap the tank with reflectix and direct the leaking water out the font of the unit and onto the ground if possible until our new tank arrived.

The new tank arrived a couple days after our arrival to the Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails and I jumped right into it.

Our large storage/utility bays make these kind of repairs fairly painless.

The whole process was about a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty. Basically, remove everything from the old tank and install it on the new tank. The only tricky part was getting the burner flue lock rings off and then driving the new ones on without ruining them in the process. I cut the old ones with wire cutters then used a half round bracket and a hammer to drive on the new ones.

The new tank came with a new 110v ac heating element, pressure safety valve and new style styrofoam insulation. All for around $300 shipped. That's quite a savings over the $1000 unit replacement cost and we love our new, leak free tank.

Monday, December 5, 2016

From The Jungles of Oregon To The Redwood Forests And On To The California Highlands

Our spot at Whalers Rest Thousand Trails was spectacular with a beach access trail within steps of our front door, excellent clubhouse and indoor pool but the wet weather left us drowning.

The management threw a hell of a good Thanksgiving dinner and there were plenty of attractions to keep us busy each day.

Once our reservations were set for our next resort stay, over 500 miles away, we ordered a replacement tank for our leaking 10 gallon Attwood water heater and had it shipped forward to our next long stay in Oregon House CA.

We took a couple days to get there choosing not to drive after dark and practicing our super cheap stealth camping.

The Redwoods are a must see. Pictures do them no justice. We were left speechless at their size and beauty.

Soon it was time to leave the coast and start our trek inland toward our next reservations.

Historic Town of Shasta CA

Lake of The Springs Thousand Trails in Oregon House CA is a huge and mostly empty rv resort this time of year and even has its own private lake. We found a great hillside spot full of wildlife and great privacy.

Not sure where we're headed next but there's talk of Las Vegas....