“Green Acres is the place to be with your RV” – This resort was absolutely an amazing place to be. We really enjoyed our stay here. We definitely felt like we were home here. Located about 20 minutes north of the Mississippi Border it was an amazing quiet place to call home for a week. The nearest Starbucks is in Huntsville, AL if that gives you any perspective on where Green Acres is. We would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this resort to any one!Continue reading “Green Acres RV Resort – Savannah, TN”
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
We went to the Nashville Zoo on a cold day. Many of the animals were "hiding" from the cold. We braved the weather and saw the animals that we coming out to see us. A plus side to this field trip was that we basically had the whole zoo to ourselves. We recommend this attraction on a warm day.Continue reading “Nashville Zoo at Grassmere”
Instant Pot – Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta
The Instant Pot phenomenon is happening in our RV. Long before we moved in we bought an IP so I can get practice using it. I had a few fears and was timid on using it at first. As I began using the IP, I began to feel more comfortable using it and not comfortable enough to stray to far from a recipe. I follow all the rules and take extra care cleaning it. Recently, I have bought my first accessory for the IP – New Silicon Seals.Continue reading “Instant Pot – Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta”
What About… Cooking
My kitchen in Orlando was my ultimate kitchen. Black Granite counter tops, cherry wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances and every small appliance that you can find at Target. However, when moving into the RV, I was faced with a lot of changes – the biggest shocker was the size.
Where and What’s Next
Since beginning our travels we have set expectations on where to go next. We have the next few months plan out and reservations made. We sometimes run into travelers block on which direction to go next. While the whole family contributes to what we all want to see and do, what towns we want to stay near, visit with family or friends, or even a larger city for Airport accessibility. The task of planning is almost a full-time job. It is often daunting at times.Continue reading “Where and What’s Next”
The Hermitage – Andrew Jackson’s Home
This was a fun and very educational place to visit. Highly Recommend! While learning about history and nature on our adventure is important we tend to find spots that Amber would enjoy the most and the Hermitage did not disappoint. This was our first educational stop. Amber seems to be intrigued by Andrew Jackson's contribution to the forming of US History. Bobbi looks at this as the dots are finally connecting. It was an amazing experience of history and a step back in time. Be sure to watch the movie at the beginning.Continue reading “The Hermitage – Andrew Jackson’s Home”
Field Trips – Nashville Tennessee Edition
Part of our adventure is to see the local life. Look at what each town is known for and really embrace what we find in each area has to other tourists. We try to make each field trip an educational one but sometimes we must have a little fun as well. While visiting Nashville, we came across some wonderful places to visit. We often start with a little research of the area, use Groupon to find discounts, ask locals for recommendations, and watched the local TV stations for ideas.
Nashville is no exception to the rules. We could have spent more time there and still not have finished visiting all there is to offer in Nashville. We must save some for next time we come through. For now, here are our field trips that we have visited while we were there.Continue reading “Field Trips – Nashville Tennessee Edition”
Often times we are asked really random questions in reference to the what about… I am here to answer a few of those what about questions that might be plaguing past, present and future full-timers, or just the curious wanderer.
But first, I was the first “what about” family member when my husband proposed this zany idea of full-timing. I would ask questions like: what about our stuff; what about bathroom duties; what about cooking; and even on how about our bed. Well, my AWESOME husband had a solution that helped answer all the questions: YouTube and the Googles. He was sure that there had to be more than just me asking these questions. As sure as heck, there was and there were answers.
Besides following us on Instagram, Twitter and this blog, follow these friends, as they were all very insightful in helping alleviate any worries we had.
Now onto the What About questions: Here are the top 4 most popular questions we are asked:
- What about sleeping arrangements? We sleep in the horizontal position every night. No really, since we have a teenager in the house, we must make sure everyone sleeps comfortably. Russ and I have a RV King Size bed in the rear of our bus. Amber sleeps in a loft bed above the front cab of the bus. She can have up to a full-size mattress, but she currently using a twin size until we find one that she likes and is comfortable.
- What about using the bathroom? Well to answer this we must take a journey to the toilet. We pull our pants down and sit on the toilet. The difference is our waste goes into a holding tank under the bus. Once a week, Russ goes outside and dumps the tank. There is another post coming on this routine.
- What about cooking? We are very lucky with our bus that we have 2 kitchens. We have one outside for the grill and has a small sink and a dorm room size refrigerator. Inside we have a kitchen with dual sink, 3 burner gas stove, gas oven, residential refrigerator and plenty of outlets. I try to mainly cook with our George Forman Grill and Instant Pot whenever possible.
- What about our belongings or stuff? What stuff is the question I often reply with. We have brought only the real necessities, and a few wants for each of us. We have closets and drawers full of clothes, cabinets full of dishes and basements full of other stuff we need throughout our travels but not an immediate need on the bus. Leading up to the launch date, we had 5 garage sales, items placed on OfferUp and many trips to Goodwill to donate goods we did not have a use for. We even donated a few items to our church. However, now being on this adventure we are still finding things we don’t need and are planning another trip to Goodwill soon.
There you have it. The top 4 questions we are asked most often when it comes to our RV lifestyle. I am sure that you have many more questions. Leave it below and we will answer them in the order they were received.
Until next time – Bobbi
Water leaks in the RV and how we have handled them
Since taking delivery of the RV, we pretty much hit the ground running with living in it full time. Any issue that has comes up, we tackle it head on. It has become a bit of a running joke that when an issue comes up, we all collectively sigh and say "What now?" Among the issues we have had to tackle, water leaks have been the most prevalent.
Below, is the list of water leaks we have identified so far, followed by details for each.
- Ice maker
- Kitchen Faucet
- Laundry Hookups
- Furnace Plate
- Shower Drain
Before we took delivery of the coach, we identified an issue where there was water leaking from refrigerator cabinet. Water would move across the floor, down the slide out seal and collect near the driver seat. This issue had to be resolved, even at the cost of the dealer along with repair of any damage associated with the leak. According to the dealership technicians, the repair took 11 hours and looked beautiful once they were complete. The technician also assured me that he took extra special care to ensure the connection to the fridge was sealed. The feed for the ice maker has a valve, so we could always disable it if it were to occur again.
The kitchen faucet hit us on two separate occasions. This was the first leak that we had to triage shortly after living in the coach full time. Items under the sink were getting wet along with the carpet in front of the sink. Shining a flashlight, I found the culprit was the inline connection for the pull-out sink head.
In the picture above, the connection right in the middle is an inline coupler that uses two o-rings and a clip. I wrapped the o-rings in plumbers tape, reconnected it and have not had any issues since.
The next issue that was not as obvious was the cold and hot water feed to the kitchen sink itself.
I continued to find water accumulating in the water bay, below. I just assumed that it was the shower (more on that later). With these two connections, I wrapped the brass portion in plumbers tape, and reconnected the feed lines.
With the leaks under the sink, we have worked to be proactive in fixing these items as they occur as there is a lot going on under this particular area. The electrical connections to all the RV control panels run beneath here along with all of the electrical lines for the kitchen/living room slide. Below is a picture of what it looks like down there.
Also, you may note that when you begin peering your head behind cabinets and hide away holes, you may find a lot of saw dust from the manufacturing process. I understand that there is a RV boom so they are pushing new RVs through quickly to get them in the hands of dealers. I suppose this is probably the same reason we are running into all of these leaks as well.
One of the closets in the master bedroom was designed to accept a washer and dryer. Where the washer would be installed, there is a hot and cold water hookup.
One morning, when I was getting dressed to head into the office, we discovered that my underwear drawer was taking on water. The back of the drawer wall was visibly soaked. I shut the water off to the coach and went off to work. When I came back home, I pulled the back of the closet off to reveal the laundry hookups. Which, was something I had not even realized when this first began as I was convinced that the hot water heater was leaking, as it is also behind the same wall.
I learned that water is constantly flowing to the laundry hookups, behind our closet. I traced the line back further and there was not value upstream to disable this (as was in the case of the ice maker), with no success. The issue turned out that the hot water line fixture was leaking down on my drawer below.
Each laundry nozzle comes apart in 3 different pieces, I took it all apart and re-wrapped it with plumbers tape. There was some plumbers tape there, but installed haphazardly at the factory.
After monitoring the laundry hookups for the next 24 hours with positive water pressure to the coach, I was satisfied that my underwear was no longer going to soak up any additional water. We left the back of the closet off for a few days to ensure that it totally dried out.
We noticed that the wall under where the fridge was started showing some darkness. We dismissed it as what looked like adhesive from putting the wall strip back on. We have not experienced too much rain while living in the RV, but when it does, water begins to come out from under the fridge. This of course has the hallmark of a leaky ice maker, but it was not the case.
Beneath the refrigerator is also home to the furnace. The furnace penetrates the outside wall with an exhaust plate. We learned that there was a lack of or no good seal surrounding the plate on the outside wall. Water was slipping in through there, onto the floor and coming out from under the fridge cabinet. This of course cannot be good as we surely do not want our furnace to short out and cause more issues.
The fix here was to use silicone and seal up the plate around the outside wall. This did prevent more water from coming in from the outside and gave us more peace of mind regarding the safety of our furnace and all the other electronics that occupy that same space.
While sitting in the living room watching TV, we began smelling something emanating from the sink area. While continually inspecting under the sink for more leaks, it was not immediately apparent that the shower drain had been leaking.
Eventually, we opened the panel under the shower and found that it was all wet under there. Water was dripping from the 90 degree elbow heading into the p-trap which leads to the gray tank drain. The quarters were really tight, so we called up a mobile RV tech to help us out. I was getting busy and needed a bit of a break from all these RV repairs.
The mobile RV tech, identified that there was a haphazard job of plumbers tank where the p-trap pipe screwed into the gray tank drain. He also checked for other pipe cracks and put it back together and was on his way.
At this point, I figured this was behind us and that was one less leak I had to worry about or so I thought. One morning before church, we all took our turns cycling through the shower to get ready. Amber went into the basement looking for some shoes and came back reporting that our rubber made totes had standing water on them. "Oh no, what now?" I sighed. We shut the water off to the coach, went to church and dealt with it when we came back.
After worrying about the leak through church service, we had returned to look for the source of the leak. Since there were so many of taking a shower at one time this morning, we learned that water was leaking out from the drain, under the sink area, following the slide seal until it drained out into the basement below under the driver's seat.
This time, I went to work and pulled the shower drain apart. The part that connected the elbow to the horizontal p-trap pipe was spinning freely and also did not have any plumbers tape at all. Unfortunately, we paid to have this repaired and didn't get quite what we paid for.
At the time I didn't realize how the p-trap pipe came apart at the elbow. It was not until I saw the part brand new, that I realized that it was held together with a retaining ring. The gentlemen at the RV store demonstrated this to us as well.
With that new knowledge, I came back and rebuilt the drain, using plumbers tape on all three connections. First, I installed the horizontal p-trap pipe back into the gray tank drain, then the 90 degree elbow and connected the elbow to the shower drain.
Thankfully, it's been a few days and we have had no further drain leaks. I've put a towel under the drain to quickly detect any leaks and be a first line of defense to any further water damage.
Our RV was brand new. Clearly, as it seems that our RV did not get a great PDI or Pre-Delivery Inspection before we got it. These leaks were something that seasoned professional technicians should have picked up pretty quickly. For better or worse, these fixes have fallen into our hands and all considered, these are easy. We are blessed that we can fix these issues as they go along.
Handling Issues With New RV
With under 60 miles of use, the prospect of driving the rig any further brought a lot of worry and stress. I soon realized, it was because our new 2017 Thor Motorcoach Miramar had 26mm of positive tow on the front wheels. After this was corrected, the bus felt more like driving a well engineered machine more than ever before.
Prior to taking the the RV into the shop to get a proper alignment, I did not enjoy driving the rig at all. This was not only first RV, but short of driving a u-Haul truck, this was the biggest thing I have driven. For years, I’ve driven grand touring passenger vehicles, so naturally I assumed that something with less precision would take some getting used to. Just the sheer size of the unit and constantly worrying about driving in between the lines on the road, not hitting anything and braking in time was overwhelming.
My first ride home from the dealership and the subsequent trip to our first shake down at Wekiva Falls was mentally exhausting. These were relatively, short trips and I came out of these with a pale white complexion and an innate sense that there must be something amiss out of this.
Recently, we met up with a group of Thor Motorcoach enthusiasts, I explained the issue I was having and how much I disliked driving. They all responded, practically in unison, “get a front end alignment”. One gentlemen, with a Windsport said that he struggled to get his coach above 50mph on the highway, but once he did the front end alignment he could get to 70mph with no issues. I knew at that point, this had to be on my first order of business.
After doing more research, I found that this is not the first thing that motor home owners are doing. Most people have come to know that when you buy a vehicle, that the alignment is something that is already done before you drive it off the lot. What I have learned time and time again, is do not make any assumptions with the RV. In the Ford manual, it states in the book that the alignment was performed before leaving their factory. When the chassis makes its way to the body builder, they put the house on top and modify the chassis without any further thought to the implications of how this impacts the suspension. Many new owners are quicker to jump into adjusting or replacing their swaybars, swapping springs first.
When the bus came out of the shop after the alignment, I was surprised by how much adjustment was needed. It was 26mm of positive tow, which means the wheels were pointed outwards from the center line of the RV. No wonder I was having so many issues with the steering wheel fighting me for 60 miles and how unpleasant of a drive this was. After the proper adjustments, the wheels now slightly point inwards. The result is nothing short of spectacular!
I’m happy to report after driving from Orlando, FL. to Ashburn, GA. or about 300 miles, the front alignment made a significant difference in how well the rig steered, handled and drove.
My recommendation to new owners, get a front alignment out of the way first.