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Old 12-15-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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Just do it!

We retired early, sold our home and hit the road. The pictures below were taken on the day we took position of our home. It was the fifth one finished. The pool prevented us from having the first one finished. The golf course had been 27 holes and after the big redesign - a Mark McCumber Course - our house was on the old ninth fairway.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12369
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12370

A few years after building this house we both developed health issues that made the upkeep very difficult for us so instead of RVing part time in our retirement years we decided to retire early, sell everything and hit the road.

We had never been RVers so a lot of research was required. It boiled down to a large class A or 5th wheel. We knew we were going to be constantly on the road and a class A would be more difficult to have the scheduled service performed so we decided on the 5th wheel. The first ones we looked at were top of the line models and it was hard to pass them up but they were just too heavy. We did not want a tow vehicle larger than a one ton dually. We had done enough research to know better than pay any asking price. We almost went to WI to buy one before we found Lazy Days RV in Seffner, FL. They were very helpful and never took advantage of our lack of knowledge. We dickered over the price I wanted to pay for the Everest and they took my final offer so I'll never know what their's would have been. I even got an upgraded (15K) air conditioner and washer/dryer combo as part of the deal. If we ever get another RV it will be from them.

I sold our car and small truck and purchased a used 1999 Dodge CC LB CD from a truck sales lot in Sanford, FL. It was only three years old and in excellent condition. (First trip up into hilly country I knew it had to be up graded).

We picked-up our Everest one week before closing on the house and our very first RV Park was Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL. Now the fun begins. We could not get the trailer off the truck. The landing gear motor had actually failed. There was a local dealer but they were not very happy with us because we had got our trailer from Lazy Days. But after a short talk with the folks at Lazy Days the local people replaced the motor - with smiles.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12371

That all took place in 2002 and we were constantly on the move from then on into early 2006 when we had to stop to take care of an ailing son. If youre interested in the whole adventure let me know and Ill start posting installments.

FastEagle
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:42 AM   #2
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I always like to read a good story. Installments keep me coming back for more! Let'r rip!
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:04 PM   #3
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The story continues: Second installment: (Late 2002 Early 2003).

We never kept a journal so this is coming from memory. However, after we had been on the road for awhile our picture taking habits improved and they are very helpful when trying to plot the time line. We have always been very active so some areas will be a little fuzzy.

After bidding farewell to family and friends we departed Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL heading for Greenville, SC for a one month stay at Springwood RV Park. We made one stop at Savannah, GA to visit our grand daughter. At that time she was a freshman at Armstrong Atlantic State University. We did not get any pictures at the KOA because it rained all the time we were there. We stopped there often so will have some later on.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12375


After visiting with my wifes (Linda) family we moved on to Fayetteville, NC to visit with my brothers. We stayed at the KOA in Wade which is a very nice family run KOA and a little off the beaten path for a KOA. My brother parked his little old ugly fishing truck under the Everest and we got lots of comments about that.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12374


When leaving Fayetteville we are finely on our own and are heading for Gulfport, MS. We go via I-20 and spend a few days at the Stone Mountain RV Park in Atlanta and tour the whole park area. Super golf course. Out of Atlanta its all interstate highways to Gulfport where we will stay at the Navy CB base campground. It has a first come first serve policy and when we get there the only site they have is the handicap site right at the office. So we stay in it for two days, then another site opens up down in the park. There is no length of stay policy so we intend to stay for at least a month. While there we discover our first crack under the bedroom slide. After a number of calls to our dealer and a Keystone rep I end up stop drilling it and seal it up with some clear sealing compound.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12373


When we leave Gulfport we are headed back to Jacksonville, FL to see the kids and get a new truck before heading west. The 2004 Dodge is our choice and it cannot even be compared to the 1999 because it has so much more HP and torque. It turned out to be a very good choice. It has never failed us.

USS Alabama, Mobile Bay.
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12376


Florida welcome center (AL-FL) I-10.
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12377


No pictures taken at the overnight stops. We will get better with the camera as time on the
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing with us Fasteagle. Keep em comming.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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A tidbit, of information: When we were in the process of researching the necessities for full time RVing we realized we would have to have adequate avenues for commentating with our family and friends. We had been using mobile phones for years but they were mostly for emergency use around our local areas. Up to this point we had never used anything other than telephone connections for our computers. To keep it as simple as possible we were looking for a communications provider that was already established nationwide. We visited a few of the major providers offices and looked at their charts and predicted areas of coverage. Verizon was growing by leaps and bounds and from their charts we could see they already had coverage on almost every corridor. They were also providing an internet service with their cell phone services. They had an LG phone that could act as a modem with Verizon provided software. We could also use the same LG phone for our everyday service. The plan we selected provided us with unlimited usage during off peak hours, holidays and weekends. Thats when I did all the computing. We are still with Verizon. We now use their air card which is super fast when compared with our original equipment.

We were not long on the road when we purchased our first laptop with Wi-Fi capabilities. Soon after that the larger RV Parks all started providing Wi-Fi in selected locations for a fee. Competition is a great thing and now we expect to find free Wi-Fi just about wherever we travel.

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Old 12-19-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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What was the outcome on the 'first crack under the bedroom slide?" When you say "first" does that indicate others?
Love to hear your stories--keep em coming.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:48 PM   #7
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We ended up with four cracks. All stop drilled, sealed with clear sealant and constantly monitored. It's the nature of this particular Keystone product.

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Old 12-20-2009, 01:34 AM   #8
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Third installment.

Our long time friends and soon to be traveling companions are meeting us in Jacksonville. We are going to stay at Hance's RV park for awhile before heading to St. Petersburg, FL for the winter (2003-2004). We have reservations at Robert's Trailer Park & RV Resort. Never will stay at Hance's again. They have their own sewer system and it stinks all the time. Sites are very close putting the slides right next to the neighbors slides. Hardly any room for the truck on site. It has changed names since we stayed there but the layout is the same. Got the new truck and ready to go south.

New Truck: http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12378

Linda - Betty - Don http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12379

Uneventful trip to St. Petersburg and found our sites all the way in the back of the park. Which we found later to be very good sites for that place.

Looking up the street from our site. http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12380

Had a real good time in St. Pete. Did a lot of golfing, fishing, shopping, eating, and browsing around. We will end up here again in two years. Great fishing right off the Gandy Bridge with lots of port-a-potties and security. Dog track close by with Texas hold em games if you don't like the dogs. Indian Casino across the river in Tampa and two great golf courses at MacDill AFB + the CG sponsors a monthly golf outing for residents and guests at some very nice executive courses in the area. We even played a par 3 with carts and a GPS. What a blast.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12381
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12382

All of us have family in the Jacksonville area so we left early to spend a little time there on our way north.

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Old 12-27-2009, 07:11 PM   #9
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Fourth Installment

Our friends decided to stay at Naval Air Station Jacksonville for a couple of days before heading to Peoria, IL to visit with family. We will meet up again in about a month in PA. We stayed at Naval Station Mayport, FL. We did not get on the front row but did get a brand new site that backed up to the ball field. Easy walk to the jetties and good fishing.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12383
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12385
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12384
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12393

Our time there was soon spent and we went on up the road to Savannah, GA to visit our Grand Daughter. Lost our first tire just 20 minutes after a rest stop, forward driver side, no damage. Got a new one installed while at the awful KOA Savannah. Never stay there if it has rained or is going to rain. The only good thing about that place is the fishing. There is a five acre lake there and I've always been able to get at least one good bass out of it.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12386

After our Savannah visit we drive on up to Greenville, SC to visit with Linda's family. Her mother is 91 and her health is declining. We spent two weeks there. Same old place, Springwood RV Park.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12387

Leaving out of Greenville we are alone again. We’re going to meet up with our friends again in Jones Town, PA. We have to make two stops on the way and the first one is a great over night stop. Just off I-77 and I-81 in Max Meadows, VA you will find Fort Chriswell RV Park. Pictures and web site tells it all. Great stop. And guess what? They have stocked cat fish ponds.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12388
Camping in Southwest Blue Ridge Highlands, Virginia

Our next stop is down a dirt road and in a field that turns out to be very soft. Glad it was only for the night. It was called the Twin Bridge Meadow Family Campground and was found in Chambersburg, PA.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12392

We got out of there early in the morning and headed for our next stop in Jonestown, PA where we will camp for two weeks at the KOA. It's empty when we get there but fills up fast. Our friends have called and are two days behind us so we have the steaks on when they arrive. We are going to do a lot of exploring while in Amish country, we even have a day trip to Philadelphia planned. While in Lititz we found a friend we had not seen in almost 30 years. She had never got remarried and we found her name in the phone book after a waitress told us she knew her and her address. Went to Hershey and toured the factory. What a nice little city. Found a huge mall/outlet in Reading that wore us out. Took the buggy ride in Philadelphia. The guide made our day.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12394
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12395
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12397
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12396
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12411
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12412

Time to leave and head for our next extended stop.


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Old 01-04-2010, 11:12 PM   #10
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The Fifth Installment

We are now scratching our heads on what routes to take to CT. We have reservations at the Odetah Campground in Bozrah, for a week. Well we ended up in Korn's Campground near Middletown, NY. Down another dirt road and out into a huge field. They had just opened up “the back section” and told us to just go and pick out a site and hook-up. We had the whole place to ourselves. Huge field cut short enough to find golf balls so I bet you know what us guys did after supper.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12413
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12414


When I made the reservations at the Odetah CG I guess I was not paying much attention. We got 50 amp FHU but there really wasn't a sewer hook-up. It was a grey water hook-up. Oh well, we were only staying a week and Don and I used the restrooms. It was like an obstacle course getting into our sites on the side of a hill. The campground has just about everything, we were just out in the back section again. I ask many more questions now than I did back then. The two local Indian Casinos are beautiful places and huge. Way out in the country. We had a great time but were ready for new adventures when we left.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12417
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12418
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12416
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12415

On to NH and more new adventures.

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Old 01-14-2010, 12:01 PM   #11
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Sixth Installment
Our next stop was at a small Air Force Tracking Station near New Boston, NH. It’s a small campground in a very isolated area. We spent five days there. Get our washing up to date. Did some maintenance on the rigs – we can wash them there – and just chill out for a few days. When we arrive we find the place almost empty. WWII bombs have been found in the pond and there is no fishing, boating or swimming allowed. Now we really know we are going to chill. There are only 30 amps and water but gray water can be run into the ditches so our laundry will be all caught up when we leave. There is a Super Walmart in New Boston about 10 miles away. Lots of free fire wood available. All you have to do is go find it. Our fire rings were always lit. We sit around and plan our next couple of month’s travels up into Nova Scotia. I have a first cousin that owns a campground up near West Ossipee, NH and they have actually built us two sites with 50 amps for our stay with them. Jan, my cousin, is my mother’s brother’s daughter. She and her husband are the owners and managers of Whits End Campground.
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12443
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12444
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12445
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12446

It’s Just a short drive up to West Ossipee so we sleep in and leave at noon. We got the grand welcome when we arrived at Whits End. I have a lot of family living in NH & ME and most are there to greet us. We have a heck of a time getting into our new sites because they drop from front to back and I had to lower the landing gear legs as close to the ground as they would go to get level. We chipped in and got us a screen enclosure for eating out which was easy to sit-up and came in real handy when wanting to get away from the monster blood sucking bugs.
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12458
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12459
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12460
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12461
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showfull.php?photo=12457

Bad news from SC, Linda’s mother is going down hill fast and we have to go back. Our friends are going to stay on and finish their trip. We will meet up with them again later in the year in IL.

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