Our Stop at The Home of The Aliens

November 1st, 2018

Roswell, New Mexico

We were through this area a couple years ago and stayed at the Escapees “North Ranch” RV Park at Lakewood, NM and took the opportunity to visit Carlsbad Caverns, but our schedule at that time didn’t allow for a trip to Roswell.

So this time (after ABQ Balloon Fiesta and RV rallies at Wellington and Brownwood, TX) we decided to take in Roswell and it’s surroundings for a couple of days.

We “dry camped” just about 12 miles due east of Roswell at Bottomless Lakes State Park.  Dry camping means there are no hook-ups for electricity or water (fresh or waste).  We bring along our own electricity and water so dry camping for a week or so is not a problem for us.

Our (1st) Dry Camping Spot at Bottomless Lakes State Park

When we pulled in and reviewed the sites available, we decided to camp at “The Devil’s Inkwell”.  We backed the coach into a nice wide spot where we could take a walk up the hill and look down into the “inkwell” and over our site to the western setting sun.  A beautiful and quiet spot.

Panoramic view of Devils Inkwell and our dry camp spot down below

The “Bottomless Lakes” are really giant sinkholes.  There are a number of them in the park ranging from 17′ to about 90′ deep.  The water is crystal clear and while some of the water is great for aquatic life, some of the other lakes are too high in saline (salt water) for anything to live there.

After our first night there, we moved our rig from Devil’s Inkwell over to Lea Lake Day Use area.  This gave us a great view of the lake and although there were other campers in the area, no one was closer than a couple hundred feet.

Here’s our spot right at the edge of Lea Lake
This is a view from the park road up atop the lake. Our rig is on the right side of the picture at about the 2 o’clock position

And of course, who could visit the Roswell area without trying to connect with an alien or two?

These guys welcomed us as we drove into town.

 

Part of a display the the UFO Museum in town
Spooky – Their eyes followed us wherever we went
Visiting the International UFO Museum

We ended our 2nd evening with a “night out” to the Cattle Baron Restaurant.  We split a Teriyaki Kabob and each enjoyed their salad bar.  What a great meal!

My FIRST trip to the salad bar! – Not good for my “Low Carb” diet but you just gotta splurge sometimes!

We could’ve just driven on westward toward our final destination, but being this close we figured we just had to stop and see the sights at Roswell.  It was worth the time to see not just the alien novelties, but the park was beautiful and restful.

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Volunteering at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (AIBF)

UPDATE: It’s October 30th, 2018.  We left Albuquerque on Oct 9th, attended the RV Nomads Rally in Wellington, TX followed by the Texas Country Air(stream) Rally in Brownwood, TX then to Lake Colorado City State Park (TX) and now we are at Bottomless Lake State Park at Roswell, NM for a couple nights.  We are on our way to our winter home at Rover’s Roost RV Park (Casa Grande, AZ)

We just crossed the two year mark as full-time RV’ers. We’ve sold our Sticks n Bricks house in Ohio and lived virtually rent-free by Workamping our way around the country.

As Workampers, we stay at RV parks, campgrounds, and other places for free in exchange for (generally) about 12-20 hours per week working at the park or campground.

Very often parks and campgrounds want to bring on Workampers for the entire season .. usually 5 or 6 month stints.

We started the full-time RV lifestyle to see the country and soon realized that if we only move twice a year … or go back to the same place twice … then we’ll be about 130 years old by the time we see all the places we want to go!

As a result, we’ve been looking for shorter term gigs. That’s how we came to volunteer at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (AIBF). We met our new good friends Matt and Sherry last winter at the Escapees RV Club “Rainbows End” park in Livingston, TX while we were all Workamping there.

Matt & Sherry Hylbom “Get Out The Map”

Matt and Sherry shared with us their experiences the previous fall working at the AIBF and it sounded exciting to us, so we reached out to the contact they gave us and here we are!

We arrived a full 3 weeks before the start of Fiesta, and we spent that time; chalking boundaries of all the 1600 RV parking spaces, stringing flag lines around the perimeter lines of each of the 40 or so parking areas, setting up the volunteer break tent with tables, chairs, fridge and freezer, and getting the check-in booth all ready to greet and register the soon- to-be arriving RV’ers.

Early on, before the show begins … stormy weather can be seen obscuring the Sandia Mountains – See the rainbow just over the bed of the pickup?
Of the 1600 spaces, about 400 had water and 30 amp electric. Electricians ran all the electric, but volunteers ran all the water lines
As one of the 1100 Navigators (Volunteers), we both got these snappy jackets!
Most of the south lot is dirt, some gravel and even some old asphalt. Dusty week for sure with all those rigs coming and going!

And then the fun begins!

Kathy worked 6 hour shifts at the check-in booth as RV’s pulled in to the lot (room for 1600 rigs). There are 3 windows at the booth so she worked with two other ladies each shift. They checked in the arrivals and gave them their parking passes and each rig also received a “goody bag” with some small gifts and lots of printed information about the event and the grounds.

The Check-In booth where Kathy and the other ladies worked

 

My primary responsibility was to stand at the head of the line and greet RV’ers pulling up, ask them to check-in at the booth, and then once they had their parking credentials, point them in the direction of a “parker” driving a golf cart who would then take them to their spot.

Pix published in the Albuquerque Journal

 

Our work day started at 7:30 am when we all met in the volunteer tent and had a short meeting about what size crowd we could expect that day.  Since everyone had reservations, we knew what groups were coming in and which ones were leaving on any given day.

Although some stayed for the entire 10 day event, many came just for one or the other of the weekends.

Rigs would be lined up in the drive from the night before and we parked all day until closing at 7:00 pm.  Any arrivals after that time dry camped in the entrance drive until the next morning.

Although we worked a LOT of hours during the 10 day Fiesta, we did have an opportunity (3 times) to take the shuttle bus across Alameda Avenue to the launch field to see the balloons.  We went once in the morning to see the daily “Mass Ascension” and twice in the evening to see the “Glowdeo”.  It was also great to be able to see the balloons land right in our RV parking lot occasionally!

Here’s a slide show of some of the pictures I took.  If you want to see ALL of the pictures, then go ahead and follow this link to a Google Photo Album I put together.

All in all, it was a great event and a once in a lifetime experience.  Kathy and I spent just about a month from mid-September to mid-October and although we worked long hours many days, it was great making new friends, seeing new sights, tasting new/different foods, and being part of the AIBF experience.

They always need volunteers (Navigators) and if you think you would like to volunteer and in turn receive; free RV site, free utilities, free food, tickets to all events, and a really nice jacket … then early in the year, go to this link.  Don’t be discouraged if the web site still shows last years info, just wait a few weeks and try again.  In 2018 the volunteer web application didn’t start until May.

There you can fill out the application.  They need about 1100 volunteers to make this event work.  Some volunteers are golf cart shuttle drivers, some are guest info folks, some work on the launch field, and a host of other volunteer positions are available.  If you have an RV and you know you want to be a “parker” then indicate that on the application.  They need and should have about 35-50 volunteer parkers.

Although we had a great time, we won’t be going back.  Kathy and I made the decision to live the full-time RV lifestyle so that we could “see the country” and we’re working toward that goal.  If we go back to the same place twice, it’s just gonna take that much longer to see all that there is to see … and there’s a LOT out there!

Thanks for reading.  C’mon along by subscribing to this blog (www.herbnkathyrv.com) or subscribe to our You Tube channel herbnkathyrv and visit us on Facebook.com/herbnkathyrv.  We look forward to seeing you down the road.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

It’s the people that make the difference.

As I’ve said before, we love seeing new sights but more than that, we so enjoy meeting all these fascinating people and listening to their stories.

Enter Jerry and Pat who hosted us at their home just north of Springfield, MO.

These folks are retired educators, Pat having been a school secretary and pre-school age teacher and Jerry a math and physics teacher, principal and ultimately a school system superintendant.

But far more interesting than their “real” jobs was their retirement career.

They joined the circus!

Jerry, while perusing the newspaper, was caught up by a classified ad .. and that’s what newspaper ads are supposed to do, right? The ad sounded too good, it read something like “get paid to travel the country .. earn a living meeting people” or something like that.

To make a long story a little shorter, Jerry and Pat ultimately met with the circus owners and came to an agreement on how their job responsibilities would look.

The circus (based in Oklahoma) covers the whole country in 2 years. They travel ideally no more than 100 miles each day and cover the eastern half of the country one year and the western half the following year.

The 100 mile limit gives them just enough time to tear down the circus tents and pack up all the animals and props, move to the next town, unload and set up the tents, bring out the animals and props and put on the next show. And then do it all over again the next day!

And sometimes I dare to think that WE have a hectic travel schedule? HAH!

All we have to do is pull in the slides, turn the key, and roll on down the road .. ok so there’s a little more to it than that, but not much. After hearing Jerry’s description of how the circus has to prepare to travel each day, I’ll never complain again!

Our host’s job was to serve as the advance team traveling the planned route about 3 months ahead of the circus’ planned cities and villages.

They would solicit local civic organizations and service organizations and sign up one of them to act as sponsor of the upcoming circus. Profits from the circus would benefit the local community organization and of course the circus would get their share as well.

The local organization .. be it the local Lions Club, YMCA, library, or volunteer firefighters .. although excellent at what they do and worthy of the community support that would be realized by the circus coming to town .. are typically terrible marketers.

This is where Jerry and Pat come in. They help guide the sponsor organization as to where and when to advertise and share the circus’ expertise on how to enlist the aid of others in the community to make sure they get the biggest crowd possible.

This all happens 3 months in advance of the event. Then at the one month mark, Jerry and Pat came back to town as “Professor Carson and Barnsey the Clown”. (The circus company is Carson and Barnes).

Because they were both retired educators, they keenly understood that they would not be allowed to interrupt learning to “hype” the circus in the schools.

They developed the “Magic of Math” routine which accomplished both the goal of marketing the upcoming circus to the students and teaching the kids at the same time. It was a win-win for the local organization, the kids participating in the “Magic of Math” show, and the circus!

Jerry and Pat “worked” for the circus for years traveling in their RV and moving from town to town sometimes having 3 or 4 shows scheduled in one day! A crazy schedule that they eventually retired from and only RV “locally” now visiting family and close friends in and around Missouri.

Jerry encouraged us to visit Hugo, (OK) someday to see the home of many circus companies including Carson and Barnes. He promises us it would be an interesting visit where the circus folks would welcome us as they encourage visitors to stop on by.

He told us that when we go to Hugo, we should be sure to visit Travelers Cemetary. Jerry went on to explain that “the old man” (I’m not sure if that was Old Man Carson or Old Man Barnes) saw the need for a final resting place for the nomadic circus employee. And since the circus is really a family, why not offer a place they can all call their “final show”.

To that end, The Old Man bought some acreage and started the TRAVELERS CEMETARY. Jerry tells us the fence posts around the cemetary are topped with ornamental circus animals. Tombstone monuments are decorated with images representative of that persons position/job in the circus be it a juggler, animal trainer, trapeze artist, or other position.

We’re gonna put Hugo, Oklahoma on our bucket list!

And Jerry and Pat’s driveway on our “return visit” list!

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

repost: The Day our Heartland RV Left us Homeless

I just learned of this family’s plight this morning.  Their story is nearly unbelievable, although I’ve been reading more and more about the generally poor quality of RV’s built today.

In talking with other RV’ers (weekend warriors or full-timers) we hear time and time again about how so many RV manufacturers are pushing crap out the door.  And when it comes to standing behind the products they make, their response seems to be “who, me?”

If you’re thinking of buying that new RV, I urge you to take a close look at what’s on the used market.  The thousands you can save can go a LONG way toward changing out that outdated flooring or fixtures.  And generally the frames (although they may have a little surface rust) and the structure are made of much heavier (stronger) materials.

When you look at the older (10+ years) rigs, pay attention to things like; leveling jacks and other frame components.  Now compare how beefy they are to the ones on current model rigs.  Look at all the cabinet work inside and compare.  How many of the new rigs have real wood?  It may look pretty, but get up close and you’ll likely see (and feel) that it’s nothing more than a man-made composite covered with a high grade contact paper.

Yes, I know … the older rigs don’t have the bells and whistles the new rigs do.  But do the bells and whistles do us any good if our rig is in generally such poor shape after just a couple years that we no longer are able to use it?

Don’t believe this can happen?  Read this one couples story via The Day our Heartland RV Left us Homeless

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

A different night’s stay

So after a peaceful nights stay with Butch and Fonda, it was another 4 or 5 hour drive south west out of Indiana and into Illinois where we spent a noisy night behind a Cracker Barrel just east of St. Louis, MO.

I write this as Kathy is up and in the shower, (I have of course been up for over 90 minutes!).

We said last night that she’d not bother preparing the coffee as the restaurant opens at 7am and I would just walk over and buy a couple large ones in the morning.

I forgot about the time change though .. when my body said it was 6:30 and time to get up, it was really only .. you guessed it – 5:30 and Cracker Barrel doesn’t open until 7am!

So now it’s 8 o’clock my time, the restaurant just opened, I can smell the bacon wafting out the kitchen ventilation system, and I’M HUNGRY!!

Just heard the shower door close, so we’re getting closer.

There’s a Super 8 next door and so our nights rest was often interrupted by truckers and others pulling in for their nights rest.

But we had the windows cracked and the ceiling exhaust fan on bringing in the cool night air through the windows, and we were tired enough that eventually we fell asleep.

Weve finished our breakfast and now to move on.

Yes, this is BOTH our breakfasts, just wanted to make that clear!

Now we’re moving on to Springfield, MO where we’ll visit the huge BASS PRO SHOPS Museum. More to come on that later

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

So what day is it?

And what time zone are we in?

Our first night after leaving Michigan and all our new friends at PMO was a very enjoyable stay with Butch and Fonda at 12 Mile, Indiana.

What a great experience it was! Butch and Fonda own and operate a machine shop in what used to be a Chevrolet dealership.

I’m guessing the buildings were probably built in the 30’s or 40’s, that’s one of the hundreds of questions I wanted to ask this fascinating couple but our conversations were moving from subject to subject so fast, I forgot to ask.

Although they have a retired New Jersey Turnpike transit bus (converted to their home on wheels), and even though they’ve sold the machine shop business and “retired” they aren’t able to get away as much as they’d like because former customers keep coming and coaxing and cajoling them into making parts for them.

And what kind of parts do they make you ask? They make parts for collectors and rebuilders of cars. And what kind of cars you ask? Post-war Crosley automobiles.

Heres a link to the Crosley Auto Club if you want to learn more about this 40’s / 50’s vintage automobile. If you’re my age or older, you might remember Crosley radios, TV’s, and appliances.

Crosley also designed and built the 500,000 watt transmitters for the Voice of America war-time propaganda station near Cincinnati, that I toured and wrote about while we attended the Dayton Hamvention back in May.

To refresh your memory, here’s a shot of a well used Crosley back behind the shop.

Cute little thing, eh?

Besides keeping busy manufacturing and supplying parts, their other interests include; rocks (acquiring, cutting/slicing, shaping, and polishing) and then either selling those “cabs” or more often making them into all sorts of jewelry that they then sell at shops and festivals.

Fonda gave Kathy a gift of a sample of the type of work she does. These are zipper pulls.

They’re also both Extra Class License ham radio operators, so we talked a bit about that hobby too!

Butch is a self-described “tinkerer” and because they have so much room in this old Chevy dealership, they’ve filled it with their interests.

He rebuilds engines, he does a little auto repair work – mostly that which no other mechanic can or wants to do, but because Butch has the talent and the patience, he helps out friends in need.

He’s a shooter .. and what shooter doesn’t want to cast his own bullets and load his own shells?

And the list goes on, there was so much to see in this shop, it was a little overwhelming .. and fun.

We had a wonderful visit with Butch and Fonda, along with Rascal, Gizmo, and Daffy.

We’re so glad that Butch and Fonda signed on as hosts at BoondockersWelcome.com and we look forward to seeing them again out in Quartzite, AZ this winter when we attend Quartzfest ’19 and the Big Tent RV Show.

In the meantime, we’ll stay in touch via RVillage.com .. 73’s & 88’s to them both.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Where We’re Headed Next …

Where We’re Headed Next …

Many of you have been following this blog and/or our You Tube channel at herbnkathyrv and for that we say “Thank You“.  It’s gratifying for us to know that you care enough to “c’mon along” for the ride and even better when you leave a comment either here at the bottom of any of our blog posts or in the comments area on You Tube (just below the video).

So many of you are curious as to where we’re going next and what we’ll be up to, so here’s the scoop;

Here is the link to Google Maps showing our route with overnight stops along the way from Baldwin, Michigan to Balloon Fiesta grounds at Albuquerque, NM. (We’ll be there from Sept 17th through Oct 14th when the Fiesta ends.)
We’ll be leaving here (Michigan) on Wed Sept 12th, staying in the driveways of friends we haven’t met yet on 3 nights (thanks to BoondockersWelcome.com), one night in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, and the final night at a “regular” campground at Amarillo, TX.  By staying in a “regular” campground the final night, we’ll be able to dump our waste tanks and take on 70 gallons of fresh water before we move on the next day to the Fiesta grounds.
If you care to, you can track our progress on the road real-time by following this link at any time.  This web page is linked to our GPS and tracks our location every 5 minutes or so.  You can plug in a recent start date and end date if you like so you don’t see everything that’s been recorded over the past few months.
Here’s our ITINERARY
Sept 17th to Oct 14th – Working at ABQ Balloon Fiesta
Oct 18th to Oct 22nd – EPIC Nomads Movie Premiere Rally – Wellington, TX
Oct 25th to Oct 28th – Airstream “Texas Air” Rally – Brownwood, TX
Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb – We’ll have Rover’s Roost RV Park at Casa Grande, AZ as our home base, but we’ll be traveling;
Nov 18th to Nov 24th – Escapees Club Boomers Group Thanksgiving Rally at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA.
Jan 13th to Jan 18th – Boomerville Rally at Quartzite, AZ
Jan 19th to Jan 27th – Working at the Quartzite RV Show
Mar 17th to Mar 22nd – Working at Tucson Escapade Show
We’ll also take other excursion trips from Rover’s Roost as time and weather permits to see points of interest, museums, parks, hilltops and valleys.
Follow us on Facebook or www.herbnkathyrv.com and please subscribe to our You Tube channel herbnkathyrv.  By subscribing, you’ll be notified any time we publish a new blog post or upload a new video to You Tube.
Hope you can “c’mon along” for the ride!
We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Workampers Needed In NW Michigan

Thinking about your next summer’s Workamping gig? Don’t rule out northwest Michigan. With all the inland lakes and streams, as well as the Great Lakes, Michigan truly is the Water Wonderland of the country.

So much to see and do in Michigan and with this job you have every other week off (that’s seven days straight) and you typically only work about 3-4 hours the days you are on duty.

Check out the video and comment below with any questions you might have or email me at herbsells@gmail.com

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Our Visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Spending our 2nd summer as Workampers at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Resort in “Baldwin” Michigan, we again had the opportunity every few days to explore the area of what northwest Michigan has to offer.

We’ve been working 7 days on duty, then 7 days off duty sharing responsibilities with our Workamper co-workers Russ and Mary.

One day Kathy and I took a drive “down state” a little to Grand Rapids to visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Burial Site of he and his wife Betty.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. was born on July 14, 1913.

While Gerald Ford was still an infant, his parents were divorced, and his mother moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she married Gerald R. Ford, Sr., who adopted the boy and gave him his name.

After graduating from the University of Michigan (1935), where he was a star gridiron-football player, Ford worked as an assistant coach while he earned a law degree from Yale University (1941). He joined the navy during World War II and served in the South Pacific, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander and nearly losing his life in 1944 during a deadly typhoon that killed hundreds.

In 1948, the year he won his first elective office, as Republican congressman from Michigan, he married Elizabeth Anne Bloomer (Betty Ford), with whom he had four children—three sons (Michael, John, and Steven) and one daughter (Susan).

He served nearly 25 years as a Representative of Michigan’s 5th congressional district, eight of them as the Republican Minority Leader. Serving from 1973 to 1974 as the 40th Vice President of the United States, Ford was the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment. He then became President upon Richard Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974, and served until January 20, 1977 as the 38th President of the United States.

Ford is the only President of the United States who was not elected by ballot for his terms as either President or Vice-President. (see below)

The 44,000-square-foot two-story triangular museum is one of the highlights in a 20-acre park complex that includes the Grand Rapids Public Museum along the west bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids.

Click on any of the pictures below to see a larger image with caption

There’s so much to see and so much to read in this museum.  There are lots of typed and hand written letters on display, audio and video recordings of the early years and his time as the leader of our nation, along with an entire display room dedicated to Betty Ford and her contributions to the community, the presidency,  and the nation.

Definitely could go back and spend the better part of an entire day taking in all the museum has to offer.

Living the full-time RV lifestyle presents us with the wonderful opportunity to see and experience so much that we wouldn’t otherwise have had available to us.

 

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

We Love Our Motorhome, But …

We’re closing in on 2 full years traveling and living in our “classic” 2002 Airstream diesel pusher motorhome .. and we love it.

Our Home

We bought her as a pre-owned motorhome from an older couple in W. Virginia who had posted the ad on Craigslist.  We’ve driven her from what was our home base in Ohio out to San Diego to visit Kathy’s cousin and then back to Ohio, then to Vermont for an RV rally and back to Ohio, then to Arizona to Workamp for 6 months and back to Ohio, then to Michigan to Workamp for 4 months, and back down to Ohio (through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana) and after Ohio visiting the kids on down to Texas to Workamp for 3 months, then to Florida (for a vacation!), then back to Texas for a couple weeks volunteering and on up to Ohio to visit friends and family, and now we’re back up in Michigan Workamping again for the summer of ’18 .

Where we’ve been …

And yes – we’ve had our troubles .. mostly during the first trip out west and I’ve chronicled those debacles in earlier posts.  We’ve had problems with; tires, water pump, tow bar, water on the floor, water through the roof … and lots more.

We’ve also done some remodeling inside and new awnings and roof a/c covers outside – not because we NEEDED to but because we wanted to.  We’ve installed a new solar controller and (4) new deep cycle batteries.  We’ve installed a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and a new living room slide topper along with new suspension components — all of which are talked about elsewhere in this blog.

Sherwin Williams Touch-Up Paint

This coach has FOUR different colors in the paint scheme; 3 shades of green and a thin gold stripe.  This meant buying (4) 1/2 pint cans of custom mix Sherwin-Williams Auto Color touch-up paint.  There’s always a new small chip SOMEWHERE after a trip of a few hundred miles!

 

Even with all these “issues” (and I really don’t see them as “problems”) there is ONE THING THAT REALLY BUGS ME … THIS !!!

The “Ugly Shield” Paint Protection Film

Look closely and you’ll see what looks like dirt on the front of the coach, specifically on the generator drawer and the side-view mirrors.

The “Ugly Shield” Film

The maker of our coach (Airstream) just as so many other manufacturers of Class A motorhomes, installed a special plastic paint protection film .. a sort of heavy plastic whose job it is to protect the paint from getting chips from attacking road debris / stones / bugs / birds, etc.

Problem is that this film, after a number of years (somewhere ‘tween 5 and 10) starts to degrade and get very fine cracks that let dirt and water in and mold begins to form.  That’s the dark brown “cracks” you see in the photo to the right.

From what I’ve gathered, there are two popular brands of film that were (and very likely still are) used on these motorhomes.  One is a product called Diamond Shield and the other is a 3M film.  I’m not sure, but I believe our coach has the 3M product installed.

I’ve read RV blogs and user forum posts about the inherent problems with these films and how to remove this ugly “shield” from our home on wheels.

I’ve learned that Diamond Shield requires a liquid solvent and a plastic scraper, while the 3M product requires a heat gun and plastic scraper.  Either way, it’s a tiring and tedious task.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience as you’ll see in the video below.  I actually found that the my film (I think it’s the 3M product) comes off easiest when it’s warm outside (70 – 90 degrees) but without using the heat gun.

But the video shows what I learned and ultimately what products I used and how I got my film off.  Even though I’ve only started the task by removing the film off the two mirrors, I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the film off the generator door.  Good thing I’m retired and have the time to do this … if I was still working I know I wouldn’t have the patience for this job!

Here are the links for the products I used in this project.  You can purchase these items using these links:

Plastic Razor Blade(s) and Scraper

3M Adhesive Remover

Plastic Chisel Scrapers

Electric Heat Gun

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