Sunday, January 24, 2016

3 Months in our new home

Astor Landing - site 11

So, three months ago today, we wrote the check for the new RV and drove out of the Dealer’s lot.  It was a big change from the 5th Wheel that we had for 6 years, and had lived in fulltime for the last three.

There have been challenges . . .

  • We’re still getting trying to organize our “stuff” so that the things we need more frequently are more accessible . . . and trying to find the most efficient place to put everything, especially kitchen stuff.  Our 5th wheel had LOTS of kitchen cabinets, but now I have appliances outside and pantry stuff in the hallway by the washer and dryer.
  • Our bikes are exposed to the weather now, and it’s taking a toll on them.  They used to travel in the garage, and get stored under the 5th wheel when we were parked, so they were pretty well protected from the weather.
  • Casey was a challenge to have with us (her crate took up a huge space in the living room, and her fur got everywhere), but now she’s living with Nick, so things are better.
  • Bryce has the couch for his bed now, instead of his loft, but that seems to be working out OK – he hasn’t complained too much!
  • We love the ride in the motorhome, but I’m still a nervous passenger . . . especially on narrow roads with no shoulder . . . and we seem to be on a lot of them lately!! 

There are also many things that we love about the motorhome . . .

  • We have a lot more living space in the living room and kitchen – plenty of seating and counter space.  We even have room for Nicolas to sleep on an air mattress on the floor when he visits us!
  • I had thought about swapping my convection oven from the 5th wheel in place of the one in the motorhome, but then decided against it.  I figured I’d get used to it eventually – this one has a turntable, and my old one had stationary shelves.  I’m glad I kept this one – it actually cooks really well, better than the other one, I think, and once I bought a couple of round cookie sheets I’m even having better luck with cookies.
  • We LOVE the residential refrigerator . . . even though we need to be VERY careful to remember to latch the doors when we travel, and I often move things around when we travel to minimize the potential for things falling over or becoming projectiles the first time the doors are opened.  It has so much space, and we can actually buy ice cream now!  Our icemaker stopped working, so we’ll have to get that fixed . . . although a couple of ice trays work pretty well, too.
  • I wasn’t completely convinced that I needed a washer and dryer, because in 3 years of fulltiming I never really minded using laundomats, but this motorhome had a stacked washer and dryer, so I started using it . . . and I LOVE it!  It works great, and I love being able to throw in a load of clothes whenever I want to!
  • We’re still figuring out the Aqua-Hot system (diesel burner –vs- 110 burner) for heat and water heating, but we NEVER run out of hot water, so I guess it’s working pretty well.

We’re still figuring out what’s “normal” with the coach, so we’re going to a Monaco Rally next month and that should help.  After that, it’s just a matter of time to get familiar with everything.  Overall, we’re really happy with the change we made, and think we made a good choice.

We’re still shopping for a “toad”, and researching what makes the most sense.  For now, Bryce drives the car (he prefers driving separately anyway) and runs interference for us in traffic.  We’ll probably make a change by the time he leaves for college in the fall.

OK, so that’s the update on the motorhome.  We’re still in central Florida, enjoying somewhat warmer weather . . . although it’s a little chilly this weekend!

After our service appointment in Deland (which was completed in 4 hours, rather than the 3 days I had allowed for in our schedule), we moved over to a small campground in Astor, FL, on the St. John’s River.

There was just one loop of sites around a pond,


Looking out the bedroom window

Campers around the pond










and they had one 50 amp site left for us.  They also have a marina, with quite a few boats.  Apparently the fishing is pretty good in the river - there are a lot of fishermen in the area.  We took a walk down to the marina, where we spotted a Great Blue Heron hanging out.   

 Blue Heron










Taking off

On the dock










We enjoyed a couple of beautiful days there, and gathered every afternoon with a group of campers . . . most of them from Michigan . . . what a small world!

With the river and all the channels and ponds around, there were lots of birds that hung out in the campground.

White Heron


Drying his wings










We were due to leave on Friday, and there were big storms headed our way . . . so our plan was to get up early and get on the road before the rain.  We didn’t have far to go (only 30 miles), but the dirt site and unpaved roads weren’t going to hold up well in a rain storm.

We were up early . . . but not early enough to beat the rain!  We did manage to get a small window of time without rain to get the water and electric hookups undone, and we got on the road.

We drove in rain the whole way to the next campground, and set up in the rain, but at least we were on pavement  . . .  and the rain didn’t last all day, like the weatherman said it was going to!

Wilderness RV Resort


Howard and Linda (RV-Dreams) are right across the street from us . . . that was a fun coincidence . . . and there are some other RV-Dreamers here, too, so we’ll get to do lots of visiting this week. 

It’ll be fun!


  1. Glad the new rig is working out!!

    We are still trying to wrap our head around the idea that Bryce leaves for college in the fall??!!??!!!!!

    Give H&L and all the Dreamers our best:o))

  2. Congratulations on your new motorhome. You forgot to mention you don't have to go thru the hitching/unhitching process. That's the biggest thing we noticed when we switched to a motorhome. You are right about there being less inside storage. Have to say though, we would never set up in the rain. We'd live on the generator until the rain quit.


    1. You're right - I don't miss the hitching/unhitching process - forgot about that one! The rain wasn't too bad -- Bryce had us plugged in within minutes.

  3. Marci, I am a VERY nervous passenger in our motorhome even though this is our 4th one. Mt anxiety hit a high last year heading to TX. That is when I took up crocheting on the road. I am not Constantly pushing my (imaginary) brake pedal nor "sucking air", as Gerry calls it! IN THE LAST 1 1/2 yrs I've become pretty good at it. Gerry is happy and as long as I continue creating crochet projects, I am quite calm!!

    1. That's an idea - I could take up crocheting again! I can't read while we're moving, but I could probably crochet.

  4. Marci, I am a VERY nervous passenger in our motorhome even though this is our 4th one. Mt anxiety hit a high last year heading to TX. That is when I took up crocheting on the road. I am not Constantly pushing my (imaginary) brake pedal nor "sucking air", as Gerry calls it! IN THE LAST 1 1/2 yrs I've become pretty good at it. Gerry is happy and as long as I continue creating crochet projects, I am quite calm!!

  5. Congrats on reaching the three month mark .. Your new rig is a beauty!!
    .. It will probably take a while to organize it the way you want .. We have been in ours for 11 months now and I am still moving crap around !!

    1. Bryce had to empty half a bay yesterday to get to the pump we use to add antifreeze to the Aqua-Hot - there must be a more efficient way! We'll probably do a major re-organization this summer.

  6. Glad the motorhome is working out. We love ours and so glad we made the change. Our biggest challenge has been learning everything. Bruce spent many hours reading the manuals. We still haven't used the aqua hot to heat with yet. That will come...

    1. Yep, learning all these new systems - that's the challenge! It makes our 5th wheel look so simple in comparison! You're lucky you haven't had to try out the heat yet . . . we need to move further south! Looks like warmer weather is in our future, though.


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