Saturday, June 26, 2010

Water Pressure

Being able to bring your home with you everywhere is one of the great things about our full-time RV adventures. We still remember our first trip after moving in and living in our condo on wheels for two months parked in the same location just 7 miles from our old house. As the departure date approached both of us kept thinking we had to remember to take this and that with us only to realize that we weren't packing for a vacation like we used to do in our old sticks and bricks but that we were taking our whole house with us and everything we needed was already packed.

Having the house with you does present some challenges and this post is going to deal with the water pressure challenge. In our old sticks and bricks we had copper and plastic pipes that could handle a lot of water pressure, up to 80 psi. Plumbing in an RV cannot handle that high so when we picked up the RV last September we got a water pressure regulator from the dealer which was preset at 40 psi and nonadjustable. Right away we were very disappointed in the water pressure, the shower was like someone spitting on you and the water flow in the kitchen sink while trying to do dishes was terrible. Strangely enough the bathroom sink did not bother us as much.

The very first thing we bought was an aerator for the kitchen sink at an RV parts store although you can buy these at Wal-Mart too.
Man did that make a difference, now we can spray the entire sink down. After a lot of online research we next bought an Oxygenics Body Spa shower head which is self-pressurizing and can work with pressure as low as 20 psi. Now Jo can rinse the soap out of her hair in less than half a day. The only downside is that there is no off/on control so taking a "Navy Shower" is out of the question, however, the Oxygenics must use a lot less water than we expected because both of us can take a shower and not run out of hot water even with only a 10 gallon water heater.

Even with the improvements of the aerator and the shower head we were still a little dissatisfied with the pressure. More online research indicated that the type of regulator that we had accomplished the pressure reduction at a expense of water flow. Our next purchase was a Watts Adjustable 263A Regulator which maintains good flow while regulating the pressure. We set the pressure as indicated in our owners manual from Carriage and noticed another significant improvement and still are able to take showers back to back.

It may have taken us a lot of baby steps by first adding the aerator then the shower head and then a better regulator but now we have water pressure just like we had in our old sticks and bricks.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blogging philosophy

We were doing a little reminiscing recently rereading all our blog entries when we realized that one of the very first blog entries that we had planned, on our blogging philosophy, had not been published. Sure enough there it was in draft form not quite ready to be published.

Bob was kinda the go to guy when he worked for restaurant recommendations. Whenever that group that he worked with was in another city one of the first agenda items at the meeting was where Bob was going to recommend we have lunch and supper. He even go requests for info when co-workers were going on vacations. We wanted to continue that so his former co-workers could look at his blog for restaurant tips (How to eat where the locals eat). Plus we wanted to provide a travel guide service (How to love where you are) to help explore this great country of ours. Finally we also want to sprinkle in our trial and effort, mostly trials, as we adapt to the full-timing lifestyle that maybe might help those that are considering a change (Full-timing adventures) or those like us that are just starting out.

That is how we ended up with "How to Love Where You Are and Eat Where the Locals Eat - Bob and Jo's Full-time RV'ng Travel Adventures" as the name of our blog. You can look forward to future posts that may cover one or more of these topics.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Monday, June 14, 2010

Glad we bought the generator, Part II

We are in the midst of a stormy season here in the Kansas City area and we lost power again yesterday. The second time around was a lot easier than the first time. We knew to switch the refrigerator and water heater to propane and to turn off the living room a/c before we started the generator. We fired up the generator and did not pop a breaker so no running outside dodging puddles and lightning bolts for Bob. We adjusted the vents in the bedroom so more air would get to the living room. We were able to watch TV comfortably cool and ride out the power outage.

We also discovered another reason why we are glad we bought the generator which is a propane generator. This type of generator is generally quieter than a gas or diesel generator but we were worried about how much propane would be needed. After about eight hours of running the generator we are still on our first 30 lb. tank of propane. We have two 30 lb. tanks so we are happy how long we could run the generator if we had to.

We will be swapping the wiring in the junction box on the wall over the generator so that the 30amp breaker will be for the leg that will be drawing the most amps. That way if it gets really hot we will be able to run both air conditioners at the same time. We told you we were roughing it didn't we?

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We do love BBQ!

As you can tell on our second blog entry on Kansas City,, we do love BBQ. We feel that Kansas City has the best BBQ in the country, there are places here that fail that would be the best BBQ restaurant in a lot of places. Or to put it differently, there is no bad BBQ in town there is just some better than others.

What we feel sets the Kansas City area apart is that BBQ encompasses all regions. By this we mean that while Tennessee may be best known for pulled pork and Texas for brisket while other areas for ribs, turkey, chicken, etc. In KC all those are available and good along with lamb and fish.

One of the best things about full-timing and traveling around the country is trying the food. We are currently in the KC area but that does not mean that our quest for findng new good BBQ restaurants is on hold. Three new BBQ restaurants opened in Belton MO in the last few months after we left on our Texas and Arizona adventure. We have eaten at one of them, one that we have gotten information on and one more we need to get more info on.

We have eaten at "The Little Pig" which was started by a couple of friends that have won some BBQ contests and we loved it. Bob also met some friends from his old job and everyone was impressed. In all we have sampled the brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends, ribs and chicken. We also have plans to try the Cajun Meat Loaf at a future date.

Just yesterday Bob drove by another new BBQ restaurant in Belton the "Twisted Brisket". He already had lunch but stopped in to find out more about the place and this place certainly deserves a visit. The owners won best brisket at the Greater Lenexa BBQ Battle a few years ago. Their signature sandwich is a hot brisket sandwich, smoked brisked on bread covered with mashed potatoes and gravy. All their sides are made in house. The only food that we have sampled is the BBQ beans and they are very good. The restaurant is non-smoking and has a full bar for those interested. We will be trying this place before we head north and Bob hopes his friends from work are also interested.

The third place is called 'One Rib Short' which we hope to have more information about. What we do know is that it is a small place with limited seating that mostly does carryout.

What this says to us is that you can always learn something new, even about BBQ in the town you used to live in.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Glad we bought a generator!

We recently had a bad thunderstorm and lost power in the park for over 5 hours and we needed our generator for the first time. We had run the generator once a month as part of our maintenance. During the May maintenance run the 20amp breaker at the generator kept flipping. It quit when we shut off the living room a/c. We planned to figure out what was on the 20amp vs. the 30amp legs at the June maintenance run. When we lost power last night and it was still hot outside we had to figure things out in a hurry.

Knowing that the living room a/c might cause problems we turned it off before we started the generator but the 20amp breaker flipped off. That required Bob to run out in the rain and dodge lightning and reset the breaker. There is a remote starter inside the unit so Bob did not have to go outside to start the generator which is real nice. We have DirecTV DVRs and when power is restored the DVRs start up and both are on the 20amp breaker. So while Bob is dancing in the rain Jo is frantically trying to turn off the DVRs. This happened two more times since we learned more each time we repeated this just how much was on the 20amp breaker. Turns out that the bedroom a/c and the microwave are the only things on the 30amp breaker and EVERYTHING else is on the 20amp breaker including all the outlets, the living room a/c, converter, refrigerator and water heater. Knowing this Bob switched the refrigerator and water heater to propane and unplugged or turned off everything plugged into an outlet. Doing this meant the last lightning dodging dance in the rain for Bob. Well maybe one more time since after we had done all of that we turned on the TV and still had power so we got cocky and turned on the surround sound system and yeah you guessed it, click and now no power. One last time outside and this time we ran the TV with the TV sound and not the surround sound system.

This story does have a happy ending because for the rest of the evening we had one air conditioner running and were able to watch TV comfortably cool. Then the power came back on and we plugged everything back in. We have been spoiled with 50amp shore power and the ability to run everything with impunity, maybe 30amp shore power at some of the parks will be roughing it.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Thursday, June 3, 2010

There's always something to buy!

One thing we have learned with our new full-timing lifestyle is that there is always something to buy, from the infrared thermometer to a CO2 tank for filling tires to our latest purchases of a bed cover and hub caps for our tow vehicle. We thought that maybe, just maybe, our buying days were over but we were wrong. It gets to a point where if you bring something into our condo on wheels then something has to go out and we have hit that point big time. Now this does cut down on what we buy but we have become more ingenious with our purchases.

When we started out last fall we pretty much had everything that we needed fairly well organized in the storage in the living area and on the cargo tray in plastic bins or in the rear basement. What we did not have room for was the portable satellite dish in case our roof mounted unit was blocked by trees. We figured, and rightly so, that in the fall and winter trees would not be a problem for reception and we did not have a place for the dish anyway. We got the bed cover so we could put the dish and tripod in the pickup bed.

Buying the bed cover set off a domino effect where that allowed us to "buy" a couple of plastic bins to go in the truck bed. Our books from the rear basement went into one of those bins allowing our backup griddler to go where the books came from. We still have a few things from our storage locker to get so we will have no problem filling the extra bins we purchased.

We also have a tire pressure monitoring system on order that we should receive next week. Maybe that will be the end of our buying spree for awhile.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo