Thursday, January 9, 2014

Armadillo Killer

Well, I'm okay, and the RV has been repaired (it could have been a lot worse), but I'm not sure the armadillo lived to tell about it. Last Sunday morning, on a dark, wet drive home from work, I came upon an armadillo smack dab in the middle of the road. I knew I couldn't avoid him completely, but I did try to at least straddle him. Apparently, when frightened these little devils jump up and that seems to be what he did because I heard a horrible thunk. I figured I must have glanced off him with a tire and since nothing seemed to be affected in the driving of the van, I continued on home. At home I did an exterior inspection and found no damage to the body, but when I went to hook up my sewage line, I discovered both valves were open and, upon further inspection, saw that the gray water pipe underneath the van was completely broken apart at the Y that joins the gray pipe from the kitchen sink and the gray pipe from the bathroom sink. My heart just sunk. I called over my neighbor Ken, who happens to be a certified RV technician, and had a complete meltdown in front of him. Being the great guy that he is, he recognized a tired night shift worker and told me to go to bed and get some sleep, we'd be able to fix it.


The next day, Kenny and I tracked down the parts and supplies needed to make the repairs and Thursday we got at it. As it turned out, the gray pipe at the kitchen tank was also busted and I could see exactly where the armadillo had hit that part of the pipe. How that section of pipe broke away completely without also destroying the gray tank itself is beyond me. Suffice to say it could have been a whole lot worse.




Four hours later I was back in business all for right around $300 parts and labor. The next time I see one of those little armored bowling balls in the road, you can bet I'll do everything I can to stop before I hit him. 





Monday, December 30, 2013

Work, Sleep, Repeat

I'm a registered nurse and I used to be on the float team at a large hospital in Tampa. The parking situation for an RV wasn't ideal and it was only 11 miles from my homesite so I drove my car back and forth each day. Earlier this year, our newer, smaller hospital (same corporation) decided to start a float team and offered me the job (they only have one float nurse per shift and I'm it at night). This hospital is only about 15 miles from my homesite, but because the drive is through more rural areas, it can take me 30 minutes each way. That's an additional hour each day to my already long 13-hour days (nights). When the weather finally cooled off, I asked our head of security if I could park my RV in the parking lot during the day and sleep, then just come in to work at night. He did me one better and told me the perfect place to park during the days - in a quiet section of the parking lot next to the retention pond. So at night I park in the gated, patrolled employee parking lot and during the day I drive around the hospital to the back and spend the day there. It's actually quieter there than at my homesite: no talking people or barking dogs around during the day, interrupting my sleep.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Places for Stuff

The electric sofa in the back of my Pleasure-Way Plateau TS can be made into a single bed, two twin beds, or one king bed. I just fold it out to single bed size since that's all I need, and I still sleep in my Travasak, which I discussed in an earlier post. In the picture below you can see the sofa and the two side seats that can be used to make twin beds or a king bed and that I have repurposed for my own needs.
In the next picture, you can see how I have turned the removable table top upside down and placed it on the side seat on the passenger side of the van to use as a bedside table. That metal piece in the center is the part that gets screwed into a table leg. When the sofa is folded out to bed formation, the sofa seat butts right up to that side seat.
On the side seat on the driver side of the van, you can see in the picture below that I have put two stackable wicker drawer units. On top of those two units I have a tray that holds my Altec Lansing iPod speaker and a clock. Behind the speaker is a power strip for all the electronics and also my DSL box. The clothespins you see around the curtain are holding a sunscreen that I use to keep out sunlight when I'm parked at work and trying to sleep during the day (more on that in a later post :).
That's a pretty sterilized picture of that area. Here's what it usually looks like:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sitting Pretty

One of the things I really like about my new Pleasure Way Plateau TS is the electric sofa. It's in the back of the van and sits across the width of the van. With the press of a button the seat moves forward, the back folds down and I can go from having a seating area to a bed and back again. In my old RV, the sofa was NOT electric and I just kept it folded out permanently into a twin-sized bed. With this electric sofa, I have a bed when I want to sleep and a seating area when I want to sit.
The table in front of the sofa is removable, of course, and I do not use it where it is in the above picture. Instead, I turn the tabletop upside down and keep it on the seat next to the sofa, as it is in the picture below. That way it becomes a bedside table and isn't in the way.
The upholstery is ivory ultra leather and while it is beautiful, I knew it wouldn't stay beautiful unless I covered it. So when I have it in sofa position, I keep a pretty bed quilt over it as a slipcover. I think it looks nice and because the quilt is cotton, it's comfortable to sit on.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Some Basics

First of all, I love living in my RV. I love the small space, the challenges of making it all work, the freedom of unplugging and going wherever I want and then having a home site to come back to. And I do love my home site. It's in a lovely gated RV resort in Tampa, I have great neighbors, and my site has a nice shade tree.
I am also one of the many fans of the Pleasure Way Class B RV. My first RV was a Pleasure Way and the quality and service are above and beyond, up there with Born Free and other very high-end manufacturers. At first I wasn't sure I wanted an RV on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis, but the more I looked at them and thought about it, the more I was swayed in that direction. And now that I have one, I am so pleased with my decision.
My RV is 23 feet long and eight feet wide. It drives like a dream and I get about 18 mpg on diesel fuel. Although this van doesn't have the same amount of outdoor storage I had on the Dodge van, believe you me I carry plenty of stuff in the under-sofa storage accessible via the back doors. I keep dirty outdoor items, like the power cord, in a plastic storage bin. The storage stretches toward the front, with access via a drop door under the sofa, so I can keep indoor items, like papers, videos, etc. under there, as well.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New RV

Although I loved my 1998 Pleasure Way Excel RL and lived in it full-time for over three years, I finally bit the bullet this year and traded it in for a brand new RV. I now am the proud owner of a 2013 Pleasure Way Plateau TS and I love it. The old RV, named My Way, was like my first apartment after college. I wasn't overly concerned when putting pictures up on the walls or cramming things into various nooks and crannies to keep them handy. This new one, and I admit I haven't come up with a name for her yet, is like a contemporary urban loft. I like to keep things stowed away so it stays nice and neat inside. It's sleek, shiny, and so much more updated (naturally) than the old gal. I love it even more than I thought I would. Over the next few weeks, I'd like to introduce her to you via this blog. I hope you'll see why I just love living full time in my RV.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun Stuff at Disney

When I visit Walt Disney World, I see and do things I just don't see and do anywhere else. Here's some of the things I saw and did this week:

This electric power transmission pole is on I-4 just outside Disney property, on the way to Tampa. Are we in Mouse Central or what?


I look at this teapot every time I go to EPCOT. It's in The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom Pavilion, along with some other Alice In Wonderland tea items. I want it, but I'm not sure I want it enough to make room for it in My Way. I have a tea pot already, so I'd have to replace that one with this one. I'm just not sure I want to commit to ONLY having this Alice teapot and I only have room for one. So I just visit it every time I go.


Spaceship Earth is the ride inside the iconic sphere at the entrance of EPCOT and it's an educational and fun ride. It's been upgraded to include interactive elements and this picture is supposedly me in the future exploring the undersea world of Earth. You'll notice my exploring partner has no head. That's because I generally go to WDW by myself and end up riding the rides by myself. Don't feel bad for me. I do this by choice and enjoy my own company. I always talk to myself and sometimes it's the only intelligent conversation I have all day.

Wonder what I'll see and do next month...