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January 2021

February 2021

 

 

The month is half over and we are still waiting for the part to show up all the way from England, and naturally the delay is blamed on COVID!
 
During the down time we have kept busy with little jobs around the boat and perfecting our solar use!
Our boat is now compl…

Read more

Boat and RV December 14 (Free vs Paid)

Boat and RV

December 14, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is breaking with the general format today.

There are 22 photos and not in the order of travel but rather in the order of amenities.

I was reading a piece about a very bad commercial campground experience, qnd thinking back I remembered some…

Read more

July 2019

Boat and RV

July 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with general ramblings and more about our Solar experiment!

This is the second day in Cabin Creek which is really easy access off the I-90  Exit 63 and even comfortable for a class A! (GPS Lat 47.2933 Lon -121.2877)

Something that is troubling …

Read more

June 2019

Boat and RV

June 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie here with two more files for new and potential owners. And if all works well they will be posted in order!?

New Owner File 3

Another aspect of purchase is learning how to operate all the systems.

Our dealer provided a “run through” of how it …

Read more

May 2019

Boat and RV

May 3, 2019

Conestoga Charlie and crew welcome the new members to our group.

The group is growing nicely and so far appears to be well balanced between Campers and Boaters.

Many travel by both so hopefully in the near future we will see more travel stories posted by our membe…

Read more

April 2019

Boat and RV

April 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie heading south after Oklahoma City and visit to the Route 66 Museum.

Thankfully nothing but normal traffic problems on the way to friends in McKinney Texas.

With one stopover in Ardmore Oklahoma to mail a package we arrived on a nice sunny day w…

Read more

March 2019

Boat and RV

March 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie sitting in Tucson still.

Today I am going to talk about money!

Not the green stuff we need for day to day living and travel, but the reserves we need for emergencies.

Most will carry a specified amount in a savings type of account that can b…

Read more

February 2019

Boat and RV

February 5, 2019

Conestoga Charlie back after a few days of intense packing!

One of the many things people say during our travels it how much they would enjoy the free lifestyle, however they also lament about how much stuff they have.

Those readers who are contemplating a mo…

Read more

January 2019

Boat and RV

January 1, 2019

A big welcome to 2019 from Conestoga Charlie and the crew of the Dawn Treader.

We wish to thank all the loyal readers for their encouragement and support.

Today’s special New Year’s Blog is a walk down memory lane.  It is a short picture story of the Odyssey i…

Read more

July 2018

Mystery Blog

Suggestions have been pouring in (well more like a trickle really) for the new name.

On July 4th it will be one whole month since we left our boat and headed up Interstate 75 with the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, a 23 foot Class C Motor Home.

During the last few weeks I have been com…

Read more

View older posts »

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Blog Posts

January 2021

February 2021

 

 

The month is half over and we are still waiting for the part to show up all the way from England, and naturally the delay is blamed on COVID!
 
During the down time we have kept busy with little jobs around the boat and perfecting our solar use!
Our boat is now compl…

Read more

Boat and RV December 14 (Free vs Paid)

Boat and RV

December 14, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is breaking with the general format today.

There are 22 photos and not in the order of travel but rather in the order of amenities.

I was reading a piece about a very bad commercial campground experience, qnd thinking back I remembered some…

Read more

July 2019

Boat and RV

July 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with general ramblings and more about our Solar experiment!

This is the second day in Cabin Creek which is really easy access off the I-90  Exit 63 and even comfortable for a class A! (GPS Lat 47.2933 Lon -121.2877)

Something that is troubling …

Read more

June 2019

Boat and RV

June 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie here with two more files for new and potential owners. And if all works well they will be posted in order!?

New Owner File 3

Another aspect of purchase is learning how to operate all the systems.

Our dealer provided a “run through” of how it …

Read more

May 2019

Boat and RV

May 3, 2019

Conestoga Charlie and crew welcome the new members to our group.

The group is growing nicely and so far appears to be well balanced between Campers and Boaters.

Many travel by both so hopefully in the near future we will see more travel stories posted by our membe…

Read more

April 2019

Boat and RV

April 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie heading south after Oklahoma City and visit to the Route 66 Museum.

Thankfully nothing but normal traffic problems on the way to friends in McKinney Texas.

With one stopover in Ardmore Oklahoma to mail a package we arrived on a nice sunny day w…

Read more

March 2019

Boat and RV

March 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie sitting in Tucson still.

Today I am going to talk about money!

Not the green stuff we need for day to day living and travel, but the reserves we need for emergencies.

Most will carry a specified amount in a savings type of account that can b…

Read more

February 2019

Boat and RV

February 5, 2019

Conestoga Charlie back after a few days of intense packing!

One of the many things people say during our travels it how much they would enjoy the free lifestyle, however they also lament about how much stuff they have.

Those readers who are contemplating a mo…

Read more

January 2019

Boat and RV

January 1, 2019

A big welcome to 2019 from Conestoga Charlie and the crew of the Dawn Treader.

We wish to thank all the loyal readers for their encouragement and support.

Today’s special New Year’s Blog is a walk down memory lane.  It is a short picture story of the Odyssey i…

Read more

July 2018

Mystery Blog

Suggestions have been pouring in (well more like a trickle really) for the new name.

On July 4th it will be one whole month since we left our boat and headed up Interstate 75 with the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, a 23 foot Class C Motor Home.

During the last few weeks I have been com…

Read more

View older posts »

July 2018

Mystery Blog

Suggestions have been pouring in (well more like a trickle really) for the new name.

On July 4th it will be one whole month since we left our boat and headed up Interstate 75 with the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, a 23 foot Class C Motor Home.

During the last few weeks I have been comparing travel by boat to travel by motor home.

The main reason this was done is simply because we got tired of being in one place and the boat has a major problem left after 3 solid years of rebuilding, which prevented it from crossing the ocean.

Today is Sunday the first day of a new month and today we celebrated our time with some wine and snacks. However I am still searching for a new title as from now on the emphases will be on the travel. Enjoy some of the photos from the trip to this point.


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 2

Many people responded from the groups I share with.

Most suggested that I keep the title the same. So I did.

There are a lot of photos and so they will be broken up for 2 days.

The Clark Fork River ran alongside the road to Polson for most of the trip.

The stop in Polson was to visit a really fantastic museum.

Miracle of Americas is one very large campus.

Inside there are many displays that depict the progress of our society.

Outside there are many buildings that house different technologies.

It is very likely that grandma’s old ringer washing machine is in one of them.

Each section houses everything from a Huey Helicopter to large steam powered tractors.

Basically it is just as it is named the Miracle of America on display, Americana at its best, for only $6 admission and $10 for both this one and downtown Polson Montana.


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 3

Time for a break in Thompson Falls, We will take the time to further check out systems on the motor home and make some needed modifications.

One thing I wish to do is add a small inverter (750 Watt) to run the computer and other electronic stuff, charge the phones and other low load appliances.

The other thing I’ve noticed (Checked with my voltmeter) is that the starting battery does not receive a charge when the generator is running even though the house batteries receive a charge when both the generator and the engine are running.

When I had my Volkswagen Westfailia, I installed a selector switch like what is on boats that would direct the charge to house, start or both. Generally speaking it is doubtful the manufacture planned for EXTENDED dry camping. Currently, I’m not sure which set of batteries actually starts the generator, will discover that as well.

More on the museum in Polson “Miracle of America.”

The sprawling site looks rather modest from the road, however the displays and collections are more than worth the visit and one truly feels the miracle that is America that I fear that many in the US has forgotten. 

On one wall is a large oversize copy of the Declaration of Independence that re-affirms our nation’s purpose and indeed the miracle of the free Republic created so many years ago. Too many have moved too far away from the principles that made our country Great! Hope everyone has a great and safe Fourth tomorrow.


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 4

Happy Fourth of July to all my readers and Especially to The United States of America.

242 Years and to my knowledge the longest running Republic on the planet!

There are many older countries however their system of governments have evolved, corrupted, or disappeared. 

The early Greeks introduced Democracy to the Civilized World.

The Roman Empire was a Republic.  All other known civilized countries were either a Monarchy, a Theocracy, or a Dictatorship.

Many of these have faded into the History Books.  

Please Note: I did not mention Communism or Socialism as those are systems of Economics.  A technicality I know, but I’m Picky!

Today we are celebrating our 4th of July in the small town of Thompson Falls, Montana.

I could not think of a better place to stop for the celebration of the birth of our country.

Overhead are the “Spacious Skies, we drove through the Amber Waves of Grain,

And we are surrounded by the Purple Mountains Majesty!

Again -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 5

Last night we watched the fireworks from the Clark Fork River edge here in Thompson Falls, Montana.

The evening was pleasant and last night there was a couple of videos posted.

Today the plan is to do some work on our Motor Home, and we will likely stay long enough to collect our mail.

For those who wonder about mail collection and such the following is what I have used since 2005, before that I had a UPS Mailbox and the owner who knew me for a few years before I retired would forward my mail. I left San Bernardino,California, in 2002! Basically he did this as a courtesy since we knew each other.

Something much better is available.

There are others but the one I have used since 2006 was Saint Brendan’s Isle and they have a web page and the address is 411 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs FL 32043.

They provide many great services and when we were sailing outside of the United States the service was invaluable.


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 6

My subject today concerns the age of RV’s respectively.

It has been brought to my attention that there are some RV parks that have age limits. I ran into this quite frequently with boat marinas, and the reason was to prevent derelict boats from squatting in the marinas. I have personally seen some of these derelicts. However, the reason for this in an RV park is something I do not understand.

Going by the ten year rule I have read about our 2004 Gulfstream BT Cruiser qualifies! I realize this is not a situation at all Marinas and RV Parks however it can be a problem.

Currently all I can recommend is to check first and have an alternate ready.

We personally have not experienced this situation but have read where others have.

One thing that does concern us all is the number of previously homeless people that have somehow managed to obtain either an old RV or Sailboat.

Although I have sympathy for the plight of these people many do not have the skills or the motivation to either maintain or even use these for their intended purpose.

It would be a great deal for these people if they would actually repair and maintain them.

I realize that many may actually restore the boats and RV’s and I applaud that.

I read one story years ago where someone donated a homeless man an old sailboat.

He was so tired of New York winter that he fashioned sails from cheap blue tarps, and sailed to Florida with it and one of the sailing magazines were so impressed they gave him a job! 


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 7

Thompson Falls, Montana

Today is another casual relaxing day doing small repair and modification things.

Dawn is fixing the coaxial cables on the TV Antenna at her insistence.

Later I will install the 750 Watt inverter so we can dry camp with AC for our computers and other small AC appliances without running the generator.

The weather turned mild again and we visited a local restaurant across from the ACE and NAPA, where we got the stuff to fix the antenna and install the inverter.

The NAPA store not only cut the wire but crimped the ends and added shrink insulation.

The only charge was for the materials.  

The subject yesterday centered around various parks and RV Camp Grounds requiring that the RV be less than 10 years old.   I wish to thank all of you that responded.

We also wish to share a wonderful tool, The Compact Fresh Saver from Food Saver. It is fabulous for keeping foods fresh whether refrigerated or not. It has enabled tortillas to stay fresh for 2 months. I know it is hard to believe but many other things stay fresh and when freezing removing the air really helps.

Again since we have been parked for 3 days now the photos are from other trips both Land and Sea!  Dawn and I have lived on boats since 2002, and 2003, and together on our boat Dawn Treader for almost 6 years now. We met in Arizona in 20012!

We thought we’d introduce ourselves and our boat that is stored in Port Charlotte, Florida until the end of hurricane season.

No photo description available.

Cliff Dwellings Gila New Mexico

No photo description available.

San Xavier Mission Arizona

No photo description available.

San Antonio River Walk

No photo description available.

the Historic O'Brian Hotel San Antonio Texas

No photo description available.

Battleship Alabama

No photo description available.

Foggy Day in Half Moon Bay


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 8

Thompson Falls, Montana

Today was a semi-relaxing work day, little cleanup tasks around the motor home.

Friday, our host, Butch Floyd, invited us to the Elk’s Club Pot Luck and Saturday treated us to venison stew. We provided corn on the cob and dessert.

Today I installed the 750 Watt Inverter. It will be mostly used to recharge computers and Dawns Vacuum Food Sealer as well as other small battery operated things while driving or Dry Camped. The manufacture only had one 12 volt outlet in the house part of the motor home.

They must figure every one parks with full hookups or runs the generator constantly!

It was a fairly straight forward job, disconnected all power for insurance while working.

Dawn cleaned and did laundry. That pretty much took care of the afternoon.

The photos for today are of some boat projects, as we figured buying the motor home would end that!

Savannah, Georgia, and Tybee Island as well as one of the places we docked our boat.

We put out the slide out for the first time as well today! Like getting a new one.

Transmission

Last look at Turkey Creek, Moore Haven, Florida

Engine work


  Sailboat to Motor Home

July 9

Monday in Thompson Falls, Montana

We have been monitoring some complaints involving Camping World where we also purchased our used 2004 Gulfstream BT Cruiser 23 foot Class C Motor Home.

It seems that what is promised and what is delivered has a bit of a discrepancy. There seems to be many who have the problems that are similar.

It is not that I am helpless when it comes to mechanical skills. Not only did I live aboard a sailboat for several years, but have totally rebuilt 3 of them.

My complaint is simply that I was charged for promised repairs that were not performed. Just wondering how many have run into similar problems.

While we wait for our mail delivery we are considering where to next visit.

Unlike many readers we have 2 full time mobile living situations, a small motor home and a 37 foot Endeavour Sailboat!

Our agenda is simple; we have no agenda. Many very nice people on this site and some others have given us some great suggestions.

Many of the places visited so far have been things I want to share with my partner.

In 2003, my early retirement to myself was a kayak trip from Fort Benton, Montana, to Saint Louis, Missouri.

The Photos today are some famous churches and other structures.

The basic trainer of most pilots my age, the Cessna 150. I’ve flown many since the last being a Lear 60, courtesy of an instructor friend at Tucson Flight Safety (Simulator)

Tiny Church at a North Dakota Rest Stop

Stonebriar Church, Frisco, Texas

Church in Glasgow, Montana

German Home and Norwegian and Church at the Prairie Village Museum


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 10

Hello; Conestoga Charlie here! Another rambling about mobile living!

I had a friend suggest the Conestoga bit for a title but many liked it as is but it is tempting to use the word somehow as it sounds so neat, kinda looks cool too!

Today’s topic: The Shower! Regular readers know we have lived on a sailboat for a long time. My first sailboat was only a 24 foot one and did not have a shower!

The second boat did not have one either, but at least had more than a Porta-Potti!

The motor home and the current 37 foot sailboat has a complete head with a shower.

Today the two will be compared. I have always said that bigger is not better.

Still I have been in both boats and motor homes that have almost house sized showers.

That is not our case and I suspect many of the readers.

Aside from the facilities in the Marina and Camp Ground or Mobile Home Park it’s the compact version the designers lavish upon us. The Comparison, first on the boat.

The head is totally open and only the shower curtain closes off the space.

If it is not positioned just right, wet toilet paper! The drain is below the water line so it must be pumped out. Two pumps working—one in and one out. Drop debris and the drain clogs with a vengeance. Ever see the movie Captain Ron?

The motor home is more civilized. The shower even has a half tub and a sliding shower curtain that isolates the rest of the head. Everything else stays dry and it’s a gravity drain. All that’s left is the gymnastics to actually use these facilities.

The Photos today are of the downtown area of Thompson Falls Montana

Pretty much the entire business block is represented. The town is quite pleasant.

We had dinner at the Genki Asian Foods; it is the only Asian restaurant in town.

The Black Bear Motel

Real Plants Hanging on the Street

Business Block Thompson Falls, Montana


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 11

Conestoga Charlie here with yet another rambling about mobile living.

Today we get to talk about Potty!

In the motor home, travel trailer, 5th Wheel, or the sailboat, even in our bodies, what goes in must come out!

Nothing in this process should be embarrassing or messy. In a permanent home the process is rarely an issue, unless something stops up.

In the RV or boat it is more up front and personal. Still it should be uncomplicated.

In most situations, it is a matter of determining when to empty the tank.

Our motor home has the black water located under the toilet. In the boat however, there is about 6 feet of hose connecting the two as well as a rise to the tank inlet.

To empty in most RV’s the sewer line is attached at one end and the other is placed in the receptacle at the dump and first the valve for black water is opened then next the gray water, and gravity does the rest. Veteran RV’ers know this procedure well.

The sailboats (and power boats) have a different procedure.

Because the black water, and gray water tank is located below deck, they must be physically pumped out. This procedure requires special equipment (and sometimes a special charge.)

Some boat owners have switched to composting toilets. If anyone in the RV world had gone to this option I’d like to hear about the experience


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 12

Conestoga Charlie here with more rambling about mobile living.

I’m actually starting to like the moniker, and can feel a connection with those early travelers. They also carried everything that they would possible need and did not have a Wal-Mart on the way!

Today hopefully this will be useful information.  Yesterday the method of storing and disposing of waste was discussed. Much is shared between RV’s and Boats. I mentioned composting which seems to be a favored option for boats lately due to the complexity of disposal.

The RV set seems to have it much better as there are multiple waste stations available and many rest stops in several states now make them available at no charge. Many truck stops have them at minimal charge some free with purchase.

Besides the Internet, one very useful tool is the Rand McNally (this GPS has since been changed as it has to be the worst ever) line of GPS that is specifically tailored to RV travel. It actually list specifics for RV Travel such as Dump Station, Overnight Parking and service and repair stations for RV’s.

Another useful tool on the internet is www.freecampgrounds.net, we have found and used a number of these and although most are without any hookups, a few days ”dry camped” was just the ticket.


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 13

Conestoga Charlie wishing everyone a happy Friday the 13th which happens to be my lucky day.

One important thing for those of you who, like us, live full time in our boats and RV’s and depend on a Mail Drop Service for not only mail but Voter Registration, Car Licensing and other business. Please visit your service’s web page and be aware and prepared.

Yesterday we discussed finding the services that are needed for all RV travel, however most of my aim is toward those who live full time either on boats or RV’s.

Cutting Ties is most difficult for many people.

The two issues that are in the forefront, what to do with all the STUFF, and how to continue to function financially.

For those who would like to put the toe in to test the waters, the solution to STUFF, is to place things in storage. The one thing that I personally went with is that I’d rented out my house, however in my defense I really had not planned to stay in the United States.

On the financial front there are some easy ways to earn 8-11% on savings rather than the paltry 1.35% on some CD’s. Anyone interested PM me!

The best thing about our way of life is the people we encounter along the way of the destinations.

In 2001 just one year before retirement I made a motorcycle trip to explore the intended route for the upcoming kayak trip down the Missouri River.


 Sailboat to Motor Home

July 14

Conestoga Charlie with another trivia filled week end to enhance your mobile experience.

Happy Saturday to you all where ever you may be.

How about making today’s topic about modifications that are made?

Apparently, the previous owners of our Gulfstream BT Cruiser motor home used it just the way it was delivered.

I wish the previous owners of our Endeavour 37 sailboat had done the same!

Those lucky people starting out with new units may wish to consider this carefully.

We spent the better part of 3 years more or less restoring our boat to original.

The most annoying ones have been by wanna-be electricians through the years.

The boat was built in 1981 and our motor home was built in 2004, and had less time for tom-foolery!

So far the only modifications to our motor home have been to replace the house battery and add a second proper deep cycle type. The other was to add a medium (750 Watt) inverter.  The first is to provide for longer time off grid. The second is to reduce use of the Generator when dry camped. Mostly it will be used for our computers and such.

The boat or RV is going to be home, either part or full time, therefore it should reflect the user’s needs.

Suggested considerations for any modifications would be, will it improve the function of the vehicle. Can it be used without the modification, and if not can it be modified in a manner that will appear as original equipment?

The goal of any work should be something that increases the value of the vehicle.


 

Sailboat to Motor Home

July 15

Conestoga Charlie wishing happy Sunday everyone as another week gets started.

Today it is going to be a discussion of the Internet and related devices.

This discussion was prompted when our current host bought a Windows Tablet.

Dawn my trusty IT and loving partner spent about 4 hours attempting to get it to load.

Bottom line the tablet was defective.

This whole scenario drove home just how dependent we have become on these electronic miracle workers. It is not all necessarily bad.

To maintain a mobile lifestyle, all of these services are not just useful but mandatory.

It is possible to sail offshore, travel for months in the RV and still do all the necessary banking, navigation, and for some even earn an income, all through the Internet.

Just 14 years ago it was not so convenient. It was possible and people managed even before computers.

In 2001 I took a motorcycle trip that covered about 7,500+ miles to scout the planned kayak trip down the Missouri River. Had 2 gas credit cards and my ATM (hot stuff back then) and so I knew I would be on the road when the bills arrived. I did not even have a cell phone but a “Pre-Paid Calling Card” that worked with any Pay-Phone.

So thinking myself extremely cleaver I sent $200 Pre-Payment to both gasoline companies. I was gone about 5 weeks when I pulled into one of the gas stations and promptly had my card declined!

During the phone conversation turns out that they sent the over-payment back to me but I was not home to get it and since I had not paid the bill they shut off the card.

Today this does not happen, or does it?

Internet today is available in mobile situations unheard of just 4 or 5 years ago.

All that is needed is one smart phone and everything can be funneled through it. Turning the phone into a mobile hot spot provides any necessary computer access.

Those who do not want to go the smart phone route, there are other devices.

The first we started with 5 years ago, after discovering that the Marina’s Wi-Fi did not reach our boat, was the Jetpack (Verizon) which served us well. Little did I know at the time my iPhone 4a had a mobile hotspot. Since then we’ve acquired an Asus Tablet, The Moto Z and the Jetpac. Have the unlimited Data Plan and can do everything a home computer can do. We even have a compact Cannon Printer with Bluetooth that allows any of the devices to print with out hardwire connections.

All of this is easily duplicated and most of the later RV’s have much already installed.

Many RV’s already include an inverter so the generator does not need to be run.

Ours didn’t so one was installed. With a propane refrigerator everything can last weeks.


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 16

Conestoga Charlie On this fine Monday, leaving Thompson Falls to Kalispell, Montana today. First thing is a quick stop for a little re-supply.

On the way to Kalispell, a stop to take in Flathead Lake in Montana; This is one large lake.

Today’s Subject refers to those wonderful indicators that monitor the various holding tanks.

What triggered this whole subject was an interesting thing going on in my motor home! We recently spent a couple of weeks at a friend’s in Thompson Falls, Montana.

We had full sewer, water, and electrical hookups. Taking advantage of the situation we opened the black water tank and flushed it with some boiling water and soap.

We did not need to use the head as we had the regular bathroom in our friend’s house.

After doing this a few times while we were there the indicator actually read empty for the first time since we bought the motor home.

Here is the humorous part; Preparing to leave we flushed the tank and then drained first the Blackwater then the Graywater to rinse our hose. The Black was at zero and the gray went to zero as it was drained. However by the time the hose was put away, the chocks were stowed and we started to pull out, the black went back to full just as it had been since we bought it! We KNOW it’s empty and please before you start with Toilet Paper Please Understand that we are boaters and have a container just for used TP, both on the boat and RV. (Anyone with a boat knows what it’s like to get a clogged choke valve)

When I posted this I got a lot of repeated suggestions many of which prove that most do not read fully before answering.  One seemingly good suggestion is included.

Renae Taylor suggested putting a cup of Calgon, a cup of Dawn Dish Soap and fill with water for the trip home. She claims it has kept their Travel Trailer monitoring working since 1998.

We will not be heading home for a long time but when we get the chance we will try it, Meanwhile we will do what we do on our boat (No Sensors) and have done since we bought this motor home---------GUESS!

Today’ Photos are some deer grazing across from Butch’s and the trip to Kalispell, Montana, padding by Flathead Lake, some Living History photos and Lake Tahoe California.

deer grazing

Moose Statue at Kalispell, Montana

Flathead Lake, Polson, Montana

Small Marina at Flathead Lake, Polson, Montana

Lake Tahoe, Nevada side


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 17

Conestoga Charlie, here with a retraction. Yesterday I shared a somewhat cryptic humorous story that led many astray. I still think it is funny.

As an experienced writer, publishing without fully editing is punishable.

However I got a lot of good suggestions, many were repeated SEVERAL, several times.

Here is the straight poop (pun intended) .

When we bought our 2004 Gulfstream BT Cruiser 23 foot motor home, the dealer (Camping World) was supposed to service everything and guarantee all systems were functional. They even tacked on close to $2,000 to cover any replacements.

(This is another story for later) however, when we left the holding tanks were not drained, and the indicator panel showed they were full. (Yes, I called to complain)

So we found our first dump site about 20 miles from home (the boat) and emptied them.

The indicators still read full and have so for over the month we have owned it.

When we left Florida on June 4th we took advantage of every dump station we came to whether we needed to or not. The Black Water never budged off full.

None of the 5 sailboats I have owned had the luxury of any indicators, so guessing got pretty accurate.

We stopped in Thompson Falls to visit a friend and help with some construction projects so was able to give our head a rest, and having full sewer and other hook ups, took advantage of the ability to attempt to clean and flush the tank.

Using copious amounts of soap (Dawn Dish Soap) and boiling water it seemed to work as the indicator now was at empty! It stayed there the whole time we were parked, however when we packed up, unplugged, did a final drain of both Gray and Black Water, started out, full of confidence, I checked the indicator and it was reading FULL Again! (Due to the nature of marine toilets the rule is it must be eaten first to go in)

TP is disposed of into a closed container!


Sailboat to Motor Home

July 18

Conestoga Charlie wishes everyone a bright Wednesday.

The agenda today includes a report on electrical modifications and reminisces about a long kayak trip.

I wrote a few days back about making modifications to ones RV and or boat.

Two modifications that were made to the motor home were adding an extra deep cycle battery and a 750 Watt Inverter. I’m happy to report we are entering the third day without running the generator and the Inverter has supplied everything for all the electronics. It can even handle the slow cooker, but that may deplete the batteries.

One thing would be to check the usage with a tool similar to the one we use. It’s Called the KILLA WATT and currently available from Amazon. That will help determine the size Inverter to install.

Soon we will be heading to Great Falls, Montana, via Glacier National Park.

Fort Benton is near, and was the place chosen to start my kayak trip down the Missouri River.

One reason for the choice is because before the dams were built it was possible to travel from New Orleans Louisiana, to Fort Benton, Montana by early steamboat.

Great Falls was even a barrier to Louis and Clark’s expedition.

The Photos today show partial construction of the kayak and places along the Missouri as well as photos from trial trip down the Russian River in California.

Constructing the Expedition Kayak

Constructing the Expedition Kayak

Constructing the Expedition Kayak

Constructing the Expedition Kayak Final Coat

 

Finished Ready for Paint

Finished Expedition Kayak With Solar Cells

At Sea

Ocean Landing

Early Trip Along the Russian River, California

Loading At the start, Fort Benton, Montana

Camped Along the Missouri River

Missouri River Trip Campsite

Missouri River Trip

Living History at The Frank Kip Camp

Living History Demonstration at Frank Kip Camp

Living History Demonstration at Frank Kip Camp

Living History Demonstration at Frank Kip Camp

Missouri River Trip, Judith Landing, Montana

Coal Banks Along the Missouri River MT

Scenery at a Campsite Missouri River


 

Sailboat to Motor Home

July 19

Conestoga Charlie with another hotbed of information and discussion.

Many days ago far across the prairies a completely illogical thing happened.

After flushing out the black water tank with soap and boiling water, and rinsing a number of times after, the wonderful LED indicator read 0 for the first time since purchased.

However that lasted about as long as it took to drive off the chocks and put the levelers away, close up all the hatches and climb aboard. It has read full since and its been 3 days now. Many suggestions have poured in and the one I am trying next was suggested by a boating friend.

"After 30 months in my Southwind I saved a ton of money and costly repairs doing the Aspirin trick. Learned it from an old timer at Coffee in the Clubhouse one morning. I described the problems ( same as yours ) I had several campers tell their stories...so I tried it,  added about 12 to each tank and took off for a 400 mile day. I stopped in a campground with a pump out. The black water was almost clear, odor free, and the dump handle moved smooth as silk. My problems were fixed nearly 3 years problem free. So I’m giving it a shot.

Personally, if I can get away from the chemical stuff I’d be happy and will do the same for my boat.

We had a very bad chemical reaction because we had added about a cup of bleach to our 100 gallon water storage in preparation for leaving Florida. Some of the water got into a porta-pottie we were using to keep our holding tank empty. The deodorizer reacted with the chlorine and we had to evacuate the boat till it aired out! So if this works it will be aspirin in the boat as well.

Photos today are from Kalispell to Great Falls Montana. Two stops at Columbia Falls and Glacier Park.

The Montana Vortex at Columbia Falls was a fun stop with more than enough mystery to make the stop worthwhile.

Outside the slanted cabin the ground is level, as demonstrated by the guide worth a large carpenter’s level yet when the two people switch sided they actually change size.

There are other places throughout the park that defy explanation. A very fun time!

Moose in Kalispell, Montana

The Natural Falls at Ryan's Dam

People Shrink at the Vortex

Blackfoot Sculpture Glacier Park Montana

Glacier Park Montana

Buffalo Hunt Sculpture at C.M. Russell Museum

Scenic Overview to Ryan's Dam Great Falls, Montana

Overview of Ryan's Dam Montana

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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