The RV Road Trip Blog - October 2010

I got a new pair of shoes! Yep, for years I have been buying cheap shoes at Walmart and they aren't much good for walking... so I splurged and spent $70 on a pair of Reebok walking shoes. Wow, what a difference! I generally don't spend too much on shoes (you now know this is Jerry and not Cynthia typing - LOL) but I had to do something as the ones I had were not very comfortable. They are Reebok Nordic Air Walkers and have a little sealed air cushion that flows from the heel to the toe as you walk. I reckon this might be the last pair of shoes I buy so why not go all out. :)

We're getting the wheelchair lift installed in the truck today. It will be big fun sitting in a waiting room for 4 hours while they put the thing in. Cynthia is taking a book and I am taking the Droid X phone and the wall charger! Speaking of the Droid X, I rooted it yesterday. Rooting it gives me full unlimited access to the phone so I can remove the bloatware that came on the phone. I can also do many more neat things that I couldn't do before. I'm like a kid with a new toy - haha.

Well, off to get the oil changed in the truck then to the lift installers. I'll post some pics when we get back.

We're back. Got the lift installed and it took right at 4 hours. The lift is pretty cool, it will lift up to 400 pounds using an electric motor and it has a wired remote control. Now all we have to do is wait for the wheelchair to arrive in San Antonio and we'll pick it up on the way to Mission, TX. Here's the shot of the lift I promised.

Wheelchair Lift

We leave in the morning headed into Arkansas. We'll swing by the North Little Rock Camping World then head on to Hot Springs. It'll be a long day but we will surely relax once we get to the campground. We are so looking forward to being in a campground and not an RV park.
We made the trip from Robinsonville, MS to Hot Springs, AR today. We stopped at the Camping World in North Little Rock but they had a very poor selection of campers. Well, they had a great selection if your budget is over $100K. After a cursory glance around the store, we left. We arrived at Gulpha Gorge Campground in Hot Springs National Park about 2:30pm local time and set up in site 22. We paid for 6 nights but may extend through the following weekend.

Site 22
We rode the scooters around the area a little bit today. I was kind of cool so we didn't ride for long but did manage to get in a few sights. Hot Springs is such a really neat town with a very vibrant downtown area. We stopped by the row of spas and went into a building operated by the National Park Service. It used to be a spa but is now a museum but it was really cool to see how things were back when it was open. There are 2 fountains out front and both are sourced from the springs, each spewing 147° water.

Back at the campground, we decided to walk over to the creek so I snapped a shot of Cynthia at the little foot crossing. She goes walking every day and this is one of the ways she likes to go. We only managed to take 8 pictures today but do have them all posted in the picture gallery.

Cynthia crossing the creek.
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Today we modified the code so that now it immediately and automatically bans the offending IP and prevents any further submissions. We also have a flood limit but since the site has been active, only 1 user has been affected by it. If by some chance the system flags your legitimate comment as spam, it will notify you right away. Please contact us if this happens to you so we can unban your comment and IP.

Anyway, on to more exciting topics - LOL. We're going to the local RV dealer to look at some campers. Hopefully, they'll have something we haven't heard of before that will suit our needs. We'll post some info once we get back. Wish us luck!

The had a grand total of ZERO toy haulers on their lot. I called 2 dealers near Little Rock, same thing. I guess they're not big sellers around here. We did browse the regular campers a bit looking for ideas, found a few layouts we liked but unfortunately the campers were not wheelchair accessible.

Gulpha Gorge Campground

Once it warmed up to a whopping 70°, we went out for a little geocaching. We're up to 99 finds and 2 hides. We'll take a grand picture of our 100th find (which should be tomorrow) and post it. We're loving the park here, so pretty and so peaceful. Much better than the casino RV park we were in. The leaves are starting to change and you can see it in the picture above.
We had an awesome scooter ride around the area today. Someone told us about the East & West Mountains here so off we went. The road up the East Mountain is a 3.5 miles twisty road and perfect for scooters. Hiking trails were everywhere for those who can and want to do that. The views from the mountain were amazing and of course we took some pictures. Here is my favorite, click on it to make it larger and to really see what a great shot it is.

Panoramic view of Hot Springs, AR

We also rode to the West Mountain but the trip there wasn't quite as awesome as the east side. It was still a fun ride and very scenic so don't miss going there. While on the East Mountain, we went to the big tower. Here's a picture of it as seen from the West Mountain.

East Mountain Tower

Near the downtown area is a beautiful old building with a sign that simply reads "Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center". With the wonderful architecture on the building, we knew it had to be old so we inquired about it. Turns out it was a military hospital during World War 2. The structure is simply magnificent with very detailed ornamentation. It is a "must see" when you are in the area. Tours are available but we didn't take one, we were too busy enjoying the 70° riding weather.

Old WW2 Military Hospital

Jerry McEnroe (I hope I spelled that right, Jerry) who lives in Hot Springs stopped by and visited with us today. Jerry is a regular reader of our blog and wanted to meet us while we were in town. We enjoyed meeting him and talking with him and as with all of our visitors, we wanted to make him famous... so we took his picture next to the camper. Thanks for stopping by, Jerry!

Jerry McEnroe visited us!

We still have today and tomorrow left here in Hot Springs then it is off to Texarkana, Texas. We're excited about finally getting to Texas and we won't be leaving it until April of next year! Just call us "Winter Texans".

And don't forget to check the photo gallery for new pictures.
We've departed Hot Springs, AR and are headed to Texarkana, Texas! We'll be staying at one of the three COE parks in the area, not sure which one yet. Tentatively, it will be Clear Spring but we will see when we get there. We'll be visiting a few RV dealers while there to get an idea on our options for a replacement camper. We found some really cool fold-up wheelchair ramps that we could use with a regular camper if the entry door is at least 27" wide. We'll post more once we are settled in...

We stopped by Clear Spring Campground but decided to go over to Rocky Point Campground. Turns out they were full so we went next door to Piney Point Campground. No sewer hookups here but this is a great campground nonetheless. Just look at this sunset shot from our campsite!

Piney Point Campground
We awoke this morning to a beautiful sunrise and quickly decided what our activity for the day would be... we'll visit 4 states in one day! Conveniently for us, Texarkana is very near to 4 states. Of course, we started in Texas and drove south about 9 miles to Atlanta, Texas then headed east for about 11 miles and crossed into Caddo Parrish, Louisiana. We considered a jaunt to Shreveport but decided against it, so back west and north to Texarkana. Once there, we took I-30 west for about 15 miles then turned north for 17 miles and on into Arkansas. At the first little town we came to, we took a left turn and went about 8 miles and crossed into Oklahoma! We did it, four states in one day!

Tonight we built a nice campfire and watched the sun go down over the lake. My goodness, it was just an amazing sight. Once the lower part of the sun touched the horizon, it only took about 6 minutes for it to disappear. If we can remember, we will try to take a video of it tomorrow night and post it on our YouTube channel.

We'll stay here 2 more nights then head south towards Houston on the 12th. We're looking at a park in Sam Houston National Forest. Tentatively, we'll stay there until Friday morning then head further south to Corpus Christi. We're thinking about boondocking on the Padre Island National Seashore for 3 days, but we're not for sure yet. Anyway, from there we'll push on down to South Texas and decide where we'll spend the time between then and when we report for our workamping position on the 12th of November.
We awoke today to cooler than normal temperatures and overcast skies. We quickly looked at the forecast and saw that we had a 50% chance of rain today. We covered the scooters and pulled everything inside... and just in time. About 15 minutes later it started to rain. The area needs the rain and we certainly don't mind it, but it looks like we will be spending most of today indoors.

As promised, we took a video of the sunset and posted it on YouTube. We sped it up 2 times normal speed and added some background music. We hope you enjoy it.

Our goal was to leave Texarkana and drive south a bit to Longview and stay 2 nights at a private campground that accepted Passport America. Well, we called them to make sure they still accepted it and if they had room... and we talked with a very rude lady who acted like she didn't need our business. So we obliged her and didn't go there. Instead we drove further south to Sam Houston National Forest and we are now nestled in at the Cagle Recreation Area (see the "Where are we?" link in the menu).

This campground, like many other federal parks, is very nice. Full hookups, well landscaped and well taken care of... and Verizon works here. They have a handful of 'walk-up only" sites so we picked one of those and got set up. All of the reservable sites are booked for the weekend so it looks like a full campground come Friday. We will probably stay here until one day next week. We're in no rush plus we had our mail sent to the local post office, so we have to wait for that to arrive.
We made a few forays into Houston to several camper dealers. We looked at the models we wanted to see and saw a few more that we liked. We ruled out the Keystone Outback 280RS, interior doors are too small, the ramp is too steep and the build quality is not up to par. The dealer we found it at was Holiday World of Katy, TX. This is the worst dealership we have ever been to. Our salesman, "J.J." treated us like we were clueless idiots. He was condescending, berated us for our opinions and did more talking about how great Holiday World is more than anything else. Needless to say we will never buy anything from Holiday World.

We found another camper we really like, the Heartland North Trail 29RBSS... and at a dealer who treated us with respect. That dealer is Lone Star RV near Houston. This camper has an extra wide entry door that will accommodate the wheelchair. It also has an enormous amount of storage, they refer to it as "Texas Style" storage. The bathroom is like none we have ever seen in a camper with 2 sinks, lots of cabinets and a big corner stall shower. Anyway, just Google that model number to see all the specs if you're interested.

We met some nice folks at this campground and had them over for a visit earlier today. That's got to be the best part of camping, the great people you meet along the way.

Site 26 at Cagle Recreation Area

It's a sad day. We sold our scooters today. We had so much fun and made so many memories on those things but we needed to sell them. This puts us a little closer to the new camper but we're still quite a ways off. Maybe one day we'll get another scooter that is big enough for both of us to ride together. Not having the scooters really puts a screeching halt to running around as the truck just loves gasoline too much. Good thing everything is really convenient to the RV Park we'll be in all winter.
On the road again! We're headed further south to Surfside Beach, TX. We're going to visit an RV dealer in Clute, TX that some folks at the last campground said we should not miss. So we'll hop down there and stay at least one night at Surfside Beach RV Park. They take Passport America so they'll get our business. This will be our first beach visit in Texas and we're looking forward to it. We'll do our best to take more pictures than we did at New Waverly.

Change of plans... the RV dealer we went to in Clute didn't have much of anything suitable for us so we weren't there long at all. Since it was still early, we decided to head on to Corpus Christi. So we are sitting here at the water's edge at Puerto Del Sol RV Park. It's nothing fancy, has a bunch of permanent campers here but that's OK. The view is great, the atmosphere is great, the price per night is great and the free high speed internet from the city is great. Here's the view from the camper...

Puerto del Sol RV Park

We added some new pictures to the New Waverly, Texas and Texarkana, Texas galleries. Be sure to check them out!
We've really enjoyed the view from our camp site here in Corpus Christi, but we don't want to stay any longer. The beach is nice but the wind and salt spray are just too much. There is a nice Cedar Creek camper near us that looks really good, but the frame and anything metal on it is almost rusted away. We don't want that to happen to us so we are heading out in the morning. We will miss the beautiful sunrise, the ocean smell and the view of an aircraft carrier.

USS Lexington

Down here in South Texas it is prime camping season so reservations are a must if you want a weekend spot. We intended to stay this weekend at Mustang Island State Park but no sites were available. So we did some checking at other state parks as well as some private parks and decided to go to Falcon State Park near Roma, TX.

We made a 14 day reservation which is the maximum number of consecutive days you can stay. Oh yeah, I did get a Texas State Park Pass for being disabled. This allows me to save on park fees in Texas for the next 100 years. No kidding, the card expires in 100 years. I will expire long before that - LOL.

We added some new pictures of the Corpus Christi area and also a video of us on the Port Aransas Ferry. You'll find links to these in the Picture Gallery and Video Gallery available from the main menu.

One last bit of information we'd like to share with all of you. If you open a can of 8 biscuits and only cook 4 and put the other 4 in the fridge for the next day, they won't rise. Here's a shot of a scrumptious breakfast with flat biscuits. They still taste good but they aren't fluffy. See... we're good for RV info and cooking advice - HAHA.

Flat biscuits for breakfast.
We are in South Texas at Falcon State Park. The terrain is different than we are used to and the vegetation is also different. Lots of scrub brush and short trees and tons of wildlife. Skunks, deer, rabbits, armadillos and oh so many different species of birds. However, the most common thing we see here is US Border Patrol. Right across the lake is Mexico but we feel very safe here. Here's a shot of our camp site.

Camping at Falcon State Park.

We'll be here for 2 weeks and will use that time to explore the park and the nearby town of Roma, TX. We can see the dam on the Rio Grande from here so we will likely go over to it and check it out. We've taken some pictures already but we need to get them uploaded to Picasa. We'll post when we have that done.
We put an ad on Craigslist several days ago for our camper and someone called and asked all about it. This morning they called and want to come see it! Oh no! While it would be good to sell the camper, we'll be in a rush to get a new one. Anybody in South Texas we could stay with for a week or 2 if we sell ours? :)   We'll get the pictures we promised posted later today, but right now it is time for pancakes and bacon!

The people came to look at the camper and we went over it from top to bottom. He said he has yet to see a camper that was as well cared for as ours and he liked it very much. So if all goes well, they'll buy ours and we'll go looking for a different camper for us. I wish there was a nearby dealer who would sell a North Trail 29RBSS for a fair price. We really like that camper although the windows were kinda small. Our biggest problem is finding one we like that has a 28" wide door.

Anyway, I posted the pictures just a few minutes ago. Check the Picture Gallery under Falcon Heights, Texas. Oh yeah, we saw a pig looking thing today but didn't have the camera with us. It was solid black and grunted... but the people here say it is not really a pig. We had a big doe come strolling through the site this morning and a crazy mockingbird spent an hour fighting his reflection in the truck window. Roadrunners are everywhere and I see how they got their name... whenever you see one it is running across the road. We love the variety of wildlife around here, it is much different than Alabama. That's a great thing about traveling, you get to see so many different things.


Suddenly we find ourselves in Austin, Texas at McKinney Falls State Park. Luckily, we were able to get a refund for the remaining time we had planned to spend at Falcon State Park. We'll only be here one night then it is off to Cleburne, Texas. We'll spend several nights in that area before heading back to Falcon State Park. If we have internet access in Cleburne, I will update the site with more info and some new pictures.
We did it! We bought a brand new 2011 Gulf Stream Kingsport 288RLS travel trailer! It is 3BR, 2BA... ok, just kidding. It is 28'8" long (32' total length), it has a full queen bed, glass enclosed shower, lots of cabinets and storage, a huge slide that opens up the living area immensely... and best of all, it has a gigantic rear window with 2 rocking chairs!

We bought the camper at Fun Town RV in Cleburne, TX. We were kinda cautious since Fun Time RV recently went out business due to tax problems and thought these might be the same people (very similar names). Turns out that former employees started Fun Time RV when they found themselves suddenly out of a job. Our salesman was "Ty" and he took care of us like we were buying a million dollar motor coach. He answered every question, solved every problem and was genuinely glad to do it. He had 3 new Maxxair II vent covers installed as well as a slide awning. The techs were very patient with me during the PDI and even said that nobody has ever been as thorough as I was - LOL. I even climbed on the roof and inspected every seam. We found 9 issues that needed to be corrected and they fixed them all without hesitation. The camper was missing one of the chairs that sit in front of the rear window so they took a pair of chairs out of a fancier camper and put them in ours! Woohoo!

We spent last night in the new camper and found a cracked glass on a cabinet door and Cynthia realized she forgot her knife magnet and outside door mat. We stopped by Fun Town RV this morning and told them about this. They found the mat, retrieved the knife magnet from our old camper and gave us a brand new cabinet door. We were at the dealer for no more than 15 minutes and all problems were solved. Folks, this is what customer service should be. We drove 489 miles one way to come to this dealership and we are glad we did. If you are in the market for a new RV, regardless of where you live, you need to consider Fun Town RV. Be sure to talk to "Ty" and let him know that Jerry from RV Road Trip sent you. He'll get a kick out of that.

We have no internet at the campground we are at now. I am sitting in McDonald's at the moment - LOL. So, no updates until Monday evening when we move. We'll post pictures and more info next time.
Happy Halloween everyone! Be sure to visit a Fall Festival at a church near you for great fun and free candy! We'll be leaving Cleburne tomorrow morning headed back South. We'll stop again at McKinney Falls State Park and spend the night, then head on to Falcon State Park or nearby. Oh yeah, we did trade in our old camper on the new one.

We're loving the new camper but have to get used to getting up to go from the table to the refrigerator! We're getting things into place but still have a long way to go. We've made a trip to Walmart and to Lowe's for things and spent $200.00! Oh well, it's things we have to have so no sense in complaining about it. It's all worth it anyway. :)

I'm typing this from McDonald's again so I will be a day late getting the November blog page started as well as posting the October expense summary. I did add a review to the RVer's Library about the Progressive EMS/Surge Protector. Be sure to check that out.

One last thing, while it may appear that we do not respond to the questions or comments posted by the readers, we reply to them individually if they supplied an email address (and the comment warrants a reply). We try not to use the comment box to carry on a running conversation.

See you next month!

RV Blog Archives

2017   JAN, FEB, MAR         Please visit
2014   We did our massive 22 state and 15 national park road trip.
2013   We dealt with Jerry's wreck and thyroid cancer treatment.
2012   JAN, FEB, MAR, APR         We stopped full-timing in April 2012.
2008   The Beginning

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