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16  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Picker Upper on: September 27, 2015, 06:31:59 am
Not sure. The family thing has us here for now. We expect a few months local once my son returns so if it is summer we'll try for Greenbrier State Park here in Maryland. Nice park that we did short trips to this summer and they were short several camp hosts (and there's no bathroom cleaning which is a plus for us). We also considered James Island County Park outside of Charleston, SC if it is winter. They had 14 camp host couples to help run their holiday light display a few years back. The weather was very moderate and it is a really nice park (and no bathroom cleaning). BUT our love is the Pacific Northwest. We were offered a job as Interpretive Hosts at a lighthouse along the Oregon Coast but could not accept it due to the family issues and we would really love to get back there. We want to spend a good bit of time in Oregon and Washington so we may hop around there a while. And, if John is fretting over the money due to our retirement detour, we just might give that Amazon job a try for a season.
17  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Picker Upper on: September 25, 2015, 08:22:18 pm
I know I paid more but I've checked out some of the cheaper ones and you can't pick anything up with them. We checked one at the Hershey show and I got the evil eye from the seller when I tested it right there and it didn't grip anything I tried. I saw the folding ones online but wondered if they would hold up to hoisting a can of soup from an overhead shelf. Some things I pay more for. I need to protect what brain cells I have left and cans HURT!

Ron, as for volunteering, we don't tell anyone, we just do it. That way there are no expectations or requirements so no failure if we opt to not go a certain way. If we do litter pick up as part of a camp host job, THEN we'll have to actually do it on schedule. Of course, taking a hike as part of your job is pretty cool.
18  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Picker Upper on: September 25, 2015, 10:34:10 am
I recently bought the Grip'n Grab from Amazon - this is a very cool tool for about $15.00. When in camp I do a lot of walkabouts as well as hiking and we always pick up trash along the way. Some of the trash is downright nasty so this tool lets us keep picking up trash without putting our hands on cigarette butts or used tissues or buggy food containers. I wouldn't carry this on a heavy duty hike but definitely on shorter ones. I picked up squished cigarette butts, single pieces or paper, wet receipts stuck to the road, tin cans and even a full water bottle. It does a great job with all of it. We plan to do some camp hosting when we get back on the road so we are getting a second one for John so we can both do the cleanup with ease.

It also works around the house to get hard to reach items. They advertise it holds up to five pounds but the strength of your arm and the angle will determine what you can lift with it. I can easily get cans and boxes out of the cupboard several feet above me. One caution - if you get one, DO NOT lift heavy things OVER your head. This particular tool seems to be nice and strong and grippy but I would not trust any tool or the strength of my wrist to keep a full jar of spaghetti sauce from clocking me in the head.
19  Main Forum / General Discussion / NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt MD Open House 9/26/15 on: September 22, 2015, 07:59:33 pm
For those that live in the DC area or are passing through, this Saturday is also a free open house at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Tons of stuff going on with free tours and activities and access to some of the techs.

If you are not in the area now but this sounds good, it might be something to hit next year... especially if you plan to be in the area already for the Intervec/Phoenix Reunion.
20  Main Forum / General Discussion / Free day at Museums 9/26/15 on: September 22, 2015, 07:53:53 pm
Our AAA magazine had an article on Smithsonian's Free Museum Day. The Smithsonian museums are always free but once a year they get other museums to let people in for free. You have to register with your name and email and print your ticket, good for free admission for two people to one museum that day. The free museums are all over the country and you don't have to be local so even those on the road can enjoy. John and I plan to hit the Newseum down in DC that day. We've been meaning to go and this will save us around $46.00. Museums are so expensive - living near DC we are seriously spoiled with all the excellent free museums so it is hard to cough up the cash for the ones that charge. Check out the website, search the list or the interactive map and see if it works for you.
21  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: RV Shows?? on: September 22, 2015, 06:15:34 am
Commenting back on towing the Subaru Forrester - it is a standard transmission / stick shift all wheel drive. We put it in neutral to tow. The Forrester also comes in automatic but that cannot be towed four down.
22  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 22, 2015, 06:12:31 am
This is purely my opinion but Kermit seems to seek out the cool RV stuff and add it to his babies. He is very proud of what he builds and seems to have a goal of making the best RV he can. Phoenix doesn't necessarily flaunt it though. We researched and compared RVs and chose the Phoenix but even with all that research, plus seeing one at a show, plus a factory tour, there were cool features we didn't know we had until we took delivery. One example is the in-tank flushing system. This is really cool and would have been a plus on my list but I didn't know about it. I knew others offered it for an additional charge but there it was as a standard feature on our Phoenix.
23  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 22, 2015, 05:54:27 am
I'm clueless about these things but would it make sense to mount a new battery monitor in the same place as the old one? My brain says all the wires are already there, they just don't feed to a digital display. Even if the wires aren't there, you could run them and just pull out the old monitor since it is useless anyhow. (Though the height might be an issue).

I know you'd find a use for all those rectangles over the stove. They will call to you until you use every one.
24  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 20, 2015, 08:09:16 am
And again - I found the paper amongst the mass of show goodies. They pay $10.75 for days, $11.25 for nights plus that extra $1.00  per hour completion bonus. Over 40 hours a week is paid at time and a half. You get a full hook up site with an electric allowance. They make arrangements with local campgrounds, give you a list for the area you were hired for, you pick one and reserve your site, the bill goes to and is paid directly by Amazon. Job descriptions, requirements and some videos are on the website.

The sites may change over the years. They used to have one in Utah but no longer need outside help. The camper force fills in where the local work force cannot supply enough labor for the big holiday push. They don't want to take away jobs from the locals.
25  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 20, 2015, 07:27:50 am
Oh, the Amazon work is order fulfillment: pulling stock, shipping and receiving.
26  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 20, 2015, 07:23:01 am
Bill, thanks for the pics. Earl and Kyle told me about the macerator but my bum knee wasn't willing to scrunch down there to check it out. Earl said it pumps the tanks almost three times faster. Nice. I saw John's eyes light up at that.

They also have cool LED lights along the inner edge of the awning that operate on their own switch. Also nice.

We hurt ourselves at the show. ONE day is not enough. Lots of walking and climbing in and out of RVs. Three years ago John and I went as nearly totally clueless wannabes. This year we went with a completely different viewpoint.  Phoenix wins hands down on inside storage which is big with us. The kitchen beats out all but the big ones. Even some of the big guys had less functional kitchens and less bedroom storage. Some of the rigs were built on the Freightliner chassis (34-40 feet) and there were three steps up to get in the CAB door with that first step from the ground being a big one. It was at least five steps to get in the house door. It was a BIG trucker dude type rig. We did a LOT of steps.

My granddaughter was shopping for one for her and her dad (6'4") and their two large dogs. She really liked the ones with bunk beds. She said "Daddy gets the big bed, I get the top bunk and the doggies get the bottom bunk." She found that floor plan in travel trailers, class A's and class C' s.

We were floored at the cost of the tiny tear drop shaped trailers. One was barely more than a bed you could just sit up in and it was over 6K.

One interesting vendor was Amazon camperforce. You apply and commit to work mid-September until December 23rd. They pay your full hook up campsite and ten dollars and change per hour plus an additional dollar per hour completion bonus (if you stay the whole time). A couple can make $113k in one season. You can make even more with shift differential and overtime. The rest of the year you go out and play.

You can pull this up online. The Texas site is full but they are still hiring for KY, TN  southern IN. The rep said temps are usually lows in 40's and highs in 50's or 60's for that time with weather turning bad in January and February.

27  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 18, 2015, 01:24:30 pm
Tom, I just checked the website - WOW, looks nice. I expect to see you two back up here with great tans and nice relaxed smiles. A whole month? Post pics once in a while so we can all envy you. I especially want one of you guys shooting out of those water slides. We'll meet you at The Tilted Kilt for lunch when you get back so you can tell us all about it.
28  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 18, 2015, 11:20:19 am
Ron, here's a video clip from Gary Bunzer's site (The RV Doctor). He is giving several seminars I hope to attend. I liked the aerial shots of the show on the clip
29  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 18, 2015, 11:02:38 am
Wow, Ron, you make me feel bad. I just want to go and give Earl a hard time (and Kyle if he is there). Grammy always told me I was her little angel, but my halo was just a little crooked. I'm OK with that. It's a little far for you to do it for a day buy it might be a fun thing for next year if you can put a few vacation days together. They might be able to use your help driving the rigs out (and back if they don't sell them at the show). You should check with Earl. 

As for the show, it is massive. I just printed the discount tickets and their blurb says "21 Acres of displays. Over 1,200 RVs!!!"
Oh boy, I can't wait.

30  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: RV Shows?? on: September 18, 2015, 10:52:28 am
We did have problems getting the base plate and hitch assembly but that is because we bought one of the first of the totally redesigned Forrester model. Demco had not designed a plate to fit the car yet and we waited months with no luck, so we have a hybrid. I believe our hitch is Demco but our base plate is Blue Ox. We had to pay extra for adapters for the connection from hitch to base plate to make them match. Our base plate "pegs" have two "fingers" and our hitch arms (with the adapters) have three fingers. The two fingers are held securely between the three fingers when towing. I believe if we had had a straight Demco set up, it would have been one finger on the arms held between the two on the baseplate. I don't know if what we have is better, but it was such a pain getting it all straight that I tell myself it is. I figure it is harder to bend or break those two fingers than it would be with a single one. I assume the standard setups for either brand work well together. Our RV mechanic just preferred the Demco hitch. So, I recommend checking around to see who will be installing your towing system and ask them for recommendations and explanations as to why they chose one over the other. If you are doing the install yourselves, then the internet as Ron suggested and other RV'ers are your information source. 
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