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301  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 05, 2016, 10:38:03 am
Youve probably already read our notes for these parks on our blog but maybe these comments will trigger thoughts from other people that have been there.

Zion We ate at Caf Oscars in Springdale which is the town that butts up to main entrance of Zion. It was a good Mexican/American mix and we would recommend it. We camped in the park itself and spent most of our time hiking so this was our only activity outside the park. We camped in Hurricane for a bit, down the road from Zion, while we took care of vehicle maintenance and such in St. George but cant recommend any of the places we ate there. Im sure they have better restaurants we just werent lucky enough to hit them. St. George is the nearest city with all the stores, malls, strip malls, service centers, etc. We also drove through the Zion Tunnel with the Subaru. We saw RVs going through the tunnel but they have to stop all traffic both ways then send them through. We opted to forego that. There are lots of interesting rock formations on the other side of the tunnel but not always a lot of places to pull over. We wanted to hike up to the top of the tunnel but the parking lot was packed both times we passed it.

Bryce We stayed in the park most of the time then stayed a few days at the Bryce Pines Resort on Rte 12. We ate at the Bryce Pines Restaurant on Rte 12 and it had good home style food with ample portions and reasonable prices. We also ate in the town of Bryce itself at Rubys Inn which is a decent buffet but also the main tourist stop where all the tour buses go so timing is everything. They have a general store, gift shop, etc. attached to the Inn. There is a general store in Bryce National Park itself where you can get soup, chili, hot dogs, ice cream, etc. Everything out there is a long drive so this was the place we hit when we were in Bryce. You can spend a full day just checking out the visitor center and then driving to all the overlooks at Bryce but YOU HAVE TO hike the hoodoos. The view from down in the canyon, surrounded by the stone people is AWESOME! They also have horseback rides down into the canyon and back if you dont want to hike it but I definitely recommend you hike.

Are you trying to hit both parks from the one campground? If so, that is some hefty driving.
302  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: April 04, 2016, 05:58:45 pm
WELCOME!!!   MeetYa
John and I full timed in our 2552 for a year and half before we were temporarily grounded by family issues. We absolutely loved it, miss it, and plan to hit the road again as soon as things are settled here and then stay on the road until we can't do it anymore. You can click our name to see our posts on this site and our blog name is below my signature on this post. We have not put our first year up on the blog yet mainly because we've been lazy and consistent blogging feels too much like work. There seems to always be something more fun to do.

I do have a few basic things that make it work for us: We carry two weeks worth of clothing... PLUS. So two weeks of slacks and tops, two weeks plus a few extras of everyday socks and undergarments. So far we've always been able to hit a laundromat in a town or campground before we ran out of clean clothing. We also carry the "specials": Cold weather - thin base layer/long underwear, wool sweater or fleece top, warm socks, winter jacket, gloves, warm hats; Hot weather/water sports - wide brim hat, swimsuit and light beach towel, flip flops (double as shower shoes), strap on water shoes (rafting/kayaking), wicking shirt, pants and underwear: work clothing: one set each of something that can get all the goo on it and you are willing to wear crawling under the vehicles - we recently bought Tyvek overalls for something else and think those will be our work coverup when we go back on the road; rain gear - we each have a full rain suit; hiking: hiking boots, socks, trekking poles.

Our kitchen has a full set of decent knives, nesting pans, nesting bowls/colander/strainer/measuring cups, a set of silicone bakeware that mostly nest, etc. The nesting items save an enormous amount of space and it is easy to find things. Most of what we have on board can serve more than one purpose.

One thing I did for months before moving into the RV was to put a paper and pencil in each room of the house - usually taped to the wall or set on a bedside table. Pack or stash all but what you think you will need in the RV then live with it. Pull things out and add to your active items only if necessary. After a while, look at what you started with, what you used and what you added and make sure your "zone" lists are up to date and contain only what you actually need. For example, my bedside table had tissues, chap stick, water bottle, e-reader, neck brace, bandanna (eye cover). All the other stuff that cluttered my night stand weren't necessary so when we moved into the RV, only those items I used regularly went with us and I planned in advance for where they would be stored. We did this for every room. You would do it for your animals also (we did this for our cat - she had a long list and we wound up dedicating a full shelf, plus, to her).

I am working on a cabinet by cabinet, bin by bin inventory of what we carry in our 2552. If you are interested in receiving a copy when I am done, I will be happy to share it with you. Everyone is different but sometimes seeing someone else's list will trigger a thought and plan for your own.

I really like the term "Pilgrimage to Elkhart". Evokes a feeling of wonder and hope.

Enjoy your PC planning and have an awesome life on the road.
303  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: March 27, 2016, 06:29:05 pm
I am looking for a small unit (2100,2350.2351,2400)

Jan, I would recommend a full time bed. Several of the smaller units require making up the bed each night and cleaning it up in the morning. You then have to store all the bedding. While it seems like a small thing, it can get old fast. The 2350, 2551 and 2552 have full time beds (corner, twin, twin) and the option to have the electric couch that reclines to any angle and can make into a bed. I personally slept on one half of the couch for 6.5 weeks (and had to make it up and take it apart each night - easy to do, but still...). John and the granddaughter had the twin beds. I was fine on the couch and slept with my head slightly raised instead of putting the couch flat down. This worked well for me.

John and I full timed for a year and half in our 2552 (working half time from the rig) and had periods when we had our granddaughter along with us. The full time bed allowed one of us to lay in bed sick while the other drove when we had to check out of a site (bad bout of the flu at one point). The 2552/2551/2350 configurations also allow one person to be in bed while the other has use of the front of the motorhome (coffee, tv, cooking, computer work, whatever). If the only bed is the convertible couch, you do not have that luxury. While this wouldn't matter if you traveled alone, it will make a HUGE difference if your mother is along.

The twin beds are far easier to get into and out of than the corner bed (again, thinking of your mother). Any of the units are small enough to navigate in even if you are unsteady on your feet. They are all easy to drive. The controls for the awning, slide, water heater, pump, generator, etc. are all push button.

We are temporarily grounded but hoping to get back on the road before long. I will likely have knee surgery before that happens and will still be rehabilitating it. I mention this because I've already thought about how that will affect traveling in the RV when I have limited leg function. The only potentially difficult spot will be the house steps but Phoenix has a long, lighted handle to hold onto to assist in getting in and out so I don't think that will be an issue. It will be easier than the stairs at the house we are in.

If you have specific questions, ask away. If you want privacy, you can send personal messages to any member. I found everyone to be extremely helpful and responsive when I was considering a Phoenix.


304  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / No Bake Energy Bites from King Arthur Flour on: March 15, 2016, 08:30:43 am
I ran across this recipe and tested it out yesterday. It's a winner. I figure we'll be making these while stationary here in Maryland and when we get back on the road. It is a pretty basic recipe and you adapt it to your tastes with the add ins. I used peanut butter as the nut butter and vanilla protein powder in place of the dried milk (it's what I had on hand) and used sweetened coconut, mini chocolate chips and a bit of Grape Nuts as the add ins. I also put in the 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder to make a nice chocolate hit. These are goooood. They will make a nice, quick breakfast or road snack for when we are avoiding cooking. The link is

They do take space in the fridge but I put almost thirty in one little tupperware type container so they don't take that much space; just layer them with waxed paper. Enjoy!
305  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: towing. is it worth it for a 24ft? on: March 14, 2016, 07:50:31 am
The answer is going to be based on what you are willing to do every time you want to run out and how good you are at keeping stuff stowed. Breaking camp requires the following: unhook water and electric and store the cords, hoses and any metering/pressure control devices. Stow the jacks and jack pads. Pull in the slide and awning. Stow any outdoor gear you don't want left on site like grill, etc. Crank down antenna. Pull off and stow windshield covers. Lock down all outside bins. Stow all movable items inside. Close all inside cabinets. Lock down inside doors and front curtain. Double check and hit the road.

It sounds like a lot but John and I can break camp in less than 15 minutes, working as a team.

If you truly move every night a tow vehicle might not make sense but our experience was that once we got past the sense of urgency to hurry, hurry, hurry from site to site, we realized how awesome it is to settle in one spot for a while and really check out an area. Our tow vehicle gets us out to dinner, down to the beach, around those restricted roads with tight curves or weight limits, down rutted roads we don't want to take the Phoenix on, etc.

The flip side is that towing a vehicle changes your parking options while you are touring so it is totally based on your style.

All that said, you can wait and see. The hitch will be there if you decide to tow later.
306  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Just introducing myself on: March 08, 2016, 06:10:18 am
 LOL. Ron, don't ask them. In situations like these it's best to make the decision yourself - go with blessing and be happy inside.
307  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / First Aid Kit on: March 04, 2016, 07:56:56 am
We have a very well packed first aid kit on board the Phoenix but a recent mishap has made me reevaluate what should be in there. While we are not usually in full wilderness camping mode, we have been far from other people on several occasions and usually don't know exactly where an emergency facility is so we need to be ready.

The mishap was while we were putting the vinyl windshield cover back on the rig at the storage site. I think my left hand is jealous of my right hand because it slammed the driver door on it really hard... hard enough for the door to latch. I was able to yank the door open-mid scream to get the hand out but the gash on the knuckle did not want to stop bleeding. Luckily we were within 2 miles of an Urgent Care facility. Watching them glue my finger back together gave me the inspiration to update our first aid kit. We already carry a first aid clotting agent (there is a special one for those on blood thinners also), gauze bandaging, butterfly bandages and first aid tape, but I am adding super glue and steri-strips which is what they used on me. The glue seals the gash and the steri-strips act almost like stitches (let the glue dry first). They used a medical super glue but I figure the standard stuff will do in a pinch. I am also adding the stretch bandages that stick to themselves because those are way easier than wads of tape and they make an excellent outer wrap on the injury.

Mini First Aid training: The gash on my finger was on a knuckle, not terribly deep but gapping wide and bleeding. The first aid was: 1) Soak the finger in a cup of Iodine (owwee) then pat dry with sterile gauze; 2) put the super glue in the wound, line up the edges, squeeze shut and blow to dry - try not to glue your fingers to the patient; 3) stick steri-strips across the wound like stitches; 4) cover with bandaids (or gauze and tape); 5) splint; 6) wrap with the stretch bandage. Instructions are to keep dry at least 24 hours and let steri-strips fall off on their own... and watch for infection. Voila, no need to hunt for a medic! (Deep wounds may need stitches so don't glue those - find a doctor)

So, the reason for this post is to encourage everyone to check out their first aid kit and beef it up if necessary. If you don't carry one, get one!
308  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Amazon Smile on: March 04, 2016, 07:22:34 am
Personally, we love Amazon. When we are on the road, we pick a future town to deliver our stuff to General Delivery and it's there when we get there. We got to the point we were ordering cat food online after finding local stores didn't stock Miss Picky's chosen brand. Most of the stuff in our Phoenix came via Amazon. So I was quite happy to find out that they have a charity program going that costs shoppers nothing extra and doesn't change the shopping experience - Amazon Smile. You go to Smile.Amazon.Com (I searched and accessed from within Amazon so it already had my account info) and select a charity from their list. Now you do your Amazon shopping by going to and .5% of all eligible purchases automatically goes to your chosen charity. If you don't have a preferred charity, our granddaughter's PTA, which we belong to, would love the help (Ballenger Creek Elem PTA).

If you have a favorite charity that isn't in there, I was told it is easy to set up as long as they have government nonprofit/charity status. That you'd have to check out though. I wasn't in on the set up but saw a link for setting it up on Amazon Smile site (Ron, your church comes to mind).

So pick a charity and have fun shopping!
309  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Awning doesn't completely roll up on: March 04, 2016, 06:27:32 am
We have not had that problem but I believe 2013 is the first year they put them on the 2552. The purpose is to add support and prevent sag so my suggestion is to figure out how the awning is mounted and see if something has loosened up. It worked before but doesn't now so something changed.
310  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: PC Sighting on: February 24, 2016, 06:51:18 am
Our Phoenix meetings usually generate wish lists of new toys for the rig: cool chairs, better organizers and so on. We aren't much on diy so no to do list for us, just wishful thinking.
311  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: PC Sighting on: February 23, 2016, 05:34:19 am
Not us. We are also hanging in Maryland.
312  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Therapy on: February 18, 2016, 12:43:16 am
I totally agree!
313  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Free National Park Pass for Fourth Graders on: February 16, 2016, 04:51:28 pm
I ran across this program online and wanted to pass it along in the hope that you will all pass it along. The NPS is giving a free annual national park pass to fourth graders that do an online activity or a classroom activity (the teacher then prints their paper pass). They can take their paper pass and exchange it for a plastic keepsake card at select sites. The website says the NPS will repeat this every year for fourth graders only (someone decided 9-11 year old kids are open to discovering the world around them so they plan to draw them in). The pass gets all kids under 16 plus three adults into NPS sites that charge entrance fees (and that accept annual passes). The rules and regulations as well as the link for the child to access the online activity are all linked through this site: They have to be able to print their paper pass immediately after competing the activity.

John finally hit 62 so we have the Senior Pass but we paid $80.00 for an annual pass before he hit that benchmark. The Fourth Grade kids pass runs on a school calendar so it is September through August. If you have 4th grade grandchildren or school affiliations that you can pass this on to.... share the info. It works for home schooled children also that are 10 years old/4th grade equivalent. All the info is online. We will be getting a pass for our 4th grade Granddaughter, Chloe, and will let her "pay" our admission to any NPS sites we hit through August. She is already heavily into the Junior Ranger program so this just adds one more cool NPS keepsake.
314  Main Forum / Polls / Re: Favorite Exterior Color on: February 14, 2016, 06:24:58 am
It is truly a personal choice. All of the color schemes have some light areas and that is where the dirt shows. We are very happy with our full-body Sunlit which might be similar to toast. There is a nice contrast in the colors and we get a lot of compliments. Most of our camping is under trees so we don't worry about solar heat gain. In cold weather we do try to get an open site to catch as much sun as possible. The roof on all of them is white and the awning keeps one side of the rig cool so color doesn't matter there in hot weather. If our plan was to live in full sun in deserts and on beaches, we would have considered all white. Most people buy the motor home to experience different areas so color shouldn't be a consideration there.

And Tom, John picked our color. He was not sure about my gypsy life plan and for one of the few times in my life, I was smart enough to shut up and go with it. I was thinking the slightly darker Cafe but am totally happy with Sunlit.

I'm pretty sure the colors are still paired - the two browns use the same colors just different placement so you are basically choosing Brown/Beige or Black/Gray. Then the choice is lighter or darker. 

If you make it to the factory or a show, they have actual samples to see and touch as well as units to check out and see how it all comes together.
315  Main Forum / Polls / Re: Favorite Interior Color on: February 14, 2016, 05:53:07 am
I'm not getting the poll choices so this won't show in the tally but I would opt for desert sand. We chose cherry cabinets and the light brown tones are beautiful with it. It's hard to see online but it looks like the countertops are similar to our Sunlit interior and we love the marbeling in them.

Update-poll was unlocked so my vote is in.
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