Raleigh, North Carolina

Day 7


     Raleigh is the Capital of North Carolina. About the same as Baltimore, except the people talk funny.

Actually, Raleigh is much cleaner than Baltimore.


Upon our arrival we were embraced by the local people.


     We walked around the Capital building and had lunch at a neat hot dog joint called “Tasty 8’s Gourmet hot dogs”.

We then visited the local museums.image




imageActually, it is a brown pelican




Actually, it’s a brown pelican.


Technical Stuff:


     Never having used propane before I did not realize how it was measured. Spending the time in our driveway we went through the first tank in 3 days because of the cold temperature down to 4 degrees. A neighbor told us that the local hardware store, 2 miles from our house, filled propane tanks. We took our 30 pound tank to them and I asked to watch as they filled. The tank has marked on it that it weighs 25 lbs. empty. The attendant weighed the tank and added 30 lbs. of propane to make the new total tank weight 55 lbs. They charged 79 cents a pound. which came to $25.13 including tax.

     When we got to Williamsburg, I asked at the RV park the price of propane and was told $2.92. I mentioned that is quite a jump from what I paid at home of 79 cents. The reply was she could not buy it wholesale at that price.

     Barbara then called around to find other suppliers of propane and learned that the quote we got at the campground was per gallon of propane, 7.2 to fill our tank, and not per pound. So, as it turned out, the cost at the RV park was less expensive than the cost at home.

     If any of my readers who use propane can further enlighten me, please leave a comment. How do I measure the amount remaining in the tank? The gauge on my tanks are either all red (empty) or all green (full) but no graduation in between.

Four Oaks, North Carolina

    Day 6

     It is a beautiful day, the rain and wind have stopped. Time to move on toward the warm weather of Florida. We are still learning how to pack the RV so that things don’t break as we travel down the road…..We are STILL learning. Fortunately, we can spend the money that would go to our son and granddaughters to replace these items. Sorry guys, fend for yourself. Grandma Barbara is spending your money.

     We traveled 4 hours to Four Oaks, North Carolina for a 3 day stay to visit the surrounding area. Again, we are still learning how to level the RV. The 3 slide outs cannot be employed until the unit is level.The automatic leveler is not that automatic, probably because we are not doing it correctly. The manuals that came with the Cedar Creek were not that detailed or informative. Trial and error is how we are learning. It is amazing how much error exists. 


Technical Stuff:

201.5 miles traveled today

10.4 mpg

$1.79/gallon Diesel fuel

A day of rest


Day 5


     It was a beautiful day, raining and foggy, plus winds from yesterday’s tornado remaining at 20 mph gusting to 40 mph. Your perspective changes when you are retired with nothing to do but travel around the Country. Because of the high wind gusts, we decided to spend another day in Williamsburg.

     We spent the day laying around, enjoying our new 5th Wheel. We did manage to spend some time organizing the things we brought with us. Making a list of items to return to Maryland and items we need to add.  Like any new venture you say “Why didn’t I think to bring that” or “Why did we bring all these extra things?”

I see that the rain has stopped. Would you like a tour of the outside of our RV?

It's not much, but we call it home.
It’s not much, but we call it home.
The RV and truck barley fit in our space.
The RV and truck barely fit in our space.

We carry two 30 pound (8 gallons) propane tanks that provide our heat, hot water, and cooking flame. We have 100 cu. ft. of basement storage space, plus a small storage area by our  5.5 KW generator:


 _DSC0395 _DSC0398

It has hydraulic jacks and a self leveling system._DSC0404 _DSC0419Our water is either supplied by the campground, or we can draw on our 40 gallon fresh water tank.

_DSC0426We installed a water filtration system (blue cylinder), and it has plumbing for an outside shower to which I put a multipurpose nozzle. _DSC0425

_DSC0424It has a roof antenna, as well has hookups for cable or satellite TV. _DSC0407

We are powered by 50 amp campground electricity, to which we added a surge protector

_DSC0413 _DSC0412

When we are not hooked up to electricity, we have 4 six volt batteries. Each two sets are wired in series, to give us 12 volts, then each series is wired in parallel, which gives us the equivalent of two twelve volt batteries. Of course, we also have the above generator.


We have a 20 cu. ft. refrigerator. When we are using battery power, we have a 1000 watt inverter that converts 12 volts to 110 to run the fridge.


_DSC0408We have 3 holding tanks for waste (we are shitty people). Each holds 40 gallons. One for kitchen water, one for showers and bathroom sink. And one for our poop. _DSC0411 _DSC0409We installed a visual attachment to our waste water hose so we can see our poop go away.

We have the Cedar Creek graphics package to round out our home on wheels._DSC0396_DSC0415_DSC0421_DSC0423


Technical Stuff:

Miles driven 0

MPG 2,500

Newport News, Virginia

Day 4


     What’s new in Newport News? It’s the Mariner’s Museum.

     One of there main exhibits is the USS Monitor Center (of the Battle of the Merrimack and Monitor fame). At the battle of Hampton Roads, where the battle of the ironclads took place, neither ship won. However, the Monitor, a captured Northern ship renamed Virginia at the time of the battle, sank a couple of months later in a storm. I learn something new every day. (But I remember in my Northern elementary school class being told the Merrimack won, but here in the South they say it was a draw.)

     The museum encompass an impressive array of items from early navigation of the Greeks and Italians (but nothing on the Vikings) to the present.

     While we were there, the tornado came through that killed 3 people about 4 miles from us. During the storm, we were locked into the museum. What a bunch of wimps.

     Right now, at 2 AM, the wind is blowing at 22 MPH. The RV is a rocking. We intend to leave for North Carolina in the morning. Are you in suspense? Tune in tomorrow to see what happens.


Technical Stuff:

76.8 total miles today

17.6 MPG

Yorktown, Virginia

Day 3


     The Yorktown Victory Center is being built by the same Foundation that did Jamestown Settlement we visited yesterday. While it is only partially completed, what they have done so far is unbelievable.

     Obviously when Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington to end the Revolutionary War there was no photography. However, when photography was developed, a project was done to photograph those few still surviving that took part in the War. Along with their picture was a short narrative by those people of what part they played. One person was at Lexington when the first shot of the War was fired, while another was a soldier that was at the surrender at Yorktown. As we progressed through the museum and battleground it gave you a different perspective of the War.

    Another part of the Center were two military gentlemen (retired, and volunteers at the Center) who described the reason, from a military standpoint, the start of the Revolution, the strategies of the major battles, why somethings worked and others didn’t. They explained why Washington was losing battles at the beginning of the War and how he, and his advisers, adapted and obviously won the War. They then answered all our questions. Fortunately for us, we were the only two to attend (it is off season). It was fascinating, even for me, a student of the Revolution (after all, that is when American law began, and I used it often in teaching my Criminal Justice courses).

     Another part of the exhibit were two women, dressed in the manner of the time, displaying the various uniforms and clothing worn not only by the soldiers, but also slaves, servants, farmers, moderate people, and wealthy people. You could touch and try on the clothing. A very educational and enjoyable experience.

     Then, as in Jamestown, there was the live exhibit, in this case the encampment which depicted not only the soldiers life, but those that followed the Army, as well as those living in Yorktown at the time of the battle.


Barbara loves men in uniform

     We then drove through the battleground. A nice place to put up condos.


Technical Stuff:

56 miles round trip

13.2 MPG

Diesel fuel: $1.73

Jamestown, Virginia

Day 2


     It is only appropriate that our first stop on our journey is the place where the English first settled in North America, the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. There are two areas of Historic Jamestown: Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown. The first is the result of cooperation between the State of Virginia and a private foundation. The result is an impressive museum and walking tours of the area, including archaeological digs. The second area is part of the Colonial National Historical Park, administered by the National Park Service. Since the history of Jamestown is the same, they overlap. However, the National Park was not as impressive because of the overwhelming information and knowledge presented by the Jamestown Settlement in their magnificent museum, live demonstrations, and presentations.

 Technical Stuff:

45.5 Round trip from Campground

14.2 MPG


Williamsburg, Virginia

Day 1


     The American Heritage RV Park in Virginia, where we stayed for our first night on our 5 year journey, is rated 10/10/10 by Good Sam Club, an organization devoted to RVers. It stands for a perfect score in their three rated areas: facilities, restrooms and showers, and visual appearance.  

     Although the campground is neat and clean and has numerous facilities, mostly geared for children, the campsites are small and packed together. Our site, # 39, is a pull through site, which means we can access the site by not having to back our rig into the site but going forward to enter the site and continue forward to exit the site. It has “full hookups”, meaning it has electricity, water, and sewer.

     Being the first time, it wasn’t pull through for me, as I had to jockey this mammoth around to get all six landing legs on the cement surface and the hook up inlets to my rig parallel to the facilities outlets. It took about 6 tries, including starting over by going around the block to get a fresh start. Being the first time, we realized our signals to each other for movement directions, Barbara on the outside guiding me with a walkie-talkie, needs vast improvement. Fortunately for us, it was getting dark when we arrived, and the other, more experienced RVers, did not pull up their lawn chairs to be entertained by the newbies attempting to park their 40′ RV for the first time. To warn people on the highway of our status, I had a bumper sticker made saying “Rookie Driver”

     Although our first night was cool, it beat the snow and freezing temperatures we just came from, plus we had the comfort of our own fireplace.


 Technical Stuff:

236 miles from our driveway to American Heritage RV Park

6 hours and 10 minutes drive time because of 2 hour delays on the Washington Beltway (try driving a 21 foot Dodge RAM pulling a 40 foot RV on 495, that’s an experience).

11.2 miles per gallon (without the trailer, I was getting 16 miles per gallon).


On Your Mark, Get Set, Goooooooooo!

     We are leaving our driveway for the most dangerous area in the World, the  American highways.

     Finally, after two weeks in our driveway, trapped by the cold and snow storms, we are now on the road. Heading for Williamsburg, Virginia, for day 1 of our 5 year journey.

     The time in our driveway was not wasted. In fact, we have actually been living in the RV for the two weeks. We have learned how to use all the systems, including filing the propane tanks 4 times because of the record breaking cold. Who’s idea was it to by an RV in the winter time anyway?

     The heating unit kept us toasty, even when the temperature dropped to 4 degrees. We bought the unit with the Arctic package which is advertised to withstand temperatures down to 0 degrees. Main problem is our water lines freezing. No problem. Hope the air conditioner works as well when we cross death valley.

     Our king size bed is very comfortable. The refrigerator is filled with food, and the unit has been completely stocked with clothes, camping supplies, tools, and all of our personnel items. We were ready.

     Barbara really liked the way she looked in the bathroom vanity mirror:image


      The truck and unit are handling great. We practiced backing up and hitching and unhitching the unit to the tow truck. We expect no problems.

Well, this is certainly not as planned

    Driving down the Florida highway to Key West, sun shining, pleasant temperatures, our new RV humming along. What a beautiful day. What more could you ask for?

     What I could ask for is that it be true. Instead, I am sitting in my own driveway trapped by a snow storm, with another storm on it’s way.                                 

     The snow covered branches are banging against the rear window mocking me. “Hi Hi, caught you.”                                      

  Turning to my side window, snow everywhere. 3 inches and rising. Weatherman said we might get some flurries. I don’t believe the weatherman can predict yesterday’s weather. 

Since we are living in the RV now, I am taking precautions against the water pipes freezing. The temperature is anticipated to drop to the single digits this weekend. With another storm on it’s way, looks like we won’t get out of here for another week. Hope the snow doesn’t crush the Unit.