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 > Your search for posts made by 'mgirardo' found 95 matches.

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RE: road trip in Feb or March

After leaving Savannah, stop at Jekyll Island, GA (Exit 29 on I-95). Lots of history on Jekyll Island and many miles of walking and biking paths. February can get chilly, although the last couple years it was nice. March will be very nice weather. There are a couple restaurants on the island, but a short drive (15 minutes) to St. Simons Island will offer a lot more dining choices, including some fine dining. There is also Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island. Both Jekyll and St. Simons Islands are barrier islands with beaches. Jekyll Island's beaches are nicer. -Michael
mgirardo 11/10/20 06:11am Roads and Routes
RE: On the road breakdown stories..

No issue with the RV, but twice had to have the TV and HTT on the back of a tow truck and once the TV had to be towed to replace the transmission. We were heading home from Disney World back in 2005. We had just made it to the VA/NC line when the check engine light came on. We were hoping to make it home that day and still had about 7 hours (we lived in NJ at the time). When we finally stopped to check it out, there was tranny fluid everywhere. We were able to limp to a KOA a few miles away. In the morning we had the TV towed to a nearby GM dealer where they had to replace the tranny; a day and a half and $1,600 later, we were back on the road. The first time both HTT & TV had to be towed was on our way from Ocean City, NJ to Hershey Park. We were planning to spend a few days at Hershey's High Meadow Campground and going to the Park. Going up the Commodore Barry Bridge, I lost power for a moment; pressed the gas pedal and nothing. I backed of the pedal and tried again and all was well. Came down the bridge fine and came to the first traffic light to make a left. Halfway through the turn, I lost power and could not get it back. I was able to coast to the right turning lane for a gas station and I think a Walmart, but didn't have enough momentum to get into the parking lot. Called AAA. The only tow truck they could find that could accommodate our family of 4 with a booster seat and a car seat was actually back at the Jersey Shore, dropping of a vehicle. So we waited. Since we had just bought the HTT a couple months ago, we had a free year of service from CoachNet, so we called them. They told us the same thing. So a few hours later, the tow truck driver calls to confirm what we have and let us know where he was. After he hooks us up and we get on the way, he explains that AAA and CoachNet both contacted him. Since we wanted to get to Hershey, we stuck with AAA since CoachNet wouldn't tow us the almost 80 miles to Hershey Park, but AAA would. Turns out the TV's fuel pump failed. The second time was more avoidable. I used to organize an off-roading event every year. We'd spend a few days at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park in Tremont, PA and wheel our Nissan Xterras. Since I wheeled with 33" Super Swamper Boggers on my X which don't have great road manners, I had a second set of wheels and tire for the street. I drive up with the street tires and swapped them at the campground. After the last day of wheeling, I took the Boggers off and put the street tires back on. The next morning, I hook up the HTT and head out. I take I-81 to I-78 and head east. I get about 25 miles down I-78 and I can't get the Xterra to accelerate. I can hear and feel the engine revving, but I can't accelerate past 50 mph. I'm a couple miles from the SR 61 exit, where the Cabela's is, so I just accept the lack of power and decide I'll get off at exit 29. It wasn't as built up back then (2008), but I knew there was an Advanced Auto I could go to. About a mile down the road, the rear driver's side tire comes off the Xterra. That corner drops a little and I see the brake drum cover rollback behind me and the tire goes bouncing past me. It bounces over the Jersey wall, avoids 2 different vehicles on the west bound side, then falls. I don't see where it fell. I pulled over and take a look. Four of the 6 lug nut bolts are sheared off and the other 2 are completely stripped. I call AAA. Fortunately the driver isn't far away, but he'll be about 45 minutes. While I wait, I check on my run-away tire. It had fallen just inside the jersey wall, so I grab it and put it in the back of the truck with the other 4 off-road tires. Since we were living in GA then, I just had the driver tow it to my parents in South Jersey. Turned out to be a 98 mile tow, completely covered by AAA Plus with RV. I never found the brake drum cover and ended up having most of the rear suspension replaced. The only things not replaced was the rear diff and axle tube and the axle shaft on the passenger side. We ended up filing a claim with our Auto Insurance. I assume I did not torque down the rear driver's side lug nuts before leaving the campground and they worked themselves loose. I guess the weight of the HTT and the Eqaul-i-zer hitch removed the wiggle from that tire so I had no idea there was an issue with the tire until it came off. I had plenty of tools with me and could have replaced the lug nut studs in Advanced Auto's parking lot if I could have just made it there. -Michael
mgirardo 10/30/20 07:47am General RVing Issues
RE: Tybee Island, GA. Rivers End Campground./Info Appreciated

December is usually still pretty nice, weather wise. The no-see-ums will be out in force though. -Michael
mgirardo 10/22/20 08:26am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Junk Food Breakfast Cereals

It's been a long time since I've had a hot cereal, even longer since a cold cereal. I used to eat Raisin Bran Crunch, stayed crunchy in milk longer than regular Raisin Bran. When I switched to Oatmeal, I'd mash up bananas and add frozen blueberries, no sugar added. It is very good, but I got lazy. Now I usually have a granola bar, some nuts and/or fruit. -Michael
mgirardo 10/20/20 07:23am Around the Campfire
RE: Park models

This is similar to what I've been looking for.Park model These don't have holding tanks. At least most don't. That's not a true Park Model, some manufacturers call them Destination Trailers. True Park Models are like small Mobile homes with residential A/C, a peaked roof with shingles and no holding tanks. We own a Jayco Jayflight Bungalow Destination Trailer. It is similar to the Forest River unit, except ours does have holding tanks. Five tanks total, 1 fresh, 2 gray and 2 black. Ours has a half bath in the bunkhouse. Ours has 4 slides and we leave them out all season long. We live in it the entire season, although one time we did leave for a week, but left all the slides open. Slides are meant to be extended and retracted. Keep up with the maintenance and you can open and close them to your hearts delight, like any other RV. -Michael
mgirardo 09/21/20 07:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Border closings

And its Doctors and Scientists.
mgirardo 09/15/20 06:52am Snowbirds
RE: Needs multi-platform website monitor for son's online usage

I would expect the iPad would be locked down by the school. You may not be able to install apps on it without the school admin's permission. -Michael
mgirardo 09/09/20 09:04am Around the Campfire
RE: Did I ruin my water heater, please help!

There a couple things that will drain the battery even with everything turned off. As mentioned, the carbon monoxide detector, as well as the radio. Using the battery disconnect switch would completely cut power to those things. It is possible you got an old battery from the dealer, but most likely no way to tell that. If you store the trailer at the house, just keep it plugged in or put a trickle charger on the battery to keep it charged. -Michael
mgirardo 09/06/20 06:58am Travel Trailers
RE: Question about exiting in an emergency

My question is: Why isn't the exit designed by the manufacturer to be ore user friendly for the poor victim who is confused, not prepared, incapacitated, or a minor? The exit procedure should be simple and intuitive. Since idiot proof is impossible, at least make it idiot helpful. How could it be made simpler? Turn a lever, open door. How is that any more difficult than at your house? On ours, the dead bolt lever is red and pretty big. Easy to see if flames are licking my backside. -Michael
mgirardo 08/31/20 06:37am General RVing Issues
RE: Tesla crash (2 years ago but in news today)

I read a news story the other day about autopilot and adaptive cruise control issues with stopped vehicles, I wish I could remember where I saw it. It is technically the fault of the autopilot and/or adaptive cruise control since they rely on radar, which doesn't see non-moving objects. The real problem is that these features shouldn't be in use if they can't see non-moving objects. This is not the article I read, but it is similar: -Michael
mgirardo 08/29/20 10:41am Around the Campfire
RE: Moles

For mice,mothballs work good,but you need to really air out the camper afterwards. I dump a box in our sheds every few months. At our seasonal campground, a camper a few sites down from us, put mothballs under the trailer, not inside the trailer. I'd smell the mothballs whenever I'd walk by, but inside the camper it didn't smell if the door and windows weren't open. I would imagine mothballs outside would work better than inside as the mice wouldn't even go near the trailer. -Michael
mgirardo 08/29/20 10:29am General RVing Issues
RE: Small mistakes can make big problems

He was trying very hard to make a great vacation for his family. There's no reason they can't still have a great vacation. Years from now, they certainly will enjoy talking about how dad ruined the brand new RV by overflowing the toilet because he hooked up the fresh water hose to the wrong port. Much like the movie RV his heart was in the right place. Not to nit pick, but that's a bad comparison. The father in RV was deceiving his family, because he was to much of a wuss to stand up to his boss when his boss cancelled his vacation and he was too afraid to tell his family that his boss cancelled his vacation. He told his family he wanted to spend more time with them with a road trip, when in reality, he needed the time to still work while sending them on little excursions as they drove across the country to make it to a meeting. Still a great movie, but his intentions where not to give his family a great vacation. That's what he told them, but that wasn't the real reason. -Michael
mgirardo 08/29/20 10:11am Beginning RVing
RE: Florida closed to travel?

I can't imagine Florida would close down its borders. When the Pandemic first hit, there were COVID-19 checkpoints on I-95 and I-4. The checkpoint on I-95 is gone now, not sure about I-4. Even then, people weren't denied entry, just told to quarantine. That was before Florida was hit hard. Florida's economy can't handle losing all the money that Snowbirds bring into the state. It's very unlikely the state would block snowbirds entering, even if they could. -Michael
mgirardo 08/04/20 08:40am Snowbirds
RE: Transporting Raft from Campsite to Launch Ramp?

Light boat and raft dollies We own a 12' Porta Bote with the porta dollies, so no need for a trailer, but I know plenty of Bote owners that make dollies/trailers out of PVC with long handles. Similar ones for inflatable boats are in the link above, just look at some of the photos for ideas. 1.5 inch PVC can support a lot of weight. I've seen some with just 2 back wheels and others with a 3rd wheel up front so all you have to do is pull, no weight to support. -Michael
mgirardo 08/04/20 08:20am General RVing Issues
RE: portable storage shed

We have a 7x7 Rubbermaid Roughneck shed at our seasonal site. We have the one pictured on the home page. Our Destination Trailer has no outside storage, except under the bed. That storage is large, but only accessible by a small door. It's not the most portable; the box it comes in will fill a standard bed of a pickup, but it can be put together in a couple hours (I put mine together by myself) and taken down even quicker. We have ours on a platform, but as long as the ground is flat and level it will work on bare ground. Doesn't require anything more than normal hand tools. Rubbermaid does make smaller versions that would be more portable and still be large enough for a freezer. -Michael
mgirardo 08/04/20 08:05am Travel Trailers
RE: Why so few Murphy beds ?

I wish our Bungalow came with a Murphy bed in the master bedroom. Ours is a bunkhouse, so the living space is not optimal. It would be nice to have a Murphy bed that was either a bed or when it was pushed up, a sofa was there. I work out of the TT, so being in the main living area can be distracting some times. -Michael
mgirardo 08/04/20 07:57am Travel Trailers
RE: DeWalt vs Milwaukee

I've got an older 18V DeWalt that has served me well, aftermarket replacement batteries are dirt cheap on Amazon, and they do have a 18V to 20V adapter that would allow it to use their modern battery design...but there are times I wish it had more power. This video comparison of DeWalt batteries vs cheap replacement batteries may interest you: Project Farm -Michael
mgirardo 08/03/20 06:42am Around the Campfire
RE: Florida

My mom recently visited the ER for a non-covid issue in a southern NJ hospital. She was in the hallway in the ER until they found a room for her. Then she was in an alcove in the hallway until the results of a covid test came back. She was negative, so they put her into a room. She needed to use a nebulizer, so they actually moved the patient already in that room to another room. They were concerned the nebulizer could pick up airborne covid and make her sick. So she ended up with a private room. Our county here in GA is a hot spot and for a short time, the only Hospital here was using Ambulances as ER space until they could make more room for beds. -Michael
mgirardo 08/01/20 06:46am Around the Campfire
RE: What is your long term Dicor plan?

Eternabond is my long term Dicor plan as well. -Michael
mgirardo 08/01/20 06:19am General RVing Issues
RE: Losing home & need to immediately relocate to truck camper

Everything I need to go off-grid? You will need some way to recharge your battery(ies). Either a Generator or Solar. You can't rely on running the Truck to recharge the battery. If you plan to have a fridge and furnace, you'll need a decent sized battery bank. If you want to run the A/C, then you'll need a generator. Water would be the next big concern, where will you get it? Gas stations may not be too excited to see you filling up large tanks of water. You need to find where low cost or free sources of drinking water are. You also need to know where to dispose of the grey water and black water. Free dump stations are out there, but may not be where you want to be. Basic equipment everyone should bring such as emergency repair kits, hatchets, saws, etc. ? We always traveled with a set of mechanics tools, drill/driver, fuses and duct tape. The hatchet & saw would come in handy if you plan to have camp fires, but not really a necessity. If you plan to boondock alone and your truck doesn't have 4WD, then either a come-along or electric winch with a pull pal would be helpful. The best way to find caravan groups to start out with? Google search or Facebook Groups. All the places you can safely & legally boondock? We've used There is also and probably countless others. Again, Google is your friend. -Michael
mgirardo 08/01/20 06:17am Beginning RVing
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