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A New Chapter; RV in Winter

Applegate Mobile Park
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe   October 22, 2006: Expecting the sale of our house to close next week we begin a new chapter in RV travel. We had a few suggestions and one offer of a place to put our RV for the winter months but came across this park and liked it so much, we've given them a deposit to move there on October 29. This is a 55 and older mobile home park with half a dozen, mostly unoccupied RV spaces. It is about 25 minutes to commute to my job from this park so why choose it over the parks that are much closer? First, several of the parks we checked closer to downtown Medford would not allow dogs over 20lbs, and you already know about Morgan the RV dog. This park does not even have a Web page and is located near a tiny little town called Applegate. Applegate has a small grocery, cafe, gift shop and church. The park is very clean, quiet, dark at night (no security light shinning in the window), and friendly. All the qualities we were looking for. The RV space we have chosen is wide enough for our trailer and two vehicles and is backed up to a small creek. The park is on a very quiet rural road and our space is the furthest from the road, so very quiet. The price for a month is only $300 which includes electricity and cable. I will check with DISH to learn if we can put our DISH account on hold until next April. The laundry room is walking distance. There are a few disadvantages to this choice. First is the distance from my job. I was hoping for something closer yet rural and quiet. Second, there is no sewer connection, instead, the park will pump us once each week at no extra charge. This will be a challenge for the gray water tanks, but not the black water tank. Third, the park has very strict rules for pets. Both Morgan and Annie must be on a leash at all times. There is an area close where Morgan can run. Keeping Annie in the trailer or on a leash will be the challenge. When the weather changes, Annie prefers the warmth of the heater so perhaps it won't be impossible. Even with these challenges, the advantages of this park seem to heavily out-weigh the disadvantages. Stay tuned, I'll have many more photos and reports of this new chapter as it begins. You'll be able to see our new location once we make the move.
October 23, 2006: Do you know how hard it was to sell my shop vac at a garage sale? I used it for nearly everything. It was a "wet/dry" vac with 6 gallon capacity so not that large but much too large to consider keeping it in the RV. Well today I found the answer. It's a 1 gallon mini "wet/dry" shop-vac. Now I have a way to keep the trailer corners, basement and truck carpets clean. It's pretty powerful too. Remember the vacuum solution? Well, I'm giving it to Greg. This little shop-vac is more useful and more power too. So this little shop-vac is part of the "new chapter". I sold the 6 gallon shop-vac for $35 and this one cost $29.
January 29, 2007: Update on the shop vac pictured above. This shop vac worked once before breaking. I took the unit apart to discover the problem. It was bad engineering. The fan creating the vacuum was attached to a shaft in such a way that it could easily break. Fortunately, I always save the receipts on stuff like this and I returned the vacuum to Ace Hardware. I would not recommend this vacuum due to the faulty design.

October 25, 2006: Janet and Al are the managers of the Applegate Mobile Park. They were full-time RV travelers for 15 years before they took the manager position in Applegate. Both Al and Janet have made us feel very welcome. There is only one other RV camper in the park all the rest of the residents are in very nicely kept manufactured homes. Janet and Al do a great job of keeping the park clean and friendly. Janet took Gwen and I for a tour of the facilities including the recreation room, laundry and public restrooms, then showed us where we could take Morgan for a walk. Finally, Janet told us of fresh eggs only a short distance toward town where the neighbor puts eggs in a refrigerator next to the road. If you want eggs, you just stop, leave a couple of bucks and you have a dozen fresh brown eggs.
October 26, 2006: OK! In my garage sale I sold a Craftsman air compressor I've owned for more than 20 years. I certainly couldn't bring along that big, heavy compressor and really don't have enough reasons for a compressor to justify devoting so much room and weight to a compressor anyway. I do feel the need for a semi-real compressor and my little 12 volt compressor is nothing but a toy. I found this Coleman 1.5 gallon compressor which I can use to make sure my truck and trailer have the proper amount of air in the tires, blow off the filter of the new shop-vac above and it will power the brad nailer I kept, although I haven't figured out too many ways to use the nailer in the trailer. Perhaps I will hire myself out to other RV travelers with my air powered brad gun. This is relatively light weight and has its own hanger and I found a place to hang it in the basement where it takes up no space. Another nice thing, I sold the 20 year old Craftsman for $75 and paid $80 for the Coleman.
January 30, 2007: My expectations for this little compact compressor were too great, it seems. During our Arizona trip, I attempted to increase each of our trailer tires a few pounds pressure to equal what was recorded on the sidewall. It was about a ten pound increase for each tire. The little compressor worked hard but did the job for three of the four tires. On the fourth tire, it made a strange noise and stopped running. I figured it had an over-heating switch which would reset after it cooled down. I looked at the instructions which said the same. However, it never reset so the machine either seized or the fuse burned. The fuse was not easy to get to so I decided if this compressor would not fill four tires easily, it wasn't what I wanted. When I returned to Applegate, I returned the compressor to Costco. I can't recommend this machine unless you have a need only for a "hobby" compressor.
March 21, 2007: This is my next try at an "air compressor". It's a high quality bicycle floor pump with a large built-in guage to tell me air pressure in the tire as I'm pumping. I don't expect to bring a truck or trailer tire from zero to 80 lbs. of air pressure with this pump, but I do expect to bring a tire from 75 lbs to 80 lbs. I have a little 12 volt combination air compressor, light, emergency battery, emergency AC power inverter. This gadget will add air to tires in an emergency (I used it to bring the tire up to pressure when I used my spare tire during the Arizona trip). However, it over heats and stops working after a short time. I plan to use the Wrench Force bicycle pump to top-off my tires and bring them back to pressure when needed. The pump also has both a Presta and Schrader valve connection. The Schrader valve is the style on the truck, trailer and Gwen's bicycle. The Presta style is on my two bicycles. I will throw out the two pumps I currently carry in exchange for this one pump. It takes about 70 pumps to increase truck tire pressure by 5 lbs so it's not for whimps but it works, however now it's ME who quits when getting overheated.
I'm trying another multi-use tool December 4, 2007: I do not like not having a reliable method of putting air into large truck or trailer tires. After considerable thought, I have chosen to try one of these multiuse tools again. This one inflates tires, jumps batteries and has a built-in 325 watt inverter. I purchased it primarily to inflate tires. I would not have purchased this except that it was Costco selling it. Costco has an awesome return policy. I have not had much success with these little units and the last one stopped working after two years but Costco promptly refunded the purchase price. I've saved the receipt and I'm following the use instructions carefully. If it stops working ... it's going back to Costco.
November 16, 2008: The above unit was returned to Costco today. It was a joke trying to put air into a tire with this unit. In March, 2008 I had actually purchased a miniature air compressor advertising that it could fill large off-road tires. It was also a joke so I returned it to Costco to too. Costco is great to take these back. I'm sure they were both working to factory specifications but very poor at actually putting air into a tire. I really need a real air compressor so I'll continue shopping.
October 27, 2006: Only two more nights at Howard Prairie Lake Resort, then this will be our new parking site. No Interstate passing through your back yard as were so many of the RV parks we visited and plenty of room for parking two vehicles. The back of the trailer will be where the hood of the truck is located facing a creek. Most of these trees are deciduous so there won't be any leaves hiding the view soon.
October 29, 2006: We made the move today. It seemed to take forever to get ready. We worked all day yesterday clean, packing then getting the trailer ready to move. Now that we've sold our house, we just have too much crap. We need to downsize some more. We pulled into Applegate Mobile Park a bit after noon. Enough time to set up the Internet dish, TV dish, awning, stabilizer jacks and do a load of laundry. So far, the park is exactly as we had expected, clean and very quiet.
State Farm won't insure me now. October 31, 2006: I have a new challenge I was not expecting. I have been insured by State Farm since I was 16 and State Farm currently insures my trailer. I called them to cancel my home owner policy and learn what was needed to move my personal liability
insurance to my trailer. When they learned I planned to live in my RV rather than move to another house, they said, "we can't insure you if you are going to LIVE in your RV". Say what? I've since learned I must have "full-timers insurance" which is offered by several companies. The first company I thought of was Good Sam. Their insurance quote was a JOKE! I've received quotes from Progressive, National Interstate and Foremost. These three companies are fairly close in premium cost but Good Sam was at least three times any of the competitor quotes. I called the Good Sam information line to check on the quote since it was so much different from the others. I was told, it was no mistake and I should enroll with a different company if their rates were so much better. My assumption is, my fifth wheel was NOT their type of vehicle. Perhaps a motor home is more to their liking. I'm still investigating our options, it may mean leaving State Farm and insuring everything with another company.
Halloween Decorations around the park Halloween Decorations around the park Halloween Decorations around the park Halloween Decorations around the park Halloween Decorations around the park Halloween Decorations around the park
The zombi raises from the coffin
November 1, 2006: The Applegate Mobile Park gets excited about Halloween. The park has many decorations and Gwen helped with decorating the recreation room for a haunted house. Several bus loads of local kids visited the park and the haunted house. In the bottom photo, the zombi has just gotten out of the coffin. The flash lit up the room so it looks bright, but it was really dark and spooky. I don't know about the kids but I was scared! I had to grab my candy and leave.

Commute Route
November 2, 2006: This is my new commute route. Compare this to the old commute route. This new route begins at 1,300 feet and must climb to 2,100 feet just before Jacksonville, then drop into Medford which is also at 1,300 feet. I mention this because of the threat of snow at the 2,100 ft. level. The road is somewhat faster to travel, does not touch Interstate 5 and does not have the 3,000 feet of climbing and descending which I experience twice a day when commuting from Howard Prairie Lake Resort. The length of the commute is 21 miles one way and time is 30 minutes on a "good" day. I'm experimenting with different routines which you will learn about later.
November 4, 2006: Our first weekend in Applegate Mobile Park we chose to take ourselves to breakfast in Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a historic town with century old buildings. It was the original county seat for Jackson County. We had breakfast at MacLevin's a very small deli/restaurant. Is has only seven, four person tables but was recommended by a co-worker as the place to have breakfast in Jacksonville. Breakfast was served with potato pancakes rather than "home fries". McLevins in Jacksonville
After breakfast Gwen had an omelet while I had scrambled eggs with chicken livers. It may only be myself and my Mother that would appreciate chicken livers with breakfast.
November 5, 2006: This is an autumn view of Thompson Creek which passes within 20 feet of our trailer. This view was taken about 5 miles upstream from our trailer while Gwen and I were out exploring Thompson Creek Road. We've had only a small amount of rain so the creek is calm ... perfect for an autumn photo. I'm concerned what might happen with this creek after several days of heavy rain since we are located only 20 feet from the creek. autumn on Thompson Creek
November 7, 2006: One of the advantages to a 55+ Mobile Home park is the rec-room. Gwen and I tried our hand at billiards. She let me win all the games but one. I think she is building up my confidence until I agree to pay $20 per ball.
November 8, 2006: The weather is changing slowly but surely. This is Jacksonville on my commute to Medford. We are getting some serious rain but not steady enough to cause any flooding. Note that Jacksonville still has some of the original 1880 buildings.
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