Our Little Guy Max Adventures: An end to a chapter

Join us as we wrap up our time in New Mexico before moving on to Arizona in our Little Guy Max. We spent the majority of the week at Riverside Campground (just south of Caballo State Park) camping in the developed campsites area (no water/electric/sewer).

Bessie the Cow

We had the area pretty much to ourselves, except for our new friend Bessie the cow.

Every morning, she was there waiting to greet us with her big gentle eyes. During the day, she would cross the river and climb high up on the hillside only to return again each evening. Abbey was curious about her at first, but by the end of our stay, barely gave her a second glance. Abbey did, however, find some droppings Bessie left behind and proceeded to roll in it…..so Abbey also got a bath this week!

Generators & Jacks

We took advantage of the time there to show you some of the things that you have been asking about. Because we were dry camping, we ran our generator for a bit each day. Many of you have asked what generator we use – we use an Energizer eZV3200P. As you can see/hear in the video it really is quiet as far as generators go and it takes care of all our needs.

If you have been following us, you may know that we have had issues with our Lippert SmartJack. We decided to just be done with it and replace it with a manual jack – the Ultimate Trailer Jack from Tractor Supply: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/the-ultimate-trailer-jack?cm_vc=-10005.

Harvest Host Time!

For our last night in New Mexico, we treated ourselves to a Harvest Host site: St Clair Winery in Deming, NM. https://stclairwinery.com/ If you ever go there and like sweet wines, get the Mimbres Red. Probably not a recommended pairing, but we also had to get a pizza from Forghedaboudit’s Pizza https://www.fgbpizza.com/ as this is one of Russ’s favorites!

As we passed the welcome sign to Arizona, we couldn’t help but realize that we are about to hit the next chapter of our neverending journey. With excitement we look forward to attending our first RV rally next week and then onward and upward to Alaska!

Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

How to hook up and dump your tanks

HOW TO: Hook up and dump your tanks

Russ takes the stress away from figuring out how to dump your tanks with this no-mess tutorial! See notes below!

For links to any of the items you see in today’s video, go to: https://theroadsweroam.com/home/rv-products-shop/

All RVers have been there and we were no different. We actually went the first several trips using our Little Guy Max without using the tanks because we were too nervous to tackle the dreaded black tank dumping. It can be daunting, because the ramifications of what can happen if you make a mistake are not too pleasing!

So, for those of you who are a bit worried about how to this issue, here are the steps shown in the video above:

  1. PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). You should always have on your gloves and if possible glasses or safety glasses.
  2. Take the the elbow and screw it into the receptable on the ground.
  3. Connect your hose to the elbow – make sure it clicks in place
  4. Double check to make sure the black and grey levers are in the closed position
  5. Hold the hose directly under the opening where the sewer cap on your RV is. Once in place, remove the RV Sewer cap and secure hose in place. If you do not feel it click into place, make sure the gasket (a small black ring inside the hose) is in place. NOTE: Some hoses do not use a gasket.
  6. If you are at a campsite and setting up connection, support your hose by using a RV sewer hose support.
  7. To empty the tanks, pull the black tank valve first. When the flow of material has stopped, close the black tank valve and then open the grey tank valve. When the flow has stopped, close the grey tank valve.
  8. Now slowly remove the hose from your RV, tilting it down to catch any potential remaining liquids and close cap to the RV. Lift hose up in the air to drive any remaining liquids down into the receptacle on the ground.
  9. Remove hose from elbow (that is still locked in place at the ground receptacle). Rinse and store.
  10. Remove elbow from sewer receptable, rinse and store.
  11. Close the cover to the ground receptacle.

NOTE: Some campgrounds do not have the screw in type of ground sewer receptacle and may indicate that you should use a sewer donut. Simply place the donut in the receptacle (narrow end down) , then place your elbow on top of the donut.

Hope this was helpful and let us know if you have any questions!

Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

RV News: Liberty Outdoors reveals 2 new units, RVX, NomadFEST, and Airstream Hotels

Vlog 87: RV News 03.13.19

LIBERTY OUTDOORS REVEALS  NEW PRODUCTS: MICRO-MAX and CAMP ROVER at RVX; UPDATES ON SERRO SCOTTY TRAILERS [3:30 on video]

Liberty Outdoors announces the latest to their Little Guy family at RVX this week! The Camp Rover has an optional flip-down upper bunk bed with a ladder that converts into a safety rail. Although built as a true camping trailer, the Camp Rover offers standard features including a full kitchen, wet bath, A/C, quick recovery water heater and ample storage including a 13-by-30-inch exterior pass-through baggage door.

The Camp Rover measures 21 feet long by seven feet wide, has an internal height of 6-foot, 7 inches and weighs 2,900 pounds. As with all Little Guy trailers, optional Rough Rider packages with off-road tires including spare and 2-inch lift as well as solar panels are available. See video above for photos!

The Micro Max weighs in at 1,700 pounds, has an overall height and width of 6 feet, 6 inches and a length of 16 feet, 3 inches. Like the Max and the MiniMax, the amenities include 100% hardwood cabinetry with dovetail construction. The MicroMax has a full kitchen, Thetford porta-potty, 19-inch TV with swing arm mount, custom double bed, entertainment center, interior speakers, custom pillow top mattress, under bed storage, A/C, and quick recovery water heater. 

Coming in 2020 will be the relaunch of Liberty’s Serro Scotty Sportsman trailer — a sportier version of the Serro Scotty trailer.

The RV Industry’s New Tradeshow [6:49 on video]

Liberty Outdoors is only one of many that will be at the newest trade show for the RV industry – RVX. aka the RV Experience. The show is currently underway, it started yesterday, March 12 and runs through tomorrow the 14th in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is replacing the RVIA National RV Trade Show that had taken place annually in Kentucky for ages. The biggest change for the show: a move away from sales of existing units and more focus on upcoming innovations.

Another interesting change – they will be rotating the location of RVX every year between Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Indianapolis.
https://www.goshennews.com/news/local_news/rv-industry-innovations-focus-of-new-show/article_c25714f7-3103-5bd5-af1c-736823e9bfc4.html

NomadFEST: Latest update [8:51 on video]

An email came through on Monday evening from Eric Odom.

The biggest question on most people’s minds – if NomadFEST isn’t happening, when do we get our refunds?  Here is Eric’s response: 

NomadFEST: I tried to salvage this. I worked with several entities interested but at the end of the day it was too big a project for anyone to take on. I worked on a last ditch effort right up into last week. Sadly, it didn’t work out. NomadFEST will officially now have to be fully cancelled. 
Many thousands and thousands of dollars have been refunded to date. Refunds are processed daily as time permits. They will continue to be processed in the weeks to come. NomadFEST ticket holders will be communicated with separately so watch the inbox for those updates.”

As for the DVDs of their movie, Eric had an update for that as well:

We will soon have all DVDs in hand and still intend to ship them as soon as possible. These were paid for (The order, that is) many many months ago so that has been covered.”

To read entire message, go to: FULL EMAIL FROM ERIC ODOM

New Airstream Hotel [12:25 on video]

A San Francisco based company called AutoCamp announced a deal in December with Thor Industries to become the sole developer of Airstream Hotels. They have locations in Santa Barbara and Sonoma County but a third location is set to be opening up soon near the entrance of Yosemite National Park with 80 sites. Rates can be expected to hit up to $500/night during peak season. 

https://www.roamingtimes.com/2019/02/05/airstream-hotel-chain-glamping/

Scientists have discovered something that blocks all sound… [14:35 on video]

Every now and then, we come across something in the news that we can’t help put see through an RVer lens. Researchers from Boston University have created a small 3D printed ring that blocks out 94% of sound while at the same time air and light can pass through it. They have dubbed it acoustic meta-material. Our minds immediately went to “We can’t wait until this technology can be applied to generators!!”

https://www.fastcompany.com/90316833/scientists-have-discovered-a-shape-that-blocks-all-sound-even-your-co-workers

That’s all for this week! Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

Q & A Tuesday!

Every week we answer your questions on our Q & A Tuesday edition!

VLOG 86 Q & A Tuesday

Question 1

Tom submitted his question via our “Leave a Voicemail” message (orange tab on side of your screen)! He was having trouble viewing the “Products We Use” page on our website. This page is a listing of many of the products that we use and you may have seen them on one of our videos. After a bit of sleuthing we found out that he had his ad blocker enabled on this computer. However, if anyone else is having an issue and that does not resolve it, another fix would be to make sure you have the most current version of your web browser enabled.  

If you see something in our videos that is not on there and you want more information, let us know! Here is a direct link to our product page:

https://theroadsweroam.com/home/rv-products-shop/

Question 2

KV also submitted two questions via our “Leave a Voicemail”! She asked, How do we clean the passthrough? What is our cash-on-hand policy?

After pulling everything out, we found a quick sweep, a shopvac and then a swiffer pad works wonders at getting all of the sand and dirt out of the area. That being said, after a recent trip where we experienced very dusty roads, we noticed all of the items in the pass-through also needed cleaning. You wouldn’t want to spend all that time cleaning the passthrough So, after a bit of reconfiguring, we also suggest storing things in bins whenever possible as well.

As for our cash on hand policy. We tend to not travel with very much but do think its important to keep enough on hand in the event you need to get gas or food and a location doesn’t take cards (or their reader is down). If you are traveling and pull into a state campground and don’t have a reservation, a lot of them have boxes for you to drop in your fees. So we have found it best to keep cash in $5 increments if possible since those boxes do not provide change.

Question 3

Marybeth asks: “I have never camped with a trailer that has a bathroom or black/grey tank If you could let me know what septic hoses you use, do they fit in the storage tube or do you put them in a separate container and if you could possibly do a how to..video.

The sewer hoses we use are the Camco RhinoFLEX with the transclucent elbow. It can also be found on our “Products We Use” page. They do NOT fit in the storage tube provided on the Little Guy Max. The hoses would fit, but the couplers on the ends are too wide. We put them in a separate container and our video “how to” will be released tomorrow!

Question 4

Julie asks: What kind of generator do you have?

We have an Energizer EZV3200P. It’s a great generator and quiet. You can also look at the EZV3200RV. The difference between the two is that the EZV3200RV has a 30amp plug in, whereas the EZV3200P has a standard 3 prong plug – we just use an adapter to plug in our RV cord to the generator.

Question 5

Kate & KV had a question from our vid  https://youtu.be/ClDSFlSmFVA: Do you pay extra for any of the amenities other than laundry or propane? The dog wash for instance?   

The coffee bar, the pools (in the casino and the outdoor pool in the RV area), use of the kitchen, fitness facilities, business center AND the dog wash are all included in your rate!

Question 6

Pete asks a question from our recent boondocking vid: https://youtu.be/NO2iSXhDEEs : Shaving in the boondocks? Why?  I noticed you guys appear to be out in the boonies of no man’s land. WHat do you do for gasoline? I found when towing my Max, I only get 8.5 mpg and that turns out to be only about 100-125 miles of travel!

Russ has a simple reply to the first question – Happy Wife = Happy Life!! As for the fuel….we look up locations for gas stations along our routes before we go. There could be other fueling spots along the way, but at least you have the peace of mind before you head out.

Question 7

Ron & Linda also had a question related to our latest boondocking vid ( https://youtu.be/NO2iSXhDEEs ) Looks like a good place to get abducted by aliens…what are you two thinking??

We love your sense of humor! What is really funny is we had a conversation about ufo’s while we were out there. Kerry stared up that the night sky each evening hoping to see something – to no avail. So no worries, feel free to get out and boondock!

Do you have a question about RV’s, RVing or our life on the road? Comment below or Contact Us!

That’s all for now… Safe Travels!

Russ & Kerry

Understanding the Zamp Solar Controller in our Little Guy Max

Today we tackled an issue that has been on our minds for awhile! Join us as we discuss on today’s vlog understanding our Zamp Solar Controller. This will be a first in a series where we explore understanding our solar, batteries and other components that make life easier for RVers.

What the Zamp Solar Ready stickers mean

Either you have an RV or have seen an RV with a sticker that reads “Zamp Solar Ready”. This typically means the unit is pre-wired for solar packages and has one of the three options:

  • If your RV came with a Zamp Solar sidewall port, all you need to do is pick one of Zamp’s portable solar kits and plug it in. That’s it!
  • If your RV came equipped with a solar port roof cap (single or triple) and a charge controller, you’ll just need to choose one of Zamp’s roof mount expansion kits, mount the panel(s), and plug them into the solar port roof cap.
  • If your RV came equipped with a solar port roof cap but not a charge controller, you’ll need to get one of Zamp’s roof mount expansion kits AND a charge controller. Then you’ll need to mount your panels, wire your charge controller, and plug in to the solar port roof cap.
  • If you are looking for Zamp products, check out their product page.

What we have

Our 2018 Little Guy Max came with the following:

-SRM-27 Deep Cycle 12V battery (wet)
100W Solar panel
-ZS-10AW Zamp Solar Controller

What does the controller do? What information does it provide?

One thing to note. Our controller is good for the 100W panel we have installed. If we want to add another panel, we may have to consider upgrading the controller as the ZS-10AW can only regulate up to 170W. So be aware you may need to select a different controller from Zamp if your needs are greater.

We will provide an overview but for more detailed information, please refer to Zamp’s user manual here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5bc0c5b6a568274b3ac678c7/t/5c704b474785d3c4f12843bc/1550863180782/ZS-10AZS-15AUserManual.pdf

Setting battery type

The first thing you need to do is set the battery type. This can be accomplished by pressing the “Battery type” button. Press and hold the button for 3 seconds until you see on the LCD screen blinking just below the large numbers. Once the words are blinking, continue pressing the Battery button until your specific type of battery is displayed. Your battery type will continue blinking for a few seconds and when it stops blinking, your battery type has been set. Our battery is a wet battery, so we have it set to “wet”.

Reading volt, amp & amp hours

To check the status of your power, select the Amp/Volt button. Here you can cycle between Volt/Amp/Amp Hours readings.

On the top of the LCD screen you’ll notice flashing bars from left to right. This will show when you are in a charging status.

Just below the flashing bars on the left, you should notice a box with 4 small looking “hamburger” symbols. This will show you that your connection between the controller and your solar panel is active.

Below that you should see a battery icon with “BT1” in it. This is telling you that the connection between the battery and the controller is active as well.

L.E.D Chart

The chart above shows you what various light combinations mean. In our video, we show you an image of our controller while it reads in the Float Charging mode.

A fully charged lead acid battery (AGM, GEL, WET battery) has a voltage of more than 13.6 Volts. A fully charged LiFePO4 or LTO battery has a voltage level of 13.4V

The reading we really focus on

A voltage less than 11.5V Volts indicates that the battery is discharged and needs re-charging.

Options

On the bottom of the controller you may notice a sticker with “Solar + – , Battery + -, Temp Sensor”. The Solar and Battery notations are guidelines for when installing the controller to the solar and battery wires in your unit. The Temp Sensor is an add-on item you can purchase. This upgrade optimizes operation performance of your controller and offers protection in the event a battery overheats.

First BLM Boondocking Experience!

We really appreciated having the rough rider package on our Little Guy Max this week as we put our ‘Teddy’ through his paces on our way to our first BLM stay.

Over the river and through the….

After leaving the comfort of the Route 66 RV Resort a few dollars lighter (darn casino!) and a few pant sizes bigger (darn buffet!!) we felt ready for a few days away from it all. Over the last few months, we have been testing our dry camping skills in preparation for BLM camping. We picked an area which is typically easy to get to, but coming from the direction we chose to go we were unaware of the challenges that lay ahead.

From the rv resort, we headed west on the I-40 then went south towards the El Malpais National Monument area. We didn’t go to the monument, but we did check out the scenic lookout ( GPS lat 34.9444, long -107.8383 ) which gave gorgeous views of the lava fields below and the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Lookout at El Malpais GPS lat 34.9444, long -107.8383

Continuing on with our destination area of Pie Town, New Mexico, our gps had us make a left turn onto a gravel road, which shortly thereafter turned into a dirt road with cattle guards and signs declaring “unmaintained road areas ahead”. So, for 32 miles we traversed these bumpy, dirty, sometimes narrow roads until we hit Route 60 in Pie Town.

It was late afternoon so we proceeded directly to the BLM area and found our spot (GPS lat 34.2954, long -108.1242). We didn’t know it at the time, but when we arrived, we entered on the west entrance through Lester Jackson Park (you can camp there for free as well) and while looking for a spot, became stuck in a sandy area. Tip for the day: rubber floor mats placed under the tires work wonders!!!

Things that made it easier…

Our Little Guy Max is outfitted with a solar package and it worked great for all of our living needs. We don’t, however, have the ability to recharge our phones and laptops from our trailer so we used our GoalZero Sherpa 100ac with a solar panel. Doing this allowed us to camp several days without ever having to pull out the generator! (Links to the Sherpa or any other products you see us using can be found here: https://theroadsweroam.com/home/rv-products-shop/

Lesson Learned…

We purposely came to the BLM area in Pie Town so that we could visit Pie-O-Neer Pies, but had we checked beforehand, we would have known that it is only open from March 14 – Labor Day every year. We missed it by a week 🙁

Pie-O-Neer Pies, Pie Town, NM

A winter storm was set to move into the area so we packed up to head to a warmer location. On our way, we stopped to check out the Very Large Array (GPS lat 34.0732, long -107.6226) which we were happy to find is completely dog friendly!

Arriving at the Very Large Array GPS lat 34.0732, long -107.6226

Wrapping up the week, Russ finally fulfilled the task our Friday Night Wine participants voted on and he got his first pedicure!!

Thanks for roaming the roads with us this week!

Safe travels,

Russ and Kerry

Checking out the Route 66 RV resort

What’s it like to stay at an RV resort?

This was our first time staying at an RV Resort. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were excited to find out! 

We met with Carlos Duran, the resort manager, who gave us all our the details which we share with you in today’s video. Some of the highlights:

-100 sites, 85ft pull-thrus and 65ft back-ins with good spacing between sites
-100/50/30 amp hookups
-all sites on level, concrete pads
-heated pool and jacuzzi
-clubhouse with 24hr access
-free coffee bar
-spa-like bathrooms & showers 
-two laundry room locations ($1 wash/$1.50 dry)
-shuffleboard & pool table
-dog wash
-propane refills
-24hr shuttle to casino next door
-2 dog parks
-dog friendly (dogs allowed in all buildings)
-rally barn with grills
-casino next door has restaurants, a buffet, shows and games; also a KidsQuest where you can drop off the kids for awhile!

They do offer a Good Sams discount-mention when you make your reservations or when you check-in.

We stayed during non-peak season, but with our Good Sam discount, we paid $45/night plus tax. This was actually cheaper than some other campgrounds where we have stayed!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Route 66 RV resort and plan on going back. If you have any questions, comment below or contact the resort directly at: 505-352-8000. 

Location information:

Route 66 RV Resort
14500 Central Ave SW
Albuquerque, NM 87121
(I-40 exit 140)
www.rt66rvresort.com

How full-time RVers get their mail!

How to get your mail on the road

One of our most asked questions is how do we get mail? While daunting in the beginning, it really is very simple and some of what we cover today is not only relevant for full-time RVers, but it is also applicable for people taking an extended vacation as well.

The following is applicable for full-timers as well as vacationers:

Read More