RVing in New Mexico – our Little Guy Max adventures continue!

Come roam the roads with us this week as we share a couple of firsts – one of which is Kerry driving with the trailer!

New Mexico has been good to us this week! The weather was in the 70’s during the day and we took full advantage of it. We wrapped up our time in Elephant Butte, but before leaving we found a great little place, A & B Drive-In in nearby Truth or Consequences….great food! We tried a bit of the nachos and a burger – both of which were fantastic.

A & B Drive-In in Truth or Consequences, NM

We drove down to El Paso to take care of a few things and then backtracked back up I-25N on our way to Albuquerque. We knew we didn’t want to do the whole drive from El Paso to Albuquerque in one day so we decided to just meander and explore the area and just boondock for a night. This was a true first for us!! We kind of did that when we left Waco, TX a few weeks ago but had a KOA in Abilene as a backup. This time we just said when we feel like stopping, we’ll stop!

We wound up stopping at Percha Dam which we had heard about from Kevin and Rita, our camp hosts at Bottomless Lakes State Park last fall so we thought we would check it out. We drove in and found their developed sites (without hookups) were pretty nice and the area only had one other person. There was a trickle of water in the stream and lots of room for us to spread out and enjoy the afternoon so we set up camp. The best part? Totally free. Since it is part of the state park system and we have our pass, how could we pass it up?

While there, Russ tried out his new grill and we tried to get Abbey to get over her fear of walking over grates…well, you’ll see in the video how well that goes 🙂

Kerry has been hesitant in driving while the trailer has been hooked up, having only done it briefly – once – in a campground. This week, she dives in and drives on the highway…watch out people!

We finish up the week with a bit of a splurge! We’re staying at the Route 66 RV Resort just outside of Albuquerque. What a treat!

RV News this week: Erwin Hymer fallout, Winnebago move, Nomadic Fanatic & We’re the Russo’s

Join us every Wednesday as we discuss and give our thoughts on RV news and topics!

Junction City in recovery from Winnebago move

Winnebago cut 220 jobs from their Junction City, OR location earlier this month

  • They are planning to keep open the RV Service operations there which has a staff of 30
  • Company reports it is relocating to Forest River, Iowa
  • Many of those whose jobs had been cut are being offered relocation package
  • Community members interviewed reported that they do not think it will be a big impact on the community as a whole – not like the closure of Country Coach did 11 years ago when 1800 people were suddenly left unemployed.

Why are they moving?? The Des Moines Register reported that Winnebago has asked the Iowa Economic Development Authority for $361,000 in state tax refunds and credits, and Forest City is expected to offer a $155,000 tax abatement.

https://www.registerguard.com/entertainmentlife/20190222/junction-city-in-recovery-from-winnebago-move

https://www.rvbusiness.com/blog/winnebago-seeks-incentives-on-production-move.html

EHG Shutdown Fallout

As expected the fallout from the closure of Erwin Hymer’s North American Group has started. Leading the headlines this week, we are seeing a great concern over warranty fulfillment. Hymer had offered a 6-year warranty on their Class B vans and many owners and dealers are now wondering about their options. Where do owners go for warranty work? What do dealers do with vehicles on their lots?

Former CEO, Jim Hammil has been under intense scrutiny over the closure and the $300 million in liabilities. Mr. Hammil has expressed he feels bad for his former employees and the situation they are now in, but states he is not to blame. Since the closure, he has also reported that he and his family have received death threats.

https://www.rvbusiness.com/blog/rvda-how-to-deal-with-ehg-shutdown-fallout.html

https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/erwin-hymer-s-former-ceo-says-he-s-not-to-blame-1.4304092

Oregon’s state parks planning on changing up fees

  • Increasing fees at more popular locations
    • Lookout State Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Tumalo State Park as well as Beachside State Recreation site, Ainsworth State Park, Detroit Lake State Recreation Area and Wallowa Lake State Park.
  • Decreasing fees a less-visited parks
  • The goal is to try to spread visitors out
  • Spring and fall were the busiest

https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-state-parks-price-increase-2019/

https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2019/02/13/oregons-state-parks-attendance-record-higher-fees/2842686002/

We’re the Russo’s – looking for a new RV?

The Wendland’s weren’t the only ones jump the Hymer ship. Joe and Kait Russo from We’re the Russo’s youtube channel, just announced they too are looking to ditch their Hymer Class B van. Joe and Kait say they are open to any type of unit – Class A, C, B+, travel trailer or interestingly enough, they say they would consider different Class B.

Nomadic Fanatic selling RV??

BlindViews reported on 2/20/19 Eric aka Nomadic Fanatic is selling his RV and bike and it has something to do with his lady, Angela! : https://youtu.be/thhVdgAG7gM

Eric posted a video Sunday morning 02/24/19 confirming this – well at least the part about selling his stuff. He eludes to improving his standard of living but didn’t go into the details about Angela.  https://youtu.be/Bid_0GtZ4pM

He’s asking $17K and it will be in the Dallas/Ft Worth area next week.

RV Shows this week:

GoRVing will be at the following (with RV’s to tour)

Innings Festival – Phoenix, AZ | March 2 – March 3

Carnaval on the Mile – Coral Gables, FL | March 2 – March 3

Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campground

  • MARVAC Battle Creek RV & Camping Show
  • Kellogg Arena
  • Battle Creek, MI
  • www.marvac.org
  • Show Date: Feb 28-March 3, 2019

RVDA of Syracuse

  • CNY RV and Camping Show & Sale
  • New York State Fairgrounds
  • Syracuse, NY
  • www.cnyrvshow.com
  • Show Date: Feb 28-March 3, 2019

TRMTA

  • Greater Philadelphia RV Show
  • Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
  • Oaks, PA
  • www.phillyrvshow.com
  • Show Date: Feb 28-March 3, 2019

Ballantine Management Group

  • Fredericksburg RV Show
  • Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center
  • Fredericksburg, VA
  • www.fredericksburgRVshow.com
  • Show Date: March 1-3, 2019

GS Media & Events

  • Central Illinois RV Show – Peoria
  • Peoria Civic Center
  • Peoria, IL
  • www.centralillinoisrvshow.com
  • Show Date: March 1-3, 2019

Rhode Island RV & Camping Show

  • Rhode Island Convention Center
  • Providence, RI
  • www.rhodeislandrvshow.com
  • Show Date: March 1-3, 2019

Westlake Promotion, Inc.

  • Eugene Spring RV Show
  • Lane County Fairgrounds
  • Eugene, OR
  • www.eugenespringrvshow.com
  • Show Date: March 1-3, 2019

That’s all for this week!

Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

Your RV Questions answered! It’s Q & A Tuesday!!

It’s Q & A Tuesday! Every Tuesday, join us as we answer your RV questions and post some of your great comments! This week we cover: preventative maintenance, issues we’ve had so far, programming suggestions and more!

QUESTION 1

Submitted by Vernon Herd: “May I ask you a favor? Please start each blog with “today’s date is” Why, you ask? If you are telling me how wonderful something is, it is helpful to know if it is a winter activity or only good to do in the summer. If you are telling me how beautiful something is, I like to know what time of year you visited there. Lots of more reason too…just a thought.

ANSWER: Consider it done! We value the feedback from our viewers and strive to improve our channel. Thank you, Vernon!

QUESTION 2

Submitted by Carpe Diem RV Style: What kind of wine do you guys drink?

ANSWER: For those that are not “in the know”, this question was posed to us because every Friday night at 8pm EST we host a livestream called “Friday Night Wine”. We are not incredibly knowledgeable about wine, but after our recent spat of Harvest Host stays at various vineyards, we are starting to learn more and more and acquire certain tastes! Kerry has developed a fondness for sweet reds, but her favorite are sweet blueberry wines – with the top favorite at the moment from Island Grove Winery in Florida!

QUESTION/COMMENT 3

Submitted by Sherry Standefer: I’ll recommend Baycrest RV Park in Homer. It’s a little quieter than the campgrounds down on the Spit. Plus a beautiful view up on the hill.

ANSWER/RESPONSE: Last Friday, we announced our destination in Alaska for our upcoming trip is Homer Spit. We also asked viewers to send us suggestions as we finalize our details….Thank you so much, Sherry!!

QUESTION 4

Submitted by Mark D: Noticed Russ wearing the WI Badger sweatpants …are you from WI?

ANSWER: Keen eye, Mark! Russ grew up between Wisconsin and Hawaii (his parents are divorced). He is proudly a Badgers, Buc, Brewers and Packers fan!!

QUESTION 5

Submitted by Derrell Dover: What is the routine/preventative maintenance for your LGM?

ANSWER: Batteries, Caulking, Tires/torque & pressure,Clean filters & vents,Test fire & co2 alarms
(we haven’t done this yet) annual checks for furnace & fridge

QUESTION 6: Submitted by Derrell Dover: What unexpected issues have you had?

ANSWER: Bad motherboard in furnace – replaced; Re-attach molding strips – repaired with glue
Hose for propane had a leak – replaced; Lippert SmartJack occasionally doesn’t work-panel cracked/water; Leak under sink – tightened pvc under sink; One furnace vent stopped blowing – reattached coil to furnace

QUESTION 7: Submitted by Derrell Dover: Does your LGM have a black water flush?

ANSWER: No; But one trick we do to regularly clean out the tank – after dumping, empty a bag of ice into the toilet tank. Drive on to your next destination. Empty upon arrival at new location. The ice sloshes around and melts while you are driving and helps to get the ‘stuck’ items around the tank off.

QUESTION 8: Submitted by RHS Tools: Do you have difficulty accessing stuff in your storage pass thru?

ANSWER: We do not. We use long, shallow storage bins (our has wheels on it)and whenever we need something that is out of arms reach, we simply pull the bin out to access. These bins are readily available at Walmart for about $20

QUESTION 9: Submitted by Tamera Everett: You didn’t watch the Waltons…? Lord, it was on forEVER!

ANSWER: LOL! (This is in response to the ending of our “Day in the Life” video ) Sadly, Kerry never watched the Waltons!! She’s got some binge-watching in her future though!

Want to be featured?

Submit your questions or comments below or drop us a line at russandkerry@theroadsweroam.com

Monday RV Movie Reviews: American Nomads

RV Movie Monday! Review of American Nomads

Each Monday, we review RV related movies or documentaries. Join us this week as we review the American Nomads documentary.

Details

  • Title: American Nomads
  • Release Date: November 28, 2011
  • Director: Gerry Troyna
  • Writer/Star: Richard Grant
  • Run time: 90 minutes
  • Available on: YouTube https://youtu.be/_QKbIb8wcz0

Summary

Richard Grant sets out to seek the essence of the American Nomad. Over the course of 6000 miles, he meets hitchhikers, hobos, cowboys, snowbirds, squatters and mountain men. While all vastly different, he finds that they all have something in common.

This BBC production follows on the heels of Richard’s book of the same name, published in 2005.

Check out the book that prompted the documentary!

Our thoughts

Our expectations were pretty high since this was produced by BBC and we weren’t let down. Richard goes right to the ‘scary’ part of the lifestyle right at the beginning and then starts focusing on the stories.

The segment on the snowbirds gathering at Quartzsite was interesting, especially knowing how the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (aka RTR) has grown and changed just over the last several years.

It opened our eyes a bit as well. We have been so wrapped up into our RV lifestyle, we have given little thought to the other types of nomads that roam these roads with us.

What wasn’t in the documentary, was Richards background. After watching the documentary, we researched him a bit and found out that he had spent many years as a nomad himself. As a child, he spent time growing up in Malaysia, Kuwait and went to school in London. After college, he came to the U.S. and wandered for several years, taking odd jobs as a security guard, janitor and even a DJ. His experiences definitely fed into the success of this documentary as it probably helped him quite a bit approaching and talking with many of the individuals he interviewed.

We enjoyed it and recommend if you have the time, to check it out!

Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

Our Little Guy Max Adventures in New Mexico

Starting our week…

We start our week leaving City of Rocks State Park and fueling up before the 115 mile drive to Elephant Butte. We stop off at the 5R/Valero gas station and we have to say, if you have to stop in Deming with an RV, go here. There was plenty of room to maneuver, a separate pump for RVs and a free dump station. Inside, there was a full convenience store, a restaurant, showers and laundry!

As we enter the South Monticello campground at Elephant Butte State Park, we came upon several cows along the side of the road. It is a free roaming cattle area, so just be cautious driving in around the curves.

Cows on the loose!
Sunset view from our campsite

Campground website: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/spd/elephantbuttelakestatepark.html

We arrived just ahead of a winter storm that would be blowing through just north of us and the temperatures dropped as the winds howled around between 40-50mph.

There’s a slight problem…

Time to put our RV problem solving hats on…..As we turned on our furnace, we noticed the vent by the front door wasn’t blowing any air! We got through the evening with just the electric heater (but the floor was still very cold!) and started our investigation the next morning.

Thankfully, the issue was a simple one. The ducting has become loose and fell off from the blower. We did have to wrestle around with our gigantic mattress and lift it up so we could access the area, but other than that it was pretty straightforward. Whew!

Mail!

When on the road full-time, you have to put extra thought into things that are often taken for granted. Take receiving mail, for instance. As we have mentioned before, we use a mail service through Escapees. They receive all of our mail, hold it and forward it to us whenever we notify them with our location.

Today we stopped by the post office in Elephant Butte. We had items forwarded to us there by having it sent ‘General Delivery’. Just make sure whenever doing so, you contact the post office in advance to confirm they handle general delivery items.

Roaming…

We can’t very well call ourselves The Roads We Roam and not do some roaming, right?! Off we went into nearby Truth or Consequences and found a very cool museum!

The Hamilton Military Museum is dedicated to educating individuals about our military history. Outside, there is a walk with markers. Each marker talks about about a specific war or conflict and highlights the number of deaths and casualties. For a small building, this was a surprise.

It has an amazing collection of military memorabilia from many eras, but one of the more elaborate sections housed a collection of WWII Nazi items. These were acquired from a family who worked for the Nazi general who planned the Battle of the Bulge. Upon his death, he gave them all of his items and they in turn gave them over to the museum.

Best of all, this museum is FREE! https://torcveteransmemorial.com/

We always look for places to let the dogs run around and took advantage of a beautiful empty beach along the shores of the reservoir. Even though it was cool out, the sun was shining and the winds had let up just long enough for us to enjoy an hour in this gorgeous spot.

A little upgrade…

Last but not least, we decided to add magnetic child safety locks to our cabinets! Kerry typically secures our cabinets when we travel with bungees (https://youtu.be/szeVR9RtVcs)but we have been considering other options for awhile and finally decided to try these! We’ll let you know how they work after we put it through it’s paces!

That’s all for this week! Safe travels,

Russ and Kerry

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