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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flat Tire in Milton Florida

Your Ad Here Yesterday, while dumpster diving for free shipping boxes behind Target, I happened to notice the outside rear passengers side tire was flat.

Hmmm, I wonder how long that’s been flat?

Having 4 tires on the back of the RV is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you can easily drive to a tire shop after getting a flat tire and a curse because you can be driving around with a flat tire for 100's of miles and not even know it.

I checked the pressure on the inside tire and noticed it was only 40 psi. It should be 63 according to Winnebago. I pumped it up to 60psi and then headed to the nearest Goodyear tire shop.

It wasn’t long after they’d jacked up the RV that the problem was found. There was a hole in the metal valve stem extender. It had obviously been rubbing on the rim since it was installed 8000 miles ago and wore a hole clean through the metal. Then, all the air came out of the tire. I should have taken a picture of the hole in the valve stem but I didn’t.

We determined that the rear tires were getting pretty “bald”. The tread was down to the wear bars in most locations. I could have simply put on a new valve stem and drove away. That would have been maybe $20 an 30 minutes total. Instead, I checked into the safer, more expensive and time consuming alternative of replacing the tires.

They gave me an $800 price for the 4 rears. I told him if I was going to do the 4 rears, I might as well do all 6… and then I said no thanks, too much money for me right now Let’s just put on a new valve stem and I’ll be on my way. They obviously wanted my business. The owner came back a few minutes later with another price… $852 for all 6 tires and labor.

Never agree to the first price you're given people. Always hold out. That 1st quote is a "feeler" to see how "easy" you are. There's a lower price just waiting for you if you can say NO. The more you say no, the lower the price goes.

That price sounded a lot better and after checking with Herman, we decided to go for it. After all, if we do sell or trade this RV, the new owner will appreciate the fact that it has 6 new tires. 

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I took some pics of the brake pads to show the condition if/when we sell the View. As you can see, there’s at least 75% of the pad left. Maybe more? For those that don’t know,  the brake pad is the fibrous part that contacts the metal brake disc and slows the vehicle. There is a brake pad on each side of the brake disc. The harder you press the brake pedal, the harder these 2 pads squeeze the brake disc. The harder they squeeze, the faster you slow down.

You can see the pads here closest to the round metal brake disc. The thicker the pad, the more life they have left. These are original to the RV & have 29k miles on them now. Knowing that, I’d guess they won’t need to be replaced for another 30k miles or more.

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I set up my lawn chair and read some magazines while I watched the tire guy slowly do his thing. Slowly, was the key word here. He wasn’t in a rush but then, neither was I. Tigger kept an eye on him as well.

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He preferred the shade though.

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They installed all new HIGH PRESSURE valve stems. These are used on any tire that has a PSI rating over 60. They’re good to 110 PSI.

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Getting bored waiting for Jethro to finish up, I noticed some used RVs across the road and went to check them out. It was fun looking but they weren't my style. From talking with the RV shop guys, I did learn that the "Wineguard carryout" satellite dish is automatic, "in motion" (works while driving) and is portable. So, if you can't get a signal because of overhead trees (happens more often than you'd think), you can move the dish instead of moving your RV. At $599, that's not bad. I also learned that direct TV is not as good as dish network when it comes to TV services for RVers. Dish TV is better for many reasons and they have better customer service. Things to remember if we ever decide to go with satellite TV in our RV.

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After about 3-4 hours he finally had the 4 rears done. Now just the 2 fronts to go.

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At about 5pm, they finally finished and I hit the road with the wallet $852 lighter. GULP.

About 20 miles away we were finally able to get on the highway and up to speed. That’s when I felt the front end vibrating pretty noticeably. Not acceptable. I called the tire shop and they told me I could go to any Goodyear to have the tires rebalanced. Rather than turn around and spend the night at the tire shop, I decided to shimmy on toward the Florida coast.

Today, I made it to Destin Florida where I spoke with the Goodyear shop owner there. He wasn’t thrilled about fixing another shops mistakes but told me to come back at 9 am tomorrow and they’d fix it.

So, we’re hanging out in Destin Florida checking out the sights. This place is cool. Not cool as in cold, cool as in interesting. It's been roughly 68 degrees and sunny all day. Can't beat that for the end of January.

The first real life kite surfers I’ve ever seen were here. They’re fun to watch. I got my little kite out and flew it just for kicks. I have pics of the kites on my camera. These pics are all from my cell phone.

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I also stopped and smelled the flowers... something I probably don't do enough.
They smelled good.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pontiac G8 gxp

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I was having lunch at Arbys the other day and got talking with the owner of this rather rare Pontiac G8 gxp. It’s one of  roughly 1800 GXP’s made and has the LS3 Corvette V8 engine in it. It’ll do 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and puts out 415 horsepower stock. It’ll do 155mph and then some.

Those are some pretty serious performance numbers for a car you can now buy used for under $30k. New, they were substantially more but buy now, used?! What a bargain.

The G8 GXP just might be the bargain of the century for those looking for supercar horsepower.

If I had one, I’d remove the gawdy “look at me” stickers and make it as plain jane as possible. What a sleeper this car could be !!!!! You’d have corvette owners shaking their heads wondering what just happened as you left them in the dust.

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A bag of delicious goodness

Your Ad Here Guess what’s in the bag. Hint: it was only $5 a pound.


Yup, SHRIMP !!!

I bought them from a vendor in a pick up truck, out of a cooler. According to her, these little suckers were swimming in the ocean yesterday.


She said to boil them for 2.5 minutes and enjoy. I intend on doing just that tonight.


Today’s been another big eBay day. Packing and printing labels for 58 things I’ve recently sold. And, taking pictures of and listing 50 new items. The wal-mart parking lot has been graciously hosting us. Where would frugal RVers be without wal-mart?

Tigger says… “HEAD TOWARD THE LIGHT !!!”

More later…

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hanging out in Milton Florida at River Walk Park

Your Ad Here Tigger and I found this great place by mistake but we’re glad we’re here. It’s a quiet little park with a nice waterfront, boardwalk type walkway. There’s also a very well done war veterans memorial here.

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There was a shadowy figure, scratching his head & staring at the RV.


The best part of River Walk Park…? THE FREE POWER. There are hot outlets EVERYWHERE.

Having real AC power from an outlet is great. It’s so much better than running the loud & costly generator. I’m charging the 12v jump box, the 2 house batteries (with my black & decker battery charger), the computer laptop, the cellphone, making ice, watching Hogans Heroes on TV and I have the A/C set at 74 degrees.

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This park is such a scenic place that 2 wedding parties have come here since I’ve been here to take pictures. Here’s part of one.

One night in Mobile Alabama

Your Ad Here We rode into town via rte. 90. It is a more scenic alternative route to the heavily travelled and kind of boring i10. The scenery was nice on rte 90. I loved these mossy trees.
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There was something going on downtown. Oddly, everyone just hops the curbs & parks on the grassy medians. Weird.
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We tried to go down to the “state docks” but were turned away at the gate. Security said it was a secure area and I needed a pass. Oh well. Maybe next time we’ll sneak in !

I found the walmart about 10 miles away from "the downtown area”. We arrived, slid out the slide, cranked up the antenna and fired up the generator. Not long after, we hit the rack.

The next morning, after googling “what to do in Mobile” and reading the rather lame sounding suggestions, we packed up and headed east.

Leaving walmart, I did notice one of the nicest cars I've seen during the entire trip. To me, this Buick Limited was the perfect blend of new and old. Odd as it was, the yellow/tan color was perfect on this car. It looked spectacular in person. Whoever "did this car up", had vision and major BALLS. Not many people would spend the time and money on a big 4 door boat like this. It just isn't done as a rule. This guy broke the rules and I love it.

Mobile didn’t impress me much but I will say I didn’t go out of my way to find any hidden gems.

Biloxi Mississippi is a nice place

Your Ad Here I was surprised at how crisp and clean Biloxi was. It’s a very inviting town.

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The Hard Rock casino/hotel was really nice from the outside.


Lots of water down here

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I thought this license plate said “Consuming Wildlife”. I saw the deer head, I figured he was a hunter. I had to laugh when it donned on me what it really said.


There are some MANSIONS down here too. This is the yacht club.


We went on a nice boardwalk walk