Thursday, August 16, 2018

Holland and Grand Rapids

We are settling into a routine with eating and sleeping and everything is seeming more familiar.

We went the the farmer's market and it was really amazing to see crops that we consider cold and warm growing at the same time.  So we bought lettuce and peaches, weird.

Unfortunately, this is as close as we got to a tomato crop this year

Then, we were off to Windmill Island, a really great Dutch-themed garden.  There is a big Dutch influence here -- Holland MI, of course

This is a real working windmill imported from Holland

We were both really there

In the evening we went down to the beach, Lake Michigan and saw some cool sailboats.

We had a busy day today as we drove over the Grand Rapids, home of Gerald Ford and saw a Frank Lloyd Wright house, one of the few that has been renovated to its original condition.  Pictures for Wendy.

This was the home of a wealthy Jewish clothes merchant, Meyer May

Wright also designed all the furniture.

The marital beds.

Looks like every piece of furniture in Dave and Wendy's house to me

We had lunch at Jamaican Dave's - Dave fried us up some plantain and we headed to the most incredible garden we have ever seen.

Frederik Meijer Garden

Picture for Tim, guess who a major benefactor is?

There is a fantastic oriental garden, a farm garden and sculpture garden, we got too tired to see everything.

Some of these are 200 years old!

Tomorrow, we are off to Traverse City/Interlochen about three hours north.  It has been in the lower eighties here, not bad for us but people seem to be melting.

I am having trouble with the notification of blogs so I am going to send reminders as emails, not sure what else to do.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Holland Michigan 8/15/18

We drove through beautiful farm land in Indiana yesterday and made it up to Holland, our first main stop.

Susan looks scared to eat this

10,000 acre wind farm in Indiana

As you would imagine, there is corn everywhere

Before getting to Holland State Park, we picked blackberries and raspberries

Finally got Susan into the fields, not pregnant or barefoot....  :-)

So, we are "urban camping and today will go to the farmer's market, go to a local garden and ride bikes.

Had several visitors already, a few more with unfinished trailers - must be everywhere.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Road Trip 2018

After two short trips in our Scotty we are ready to venture on a six week upper Midwest tour, Michigan, Minnesota. North Dakota, South Dakota and beyond.

Here we are packing up on Friday 8/10

Here is our parting shot as we leave about ten on Saturday 8/11

We had the cat with us an we’re off to Rachael’s to drop her off.  She quickly defeated my carefully created barrier.

We drove about six hours to Bolding Mill Campground on Lake Lanier. Very nice and spacious.

Several people stopped by to ask us about the trailer including one who has a trailer and is very overwhelmed, I know the feeling!

Sunday 8/13

Drove to Chattanooga, dropped off the kitty and had a nice lunch with Rachael, Ethan and their friend Nick before heading up the road.

Susan and Rachael's friend Nick at Rachael's house

Drove about four hours and stayed in a hotel in Kentucky, hoping to get above Indy this evening on out first main stop in Holland Mi.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Creating a Stone Guard

The last big challenge of our rebuild was the rock guard.  I had looked at many photos but was not satisfied with what I saw or did not think I could build it and make it look good.

I was exploring when I discovered 80/20 Inc, a company that calls themselves an "Industrial Erector Set".

I ended up using their product called "Quick Frame"

Very easy build -- I went to a window shop and bought two pieces of Lexan.  I bought the hinges from a marine supply company.


Frame and gasket  $100.00
Lean   $90.00
Hinges (3)  $40.00

Here are some images of the build....  I think it turned out pretty good

Frame with plastic pieces that hold it together, very sturdy.

Big Hint -- you must make a miter cut to fit the pieces together, took me a bit to figure that out and the directions are well hidden in the 80/20 website.  I used a hacksaw to make the cut.

Finished frame

Gasket from 80/20 held the Lexan tight, worked well.

Decided to use three marine hinges, worried that the trailer might not hold it.

What can I say, Butyl tape!


Will add some rubber bumpers so it doesn't hit the window.


Thats, it, if I can help, just let me know.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Getting there.... and we have planned a trip for early March!

Since my last post, we have completed major systems as well as minor projects.  Susan and I both agree that this portion of the build is more fun, smaller projects with less chance for disaster.  Here is what we have done.

Plumbing - we wanted to keep this pretty simple with the capability of "boondocking", that means camping without water and electrical connections.

This first picture is of a simple faucet, you just pump it and you get a small amount of water.

This next picture shows the sink drain on the right.  On the left is the hose to two five gallon fresh water containers.

This second image drains the water from the sink to either two small containers when it is not okay to drain out and a hose to the outside of the trailer.

This last image shows the outlet that we will be able to use to drain when we can.  On the left is a double plug for cooking and other things on the outside.  That was a bit tough.

Electricity -- also kept simple.  I could not have done this without my friend Bob.  He is a great helper and teacher and explains the theory and how things work and lets me hook everything up.

30 amp system with four outlets on the inside and the outside outlets.  That large black line is the connection to the external power.  Everything came up without incident the first time, thanks Bob!

Here is the outside electrical connection.

We got an incredible deal on an air conditioner, open box and then it went on sale for 20% off of that.  Seems to work very well.  The unit requires an outlet to the outside with a four inch hose -- more holes!  :-(   It is very heavy, about fifty pounds and at first we had it on a shelf.  That seemed dangerous and I could just imagine it falling through the floor.  So we moved it and it seems quite stable, we will restrain it further.

In order to vent the air conditioner, I had to make a six inch whole.  Found a very expensive hole saw and it went well.  Here is a picture of that.  It has a spring that closes when there is no air passing through but we will have to really watch it.

We also refurbished and attached the screen door.  Originally there was another piece of metal in the middle of the door.  We have made a cover out of no-see-um material so we can reach the handle and keep the bugs out.  Note the Scotty ID tag that we got when we visited Chattanooga.

It took a while to figure out how we were doing to shut the baggage door.  It is somewhat damaged and so we selected some boat closers and put a drip cap on top.  Hopefully, it will not leak.

We also refurbished and replaced the bumper.

So, at this point, we had to deal with some legal issues, getting a title, Ugh!  In some states it is impossible to get a title but we had no major problems. You have to take the camper to DMV and they have to look at the VIN, then you have to explain where you bought the camper and why there is nottitle.

You have to get a title to get a license plate and get insurance.  These things are tough to insure for anything over the purchase price.  It appears that there is one primary insurer in the US.

Magically, it arrived!  No problems.

So, at this point, Susan went to work on the inside.  She had already made curtains and pillows and other items, she is also in the process of buying kitchen stuff we will need.  We bought an induction burner that will not short everything out.

We painted, added some molding, put in switch plates, that kind of stuff.  Now the projects seem ever more fun as we get closer.

So our next step is to get an appraisal so we can get insurance.  Here are pictures of the exterior and interior that I hope the appraiser will be able to use.  It will give you a chance to look at the outside.

First, the exterior.

And finally, here are interior shots.

That's it!  The plan is take a one or two night practice trip right around here to see what else we might need.  We also want to weigh it to make sure our tires are sufficient.

The next post could be Florida pictures.  We are going to Apalachicola!