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At some point you have to leave then nest. Convenient to the factory about 10 miles away is Milford State Park. The plan was to park for a week, giving us a chance to wind down after a very hectic 2 weeks in the parking lot and get on our way. Before we set off though, Cole dropped by when we were hitched up, and decided that he didn’t like the height of the pin sitting on the hitch. So the factory guys came out to lower the pin box. As luck would have it, one of the bolts was being stubborn and we had to wait until a new ‘short’ socket for the air gun was acquired.

We had practiced hitching and unhitching in the parking lot several times, a nice flat surface. Well the site at Milford State Park was anything but. The truck was on a slope from the RV, leaving too much pressure on the jaws, so they would not open. Backed up a bit to relieve the pressure and the jaws sprang open.

While parked in the park, we ran off of our fresh water tank for a while, and the hot water heater problem disappeared. So external water supply a problem, internal water supply no problem. Turned out that the pressure regulator on the fresh water inlet was giving us problems, so that was replaced when we got back to Camp Horizons. At the next Camping World we came to, I planned on buying an adjustable regulator/gauge.

IMG_0602IMG_0609We were able to take some nice long walks with Robbie and Abby, along some of the hiking trails, and give them lots of exercise. While at the State Park, we went on a visit of the Milford Nature Center and Fish Hatchery. Let me digress a bit.

Back in Hanson, one of our neighbors is a first grade teacher. She asked if we could send her back pictures and stuff during our trip so that she could teach a ‘Where in the USA are Robbie and Abby’ segment. So anytime we are visiting someplace that her first graders would find interesting, I try to shoot and lot of pictures or videos for the class.

There is our gallery of pictures of the Nature Center as well as a video of the butterfly house.

RV Lifestyle Lesson #1 : You are 13 feet tall and 8 feet wide. In everything that you do when pulling in or out of a parking spot, look up, look to the left and look to the right.

We did find a few more things that needed to be fixed back at the factory, plus I spent a day buffing out our fist encounter with some high branches. So we returned to the factory for a few days to get a few minor things corrected as set off. The plan was:

  • drive north to South Dakota to take care of business
  • drive south to visit my cousin in Colorado Springs
  • continue south-east to attend the NHOGers Rally in Bushnell Florida and pick peoples brains about a good place to stay for the winter.

I am loath to admit this, but in all the research that I did, I could not find a better trip planning tool than Microsoft Streets and Trips. Once we no longer needed a PC for business use, at the first opportunity, we went Mac. We had 2 Toshiba PC laptops. When Windows 7 came out and the only upgrade path was a complete wipe and install, I said to hell with it and we bought a 27” iMac desktop and a MacBook laptop. Anyway, I have always been a fan of Quicken and as it turned out, the Windows version of Quicken was far superior to the Mac version. So to solve that problem, I used a virtual Mac computer tool called Parallels, that creates a run-time virtual computer, Unix, Linus, PC, whichever you need. You just install your Windows OS in the virtual PC. It turns out that Parallels runs Windows better than a Windows PC, faster and more stable.

So I installed MS S&T into my virtual computer to do our trip planning. There are a number of additional resources available to enhance S&T. The Streets and Trips Team Blog has add-ons that can be imported into S&T. There is a ‘Points of Interest Mega File’ that is constantly enhanced that contains thousands of places, to eat, to park, to visit, to avoid, to shop, that can be displayed on the S&T map.

There are also some 3rd party vendors that provide POI files for S&T. The one that has the most value is Low Clearances.com, a database of over 3700 bridges and their respective clearances, from 5’ 6” to 15’ 9 “ As we are 13’ 6”, I loaded the 13’ 9” file (all bridges with a height of 13’ 9” and lower) as POIs to S&T. I can now see bridges on our route and avoid problem areas. They also provide files that are compatible with most GPS systems as well as MS Streets & Trips, Delorme Street Atlas, and Google Earth

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Pictures
All of the pictures in our log are available for viewing on Smugmug and each picture or map links to the exact picture in our gallery. Thumbnails of the pictures in a gallery appear on the left. You can increase the size of the displayed picture by clicking on it. Once in a gallery, you have the choice of using thumbnails to navigate or scroll from one picture to the next. The Navigation Bar at the top allows you to move from one gallery to another. Tool bars at the bottom allow you to download pictures from the site.
 

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  It’s Off to Kansas We Go  
  New Horizons RV Factory, Junction City, Kansas  
  Un-Packing the U-haul and packing the RV  
  Learning about Our New Home  
  Testing all of the RV sub-systems  
  First Trip-10 Miles  
  South Dakota and Business  
  Camp New Horizons  
  Kansas to Florida  
  NHOG Rally 2011  
  Florida to Texas  
  New Orleans - The Big Easy  
  San Antonio  
  Home  
  Currently  
  Introduction  
  From Research to Leaving Home  
  2011, The First Season  
  Winters  
  2012, The Second Season  
  Our Triple D Adventures  
  Natashas Excellent Adventure  
  2013, The Third Season  
  2014, The Fourth Season