Time to Add Some Memories to Our Dash!

I decided to put together a quick post to introduce you all  to our newest addition … the 1975 Six-Pac truck camper you see in our new header and in the pick below. But then I realized I haven’t posted in close to a year! Yikes, WTH?? Time  truly does fly!

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Yes, we have catchy names for our rig, truck and camper. LoL

So, I will back to the introduction post about the truck camper and our summer plans, but first I think I should fill you in on some of the highlights from the past year.

First and foremost … I became a Memere last year at this time!! My son Nick and his fiance Bri brought this gorgeous little girl into the world on June 22, 2015. Sarah Annabelle Sautter is absolutely perfect in every way. Being on the road I don’t get to see her as often as I would like. But thankfully modern technology let’s us keep in touch and I get to keep up with her milestones. Love her!!!

tinkerbelle 1st birthday

Then in September we decided to bring our own “baby” into our HOW … a fur baby that is! This is “Sterling’s Sherlock Holmes Estelle-Bialek”! We just call him Sherlock. LoL

September 2015

September 2015

And here he is now at 1 Year Old … and about 85 pounds! LoL

Ready for Graduation from Hightest Kennels Obedience Training June 2016

Ready for Graduation from Hightest Kennels Obedience Training June 2016

He has been such a wonderful addition to our little HOW! There’s just something magical about the unconditional love from a dog. So far he’s only traveled from Rio Vista, CA north to Anacortes, WA. But this summer this pup is going to get some miles in! 🙂

Unfortunately, we also had some tragic news over the past year. Joe’s Mom passed away unexpectedly in November of last year. I know we never really expect the loss of our loved ones, but getting the news and being 3,000 away was without a doubt the most stressful, emotionally draining event we’ve had to navigate through since we hit the road four and a half years ago. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife and friend and she is missed by many.

July 2015

July 2015

Mom Bialek was always up for an adventure and always,always initiating conversations with perfect strangers wherever she went. So much so that during her funeral service the Navy Chaplain who officiated focused on “Living Your Dash” … the little ” – ” between the dates on headstone showing the year people were born and the year they passed away. The concept isn’t new, I’ve heard the phrase “living our dash” before. But this was the first time I actually reflected on what my dash has been so far and as a team, what we want our dash to look like for the rest of our time together.

With thoughts of making the most of whatever time we have left (hopefully it’s several decades! lol) we took two steps toward seeing even more of this amazing country of ours and filling up our dash. First, we decided in order  to do that  we’d need a little more disposable income. Rather than have Joe sell his left nut (which we joked about back when we thought maybe we’d like to live in a loft on Mulberry St in NYC) I’d try to get on a turn-around or two with him if there was an opportunity; thankfully, there was!

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And that brings us pretty much up to speed!

So here we are today, planning our summer excursion in The Cabin!! If there’s one thing that we’ve learned, or maybe just been reminded of over the past year, it’s that life is short and there are no gaurantees. We love our life and our lifestyle. But it’s been way too long since we’ve been on vacation. I know that probably sounds funny to some because we live in an RV (recreational vehicle). But the truth is, our life revolves around work, just like pretty much everyone else we know in this age bracket. The only difference is that we choose to work the grind in a nomadic fashion.

Anyway, the point is this – It looks like we’re going to have some down time and we plan to make the most of it by adding memories to our dash. Not in a flashy, swanky, once in a lifetime, secluded island resort (although a little beach camping might be in the plan!) type of vacation. But rather a once in a lifetime, coast to coast, low-rent, gypsy vacation!

Here’s a little peek at what our accommodations will be for our trip. Ummm … yes, rustic to say the least! LoL

Here’s the kitchen …

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The dining room …

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The bedroom … (Yes, the sleeping bags zip together to make one! 😉 )

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And that’s about it! So now it’s time to start planning out the next two months of Our-Time … of our Dash.

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We’re planning to be posting quite regularly, no really! LoL We’re also hoping to incorporate some videos into our routine. This is a fairly new media to us so we’ll be on a learning curve for a bit. I usually use my phone for all pics and what few videos I have done. But Joe has a GoPro he’s itching to put to use.

If you’re still here, thanks so much for sticking around! We’re glad to have you and we’d love to have you continue along with us on this next adventure!!

Me and my love

~Cheers~

Can You Wash Your Rig with 5 Gallons of Water or less? Yes! Really!!

Hi Gang! I have a special treat for you today! I’ve been so busy with the new coaching business that I’ve been neglecting Gypsy Gibberish ~ Writing on Eight Wheels. I know, my bad! Thankfully, The Boss has stepped up and decided to help out when he can. He’ll be posting some “How To” type stuff and I might even be able to get him to put the information from the last three or four RV Park reviews I have set aside together. We’ll see, LoL.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the guy that always comes to my rescue!

Are you RVing in drought stricken California? Boondocking out and about in a beautiful secluded wilderness area with limited water? Stationary for a month or more at a great RV resort as your home base, but they have the “no washing the RV” rule?

What do you do? Ahh the frustration…the dust…the pollen…the bugs/road grime all over your precious rig…or as we affectionately refer to as our “HOW” (HOW-house on wheels, pronounced Hoe). Nobody wants a dirty HOW! 😉

Yes we have options and we do utilize them when we can. The lazy me, REALLY enjoys the benefits of the commercial truck wash centers!  Who knew there was an “automated” car wash that can accommodate a nearly 30,000# (yes, we are going on a diet) 13′- 6″ tall, 102″ wide, 45 foot combined length truck and HOW! They are not everywhere, but boy are they convenient! We’ve found great service at these washes and some are even open 24 hours!

They have an easy pull in – pull out entrance and the 7 man crew pressure washes and scrubs the entire HOW.  They even get the roof with custom bent wands for their pressure washers to loosen up the dirt and grime up there. Then for the grand finale, a major rinse pours down (it sort of reminded me of Niagara Falls) from the ceiling mounted “sprinkler” system to get the loosened up grime off the roof and rinses the entire HOW.

blue beacon

blue beacon outside

And yes I do get ambitious every now and then and utilize the self-serve car washes that have oversize bays. We’ve come across a few along our travels, some even had a cat walk to gain access to clean the roof! But they are not everywhere…and you still get road grime and dust from here to there and before you even get to your next destination your home is a mess. It’s frustrating, you want to clean her but you don’t want to be a rebel and break the rules. So what to do?

You get some basic supplies and some distilled water and “clean” not wash your HOW 🙂

Now keep in mind this is NOT a recommended solution for cleaning your gritty, freshly mud laden rig from your latest 4×4 adventure in Moab … or the Colorado Rockies… or some really remote off grid …

Sorry, got a little lost in thought day dreaming about our future boondocking trips in a truck camper … or Earth Roamer … some day!

Now where was I?

Ahhh yes, this is a suggestion that has worked well for us to remove light dust stirred up from the gravel roads in the RV park, from the gravel trail heading to your awesome boondocking location, pollen, etc.

The important thing to remember is to be careful. You don’t want  to damage your finish by dragging  heavy dirt and debris over your paint/finish. So again, this is just an idea that came to me and worked for us. You may decide you do not feel comfortable with this.

The idea came to me when we got our rig and it was time to clean the windows. I knew I wasn’t going to want to drag out the ladder every time we (I say we, but Gypsy doesn’t do ladders so I really mean me. lol)  the windows get spotty.  I thought, well if it works great on the window, maybe it will work on the entire exterior!

I sampled a small area first and inspected to make sure there were no scratches and I was happy with the results, so I went for it. Now, with the right equipment, products, and awareness, I feel comfortable with this process.

All the tools of the trade can be ordered here on amazon or picked up your local hardware store.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

I used the gallon jug as a measuring device. I did use water piped in from RV park. But after using it I realized the I would have been better off using distilled water from Walmart at $0.89 a gallon to minimize the water spots from the park well water.

The ladder saver is the extendable paint stick. It works perfectly!

The double bucket with just enough water in each side to cover the window mop.

The Pressure Sprayer

The small pressure sprayer has been a priceless investment!! Not only is it HOW washing tool, but an exterior cooling unit! Yes you read that right. When outdoor temps reached 107’ I used this to spray a fine mist on and around our immediate seating area for evaporation cooling. Yes, I’m Gypsy’s official watering boy! LoL

waterboy

The window mop with adapter for the extendable paint stick to allow quick and easy change out of the mop to the squeegee head.

The squeegee (this is a little different from the one I have)

The small spray bottle with cleaning solution of your choice.

The micro fiber hand mitt for tough, stubborn spots/tight locations.

And clean, dry micro fiber cloths, about a 6 pack for final wipe down.

Now like washing any car/HOW you don’t want to do this in the blazing sun. Start with the “magical outdoor AC evaporation cooling gizmo” (pressure sprayer) and spray a small area to be cleaned. I start low and use a side to side action making my way up to the top.  Just a light coating; a little bit of running down but not much. Then take the handheld small sprayer bottle with cleaning solution (environmental friendly) mixture if needed.  You will not need much as it will mix with the water that was just sprayed on.

Pssssssss

Next take the window scrubber on the paint stick extension and inspect that there is no dirt, pebbles or debris trapped in its finger like micro fibers, and dip it in the bucked. From the top down in the segmented areas that you previously sprayed with water and cleaner, start “mopping”. Your just looking to loosen/lift the pollen/dust up off the surface, not to remove it all until clean, although it does a great job grabbing the dirt as well. When  the window sponge is dirty or feels like it’s gritty or “dry” it’s time to rinse. Use one side of the bucket for the “dirty” side and the other side for “clean” to rinse. This is to try to keep the window sponge as clean as possible without using excessive water to repeatedly clean it.

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Now, once your area has been mopped, grime is loose and has been lifted, it’s time to squeegee. If the area is drying, grab the water sprayer and apply more water. If more water is needed, you may want to work a smaller section. The surface needs to be wet. Proceed to squeegee the surface, starting at the top and working down. There may be narrow sections where the squeegee won’t fit. You can angle the squeegee or get a couple different sizes that work best for you. You will see the crud drip down…the squeegee should feel smooth.

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There will be spots you can’t get to with this set up. That’s ok, I’ll touch on that next. I continued around the entire camper in this fashion.

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Next, I start back where I started. With, the microfiber car mitt and clean dry micro fiber cloths, wiping the streaks left behind from the squeegee and the locations I could not get with the tools into – like the sides of the slides with windows and the side of the camper. Most of the time the clean dry micro fiber cloth is enough to do the trick. If not, a wipe with the damp micro fiber wash mitt will help. Always follow-up with the dry micro fiber cloth.

We have found this has been a great compromise of being able to maintain a clean HOW and respecting the rules of the RV Park while conserving water. As I mentioned above, next time I will use distilled water, to help minimize the water spots and the additional wiping needed with the microfiber cloths

Before “Dirty HOW”

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After “Clean Happy HOW”

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I know this won’t work on all RV types, but it works well with our smooth fiberglass surface. It looks good and provides a clean surface to proceed with the next step… wax on ~ wax. 😉

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Thanks for reading!

I’d say “Cheers” … But that’s Gypsy’s line. 😉

So I think I’ll leave you with this …

hang loose

Top 5 RV Must-Haves … My List

It's the one thing we always have a back up container of!

It’s the one thing we always have a back up container of!

I read a post the other day on Facebook asking group members to list what their favorite must-have items for the RV are. I guess the longer you’re on the road the quicker your list of must-haves might be. We’ve only been on the road for a few years, so I suppose our list might be shorter than most. Or, perhaps we’re just learning that less is more. 😉

I think if you asked the hubby he would give you a slightly different list. Probably having to do with more technical things. But for now, here’s my list.

#5 The Crockpot – For our first 3 years on the road we didn’t have a working oven. So, using the crockpot was a must. I have to tell you though, I still use it more often than our convection oven for chicken breasts and pork tenderloin.

*By the way, if you’re going to use the crockpot grab some Slow Cooker Liners.
They make clean-up a breeze!*

#4 The Treager Smoker – This is a must for us because we use it for not only smoking but for grilling and even baking sometimes as well. The electronic temperature control works great and being able to get rid of the gas grill saves us some much-needed storage space.

#3 The Heated Hose – Although we do our best to stay out of areas where we need to worry about frozen water lines, every once in a while it’s inevitable. We’ve never had a problem while using this type of heated hose.

#2 Strongback Chairs – These chairs were a total surprise. We have a couple of zero gravity chairs as well. But the Strongbacks are super comfy and transportable. The carrying bag makes them easy to grab and take with you for an impromptu sunset with cocktails on the beach or to bring over to the community campfire in the park.

#1 Happy Camper Organic Black Tank Treatment – Hands down this is the BEST holding tank additive we have found! We’ve been using it for over a year and a half now and since starting we have never had any funky smells coming up from the bowl or coming from the sewer hose when we dump. Seeing as I’m usually the one doing the black tank dumping and rinsing this is a big deal for me! LoL Seriously, if you haven’t used this stuff yet give it a try. As you can see in the pic above, it is the one thing I always make sure we never run out of! LoL Simply said … It works!

What are your top five RV Must-Haves?

~Cheers~

Working Out on the Road Just Got Easier

Finally, no more dealing with old school DVDs for workouts anymore!

Color Cd And Dvd Background

Hi Guys!

I have a bit of a cross-post here today. I don’t usually do this between blogs but this is BIG news and I have to share! As some of you know, I’ve been developing a passion for health and fitness over the past few months. Yes, everything is still going strong with the new lifestyle. As a matter of fact, things just got a little easier … from technological and storage standpoints anyway. 😉

Beachbody fitness just went digital this week and I am totally psyched about that! No more worrying about scratched and skipping DVDs, or worse yet trying to find a place to store them!

Check out my post on Fit By 50 with Wendy today for all the details. Seriously, for only $2.99 per week finding a better deal would be tough.

Click >>>HERE<<< to go to Fit By 50 with Wendy (shown below)

website

 

That’s all for now. If you have any questions about the Beachbody Club Membership feel free to contact me anytime. 🙂

CLICK. STREAM. SWEAT.

~Cheers~

Do You Dutch Oven?

I’m talking about Dutch Oven cooking here folks!! Not the other kind.

Although …  you know me, I can’t resist this guy!  LoL

Google Images

Google Images

I think the only thing worse than farting in bed would be farting in a hot steamy shower with your love. Just sayin’ …

Okay, seriously. I had a friend back in Connecticut (Hi Yancie!!) who used to cook in a Dutch Oven quite a bit. She had a couple different sizes of cast iron pieces and made the best meals in them! Sometimes she used them outside in the fire pit, but she also had a hook in her indoor fireplace where she could hang one. I always loved the way her house smelled when she was cooking something in the dutch oven.

The smell of the wood burning, the savory aromas coming from a venison stew in the pot, a bottle of Cabernet breathing on the counter. Ahhh … memories.

Anyway, I came across an article today from the folks at Camping Road Trip with some really tasty sounding recipes for cooking in a Dutch Oven in the great outdoors. I think it was the pic of what looks like pizza that caught my attention, but once I got reading everything was making me hungry. LoL

You can check out the recipes >>>HERE<<<

So here’s the thing. We don’t actually have a Dutch Oven yet. It’s been on our list for a while now. But in the Little H.O.W. it just seemed like something that would take up space and not really be worth sacrificing the little storage space we had. Now that were in the bigger rig, I want a Dutch Oven! LoL

We’ve looked at several over the years and just like everything else, there’s a pretty big price range. My question is – Do you have a favorite brand or size that you think works best?

I like the colored enamel one seen below, but I don’t know if it would hold up to campfire cooking … and Mr. G. would probably get hotter than the coals if I spent $300 on one pot. LoL

So I’m thinking something like this one is the best bet. Love the handle and the little feet. 🙂

Any thoughts? Better suggestions? Good Dutch Oven recipes?

Let me know. 🙂

~Cheers~