Tag Archives: motorhome

Malibu Beach RV Park

Malibu Beach RV Park

The view from Malibu Beach RV Park

Who doesn’t want an ocean view? It’s not often you can get one in an RV, but at Malibu Beach RV Park, you can. And it is spectacular! We stayed there while Mike was working in Santa Monica for Project LiveWire. Lucky for us, it was the closest one to his work. Tough, I know!

Enjoying the view is pricey. It costs $100-$150 a night. You don’t necessarily get a lot for the money, either. Yes, the scenery is gorgeous. But the spots are very tight, and there aren’t any extra amenities like a pool or a workout room. There are nifty walking paths around the park, and a great fresh seafood restaurant is a few (steep) steps away. It’s tricky to get to the ocean, though. You’ve gotta walk down the hill, dash across the PCH when there’s a break in traffic, and then walk half a block to the beach stairs. We probably wouldn’t have stayed there if we weren’t being reimbursed for the fees. But we sure made the most of it. We made the tricky trek to the beach a couple of times, and three times a day, we took the dogs out for a stroll on the trails. With plenty of soft sand and banks of tropical flowers on each side, every walk was like a little piece of paradise.

The park staff was amiable, but we encountered a couple of residents who were nasty. Our first night, we arrived late – after getting approval from the park first, of course. The spot to our right was empty, but there was Class B parked next to it. We unhooked and parked as quickly as we could, but apparently it wasn’t fast enough. With the engine still running while we were setting up, the door of the Class B opened and a tall, thin, blond-haired man strode toward us. In a thick German accent, he told us that the noise was very disruptive and reminded us that it was almost 10 at night. Like we didn’t know! He was angry and rude. After a long day of driving, we were having none of it. I advised him that we were going as quickly as we could and that we’d gotten permission from the park to arrive this late. If he had a problem, I said, he needed to take it up with park management, not us. The next morning, he was gone, and the side of our coach was decorated with something dark brown: mud or something else? We don’t know for sure that he did it, but we had our suspicions.

The rest of our stay was uneventful, but when we were leaving, we had another unpleasant encounter. As I mentioned before, the park is very tight, and there’s no good place to unhook or hook up your toad. You certainly don’t want to be doing it on the side of the PCH. We did it right by the office, where you stop on your way in to check in. Because of the small size of the park, there are rigs parked right next to the entrance and exit. As we were hooking up the Jeep, as fast we could, a gentleman two coaches down complained to us that we were spewing exhaust. There’s was nothing we could do; it was again a park issue. We hurried to hook up – as we always do – and headed out, glad to put the park behind us.

As pretty as the views were, it wouldn’t be worth the hassle to stay again.

Malibu Beach RV Park Meeko looking at our RV at Malibu Beach RV Park IMG_2239 IMG_2236 IMG_2240 IMG_7658 View to walking paths at Malibu Beach RV Park IMG_2277 IMG_2251

Would you like some ice with that drive?

Would you like some ice with that drive?

ice, freezing rain, ice-coated RV, RVing in the winter, treacherous driving conditions,

We are on our way back to Vegas for Christmas.  Leaving from Milwaukee, our route runs in a southerly direction to avoid the worst of the bad winter weather.  We’re on a deadline, so we can’t afford to be delayed more than a couple of hours.  (We normally try to leave more cushion than this to reduce stress and the risks of “get-there-itis”.)  Despite our best efforts, we hit freezing rain as we rolled through Oklahoma.  The motorhome was coated with ice before we parked for the night, west of Oklahoma City.  As we headed out this morning, we saw two tractor trailers and three cars off the road.  Yikes!

On a side note, yesterday, I drove the most I’ve driven so far in a day: four hours total.  (I generally drive about two hours.)  I also navigated my first toll plaza…at night…in the freezing rain!

Our strategy for handling these conditions is to slow down and avoid using cruise control.  And one more thing…

  • If you have to drive in freezing rain, heated mirrors are worth their weight in gold!

ice, freezing rain, ice-coated RV, RVing in the winter, treacherous driving conditions, heated mirrors, ice on mirrors

5 Tips for RVing in the Winter

5 Tips for RVing in the Winter

5TipsForRVingInTheWinter

We’re just shy of five months into this motorhoming escapade, but we’ve already encountered plenty of cold weather.  Where we go is dictated by where Mike is working, which means that we’ll be dealing with frigid temperatures fairly regularly.

Here are five things Mike has learned that are helping us stay warm and watered during the winter.

1.  Not every park delivers propane to you.  Packing up, unhooking, and driving across the street to refill is a hassle.  Plus, propane can get pricey.  Besides that, you surely don’t want run out when temps are below freezing.  (Which we did.)  Using as little propane as you can is crucial.  Buy electric heaters to run off of the park’s electricity – that you’re already paying for – to save your propane.  This is ours.  It’s pet-safe, has other safety features, and comes with a remote so we can control it from anywhere in the rig.  We also have a propane heater.

2.  Stuff bubble pack insulation in the windows. Your rig might feel like a cave, but it makes a HUGE difference, even with double-paned windows.   (This also works great in the summer when you’re cooling the motorhome.  We know from firsthand experience.  We started this lifestyle in Las Vegas… in July.)

3.  When you’re hooked up to park water, keep your hose as short as possible.  Coil the rest of it up and store it inside your wet bay.  Insulate what’s left outside with foam pipe insulation.

4.  If you’re in a Class A, run small electric heaters in the wet bay to keep the pipes and tank from freezing.  Make sure they have tip-over and overheating protection.   You may also want to buy thermostatic plugs that’ll turn the heaters on just above freezing and turn them off at warmer temperatures.

5.  If you have an electric water heater, leave a trickle of hot water dripping into your sink.  It keeps water circulating through the hose so it doesn’t freeze.  Also, leave the gray tank open so the trickle of hot water runs down the hose.  It keeps the gray tank from filling up, and the heated liquid prevents the sewer hose from freezing.

Our first RV rally!

Our first RV rally!
iRV2Rally-GoodieBag

Goodie bag loot!

As newcomers to the motorhome lifestyle, we were super excited to attend our first RV rally in early September.  The rally was put on by iRV2, an online forum community and social network for RVers.  Mike relied heavily on iRV2 when he was researching rigs before we purchased ours.  Active and packed with information, their forums were very helpful to Mike, so it seemed fitting that their national rally was the first one we attended.

The rally was held at the Amana Colonies RV Park in historic Amana, Iowa.  An opening dinner was included in the rally price.  After a hotdish-style buffet by Dostal Catering, we listened to a detailed overview of the history of the Colonies.  The food was so-so, but the overview was fascinating, preparing us nicely for subsequent tours and explorations of the area.

There were supposed to be two seminars, but Blue Ox, a towing product manufacturer, was a no-show, leaving us with a single presentation on using the iRV2 forums. That was okay, though. This rally was more about socializing than it was about education.

One of the best parts of the event was the morning “Coffee with Don”.  Not for the instant coffee or the storebought donuts Don graciously provided but for the conversation with fellow RVers.  Mike and I would dash over to Serena’s Coffee Café for our lattes  and then head over to the Pioneer Building in the RV park.  I’d bring my laptop so I could get my freelance work done while still sharing in the chitchat.  Mike would be fully engaged, enjoying the dialogue and answering everyone’s technology questions.  We really looked forward to those coffee gatherings.

Almost as much fun were the campfire get togethers in the evening.  After we’d walked the bark babies, we’d stand around the fire and catch up on the news of the day.  We didn’t make it every night but managed to squeeze it in a couple of times.

The rally also included a breakfast one morning and an ice cream social one afternoon.  A final dinner with raffle pries and dancing to music by the Greenbriar Band concluded the event.

The people were so nice.  Park neighbors Ray & Linda gave us a bunch of fresh tomatoes from their home garden.  I used them to make baked tomatoes with oregano and parmesan.  Liz had been on the road about the same amount of time as us, traveling by herself with her dog Roan.  She visits Milwaukee frequently, so we may see her again.  Wally and his lovely wife had raised Boston Terriers, so they were smitten with Sadie.  It was such a delight to meet everyone and share stories.  We’re already looking forward to the 2014 rally in Myrtle Beach.

iRV2Rally-OpeningDinnerLori

iRV2Rally-OpeningDinner

iRV2Rally-MeekosNewFriend

Meeko making a new friend

iRV2Rally-Seminar

iRV2Rally-Campfire