Tag Archives: wbcci

Stittsville News article

We had a delightful interview with John Curry, news editor of the Stittsville News. He found us at the Ontario Airstream Club’s rally in Richmond Ontario. In fairness, he could have filled two more pages about the rally’s crowd, entertainment and great dining.

The Ontario Unit of the Wally Byam Airstream Club is one of the largest, with almost two hundred members. Their rally attendance sometimes has seventy Airstreams, so this rally was a little small at nearly fifty rigs.

More later, wanted to share the fun interview we read today in the Stittsville News online. We hope you have fun reading it too.


Why Are Dreamstreamrs Writing Again?

We had a nice visit to Rayne LA, a small town we’d never heard of and hadn’t realized we’ve driven by it every time we traverse I-10 east or west through LA.  We were in Rayne for the WBCCI mid-Winter International Board of Trustees meeting and Rally.  The folks from the local units and Region 6 of the airstream owners club put on a great rally.  We ate well, always had hot coffee and hot chocolate available (thanks Henry!), and enjoyed fun music performances by local musicians. Check out one of their rock bands, below:



Okay, I’m kidding about rock band – these guys are both very good vocalists and fun entertainers.  They put on a good show for our crowd.  Rayne is a town of 8,000 people known in some circles for contributing greatly to the national supply of frogs legs.  You probably knew this but it is news to us.  We’ll look carefully at the packaging henceforth.  Here’s one of the clues about frogs legs we found in Rayne:



Can you imagine how many frogs it takes to make 10K pounds every week?  We heard the frogs grow bigger down here.  We walked most of the town and enjoyed stopping in Worthmore 5 and 10 and in the hardware store.  Funny what you can find in small stores — look at this never-used and a bit aged merchandise:



When we tell people where we are from, a small town in North Carolina called Kannapolis, they often don’t know about it.  But when we ask if they remember the wash cloths and towels with the little cannon they almost always remember this.  Kannapolis was known from “The Mind of The South” as the last remains of the feudal system due to its patriarchy by Mr Cannon of Cannon Mills.  Its been awhile since we’ve seen product from Cannon Mills — this is an authentic package, not from the company that bought out the name after the mills closed.  The Worthmore 5 and 10 had a lot of older goods in it.

We arrived yesterday in Ocean Springs, a little over 200 miles east of Rayne and Lafayette, LA.  Ocean Springs isn’t simply a nice driving distance for us from Rayne, it also is home to one of Jim’s first cousins and another one lives in nearby Biloxi.  Jim hasn’t seen Cathy in over 20 years.  We’re getting together tonight for dinner and a reunion, and looking forward to seeing them.  Hopefully we can lure them back to the campground and let them see firsthand how the other 1% (no, not like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, we mean that OTHER 1%) live.

About the distractions we mentioned yesterday.  This is not an excuse, nor an apology.  Just some explaining, as promised, about our long absence from writing here.  It started four months ago when an Airstream club friend asked Jim to consider running for International 3rd VicePresident.  We talked it over between the two of us for four days.  

The dialogue was repetitive the first two and one-half days — “Why would we mess up such a great lifestyle?; This offers us nothing, why would we want to do it? This would postpone plans we’ve sketched out for this summer and beyond.  We don’t have room in our wardrobes for the additional required clothing (prescribed jackets, slacks, shirts).”  These, obviously, were only the cons to the argument.

We reviewed Steve’s excellently written request of us and considered the pros.  We love WBCCI, the Airstream owners club.  We have gained immensely in RVing knowledge, caravanning, rallies, and friendships all over the continent from our associations resulting from belonging to, and participating in, WBCCI.  Having served as officers and members in our local unit and in a large intraclub of WBCCI we have firsthand experience with the difficulties in finding members willing to serve.  Did we mention, we love WBCCI?

The third day the tenor of our discussions started changing.  At first we admitted we could do this.  Then we started talking about the changes to our full-timing lifestyle, undoing parts of our 3-year plans (yes, we do plan up to 3 years — just a habit of list-makers like us), and what accepting a nomination could entail for us.

By the fourth day we were leaning forward, toward Steve’s suggestion.  If not us, then who?  We’ve heard that in various leadership seminars through our health care management careers.  We all have talents and may be the ones most likely to underestimate the impact we could have.  If no one volunteers and there is no one to serve, then an organization can fail.  We’ve experienced this at our first WBCCI International Rally when the Full Timers Intraclub conducted their last meeting and luncheon.  No one was willing or able to serve.  Each of us should serve if asked.  

Long story slightly shortened, we accepted the challenge and are really excited about it.  Several issues immediately popped up.  We developed and submitted to the WBCCI Nominating Committee our letter of interest for International 3rd Vice President.  We joined in a couple of busy forums about good leadership.  We started reading and writing club-related emails  nearly constantly.  We began preparing for our interview for the position.  

Unrelated, Jim’s daughter announced her wedding date last June as we were enroute to Huron SD and Vancouver BC.  We would have twelve days from Vancouver to return and prepare for the wedding in Asheville NC.  We’d already traveled from San Diego to Key West and North Carolina, then to the West Coast in 2013.  We decided we would stay the first part of the winter in North Carolina instead of returning to Arizona’s fabulous weather and daily tennis and good friends we’ve made there over the past three or four winters.


Can you tell Jim is the proud dad?  He and Hannah are riding in the horse drawn carriage from the Bride’s room down the road to the ceremony.  We’re tickled, love her groom and family, and had a wonderful wedding and celebration.

We enjoyed travels to four rallies and to the Christmas luncheon of the Carolinas Unit of NC, our local airstream owners chapter of WBCCI.  We posted about a great odyssey along the NC Outer Banks, from Manteo to Ocracoke and then Beaufort NC.  Otherwise, we traveled very little — except for frequent trips regarding an exciting new development in our lives that I’ll just wait until tomorrow to talk about.

And we postponed posting to our Dreamstreamr blog site.

This past week we sat for our Nominating Committee interview.  The club conducted it at the Rayne Meeting and Rally, and advised us we passed muster and are now “certified nominees”.  Our CV will appear in the March edition of the club’s magazine, The Blue Beret.  That accomplished, we are still interested and participating in the forums yet feel a load lifted.  We’re traveling again, looking forward to three great Florida rallies in February and March and April (I’ll get back to this, too), and we’re glad to be on the road again.

Thanks for riding along with us.  Thanks for your encouraging words and for waiting for us.  We hope you are staying warm and healthy, wherever you are.  And we’ll deliver tomorrow about our next exciting life news — check back with us then.  

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™

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©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr

Three busy weeks in Florida

Seventeen days we’ve spent in Florida this year.  While we miss Arizona, Florida has treated us very well.  Rain, what very little we’ve had, has come only in the wee hours of the morning.  Temperatures daily have averaged 75 degrees.

Okay, humidity is consistently above 70 percent and the palmetto bugs and lizards are conspiring to either lift our trailer to their favorite spot or invest in condos within.  These aren’t problems, yet.

We’ve been busy again!  Our first week we visited in Orlando with ham radio friends from all over the states.  Hamcation, organized by the Orlando Area Radio Club, is a fun hamfest with especially user-friendly features.

We parked our RVs in a cozy cluster alongside a pretty lake in the regional fairgrounds.  The professional vendors rented space in the fairground’s show buildings while tailgaters showed their wares throughout the twenty-odd acres of open field parking surrounding our RV area on three sides.

Our favorite aspects of this Hamcation “rally” are the daily socials with our WBCCI and RV Service Net friends and the proximity of the hamfest to the RVs.  We can saunter over to the vendor show, cruising the  tailgater area along our way, and shortly we slip back to our RVs awhile.

We can test our purchases, think them over, decide to double or return them, or return to the vendors and ask another question or three about something we didn’t think of (of course) while we were there.  Very very convenient and unlike any hamfest we’ve attended anywhere.  And we have a lot of fun!

Our second week we spent in Sarasota with the WBCCI Florida State Rally (FSR), again at fairgrounds.  Unlike our cozy cluster of fifty RVs in Hamcation’s rally area we now are part of 335 Airstreams packed tightly in four parking areas.  And in the Sarasota County Fairgrounds we are inundated by dust from a constant stream of cars and golf carts and RVs zipping by just in front of our parking space.

The FSR is a well-organized event with nightly entertainment, daily games, a petite but interesting vendor show (approx 25 vendors), and Airstream friends from all over U.S. and Canada.  Again we were active with our ham radio club friends too, hosting a couple of socials, participating in the FCC licensing exam and talking antennae and gear.

This week we enjoyed a dinner and Bible study at Cason Methodist in Delray Beach.  We studied a few dozen verses of Acts together after a nice meal together.  We’re camped behind St Paul’s Episcopal in probably the only rv parking allowed in the city.  The staff and congregation at St Paul’s have been wonderful hosts and we appreciate them greatly.

Yesterday we completed our NOMADS project’s first of three week in Lake Worth and Delray Beach.  Nine volunteers, including us, assembled Sunday afternoon to provide cleaning, repairs, and painting to Caring Kitchen and CROS Ministries.

We’ve painted a large breezeway and repaired damaged kitchen flooring and door hardware at Calvary Methodist in Lake Worth.  At Caring Kitchen we’ve  sorted and bagged vegetables and meat, helped prepare meals, handed out food bags, cleaned, painted, unloaded food trucks, cut and edged the lawn, trimmed shrubs, and cleaned the parking lot.

Nine people working six hours daily can accomplish amazing things.  A lot of work we are providing is a drop in the bucket compared to the agency’s needs.  A few improvements might last but Caring Kitchen depends upon constant daily input from many many volunteers.

I counted yesterday almost twenty volunteers at one time working to sustain the daily operation.  Only three paid staff members, tons of donated food, and dozens of volunteers all come together to provide over 100,000 meals annually to hungry people locally.  April, Guillermo, and Sister Mary Ann are incredible multi-taskers, orchestrating an amazing array of resources and needs to calmly and consistently keep this operation humming.

Debbie and I celebrated last night completing our first week’s work.  We walked throughout Delray Beach’s downtown business area.  Several blocks are saturated with restaurants, many with outdoor dining.  Interspersed are art galleries, high-end boutiques and clothing shops. We were interested to witness so much affluence only hours after helping serve so many very needy people.  What a contrast!

The sun’s up, Debbie’s not, I’m enjoying listening to the cocks crowing and the birds singing their good morning songs.  I’m on my second cup of tea, today’s the first day of our three-day weekend.  Life is good.  We’re in 75 degrees, skies are fair, we’re healthy and well-fed, we have a bed and shelter.  We have it so very good and we’re grateful.

Jim and Debbie

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©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

Dreamstreamr’s Best of 2010 — a short personal list

2010 was one of our best years in many ways.  We haven’t had a bad one, mind you.  We realized today we started Airstreaming seven years ago this year.  Four of the less than seven we’ve been full-time in our 25′ Airstream travel trailer.  All four years have been wonderful, exciting, different and often surprising.

What made 2010 great and different? A thumbnail sketch includes these things:

  • participating in a WBCCI Airstream caravan;
  • staying a month in Gillette;
  • visiting the oldest hamfest in the world;
  • visits to over a dozen national parks (and we’ll try to narrow it down to the best one;)
  • fun in Vancouver with our granddaughter;
  • three weeks volunteering with NOMADS, a United Methodist mission;
  • making a couple of smart purchases; and
  • stays at a wonderful pair of resorts.

Rainbow Bridge

We spent six wonderful weeks touring America’s southwest on a WBCCI Airstream caravan led by our friends Jay and Elna Thompson and Winston and Carol Montague. We were delighted to gain precious friendships with couples we hadn’t already met before the caravan while deepening our relationships with those we traveled with before.  And the six-week

Mule ride thru Bryce Canyon

guided tour throughout our country’s southwest was wonderful.  Our caravan leaders arranged tours, boat rides, and other special treats we either would have missed by scrimping or just wouldn’t have known about on our own.  Too, we enjoyed the company of many friends while trying to absorb the wonders in six weeks of sightseeing.

A month in Gillette WY allowed us time to really mine the area, so to speak.  We  toured one of their incredible and gigantic coal mining operations — nothing at all like the media makes it out; eat wonderful bison rib eye steaks at The Open Range Restaurant in Wright WY; tour the Wyodak air-cooled electrical generation plant;walk downtown Gillette; play tennis in Campbell County’s

That's a big pickup

incomparable municipal recreation center;  join the local ham radio club for breakfast at Granny’s Kitchen; browse and restock on electronic parts and custom cables from Chris Supply; participate in amateur radio’s annual Field Day with our WBCCI Amateur Radio Club; enjoy terrific convention management by the CAMPLEX staff; and celebrate another successful annual Airstream WBCCI rally.  We had a great month in Gillette!

best place for a hamfest

More than two years ago Dave Blum kf4gtj (SK) and Jim wanted to briefly slip away from our Airstream caravan’s tours for a look at the oldest continuously running hamfest in the world, the Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park Hamfest.  Dave and Jim didn’t make it then but it remained on their bucket list.  We (Jim and Debbie) put it on our agenda for 2010 and enjoyed a week in East Glacier with the best international group of hams we’ve been with.  Great weather, great scenery, great radio folks — This was a fine week.

North Rim Lodge

Debbie and Jim are divided on which was the best National Park we visited — North Rim of Grand Canyon, or Zion, or Mesa Verde.  We visited probably at least a dozen throughout 2010.  These three were our clear favorites for the year, and all were stupendous for roughly similar reasons.

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde wins out for being the least crowded and still providing stunning history and scenery. Zion has incomparable hikes and public transit and a very accessible but separate town site.  North Rim gave us an inch of overnight snowfall, very nice days, such a great old lodge, and more views than we ever could have imagined.  How do you pick one best one?

Cradlepoint router

Hands down, no equivocating, our best purchase for the year is our Cradlepoint CTR-500.  Our Airstream trailer is a mobile WIFI hotspot and we are radioactive!  Okay, only figuratively, but for us nothing beats the convenience of our own mobile wifi network.  We work three laptops, an iPad, and an iPod Touch.  Friend Bob Simms highly recommended the Cradlepoint to us, and we owe him many megabytes for our happiness with local wifi.  All devices tune effortlessly and quickly to the wifi, the Cradlepoint can support up to 32 devices at a time (but please don’t ask us to share, okay?), and we don’t mess with VZ Access anymore.  Wifi is good.

We don’t usually stay in resorts, national or state or provincial parks are more our speed.  But several years we have stayed in two resorts, one in British Columbia and the other in Mesa AZ.  Burnaby Cariboo RV Resort 17 km east of Vancouver BC is really really nice.  But Towerpoint Resort in Mesa has it beat hands-down.  Towerpoint is a  premiere tennis resort with five gorgeous hard courts, two hot tubs, two swimming pools, and too many excellent facilities to mention.  If we weren’t tennis players, we’d find plenty else to occupy us at Towerpoint.  And the people are wonderfully friendly and supportive.  Towerpoint is clearly the best resort we visited last year and we look forward to many more visits.

building a shed at Ocean Park Retreat

The best short description for our past year is “active”.  We saw a lot, participated in a lot of guided tours, hiked and toured many places, volunteered three weeks at Ocean Park Retreat on Washington state’s coast on mission work with NOMADS, played tennis all winter in Mesa AZ — we had an active year.  Yet we moved fewer times, stayed longer in places.  Three months in Okeechobee FL, a month in Gillette WY, five weeks on Washington state’s coast, three months in Mesa AZ.

We might be getting the hang of this full-timing thing, living throughout the continent.  Life on the road as full-timers, as a recent responder reminds us, isn’t vacation — it’s life (thanks, Sue, for the excellent phrase) on the road.  Our house has wheels, but it doesn’t require constant rolling.  We can stay in one place awhile if we want. We’re enjoying our environs more as we dig a little deeper in each locale.

You’ve absorbed all you can in one reading — we’ll save some highlights from last year for another day.

Jim and Debbie

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©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

A bad day for Garmin NUVI

We spent a nice four weeks in Gillette, WY, for the 53rd WBCCI International Rally. The Rally was good, as usual. Meet new friends, greet and spend time with old friends, learn new things, and enjoy varied nightly programs. Jim ascended to President of the WBCCI Amateur Radio Club, we conducted very successful seminars on full-timing, and enjoyed a couple of great local tours to share with you later.

Now we’re on the road again. Gillette sent us off in fine style, a cold soaking rain followed us most of the way to Cody, WY. Gillette’s weather wasn’t much good the entire stay. We had too much wind to unfurl our awnings or flags. So the farewell rain wasn’t a big disappointment.

The past two nights we spent just west of Cody, WY, in a neat little state park along the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Free firewood in plentiful supply, nice fire rings, and a great view make for a nice campsite. The campground is five miles from Cody so we made two enjoyable trips into town for southwest food and shopping. We like Cody and know our way around pretty well from two stays two years ago.

Trouble started this morning with our Garmin refusing to respond with a reasonable route from Cody to Bozeman. Debbie is expert in establishing via points to force Lucy, our Garmin gps, to take the route we want. Lucy wasn’t having it today.

The most direct route between Cody, WY, and Bozeman, MT, is through Cooke City and the top section of Yellowstone NP. And all the way beyond Cooke City Lucy insisted we just had to backtrack and head NW to I-90 to find our way to Bozeman. Never mind this entails an extra two hours driving over going through Cooke City and Yellowstone!

We rarely fail to get Lucy to see our way. Today we resorted to using the atlas and road signs, until some time into Yellowstone National Park when Lucy decided we could get to Bozeman via Highway 89 through Gardiner, MT. And we did.

Two years ago we had a little difficulty using Lucy to locate the Bozeman US Post Office. This happened in Melbourne, Florida, too. Melbourne seems never to have had a Post Office where Lucy directed us. And in Bozeman, Lucy is unaware of the large Federal Building just off Tracy St, one block off Main St downtown. Two years ago we walked several miles to north of town looking for the Post Office without success.

Today we were getting nowhere with Lucy on the Post Office quest, so pulled over downtown and asked someone. We were within a couple of blocks of the main Post Office and completed our mission with no help from Lucy. Ninety-nine percent of the time Lucy gets our directions right and serves wonderfully. When she isn’t hitting, she is sometimes waaaaay off.

We’re in Bozeman, MT. Today we mailed our solar charge controller to it’s maker for diagnostics, repair, and return to us. We will wash truck and trailer (they’ve never been dirtier, thanks to rain and dirt road on the pass over Big Horn Mtns west of Sheridan, MT), get Deb’s hair done, enjoy a rebloturn to Bozeman United Methodist Church, celebrate Jim’s birthday Monday, and have a visit to Pickle Barrel ice cream shop near the college campus.

Why did we mail our charge controller off? Yesterday morning we realized we no longer were hearing its blocking diodes clicking in and out with the sun’s rising and setting. We checked the current reading and were getting no solar power to the batteries. It was running out all over the floor and onto the ground instead.

Called the manufacturer who told us how to check the charge controller. Connected the solar panel hot lead to the battery hot lead and checked the current reading — 7 amps instead of the zero we had through the controller. So the connections and panels and batteries are all okay, it appears to be the three year-old controller. Manufacturer said, “send it in and he’ll fix and return it.” Cool!

We’ll spend a few days in Bozeman, relaxing and enjoying a nice small town. Then we’re off toward Kalispell, MT, where we’ll hopefully meet our forwarded mail and our refurbished charge controller. We look forward to exploring this part of Montana, between Helena and Great Falls. And we’ll manage this with or without Lucy’s navigational help.

Jim and Debbie
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©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr

Check it out yourself?

A new (first time RVer) Airstreamer asked me a couple of weeks ago whether they should take their newly acquired 2006 Airstream trailer to a dealer to have it checked out. At first I said, “Do it yourself and don’t take it to someone else.” Then I thought about it and recast my opinion. There are definitely things it would be nice to have done for me, especially if I’ve never done them.

I’ve done some things I don’t really have a hankering to do again. There are people who do these things very frequently and are much more practiced, plus they have the right parts on hand. Later, when I gained more experience with my RV trailer, I was more willing to take on adventurous maintenance tasks like replacing the wheel bearing seals. This is an incredibly messy but rewarding job. I can take or leave it, provided I really trust the person I’d pay to do it.

Back to the question, Would I recommend a new Airstreamer take their trailer to an Airstream dealer to have it checked out? Yes, but not, “Please check everything out”. Rather, I would ask the service department to inspect specific things on my new (or proposed) acquisition.

If I was to take a newly acquired rv trailer to ODM for “inspection”, I would ask for the following:
leak test all propane connections
replace grease seals on both wheels
check brake lining thickness
check electric brakes operation, including break-away switch
check tires tread and condition
re-torque hitch ball to hitch head
check refrigerator for compliance with relevant recalls
re-torque weight distributing hitch attachments
tighten battery connections,
check battery condition

The above are the essential things to inspect for such a new trailer.

A couple of other essential things. Wouldn’t you hate for a wheel to fall off while towing? You need, if you don’t already have one, to get a torque wrench for the trailer wheels. I use an old Sears 150 ft-lb one I bought in 1970 for $19 — I think they might be $25 now.

Plus you’ll need a 3/4″ wheel lug socket (I use a deep socket) and a six-inch long 1/2″ drive extension. These are necessary for trailer owners because your wheels, after any removal/replacement (like grease seals replacement or brake service, for example) must be retorqued at the first 25 and 50 and 100 miles. And we check the torque on our wheels lug nuts at least weekly on driving days. This is very important.

Okay, back to inspection issues.

My opinion, aside from the first-time inspection items above:
Don’t take your trailer to any dealer. No disrespect toward your very good local dealer — we bought our first A/S from them and they performed all our warranty maintenance. We are glad they are in Colfax, NC, serving the Southeast since 1964. Way to go, ODM!

But to me, it is like asking a dealer to tell you if your car is any good after you bought it. You already are stuck with it, and you are asking them to try and find stuff wrong. They might be having a really excellent day and give it a careful review. Or they might be busy and only look over it cursorily. If the latter, then you think everything is hunky-dory and it might not be. If the former then, at the time they look at it, they might find stuff and make good recommendations.

But, it is your trailer and your project. Unlike a car you will be driving and depending upon daily for reliable (and safe) trips on the freeway to and fro work, this trailer is actually a lot simpler and you have rather less depending upon it. It seems complicated at first but it really is nothing compared to the intricacies of any late model (especially post-1992) car. You will become much more knowledgeable and self-reliant if you do the inspections yourself. Find something fishy, arrange for an Airstream friend to help you with looking deeper into and correcting it. Or make an appointment with ODM for the known problem.

I guess I will start building an experienced RVers maintenance checklist. It would include such arcane things as check tightness of sink drain connections, and periodically sanitize fresh water holding tank. There are many many things to include. Or, even better, see my friend Howard Lefkowitz’s expert guide. He has done a fabulous job on this maintenance manual for Airstream trailers.

There are tremendous guides for these self-inspections. One snapshot of such is to see the wire is intact to each drum brake. Crawl (or roll) under the trailer at the back of each wheel’s hub, where the backing plate mounts to the axle. There is a 12 volt wire through each wheel’s backing plate into the drum to power the brake (when you push the brake pedal or pull the emergency breakaway switch). I was peering underneath a year ago and found the wire hanging loose outside the backing plate — clearly not going in there. Easy to spot.

The trailer had just been into service for wheel service (new bearings and grease seals) and the Airstream technician didn’t look and spot this easy-to-find and very important disconnected wire. Not what he was there to work on, you could say. But he was right there, and if he’d been having a good day . . . You are in control of the quality if you do it yourself. And you become better prepared to identify and respond to problems if you learn to look for these simple things yourself.

Where to find the guides? One, for what equipment is recommended, is here. And go to AirForums and search all posts for “checklist”. You’ll get a lot of interesting anecdotes and some nice checklists. Your Airstream owner manual has inspection checklist and maintenance suggestions, as well.

Bottom line:
A great way for RVers to learn more about maintenance and safety with their motor home or trailer is through WBCCI (Airstream owner’s association) rallies, Escapees Boot Camp, FMCA rallies, Good Sam rallies and others. You will find a lot of people who know more than you do and they are very willing to help you.

If you are a first-time RVer (or don’t want to learn because you don’t plan to tow more than once or twice a year) then you may need and want a good mechanic to do all your routine inspections and work for you.

If you have any mechanical inclination at all then you should learn and do all you can about your RV’s inspections and maintenance.

And some states require an annual safety inspection performed and documented by a certified technician. We absolutely recommend you comply with all applicable regulations of your state or province.

We fix what we can. Our RV is our home, and we want to understand and be able to respond to at least 90 percent of what comes up. We cannot fix everything we face, but we assess whether we should or not. If we can fix it ourselves we almost always save money and usually only spend more time. But it is our time and we are willing to chalk it up to “education”. We wouldn’t trade anything for the ability to identify and attempt to correct problems we encounter.

Jim and Debbie
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©2009 Dreamstreamr


I’m sitting outside our Airstream and surrounded by Airstreams at the WBCCI Region 3 Rally. The sun set ten minutes ago. This is my favorite time of the day and always has been. The air is cooling, soft breezes are blowing. Today’s activities are complete and we’ll enjoy quiet time together this evening.

The only noises are a neighbor’s rooftop air conditioner motor and the dripping water from its condenser, and the almost constant truck tire noise on Interstate 75. Sometimes the trucks make more noise as they run caravan-fashion down the interstate. Then the traffic lessens a little and I can hear the smooth and steady hum of the condenser fan working atop my neighbor’s trailer.

We talked today about some of the many travel opportunities we have for 2010. North America holds a zillion fabulous travel destinations. Our Airstream owners’ association, WBCCI, offers numerous caravans throughout all corners and sections of North America. There are also many local or regional rallies and special activities we are interested in.

The idea of daisy-chaining a number of these caravans and rallies attracts us. We’re good managers of time, money, equipment, and activities. So why not string together a number of the best caravans and rallies throughout the year? We could start at any corner of the continent and, using our WBCCI Blue Beret magazine’s activity listings, cross the continent sampling cuisine and sights all along the way. And we would meet so many more people this way!

Why not? Because this is an attractive idea doesn’t make it a good one. We realized today we are still prone to overbook ourselves as we look forward to next year. Some of the offered activities are so appealing and provide unequaled access to camping and attractions. Then we remember we have limited time and money and don’t want to hurry through this part of our life.

So we look again, and we back away a little from the dreams. We still want to hike many sections of the Appalachian Trail. We want to visit the Florida Keys. It would be nice to take a cruise sometime. Could we return to Alaska? Wouldn’t New England and Canada’s eastern provinces be wonderful?

Someone told me once, “The Catskills are wonderful in the spring and fall.” And so many other places are, right? How many springs and falls should we plan for? Shouldn’t we hurry and get this done while we are still able?

We dream, we connoiter, we consider, we plan. Reality sets in, we reconsider, and we unplan. We want to plan less and enjoy, as it comes, what is in front of us.