Today is my last day in Phoenix, I hook up the Jeep and head towards Quartzite tomorrow morning. John and I wrapped all the projects on his RV and I managed to check everything off my list as well. Hard to believe I’ll
have been here nearly six weeks, the time has flown by. It’s been so nice to catch back up with family and friends, but I definitely feel the pull to get moving again. I’ll be boondocking for probably the next five weeks so today will be stock up day. I was able to get in one more Jeep trip this past weekend. The setup is working great and it is going to add a whole new dimension to my travels. Mixing in the excursions out in the Interceptor (my corny Jeep name to go along with the Black Pearl) will be exciting. Hopefully, the mud dries up from the rain last night here at my moochdocking spot before I set the wheels in motions tomorrow!
by Kurt Kuhl
So this was our first trip to the Florida Keys ourselves, so all we had in our heads for reference how others have described it to us. Without a doubt we were excited to get there and anxious to explore. Thanks to a great reservation tool created by Tim of
between Key Largo and Key West. Our site was great, right on the beach, sort of. If we stood up and looked over the shrubs in our site we had open views of the beach just 20 or so yards away. From inside the RV the view was right out the window. The park is small, just 28 sites. We launched the kayak on the beach just a few steps for the RV several times during the week. One morning, while paddling the bay, we came upon a school of dolphins. There must have been 10-15 of them all around and nearly right beside the kayak. It was not until they had swam (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
Hard to believe Christmas is already over and we are staring right in the face of the New Year. It has been a great time with family and friends so far on our visit, and we still have much fun to come over the next couple of weeks. One question we have had very consistently….”how many miles did you cover so far?”. So, drum roll please……. 5136 miles since 9/1/2014 and 7 states visited. Be sure to check out our travel map to see just where we have been. As I mentioned in a previous post, we do feel we were moving too fast, but we had a great time regardless.
We have to thank my uncle for allowing us to “backyard surf” for the past couple of weeks. It has been great to spend time here. I do miss the afternoons I spent with a cold beer in the workshop. And being in town has made it easy to jump from place to place for meet-ups.
It has also allowed some time for all important projects around the RV.
My office chair has been a bit of an issue, the padding is very worn and it basically felt like you are sitting on steel bars. The first idea was to replace it with a new one, but we quickly found out that these european chairs are CRAZY expensive, no way that was happening. Then the idea was to get it re-covered, but that was also pretty pricey. My brilliant idea was to take it apart and add some webbing and new foam ourselves! Took a little convincing, but I talked Toni into it. (WRONG, Toni reminds me back when I started complaining it was her idea to replace the padding….oops) After some shopping, and a clever use of a vacuum “space bag” we made it happen. And wow, it is amazing, better than new.
On the mechanical side, I wanted to add a relief valve on my waste dump valve. Our sewer hose is always
attached and we use a Valterra D04-0250 Dominator 15′ Sewer Hose Kit, which we love. But, the issue is that once I close the dump valves and put the cap on the end of the sewer hose, I cannot collapse the hose back into the storage area because the air is
trapped. So I drilled and tapped the piping after the dump valves and installed a 1/4 turn valve. Now I can open the 1/4 turn valve allowing the air to escape, collapse the hose tightly and close the 1/4 turn valve. Perfect! Just one more little improvement that helps make travel easier.
While being in one place, we also managed to purge a bunch of items we decided not to drag around with us via Craigslist. Pretty amazing, over three days we sold everything we listed! This included a bike stand, a bike rack, a car buffer, a dog cage, a Dremel saw and our old Canon camera. This dropped 98lbs of cargo and emptied some basement storage. Hard to believe, but we actually have more space than we need, a couple of areas are simply empty. This should be the about the last of the “shedding” of things. What we have now is what we need and use on a normal basis. I am still pestering Toni for a panini press!
The Jeep needed some attention as well. The Liberty was never really meant for real 4wheeling, and we have been pushing it pretty hard. While we upgraded most of the suspension to Old Man Emu, there are still some stock parts that have 115,000 miles on them now. Had to replace the rear end tri-link, which was not very fun. We also managed to blow out both rear shocks, the only suspension parts I did not upgrade to Old Man Emu (to saved a few $$ I used the Rocky Road Outfitters shocks), so now I have to buy the OME ones anyway. Brilliant move. Hopefully this will take care of all the rattles and issues for the moment.
I also have spent some time working on our website. As part of the whole “travel blog” operations, I use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, as well as our Kuhl Odyssey website. I decided it would be cool to have our videos available on our website as well as YouTube, so I added a new page on the website for videos. This way those that are not normal users of YouTube can still check out the videos.
I am going to try my hand at a “how to” video this week. I need to change out the fan motor on our Atwood RV heater, so I thought I would see how I do with a video, showing the process. Not really sure how it will turn out, but hey, it sounds like fun to me so what the heck!
Hopefully we will visit some breweries here in the Phoenix area over the next couple of weeks and I am looking forward to starting work as a driver at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. There is still more family time to come, it is AWESOME to get all our boys together this week. My mom will be coming to town and my littlest sister will be back in town with her kids. And then there is New Years to celebrate.
So from Toni and I, have a Happy New Year and we hope everyone has had great time with family and friends.by Kurt Kuhl