After our stay in the Everglades and south Florida, we needed to work our way back up the coast as we made some kind of progress towards Texas. One of our stopping points was Sanibel Island, Florida.
We don’t have many pictures and we didn’t do much. This was mostly just a nice place for us to wind down for a couple days after all the non-stop activity of the Keys, the ‘Glades and Big Cypress. We did some very minor RV maintenance, ate some good food and went bike riding (with just a little bit of shopping thrown in to keep Dasy happy). 😉
Be warned, the ground get’s very soft when it rains. I came back from somewhere to find the TW laying down on the job. I had to put a cutting board under the kickstand to stop it from sinking. I should have just left the TW on the hitch rack. The one time I took it out, it ran out of gas and I had to push it back. Of course, if I’d paid a little more attention, I might have realized that I didn’t have the fuel petcock turned on correctly. :S Lesson learned.
The Seafood Combo from the Island Cow… very tasty and enough for both of us. 🙂
Signs for Periwinkle Park, the only RV spot we could find on the island. The signs are easy
to miss, especially in traffic when you need to stop a 38’ motorhome and a Jeep.
A little shopping… I tried on some Vibram Five Fingers. Right size, but I didn’t like the style. You can find out more about them at BirthdayShoes.com if you’re interested.
After the rains… Drainage is a bit of an issue when you’re already at sea level. This is one of the main roads through the park. It was probably eight inches at the deepest point.
Nature’s windshield washer fluid – It rained, which got all the Everglade’s bugs “unstuck”. I took advantage of it to do a much needed windshield cleaning. I was standing on the Jeep bumper and I still couldn’t reach the top. 🙁
Note: We’re still playing ‘catch up’ on the blog. I’m posting this from Texas about two weeks after our actual stay there.
We knew that there would be some minor repairs needed on any used RV we got. The Dutch Star is living up to expectation and we just dropped it off at the local shop so they can get started on it.
The main thing we’d originally planned on was having the original roof vents replaced with MaxxAir Turbo/Maxx fans (with thermostat), which we got a sweet deal on earlier when we were in the evil rental.
What we didn’t exactly plan on was fixing a leak. A day or two after we got the Star, we had torrential rains for two days. Water was dripping out of the roof vents near the windshield and our dashboard ended up pretty much getting soaked. I did a little investigating on the roof and suspected that the front roof running/parking lights were the culprit. The roof itself and all the seals there looked good. The lights had cracked caulking and backing pads, some of which were broken down enough that I could see into the light assembly. To be sure I was right, we taped some plastic sheeting over the lights for a couple days. Last night, we had another good rain and there were no signs of any water inside. Success! :) So, we’re having the lights replaced. For good measure, I’m getting the rear ones done as well, since they don’t look much better.
Here you can see my extremely professional job of taping the plastic sheeting down. ;) For those who attempt this on their own rigs, here are a few tips…
- Leave a space with the tape at the bottom of the plastic sheeting. If any water does manage to get into the sheeting, it need a space to run back out, otherwise you will end up with a water balloon until it gets to the level of your lights. It’ll then all come into your lights, down your windshield, onto your dashboard, etc.
- Use painter’s masking tape. 3M makes a 2 inch wide “medium adhesion” masking tape that works perfectly. If you use packing tape or something like that, you’re likely to either leave “sticky goo” behind when you remove it, or you will take some of your paint off with the tape.
- Replace it every three days of rain. Masking tape will hold when it’s wet, but it’ll eventually fall off or allow the water to soak through. Pull it off, wipe everything down and dry it well and slap on some new tape.
- Don’t expect it to hold when you’re driving. I shouldn’t need to explain that any further. 😛
We’re also having Dave install tire valve extensions on the rear tires so I can check the pressure without crawling around under the RV. Finally, he’s going to re-tension the awning on our living room slide, as it’s sagging a bit and can get stuck when retracting the slide (that’s generally a bad thing).
After we get the Star back, we’ll have one more big piece of work to do… new tires. :( I was expecting this, but hoping I was wrong. I was about to ask Dave (the repair guy) about the tires, but he beat me to it. When walking around the RV to check a couple other items, he said “Dude, get those tires replaced”. When we get it back, I’ll take some pictures of the tires before we head to the shop for new ones and will explain what to look for then.
…well, we were last night. ;) We had Rany (Dasy’s sister) and her husband, Seth, over for dinner last night. We are parked at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, VA. Cooking grates are provided, so I picked up some steaks and corn-on-the-cob at the local Food Lion. Between rains, I managed to get it all cooked on the grill. The corn was a touch under-done, but the steaks were excellent and definitely worth the effort. We look forward to many more. 😉
Switching topics here… we sold Dasy’s car. We now have to go back to DC tomorrow in order to pick up the title (which I didn’t realize she’d stored) and transfer it. It doesn’t make much sense for us to completely uproot just to drive up to DC when we have to come back this way anyway. The cost of gas for the RV is a bit prohibitive as well. So, we just extended our stay at the park for another day and will drive the Jeep and Lexus up in the morning and I’ll bring Dasy back in the Jeep. It’s not exactly how I would have planned it if given the option, but I don’t mind driving a couple hours in order to be rid of another vehicle… and Dasy’s much happier about not having to drive to Florida.
No pictures this time… I just wanted to do a quick status update for everyone. Pictures will follow in a day or two on the full update.