Category: Campgrounds (Page 2 of 2)

On the Road Again – RV Style

It is ready

Talked to the mechanic on Wednesday afternoon.  Great news!!!  The RV is done and ready to be picked up.  This meant that it was time for the Home d’Pug grumble to be on the road again.

We picked up our 1989 Tiffen Allegro from the mechanic this past Thursday morning.  The RV went back to her winter home at the storage lot not too far from our home.  Later Thursday evening we started to load all of the stuff we had taken out as part of winterization.  The early (not too early) part of Friday morning finishing packing and by late morning we were on our way to setup our summer home.

On our way

The ride went well.  It was apparent that work that was done to the suspension and new tires improved the ride.  We also were not trailing much in the way of noxious fumes from the exhaust.  These are all good things.

Mid-afternoon, we pull into the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA, check in and go to our site for the season.  It did not take long to back the rig into the site and get it level.  Happily, the site was fairly level to start.  Plugged into the power pedestal and wouldn’t you know it, we were operational.  By this point, we were both starving as it had been several hours since breakfast.

The start of the adventure

The pugs settled in the RV, blankets on the floor, dog toys out, and a bowl of fresh water.  As we did not bring much in the way of food stuff with ourselves so we went to a local restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner.  Afterward, we returned to the rig and finished setting up and unpacking.  This is where the first issue showed itself.

At the end of last season, we decided to upgrade our water filter system.  After some research, we settled on the Watts 520022 RV/Boat Duo Exterior Water Filter system (more on this later).  Connected a short 4-foot hose from the water bib to the one end of the filter, no problem.  Connected our longer, fifty-foot hose to the filter only to find out that the hose has a leak right at the connection point.

This was the only long hose we had we had to improvise a short-term solution.  Out came the duct tape.  While it slowed down the leak, it did not stop it completely.  It is too early in the year to start playing around and trying to fix the hose.  So we elected to replaced it with a shorter, ten-foot hose that covered the required distance and did not leave a large coil of excess hose on the ground.

New water filter system

Back to the water filter.  Like may (most?) first-time RV’ers we did a little research on water filters and purchased the common Camco single stage filter.   The smell and taste of the water was still not “right”, so we used bottled water last summer for drinking, cooking, water bowls, etc.  The Watts 520022 is a dual stage filtration system.  The smell of the water is greatly improved.   The water system is in the process of being sanitized so we cannot talk about the taste, yet.  Early opinion is that it was a worthwhile upgrade.

Time to relax

deer in woodsThe balance of Friday night relaxing and spending time with the pugs.  Saturday morning made breakfast and decided that it was time to tackle the next big step in our RV life.  That was to get the hot water heater fired up.  Last summer we did not have hot water within the RV as the relief valve had to be replaced.  We have been staying in campgrounds with showers so this was not a major inconvenience.  It was on my list of things to get repaired/replaced before this season started.  However, our mechanic lets us down.  While he took care of all the other issues we identified, this one was missed.  So we will have to have it replaced here at the campground.  Not a major problem, but what a letdown.

Being in the Pocono mountains the campsite was visited by some of the local wildlife.  Our neighbor is kind enough to leave out corn for the deer and wild turkeys.  As city folk is a site to wake up in the morning and see deer in and around your campsite.  Ollie, the only male in our grumble, was not too happy about this situation.  He ran from window to window to try and get a look at them.

grumble outsideThe rest of the weekend spending time around the fire and enjoying a little R&R.  Rosie, Ming, Casey Jones, Ollie, and Sugaree all seemed to be very happy outside soaking up the sunshine and fresh air.

So happy to back in the RV!!!

Spring 2017

As Spring 2017 is here our focus turns to RV season.  OK, our mind never really left RV season.  We struggled with the anticipation of getting the RV out of winter storage and setting up camp.

As you will recall in our post “Home Away From Home” we talked about the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA.  For the 2017 summer season, we have a site starting April 1st and going to the end of November.  This will be our weekend getaway for most of the summer.

But first, we need to get the rig ready for the summer.  This means it is time for the annual state inspection along with the deferred maintenance items that need to be addressed before we head off for our summer adventures.  This includes new tires, work on the suspension and exhaust systems and repairs to a leak in the plumbing around the shower/bedroom area.  It is our hope to have everything done in time to head up to our Pocono site for Easter weekend.  That is the goal (fingers and toes crossed).

This year for the holidays we decided not to get traditional presents for each other.  As lifelong Deadheads, we decided to get tickets to see Dead and Company.  Having the RV means that we are able to travel and see them a number of times during this summers’ tour.  As we both work full time we had to chose which cities we could travel to once the tour schedule was announced.  Of course, we had to keep in mind the limited vacation time our jobs allow us each year.  We have tickets and campsite reservations to see Dead and Company six times over a ten-day span.

Our pugs are looking forward to going camping too.  We say, “You want to go camping?” and they get all excited and happy.  This past February we drove down meet up with friends who run a pug rescue in Memphis, TN.  The purpose of the trip was to catch with them and to a adopt a special needs pug.  She was found as a stray and was in rough shape.  Under feed and over breed.  We feel in love with her instantly and made her a member of the grumble.  Please welcome Sugaree to the Home d’Pug family.

Now that we have our summer plans in place is it time to start thinking about a fall adventure???

Home Away From Home

As we are still working full-time we are”weekend warriors.”  Meaning our travel times and distance are limited so we are not spending all of our time driving.  By design, we have limited our travels to no more than 150 to 200 miles from home during our first summer RVing.

We found several campgrounds that were nice and fit our needs.  However, in talking about where to go next weekend or the next upcoming holiday weekend the same place kept coming to Rachel and me – the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA.  It is about an hour and a half drive from home.  An easy drive (except for the highway construction).  Close to a nice size town with access to the things we either elected to get once we set up camp or just plain forgot to pack.  Most importantly to our grumble, the campground is dog-friendly.

The campground is run by Donna and J.  A great couple who go out of their way to make sure your stay is enjoyable.  They are supported by a great staff.  Many are workcampers – campers who come for the season, or part thereof.  Everyone on staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to help in any way they can.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of activities at the site.  It seems that every weekend there is a theme or special activities scheduled.  There are also plenty of wonderful things to do in the general area.  If your interests are of a more physical nature there are numerous places to hike, bike trails, canoe, etc.  Maybe you would prefer a less strenuous form relaxation.  You could go tubing or visit many of the little shops in the area.

This past summer, we were more inclined to hang around our camp site and spend time with the pugs.  They have an x-pen so they can spend time outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.  Of course, they go inside the RV to keep cool if it is too hot and humid.  A couple of hours in and around the pool is always a great way to keep cool, get a little exercise and meet fellow campers.

By far our favorite activity is sitting around the campfire in the evening and watch the stars come out.  We will put something on the grill for dinner.  Turn on some tunes – hopefully, not too loudly. And just relax and unwind from the stresses of the workweek.

The entire family has enjoyed this KOA so very much that we have a arranged for a seasonal site for the 2017 season.  This means that we will not have to move the rig from home to the Poconos and back home every weekend.  Just pack up a few things, the pugs and off we go for the weekend.  Additionally, we will not be in a rush to leave on Sunday morning by the scheduled check out time.  Everyone is looking forward to the start of our rental this coming summer.

This does not mean that we will not be on the road at all during the summer of 2017.  Stay tuned for details of our Summer 2017 road trips.

 

 

**This is not a paid endorsement of  Delaware Water Gap /Pocono Mountain KOA or KOA in general.  We are only expressing our opinions and first-hand experiences.

Dog Etiquette and Commonsense

Some people don’t know or care about proper dog etiquette nor use commonsense.  Rachel and I have owned pugs for over eight years.  We consider ourselves to be above average owners.  No, we are not bragging.  As part of being guardians, we strongly believe that you should educate yourself on the breed(s) you own.

Rosie, Ming and Olivander “Ollie” are our pugs.  In addition to owning three pugs, we also forever foster one pug, Casey Jones, for the rescue we started (Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue).  Rosie was adopted from a shelter in Arkansas, and Ming and Ollie were adopted from Philly Pug.  

Before making the leap into the RV life, Rachel and I discussed the pros and cons for taking the pugs with us.  This included the individual personalities of each of the pugs.  Rosie and Ming are very typical pugs in that they are generally very laid back and go with the flow.  Cassey Jones is also generally laid back but can exhibit food aggression at meal and treat time.  With the help of a professional trainer and a lot of work with Casey, she is much improved.  However, we still feed her in her crate “room” away from the other pugs.

This leaves Ollie.  Ollie is the youngest at about 3 years old.  We did not find out until about six months after we adopted him, he was taught to fight with his father.  (Don’t get me started on dog fighting.)  This explained why he would get stressed and agitated around other dogs.  With the help of our trainer, we have been working with him to lower his response in these situations.

In the short time, we have been camping in our RV we found a nice KOA campground about 2 hours from home.  In general, our fellow campers are very nice and respectful.  But, there is always that one.  Late one Saturday afternoon we were sitting around our campsite with the pugs in their x-pen.  Along came another camper walking his dog past our site.  He stopped to look at our dogs.  This was not a problem until Ollie caught site the other dog.  Ollie got upset and started to bark.

I very politely asked the gentlemen to move along.  He refused!  Not only did he refuse, but proceed to yell at the two of us that ‘we had no right to tell him what to do!’  Common sense would tell the average person that if a dog you are looking at is upset and barking you should move along.

The lesson learned here is that not everyone will treat you and your dogs with the kindness and common sense you try to live by are not shared by others, no matter the location.

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