RV Dehumidifiers

With Ontario summer comes hot humid weather (or so it is at the moment!). Humidity and trailers don’t go together so well. Alas, comes the issue of humid closets and clothing. With moisture in freshly washed clothes comes a not-so-fresh smell several days later. So in order to tackle this, we needed some sort of dehumidifier.

Alternative #1

Without wanting to generate even more heat through an electric dehumidifier, I found an incredible product on the market that has served us from the beginning of our RV adventures. When I first initially did some research, I stumbled across an economical alternative at our local Co-op store in Teeswater. It’s called ‘High & Dry’ from Prairie West Industrial Ltd. and is made in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). In our travels, I’ve looked for this product everywhere, but so far have only seen it at the one Co-op store close to my Father’s Canadian farm.

The 3.1 kg bag is dubbed as a moisture remover for basements, cabins, flooded areas, sheds, garages, tents, boats, or anywhere that high moisture is a problem. It’s basically Calcium Chloride in a burlap bag. Since my discovery of this product almost 2 years ago, we have gone through 4 to 5 bags. At around $15 per bag, it’s a very affordable and convenient option. Dependant on the season and destination, the bag lasts us on average for about 3 months and works impeccably well. The diagram on the front of the packaging shows the 7 lb bag secured by a hook over a pail. At first, I thought perhaps I could hang the bag from the affixed shower head but realized that such a heavy item would ultimately pull the faucet from the wall at some point. This called for an alternative resolution. With such a smart creative husband, he came up with the perfect solution. slaDE macgyvered a makeshift collection bin by securing porch screen material loosely over a 5 gallon pail with his work tie-wire. We set the bucket in the shower and it wicks away moisture from throughout the Airstream fabulously!

 

Alternative #2

Another dehumidier option that we’ve invested in is the product called ‘Damp Rid‘. I bought 2 small containers, one to keep in the closet and the other in my electronics drawer. These containers are topped up at the end of my ‘High & Dry’ contents life end (small remnants of calcium chloride replenish these containers every 3 months … therefore renewable and more eco-friendly than just pitching after 1 use).

 

Alternative #3

It was only a few months ago that we stumbled across the product ‘Eva-Dry‘:

Safe, non-toxic, natural defense against moisture and mildew. Renewable Eva-Dry dehumidifiers are filled with silica gel, a very thirsty substance. Odorless silica beads absorb many times their weight in moisture and lock it in so water can’t leak or spill out.

When the Eva-Dry is “full” you renew the silica inside by plugging the unit into any power outlet. Heat gently releases water vapor in a few hours. When the indicator is blue again, Eva-Dry is renewed and ready to go back to work. You can repeat the process for up to 10 years!

I actually saw this product advertised a few months before purchasing and was somewhat leery about it’s proclaimed capabilities. However, I was happily surprised!

Here’s a testimonial: we’ve used the Eva-Dry 500 now for the past 3 months, and I must admit, it has worked extremely well in our closet. In fact, I hope to buy another one to use for the rest of the RV (to replace the Calcium Chloride — if it works as well as the ‘High & Dry’ now, Eva-Dry will pay for itself after 9 months – 1 year comparatively). We’ve plugged it in twice over the past 90 days and I LOVE the fact that this is ‘rechargeable’. There is no need for batteries, chemicals or a purchase every few months. When plugged in, we need an outside power source to ‘recharge’ the silica pellets. So far so good! I like the colourant in the pellets which tell me when the unit needs to be replenished (when they turn bright pink, it’s time to plug the somewhat heavy device in for approximately 12-14 hours — we use a power bar to have it sitting upright during the discharge. The website recommends that “the best place to renew the Eva-Dry is in any well ventilated area or in a bathroom with the exhaust fan on”).

So far, all the alternatives have been great effective options. Economically, Eva-Dry seems to outweigh them all. The ‘High & Dry’ has been the most visibly effective humidity deterrent (to give Eva-Dry a fair chance, we need to buy one for the whole trailer). I’m happy with them all and use all three at the moment for removing moisture in the trailer. I recommend them all!

PS I’ve just discovered online that you can go to a pool store and purchase Calcium Chloride. Not sure if it would be cheaper than the ‘High & Dry’, or packaged as conveniently, but it’s an option for y’all!

Carlisle Tire Failure

It’s always a bit sad leaving a large venue where tremendous connections with friends have been made. Such is my feeling in leaving Alumapalooza this year. So many new and wonderful friends made with the bonus of reconnecting with lovely friends from last years rally. However, we’ve had such a full month of activity and I’m ready for some down time! Packing up, we managed to beat the throng of the parade folks and made our way to LaGrange Ohio, happy campers per se.

Thankfully we arrived safe and sound at our friends Lou and Larry’s house. Why might you ask? When we arrived, upon backing up the trailer into the driveway, Lou and slaDE discovered that all of our 6 trailer tires were at the point of complete failure! In fact, 2 had failed (we lost about 12 inches of belt in the front tire somewhere close to LaGrange and the rear tire had a bubbling big hole). We are incredibly fortunate to not have blown them on the way here. It’s actually quite amazing that we didn’t. Luckily, there was no damage apart from the tire loss itself. Someone was certainly looking down upon us today. That really would have sucked to have blown 1+ tires, especially if we were travelling at speed. Eeek!

With more research and the advice of our friends, we decided to switch to Radial tires shifting from our current failing Bias Ply (cross-ply) tires. Radials are safer in that they are steel belted rather than nylon based. Theoretically this in turn means that they will last longer and hold up better. Well, when you spend over $1000 in tires, I was kinda hoping that they’d last for the expected 3-5 year minimum life expectancy. Too much to ask??! What are your thoughts?

Another potluck this evening. Fabulous fun with food and yogaFLIGHT by the campfire.

Arctic Blast

The temperatures for the next 4 days are predicted to be beyond comfortable with an Arctic Blast quickly moving south from Canada. Snow and ice had already wreaked havoc in Dallas this morning, and the pipe-bursting weather is predicted to hit Houston by tomorrow night. A good time for slaDE and I to head in to Houston for the week. Who wants to hang out in a trailer when we have a warm cosy space with friends (and 2 border collies + 2 feisty cats) whom we only get to hang out with one time per year?!

Fuel tips

Having overnighted in Houston, it was only a short travel day to Skydive Houston at their new drop zone in Eagle Lake. We made a pitstop at the Super Wal-Marts in Katy for fuel and staples. We discovered just only recently that some of the Super Wal-Marts offer diesel at remarkably cheaper rates than any truck stop prices we’ve come across. Almost 15-20 cents cheaper! When filling a 30 gallon tank each time, that savings adds up quickly.

My two tips of the day ….

  1. The website findfuelstops.com maps out the truck stops along your designated route and lists the latest (and cheapest) diesel prices at each stop that publishes their rate — the option to list ALL truck stops, with or without price also exists. This is a great resource in planning out a long haul trip, especially when crossing state lines. For example, we were debating whether to fill up yesterday either before leaving Louisiana or upon arriving in Texas. We chose the former, and it turns out diesel is much cheaper in LA than TX. A great savings!
  2. Super Wal-Marts that have a fuel island offer substantial savings in filling up your truck compared to the local truck stops or gas stations. If you have a Wal-Mart credit card, an additional 3% savings can be had.

From my RV Travel weekly newsletter (RVTravel.com: Issue 466), here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.

  • Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.10 (on January 28) Change from week before: Down one cent.Diesel: U.S. $3.43 (on January 24) Change from week before: Up 2 cents

The price for our diesel at the Katy Texas Wal-Mart was $3.15 per gallon. That’s a huge savings from the weekly average. Last year at exactly this time, diesel averaged around $2.78 per gallon. Yikes! That’s quite the leap.
Hope this tidbit of information helps to save you money on the road :).

Our arrival at Skydive Houston was like the sweetest homecoming ever. Many of our friends from last years visit (who were on the ground, not jumping) surrounded us, full of hugs and smiles. It was an incredible welcome. And so good to see them all again. With a new airport location and temporary spacious facility for Skydive Houston (a new hangar and loft is in the planning and building stage on the ginormous airport lot, where a 4000 foot paved runway already exists), it was awesome for us to witness the fresh start to such huge potential for our beloved Texan drop zone. And of course, trailer hookup (water and electricity) was available to us for our stay whilst here. Sweet! We celebrated our arrival with our friend Stacey and enjoyed a yummy Mexican meal …. luckily, the camera that I had left behind at the restaurant was later retrieved. Thankful for honest goodhearted people.

Texas bound 2011

Checkout time from the RV Resort was at 11am, sharp. So trying to make the most of our time in New Orleans, we hopped on our bikes to catch some final last photographs — the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The tombstones and crypts in this fascinating and historically significant cemetery created a photographer’s dream canvas to this incredibly diverse Louisiana city.

Another prolonged day of driving on the road. For us, 6 hours of driving could extend itself to a road trip of anywhere between 7-10 hours dependant on the length of our stops (fuel, food, bathroom and tourist), and that makes for an extra long day. So interesting pitstops along the way make an extended day of sitting in an affixed position go faster. Two places worth mentioning:

  1. The Welcome Centre on the eastern border has a really interesting educational boardwalk through the Bayou with amazing historical and educational placards. It was incredible to witness this piece of sanctuary in the middle of the I-10 freeway bypass;
  2. Beaumont Texas is home to the World’s Largest Fire Hydrant (and as is tradition with slaDE~ and myself, we MUST stop at every LARGEST ever tourist trap to grab the mandatory picture).

Oh how I love taking pictures! At times, keeping up with my blog is more about trying to decide which pictures to include (which includes editing and selection of the best). I hope you enjoy my photographic eye as much as I try to capture the moment by moment journal of our Airstream dreams.

New Orleans Adventures

Arising early in the morning to catch photographic trails of the rising sun is, in my books, well worth the efforts. With last nights sunset, I couldn’t help but think that today’s sunrise would be just as magical on digital ‘film’. Disappointed, I was not! Beyond the manicured short stretch of beach near the casino lay a fenced off area that hid the remnants of previous storms and strewn out garbage. Shells of all shapes and sizes littered the sand as did residual garbage washed or cast ashore … plastic and glass bottles, old tires, plastic bags, PVC piping encrusted with barnacles, weathered rope, a tattered blanket, an old fan blade and metal shards of pipe et al.

With 45 minutes to explore the area around the casino, we chose to tour the St. Michael Parish Catholic Church, otherwise known as the Fisherman’s Church. In my opinion, this Church is the most beautiful and inspiring architectural masterpiece in a cathedral with such incredible stained glass. Reflections of grandeur indeed. “St. Michael’s has served the people of Biloxi’s Point since it was established as a mission in 1907. Ravaged by the two most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the Gulf of Mexico, Camille in August of 1969, and Katrina in August of 2005, St. Michael Church has stood 200 mile per hour winds and a 28 foot tidal surge.” Today this unique cylindrical church with it’s clam-like shell roof still stands, celebrating Biloxi’s once thriving fishing industry (which post-Katrina is now pretty much non-existent) whilst also symbolizing the strength, resiliency, dedication, faithfulness and struggle of this parish’s devout Catholic families. With the storms came devastation to the Church’s structure. The bottom two panels of stained glass were wiped out with Katrina’s 30-foot storm surge that washed through the bottom third of the round church, and only in the last year have they been replaced, on a pulley system, which allows for the windows to be raised if another storm surge were to come through and knock out the windows. A volunteer worker from Ohio was telling me that the force of the tsunami busted up the pews and sucked them out. The pews disappeared … there was no sign of them whatsoever. The restoration of St. Michael Catholic Church in East Biloxi is nearly complete, from the repair of its 36 columns of distinctive scalloped roof to the replacement of the bottom portion of the Church’s stained glass windows. The stained glass panels carry a recurring theme: that of the sea, depicting both men and women gathering their catch in nets.

With New Orleans being only an 85 mile drive away from Biloxi, we packed up quick and made route for our next destination. New Orleans |ˈôrlinz; ôrˈlēnz|:a city and port in southeastern Louisiana, on the Mississippi River; pop. 484,674. Founded by the French in 1718, it was named after the Duc d’Orléans, regent of France. It is known for its annual Mardi Gras celebrations and for its association with the development of blues and jazz.

Check-in time for the French Quarter RV Resort was 12 noon, and we wanted to make the most of our available time touring the city. With the success we had in cycling around Savannah Georgia and discovering the heart of the city with limited daylight hours, we wanted to experience New Orleans in the same way. So after setting up shop in our beautifully groomed RV slot in the French Quarter, we hopped on our bicycles and headed for the action and music. Within 6 blocks, we discovered a plethora of unique and colourful street performers …. musicians, statuesque live mannequins (literally, human statues standing perfectly still, mid-motion beside a bucket for tips of any sort), singers and dancers, magicians, psychics, palm and tarot card readers. Horse drawn carriages, souvenir shops, ‘gentlemen’ bars, genre-wide music clubs and ‘3 for 1’ discos lined the streets of downtown New Orleans, vying for the tourist dollars which seemingly help to keep this city afloat after Hurricane Katrina. A sense of quiet despondency seemingly filled the musical air at times, while at other moments, a sense of hope and strength flourished with the colour and vibrancy of this legendary city. Alcohol and music is the main theme of this 24-7 party town: 3 for 1 drink specials abound alongside frozen daiquiris dispensary bars — think 7-11 alcoholic slushy dispensers of a gazillion different flavours. About 15 years ago, I was lucky enough to experience the New Orleans Jazz Festival with a crew of skydiving friends. It was an amazing cultural experience, but very different from what I imagine Mardi Gras to be — if it’s anything like the experience of Bourbon Street :). I can’t imagine the craziness of Mardi Gras after experiencing how important alcohol is in creating the dynamism of the ‘Big Easy’.

Trying to absorb as much as possible, we weaved and surged through the streets (so many one way roadways), stopping to listen, watch and photograph. I was in heaven with the canvas before me. Impossible to recreate such beauty and dynamic energy, so I snapped away as if this were the last moment to live on earth. Fire stoked my peddle strokes as we skirted the Garden District, circling through Audubon Park and wobbling back through the narrow busy pot-holed streets of  Magazine Street. Darkness had fallen quickly, and without our headlights or reflective vests, we opted to head back to the RV Resort before exploring the nightly music scene. It was on Charles Street that we literally bumped in to a marching band (numbering maybe 50 musicians?) in full regalia. What was most surprising was the sound and their sole sudden appearance, seemingly with no apparent reason. They were their own parade, with numerous followers gathering suit to line the streets of the ‘Vieux Carré’. The hip hop / big band music magnified off the narrow streets of the French Quarter like a ping-pong ball on steroids, and my earbuds felt alive with the giant reverberation of their colourful performance. A different sensation of aliveness fell true and centre. The experience was earth-shaking in its intensity and happiness.

After relieving ourselves of some belongings, trading for the requisite safety garb, we headed towards Frenchmen Street — this is the ‘it’ scene for locals and music supreme. We wandered from club to club, catching the luxury of guaranteed quality music of a varietal assortment of genres. We stayed for a while at the ‘Spotted Cat Music Club’ savouring the earthy and light jazzy blues tones of Miss Sophie Lee. It so happens that a large Canadian contingency packed the bar as we enjoyed a few drinks while absorbing the scene and musical greatness. Truly lovely.

Before heading home, we made one last loop down the length of Bourbon Street, captivated by the alcohol frenzied happiness which bounced off the vibrating fluorescent lights. New Orleans is one happy cat city on the surface when the tourists are out in full force.

P.S. For those curious about staying at the French Quarter RV Resort during Mardi Gras, these are the prices for 2011 (and they are usually booked almost up to a year in advance for this time period):

  • 2 night minimum stay: 2 days = $199 per day; 3 days = $179 per day; 4 days = $159 per day; 5 days = $139 per day

Biloxi Red, Yellow and Oranges (no Blues here!)

Breakfast with the kids (Melody and Family) consisted of freshly squeezed organic orange juice, scrumptious steel cut oats and a yummy organic fruit salad. Truly, when I feed my body well, I am lovingly feeding my mind and soul. It was a wonderful albeit quick visit to begin our sunshiny Florida morning.

An exciting addition to our new family was made as well! An Android Smartphone that was no longer needed by Erez became an inexpensive purchase that will hopefully prove to be a useful tool in our travels. Currently, we own a basic Net10 flip phone — no bells and whistles here, and for the most part, we’ve been quite happy with its efficiency and cheap 10 cents per minute calls, no contract, no fees. Sadly however, the pay-as-you-go SIM card will not transfer over to the newly acquired smartphone. Bah humbug. So for now, until further research is done, we’ll use our ‘Desire’ Droid for Wi-fi access and the Net10 for basic calls and text messages. I wish that a phone company would come up with a phone plan that encompassed all of North America. It’s difficult to swallow paying 2 separate plans, for both the US and Canada, especially when 1 of those accounts will be ‘inactive’ for 6 months. We maintain our Canadian phone during our travels, year round. One telephone service contract is enough, thank you very much!

After leaving our eastbound friends to head west towards Louisiana, the next decision was an attempt to find inexpensive accommodation before our planned ‘high priced’ day (tomorrow) in the French Quarter. We discovered an RV park right in the heart of downtown New Orleans that appealed to us with our 1 day stay in the city called the French Quarter RV Resort. By far, this will be one of the most expensive RV parks we’ve stayed at during our travels, but because they honour a ½ price discount for Passport America members, the fee is affordable, and well worth the convenience of being smack dab in the bosom of New Orleans. The touted beauty of this RV Resort lay in the security features offered, with gated 24 hour video and foot security. Needed, I think, with the city projects on the outskirts of the French Quarter. Big shiny objects like an Airstream trailer might attract unwanted visitors. And thus, I like to play it safe. slaDE~ was comfortable with staying just outside of the heart in a Walmart parking lot, boondocking for the night before checking in to the Resort. However, I didn’t feel as secure in such surroundings.

With this in mind, I was scouring the map for a relatively close-to-New Orleans pitstop for the night. And Biloxi, Mississippi had our name all over it. On the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Sound, Biloxi is a noted deep-sea fishing and tourist centre which seemingly thrives with big name Casinos by the waterfront (Katrina and the tanking economy devastated this once opulent metropolitan centre). Upon closer inspection, it certainly appeared to be a really cool part of the world that neither of us had visited. And with a few quick phone calls, we found that the Grand Casino could offer us complimentary parking for the evening with 24 hour security as a bonus. Sweet!

After parking Airabella, with the sun barely skirting the horizon, I managed to catch some truly gorgeous sunset shots on the still Gulf waters from the man-made beach’s edge. You be the judge …. tell me what you think of the photos!

As with any Casino, many offer perks when joining as a club member. The 2 for 1 seafood buffet sounded like a divine treat. Crab legs out the ying-yang and lots of decent food made for a perfect ending to a great day!

We HIGHLY recommend the Grand Casino as a wonderful spot to boondock whilst visiting the Biloxi coastal area. Several nights stay here plus the option to unhitch ones trailer is allowed.

Casino camping (a form of boondocking, where no camp services are provided) is an wonderful option when looking for free overnight parking. The RVTravel.com newsletter pledges: “Forget about shopping centers or interstate rest areas — you’re apt to get a middle-of-the-night knock on the door asking you to move. Even many Wal-Marts have posted “No Overnight Parking” signs. Some truck stops are okay, but they’re noisy. Casinos, on the other hand, are hospitable to campers.” However, calling the Casino in advance and checking in with security is a common courtesy and preference. Our boondocking experience thus far in our Airstream travels has been, for the most part, positive and safe. Our Airstream is well insulated from noisy truck stops, so we don’t mind staying there. Wal-marts are good in that security cameras usually scan the parking lots 24-7, but finding businesses with Overnight Privileges is few and far between.

Moving Day

Moving day, again. It’s been an amazing week in Sarasota with our friends. But as the hours tick by, it’s time to make headway towards Texas. The draw of big ways, a wedding and Belize is beckoning us with a persistent whisper. I’m personally hypnotized by the gorgeous weather factor of Florida, but as consistent with the rest of the country, winter clothes need to be unfurled from the closet, and tucked at the ready. Sigh, at least we had a piece of Florida heaven whilst we were here.

Freshly squeezed organic orange / tangelo / mandarin juice helped to stoke the Florida fires, and without further ado, we were off, with many hugs, a promise of a return (someday) and a burgeoning storm to the northwest of us. And WOW, did the tempest hit, with a vengeance! Pelting rain enveloped our Airstream bubble, to the extent that 10 feet in front of us was a blurry haze (could have been I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but you get the idea). It felt like we were advancing through a torrential cleansing truck wash, but this, at 60 miles per hour! Seemingly unscathed (apart from jittery nerves hat lulled me in to a deep oblivious sleep), we stopped for the night just outside of Tallahassee. And then I walked in to the bedroom. Eeeek, a flood! Well, rather I should say, a leak. Through the rear improvised bedroom vent closure, water had made its way through some crevice, dumping the deluge on to our once dry bed cover. Sigh, more water repairs. But at least we have new Fantastic Fans ready to be installed when we return home. Lesson, you can never caulk to much! Makes me a tad bit nervous on our Fall caulking attempts which seemingly had been waterproof!

Like passing RVs in the night, we were gifted with a surprise text from our Canadian friend’s Melody and Erez, who happened to be only a few miles away. Within 30 minutes, a reunion between skydiving friends led to an evening of entertainment and big belly laughs, with little crawling Riley grinning up a storm and humungus Bender brightening our visit. Wonderful to feel the smallness of this planet, which at times seem beyond big, diverse, and at times lonely and without familiar faces.

Moving House

The day we were supposed to leave Zephyrhills, we were surrounded by a moat.The rain had pored solid for several hours through the night. It sounded like golf balls on the aluminum skin of our trailer. And when we woke up, a giant puddle emerged where the drop zone once stood. It just wasn’t our time to depart … all things for a reason. Kismet. fate, whatever you want to call it. And on this day, we learned that our dear friend Minna had to leave her comfy warm trailer, enduring the rest of her stay in a tent. Tomorrow. I was shocked by the suddenness and the reasoning why hardly no notice was given? Breathe, move beyond what the possibility for change and look at what I can do.

The answer lay in the weather. We postponed our trip to Sarasota by a day, unable to really move our trailer through the sandy muck, for fear of getting stuck. Another reason for extending our stay by a day? It was imperative to be here for Minna … to help our friend in need to move her belongings or do anything that we were capable of in making her life simpler and less stressful. We needed to set up her new home, and in the interim, do a rain dance so as to keep the rain away for the duration of her 3 week stay).

The day we left our Zhills winter home, the sun shone brightly, the puddles had evaporated, making it easier for Minna to maneuver her wheelchair without getting stuck in the quagmire. She had an abundance of belongings and I truly couldn’t imagine her moving all of this on her own. Minna has achieved such feats on her own, many a time before, but I am thankful we could be here for her. The burden of stuff is powerful, especially when life may slow you down when you least expect it. I was certainly going to miss Minna. She was a huge part of my adventure and journey whilst camping at Zhills.

Our next destination, Sarasota, is south of the Tampa Bay Area and north of Fort Myers by about 2 hours either way. Its current official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. These islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf near the city, known as keys, include Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches. We were lucky enough to receive a personal invitation from our old Frontier skydiving friend, Patrick and his wife Ann, to come and visit, exploring the Intercoastal Waterway on their sailboat ‘Peace’ and the local areas and beaches. Such an offer sounded divine … how could we say no? What initially was planned for a few days of beachside fun would turn in to a week of memories that we’ll never forget. And with a place to park our Airstream trailer in their front yard, our Florida adventures achieved perfection.

slaDE skillfully maneuvered our 34 foot home neatly in the pocket of their sandy front yard. After a quick welcoming hug plus an introduction to their dogs Zanzi and Rose, Patrick and Ann whisked us off to their favourite Tiki Bar for oceanside sunset drinks at O’Leary’s restaurant. Like a breath of fresh air, we were hooked on Southern Floridian living. Life is indeed good!

Tampa RV Super Show

An old cigar factory and store in Ybor City

I was really looking forward to the Florida Super Show in Tampa. The dates of the show were scheduled between this past Wednesday through to tomorrow. Having spent a few extra unplanned days in Orlando with our friends, I was happy to at least get 1 full day in before the event’s closing. We were happy to have Minna tag along with us, so that she could experience the RV lifestyle through viewing the latest RVs and the newest technology. The beauty of the vast fairground acreage meant that it was highly accessible for wheelchairs, except for the actual entrance and exit in to each RV on display. One day was certainly not enough to view the entire Super Show … our ticket was a two day pass, but we only had allotted one day for the venue. With all the informative seminars going on, the acres of RVs to view and the vendors booths circulated throughout the grounds, we were on the go from our arrival until the park closed. My favourite area, of course, was the Airstream contingency. Gleaming rows of spanking new aluminum bullets made my heart glow with pride of ownership. 🙂 I even daydreamed about our potential next new Airstream, if that were ever to arise.

So much to see and do! Of course, an area for kids was apportioned for the kids, and a free climbing wall climb provided a nice distraction for us midday.

I took many photos throughout the day of cool RV innovations that I thought were worthwhile to include. I’ve made captions to describe what I found interesting about the picture. Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes on the manufacturer’s name or RV that the innovative item was housed. Sorry about that. Perhaps you’ll garner some ideas for useful potential inventions in your own home / RV!

Near the end of the show, we made our way to Camping World to look for any deals on the Fantastic Fans. We’re hoping to install two in our Airstream this Spring, as our current fan holes are temporarily sealed with the old blowers no longer functioning. We are definitely in need of alternate ventilation beyond the air conditioner, with the heat and humidity Summer brings! So after checking out what they had in stock, I noted that the two different models they had on display were labelled at one price for the two. Mentioning this to the girl upon checkout (with purchase of the 2 more expensive fans in hand), she noted that they she had to give me the ticketed prive, even though the actual Camping World price was double in value. Whoa! This meant a total of $180 in savings. WOW! Made for pretty happy campers :).

Ybor City with Minna and slaDE~

The Dirty Shame

After the RV Show, we made a beeline to Ybor City, a National Historic Landmark District just northeast of downtown Tampa. Ybor City was founded in the 1880s by cigar manufacturers and was populated by thousands of immigrants who would roll millions of cigars annually in the multitude of cigar factories. Truly a vibrantly colourful part of town with much history, cool signs and tiling. But very quiet for a Saturday night. 🙂