Airstream Storage

After a wonderful day visit with my Mom, we made our way back home to Southwestern Ontario. Time to pull Airabella, our 34 foot Airstream beauty, out of the storage she was safely nestled in over the winter. Boy, did I miss her! Considering she weathered the storm in a storage barn for 6 months, she fared very well. Albeit dusty with cobwebs, I was extremely pleased to see that mice hadn’t found a nesting place during our time away. I SWEAR by my dousing of spearmint oil throughout the trailer (I probably used about 30ml of pure essential oil and the smell is still strong, lingering in it’s wonderful scent). Luckily we managed to keep any and all pests at bay during our time away ~ I am incredibly relieved. I was worried …. rodents and barns tend to go hand in hand, especially in the winter.

Spearmint essential oil strikes again. Brilliant! Rodents dislike the smell of mint and it seems to keep them away. So very important in maintaining a clean and healthy living space. Nobody wants vermin burrowing in the walls of their trailer, especially as these pets have a tendency to chew away at anything along their path, including electrical wires. Any access given to food, water, heat and shelter is a huge bonus for vermin. The key to rodent-proofing an rV (any home for that matter) is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Steel wool stuffed in small places is another deterrent to mice biting their way in through narrow entryways. Here’s a great article on other ways to keep the rodents at bay, away from your home and rV.

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.

Exploring Manteo

Roanoke Island is not really an Outer Bank, but rather an island that connects the mainland of North Carolina to the Outer Banks. It is considered one of the most historically significant places in America as “the first actual colony was on Roanoke Island, settled by a group of people sent off to the Americas by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587, and commanded by naturalist John White”.

The waterfront is filled with lanky sailboats, lovely artist galleries, an abundant selection of seafood restaurants, a Maritime Museum, the Roanoke Marshes lighthouse (replica), and a marketplace with many varietal stores. With it being the low season, many of the vendors are closed along the entire Outer Banks; however, during the summer fiesta of Outer Banks Tourism (i.e. complete and utter consumeristic chaos), Manteo comes to life with sailboats and travellers alike.

We highly recommend Stripers Bar & Grille for their Lobster Bisque and Raw Ahi Tuna cold Thai salad. DELECTABLY delicious!

Airstream Spring Cleaning, Day 2

Windows, windows everywhere! 25 window surfaces to be exact. And that’s only counting the one side. Multiple that by 2 in addition to the accompanying screens to most of the count, and you have a whole lot of scrubbing going on.

windows everywhereslaDE fixingThe day started out beautifully, and with a slight window of opportunity (punny! :)) with the weather and approaching front, I wanted to leap at the chance and get a head start on the heavy task at hand. The cleaning of many years of dirt and grime from the ledges of our Airstream’s soul.

When we first bid and then subsequently won our trailer off of eBay, ‘Airabella‘ was immediately tucked away in storage whilst we worked diligently in Calgary for that opportune time to leave our work and explore the North American continent. A year and a half later, we made the Airstream our travelling home and headed south, escaping the cold Fall-Winter temperatures with only a quick surface clean to tide us over until Spring.

Today was the day to tackle the dirt firsthand, providing us with a clean and clear outlook out to the beautiful world around us. The trick was: how could I effectively clean her filthy windows with as little environmental impact as possible?? Instinct and years of conscious cleaning led me in the right direction.

First off, I used an air compressor to blow out the cobwebs, wasp nests and excess garbage from the sills surrounding every window. Then I used a strong solution of hot water, borax and vinegar to surface wash the windows with a micro-fibre cloth. After the bulk of the grime was removed, I gently mopped the screens from both sides and followed with a final rinse of the windows, using a mixture of Sal’s suds, vinegar and hot water. Having a huge pile of newspapers at my disposal, I capitalized on the paper’s capabilities to leave a lint-free dry finish. The end product? A multitude of streak-free squeaky clean windows.

The whole process took me about 8 hours. To say that I was exhausted by the end of the day would be an understatement. But in the flurry of cleaning and Spring overhauls, slaDE and I were content in knowing that our Airstream was ready for a Summer of glorious splendour, wherever we would extend our jacks.

Here’s a few of my favourite eco-friendly recipes for washing windows:

Homemade Window Cleaner Recipe

Recipe #1
2 cups water
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid dish detergent
Recipe #2
3.5 litres water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp dish detergent (liquid)
Recipe #3
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 litre warm water
2 teaspoons borax

Eco-friendly all the way. Live, love it, breath it!

Tips for committing to change for a better planet: 10 by 10

Here’s a mammoth posting for Earth Week, cutting out the clutter and getting straight to the point of focus on environmental issues.

These tips come from a website called: 10 By 10 ~ the website offer ways for you, as an individual, a chance to voice your commitments to change and thus to creating a better planet. 10 By 10 asks that you choose a minimum of 1 to a maximum 10 of the commitments (which I list below).

What commitments are you willing to make and uphold?!!! If you’re like me, try to do as many as you can rather than limit yourself to just 10, each and every day.

Together, we can make the world a better place. Be a Eco-Hero! 🙂

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