Date(s) of Trip: May 20-23, 2018 Site #: A17 Other good sites (for future) any Location: KOA Brattleboro, Vermont Total miles driven from last location: about 200; 2,600 miles total!
✅ Private/KOA/Other: KOA Since 1972. Current owners 11 years.
Summary of facilities, activities or overall trip experience.
The GOOD– The BAD – The UGLY
GOOD: Spacious, well maintained sites. Has kept historical cottages – available. Lots of tall maple trees. Dog park split into 2 sections by front office. Owners are hands on and very friendly. The triangular building for KOA parks is in center of the park. The first floor is a carpeted tv and game room with a pool table, ping pong, 2 arcade games and a claw toy game. There are 3 washers and dryers $2 per load each.
BAD: nothing is bad – Just cosmetic, such as dog park fences should be repaired vs zip tie boards to avoid crawling under fence. But it works. The bathrooms are dated – but everything has been painted over -including sink countertops.
Story to remember? The owners have two billy goats as pets: Chocolate and Buttercup. You can see them in their pens at the dog park. The owner said he likes to walk them around camp when kids are camping.
Also, since this campground has been a KOA since 1972, there are historical cottages still able to be rented on property. The owners didn’t replace with KOA cottages. The owner shared that a couple came back to stay in one of the cottages to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. What a great memory for this couple! Same cottage. 50 years later.
The state line for New Hampshire and Massachusetts are not far away. There are about 100 covered bridges still standing – most still in use. We found three so far!
We’ve had our Starcraft Lexion Lite for 7+ years. Knock on wood, we’ve had no MAJOR issues. Sure we have had our learning curves with the three trailers we’ve had over the past 13 years. We had to replace the sway bar once or twice, the manual stabilizers, repair A/C and some other minor issues. While in SW Florida it took months to get it back from Camping World. But we HAD to have a/c. It cost us too much but that’s just how it goes.
So here we are at Camping World of Bridgeport in Swedesboro, NJ. Why? Well with increased rain the highlights are leaking. Two of the three. Not good timing. Some “rigging” repairs were made temporarily last week – with tape. But now? We’re headed to New York today where it’s supposed to rain – a lot.
This Camping World is jam packed. Service has no availability. For a long time, it appears.
We spoke with a KOA employee about our leaks and he suggested that we find out what type of caulking is used on the top of the roof and use the same caulk inside. Some caulk is not compatible and won’t adhere to other types. Makes sense I guess.
When asked my opinion, I honestly said that we knew the highlights were getting really yellowed from the sun and one in the living area started to crack…BEFORE we left Florida. So now, a month later, more are leaking a little (it’s not pouring in). At this point it doesn’t matter what should have been done. It’s do what’s needed for piece of mind and to get back on the road. So, I suggested that we go back to Camping World and just ASK what we need to do to get it repaired, atleast temporarily. We did. Two replacement skylights are in the camper to be installed and sealed as soon as we get to our next stop. Before it rains.
The moral of this story is: take care of any issues when they come up. Because no time is a great time for making repairs. ESPECIALLY when your traveling in a new area and have no place to stay, with 3 goldens!
NOTE: We do not receive ANY compensation for our reviews and recommendations. These are strictly our own opinions about what we like and don’t like! If that ever changes. We’ll let you know!
BEE HAPPY WITH THESE SOCKS 🐝
I first saw an ad on Facebook for these socks. I was curious so I read the comments. There were and still are a LOT of comments. A lot of people asked what’s so good about the socks and why they cost so much. Initially I agreed that they are pricey. So I didn’t order them. Then later on, about a week or so later, I looked at my sock drawer. I had three pairs of Nike ankle socks. Good. But the rest were old, thin no-shows, low ankle and crew socks. We were preparing to sell everything and go RVing. My old socks needed to go.
So initially I made an order for Bombass colored ankle socks. It was just a few socks…a conservative order to try them out. I loved them.
That’s all I needed to know. We now buy our socks from this company. I tried the ankle socks first and love to wear them with my Keds and New Balance sneakers. Fun or boring colors. Your choice. I got both. I love the extra cushion at the back of the sock to prevent blisters.
I’ve also have tried the quarter socks and the hiking socks. I need more. Seriously. I bought a 6-Pack of quarter socks and only 3 hiking socks. Not only am I getting arch support, I’m getting ankle support, which I really need because tend to swell when I’m on my feet – or in the truck for long distances – a lot. My feet feel better and are not as sore when I take them off at the end of the day.
So, they make well-made socks that have arch support (my fave), reinforced socks and toes (you don’t feel the seam line). Why are these important to me? I need arch support for my low/flat arch, we are camping and hiking as well as walking our three Golden’s 4-5 times daily (minimum). These socks aren’t going to wear out soon.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the BEST reason to buy these socks:
FOR EVERY PAIR PURCHASED,
ONE PAIR IS DONATED TO THOSE IN NEED.
Awesome ❤ 👏 🐝 Way to go Bombas!
Merrell’s Hiking Boots
Since these are shoes we will wear daily on our trip around the United States, I thought it worth mentioning. Before we left “home”, my husband bought his second pair of Merrell hiking shoes (at regular ankle height). They look like they are MOAB 2 Ventilator hiking shoes. He bought them at Dicks Sporting Goods Store for $100. I already own one pair of Merrell hiking boots (high top style, above the ankle). I believe they are called the MOAB 2 MID Waterproof.
By knowing that we BOTH have and wear these shoes daily, you hopefully can figure out that we enjoy and rely on these hiking shoes for comfort and support. Besides that, they last. (Unless one of our Golden’s decide to chew on them! It happens!). Honestly, these shoes should last – as they cost us about $100+ for each pair. The expense is well worth the quality and durability.
Until next time….
Future product and other reviews:
Life is Good clothing products etc
Lazy One clothing products
IKEA Poang chairs and ottomans
IGLOO portable ice maker
Chewy.com dog treats and products
And more! If we’ve bought it or have used it, I’ll write a review -good or bad!
We left our former home, kids and grandkids on April 20, 2018. We stayed 5 days at Koreshan SHS in Estero, FL to finish up loose ends (like DMV, glasses, purge more things, etc). We then headed North on our way out of Florida.
This past week we’ve been staying with my sisters family at their home in Cornelius, NC. They have a great fenced yard for the dogs to play. (Remind me to tell you about playing with a laser pointer). For the most part, we’ve done some shopping, repairs or improvements to the camper (details to be discussed separately, along with pictures).
Due to schedules, we really didn’t do anything special – which is fine with us because we’ve been go-go-go. I guess the highlight was going to see our nephew receive a $150 scholarship for a bowling tournament in Mooresville, NC. He bowled the 300 in a handicap tournament!! We’re proud! 🎳
We watched five pro bowlers finish their final competition. We’ve never seen pros bowl in live competitions- just on tv. So that was neat. My family grew up bowling, though our nephew is the only one who bowls now. He’s really good! Hope he’ll be able to get a bowling scholarship for a college. He very easily could go pro, if that’s his desire. XOXO
This post is titled: “Why travel and blog? My answer is, “Why not?”
My husband and I love to travel. If we aren’t traveling (flying) across country, our normal mode of travel is to load up our camper (currently a 31 ft Starcraft), along with our three retrievers and we just go. Sometimes we plan day by day and sometimes we just wing it. Up until now, we normally travel about 2 weeks at a time because of work commitments. We tend to lean towards National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites like old forts, State Parks, Waterfalls and covered bridges. We also enjoy the quirky and not so known places. If we happen upon a small town, we try to eat lunch and do some window shopping locally so we are helping the local and smaller businesses.
We want to travel much more throughout the US, starting now with the Eastern US. We like to meet people, share our experiences and perhaps learn something new. We tend to have great chats with fellow campers as we talk about camping issues or what our plans are, whether they are short or long-term. It’s a common bond, shared among strangers.
We have three “goldens”. We have one Chesapeake Bay Retriever, named Riley, who turns 7 May 30 (we got her via rehoming) and we have two Golden Retrievers, Bowden 3-1/2 and Camper our gold and white puppy, 8 months old.
The two older dogs are used to camping. They’re from South Carolina as we were living there for five years, prior to moving back “home” to Fort Myers, FL. We camped often in the mountains in North Carolina and Virginia. They love to travel and camp.
We got our newest golden in North Carolina in October 2017. She’s now 8 months old. She was just 9 weeks when we got her and she was ill, so I doubt that she remembers that she ever camped. Her name is officially “Happy Camper” but we just call her Camper. She’s been potty trained for quite some time, but the walking with so many distractions (big rigs, travel trailers, trucks, cars, golf carts and walkers) are really getting to her ability to control herself. It’s not her fault. We’ll work with her and she’ll get it just like the others.
Hence, the adjustments. At our home (sold a week ago!), we had a nice sized fenced in backyard. They had liberties to go in and out a doggie door. They slept where they wanted, including the leather couch, our king bed, tile or wood floors and their own bed – should the feeling move them. Now, they don’t.
In our 31’ travel trailer, me made furniture changes so that it’d open up the floor plan and to take away the constant doggie odor from over the years. So now they no longer have a couch, cool tile, a doggie door or a big bed to partake. I can tell they all miss a couch where they can sit beside us.
What they do have now are their three dog beds and a newly vinyl (waterproof) snap-in flooring. It’s working. Sure, XL dog beds take up some floor space, but we can easily move them out of the way when needed.
Now if I can get them to enjoy their balls and squeaky toys again. They came with us, along with a lot of good treats and trainer treats. Learning never ends.
On a nice cool night in October 2017, my husband, Kevin and I were walking our dogs when we finally decided to go “Full-time” RV-ing. It’s not a whim. Actually, we have been talking about it for a few years about how we could do it and when. We didn’t want to wait until retirement age to travel the United States. We also wanted to travel when we both are physically healthy (for the most part) and can enjoy it. We both have had this thought since his parents and my dad all passed away in their early-mid 60s. They never truly got to enjoy being retired. That stayed with us.
We decided that there were three things we want: Serenity, Simplicity and no debt.
So we started to discuss through quite a few issues as we made this decision. First, we owned our home and investment property/duplex. Second, Kevin was still working for Publix (23+ years). Third, we have three grown children between us and three grandchildren who all live in the area (Fort Myers and Cape Coral). Fourth, health insurance and getting healthcare for specific conditions is a tremendous concern – that will be ongoing.
Obviously, there are a lot of other logistics to be decided upon as well. Such as, do we upgrade to a fifth wheel or an RV? Do we upgrade our truck that has about 140k miles on it? Do we keep our properties and rent for income? What do we do with my SUV that runs fine and has 98k miles?
So, for us, we made these decisions that we feel good about:
We sold our duplex (to family – so it was a win/win).
We sold our house.
Kevin gave notice and left his long-time job.
On Thanksgiving morning, we invited just our kids over for “Mountain Man” breakfast. We told them of our plans and all three told us to go for it!
We sold my GMC Envoy SUV to family…first car for my oldest nephew. (Another win/win.)
We kept our truck. Though we really wanted to upgrade, we were not ready to invest $50-70k. (Plus not add to debt.)
We kept our StarCraft Travel Trailer. Again, we weren’t ready to make another investment in an upgrade. Our travel trailer is 31 ft long and has served us well since 2011. Since we’d be living with three golden retrievers, yes, THREE, we wanted to open up the living area and eliminate furniture that’s bulky, not used frequently or became a glorified doggie bed (couch!) So, we basically gutted the living/dining area. We sold the small couch, recliner and dinette booth. We bought two IKEA Poang chairs and ottomans. Light birch and light cream leather-type cushions. The vinyl flooring and carpet was taken out. We replaced the flooring with inter-locking vinyl planks. Waterproof. We have more to do, but we will work in the coming weeks to finish the main projects. Replace curtains, recover valances, fold-down dinette table, seating for dinette that includes storage (we’re hoping to use stock tanks with an upholstered lid for a unique look).
Lastly, about our health insurance. We now have COBRA through my husbands old job for 18 months. Our doctors have been very helpful in giving us prescriptions for 6-12 months. We have agreed to travel back “home” to have follow-up appointments. Not a bad deal since we’ll want to see our kids anyways!
So, that’s how we got to where we are for now. We sold our house this past Monday and stayed at local Koreshan State Historic Site while we better organized – or took more items to storage. We found we couldn’t quite get rid of everything .. but we have a 6 month lease so we’ll do more purging. Also we had some other business to take care of before we headed North. So, as I finish our beginning of our KevCan Adventures, we are going through something very typical of Florida… we are going 30 mph on I-75 about 45 miles South of Tampa. High traffic area and it’s not even 5:00 yet!