Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EARLY

It was a thing that we all enjoyed, the brand new Oliver Forums. Oliver Travel trailers were growing in fantastic leaps and bounds, out reaching everyone's expectations. The factory was swamped with orders and inquiry's. And, yet, some of us wanted more. Though we had a cool new Oliver trailer in the driveway, we wanted more. We wanted a way to visit with other owners and enthusiasts to exchange ideas, photos and much, much, more.
What we needed and wanted ever so badly was a forums.
In its infancy and experiencing growing pains, the Oliver Factory was sympathetic to our needs, but were covered up in the nuts and bolts of phenomenal growth pains. They did however give the ok to proceed with a Forums project, then went back to what they do best, building cool trailers.
So, there we sat, with the green light on the project, but no funding. The solution seemed easy at the time. He, he, now we all know just how those quick fixes can come back to bite us. And of course they did, but way on down the road.
Our web designer at the time provided borrowed server space and we picked up some free software from out there on the internet. We had our own forums !
The forums evolved rapidly and grew wildly, becoming a force of it's own.   
Years of evolving and growth, bring us up to 2014, with many members and moderators on board. Now the forums are on their own servers, having experienced bumps in the road during that major move, and Oliver has a IT Department that is coping with the QUICK FIX SOLUTIONS of the EARLY DAYS.
I have went to the Oliver IT department for help in the past and these guys are absolute Magicians !
Our years old forums issues, are being fixed as they rear their ugly heads, but, it is a pretty labor intensive process.
I have no doubt that Oliver's IT department will prevail, but our iron in the fire is but one of many that they must navigate their way through.
So, here is hat's off, to our forums members, moderators and IT Department for coping with inherited issues from the past, while planning for those cool forums features of the future !
Future ? Yes there will be streamlining changes in the future to make things more "user friendly", and those will be much welcomed changes, but as history has taught us, there will be "bumps in the road !"
So, let's "cinch up tight, screw our hat's down tighter" and ride into the forums future together ! It's gona' be a great ride !

Friday, November 7, 2014

MOUNTED

Our first major cold front of the Fall, brought with it a spell of rainy weather. Being cooped up inside, I soon began to look for a project.

We have had a small television that we use from time to time, that is stored away until needed. But as is with most things stored away, the first thought after needing it, is, “ now just where did I put that thing” ! Mounting it up on the wall of the trailer, somewhere out of the way, would resolve that.

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And after ordering a double articulating arm, TV mount, it arrived. The plain brown box contained everything that we would need in the way of hardware.

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Using the base plate for a template, marking and drilling holes went well and soon the project was finished.

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The sound is better and we now have more useable storage space.

All in all it turned out to be a great rainy day project !

Saturday, November 1, 2014

GREASE

Servicing the wheel bearings on our travel trailer is a given, otherwise we will be on the shoulder of the highway with serious trouble. Choosing the right grease to pack your wheel bearings with, is important, and gives peace of mind. Here is my current choice for a quality grease. Note the wear on the container from many thousands of miles of travel.

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Back in the 70’s we had a bearing failure not too long after that bearing was packed with a bargain basement brand of grease, that I had picked up at a flea market in Tucson Arizona. That broke me from cheeping out on grease.

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Our jump start battery pack and our 12 volt impact wrench sure make bearing service go smoother !

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Our lazer point, infrared thermometer is the thing that tells us if bearing temperatures are creeping up, while traveling. If that bearing temperature is beginning to climb up, our time to service the bearings, is getting near. At each stop, we take a quick check of the tire tread, tire sidewall, brake drum and wheel bearing.

For us, the little extra steps, give us that extra margin of safety, that gives us peace of mind as the miles roll by.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

MEETUP

Though it is usually pretty sweet, sometimes, Nomadic life can be a bit cranky.  A recent example for us, is meeting up with family members that are still in the work a day world. Angela and David have driven for Sierra Trucking for a little over seventeen years. They stay busy. They have a dedicated route to the Pacific North West, and usually one can tell by the day of the week, just where they are at.

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Here is Angela in front of their Truck “Big Red” while at the Freightliner dealership in LaGrange Oregon. Photo by David.

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As we were on our way North to the sugar beet harvest, our paths crossed about forty hours apart and we were both on schedules of arrival. However on the way back to Arkansas, we had the convenience of no schedule to keep, so we would go to one of the fuel stops on their route and await their arrival. Simple, right ? He, he, not ! They broke down ! So, unload their stuff from the truck, go to motel, cab ride to get rental truck from LaGrange to Portland then back with rental, deliver load, pick up new load, back to pick up their truck, return rental, shuffle their stuff again. Oh yeah it was complicated ! Then all the com-check stuff to pay the repair bill, and finally they are on their way ! Woo Hoo ! The saga CONTINUES !

Meanwhile we have satellite TV, internet and cell service, with several good restaurants right near. Yup, we a’ coastin’ and they are hustlin’ !

Friday, October 17, 2014

RECORD

The shortest Sugar Beet Harvest on record is in the history books !

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The weather was absolutely great for the Harvest season, and , when we got started, we didn’t quit until it was over !

This was our sixth harvest season in a row up in the Red River Valley of the North.

Our time with old friends was just way too short.

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Then suddenly it was all over and we slept in before going to our traditional after harvest breakfast with co workers.

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We had a blowout just a few hours out of North Dakota to add a bit of spice to our adventure.

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Then a few hours more, down the road, we stopped to let Poco out for a break and I discovered a snap pin missing on the tow bar.

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A redneck tarp strap repair and we were on our way again.

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We are now “staged” at the Sapp Brothers Truck stop near Percival Iowa, waiting for Angela and David to pass through with a load of Apples from the Pacific North West, en route to their delivery in the S/E. After that, more road South !

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CONSTRUCTION

During the process of doubling up in size, the Hillsboro Campground is under construction during our stay for the Sugar Beet Harvest. Though things are different this year, they are pretty much the same. Some of us are doubling up, two to a campsite, during the campground’s growing pains. Most of the campground is the same though, here is a look.

Sugar Beet Harvest 2014

Here is a look at the construction side of the campground, just outside  our window.

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However it is pretty much business as usual and this Saturday night, there is a performer from NewZeland  around the campfire. Here is his flyer.

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Today is going to be a twelve on a scale of one to ten ! The Razorbacks play this afternoon, then there is pickin’ and grinnin’ around the campfire tonight !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

REBUTTAL

Back in 2009, Betty and I worked at Amazon’s Coffeyville Fulfillment Center in Kansas. It was there that we met Chris and Cherie, we were camped near each other, we both worked the night shift and we were both full timing in 17’ Oliver Legacy Elite travel trailer’s. They had been full time RVing since 2006. As they work from out on the road, traveling extensively, they have a good feel for how work Campers feel about the Harper’s article that drew some highly flawed conclusion’s.

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Here is a quote from the Technomadia’s article:

“Rather than a story portraying RVing and workamping as a great alternative to the traditional path, the press seems interested in showing it as the absolute last resort of the most down-and-out – forced out onto the road, their retirement dreams in tatters.”

Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard, are collectively, THE TECHNOMADIA’S .

Here is a link to their blog , where they rebut the Harper’s poorly researched piece.

http://www.technomadia.com/

It is almost Sugar Beet Harvest time again and we are on the road to North Dakota, here is a look,

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EnRoute to the Harvest we weathered out a hail storm in a old abandoned service station. It was called to my attention by a friend that it looked like a post apocalypse movie scene. In the quick video scan around, it looks like that for sure. Here is a look.

Sheltering from a hail storm I-49 Carthage, Mo

Seems like no time before we were back on the road, Rockin’ on da’ REZ with the Voice of the Mighty Sioux Nation, at 89.9 FM. Here is a look.

Rockin’ to the voice of the mighty Sioux Nation 89.9 FM