Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Tampa RV Show

Last week was the annual RV show at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa.  The weather has been so nice I have not spent too much time on the computer lately, so this post is a little behind the event. 

This is the largest RV show I have been to.  I did not even see 2/3 of the event.  I went to the indoor displays only, and did not have time to enjoy the HUGE outdoor area of RV's.  My ticket was for 2 days, and if I had gone to both days I could have seen it all.  The main entry from the gate takes you immediately into the largest building and the Class A displays.  WOW!  Major brands, high end, nice.  Most were closed except for showing by appointment.  Some were open for touring.  For PHOTOS click here, password is shadow.   Unfortunately, my camera battery died and my images are limited.  There was every kind of RV, nicely grouped by type.  And there was a large vendor area with a packed crowd.  Food was outside, the weather was great, the event had a tram for on site travel.  There was varying entertainment about the property, and you could certainly have NO trouble wearing yourself out in 2 days.  Plenty to do and see.  Lots of RV units were being sold, and the vendors were having a good time too.  It seemed there were a lot of RV Resort booths, and they seems to have less activity.

As a result of this show, my wife tells me that our NEXT RV will be a 5th wheel.  Why?  I think it is because the living area of the higher end 5th wheel is so home like.  New retail for a proper tow vehicle and 5th wheel seemed to be about $200,000.  A Class A in that price range is nice, but the floor plans are a key difference.  Of course, I do not think she gave consideration to 'getting around' once at the destination.  Hence, our decision to be in a Class A now; we can pull a sight seeing vehicle.   

Well, we are still holding up at the winter haven for now.  The weather has been great this week, and that is why we are here; travel is months away.  My wife just started her seasonal RN job, and 16 weeks from now (May) will will hit the road for 6 months.  I will be puttering around doing house and RV projects in the meantime.  A new awning fabric for the RV is in order.  I made contact with a vendor at the show.  He quoted me $700 installed for a replacement fabric (not vinyl) including a metal cover.  Sounded like a good price and some other show attendees standing nearby have the fabric and like it. 

Well, I hope your winter is going well.  Be safe.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Faux Lightning

Earlier I had commented on an RV incident that we are still recovering from.  When you ZAP the electrical system with 240 Volts, double what is intended, it kind of seems like lightning!

I have had an electrician doing some work around the house.  He had finished one of the projects, a new 30 Amp connection to the house circuit so I could run the RV kind of like a cottage for guests.  Well, this fellow is hard working, honest and does good work.  One problem, he put a wire in the wrong place.  I went into the RV after plugging in.  The microwave was lit, but no lights.  As soon as I hit the light switch, POW, the microwave blew.  I also had smoke coming out of the area of the circuit breakers.  As I sat there monitoring for any fire or other issues, I thought...this could get expensive.  A/C, Frig, heater, new TVs, etc.   He was thinking 240v during the install, but as soon as he got my email - UT OH.

He and I both lost some sleep over this.  It happened right before Christmas, and due to the holidays, we waited until this last week to work on the RV.  I did chat with a third party on the Escapees forum for an independent view.  His conclusion was the same as ours.  Fix any obvious damage, apply power and see what still works.

Fortunately, everything works!  Well, except the microwave and the converter.  A 40 amp re-settable fuse protected the 12 v system.  The converter is what burned and caused the smoke.  No wiring damage to be found.  All other appliances and outlets OK.  I still have not received the new converter.  As soon at that is in and installed, along with the microwave, we will finish checking it out...generator, slide action, etc.  But I really think we dodged a bullet.  A $250 parts list after this incident is not bad.

Needless to say, I need to get a 30 Amp EMS Protection Unit.

Until next safe.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year !

From Clearwater Beach Florida :)

It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be on the beach for New Year.  Jan and I want on a driving tour from Clearwater Beach to Fort DeSoto and Back.  These are the kind of days that make us happy to be in Florida during the winter.  Here are some photos from New Year Day.  (password - shadow)

We have been busy during the holidays.  We have traveled a bit, and also been doing home improvement projects.  I also had an RV incident that took up some time; it is still not 100% repaired - more on that later.

To be honest, I have not made time to be blogging.  Shame on me!

We are planning on attending the Tampa RV Show next week.  I will discuss the sites and place some photos here after our visit to the event.

Until next time, be safe.