Azalea Acres RV Park

Address: 27450 Glass Road, Robertsdale, AL 36567
Telephone: 251-947-9530

Dates Stayed: 05/12/2017 – 05/13/2017 (1 night)

Rate: $36.38 per night (The do offer discounts for Good Sam, etc.)

Rating:

Location

Sweet Home Alabama

The second stop on our cross country trip, this park is located off of I10 in Robertsdale, Alabama. Our navigation system had no idea to get us here, so I had to call to confirm what I saw on the map. The roads leading to the campground are barely one lane each way, so it was kind of stressful making turns and having another car passing on the opposite side.

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Check-In

Office, clubhouse, laundry, and bath.

Checking in was a pretty quick. We were escorted to our site by someone with a golf cart. Amber drove this leg of our trip, she drove to the campsite, leveled and got the slides out while I went to the office with our escort. After checking-in, walked back to the campsite and got the shore cord and water connected before the rain poured down.

Camp Site

Campsite #3

The park is clean with 50 amp, water and sewer, everything we needed. We arrived during a rain storm, so the absence of any shade did not bother us. But in the summer I can imagine it gets HOT. They have planted trees which will make things much better in the coming years. We had a site with a concrete pad, but we saw other RVs on grass sites. With the rain, the ground was pretty saturated, so we were glad not to be sinking in the mud.

WiFi & Cellular

I worked on the ride to the campground, but I did have to finish work after we arrived. The WiFi was nonexistent when we arrived. I am working on this post on the WiFi and it’s actually working well. But it cur out again, so I had to finish this post using my AT&T hotspot.

Facilities

This is not a resort, but it does have the basics any camper needs. It has a clubhouse, laundry, and bath services.

Conclusion

We would probably stay here again. It’s a clean park, but the WiFi is a problem if we need internet.

May 12 – Tallahassee, FL to Robertsdale, AL

Azela Acres RV Park – Ms. Gaye

The second leg of our trip was about 231 miles and it took us about 5 hours with stops.

We knew that meeting people at campgrounds was part of RV life. We met Ms. Gaye, the owner of Azalea Acres RV Park while walking around the park after dinner. She loved talking and telling us about the park and shared a bit of her life with us. Christopher enjoyed talking with her, telling her random things about his life. I can’t help think about what our son is learning from this trip. I hope he remembers this for the rest of his life.

Tallahassee RV Park

Address: 6504 Mahan Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32308
Telephone: 850-878-7641

Dates Stayed: 05/11/2017 – 05/12/2017

Rate: $45.00 per night ($50 – $5 discount for various memberships)

Rating:

Location

The first stop on our cross country trip, this park is conveniently located right off of I10 in Tallahassee, Florida.

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Check-In

The Office

Checking in was a pretty quick. Amber pulled Irving in front of the office while I checked in. I was in and out in about 5 minutes. Since Amber drove this leg of our trip, she drove to the campsite. The roads are a bit narrow, which we are finding in the norm with campgrounds for some reason.

Camp Site

Campsite #48

The park is very well kept and it is managed by a very friendly couple who Christopher and I talked to about our trip. Our campsite was very shady, with tall trees. There are no concrete pads, just hard ground with gravel. With that said, our automatic leveling jacks were able to level our coach on the second attempt.

The services included at the site are 30/50amp electric, fresh water (1 spigot with splitter), dump and cable TV with a wide range of channels.

WiFi & Cellular

I worked on the ride up to the campground, but I did have to finish work after we arrived. The WiFi is very good and plenty fast. I am working on this post on the WiFi and uploads pictures is a breeze. The woman that checked us in mentioned that they had just upgraded to fiber optic internet service and it shows.

Facilities

This is not a resort, but it does have the basics any camper needs.

Community Room
Laundry
Shower and Bathroom

Conclusion

We would definitely stay here again. It’s a clean park with cable TV and great WiFi.

Twas The Night Before…

It is the night before we begin our 6+ week trip cross country. I’m not going to lie, it was a stressful day for me. I had to work while Amber continued to stock Irving and I wanted to help.

Although I will be taking some vacation time during our adventure, this is the first time I will be working day after day while Amber does the bulk of the driving to the Gand Canyon. I am very nervous about having reliable Internet access to collaborate with coworkers. The list of worries goes on and on.

I am most likely making more of the bad things than they will turn out to be. It’s how I’ve always been, but maybe this trip will give me a new perspective and make me learn to wing it and take things as they come more.

Time will tell.

 

Macworld Review: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station

This article popped up on my news feed and I thought I would share it with fellow campers.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station review: Reliable power for your RV or campsite

When your home office is in a motor home, keeping your Mac, iPad, and iPhone charged can be a hassle—until you try Goal Zero’s batteries.

Source: www.macworld.com/article/3192170/home-tech/goal-zero-yeti-400-portable-power-station-review-reliable-power-for-your-rv-or-campsite.html

Cross Country Here We Come!

We made a reservation at Trailer Village RV Park at the Grand Canyon in August and it’s almost time to leave for our cross country trip we start on May 11th. Since we made that reservation we have been planning our route and making reservations at various campgrounds. We had planned to come right home after staying at the Grand Canyon, but we will be continuing on to California so I can attend the Apple World Wide Developer Conference in June.

It is our first cross country trip, so we a combination of excited and nervous, but one things is certain. We dreamed of buying an RV and seeing the country and that dream is coming true. This is the beginning of our long journey of seeing as many places as we can with our amazing motorhome.

I will be posting each day of our journey with pictures and mini reviews of where we are staying each night, so stay tuned!

Towing A 2016 Honda HR-V Manual Transmission Four-Down

When Amber suggested a Honda HR-V as a tow vehicle, I started searching the web for information on whether it was possible to tow four-down behind a motorhome. I couldn’t find any definitive information on whether an automatic or manual transmission could be towed this way, but, from other make and model owners manuals I had read, towing a manual was pretty much a given.

We found a manual at a dealership in Tampa and made arrangements to test drive and talk numbers. I was a bit rusty, but I was able to do a test drive and it was just like riding a bike again, you never forget. Once we hashed out numbers, we asked them to provide us definitive documentation that the vehicle we were about to purchase could be towed four-down. After a bit of time, they provided us with a salesperson training brochure that mentioned being able to do it. They also said that in the HR-V owners CD, it has a section on what needs to be done to accomplish this.

Since I could not find any definitive documentation on the web, I figured I would provide the actual page from the owners CD that outlines how to tow a 2016 Honda HR-V with a manual transmission four-down.

Towing HR-V Manual Transmission Behind a Motorhome

Choosing A Toad

September of last year we spent 4 days in St. Augustine, FL. We used Uber and the Old Town Trolley to get from the campground to where we wanted to go. Uber was great since we could go directly from the campground to a destination. The Old Town Trolley was great because they had a shuttle to pick us up and bring us to the main trolley stop. However, even though we could get on the trolley nearly anywhere, there are times we had to ride the trolley for long periods of time to get back to the main trolley station. We began to see the value of towing a vehicle.

Like I mentioned in my last post, we were not able to tow our 2016 Honda CR-V unless we put it on a trailer, which would exceed the 5,000 lb. towing capacity our our gas coach. If we wanted to bring a vehicle with us, we’d have to buy a vehicle that could be towed. But where to start?

Do a search for ‘towable vehicle guide’ and you will find lots of articles that will mention some of the makes and models of cars that can be towed four down. This is where I started and after many hours looking, giving up, and looking some more, found some discrepancies in what these guides stated and the actual owner manuals of the vehicles. That’s why I strongly suggest you check the owner manual of any vehicle you are interested in towing. The great part is that I found them online at the manufacturer’s web sites in PDF format.

I continued to look at information and went to look at a few vehicles. Nothing was going to replace our 2016 Honda CR-V, it seemed. Then Amber found a manual transmission 2016 Honda HR-V that would be a great tow vehicle and we wouldn’t have to give up too much. We wanted documentation that the vehicle could be towed, to be certain we wouldn’t be buying something that we found out later could not be towed four down. After much looking, the salesperson dug up the owner CD and on that was the guide to towing the HR-V. Mission accomplished!

Our new 2016 Honda HR-V with a manual transmission

Now came the fun part. Amber had never driven a manual transmission before and I had 2 days to teach her before she needed to solo with our new vehicle. With much practice, she not only can drive a 36 1/2 ft. RV, but she can drive a manual transmission car also.

It’s never too late to improve yourself by learning new things. Fear holds us back. When we don’t let it, our lives are changed forever.

To Toad Or Not To Toad

When we first thought about buying a RV, our original thought was to buy a fifth wheel because we would always have a vehicle with us to drive to the places we needed and leave the RV behind. As I started thinking more about a fifth wheel, the less appealing it became. We didn’t have a truck for towing, so we’d have to buy one in addition to the RV itself. That would have put the cost in the class A price range, so I started comparing pros and cons. To cut a long stay short, the biggest con I saw was that we’d be in a confined space for long periods of time with no access to the refrigerator or bathrooms while moving down the road. Also, since I would be working at least part of the time while Amber drove, I would have to work in a truck, which was not even close to ideal. A booth dinette would be great for working in a class A. As you probably know, we went with a class A RV and believe it was the best decision for us.

2016 Honda CR-V Touring

Once made our choice of RV, we started thinking about how we’d get around once we got to our destination. Our vehicle at the time was a 2016 Honda CR-V Touring, which could not be towed flat or on a dolly because of its CVT transmission. So we decided that we could get around with ride sharing services, cabs, or renting a car while on the road.

Since then we have rethought our decision to not tow a vehicle. More on this later.