Archive for February, 2010

Dayona and first camping night


“Home cooked” pizza for dinner. The generator and convection microwave works “real good”.  First night sleeping in the RV.  Got down to freezing outside and bloody inside!  Cruise America had kindly supplied blankets for 4 people.  I ended up with them al piled on top of me.  Everything seems to be working .  Had my first shower – works.  The toilet works as well.  Eggs, bagels, bacon & cream cheese for breakfast.  –  Cooker works.  Seems everything is working.

I hitched to Daytona Beach Bikeweek in a 50s pickup truck.  Cool – I should have got a photo.  Walked around for the day.  Lots of Hardly Davidson’s tarted up and very few “real” bikes.  I had a bit of fun baiting some of them about tasselled girls bikes and only every driving in straight lines.  Conversation wasn’t particularly stimulating – looking forward to the kids coming over next week.   

Lots of barely dress girls trying to get you into bars.  This was particularly impressive given it was sunny but only 13 degrees.  Unfortunately for me the sun was still enough to turn me into a beetroot.

Beetroot face

The actual beach in Daytona – They used to race on this

Girl displaying her assets (Family friendly version)

One for Andy

Street scene

Wonderful Heavy Metal band (fiftysomethings)

Got a Van



At last progress. After nearly 1,200 miles the van (aka Camper, RV or motorhome) has been purchased. I ended up buying off a dealer but got an ok price. The van is higher than normal mileage (110,000) because it was a rental.  But given it has a 6.8L V10 engine I think it should be fine. It also comes with aircon, fridge/freezer, toilet, shower, and solar panels!. They’ve also thrown in the standard fit out normally included when it’s rented out (cutlery, plates, saucepans, bedding etc). It’s big enough to be comfortable (relative to a much smaller van!) but still reasonably manoeuvrable for the smaller roads in Central America. Here it is:

 I pick it up tomorrow (Thursday). I’ve spent today looking for a jack and wheel brace (I’m kinda assuming that I’ll need to change a wheel at least once). They don’t come with American RVs in case the owners/renters hurt themselves. I’ve also been looking for locking wheel nuts – stop the wheels getting pinched. But no luck. It’s too big for car accessory shops and too small for truck shops. I’ve also identified my first shakedown trip and destination. Daytona Bike week starts this Friday. It’s in completely the wrong direction but….. 🙂

 I’ll then head for Houston to pick Susan and the girls up next Thursday. We’ll probably spend a few days around Houston and hen head down to south Texas to meet up with Colette Houlihan’s brother. He’s very kindly acted as the destination address for a bunch of stuff I’ve bought off Amazon. He’s also RVd across the States, So I’ll be looking for some tips.

I’d forgotten what a weird country this is down south.  This guy has 20 foot high billboards along Interstate 4.  I’m surprised there aren’t more accidents!

Find that RV


Ok – so I’m in Florida.  The RV capital of America and I’ve hit a problem.  I’m looking for a 24-26 foot RV – small enough to get around in Central America but big enough for the 4 of us. The problem is they don’t make very many this size over here and they are selling at a big premium.  Funny thing though – that premium will not be recognised when I go to sell it in August… I’ve another week.  I’ve driven a 800 miles already – Better keep looking. 

I bought a toy!  No not a Mustang.  A satellite tracking device.  It keeps track of where you are using GPS and then transmits the coordinates to the Globalstar satellite which bounces it down to a base station and maps the position up on Google maps.  This means you can track where I’ve been over the last 7 days and where I am now.   Cool!  (Note to self – leave it in the hotel this evening).  See

I’ve also stuck a “Where are we now” page  on the right column of this blog ->