Summer 2022, Page 42

17 June…I’m parked and plugged in at my sister and brother in law’s place in Florida…I appreciate it so much that they let me be a guest on their property when I’m in town…temps are in the mid 90’s during the day…my Dometic Penguin 2 A/C unit on the van is doing a great job of keeping me cool…it runs from around 10am to after midnight every day.

My beautiful niece Alyx is a joy to be with…so smart (didn’t get that from me)…we went swimming at mom’s assisted living place the other day and had a great time just hanging out and acting silly…she went with me to pick up the new bike and gave her approval even though she said it only has two wheels (she likes side by sides).

Have an appointment at the Mercedes dealer to have the wheel alignment checked on the van…I have almost 100,000 miles on her and I want to make sure all it perfect as I just had new front tires installed when I was at my buddies place in Oklahoma.

Wednesday I may head up to North Carolina for a week or so the get out of the hot weather, look at some land for sale, and break in the bike…called my friends who let me stay next to their motel in Maggie Valley and they said come on up…so nice to be able to park right downtown across the street from a great Mexican restaurant for $10 bucks a night!

I have a big spool of marine grade 14 gauge two conductor low oxygen stranded copper wire and am planning on slowly rewiring the whole van…I used good wire during the build but I’m constantly looking to make the thing as perfect as I can…plus the new wire is pretty…like me 🙂

22 June…starting to set the new bike up…added 30mm handle bar risors to fine tune the riding position for comfort…nice rear rack and small hard case to carry stuff…all good quality and will work out good….will be adding Oxford Heated handgrips, and that’s about it.

The case is bolted on with four stainless bolts and nuts…won’t be going anyplace 🙂

28 June…uneventful drive up to Maggie Valley NC yesterday…got here about 5 pm after 565 miles of interstate…yay…parked up in the nice grassy field beside my friends Rob and Gabby’s motel right in the center of town…Rob told me to tell my niece Alyx he has the pool and playground all ready for her when she can come up again…we had so much fun last time!…my favorite Mexican restaurant is right across the street so all is well…went for a long ride on the bike through the mountains this morning and looked at a coupe of properties…neither were what I’m looking for…more patches tomorrow…it’s nap time now…so good be able to nap with the windows open…temp is around 70 :)…gonna be here until next Tuesday…huge fireworks display Monday night for the 4th Of July.

29 June…my good friend Wade and his lovely wife stopped by for a visit yesterday…they’re on a little vacation trip through the mountains and grabbed a room at the motel…was great to visit and catch up…good dinner at the Mex place last night and lots of good conversation…they’re headed back towards the coast today…always great to see them…plus Wade gave me a couple of nice books to read…thanks again!

Supposed to rain all day…looks like I’ll be reading and napping 🙂

1 July…had a nice ride through the mountains today up to the Trust General Store…pretty good coffee…the rocking chairs almost put me to sleep…the new bike is just perfect…love it.

I moved to another spot here at the motel to better get away from the crowds expected this weekend for the fireworks show…so good of Rob and Gabby to let me hang out at their motel.

2 July…beautiful cool morning today…coffee at 7, walk at 7:30, oatmeal at 8, then it was off to the Waynesville Recreation Center for a nice $2 shower…had the shower room all to myself…felt good so a ride up and over to the Waterrock Knob overlook on the Parkway was in order…I love the views.

When I got back from my ride up on the parkway I did the first oil and filter change on the bike…I have about 600 miles on it now and all is well…It’s been raining all afternoon so needless to say I didn’t do much after the oil change. My buddy Patrick is coming over tomorrow to have either breakfast or lunch…gonna be good to catch up with all the news.

6 July…had a great time a few days ago visiting with Patrick and Roger, my two good friends here in the mountains…good breakfast and lots of conversation…hope to get some riding in with them when I get back up here the first of next month.

I get a nice ride and walk in the mornings…rains usually hit in the afternoon so I do a lot of reading and relaxing…after the fireworks last Monday I moved back to the field after all the cars left…spent about 30 minutes picking up a bit of trash the folks left after the fireworks.

Probably gonna head back to Florida on Sunday…that’s my favorite travel day…usually light traffic…I like that..pasta for dinner tonight…think I’ll walk next door to the ice cream shop for a treat…life is good 🙂

7 July…0800 was gonna go for a ride with Rob and his buddy this morning…huge blob of rain almost upon us…nope not gonna happen…making pancakes and gonna read a bit.

8 July…great ride on the Parkway this morning…cool and mostly sunny…stopped at the overlook where my sister, niece, and I stopped for a photo last fall…good memories!

Last night an elk wandered through the field by the van…it was pretty dark so this is the best I could do for a photo…lots of folks following it taking pictures.

I’m so pleased with my Honda EU2200i generator…with my Victron Multiplus 3000 watt inverter/charger set to only pull 8 amps from the generator and pull any extra power needed to run the A/C from the battery bank when the compressor cycles, the generator will run for 6 hours and 7 minutes before running out of gas.

20 July…been back in Florida for a while now…the temps are around 200F and humidity is over 500 %…when I’m here I park at my sister’s house…she so graciously allows me to plug so I can run the A/C…finally broke down and ordered a nice 10×20 foot canopy to park the van under to keep the sun, heat, and leaves that fall out of the trees off the thing.

Easy to set up and appears to be pretty good quality…I can’t get the whole van under it…the van is 23 feet long…and had to raise it a bit by screwing together some wooden blocks…but for the most part it’ll work out great…this is the first time since I bought the van in August of 2018 that it has not sat outside in the sun…A/C should not have to work as hard now too keep the inside of the van around -10F 🙂

You can just see my swingset in the background…I love riding the teeter totter 🙂

22 July…I love riding bicycles with my niece…when she gets going she’s a rocket…my old bones have to work to keep up :)…so…I broke down and ordered an eBike…a Rad Rover 6 Plus…from my research it’s a good value for the price…got $350 off and free shipping here to Florida…that’s good cause I’m cheap…

I think I’ll enjoy traveling with it…looking forward to stopping in small places and riding it around looking at stuff…it’ll ride well on my MotoTote carrier on the back of the van…now I’ll have a choice to take the Honda or the Rad when I putter around the country…plus I’ll look “cool” 🙂

Please say a little prayer for the folks of Buchanan County in Appalachia…you won’t see it on the news…the flooding has been devastating for the folks who live there.

27 July…well I’ve converted over to induction cooking in the van…took out the Dometic two burner/sink combo I’ve been using for four years and replaced it with a nice stainless bar sink for washing up and a Duxtop portable induction cooktop for cooking…I store the cooktop under the sink when not cooking…used a 30×18 inch cutting board to cover the big hole in the countertop when I removed the Dometic thingy…cut and mounted the sink in it and it looks pretty good IMHO…gonna work great…now I’m completely gas free in the van…no more looking for places to refill the propane tank…no more buying propane…and much safer now with no flammable gas in the van.

Old Dometic burner/sink combo…gone.

New stuff

I have four Battle Born lithium batteries so running the cooktop will not be a problem.

6 August…a tiny home on wheels is never “perfect”…it seems there’s always things to improve and add…this morning I ran up and down the ladder to the roof a thousand times installing the additional 200 watt solar panel…all done and super secured…400 total watt capacity will do just fine now…I was thinking about changing out the water tank for a bigger one but I’ve had no problems with the amount of water I’ve been carrying the past four years so a logical head has prevailed…I’ve changed the sink, took out the gas cooktop (and the big LP tank), and am now using an induction cook thingy… it’s time to stop…I’m going to try and not spend a single penny on “improvements” for the foreseeable future.

My niece goes back to school on the 15th…I’ll be staying here in Fl another week so I can hang out with her a couple of more times before I head to the coolness of Appalachia…I love any kind of mountains…the heat and humidity here the past few months has just about killed me…I hate only having a few hours each morning to go for a walk, a ride, do chores, and attend to everyday life stuff before I am soaking wet with sweat…usually by 11 am I’m in the van with the A/C going the rest of the day…sucks…I feel like time is just passing me by…that sucks too.

I may have talked about it before so bare with me…next April I’ll be heading out for my longest adventure yet…Florida to the Canadian Maritimes (Nova Scotia, New Foundland, Cape Bretton, Labradore), west across Canada to Alaska, then south to Baja before coming back to Florida…I figure it’ll be about 15,000 miles or so…I hope to be on the road until October…seven months of seeing old things, new things, and just enjoying being on the road…there’s so much comfort being self-contained and not relying on anyone else but myself.

I’ll leave you with this today….enjoy.

Page 43

32 thoughts on “Summer 2022, Page 42

  1. Having followed all your 2-wheeled videos and now your van adventures, I never could wrap my mind around you not owning a motorcycle. That said, hope to see you up in the NC mountains in the future. Safe travels.

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  2. Totally love your reports. I’m taking your “doldrums” comments and cancelled my latest RV buy. I lost my wife of 53 years 1.5 years ago and am actively trying to “ride off” my own doldrums. The riding is working pretty good so far.

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    1. Hello John, I said a prayer for your wife…life is the chaos before the calm…one day we’ll all be sitting around the campfire together.

      Getting back to bikes has eased (once again) me back to enjoying things. The little 300 is quickly becoming a friend to spend many hours with. I’m headed to the mountains of NC in a few days. If you’re near please give me a shout so we can get together…wold love to chat with ya…take care and ride safe.

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  3. Prolly not gonna be able to make it down. My tent and sleeping bag got tore up by mice. I live in the country and forgot about them being in the garage.

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    1. No problem at all…hope you get it all sorted out. I’ll be heading back to FL for a week then I’ll probably come back up for a month or so.

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  4. I’ll put in for an extra couple days so I can come down next time. Maybe just get a motel or something then. Safe travels to and from Florida.

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    1. Sounds good Melvin. You wouldn’t be able to pitch a tent here next to the motel but the rooms are really nice. See you soon.

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  5. Hey Tim. I like the look of the new bike. Is it pretty nimble? Was curious if you’ll be around there the weekend of August 5. I’m gonna prolly take off work that Friday the 5th and head down if I can get the motel reserved that weekend. 😁

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    1. The new bike weighs around 300 pounds…light compared to others I’ve owned for sure…lots of fun. I don’t know my schedule right now…I know I’ll be back and forth all summer.

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  6. I’ve followed your adventures with envy for years, and am happy to see you back on two wheels. Thanks for giving us all a lifestyle to hope for.

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  7. Great to see you back on the moto Tim. You’re living the good life for sure.

    Question on your Wolfman Rocky Mtn Saddle Bags: Did you add some kind of internal stiffener to the bags to help hold their shape? I got a set like your 2016’s and they seem kinda “lumpy” all the time. Your bags always looked perfect. Sorry for the old topic, but I still look back at your build threads for ideas.

    Thanks,
    Walt

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  8. OK, thanks for the reply. BTW, what kind of riding gear are you using with the Honda? Some kind of “ATGATT – Light” that doesn’t take up much room in the van?

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  9. Been following you for years since you posted motorcycle adventures on adv.com. Have been reading this blog since you started. Thought I’d finally let you know I’ve been following you. Enjoying life on the road. 🙂

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  10. Been following you for years on your two wheeled adventures on adv.com. Now enjoying your road travels in the van on this blog. Thought it was about time to say I look forward to your posts and travels and thoughts. I love life on the road.

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