Saturday, April 08, 2017


We had been looking at RVs for a long time, focusing mostly on class B versions.  Class B RVs are on van chassis and stay within the van footprint, as a result the Class B RVs are very manageable compared to their larger siblings.  Most Class B can be driven in cities, parked in normal spots, and genarraly fit into tighter situations than you would ever consider for a much larger Class A or Class C (when most people think of RVs they are usually envisioning Class A or C).

We decided on a 2017 Winnebago Travato.  We chose the 59g floorplan and waited for the 2017 1/2 models to come out with their few nice mid-year improvements.

One of the first things I did was de-badge it.  There were lots of large "Winnebago Touring Coach" and "Travato" badges.

One of the big advantages of the "deluxe granite" color option is the nice auto-like appearance.  So de-badging was in order.  It looks nice and clean now:

Now that was taken care of, we needed to represent!  Go Ducks!  Our inaugural road trip in the van coincided with the Oregon Ducks appearance in the NCAA Final Four.  A good time to set this up.  My wife has a Cricut which she can use to make all kinds of cool stuff.  She made the vinyl decals for me.

Our inaugural voyage was from Portland to Anaheim and back.  We took four people and our dog, and spent 5 days.  It was a blast.  We did some boondocking, and some hook-up camping.  Here is our first hook-up camping.  This was at Morro Bay state park in California.

There I was able to really test all the water and electrical systems for the first time.  Unfortunately we had a heck of a wind storm that evening, so we didn't do much outside - but that did allow us to see what it was like spending time inside the unit playing cards and whatnot.

When the family was in the back, the dog would take the opportunity to steal the co-pilot seat.

Over the course of the trip we drove about 2500 miles and overall averaged 15.5mpg.  That's not too bad.  There are a good many mountain miles in there, and about 50% of our return trip was driving straight into a 15mph head-wind for hours.  There was also a significant amount of in-city driving around Los Angeles doing touristy things, and lots of traffic.  Our best tank we got 17.6mpg.  Our worst tank was 13.1.

We are still dialing in the use of the RV, figuring out where to store things and how to set things up.  So far it has been really fun.

I did make one mod already, that was to install Sumo Springs.  I won't go into it in detail, there is good info at The Fit RV about them.  But here they are in case you were curious:

The purchasing process was really bumpy.  We didn't have the best time there but eventually it all worked out.  We are keeping the list of the little things that you find in every RV that you always have.  That's what warranties are for.  So far the only serious thing is the propane shut-off mechanism doesn't work well, so they're replacing that.  Until that gets fixed we don't use any of our propane appliances - but that's not too much of a hassle right now.  The parts are on order...

Well, that's about all I have about our new toy at this time.  Keep checking back and I'll keep you up to date with our Travato experiences!

I'm Back!

After an extended hiatus, I have decided to start ranting again.  I'll be sharing info about our stuff and our wandering and doing.  We are back in the northwest.  More to come!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The plight of bikes or pedestrians in East Memphis

East Memphis (White Station area) and Germantown are supposed to be real nice areas, at least that what the real-estate agents say.  So in a followup to my post yesterday about the Wolf River Greenway and it's problems with access and connectivity, I thought I might share a couple images.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wolf River Greenway - my thoughts

Out in east Memphis and northwest Germantown they have some greenway bike+ped paths along the Wolf River, called the Wolf River Greenway.  It is pretty nice, and I have ridden my bicycle along it's entirety.  It is still somewhat in two main sections, the Memphis section in the west and the Germantown section in the east.   The ultimate plans are to have them all linked together and connected to some other areas as well, although those plans seem like they might be a while to completion (if ever).

My thoughts on the Wolf River Greenway are mixed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Great Memphis hardware store for nuts and bolts

Memphis area folks, if you are in need of some hardware help - you should check out the super friendly folks at Gate City hardware.

I needed some chrome whatnots and doo-dads for my motorcycle, and these sorts of things are tough to come by in a retail fashion.  Sure you can order anything online - but that won't help you if you need to experiment.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Perils of relocating to Tennessee: DMV (etc...)

For those of you thinking on relocating to Tennessee be forewarned that Tennessee does not have a "Department of Motor Vehicles" per say.

They have a Drivers Services division of the Tennessee Department of Safety.  This is where you get your Tennessee drivers license.

Each county (Tennessee has 95 of them) has a County Clerk.  That is where you register your vehicles.

The state also has a Department of Revenue division which is where you have to go to get a temporary tag for a vehicle if for any reason there is a problem with any paperwork when you try to title or register a vehicle.

Some cities and jurisdictions in the state have vehicle inspections, which can be either emissions testing or safety inspections, or both.  This testing varies by jurisdiction, which could be a city or a county.  Testing requirements also vary by jurisdiction (some times by neighborhood within the jurisdiction) regarding which vehicles need which inspections.


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