Gerry & Robin are ready to head north; FL to MA - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 17' Casita FD
Massachusetts
Posts: 36
Gerry & Robin are ready to head north; FL to MA

OK, so I posted in the new intro forum a few days ago when we picked up our new-to-us Casita here in Florida. Since then we've been balancing time between some family estate doings and familiarizing ourselves with the Casita. Now we are ready to start our trip north in the morning. Our current plan will allow us 5 days and 4 nights to really get to know the Casita. We are really pleased with it at this point. It's now plugged in with the refrigerator cooling down, mostly loaded for the trip. Our schedule allows us some easy travelling days. Tomorrow, day 1, should take us from central Florida to Bainbridge, GA; this is less than 5 hours of drive time. I hope to be able to post along the way, but we'll need to find wireless; neither of us are into smartphones/3g/4g/etc yet. Today, the Grand Cherokee lit up the check engine light; I carry an ODBII reader on trips and was able to check and clear the code. The code P1494 referenced an emissions system problem which a lot of people have found to be a vacuum leak. I didn't find the cause yet, but will monitor it. It's not a problem to drive it (and the code did not return yet). So no worries and we are very excited to start this adventure!
But wait, what's a trip report without photos? Between all the goings-on here we took a break for a good part of a day to go to Circle B Bar Reserve; an awesome spot if you like to watch birds. I blew through over 500 photos that I now have to weed through, but here are less than 20 that are some of my first pass favorites.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Where in MA are you from. McDonalds & Burger Kings usually have free WiFi. Some of them require a password which may be on your receipt, others you can get it by just pulling into the parking lot. Some of the SC state parks have WiFi. We went to GA for a few weeks in December, going back in a couple weeks. We are between Albany NY and Pittsfield MA. Where's the camper photos. Mary & Bob
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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Trailer: 17' Casita FD
Massachusetts
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Day 1 Part 1

And on day 3 there was a wifi connection! We've been having a great trip. We left Florida on Monday. The drive north was uneventful; we headed NW to end up in Bainbridge, GA for the night.
Here is a photo of the combo ready to roll in Auburndale, FL.


Here's our pilot for now, navigating through cattle county.


But wait! Robin wants a turn at the helm too.

And the neat thing is we can eat well (healthy) since we have the 4 cu ft fridge. Here's a lunch stop for some wraps. And the refrigerator/freezer even keeps Robin's ice cream hard when on DC power on the road. She is in heaven!


And so we made it to Bainbridge, GA. We camped at site 2 in Eastbank Campground on Lake Seminole. It was a fantastic spot on the lake.




We had a great view of the hydroelectric dam/facility across the lake. I work in the hydro industry, so this is of great interest to me. I believe it is the Jim Woodruff station.


And me scoping it out.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 17' Casita FD
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Day 1 part 2

Here we are, ready to watch the sunset.


But wait, what's this? Look up, carefully! Thousands of birds flying over...I'm amazed we didn't get pooped on!


And the sunset photos...




G'night!
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Name: Gerry
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Massachusetts
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Hi M&B!
We live not far from the Ashfield/Plainfield town line, so probably no more than an hour SE of you. I've used McD's wifi before, but Robin gets antsy if I get online and we could be driving. :-) She's not the internet junkie type. I'll have to look into 3g or 4g. Maybe it's time for the new ipad?
-G

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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Where in MA are you from. McDonalds & Burger Kings usually have free WiFi. Some of them require a password which may be on your receipt, others you can get it by just pulling into the parking lot. Some of the SC state parks have WiFi. We went to GA for a few weeks in December, going back in a couple weeks. We are between Albany NY and Pittsfield MA. Where's the camper photos. Mary & Bob
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Day 2 Part 1

OK, time for breakfast! It sure is nice having a kitchen here.
Muffin in a minute from the recipe forum here, and a grapefruit from a FL neighbor's tree.


Here's a happy camper after breakfast.


We depart Eastbank and head for Tallulah Gorge. Here is a shot or two along the way.




Caffeine!
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 17' Casita FD
Massachusetts
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Day 2 Part 2

We made it to Tallulah Gorge in time for a hike down; what is it, over 1000 steps down? Nice views though! Here is the suspension bridge.


A nice spot in the river.


Robin at Hurricane Falls.


A wispy 4 second exposure.


And our home for the night at TGSP.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:24 AM   #8
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Looks like your having a great trip - nice photos! Hope you figured out the cause of your check engine light/emissions system problem - my Subaru does that if the gas cap has not been put on tight enough. Happened a few times in Oregon where they will not let you pump your own gas. If I stop tighten the gas cap the light goes out after an hour or so of driving and an engine shut off or two.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:46 AM   #9
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Name: Gerry
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Thanks Carol! Yes, Robin's Honda commonly does that unless the cap is really cranked down. I think this code is something else, but it hasn't happened again.
-G

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Looks like your having a great trip - nice photos! Hope you figured out the cause of your check engine light/emissions system problem - my Subaru does that if the gas cap has not been put on tight enough. Happened a few times in Oregon where they will not let you pump your own gas. If I stop tighten the gas cap the light goes out after an hour or so of driving and an engine shut off or two.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for sharing the pictures. You've already started making great memories too. Safe travels!
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:33 AM   #11
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Name: Gerry
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Day 3 Part 1

So day 3 dawns at Tallulah Gorge. Robin commented that we tried the microwave yesterday, so let's try the cookstove and toaster part of the microwave/convection/toaster combo. No complaints from me!


We took a hike another before packing up. Here's a shot of the upper dam with a spill pipe flowing. Most of the water is diverted through a large underground pipe to a storage tank, then to 6 turbine/generators through 6 penstocks.





Oh, here is a tower on one side that was used by a tightrope highwire walker back around 1970 I believe.


Did I mention that Tallulah Gorge is where 'Deliverance' was filmed? And a couple other movies too. Maybe something is going on nearby now, as a state park employee mentioned that John Travolta was here the other day. Oh and DeNiro too.

So while packing up I heard a drip. Uh-oh, what's this?


It's a broken shower trap. We couldn't find a suitable replacement in a couple stops, so some self bonding rubber tape fixed it for now. I guess I'll do the plumbing mods sooner than later when we get back.

Today was a long drive. We actually saw another Casita today! It was southbound near Ashville when we were headed north. I didn't have the presence of mind to grab a photo before it was gone even though I was holding my camera. I think I was busy admiring it. Didn't even see what the TV was.
We took a lot of photos as we came north, nice mountain views; but I see I didn't UL any to PB yet. With all the stops and a few delays to answer questions about the cute little camper, we got to Misty Mountain after dark. I then proceeded to impress Robin with my backing up in the dark skills. Actually, at home I have a small utility trailer that I can't see at all in the mirrors or by looking back. When you do see it in the mirror, it's too late to correct, so she see's me struggle with it. The Casita is MUCH easier.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:36 AM   #12
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Day 3 Part 2

Dinner time!


I like the flickering LED light we have on the table. It's a febreze unit, and is like a candle.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:39 AM   #13
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Name: Gerry
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Massachusetts
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Day 4

This morning we awoke to pea soup thick fog. So thick I couldn't see trees more than 30' away...the kind of fog described in scary novels. :-) And there were dense fog warnings for the area, visibility less than 1/4 mile. We decided to hang around and give it time to burn off in the hope that we could take Skyline Drive north and check out the views. It was 25 years ago this summer that we took a motorcycle ride south on Skyline Drive, and I asked Robin to marry me while camping there.
Wow does the time go by!
So our delay worked out well; we checked out the campground more. We really liked Misty Mountain. If we were to have a campground, it would be like this. The store even had reasonable prices. And then on to Skyline Drive; the fog did burn off and the views were spectacular.
Here are a few shots.
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We left Skyline Drive and headed to Blue Rocks Family Campground in Lenhartsville, PA. It was tough to find an open campgound this far north. Actually, Blue Rocks isn't officially open yet, but they let people passing through stay, and even had full hookups available at one site. This is good because it's our last night on the road, and we'll want to do a full tank dump & flush here in the morning.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned day 3 was 448 miles, day 4 was 308 miles.

I'm impressed with how well the Casita tows. One thing I noticed when we recently drove into night was the lights on the trailer are varying brightness intermittently. And then Robin noticed that our brake controller led is lighting when the trailer lights dim (but the brakes are definitely not being applied). I am fairly sure this is a sign of an intermittent ground somewhere between the TV and trailer. I'll track it down when we get home.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:58 AM   #14
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Very nice trip log, great pictures. Are you liking that floor plan with the two chairs? That is one we are looking at for some extended camping trips. Seems to give you a little more open floor.

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:17 AM   #15
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Steve, we are loving the floor plan for two people. The large dinette is a permanent bed (with upgraded mattress). We would not want to set up/take down a bed daily. I think it was on the morning of day 3 I said to myself "There is something not right here. This is way too comfortable to be camping." I was having a coffee looking out the large window over the side dinette at the wet pop-up and tents from the rain during the night. And here I was, high, dry, and toasty warm...and with no worries of packing things up wet. Of course this is coming from a tent camper/backpacker of many years. This fg travel trailer experience isnt too hard to take!
Oh, more info related to your question; the POs gave us 3 nice baskets that fit on the ledge under the table, and in the corner behind the chair against the bathroom wall; this adds a lot of convenient accessible storage.
-Gerry

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Very nice trip log, great pictures. Are you liking that floor plan with the two chairs? That is one we are looking at for some extended camping trips. Seems to give you a little more open floor.

Steve
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:52 AM   #16
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Beautiful photos! You'll have to be sure and send some to Bob and Judy so they can see what fun and adventures their little Casita is having.

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Old 03-23-2012, 08:56 PM   #17
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Name: Gerry
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And we're home! 333.7 miles today. The snow is all gone here; just piles of gravel remain from my plowing when the ground wasn't frozen. So now I need to get the rakes out and clean up the lawn. I didn't really take any photos worth posting today. We enjoyed some rural PA before hitting the highway. That was really nice....but then as we hit NJ and NY into CT (and on a Friday during rush hour no less) we ran into the 20+ mile stop and go traffic on the highway. Man, I could never do that on a daily basis. I don't know how people do it. It seems we always hit it when coming back to New England from points south. We were just happy not to get rear ended.
Our poor Casita is bug blasted after 1756.1 mile from FL to MA though. I guess tomorrow is bug scrubbing day, then maybe we'll post another photo. -Gerry
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:41 PM   #18
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We have been in the Ashfield area many times, Mary has two sisters that formerly lived in Greenfield. Great looking trailer, and awesome photos. You should have stopped at Jekyll Island GA if you came out of Florida on 95. We're heading down there in a week, with a stop on the way in Marion NC to pan for gold. Any camping plans for the northeast area this year?
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:29 AM   #19
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Snow??, we didn't get enough here all winter for me to get my tractor out and plow it !! You should consider coming up I 87, the NY Thruway, then over to the Mass Pike or into Pittsfield and home to avoid all that NJ & NY City area traffic. When we go south, we do 87 down to 84, then over to 81 in PA, then 77 in VA to 26 in Columbia SC out to 95. Would love to see your trailer someday, looks like what we would like to move up to for spending winters in at some southern campgrounds.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:50 AM   #20
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Name: Gerry
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We would have come up 87, then on to route 9 headed our way...except that I had left a car at the airport parking in Suffield, CT. Robin drove to FL, I flew. We actually started to talk about that route, then remembered the car. I'm glad we didn't forget about it.
When you're ready to start looking and want to see one in person just get in touch and we'll set something up.


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Snow??, we didn't get enough here all winter for me to get my tractor out and plow it !! You should consider coming up I 87, the NY Thruway, then over to the Mass Pike or into Pittsfield and home to avoid all that NJ & NY City area traffic. When we go south, we do 87 down to 84, then over to 81 in PA, then 77 in VA to 26 in Columbia SC out to 95. Would love to see your trailer someday, looks like what we would like to move up to for spending winters in at some southern campgrounds.
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