Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winter Day in Kansas

WINTER DAY IN KANSAS from Linda Hanney on Vimeo.

Lately I’ve been thinking about doing more video production.  It’s something different and it’s  kind of fun. 

I decided to  video the animals that visited our “food plots” around the house yesterday and today.  Dan puts out grain for the birds and deer and we have a window in our bedroom that looks out over the food plot so it’s easy to set on the bed and watch.  I was hoping the deer would come up when there was more light to film them than you will see in the video.  I wasn’t too happy when Boots appeared from under the tree.  I’m hoping he got a field mouse rather than a bird or bunny.  (For those who are wondering if we got another cat—no, we think Boots is feral but makes an appearance fairly regularly around here anymore—Laura Kitty tolerates him, we can’t get anywhere close)

Our neighbor lost a calf several days ago so that’s what the Eagle is dining on.  There were actually two Eagles but my little video camera couldn’t move fast enough to get the second one. 

Also, it has gotten too late to start over, so you will just have to put up with the music.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Just Looking

No, we are not looking to replace our 2003 PW.  It is hard to believe because she is 15 years old.  This is when she was new to us in 2013

We really do enjoy traveling in our little Class B van conversion  Pleasure Way motor home. It is right at 20 feet long--well within the length that fits into a regular parking spot and maneuverable in traffic.

However, we are always interested in looking at the newest rig  whether it is driving through campgrounds or perusing through a RV Show that pop up in most big cities around the country.   There was a show in Colorado Springs the last time we were out there where we found a small van conversion that we would love to have if we had an extra $120,000 laying around.

Kansas City hosted their annual show at Bartle Hall last Thursday thru Sunday.  We made the hour drive east on Saturday, wondering why we didn't go on a less busy day.  After we finally found a parking place about six blocks away, we arrived to find two lines to get tickets, both wrapped clear around the lobby.  I just happened to overhear someone say there was a mobile line.  Hardly any wait and they texted tickets to our phone.    

First, we found a map of the displays after barely slipping by the guy who was trying to convince us we needed a water filter.   There are two types of RV we are always most interested in--Class B and pickup campers.  After twice going over the entries, we could not believe neither type was in the show. With no other choice, we wandered  through the mostly 30 to 40 foot plus pull trailers, fifth wheels and motor homes which seems to be where the RV industry is going right now.  Although, here is a comparison of two surveys we have taken on trips home from Colorado Springs on I70 where we counted all RVs we saw. (Clicking on the picture makes it easier to read)
People want to drive a contained unit and tow a car or hitch up behind their full sized pickup or SUV a unit that has a livingroom with full entertainment center, a full kitchen with compressor refrigerator (more on that later), a bedroom with a second television and enough storage that entire closets could be taken on a trip.  I kept asking Dan, why do people want to pull a livingroom, or for that matter a bedroom, down the road on vacation?  Don't they want to be outside? I mean--some of these units had fireplaces!  All good if heading south for the winter, but even then the total cost could approach a second home.

There were two popup trailers on display--the kind where you have a tent on wheels. These also appeal to us, although in our old age, we like a toilet at night. Those two tent trailers were the only units that had a three-way refrigerator which is one that does not need electricity to stay cold.  All the rest had compressor refrigerators which require plugging in to electricity each night to keep food cold--and run their two televisions for that matter. 

Dan and I  have a pretty good handle on overnight camping without plugging in.  We find BLM land (Bureau of Land Management especially in western states), Forest Service spots, or Wal Marts just for eight hours sleep and back on the road.  Most of these places do not have electricity available.   Our Colorado kids reserve their spots in Colorado State Parks in January for their summer vacation--that's how crowded it is there.  However, an adventurous spirit can still find those places in the mountains that don't cost a thing--but don't have electricity and are not big enough for a 30 foot plus size unit.  Even some of the most scenic state and federal paid spots don't have electrical hookups.

The other interesting thing about the show was how many young families were there, of course it was Saturday. When I say "young" I mean not-yet-retired looking although there were plenty of kids around. Do these young families buy one of these rather cheap looking new trailers only to have it loose value in a driveway or storage facility and be used once a year?  Good Sam had a board of how many new rigs they had sold during the show--someone was buying.

So, we left the RV Show after only about 90 minutes. Nothing there for us.  I did get a card from a young man who could hardly talk to me because he was watching the KSU vs KU game on his mobile phone and admitted he was rooting purple. He did break away during a time out to hurriedly tell me he could save me a lot on my RV insurance.  I'm calling him because I liked him and saving money on our insurance might make the whole trip worthwhile.