RV Adventures with Bug Smacker

Traverse City State Park

Traverse City State Park

We had a wonderful time in Traverse City again this year. The kids ran in the Bayshore Marathon. The grandkids played on the beach. Terri and I got to sit back and unwind a little. We all had a splendid weekend.

This year we were extremely sad to see that our favorite BBQ joint, Ham-Bonz was no longer in business. This place offered some of the best pulled-pork and pit-ham you could find anywhere.

This will also be the last time we will be visiting The Underground Cheesecake Company. We waited in line for them to open only to find that they only had a couple of cheesecakes to offer. None of them was cherry. Come on now, no cherry in the cherry capital. That is simply unforgivable.

We did, however, get to enjoy some ice cream from Moomers and some of the best pizza & wings from Peegeo’s.

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Replaced House Batteries

6v RV Battery

Following our trip back from Myrtle Beach, I noticed the voltage on our house battery was extremely low. The fridge even agreed with me and displayed an error to let me know.

Before our trip to the beach, I found the two 6-volt batteries I had installed were not working very well. So I replaced them with the 12-volt battery which originally came with the trailer. The 6-volt batteries were the ones in our trailer that our RV dealer left connected while they had my RV in for service over the winter. I am sure completely draining the batteries did some major damage to them.

The new battery seemed to work quite well. At least so I thought.

Upon returning from our trip, I noticed that our battery voltage was very low again. The lights in the RV would dim even when plugged into shore power. This was not good.

I called our RV dealer to find out if the new battery which came with the trailer (and I never even used until now) was still under warranty. I was not the least bit surprised when they said “NO”.

I am now shopping for new batteries. I need to make the decision on which type to go with. Here are my choices.

Single 12-volt Lead-Acid battery.

This would fit directly into my trailer. They require a small amount of maintenance keeping the water level in them topped off. They have a 90 amp hour rating. I would need only one of these batteries at a cost of $82.

Two 6-volt Lead-Acid batteries.

This would work with the battery charging system in my trailer. They require a small amount of maintenance keeping the water level in them topped off. They have a 215 amp hour rating. I would require two of these to produce 12 volts. I need to modify the battery compartment to accept two of these batteries, add an extra vent and need to do some wiring. The total cost would be $180.

Two 6-volt AGM batteries.

They would also work with the battery charging system in my trailer. They require no maintenance. They have a 190 amp hour rating. I would require two of these to produce 12 volts. I still need to modify the battery compartment to accept two of these batteries and need to do some wiring. They would not need to be vented. The total cost would be $360.

Upgrade to a Lithium battery.

These batteries would not work with the battery charging system in my trailer. The advantages are that they require no maintenance, are a lot less weight, charge much quicker, and require no venting. Another plus is that your typical lead-acid RV battery only allows you to use around 50% of the rated capacity, whereas a lithium battery allows you to use 99%. The lifespan on lithium is 10 times that of a typical lead-acid battery. The cost of one of these batteries is $950.

I really was tempted to go with the Lithium battery but I guess I wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge. I went with the cheaper option, Two 6-volt AGM batteries. In the future, as lithium becomes more prevalent, I will definitely be upgrading.

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Churchgrove Park

We pulled into the park only to find ourselves buried in the mud. Even our 4-wheel drive pickup couldn’t help us out of this jam. This campground is mostly just lawn, so when it gets wet the ground gets quite soggy.

We stayed at Churchgrove park for about 2 weeks. Half of that time we spend at our nearby home. The nice thing about returning home was the cost of leaving our trailer at the park was reduced for those days.

This campground was a convenient location for us since we were attending our oldest granddaughter’s dance recital which was nearby.

playground
Read A Book
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Walmart – Berea KY

We just want a place to sleep…..

On our way back to Michigan from Myrtle Beach, we decided to stop and visit with family in Tennessee.

But first, we had to stop by Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ. This is always a requirement we ever we are in the area.

We got to the town where we were to meet our family a bit early. So Terri and I decided to check out the local Walmart and see if it looked like a good place to stay for the night. The parking lot was extremely busy and we felt a bit uncomfortable here. So we went down the road a bit and found a nearby Cracker Barrel.

The Cracker Barrel was an OK place to stay but it was getting very hot outside and we did not have the generator with us. This was not going to be a place to get any sleep. So following a very nice gathering with family, we hit the road in search of another spot to sleep.

During our travels, we did a bit of research and discovered a place called Westgate RV Park. The reviews were not great but then again we only wanted a place to sleep for the night.

We arrived at Westgate RV Park and after giving it a good look decided that it was not worth the $39.00 dollars they were asking. Especially since we only wanted a place to sleep for the night ( and at this point, the night was getting quite a bit shorter). So once again we hit the road.

Another 1/2 hour or so down the road we found the Walmart in Berea Kentucky. We had stayed here before and found it to be a decent place to get some sleep for the night. So we did just that.

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Ocean Lakes Family Campground

This year our trip to Ocean Lakes was scheduled later in the season. This time the pool was open daily instead of just on weekends. It is great to be able to grab a tube and float down the lazy river as the warm sun beats down on you. What a relaxing time this is. Better yet, all the holiday crowd has gone home now and left the pool all to ourselves.

While we were in town we hit all the normal dining spots, like Nacho Hippo, The Original Benjamin’s, Drunken Jack’s, Simply Southern Smokehouse, Eggs Up Grill, Krispy Kreme, and McAlister’s Deli. But our favorite go-to place to eat (and drink) this time was Dagwood’s Deli & Sports Bar. Everything here is delicious and the price was good too. Dagwoods had the best Philly Cheesesteak we have had in many years.

We took a day trip to Charleston, SC. Terri had been wanting to visit this place for quite some time. We went to the Angel tree and then headed to the Charleston City Market downtown.

Along the way we had a chance to stop and visit with an old friend.

Friends

While in Charleston, we took a horse-drawn carriage tour through the city. The horse pulling our wagon was a bit skittish. He would rear-up and try to outrun every other horse we came across. This was the most awesome ride ever. And I thought this history trip through town was going to be boring.

During our stay at the beach, we met Paul and Jenny. They were staying in a Landmark 5th wheel next to us. It was a pleasure to chat with Paul. He advised me of an outfit called Keep It Clean RV Detailing who would come over to wash & wax my rig for me.

After the trailer had been washed, I noticed that the fridge inside was blinking in error. I looked online for a fix and discovered that the procedure to resolve the condition involved a large magnet. I call Jim, the owner of the RV cleaning service, he said this problem happens every couple of weeks to them. He was nice enough to come right over with a big magnet and fix my problem.

The next day Paul showed up and presented me with a big magnet of my own that he had so graciously purchased at the local Harbor Freight while he was in town. What a nice guy.

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