Sunday, August 19, 2018

Question - What do you carry in the refrigerator

Here is a little insight into traveling with Don and Sonya.  We are on vacation so we are interested in having fun.  We do some cooking but not for every meal.  And to be honest we don't cook every meal at home either.

So you might find us in the parking lot of a McDonalds for breakfast, an Arby's for lunch or a nice restaurant for dinner.  Or you might find us cooking something in the Fuse.

Stoping and eating lunch at a rest stop is the norm, but what we do is just a toss of the coin depending on where we are when we are ready to eat.   The beauty of this lifestyle is we get to make the decisions and set the schedule.

I came from a family with RVs.  My mom provided some sage advice.  It was not really a vacation if you have to cook.  If you want to cook it is a different story.

So what do we keep in the refrigerator to be this flexible?

conFUSEd rv refrigerator

You see soft drinks in the door which are self explanatory. 
A quart of milk for the coffee and just when you want some milk.
A container of honey mustard for sandwiches
A stick of butter, just in case or to top off steaks on the grill
2 containers of condiments.  Sugars, packets of various ketchup, mustard, hot sauces, etc
2 gallon jugs of water -  We go through at least one gallon a day if not two  
A Publix microwave entree (meatloaf this time) 
A container of microwave mash potatoes
Sandwich meat (ham and turkey)
Swiss cheese 
Hot dogs

What about the freezer?

conFUSEd rv freezer

Just some ice this time 
We forgot the Hershey bars this time but they got added at the first Walmart stop.

For this trip we decided if we want to cook out we will pick up the meat that day.

Raleigh to Beckley WV

We stayed the night at the North Carolina State Fair Campgrounds last night.  There will be a separate post on that.  Today's events involved visiting our daughter and then getting half way to Pittsburgh, the location of the son.

Winnebago Fuse at apartmentWinnebago Fuse on Curb

We drove the Fuse from the campground over to the apartment.  I love the Fuse since it will park almost anywhere.  We found a place on the curb right outside her unit.  It would have fit in a parking space if we wanted to squeeze and stick out a  little, but we want to be asked back.  We had a great visit with our daughter and then went out to eat brunch with her boyfriend.

Boyfriend, Daughter and Wife

Brunch was at Bob Evans.  Drove the Fuse, and Lily stayed in it while we all went and ate.  Interrogated the boyfriend and generally had a good time.  The boyfriend seems to be a very nice guy so we went away happy.

Stopped and filled up.  I was not real happy with the gas milage..  We only got 13.5mpg.  I was a little disappointed but then remembered I added an hour of idling the engine to the mix.  Still not bad since I was still driving on the fast side.

Outside pilot mountain

Then we drove up to Beckley.  It was a pretty drive through the mountains.  Traffic was moving pretty well until we hit I-77 in VA.  Traffic was parked.  It took us 2 hours to go 10 miles. The signs said construction but I have never seen something this bad outside of an accident.  Well we drove the through the problem and there were lanes blocked for construction but no construction.  We finally figured out the problem was at the merge from 2 lanes to 1.  Apparently no one knows how to merge any more.  Traffic stopped and started.  Pretty ridiculous.

Then on to Beckley.  We are staying at the campground at the Coal Mine Museum.  I will report tomorrow on how this went.

North Carolina State Fairgrounds Campground

Fuse at the NC state fairgrounds

We spent one night at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Campground in Raleigh, North Carolina.  This is a bare bones campground but with one large caveat it was all right.

Located at the NC State Fairgrounds which is right across the street from the stadium and PNC arena.  A great location and only 12 minutes away from our daughters apartment.  There are no reservations so first come, first served.

Gate H7

It was a small adventure to find it however.  The fairgrounds are a large place and the campground is not marked well.   We drove  the perimeter of the fairgrounds and never saw it.  Eventually we saw a worker and asked where they were.  She told us there were at the horse complex, Gate H7.   Once we had that little tidbit, we were good to go.

NC State fairgrounds campground office

We drove in up a gravel road and stopped at the office.  The security guard told us to pick a spot and he would be there shortly to check us in.  We drove around the sites and picked #21.  It looked nice and level so we set up there.   The guard came and got our information.  Swiped our credit card and we were set.  $30.00 for the night.

NC State fairgrounds campsite

The sites have full hookups but no cable.  Not to worry,  I picked up 50 stations on the antenna.  It is kind of minimalist, a gravel parking spot and grass.  The spot was level.  There were no tables or anything .  Lots of trash cans which was nice.

campsite - nc state fairgrounds

There is one big caveat you need to know about before you decide to stay here.  The shower facilities are not at the campground but over at the fairground buildings.  Driving distance, not walking distance.  We were ok, but it is just one of those things you need to know.

Hardeeville SC to Raleigh NC

I-95 in South Carolina

Todays portion of the trip was from Hardeeville, South Carolina  to Raleigh, North Carolina to see our daughter.   We stayed at the Camp Lake Jasper Campground and we have it on our list of places to stay again.  A nice place - clean, organized and good to go.

We got on I-95 around 9:00 and headed north.  It was a nice day and traffic was fine other than the several times it turned into a parking lot and we all stopped or slowed to 30mph.   Curses to people who want to drive 50mph in the passing lane.  But it was a nice day and we made it to Raleigh about 3:00.

A couple of interesting notes for today.   The Gas Buddy app was my friend. Diesel was running around $3.15-$3.25 along the Interstate at the various truck stops.   I pulled out gas buddy and saw a Murphy Oil (Walmart) just south of Florence S.C. selling diesel for $2.85.   I looked a little closer and there was a Sams Club station selling diesel for $2.75.   You have to be a member of Sams Club to buy there and luck would have it Sonya joined a month ago when ran a sale on Sams club memberships for $30.00.   Saved $10.00 just today so we lucked out.

While getting fuel, we I checked the Infocenter on the Fuse and it said the DEF was at 1/2 full.  Guess what,  there was a Walmart right next door.  Easy Peasy. Went right in and got 2.5 gallons of Walmart DEF and we were back to full.   This time I got just over 2,000 miles on  2.5 Gal of DEF.   Last time it was around 2,500 miles but the measurements in the DEF tank are not close to being exact so this seems fine.

Oh,  on this leg of the trip I was a little disappointed with our milage.  I only got 14mpg.  I would be a little sad about this but I was keeping up with traffic today on I-95.  That means we were traveling a little faster than normal.  75-80mph was what it took to keep up with traffic today.  And we had several times we were stopped or crawling, so all in all it was ok.

We always joke that if we forget anything or need anything there is always a Walmart around the next bend.  This time it was in the next parking lot over.

Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar

Once we were in Raleigh we spent some time with our daughter and then went to dinner.  This was the highlight of the day.   We went to a restaurant called Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar.  This Gem was tucked away in a shop in a Food Lion Shopping Center.   All I can say about this place is WOW!
Fried black eye peas

I have never had this or heard of this before but how about trying Fried Black Eyed Peas.  This was our appetizer.  It was something unique so we had to try it.  Talk about delicious, deep fry some black eyed peas with some onion, red peppers and bacon.  WOW, I could of eaten this for the main course.

Next were the entrees.  I had the shrimp and grits.  Delicious.  Sonya had the country fried steak and Cathy had the Roman mac and cheese (shrimp, pesto and parmesean cheese).  All super good.  Finished it off with Atlantic Beach Pie that was outstanding.  The total for the 3 of us was around $50.00 which was very reasonable.

Camp Lake Jasper - Hardeeville South Carolina

Camp Lake Jasper

We spent the night in the Camp Lake Jasper RV Resort in Hardeeville, South Carolina.  This campground was a couple miles off of I-95 away from the noise of the Interstate.   Take the US-278 exit heading to Beaufort and Hilton Head Island.   It was a really nice place to spend the night.

Camp lake jasper office

We got in late and our packet of campground information was waiting for us at the checkin.  Drove to our site (#41) and we were set for the night.

Camp Lake Jasper wifi

Our first impression was very positive.  Everything looked brand new and super clean.  Manacured grass and everything in its place.  Full hookups and a large number of cable tv channels.  And really good WiFi made the stay enjoyable.

Camp Lake Jasper site #41

The sites were nice and level.  Each site had a picnic table on a concrete pad and a fire ring.  The parking for the RV was on a crushed stone/sand  drive.  Our lot was a back in, but they had a number of pull through sites as well.

Lake Jasper

The campground is situated with Lake Jasper as the focal point.

LCamp Lake Jasper BathroomsCamp Lake Jasper Dock

Behind the bathrooms and laundry room sits a dock overlooking the lake.  There is a pool and other amenities as well.

We have put this on our list for staying at next time we are in the area.

Friday, August 17, 2018

On the Road Again

Sonya and lily

After a long hiatus we are back out in the Fuse again.  The last time we went RVing  was at the Spring Get Together.   Now in our defense, we were not just sitting idle at the house.  During the summer we have (ok mostly Sonya has):

  • Moved our daughter to Raleigh.  If you are not comfortable driving a 23' motorhome, try towing a 16' enclosed trailer with a SUV.  Especially since its been 10 years since I towed anything and that was only a few miles.  Try towing a U-Haul down I-95 at 75mph several hundred miles while people in other cars pull in and out in front of you.  Give me the Fuse any day.
  • Moved Sonya's parents into assisted living.  This is worthy of a blog all to its own, and it is a continuing adventure.
  • Emptied a 2300 square foot house that one of the greatest couples ever had been living in and raised not just one set of kids, but a set of grand kids in as well. But for 45 years stuff accumulated.   We've struggled to learn the difference  between treasures and trash, and what is practical to keep. And my garage collected much that we could not figure out.
  • Sold the house, another adventure
  • This on top of it being the busiest time of the year at my work.
Now for our trip:

Fuse Before we leftFuse Before the trip

It did take a couple of days to get the motorhome ready.  Had to wash the bedding and get it back out in the Fuse.  Get some clothes picked out and a tentative menu put together.

Winnebago Fuse Groceries

We have enough packed for a few meals.  In addition to this we have the bread and cookies.  Don't forget the cookies or the adult sweetener.  

Fuse Dress

There was also one other mission for our adventure.  To get more of the kids stuff out of the house.  Fuse Fact:  1 huge formal dress and 6 normal dresses will fit in the shower of the 23A along with beagle stairs and a Dremel tool and stand, plus a printer and glassware from the grandparents.

Now with all of that behind us and beautiful weather ahead of us (ignore the weather today) we are off on out latest adventure.   A trip from Tallahassee to Raleigh to Pittsburgh and then back home through the Mountains in West Virginia and North Carolina.  

Today I got off of work at lunch (ok 12:30) and got to the house at 1:00.  Got everything taken care of and we were on the road by 2:00.   Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating and we drove the 150 miles to Jacksonville in thundershowers.  Got to love the Sumo Springs.  The winds were blowing and we were doing great.

Turned onto I-95 and the rain stopped.  And we did the next 100 miles doing our best to keep up with traffic.  The Fuse did great.   For the first leg of our trip, we did 287 miles in roughly 4 hours.  We got 15.1mpg.  I kept the cruse control at 73 when the storms would let me and we idled at a rest stop and while we ate dinner for about 30min.   Not too bad.

We are staying at the Camp Lake Jasper campground tonight.  It is Hardeeville, SC , 8 miles or so over the state line from Georgia.  It looks real nice, but we will give a real report tomorrow once we get a chance to check it out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Spring 2018 Get Together Tech Session

We were blessed by having a Winnebago Representative come to our Spring 2018 Get Together.  There were lots of questions and answers from both sides.  This was looked at as a dialog.  Lots of back and forth so the users could pass on things they were seeing and things they would like to see.  Winnebago took many questions and ideas back to Forrest City to see how to address the suggestions.concerns.   

There are no commitments on a couple of things but I am glad to see that Winnebago takes our input seriously.  Most companies don't.

Q: How many Fuses are on the road ?
A: 800 Winnebago Fuses are on the road out of roughly 1300 built.  The mix is roughly 55% 23As and 45% 23Ts.  Not selling as fast as they want but not too bad either.

Q: How about having the Transit stereo connect to the house audio?
A: Stereo not able to have 2 outputs 

Q:  How about a slide for the batteries?
A:  The lack of a slide for the batteries is all about weight.  Not Gross Vehicle Weight but something called "Curb Weight". This is a weight and balance requirement from Ford.  There is also a balance issue on how much weight is on the front vs rear Axel.

Q:  When is the next model year Fuse coming out?
A: Winnebago is looking at June for next model year.  Most of the things they are looking at doing are to save weight.

Q: Can something be done to overcome the noise and placement of the generator?
A: - Ross Fisher @ Onan is working with Winnebago on improvements to the generator.  A new generator circuit breaker that won’t trip on a new design generator is about a year to 18 months out.  There is a possibility of adding an energy management system to the Fuse like they do to the Class Bs.  This would prevent too much load at any time to happen.

Q: Issues with vibration of generator:
A: New Fuses have new rubber mounts .   The exhaust in some cases was hitting the mount.  Basically the hole for the exhaust through the mount was too small or not aligned perfectly. The rubber isolaters are available on new units coming in June and can be retrofitted to older units.

Q: Most common failure of the generator:
A: There is a cummins service bulletin that ground wire comes loose and burning out the ignition coil

Q: How about an exit window in the rear on the 23T?
A: Exit window is not on rear of the T because of the bike rack option would block it

Q: Wheel simulators coming off.  The caps coming loose.
A: Taking the question back to the factory

Q: How about steel extensions for the tires?
A: Took question back to the factory

Q: How about the special tires required by the Fuse?
A: Took question back to the factory

Q: Why no spare tire?
A: No spare tire. - spare went away when A could not have it.  There was not enough room underneath.  There is a space on the T underneath that could possible hold a spare.   Winnebago marketing did not want the two units to be different spare vs non spare.

Q:  Would the group like TPMS standard/ What TPMS would the group like to have.  
A: Various.  Several would like Ford factory TPMS

Q:  How about an accordion door for the bathroom on the 23T
A: NO.  Was done in several units before and feedback was super negative.

Q:  What about drawers and latches:
A:  Moving to 10lbs latches on everything in the Fuse.  Could go to a positive latching solution if problems are big

Q: Batteries and the lack of a sliding tray.
A:. Maybe Winnebago will move to using AGM batteries.  Problem is with the expense.  Winnebago is also looking a lithium option (straight replacement for the existing batteries, not a whole motorhome inverter setup like the Travato L models)

Q:  Do people use the Flex Bed in the 23A
A: Only about 20% of the people present use the Flexbed.  

Q: How about a smaller/lighter table
A: Size needed for the flexbed but latest table is much lighter in weight.
A: One of the most wide spread mods is people building smaller tables.

Q: On the 23A the hole for the front table can not be used with the slide in
A: Looking at fixing this with a second table socket.

Q:  How about changing the mount so the TV can be viewed from the right or left?
A: Swinging TV mount in 23A in June

Q: How about Fuse branded gear?
A: Taking suggestion back to marketing

Q: How about an over cab bed in the Fuse. (Winnebago asked question)
A: Not many people who were here would be interested.  Maybe others.

Q: What about 5000lbs hitch on oldest Fuses 
A: Winnebago had to to beef up frame to make a 5000lbs hitch work on later Fuses.  Winnebago does not weld things to the Frame and only blots on stuff.

Q: Could Winnebago move the engine exhaust 
A: This is a Ford thing.  Winnebago leaves the Ford stuff to Ford on the cutaway chassis

Q: What about a 3rd break light?
A: Not a requirement  but added to list

Q: Some people are getting water in their exterior lights:
A: Yes -  Winnebago is looking into the issues.

Q:  Something causing glow in tail lights when off
A: Taking this back to the factory with them

Q: How about cup holders on 23a sofa
A: Will take this back to the factory

Q: Seating improvements in A and T

Q: License plate light and holder are problematic.  Tag does not fit right.
A: License plate light fixes in production now

Q:  Lots of questions on quieting down and improving cooling on the Air Conditioner 
A: Possible change  to an Air Command air conditioner.  This is out of Australia.  Also possible upgrade to 15,000 BTU.  Both of these can retrofitted by the owner.  FitRV has video doing this on a Travato.

Q:  We don't need 3 burners on the T stove/cooktop
A: Looking into cooking improvements.  Possible a 1 lp/1 induction cooktop like on larger Winnebago motorhomes.   (Winnebago was very interested in how people were cooking/using the kitchen in their Fuses)

Q: How about a drop leaf on the 23T table
A: Taking back as suggestion

Q: How about an induction burner to avoid the heat of an LP burner
A: 1 LP and 1 Induction  maybe

Q: Heat issues - for folks in hot environments heat intrusion is an issue. Skylight in shower and heat coming in from the front cap seem to be biggest culprits.
A:  Looking into front cap heat issue.

Q: Can T table detach easily from the wall
A:  No

Q: Improving Clearance: and ride?
A: Sumosprings - Supersprings - 2 inches - Winnebago recommends - easy install - better ride- Some formal testing required before Winnebago will do it as an option.  Clearance has improved in general since the 2017  Fuses were released

Q: How about a Curtain for the front to block as opposed to hard covers one over the windows
A: Should be in future Fuses.  Can be retrofitted since it will be a hook and eye setup.

Q: Lithium battery option?
A: Probably will offer one from Lithionics.  Costly.

Q:  How about building on the longer wheelbase Transit
A: Winnebago has explored this.  Places lots of weight on front axel - Not interested - 60/40 balance today and needs to stay that way

Q: What about wind noise from around door ?
A: Developed a hinge screw cap assembly that fixes this for the Lippart door.   Complaints about them coming unpainted.  Some people are still having issues.  Winnebago thought the problems are only on A but members has issues on Ts as well.  

Q; Has Paseo been taken out of production
A: Yes.  Production suspended on Paseo.