Monday, May 30, 2016

Lake Seminole, Florida Side

Lake Seminole Fuse 23a

Took a day trip to explore the Florida Side of Lake Seminole.   Lake Semiole sits on the border of Florida, Georgia and Alabama and is formed by Jim Woodruff Dam.  It is operated by the Corps of Engineers (CoE) and is a very beautiful place.

It is about 50 miles from Tallahassee mostly via I-10.  We turned off I-10 at the Chattahoochee exit and followed the signs up a little bit and then through the town.  A turn to the north on Booster Club Road and about a mile down the road and you are on CoE property, very close to the dam and into Georgia.   We followed the road and passed the Eastbank campground and up to Chattahoochee Park and River Junction Landing.  
Lake Seminole Fuse 23aLake Seminole Fuse 23a

There were plenty of places to picnic high up on a bluff.  A nice breeze was blowing but even with that at 90+ degrees it was still hot.  After watching some boats and eating lunch we were about to leave but caught an interesting sight.  A person was paddling their pontoon boat with an oar.   He apparently ran out of gas in the lake and came back in the only way he had.
Lake Seminole Fuse 23a

From here we went back into town and crossed the Apalachicola below the dam on US-90.  We then went up to the dam overlook.
Dam - Lake SeminoleJim Woodruff Dam - Lake Seminole

Through the haze you can see the Eastbank campground.   This is where we are going to try and spend a Saturday night in the fall when it becomes cooler.  We did not go down there this time, but in the past it appeared to be very nice.   I will say that the CoE along the lake keeps everything very well manicured.
Eastbank Campground Lake Seminole

From here we went through the town of Sneads and up to Three Rivers State Park. A day pass was $3.00 and the ranger said it was OK to take a look at the campground.  We on in and the campground was fairly nice.  Lots of shade from the trees but the spots were packed dirt.  They did have 30 and 50 amp electrical and water at each spot.  $16.00 /night which did not seem too bad.  

We went on down to the picnic area and it was very nice.  A playground and plenty of covered tables.  Restrooms and a pretty view of the lake.
Lake Seminole Fuse 23aLake Seminole Fuse 23a

From here we went back to Sneads and back to I-10.  East on I-10 to Tallahassee and home.   The round trip was about 150 miles.   2/3's on I-10 and 1/3 on secondary roads.  The weather was hot.  In the low to mid 90s the whole way.  The trip computer said we got 16.0mpg.   Overall a pretty fun afternoon.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Bedroom Storage in the Fuse 23a

Bedroom storage in the Fuse 23a

There is a tremendous amount of storage in the bedroom of the Fuse 23a just like in the bathroom.  There are drawers below both of the beds, storage in the cabinets above the beds and a large storage area under the foot of the drivers side bed.   I tried to circle them in the photo above.

Bedroom storage in the Fuse 23a

Starting on the drivers side there is a large drawer under the bed.  This is my drawer and I am storing my clothes here.  You can see a pair of long pants, a pair of shorts, a bathing suit, some t-shirts and underwear.   It is a huge drawer and holds lots.  Right above it it a compartment to store the tabletops when not in use.

Bedroom storage in the Fuse 23aBedroom storage in the Fuse 23a

Above the bed is a large cabinet.  We have elected to put some canvas organizers in it and my wife prefers to keep her clothes/underwear/shirts in these instead of the drawer under the bed.  There is space for 5 of these organizers in this space.  These are from Amazon.   A set of 6 for $16.00.

Bedroom storage in the Fuse 23a

Under the foot of the drivers side bed is a large storage area.  It is not the easiest to get to since you have to lift the mattress to get to it but it is a large amount of space. We are keeping the chair cushion for the front seat here since we do not use it often.  On a long trip we would probably keep any extra supplies here.

Bedroom storage in the Fuse 23a

Under the passenger side bed is another drawer.  It is about 2/3 the size of the one under the drivers side bed.  This drawer is Sonya's.  We used a simple method to decide who got what drawer.  You get the drawer you can sit on your bed and get to.  She has not really used it for much so far.

Bedroom storage in the Fuse 23a

Above the passenger side bed is some more cabinets.  We put in the same canvas organizers.  I am not using these much, but on the end I am keeping my shaving kit.    On this side there is only about 3/4 of the storage as on the drivers side.  The other space is used by the system monitors.  There is space for maybe 4 of these organizers on this side but we are only using 3 of them.  We are keeping the Fuse documentation and the divider curtain  in the space next to these monitors.  

Like with the bathroom, the Fuse has an impressive amount of storage for such a small RV.  I have been very impressed.

Bathroom Storage in the Fuse 23a

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage

I have been impressed by the storage located in the Fuse.  Tons and tons given the size of the vehicle.  A huge portion of this storage is located in the bathroom.

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage
Most of the storage is located in the drawers and closet located behind the toilet.   Now since we keep the Fuse set up for traveling you are going to get a real look at how and what we are storing so everyone is going to have excuse the lived in look. 

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage
The closet is pretty big.  Designed to hold coats and shirts.  Not full-length dresses.  With that being said, when we punched the Fuse we expected to use the closet way more than we have.  As you can see in the picture, we are just storing odds and ends.  Our broom, swiffer, flip flops, some beach towels and the front shades.  A few hangers for the few clothes we have not been bringing are also in here.

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage

Another cool feature we thought we would be taking advantage of is the built in storage along the side of the closet.  As you can see we are not using it.

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage

The storage we are using is the two drawers behind the toilet.  

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage

In the top drawer we are keeping all of the bathroom dos and ends that you just have to have.  Blow dryer, sun screen, insect repellant, and bottles of other stuff.

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage

We decided to keep the towels in the bottom drawer.  When used, we are hanging the towels on the bar above the shower to dry.  So far the setup of the bathroom drawers is working out for us.

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage
Not much in the medicine cabinet other than the first aid kit and some extra band-aids.  We have needed the extra band-aids for the blisters we have gotten.

Fuse 23a Bathroom Storage

And in the final space, under the sink we are keeping the extra Toilet Paper and some cleaning supplies.  Note that we have the TP stored in a large ziplock bag.  When we first got the Fuse we had a leak in the sink drain.  I got it fixed but we now have picked up the habit to protect one of our most precious supplies.

Like I said up top, the Fuse has lots of storage.  For a 4 day trip what we are carrying has been fine.   but we have plenty of extra space so we can expand as we find holes in our plan.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Duvet Covers

Winnebago Fuse bedding

We got new duvet covers for the Fuse.   The first ones we purchased were sateen and though they looked nice, they just did not feel right on my skin.   The solid color matched pretty close but the new pattern looks even better.   And the best part, they are nice cotton and breath well.

We purchased them from Wayfair.   You can get them at:Lola Duvet Cover Set by Simple Luxury.   Color is Navy Blue, Size Twin.  The price was not too bad either: $41.00.

Kitchen Faucet

Align Series Faucet from the Moen Web Site
Align Series Faucet (Image from Moen Web Site) 

I am pretty sure that the kitchen faucet is a Moen Align series faucet.  Information on it can be found at:
Align spot resist stainless one-handle pre-rinse spring pulldown kitchen faucet - 5923SRS - Moen

This is just a note copied over from the yahoo Winnebago Fuse RV group.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Winnebago Fuse Documentation

This question has come up several times so I figured I will take a shot at answering it.   What sort of owners manual and documentation comes with a Winnebago Fuse?  I am going to try and answer that.

When we did the owners walkthrough for my Fuse, we were given a messenger bag full of documentation.

It had in it:
  • A duplicate of the VIN ticket that is located in the driver's side door
  • The Operator's Manual
  • Winnebago Fuse Manuals
  • A Operator's Manual Supplement with all of the individual manuals for all of the appliances
    Winnebago Fuse Manuals
    Winnebago Fuse ManualsWinnebago Fuse Manuals

    • It has owners manuals from the manufacturers for everything from the refrigerator to the generator.  Maxair fan to the Jensen entertainment center and everything in between. 
    • 34 different manuals consuming around 200 pages of information
  • The 6 books from Ford on the Transit chassis/tires/electronics like you would get with a car
    Winnebago Fuse Manuals
  • A dozen or so small books that did not fit into the supplement or were attached to the furniture 
  • Lazy Days threw in the build sheet and a couple of various RV club applications, sales person cards, coupons
  • An extra set of keys.  Each set has 5 keys:
    1. A key for the Transit  (transponder key)
    2. A key for the outside storage compartments  (shiny triangle key)
    3. A key for the normal cabin door lock  (small black key)
    4. A key for the cabin deadbolt lock (big black square key)
    5. A key for the water fill (small gray key )
  • A funnel to fill the DEF tank by hand
  • A wrench for the lug nut covers
It did not include several things that you can download from Winnebago. This includes the electrical diagram and the plumbing diagrams.    

To be real honest it was very complete.   You would need shop manuals to be more complete.  From a users perspective, it seems to all be there.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Foot Stool

Foot Stool

The couch is pretty comfortable in the Fuse but there is no way to put up your feet.  We thought about  an ottoman but they take up too much space and would get in the way.  My wife found a foldable foot stool on the web site.  

Foot Stool

Priced at $22.30 the Seville Classics Foldable Foot Stool Cube Ottoman even matches the color on our Fuse 23a. The one we purchased is grey.  It is also available in beige and brown.  It seems pretty sturdy and is the right height to put your feet up and relax.

Foot Stool

It is 15" x 15" x 15" (a cube) when setup.  It folds down into a very compact package when not in use.  All fitting into a 15" x 15" x 2" high package.  It will fit in the storage under the bed but we are going to try just keeping it behind the drivers seat.

If the single cube is not enough, a double wide one is available for about $40.00.

Monticello Florida

Monticello Florida Courthouse

We took a drive down Highway 90 today to Monticello, Florida.  Not a real long trip.  About a 50 mile round trip.  It was a great drive.

Going from Tallahassee to Monticello we traveled East down US 90.   Speed limit was 55mph and we averaged about 16.5mpg.   US90 in Leon County had recently been resurfaced.  Very smooth and the shoulders are wide.  Great for driving the motorhome.   Not quite as fast as the interstate, but much better views.

Coming back we traveled on back roads through the town of Miccosukee, Florida  Average speed was 45mph and we got 18mpg. This was not as nice of a drive as down US-90.  This route was much narrower and much more hilly.  We even got to travel some canopy roads on this route.  The Fuse did not seem to care and fit perfectly even on these tight roads.  I would not have done it in a large Class-A.

The Fuse loves these back roads even more than the Interstate.  It seems all of the road noise and wind noise just disappears when traveling under 55mph.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Small Front TV change

I have been getting annoyed with the TV situation when we have 110v available to the Fuse.  The problem is that the front and rear TVs respond to the same remote control.   Since we are not using the front TV much, I came up with a quick solution.  Just turn off the power.

I could of done this by just unplugging it (and I did earlier) but the cord rattled around a little.  So I did something a little more hi-tech.   I bought a socket with a power savings switch to plug the TV into.  $6.95 at Home Depot.  Originally intended to kill parasitic electrical loads around the house.

Power Savings Switch

It has a switch so the cord is plugged in and does not rattle.  Easy to turn on and off and the price was right.   Now I can turn it on or off when I want it on or off.

Power savings switch

This is what it looks like installed behind the TV.   Might have been better if the color was black, but it is hidden by the TV so who will see it.  Like I said,  a small change but hopefully for the better, or at least to keep me from going nuts any faster.

Friday, May 13, 2016

National Park Passport Stamps

National Park Passport Stamps

It's the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service and we love our National Parks.  I think that they are the best thing that the government spends my tax dollars on.    I love to have keepsakes of my visits and do this with photos but I also have one other thing I manage to get to remind me of my travels.   National Park Passport Stamps  (wiki page)

National Park Passport

These are ink stamps that can be obtained for free at most of the National Park Visitors Centers.  Usually in the bookstore.  They sell a passport book for $10.00 and upgraded books for $60.00.   Generally they even provide some paper slips for those of us who have forgotten our books or just stumble on to a park on the spur of the moment.

I have the $10.00 book though if I was going to do it again, I would not even buy the official book and get a small unlined Moleskin book and stamp away on those pages.  Add my thoughts and notes along with the stamps and be very happy.

National Park Passport Stamps

The excitement for these stamps has turned some vacations into a scavenger hunt of sorts with the call of "stamps, stamps, stamps" whenever we get to a location (pretty sad for 20 and 50 year old people). We are not alone since we see lots of others participating. and just as excited.

National Park Passport Stamps

The other thing we have noticed is some places that are not National Parks have unofficial passport stamps as well. We have been collecting them as well.  Again it is all about the memories.

They have expanded this program and you can now buy collectors stamps (stickers).  I am not really into that but it is popular as well.

So next time you are in a National Park, get the stamp.    Here is a list of the locations where they can be found.  (And yes we have planned trips around the location of the stamps.)

National Park Passport Stamps

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MyJo by Presto

Presto MyJo

Coffee in the morning.  Something we like to have and we have really enjoyed coffee much more once we started to use a Keurig machine at home (and at work) and no longer have to agree on the flavor.  I have thought about purchasing a Keurig for the Fuse but a) it is expensive b)can make a mess and c) eats up space.

I came across the Presto MyJo on Amazon.  It is rather inexpensive at $12.00 and I read some good reviews so I decided to take a chance and purchase one.

I am old and I always remember Presto and Ronco and from their cheesy TV commercials in the 70s.  That makes all Presto stuff suspect.  You have to wonder so the first question is "does it work?"   The answer to that is yes it does.  The second question is "is it going to fall apart?"  The answer to that is it seems well made and it is too simple to fall apart.

Presto MyJo

How does it work:  Well you fill up the clear section with water.  Put it in the Fuses microwave for 3 min to bring to a boil.  (You can also boil the water on the stovetop if your not plugged in and you don't want to run the generator).  Then attach the K-Cup holder to the bottom and the pump to the top.   Put it on top of your coffee cup.  Use the pump to force the water through the K-Cup and you are done.   5 or so pumps did it.  It will hold up to 10oz of water.

Presto MyJo

It is really that simple.   Works well.  Coffee tastes just like it does at home.  The only thing I ran into was that I used a small cup on one occasion and it would not pump very well.  The outlet was under the liquid level in the cup.  My cup was full and about to overflow.  It would not let any more air into the system.  That probably kept me from making a mess.

It also came with a filter basket if you want to use ground coffee as opposed to a standard K-Cup.  Worked equally well for hot chocolate since we actually drink more of that than coffee.

For the $12.00, it was a great way to get K-Cup coffee into the motorhome.   Recommended.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

What have we really used?

I have admitted I am a new RVer.  We purchased the RV and started outfitting it.   When we went to pick it up from the dealer we did not know what we needed.  We got several lists from the Internet and the dealer on what we needed to get started.

First thing to note is that we have mostly stayed at Ft. Wilderness at DisneyWorld.  Notably a top end resort with lots of accessible food options.  No way close to boondocking.  To be frank, we picked this destination since we knew there would be few surprises.  It was top of the line and we would be close to home in case things went bad.  We wanted to make sure our first experiences would leave a great impression.

So after spending several overnight trips there and one 4 night trip, what have we used and what have we not used?

Stuff we use all of the time:
  • 10 foot white water hose and pressure regulator -  We have connected up to water in the campground and 10 feet of hose at Ft. Wilderness has been plenty.
  • Camco water filter - The water in central Florida is sulfur water.  The inexpensive Camco water filter removes the unpleasant taste. 
  • 15amp to 30amp electrical adapter - Used to connect the RV to the house power while we get things ready to get on the road.
  • RV Surge Protector
  • CATV Cable -  To connect to the park CATV -  I got a barrel connector to keep the ends together and safe while stowed.
  • Sewer adapter and elbow-  I purchased a Rhinoflex sewer hose that came with the sewer adapter.  I probably could have gotten away with just the adapter, and the stock hose but I feel better while dumping with the heavy duty hose.
  • Disposable nitrile gloves -  Don't need to touch the stinky slinky with bare hands
  • Folding outdoor chairs - These came from our garage since we have had them for years for outdoor events.
  • Our USB fans
  • Sirrus XM radio while driving
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Wet wipes
  • Paper towels and plates
  • TP 
  • First aid kit -  bandaids in particular

Stuff we have not really used:
  • The big front TV -  We use the 12v TV in the back all of the time but not the front one.
  • Shower - We have used the park bath houses for bathing. 
  • Dishes -  We purchased some nice Corelle like dishes and have not really used them.  Used paper plates, paper towels, plastic cups, coffee cups, but not the dishes.  Easier to just put the dirty dishes in the trash
  • Pots and Pans -  We have not done a lot of cooking.   We have mostly eaten takeout, leftovers and sandwiches (almost our exact diet from home)
  • Silverware -  We have been using plasticware from takeout food places mostly

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ft. Wilderness Trip #3

Walt Disney World Entrance

This weekend we went to Ft. Wilderness again.   We had a great time.

I will let everyone in on my new secret.  We stayed in site 432 and it was perfect.  Right across the street from the bath house.   Close to the settlement.  Some sun and some shade.  About 50%.  Great wifi inside and outside of the Fuse.

Winnebago Fuse 23aWinnebago Fuse 23a

We checked in a little after lunch on Saturday.   Saturday it was Sonya  and myself driving down in the RV.  Both kids met us down there in the car since my daughter had to come back Sunday for work.   We had a great time Saturday night and we all went to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday.

Now for the twist,  I had a meeting in Tampa on Monday and had my daughter bring me there on her way back to Tallahassee Sunday afternoon.  She dropped me off and my wife and son stayed in the Motorhome at Disney.  They had a pleasant night.   Once I was finished with my meeting I rented a car, dropped it off at a hotel across from Disney Springs and caught the bus back to Ft. Wilderness.   Worked out great.

Spent the next 2 days (Tuesday and Wednesday) doing our normal Disney things and came home.   We had a great time.

This has been the longest so far staying in the Motorhome.  4 days.  We made out fine.    It was hot,  95 degrees or better but we were OK inside once we put up the sunshades.

Going down the Fuse got 14mpg.   I had the cruise control set to 69mph.   Conditions were sunny and 85-95 degrees.  The fuel came from the Murphy station near my house.

Coming back up I got 15.7mpg.  I had the cruise control set to 65mph.  Conditions were raining 1/2 of the way and the temperature was 70-80 degrees.  The fuel was from the Speedway station located at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.  I paid $2.05/gal and that was on the low side for diesel in the area.   It was .10 cheaper than regular gas.

Now for what we learned.

  • The Fuse sleeps 3 at best.   The first night my son set up a tent behind the Fuse and slept there.  No way 4 adults can fit in the Fuse 23a.  It is a really tight fit just the 4 of us sitting in the cool.  Once my daughter left, we had enough space to accommodate the 3 of us fine.
  • It was hot.   The A/C can keep up if the shades are covering the front windows.  The other place that heat was coming in was from the bathroom skylight.   I will have to rig a shade or something for that as well.  Otherwise low cool, turned up all of the way kept the unit at 70 degrees with the bathroom door closed half way.
  • The comments on yahoo groups were right.  The A/C needs louvers to point more of the cool air down into the coach as opposed to most along the roof.
  • The MAXAIR fan has a setting for ceiling fan.  Basically runs with the vent closed.   When we tried it was just wasting electricity.  No air moving from it.  The little USB fans we purchased mixed the air way better.
  • We are still overpacking
  • There is now almost no water pressure in the front sink.  Not sure what is wrong but I will have to look into that or bring it to the dealer.  I think there is probably some construction crud in the system blocking the water to the faucet.  It has a nice hose that is getting no pressure so it is at the faucet or behind.
  • We are getting better at setup.  It took one shot to back into the space and then 10 min to get the electrical, CATV, water and then the chairs under the awning.
  • The awning works great.  We had some rain and it kept things dry.  And it kept the sun out as well.
  • The blue light coming from the USB ports are getting even more annoying.  Had to put tape over them but could still not get all of the light blocked.   Will have to get more creative with the tape.  They used real good blue LEDs.
  • The sofa bed has a hard spot.  Ask my son.  He complained about it, but managed to sleep pretty good in spite of it.
  • We went through about a gallon of drinking water a day and we were not in the coach much.  Need to remember to get extra when we make stops.  Funny thing is that at the Disney store a 32oz water in a bottle was $3.50 where a gallon of water in a milk jug was $3.25.  Got the same water in town for $1.00/gal at Walmart.

Overall, A very good trip and a very good time by all.