What I did on My Summer RV Vacation (and maybe you should too?)

I do a visual inspection of the outside of our 5th Wheel at least a couple of times each year. I’m looking for screws that show rust and also caulk that is missing or in need of repair. I heard someone say there are a thousand screws holding the outside of a trailer together and I am leaning toward believing it – there are a lot of screws!


RV Water Leak Prevention
Visual Inspection and Repairs
Part I – Dealing with rusty screws

How we do it and the parts and tools we use…. on our website at

Upcoming: In Part II we’ll deal with making the ugly job of caulk removal and replacement on an RV easier and the end job looking more aesthetic when finished.

In Part III we’ll discuss the many “fun” uses for “Eternabond” and other rig-saving RV tapes. Move over duct tape you have some fine competitors in the RV world!

Workamper Couple Wanted Myrtle Beach Area

North Myrtle Beach Area RV Park with Vineyard seeking long term hosts.

Position for a couple to include park cleanup, grounds/landscaping, maintenance, cleaning restrooms, guest services, pool maintenance, and help with special events. CarrollWoods RV Park is located at working vineyard only 20 minutes from both NC and SC beaches. 15 hour work week for full-service site with free wi-fi. Electric billed separately. Host should plan to be onsite after 6pm nightly and on Sundays. View us online at www.myrtlebeachcampingwest.com and e-mail resumes to contact@grapefullsistersvineyard.com.

Received: 9/17/16 by J. Armstrong @ snowbirdrvtrails.com
Note: Niki and I have stayed at this campground and can vouch for nice owners in a beautiful country setting AND a vineyard too!

Invitation to visit the High Chaparral and the Santa Catalina Mountains

(This follow-up (9/6/16) posted by request.)

Hello Jack and Niki @ Snowbirdrvtrails:

I want to thank you very, very much for for your prompt assistance in posting a piece on my recent search for a typist to help me with my manuscript at my house in in the mountains north of Tucson this winter 2016-17 season. I received six inquiries from well qualified candidates. The successful candidate is a forty-something, medical transcriptionist from north west Kansas whose children are grown, and who, will be able to work remotely for her list of medical clients while having the opportunity to explore south eastern Arizona from our base in the high chaperral of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
All the applications were received within the first three days of the piece explaining my need for a typist appearing on your site, snowbirdrvtrails.com. RVers are nice, easy to speak with, interesting people. I had responses from both singles and couples. I enjoyed my discussions with each of the applicants.
I would also appreciate it if you would  let your audience know that my very large yard located in an unincorporated area in eastern Pinal County can be made available for use by RVers on a short term basis this winter. The area which, overlooks the San Pedro River Valley ecological preserve is not a winter summer camp, back-to-childhood or high school type snowbirds’ resort. If pickle ball and horseshoes are one’ s idea of a good way to pass the winter, this location is not for them. The population is made up of people who work in Tucson and Florence, as well as, American retirees who live there year-round. It is a home base for many people who work part the year out of state including traveling nurses and teachers. In winter, it is a favourite spot of both North American ecologists, as well as, local  southeastern Arizona hunters.
I cited the Wikipedia  entry regarding the San Pedro River Valley that would interest conscientious nature buffs in my previous post( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Pedro_River_(Arizona).
Guidelines and locations for hunting can be found on the Arizona Game & Fish website at: www.azgfd.gov which states,

Common species: Desert cottontail rabbit
– Jackrabbit
– Quail
– Dove
– Ducks
– Geese
– Coyote
– Longhorn sheep
– Mountain lion
– Javelina

You must hunt with the proper license and ensure that you are hunting in proper seasons, times and locations.

Our locale is five minutes from the unpaved road to the summit on the north side of Mount Lemmon off Arizona Route 77 (Oracle RD.) north of Tucson. This back road which is popular with off-road 4×4 drivers and with off-road or dual-purpose motorcyclists. offers a secondary route to the top.  Every typical day at 4PM I, and other locals, meet at one of two coffee shops for an hour or so to discuss the latest forays into the high desert and Tucson; the latest renovation or car and bike rebuilds; the continued success our youth sports teams; the best cuts of meat on special at the local butchery and what fish are biting at the lakes north on H77. Evening scented primroses, iris, cacti and thickets of Mesquite, and Creosote bush dot the natural landscape as do stands of Palo Verde, Pipe Organ, Seguaro and Yucca Aloifolia. Palms. roses, apples, peaches, citrus and olives are tended by local gardeners some of whom sell their preserves at our three-dollar-breakfast, Saturday morning Farmers’ Market where an electrifying duo belts out various renditions of oldies-but-goodies every second week. That is the place where we complain and boast, and, hear the details of who who has arrived and who has left and who , if anyone, landed their private plane at our little airport each week.
IF someone in your audience think they might want to try some R&R on our mountain hillside they may call me. I can offer water, electrical, laundry and WiFi access on a short term, negotiable basis.
So, Niki and Jack, thank you again for your timely and topical assistance.
Sincere best wishes,
Ella Matthews, Calgary
PS. I forgot to mention the monastery 40 minutes from the house. After the Grand Canyon, it is the number one thing in the guidebooks for Arizona. Also, Biosphere 2 ten miles down the road on the way to Tucson

New shoes all around!

There is both good and bad sometimes when deciding to spend the Summer in the mountains of Upstate NY! Niki, I and our furry kids packed up and motored down the Northway – with 5th Wheel in tow – for 80 miles to Queensbury for new tires to be put on the RV.

I had two goals this Summer. One was to have new tires put on for our trip back South coming up soon. The other was to try the new Sailun tires which I have researched ad nauseam and found enough good reviews to warrant giving them a go.

Most of the Summer – on and off – has been spent trying to find a dealer locally in the Plattsburgh area that sells the Sailuns and/or find a professional installer to put them on if I ordered them in.

The RV dealers in the area weren’t interested in the project at all. I had a lapse in memory for a moment and forgot that most if not all RV dealers are interested in sales and certainly not service after the fact. I have a couple of stories of past experience in that regard but perhaps another time.

There are several tire dealers in the area but none I found had the tires I wanted nor the space nor the experience that I felt comfortable with to install them. Suddenly the Sailun tires are out of stock everyplace online even if I had found an installer.


Longer story short I felt more comfortable with a tire dealer (Tire Warehouse) down in Glens Falls. He ordered in the 14 ply Goodyear tires (G614RST LT235/85 R16) I have been running on the rig for the past six years without problems.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and the trip was uneventful. The lot at Tire Warehouse was small, a fact I noted with many dealers when I started looking at places mindful of towing in a 32′ 5th Wheel, but we made it fit.

My only complaint and I guess the moral of my story had to do with the installation of my new tires. They had two of the four new tires installed on the trailer when I noticed there were no clips used to balance the tires. When I asked about it they told me they NEVER balance trailer tires. I was dumbfounded! I was brought up knowing that if it rolls and is attached to any vehicle it gets balanced. We had a short discussion about the problem and the new tires were taken off, balanced and put back on. Other than that and being up-charged over the original quote I was happy with the end product.

We will be heading South in a few weeks with new tires all the way around – truck tires this past Spring and now new trailer tires. The bank account has been seriously compromised but that takes a back seat when it comes to safety.

It pays to use tire covers to block out UV rays but also inspect your RV tires regularly for wear and sun damage. Think seriously about replacing them when they are 5 to 7 years old even if they look fine. They do get a lot of wear and tear as you take them to new places on new adventures. Be sure to have the new tires balanced as well.

Oh, and yes, the good far outweighs the bad when we made the decision to spend the last five Summers in the Adirondack Mountains. Next year an exciting new destination for us but more about that later.

Help Wanted Urgent – Perfect FL Snowbird job for an RVer!

URGENT! Hiring Hunter Check Station Operator Volunteers ASAP

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking volunteers to work at the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area in Kenansville, FL.  Volunteer operators are needed at our hunter check station between 10 September 2016 and 23 April 2017, in exchange for a beautiful free RV site.  A position just came open and we need a new volunteer to fill it ASAP! We are located in central Florida, in Osceola Co. just south of Orlando, and approximately 15 miles south of Holopaw along Highway 441. Nearby towns include St. Cloud (~25 miles), Kissimmee (~35 miles), Orlando (~50 miles), and Melbourne (~50 miles). We are within an hour’s drive of Disney World, Universal Studios, theme parks, and beaches!

There are five full hook-up RV sites with electricity, sewer, and water. The area is remote, so if you enjoy the outdoors, a rural lifestyle, and outdoor recreation such as hunting and fishing, you will probably be well-suited for this position. We also a “clubhouse” for volunteers, which has a refrigerator, stove, restrooms, and laundry facilities.

Volunteers’ primary duties will be to monitor recreational use on the Management Area, provide information to the public, and collect biological data. This includes keeping count of hunters and other recreational users, checking various licenses and permits, providing information to hunters and recreational users, and collecting biological data from harvested animals. No previous experience is  necessary and training will be provided by staff biologists. However, if hunting is objectionable to you, or if you are reluctant to handle dead animals, then you should not apply. In addition to work at the check station, volunteers may assist with facility maintenance, data entry, and other tasks as needed.

In exchange for hookups and use of facilities, we request a maximum of 32 hours of work each week. Days of the week worked are somewhat flexible. The heaviest use of the Management Area occurs from September through December, and consequently, some preference may be given to those people who can arrive early in the season and/or those that can stay the entire season through the Spring.

If you are interested in this position, please contact Sara Miller at sara.miller@myfwc.com for more information or to receive an application.


Received by J Armstrong at snowbirdrvtrails@gmail.com – 12 Sep 16

Family, friends, fun and food!

Niki and I attended a really nice get-together of family and friends this afternoon at the Rocky Acres B&B in Schroon Lake, NY. A fantastic buffet was provided by our Hostess (and owner of the B&B) Laura Donaldson (also a member of our family) along with some favorite dishes brought by members of our group. Thanks and well done Laura and we see why people keep coming back to your Bed & Breakfast. Good food and a great time was had by all! -Jack and Niki

Hermine closing many FL State campgrounds – some until further notice


~Evacuation of state park campgrounds and park closures to ensure visitor safety~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service announces the evacuation of campgrounds and closure of state parks across Central and North Florida due to post-storm weather conditions, including flooding.

The following state park campgrounds have been closed:

  • Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine (St. Johns County)
  • Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, Eastpoint (Franklin County)
  • Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach (Nassau County)
  • Lafayette Blue Springs State Park, Mayo (Suwannee County)
  • Little Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville (Duval Country)
  • Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland (Dixie County)
  • Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, Keystone Heights (Clay County)
  • Ochlockonee River State Park, Sopchoppy (Wakulla County)
  • O’leno State Park, High Springs (Columbia County)
  • Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Micanopy (Alachua County)
  • Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon (Marion County)
  • Silver Springs State Park, Ocala (Marion County)
  • Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs (Hamilton County)
  • Suwannee River State Park, Live Oak (Suwannee County)
  • T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Port St. Joe (Gulf County)
  • Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park, Gulf Hammock (Levy County)

The following state parks are closed until further notice:

  • Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Tallahassee (Leon County)
  • Adam’s Tract River Camp, Suwannee River (GPS Location: N 30 2.10, W 83 1.14)
  • Bald Point State Park, Alligator Point (Franklin County)
  • Cedar Key Museum State Park, Cedar Key (Levy County)
  • Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve, Cedar Key (Levy County)
  • Constitution Convention Museum State Park, Port St. Joe (Gulf County)
  • Crystal River Archaeological State Park, Crystal River (Citrus County)
  • Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, Eastpoint (Franklin County)
  • Econfina River State Park, Lamont (Taylor County)
  • Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Homosassa (Citrus County)
  • Fanning Springs State Park, Fanning Springs (Levy County)
  • Forest Capital Museum State Park, Perry (Taylor County)
  • John Gorrie Museum State Park, Apalachicola (Franklin County)
  • Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park, Tallahassee (Leon County)
  • Lake Talquin State Park, Tallahassee (Leon County)
  • Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park, Monticello (Jefferson County)
  • Madison Blue Spring State Park, Madison (Madison County)
  • Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland (Dixie County)
  • Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park, Tallahassee (Leon County)
  • Ochlockonee River State Park, Sopchoppy (Wakulla County)
  • Orman House Historic State Park, Apalachicola (Franklin County)
  • San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, Saint Marks (Wakulla County)
  • St. Marks River Preserve State Park, Tallahassee (Leon County)
  • Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, Crawfordville (Wakulla County)
  • T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Port St. Joe (Gulf County)
  • Torreya State Park, Bristol (Liberty County)
  • Wakulla Springs State Park, Wakulla Springs (Wakulla County)
  • Weeki Wachee State Park, Weeki Wachee (Hernando County)

Florida’s state park system is one of the largest in the country with 174 state parks, trails and historic sites covering nearly 800,000 acres. For more about Florida State Parks and closure updates, visit http://www.floridastateparks.org/.

Host needed at Manson, WA Campground – Wapato Lake

Current Host is retiring. The campground host oversees the daily operations of the Wapato Lake Campground and boat launch managed by the Manson Park & Recreation District. This position plays an active role in the care of the grounds to ensure a clean, safe and family friendly environment for guests. The campground is open April 1st through September 30th including weekends and holidays. For a complete description, please contact Manson Park & Recreation District at 509-687-9635 or www.mansonparks.com.

Received by: J. Armstrong/snowbirdrvtrails.com  8/26/16