Off we go.....
Not quite into the wild blue yonder....we set up our first camping experience at Red Top Mountain State Park. This is a very nice wooded park on Allatoona Lake not far from Atlanta. It is also close to home so we could try out our new to us Airstream, and still be near help if needed.
We loaded up,rode over to the park, and selected a nice site to camp for the weekend. December weather was cool with mid thirties expected for the night temperatures.
Hooking up electrical supply, water and the available cable tv was a breeze.
On a short hike around the campground we noticed another camper getting ready to dump his holding tanks into the receptacle. Having never done this ourselves yet, my wife and I stood as close as we could to watch the process.
The guy probably thought we were a little nutty, but we later explained that we were both "newbies" and had no clue how to set up the sewer connections.
The night was cold, and we made a great first dinner in our motorhome, started a campfire, and enjoyed the quiet. I fired up the propane furnace for overnight heat, and we slept soundly. All was well.
This short trip gave us the confidence to attept a long one. In late December we headed out for Southwest Florida. Eventually ending up in Fort Myers Beach, where we set up camp right on the water in a small and crowded campground.
Being able to sit at my table and look out the window at Cranes and Egrets fishing in the water was terrific.
we unhooked our connections and drove the Airstream over to Sanibel island for a day,parking in a sandy lot right by the beach. It was what we had hoped for, a little piece of home that we could move to location after location.
This was a great trip....so we planned our next one. Three weeks from Georgia to Pennsylvania and back with many stops aloing the way.
This trip took us through the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland. We ended up at Hershey, PA where we camped at the Hershey Park Campground.
We then cruised over to the coast, passing through many Amish villages, and camped at Maryland Shores, Virginia Beach, and other prime spots.
The trip went smooth, in spite of daily outside temperatures in the high 90's.
The Airstream generator ran, to keep our roof a/c going while we drove. Most older motorhomes have very weak a/c from the engine and ours was no exception. The roof air and two small dash fans kept it comfortable though warm.
All went well, until we experienced a dead battery while in Virginia. Turned out the starter had fried and shorted out the charge system. We were able to get a starter from a chain auto parts store and got back on the road.
This turned out to be an ongoing experience. The starters are mounted right next to the manifold pipes and exhaust, and they get very hot. The wiring had been burning through.
On subsequent trips we had a few more of the battery and starter failures, so I took the preventive measure of installing a billet aluminum encased starter and alternator, and then wrapping all related wiring in heat proof thermal jacketing. This was the end of the heat problems.