Hooking Up – How we hook up our Airstream Basecamp

Hooking up your Airstream (or trailer) is simply following a routine process and herein lies the danger. Routine is dangerous because we “ASSUME” we haven’t missed a step and note I emphasized the word assume. We do it the same was every time, but do we really? The simple answer and is no… and I make mistakes. My video shows you how we hook up our Basecamp and doesn’t show Charlene (TIBS) reminding me I forgot to check the lights. When we started our Adventure we used a checklist and when I forget to grab it, heck this is just a routine operation, mistakes happen. Feel free to critique and make your comments, especially if you have a better way, I am always looking to learn. Thanks for joining our Awesome Adventure, and thanks to TIBS for keeping me straight. Oh, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel 🙂



TIBS Takes A Hobby To The Next Level

It all started with six little words “you know I used to loom”. Trust me when I say “if I’d had only known…. (lol)”. In the couple months since those six fateful words were uttered my life has changed. And now that the first craft show is over I have to say it has changed for the better. Charlene started her new looming career by making me a hat for work that she must have spent over a week looking for just the right yarn. She loves me.

Let’s fast forward through multiple visits to Walmart, Target, Michaels, and AC Moore, not to mention yarn shops in every state we have visited from New Jersey to Maine until we get to Craft Show minus 10 days. I said she loves me right? Every time I would walk in the room, turned on the TV, said Hi, heck maybe even breathed (lol) I was in the way. Charlene was learning new stitches, having to count, train her fingers and hands to do new tricks. Needless to say EVERYTHING was my fault. I had no idea that a video game on a different side of the house and on a lower floor could cause a person to miss a stitch so earphones it was.


The video shows that day of the show and how it all turned out. As far as I’m concerned it was a win, or at least the hug, kiss, and thank you made it a win for me.

Next show in a week then she takes over the world. Lol.

Adding A Dyson Vacuum To Our Airstream Basecamp – We Made Another Change

What do camping, hiking, biking, and an Airstream all have in common?  Dirt!!! Who knew that whenever you walk into your trailer you track in dirt. You could just leave your shoes in the vestibule, sure if you put the side tent up. But dirt still comes in. Maybe the dirt elves bring it in while we are asleep? Who knows… it just keeps coming in. So, we dust, and we mop, and we vacuum… hmmmm vacuum… We have a vacuum at home but what about inside of an Airstream? 

Charlene likes her Dyson V6 (or whatever it’s called nowadays) and had it mounted inside the closet in the Serenity (she vacuums daily) and just had to have it the Basecamp but there is no closet and less than half the square footage. After some brainstorming she had a plan. Check out the video to see where she put it.

We Made Some Changes To Our Basecamp – Part 2 (You Have To Have A TV, Right?)

The quiet sunset, cool dry weather, a campfire, beverage of choice and a good book. Wow, this looks great on paper and even better in the travel blogs. And this is why we bought the Basecamp. To get outdoors and commune with nature. But what do you do when nature is a little more … different? Reality Check – Wind, Rain, Hot and Muggy or cold and clammy. And everyone’s favorites; mosquitoes, black flies, green heads, and the ever popular bone-heads (lol). Sometimes communing with nature forces you inside and a good book is not always what we want, and sometimes the game just can’t wait.

No problem “I have my smart phone, tablet, or laptop”. After a few years full timing in an Airstream I began to realize why they put TVs in them. But not the Basecamp… we owners never ever feel the need to stay connected. Ahahahahahaha … oh sorry let me wipe my eyes. Charlene and I said we needed one in this rig too, and with the expert help of our past experiences and the team at Colonial (not a paid endorsement-guess I really need to say that, sigh) a plan was devised and put into place.

The TV chosen was a LG 24”, same as we put in the Serenity last year. Good size and good looks combined with good stats (see link for geek stuff). The mount was chosen by John at Colonial and the install was to look as factory as possible. And it came out GREAT!!! We have had people ask us if it came that way and that’s a great pat on the back. We decided not to add the HD antenna since we use our mifi or the cable at a campground. I also have it set up to hard wire to my phone. I can also connect to a laptop or an Xbox if I wanted to carry one (Charlene might draw the line here – did that in the Serenity). Check out the video and please give us your comments.

Thanks for joining us on our Awesome Adventure.

Charlene “TIBS” and Don “Capt O”

Having Fun With Leftover Halloween Tortilla Chips

Charlene asks “what do you want for dinner” my response of let’s have spaghetti was answered by “these pork chops need to be cooked before they go bad”. Okay, decision made, pork chops it is. I love screwing around with dinner and trying something new but my darling wife says I go overboard and try to make a big mess. Well I don’t try to make a mess… I just manage (lol).

Back to the pork chops. I was thinking mashed potatoes however potato wedges with olive oil and our favorite five spice pepper blend was put together and we decided I would do them on the Firedisc. Since I’m using the disc let’s play with the chops. Hmmmm let’s look around… ahhhh Halloween corn chips I have an idea… chicken fried pork chops made with the chips. I’ve never made that, sounds fun!!! Let’s put it together and see what happens, especially since it’s getting cold outside and the wind is about 20+ and gusty. Game on….

Too Windy To Cook Outside?

Have you ever wanted to get outside and throw something on your Firedisc (or grill – btw, time to upgrade) only to have the wind stop you? Maybe the answer is the “Wind Helmet” . The short video below shows the difference with and without the Wind Helmet. And it only takes a second to install. A link to the product is on the Outdoor Cooking page to help you find it (shameless plug, we make a couple pennies if you use the link ;-} ). When we first got our Firedisc the wind played hell with our cooking. Last night I was using the Firedisc & Wind Helmet in 20+ mph winds and still able to get the job done. Consider this an endorsement (not a paid one)… nice add-on Firedisc.

Thanks for joining our Awesome Adventure.

Charlene “TIBS” and Don “Capt O”

We Made Some Changes – Part 1

Whenever you buy a new home whether that be a Mega-Mansion, Alice (our first Airstream, a 2013 International Serenity 30W) or something like our new on the road home – The Airstream Basecamp; the first thing you do is change it!!! Why would we think the engineers who are paid thousands of dollars and have years of experience have any idea how these things should be built (lol). In fact, most of us think they have no idea what-so-ever. The real reason we want to change the design is we want our homes to be special. We want them to say “I belong to “. We want our places to be OURS!!! Charlene and I picked up our new Basecamp at Colonial Airstream back at the beginning of the summer. And since we have been living in an Airstream on the road for a few years we have a pretty good idea of “what we want” … we think … and have made some changes.

This first installment shows a couple small interior modifications that will make our home more livable on a day to day basis.

You’ll see under cabinet lights, door supports, sundry storage, and even a neat little idea for pens, pencils, and the such. We could do the work ourselves, no doubt, however we prefer a factory look and love the warranty that comes from the dealer. Our chosen partners for these changes are Patrick, John, and the Service team at Colonial Airstream, and simply put they rock.

** Check out the links on the “Our Gear” tab **

We are always watching others for ideas too and enjoy your posts, as we hope you are finding our posts enjoyable and that you will find our ideas useful. Be on the lookout for our TV install, gadgets and more.

Thanks for joining us on our Awesome Adventure,

Charlene “TIBS” and Don “Capt O”

Family Loses All In Cali Fires

On November 8th, 2018 my cousin, Alma Poindexter Dawson Chaika, lost literally everything in the devastating fire that swept through Paradise, CA. Alma is one if those special people in this world who gives her all to care for her mother, my Aunt Dolly, who is bed-ridden and in need of constant care. I’m sure she would rather me not put this out there but, she needs our help.


The financial burden of caring for her mother has been overwhelming and she had to let her homeowners insurance go. This means they have no place to live and limited resources to rebuild. Thankfully her company has stepped forward with a hotel room for the time being. Alma would never ask on her own so we have put a Go Fund Me campaign together on her and Aunt Dolly’s behalf; and we are asking for your help.   

Thank you for all the well wishes and love going forward to Alma and her family.

One Idiots Guide To The Basecamp Truma System

It is supposed to drop down to 30° on the Jersey shore tonight and since we haven’t taken the Basecamp up to have it winterized I thought I would give a quick demo on how to use the Truma system. Mind you this is just one idiots guide and may not be to the manual (disclaimer: always refer to the manufacturers operating manual) but hell I’m a guy and since when do we read instructions – “don’t need no stink’n instructions” – lol. Hope it helps.


Thanks for joining us on our Awesome Adventure,

Charlene “TIBS” and Don “Capt O”

It Started With A Tickle

–Note: The following was written while on steroids, which I am sure everyone will see I don’t handle well (lol)–

It started with a tickle, turned into swollen eyes and Jimmy Durante nose. What did? My FACE!!!

I have never had an allergic reaction like this before. Sure, there has been a time of two getting rash or hives when changing laundry detergents (free and clear for me). And the good Lord knows I can be anywhere near Poison OAK or Ivy (that rash was epic in ways that cannot be put on paper in polite company – wink or was that wince). But heretofore I have never had a reaction to food and I do not want one again, wish I knew what the offending item was. Hopefully this was a one off.

It started Thursday morning with a feeling like a zit coming in and by Saturday the swelling started. Not bad but obvious and of course being a “dude”, I didn’t run straight to Urgent Care. Instead said “Let’s see what tomorrow looks like”. Whhhhoooowwww talk about a mistake. The main photo is what Sunday morning looked like, mind you it’s not but best side but Mr. Demille said I was ready for my close-up.

My eyes were watering, I couldn’t see straight, bounced off a couple walls, and got ready to head to the doctor. My son, looks like you have a severe reaction to food… What did you eat? “SEVERE… WHAT DO YOU MEAN SEVERE?” I had no idea and had not eaten anything out of the ordinary, and no shellfish what so ever. He gave me Prednisone and not some Z-Pack or knock off and Zyrtec twice a day for the next five (5) days. And I HATE, yes HATE taking drugs especially steroids. Another why here? I will defer that answer to my darling, loving, and beautiful wife Charlene who has to put up with my bounce off the walls, can’t sleep, complain, talk about 50 different things at once self. I get home, take my drugs a proceed to sleep for the next 12ish hours. That did it… I feel better, a little, but now I’m wide awake. Another steroid and what do I do? Grab an energy drink at 11 o’clock at night to wash it down. So much for any more sleep. While I was out Charlene was a dear and sent my boss a pic and called me out of work.

Monday, still awake. My computer if overheating from all the Fallout 4 time it saw overnight, nothing like killing ghouls and super mutants to pass the hours. Do I look better? A little, but damn.
Day 2 (Small)
My daughter Bryanna sends me a picture of Will Smith all swollen from the movie Hitch, brat – LOL. Eyes itch, face feels like a really bad sun burn. AND I’M still AWAKE!!! Heather, my Sister-In-Law and the family Nurse, recommends cool compresses……. Ahhhhh that feels nice. They really help but I can’t go through life with a cold washcloth on my face. Well maybe I should, might look better. More Prednisone and another Zyrtec washed down with a gallon of Ice Tea today. More dead ghouls and a couple old movies go down as well. Did I mention Charlene had to drive to see her mom today? Hmmmmm…. Why today? I think we all know the answer to that. Okay what time is it? Only 10pm… nope not tired, oh look and Jackie Chan sub-titled Chinese epic is on you-tube. Three plus hours of kung-fu fighting latter I try to get some sleep that came quick but not easy.

Tuesday up at 430am, hey that’s today, and wide awake with 3 ½ hours of sleep. Off again but man I can see my face, maybe I shouldn’t.
Day 3 (Small)
Charlene called me out one more day. Sorry, answered a call and it was the clinic checking up on me, that was nice. More drugs, I feel more dead ghouls in my future, but spent some time on FB. No sleep, on steroids and caffeine, probably not a good choice so let take a moment to apologize now to anyone I offended, or maybe not (lol). Getting better, drugs and time doing their jobs. Charlene is a troop and picked me up some stuff called Calendula Gel.
Calendula (Small)
This stuff cools like aloe but without the sticky residue. And it a lot easier to walk around the house with than the washcloth over my eyes. Face still itches and burns, some skin flaking, and eyes feel like they are full of sand but everything is getting better, just not as fast as I would like. Okay, time to stop rambling on… where is that joystick…ghouls won’t wait forever…. BTW, thank you to everyone for the teasing and well wishes.

And a special thanks to my world, Charlene.

What’s on the Firedisc? Is that Fried Rice?

I do enjoy my fried rice and have tried many times to figure it out. Then I heard two tips. First use fresh ingredients and second use freshly made short grain sticky rice. I’m getting closer but I still haven’t found the pot of gold at the end of the culinary rainbow. Tonight I decided to see what I could do with a 22” wokish, is that even a word?, piece of steel, my Firedisc. It’s funny, last night I watched a subtitled Jackie Chan movie called Shaolin. In it Jackie Chan is a cook that can flip rice in a four foot wok and even use it as a weapon. I have to admit when I walked up to the Firedisc I wondered, ok it was a fleeting thought, if I could do that too. After all, it’s only 22” around (lol). The below video is my attempt at making fried rice and it came out pretty darned good, or at least the empty bowls thought it did.


Thanks for joining us tonight and thanks for enjoying our Awesome Adventure.

Don and Char.

TIBS Is Off The Trail – An Update

Broken Foot & Recovery….or is it????

After three months in a walking cast, I was released to physical therapy. I want to remind everyone that patience is not one of my virtues. I thought six weeks and we are good to go. My foot was feeling good, but tired some days……then I decided to help Don stain the deck to help him along with it. I only did a few steps and the rest was standing. What a mistake, a huge mistake. My foot ached for days and then I had to fess up at PT.

Daniel at PT is still on the fence, but he did say we will know in a few more weeks. What will we know, if my broken peroneal bone needs surgery. The problem is that no one is sure if the peroneal bone broke at the same time or at another time as my cuboid bone break. I really hate the unknown, I really do. It stays in the back of your mind and messes with you. One more thing to worry about.

I am trying to be positive, but my body is just not cooperating. I have gained weight. Then my plaque psoriasis kicked in like all hell. Then to add insult to injury my face breaks out like I am sixteen and ready for a date. One more thing…..my labral tear in my hip starts to lock up. I just cannot deal – no patience, no movement and no freakin way this is happening to me. I am not going to lie, it has been a little bit of a pity party here.

How am I trying to deal with all this? First, I have no control over the surgery. It is either going to happen or not. However, I will be back out on the trail next year (even with a later start). I did start to go to the gym and just do upper weight lifting. I try to go every other day. I did go to the Urgent Care to get some antibiotics to get the acne under some type of control as my dermatologist was booked for three months. I asked Daniel at PT for some exercises to release my hip. Worst case I get a referral to see the PT just for my hip/labral tear. I have topical medication for my plaque psoriasis that I have been religiously taking and is helping. Now the weight gain. I have nothing on this. I can blame menopause to a point, but I have to step up and do something about it. Even my dad got on me about it a little bit. I took no offense as he feels it would be better for the trail and he is right. I down loaded an app on my phone to monitor what I eat better. Not sure where I fell off on this as I always thought I was a good eater. I don’t do fried, cakes, donuts, etc. I have a gluten/wheat issue so I do have limitations on my eating. Will have to see how it goes and I will let everyone know. We can all learn from each other.

Thanks for your support and prayers during this little rough patch I have been going through.

Much love!! Xo

TIBS aka Charlene

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