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.
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”
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.
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”
–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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Has your mouth ever been watering while you are in the middle of that batch of bar-b-que chicken or a nice juicy steak and your propane tank runs out? Or maybe you found that perfect camping spot, and in the middle of the night your heater goes out and you wake to icicles? I have and it sucks on sooooo many levels. A couple years ago as Charlene and I started this Awesome Adventure I ran across a product called Tank Check by MOPEKA. I was skeptical but needed a solution to these problems and figured “What the H.E. Double Hockey Sticks” and made the purchase. Wow, what a difference. Over the years they have improved the product and its functionality; and their customer service just rocks. I’ll put a link on our Gear tab to help you find it and don’t forget to watch the video (sorry for the umms and so’s, it’s raw video).
Thank you for sharing our Adventure and please subscribe to our YouTube channel and Website for update notifications… and we would appreciate it too.
Don and Charlene
Over the years I have never been able to make good “fried chicken”. Sure I have pounded a breast flat and covered them in bread crumbs for a pan fry or lemon pepper seasoning. Maybe even turned them into pinwheels, but fried chicken has been the bane of my existence (lol). I have memories of my Grandma Roy whipping up a heap’n pile of mixed parts and my Mom bringing a mountain of legs to a picnic. As for me, picture chicken with a coating that doesn’t stick or over cooked coating with pink in the middle. After a seven or eight year hiatus it was time to heat up the Firedisc and dive in again, hoping that time truly does heal all. This video below shows the outcome and let me say “I Am Invincible” (cheap James Bond rip-off). Oh and the licked clean plate… let’s just say it wasn’t mine…
Thanks for joining us on our Adventure,
Charlene and Don
Many of you know that Charlene, aka “TIBS”, broke her foot about 450 miles into our Flip-Flop. As we get within six months of stepping off again it’s time to look back at what we did and how it worked. For meals on the AT we looked at everyone and everything we could and started off with an idea (see the video link for what we started with back in April)…
…and as the trail went on we were surprised to find we were doing okay. There were a few constants however:
1. TIBS had to have her tea in the morning
2. Instant mash potatoes get old really quick
3. I really do dislike tuna
4. Ramen noodles take forever to rehydrate, or so it seems
5. Some nights you’re just too tired to eat and if you don’t plan on dragg’n ass the next day
6. Towns are not always close and don’t always have what you want
7. You will develop cravings for sugar and real food, or at least we did
We won’t change much going back out in 2019 except … no never mind, I’m still going to hate tuna and TIBS won’t be eating Spam – it’s hard for her to hike and belch at the same time (lol).
Feel free to ask us questions on what we carried, it’s weight, and if you have any suggestions on carrying a bear canister please share.
Thanks for joining our “Awesome” adventure,
Don and Char
Last week we showed how cooking with the Firedisc if different from using a typical BBQ; cleaning it is different too. We are all used to pulling the food off our grill and cranking up the heat to burn off the leav’ns before hitting the grates with a wire brush. Maybe, just maybe you’ll oil up the grates, but more than likely you’ll just close the lid and walk away till next time. I put together a quick video that shows how “we” clean and oil our Firedisc after each meal.
It only takes a few minutes to do and if you make sure you do this each time your disc will remain rust free and ready for use when your hunger and fancy strikes. Here are the basic steps:
1. Get some water, paper towels, and oil or lard (we prefer vegetable oil for cleaning)
2. Wipe down your cooking surface to remove larger bits and pieces
3. Add a cup or two of water
4. Heat the water till it is steaming
5. Turn off the heat and using tongs (nobody needs second and third degree burns) to hold paper towels, wipe the cooking surface until clean
6. Repeat as necessary
7. Add a little oil and reheat the Firedisc
8. Wipe the cooking surface till clean again protecting yourself from burns
9. Wipe oil over the surface to protect the metal till next use.
10. Work on your next menu and get ready to cook again
Taking care of your Firedisc is easy and with proper care should provide years of great food. Thanks for being part of our “Awesome Adventure”
“Capt O” and “TIBS”
You may not know this but I, Capt O, love gadgets. When TIBS and I saw the Firedisc I knew we had to have one. TIBS said “Hell Yeah” and did that voodoo that she do. A week later she found one brand spanking new in the box, who cares that it is Fireball Whiskey branded-that just makes it cooler, for less than half price so we pulled the trigger. It has taken a little time to get used to it, however the versatility has us wowed. So it was out with the old Weber 2200 and in with the new Firedisc.
So far I have cooked peppers and onions, chop suey, steamed 100 clams at the same time, steaks, and breakfast (see the video here). We absolutely love this thing. Firedisc is coming out with a carry bag soon and that will make it totally transportable. You know what that means… it will be going with us and we once again escape New Jersey in the spring.
Thanks for checking out the YouTube video and BTW… keep and eye out for rebranding soon.
Thanks for sharing our adventures
Capt O and TIBS
Why did we switch from an International Serenity 30W to a Basecamp.
We have had many people ask us why we switched from the Serenity to the Basecamp. In just a few sentences We’ll try to give you the best answer we possibly can. While we enjoyed living in the Serenity having loads of space, multiple TVs, surround-sound and more seating options; the Basecamp gives us more travel options than the serenity ever did. First the Basecamp weighs about 7,000 pounds less. This allowed us to trade the Ford F-250 for a Honda Ridgeline. We calculated the fuel cost for or trip to Maine and the money we saved on gas, about $275, means more money for entertainment and souvenirs. Second the smaller length, 16’ vs 30’, and shorter height, 9 1/2’ vs 11 1/2’ trailer and lighter GVW truck meant we could travel on New York Parkways and stay away from the big-rigs. It’s easier to find gas stations and park, and faster to set up and tear down too. No longer do we consider paying extra for a pull through space and 50amp service. We can easily drive on smaller roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway on a recent trip. And while we didn’t stay at state parks or campgrounds this trip, many will not allow trailers greater than 25’.
Is the Basecamp perfect? Is it a big transition? It’s a HUGE change; we are still figuring it out and making changes. Also it’s not perfect, hell no RV is, but it is for us. And, it will allow us to see more of this great country of ours… while doing it in style.
See y’all on the road