Bees and More Bees…

Fantastic Vent Cotrol
Fantastic Vent Cotrol

The weather here in South Texas was cool and wet the first week we arrived, but it has moderated.  In fact we have had several days where the temps have been around 80 degrees and we have needed the air conditioning in the afternoon to keep the bus comfortable.  We, however, have been experimenting with our Fantastic Vents (Brand Name) on the days that the temperature is mild.  Right now we have been using them in a manual mode by using the wall control, but they have an auto mode which can be adjusted for temperature.  They also have a rain sensor that will close them, which is nice if you are away from the coach.  When the temperature is nice out, it pays to use the vents to provide circulation instead of using the a/c.  They also are key to removing moisture from inside so that mold will not become a problem.

The other day was one of those times where using the fan seemed to be the best option for keeping the temperature inside at a comfortable level.  We have three fans; one mid coach, one in the center bath, and one in the rear bath.  We turned the mid coach and rear fan on low to provide circulation and then left to do a few errands.  When we returned, all seemed fine and the temperature inside was comfortable.  However, when I went to check the fans, to my surprise I found them full of bees.  Actually, they were probably Yellow Jackets.  It was unbelievable.  They were in both of the fans that we had left running.  We knew the bees were around Continue reading Bees and More Bees…

Wind, Wind and More Wind….

Wind Swept Palms
Wind Swept Palms

My intention was to write a post regarding our trip on the Rio Grande and to South Padre Island, but I decided to write about a recent incident that has contributed to our RV learning experience.  The report on the Rio Grande and South Padre Island will come later.  The weather report for yesterday, January 16th, was for gusty winds as a front moved through.  We didn’t think too much about it as wind has not been a real problem other than I hate to drive in anything too gusty as it makes for a long, tiring day.  Even with a tag axle and Newmar’s ‘Comfort Drive’ you really need to concentrate on what you are doing behind the wheel in gusty winds.  Not the most fun.

Well, yesterday morning started off warm with only light winds, but by mid morning the wind had picked up significantly.  It wasn’t a problem for us as I had made sure that all the awnings were in and secured along with other items on the patio.  However, by midday the wind was close to 30 mph with gusts above 40 mph.  We were angled such that the full wall slide topper (a topper is a canvas awning that covers the slide to keep rain, sun and debris off) was taking a beating.  It is designed with a roller spring mechanism that has additional canvas that allows the topper to expand and billow in stiff breezes without causing damage.  The wind seemed to be from the perfect direction to sail right through through the topper causing a whipping action Continue reading Wind, Wind and More Wind….

Settling in at Bentsen Palms

Entrance Sign
Entrance Sign
Our Site
Our Site

We have been here about a week now and we are starting to settle into our new temporary home.  This will be the first RV park we have stayed at for this length of time.  I will add a few pictures of the place in this post.  We have met a few people, but the folks don’t seem as friendly as many of the other parks we frequent in Georgia and Florida.  I’m not sure why, other than many are yearly visitors here and we are the new kid on the block.  They seem to be from all over the country, but mainly the Midwest and Canada.  Now the Texans that we have met at the restaurants and stores have been really friendly and as you can imagine most are Hispanic.  We are definitely the minority Continue reading Settling in at Bentsen Palms

From the Border Patrol to Moth Balls – You’ve Got to Love Texas!

Park Layout - We're in 614
Park Layout – We’re in 614

The weather finally broke on Monday and we had sun and warmer temperatures.  Today it is overcast again, but at least it is not cold.  The trip across the Gulf states was cold and windy so we will appreciate the temperatures moving up to the lower 70’s by mid week.  We both like Bentsen Palms RV resort so far and we are learning the area.  McAllen and Mission Texas is a metropolitan area, but the resort is located next to a State Park and in a country setting right next to the border.  On one side there is an International Birding Center and on the other there is pasture land with grazing Brahmas.  It is amazing how many Border Patrol units there are in the area.  You can’t drive anywhere without seeing several of their vehicles.  Last night there was the constant drone of a helicopter flying just South of the RV Resort.  We plan to drive around sometime in the next few days and check out the border.  We also are planning a boat trip on the Rio Grande, which is offered through the resort.  However, we have no plans to check out Mexico at this point.

Air Patrol
Air Patrol
Land Patrol
Land Patrol

On Monday the RV resort sponsored a 90 minute presentation from the Border Patrol on the current status of the border.  It was very interesting and the agent discussed all the different technologies that they now have to supplement the officers in apprehending those aliens who cross the border illegally.  It sounds like this is the “slow” time of year but he did say that from Thursday through Sunday they caught 340 illegals in the 61 miles under the McAllen Division’s control.  He wouldn’t speculate on how many may have slipped through undetected.  He also said that these folks are intent in getting out of the area to Houston or San Antonio and pose no real threat to anyone here.  Those that may slip through the border security usually have some pre-planned method to move north.  However, he did say that there is an occasional theft of an automobile.  Several residents asked if it was safe to go across the border to shop, etc.  He Continue reading From the Border Patrol to Moth Balls – You’ve Got to Love Texas!

The Shakedown Cruise from Hell

Rain Bay St. Louis
Rain Bay St. Louis
Rain Milton, FL
Rain Milton, FL

We arrived on Saturday, January 2nd at Bentsen Palm RV Resort in Mission, TX.  It looks like a great place and I will talk about it more as we get further into our month-long stay here.  It was a long and difficult ride here from Houston.  It took about seven hours and it was cold and rainy the entire trip.  Fortunately, we only had a little traffic in McAllen as we got close to Bentsen Palms, but being at the end of the trip when I was tired made it worse.

It may be a little premature, but I think we may be on the shakedown cruise from hell, and we are gone from our home base for two months which makes getting things fixed more difficult.  There are Continue reading The Shakedown Cruise from Hell