Safe travels everyone.
We what to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we’ll be back in 2019. Have fun with family and friends and be safe.
Safe travels everyone.
First- You might be finding this article on searches for “My Slides won’t work for a class C motor home!”
Well, first keep your engine running while you bring the slides in or putting them out. When I was searching, it took me two days as I over looked this in my manual. Happy camping. Now if you’d like you can read my experience.
We decided this year to try a monthly site out at St.Cloud Clearwater RV Park in Clearwater Minnesota. We’ve stayed there many times since we bought the Winneabago and love it there. The owners Eldon & Mary are fantastic. We decided to do a monthly site and see how it goes since we had no big plans as far as trips go this summer and we really wanted to test it out and see if we could be stationary. With that said we’ve never had an extended stay for more than a week.
During our monthly stay, we always brought in the slides before we left just in case of bad weather and when we got there for the weekend we bring them out. Well on this particular weekend my son and I went out on Saturday and we opened up the rv, my wife and daughter were at a country music festival and we decided to have a boys night. First always remember your keys when you head out otherwise you’ll have to drive all the way back to get them so you can get into the rv. That was my first duh moment that weekend. When I moved out the driver side first like always no problem. Then I moved out the passenger side and noticed it was slow. Not so slow that I panicked I just noticed it was slower than usual. We had a fantastic weekend and we stayed till Tuesday night. We did the usual clean up of the rv and packed the truck. We pulled in the driver side no problem and then started to pull in the passenger side and it went in about two inches!!! What the H! So now what!? So we grabbed the manuals and looked through them (in a hurry because we were about to leave) and we just kept overriding the system by pressing the test button near the out and in buttons. Finally got it in and went home. I always think the worst, dying motors, a squirrel chewed through a wire etc. I went on the internet and a lot of people said batteries. Of course the one year I forget to pull the batteries they’re toast. Jenn and I headed out on a Wednesday and grabbed the batteries and I picked up two new ones. Still kept looking online for more info on plans of attack, b,c,d,e, and f. You get what I mean. I just wanted my family to have a good time and not be inconvienced with this stuff. We brought the batteries out the next weekend hooked them all up and went to pull out the driver side NOTHING! We went to bring out the passenger side NOTHING! Might be a loose wire might be a fuse or a relay switch maybe........Time to grab the manuals. We got the slides out by hitting the reset buttons over and over and walking them out. The code on the panel read not getting enough volts. 16 blinks slamming me in the face every time . There’s new batteries in here! We decided to stop and breath. Jennifer mentions we should try to start the rv and see what happens. I grabbed the keys and that battery was dead, nothing. Come on man!!! I headed over to my parents to grab my battery charger and charge the battery. When I got back to the site it was time to eat and let the brain rest. When it was time time to go to bed I was up and I just wanted something to work. I learned a ton online about fuses, relays and how to manually get my slides out if all else fails. So on Saturday I came across a discussion board where someone asked, all my slides won’t go in and it goes on and on and then one guy wrote, I have to start my engine to bring my slides in and I was like what? I grabbed the manual and slooooowly started reading about the slide operation. Before I continue here’s how we’ve been doing it for 5 years. We pull up, we level the rv, we hook up water and electricity and we pull out the slides. Then on Sunday two days later we pull in the slides, we dump and unhook water and electricity. We head home. I got the manual in my hand and I look at Jennifer and say we’ve been doing it wrong all this time.
Here’s how to pull out or in your slides in a Winneabago Access 2008
1. Make sure rv is level
2. Make sure emergency break is engaged
3.Leave the motor running so alternator keeps all the batteries charged and keeps the right voltage to the slide motors for smooth operation.
When the battery was fully charged, we started the rv and made sure nothing was in the way of the slide then we pushed the button and it never worked better. Both slides came in smooth and quick! We were so relived we didn’t have to bring it into the shop.
What did we learn? Well, read the manuals slowly, don’t be in a hurry or you might miss something. We’ve been doing it the wrong way for 5 years, why did it work? Because we bring the slides out once and bring them in once and we start the rv and go then it charges the batteries. What was diffrent here at the monthly stay we didn’t start the rv and kept bringing the slides in and out for three weeks and it killed all the batteries. The positive, we know how to properly operate the slides and we got new batteries. I share this story for the new person who may have had an experience like this or if you’re having the same problem and are looking for an answer.
Be sure visit us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Also check out St.Cloud Clearwater RV Park at the link below.
St.Cloud Clearwater RV Park
We took our annual trip up north over Good Friday. This year we headed to the train museum in Duluth Minnesota. I’ve always liked trains especially steam engines and when I heard they had some big ones at the museum, I really wanted to go and after a few years of talking about it we finally headed up to Duluth and checked it out.
The weather wasn’t good but wasn’t bad yet.
The Lake Superior Train Museum is just off of Hwy 35 on Michigan Ave. *Directions below.
parking was really easy. Museum tickets were
When we entered the museum they had a insect exhibit native to Minnesota. It was cool, some of the exhibits were interactive and some just moved but neat nonetheless. They had large grasshoppers that moved and mosquitoes and more. Then we headed into the J.C Ryan Forest History Room. It’s an amazing room filled with a ton of Minnesota lumber industry history. This was so awesome, axes, chainsaws, clothing, gear and tree brands! They also had monitors with head sets showing old footage and narration to learn more.
There is so much more in the exhibit I just pick out my favorites. We could have spent a lot longer watching those videos. This is really well laid out and easy to look at. I like that the items weren’t just thrown on the wall. I’ve seen that with other so called museums that we’ve visited. It was time to head to the lower level.
First what you notice is the old shop fronts along the walls of the lower level and some look like you could walk in and get a whiskey at the saloon or maybe take a withdrawal from the bank.
At the time of our visit the Abraham Lincoln funeral car was there and it was amazing. Looking at the craftsmanship that went into the car inside and out, you can’t help to think about the pride these craftsman had in their work. It was truly an amazing and humbling experience.
The Lincoln Funeral Train departed on April 21 - May 3rd 1865 from Wahington D.C. to Springfield Illinois over 13 days traveled through seven states and traveled 1660 miles and was seen by more than 3 million people. It was a very awesome display to honor one of our Presidents.
This is the size of a snow thrower from the front of a locomotive to clear the tracks.
From the seat of the locomotive of the snow thrower.
Some of these locomotives were actually too big to get a great picture. Here are a couple of my favorites. Please be sure to check out the museum and take a ride down the North Shore in one of the trains. Check out the Lake Superior Train website for more info on times and prices.
The mail car with two helpers.
When we woke up the next morning, we had at least a foot or two of snow and the ride home was slow. Good thing we had a great trip to talk about on the way home.
Directions to the North Shore Scenic Railroad Museum.
UPGRADE!!! We got a tow vehicle.
Well we finally did it this week, we got our Jeep Liberty all wired up and got the base plates put on so we can now tow it behind the Winnebago. We are really excited for this upgrade, it will allow us to site see without breaking camp. The Jeep is just right to tow behind the RV and fits the family.
What did we have to get done so we could tow it?
We needed base plates, base plates are what the tow bar links up to so you can tow it. It had to be wired for the break lights and breaking system. We got ours done a Pleasureland RV in Ramsey MN. There is no external break lights on the Jeep, the wired into the Jeeps system so we didn't need any. Which we like because its one less thing you might forget. The Tow Bar we went with was a Blue Ox Tow Bar and the reason we went with this one is it actually folds up to the bumper nice when not using it. Some tow bars mount to the vehicle and has to stay there.
This is the Blue Ox tow bar hooked up to the Jeep.
Blue cord is the lights and they made the cord end to fit right into the seven point jack.
Black cords are the safety cables
Red cord is the break away for the breaks.
The two handles right and left above the Blue Ox logo are your tow bar arm locks and release handles
The black rubber covers over the bars protect them from dirt and grim of the road or just weather, most tow bars don't have them so you have to clean them and add silicon spray.
It is very easy to hook up and unhook the Jeep.
Here's a look at the locking pin and safety cable. To remove the two bar you pull the gold ring pin out. The silver pins are removable by pulling the ring and turning them out.
This is how compact the tow bar gets when folded down. There is a padlock on the hitch but if you don't feel comfortable leaving it in its not that heavy you cant throw it in the RV or the trunk of the vehicle.There is a cover for it to protect it from the weather.
What about breaks?
We decided to go with the Blue Ox Patriot, sets up by it self all we have to do is attach it to the break peddle plug it in to the accessory port and make sure its against the seat and we it set up and it sets its self.
I know in the picture the seat isn't up but it should be. The wire that you see is the break away switch, if the Jeep for what ever reason breaks away from the motor home it will apply breaks nice and easy. SAFTEY.
The back of the Patriot can be adjusted so it hits the seat better and there are pads on the bottom of the unit to make it more level if need be.
Connecting the clamp to the brake peddle couldn't be easier. You can see its a spring type clamp and it just slides or clamps on. To remove it there's a button on top to release the top part and it pulls off.
*I know you want our car mats.
The wireless remote, it will tell you when its on when its breaking if it breaks away. If you need to add a little more break or less you can do it with this. There's also a manual break switch in case you need it. The Patriot Blue Ox breaking system doesn't slam on your breaks it eases on the breaks to help slow down the tow vehicle.
How does it feel?
My first impression of pulling the Jeep with the RV. I was just nervous about taking corners, but then I realized that the Jeep is narrower than the RV the cornering wasn't so bad. I really never felt a difference when pulling it, now maybe when there's more hills or mountain type terrain maybe. I stayed on a country road for the most part and there was a few hills and the Winnebago never bogged down and I never felt a pull back. I was really pleased how it all felt. I was also nervous about setting up the Jeep for neutral it really wasn't as bad as I thought. Just be sure to read your owners manual of the vehicle you are towing or call a dealership and ask.
We know this will add to the adventures in the RV. We will set up a home base and go site seeing and not have to worry if the place we want to see can handle the RV or where to park. The experience we had a Pleasureland RV Center was amazing. George the service guy helped me through the setting up of the break system, helped me set up the tow bar and then let me do it so if I had any questions I could ask them
right then and there. We have really enjoyed haveing our Jeep in tow. We took it to South Dakota and really enjoyed haveing our own vehicle, we also stow our chairs and small bbq in the back.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
It's 2016 and our first trip was to Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota. We left Thursday night to go to Grand Casino Hinckley Hotel (yes not in the RV). Hinckley was our midway point to Gooseberry. It's about an hour and 54 minutes to the park from the hotel. When we got to the hotel we really just rested and hung out.
Friday we got up and headed out as we all were excited to see the falls. We had great weather 39 degrees and sunny. We headed through Duluth and we took the scenic drive. We noticed a lot of fly fisherman out on the side of the road, they were fishing the streams that lead into Lake Superior. We headed through the tunnels that were built in the cliffs, it was really fun for the kids. We arrived at Gooseberry and it was busier than our trip to Banning State Park the year before. I see two reasons why it was busy; 1) the weather, we have had some great weather this winter and at 39 degrees everyone was out enjoying it. 2) it's Gooseberry Falls State Park and it's beautiful. We got a map and headed to the Middle Falls just under the highway. As you approach you hear the falls getting louder and louder. We got to the Middle Falls and it was a sight with the pines and the huge rock cropping and the pure power of the falls. It was just amazing.
Then we headed to the lower falls and it was amazing, the ice that hung from the rocks was natures art with the pines and the stone and the waterfall roaring, it was truly beautiful. We see why people visit every year and try to see it in the seasons.
We crossed the bridge at the end of the falls so you can get across to the other side. The stairs bring you to some very beautiful spots that you better have a camera for. The path takes you all the way up to the highway bridge and if you follow the hiking path it will take you to the Upper Falls. We opted out this time and stayed in the main area.
We stayed for a little bit longer and took a ton of pictures and videos and it was time to head out. When we were leaving we noticed Betty's Pies and we've heard a lot of great things about this treasure on the North Shore. We decide this is a great place to get lunch. It was busy and the wait was about 30 minutes, but that's fine we're here and we are hungry. We had a Ruben, a burger and corn dogs and chicken strips and all were fantastic. It's pie time after all it's Betty's Pies. We tried apple pie a coconut cream and the 5 layer chocolate pie and of course they didn't disappoint. If you are unable to get to Minnesota or the Two Harbors area you can order these pies online at Betty's Pies.
We had a beautiful day and we hiked and enjoyed what Gooseberry Falls had to show us we ate till our belly's stuck out and then we headed back to the hotel. When we got there we rested a bit then headed to the arcade and grabbed some grub and then we slept like babies.
It was a great trip the weather couldn't have been better the scenery was fantastic and the food was amazing. We highly recommend you at least get up there once a year because the sights and sounds with change every season.
This was a great way to start our 2016 season.
Here are some links
Grand Casino Hinckley
Gooseberry Falls State Park
This fall I started walking/hiking around some parks around town. I've been to Montissippi Park in Monticello, Bertram Chain of Lakes Park in Monticello (a favorite), Harry Larsen Park outside of I believe Maple Lake and resently Crow Hassan Park Reserve. These parks give you something different in each one and I'll be sharing that soon. You can follow me on the Ramblr app http://rblr.co/GOvS
I'll be posting about the hikes and adding videos of each one also.
Safe Travels Eveyone
I posted our first part of our geocaching series earlier last week.
I hope you enjoyed it and ran out and found some caches. Well after 2 years of doing geocaching I found out something really great. While researching part 2 I found a geocaching blog that explained data usage for smart phone users. While I thought that was great geocachers didn't have to use data to have as much fun as my son and I do, I was wondering if you could use a old smart phone and use it as gps to find the caches. I dug around the house for my old iPhone that I let my son play on, and of course it was in our junk drawer and plugged it in to get a charge.
On the geocaching app, when you find a cache you want to find in the upper right hand corner there is three dots click it and you can create a new offline save file, name the file and add the cache or caches to the list. Now when you are out on your adventure go to your app and on the bottom where it says saved click that and you can use the smart phone with out using data. BOOM!
(Keep in mind you phone must be GPS enabled we used a iPhone 4) *check out pic below
On Saturday & Sunday we used the old iPhone to find all our caches. We loaded up around 5 caches and headed out. When we got to to where we were going to hunt we turned it on. We found that it will track you just like normal. The little blue dot will be moving just like you are. It's really great! We did the logging on my other phone and used data to fill it all out. You can wait till you get home and log all your find over wifi or when to take your little treasure hunter to McD's for a job well done shake and use their wifi.
If you have an old iPhone 4 laying around download the app and start using it data free.
We are planning to do a podcast LIVE!!! We aren't sure if we're going to do 1 a month or just record everyone live yet or on what day. We believe Friday nights would work best just because our schedules during the week are busy and the weekends we make family time.
How do I know when the show is Live? Be sure to Like our Facebook page and it'll be posted there. You can listen from Facebook, Mixlr or our website www.gasolineandmarshmallows.com
If you would like to chat with us during the show go to Mixlr.com sign in and follow us. Gasinolinemarshmallows. We'd love to hear from you.
That's all for now. Still working on the blogs and videos we want to post them in order of when we were at these places.
Thanks everyone and
Winter has finally left and we can't wait to get out and camp. With two trips already planned we're excited! With the addition of the new concrete pad on the side of our garage we can now leave as early as we want and I can open it up and do any tune ups that need done without any special trips. We'll also be able to make our camping time run right into October if we wanted. This year since the RV was protected by the garage and not out in the open like the first year so we didn't have any split linoleum which was great. We also got to go out every month and run the engine which was nice.
Our first outing was of course at St. Cloud Clearwater RV Park in Clearwater Mn. We really like this park its clean, the owners and staff are really nice.. Its nice to have a great place to go that's close.. When Jennifer checked in on Friday the owner asked Jennifer if she was also Gasoline and Marshmallows which was really cool. The kids headed to the park right away and we check over the camper while this was the first time we fully opened it and got it set up and check for leaks again. Once everything was set we just relaxed and watched the fire.
Saturday word around the campfire was some storms were coming in later that evening. My parents came that afternoon just to hang out and my dad, the kids and I played a round of mini golf, we had a great time its not about who wins the holes now as much as it is who get the most holes in one's. My parents left and the clouds started moving in and everyone was glued to their weather devices. The owners stopped by our site to say hello and they were on their way out to see a new grandchild. Was really nice to talk to them again. The staff at St. Cloud Clearwater RV Park were on it for there guests as far as the weather goes.. They went around and let us all know the storm is coming in and where to go if it gets really bad. Luckily we didn't have far to go since it was right across from our site and was located in the basement of the office park. It started to get really windy and the rain started we decided to head over to the shelter. (Better Safe Than Sorry) I brought in the slides and unplugged and we headed over. The rain came down hard and the wind was fast, the light show was cool. (see below video) I believe it lasted 3 hours and it wasn't bad in the shelter/basement it was big enough and everyone was courteous and making the best of it.. When the wind slowed down most people headed back to their sites. The rain didn't stop most of the night raining light then really heavy which kept us up most the night.
Sunday we woke up to no rain and no damage. We just got all packed up and started for home the rain actually kept us up all night,well Jenn & I anyway. That was our first RV Park shelter experience.
A huge thank you to the staff at St. Cloud Clearwater RV Park for keeping their guests up on the weather and where to go. Not every place you go will do that its your responsibility to know where the shelters are so be sure to ask and find them from your site. Its just a good practice to know where they are because weather can sneak up on you.
Be sure to check out St. Cloud Clearwater RV Park in Clearwater Mn.
Safe Travels Everyone.
Visit their website at
Hey everyone! It's been a fun and crazy summer. Let me start with thanks for your patience. We started our podcast last year and it quickly ended because we just didn't have the time. We hope to do the shows this winter of this years travels and adventures. Why no blogs? Well I tried something and it sure isn't working. I THOUGHT I'd wait till after the trips we took and then right the blogs, last year at the end of each night I would type the days adventure out and would post it on the day we returned safe and sound. Well I just can't do that, remembering everything we did and just the time to get it done was really tough. BUT!
I'm getting this years blogs done after that the videos will be on the way and HOPEFULLY the podcast will return. We had a lot of fun this summer and we had our first OH NO! so stay tuned and thanks for your patience.