The Gypsy Rose

The Gypsy Rose

Friday, May 14, 2010

I CAN become neat and organized...I CAN!

My Kindle keeps saving my bacon, I swear!  Thanks a million to my two Kindle pals, Tink & Uma, who let me play with their Kindles until I decided it was right for me.  Books and articles on RVing, the classics, poetry, and....a book by Nancy Shelton on organization for "Messies" with a Messies Anonymous (MA) type of solution.  I feel SO empowered!

I don't have people over because of how the house looks...when you can't physically clean...what do you do?  I can't nag and barrage my Pirate to do on MY timeframe...he works all day and wants to relax when he gets home...who doesn't?  I wish I could be a 'normal' house-cat and make our home the haven for him to come home to...sigh!

Well, now I have ideas, a plan, instructions, how-to, no-excuses!!  We keep telling each other that once we move into the 5th, it will be soooo easy to remain uncluttered...everything MUST have a place.  But unless we change our ways now, that trailer will become just as bad.  The book I'm reading calls the basic 'get-out-from under-it" approach of what they do at a large historical site, Mount Vernon.  They keep this site under control by starting with walking in the door, cleaning right there, then walking around the outsides of the room and working in.  How simple, but I needed that motivation.  

Yep, I can't clean a 3 bed/3 bath condo, but I CAN and will clean 400 sft of trailer.  Especially since 12 ft  of it will be garage!  

486 more days to Heaven!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why we chose Heartland--copy & paste from 'The Gypsy Journal' a professional blog about RVing

Sorry about the formating...when you're steal someone else's words, like I am here and hope it's ok.  I am in no way, shape or form the author of the following article I found on Heartland's website.  But, I could not have said it any differently.  Heartland has been treating us like the Pirate & Kitty Sweeties that we are, answering questions that may seem annoying to most, welcoming us to the family before we've even purchased from them...even letting me know I can change and request anything (within reason, I'm sure) my little heart desires.  Take a minute to watch the videos at their site.  Just click on the title, I think, and it should take you to  
Factory Tour

 We always enjoy touring factories and watching how things are made. Over the years we have toured a teddy bear factory, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream factory, the Tabasco factory, a whiskey distillery, and a cheese factory, to name a few. Since Elkhart is the center of the RV industry, we decided to tour an RV factory. 

Heartland Recreational Vehicles is a new advertiser in the Gypsy Journal, and Scott Tuttle in their marketing department had invited us to stop by and take a look at their operation, so we called Scott and arranged a tour while we were in town. Heartland is a new company formed by some veterans of the RV industry who had a vision to do things differently, and Scott told me they were committed to building a quality fifth wheel that was built for the needs of fulltime RVers.

 During our telephone conversations, I had repeated to Scott the statement I have made in these pages and during my seminars at RV rallies across the country, that the biggest problem with the RV industry is the poor quality of most of the RVs on the road. Call me idealistic if you will, but I just feel that when you pay $100,000 or more for a recreational vehicle, the darned thing should not fall apart going down the highway! Scott assured me that Heartland’s new Landmark fifth wheel was a different breed of animal than RVers have been used to. 

We arrived late in the afternoon and spent a couple of hours touring the plant. Having built our bus conversion from the shell up, and having lived on the road in both a production motorhome and now a bus, we have some idea of what goes into today’s RVs. I came away from the Heartland factory impressed by what I saw. These guys have some good ideas that the rest of the industry has overlooked. 

The first thing that we noted was that the exterior wall frames are structurally stronger. Instead of just using a hollow metal channel, Heartland fills the channels with wood for extra strength. 

Another big step forward is the frame design that, coupled with a unique front cap, gives the trailer 30% more turning radius with a short bed pickup with an extended cab, eliminating the “crunch zone,” where so many fifth wheel owners have damaged their trucks and trailers by turning too sharply. This design makes backing and parking the Landmark fifth wheel easier and safer. Maneuvers that would jack knife another rig are a simple task with the Heartland design. 

The rear fiberglass cap is also a brand new design, with recessed LED tail lights and LED running lights that give it a handsome automotive look. Overall, the Landmark is a very good looking rig. But looks alone don’t make a quality recreational vehicle. 

Scott showed us a lot of other new concepts that I think fulltimers are really going to appreciate. The rig is built to hold up under the rigors of fulltime use. It’s not going to fall apart like our Fleetwood motorhome did after a short time on the highway. The floors are solid, welds are top quality, it’s built on a strong frame, and they don’t cut corners to get one more unit out in a day. 

The electrical system and plumbing are well designed, with a water manifold that allows the owner to shut down any line in the event of a problem. But with direct runs and quality components and installation, a lot of the problems people see in RVs should be eliminated right from the start. 

Inside, they have included a lot of good ideas. Drawers and storage are well thought out, the furniture is well above the standards for the RV industry, interior design is attractive and comfortable, and the unit is roomy inside with its three slides. All models are prepped for washer/dryer installation, have hard maple bedroom furniture with cedar lined closets, residential sized drawers, and 6’4” ceilings in the bedroom. A lot of the things that are an option on the competitors’ RVs are standard equipment on the Heartland. 

Down below, storage is fantastic, with what Heartland calls its “Texas Storage” compartment, over 141 cubic feet accessible on three sides by 48” wide insulated doors. The bay has a flat floor with no obstructions for complete pass thorough access. The bay also has large sliding access panels for utility maintenance. The bays are floored with thick rubberized mats to resist stains and tears. A door side power center features a non-corrosive dual slide-out battery tray and quick battery disconnects. 

One nice touch is that all compartment doors are specially keyed, instead of using the generic keys other RVs use, so owners don’t have to worry about anyone in the campground being able to unlock their storage bays. Throw in a host of other neat features, including a black water flush system, exterior security lights, a satellite TV hookup, CAT-5 high speed wiring for computer Internet access, a safe in the bedroom closet (not in the floor, but in the side where it can be easily accessed), blackout day/night shades, and Corian countertops and the result is a recreational vehicle that I believe fulltimers will really appreciate, and one that I think is definitely several steps above most of what is on the market today. 

Here is another article, from last summer:

 Factory Tour 

In over eight years of publishing the Gypsy Journal, we have accepted advertising from only one RV manufacturer, Heartland Recreational Vehicles. This is not because other manufacturers have not approached us, but we’ve seen very few whose quality and customer service meet our own standards. If I would not personally do business with a company, I cannot in good faith accept their advertising. In my view, doing so would be an endorsement of that company. 

I will admit that I was skeptical of Heartland when they first contacted us, but Scott Tuttle, their Vice President in charge of marketing, convinced me that they are a company dedicated to producing top quality products, and we have enjoyed a good working relationship for several years now. 

We have watched Heartland grow from a small company of 50 or so employees to a major contender in the towable RV market, with a workforce of over 600 people. RV Business magazine reported in their May 2007 issue that in a recent Statistical Surveys, Inc. survey of the top 45 fifth wheel brand names, 30 lost market share. Of those who showed a gain in market share, most were small, or single digit gains. However, three brands achieved triple digit gains, and all three were Heartland products. Folks, that only happens when a company is committed to putting out top quality products and providing top quality service after the sale. 

Recently Scott Tuttle took me on a tour of their newest production facility, where they are producing their new North Trail travel trailers. I was very impressed! The construction methods, standard features, and Heartland’s attention to detail are first rate. The North Trail features many things you’d expect to find in an upscale fifth wheel, including a crowned roof that promotes water and debris run off, to keep the roof free of standing water that can lead to mold; extra large outside pass-through storage, a laminated roof with all aluminum trusses that is the strongest in the business; two inch think aluminum framed sidewalls (as much as twice as thick as the competition); and dual axles that are positioned far enough apart to provide maximum stability, not only when parked, but on the highway as well. And these are just a few of the reasons why Heartland continues to grow and to enjoy such a great reputation for owner satisfaction. 

If I were ever going to have a towable RV, be it a travel trailer, toy hauler, or fifth wheel, my first, last and only choice would be a Heartland product. I was so impressed with the new North Trail line that I asked Scott to loan us one of their trailers for a trip to Alaska one of these days. Wouldn’t that make for a nice trip north?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I LOVE Heartland RVs!

As if I wasn't already sold on this company...they just keep coming thru!  Every question I ask is answered in a timely fashion, the quality of their product is beyond compare (value of features, quality of materials, price) and they are just darned nice, to boot.  They never ignore me...and I haven't even purchased my Chariot yet!  WOW!  

They are going to let me have the main fabric I prefer, but put the exact shade of surrounding upholstery, too---even though it's not a 'normal' combo.  Leave it to the Kitty to be anything but normal! :)  The black that comes with the Kona decor was just too much--don't want heat-absorbing black...but I love the 'flame' pattern.  How cool!

Things are really coming together, we're finding out info and getting our time-line down....soon after Labor Day weekend 2011, as we have a very, very special wedding to attend on 9-10-11!  :)  After that, it's ROAD TRIP time!  Heck, we can even pull the Gypsy Rose to the church parking lot and not have to drive afterwards...just in case we end up celebrating a bit too much.  hee heee

I just can't explain the pleasure we're getting out of giving away our worldly possessions to our kids.  Amy and Tracers are getting better with the whole idea...we can't take it with us, and we can't throw it all  I got to surprise Miss Tracie with a very cool Harley-Davidson purse that I got at a 'Jerry's Kids' silent auction...paid $150 and it was half off at that!  It should last my sweet girl forever...HD makes the best products, built to hold up to the abuse of riding, etc.  Not that I've ever seen someone carrying a big ol purse on a bike, however.  I personally carry a back-pack, and it serves to keep the things I NEED close to me at all times, plus it's so nice to lean back against.  The Miche bag that I have now is all the purse I'll EVER just change the shell and have a different purse without having to remove the contents and transfer everything to a different one.  LOVE IT!

OK, laugh for the day:  When I came home from the grocery store yesterday, Scooter's toy was caught under my you can see, it didn't stop her from trying!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Now we're talkin'...

Can't wait until Kitty is in the picture!!

Finally, we are totally on the same page.  I think the unknown was really bothering Pirate.  I've been the one doing all the research, as that is 'my job.'  I usually read the info on whatever we are focused on and boil it down to the least he needs to know...guess that wasn't a real great idea in this case. LOL!

I found a great book, the 'Idiot's Guide' for RVing...found out the real deal as far as keeping our weight down--the 5er, not ours, LOL!  We aren't going to have a whole lotta weight left...yikes!  Pirate is already prepared to take the kitchen, tools, and gotta have more tools.  You can do anything with the right equipment, right?  We're only going to have slightly less than 5000 lbs to work with, and full tanks can weigh 1500 lbs all by themselves.  The bike is over we really NEED to take that Traeger, Dear?  And your tool tower-stand...and...and...we'll be so heavy in that garage that folks will call our rig Sparky!

Well, since we have such a long time before we have to get seriously serious about all of the details, we have time to wean him down...I hope.  That first weigh-in is going to be a real eye-opener!  And no, we won't travel with a full fresh-water tank unless we plan to boondock (camp without hookups).  But 60 lbs of LP (propane) will weigh 240 lbs all by itself!!

We are so lucky that we won't have to deal with making our own water--WOW, my dear, sweet friends who sail have to deal with that issue on a regular basis...and deal with the salt.  I have even more respect for my K2 and her Capt'n now that I understand the lifestyle better.  What troopers!  And we won't have to carry our own water purification plant, won't be without fresh water and good old electricity very often on dry land.  But it is so interesting how similar the RV life is to the Marine way of life.  No wonder our big rigs are called 'Land Yachts!'

Everyone keeps asking us where we're going to go first...we just say, "Anywhere we want!"  But we've been thinking where our 'shake-down cruise' should be, and we're thinking Arizona, where we have dear friends we can go visit for an extended stay.  Our dear, dear riding buddy is building a house in Tuscan, and he's a gear-head, Harley-riding, retired boilermaker whose middle name should be McGuyver!  We figure if anything goes wrong along the way, Richard can 'make it better!'  Also have a fellow Harley-gypsy living in Mesa, AZ that we'll spend time with....and what better fun than to load his bike in the garage and take him a few days or so out, then have Pirate ride half-way back with him while I hold down the fort! Can't wait!!!!

I had Pirate re-watch the videos on the Heartland website...he was going to buy a pressure washer---why?  The rig comes equipped with one on the outside--with hot and cold water to boot!  He forgot about all the bells and whistles the Road Warrior comes with.  A call to our local dealership and we found they won't be stocking the 395 RW...they prefer the Cyclone (because it's about $20k more than the RW series) and tried to talk us out of it. Just told him that IF they get one in, call us.  Otherwise, we will be ordering in probably Feb-March...maybe Dec if the deals are that much better to relieve them of their inventory off a lot, but doubt it.  RW is a new line, with 2010 being their first year.  That's ok, I found out I can order exactly what I want, right down to my own hybridized decor.

It's kinda weird to think that by next Mother's Day, we'll be all but!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

....he's IN!!

YAY!  It just took Pirate finding some information out!  Contacted some people he had on his 'to-do' list, found out how much Soc. Sec, etc...NOW we have good numbers to work with.  Rving is out best option, even if we didn't travel! :)

The Schnauzers are lively this morning...Boone is feeling better and has had a good 4 days in a row of no tummy upset, good glucose numbers!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You're either IN...or you're OUT!

Well, my Pirate is really not doing so great...worry, worry, worry.  I understand that--he's responsible for his Bride and his two furry pals!  But the vacillating is beginning to wear on me.  I don't know how to make it better.  I don't know what we would do if one of us had a medical catastrophe...I don't know if we'll use up all of our nest egg or otherwise run out of money.  All I can do is trust in God--He has never, ever let me down or left me in danger.  I trust that He will guide us (ya has ta ask, however).  All I DO know is that I love this man more than I could ever express and want to spend the rest of my life with him.  It matters not where or how.  I could live in a tent and be happy as long as I have him at my side.

If you worry about a thing and it doesn't happen, you've suffered for nothing.  If you worry about a thing and it DOES happen, you've suffered twice.  Should you walk around with your eyes closed behind rose-colored glasses..NOPE!  God helps those who help themselves.  But what if Job had worried--God is going to send horrible things to test me, and then He did...could Job have born suffering twice?  I don't know, but I'm glad he spent his time praising God for the abundance in his life...and even when tested, he didn't blame God.  May God shed a portion of Job's grace on the Cozarts today! :)

In the mean time, I've got this picture on my desktop---so I can stare at MY kitchen, lol!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Long and Windy Road....

My Heavens!  It's nasty outside!  I have no idea how bad the gusts are, but they have to be over 50 mph, as we regularly get 35-40 mph wind here in Tri-Cities.  INSANE!!

It's interesting to see the different reactions from friends and family to our decision to RV full time.  Even our own reactions are different depending on the day!  I know it will be an up-and-down thing, especially for Pirate.  He has worked every day of his life since age 11--how is he going to cope with 'not being productive?'  He woke up in the middle of the night the other morning...gripped in fear.  Is this going to work, is it the right decision, what about insurance for my Kitty, what, what if, what if...He is so protective (that's who he is, a Protector) that it's natural for him to be hesitant.

We know we won't be bored, there is so much daily maintainence involved in Rving...he can also pursue his hobbies in The Clubhouse.  Take off on Rosie the Road Glide, take a bicycle ride around the campground, take off in the truck and explore...but the daily feeling productive, that's going to be an issue for him.

Gosh, there just isn't any way around health insurance.  We will just have to plan trips to Yuma, AZ...or across to Mexico.  Also, since he served during war-time, he will get VA bennies...ahem, he needs to check into that...ahem...  but only Pirate can calm his own fears and worries.

Just found out it would take only 8 weeks to custom order our RW 395 from Heartland...very cool.  We were worried that if it would take months, how do we fit that into our schedule, etc.  If we have to order, it will be because we won't want all the options, and most RW 395's (the few out there) are fully loaded off the RV lot.  Unless we find a great price, we're not gonna pay an extra $5000 for the super-duper generator, don't need the rear-facing convertible sofa in the garage area, do want hitch cover, electric awning, stabilizer jacks, etc.

We've also been discussing what do we want to do at the END of our adventure?  Right now, we feel we could park the Gypsy Rose and just live in her at the end, but after 10 yrs, we may decide different.  Just can't  plan for everything! :)  Who knows, we may be out 2 years and run into unforeseen somethings that change the game?! The unknown is part of the attraction!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Just Give it Away....Give it Away....

...and a great Sunday to all!  Yesterday Pirate took some things over to Heather and Manix...took his Little Pupper, too!  Scooter Boots is doing so great being Daddy's Hangout Pal.  She is very patient while waiting in the truck, and was a Super Good Girl over at H & M's...even with all the puppy distractions.  

Scooter is still GLARING at me..she KNOWS it's my fault that terrible noise occurs, LOL!  I've made so super nice friends over at, and there is even a DVM on the Pet Forum.  Seems this product, if it's going to work, is the most humane device on the market.  I did read at the PetSafe website that sometimes crinkly plastic will set it off, but so far, no problems.  Our neighbors across the courtyard tried it, and it didn't work for them...darn!

Well, my Tracie is on the Laters, Gators!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PetSafe Bark Controller RAWKS!!

WOW!!  I keep saying WOW because this little device keeps working!  Scooter the Potty Mouth Schnauzer only ripped off 3 barks before she shut it down...not a PEEP from her since!  The machine lets them 'get away with' one or two yips, but that's it.  Poor Boone, but thanking God Scooter is a fast learner.  Whew!

It was only $49/$45 with PetPerks Card from they won't run us out of camp! YAY!

Here's to a wonderful, sunshiney, barkless day!