General info, Remodel, Tiny Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Our Latest RV Project

So it seems that we can never get away from a project. We admit it, we love bringing something old back to life again. First with our Georgie Boy Class A and then our Lance Truck Camper.

But this time we have something special. REALLY special!

Introducing “Armani” – a shiny and soon to be restored vintage 1979 Avion 28J travel trailer!

1979 Avion 28J “Armani”
1979 Avion 28J

No, this is not an Airstream. Yes they are similar but definitely not the same. Airstream aficionados would argue that Airstreams of that era were better quality. Avion enthusiasts would disagree. As you can see, we fall into the latter category. No offense to all our Airstream friends! We really love Airstreams and nearly went that direction. But our friends Doug & Denise changed our minds with their purchase of their 1978 Avion “Ava”.

Doug, Denise, Zoey & “Ava”

We located Armani via Craigslist in Phoenix, AZ. After a quick drive down there (well, 8+ hours one way) we determined that while Armani needed major interior work, the external skin, frame and “bones” were sound!  A quick stop at a tire store for some new “kicks” and we were back on the road by 3pm! We decided to drive to Flagstaff and stop for the night at a motel considering that Armani was not camp ready. 

That’s when we hit traffic on I-17 headed north. Some DUMB ASS had thrown a cigarette butt out his window and caused a wildfire! We crawled along for nearly 5 hours only going 43 miles!!  Please, people – if you smoke so NOT throw your butts out your window!! It’s beyond stupid!!

Stuck in traffic

All of this happened very quickly. We had looked at other Avions and had even driven miles upon miles to view them only to be disappointed. I guess everything happens for a reason!

We didn’t tell our friends of our purchase. They knew we were looking but that was all. We made the decision to get Armani camp ready (well, we could sleep in it and use the bathroom lol) by June 12 as we were meeting our friends at our favorite spot – Ojo Caliente!

Armani at Ojo Caliente! Notice the lack of awning and AC shroud! 🙂

To say they were surprised is an understatement. Look at Denise’s face!


After the initial surprise we let them get set up while we prepared lunch and champagne to celebrate. 

Only the best!
And of course the cheese & meat plate for lunch!

We had a great time at Ojo Caliente and now we are off enjoying the beautiful mountain air of Pagosa Springs for the next month. We will also be putting Doug to work to get this beauty back to its former glory – you see, Doug is a master carpenter and has already renovated their Avion! The renovations have begun and we will be doing a blog post on those soon.

Cheers to the future!

Cheers to the new endeavor!
NC, RV Park Reviews, Uncategorized

Park Review – Carrollwoods RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard

Well, we finally did it!  We hit the road full time!  Woohoo!  We’ve been waiting and planning for this day for nearly two years.  So where did we go for our first trip?  Well, since the holidays were upon us, we decided to visit our daughter who is attending university in Myrtle Beach, SC.  That is approximately a 4 hour trip from where we were originally.

When we had made the decision on where to go, the next thing was to plan where to stay.  We wanted to be close by our daughter, but all our research of the local RV parks showed they were *really* expensive – even for a month’s stay.  We are on a budget and decided to look further out.  Mark did a little research and found Carrollwood’s RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard!

Welcome to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard & Carrollwoods RV Park!
Welcome to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard & Carrollwoods RV Park!

Located about 30 minutes from North Myrtle Beach just across the state line in North Carolina, this little (22 space) RV park sounded perfect!

Map link to Location:  Carrollwood’s RV Park

We stayed here for the month of December and while we enjoyed ourselves, I think it would have been nicer to be here in warmer weather! 🙂  Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.

  • Location
    • Pros: Located only 30 miles to Myrtle Beach, this little RV park is situated on a local Muscadine Vineyard which is owned by the family.  Surrounded by beautiful farm land with all sorts of local wild life.
    • Cons: The closest real grocery store and gas station is 20 minutes away over the border in South Carolina.  It’s an easy drive through some pretty farm land.  It is out in “the boonies” (which was a PLUS for us) but if you want close by amenities then this is not the park for you.
  • Sites/Spaces
    • Pros:  Monthly rates are reasonable at $350 plus tax & electric (.12kwh) at time of writing.  Daily rates are listed on their website and they accept many of the RV clubs for a discounted rate (Passport America, etc).  The spaces are very large, wide and (fairly) level with all being pull throughs for big rigs.  All sites have 30/50 amps and water/sewer hookups.  They have basic cable (you must get a box at the office) which they charge an additional $24.99/mo for (no thanks).  We got about 10 solid channels on our digital antenna just fine.  All spaces include a fire ring and picnic table and some have bbq’s.
    • Cons:  It rained (a LOT) while we were here and there are a lot of low areas that filled up with water.  Drainage could be better but for the most part the sites are very nice.
Our site #66 at Carrollwoods RV Park.  Very large with picnic table and fire ring!
Our site #66 at Carrollwoods RV Park. Very large with picnic table and fire ring!
Other spaces in the park
Other spaces in the park
Looking down the "main" road (there are only 3 little roads through the park).
Looking down the “main” road (there are only 3 little roads through the park).
  • Amenities
    • Pros:  Lots of shady tree lined areas and trails to walk, bike & hike. Very pet friendly! Laundry room has only two washers/two dryers but it is a small park ($1.50 to wash/$1.75 to dry) so that’s understandable.  There is a bath house and a POOL!  Also, there is a little general store with some basic RV needs and some food (expensive as you might imagine but handy).  **They do have wireless internet but honestly it doesn’t work well at all.  Goes out frequently and the signal strength is lacking and we were parked right across from an antenna.  So don’t rely on their internet for work, etc.** They have propane on site for fill.  There is a park host on duty.
    • Cons:  They sell firewood to the guests here at $4/bundle.  There are probably about 6 pieces of wood in each bundle.  They do not allow you to bring in wood from outside locations.  At the time of this writing they do not offer larger bundles at a discount.
General store!  Mail delivery here as well as a propane filling station.
General store! Mail delivery here as well as a propane filling station.
Bath/shower house and laundry room.  Also a covered deck to the right of the photo.  Pool is behind the bath house.
Bath/shower house and laundry room. Also a covered deck to the right of the photo. Pool is behind the bath house.
Swimming pool - would be great in the summer!
Swimming pool – would be great in the summer!
  • Pets
    • Pros:  Pets are very welcome at this park!  They have a doggy park with a picnic table to sit at while the dogs play.  Pets are to be leashed at all times (except in the dog park) and you must pick up after your pets.  Only common sense of course. 🙂
    • Cons:  Not too much on the downside here.  Just remember, even in North Carolina, this is still a southern climate and with that you could have alligators in the ponds here – do not let your dog swim in them!  Do not approach alligators for any reason.  Also, when walking in the woods be mindful of snakes.  There are many poisonous varieties here.
To the dog park!
To the dog park!
The rules!
The rules!
Tank wanting in!  His favorite part of the day was his walk to the park to "run free"!
Tank wanting in! His favorite part of the day was his walk to the park to “run free”!
  • Other thoughts:  This IS a “kid friendly” park – there is a playground and pool though this time of the year (December) there were only long term people here.  The beach isn’t far and there are tons of things to do within minutes of the park and the owner has three young children that I’m sure would enjoy playmates.  There is a lovely duck pond and one big fat mother goose who looks after them all!  Of course, the winery is a nice treat and they have wine tastings of their wine and have a cute little gift shop.  Also, at this time of year there were mainly long term retired couples here.  We were the youngest in the park by 20+ years! Everyone was very nice and welcoming though as RVer’s usually are. 🙂
Playground for the kids!
Playground for the kids!
Koi pond
Koi pond
Mother Goose with her ducks!
Mother Goose with her ducks!
  • AT&T & Verizon – the AT&T signal is very poor here and non-exisitant in certain areas.  Unsure of Verizon but according to my Coverage? app it shows a decent Verizon LTE signal.

Overall, this is a beautiful little park with a great location close to Myrtle Beach that won’t break the budget.  The owners are very friendly, it’s a well laid out park and the rates are reasonable if you plan to stay for an extended period.  We really enjoyed our stay and would be happy to return! Below you will find some more photos in and around the park and winery – enjoy!


Time flies!

Oh my goodness!  My how the time flies when you’re having fun!!  I can not believe it’s been more than 2 months since my last blog post.  So much has happened in that time I don’t even know where to begin!  I guess it’s best to begin at the beginning. 🙂

As of December 27, 2012 we have been living full time in the RV.  We sold the last of our belongings, got everything moved out of the house and here we are!  We are in a beautiful spot that only has two other RV’s on it and includes a private island and water/marsh views galore!  We could not have chosen a better spot to start our adventure.  Since we need to stay in this area until our daughter finishes college we wanted something that was more private and I will tell you, driving around and doing a little research sure pays off!

We found this location strictly by chance.  It is just down the road from one of the most premier locations in the low country of South Carolina.  It is right on the May River and the surrounding marshland offers a large variety of wildlife!    Here are a few photos that highlight our new space:

marsh1 river2 river

We are very lucky to be where we are.  The local campgrounds do not offer much in the way of parking spaces (too close together!) and our current location allows us a very short drive to work.  Best of both worlds!

We were also able to build a deck at our space to make it more “homey” and to also get away from the dirt – we reused wood from an old deck at our house and it sure makes a huge difference!

deck3 deck1 deck2

I’m sure whoever follows in our location will be very happy to have this deck.  The best part is that it didn’t cost us much to build!

We haven’t posted much simply because we’ve just been living and working.  Saving money so when the day comes we can hit the road!  We’ve adjusted very well to living in such a small space and we find that it has brought us closer together.  Our animals love it as well – our cat Shine especially loves all the windows! 🙂

There is a lot more to share but I don’t want to drag this post out forever.  We have some new updates on the RV to share as well as the new toad we bought.  That will follow shortly.

Until then… happy trails!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock Or Bust!