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Old 05-01-2021, 04:01 AM   #21
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Wow we left Hot Springs last week and your campground looks 100% better than the one we stayed at.

Have Fun
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:52 PM   #22
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Thanks but... we don't go to places where we might worry about such things. And, we are not go out at night folks any more.

The "Mashalling field is gated and has 24-hour security and from what I hear far too many lights illuminating the place. In Non-Covid times there would be massive conventions being staged there weekly. With hundreds of semis hauling massive exhibit hall display's and buses and RVs full of workers that man the booths. The Hall is completely closed now for over a year. But the security staff is still on the job.
we stayed there and felt very very safe! we actually rode our bikes on lakeshore dr.
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Old 05-02-2021, 04:55 AM   #23
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Thanks for documenting your journey. Safe travels!
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:40 PM   #24
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After three nice days in Hot Springs we hit the road again this am. We drove 280 miles to just north of Poplar Bluff. We took Hiway 67 which is a pretty good road sometimes it’s a divided 4-lane other times a 2-lane. Signs on the road say it will be I-57 in the future.

Today’s campground is a Army Corps of Engineers park and if you don’t know about them you should check them out. They are always near water and usually very nice and inexpensive. We have a full-hookup paved concrete site with tons of room. The price is $24 a night but if you’re old like me and have a Senior National Park Pass you get half off. COE Parks are all around the country - 450 parks in 43 States. Always check them out on your trips.

Tomorrow is a 300 mile drive to Springfield, IL.

Here’s a couple of photos of today’s campground.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:53 PM   #25
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Nice park. I will add Army Corps of Engineers parka to my Allstays filter when looking for campgrounds. Have a good and safe journey tomorrow. 300 miles is at the top of our range for days drive.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:02 PM   #26
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Nice park. I will add Army Corps of Engineers parka to my Allstays filter when looking for campgrounds. Have a good and safe journey tomorrow. 300 miles is at the top of our range for days drive.
Reservations for COE Parks are made at www.recreation.gov. We stay at them very often, but keep in mind that since they’re always on a lake and they are inexpensive they are usually booked up on most nice weather weekends.

Yes, 300 miles is our longest drive on this trip.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:52 PM   #27
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300 mile day today and all of it in rain showers. Typical RV experiences today... trouble finding a gas station that would accommodate a 38' motorhome towing a Lincoln SUV with bikes hanging off the back.

We found a station on our route with gas at $2.42/gal. But there was no way to fit. So, we went to plan B and found one that we just sort of fit by luck and a prayer for $2.59/gal. Ouch, especially because we needed 50 gals!

It's a good thing we did though because once in Illinois gas was between $3.10 to $3.29 a gallon. YIKES! I actually saw diesel cheaper than gasoline today... like $.30/gal cheaper.

I feel fairly certain that we are 1,200 miles away from the cheap gas ($2.29/gal) of south Texas. Especially as we enter Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We won't be in the south again until Memorial Day weekend.

Tomorrow we drive straight into downtown Chicago to "boondock" in a big bus parking lot behind the McCormick Place convention center for 3 days. We really lucked out because yesterday it was 82 degrees in Chicago... and today it turned cold. It's supposed to be in the high 50's all three day's we are there. So, we'll only need our generator to recharge our 400 amp hours of AGM batteries to run our residential fridge and the LP furnace at night (lows are 40's all week). NOTE to self: order one of those BT/WiFi thermostats that just came out for our Coleman Mach system.

The EasyTouch RV Touchscreen Thermostat Control By Micro-Air, Inc.

The best part though... without a doubt is seeing our daughter in Chicago. We haven't seen her since Nov 2019 due to Covid. So, it will be a very happy day tomorrow spending time with her and her boyfriend.

I may add a photo later of this nice little campground we're in in Bloomfield, IL. But it's been cold and wet when we arrived.

Since some people want to know about how to find a place to "camp", here's how we picked this place. It's less than 150 miles to Chicago. It has full hookups to drain tanks and fill fresh water for 3-days of boondocking tomorrow. It's on the road we need to take to go to Chitown and it's rated 7.9 on www.campgroundreviews.com. Simple.

PS. After Chicago, we head north of Milwaukee to a Wisconsin State park that's 8-miles away from our daughter's boyfriend's family lake house on Lake Michigan. Water and electric there - but no sewer - the State Park, not the Lake House.
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:27 PM   #28
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Glad your long day is behind you! Have a great time visiting your daughter!
On the thermostat, when I looked at the owners manual, it doesn’t seem compatible with multi-zone Coleman’s yet. Did I get that wrong?
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:33 PM   #29
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I take that back. I guess I read the manual wrong. They have a good wizard that walks you through the process of selecting the right model.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:39 PM   #30
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Ah, the joys of boondocking in the wilderness. Here's our RV in it's "campsite" and the sites are super spacious. Hardly any neighbors to intrude. In fact there are only 3 other RVs in this "campground"and it's huge.

Plus, Lake Michigan is just across the 8 lane street out our front window.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:52 PM   #31
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Last night we went to bed and learned our propane furnace has stopped working. Luckily we were on 50-amp shore power so we just used the Heat Pumps. It was 42 degrees last night.

However, that means no heat in the RV unless the generator is running since we are dry-camping for the next three days (see above).

We're going to wait and see how things go tonight... and if it's too cold 39 tonight - we may leave our downtown camping spot and drive out to the nearest real campground 60 miles away.

For those curious, we're staying in downtown Chicago right on Lake Shore Drive. This is the McCormick Place Convention Center's Truck Marshaling yard. During non-Covid times the convention center would be booked with events and this lot would have trucks and buses coming in and out 24/7. But this year there are no events and the big lot is mostly empty. There are some Semi-Trailers being stored at the far south end of the lot. But mostly this huge parking area is empty. It's all lighted and there is 24-hour security. Mostly though it seems no one knows this place is here. So, there is no one around to worry about.

Our drive today was 147 miles but it was all freeway into downtown Chicago so it was not an easy drive. To make things more of a true RV experience we had a 20 mph headwind the whole time too.

When we first discovered the broken furnace we came up with all kinds of ideas of how to get it fixed. But in the end we decided to ignore it for now and concentrate on visiting with our 34 year old daughter that we haven't seen since fall 2019.

Tonight... it's Chicago Deep Dish Pizza with our daughter and her boyfriend!
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:51 PM   #32
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Ah, the joys of boondocking in the wilderness. Here's our RV in it's "campsite" and the sites are super spacious. Hardly any neighbors to intrude. In fact there are only 3 other RVs in this "campground"and it's huge.

Plus, Lake Michigan is just across the 8 lane street out our front window.
Yes, a picture you never see in an RV commercial. :-) still, a great location for your visit to Chicago!
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Old Yesterday, 11:17 AM   #33
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Day two in the boondocks.

Lake Shore Drive is directly in front of us (a stand of pine trees between the road and the driveway to our parking lot). To the left of us is I-55. Behind us are 5 or 6 sets of railroad tracks. So, we are surrounded by noise. Since it's cold the RV is all closed up and we slept fine.

Some commuter trains pass every hour but they are super quiet. Lake Shore Drive (signs call it LSD) is always busy but no semi-trucks so it's a fairly constant drone that's pretty easy to ignore.

So, far this has been a super location for our purposes, visiting our daughter and her boy friend. It's a straight shot 8 miles up the LSD from our RV to her place and that makes it easy to get there for a visit, but still come back "home" to the RV to rest up, walk the dog, etc.

Since we have done limited dry camping with this RV it's a good time to better understand our solar setup, battery bank condition, battery monitor and how we use power. With a full size residential fridge you need to routinely keep tabs on the batteries' state of charge.

Last night, we went to bed with 100% battery charge after running the generator for 1.5 hours. And, ran the fridge, heater fan, routers, chargers, etc all night to awaken to 73% state of charge. We ran the generator in the morning for a bit over an hour and left to go visit folks with 98% SOC. Returning 2.5 hours later we still have 93%. There's very little sun today in fact it rained all morning. So no real solar amps being added today.

With an RV everything is a learning experience.
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