Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Moving to Palm Gardens RV Park in Harlingen Texas

November 11- 14, 2013  

Monday the 11th we arrived at the Palm Gardens RV Park in Harlingen TX.  We were told by the managers that this park is the oldest in Harlingen at 88 years.  Really, 88 years old!  

Our site in Harlingen Texas

This park looks like it started as a retirement trailer park, no RVs. At some point the original trailers we taken out, probably due to age, and were replaced by 1960ish manufactured homes that we call park models today.   Now some of these are nearing their end of life and are being removed and mostly RV sites are going in as replacements.  One of the managers told me that current retirees don’t want the new park models as they only have one bedroom.  What they want are double-wide trailers.  The problem is that they can’t fit double-wide’s on most of the old sites as they are too small for the current building codes.  So the solution has been to change the park model sites to RV sites.  I will say that most of these old park models are in pretty good condition, at least from what we can see on the outside. There are also a few new ones here too with large lots.  This is not a park for us to retire to though; it’s just interesting to see the history and to see how it is changing with time.

Typical old park model across the street from us.

The park is 55+ that caters to snowbirds, or Winter Texans as they are called here.  We picked this place for a few reasons; first it is closer to the Brownsville airport, secondly it is close to old friends of Patty’s, and lastly it is cheap.  The park is part of Passport America so the first 7 of our 14 days here is only $112.  The last 7 days is double that but the average cost works out to $24 a day. That is a really good price for a place with a hot tub and a pool that is also convenient to everything.

Ugly water tower in the park.  It looks original.
Nice heated pool and hot tub here in Palm Gardens.

Rolls/VW.  Interesting car here at the Park.

Tuesday the 12th the temperatures were in the 80s with loads of sun.  We went to the Walmart to pick up a few things and Patty got a haircut.   We also went to a Mall across the street to get my watch battery replaced.  This is a watch I really like but it stopped working over a year ago. After the battery was replaced it stopped working again.  I guess it is not the battery.  I am going to go to a watch repair place next.

We bought a pair of jack stands for use under the RV steps.  We saw this at another park.  It really makes the steps much sturdier solid.  
After another great Fajita dinner we went to the hot tub to relax before bed time.  We met 2 couples from Alberta Canada who arrived the day before us.  They are staying until March.  One of the couples has been going to Puerto Vallarta Mexico with their 5th wheel for several years.  OK, WOW!  That’s something we are thinking about for the future.  So we sat in the hot tub while I picked their brains about going there.  First of all, Puerto Vallarta is a long trip of 3 days (1,000 miles) to get there after crossing the border. It is also not cheap anymore at around $700 a month plus electric.  I would rather just be a day from the border, 200 – 300 trip.  This is something we are tossing around for 2015 winter so we still have a lot time to think and plan more.

Wednesday the 13th the temperatures changed big time.  The overnight temp was 55 and the high was 59!  We decided to mostly hang around the RV and stay warm.  We took a walk around the park and talked to the manager about storing the RV here.  They have a place for us at just $25 for the month!  So now we are just paying $25 for the month in storage fees as the truck is free at the hotel.  Also we won’t need a taxi or any fuel to take the RV to a storage place.  It is nice when things fall into place!

Tonight is to be the coldest night of the week at 49.  We brought in Rosey and Patty made a cold weather meal for dinner of beef stroganoff.  Very tasty it was!  

Thursday the 14th the temps got near 70 by mid-afternoon. However, in the afternoon we had intermittent rain showers. All in all it was a decent cloudy day, just not a day to do much outside.

My main task for the day was to check the electrical and plumbing inside the RV under the bathroom. There is no issue, I am just being cautious.  We have now bounced the RV around for about 14,000 miles and I just want to make sure that there isn't something that has come loose or needing attention.

To gain access to most of the wiring and plumbing I needed to remove a 2 section wall in the basement area of the RV. Before I could do that I needed to clear out our stuff stored there. We really do have a pretty good system of storage now so it only took about 5 minutes to unload the basement. Then it took another 10 minutes to unfasten the 2 wall section and push them out of the way.  Now most of the wiring and plumbing is exposed.

I first checked the electrical connections on my power management system. The wiring in these RVs are single strand and, coupled with screw type connectors, can loosen even in a house environment.  Next I looked for any areas that showed signs of being wet that would suggest a water leak. I didn't find any major leaks but I did find a very small leak on the back of the hot water bypass valve.  It looks like a crimp was put on a little off center and is allowing a little moisture to pass.  The leak is so small that I decided to not do anything with it right now.  The floor under it is not even wet.  It looks like a drip forms every 30-40 minutes.  I will fix it though when I get a small hose clamp in the future. Anyway, everything looked real good, just about the same as it did when it was new.

After the RV inspection Patty and I went for walk around the park.  We decided to have beef baby back ribs for dinner and cook them in the convection oven.  I have not done this before so we will have a learning experience.  So while we were walking the ribs were baking at 250 degrees for 2 hours.  When we got back we put the ribs on for another 45 minutes at 325 degrees.   I didn't use BBQ sauce, I used a dry rub.  They came out good but not excellent   Next time I want to try this method with short ribs instead of the baby backs and use BBQ sauce.  I also think I will adjust the temperatures and timing a bit.

Tomorrow it goes back to the temperatures we like, 80s in the daytime with 60s at night.  We are going to a watch repair place and to the post office for our mail tomorrow.  We will also use the nice pool here too.  We are hoping that Patty's renewed passport arrives with the mail so we can plan a trip to Mexico next week before we go up north for the holidays.

There are many fruit trees in the park.

We picked a couple grapefruit and ate one. 

Stay tuned!

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