Archives for May 2015

Fun in your RV – Hobbies and much more

Fun, fun, fun

Having Fun

Joyce and Peter

Just because you’re not a child anymore doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  Having fun can mean many things, I have always been a great believer of having fun, you should be having fun no matter what you are doing in life.  You should have fun while you work and play.

For instance, have fun washing your RV, if you are a couple you should do this together and when washing an RV there is lots of water around right! well where there is water there is play.  My husband and I are silly a lot of the time we are both 56 but that doesn’t mean we have to act our age all of the time.


There are many games that you can have in the fifth wheel that do not take up too much precious storage.   Just watching television all the time is no fun.  Get out a game and start to play, you can play a game together or invite friends over for wine and a game.  Here are some of the games we have in the RV.

  • Draughts – most of you know how to play draughts, i played as a kid many times with my Dad who taught me how to play and I beat my husband many times at this.  I love winning ha ha


  • Jig saw puzzles.  –  These are nice to do when you can have quiet time but also very enjoyable.


  • LCR (Left, right, center) – We play this when we have friends over such a funny game.  We also played for dollars with this instead of the plastic coins and was much more interesting and hilarious $3 each to play.  We even play this at a party with 20 people so much fun.


  • Jenga – This is a game you can also play on your own, together or with others.  Nice and easy but fun.


  • Cards – There are many card games you can play.  I played as a child a lot with my family.  Here are some that we play, crazy eight, solitaire, Jim Rummy, Blackjack


  • Taboo –  This is a very funny game and much better if there are at least 4 of you.  So much fun.


  • Scene it. – When we play this game with just the two of us, we give each other 3 chances to get the answer as we are so rubbish ha ha!  Really funny.


We quiet often sit outside with a beer and play draughts on the table in the moonlight.  There is nothing better that beating your husband at draughts.  When we sit outside to play we find that people will come and chat, wave or come and join you.  It is a great life being able to socialize outside, smelling the night air and seeing the stars.

We don’t have the children living with us with us anymore but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun. When the children were younger we had 6 children at home and  trust me, it want a quiet household at all.  we always had fun, the children would play games, watch tv, make things, and many other things they would do.  They all had different interest so there was always something one of them were doing. Piano lessons, horseriding, singing to name but a few. We would have their friends around for birthday parties and if they all only invited one friend then that would be 12 children.  quite a few times we had karaoke going at the birthday parties. or leaving parties and many other parties that we had at our house, it was certainly a mad house.

We have our quiet times sure, but we also still have our fun and mad times.  Peter and I decided to go camping once with a tent .  The weather wasnt too bad just a bit chilly an there was definitely a nip in the air but clear and crisp.  It was still classed as winter in California but coming from England to us it was like a nice spring weekend. We went online and found a campsite in the mountains that had room.  Right opposite the camp there was a heated pool so even though it was winter we could swim comfortably the water temperature was beautiful.

We arrived and the campsite was empty no one there at all.  We had the showers and toilets all to ourself.  We built a fire and cooked our Dinner, after dinner sitting outside under the stars, Peter got out his guitar and we sang and sang and sang our heads off as loud as we wanted as no one was around.  This is probably one of our fondest memories of being alone and laughing until our stomachs hurt.  We laughed till we cried and were dancing around the fire being really silly.  Such great fun, have you ever laughed till your belly hurt, well that is the type of fun we like to have.


One of the other things we like to do is go for a walk, we don’t have a dog and we really like to have a reason to go for a walk so we go geo-caching instead.  Geo-caching is a great excuse to go for a walk and have fun at the same time.  For those of you that don’t know what geo-caching is I ha am not even going to try to explain it so I have attached a link to Wikipedia who can explain it better than me. Wikipedia Geo-caching


fun times

Our Geo-cache





Music while you Drive

Music in your vehicle

Most people want to listen to music while they drive.  The question is, can you listen to music while you are pulling a fifth wheel without being distracted?.  My feeling on this subject is that listening to music during this time is not a good idea. There are exceptions to the rule though, the only time that I would listen to music while driving a fifth wheel would be when there are miles of straight roads ahead me.   No traffic and good weather.  I think this would probably be the only time that I would listen to music while I am driving.  If you are in heavy traffic, dealing with turns in the road, driving on difficult roads or during difficult weather, you really need to have total silence with no music in the truck at all.  You need to be able to listen to all of your surroundings and hear what is going on.  You also want to keep conversations to a minimum so that you can concentrate on what you are doing.  Driving you Car also needs more concentration when driving on busy roads.

Music Preference

Obviously music is a preference for everyone.  I do have some suggestions for you for easy listening, Classical Music, Classic rock, or music from The Carpenters, Bee Gees, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder to name but a few.  There are so many artists, all I am saying is keep it easy listening.

Dinosaur Parade

I really love Dinosaur Parade Music and I am going to admit I am a little biased as Michael Hardman, the lead vocalist, is my son.

A radio station which is based in Laguna Beach in Los Angeles called KX 93.5 FM has featured Dinosaur Parade’s single “El Camino Road” on “King of the beach”, the DJ, Brian Holst puts two tracks against each other in a face off.  Dinosaur parade won King of the Beach 3 days in a row.  They were also nominated best new emerging artist in Los Angeles for April on Deli Magazine.  They are a great new upcoming band.


Dinosaur Parade Logo

These are the Members of Dinosaur Parade.  Michael Hardman, Lead Vocals.  James Ruvalcaba, Lead Guitar.  Anthony Prochaska, Bass Guitar.  Brittany Riffe-Ries, Drums and Vocals.

Please like their Facebook page at Dinosaur Parade Facebook and you can purchase their music at Spotify and Itunes.

Their music and tee shirts can be purchased from their store at Dinosaur Parade Store.


Dinosaur Parade Merchandise





Luxury Items that we own

luxury cooking utensils

Luxury Items

luxury signature-set

Cutco knife block

Luxury Knife Blockluxury Tableware


Cutco Table Ware

luxury Cooking utensils)

Cutco Utensils


Fifth Wheel Living does not mean that we have to go without our luxury Items.  Having luxury items in my fifth wheel makes it seem more like home. I would not be without them.


The Knifes, Forks and Spoons that we have in the fifth wheel are Cutco.  As far as I am concerned I see using Cutco tableware as a real luxury.  Everytime you eat you feel like a queen as the quality is so high.


Knife Block Set

We also have a complete Knife Block Set by Cutco.  We would not use anything else.  They cut everything like a hot knife through butter.  We have had our set for over 5 years now, and it is still in pristine condition.  When we travel I pick up the block and I put it under the sink cupboard for safe keeping.  If you lived in a house it is something that you probably would strive to have, so why not have the best in your Fifth Wheel it is your home after all.  This Large set came with all the kitchen utensils as well , it is a great set.


Potato Peeler

One more item I would not be without would be my potato peeler.  The Cutco Potato peeler is the best ever and stays really sharp and peels potatoes so easily.  It does not take you very long at all to peel a potato or even carrots.


Cooking Kitchen Tool Set

Another Item we purchased and again would not be without is the Cooking Kitchen Tool Set. All items you ever need for cooking are in this set.  If you need to pour gravy or mash your potatoes, or even serve up your dishes then this is the set for you.


You can purchase the sets from Amazon just click the links below.


Cutco Signature Set

Cutco Tableware Set

Cutco Kitchen Tool Set

Cutco Potato Peeler


Disclaimer:   I am an affiliate of Amazon so if you do purchase any items I may or may not get a commission



Hitch installation on a Fifth Wheel

Hitch Installation


Finally, the hitch has been installed into the Chevrolet Truck.  It was purchased and installed by Riverside Hitch and trailer in Riverside CA  It cost us $1700 in total.  The Hitch we had installed was a Curt Q16 Fifth Wheel Hitch with Curt R16 Roller along with the Curt Discovery Brake Control  We bought all of these from Riverside RV.  We did not understand what it was that we needed and were too scared to buy online. Even with installation costs at $400 or $500  we would have saved around $300 or $400 by buying on-line.  If you have a Chevrolet Silverado truck like ours with a ft bed then this is the hitch and accessories you need. The Roller is needed so that your Fifth Wheel can do tight maneuvers easily without damaging the RV or truck.

Hitch and trailer riverside

Hitch and trailer riverside



Hitch Installed

Hitch Installed


Time Frame

I knew it would take 5 to 6 hours to install and had no way to drop it off and go home.  Instead I hung around at Farmers Boys and had breakfast which was delicious and they supplied me with coffee, I could not have asked for better service anywhere, they did not mind me staying and waiting there at all.  I met a wonderful waitress who chatted with me when she could and even had her break with me, what a wonderful place.

After the Hitch was installed, the men from Riverside went over everything with me and made sure I understood.  The explanations were really easy to understand.  I have Instruction sheets and guidelines ready for us to hitch up when we are ready.  So exciting to finally have the hitch in.

I continued my travels as I was only 30 mins from where our fifth wheel was and went and stayed the night returning to Glendale the next day.  Even just to stay such a short time replenished the mind in such a tranquil and quiet place.  Lake Elsinore has such beautiful scenery and Crane Lakeside RV Park is the best on the lake.  Even the ducks came to see me while I was there.  Our neighbor even offered me dinner which I had cooked already.  I just love living this life people are so friendly.  You would not get that in a house.


(The online prices we have found on Amazon are so much cheaper than what we purchased and I recommend you purchase from them.  I am an affiliate with Amazon so if you do purchase from them I may or may not earn a commission.)


Cell Phone Holder on my dashboard

Cell Phone Holder

Cell Phone Holder

cell phone holder

Using my cell phone holder

Peter Tatler

Cell Phone Holder

For a long time now I have felt that I have needed a Sat Nav of some description in the Truck when towing our fifth wheel as ‘Joyce the Navigator’ would be driving in her Ford Escape.

I have been struggling using my cell phone as a navigator to use to get to my destination.  I really need a cell phone holder.

Sat Nav Problems

The problems I have found associated with sat Navs are:

  1. Sat Nav in our ford car gives us the most direct route which in LA traffic is dire!
  2. It has Distracting graphics whilst driving.
  3. The screens are complicated
  4. The price was very high


We have been using Waze the navigation app on the I phone for a while.  I absolutaely love it. I can change my directions to go via freeway or not.  The waze also redirects me if there is any traffic. The next best thing therefore would be to add a I phone holder to the dashboard so that I can navigate using waze which I am comfortable with.   Yeah! Great solution.

I searched and came up with the Modi mobile and tablet Car holder because it looked sturdey for the job.The price was really reasonable.

.   I found it to be a really cool Solution

.   It holds the Iphone perfect and stable

.   I find it is easy to see and easy to navigate

It came within 2 days and I am now using it in my Truck.  I could not be happier.  It is easy to use and I just have to remember to take my phone with me when I get out of the Truck.  This has happened on a few occasions to me so beware!

I would not recommend to you something that I was not happy with.  Hope this helps.


Working from your fifth wheel

Working from Home


working from fhome

Peter nursing


Travel Nursing

You know I’m lucky as my husband is a nurse and his job travels around with us.  Wherever he is sent we travel in our fifth wheel and live in it.  Your probably wandering what I do all day.  I work for myself working from home as a network marketer with a couple of companies and also quite recently I have just completed another dream of mine to be an actress.


Background Acting

You heard it right.  While we are living in Glendale which right by Hollywood, I thought, I would love to work in the film industry.  I signed up with  Central Casting and also registered with Extras Management who manage my diary for me.  Now I don’t get too much work probably about 2 days a week but hey it gets me out and about and I really enjoy it.  I just do background acting so nothing elaborate.   I have just fulfilled a lifelong dream.  I am going to register while I am in San Francisco to see if there is any work up there.  I love it, and it is so much fun.  Just the other week I was on Ted 2 dancing at his wedding ha ha!  How much fun is that………….

This is me in The Middle doing background I’m the one with the blonde hair Ha Ha!

Working from Home

Me in the middle

I also work from home educating people about Javita weight loss coffee and tea, also including energy coffee and cocoa.  This is a network marketing company.

Another network marketing company I work for is Legal shield who are a company that helps people get a will, legal and identity theft coverage  Legal Shield

There are many things that you can do working from home or going out a few days a week.  Whether your living in a house or a fifth wheel like me.  some other ideas are:


Other Ideas

1. You can be a camp host – this means working on the site that you live.  Maybe working for rent or money.

2. I have known people on sites who go shopping and run errands for others and get paid, also for those less able taking them shopping and helping them get out and about as an aid.

3.  You can hold a regular job and live in an RV on a permanent plot.

4.   Writing a blog is a very enjoyable thing to do, and you become an affiliate to other companies to help sell products.

5.   I knew someone who built stairs for RVs and got paid for that.  (Carpenter)

6.   You can be a Site Helper with booking in travellers, cooking during barbecue etc. Some of these jobs give you free rent.

7.   You could Sew or knit and make items for sale both to people you meet and on-line.

8.  Work in Network Marketing.



Fifth wheel upgrades

Fifth Wheel Upgrades


Here are some upgrades to our fifth wheel where we changed out the furniture.  We did this within 12 months of owning it our new rig.  Please see the comparisons.


fifth wheel upgrade

Reclining seats – before

fifth wheel

Reclining seats upgrade – after

As you can see from the pictures, with a nice rug and decorative pillows you can make the RV your own home.

The 2 reclining arm chairs had material that started to fray within 6 months of use, I found this very upsetting as there was only two of us living in the fifth wheel.  The fifth wheel was still under warranty.  I called Camping World and they said I could get it fixed and would have to get quotes.  I felt the material they used would have been the same and would happen again as it was poor quality. We decided that we would buy new and have exactly what we wanted.


We had two chairs made for us at Furniture Showcase.  Yeah! they were fabulous.


The Chair in the Desk area was annoying to get in and out of so we replaced it with an office chair with wheels and we put a plastic mat put underneath so it is was easy to manoeuvre.  This was so much better.


The hide-a-bed was also replaced at the same time as the chairs above.   The blow up hide-a-bed had broken really quickly and just kept going down. I just knew when we bought the fifth wheel that this would happen, it was the only thing I didn’t like about the fifth wheel that we had chosen.  I liked the look of the sofa bed so we bought similar colors and style.  We had visitors coming and it was annoying that we couldn’t use the bed for its purpose.  We had the hide-a-bed made specially to fit into our fifth wheel at a really reasonable price.

We then at a later date added a better mattress.  We bought a Queen memory foam mattress topper which was 4 inches in-depth and cut it to the size of the bed and then put it into a mattress cover.  It works better, fits into the bed easily and is much more comfortable to sleep on.  This bed was also made by Furniture Showcase.  They were an amazing company, we gave them the measurements and they made exactly what we wanted.  When they delivered they took all the wrapping off and fitted them into the fifth wheel for us.  Amazing service.


Thank you.




Friends and our Fifth Wheel Trip


Friend from abroad

I am beyond excited that my friend Susie is flying into LA from England to come on our trip with us and will fly out from San Francisco.  Its been a couple of years since I saw her and we were in the Territorial Army together and have been very close friends ever since.  Can’t wait it’s gonna make the fifth wheel trip so much more special xx


Susie and I have done many things together.  One of them was a Detachment Commanders Course which was one of the hardest things that we had ever done.  2 weeks of really tough training.  Assault courses, Range shooting, Escape and maneuvers,  Medical First aid training and many other subjects that were so hard and extremely physical.  We had many times that we helped each other through thick and thin.  One of the stories I would like to tell is, when we arrived back from the range one day.  One of the guys drops the box on the floor with all the empty cases in all over the floor.  We were so tired and heading to the cafeteria, I sniggered and had to stay and pick up all of the bullets.  I was so tired and felt like crying.  Sue tried to help me but Sergeant Major sent her to the Cafeteria and made me do it alone.   Great friend eh! I myself had done 4 years in the Regular Army and 8 years in the Territorial British Army and had served with Sue during that time.  We have a bond that cannot be broken and will remain friends for all time.


We will have some fun travelling up the coast while she is here along with my husband Peter and I.  The last time Susie came to visit we did a road trip to Texas and back.  This trip is really memorable just like I know this one will be.  We drove through thunder and lightning storms and experienced all of the terrain between Buellton and Texas.  What a great trip that was with a great friend.  I really am looking forward to our upcoming trip from LA to San Francisco.


Friend Susie

Life Long Friend Susie

Planning the Journey to San Francisco

Planning the Journey


San francisco

Travel Planning

Procrastination drives me mad as I am very proactive.  We had an offer to extend Peter’s contract at Glendale Medical Centre and the final decision to take the contract was waiting on a decision from the accommodation personnel.  It had taken well over three weeks for them to come to a decision and was taking far too long.  However, the decision to stay or not was very quickly taken away anyway with my Asthma kicking off again.


We contacted the Recruiter at Emerald Health Services Stephanie in order to start planning our destination. We finally chose the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Redwood City as it was near the coast and that it was an excuse to visit San Francisco up north in the summer – and get paid for it.

San Francisco here we come

We are so excited to say we are moving our fifth wheel to Half Moon Bay in San Francisco. Peter will be working in Redwood City just 30 mins away.  The Journey will end when our final destination will be in a place called Cameron’s Inn RV park. and we will be staying for 13 weeks.


On Monday I am taking the truck to Riverside to get the hitch put in.  How exciting is that finally!  We have booked sites mostly with KOA and of course stopping at Flying Flags which is a recommended Food Sam Site.  I have found them to be really easy to book and great sites.


We will be doing the journey very slowly going from Lake Elsinore on 20th June 2015 as this is the first time Peter has pulled the fifth wheel himself.  We are financially back on track and ready to do what we intended in the first place – to live in the fifth wheel and travel.

Planning Our destinations

We will be staying at : –

  1. Pomona KOA Site                     46.6 miles away
  2. Ventura Ranch KOA site          95.8 miles away
  3. Buellton Flying Flags                 91.4 miles
  4. Avila/Pismo Beach KOA Site   56.6 Miles
  5. Santa Cruz KOA Site                 160 miles
  6. Cameron’s Inn                             47.2 miles

As you can see we will be doing the trip nice and slowly.  I am so excited beyond words……  please join us on our trip as we now start our journey.

planning the Journey

Peter and Joyce

Job Changes and Job Opportunities

Job changes


Lake Elsinore


We moved to Lake Elsinore so that Peter could start his new job in Murrieta. Sometimes you do things and they just don’t go your way.  All you can think about is that there is always a reason for everything.


Peter started his new job and within 3 months he had been sent home so many times with no work for him,  this started to make things financially difficult.  Peter came home from work and I said, “ok.  “We can now get our own medical care as Obama care had now taken away pre-existing conditions so let’s do what we intended to do in the first place and travel.”


Job opportunities

Well we joined the agency again at Emerald Health Services and got medical insurance of our own.  Yeah! The only trouble was that the offer we got was in a city, Glendale in fact.  The money though was outrageous and guaranteed so we decided we would take it.  There is nowhere to put a fifth wheel in a city like Glendale so, we decided to live in a fully furnished apartment temporarily which was provided by Glendale Adventist Medical Centre.  We were very lucky to get it at a very reasonable price.  We now go home to the Lake most weekends to our fifth wheel and enjoy both worlds…  the contracts are normally 13 weeks.  After the first 13 weeks they asked him to stay another 20 weeks so we did.  We now have 6 weeks left.  They asked him to stay again and we have said no.  I have started to get sick with asthma again living in a city.  The air quality is no good for me.  The upside is we have the money to put the hitch in and have saved money for our travels……….. we see this stop-gap as a bridge to what we really want to do, which is to travel around California and we are ready now to do this.


Where are we going to next?……..

Lifestyle Changes living in a Fifth Wheel

New Lifestyle in an RV


New Fifth Wheel

So we are about to start on our new lifestyle we have our fifth wheel set up on a site in Bakersfield called River Run RV Park, So clean with a pool, extra toilets,  shower room and laundry if needed.  This site also has brilliant site shop for anything we may need. The lifestyle we were about to begin so far was amazing.


We moved all our personal belonging from the house into the fifth wheel and were so grateful with the one that we chose as there was so much room.  The real estate agent that sold us our house also carried out property management so we decided we would rent out the house in the first instance.  Distinctive Properties is who we used. It was rented within a week unbelievable how everything was falling into place.

Registered with Nursing Agency

Peter registered with an agency called Emerald Health and they had a job for us and we were going to be moving to Buellton CA very soon we were really excited.  Only one thing left to do was have the fifth wheel hitch installed.


Both Peter and I were over 50 and decided before we left we would do all medical checkups that we needed including a colonoscopy.  Both were booked in on separate days.  I got mine done and was fine but Peter got his done and it was found that he had problems and the day after surgery promptly started to not be very well at all.  He was really sick and was hospitalized for 3 days.  We decided to put a hold on the hitch and have that done later.  I was not happy with Peter driving the truck with the hitch as he was so unwell.


We contacted Camping World  Peter had 2 weeks off work and had to get well to start his new job in Lompoc near Buellton.  They were amazing and for a very small price they moved our RV yet again and moved us all the way over to the coast and even helped us hook up at the other end.


We absolutely loved it in Buellton and were so happy our house was rented out and we were living on a park called The Flying Flags RV Park which had all the amenities and more than we could have ever wanted.  The big difference in this lifestyle that I noticed was with fifth wheel Living is that it is not a lonely existence. Peter and I were just loving our new lifestyle. We found that in a house once your door is shut you practically speak to no one.  In a fifth wheel you live outside as much as you live in, people talk to you even if you don’t know them.  If you want alone time then you just go into your RV no one bothers you.


We intended to move on every 3 months with the agency and travel around California but with us both now classed as having pre-existing conditions, we could no longer get medical insurance ourselves.  Peter was well now and so was I and I had not had an asthma attack in 3 months since we moved to Buellton. The air quality was amazing.  The hospital Peter was with asked him to stay so we left the agency and went on full-time with the hospital and got full medical coverage.  This was great but wasn’t really what we wanted. We lived there for 2 half years.  Obama Care came in and pre-existing conditions are no longer a problem.

Moving again

We were due for a change and Peter got a new job in  Murrieta we were on the move again.  This was great but the journey to Lake Elsinore was 6 hours.  OMG! still not got the hitch in the truck and for a lot less a friend said they would take us ha ha!  yeah we were up for that. They pulled our fifth wheel for us.


We found a spot not too far from his work at Lake Elsinore.  Crane Lakeside RV Park we had a beautiful spot right by the lake what a great lifestyle, this park was the best on the lake. The moon setting over the lake at night were beautiful with the mountains behind us.  We were in heaven.  Living in our fifth wheel and loving it and enjoying our wonderful lifestyle.

…… Something happened next that will shock you!



Truck for a fifth wheel – What Type?

Joyce Tatler

Buying the right truck

We went to Car Max in Bakersfield specifically to by a truck to pull our fifth wheel.  The guy who served us was very informative and helped us get the right size truck that we would need to pull our new home. We chose a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 2008 HD.  They shipped it to Bakersfield for us and we were really happy when we collected it.  It felt really weird to drive though it was a very big truck and we were not used to it.  We had never driven anything so big in our lives.  Ever!



Chevrolet Siverado 2500 HD


We chose a diesel truck as this would hold it’s value more than any other and would have more power.  We loved the color of our truck as it was such a deep beautiful red color.  It had so much room in the back and could seat 6 people with no problem at all.  While Peter was at work even I started to get used to driving it.


We just need now to get the hitch into the back of the truck.  We needed a fifth wheel hitch that was capable of pulling our RV.  There was still a lot of expense as we knew it would cost us about $1200.  OMG! more money needed.


We were getting ready to move into our fifth wheel and packed up all of our things getting them ready to pack into our new fifth wheel which was about to be delivered to our chosen site in Bakersfield. This was a very exciting time and even though we had sold everything we still had a lot of stuff.  Living in a fifth wheel we were having to really choose what we needed most and not everything that we wanted to take, there just would not be enough room.