User Tools

Site Tools


harmon_ron_sharon

This will take me forever and a day to complete, and hopefully, I'll leave a worthwhile message or two. for a start, I merely want to see if I've learned anything concerning the format. Sharon and I are both collectors and users of antique rv's and although not usually joiners of any organizations we are excited about tincantourist. I mean after all, there are lots of parks that won't let or treasures darken their doors. Little do they know. Its off to see if I saved this then there will be lots of updates and photos provided I can master this. Ron

Ron & Sharon Harmon

Being a novice at this means that I do little editing and keep adding to rather than revise. I checked out some of you other folks and believe we are in the right place for the appreciation of older units. What a wonderful collection of antique and vintage rv's! I've only ten minutes before hitting the great outdoors for the packing process of leaving OR for AZ, something which takes us three weeks or so. My next attempt will be some photos to add to the writings. Very briefly, Sharon and I are both retired, and have been pretty much living in rv's for the past 10 years. Somehow we've managed to purchase and use some dozen or so motor homes and travel trailers, none newer than 1980, but each of which is still a functional part of our lives. Sharon is a retired Xray travel tech, and I'm retired from the reserve military, plus also from a failed nursery business. Have to include the failed nursery business because it was pretty much the incentive for the nomadic lifestyle. Time to hit the outdoors,next, I will attempt a photo or two

Just for the record, I intended to include some photos this time,but the computer failed, then I got behind in the packing process so I decided just to write for a couple of minutes. We hope to meet some of the TCT folks in TN this fall provided the 19' Streamline and the old van makes it from AZ to TN via KY. The 1969 or 70 Streamline is quite a jewel we located in NV a couple of years ago. Our travel methods have changed from a 35' 1980 Executive motor home to smaller units. The 17' Silverstreak, and the 19'Streamline are both used for short duration trips although we have lived in the Silverstreak for three months-that was quite a feat I might add. We do not have a permanent home;however,the rv's have served us quite well as homes and quite a lot of savings which I'll get into and ramble on about once I get the feel of this. It is surprising how cheaply a person can live when there is no mortgage or associated expenses. There I go rambling so its time to quit. We are off to Corvallis,OR for a few days before beginning the trip to AZ and points East.

Hard to believe we've been home from Corvalis and its time to finish up “Breakin Camp” from the summer. Seems like a fellow ought to be camping and having fun on Labor Day. The trip to visit friends at Oregon State was a blast. We might as well admit we are addicted to yard sales. Our intent was to visit Al and Jan Mosley and pretty much take it easy. Well? First it was one yard sale then another and another and pretty soon the old car had no room for Sharon and I. It took some serious packing and repacking to make the trip home to Eastern Oregon. We can hardly wait until next year when we take a tour with either the '64 Silverstreak or the 1920's?. There are some very interesting towns across Cental Oregon where we would like to take root for a day or so. Prairie City, John Day, Dayville, Grass Valley, Sherman and so on are some very unique small cities and towns. But back to breaking camp. Its difficult to realize just how much we settled in over the summer. Like the gypsies we observed in Turkiye we simply spread out our carpets and oriental rugs along with a multitude of Northwestern treasures then enjoyed them from June until now. I must say our little compound surrounded by two antique motor homes and an antique Terry trailer was rather cozy. Next year should we get the area totally roofed and connected we will really be set! It seems I've begun rambling again. We received the member packet from the club so now unless we lose everything we are set for rallies. I've yet to learn how to attach photos so those will have to wait. Certainly anyone reading this can hardly wait to see all the treasures, let alone view some of my photos of our travels. One thing about this, we have no idea if it is ever read, but lots of fun to attempt descriptions of our adventures. Should we progress to adding photos please remember that all our treasures are works in progress! I can see outside now so its time to “hit the bricks” for one last day of putting the homestead away for the winter.

9 September 07

Should anyone ever read this, it is the 9th of September and we are enroute from Oregon to Arizona via Idaho and Yellowstone. Strange route. Some questions. If anyone ever reads this and knows any history of Lime,Nye valley,or Weatherby,OR, it would be nice to know-in Idaho:Felt or Mayfield. We left the 5th in our 1973 Open Road motor home which in itself has quite a story, which as one might guess we are full of. Some say I am full of bs, but folks anything I say is all true. I personally do not intend to make this just a travelog, but have hopes of imparting some useful information as well. If nothing useful, then we hope to provide some insight to the Open Road as we see it. My overall observation thus far on this trip is the rv parks out here can be expensive, or at least what we think is expensive. When the rate gets over thirty a night we shutter. In fact, one night cost more than one motor home and all it took to equip it for a trip from Oregon to AZ. For the record also, tincantourist cuts no ice at a Good Sam Park. Each place we stayed, we are the oldest derelict in the park. We have no budget so the cost of the parks does not matter, it is the principal of the thing. We refused a place in Idaho Falls, which was cramped among all the new hotels and such, and which had a rate much higher than expected-we located a safe place and merely hung out for the night at no cost. An aside, we use Wal Marts upon occasion but in reality we figure we can be a lot more creative than that! Where was I? Rambling again. We also found a place to dry camp for five a night in Aston,Idaho which is a real deal and used it instead of staying in more exclusive places closer to West Yellowstone where we have splurged and used a park very close to the park boundary. The sole reason for the trip is to show Sharon the park and meet an older brother enroute from Indiana plus its fun traveling with no time constraints nor agendas. Back to the bs. This trip sort of reminds me of a trip from OR to AZ with a two dollar motor home we purchased at auction in Walowa,OR. Yep! I was too embarrassed to bid but not Sharon, when this old Midas came on the block she immediately opened for two dollars and no one bid against her. Does this give an idea of the shape it was in? Tune in for the rest of this one. Oh why not, there is a little time before I begin breakfast so here is the story.

The motor home was purchased only a couple of years ago at a time when I was trying to get started on a book about how cheaply a person can live on the road if determined enough. My theory was that no matter how one traveled if there were no debts they could live quite well on next to nothing so far as income and travel at the same time. The motor home we purchased looked like quite a wreck, but I had heard it run before the auction and it sounded quite good, plus the owner said the fridge worked as did the ac. He also informed me he had purchased a new battery and all the inside things live the stove went with it. Now it looked bad-it had been stripped inside as a project and the exterior was damaged but not beyond hope since all windows etc were intact. One could see through the floor in a place or two but with some plywood it would suffice. I set out to prove that a person could travel this way cheap. At various yard sales and thrift shops I purchased enough camping gear to outfit the motor home for a trip to AZ. I think I spent on the order of thirty dollars buying a lantern, coleman campstove, sleeping bag, and any other item I thought we could use on such an adventure. Digressing just a bit, we let the owner keep his new battery as he was not very happy with receiving only two dollars for his motor home! In addition, Sharon had purchased the generator for an additional ten dollars. By the time we got it licensed and insured and made the drive to Baker,OR, I was convinced it would make the trip to AZ at which time we would remove the fridge,and ac, then convert it to our solar control center. So my claim that I spent less on this motor home than at an rv park on this trip is true;however, I have not included license and insurance cost as part of this claim. Just for the record we made the trip just fine by driving sensibly and taking our time with the old thing. Our cost did not include any repairs as it needed none, and the old tires were quite serviceable, so our major outlay was for gas and food. Somewhere here I seem to have missed the point so its time to quit and take “D” the Yorkie for his morning walk. At 25 miles average per day the cost for gas was not so bad and we make the trip just fine, and the “old jewel” does now serve as our solar control center. Not only that, but several items have seen service at one time or another in other units such as the Desert Box but that is another story. Not sure I'm finished with this one but “D” is demanding time.

20 September 07

Here it is the 20 something of September and we are headed East in the '71 Streamline Prince with an overnight stop in Winslow,AZ-remember the song by the Eagles? Whatever, the song warrants a bronze statue and a historical note. I think the title was “Standin on the corner in Winslow, AZ”, but don't hold me to it. But back to the two dollar motor home because there was a point to it. At the time of this purchase I was attempting to write my book and several titles and starts had been considered. The titles:Are We Travellin Yet, How We Became Millionaires, or Livin on the Cheap. This was during the livin on the cheap phase. It seemed to me that if a person had no mortgages, auto loans, misc. loans; nor any electric, sewer, water, phone or other utility bills; then if there were no property tax or other associated taxes; it seemed logical to me that one could live pretty cheap. This was an experiment and it worked. One can live rather well without these expenses on very little cash, and travel at the same time! There was also something to do here with some author's heirachy of needs from my college days(Maslow's). The point there was all that is required is food, shelter, and clothing(protection from the elements), then all else is gravy so to speak. I also fibbed just a bit because we did not stay in the two dollar motor home, my wife followed me in the '73 Explorer motor home which had been named the Desert Box. And that can be the next story. I do belive the coffee is perked and I can hear “D” the Yorkie moving about so I best shut this down for now. This trip is also an experiment: the goal is to see how efficiently we can travel with the Streamline Prince, make repairs and improvements as we travel, plus buy and sell as we go in attempt to finance part of the trip. With having wireless connection to the net we figure we can sell an item or two on Ebay as we travel,provided we find the right item. How about the '71 Streamline Prince in much better than average original condition? Here I go rambling again so time to shut it down and face the day.

28 September 2007

Here it is the 28th already and almost time to head out for the day. I managed to reread much of what I wrote and notice that I've repeated myself several times. Also, I've given this lots of thought as to whether or not this is the proper format for this type of rambling. And why not? To my mind we are talking not only about the vintage units, but about a lifestyle as well. My hopes are to begin adding photos so anyone reading this can see as well as read. A very short note then I'll continue. We visited friends in extreme Southwest Kansas who are in their 70's. The lady can remember growing up in the early 40's and recalled life in various trailers as well as locations. It was quite interesting to hear of trailers made entirely of wood and wood and fabric covered units. She called one she remembers a leatherette. As a gift I hope to send her a copy of a book showing lots of the old units. I think I've already said that this trip is sort of an experiment or test to see just how we can travel on all we've learned during the past few years. Which leads me to another starting point. Some ten years ago, Sharon and I did lots of dreaming and set lots of goals for a ten year time frame then proceeded to chase these dreams. A dream or two I'll share at the start concerns owning a Prevost, Airstream, and travelling to our heart's content while still having an income. Please keep in mind that we were both over the age of 50 at the time. Some nine years later I can now provide results of what can happen if a person dreams, plans, then chases the dream. One and perhaps the only thing I really have going is the ability to dream and set those dreams in motion to an end result. Telling the truth, I'm rather proud of this one and will share the entire experience in these pages and do so in a lot more organized fashion in the future because I'll begin with the beginning and follow through to the present. We are “Tincantourist” both with the units we use and the lifestyle I personally associate with such a name. Maybe I can call this one “Millionaires Travellin and Liven Cheap”-pretty rotten title! We just have to give the travelog as well.

We left the Interstate somewheres in New Mexico and struck out over the secondary roads visiting such places as El Morrow, Sky City, as well as various New Mexico State Parks to include Neuova(sp),and Clayton Lakes. Elkhart,KS has an exceptional museum and a nice city rv park. Not much as a travel log, but then anyone who reads this can ask questions should they like. Our goal was to get off the Interstate where all we did was see semis and other vehicles flying by! Just not a fun way to travel.We seem to have wireless service again and hopefully I can add a little each day of our story along with the highlights along the byways. Obviously if this is really really boring no one will ever read it, I will certainly not know until after the fact. Its time to secure the old Streamline and head out for another day.

30 September 07

Its been a couple of days of on the road again but with no wireless service at the OK state parks. This was fine because with views and the senior discounts who needed the net? Beaver Creek or something as such, Salt Plains, and now Osage Hills has given us some serenity from the Interstate. We've also begun recruiting for tincantourist by mentioning it to all the folks who talk with us about our '71 Streamline Prince. A couple of highlights then maybe I can get down to telling our story. Our very first wayoutwest motor home was a 1969 Dodge Chinook Mobillodge. Ours has quite a story which I'll get to, but we saw one at Salt Plains State Park yesterday and got some good photos. If only I could figure how to add them, I'd share them here. The point is there is always something to see around the next bend.

Dave Galloway the owner now knows of tincantourist and gave me permission to use the photos and his name. Also in one very small town of which I forget the name, we came across some very old cars covered with partial canvas. A couple of photos and a sneak peek and there it was! The perfect tow vehicle for our '27 something travel trailer! A 1920's era Buick 4-door. Remember I said a guy has to dream, then plan, then make it happen. Wonder if I'll ever get beyond the dreaming part on this one. Sharon says to tow it with either the '58 Packard Hawk, or the '66 Mercury Hardtop. At this point I'd be satisfied with just towable. With a quick search on Google I did discover that '27 Buicks did have wire spoked wheels just like the one we recovered from the desert. A lady in another OK town who admired the Prince also knows of tincantourist, she has both a '62, and a '69 Shasta just added that to let folks know I'm actively recruiting. Two hundred miles a day is just too much, I figure on subsequent trips the limit will have to be set at 100 miles a day or less, what with stopping to look at things,and shopping for treasures there just isn't enough time to travel very far. One last prime piece of information and I'll get to organizing our story. We talked with a gentleman in Buffalo,OK who makes two-story cabins in his garage. Seems like he retired but got bored and starting building these things. The unique parts are that he is 75, and his 20' cabin is two story. He relays that he can deliver it on a trailer-just thought that was sort of special. Thats it I've run out of things to prevent me from writing more seriously,although this quick thought just ran through my mind: Our '27 something has a door much like the Airstream,Silverstreak, and Streamline, does anyone know when this was first done?

5 October 07

Lucky me, I've found a way to delay starting our story! First, I need to go back into this and correct some errors, then second, I want to stress how important it is to check the units before heading out each day. Ever heard of Murphy's Law? If it can happen it will happen! Certainly anyone who has ever traveled as looked into the rear view mirror to seen an electric line flapping in the breeze, or a sewer hose, or perhaps treasures falling from the storage compartment? Perhaps one has even seen a wheel pass and wondering where it came from-the next instant you knew! We've made it a point for me to check things then for Sharon to do so independently of me. I get irritated when she finds something amiss, but very thankful at the same time. I mean how could I miss something? In this instance we stopped at a friends house in OK for a short visit and some repairs.(If you are ever within 100 miles of Joplin, and need help, I'll put you in touch with John, because if at all possible he will get you back on the road)The repairs were for our van, but John took one look at our hitch,looked beneath the van and stated that the receiver was about to break! I could see this antique Streamline we are so proud of passing us down a hill and me wondering who had one like ours just as I realized it was ours! The day was saved we are back on the road, but now I also have to look beneath vehicles on my checks. Any person ever in the military will understand checklists-they work! Our wireless with Verizon was not so great across Northern OK, but only when we stayed in an rv park or at a state park, otherwise we had strong signals. Not being desperate we managed without the link to the world for a few days. Here in Campbellsville,KY it is yard sale day so its off to find treasures with great hopes of getting back to our story this afternoon.

13 October 07

Where was I? Oh yes, the story. I've found another way to put if off! We survived the late summer heat in KY and moved on to Southern IN, where both Sharon and I attended school from the 2nd grade through high school, but that is part of the other story. I managed to do minor corrections of previous ramblings and discovered a note from the tincantourist webmaster which gives me great hopes for adding photos. Back to putting off the story. Our main purpose of this visit was to visit friends and family, which we are doing, and to analyze our trip East. I know lots of you folks travel and know your costs better than me, but I do love setting goals and seeing how well we meet them. Why bore anyone with details other than it cost us roughly 30 cents a mile,for vehicle expenses-gas,oil,and repairs. Overnight cost have been reduced to about 12 a night-averaging in the nights we bummed free at friends and relatives. Our overnight cost will be reduced tremendously on the trip West since we will take up to six weeks, and intend to keep the overnight costs at a minimum(between 5 and 10) a night. Can we do it? We once left Corvalis Oregon in a '76 Diplomat Motor Home and spent a total of 28 dollars on overnight expenses until we arrived in Appleton WI some five weeks later. Time for me to get some information about adding photos, but the bs will continue. Darn, I almost forgot. My older brother drove me to his camp in an isolated spot near Alton,IN where he has a Midas motor home serving as a permanent monument above Blue River. The point is it serves as a unique weekend getaway, and the Alton area is unique in its isolation. On some backroads above the town are some of the best Ohio River views to be seen. And Buzzard Roost has some primitive camping sites! The Overlook restaurant in Leavenworth,IN, has another great view and food as well,plus you can get some local history. Hey, I did not mean to dwell on this, but for the record Southern Indiana is one of the most beautiful areas this country has to offer, but also for the record the weather can be miserable.

14 October 07

For the record: We visited Harvest Homecoming in New Albany,IN, and I witnessed “clogging” for the first time. Life can be full of firsts. Something I've decided to do in order to procrastinate our story is to do another first. We dream and plan a lot;ten years ago we had dreams so big I could not comprehend it. Prevost motor homes, Airstream travel trailers, traveling when where how and as much as we wanted and no fears of the future.This was all an important part of our dreams to be financially secure. How we did is part of the story, but the other part is how could I dream the most that I can dream of our future travels. Here are the results. This might take more than one day so hang in there with me as I “spin the truth” to such an extent that you can't believe me. We have the proof!

We are financially secure which is one of our stories, and which might allow me to begin these dreams. We travel a great deal and we've seen a lot. I always notice the top of the line motor homes, and 5th wheels, and travel trailers. I give them a glance and get back to my jewel. What I notice the most, and will even make a move to start a conversation is the relics. Anyone can have a fancy rig, but there are only a few of us that can have the treasures. Just how many 1964 Silversteak, 17' trailers are there? I rather doubt that it even comes close to the number of Prevost or Airsteams on the road. Taking it a little further. How many 1927? are there? Thus my dream becomes to travel in our country with this travel trailer, restored to however Sharon and I see it. If our choice for travel is the 1927?(I use the 1927? because I know it is one of a kind),then we have to have a tow vehicle. If its a 1927 trailer then I ultimately want a late 1920's tow vehicle. I once owned a 1940 Buick and it was a jewel. What I want is the era Buick or better. That is the ultimate dream. What I want as we do normal travelling is a vehicle with enough power to pull the mountains at a reasonable speed, economy enough to make it feasible(10mpg at a minimum), and flexibility enough that we could use the tow vehicle for travel, moving 5th wheels, trailers, cargo, etc. You do realize we are Harmon's! There is supposedly a “junke” gene in there somewheres. As we travel, we want to do it economically or more commonly:Cheap. A normal person might commute 50 miles a day, so as we travel I would like to make at least 50 miles a day towards our travel destination. I want to do this cheaply which means finding places which total no more than a couple of hundred a month. However, keep in mind there is no intention of suffering, just not spending 35 a night at an rv park. Part of my dream is to afford this lifestyle however long we desire. Pretty much we could travel 365 days a year and still meet our normal expenses, plus the travel expenses, and still keep some in reserve. Travel and save at the same time! this is not all the dreams but only a small portion. Stay “tuned in” and I'll show you how we make this dream come true. After all I have ten years and we are only 63.The point here somewheres is if we hold expenses down, we can do just whatever we want. What does it take us to survive a normal day and travel some 50 miles? I'm rambling, but I just can't wait to tell you how we travel in a normal day. We live part of the dream.

21 October 07

Thanks to Terry Bone, I have some excuses not to begin our story. Some success has been made in that we have added photos to our writing thus giving me lots of opportunity to seach old photos as well as to edit what has already been written. Somewhere we have a photo of each treasure along with the history of each. I suppose we can keep this up for quite a while since there have been some 20 plus treasures in our fleet. Here are some notes from the past week that are worth passing on. The West Baden Springs Hotel near French Lick, IN is well worth a visit as is French Lick. The hotel dates to the early 1900's and has been redone-it is outstanding, as good as anything in the entire country. Somehow we managed to tour across Southern Indiana and Eastern Kentucky during the peak of fall color. Nothing could be more beautiful! We are visiting friends near Ashland,Ky, allowing us to use their router so I can get online and bs forever. Also during this trek we have inherited my son's Ebay store which we agreed to keep going while he recovers from some illnesses brought about by 911. This should give lots of opportunity for writing because our attempt will be to conduct this as we travel back towards AZ. Wish us luck, especially because I do not have much knowledge when it comes to online or computer usage. There simply has to be more I can say to keep me from going back to our story. Here is something. Our friend Ray has a very nice 5th wheel with several slideouts in great condition and he conducted a tour for us. As I've told Sharon, I refuse to walk inside one of these things because I know that once we see the extra space we will never be satisfied with our tiny silver box. Come on! These things are not travel trailers they are mobile apartments, truly mobile mansions. Now I have to start including one of these into our dreams. This means redreaming our AZ and OR compounds, or perhaps adding another. It means changing plans and so on. I simply don't know if we can handle all this? Have I mentioned that dreaming, planning, and adapting plans are the means to success? This is supposed to relate back to some previous writing ,in that we can track the entire process through some ten years in order to document what can be done with a dream and some simple plans. We headed West in dire poverty somehow managing to tow an early 70's Kencraft(sp), with an old Ford boxvan. That trip pretty much begins our story and I knew I was in trouble when we stopped at a country store, I spotted an ax which I figured could be resold for more as we made our way west. Sharon was in agreement with this purchase and the story begins. Stay tuned.

harmon_ron_sharon.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/16 19:23 (external edit)