DSC_1163 - Version 2Hi and thanks for dropping by.

I’m Russell Carpenter and I’m living an interesting life. For a man in his late 50s, my life is rather normal to some, absolutely crazy to others (Mom), though sort of fun/peculiar to most.

I was hit from both sides of my family with a heavy dose of pioneer DNA. Looking over that next mountain range, seeing what’s beyond that field of corn, and wasting a day away next to a stream – ┬áthat’s what I live for. For those of you like me who still have a remnant of your forefather’s wanderlust gene, these pages are definitely for you.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

My full time work is for the State of Nevada which tends to keep me tethered close to Carson City, Nevada. I keep thinking I’ll retire in the next few years and that’s still the goal.

A couple of years ago my life made a couple of twists and I found myself without a mortgage or a house. A move to a rented townhouse ground at me after so many years of being a homeowner in one form or another, and that’s what got all this started.

To while aways the hours when not working I started daydreaming of what my retirement years would entail. What did I want for myself? What were my dreams?

Knowing my retirement budget would be slim, I decided I would go out and see America. All of it, or at least a whole lot of it. Yeah, I wanted to own my own tropical island, have my own villa next to George Clooney’s on Lake Como in Italy, and become a world-famous race car driver, but reality bites. America it was.

And so, on a small budget, how would I go about visiting the great places of this country on my schedule, not an airline’s, and stay as long as wanted or not at all? How could I take enough clothes to wear, carry my camera goodies, keep ice cream frozen, make coffee, and have a clean place to go shower?

After some interesting deliberation, I boiled it all down to buying an RV while I was still earning enough money to pay it off. The story of that beginning, of preparing for retirement, and of the Grand Tour of America, is what is within these pages.

I hope you enjoy my tale. I’d love to hear from you and of your stories, dreams, and discoveries. Please write.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Kelvin Ritchie

    Thank you for posting your experience with the Atwood AC. My brother in law has purchased an Atwood AC with remote for his Class C motor home. His AC is not connected to a wall thermostat so he should be OK. It will be interesting to see how it performs this summer. I think the issue you have with cooling your 27′ is the interior length is probably too much for a single AC to cool. We have a 2008 25fb Classic with 13.5k with the mouse fur walls and vinyl ceiling which provides a little bit of insulation. It also has two skylights. We also have the full awning package which helps keep the sun off the rear pano window. We keep the front bedroom drapes drawn all the time. We’ve camped in Texas in full sun at 104F, July 2014, and we were able to keep the dinette area about 80 to 85. The front bedroom was cooler than the rear area. Compared to being outside even in the shade under the main awning the inside was refreshing.I’ll remember your tip about leaving the Fantastic vents cracked.

    We were thinking about switching over to a 25ft Bigfoot trailer, 25B25RQ (rear queen). They are a 4 season trailer made in Canada with double pane windows. The floor plan is similar to the AS 25RB floorplan. Sadly, when we were able to see an older one locally we found the floor plan not as spacious as our AS. The bath was smaller than our AS bath and had the shower in it vs the split bath of the AS and there was no way to get dressed/undressed in the small footprint between the toilet and shower. I’ve been reading good reviews of the ducted AC in the 2015 AS if you can afford to upgrade.

    Air Command is an Australian company that Atwood either has bought or is licensed to sell. I didn’t know Dometic acquired. them. So much for competition anymore.


    1. rc1955 Post author

      Thanks for your comment. The A/C, now that I’ve upgraded to the latest Dometic 15k model, is adequate. A little louder than the Atwood, about the same volume of air, but it works from the thermostat which was an annoying fault against the Atwood. Actually, it’s only real fault.
      The most glaring issue is the OEM insulation design. It’s cheap and minimal.

  2. Cynthia

    Hi Richard,
    I am very interested in knowing how the Atwood A/C compares to the Dometic. We too have an Airstream and the Dometic is so loud, I think it might make me bonkers after some time. We are planning to Full-time in the near future and would like to know your opinion.

    Thank you,

    1. rc1955 Post author

      Hi Cynthia,
      The Atwood is installed and is probably 33% quieter than the Dometic, plus it delivers great volume of nice cool air. There are, however, a couple of downsides which the folks at Atwood have agreed to put an engineering team on.

      The first and most annoying is the fan doesn’t turn off. After the A/C runs and blows cool air on high speed, it shifts down to low (there are low, medium, high and Auto selections) and runs the fan on low. Forever. It’s back and forth between A/C (fan high) and the fan (fan low) and the fan never stops blowing. That’s a big issue.

      The next is the thermostat for the heater. The Dometic has a logic board which operates the thermostat (so says the installer). When the Dometic was removed, there was nothing to connect the thermostat to, so the furnace doesn’t work. Actually, the thermostat doesn’t work at all – no power – so the furnace function is dead. Atwood is working on a solution for that, too.

      I hope to hear from Atwood soon so I can write a full report on the Atwood A/C.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *