Our 4 1/2 month stay at San Jacinto Battleground where we have been volunteering on Battleship Texas is drawing to an end. This has been our 4th season here. It is nice feeling we are helping out and the staff always makes us feel appreciated. We also like being close to family and friends during these winter stays. We had more winter this year than we wanted with several cold, icy days. All in all though, we have few complaints; enjoying meeting people and getting to know our fellow camp hosts.
This year, in addition to our hours volunteering, we have filled in as interim pastor at Baytown Nazarene. The church isn’t far from us and we’ve helped out there the entire time we’ve been at our “winter quarters.” The church family has treated us very well and it has been good getting to know them better. If you add our time filling in at Denison prior to arriving at San Jacinto, I’ve ministered nearly every Sunday over the past 5-6 months. No complaints, but it hasn’t felt very much like retirement to me! Lord willing, I’ll enjoy some down time now that we’re beginning our 2018 Adventure.
The closer we get to D-Day the more time I spend looking at potential travel routes and campgrounds. Several reservations have already been made; especially at popular campgrounds during the busiest times of the year. Our ultimate destination this year is the coast of Maine, but we won’t make it that far till mid- to late summer. As a planner, I enjoy putting the trip together and then refining it. That process will continue all through the Adventure.
So, it won’t be long before we blast off. We’ll keep posting sightseeing and campground reviews here to the blog. Stay tuned!
I’ve written about my satellite TV setup before, mostly in reference to the Winegard Carryout I used for a few years. You can read those posts here.
As I mentioned in the later reviews, I finally decided I was happier using a regular dish rather than the Carryout. The reasons are in the final review so I won’t rehash them in this post. All this to say that for the past few years I’ve used the home style dish and intend to keep on using it.
One of the weak links in this setup, though, was my tripod. I inherited a small very basic one that is rather flimsy. If the ground is unlevel, I put something under one leg to attempt to level it. I also stake it out with guy wires to hold it steady in the wind. It works but is far from an elegant solution.
I looked at the TV4RV tripod for some time. However, it is pricy and I had a hard time pulling the trigger on it. Finally, though, I went for it and I’m glad I did.
The tripod is actually a modified surveyor’s tripod; each leg can be adjusted independently. A compass is supplied that fits right into the top of the tripod, and you are supposed to aim the direction before you ever mount the dish onto the tripod. One key is getting it perfectly level, something that is easy enough to do using a simple bubble level and the individually adjustable legs. The other key is getting it tall enough to “look over” any trees, etc. that are in the line of sight to the satellites. In some locations the sky is clear and I just leave it low to the ground. In a few places, though, I need all the height I could get.
You can anchor the tripod using a screw in doggie stake or, if the ground is rocky I just use a five gallon bucket of water. I think this is the Cadillac of portable dish tripods, and in spite of the cost, it’s a good investment for those of us who need to set up a home-style dish on a regular basis.