Tuesday, June 15, 2010



A few blogs ago I posted about the mobility van I drive part time & included some pics of how the ramp system worked.  A couple days ago I received an email from an RV couple in southwest Louisiana who read that post.  I thought their email & pics would be of interest to other RV'ers & especially folks in similar situations.  I emailed Vickie & Ronnie back to ask permission to use their email & photos in an upcoming blog post.  This is that post & this is their email:))


Hi Al & Kelly.........I enjoy reading your blog and passing the link on to others.  It was interesting to see you describe how your work van lift works. So many people have no idea what it is like.  We, however have some experience in a similar lift we had installed in our Keystone Raptor Toy Hauler.  Ronnie has been in a wheelchair since 1988 as a result of a spinal cord injury. We live in SW Louisiana and travel when we can.  We just returned from a two week trip thru Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.  Anyway, I thought you might like to see our rig setup. 

 PB120267 PB120268PB120269

The first three photos were taken during the installation of the lift.  We didn't watch while they cut a huge hole in the side of our trailer.

PB130270              PB130272

Second two is Ronnie on the lift the first time. I know he's facing the wrong way, but he prefers to face the way he's headed.


Last pic is where we're enjoying our time, camping & fishing by a river.  We're proud of our ramp refitted Keystone Raptor and it get lots of stares when we pull into a campground.  Ronnie gets out of the truck on his seat lift and into his wheelchair, then people watch to see how he's gonna get up in that big trailer.  We just smile and wave!  The company that installed the lift in our 2009 Keystone Raptor Toy Hauler, got all the specs/blueprints from Keystone, because it is a Toy Hauler with a reinforced garage area in the back, & very little additional reinforcement was necessary. Before we had the lift installed we used an ATV winch mounted to the floor and would winch him in his chair up and down the back ramp door, it was sometimes very steep and dangerous when raining, now we have the perfect set up......


Last I read, MIKE & PAT were having themselves quite a time over there in Custer South Dakota with a troublesome water well dilemma.  Looked like some possible underground problems after arriving at their summer residence recently.  Well, Mike thought, we'll just use our 5th wheel water resources for the time being until we get the well situation straightened out.  "Oh Oh".......more trouble!!  Anybody got an extra few jugs of water to spare...............


Our friend Ron from FOUR SEASONS PERFORMANCE in Grand Bend Ontario has offered to put my motorcycle on his website if I decide for sure to sell it.  The hard words there are, 'decide for sure.'  The bike still had a lot of fine pine pollen on it from a couple weeks ago so if the bike is going to be sold I wanted to get it cleaned up.  Can't sell a bike with pine pollen all over it ya know!!  Slipped up to the Goderich car wash this morning & gave the bike a good washing & a coat of spray wax.  They have a clear water rinse there so no water or chemical spots are left on anything either.  When I backed it out of the bay all sparkling & shiny I thought to myself, "Geeeezzzzz, I can't sell this bike!!"  Drove over to Tim Horton's for a coffee & sat there for a bit thinking what I should do.  At this age & stage of the game if I sell the bike I'm not likely to ever have another one.  At least not as nice as this one.  It's a Honda Shadow Aero 1100 & it's a quality bike.  So, here I am sitting on the proverbial fence again.  What to do, what to do:((  I'm beginning to lean towards the idea of keeping the bike now in case we do not find a Jeep Wrangler.  Jeep decision first, motorcycle decision second.....ya, that's it.  Ok, that's my plan as of right now.  Well, until at least supper time anyway:))



Thanks to everyone for your concerns & comments about our little owl yesterday.  But, there may be a calming spiritual side to the story.  Our Colorado RV friend Rene from LIVE-WORK-DREAM left a comment on Kelly's Facebook this morning which read...."Ooooh, how sad. You guys are great for trying to save her. But you know what? We saw an owl today for the first time on our property. Maybe it was your owl's spirit being set free? Nice to imagine."


A man walked out to the street and caught a taxi just going by.   He got into the taxi, and the cabbie said, "Perfect timing.   You're just like "Brian!
"Brian Sullivan.  He's a guy who did everything right all the time.  Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happen like that to Brian Sullivan, every single time."
"There are always a few clouds over everybody."
"Not Brian Sullivan.   He was a terrific athlete.   He could have won the Grand Slam at tennis.   He could golf with the pros.   He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano.  He was an amazing guy."
"Sounds like he was something really special."
"There's more.   He had a memory like a computer.   He remembered everybody's birthday.   He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with.   He could fix anything.   Not like me.   I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out.   But Brian Sullivan, he could do everything right."
"Wow. Some guy then."
"He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams.   Not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them. But Brian, he never made a mistake, and he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good.   He would never answer her back even if she was in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished too.   He was the perfect man!   He never made a mistake.   No one could ever measure up to Brian Sullivan."
"An amazing fellow.   How did you meet him?"
"Well, I never actually met Brian.   He died.   I'm married to his bloody widow!!!!"


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.


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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. What a groaner! I didn't see that punch line coming.

    I think you should keep the bike whether or not you find a jeep. The bike will always be a symbol of youth and freedom, and you don't want to give that up.

    Very interesting pics showing the installation of the wheelchair lift into the Raptor. I don't think I would have wanted to watch the hole being cut into the side of the RV either.

  2. Your bike is certainly a beauty and it would be a shame to sell it as long as you want to still ride. Of course, if you find the Jeep of your dreams and you need to sell it to help cover the cost...well that is whole other kettle of fish. (what exactly is a kettle of fish and why would one have such a thing?)

    Glad I don't have to make your decisions, Al. Sitting at Tim Horton's thinking it all over is a great idea. Tim has the best donuts.

  3. That was a nice story about Vickie and Ronnie with their Raptor setup - thanks for sharing that with us!

    Tough decision to make about selling the bike before, or after, deciding on a Jeep. Not sure which way I'd go on that either!

  4. She's a looker all right sitting out there like a faithful dog just waiting for her owner to come pat her on the head and roar up her engine.

    The problem with bikes up as far North as you guys are, is that you can only ride for about 6 months of the year.

    Maybe if you had a way to take her with you in the winter. Roaring up the road into Elfrida for the camera group meeting, or buzzing down to Belle's to toss out a few flakes of hay to the critters........

    But she'd get mighty dirty in the deserts of the Southwest..

  5. I'd keep the motorcycle for a while at least. At some point 'you'll know when it is time'. Looks like a nice ride.

    I like the groaners corner...always something there to pass along to brother-in-law Mike!

  6. Al, I went back and edited my post on my blog after your comment. I've only had one other person comment about an overlap of text and pictures. After editing, all the text was moved, but the spacing of some pics was too much space for my tastes. I couldn't remedy that.

    When I view the original post on my computer or my sister's, there is no overlap. Could it be something with your browser?

    Appreciate your thoughts on this. :)

  7. Great informative blog ....We have a nephew AND his girlfriend who are both parapelegic and in wheelchairs. Her's from a snowmobie accident and his caused from throat Cancer chemo.. She drives, but he cannot..It is good for them to see people who are working around it...Thanks for sharing!

  8. Golly, we must have missed your blog yesterday. We'll go back and look at it now. We were tied up with repairmen working on our big house A/C and on the propane side of the water heater. All fixed now, but there's a dent in our bankbook for sure!

  9. Hey Al.. my folks are in the mid-70's and sold their big Harley last month. And this month they just bought another one!

    This time they bought a lower to the ground Sportster, to make up for their shrinking ageing bodies! LOL

    I think you will be one to never give up the bike till you can't physically ride it anymore.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  10. Thanks for posting our story, Al. I hope it helps to encourage more people to get out there and follow their dreams, no matter the situation.