Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chula Vista

6AM - MsTioga in City of Chula Vista
Last Nite MsTioga and The Team Nite Camped in an industrial neighborhood along Sports Arena Boulevard.  As we wrote to you about in an earlier post, this street has signs warning, "No Habitation".  However, there is no serious police enforcement of this regulation on this street because the neighborhood is industrial.  We on the TiogaRV Team have many years dealing with "stealth" camping, and even we find staying here during the nite anything but easy.

Because Nite Camping in all of San Diego County is very difficult, MsTioga advises you NOT to try Nite Camping on the streets here yourself.  If you cannot afford to stay in an RV campground in the San Diego area, don't come here!

When we pulled out of our Nite Camp at 6am, we headed south for the City of Chula Vista.  We want to scope out Chula Vista, to see what are the prospects here for Nite Camping.  MsTioga has made a Morning Camp adjacent to the Chula Vista RV Resort.  All the streets here are signed against "Over night camping".  There is a park one block away from our Camp which is signed, "No vehicle over 20 feet allowed".

10PM - National City
We had a good day. Messed around shopping a lot. Went to a movie. And found a Nite Camp in a place called, National City. It's a residential neighborhood. And it is a free camp!

You can click on our Google Map links to MsTioga's Nite Camp location.

Blue sky

Friday, April 29, 2011


9AM - Alternator working now!
MsTioga's alternator is working now. Cost under $600. The Motocraft alternator cost $240. A new connecting cable was required.  The mechanic told me that the alternator that went bad had the wrong amperage rating.  And that is why it failed.

However, I believe that the problem occurred in the electrical connection to the alternator.  The cable end is of the "blade" connector type.  Ford engineered these blades really small.  I guess that Ford figured that when the alternator went bad, that the cable would be replaced.  My cable was original equipment.  When the blades got a little corrosion, the resistance to electric flow went up.  The blades heated up so much from this resistance, that the cable began to burn destroying both the alternator and the cable.

I was lucky to put the fire out so quickly.  MsTioga could have burned up too!

So, the cost is:
Towing: $185
Remove/replace alternator:  $560
Hotel room:  $55
Total:  $800

3PM - Beach walk bike ride
My friend John phoned inviting me for a bike ride on the Mission Beach beach walk.  We biked north to Pacific Beach and bought some coffee at the Kona Restaurant.  Then drove over to Five Guys Burgers for lunch.  Pretty neat, huh?

MsTioga is Afternoon Camped at Mission Bay Park across the street from the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster at Belmont Park.

5PM - New fire extinguisher!
MsTioga and The Team drove to the Sports Arena neighborhood of San Diego.  There we bought a new fire extinguisher!  You may recall the MsTioga had an engine fire, and we used our old extinguisher to put that fire out.

We also picked up the broken temple for my RayBan sunglasses.  The RayBan broke a few months ago while we were in Mexico.

We have been busy-bees!
New fire extinguisher!

Blue sky

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Engine fire

5AM - Engine fire!
MsTioga pulled out of our Nite Camp just past 5am and headed for Von's Grocery.  We had only traveled a few blocks when a strange odor arrived.  It smelled like burning brakes.  A few blocks more and we parked at Von's.

As soon as MsTioga stopped, I saw smoke bellowing out from the engine compartment!  Quickly the hood was opened.  The smoke was coming from the left side of the engine [looking toward the rear].  The connection to the alternator was burning!

I got the fire extinguisher, and put the fire out.  Fortunately, the extinguisher is good for electrical fires.

6:30AM - MsTioga getting towed
We have arranged for "Western Towing" to tow MsTioga to "Griffin's Auto Repair".  We thought about having a mobile repair guy come here to fix MsTioga.  But, we have already been contacted by the guard who patrols Von's parking lot.

MsTioga will be towed about 9 miles.

8:30AM - Western Towing
A really nice tow truck driver named Salvador hooked up MsTioga. The drive shaft needed to be dropped, which is standard procedure for MsTioga.
MsTioga ready for towing

10AM - Griffin's Auto Service
MsTioga is now parked at Griffin's Auto Service. You may see our location by clicking on our Google Map link, below.

As you may see in the pic, the alternator cable is all burned up. Why, it burned, we do not know yet. The technician will check things out and report.
Burned up alternator cable

1PM - Motel 6
I've checked into a Motel 6, several blocks away from Griffin's Auto Service. It's a nice room, and only costs $55/nite.

Blue sky

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


6AM - Diabetes
As you may know, a couple of days ago my friend John gave me a blood-glucose test.  The result was 190.  Ever since I wrote about that test here in my blog, Readers have been guessing what caused this result and what I should do about it.

I have changed what I eat to be low in carbohydrates.  First thing, I stopped eating Hershey's Kisses.  For several weeks I had been pigging out on those Kisses!  I am now eating fish, salad, fruit, eggs, beef, chicken.  Yesterday at the San Diego Zoo I ate a hamburger and did not eat the bun.

Next month I am scheduled to have blood work done in preparation for prostate surgery.  At that time I will have a blood-glucose test.

How do I feel about this diet?
I am not crazy about this diet.  It is soooooo limiting!  This diet reduces bread that I consume.  A real bummer.  No donuts!  No candy!  On the other hand, I like the foods that are included in this diet.

Blue sky

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

San Diego Zoo

5AM - We are going to the zoo!
Yesterday afternoon, John and Mimi biked over to our Camp at Mission Bay Park. They invited us to go to the San Diego Zoo today. Isn't that great?

So, in order to avoid the traffic, early this morning we are driving to Balboa Park. The zoo is located inside the park. There are big parking areas inside Balboa Park and a free tram to take us to the zoo.

6AM - MsTioga is a miracle!
Sometimes I take stuff for granted.  However, this morning it was clear that my pal MsTioga is a miracle.  I cannot take her for granted!

MsTioga's GPS directed me thru the maze of San Diego streets and we are now Camped in Balboa Park.  It is a good thing that we drove here early, because even now the streets are filled with anxious drivers!  We found a really nice place to make our Camp in the parking lot.  MsTioga is adjacent to a road, so that this afternoon when we exit, she won't be blocked in.

First thing to do is take a walk around the park.  Then take a shower, eat a little breakfast, and kick-back to await the arrival of John and Mimi later this morning.
The TiogaRV Team
Balboa Park, San Diego

1:30PM - Zoo pics
We just got back from our zoo trip. Wanna see a couple of zoo pics?


Clear sky

Monday, April 25, 2011


6:30AM - No chocolate!
Yesterday afternoon I was invited over to John and Mimi's for supper.  Mimi prepared a really nice meal designed to be low in carbohydrates.  John is on low carbohydrates in order to reduce his blood-sugar level.  After supper, John showed me his tiny digital blood-sugar level device and he offered to take my blood-sugar reading.  My reading was 190, which is high!

So, now I am on a low carbohydrate regimen myself.  Lately I have been loading up on Hershey's chocolate kisses and not watching what I was eating at all.  Also, I have been lax with going on my morning walks.
George on Mission Beach walk

1PM - Bright blue day!
It may be a bit of a challenge being a cop-evader during the nite here in San Diego.  But oh my!  Look at what we got today!
George and Tioga enjoy a San Diego day!

Bright blue sky!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


7:30AM - Lots of WiFi
MsTioga and The Team are Camped in the parking lot of Vons Grocery.  We arrived here at 5am, and I went back to sleep.  A few days ago I found a really nice Nite Camp next to a school, a couple of blocks away from Vons.  I want to be a good neighbor at this Nite Camp.  That is why I head out from there and go to Vons at 5am!

Now it is 7:30am, and I am going into Vons to do some shopping.  But first I turned on our little Apple iPod and a "VonsWiFi" popped up.  We are using VonsWiFi to make this post to you.  In fact, there are many unsecured WiFi spots all over San Diego.  Our Mr. Datastorm has been relaxing for several days because of all the WiFi that is here.

9AM - Prices are weird!
Remember when I went to Señor Sushi in the City of Manzanillo in Mexico?  I love Señor Sushi's sashimi.  An order of salmon sashimi at Señor Sushi costs 120 pesos.  Here in San Diego, sashimi costs double what Señor Sushi charges.

How about distilled water for batteries?  This morning I bought one gallon of distilled water at Vons and paid 89 cents.  In Mexico, distilled water is not even sold in grocery stores, only in auto supply stores.  Distilled water in Mexico is found in plastic bottles of less than one liter which sell for 10 pesos.  This means that distilled water in Mexico costs about 3x the cost here in the United States.

Mostly cloudy

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cat Mouse

5:30AM - Cat and Mouse
Last Nite when we left our Camp at Mission Bay Park, there were several vehicles in the "No Parking 2am to 4am" area.  These vehicles included three RVs.  So, this morning we returned to Mission Bay Park to find out what happened to these vehicles.

MsTioga and I were very surprised to find that all of these cars, trucks and RVs remained here!  Undisturbed by the police!  Wow!  We are confused by what appears to be "selective law enforcement!"

Some Readers have wondered why we are playing this "cat & mouse" camping thing with local law enforcement.  We could just knuckle under and find an RV campground.  I guess that MsTioga and I are just stubborn.
Two of the RVs Nite Camped
Mission Bay Park no parking 2am to 4am

9AM - Why do I live this way?
When I bought MsTioga in February, 2003, I bought her mainly because I wanted to live within my income.  I knew that living in an RV is just about the cheapest way to live.  Especially if the RVer does not pay rent.  Also, I did not want to have debt anymore.  I have not had any debt at all, since 2003.

2PM - Lady in a rental van
During mid-morning MsTioga wanted to leave Mission Bay Park.  The parking lot had filled up.  And MsTioga worried that she might get "blocked" in!  So, we broke Camp and went over to Crown Point, where we found plenty of empty spaces in the parking area.

A lady parked in front of us.  She was driving a brand new shiny U-Haul van with a big green advertisement, "Rent This Van! $19.95!"  The rear doors were open, and I could see inside.  At first I thought that she was sorting thru clothing to sell here in the park.  But after awhile it was clear to me that this lady was straightening out her own clothing.  She was living in this rental van!

I thought that it was very inventive of the lady to rent a van to live in for $19.95/day.  Good price for shelter and transportation.  I went over to say, "Good afternoon" and congratulate her on adapting to her circumstance.

As she told me her story, I saw a tear roll down her cheek!  "I had a good job.  I was a supervisor and made good money.  I never thought that this could happen to me".

Blue sky

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sleeping San Diego

6AM - Sleeping in San Diego
Early this morning MsTioga and I headed out from our Nite Camp in the Clairmont Mesa neighborhood.  We returned to the Mission Beach parking area expecting to find no RVs on the street.  You may recall that a San Diego policeman got me to leave my Nite Camp on this same street a couple of days ago.

Why do the police roust me, and not all of these other RVs parked on the same street?

I put that question to Steve, the homeless guy I met here in Mission Beach.  Steve says, "Those guys don't respond to police knocking on their RVs.  You talked to the policeman when he knocked, and you got rousted.  It is not illegal to park on the street.  To sleep on the street is the problem."

11AM - Riding the beach walk!
John drove to Mission Beach bringing along a bike for me to ride.  We both had a great time biking along the beach walk.  We biked up to "Kona Coffee", and stayed there for a couple of hours talking.  Then biked back to MsTioga.  Great time!
George and John before our bike ride

11PM - Our Nite Camp
We have made our Nite Camp alongside a school in Pacific Beach. The policeman who rousted me from the Nite Camp on the street in Mission Beach yesterday, advised to park in a neighborhood where police do not patrol regularly. This appears to be that kind of neighborhood.

Some clouds