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Post Info TOPIC: How big is you fridge (RV or residential) and how often do you have to make grocery runs?


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How big is you fridge (RV or residential) and how often do you have to make grocery runs?


Title says it all.  Just wondering how much fridge capacity is typical. We have 25cu (9.5 of it as freezer) at the S&B which we restock about every 2 weeks but a lot of that capacity is used for freezing and storing our home garden bounty and meat specials. Won't be a factor on the road... We realize there will be some adaptation to current habits. Are those of you out there that are using portable electric chests as auxillary freezer space finding them up to the requirements of your situation volume-wise? 

 



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Brian,

Our residential refrigerator is 22.6. and it has great capacity for two with plenty of room for Jesse's ice cream. I like the side by side refrigerator/freezer although I read somewhere recently that most people prefer a bottom freezer.

How often you go to the store depends, I think, on how well you meal plan. You can still stock up your freezer with specials you come across but you'll miss your wonderful garden. Checking out farmers markets online as you travel can help there.

We've had no need for an auxillary freezer but we REALLY enjoy the in the door ice dispenser. We had one of those portable ice makers in the basement in our last rig but find this much more convenient. We'd have to fill, wait, remove cubes as they were made to Baggie then take into the freezer every 10 minutes as they can melt as fast as they're made.

Sadie says hi to Josie!

Sherry

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Yeah, Sherry, we'll definitely miss the awesome stuff coming out of the garden. Just love "grazing".biggrinsmile I could eat fresh cherry tomatoes like candy everyday... mmmm!!! We're going to move some of the beds to make the yard more presentable for future buyers. 

We're pretty good on the meal planning, hopefully those long trips returning to the rig won't cause any food spoilage issues. Looking at coolers or the portable electric chests for possible transport back to the campsites.

Josie gives an affectionate woof back!smile

Brian



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When full-timing, 3 people, we found 6 cf adequate with shopping every week but we do have a Coleman AC/DC cooler which we used as backup since I can't resist a sale on fresh produce. That actually worked well because as the stock was used up, we just shut off the cooler. We tend to eat foods that perish if not used up within a week and don't freeze that much. We found 8 cf more than adequate for 2 adults and 2 children. Our biggest space hog was gallon milk containers but now we make fresh almond milk and just wish we would have been doing that when the kids were consuming milk faster than we could replace it. I often think if we full-time again, an ice maker would be wonderful as we were always out of ice as we used it to make smoothies/ice cream with the Vitamixer. I did always find that some how, it just seemed the space was much more efficient with the RV refrigerators when it came to what they held.

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Brian:

We have a Dometic Elite 12.3 CF four door RV refer with which we are pleased.  The freezer area, because it has no divider between the two doors, is quite roomy according to Linda. She says she can go two good weeks with the freezer storage and we do eat meat and chicken which is frozen.  We never go to the store because the refer can’t hold enough according to Linda.

I know 12.3 CF sounds smaller but Linda says it has plenty of room – really “plenty of room” to quote her.  We have a 24 CF unit in the S & B but like the RV, limited size isn’t the reason we go to the store in either situation.  That’s us.  As you know we choose the RV refer mostly to reduce power needs while boondocking and when on limited 120 volt shore power. Let's us run two air conditioners on 30 amps if the 30 amps is good power or if all I have is ~15 amps I can still get by.



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For me, at home, it's the drinks that take up alot of space.. I like lemonade.. wife likes Iced tea.. BIG containers..lol .. then theres the milk, coffee mixers.. and Beer Second to liquids is all the daily stuff.. salad dressings, steak stuff, ketchup.. etc..

Just looked.. My home fridge is more than half full.. with NO food in it.. lol

We have a stand up freezer here too... wife is selling all my steaks and meat at the garage sale !

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We have a 4 door Dometic fridge, I think it is 12 CF.  Had a 25 CF fridge in the sticks n bricks, so now I have half the amount in the RV as I did at home.  I go to the store at least 1x/week. I might go 2x/week depending how fast we're eating the fresh fruits & veggies. 



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I have a giant 3cf Dometic refrigerator/freezer in my Aliner which holds about 1 week of food for the two of us. So I guess a 6cf would hold 2 weeks worth. This is food, milk and creamer only. We carry our beverages like water, cold drinks, and soda pop with the foam on top in our 58qt Coleman Ultimate Xtreme 6-day cooler.

We plan on getting an ice maker too as we will probably be going with either a 6cf or 8cf evaporation fridge in our FT rig, (depending on which model TT we choose) keeping our ice chest as a beverage cooler (and possibly some bulky veggies and fruit, like corn on-the-cob, watermelons, cantaloupes, etc.) Going too big adds extra weight, takes up more space and consumes more energy (whether propane of electricity) to keep the food cool. I went from a 25cf in my S&B to a 18cf I currently use in my rental mobile home and quickly got accustomed to the reduced space. In fact, I'm not using half its 18cf capacity now, but I work for a supermarket chain, so I'm in a couple different stores every day, making a "shopping trip" a foreign concept for us now.

Chip



-- Edited by Sushidog on Saturday 16th of August 2014 09:44:02 PM

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Really timely post. We have 12 cu FT but I am struggling to hVe enough freezer room. I like to stock up on meat when in sale. Plus we really go through ice and the trays and ice bucket take some space. Would like to add a small chest freezer at some point but will have to see. We've been doing twice week grocery runs but we are new at this and still trying to figure it all out. Thanks for the thread.

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With both motorhomes we had 12 cu ft RV fridges and always seemed to get by, but agree that freezer space was the biggest problem for us. Diane likes to stock up on items we can't always get and if we find ourselves eating out more than expected, which happens with family and friends, leftovers get frozen in "TV dinner" sized portions. When we were heading to Alaska we got a basement freezer that ran on 12 volt or 120 volt, expecting to need it with long distances between reasonably priced food. We got used to having the basement freezer, which about doubled our total freezer space, and it was always full. Then it died. Soon after our Norcold fridge started acting flaky so we installed a residential fridge, a 24 cu ft side-by-side with a 10 cu ft freezer.

Plenty of room for us, the freezer is normally around 3/4 full and the fridge about 1/2 full. We stock up at Costco and Sam's Club when we can and get groceries about twice a week, but it varies. Lettuce seems to last a bit longer with the residential and we have room for two 16 oz Spring mix lettuce containers in the crisper, so we have room for a new one when the old one is almost empty.

About the only time we fill it all is when we visit one of Diane's sisters that lives a long ways from Costco, so we stop and buy a bunch for her on the way. (Yes, we park the RV at Costco while shopping). We used to use coolers, now we fit it all in the residential fridge. It is nice to be able to carry 16" pizzas from Costco in the fridge instead of a large cooler bag. We can't cook this size pizza in the RV, but can and do cook the 12" deep dish ones from Costco.

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I guess if one doesn't desire to boondock a residential fridge is the way to go. But if one does like to go off grid for extended periods and doesn't want the extra power drains that a residential fridge has there is always the Danfoss powered fridges designed for solar powered off-grid use. Though they are not cheap, they are not that much more than a big absorption fridge, cool better, have better insulation, don't require propane when running off grid and are cheaper to run on electric power too, saving money on metered electric usage.

Or one could add a Danfoss DC powered chest freezer (or chest fridge) to a standard RV absorption freezer, greatly expanding your freezer capacity, making a hybrid system.
Here's some examples: www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTESearch refrigerator&mkwid=sxch7AGvL&pcrid=22241968511&mtype=b&storeId=6970&langId=-1&type=search&gclid=CLCt7e-tm8ACFVQV7AodYlAAZA

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Sunfrost is another brand for those who want to use the least electricity, http://www.sunfrost.com/refrigerators_main.html.  Made in Eureka California.  

But, many do boondock with residential fridges.  It just requires a few more solar panels and sufficient battery.  Some friends boondock a lot with theirs.  Smaller units use 60 to 80 amp hours per day of battery, large ones are around 100 amp-hours, including our 24 cu ft.



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We have a Danfoss compressor style electric fridge that about 200w of solar seems to keep up with quite well.. believe the capacity is around 7 cu ft. Which is twice what our last RV fridge was, so it feels huge. And before that, we had just a cooler for about a year - no fridge/freezer. And we survived :)

We can go 2-3 weeks on a stock-up if need be. We've gone the past month with minimal access to real grocery stores as we've traveled backroads across the country and done lots of dry camping / boondocking. We relented in a small town with a C-store when the only vegetables to be found were frozen.

Of course, us being primarily vegetarians and gluten free helps a lot with food storage needs. We try to focus on lots of fresh veggies, beans, tofu, etc. The freezer mainly houses ingredients for green smoothies and ice, and maybe some fish on occasion. The fridge keeps cheese, eggs, yogurt, spices and veggies that need cooling. Most our food sits in baskets on our counter - tomatoes, onions, avocados. Yup, we're a regular guacamole fest around here.

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Our last rig had a 12 cuft if I remember correctly and we got buy just fine. The freezer was the biggest challenge for us. When traveling through some smaller areas we found it had to find quality meat for stretches of time and wished we had a freezer full to get us by.
Our new rig has a 22 cuft with a nice large pullout bottom freezer. Plenty of room now to stock up on meat and take advantage of fresh berries.

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We have a RV fridge, I think it's 14 cf. Biggest challenge is the freezer. One thing we did was remove the big ice maker "bucket" that came with the RV, moved that shelf up and put a much smaller container to catch the ice cubes. Our ice maker / container took more than 25% of the original freezer space and I wanted to reclaim some of that.

We've also started buying much smaller items for the fridge, I no longer buy the most economical size because I just don't have room.

In regards to ice tea / lemonade, we've started buying the Mio, Dasani or other similar type products that we add to our water on a glass by glass basis. That has saved us quite a bit of room, plus we don't have a large container to put in the fridge to cool.


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We also have a 14 cf fridge. I don't find it so much of an issue with the fridge space. I can usually fit everything in that we buy at the grocery store, although we don't buy stuff ahead like we did in the house as we just don't have the storage space. The one thing that doesn't work, as others have already mentioned, are the big containers of drinks. We can only have one iced tea or type of big bottle at a time, and we only buy a half gallon of milk. I usually lay my bottle of wine on the bottom shelf.

The freezer does get tight occasionally. We can at most have two containers of ice cream at a time and they have to be the size that can fit on the bottom shelf. Otherwise the ice cream gets soft. We also use the ice maker space for food instead of ice. Other than that, we make do pretty well.

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This is one thing I am worried about. We have a 6cu ft one in our current trailer and I would LOVE to have a full sized one in our trade up... But wondering if just the 8 cu ft would make much difference instead. We have the same issue on the frozen foods especially since DH & DS are hunters.

 

*ETA Sorry, just noticed I dug this up from last year, sorry lol *



-- Edited by Torn_But_Not_Ripped on Wednesday 2nd of December 2015 10:58:26 AM

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I hate to say it, but this idea doesn't just apply to the refrigerator.  That is important, but one's pantry storage in the RV is also important.  If one plans to be camping if places that aren't close to stores, then more storage and refrigerator space is critical.  Now, our RV is 38 1/2 feet long and we modified it by replacing a malfunctioning RV refrigerator with a residential one that is 18 cu ft.  Because we have the pantry and fridge space, some items are purchased about once a month and others are purchased once or twice a week.

Terry



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Apologies in advance for what is likely to be a bit of a ramble...

Terry, when we originally posted this topic, we already had a good idea about space needed for the more non-perishable (relatively speaking) items and had ruled out rigs with significantly less than our current S&B alloted space (which is admittedly small but more than adequate). We agree that pantry space is important, but we have a 25.6 CUFT side by side fridge in the S&B and clearly that won't work in the RV environment for the budget (and space) we and most others have available. We were trying to get a handle on fridge space/restock frequency with what clearly was going to a less fridge space that we currently have.

That was then. 

During the RV knowledge absorption phase of our research we (mostly I, as it is yours truly that is doing most of the research so far) have developed a certain "it is what it is" mentality have become more comfortable with the notion of more frequent grocery trips and fridge restocking as a natural change in the way we are currently "doing" things and we have even adapted our current habits to more closely imitate what we feel will be routine when we hit the road. We like the idea of a more modest residential fridge in any future rig (recognizing the need for additional battery and or solar options for less than FHU locations) but also recognize they have limitations.  RV propane fridges are typically smaller and that was the drift of the original question. 

As I look back on what I have just written, I see an evolution from fear of the unknown (in some cases, apparently trivial details) to something more positive. I could post a whole exploration of that transformation but that would be a different topic of which this tiny subject would be a mere footnote but definitely relevent, such is the path to enlightenment as it relates to all things RV. Learning and knowledge are powerful tools in overcoming doubt and uncertainty. I am so glad I found this forum.

FWIW, Brian



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NWescapee wrote:

We have a RV fridge, I think it's 14 cf. Biggest challenge is the freezer. One thing we did was remove the big ice maker "bucket" that came with the RV, moved that shelf up and put a much smaller container to catch the ice cubes. Our ice maker / container took more than 25% of the original freezer space and I wanted to reclaim some of that.

We've also started buying much smaller items for the fridge, I no longer buy the most economical size because I just don't have room.

In regards to ice tea / lemonade, we've started buying the Mio, Dasani or other similar type products that we add to our water on a glass by glass basis. That has saved us quite a bit of room, plus we don't have a large container to put in the fridge to cool.


what brand and model is your 14 CF LPG fridge? I would like one that big  I currently have 1210 Norcold  Its 12CF  side by side  but one slightly larger would be nice

 



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Paul,

NWESCAPEES have the same model of RV that we have.  The one that was in our 2010 was the Dometic 1350 model, which I think was just a 12 cu ft, not a 14 cu ft.  In our case, we've already gotten rid of the Dometic and modified our RV for a Samsung french style residential refrigerator.

Terry



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In our stick house we have a full size french door fridge. We are vegetarian (laugh I know) and make runs up to a local farmer every week to stock up. Our rig has a fridge/freezer a little bigger than a standard dorm fridge. We stock up probably once a week as we eat out a little more when on the road.

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biggaRView wrote:

During the RV knowledge absorption phase of our research we (mostly I, as it is yours truly that is doing most of the research so far) have developed a certain "it is what it is" mentality have become more comfortable with the notion of more frequent grocery trips and fridge restocking as a natural change in the way we are currently "doing" things and we have even adapted our current habits to more closely imitate what we feel will be routine when we hit the road. We like the idea of a more modest residential fridge in any future rig (recognizing the need for additional battery and or solar options for less than FHU locations) but also recognize they have limitations.  RV propane fridges are typically smaller and that was the drift of the original question. 

FWIW, Brian


 Hi Brian,

 

I agree in part.  The idea of shopping more frequently is more European and I like the idea of purchasing fresh ingredients close to the date of the meal I am preparing.  That being said, depending on where you are this can have a serious budget impact.  The more remote the area, the more expensive the groceries.  We took this approach in Glacier for example and our grocery bill spiked from a normal $600 a month to over $900. One thing that can help to keep costs down is buying what is local to the area but again depending on the area, local vendors aren't always available as they may make more money selling out of state. We were in Montana for example surrounded by all these beautiful Angus cows with no local butchers anywhere.  In the beginning I wanted more storage and fridge space for security, now I want it to help keep costs down.  That being said we are holding the line on going to a residential refrigerator, because of power requirements.  This certainly may change over time, strict meal planning has certainly helped.  I will say I do envy the Class A owners with their big freezers in the basement :)

 

Trace....   you mileage will definitely vary on this one



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When I said "more modest" I was comparing that to our current 25.6CUFT. Terry's 22CUFT capacity or perhaps slightly less seems like a good target size. Not sure we would opt for the 12CUFT propane though others find it works well for them. We are still evaluating our requirements in this area.  

Trace, the $900 grocery bill is an eye popping number and certainly like nothing I expected, at least it sounded more like an aberration, so that is a relief. (though we may have to up our estimate for the grocery budget) The idea of a freezer in the basement has occurred to us. This however further complicates the "what have we got room for" question... I'm starting to feel like the loadmasters during the Berlin airlift when they had to figure the exact ratios of needed supplies that would fit into the transport planes. Yeah, I know it's not that complicatedconfusewink because what can or will be carried will dictate the nature of some of our more secluded adventures. This all goes back to my comment about "it is what it is" mentality.

You're absolutely right... our mileage will definitely vary. LOL

Brian



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Lee and Trace wrote:

Hi Brian,

 

I agree in part.  The idea of shopping more frequently is more European and I like the idea of purchasing fresh ingredients close to the date of the meal I am preparing.  That being said, depending on where you are this can have a serious budget impact.  The more remote the area, the more expensive the groceries.  We took this approach in Glacier for example and our grocery bill spiked from a normal $600 a month to over $900. One thing that can help to keep costs down is buying what is local to the area but again depending on the area, local vendors aren't always available as they may make more money selling out of state. We were in Montana for example surrounded by all these beautiful Angus cows with no local butchers anywhere.  In the beginning I wanted more storage and fridge space for security, now I want it to help keep costs down.  That being said we are holding the line on going to a residential refrigerator, because of power requirements.  This certainly may change over time, strict meal planning has certainly helped.  I will say I do envy the Class A owners with their big freezers in the basement :)

 

Trace....   you mileage will definitely vary on this one


 Oh, yeah, one's mileage does vary on this.

Perhaps you are more into gourmet type meals, but even with being 15 miles or so from the nearest Walmart and going into town on Wednesdays and Sundays, our grocery bill is only around $350 to $400 a month.  That includes my "snacking" stuff like chips, microwave popcorn, Cheez-Its, etc.  (Yeah, there's a lot of snacking stuff for me.)  Incidentally, our trips to town on Wednesdays and Sundays is to attend church and for Jo to sew at her sister's house.  Even with that many trips to town, we don't buy groceries every time we go in.  We do stock up on beef, sausage, and some other things that will last us for anywhere from 3 weeks to two months.  And, our RV's residential refrigerator is 18 cubic feet, not 22, and is the French style fridge with the big freezer at the bottom.

We're also modest with other things in that we buy very little in the way of steaks, but do stock up on hamburger.  I like a hamburger steak as well as I do a good Sirloin, although the Sirloin is usually purchased at a restaurant.  The hamburger also goes into a number of other meals that Jo fixes.  When we buy the meat, Jo brings it home from Sam's or Costco and portions the large packages out into smaller bags for putting into the freezer.

Terry



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Thanks for the correction... I had 22CuFt in my head for some reason.

I had 400 in today dollars in our RV grocery budget, apparently a lot of wiggle room on this item.



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Our frig is a 12 cu. ft. RV model (four-door, AC/propane). We shop about once a week most of the time and spend about $400/month on food. We probably eat a bit differently than many folks... my wife was born and raised in South and Central America and then, as an adult, she lived in Spain for ten years and then back in Central America for another six. I am a native New Mexican. Laura is also a "world class" cook and likes to experiment with new recipes and dishes. Needless to say, out tastes tend to the international and we also try to eat as healthily has possible. 

Rob



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Terry and Jo wrote:
Lee and Trace wrote:

 

 Oh, yeah, one's mileage does vary on this.

"Perhaps you are more into gourmet type meals"...

Terry


 That made me laugh because gourmet is about as far away from my cooking style as you could get.  I do like fresh though.  Fresh veggies, lots of salads, and although we eat a ton of chicken we also eat other meats when on sale.  If we were near a Costco/Walmart , hopefully we could get that price down...but since we rarely are it's a challenge,  Oh and the grocery bill also includes all non food purchases, cleaning supplies, laundry, paper products etc.  I know some people talk pure food when they talk grocery budgets but I include anything bought at the store including alchohol, which I do think I will break out next year. 

 

Trace



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Trace,

I asked the real purchaser of the grocery goods about all of this.  That's where our number came from, and she also said that included the non-food items.  However, an many cases, a trip to Sam's or Costco is strictly for food because we buy very little beyond consumables via the mouth.  And yes, said consumables include my snacks.  However, it does NOT include one of my favorites that I don't get very often.  I have this thing for Circus Peanuts, and there is a Big R store near the sister-in-law's house, so I have been getting them a little more often.

Jo stated that if non food items were removed from the monthly "grocery food bill," our groceries would probably be around $300 to $350 a month.

Terry



__________________

Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Photobucket

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 915
Date:

Terry and Jo wrote:

Trace,

I asked the real purchaser of the grocery goods about all of this.  That's where our number came from, and she also said that included the non-food items.  However, an many cases, a trip to Sam's or Costco is strictly for food because we buy very little beyond consumables via the mouth.  And yes, said consumables include my snacks.  However, it does NOT include one of my favorites that I don't get very often.  I have this thing for Circus Peanuts, and there is a Big R store near the sister-in-law's house, so I have been getting them a little more often.

Jo stated that if non food items were removed from the monthly "grocery food bill," our groceries would probably be around $300 to $350 a month.

Terry


 Fair enough...I think I need to feed Lee less lol

 

Trace



__________________

 Trace 

Ford F350 Super Duty 4x2.  Open Range 386FLR

Follow our journey at www.camperchronicles.com

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 4970
Date:

Lee and Trace wrote:
Terry and Jo wrote:

Trace,

I asked the real purchaser of the grocery goods about all of this.  That's where our number came from, and she also said that included the non-food items.  However, an many cases, a trip to Sam's or Costco is strictly for food because we buy very little beyond consumables via the mouth.  And yes, said consumables include my snacks.  However, it does NOT include one of my favorites that I don't get very often.  I have this thing for Circus Peanuts, and there is a Big R store near the sister-in-law's house, so I have been getting them a little more often.

Jo stated that if non food items were removed from the monthly "grocery food bill," our groceries would probably be around $300 to $350 a month.

Terry


 Fair enough...I think I need to feed Lee less lol

 

Trace


 

Remind me to NEVER let you near my wife.

Terry



__________________

Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Photobucket

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog

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