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To Market, To Market

October 6, 2015

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One of the uses we intended for the Class C motorhome was to have our own place to stay when we travel to art markets and festivals that require an overnight stay. We got to test that capability out this past weekend when we went to the October First Saturday Arts Market in Houston. And one of the things that drew us to Rio Bonito Cabin & RV Park in Liberty Hill, Texas as a home base was the oversized RV sites.

We were able to load all the show equipment and art directly into the Honda CR-V, and clothes and food into the motorhome with them parked close to the Montana fifth wheel.

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A neighbor here at the RV park is a carpenter and has all the necessary tools. Along with another project, he put together this wood rack for us that sits over the folding tables we use for shows. All of our show booth equipment is stored in the outside pass-through compartment, with the heavy stuff on the driveway side. The tables are the first things that have to go into the Honda, then everything else is stacked on top of them. Then, when we return, they are the first things to go back into the storage compartment. Now we no longer have to pull everything out and lay it on the ground while we transfer the tables. We simply slide the tables out from beneath the wood rack and slide them directly into the back of the car. Then the Light Dome canopy (the olive green bag on the left) comes out and slides in next to the tables. There are a couple of large items, like the tall director’s chairs that can be set aside without having to bend and stoop, then almost everything else gets transferred directly to the car without having to put it down on the ground. Reversing the process when we returned on Sunday, which is the last chore before being able to relax, was a real back saver.

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The three hour drive from near Georgetown, Texas to the northwest side of Houston was easy and uneventful. At 28 feet and towing a car, gas station stops still require some forethought before pulling in to avoid blocking driveways, which is one of the reasons we start thinking about it once the fuel gauge drops below halfway. In Houston, we stayed at the RV Park at Trader’s Village. It’s on Eldridge Road, not far off Hwy 290, and allows us to avoid driving the motorhome through Houston traffic, leaving a half hour drive in the Honda to the art market location. We were able to get a pull-through site, which made unhooking and connecting with the tow bar a convenient process. The restroom/shower facility nearby left a bit to be desired. Nell couldn’t get the outside door locked, and said the stalls in the ladies’ room didn’t have doors (the men’s room did). The showers only had curtains and no place to put down a bag. Even when most RVs have bathrooms and showers, one expects a bit more privacy in the park’s facilities. I suspect, if the ladies’ room door had been lockable, it would have been okay, especially since the restrooms were very clean.  The shower in our 20 year old motorhome needs some renovation, so we were a bit disappointed.  One thing we’ll have to plan for in the future at this park is the very short distance between the motorhome and our site’s sewer connection. My 10 foot hose was way too long and was a pain when it came time to dump. On the positive side, considering the size, we found the RV park to be very quiet, clean and otherwise well-maintained.

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Traders Village is actually a huge flea market that’s open on the weekend. The RV park has 287 sites with full hookups, and with our Good Sam discount we paid slightly over $59 for two nights. The RV park is separated from the flea market by a large parking lot. The pull thru sites don’t have a patio, but it was perfectly fine for our purposes, and would be a decent place to overnight or spend a few days sightseeing in Houston. On Saturday, we left before sunup and got back after dark, so we can’t speak to the traffic or noise, but when we left on Sunday between 9:30 and 10am, it was quiet, and we had no problem getting out at all.

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We arrived early enough to kick back and relax on Friday evening, and the easy access to the highway meant we didn’t have to rush on Sunday morning before heading back home.

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We can fit the entire booth, including all the artwork, into the Honda CR-V. We knew it would all fit, but this was the first time we towed it to another city fully loaded. It was kind of like towing a driveable trailer. The market itself wasn’t especially profitable for us this time, which was a surprise, because the October market is historically well attended and profitable for just about everyone. However, it did give us a chance to see some old friends and make some new ones, and make some art connections that could be interesting in the future.

While the trip wasn’t a long distance, it provided an opportunity to get out on the road, give the motorhome a workout, and to be reminded of a few things that have been left undone because of the summer heat. We still love our second home on wheels.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 6, 2015 3:31 pm

    looks like a great setup.

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