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This home of ours is buzzing with anticipation for an annual event that is just around the corner. Now I am certainly not one to rushtime’s passing, but let’s face it…with the hectic schedules of today’s families, time flies. Our departure will be here sooner than later. The calendar with the proposed daily events is hanging in the kitchen as inspiration to make good choices with our expenses until we go. Caitlyn already has an envelope with her savings stored safely away.

We are excited about a million things regarding this trip. We have done some improvements to our motorhome inside and out for starters. One weekend was spent on a growing checklist of items that needed our attention or we felt would be a benefit for future trips. The outer compartments got a nice fresh coat of paint and some aluminum trim along the bottom to help with road salt and rust. All of the compartments also got emptied, vacuumed and reorganized. My handy husband Jerry made some great dividers for those little things that can get lost in such a large area. Some 2 x 4’s, a chop saw and a screw gun can certainly make organization a bit easier. In our golf cart trailer he utilized some nice handles and cable cuffs for securing a variety of camping paraphernalia to the walls. Jerry also constructed and welded a bike rack to mount to the beams in the trailer. Yes I am so darn blessed to have a handy husband! And even more blessed to have a husband that understands my compulsion for organization. (I hear your chuckle now Grandma Tag-Along)

We have begun our tradition of revisiting some moments whereby a situation could have gone better if we’d only done this or that. I think it’s great that we are all open and honest and share our feelings, not only of the great moments but also of the annoying or frustrating times. This really clears the air for a better vacation. We came up with a great shower system since there will be 5 of us on this trip and using a motorhome shower is by far a different experience than being at home with as much water as you need  coming out of the showerhead at a constant rate – not on and off to conserve as in the RV. So, depending on the upcoming days plan, some may shower at night and some in the morning, maybe in the motorhome or perhaps at the lovely Fort Wilderness showers. Hey, if it works out or not, it’s an attempt to rectify at least. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again, right?!

Something I definately recommend is a tentative plotting of the parks and attractions you’d like to see and do. Having this to refer to is helpful for the planning process and can save you some money. This trip we almost purchased more park passes than we could use in the amount of spare days we had (after all the other things we want to squeeze in). It is so very tempting though, to add on Disney Park days as they are so much less expensive the more you add. Again, because I am obsessive, I made that calendar I told you about and used images for the potential plan of the day. Here’s a mock one because anyone will tell you that you should not post vacation information ;-)

Well Disney friends. That’s all for now. Until next time….

 

Well after searching high and low we finally found the Cart of our dreams. A 2010 EZGO SPORT 2+2 in the sandstone color (A perfect match to the RV). We chose not to go with the six seat-er due to the 26′ turning radius it required that would restrict us from many areas of Fort Wilderness Cart Parking. We began the transformation by removing the huge and ugly EZGO sticker from the side of the Cart for beginners, and then after a pretty sizeable order from BUGGIES UNLIMITED, we started to make this cart our own.

You see, many Dad friends of mine have Harley’s and although I love a nice bike too, I can bring my family along on my special toy all gussied up with chrome and stainless. And better yet, they get to help. Jake and Cait love to use the air tools and turn the ratchets while understanding that safety is not a joke when in Dad’s garage. Jake took a try at the uneasy task of cutting in the tail lights into the fender. A  job that made Dad very nervous that he would make a mistake, but the trust I put in him had a great effect on his self confidence.

After the tail lights, came the custom dash kit. Woodgrain was ordered but Melissa was pleasantly surprised to see the carbon fiber dash be unveiled from the plastic as this was her choice from the beginning. This way not at all my doing. I think her wishful thinking caused the order to be changed through suggestive thought without either of us knowing. Sometimes we get lucky and a manufacturer mis- labels a box in our favor. The dash was probably the easiest accessory to put on . The hard part was installing the cd player into it. This was not easy as one false move with the cutter and Melissa could kiss that carbon fiber dash goodbye.  The stereo came out perfect if I do say so for myself.

The weekend came and operation Golf Cart was on full effect. That is intil Grandma-tag-along arrived and said “let me take that sucker out for a spin”. How could I resist. The term “break in period” might not have been understood by my mother too well because she was flying on that thing. She cleverly tried to justify her top fuel dragster take off with “I had to see how it handles before I take your children for a nice gentleride”. Yeah right, I thought, she is a golf cart junkie just like the rest of us. When we finally released her death grip from the steering wheel we were able to get back to work. We had lots of parts at the ready and our precoius weekend was fading fast.

Our next step, after switching out our custom wheels off the old cart, was to cut in the speaker holes into the under-seat area and wire them to the stereo. You gotta have tunes when your carting at Fort Wilderness. We then moved on to the stainless steel running boards and the custom Cadillac Escalade side vents. For the hood, we added chrome plated hood scoops (all of my trucks have hood scoops ugh ugh ugh) to give it that aggressive look in the front complimented by our GOINCMPN (going camping) NY licence plate saved for posterity from our first ever RV. Now the cart is finally worthy of the stainless steel Limited Edition emblems I affixed to the front quarter panels.

Now it was time for my test ride. I gathered up my ipod and plugged into the stereo so I could crank up the Irish Music my family so kindly tolerates from me, although I never have anyone want to stay behind when we go to the Irish Festival each September. And I was off to explore a nice solo ride around the “Haley Compound”( as our friends affectionately call it) in the warm splendor of a early spring weekend. at least that’s what I hoped. Not so FAST!!. I forgot to mention the biggest Golf Cart junkie of them all in our family. Willy, our the Australian Shepherd (named after Willy Wonka to coincide with our cat Charlie Bucket). All willy has to hear is the beep of the Cart backing out of the garage and his stub starts a waggin. How could I resist?! It is the “Haley Fun Buggie” after all.

Well the test ride was awesome, the stereo was great, and the roof  and windsheild had finally been delivered. It was time to put the final peices of the new Hybrid Gas/Electric powered Fun Buggie together. We switched out the roof  which was already retrofitted for Grandma’s custom embroidered Disney Charcter Banner, and swapped our old tinted windsheild for the plain clear windsheils that came standard. This was the most fun we had working toghether in quite some time. We all love to work together on projects, and the kids learn so much crucial information they will need when they grow up. It’s definately a win win for all of us. Well, gotta go, I hear the back up alarm on the Cart and I don’t see Grandma or the kids anywhere. Here we go again…..

The Haley Fun Buggie

If you have a Custom Cart send us the pick and we’ll put it up in the Readers Rides section of  our site. Happy Carting!!

Custom Built for the Orlando Magic Youth Fund

Article from our friends at Diversified Golf Cars:

The first major decision to make when purchasing a new golf car is to choose between gas or battery powered motors.  For first time buyers this can be a somewhat daunting task as this is unfamiliar territory – especially when it comes to battery powered vehicles.  Like most choices, there are pros and cons for each side that must be well thought out before diving right in.  This article aims to lay out all of these points for both gas and electric powered golf carts to help make the decision a little easier for would-be buyers.  If you’re still undecided after reading, give us a call toll-free 877-855-9353 and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Application & Preference
When new customers come in they invariably ask, “What’s better, gas or electric?”  My answer is always the same – it largely depends on how you plan to use your golf car and what your preferences are.  These days, people get pretty creative with their golf carts so the intended uses can vary more than you might think.  For the average user either type of golf car will make a perfectly fine recreational vehicle.  Electric golf carts run nearly silently and have no fuels or oils to deal with, perfect for supporters of the green movement.  Gas golf carts are a little more on the noisy side and will obviously require gas to operate – regular unleaded, to be exact.

Electric golf carts do depend on their batteries for power, so if you’re someone who wants to use your golf cart for hours upon hours at a time, you may want to stick with gas.  This especially holds true for those that enjoy camping and RVing – if you don’t have access to power neither will your electric golf cart. 

Another point that’s often forgotten is the amount of accessories you plan to install on your golf cart.  If you want stereos, lighting, fans, heaters, etc. all of this takes a considerable amount of power.  For an electric cart this energy comes right out of the same bank of batteries that your motor relies on.  Gas golf cart accessories will also rely on battery power, however, they feature a starter/generator that will charge the battery on its own while the gas pedal is depressed.  This doesn’t mean a gas golf cart battery is invincible – any accessories left on while the cart isn’t running will eventually kill your battery.

Performance
In the beginning, golf cars were designed to simply be what their name implies – cars for golfing.  While either type of cart can easily haul you and a friend around most reasonable kinds of terrain there are other points to consider when making a decision – especially for those who expect a little more.

With horsepower ratings ranging from 10-12 HP, gas golf cars are as much as 3-4 times more powerful than their electric counterparts.  An electric golf cart, on average, will feature a 3-5 HP electric motor – but that’s not to say electric carts aren’t impressively powerful in their own right.  Light hauling and yard work can be done with either type of vehicle and both will perform satisfactorily.  However, those who demand power in off-road conditions with rugged terrain and steep inclines will almost always want to stick with gas power.

As we mentioned before, electric golf carts aren’t for those who wish to joy ride for hours a day.  An electric cart will typically get around two hours of continuous motor run time before the batteries will need re-charging.  This translates to anywhere between 22-30 miles depending on usage and the terrain – still pretty impressive.  While there are no official statistics from golf cart manufacturers, gas powered carts have very impressive fuel economy.  Gas tanks vary between 5-6 US gallons and a full tank can net you nearly 200 miles between fill-ups – that’s around 30 MPG!

Aside from power sources and horsepower ratings, both types of vehicles operate in much the same fashion.  To the untrained eye you couldn’t get the two apart from each other, and for the most part,\ they both ride and handle the same.  Both types of vehicles will get about 14-15 mph top-speed (unmodified).

Maintenance
All in all, both types of golf carts have fairly light requirements when it comes to maintenance.  With electric carts your main concern lies within your batteries – make sure you check the water levels monthly and top-off as needed.  The batteries are the life-blood of an electric car and with a replacement set costing over $600 these days it’s not something you want to ignore.  With proper maintenance of batteries and responsible charging habits you can expect to get 5-6 years (sometimes longer) of solid performance before they will need replacing.  In comparison, neglecting your batteries can shorten their lifespan to as little as 1-2 years.

Gas golf carts, on the other hand, do require periodic oil changes as well as replacement air/fuel filters and spark plugs when necessary.  For the do-it-yourselfer it’s pretty routine stuff if you don’t mind getting a little dirty.  Filters are relatively inexpensive and golf cart motors take only a quart or so of 10W30 oil after every 250 hours of motor run time.  The best way to stay on top of maintenance is to purchase and install an hour meter for the motor and with proper care a gas golf cart can last you a lifetime.

Maintenance costs will be about equal if you take care of your golf cart.  If not, electric golf carts tend to be more expensive largely due to the cost of replacing batteries.

Summary
Now that you have a better idea of how both gas and electric golf cars operate, hopefully you’ll have an easier time making a decision.  Keep in mind, this article is comparing “standard” golf carts.  There are motor and controller upgrades out there to get the power of a gas golf car (and more) in electric form – though that is beyond the scope of this article.

Visit http://www.diversifiedgolfcars.com/  Mention that you heard about them from Disney4Dads.com

Jerry’s take on this:  Basically after the second time of being out of juice with our 36v electric cart and having to push the cart with Cait driving (I was getting evil stares letting the kids push me). I have decided to go with gas. By the way, I don’t Golf,  but I do cart.