Nick’s Blog

Jun 292016

I don’t know what it is about food cooked outside on a grill, but it doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs, hamburgers, or steak, it just all seems to taste better to me. So when the folks from ManGrate contacted me a while back to ask if I would be interested in receiving a pair of their cast-iron grill grates to review, I said sure.

Well actually Miss Terry, the world’s greatest cook, said, “Yes, I want to try them out!” So I told their marketing person to send them to us here at Elkhart Campground

My first impression when I picked up the package was, “These things must be well-built, because they’re heavy!” Indeed they are; each American made ManGrate measures 4.25″ wide by 15″ long and weighs eight pounds. Yes, if you are a weight conscious RVer who is worried about adding anything extra to your rig, that’s something to consider. But trust me, these things are worth throwing something else out to make room for them!

Cast iron is porous, but once it is seasoned, the pores of the grates are filled with oils and fats resulting in a durable, non-stick surface. The grates have smoke rails, angled ledges on each bar of the ManGrate, that are designed to trap and retain oils and fats released during grilling. Those juices aid in the natural smoking process, giving meats a rich, barbecued flavor. I’m not a technical kind of guy, we all know that, so that’s as in-depth as I’m going to get about their construction.

Grates 2

Grates 1

But I am a guy who likes good food, and we all know that, too. And let me tell you something, I may never go to Texas Roadhouse again! The other day Miss Terry made me a steak using the ManGrates on top of our stainless steel Igloo tabletop gas grill. Seriously folks, it came out better than anything I’ve ever had in a steakhouse. At the same time, Terry grilled a tuna steak and the couple of bites I had of it were delicious.

Steak Tuna

She was at it again yesterday, this time grilling thick pork chops, and they were outstanding. We may never cook inside our motorhome again!

Pork chops

Anybody who’s been reading my blog or the Gypsy Journal for very long knows that I don’t endorse a product that I don’t use myself. And you also know that if I think a product is crap, I’ll tell you so. I don’t make a penny from the sale of these grates, and except for the pair that the company sent me to review, I receive no compensation. But if you like cooking outside over an open fire, trust me on this, order yourself a set of ManGrates.

You can learn more about the grates at If you include the promo code RVGYPSY in your communications, Mangrate will give you a 40% discount on a two-grate bundle, which includes a pair of grates, a grill brush, cottonseed oil, and a sprayer for seasoning the grates.

Besides testing out the ManGrates and all of that good eating, we’ve been busy the last few days visiting with people who have stopped by, writing, and weaving. I’m about 20,000 words into my new Big Lake mystery novel, and Terry cut her latest weaving project off the loom yesterday. Once she gets it wet finished and pressed, I can’t wait to get a couple of pictures of it to share with you, hopefully in tomorrow’s blog. I think you’re going to be impressed!

Thought For The Day – Your goal should be to create a life you don’t need a vacation from.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our Online Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Really? That’s Why?

 Posted by at 12:08 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 282016

I’ll admit I’m just an average guy, maybe even a little below average in most respects, and I guess I don’t see the “big picture.” But I’m always amazed at the things people find to worry about. I received two emails from people yesterday saying they were canceling their summer travel plans because of Great […]

Douglas The Camel

 Posted by at 12:14 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 272016

Note: We find some of our best stories wandering around in old cemeteries. This one, which appeared in the May-June 2013 issue of the Gypsy Journal, began with a visit to the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Animal mascots have been an important part of military life for centuries. Mascots became symbols of loyalty […]

Jun 262016

A while back I posted a blog titled Strange Sights about some of the oddball things we have seen in our 17 years wandering America’s highways and back roads as fulltime RVers. But we’re not the only ones who see things that leave us scratching our heads and saying “huh?” When our friends Tom and […]

Why Is It So High?

 Posted by at 12:29 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 252016

Over the years we have been in a lot of RVs. Everything from small Class C motorhomes to huge fifth wheel trailers and mega coaches with four slides. A lot of them are sold on the “Wow” factor. You know what that is, right? A customer walks in, sees the pretty carpeting and all of […]

Boy Scout Lessons

 Posted by at 12:15 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 242016

Like a lot of kids from my generation, I was a Boy Scout at one time. I enjoyed our weekly troop meetings and camping expeditions. Well, except for one scary incident when our leader took us on a hike across a frozen lake in Ohio. We were halfway across when I fell through the ice. […]


 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 232016

Miss Terry wanted me to thank everybody for all of your wonderful birthday wishes in the blog, on Facebook, in e-mails, and even in telephone calls yesterday. You all made her feel very special. We started Terry’s birthday by staying in bed and snuggling yesterday morning. Unless we have to be on the road or […]

Jun 222016

Today is a very special day for us. It’s Miss Terry’s birthday! The world received a very special gift the day she was born, and I am beyond thrilled and humbled that out of all of the men in the world, for some crazy reason she has chosen to spend her life with me. She […]

Jun 212016

I think yesterday was one of those days when the stars were all aligned just right or something. I need more days like that. We had some orders to mail out, so in the early afternoon I went to the post office in Elkhart. When we were in Tuscaloosa, Alabama a couple of weeks ago […]

You’ve Got Mail!

 Posted by at 12:11 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 202016

If you are a subscriber to the digital edition of the Gypsy Journal, check your e-mail inbox, because you’ve got mail. We finished the new edition yesterday, and late yesterday evening I sent out the link to all of our subscribers. I think our readers are really going to like this issue. In addition to […]