You may have noticed that I have attempted to set a particular tone for these blog posts. But lest one has the mistaken impression that all is sweetness and light on the road, permit me to describe a FEW of our mishaps to date. This is the truth about the bumps in the road:
- After leaving Manitoba, the pungent odor emanating from our bathroom was enough to make the urinals in a seedy biker bar at closing time smell good! Turns out our china toilet was cracked all the way around the bottom of the bowl – likely from the extreme cold and bumpy roads leaving Winnipeg. Thanks to Joseph at Sierra Mobile RV in Port Isabel, Texas, we now have a sweet new throne. LOL.
- When we arrived in Dallas, the connection to our new power hose reel was leaking, forming a 4” icicle from our motorhome to the ground. Also turned out not to be a bad thing, as everyone was encouraged to leave their taps dripping a little, to prevent them from freezing in the unseasonable temperatures.
- Then there were the electrical problems with our refrigerator cutting out and our livingroom slide not moving. As previously mentioned, thanks to fellow FMCA member Rick for successfully addressing those issues.
- One day on South Padre Island we drove to the laundromat. Unfortunately, we were unable to drive back to our campsite, as the brakes on our Smart car were totally seized up! (I think it had to do with the damp salty sea air that deposits rust on anything metal within minutes.) A call to AAA brought a flatbed truck from Brownsville, taking our little seizer (LOL) to a “garage” in Port Isabel. I use the term garage advisedly, because it looked nothing like Canadian Tire. Of course it didn’t have the overhead either, and Dan did an excellent job of getting us mobile again. Working outside, which was his usual practice, he replaced the rear brakes, but couldn’t look at the front brakes because it was too cold! He promised to look at them for free when it warmed up, and I said I’d bring it back then. I did and he did. If you ever need mechanical assistance in Port Isabel, Dan’s Auto Specialists is the place to go.
- Last week in Albuquerque, we made an appointment at Camping World to have a tire pressure monitoring system (tpms) installed. Unfortunately, the new young “technician” (and I use the term advisedly) had no idea what he was doing. It took him 5 ½ hours to do a 1 ½ hour job, and he still didn’t get it right. After complaining to the manager, the head of the service department hooked it up, admitting that the young guy had never installed a tpms before. One of our transmitters is still not working, but I hope to have it fixed in Oklahoma City, at the latest.
- Also in Albuquerque we experienced our worst wind storm ever. The sand and dust blew at speeds between 40 & 60 mph for 3 days straight, so it was almost impossible to leave our motorhome. Even though we kept all the windows shut, a layer of dusty sand is now covering everything inside and outside of our motorhome. Each of our slide-outs is covered by a fabric topper, which flapped and ripped in the wind. When the wind died down, I climbed up and taped the tears, but we now have an appointment to have them replaced in Oklahoma.
- When we unplugged from shore power this morning, everything in our motorhome shut down: The fridge didn’t work; the generator didn’t work; neither did the levelers, slideouts, lights and radio, water pump, to name a few things in our coach. I plugged back in right away and got the slideouts in and the levelers up and started the engine. We drove to the nearest rv service centre, but being Sunday, it turned out the service area was closed, requiring me to disconnect the car so that we could turn around and go somewhere else. We called a 24/7 emergency rv repair place, and got a recorded message. We left a message that we were on our way to their shop in Albuquerque, but when we arrived, no one was there, and there was still no one answering the phone. We decided to drive to Roswell, today’s destination, and are staying at a full-service rv park until we can go to a garage in the morning.
- Ok, now it’s the next morning and we drove the motorhome to Main Trailer Sales in Roswell, NM. Within 5 minutes the tech was able to diagnose and fix the problem – the Camping World “tech” had shut off the power switch used when you put the rig into storage for the season, and hadn’t turned it back on again when he finished. It was a quick, easy fix that didn’t cost us anything. Yeah Johnny at Main Trailer Sales!
- Someone described the experience of taking your home on the road at 60 mph (100 km/hr), as like subjecting your home to a constant hurricane or tornado. There will always be things that work themselves loose and limit your forward progress.
This blog post is not intended as a downer, and I promise to return to the practice of posting more sweetness and light. But having just returned from the International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico this afternoon, all readers need to know: “The truth is out there!” LOL