Thursday, September 30, 2010

Relearning Driving on the Right Hand Side

I'm in a holding pattern. We finished up our last trip, ending in my friend's driveway on the coast of New Hampshire. New Hampshire only has 17 miles of coast, most of it beaches.

Warning, dogs are not allowed on the New Hampshire beaches nor in the New Hampshire State Parks nor in cemeteries. There is already a poop law (clean up after your dog) like there is every where else. But we were stunned when after a long day of travel, we had reached a remote New Hampshire State Park and were turned away, when my puppy hopped up in my lap while we were at the check-in booth.
New Hampshire License Plates Read "Live Free or Die"
Yet Dogs are NOT allowed in any New Hampshire State Parks nor Coastal Beach Areas
So don't plan on camping in your RV with your canine kid in any New Hampshire State Parks

The attendant gave us the name of an RV park, but had no idea of the phone number nor the address. Our phone and AT&T internet would not work. On the drive out, we never came across another RV park. It was late, and my friend said let's just head for his house.

We arrived a tad grumpy, sad to say. Both of us too tried to cook dinner or dine out. After calling several pizza places, one finally agreed to deliver one. That restored our spirits.

The next day, we decided the motorhome could be parked a lot neater in the driveway. Through a miscommunication, we ran right over the electrical plug.  Whoops.

That began an odyssey of searching for RV parts. During our previous travels the pricey toilet seat lid broke off and the seat itself is obviously the original model and has a weird stain on it, that I have never been able to remove. So we bought a new toilet seat, and a 30 amp electric plug to replace the one we flattened out. I might could have straightened it back into use, but I didn't like the way it was corroded and not attached neatly. Perhaps it had been run over before.

Sometimes I visit the RVforum.Net, an electronic bulletin board full of information. I've read about everyone else's electrical problems, also my experience in living on boats offshore, I certainly know all about the importance of good clean connections.

Shopping around also gave us an opportunity to continue to scour for RV junkyards, in hopes of assembling enough pieces to replace the struts on the awning frame that were destroyed in Lake Placid, Florida last June.

Recently, somewhere in Ohio or Pennsylvania, one of the tightening knobs on the awning frame, disappeared. I have no idea how that happened. Another RV mystery. Did it break off while I was hitting a bump in the road?  Did it vibrate itself into unscrewing while I was driving?

This old motorhome reminds me of my sailboat.

Something always to fix.

Southerners are always "fixing to do something".  For instance we don't just make dinner. We are fixing to make dinner. So I guess I am fixing to make repairs.

My friend has also rebuilt a sailboat, like me, so we are both pretty handy. Can we repair the motorhome faster than things break?

We didn't find a knob for the awning yet. But from two different junk yards, I obtained 2 awning struts.  One we got for free, the other we had to buy, even though it was probably 20 years old and well used.

While trying to install them, we had to make some minor modifications, but now I have a fully functioning awning again for my outdoor patio area.

The awning itself, the fabric, needs replacing next, but last April, while in Long Point Park in Melbourne, Florida, we had repaired that with roof tape. I know that sounds weird, but it has worked amazingly well.

Somewhere in my travels, I bought a 4 foot mirror on sale. I envisioned putting it on the back of the bathroom door. I already have 3 mirrors in the motorhome, now I have four. It does help brighten up the hallway area.  But we ran out of double sided sticky tape to install that. Another half done project, waiting on supplies or energy or both.

My friend has a car at his house, so we and the dog, have made numerous trips out to hunt down various things to continue repairing and improving the motorhome.

I've now been living in my motorhome full time for over six months. I just LOVE it. This was the third time my friend has joined me for a week or more in the motorhome.

The first two times, we didn't drive anywhere together, because the initial park we had picked out, to rendezvous in,  was so lovely, we just stayed put, without traveling in the motorhome.

I must admit, it's way more fun to have a human along for the ride. On this trip I drove the first week, but my friend then drove the next 3-4 days. That was heaven on earth for me, to be a passenger in my motorhome. We stuck to the scenic byways, avoiding all interstate roads. The scenery was incredibly awesome.
A stand of large mature pine trees in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Since my friend drives sedately, like me, preferring to  be gentle on the engine, tires and brakes, I was actually able to relax some.

I was a bit jealous, that he seemed to grasp driving it, a lot quicker than I did initially. Of course with the addition of the memory foam steering wheel cover, I couldn't tell if he was gripping the wheel in panic or not. That steering wheel cover is heaven on earth. I highly recommend it to everyone.

I sometimes have severe problems with my joints and hands. This memory foam, does magic. I feel like I am confidently grasping the steering wheel.

Without white-knuckling it. *giggle*

Of course my friend has years of experience, driving a large car on the right side of the road. I have spent the last 2 decades driving a small heap of a jeep on the left side of the road throughout various islands in the Caribbean. So I not only had to learn to drive the motorhome, but had the added complication of relearning to drive on the right side of the road.

I imagine most newbies to Rving, do not have this problem.
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1 comment:

  1. Don't guess we'll be going to New Hampshire. We travel with 2 cockers and if their not welcomed, we'll not visit there.


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