Saturday, March 22, 2014

Magical Motorhome

Well I am back to being my happy self, just that I am dead tired exhausted. Poor puppy dog needs a lot more attention and exercise today, but I am pooped. After three nights of very little sleep, I am just ready to crash bang boom.

For me, it was a big driving day because I made about 250 miles. For me that is amazing. usually I don't get much past 60 miles in a day. I didn't start until 1:30pm, here again, way late for me, but I was slow moving all morning due to lack of sleep.

My friends keep a spot for me in their garden.
Exiting my friends' garden in reverse is always a bit rough and takes awhile. One friend was at work and the other wasn't feeling well, so I did it alone, like I normally do anyhow, but having a spotter is always a relief.  I have to back downhill while making a 90 degree turn, leaving their heat pump equipment intact, miss the neighbor's roof, dodge the mailboxes, avoid the trees, elude the fence and not mash up cars parked (illegally) in the curved street. I am super careful not to cross the unseen dotted line that separates their lot from the neighbor's lot. The neighbors are nice enough, but I am sure they appreciate me not touching their land.

Other than that, it's a breeze. Oh how I wish I had a backup camera. 

But this rig constantly has other ideas about repairs and maintenance before something so frivolous as a backup camera rises to the top of the wish list. My motorhome seems so small until I go into reverse, then it magically inflates to twice or triple its size, scaring me silly.

Sometimes I enter and exit the driver's seat a dozen times while reversing. Harley dog always leaps about ready to exit with me, so I have to tell him "STAY!" each time and look at that sad little face. It's funny in a way. He keeps the driver seat warm and plants paw prints on the side window for me. I always hope he won't push the lock down and lock me out, but I have a special safety feature to get back inside, in case he does.

I've heard horror tales of owners that were locked out of their rigs by the innocent paw of a pet. Recently Harley learned about electric window buttons in my friend's car. He loves to hang his silly head outside. In this picture he was trying to find the magic button but I had my hand over it, so he couldn't get the window down any further, but he was wiggling his paw everywhere trying to find it!

Once I was out on the street, 10-20-30 minutes later,  I too parked illegally, to run back inside to say my final goodbyes and retrieve my puppy who was having his final fling with their doggy, romping around their fenced yard. I turned on my emergency blinkers, to indicate to traffic (should any go by) that this was a temporary parking.

I did a 360 degree walk around the rig to see if I was dragging a bush or mailbox or had a tree dangling off the roof. All was well except 3 out of the 4 emergency lights (one on each corner of the rig) was malfunctioning. In other words, only one light was flashing, the other three were dark.

Good grief, when did this happen? How do I fix that? My thoughtful friend wanted me to start tearing the rig apart to fix that right then and there. I said "Good heavens no, I am not going to start making repairs in the middle of the street. I will add it to the list."

When I lived in the Caribbean, I and hundreds of others, often did make lenghty repairs in the middle of the street, but in America, I think that is frowned upon. 

"The list" is that never ending piece of paper of maintenance and repair woes. Something an old rig is always serving up. More work to do...

Even when driving, I generally stop at least every hour. I have to stretch or doggy wants to water something or I need to visit the broom closet (I keep a toilet in there). I drink a lot of water throughout the day, especially while driving. All that water has to go somewhere...

Also, because I don't have a car, I do my errands while in route to the next campground. Once I park at the camp, I like to stay put, soaking up nature and praying for a miracle (that I will get well and stay well). So I try not to backtrack back out of the campground to run errands. Even so there is usually work to do, hooking up, catching up on laundry, sweeping out the crud, repairing whatever came loose from the last jostling down the road.

Yesterday was no different, there was detours and roadwork plus I got lost again. My GPS has decided to pack it up and Harley dog is lousy at reading maps. I had some written notes but not enough and trying to read those while flying down the road was a challenge indeed. Getting lost, making wrong turns, oh what an adventure!

I was turned away from several campgrounds that were already full, got lost trying to find another. They had a vague sign that it was a half mile ahead, and I drove up and down that road looking for the entrance that just wasn't there. Gave up and headed more northerly with my stomach putting up a huge rumbling that was scaring the dog.

Finally returned to a campground I thought I would never revisit, but decided to give them a 2nd chance, as I was beat down wore out. Somebody had small and large local honey for sale on the counter and honey was on my shopping list, so I bought a jumbo bottle.

They gave me a teeny tiny site that was so thick in mud and muck, I began listing to one side, like a sinking ship. I parked and reparked a few times only to get deeper into the mud. I was afraid if I pulled out leveling boards, they would be stuck in the muck when it was time to leave and I'd be forced to donate them, something I wished not to do.  Finally drove back to the office with a huge smile on my face and put on my best manners to humbly ask for a different spot. I was hoping I wouldn't have to get on bended knee and beg (cause my knee is a wreck since the boat accident) but PHEW the lady gave me another site to go try out. Even offered to let me go pick one on my own, if that one didn't work either.

Trying not to eat the steering wheel while I parked on that site, looking for the level spot while Harley jumped up and down in his seat ready for a puppy patrol. The utility box looked like it had been run over and propped back up, but the power worked, so I jammed in the cord to focus on throwing some food together.

Prior to my arrival, somebody had knocked the utility post crooked. Another "thoughtful" camper left the power turned on and the cover thrown down on the ground so that the electrical outlet was "hot" and aimed up towards the rain. (In this picture, I have already replaced the outlet cover.) Call me silly, but I always turn the power OFF before unplugging. If one is wrestling to get the thick heavy cord removed and accidentally bumps the metal prong of the 30 amp cord, it's not going to be pretty. 

I thought it was a smooth ride more or less, but I was wrong. My walk-in closet threw up in the hallway (I keep a shower in there too!) I guess *um* I should have closed the door, but oh wait, I was supposed to glue the door back together or order a new one, but heck, it's on that long list somewhere (waiting for funding) and well I didn't get the old one glued back together yet. I'm not even sure glue will fix the old one, but it's worth a try...

I need more hours in the day to get all these repairs done.

The galley rail that my friend and I glued and screwed a few years back, sprung it's glue and partially popped off. Holy cow, no idea why that happened. We installed it on the back of the kitchen counter to reign in my burgeoning spice and condiment bottles. But the kitchen counter is at a slight tilt because they dropped in an iron sink when they built the rig without shoring up the counter sufficiently. You would never notice it until you try to attach a nice straight galley rail, then you see the sag. So we had to slice the rail in the middle, file it down, then glue and screw, or I thought we screwed, but maybe not, maybe it was just glued.

When I traveled with my energetic friend last fall, it was heaven on earth for a few weeks. I had half the work and twice the fun! Alone, I have double the work and at nearly the same cost. The only difference in having two humans travel in an RV versus one, is the food cost goes up and the laundry is a bit more. Other than that, gas and camping fees are the same for one or two.

The work is the same whether split by two or one working alone. If one working alone, then it surely feels like twice the work.

Could be perhaps because I do so many things the old fashioned way due to my efficient budget. It saves a ton of money, but it all takes time. Where exactly is that EXTRA hour they promised us a few weeks ago?  I need it now!

My current location.


  1. glad to see you escaped. i would have told you to leave, but your a growed up. i'm both a master plumber and a licensed electrician. whoopee.

    not only should the switch be shut off when you unplug, it should be off when plug your home in. unplugging if you slip well you will have vocabulary like mine if you are lucky. when plugging in if you have short, well it will be a arc welder. back to vocabulary. burns, souped up heart beat and/or your last clean white shirt. leaving the recp energized is a good way to have a kid come along and killed or maim themselves.

    i get shocked all the time. i laugh. i may not be right. i also know how to not get hurt or killed. i can see why you were wary of this place.

    again glad to see you moved

    peaceup raz the rotob

  2. Ann in MissouriMonday, March 24, 2014

    Your emergency signals could be something as easy as a burned out bulb. Check that first. I had an older vehicle once and when a signal light was burned out, none of them worked. It was its way of telling me to change a bulb.

  3. I am terrified of household electricity but I don't mind messing about with 12 volt.

    Thanks for the comments!

    You keep me energized.


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