Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sweating the small stuff!

Well, it is hot here so just loading Timmber Wolf and putting stuff away in there is hot and sweaty work. We did get some help cleaning and loading the Wolf and still have a ways to go tomorrow before we leave the next day. My house sitter's son and his wife came by to help and good thing they did.

We had him clean the windshield and since it had rained earlier in the day he found where it leaked from when they had to replace it! We decided it is no where significant enough to turn the whole trip inside out by not leaving as planned on Monday but made sure we have the phone number for the people who did the replacement so we can call and let them know that we will be in to see them when we get back!

We'll have to pay attention to the leak whenever it rains on our trip and make sure anything is cleaned up. Maybe the windshield is lonely or something, it seems to be trying to keep our attention!

As much as we may complain about how much there is to load, it is no where near what it was for our first trip last year but then a lot of that stuff just stayed aboard.

Picking up Wolf at the generator place went okay but then as I was following Geoff home, him in the Wolf and me in the car, I spotted one of the 'basement' doors swinging open and shut! Not a good thing. And now I discovered the definite drawback to not having our communication hats in action.

Usually we have them set up and on for something like this but we had not bothered for this short run but just try running down the interstate trying to tell someone in a big ol' RV that a door is swinging open and they need to pull over! Horn blaring, lights flashing, nothing seemed to get his attention although admittedly the Outback horn isn't real loud and it was daylight so flashing lights were not so noticeable. I finally pulled around in front of him and put my turn signal on and finally he pulled over.

Seems that the latch on the 'basement' compartment just in front of the entry door had gotten misaligned and although we could still pull it open even when it was locked it seemed like it held a bit better. We headed straight for our local Camping World and they realigned it so hopefully it will behave itself on the trip.

Anyway, we are mostly loaded down to the small and last minute stuff. After we finish loading and putting stuff away tomorrow morning we are going to head a couple of exits south to the Flying J aka Pilot station down there at the CR206 at Exit 305 on I-95 and fill up on gas and propane and check to make sure everything stays in place ... a literal shake down cruise.

And the answer to "Are we getting excited yet?" the answer is a resounding "YES!" ... I am ready to leave right now. Geoff maybe not and certainly Wolf isn't quite ready but I am!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Now What?

2017 started off with Geoff having the second of his cataract surgeries and once he healed a little bit he was astounded by how much better he can see. Seems the world had had a yellowish cast before the surgeries!

Tax Season started and I work six days a week so time slipped by quickly but it was also time to start thinking about whether we were going to travel this year and if so where. But first Timmber Wolf decided to have some additional issues with his batteries. Geoff would go down to visit him and he wouldn't start ... sooo we found out about kill switches, something no one had mentioned previously.

Apparently, if you are leaving your RV or trailer unused for any length of time you need a kill switch to totally disconnect your batteries or all those little things that suck power all the time will drain your battery dry! During normal traveling just going down the road or being plugged in to shore power take care of your power needs but not in storage! It all gets very confusing between the engine battery and the coach batteries and the generator. Glad that is Geoff's department!!!

Anyway, after getting that all sorted out and having things serviced and an appointment set up to have the generator serviced we started talking about where we were going. Last year's trip was humungous and all in all a bit much so we have trimmed down a bit. We're going to take I-10 out to Tucson and up to Phoenix where we get I-17 north to Flagstaff and there we catch I-40 and head back east.

Around Memphis, I-40 heads too far north and east so we'll head south on I-22 down through Tupelo, Birmingham, and then I-65 to Montgomery and then cutting down US84 through Dothan to get back to I-10 and home. Various stops are planned along the way of course and a nice week in Arizona to see my oldest son and my sister. Of course first we have to actually get out of town!

Departure is set for Monday, May 22nd, and this is already Wednesday, the 17th! Timmber Wolf is sitting up at the Cummins Onan generator service place and has been promised us for tomorrow. Of course it has been sitting up there for over a week, we better get it tomorrow. It was there so that the Generator could be serviced and apparently there was some warranty work that needed doing on it as well which caused the delays.

Of course on top of picking it up tomorrow, I have a doctors appointment and a lunch date (with my house sitter) and need to stop at the optometrist to have something fixed on my glasses and some how we have to get the windshield cleaned inside and out and the inside of the coach cleaned, all before getting everything loaded and put away! I think it is going to be relaxing to actually get on the road!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Life Just Never Slows Down!

We got back home Friday, July 22nd, about a week early having had to eliminate Mount Rushmore from our plans, driving straight through for three days of hot worried travel. By the time we got home not only were we exhausted but I was sick and needed to get well quick to prepare for my hip replacement surgery a month away.

In the meantime, Timmber Wolf spent several weeks in our driveway waiting on the insurance adjuster and then went to Camping World for another outfit to do the windshield and Camping World to do the body work from the rock damage. It is a very good thing we did not wait on a windshield in Wyoming or Colorado as the first one that was ordered arrived broken in transit.

Once the damage was repaired, Timmber Wolf had to go to the Ford commercial dealership up in Jacksonville for repair/replacement of the A/C unit that had failed us. Wolf was delivered there the end of September and spent Hurricane Matthew in their parking area.

On October 3rd, Hurricane Matthew arrived in the vicinity. We live enough inland that we did not have many concerns about damage for us personally but we have many friends who were in the evacuation  area. Fortunately, no one we knew suffered any significant damage. We were without power for a couple of days and the whole house power generator we had decided to fail us in our hour of need. Seems a power board in the model we have failed and there were a lot of unhappy people in the area, not just us.

Between rehab and recovery from the hip replacement and the start of Income Tax course of training that I lead every year where I work, we definitely stayed busy.  Wolf finally left the Ford dealer and went over to General RV for additional warranty repairs. Good Thing we weren't planning any trips! Wolf finally got back to storage sometime in late November or early December.

In November we finally got the fence for the side and backyard put in and made arrangements and decisions about house painting for December. We settled on having the popcorn ceilings removed. They are impossible to clean or paint and after ten years were starting to show where the heat ducts and kitchen added to the atmosphere. In addition we had most of the interior walls painted as well as the exterior stucco finish.

The colors are from Sherwin-Williams. The Trusty Tan was used on the exterior with white trim. The lightest color, Champagne was used on most of the interior walls and the Interactive Cream was used in the master bedroom and bath and white ceilings and trim. We used Straight Edge Painting of Jacksonville to do the job.

Now popcorn ceiling removal is a nasty messy event. First we moved what we could out of the house getting rid of our old bookcases which lined the living room. Of course this necessitated buying new bookcases and dumping the old tv stand for a nice credenza, bought from Sauder. While they did the popcorn removal we had to vacate the house for a motel for a few days which coincided with Geoffrey having the first of two cataract surgeries. We stopped by the house midweek to see how they were doing and the boss painter told us he managed to break the bookcase I used for a nightstand by my side of the bed so guess what??? a great excuse for new bedroom furniture! We got more of the Salt Oak finish line from Sauder, a couple of wardrobes, a dresser and a chest of drawers! So nice to replace all that 20 year old stuff.

Just in time for New Year's we were back in the house with fresh paint and new furniture, the latter being delivered on the 31st!!! And Wolf was safe and sound back in his storage space.