Monday, May 31, 2010

Seems Like Friday the 13th!

Fishing Pond at Eby's Pines Campground, Bristol, IN

Thursday, May 13, I got up and perused recipes until 2:30 in the morning and made a grocery list. I couldn't sleep so I thought I might as well do something useful for our pending week of fun with our friends Rick and Debbie who will join us shortly from near Cleveland, OH. I finally passed out at 4:30 and slept until 8:30. It rained and stormed most of that time but I missed it. It is very unsettling to be here for perhaps a month (at least that's what we paid for) but to be still hitched up, uncertain about this site and have nothing unpacked.

We lounge on this gloomy morning and finally have breakfast around 10:00. We're both tired from moving two days in a row. The electricity is zilch here. Sixty seconds would not warm up a half of a cup of lukewarm coffee in the microwave. Usually that amount of time would boil a half of cup of anything. And the water heater, on electric mode, only got the water luke warm. I get on-line and pay bills and download the bank statements.

We clean up and stretch in spite of the bikes still being in the way in the living room. Then we walk to the office. We meet the owner Chris who asks if we're their new residents. Bob says "I guess so." So she asks us to move to Site #220 and says we can stay there for a whole month. We are all for it as we're hoping for better electric service. Besides, thanks to Bob's quick thinking last night, we are still hitched up on that terrible side-hill slope. We certainly don't want to have to try to re-hitch with that kind of an angle. So we tell her we'll walk over and check out site #220. First we meet Isabelle, a black, people-oriented poodle who fusses if you don't greet her warmly enough.

We walk back in the chilly air and decide the site looks good (just goes to show you, looks can be deceiving.) And we walk down the road to see what the turn is like to get to the lane behind us. Then we go home to pack up. You have to do all the same packing if you move 50 feet or 500 miles. It is scary to do it without our checklist. But we lock it down, pull out and circle around to two roads behind where we were. I hop out with the radio to make sure we clear the three electric wires strung over the road; no problem.

We're excited, thinking our problems are over--NOT. We pull into the site and it is more level on the front end than the other one we just left. But our curbside tires are on a tree root so we can't get the wheels on the other side up on enough boards to level the RV. And we can't go forward in the site because the sewer connection is way in the back. It won't reach even where we sit right now but we've been meaning to get a 10-foot extension for our new Rhino hose. We already have the storage tube as Bob put that on in Bastrop, TX, in December. We'll have to find an RV supply place--more on that later. And we can't move backwards because the bikes will be hanging out on the road.

So we study the situation for awhile. Bob says the best solution is to dig out in the soft sand under3r the curbside tires on the RV. So now the search is on for our little garden shovel that we carry just for such a purpose. We haven't seen it since we moved into our new RV. We used to know just where it was in the old RV. It is not in the side storage compartment of course--that would be too easy to get to. So we have to dig "downunder"--I say we loosely as Bob is the one who plays contortionist. It is a back-breaker to get the LaFuma reclining lawn chairs out of there with the truck still hitched up. And it is difficult to look in the drawers with the golf clubs in front of them. But he finds it AND we find the converter for the laptop that we needed in Goreville so we could drive to a hotspot with the truck and use the laptop without a plug-in. We thought we had put it in the Goodwill after our move to the new RV.

We put all of the stuff back downunder so we don't run over it if we ever get unhitched. We pull the RV off the blocks we tried to put it on. We mark the spot and Bob digs trenches under two wheels curbside. Then we pull back up on the blocks streetside, make some slight adjustments and Voila! We're level and in the site. Our problems are over right? Wrong!

We put the front jacks down and unhitch. We try the electric first and boil a cup of water in the microwave in the appropriate amount of time so at least that's better at this site. As Bob tries to lower the back jacks they don't move. The electric motor is completely locked up. As we left site #187 a bit ago, we both thought we smelled a funny odor; like a transformer burning. Yeah, that would be our rear stabilizer jacks motor. So we dig back downunder to find the manual crank. Bob actually comes up with the correct crank (we have manual cranks for all three slides too and are not familiar with any of them yet). But it won't budge even with the manual crank.

So I clean off my shoes again (the rain last night made it a sandy mess.) I put the large living room slide out a half of a foot so I can get the instruction sheet for the rear jacks. It says we have to disconnect one wire of the motor to avoid backlash. Bob can't get the motor loose as the gears are frozen. Meltdown! Us, not the motor. Bob declares "He is done." I'm not sure if he's done moving, done unhitching for the day, or done RVing!

The best plan seems to be to deal with the motor problem later. We take our chances putting out the slides (you're supposed to have the stabilizers down for that.) We set up the outside stuff. Then we consider shooting ourselves but instead we change clothes and head to lunch. When in doubt-EAT! We're tied from 426 miles in two days in the rain and then packing and moving again this morning. We are not happy campers. Whey couldn't that motor have one more raising and lowering in it and we wouldn't have to deal with it for a month!

We stop in the office on the way to lunch and they give us a new campground pass for the windshield with our new site number. I have to sign that I have read all of the campground rules. Geez! Chris directs us to a Jayco RV place. Maybe we can find a sewer hose extension and solve one of our problems even if we can't find a jack motor there.

We turn east on 120 out of the campground to Cty. Rd. 13 and stop at the BP on the corner where we get $61.00 worth of diesel ($3.47 tax is added on at the check out.) The pump price has fine print that says tax-exempt price. I get a South Bend Tribune and a guy in line if front of me says to take 13 south to US 20 and find Jayco. We do-first RV showroom with three RV repair bays we ever saw with no parts department! And we're smack dab in the middle of where every RV in the country is manufactured. Go figure. The gal behind the counter sends us to Middlebury on 13 to a Cargo place across from the Chevy dealer.

This turns out to be a fly-by-night flea market guy who has no Rhino hose connections but he did have some sewer stuff if we get desperate. We take US 20 to 33 south towards Goshen for lunch at Chili's. Our light breakfast has worn off after all of the excitement and we're getting cranky.

Thus fortified we stop in Wal-Mart on Chili's parking lot but find nada. On to Meijor's (I Googled for that this morning before all hell broke loose) since I have my middle of the night grocery list in hand. $138.00 later I have everything I need for all of my recipes I dug out.

There is construction on 33 so we take it south to Goshen and then take 15 north back to 120 east to the campground. Whew! It's 5:30 p.m. How did that happen? We unload the groceries. A bag of oranges and miscellaneous stuff falls out as we open the truck door but no harm done. I stow the groceries ending up with a capacity crowd in the refrigerator.

Bob chops the big tree root out from under the RV steps before we kill ourselves on it. Besides, he got to beat on it with a claw hammer. I was thinking about asking for a turn. Then he finds the right sized punch and was able to knock out the pin to get the jack motor free. Hallelujah! He cranks down our rear jacks manually. So of course we had to pull in all of the slides (making sure everything was clear again.) Then we start the levelling process from the beginning. Success! Over 24 hours after arriving here we can finally unpack. I can't live like this.

I'm putting out decor around 7:15 when Rick calls They are coming Saturday instead of Friday afternoon so Debbie can get some sleep after working her shift. Sounds like a good plan. Bob asks him to bring a BIG hammer so he can straighten out our Steadyfast footpad. Looking forward to seeing them both.

I carefully get some leftovers out of the crowded refrigerator without upsetting my delicate balance in there. We watch Flash Forward and The Mentalist. Oh yeah, we moved,so the antenna had to go down and the electricity was off so we head to rescan all of the channels-on both TVs. Geez!

It's 8:53 p.m. The sun came out around 1:00 and it got really warm; muggy in fact. Some days are better than others in the RV lifestyle. The neighbor behind us comes down the road in their Hummer and barely misses the bikes on the back of our ladder rack. We'll have to move them tomorrow.

No comments: