Thursday, October 31, 2013

Puddle Jumping Along

Wednesday was a pretty nice day.  We had visitors like Roger & Shirley and others (like Jack) that I just can’t remember their names at this point in time (Fri).  Sorry guys.

During the day Wednesday we watched the weather reports saying a big storm was coming our way.  About 5 PM we did something that we do sometimes for no real big reason other than we can so we did.  We hit the road about 6 PM Wednesday.  Around 9 PM we pulled over at a JC Penny store for the night.  That lasted about 30 minutes when security chased us off.  They were very nice and polite about it so we were too.    Hey we’ve been chased off by the best stores.  We then went to Walmart and spent most of the night there.  I say most of because about 4 AM we were both awake and left.  We got fuel down the road for $3.59 a gallon (dsl) at a Race Trac car station.  I drove around that station like I owned it.  It was a little tight but I went slow.  That was a nice price since most other places it was above $3.75.  My dash MPG instrument said I was getting 8.7 MPG which was mostly back road touring.  Well that was wrong for sure.  It got 8.8 MPG.  NICE and especially for back roading it.

Here’s our dash set up. Yes two GPS systems.  I’m still learning the in dash Rand McNally one.  I like the 10 inch screen.  Plus it works with the side cameras and the back up camera if I want it to.  The Garmin trucker GPS I use at the same time.DSC_0012

About 7 AM we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  I really don’t know if our stove in the Baby works yet.  Carol is in no hurry to find out either.  Back on the interstate.  My fuel MPG instrument says that we were averaging 10.2 on the interstate and appears about right with the fuel gauge (1/2 tank).  Double wow!!  When it got windy and raining it dropped to and stayed at 8.9 MPG.  I can handle that for sure.  Now we are getting severe rain/wind reports and even tornado warnings for the roads up ahead near Orange and Beaumont, Texas.  We kept going.  The new Baby needs a water and wind test anyway.  Boy did it.  We ran right into the bad weather and it poured.  The interstate got down to 20 MPH.  The Baby’s first bath was happening and it was a doosey.  It’s hard to take a picture of rain.DSC_0027It lasted for about a good 1/2 hour and we were on the other side of it.  Flooding due to the heavy down pour was very evident in most nearby areas. DSC_0029  

We arrived in Livingston, Texas at noon.  We pulled into our lot, locked up the Baby and jumped into the Mercury and headed for the Thursday lunch bunch at the La Colona Mexican restaurant.  Neither of us jump up and down for Mexican food but we go for the friends and stories.  We had a few stories this time. 

Back at the lot we got the rig all set up.  The thing is very dirty and with the tiny gritting sand from the road due to the rain.  The Baby wet it’s pants in two areas due to the rain.  Two compartments of which one was really soaked.  Winnebago put a plastic hole with a sliding cover over it for cable (TV/elect ?) in a front compartment.  It isn’t waterproof.  I will make it before we leave for out west for sure.  The other compartment was just a little wet but for the heavy rain and big puddles it was OK.  No interior leaks what so ever around anything.  That’s good in any RVers book.

We had visitors right off the back welcoming us back and wanting to see our new Baby.  Wayne Roberts was our first greeter.  then came Jon and then Sue Glick.  Later on the Bernie & Carole Patton did a surprise visit.  It was really nice seeing all and helped us get over our tiredness. 

So I’ve driven this little puddle jumper a 1,000 miles.  I think it did a real good job considering the short (228 inches) wheelbase.  It drove real nice.  It does have a pull to the right on LEVEL roads whish was a little tiring but correctable for sure by Freightliner in the future.  In the wind it did a lot better than I thought it would.  Two handed driving but not white knuckling even in the high wind.  It does not turn as well as the 43’.  That was a big surprise.  The 43’ turned sharper in tight spaces.  It’s still very doable.  The storage areas are deep and VERY tall and will hold enough “stuff” that would make any pack rat happy.  Overall – it’s a keeper – AGAIN!

Oh, we forgot it was Halloween.  Happy Halloween if there is such a greeting.  No kids in this park.  We would have ate the candy ourselves any way.

We will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off for the next few days.  I get tired of thinking what we have to do.  We will be back on the road Sunday to get the tow brake installed Monday up north.  We will return Monday evening and let the dust settle down.

See ya……….