Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane

A cloudy day is a good day to wash a RV.  The sun isn’t out beating the water into the hot sidewalls of the RV and leaving water spots.  I started out just wanting to wash the bugs off the front.  No problem.  Then I looked on the roof .  It had condensation on it.  Good time to wash it since it had presoaked with the condensation so I washed it.  Well, if you do the roof you then have to do the sides and I did to include the wheels of course.  In other words…I washed the RV this morning.  As I was finishing up the clouds opened up to a fine mist to help me.  No sun all day which is good in this case.

This time last year we were already in Livingston, TX letting the tires cool down from running back and forth to Seffner, FL (Lazydays).  We were in the process of buying this rig.  Glad that is over.  Last time - - again.

We had cook outs and it seemed like Mark always got the best seat.DSC_0001 DSC_0003

DSC_0006 DSC_0010

In 2012 we were at the Newmar factory getting the 43’ repaired under warranty.  We ran down to Goshen and I got my favorite BLT.  It had about a lb of bacon on it.  I get one about once a year.  Someone said the place that served this doesn't anymore.  Can’t remember the name of the place….Oh well… it’s for the better.


In 2011 about this time we were at Nick’s rally.  There are two good looking guys.  We were discussing who should have the mike.  Nick won.DSC_0061

In 2010 we were at Livingston and Frank and his lovely bride were visiting us.DSC_0005

Of course I was always prepared to smoke some meat.DSC_0001

So…….see ya……..

Monday, September 29, 2014

Building A Campsite For Relatives

We left WV and the making of Carol’s brother’s (Steven) 7 space campground.  It was nothing but woods.  Here are some pictures.  DSC_0029 - CopyDSC_0032 - CopyDSC_0028 - Copy  DSC_0044 - Copy DSC_0049 - Copy DSC_0043 - Copy DSC_0053 - Copy  DSC_0056 - Copy DSC_0060 - Copy

near the final phase….here’s the drive up to the top looking downDSC_0002

The topDSC_0007

Sewer and electrical going in.DSC_0009

main electrical box.  We claimed the site in the distance…DSC_0016

Stone is coming for the drive around area..plus Steven will build a pavilion and large storage shed next year.DSC_0017

From a distance…the center will have a pavilion. DSC_0024

Nice large road to the top…stone is coming…DSC_0036 DSC_0041

Good thing Steven is a master electricianDSC_0052

Cleaning up……Two of Carol’s brothers..Steven and David.DSC_0054

We are now at Steven’s place near Baltimore (Columbia).  We will be here until Thursday morning and then head for Harryhogan Point VA for a couple of days.  Friends hide (?) in the weirdest places.   Go ahead and look up Harryhogan Point….

See ya…….

Friday, September 19, 2014

Believe Or Not BUT Yes I Did!

First though, we got out of Winnebago Monday morning after they installed the last piece in the front end.  We arrived at Hobert, IN Elks.  They really aren’t set up for RV’s and we sat next to the rear of the building.  Denny & Susie came over and we went to a local eatery that had Gyros.  I haven’t had a Gyro in 30 years probably.  Damn it was good.

Tuesday we took the computer train to Chicago with Denny & Susie.  Susie was a great tour guide of downtown Chicago.  We saw so much that I can hardly remember anything.  Maybe old age.  We walked, and walked and walked and a little more.  We saw a lot.  I was eating Ibuprofen like it was candy.  The trip was worth it.

Wednesday we back to Chicago with Denny & Susie again but it was a window tour.  They drove us around the old steel mills then back to down town Chicago.  The history was really fascinating to include where Denny & Susie use to live in the suburbs of Chicago.  Guess where we ate at the end of the day.  Yepper, back to the Gyro place.  Got the same Gyro and it was even better.  These people know how to make Gyros.  You could see them cooking and cutting the meat.  It was great.

Believe it or not but yes I did.  What is it you might ask?  I bought a 1985 Harley Davidson Police Special motorcycle.  Yepper…. Carol’s brother Paul passed away a few weeks ago.  The bike was his and I wanted to keep it in the family.  So I bought it from his wife Cindy at fair market value.  She was glad that it will remain in the family.  His brothers, David & Steven, already have one of his earlier Harley’s and got it over 30 years ago.  This one will now stay in the family also.  It’s in Rusk, TX and we will pick it up on the way to Livingston, TX next month.  This picture is fuzzy but you can kinda get an idea what it looks like.  It’s had a few police things removed and replaced like the seats, saddlebags and front faring.  It needs some work but is running.  Oil leaks mainly.  Just like a Harley.100_3043

I haven’t road a motorcycle in probably over 30 years.  This will be interesting.   The last big trip I was on was with my brother in law David from Maryland to California and back.  I had a Harley and David was on Paul’s first Harley that David still has today.  We have some riding time on Harleys.  I’ve owned three and rebuilt my first one.  I’m no mechanic but they are pretty simple compared to these cars nowadays.

Today, Friday, we are headed for WVA to help Carol’s other brother Steven set up a few RV sites in 20 acres he just bought.  He will have several work crews working and I think I will be the cook mainly.  I bought a small Bradley smoker (new model) a couple of weeks ago so I can do some smoking.

So that be it for now.

See ya………….

Friday, September 12, 2014

Manufactures..Same Ole, Same Ole

Just the facts, please.  Winnebago messed up on several fronts (pun intended) which were they promised delivery 4 different times (times/days) which all were wrong.  They brought the Baby around at close of business Friday.  The new front cap paint did not match and it was VERY obvious.  I asked WHY so many people didn’t see it.  I said we weren’t paying a dime until it was repainted right.  Winnebago threatened not to give us our “Baby” until paid for prior to repainting next week.  I went off into Disney land and walked out before I really did something stupid.  As it was, ALL of the people waiting in customer service, 40 or so, heard how Winnebago messed up the paint on our 2014 because I was talking in my Marine Corps voice.  I went and got Carol.  I knew she could keep me from really getting mad.  We went back in and asked to speak to upper management.  We were lead off to a little office in the corner.  I explained the situation to the gentleman in a very calm manner.    He made a phone call.  The Baby will get painted again Saturday at 7 AM.  Upon our full satisfaction we will leave the $8,500 check with the paint department rep because Winnebago itself will be closed.

Now when all this is going on I noticed they had damaged a chrome piece on the front also.  I got side tracked with the paint and that subject didn’t come up again but they were aware of it at the beginning.  Now we have to wait until Monday to hear when they will fix/replace it.  I expect pretty quick.

As far as the warranty items they did a fair to pretty good job overall.  The tile replacement was outstanding.  The slide is working so far…twice.

All of this screwed up our plans of seeing Denny & Susie this weekend and then going to the Shipsawana Flea Market then on to West Va to meet up with one of Carol’s Bro’s.  We are helping him as much as we can fix up his 20 acres for a few RV sites with full hook ups.  His money and our suggestions.  That’s nice.  Maybe do a little cooking for his crew that he will have there.  Anyhow, we will still meet up with Denny & Susie but later and scratch the flea market.  They’re more important….kinda….just kidding.  That will put us back on schedule.

Bottom Line…manufactures…same ole, same ole…get it out the door….oh you expect a good job….you have to tell us very loud, AGAIN and AGAIN and to our upper management.

See ya…………….

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Winnebago Hospital

Well, here we set in a hotel waiting for our “Baby” to get done at the Winnebago hospital.  We got to visit her yesterday.  They had finished installing front and rear gears, motors, etc on the large slide.  They replaced one tile and did a damn good job plus a few other little warranty things.  The new front end was on but not painted.  That will happen today (Thur) and set in the paint shop overnight.  Then they will install the plastic front wrap.  It then goes back to the repair shop for install of the lights.  They say about noon tomorrow (Fri) and I’m thinking more at the close of business.

We’ve been in a Super 8 Hotel just down the road from Winnebago.  Discounted to $60 a night.  The other hotel in town is $80.  After two nights (this morn) we had to move to a different room because our room was only available for two nights which we used up.

During all the moving around this week my Nikon D90 camera with the 18-200mm lens fell out of a carrying bag onto the cement.  Isn’t this called the two foot drop test.  Well the first test was at an Escapees W.A.R.E rally two years ago and it was a 4 foot test.  The lens got a little bent but still worked.  I got several estimates to repair back then and it was about $600.  I guess you are only permitted one test.  This current test the lens is now belly up and locked up.  The camera is fine.  Not worth repairing because now the new ones are down to about $600 new.  We still have the “Whale (500mm)” and Carol’s 55-300 lens.  Plus we have two other little lenses.  Oh well…that’s life.

We leave tomorrow and will meet Denny & Susie Orr Saturday just south of Chicago for a few nights.

It’s been boring around here at Forest City.  It does have that small town atmosphere.  One more day…

The temps yesterday around 4 PM yesterday was 52 degrees.  Today about the same and night temps will be in the 30’s?!  Time to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….

See ya…..

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Manufacture Repair Facility’s Same Same

We are here….DSC_0056

Forest City, Iowa.  Tomorrow (Monday) we go in for service.  This manufacture repair facility campground is electric only and very tight parking but it’s free.  Customers are moaning and groaning about their Winnebago's and we jumped right in just like we did at all the other manufacture facilities. 

We have one major problem and that’s the large slide out.  We have less problems than most others.  I think that’s because we sat on the dealers lot before we left and had them do the obvious repairs.  We have 14 warranty problems, mostly minor, and the replacement of the front cap to do.  The last time I talked to Winnebago Service Dept they were sticking with the 3 days in and out AND I still don’t believe them.  GEICO approved the claim and gave us 10 days in a hotel at their cost.  Hmmmm….think we will wait until Winnebago says we can’t stay in it.  They said when it goes to paint we can’t stay in that night.

We met one couple that have been full timing 10 years and another 6 years. They were all surprised when we said we were going on 15 years.   A nice bunch of people.  It was interesting listening to these people talk about their RVing lifestyles.

Anyhow, that’s what happening with us right now.

See ya……………

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Summing Up Alaska

Alaska adventure fuel prices… In Alberta fuel ran between $4.56-$4.90 (converted).  We didn’t get any fuel in BC.  In Yukon we paid $5.45.  In Alaska we paid $3.98 to $4.32.  Total mileage was 7,640 and total diesel cost was $3,110.  Grocery stores were about 25-30% higher and eating out was about 30-35% higher depending on where of course.  Campgrounds ran about $30-$40 with hook ups.  Campgrounds without hook ups ran about $15-$20.  Some were lower and some where higher of course.  The toursaver.com coupon discount book was well worth it.  The Milepost book was a necessity.  Mike & Terri Church’s book Camping Alaska really came in handy.  Next time we would skip Fairbanks since we’ve seen it so many times.  We would focus down south.  We would go up the Cassier Hwy and skip Dawson Creek.

I’m still having trouble cleaning the Baby’s wheels. The stuff that Canada puts on their new roads is terrible. It feels and looks like tar. I’ve even used lighter fluid and WD-40 and doesn’t really budge. I’ve used on the normal products first that didn’t do anything. I will figure it out….

Readers have asked how I damaged the front end of the “Baby.”  We were going threw Jasper Nat Pk during May en route to Alaska when it happened.  I turned into a parking area that was identified for large vehicles….wrong.  It was snowed in pretty good.  I was turning in a car lot that was also snow bound.  I was getting close to a snow bank.  I had two people watching out.  The right front end went over a snow bank that turned out to be a ice bank.  The right front lower portion caved in and broke.  My fault.  The driver is always responsible for the safe operation of their vehicle.  The duct tape left marks.DSC_0080

Winnebago said that the entire front end (lower) needs to be replaced.  Winnebago now makes their front ends in two pieces – lower and upper.  So that’s good.  Still $8,500 then our $1,000 deducible from that.

Oh yea, I’ve lost 10 lbs plus in the past week or so. Mostly the gut. Carol says she too has lost a few pounds too!  I plan and will lose more.

Does anyone have an old motorcycle in the 650-1200cc for sale?  I say old because I don’t want to invest much.   I may not be able to ride for long if at all.