Lots have happened since our last post. Things have been hectic, to say the least!
Let me start by saying we have put over 16,000 miles on the camper in 2017!!! And I can only see things getting more go-go-go…
We left Vegas and headed back to the shop in Chandler, IN to regroup, did a small job in Springfield, IL (we stayed at Double J Campground for almost a week) then headed down to Florida.
Punta Gorda was first and we stayed at an Encore Resort called Gulf View RV Resort. It was nice, the people in the office were extremely friendly. The site was a pull-thru but pretty tight to get into. The roads were really narrow so it made it a little tough for a 43′ camper to pull in after dark, but Allen rocked it (like always). We were there for almost a week. The tower they were supposed to plumb and tension had frayed guy wires so that nixed the original plan! While we were there, Allen found a Smart car online… (I love that man!) We got a Carfax report on it and went to check it out. It’s ours!!!
It’s a 2008 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet convertible! I love it! We managed to fit the motorcycle and the car in the garage. We added some tracks to the garage floor for tie downs and got some giant ratchet straps for it. It’s 1800lbs and the bike is about 550lbs so we are under the 2500lb garage floor rating. We’ve been wanting to get a Smart car since we started looking for a new camper over 3 years ago!
When we left Punta Gorda we headed over to West Palm Beach where they were supposed to plumb and tension another tower. We stayed at John Prince Park Campground. It was a nice place although the lady in the office gave us completely wrong directions upon check-in so we wound up having to drive around the park to get into our spot from a different angle. The Walmart up the street was the WORST I’ve been to. We had a bunch of equipment from work in the bed of the truck so Allen got the privilege of staying in the truck while I shopped by myself among the craziness and last minute holiday shoppers… We would’ve taken the Smart car but we couldn’t get a temp tag from Florida so it was stuck in the garage. The wires on this tower wound up being way too large for any of the equipment they had so after the first day we headed back to the Cincinnati area for the holidays.
We stay at our best friend’s property whenever we are back in town, down in Sparta, KY. We have 50amp and water, and a septic so it’s pretty perfect. The dogs can run around and chase chickens and they love it. Plus we get to see Brandi so that’s always a blast. I went to my mom’s on Christmas Eve and Allen did his family thing. We had dinner at his parents’ on Christmas then cooked at my mom’s that night.
On the 26th we got Allen’s kids and headed back down to the camper with lots of leftovers! We had a constant bonfire, played some Apples to Apples, the kids rode the 4 wheeler… It was fun! Allen took the kids back home a few days later then my mom came down on the 30th. We had a massive bonfire on New Year’s Eve and already have bigger plans for next year!
We also did a lot of work during winter “vacation”… Allen and I dropped the aluminum underbelly on the camper to check everything out. It had been 2 years since we put it up. Everything still looked pretty good as far as the insulation was concerned. Allen put some foam pipe insulation on the water lines going to the kitchen, as far back as he could reach, because that part tends to freeze first. It’s because the lines touch the steel frame. It seemed to help but we did lose hot water for a couple of days when the temp was in the single digits. While we had the aluminum down we noticed a couple of the hydraulic lines didn’t look too good so we took those to a CAT dealer and had them make new ones for us. We had the steps for the patio mounted under the garage but we’ve only used them once when we first bought the camper so we left those behind. Our Edgestar washer dryer combo started throwing an E3A error code a couple of months ago and they said they’d replace it. We had to wait until we had an address for long enough so we scheduled the delivery and pick up of the old unit. The shipping companies got all messed up with the schedule so Edgestar wound up telling us to just do what we pleased with the old unit, just scratch the serial numbers off, and not worry about sending it back. Good deal!
So we are in working order on the laundry front, just hoping we get no more error codes for the rest of our lives! We have the worst luck when it comes to these units… We finally got the Smart car registered in South Dakota and have the temp tag for that. But work brought us to Shiloh, North Carolina right after the bombogenesis struck, so it’s snowed in the garage! We were staying at North River Campground. This month they have a half off daily rate special! It was a nice place with super nice owners. We were there for about a week and half. Came in after a snowstorm and left after another one!
Monday when Allen got to work, one of the guys ran the forklift into a ditch that was covered in a snowdrift. The engineer’s truck got stuck and Allen had to pull him out. Our truck got stuck in 4WD and wouldn’t come out. Then it wouldn’t move at all. The farmer that owns the land the tower is on called a tow truck and they took it to the Chevy dealer for $215. Allen got a ride to Enterprise and rented a car. The Chevy dealer called yesterday and it’s the electronic 4WD system that’s messed up. The transfer case…? They had one in stock so replaced it for approximately $900.
We are now almost to Union Springs, Alabama for a few days of work. We are planning to stay on site, hoping there’s water!
Life has been a bit of a fiasco here lately!!!
On another note, I’ve been helping Hubble Foundation with their golf tournament coming up in April. So far we have donations from Disney, Southwest Airlines, Zoo Atlanta and some other companies. Tower King II, the company Allen worked for previously, also did our first sponsorship! Hubble Foundation helps families of fallen telecommunications technicians who perish on the job. We lost BJ, Marcus and Brach in September. Allen worked with all three of them and they were good friends of ours. When we were in Springfield, IL we found out there was another accident. Once we got to the shop we found out that it was Clayton Barnhill, another guy Allen has worked with… It just touches really close to home. So I’ve been staying busy with Hubble Foundation.
Our friend Brandi started The Kentucky Chapter of The Cure Starts Now in honor of her daughter RaiLee who passed away from DIPG in November 2016. They had their first annual golf tournament in August last year and just set the date for this year’s tournament. So I’ll be working on getting donations and sponsorships for that here soon.
It feels good to be busy, I just hope our “being busy fixing things” situation chills out for a while! We still need to take the Smart car in to get checked out and get an oil change, but we did replace some lights and the windshield wipers so that’s a start!