Today, Friday finds me waiting for Sunday when we’ll head for Bay Center for four nights. The weather forecast for Sunday – Thursday looks pretty good.
I mowed the lawn again today not wanting to let it go until we get back from our trip and fearing a chance of rain between now and our departure on Sunday.
H-R is pretty much ready to go since we took little out of it after the breakdown on our aborted Tuesday try for the coast. We need to add another dinner to our food larder, I need to put my clothes back in, I think Jean’s clothes mostly remained in the rig.
H-R is back home with new heater hoses and coolant and after a full inspection.
We’re set to try another run for the coast on Sunday!
I was mistaken when H-R went kaput. Its engine oil was brand new and very clear. In my angst I failed to see it on the dip stick. The fluid loss was coolant. One of the heater hoses split.
May get H-R back this afternoon. I asked them to also check all the belts. I don’t want to be headed out on our next trip and have it spit a damn belt off.
H-R Comes Home
When we brought H-R to the house from its storage location it was truly a mess. Rather grumpy looking, needing a good pressure washing.
When I set up my pressure washer, an electric model, it wouldn’t run, it kept tripping its own built in breaker.
So off we headed to the RV / Auto Car Wash a few miles away in Buckley, wooden step-ladder and long handled brush in the aisle of H-R.
After about $18 of car wash tokens, too numerous to count trips up and down the ladder with the pressure sprayer, and Jean brushing where I sprayed, H-R looked way, way better.
With our clothing well sprayed and shoes full of water, we sloshed home.
Unfortunately H-R got some rodents in it during the last part of the winter in storage. So now that the outside was cleaned up, Jean tackled the inside with a vengeance.
While she scrubbed and cleaned, I ran more than a few loads of stuff thru the “sanitary” setting on our LG front loader with bleach added for good measure.
Lesson learned for next storage phase.
We planned a trip, the first outing of the year in H-R, for weeks.
Our destination was Willapa Bay at Bay Center on the coast.
The KOA there has killer reviews, woodsy campsites, and gracious, friendly owners on site.
The weather was predicted to be beautiful this week.
Departure day arrived on Tuesday. After spending much of Monday and Tuesday morning humping down and up the hill that is our front yard, and mowing the entire lawn, we were ready to head out around noon.
I had detected a low PSI tire on one of the right rear duelies so we headed for Les Schwab to have it checked.
While we were waiting our turn, being hungry, we walked to the nearby taco truck for lunch.
At the taco truck, I had one of my favorites of five carnita tacos. The fried pork is delicious.
After lunch, it was back to H-R and the dogs to continue waiting our turn.
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
As it turned out, the air loss was caused by a leaky valve extension. You know, the braided hose kind of extension. Les Schwab has had such bad experience with them that they no longer sell them. So I had them take off the offending extension and we finally hit the road for Willapa Bay at about 2:00 pm.
About 20 miles down the road, H-R’s Service Engine Soon light and an oil warning light next to the oil pressure gauge came on.
We were approaching an exit so I took it and stopped in a parking lot. After shutting the Triton V-10 down I checked the oil. Nothing on the dipstick.
I looked underneath to see that while the drain plug and oil filter both looked intact and secure, oil was dripping off of cross members in the chassis.
Obviously I had lost a majority of the engine oil from some freakin’ place.
A phone call to my favorite mechanic disclosed that he was full, no room at the inn, no way he could take H-R in. So I searched for someone who could. I got more than one recommendation for Scarff Motors in Auburn.
The service people at their truck shop told me that they were booked up two weeks out but I could bring it there if that delay was OK. Well, what else could we do?
AAA got a heavy tow on the way to us and Dennis, from Olympia Towing got us hooked up.
A 40 minute ride later and we were at the truck shop in Auburn.
The service writers there told us they would have a look at it the next day to see if maybe it was something easy like an oil cooler line and let us know. Otherwise, it would be the two weeks to get to something more serious.
So we sit back at home, shoulda’ been at the coast, waiting to see how bad the damages are gonna’ be.
The other night Jean’s reading me some weather forecasts from the southwest with their predicted warmer pleasant temps.
I ask, “Why do you think I want to take up snowbird travel as soon as we can?”
A couple of days ago she’s seeing some journal entries from road travelers and tells me something along the lines of, “Look at this place. There are so many places to see in this country.”
At that time I suggested, “That’s why I want to get on the road with the motorhome as soon as we can. We’ve driven cross country a number of times but we were always time limited and drove right past those kinda’ places or spent an hour looking at them. Wouldn’t it be nice to wander slowly, no schedule, and see that stuff, really see it?”
I hope that by the time we can, we’ll be in alignment.
When our almost 17y/o jumps ship, I want to travel, not necessarily just head south in the winter, stay in on place until spring then come back north. And I don’t want to be on the move every day or maybe even every week. I want to visit places and see them in depth, no hurry, no rush, no day filled sight seeing. Rather, I want to relax, see places at a comfortable pace, and when we move, maybe move a couple hundred miles. I’d want to take advantage of longer term rates at RV campgrounds. Maybe spend a few nights here, a few nights there in various state and national parks. I want to wander without being lost.
Our 1999 H-R Vacationer has a single large awning. Though my previous wife and I had a class A motorhome for a while back in the ’80s, it was pretty basic, no awning, so I had no experience with them.
Our H-R came with a thick file of documentation but I could find nothing on the Colorada something or other awning. So I did some research on line and found enough info that I managed to deploy it once in front of our house though I didn’t understand exactly how to set the support arms correctly.
Yes, I realize that I don’t have the upper arms in the correct position. In reality, it didn’t actually matter since the wind immediately started blowing so hard that I stowed the awning. Unfortunately, when I was stowing it, the wind whipped it and the strap used to deploy the awning was yanked out of my hand and rolled up sideways as the awning went in like an out of control window shade rolling up.
Aww shit, I thought. That’s gonna’ be a problem if I ever want to deploy the damn awning again.
Fast-forward past a couple of “health issues” to August and we’re in Leavenworth WA on our second motorhome outing, also with sister and brother-in-law. I showed Terry how I had no tab-line to pull the awning out since it had gone in sideways and disappeared within the awning roll.
We made several attempts to get the awning unrolled before succeeding. I ended up on the roof of the coach at the aft end of the awning with him standing on a picnic table at the forward end. We managed to unroll the awning far enough that the damn strap flopped out. WooHoo!
I got the awning deployed and the support arms set kinda’ right.
The latches that hold my support arms in the correct positions don’t latch very well so I need to check into replacing them but that’s for the future.
I did manage to stow the awning properly when we left.
Other problems encountered have been that for both our first two outings, my jacks didn’t work. The second trip found the slide out not working. After the second trip the coach went into the shop for repairs. The jack problem turned out to be dirty wiring connections. The slide issue was caused by sheared off shear pins on the drive. So they didn’t end up costing us that much to repair.
Leavenworth WA is a small town that successfully recreated itself as a Bavarian styled, Christmas oriented town. Beginning as a small timber town, it became the headquarters for a regional railroad for a time until the railroad relocated up the road. In the early ’60s Leavenworth set out to transform itself.
The town itself is an visual imitation of a Bavarian village. Beer is ver popular with several microbrewery options. There are a lot of Christmas themed stores and several German restaurants. At Christmas they do a lot of Christmas lights.
We stayed in the Icicle Creek Campground just outside of town. It is located between a 2-lane highway and Icicle Creek/River. The river splits temporarily just upstream of the campground and the smaller part is called the creek and passes by the campground before rejoining the main flow downstream of the campground.
When we arrived and checked in, we were guided to our spot and directed in. I’m certain I could have backed our coach into our spot in 2 or 3 (or maybe 4) moves. The man who spotted me had me in there in a single move. LOL!
I’ll let pictures tell the rest of the story.
Thanks for taking a look.