We left our northeastern travels two weeks early due to a glitch in the fiver’s front lifting jacks. One jack would retract or extend and not the other and then it would be the other jack that would retract or extend, but neither would work together. We made an appointment with the Kansas Service Center and headed west.
As we traveled, we made a list of several issues that had been bugging us that we didn’t feel able to tackle. A major issue for us was that our large slide had been acting up, scratching the kitchen floor and not completely closing. Hopefully, they can take care of them as well. They did.
Along our way west, we were destination bound to get the rig repaired. We tried to enjoy the drive that took us through North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and finally Kansas. We stayed at my brother’s house and City/County parks in Virginia, , US Army COE Parks, Thousand Trails and Escapee Parks in Tennessee and Arkansas. Prices ranged from $0 to $27 a night plus our hotel which was $42 online (non refundable, we paid for 2 nights and only used one night) and a $5 a night fee for PJ. The average nightly cost of lodging and parking for the trip back from Virginia was about $12 a night.
In Oklahoma we stayed at our home Elk’s Lodge RV Parking lot in Tulsa. It was just a quick stop and we notified no one except for the President of the Cotillion Club. The Cotillion Club was having their Annual Fall Ball at the Elks that night. Before we left Tulsa to RV full-time, we didn’t miss a Cotillion Dance function. We were allowed to attend the dance as guests and had a blast seeing dear friends and dancing the night away. Fortunately, we had packed a suit and cocktail dress for just such an occasion. We go dancing whenever we can, even on the road We were in and out so fast, I am sure none of the Oklahoma grandchildren will ever know. We will be returning in a few weeks to stay a month and visit with them a lot.
This was our Elk’s overnight camping spot in Tulsa.
Somewhere in the middle leg of our trip west, the front lifting jack system completely quit working, meaning that neither jack would retract or extend. This made it far more difficult for Phil to unhook the fiver from the truck and to get the rig level, then to hook back up again to leave and get on the road. He wanted to reduce the times that we had to unhook, so we made changes to our “jello plans” to drop a few stops by driving a bit longer each day. Normally, we drive the 2-2-2 rule; no more than 200 miles per day, stop by 2 pm and stay 2 nights. We changed our plan to a 3-4-3 or 3-4-4 temporary rule. We drove 300+ miles a day, getting in by 4 pm and staying 3-4 nights to rest up from the extra driving miles. The trip lasted as many days from start to finish, but we had fewer stops to deal with the failed jack system.
We arrived in Chanute, Kansas where the Kansas Service Center is located. NuWa is not manufactured here anymore, but they do a lot of work on Hitchhikers and we have been pleased with them before. Chanute has a city park for folks coming in to get repairs done not far from the service center. The first two night’s parking are free and $10 a day after for up to 10 days. Walmart, restaurants and motels are close by. This worked well for us.
The after pics give a visual of how successful the new dual leveling system worked the first time we used it. It takes less time than before. It is not the automatic leveling system, but it is an upgrade for our rig and we are happy with it.
Arriving a day or so early gave us the time to catch up on laundry, packing for the motel, gathering Pj’s bed, food, meds and toys (he is our fur baby). We also took the time to defrost the refrigerator. We were told to expect the rig to be in the shop for 2-3 days, which means at least 2 nights in a motel. We prefer our home on wheels over a hotel or motel anytime, but to make lemonade out of lemons, we are stopping to pick up some bubble bath salts for me. The motel room comes with a bathtub! Woo-Hoo!
After getting the dual jack leveling system installed in Chanute, we headed to the US Army Corps of Engineers Campground about 30 miles away on Big Hill Lake. We wanted to check the install and other repairs out and spend a little time de-stressing after our drive to get the install and repairs completed. The campground turned out to be a hidden secret to us. The locals know how nice it is and it was my cousin Lanny who lives in the area who suggested it as an option for camping.
We saw lots of white-tailed deer, beautiful star filled skies to watch, listened to coyote yaps and howls and the hooty-hoots of owls. We were gifted a bundle of local and legal firewood, so it was time for a campfire.
Thanks Cousin Lanny, it was a great place and a good visit with you and your sweet family.