We had an eight week travel adventure after being in one area for several months. The main goal of the trip was to see family in Viriginia and to celebrate special times and acheivements with them. We are so proud of our Navy Captain!
Along the way, we saw the Solar Eclipse, Mamouth Cave, Monticello, and other places of interest. We will be blogging about those soon. This is just an overview of some troubles that we hit on the road with the rig. We love our lifestyle, but it is not fair to just blog about the fun and not to mention the problems. Folks, there will be problems, it is how you handle them that counts.
In this instance, I had locked the door to take Pj for a walk and Phil had gone to play golf. When I tried to unlock the door to get us inside, the key broke off in the lock!
With no cell phone on me, note to self “take cell always”, I went to the camphost to see if he knew of a mobile repairman to assist in lock removal. Eventually, he remembered a rig in the park with a sign that said “Mobile RV Tech”. He drove over and invited him to assist me in my delima.
This nice man was able to clean out the key hole and free it from my key stragles. He then bored out the lock cylinder to open the locks and get Pj and me inside and out of the heat. Phil replaced the lock with a new system again. The original was replaced about a month ago when we got locked inside the rig together. The key that I was using was an extra that we had made to put on my wrist bracelet so that I only carried one key. We think the metal in the key was of poor quality and will try to upgrade our new set of extra keys this time.
We had several misadventures this time. InWest Virginia, we were headed to a remote COE Campground when our GPS and cell had no service, thus we took a wrong turn. We ended up back in Kentucky. We had a state map, but these back roads were not on the map. The backroads and mountains were stressful on us, the truck and trailer. It was scary and getting dusky! I will write that blog later, but it could have been worse.
By the time we got to Virginia and were on the way to tour Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, our transmission started failing. Fortunately, we were parked at the Elk’s Lodge and were given recommendations on a repair shop. The shop scheduled us in immediately, but had to wait on parts to be shipped. That would take a few days. They installed an upagraded towing transmission in the truck. Ours was a stock tranny.
One wonderful member offered his extra vehicle for us to use while the truck was in the shop! We made arrangements with the Lodge to leave the trailer on-site while we drove to Chesapeake. There are many nice people in our world.
What a great ride!
With Labor Day coming, we had made advance non-refundable reservations in a Chesapeake RV Park and needed to be there on time for the celebration. They adjusted our reservations as best they could without charge, but we still paid the full amount for only three days of stay. They credited us the time after the holiday, but we could not change our time table to stay. This is the first time that we lost major campground fees. We understand and hold no hard feelings, just a lighter wallet. We bunked with the family over the holiday week. Along with the truck’s transmission, the shop replaced the shoes on the rear dually brakes. We return our smooth ride to our patron Elk saint, hooked up the rig and headed back to Chesapeake. It turned out very well, it could have been worse.
During this stay, Phil lost his keys in the grass at the campground and left his cellphone at a reststop. Both were recovered after some time of searching. We like the ‘find my IPhone’ app on the IPhone! That could have been worse, too.
After these two big repairs, Phil was not pleased with the stopping capability of the rig so we had the brakes on the trailer checked. These brakes were just over a year old and there was no real wear on the brake shoes. However, they had to be replaced because there was grease all over the inside of the brake system and grease had soaked into the brake shoes. The repairman said the the grease seals broke possibly because they were overfilled when installed last year. One of the problems with travel and repairs on the road is that not always will you get a nationwide warenty like we got on the new transmission. Usually for us, problems with a new install don’t come out until one is at least 400 miles away.
We sailed along the highways heading southward thinking nothing more could go wrong when just as we exited the Interstate and onto the road to the RV Park for the 2 night respite in our travels, something was amiss. Phil watches the rig in the mirrors and saw the passenger side super- slide moving in and out, in and out, in and out……..Yikes!!!
Fortunately, we were only about a mile from our campsite and were able to slowly creep into camp to a pull-through spot. Phil crawled underneath the slide to discovered the broken L-bracket.
After a couple of calls to a mobile tech, then to a mobile welding company, we had a welder on his way.
It took sometime for them to arrive from Memphis 5 o’clock traffic and to get set up. It was more expensive than we expected, but it was reapired promptly and skillfully. It could have happened on the Interstate in high traffic or on a curve. Yes, it too could have been worse.
After that repair was completed, we could enjoy our beautiful RV spot on the Mississippi River.
There is nothing like trouble on the road to ruin a trip. We refused to let troubles ruin this special trip! It was a trip that I was determined to make and my doctor okayed it willingly. I probably would have gone anyway.
Thankfully we are home safe, sound and in good repair, although a bit tired.