Tuesday, July 12, 2016

RVing - Best of Times, Worst of Times

Our Summer Tour is getting off to an auspicious start! Just 3 nights out and we've covered some of the best and the worst that RVing has to offer. We got a late start the first day and decided there would not be time to enjoy the Harvest Host winery we had planned for the first night. Jim just kept on driving. We made it to Daytona where there is an RV park that we're familiar with, but the office was closed and we didn't see any notices about after hours arrivals - so Jim kept on driving. We ended up at a Cracker Barrel in Ormond Beach for the night.

That was a Saturday night. We were scheduled to do our weekly webcast at 2pm on Sunday. This meant we would either need to do it from a parking lot running the generator, or put it in high gear to check in to our next destination after 1pm (their rules), plug in, set up equipment, keep our fingers crossed for good enough Internet connection, do a sound check, video check, and go live at 2.

Jim said, "No Problem" so we proceeded to Gamble Rogers state park on Sunday morning. They didn't release the site until about 1:15. Jim backed in and plugged in to power. We started the A/C units going - it's in the high 90s and got one slide extended. The second slide has to be manually maneuvered and takes us 10-15 minutes, so we left it in. Jim got the cameras, lights, and computers set up, I got my lesson plan notes together and got our Geek shirts out. We didn't want to put them on until the last minute because they would get all sweaty! Lights, camera, action, and we went live at 2:01. Everything went off without a hitch!
Big Sigh!
Here it is:

When we signed off - Jim was prepared with a little bottle of champagne to celebrate! And then we took a deep breath and took a look around at where we were.


One of the reasons we came here was to go to a winery called Flagler Beachfront Winery. Jim had heard about it long ago because it is owned by the same folks who own a very special Winery/Restaurant we went to in Ohio called Tarsitanos. In my blog post from that past visit, I said I'd be dreaming about the food there for a while to come. Well, the winery here doesn't have a full menu but the baguette and cheese plate was equally to-die-for! And I don't think I've ever had a wine I liked better than their Cabernet Sauvignon! We got a bottle to take home and a glass for the memory.

Flagler Beach right across the street from the winery

We went back to the RV and rested for a while, we were able to start a movie (Steve Jobs) from Amazon prime on our smart TV and it played just fine connected to our Verizon hotspot on my phone. But about halfway thru, I looked out the window and saw that beautiful golden glow of impending sunset. I paused the movie, grabbed the camera and told Jim we had to go outside!

OOOOhhhhh  AAAAAhhhhhh

It just doesn't get any better than this! See more pictures in our Google Photos album for July.

The next morning we were relaxed. Check-out time here is a very civilized 1pm. We had our coffee and read our emails and Facebook, and Jim said "How about a bike ride?" Sure! There's a nice sidewalk along A1A here. I really like bike riding in Florida ... it's flat! We rode as far as a county park and noticed this great workstation for bicyclists:

Self-contained Bicycle repair station

Read the QR code with your smartphone and get how to videos on bicycle repair!
By the time we got back, it was time to stow and go. The plan was just to drive until we felt like stopping, no plans for this night's stay. The following night we planned to be at a friend's B&B in North Carolina BigMill.com. A rest area, or another Cracker Barrel would be find for  this night.

About 5 o'clock we were hungry and decided to stop at a rest area to make some dinner. After dinner, Jim turned on the ignition, started to pull away, and the engine stalled - refusing to be revived. He raised the hood and looked to see if there was anything obvious. That's one very nice thing about the design of our motorhome - it's referred to as a Super-C. It's a class C with the cab over floor plan, but it's on a diesel medium-duty truck chassis (Kodiak chassis) with a front engine. You just lift the latches and raise the hood up and forward to gain access to the entire engine, unlike Class A motorhomes with the engine in the back that need a specialized RV service shop to work on it. Ours is a Chevrolet DuraMax 5500. It has a very good reputation and we can add our vote to its reliability.

This is a first in the 5 years we've owned this motorhome.
Anyway, Jim didn't see anything obvious. After letting it rest a bit, he tried again and it just wasn't going to start. So we called our Good Sam Emergency Road service and, after a bit of a hassle about an expired credit card allowing our membership to lapse just a few days ago, they made arrangements for us to get towed to a nearby truck repair shop. We slept in the RV in the shop's parking lot and they worked on it in the morning. It was a relatively simple problem with a clogged fuel filter, but it still took a few hours and $500 to diagnose and repair.

We're back on the road and very grateful that there are ways to get these kind of problems fixed. If that's the worst of times ... not so bad.

Even broken down and being towed ... Jim and I looked at our motorhome, then looked at each other and said, "Isn't that a nice looking rig?"

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billandjanrvingtheusa.blogspot.com said...

Glad to hear the problem wasn't a big one. Love the sunset photos. See you soon.

lastrick said...

After a similar incident outside of Moab with a clogged fuel filter, we started carrying an extra one. Sure enough, in west Kansas, we had the same problem. This time, though, we had one and it got installed rather quickly.

Chris Guld said...

From LuVerne (that I accidentally deleted)
We feel your pain. Right now we are near Elkhart IN with a main slideout that is malfunctioning. Hope to have it fixed by next Monday. Since it's so busy at repair facilities in the south we made the trip to Elkhart where Pro Custom, Inc, recommeended by Newmar, is working on the problem. Of course with electronics, they always create an enigma. Hope you can get on the road soon, and finish off the summer. Wouldn't miss the adventures we have had over the fulltiming, so many pluses to overshadow the minuses.

GMF said...

Gamblers Rogers is beautiful, however it was 28 f the last night we were there!