Sunday, November 4, 2012

After 7 months, on the road again—for a short trip

It’s been a long (and short) seven months since we returned from our extended winter trip out West. The delay in getting out on the road was caused by a combination of events: Jim had hand surgery. It took eight weeks before he felt he could do any work on the RV. Then, just as he got started tearing out the carpet, he experienced troubles with his shoulder, which required more therapy (both PT and chiropractic). Finally, he recovered enough to (almost) finish the floor and inside.

I say almost, because there is a small area around the driver’s seat that remains to be done. He found some dry rot when he pulled up the carpet. He wants to find out where the chassis is leaking and repair it before putting the floor down. Probably a smart move.
New flooring, looking toward front.

New flooring, looking toward bedroom.

But, it looks great! More than great—it looks brand new, especially with the addition of the desk/storage area. This gives us a lot more room and the layout looks very pleasing.
The kitchen table sits between two new cabinets, with the desk under the window.

This is the new desk/storage area. It adds a lot. We can add a leaf to the table to make it bigger.

On the opposite site of the room, where the sofa had originally been, we are considering putting in another sofa. The original was very uncomfortable and, frankly, ugly. So, we took it out. One reason it was so uncomfortable was because it fit into the 28” area of the slide, allowing for a very small seat pan (depth of the seat). Yesterday, we learned how we could put a deeper sofa in that space. The secret? Allow its front legs to sit on the floor in the front, and shorten the legs in the back! We learned this trick from a sofa maker, who has a booth here at the 2012 Good Sam Rally. (More about that later.)

We have found that time is not kind of RVs. We’ve had Baby stored in a lot behind a business on the south side of Jacksonville. Except for starting the generator, it hasn’t been moved several months, since we took it there in July. We didn’t expect any problems when we hitched up to start on our current trip. But, of course, we had some.

Minor ones, though. We experienced a dead battery. Jim found the cause—a fuse that didn’t look bad but tested bad. Problem solved. Then the generator didn’t want to start. He fiddled for a while (I don’t know what he did), and we haven’t had any other problems with it. (We needed the generator; we are dry camping.) Finally, when we hooked up the brake lights, we found they didn’t work. My job, when we hitch the car, is to give a thumbs up when he checks all the lights.

Every one of them was a thumbs down.

About 20 minutes later, after much head-scratching, deep thought, and experimentation, Jim got them to work. I think the contacts were dirty. Anyway, we finally got on the road with everything working.
You might be wondering about Charlie and Xena. They hated the trip to the RV. Because the RV is stored on the south side of the city and we were traveling south to Daytona, we decided to packs suitcases and take our groceries and cats by car instead of loading at home. This actually worked out well, except that the cats do not like to travel. They cried in their carriers the entire 20-minute trip to the RV.

As soon as we let them out of their carriers, they jumped into their “hidey hole” behind the kitchen cabinets. It has taken Xena until today to stop asking to go back into her hiding place. Charlie has been better. He even came out and wandered about while we were driving. 

This will be a relatively short trip. We don’t have it completely planned (the nice thing about being retired!). We started by going to Daytona Beach (about 90 miles from Jacksonville), and we will head over to Tampa tomorrow, for a couple of nights. Then?

A view of Daytona Speedway Good Sam Rally, taken from the bleachers at the concert.

Another view of the rally taken from the bleachers at the concern. Thousands attended.
We were invited to the 2012 East Coast Good Sam Rally in Daytona, free of all charges, so we decided to attend. It’s been OK, not hokey like that little rally we went to in Eustis last winter. This one had many seminars, a big exhibit hall, and lots of RVs to drool over. It also had Kenny Rogers and Reba McIntyre for entertainment.

I enjoyed Kenny on Friday night more than Reba last night, because I knew his music, not hers. Kenny’s voice is about gone, though, while Reba can still belt the tunes out. They both related to the audience well. I wouldn’t pay to see either one, but this was included in our admission (which was free!).

We ran into Ed, the fellow who sold us our motorhome. He’s coming to dinner tonight, after the show closes. He asked me if I was still the Reluctant Rover. I said yes. I still don’t understand why people like to get together at rallies, join clubs, or do this full time. I find RVing an enjoyable way to travel from one place to another: I don’t have to drive; I can get up whenever I want to get a snack or use the bathroom; and I sleep in my own clean bed each night. But, to me, it is a means to an end—a comfortable way to travel, nothing more. I would not want to do this full-time.

So, with that, I remain your Reluctant Rover.


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