Thursday, August 2, 2018

Misadventures? Sort of...

What would a Reluctant Rover blog post be without telling the tales of misadventures? Since we bought Thor, our 27-foot Thor Axis (which is for sale), I haven't had many misadventures to report, thank goodness. For one thing, Thor is pretty new (2016 model, with only 9200 miles on it). For another, even if Thor were to experience problems, we bought maintenance insurance on it. We learned the hard way how expensive some things can be to repair, so we decided not to take any chances this time. Peace of mind counts.

However...

This trip we have had a few "interesting" things happen to us.

When we arrived here at Lake Oconee, near Greensboro, Ga., and registered, we were told it would be easier and better if we unhooked the car before going to our RV spot. Jim began the process, and as part of that, I opened the car and put on the emergency brake. We use a tow dolly to pull the car. This means that Jim has to physically go under the car to hook/unhook safety chains. Safety protocol requires putting the car's emergency brake on. However, once the car is hooked up, the car is put in park, and the emergency brake is disengaged.

When he began the process, I put the emergency brake on. Then, we began talking with Terri, the customer service lady who would lead us to our camping spot. She said we could unhook in the overflow lot and leave the dolly there. We thought that would be a good idea, so we stopped what we were doing and drove over the overflow lot, which was probably about 500 feet (maybe more) away.

When we got out of the RV, Terri said, "Your back wheels weren't turning!"

Oh, no! When we decided to move over the overflow lot, I forgot to disengage the emergency brake! We dragged our car those 500 feet. Not a good thing. Unfortunately, we were not a stranger to dragging: The very first time we every hooked up a car to our first RV, Jim had attached the braking device too tight, and we actually dragged the car about five miles. That little mishap cost us about $800 in new tires as well as a new brake job, including rotors. This tiny bit of dragging? Well, the rear tires go "thump, thump" and we will have to replace them. The moral: Always go through the checklist, even if you don't think you have to. Checking to make sure the wheels turn is always the last thing I do whenever we hook up the car.

The second (mis)adventure concerns the refrigerator.

Again, if you follow this blog, you may remember that the refrigerator in our second RV died on us. Jim was convinced to repair it himself, so he ordered a part online. Unfortunately, the company he ordered it from was a cheater. We are part of a lawsuit the Arkansas attorney general has against the company because of the numerous complaints against it for fraud. We will probably never get that $700+ back. We eventually spent another $1400 for a new unit, and had it installed. (We later still had  periodic trouble with the refrigerator, by the time we traded  in the RV for our current one.)

Our troubles with the refrigerator were a major reason why we decided to buy the maintenance insurance.

OK, back to the present. Yesterday was a rainy day, not good for fishing. So, we went exploring. A town called Eatonton, Ga., was among the places we visited. (We had visited Eatonton, home of the Uncle Remus Museum, several years ago, when we spent a few weeks in Georgia on our way up to the Midwest.) We stopped at the Chamber of Commerce to get tourist information, and picked up a flyer about a local butcher shop that prepares its own sausages.

We eat very little meat, but we do enjoy homemade sausage. So, we hunted down the meat store and bought samples of various types of sausages--bulk hot sausage, andouille, boudin, and alapeno bratwurst. We arrived home and...

...discovered that our refrigerator was not working! The bag of ice in the freezer had completely thawed. What could have happened, we wondered. Jim considered possible causes, but because of the late hour (and darkness) could not test. He switched from electric (which obviously failed) to gas. But by this morning, the refrigerator still was not working.

After cleaning up the melt in the freezer, we needed to find some ice. Fortunately, we had brought a cooler, where we could store our frozen goods. But the RV office was closed, so we had to find a store to buy ice.

We spied a customer service person driving around and asked him for the closet place for ice. He gave us directions, which we realized after a bit of driving, took us farther than if we had driving to the nearest Publix. So be it. We found a gas station, bought ice, then programmed our GPS to find a shorter way back. Garmina, however, told us to go back the way we had come, by taking the first right.

That would have been OK, except that the first right turn was blocked off, and we ended up on I20. In total, we probably drove more than 50 miles to get two bags of ice, and were gone an hour. A trip to the local Publix would have been about 15 minutes each way. Oh, well.

Jim considered possible causes to the refrigerator problem and came up with a plausible one: We were parked on a slant (which I reported in my last blog). RV refrigerators require being level, front to back. If they are not, they cannot cool down. So, first thing this morning we asked to be moved to a level spot. If they could not accommodate our needs, we would go home.
Our new campsite, directly on the lake

Jim is enjoying the campsite, despite a constant rain. The awning is protecting him from getting wet.


Well, here we are. Not only are we level, we are directly on the lake! And the refrigerator? It is once again working.

So, fans of the Reluctant Rover's (mis)adventures. I hope I have not disappointed you.

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