9-11 June, 2015; Exploring, Fixes, and a Bit of a Rant

Hey Blog Nation!  Hope you all have had a great week so far!  We’ve been waylaid once again by the maintenance demon that has a tendency to possess a lot of RV Folk, but are counting our blessings, as things are not bad at all in the grand scheme of things.  We love it here in the Willamette Valley, and the temperatures are great once again after the rogue heat wave…anything above 78 is NOT for us!

The last we left you, we were at a great little city park in Lebanon, OR.  Not there now, but we will get to that soon.  On Tuesday, we decided to take a drive over the mountains to Sisters and Bend, OR.  I always wanted to see Bend…what a kewl name for a town!  The drive was awesome, and we could not believe how much the landscape changed once again.  We went from lush valleys, to old growth forests, to high desert in short order.   We checked out a few campgrounds along the way as well that we may have wanted to stay at if not given our present predicament…which we will get to as well.  I wish I would have taken some photos of the change in landscape, but I guess  they will have to live in the recesses of my pea brain for a short while instead. We did make it to the Deschutes Brewery in Bend…a location suggested by our nephew Matt.  It was a great time, good food and great suds.  Bend is a really neat town…right on the edge of river-mountain-desert.  Terri says it’s a place you can ski in the morning, bike in the late morning, and golf in the afternoon.

The home of Deschutes.  They have expanded quite a bit and are shipping to 47 states now.  Bend is a really neat town, and Sisters is even better.

The home of Deschutes. They have expanded quite a bit and are shipping to 47 states now. Bend is a really neat town, and Sisters is even better.

So…what is Sisters?  It’s a town named for the mountains near it…they look like sisters, I guess.  We checked out a few parks we would like to stay at, but likely will not make it that way again this year.  We took another route back over the Cascades near the area we stayed before at Mill City.  This state…once again, is unreal.  The geography changes are unbelievable.

Wednesday was, well…fun and not fun.  We started out with a great bike ride east of the Park we were in…the camp host told us to just watch out for all of the homeless camps in the woods.  Apparently, the City of Portland routinely sends bus loads of their homeless to Lebanon because of Lebanon’s supposed great homeless programs…wut??  In any case, we had a great ride.

Kids from the local area built some awesome "bike cross" trails in the woods.

Kids from the local area built some awesome “bike cross” trails in the woods.

Doesn't look too difficult...but the camera lies!  We did a few humps and jumps, but our bikes are not made for this stuff.

Doesn’t look too difficult…but the camera lies! We did a few humps and jumps, but our bikes are not made for this stuff.

We meandered through the woods, and did see one of the camps the host talked about.  It appeared to be a real nice setup actually.  We rode our bikes through the side streets for a while, and then ended back at the Coach, planning a hike for the afternoon.  Soon after we ate lunch, I got a call from Bob saying that he had an opening in the afternoon at his shop, and if we could get there, we could likely be back at the camp that evening after the hydraulic ram replacement.  So, we left a note for the camp hosts, letting them know we would either be back that night, or the next day, since we had paid through Sunday.  We then went into full-bore tear down and move mode, and we were on the road in less than an hour.  After we arrived, Bob and I started tearing everything apart that we had put together last week.  I told Terri it would be a while, so she headed off to see what she could see.  Here is a side note to this whole slide issue…Terri thinks it really wasn’t that bad, but I thought it was.  Sometimes it pays off (literally) to listen to your wife!  Don’t get me wrong…I still really like all these guys here that used to work for Country Coach, but sometimes you have to wonder.  Here’s a photo montage of late Wednesday:

Hade to expose all four Rams for the living room slide, which meant removing all the stuff we did before...and the couch.

Hade to expose all four Rams for the living room slide, which meant removing all the stuff we did before…and the couch.

Look familiar?  All the soffit and everything else removed.

Look familiar? All the soffit and everything else removed.

Yuck!!!!!

Yuck!!!!!

The new hydraulic ram, just waiting to be installed.

The new hydraulic ram, just waiting to be installed.

We finally (after two hours) got the chain, or belt, or whatever you want to call it loose from the track on the slide.  This was a huge deal, and took Bob and I all we had.  I hope I don't have a hernia from by hand moving the slide around to get the chain and hydraulic lines in the right configuration to get the ram out.

We finally (after two hours) got the chain, or belt, or whatever you want to call it loose from the track on the slide. This was a huge deal, and took Bob and I all we had. I hope I don’t have a hernia from by hand moving the slide around to get the chain and hydraulic lines in   the right configuration to get the ram out.

So, we got the two lines pulled back, now all we have to do is remove the one link to the chain and install the new ram, right?  Not so fast!  I have no clue how to take these things apart, and apparently Bob didn’t either.  There are screwdriver inserts on each end of the pins to what we thought were for removing the pin that held the ends of the ram to the chain…wrong!!!  Bob drilled one end out to get the pin out, and in short order, I think we both realized that was wrong.

The lines hanging from the ceiling...than God I'm not quite as hyper as I used to be.  This is not right!!

The lines hanging from the ceiling…thank God I’m not quite as hyper as I used to be. This is not right!!

Here is a shot of the pin that secures two brass rollers.  HWH sent two extra rollers, and we thought they forgot the pin...nope!  Bob drilled this pin out instead of removing the locking washer that was attached to the pin!

Here is a shot of the pin that secures two brass rollers. HWH sent two extra rollers, and we thought they forgot the pin…nope! Bob drilled this pin out instead of removing the locking washer that was attached to the pin!

The only reason for the screwdriver insert is to be able to remove the washer!  You get that off, and everything comes apart...it does also if you drill it put, but then you can't put it back together!!!

The only reason for the screwdriver insert is to be able to remove the washer! You get that off, and everything comes apart…it does also if you drill it out, but then you can’t put it back together!!!

OK…I’m really glad Terri wasn’t around, as she thought the slide wasn’t that bad, and I insisted on getting it checked out.  My Bad Ron once again.   Let me cut to the chase here…Bob is a class A guy and knows his stuff, but this one got past him.  In the end, we had to call HWH in Iowa today to get the replacement pin, and after Terri and I were out for a while and came back, it appears they are sending the wrong part overnight.  I told Bob to order the correct one just to make sure…we don’t want to be here for the next two weeks, even though we love this state…we have places to be.  I won’t go into all of the “potentials” here, because we are camped next to Bob’s shop, and can’t move the Coach because the slide is “kaput” for now.  I was able to get a little bit of my money back from Gills Landing, but not all.  We will see how Bob handles this debacle in the end.  I sure do miss me some Lou Schlenker Auto type mentality…Lou was our mechanic in FL for all things auto, and I really miss his business acumen.

Moving on…we will see what FedEx brings tomorrow.  Terri and I hit the road today and hit every single RV repair place in the Eugene and Junction City area to see if they perhaps had a replacement part….no luck.  We did however find Northwest RV!  It is like the “Nirvana” of all things new and used for RV’s.  The chrome on my mirrors are literally falling off, and Velvac, the manufacturer of my mirrors want around $1,200 each to replace them.  Northwest has used parts that I think I can use, and I’m looking at possibly around $60 to get my mirrors back to show room quality!  I took measurements tonight, and will stop back tomorrow to see what we can do.

New "used" mirror parts at Northwest RV in Eugene.  Terri and I spent hours in this place!  Better than walking around Home Depot at 2AM!

New “used” mirror parts at Northwest RV in Eugene. Terri and I spent hours in this place! Better than walking around Home Depot at 2AM!

My old nasty mirror arms.

My old nasty mirror arms.

We also hit a few bike shops today, had a blast together (which is the main thing, right?) and enjoyed a gorgeous evening together in the Willamette Valley!

Outside of Bob's shop.  I think I got most of the dist off!

Outside of Bob’s shop. I think I got most of the dust off of the Coach!

And how about the awesome sunset looking toward the coast?  This was at 9:00 PM!

And how about the awesome sunset looking toward the coast? This was at 9:30 PM!

So blog nation, we are making lemonade instead of eating the lemons straight up!  We hope you are too.  After all of the adversity we have heard about from family and friends this week, things are going really well!!

And as always, we hope this finds you all Happy, Heathy, and Living Your Dreams…because in the face of adversity…we still are!!

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