20 days! Wow, that’s the longest ever between posts. For the most part, we have been doing exactly what we thought we would be doing when we embarked on the full-time lifestyle…spending more quality time with family!
Going back over the reasons we started this blog in the first place reminded us that this is really the only way we can remember where we have been and what we have been up to! When you move every so often, all the places you’ve been and the things you have done become a blur. Terri and I continually ask each other “where were we when…?” Thank goodness we have this electronic record of our adventures so we can go back and look. Hopefully you all are enjoying it as well. This post will be mostly family focused, with a little bit of fixes and repairs thrown in…hey, not a day or week goes by without something happening, so another warning to all of you potential full or part timers, if you don’t like things going wrong or having to wrench on stuff, you may want to reevaluate your future, or hire a full-time RVIA certified mechanic to travel with you! In reality, it is not that bad at all. I have had a few people ask me if all we do is spend time in or at the Coach fixing stuff, and the answer is no, not as much as it may seem as highlighted in this blog. One of the other things we wanted to do with this blog is highlight the issues we have had so it can serve to hopefully prevent others from experiencing the issues we have had, or show how to do things better or in a less painful way than what we have experienced. It is hard to believe it has been nearly a year since we embarked on this journey. September of last year is when we drove North for our first fall in Wisconsin since 1979. We are happy to be here once again, and the first hints of fall are starting to appear. Before we rush the cold weather along, let’s walk through the past couple of weeks.
We last left you on the 3rd of August. I had just installed the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on the Coach and the truck…more on that later. First off, Terri was back working her magic making some improvements. We have a huge storage area underneath the stove in this unit. Country Coach always went overboard in their manufacturing, which is a good thing, but just like when we replaced the carpet under the sink with a laminate overlay, it was time to do the same thing under the stove. Don’t get me wrong, the thick carpet provided sound deadening as well as insulation, but after years of pots, pans, and many other things being stored on the carpeted shelves, the carpet began to develop a “stank.” This is a really nice storage area, in fact, I can fit half of myself into the area. Many people have modified this area with pull out drawers so they don’t have to be on the floor to reach the stuff way in the back. We are lucky enough to still be able to contort ourselves enough to get at what we need, so this time around it was just carpet removal and laying in the laminate. Sounds easy, right? Not so much. Terri spent the better part of the night of the 3rd and the morning of the 4th getting the old stuff out, which was not only screwed in, but glued as well.
While she was busy with all of this, I was trying to figure out why one of my tires (the inside dually on the rear drivers side) was losing about 10 PSI per hour according to my TPMS. All the other tires were spot on. I went to my tool kit and decided to replace the valve stem core with one of the new ones that I picked up in Great Falls that work better with bead balanced tires. I used my core tool, and got the extension that goes between the outer and inner tire out, and got nothing but air, which led me to believe it was in fact the valve stem core. When you remove the extension, there should be no air coming out. The only problem was, there was no tool that I could find that would allow me to get at the core on the inside tire. I spent the better part of the day calling and going to tire shops to find such a tool, but the common answer was that I would need to remove the outer tire in order to fix this issue. By this time it was late in the day on the 4th. I knew we had to get this fixed before we headed up North on the 6th, so I called Good Sam Roadside Assist once again, and they found a local mobile repair service that would be at the Coach first thing on the 5th.
With that being scheduled, we had a nice evening outside. Terri went in a bit early, and I stayed out in the dark by the fire ring reading a book…with no fire by the way. We were in spot #10, the same one we have been in each time we were at this park. While sitting there enjoying the evening and the stars, I felt something brush up against my legs…I looked down and saw a black body with a white stripe…skunk!!! I did my best NOT to move and waited until the little fella worked his way into the fire ring. Apparently the people who were here prior to us left some food in the fire pit, and since we hadn’t had a fire yet, it was like a skunk buffet. Once he or she was about 6 feet away, I slowly worked my way into the coach. Terri took this shot from the front door. It is not real clear, that is a skunk butt in the air in the fire pit.
Well, I now have had my heart checked by nature for the year. No need for a physical I guess, but wait, there is more! Like Dumb Ron, I sat out again the next night, and the same thing happened with a slight twist…this time TWO skunks brushed against my legs on the way to the fire! We booked a different site for later in the month!
The tire guy showed up about 0800 on the 5th and went to work.
He got the outside tire off and confirmed my suspicions…the core on the inside tire was bad. I replaced it with one of mine, and all appeared good. Everything was put back in place, and he went on his way. I reinstalled the monitor for that tire, and drat! The tire started losing pressure again. I called the manufacturer of the TPMS, and they confirmed what I had heard…the monitors can be finicky when they operate with an extension. I removed the monitor from that tire, and have been using my manual gauge to check pressure, and it is holding just fine. I need to get a new extension at some point in time and hope that will work with my monitor. Oh well, I have all the other tire monitors working, so I will operate this way until I have found a new extension…no one around here has one right now.
We spent the rest of the day getting ready to move to the VRBO we rented near Wausau for the upcoming week. All of the kids were coming in for our nieces wedding, as well as all of my siblings and their families. Mandi and Justin were flying up on Thursday with my mom and dad from Florida as well. We picked up Meghan, Peyton and Logan at the airport early in the afternoon, and Jason drove from MD and met us at Ashley’s house later that evening. It was fun getting the young cousins together.
We had a great meal, and everyone was off to bed early so we could make the 3 hour trek North in the morning. Terri and I headed out fairly early so we could get to the VRBO, get the Coach parked and get the house set up for everyone’s arrival.
Dumb Ron: I talked to the owner of the VRBO several times about whether or not there would be room for the Coach, and she related no problem with branches or anything like that…right!! When we got to the driveway, Terri and I noticed we would have to “thread the needle” to just get into the entrance for the driveway, and then navigate a few turns to get to the house, and then do a bunch of wrangling to get the Coach where it needed to be. We unhooked the truck, I backed down the road a bit to give me a larger area to swing into the driveway. Not large enough though…I was watching the left side of the Coach, and Terri was running up behind trying to get my attention to let me know that I was going to hit a bunch of pine tree branches with the right side of the Coach. I never saw or heard her…end result: a bunch of nice scratches in the clear coat on the right side…rats! I was able to buff most of it out, but it will take a bit more to get rid of the Dumb Ron evidence. Advice: Never move without having your spotter in view at all times when navigating tight spots. We had taken a bunch of overhanging branches down ahead of time, but I never saw the right side hit. Thankfully we got out of there without a scratch. My brother asked if we had teleported the Coach into the place…it was tight.
Enough of that nonsense. Everyone arrived in fine shape and we had an absolute blast all week. The house worked out great, and Terri and I boondocked in the parking lot, running the generator only a few times to charge the batteries back up. Here’s a photo journey of the week:
All of our love to you Molly and Dan! Thanks for the invite and wishing you well in your journey together!!
The great thing about being the Wausau area is all of the cousins, aunts and uncles were stopping by throughout the week. We got back to the VRBO and got a shot of Great Grams with her great grands.
Tuesday was a day for me to try to figure out why my gas/electric fridge would not stay lit on gas. It works fine with the generator running, but when the batteries get below 80%, the dang thing won’t re-ignite for some reason. I decided it was time to clean the burner and the stack. I got everything done in less than an hour, and she fired right up (this should be done once per year in any case). The only problem is that when the batteries got below 80%, the same thing happened again. Not a big deal, but can be if we want to boon dock a lot and don’t want to run the generator everytime the batteries get to 80%.
We went to the farmers market later in the morning, and got loaded up on fresh veggies and sweet corn! What an awesome meal that evening.
After dinner, Jason decided to take the canoe out and give the kids a ride. When we flipped the canoe over, we found some snakes…fun stuff, and non-poisonous here in WI for the most part.
Jason gave them a great ride and found some bull frogs along the way. He convinced the kids that they had to kiss the frog to get another ride.
We also had a great day on Wednesday, and went to our nephew Ryan’s house for a grill out. Jason had his drone there and got some great shots which I don’t have presently. Jason and I also tried to replace the mirror arms that I picked up in Oregon earlier this year, but it was not meant to be. The lower part of the arms are rusted in place. I will have to do some more research on the subject so I can get them replaced, as my current mirror arms are mostly corroded and the chrome looks awful.
And just like that, it was Thursday and the week was done. Everyone headed back to home and work. Terri and I decided to stay up for a few days and moved over to Terri’s mom’s house where we boon docked in the driveway. The fridge has worked real well since.
We spent the afternoon picking apples in Shirley’s yard and making applesauce. Have not done that in a long time! Tastes good too! Later that afternoon, Terri and I met Seth and Ben (our nephews) at our land. Seth has his own construction business, and we wanted to show him our initial plans for putting a pad in for the Coach, and our out-year plans for a pole barn. We got things mostly figured out, so hopefully before the snow flies we will have a start on this project. More to come on this in future posts.
On Friday, we headed out to Patty and Rob’s cabin with Shirley for the night. We had a blast playing cards and eating way too much. We love this little piece of heaven that Pat and Rob have created.
We spent almost all day Saturday there as well, and Seth, Lindy, Ben and Jaime showed up too. Sunday was a great day spent driving the countryside and reminiscing years gone by.
Monday was move day once again…it was also Toby’s birthday! So we loaded up and headed back to our park in Caledonia…to spot #3 instead of skunk #10 this time.
After we were all set up, we headed into Kenosha for birthday boy celebrations!
We spent the rest of the week hiking, touring, eating and hanging with the kids and the grands.
We spent a great evening together, then met them all for church on Sunday, followed by the Packers Pre-Season game. Toby spent the night with us, and is now at the Zoo with Terri. We hope to have Emma and Eli here for a night each this week as well. They start school next week.
Well, that is it for now…we are here until the 31st, then plan to head back up North for a while…don’t know how long, but our next milestone on the calendar is a wedding the first weekend in October, which is also my class reunion date. We also have some friends coming in from the Netherlands to spend some time with us. Don’t know the living arrangements yet, but will work that out. We are also heading to the Packers versus Eagles game this Saturday. Looking forward to that!
As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy and Living Your Dreams!!!!