Cherohala Skyway

Cherohala Skyway

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Leaving Home?

Seffner, Florida

Mike didn’t get everything finished up Friday as he had hoped.  He was replacing the gaskets on both air conditioner units.  He found what he called a design flaw on the condensation drain.  I guess ours was one of the first years that they drained the condensation down underneath the coach, rather than on the roof to run down the sides.  He had to re-design the drain system a little bit.  To replace the gaskets the entire a/c units had to be removed. 

The other big project he was working on was the living room slide gasket.  He had to figure out what was causing it to tear and find a solution.  He did, and feels comfortable we won’t have that problem again.  We trust Mike, so we feel pretty good about it too.

Anyway he got it finished up after lunch on Saturday.  Yea….we are getting out of here!

Lazy Days fills up your fuel and propane before you leave, so once he finished, Mike called for a lot attendant to take it to Flying J for the fuel.  A very nice guy named Martin came, and I rode along with him.  After he filled the tank,  he noticed the fuel gauge didn’t got past the 3/4 mark.  We watched it a few minutes to make sure it wasn’t still going up.  It didn’t.  Martin suggested we get it back over to the chassis department (not with Mike) and have it looked at before we left.  He was nice enough to contact someone to make arrangements to take it to “Chassis.”  I again was impressed with the good customer service.  After all, he is “just” a lot attendant, but he went out of his way to get us taken care of.  His job is to drive motor homes where they are needed.  He could have just left it with me to deal with, but he didn’t.  It was picked up shortly and delivered to Chassis.   Al and I were depressed, and were starting to wonder if this motor home is jinxed!

While we were sitting in the motorhome waiting to talk to a tech,  Mike saw us sitting there and came in to see what was going on.  After all, he just released it back to us an hour ago and thought all was okay.  We explained the fuel gauge issue and he said it was  likely an easy fix, that might just require a tweak of the sending unit.  That sure made us feel better…and I guess he was right because shortly after that, the motorhome was brought back with the fuel gauge reading correctly.

Could it be?  Could we finally be ready to leave??  We decided to spend the night in the delivery site, because it was late afternoon.

So…….we are sitting at the deliver site and could go today if we want to.  However, we still have to get the cats out of the old motor home, and clean it up (again), and prepare this one for travel (again).  We are both tired and don’t have the enthusiasm needed for moving today.  Our fresh water tank is nearly full, and the gray and black tanks are nearly empty. We have free wifi, and 50 amp electric service.  We probably won’t leave until tomorrow.  We have decided to go back to the Lazy Days Campground for  nights.  One reason is that we have 2 free nights there, and the other is Al needs to make sure the toad hooks up correctly and is at the right height.  We haven’t had the opportunity to set up the truck behind the motor home and hook it up to check the lights and everything.  We figure we can go on a test drive down the interstate then to the campground and practice backing into campsites using the lessons we learned from our driving class.  Even though Al drove the motor home a few times on a test drive, it is now ours, and he is a bit intimidated by it. I am completely  intimidated by it.  We feel the campground will give us a good un-crowded place to practice our skills.

The weather here in central Florida has finally caught up with most of the rest of the country.  It has been warm, but not unbearable….until this week.  It’s been mid 90’s and very humid.  The overnight temps aren't’ going down below the upper 70’s. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Update

Seffner, Florida

Well, a few people have wondered where we are, and what we are up to.

I hate to say it, but we are still sitting at Lazy Days. Yes, we are frustrated and tired of sitting here.  We are glad to be getting things repaired, while we still have access to our old motor home.  At least we don’t have to worry about what to do with the cats.  We still think we bought a good quality motorhome, but it is a 2003 model.  Most of our issues are related to routine maintenance and wear and tear.  We’re hoping we will find all the issues while we’re here and things will be good once we leave. 

We have the motorhome back in the service bay, again.  I think this is the 4th time.  Nothing serious, mostly just small things.

We are currently here because:

1. the air conditioner gasket needs replacing.  This is a wear and tear item, and ours decided to leak.  Thankfully it did before we left and we still have the use of the old motor home for the cats. These gaskets should be checked and hand tightened a little each year or so. They are foam gaskets that the a/c unit sits on.  The foam gets thinner over time and you might need to hand tighten the 4 bolts that hold it on.  If you open the a/c unit from inside the motor home…like you do to clean the filter, you will see 4 bolts.  Those are the bolts I’m talking about.  Don’t tighten them too much or you will ruin the gasket, but check to snug them up a bit.  This is probably something Mike should have caught, but that’s okay, we still love him and he is fixing it now.  He is also going to replace the bedroom a/c  gasket for us.  These are each 3/12 hour jobs, and their labor rate is $115 per hour, so we’re glad to get it done now…..however, we are very tired of being here.

2.  We started having a terrible odor in the motorhome.  At first we started smelling a rotten egg odor.  When we turned on the exhaust vent in the bathroom, we got the foulest smell you can imagine.  Black tank odor on steroids!  Mike said there could be a couple causes.  One was the Studer Valve that is under each sink.  We have gotten our education on this valve.  It’s a $3.00 part that needs to be replaced every few years (per Mike).  It is a pvc type piece that screws onto the top of a piece of pipe under the sinks.  It can be unscrewed and replaced easily, just using some teflon tape.  I understand you can get these at Home Depot.  There is a little rubber flap on them that keep the odors from the gray tank from getting into the motor home. If you look under your sink, it’s on the top of the pipe that goes up and then stops, not connecting to anything.   If this flap gets bad, you get the drifting odors.  The other possibility is the p-trap on the washer.  The washer hadn’t been used for a while and the water in the p-trap dried out.  The smell can then drift upwards from the gray tank.  Mike took the cover off and checked out what was going on behind the washer.  He noticed the pipe that the water drain fits into, was not sealed.  If the p-trap gets dry and the pipe is sealed, no odors.  He sealed that.  He said the third possibility on the cause of the odor was that sometimes the vent that comes out of the black water tank, can break and off and drop into the tank.  Then you have bad odors, and a big problem.  He checked out our whole black/gray water system and said that was not the problem here.  We are currently in the motorhome and happy to report, no smells!  Again, we are happy to have it fixed.

3.  The brand new living room slide seal that Mike just replaced was damaged again.  Apparently,  the locking mechanism on the slide is catching on the slide gasket and tearing it.  I’m sure glad we found that before we left.  Mike is not really sure how to solve the problem, but we have confidence that he will figure it out and do it right.   I also learned a lesson on the slide gaskets.  I always thought that would be a huge and expensive job to replace these rubber gaskets.  Well, on our living room slide, it’s a fairly easy job and one that Al and I could probably do.  Mike said it takes him about 1 1/2 hours. The rubber gasket can’t be that expensive.  He did not have to remove the slide either.  Of course, all slides are different, and sometimes the whole room needs to be removed. 

We had to wait a few days to get back into the service bay, because Mike was working on another motorhome.  We could have gotten someone else to work on ours,  but we preferred to wait for Mike.

He worked on it yesterday, but unfortunately, he had a long planned day off scheduled for today, so here we sit!  We don’t mind waiting for him though, and at least now we are hooked up to the sewer and water inside the service bay!   We took long showers last night and I finally got a chance to use my new washer/dryer.  I am very happy with the way it worked.  I was able to do a pretty good size load and the clothes came out unwrinkled, even though I let them sit in there wet overnight before drying them this morning.  I am wondering if I could wash a set of sheets at one time, or is it better to do one sheet and pillow case at a time?

While we were in the cafeteria the other day, we happened to run into an old friend that we hadn’t seen for 20 years or so.  He and his  previous wife were members of our scuba club.  We reminisced about some our our diving adventures.  He was there getting some advice from his favorite rv tech….yeah, you guessed it!  It was Mike!  Ron has bought 3 coaches from Lazy Days and he always requests Mike!  We had a nice visit with him and hope to see him and his wife Kate soon!  They have 6 acres north of Tampa and Ron invited us to bring the motorhome and stay whenever we like!  Nice, huh?  Of course, that is, if, we ever get to leave Lazy Days!

We took a drive yesterday and explored a few rv parks we had heard about.  One we liked very much.  I took some pics on my cell phone (need to start remembering to bring my good camera), and I’ll try to post them tomorrow. 

Today, we’re hanging out in the motor home, enjoying having full hook-us and the use of the washer.  Al is taking an online continuing education class that he needs for his pest control license.  I plan to read my book, The Paris Wife.

We’re patiently waiting. Smile

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Visit With Friends

Seffner, Florida

Al had to work yesterday,  so I had the day to myself.  I could/should have spent it finishing up putting stuff away, but I didn’t feel like it.  I have 2 more tubs of stuff that needs to find a home.  I have been hoping it finds its own way,  but I guess not. Smile

Our friends Ralph and Terry were camping at Hillsborough River State Park.  It’s not far away so I decided to go visit them and see their new to them motorhome.  They found a great deal on a very nice Holiday Rambler and are enjoying the rv lifestyle again.  They have a very nice motorhome and are happy to be out enjoying the outdoors. 

Unfortunately, I seem to be out of “blog” mode and neglected to take my camera, so no pictures.   The weather was a bit cooler yesterday due to a slight drop in the humidity, so we spent the afternoon outside enjoying the view and each others company. 

This park is one of our favorites.  It’s an older campground and  some small campsites are pretty small,  so you have to be careful.  We weren’t sure we could get into it with the new motorhome, but after looking at it again yesterday, I think we’ll be okay.  We’ll probably wait a while until we get comfortable with this big boy.   The visit really made me want to “go camping.”

The following are some pictures I have taken in the past from visits to Hillsborough River SP.  Our favorite trips there were the week of Christmas.  It was always fun decorating the rv for the holidays.

florida fall colors

campsite hrsp

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It’s a beautiful park, great hiking and kayaking and one of our favorites.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hanging Out

Seffner, Florida

Still sitting at Camp Lazy Days.  Our service guy, Mike came over to see if he could fix our water pump issue quickly instead of having to get us back into a service bay.  He couldn’t, so we will have to go back to “camp Bayview.”  Unfortunately, ours is not the only rig Mike is working on and he’s in the middle of another big job, so it may be a few days.  We would rather wait for Mike than have anyone else work on it, so we don’t mind waiting.  They are still feeding us 2 meals a day and we’re very comfortable in our new rig.  Yesterday we called the lot porter to take the rig and dump the tanks and fill up the water.  Not as good as full hook-ups, but certainly livable.  The spaces are pretty tight here and we’re not real comfortable navigating the rig, so we’re very happy to have the lot porter do it. 

While we have been here, we’re getting a real good chance to check out the rig and have any issues addressed.  I just noticed a small tear in the bedroom slide-out awning.  It hadn’t been there previously and it was just starting to tear a little.  Mike said he would have to replace the awning fabric.    Awww..    I asked him to check out the living room awning real well while he was up there.  With any luck he will find a tear there as well.  These toppers are the sunbrella canvas type,   and I assume pretty expensive.  It would be great to have them both brand new.  (maybe I need to look closer on the main awning too)  That one is huge so I know it would cost a fortune. 

I have been thinking the refrigerator isn’t getting as cold as it should, so I started checking the temps and writing them down.  Mike agrees, it should be colder and thinks maybe a fan is  not working properly.  He will take care of that.  The freezer gets down to 10 degrees, but the other part isn’t getting cool enough.  We thought it might be just because this is a much larger frig than we had before, but Mike said it should get colder.  Another problem, we didn’t catch right away.

Another “issue” we had was the compartment the sewer connections is in.  There is a light there that just won’t turn off.   We have a switch inside  the rig that turns off/on all the compartment lights, but this one would just not go off.  Al finally had to take out the bulb.  Did I ever feel stupid, when Mike showed me a switch that is activated when the door is closed!  Just like your refrigerator that is always lit when you open the door.  Smile

So, we are waiting our turn to get back into the service bays.  A little frustrating, but we’re getting these things fixed while we still have another place to put the kitties.  My feeling is…let it break now and then forever hold its peace!

Al is working his pest control accounts today, so I am here by myself.  I still have 2 more big tubs of crap to put away, but I think I’ll go visit our friends Ralph and Terry.  They are camping at Hillsborough River State Park.  It’s one of our favorite campgrounds.  I just have to wait around to have my free lunch.  I had eggs, bacon and potato's this morning.  I am still full, but don’t want to miss the roasted chicken, corn and green beans they’re serving for lunch.   It’s sure going to be more expensive when we have to start having paying for meals and campgrounds!

p.s. 

I just got a knock on the door and it was the lot porter that dumped our tanks yesterday.  I had ridden with him and noticed someone had left some outdoor mats out.  He said if they weren’t picked up by the evening, I could take them.  Unfortunately, someone claimed them, so I didn’t get them.  He found me a nice grass type in a light beige that just matches the coach and brought it to me.   Wasn’t that nice of him?   He came here 7 years ago and bought a motor home and never left.  He and his wife are full-timers and he is working at Lazy Days and his wife runs the campground they stay at.  He’s about the nicest guy you could find with his great southern (Tennessee) accent!  Thanks General!

Here are a few pictures I have taken around the campground.

Sandhill Cranes

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Camp Lazy Days

Seffner, Florida

We are still sitting in the delivery area at “Camp Lazy Days.”  We have met a few of our neighbors.  One is an ex North Carolina State Assembly member that didn’t survive the last election.  When he told us that I thought to myself  “you must be a Democrat.”  I kept that thought to myself though. SmileHe looks just like Gomer Pyle!

Camp Lazy Days offers electric hook-ups, but no sewer.  There is a really long water hose that services all the “campsites.”  There are a lot of delivery campsites, so you know it’s a long  hose.  We had them dump the gray water when they brought it back from the body shop on Friday, but we needed some additional water so Al drug the hose over.  I don’t think they want anyone to get too comfortable here at the free sites!

Last night, we started to notice the water pump cycling on occasionally when we weren’t running any water.  That could only mean one thing.  We have a small leak somewhere.  We checked everything inside and found nothing, but finally noticed a hose that had worked its self loose.  We have this “mana-bloc” water system in this coach.  The salesman talked it up and said if we ever had a leak, it would allow us to turn off the water for just that one area and still have water for the rest of the coach.  Well, it worked as stated and we stopped that leak. Al can easily tighten it up  today.  Unfortunately, the water pump is still cycling on occasionally.  This is just one of the things you have when your home bounces down the road.  He may be able to find the problem to avoid having it go back to service. 

We are making progress in the move.  The old motor home is almost empty, and the new one is almost full!  We are stuffing every nook and cranny and we still have tubs of stuff that need a home.

Our view out the front window

Camp Lazy Days

Our mess

Camp Lazy Days - mess

Al has been unloading stuff from the old motorhome and bringing it over.  I keep unloading and putting things away as fast as I can.  Just when I get finished with what I have, he comes back with more.  I’m starting to get a little aggravated at him, so to pay him back, I have begun taking items from “my stuff” that goes into “his” basement!  He doesn’t like that!  He wants to keep his basement neat and orderly!   Good luck with that!

We’re getting there though.  The biggest thing is deciding where to put what, and then later remembering where you put it.  We seem to spend more time looking for stuff than anything else. 

Here are a couple pictures of Camp Lazy Days.  There are 4-5 rows of change over sites.  They pull your old rv next to your new one, door to door, to make it easier to change out.  It’s a busy place.

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There are a lot of pretty rv’s and even a few pop-ups and small teardrop type trailers.

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Here are a few of the outside of our new home.  You can see the size difference between it and the old Flair motor home.  The size is a bit intimidating.

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Al and his new Monaco

Al and old and new motor home

Monaco Windsor

Monaco Windsor

We hope to get everything put away today, but we’re enjoying just drinking our coffee and our computer/newspaper time.

We got our new Magne-Shade Thursday.  It looks to be very high quality and well made.  The first time you install it, you have to glue heavy duty magnets to the windows, so it’s going to take a little time to install the first time.  Right now, it’s not top priority.

We got our Progressive Industries Electrical Management system on Saturday.  Our favorite mobile rv medic,  Dale brought it to us at Lazy Days.  That’s good service, huh?    Dale gives seminars at a lot of rv rally’s and if you ever get a chance to listen to him, I would recommend it.  He visited with us a long while and gave us tons of great information.   We feel this system is an important safeguard for your expensive rv electronics.  Campgrounds are notorious for having bad power poles with low amps, or even reverse polarity.  This system will tell you if there is a problem before you plug in.  If there is a problem while you are plugged in, it will shut the power to the rv down.  We have actually had it shut us down on a couple of occasions. 

I’ve been watching the tv interviews with Jaycee Dugard.  The was the 11 year old girl that was kidnapped, raped, and held captive for 18 years.  She wrote the book to help heal and to give hope to others in bad situations.  I ordered the book for our e-readers.  It was only $11.99 and I felt like I would like to help her make some money.  She deserves it after what she went through.  It’s a very candid story, which of course is sad and maddening at the same time.  I haven’t finished it yet, but find it to be interesting to see how she coped and is trying to get on with her life.  She is an amazing woman and I wish her the best.  I will not buy anything that Casey Anthony puts out though!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Camp Bayview

Seffner, Florida

Can the contents from a fully loaded 32 foot motor home fit inside a 41 foot motorhome?  The jury is still out!

When we bought our old motor home, one of the things we liked was the tremendous amount of storage it had. 

As we are moving into the new motorhome, which also has lots of storage, we’re finding it difficult to put everything away.

Of course, one problem is the bins and cabinets are not the same, so the old places you put things no longer exist and you have to find new ones. 

Another problem is that we have too much stuff.  We will be doing some purging in the near future once we decide what we actually need.

We had a huge pantry in the old motorhome.  It was at least 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep with numerous shelves.  It held a ton of stuff,   but everything was difficult to find.  I kept my electric frying pan, crock pot and large plastic bowls there, as well as canned goods, dry goods and other miscellaneous items in this pantry.  As I go to put items away, I find myself heading over to the pantry.  Sigh!  Wish I had one of those here!

Al has gotten his basement pretty well loaded.  He managed to get the kayaks and gear put away as well as all our scuba gear.  He has decided he needs to eliminate some tools, but he kind of knew that anyway.  He just wanted to wait until he decided what he would actually need.

Slowly, but surely, we’re getting moved.

We had a setback though, and we ended up going back to “Camp Bayview”.   (the service bays)  We got a heavy rain the other day and we found  leaks. 

We notified our service advisor and she hustled to get us moved back into a service bay overnight in case of any more rain.  It ended up being back in the service bay for 2 days.  We spent the nights in it, but had to vacate during the day.  There were a few other items that needed fixing that we had found.  We also realized that we didn’t know where to find the reset switch for the keyless entry.  Mike ended up having to take the dash cover off to locate it for us.   He said he expected us to be back because there are always a few more items that are found even after he goes through everything. 

It turned out one of the front overhead marker lights needed re-sealing.  Just one of those maintenance things that I’m glad was found before we left.   Also, I found a small leak on both corners of the bedroom slide.  They had sent the carpet shampoo guy over that same day and the entire carpet was wet from that, but these were definitely leaks from the slide corners. 

Mike looked at it the next day and told us that this was a design issue for some models of  Monaco in this year.    He came up with his own solution for diverting the  water that can sometimes run into the room.  He says he’s done quite a few of these fixes and has never had one come back.  We trust Mike, so we’re hoping that will be the correct fix.  The seals looked good and tight to me, so I was shocked any water got through.  I don’t think it happens all the time, because there was no sign of damage, and hopefully we’ll be okay now.

We have 2 more items that need fixing.  One is a small paint scratch and the other is a cabinet adjustment.  So they will need to take it to the body area for that.  It’s kind of difficult moving in when you keep losing your coach!

We’re definitely anxious to finish the moving process and live in our new coach, but we’re thankful we’re finding these issues before we completely move us and the cats in and have no other place to stay.  It will be a lot more inconvenient when we don’t have the old motor home to keep the cats.

We have to take Squeaky to the vet this morning for a bile acids blood test.  She has to be fasting and she is one pissed off little girl!  I hate starving my baby!  The bright side is that have the cutest little white and black kitten there, that we’ll get to visit!

Our new Magne Shades came in yesterday, so we’ll go to Mom’s to pick them up.  We’re also getting the Progressive Industries voltage and surge protector today.  Mike managed to snag us a brand new power cord and a new shower head, so the only other big thing is a new dash cover and we still need to  make a decision on our extended warranty.

We’re getting there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mattress Wars

Seffner, Florida – Lazy Days

We had our walk through scheduled for yesterday morning at  10 am.  The guy was very knowledgeable and  didn’t rush us.   We took the opportunity to really pick his brain. Even though we’ve had rv’s for years and this is our second motor home, a diesel pusher is a whole new thing.    I don’t remember the PDI on our last motor home being that thorough.  I guess it depends on who you get and whether you know enough to even ask questions.  The last time, we didn’t know what to ask.  This time, we did.

Our friends Terry and Ralph came to visit yesterday to see our new motor home.  Terry and I worked at USAA and we both retired at the same time.  They are enjoying their “new to them” motor home and came to see ours.   Of course, it was a mess, but they got the idea, I think.

After they left, we got short storm.  At this point, we hadn’t made much progress in our move.  The storm only lasted a short time, so we got motivated and eventually got a lot of stuff moved over.  What we are learning is that the old motor home had a lot of storage for a rig that size.  That was one of the main reasons we bought it.   We had a large pantry that was at least 3 feet wide and deep.  It was huge and held a lot. It was nice, but  difficult to find anything.   I sure hope  all that stuff fits in the new one!

By early evening, we started discussing moving the mattresses.  We had been procrastinating, hoping for  inspiration for an easy way to do it.  Al finally came up with a plan.  We used two heavy duty straps that we use to tie the kayaks down.  You can cinch them down and they are very strong.  He started by folding the Monaco mattress in half and cinching it together with the straps.  It made it smaller and easier to handle.  Of course, it still had to go around the corner and out the door.  The ground was wet from the rain so we had to be careful not to drag it on the ground.  This mattress isn’t very thick so we didn’t think it would be much of a problem…and it wasn’t.  It was hard to handle because there was no place to grab hold, but we managed to get it over to the old motor home.

Our biggest challenge was how to get the Bedinabox mattress moved.  We knew it could be folded because it arrived in a pretty small box from the factory.  They warn you to put the mattress where you want it before you unpack it, because once you do, it will grow very quickly!  It is 11 inches thick and pretty solid, so we didn’t think we could just squish it back up…and we were right.  Al did manage, with the help of the kayak straps to cinch it in half.  We tightened the straps as best as we could but it was still too wide to fit through any of the doors.  We got it out of the old motorhome by basically dragging it.  I put down a vinyl table cloth on the wet ground and we just scooted it over.  Next step was getting it up the wicked steps on the new motor home and in the door.  It kept getting stuck.  I was inside trying to pull, Al was outside trying to push and the mattress would get hung up. Finally a neighbor/good Samaritan offered his assistance.   It made a big different to have two men, rather than one man and a “sissy.”  They struggled, but managed to get it inside!  Of course we both had sore backs and muscles…it was a big job.  The mattress sits on a platform, as it did in the other motorhome, but this one is higher.  With the 11 inch thick mattress, it’s 32 inches high.  I would prefer it to be lower, but I am not going to get rid of my mattress.    Oh well, it’s in and its extremely comfortable.

We spent our first night in the new motor home and slept on our own bed.  We brought Squeaky over to acclimate her to the new motor home.  She’s been ill again, so I didn’t want to leave  her alone in the other motor home.  The other kitties had to stay where they were.  Squeaky seemed to like the new place, but had a bit of trouble walking on the tile floor.  She kept slipping.  I had to make a step for her to get on the bed and teach her how to get up and down.  I don’t want her jumping down that far.  I think she’s gotten the idea now.  She was fascinated by all the mirrors.  She kept looking at herself.  I don’t think she’s used to seeing such a cute kitty. Smile

I haven’t forgotten the pictures, but it’s a bit messy now, so once we get things put away pictures will be coming.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Little Progress

Seffner, Florida

Well, we got the old motor home over to the "delivery" area yesterday morning and were finally able to start moving in.

We didn't make a lot of progress though.  By the time we got moved over, we were starving, so we went out and got some lunch.  We didn't make a lot of progress yesterday.

We are still in the "planning" stage on the memory foam mattress move.  It's going to be a job.  Taking the short nap on the other mattress confirmed that we need to exchange them.  It is a better mattress than most I've seen in rv's, and felt pretty good at first.  After a few minutes, we were both feeling those coils and were having back discomfort.  We sure do love our bedinabox!  I just wish it was back in a box so that we could transport it over!

Al worked on his "basement" and I worked "upstairs" organizing.  We can stay here as long as we like, so we're not in any big hurry.  That's sure an improvement over last time, when they gave us one night!

This morning we are having our PDI.  Someone is coming over to show us how to operate everything.  We've figured out most things, but there are a few questions we still have.  This is one complicated machine.  We're still finding new things, we didn't know we had.  Like heated tanks and some kind of feature that you can set to automatically  start the generator is the battery voltage gets too low.  We're wondering if it can also be set as a back up for the air conditioner in case of a power outage.  We always worry about the kitties if the campground should have a power outage.

We fixed a nice roast for dinner last night and had our first meal in the new rig.  We really like the kitchen table set up and we actually ate there.  I don't remember the last time, we ate at a kitchen table in the house or rv.  We always like to watch tv while we eat and in this rig, the table is in  a good spot....and over the tile floor instead of the carpet.

After dinner, we decided to sleep in the old motorhome since our good mattress was still there.  Al went over early and I stayed and watched some of the Jaycee Duggard interview.  Boy, that was a sad thing.  When I finally decided to go back to the old motorhome and go to bed, I  found a big  surprise waiting for me.

On the side of the bed (my side) was a green tree frog!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  Al was sound asleep and I really hated to wake him, but there was no way I could sleep with a frog on my bed!  I quickly vacated the premises and Al went on a frog hunt.  Unfortunately, the frog got away from him and ended up somewhere in the living room.  I debated on where to sleep.  I wasn't too fond of sleeping in the same house as a frog, but my comfy bed was there and also my little sick kitty Squeaky.  I knew she needed her Mama, so I shut the door to the bedroom, stuffed some towels under the door and went to bed.  I'm happy to say I didn't wake up in the middle of the night with a frog sitting on my face!  These green tree frogs are everywhere in Florida, but most people don't see  or notice them.  I'm hypersensitive to frogs, so I always notice them.  How this little guy got inside our motor home, I don't know, because Al has put screens on all the outside vents for the toilet and all the openings on the roof.  He has always done that in the houses as well and it usually keeps them from getting inside. I don't know if maybe the screen tore, or what, but we definitely had a frog inside.  BAD FROG!

I usually don't want to kill frogs and Al always removes them and takes them to a safe, but far away place.  Last night though, I told the kitties to go hunting!   I doubt those fat things did anything but sleep though!  Today, I need to be busy moving, but now I have to watch out for a darn frog!

I am posting this blog on the new Google blogger draft feature, per Rick's instructions.  I normally don't like to post the blog via Google because the line spacing always seems to get messed up.  I don't know if I have something set up wrong, but I never get any spaces between paragraphs on Google.  So if that's the case, you'll know what happened!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

We’re Almost There

We expected to start moving into the new motorhome yesterday, but we had a bit of a delay.

Our prep guy,  Mike finished  all he needed to do, including install new rubber seal gaskets on the living room slide.  Before Mike got our motor home,  been at the chassis department, to fix a noise coming from the front end.  We thought it was because the generator had a loose bolt.  It turned out to be a problem with a front brake.  They repaired that before Mike got it.  Mike got it after they replaced the brake.  He found that the generator was a little loose in it’s cradle, which was also part of the noise we had heard.

Mike, being the thorough guy that he is, wanted to take it for a drive before releasing it, to double check the noise was gone.  He allowed us to ride along with him.  Unfortunately, the noise was still there, plus some squeaking/rubbing type noise coming from the overhead tv.

This occurred about 2pm.  We weren’t thinking we would be getting delivery at that point, so we headed over to Cracker Barrel for an early dinner.

Mike wasn’t sure if the problem was still from the generator, or something more serious that would require it go to go back to the chassis department.  He and a few co-workers checked it out and decided he would be able to fix it,  and the generator rack just needed some adjustments.  We trust Mike completely, so we are comfortable with his decision. 

Sometime around 4pm, Mike finished up and the coach went to the clean up detail.  That is normally a 2 hour job, so we sure didn’t think it would go over to “delivery” at that time of day on a Saturday afternoon.

However, after clean up, they did get it to our delivery site.  They backed it in, plugged it in and put out the slides.  We were ready to start moving.  Unfortunately, since it was about 7pm,  Al and I didn’t feel like dragging the old motorhome over there.  No problem, we could stay at the campground.  Yes, Lazy Days is easy to get along with.  We were surprised how busy the deliver area was.  It was nearly full.  You would never know there was a problem with the economy if you never left the ground of Lazy Days.  The service bays and delivery sites are almost completely full.  There are customers running around all over the place and tons of rv’s coming and going.  Lazy Days is certainly doing its part to help the Tampa economy.

By the way, one of the two driving instructors is on his way to new Lazy Days of Tucson.  He is going to offer the Drivers Confidence courses there.  He was trained by Barney and is every bit as good.  He will be there in a little over a week.  He and his wife were neighbors here at the campground, and they pulled out yesterday morning, on their way to Tucson.  He said there is a big Rally scheduled there with 350 rv’s scheduled.  Normally they charge a fee for the class if you are not a previous Lazy Days customer, but I’m wondering if they might waive that fee for the new facility?  Worth checking into, if you’re in the area.  The class is worthwhile, even for experienced motor home drivers.

So after the coach got all set up, we decided to take a glass of wine over and spend the evening watching a movie in our new home.  We tested the new satellite dish.  We pushed a button and it immediately started looking for a satellite.  Unfortunately, it was looking in the wrong direction and upside down!  We were a bit worried, at first, but after a few minutes, it finally started looking in the right direction and we got a signal.  That is going to be so nice after years of manually setting up a dish and then hunting for a good signal. 

We rented the dvd Sanctum, from the Redbox and watched it at the new motor home.  The surround sound system sounds so good that at one point I had to get up and make sure we didn’t have a leak.  The movie was set inside a cave and in one scene, there was dripping water.  It sounded like it was dripping right behind us.  I thought it was the movie, but couldn’t rest until I checked (twice), to make sure the coach wasn’t leaking.  It was a good movie, full of action and never boring.  They were cave divers exploring a huge underwater cave.  We would recommend the movie.  Lots of excitement.

We finally called it a night and went home to the old motor home.  We could have stayed there, but I didn’t want to make the bed because we are going to exchange mattresses today and I didn’t want to have to make it twice.

We’re intend to move our 11 inch thick memory foam mattress over to the new motorhome and that mattress to this one.  We just aren’t sure exactly how to do that.  The memory foam mattress came from Bed in a Box, and it actually came compressed into a pretty small box.  We are thinking maybe we can fold it up and strap it closed with our kayak straps.  It is going to be a problem, but we really want to keep our new mattress.  The one in the new motorhome, is really a pretty nice mattress, but we love our Bed in a Box  mattress!  I think we should be able to get it moved…one way or the other!

So, I guess I’ve had enough coffee.  It’s time to start moving!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Please Send an Ark

Seffner, Florida

There’s a tropical weather system hanging over central Florida, and bringing lots of rain.  It hasn’t rained constantly, but when it does, it  comes down in buckets.  Thank goodness we haven’t got any leaks!  Both of our neighbors have been up on their roofs fixing leaky roofs.  One is a motor home that is a year and a half old with leaks around their satellite dome.  He was up on the roof during a really bad part of the storm today, putting a blue tarp over the dome.  Poor guy.  I hope he got it fixed.  We’re telling everyone we know about the wonders of  Eternabond.    It’s a miracle tape that can be applied to wet surfaces and I think even under water.  We put it on all the openings on the roof of the current motor home roof, and intend to put it on the new one as well.

Tomorrow is moving day!  The new batteries and toilet have been installed.   Mike has a few more things to do tomorrow, but he assures us he will be finished.  He’s a young guy and sometimes they aren’t as conscientious as they should be, but this guy is doing a great job.  Once he finishes up, it goes over to the cleaning crew.  It’s pretty amazing watching those people.  They have an inside crew and and outside crew all working like crazy.  It has some water spots on the paint from the sprinkler system, so we want to make sure they get those removed.  It may be difficult to do between the rain!

We’re excited and can’t wait to finally move in!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Patiently Waiting

Seffner, Florida

We’re still at the Lazy Days campground waiting for our new motorhome to be ready.  We’re anxious to start moving into the new one, but we want them to fix everything wrong before we do.  We do have 30 days warranty (from the day we drive off the premises), but with the kitties, it is too difficult to bring it back in for service.  So we are being patient.  The more we look around, the more little things we find….like a mirror tile in the kitchen backsplash that was loose. Didn’t see if the first 20 times we looked!    Mike, our Prep guy is very thorough and meticulous, and we feel lucky to have him.  We’re not complaining.

We are going to buy an extended warranty before we leave.  We are still researching them because they are pricey.  We normally do not buy extended warranties on other purchases like tv’s, computers or cars.  However, with a motor home, and especially a diesel pusher, there are so many expensive things that can go wrong, we’re going with the peace of mind and buy one.   If anyone has any suggestions, please let us know.  Lazy Days offers one, but it’s a lot more expensive than the others we’ve seen.  It’s a good policy though and I’m sure they are a good company or Lazy Days wouldn’t recommend them.

We ended up choosing National Interstate for the insurance on the motorhome.  They specialize in rv’s.  At Lazy Days, they have an insurance department (of course)  with a licensed agent who is familiar with rv’s.  He offered to get us some quotes and one of his was cheaper than what we had previously found…with better coverage.  He wrote and bound the coverage right then and there.   It’s an  “A” rated company…an important thing to know.    The annual cost was $1475 which included full-timers liability coverage,  emergency vacation expense, purchase price guarantee and replacement cost personal effects coverage of $20,000.

We have used Gilbert Rv Insurance Agency based out of Orlando, for the last motorhome.  They gave me a few quotes, one of which was with Progressive….for over $4000!   They also quoted us one for $1686 with 1000 comp and collision deductibles and a lower amount for personal effects coverage.

Personal effects coverage is important and we wanted to make sure we have adequate coverage.    We chose the $20,000 coverage, for $99 annually.  I think that will be enough, but we can always raise it if we go over everything and find it’s not enough. 

Another coverage important to us is the “purchase price guarantee’.  In the event of a total loss this coverage will give you the amount you paid for your coach.  Since rv’s are depreciating objects, we felt it was an important coverage to have, and we also had it on our previous coach.  It’s costing us $73 annually.

Now, if we would only have an rv to move into. Smile

Mike, our prep guy called in sick yesterday, and it turns out he has a back up for when he is out, but the back up also called in sick!   They managed to find another guy to work on some of the little things.  He re-glued a mirror tile on the kitchen back splash and fixed the broken day/night shade. I think he may have changed the oil, but we’re not sure. 

I don’t believe our first motorhome (from Lazy Days also) was gone over this thoroughly.  Of course we bought it in February which is their busy season.  Lesson learned, buy in the summer.  When we bought the first motorhome, there were a few things that we eventually realized weren’t right from the beginning, but at first we thought  it was just us not knowing how they worked.  These are complicated machines.

Anyway, Mike has done a wonderful job of installing our new satellite system and the new Blu-ray player.  The surround sound works great and there is even a subwoofer that really gets your attention!  He wired the front tv so that we can watch one show and tivo another (we couldn’t do that before) and that will be a great feature.  During football season, I frequently miss a favorite program due to football.

Today if he is not still sick,  he intends to tackle the toilet.  He isn’t sure if he can get the parts for the old toilet and if not he will get us a new one.  After looking at the Camping World Catalog, I think I prefer the old toilet.  It’s a $799 toilet and the others are much cheaper.

The other day,  I noticed a small gap in the grout on the counter in the kitchen.  To me, it just looked like it needed re-grouting.  When I pointed it out to Mike, he checked and said the counter needed to be adjusted.  He hadn’t noticed that before.   It is going to be a much bigger job than just re-grouting.  These are the benefits of being patient…we’re finding things we wouldn’t have found.  We are anxious to get into the new motorhome though, but we’re being patient.

We checked this motorhome out pretty well before we decided on it, but, we were more concerned with the big things, like engine, chassis, batteries and tires.  We knew that Lazy Days would fix any of the minor things, so we didn’t pay as much attention to those things.  To me, that is the big advantage of buying from a reputable dealer over an individual.  These small things are important though and I’m glad we’re finding them and they are being fixed. 

When  we leave, it will be with 6 brand new tires, 6 brand new batteries, an oil change, a freshly lubed chassis, brakes that have been checked out, a new automatic satellite and Blu-Ray player.  When we will leave, I just don’t know!  Now there is a tropical depression in the gulf and we are expecting lots of rain….probably will be just in time for us to move!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Accessories, Still Waiting

Seffner, Florida

We’re still at Lazy Days waiting for the motor home to be moved to the delivery area so that we can move in.

We are trying to get some of the must have accessories that will be needed.

One of the most important things to us is the front windshield sunscreen.  We have one on the old motorhome and have loved it.  You can see out, but no one can see in. and it blocks heat and stops the sun from fading everything.

The one we have now is made by Prompt Rv Sunscreens.  We have been happy with it.  It does not attach with any kind of snaps.  You just place it up against the front windshield on the outside.  The systems that use snaps are too troublesome for us.  There are 2 straps that hook onto the driver and passenger window.   It’s attaches in about 15 seconds.  We’ve had it for about 5 years and it still looks good.

With the new diesel motorhome, the side windows are different because one is a door.  You can’t use the straps to hook the screen into place.  We’re lazy and didn’t want one that had to be snapped on.  That’s too much trouble and takes too long.

I’ve seen some from another company and we decided to go with them.  They are  called Magne Shades, and attach to your windows by strong magnets.  We’re placed the order Friday from a company based in North Carolina.  It’s a small family owned business.   We’re getting a screen for the front, and side windows, as well as wiper covers.  They aren’t cheap, but they sure help keep out the heat and give you lots of privacy.  You know how rv people are…..nosy. SmileTheir business is so successful and it’s a family run business, so they have had a 4 week back log all year.  It’s nice to hear of a success story in these economic times.  Of course Lazy Days seems to be doing quite well as well.  The service bays are at least 3/4 full and people are running around all over the place.  No signs of a bad economy around here.

We did not get to move into our new to us motorhome on Saturday and we’re fine with it. Since Monday is a holiday, we’re not expecting to move in until the end of next week.

When they told us  on Thursday, that the intended move-in date was to be Saturday, we were surprised…and skeptical.  We knew our pre-delivery guy, Mike had a list of things that we wanted done, including install the 2 tv’s and our new satellite dish, fix a gap in the screen door, and replace the damaged rubber slide gasket.  What we didn’t know is that Mike had his own list and it was growing as he went through everything.

It turns out that before an rv is delivered to it’s new owners, it is assigned to a person who is to go over each and every system, light, compartment, and everything on the coach.  Anything that isn’t working, unless it’s cosmetic, is fixed.   They won’t replace a piece of furniture or carpet that is a bit dirty,  but if it’s worn out they will.  We have a brand new leather recliner in ours because the old one was worn out.   Mike is very meticulous and thorough.  He checked each switch and found some that were supposed to light and didn’t.  He found out the “automatic” toilet didn’t work properly or hold water.  Those are the kinds of things that are difficult to check ahead of time.  We knew Lazy Days would fix anything like that, so we didn’t get too crazy finding the small things.  (although a malfunctioning toilet isn’t really small, is it?)

So on Friday the service advisor Dana called in a bit of a panic, saying she was worried they weren’t going to make their target delivery date of Saturday.  This was no surprise to us.  Remember though, that we have already paid for this coach, so the fact they were worried, made us feel like they still cared!  We would never have paid for something this expensive before we took delivery, at any other place.  We knew that Lazy Days would do the right thing, so we agreed to help them meet their sales goal, and in return we did get some bennies.

We met with Dana at the coach and Mike showed us the list of things he found that needed to be fixed.  He had 4 pages, but said that was pretty normal, and he frequently has 8 pages.  Many of these things were things we would have never found and mainly just small things, but he takes his job seriously.  We assured him and Dana that we were fine with waiting, and they should take as long as they need.  We want everything to be in working order and would happily wait…..as long as they keep giving us free space in their campground and feeding us twice a day, why not. Smile  I guess most people wouldn’t be in our situation, but since this is our “home” town and we have no where we have to be, it’s saving us money and we know the coach will be right.

Later that day, we went back to the coach and visited with Mike again.  It turned out the coach came with a dvd player and Mike found out that it wasn’t working, so we were getting a brand new Sony Blu-Ray player!  Okay Mike, keep looking! 

He got the tv’s both mounted and our new 32 inch Panasonic looks very nice.  We even rented a BluRay movie and watched part of it before our friends Rhonda and William came to visit.  Once the service center closes for the day, we are free to use the motorhome. Of course it’s in a service bay and not a nice campsite.  Rhonda wanted to come see it, so they came and had some some wine and a few beers and visited with them a while before returning to the old motorhome. 

We’re going to have to feed ourselves today and tomorrow.  The free breakfast and lunch Lazy Days provides doesn’t include Sundays or holidays, so we’ll be on our own.  I might even have to cook!

We have laundry to do this morning, then over to Rhonda and Williams, then to Mom’s house to visit with her later today.  We’re sitting outside on the patio right now watching the pair of Sandhill Cranes that live here.

Friday, July 01, 2011

It’s Official

Seffner, Florida – Lazy Days Rv

Whew, what a day!

We were up early (don’t want to miss that free breakfast).  It’s only served from 8 until 9am, and Al is afraid he’s going to miss it.  Yeah right!  Al miss a meal?  Hardly!

Afterwards we went to the Convection oven class.  About 5 minutes into what I thought was an hour,  or hour and a half class, I realized it wasn’t going to be worth my time and I was squirming and trying to figure out how I could make a graceful exit. 

The “teacher” was the chef at the neat new restaurant they have opened at the campground.  The outside of it looks like a Class A motorhome.  He handed us the manual from a convection oven and proceeded to read the manual to us.

He kept calling it a microwave and explained how you use a microwave.   Hello, I already know that!

What he didn’t explain and I wondered was how can you use this thing as a microwave if there are metal walls in it and a metal rack?  If I put metal in my microwave, it will spark and catch fire.  He also didn’t tell us how to use the convection features.  Since this will be the only oven I have in our new coach, I really wanted to know how it worked.

The class was so boring and we had so much to do that we were both very unhappy to be sitting there wasting our valuable time.  Not long after the class began,  I started to read some blogs from my phone, and Al took a cue from me and opened his iPad.  I know it’s rude, but by this time I was ticked off that he was wasting my time,  and he was completely unprepared. 

He finally realized he was over his head and cut the class short.  Thank goodness!  The only thing I got out of the class were 2 very fine chocolate chip cookies.  It was a far cry from the excellent “Drivers Confidence Class” we had attended the day before.

Lazy Days had some big end of the month push going, where they were trying to reach a sales goal.  I think it was 380 units for the month.  Hard to believe our economy is bad when you’re around this place!  This place is jumping!

Our new motorhome was not going to be ready by yesterday, but they asked if we could possibly  “do the paperwork” (pay) by the end of the day and take delivery on Saturday.  Of course we will need a few more free nights in the campground. Smile

Normally with any other car or rv dealer we would not have given that any consideration whatsoever.  However, we have had a previous good experience with them and know them to be reputable, so we said we could consider it if…… (it’s nice to have some power) 

We ended up getting a free installation of our satellite dish, plus set up and mounting 2 tv’s and Tivo boxes. 

Al had been concerned about the batteries and made it known he wanted them all replaced.  We were told if they didn’t test good, they would be replaced.  It turned out they tested  okay,  and they were not going to replace them.  However, after a little nudging and so that we could “help them reach their end of the month goal,”  they decided to replace all 6 batteries.  Smile

We feel pretty good that we will have brand new batteries.  They had already put 6 brand new tires  on the coach, so we’re covered there for a few years.  Yes, we did check the DOT “born on” date on the tires, so we know they are new.

I took a few minutes to get our new insurance arranged, but decided to keep the insurance on the old motorhome until we actually have moved out.  You normally have automatic coverage (sometimes only for 14 days) on “newly acquired” vehicles, but we would have to be canceling the old policy since we were going to be writing a new policy in a different state, it would not have applied.  Once we closed the deal on the new motorhome, Lazy Days officially owns our old one….but all of our stuff is in it, so we’re keeping the coverage a bit longer.

Anyway, by 6pm, we “did the deed” and purchased the new to us motorhome.  We felt a bit shell-shocked after we left, but when we went to visit our new home, we felt better.  Things were progressing there, but we aren’t going to hurry them.  We want things done right and as long as we get free days in the campground, we’re okay.

Yep, it’s official.  We are the proud owners of a 40 foot Monaco Windsor, diesel pusher!   

Unfortunately our new baby is still living in the pre delivery bay, so it was back home to the old one.

Hopefully all will be completed Saturday and we can start moving in.  They park your rv’s door to door in their “move in” area to make it easier to transfer items from one to the other.  Normally they give you one night, but we’ve already made arrangements for as long as we need.  There is electricity, but no water or sewer, so we won’t be there too long.  I think this will be a good time to do an inventory of our belongings and document it all for insurance purposes in the event of a total loss.  I estimated $15,000 in personal property that we have, but I really don’t know.  It might very well be higher.  Have you all checked the amount you carry? Remember, the actual rv is separate from the “contents.”  I believe the standard is $3000 contents coverage.  You can increase that amount for minimal premium increase, and I recommend everyone carry higher limits.  If you have a total loss (fire) and have to replace everything that didn’t come with the motorhome, what would it cost you?  Things like toothbrushes, make up, underwear, shampoo, dish detergent, socks, shoes, coats, sweaters, shorts, pants, swim suits, robes, canned food, spices, refrigerated foods, dvd players, Dvr’s, computer, cd’s, dvd’s, gps, iPad, canoe or kayaks, ladders, tools, bedding…..and the list goes on.  Do you have adequate coverage?  Could you remember what you had, or prove it in the event of a fire?  Remember, it is your duty to prove your claim.  (this is the insurance adjuster in me talking now).