The RV Road Trip Blog - November 2010

Nov
1
2010
We spent the last 3 nights in the camper and found a few more minor issues so we stopped back by the dealer this morning. The tech, Lee, fixed them all in short order. He has been very helpful to us and is someone who genuinely cares about his customers. I sure hope his bosses know what a good employee they have in him and are paying him accordingly.

We arrived this afternoon back at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin. We had a nice couple who follow us online stop by for a visit. They decided they didn't want to be famous so we don't have a picture of them to post. Who knows, maybe they already had their 15 minutes of fame - LOL.

When we got to the campground today, as we were sliding out the slide we heard a pop! It skipped a gear on one side so it went out crooked. Imagine that, a slide problem already! Grrrrr!! We called Lee at Fun Town RV and asked him what to do. He told me how to re-align it and I did. It is now fully extended and it appears to be straight, we'll know for sure tomorrow when we bring it in. If not, I will have to either adjust it (if I can) or take it to a dealer. Needless to say, tonight I am not a happy camper. It is late and I am tired so I'll post some more info tomorrow and catch up on the pictures. It has been a busy week!
Nov
2
2010
Did you vote today? I sure hope so. Enough politics... on to camping and camper stuff! The slide is still messed up. We were able to get it in then we headed BACK to Cleburne, Texas to the dealership and they are now working on it. They put us up in the La Quinta Inn next door so we got to take a tub bath (Woohoo!) and an extra, extra, extra long shower. We are so used to a 6 gallon shower - LOL.

Needless to say, at this point we are quite upset after having the camper 4 days and it is already in the shop. So far we are still pleased with the dealership but our patience is wearing mighty thin. Hopefully, they can fix it permanently tomorrow or put us in a different camper altogether.

Here's a picture we took of the camper at Kimball Bend COE Park. Not the greatest shot but we were trying to include the big back window in the shot. The following picture is one of Jerry at a rest area, a really fancy rest area with koi ponds, playgrounds and lots of other amenities. Texas does rest areas right. :)

2011 Gulf Stream Kingsport 288RLS

Jerry at the rest area.

The Kimball Bend Park is located amongst the ghost ruins of what used to be Kimball, Texas. This is also part of the Chisholm Trail. We took a few other pictures while we were there and posted them in the gallery. We're still catching up on the site as we have been running to and fro lately. We also haven't had much internet access. Good thing La Quinta has free Wi-Fi... and breakfast!

Oh yeah, while we were at McKinney Falls State Park, we visited the lower falls. The river was very low so it wasn't that impressive but we took a picture anyway. Here it is... but we have no idea who all those people are.

McKinney Falls State Park

Well, it is getting late so off to bed we go. We'll let you know how things go with the new camper. Zzzzzz...
Nov
3
2010
I went over to Fun Town RV this morning to check on the camper while Cynthia stayed at the motel. It is not looking good. The techs are scratching their heads as to why the slide won't go in and out properly. I spoke to the Sales Manager and while he was very nice, he did not tell me what I wanted to hear.

He says that Gulf Stream will warranty it and they will dictate to him how to solve the problem. If I was near home and not actually using the camper, this might not be so bad... but we are camping in it and have nowhere else to go. The way I see it, I bought a defective camper. I either want it fixed ASAP or I want another camper. It would be one thing if I had the camper for a month or longer, but I have had this one FOUR DAYS! If Fun Town RV can't take care of this to my satisfaction, it will certainly change my opinion of them.

I guess I will need to title this thing in Texas in case I need to use their lemon law.
Nov
5
2010
Well, good news today! They were able to fix the new camper and it turns out it wasn't that big of a deal. The techs there at Fun Town RV worked diligently until they found the solution. Now the management, well... they kept trying to get us to take an inferior (in our opinion) camper if they couldn't fix ours. I was getting pretty annoyed at that but thank the Lord, it all worked out.

We spent last night in Lake Casa Blanca State Park in Laredo, Texas. We'll leave here this morning and drive on into Mission where we will spend the winter. We are so wanting to be able to put things in their proper place, right now everything is just put where it fits. We'll post some more tonight once we get setup...

OK, we're all set up at Mission Bell RV Resort in Mission, Texas. We're in site 144 and we'll be right here until April 16th, 2011. This is where we'll be workamping for the winter season. Anyway, back to the recent events. Here's a few shots of the campground last night, one of the lake and one of our camper.

Lake Casa Blanca

Site 119

This morning we got up and drove in to Mission. Highway 83 coming in to the RGV is fairly busy and there is a lot more here than I anticipated. There certainly isn't any shortage of RV parks! We arrived at our park and they took us to our site and I got this long, long trailer backed into the site just fine. We leveled up and slid that slide out without a problem. I fixed the flats on our bikes that we picked up at Falcon State Park and we toured the park. There is a range of everything from park models to Class A motorhomes. This is a 55+ park so everyone thinks we look really good for our age.

We'll take some pictures tomorrow of the site and park and we'll get them online.
Nov
7
2010
Woohoo! Doing mods again! I pulled the analog Coleman Mach thermostat off the wall and replaced it with a Hunter 42999 Digital thermostat. To see how I did it, click here. Next on the list is to add a 110v outlet that bypasses the camper electrical system and plugs directly into the pedestal. This is where Cynthia will plug in her toaster oven and any other high amp appliances. After that will be additional shelving in the bathroom. Let me get going on that and I will post some pictures when I get it done. And no, I haven't forgotten about getting some pictures of the park here. :)

1 hour later... I have finished installing and wiring the new outlet while Cynthia was at the pool, and when I opened the power box at the pedestal to plug it in, there is no 20A outlet! The only plug in the box is the 30A plug so I guess we will get to use the new outlet next April. At least we'll get to use the 3 new bathroom shelves right away.
Nov
9
2010
This camper is nice and has a lot of upgraded features, but it also lacks features. Sure, the cabinet drawers have metal rails and the doors all have brushed nickel handles, but there is no wiring for a satellite dish! I picked up a roll of RG6 coax and will run a line for the satellite since the signal won't pass through the Winegard booster.

As of today, the list of mods to do consists of:
  • Install the Progressive 30A EMS /Surge Protector
  • Build a mount for the Blue Boy under the camper frame
  • Build a ladder mount under the camper frame
  • Install the Propane Level Indicator Light
  • Install the solar panels and controller
  • Seal the camper against critters
  • Anything else I think of along the way...

We took some pictures yesterday in the park and nearby. Here's one of us near the park office as well as a picture of our site.

Jerry & Cynthia

Site 144 at Mission Bell RV Resort

We took a ride to near the border yesterday to visit a local park (on the American side). However, when we got there it was closed. The park was damaged from flooding and they were in the process of cleaning it up. We stopped and chatted with some Border Patrol agents and they directed us down the levee to La Lomita Park. There is a little open air church here that has been here since 1899. We went in and it was very basic but in good shape. It was a Catholic church with an altar, candles and statues of Mary all over. I think they forgot who the focus should be on. Anyway, here's a shot of the church from the outside.

La Lomita Church

While leaving the church, we crossed the levee and came across a huge cabbage patch. We didn't see any kids but we did take a picture anyway. :) Based on the colors, we think there were 2 different kinds of cabbage. One type was green and the other was more of a purple color.

Cabbage Patch

Cynthia started her workamping duties today. She'll be working in the front office and once she gets back, I'll update the site with more info on what all she will be doing. As for me, I have no duties other than making sure the hot tub is hot, the pool is cool and the pool tables get used. :)
Nov
10
2010
There sure is plenty to do in this park! Today at noon we had a big hamburger lunch and about 80 people showed up. It was tasty and good conversation. The other night we played bingo but of course I didn't win... I didn't even come close!

This morning I spent several hours caulking the camper exterior. All the places the manufacturer should have caulked but didn't. Around the windows, entry doors, storage doors, under the camper where wires pass through the floor, etc. All to keep our water and critters. I still haven't installed the solar yet, I need a tube of Dicor on hand before I start that. I also need to measure for new wires from the panels to controller and from the controller to the batteries. I can get the wire at Lowe's and the Dicor from the Camping World just down the street.

Cynthia worked all day in the office. She is learning the Campground Master program and how they do things here at the park. Easy indoor job and she enjoys doing it, and we get a free site in exchange. I tested the hot tub yesterday, it works just fine. :)
Nov
15
2010
Finally. I got the solar panels installed on the roof of the new camper. 24 new holes in the roof thanks to the anchoring screws but that's OK... I also used a whole tube of Dicor to seal it all off. So the chance of any leaks around the feet of the panels is about .00001%. Next, I need to measure the distances and buy the 6 AWG wire needed to run from the panels to the controller. I know some of you will say I can use 10 AWG wire. You go ahead and use 10 AWG, I will use 6 AWG so I will have almost no voltage drop. :)

While out the other day, we stopped for lunch at a place called Taco Palenque. They're all over the place and are always crowded so we figured it must be good. It is! Authentic Mexican food at a fast food pace but a little more expensive than we like so we probably won't go back. While we were eating, a Mariachi band walked up and started playing. It was OK but I didn't understand a word they were saying. There were 4 members in the band but they stood too far apart to get just one shot. The man sitting down is just another customer.

Mariachi Band

Mariachi Band

We just got back from the Monday Night Pot Luck dinner. It was good but I ate too much. Well, I ate too much pie. Peach pie with whipped cream on top... I had 2 slices! I'm stuffed and now and I am sleepy. Headed to the shower then to bed...
Nov
16
2010
We're sorry to have to do it, but we added a reCaptcha requirement in order to submit a comment. We know it is an extra step but we were getting tons of spam messages every day so we knew it was a bot doing it. Thankfully, the filter and IP banning script we wrote was preventing any of you from seeing it. With the new reCaptcha requirement, the form cannot even be submitted unless it is filled in correctly. If you get one you can't read, you can hit the little refresh icon and get a new one.

Cynthia is full swing into workamping. Her duties are handling the coming and going of park residents, visitors, etc. She takes payments for the sites, electricity bills and so forth. She also runs errands in the park but she gets to use the golf carts for that. I think she likes it because she turns her hat backwards and makes "vroom" noises while driving it. OK, not really but it sure sounded good. This past week she worked an open house where they offered park models for sale and/or rent. She stays busy the 3 days she works but enjoys the 4 days off.

Tonight we're headed over to the hot tub, but that's all we have to say about that.
Nov
21
2010
I am finally going to Mexico. Cynthia won't be going as she has to workamp that day, but I will be sure to take some pictures and tell you all about it. I'll be going to the poor side of Reynosa to do ministry work with another group. I have been working on my Spanish and although I have a very long way to go, I am making progress.

My wheelchair finally arrived! I spent about an hour setting it up and making some comfort adjustments plus I put on the lifting point attachments. I took it to the Home Depot for a test run and it worked great. As big as Home Depot is, it made it easy for me to casually shop the whole store. Afterwards, I took it to the mall and gave it a spin there. It sure was nice to be able to go the distance and not have to keep looking for a place to sit down and rest.

Cynthia and I went to downtown McAllen where the shopping district is. That was really cool. Although many of the stores are too crowded for the chair, Cynthia would go in and browse around. I did learn 2 important things about this wheelchair... it is much faster than they advertise and those wheelie bars are there for a reason! I had the speed cranked up and pushed the control forward and that thing reared up and took off. I was in the grocery store and opened it up on one aisle and a worker started laughing and said to me "Dang, that thing is fast!".

I have also discovered that it is hard to live life from a wheelchair. Many places have limited access, everything is set at a height for a normal standing person and you have to look up to everything and everyone. That's something I will gladly endure to have the new mobility I have now. But I certainly have a new outlook on people who must be in a wheelchair all the time. I'm very thankful I can still walk short distances.

More pictures have been added to the gallery so check them out. They are in the Mission Bell RV Resort slide show. Here's one of Cynthia using her laptop. The internet is serious business - LOL.

Cynthia
Nov
30
2010
We hope that everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Sorry for the lack of updates this past week but things have been a little hectic for us. They have finally settled down and the site updates will soon flow freely again. Unfortunately, it is late tonight so it will be tomorrow before we can get the pictures uploaded and the details posted. So we will see you all in December! You know December is tomorrow, right? :)


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