Love That Jello

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
May 042012

Fulltime RVers always say that our plans are written in Jello. That’s because we know life happens and you have to be flexible and take what comes as it comes.

We love that Jello feeling, because it sure has helped us this week. We originally thought we would only be here at Redlands Truck & RV Performance Center for one day getting our new PacBrake installed. However, we’ve been around the RV world long enough to know that things don’t always turn out that way.

The guys here at Redlands ran into a couple of snags and by the end of the day Wednesday the job still wasn’t done. So Keith Shomaker, the head honcho here, arranged for us to stay another night at the nearby Mission RV Park. Yesterday morning we were up early and back here at the shop, and they got right to work. When they finally had the new exhaust brake installed and tweaked, the increased back pressure caused the exhaust manifold gasket to fail, creating a nasty exhaust leak. Worse than the original exhaust leak we came in with. That wasn’t totally unexpected, more than once we have seen a new component cause an older component to fail. After all, our rig is 10 years old, and things happen. And since we have total confidence in Redlands, what better place to be when something does go wrong?

So they got the new exhaust manifold gasket installed, and then I added another task to their To Do list, when I commented on an air leak towards the rear of the coach. Investigation showed that it was the ride height adjusters, which needed replaced. Again, what better place to be to have it done? Of course, more work takes more time. So at quitting time yesterday there were still some things left to do. I told Keith that rather than driving back to Mission RV Park, we’d be perfectly happy to stay right here inside the fenced in yard.

So that’s where we spent the night! They kept the guard dogs locked up overnight, gave us a key so we could come and go as we wanted to, plugged us into 50 amp electric, and life was good. Hopefully today we will get things finished up and be back on the road. But if not, what the heck? We take our house with us everywhere we go, so we’re home!

While the Redlands guys were hard at work on our coach yesterday we paid a visit to the Lincoln Memorial Shrine here in Redlands. Though Abraham Lincoln never visited California, the state’s gold helped to finance the Civil War. The shrine includes a small museum, research library, and archives dedicated to President Lincoln and the Civil War.



Bruce Smith, the volunteer docent on duty during our visit, is one of the most knowledgeable and professional docents at any museum we have ever met. Since we were the only people there at the time, he gave us a personal tour and spent a lot of time explaining the history of the shrine, and events that led up to the Civil War. Miss Terry is always crazy about a man in uniform, and here she is with Bruce.


Besides being a volunteer docent, Bruce is involved in Civil War reenactments as part of a mounted cavalry unit. He told us his unit hopes to go back to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania next year to participate in a major reenactment there. That’s something I’d like to see! We’ll have a feature story on the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in the next issue of the Gypsy Journal.

I was very pleased yesterday when my pal “Froggi” Donna McNicol sent me a link to the latest Kindle Review Top 100 Indie Authors list, where I was listed as #43. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support of all of you who have purchased Big Lake and Big Lake Lynching. left reviews on Amazon, and told your friends and family about my books. You all make me feel very special.

Thought For The Day – If we can’t have capital punishment for stupidity, can we at least take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Love That Jello”

  1. Ever read “The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart”? Sometimes delays save us from bad or worse things. Sounds like you are staying busy and happy anyway. And surely the shop appreciates your efforts to support the economy there!

  2. Congratulations on your success with your books. I post on a number of non-RV related sites and whenever anyone asks a question about self-publishing, I always tell them about you and give them a link to your self-publishing site. People are always super appreciative of the link. There seems to be a big market right now for information about self-publishing.

    I had an idea for a non-fiction book for you. One thing I like about your travel style is that when you and Terry are on the road, you don’t simply drive from point A to point B each day, but occasionally make stops at restaurants or museums or other RV-friendly attractions. I think a lot of RVers are afraid to try to plan a stop into their travel day for fear that they will find themselves in a bad parking or driving situation. It would be great to have a guidebook that would give information along certain routes about the restaurants or attractions that are big-rig friendly. You already have a lot of information in your blog about the stops you have made so it would just be a matter of organizing it into book form.

    My husband and I have a Class B that we are getting ready to sell when we buy our A for fulltiming. ( House is on the market, just waiting for a buyer. Yay!) One thing we have said repeatedly is that we will miss our travel style in the B. We love the journey part of the roadtrip and with a B we are able to make spontaneous stops at restaurants, museums and other attractions on our cross-country travels. We’re going to be nervous about the bigger rig for awhile and I’m going to miss being able to just take any exit or spontaneously stop when I see a billboard for some whacky attraction up ahead. Some of our favorite roadtrip experiences came from unplanned stops we made on travel days. Some of these stops would have been okay for big rigs but some would be a nightmare. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you write this book, I will be your first customer, for sure! It is my only reservation about going fulltime. I don’t want to give up the fun of the journey and be one of those fulltimers who talks about their “travel days” as if it were just a ” moving day.” That’s one thing I’ve always loved about your travel style.

  3. Food for thought (no pun intended).Let me think on that for a while Pam

  4. Sure thing, Nick. I know you have a lot on your plate already and I’m sure, too, that you get a lot of “helpful” suggestions about what you should write next. I’m so excited about this idea that I had to delete about three paragraphs before hitting “post.” If you ever decide you want to do something like this, I’d be happy to share a few other ideas I had about it. I didn’t want to write too much for now in case you weren’t interested.

    My favorite part of your website has always been your travel days. You and Terry really are about the only fulltimers who actually make some pretty cool stops on your long travel days. I already plan to check your archives when we go fulltiming so we can see if you’ve taken whatever route we are taking and where you ate or stopped along the way. Our travel motto has always been, “the journey is the destination” and I want to try to keep that travel style up as much as possible when we go fulltime. I think you can still be spontaneous in a big rig but at first it might have to be a kind of “planned spontaneity.” Now there’s an oxymoron for you!

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