You all know what that is, right? That’s all the misinformation, innuendo, and BS that anybody associated with politics and the media puts out these days. Well, apparently I’m just as guilty as the rest of them. But in my defense, I really couldn’t help it. After all, besides publishing the Gypsy Journal for the last 18 years, before that I spent most of my working life running small town newspapers. I guess it’s in my blood.
I was spreading fake news in yesterday’s blog when I said that Thursday night was our last night in the motorhome, and that we would be back home in Edgewater, Florida yesterday afternoon. Really, that was the game plan. But you know that Plan A and B and C I am always telling you about? Apparently fate had a Plan B for us. And it wasn’t one we enjoyed!
We were up bright and early yesterday morning and left Eagle’s Landing RV Park in Holt, Florida before 8:30. That may be a new record for us. There was quite a bit of traffic on Interstate 10, but we rolled right along making very good time. Starting out, I had told Miss Terry that we would probably be home by 6 PM, but we were doing so well that according to my GPS we would be there a little before 5. That’s even better!
And then, exactly 150 miles from our front door, according to the GPS, the excrement hit the oscillating device. Suddenly buzzers and warning lights were going off, and when I looked at the Winnebago’s dashboard I could see the heat gauge pegging itself. The Shutdown Engine Light came on and I managed to ease it onto the very narrow shoulder of the highway and turn off the engine.
Walking back to the rear of the motorhome, Terry said she could smell coolant. I couldn’t, but I have very little sense of smell. I opened the engine cover and we immediately saw the problem, a broken serpentine belt. That’s not a good thing!
I called CoachNet and told them where we were and that we needed a tow truck, and I have to say that unlike our experience this past Sunday when we spent 12 hours stranded alongside the highway waiting for them to send help, this time they were very eager to do whatever it took to get us safely off the road. The person on the phone took our information and said she would get back to me ASAP, and she did. They dispatched a tow truck from Jacksonville and said he would get there as soon as possible and tow us into a repair shop. Then the tow company called with an estimated time of arrival.
It was 2:30 when I called CoachNet, and it seemed like every half hour or so they called me back with an update and to check on us. I sure wish we would have gotten that kind of service on Sunday! The towing company called and said their driver should be there by 5, and then a little later called and said he would be delayed by a few minutes because of traffic. It was actually 5:30 when he arrived on the scene, which was reasonable in our opinion. After all it takes a while to locate and dispatch something big enough to handle a 40 foot motorhome.
The driver and his helper got right to work getting the motorhome ready to tow, which involved crawling underneath the front to air up the system and connecting it to airlines in the tow truck, pulling the rear axle, lifting the front end up, and mounting emergency lights on the back end. That took almost two hours, and we were finally good to go.
Meanwhile, we had disconnected the Explorer and we followed them to Rush Truck Center in Jacksonville. It’s strange watching your RV go down the road without you.
I had already spoken to the folks at Rush and they said that they would be closed by the time the tow truck got us there, but we could park in their parking lot overnight. They told us they probably couldn’t do anything for us until Monday morning, but they are open on Saturdays, so we are hoping they will take pity on us and get a new belt on and send us on our way.
We are two hours from home, and it was tempting to just leave the motorhome here and go, but we have to have the generator running for the refrigerator and there is no after hours key drop. So we decided to spend the night, and if they can get things going and we can take off tomorrow, great. If not, we will go buy a cooler or two and some ice, put the food in it, pack our computers, clothes, a couple of guns I have with me, and whatever else we can fit into the Explorer and go home. Then, whenever the rig is fixed, we will drive back up here and pick it up.
It’s ironic that in over seven years of fulltime traveling in this motorhome, we have had very little mechanical difficulty. That’s partly due to good preventive maintenance, and I guess, partly due to luck. But now it seems to be giving us one problem after another. The folks I know who have homes and store RVs for months at a time tell me this is something they have all experienced to some extent. The good news for whoever gets it when we find something we want to trade the motorhome in on as we downsize, is that it’s darned near rebuilt after this past week!
Thought For The Day – Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s the day-to-day living that wears you out. – Anton Chekhov