Saturday, August 11, 2012

Things I'm Grateful For

Now that I’m back in Tucson after six days on the road, there are some things I’m really grateful for and they are…

1.  Being able to turn my generator off!!!  The quiet is heavenly.
2.  Reaching Tucson with only one mishap (the broken fan belt and
     astronomical expense of towing).
3.  Being out of the brutal heat in Las Vegas and the Phoenix area.
4.  Returning the trailer to U-Haul.
5.  Having my slides out.
6.  Dumping my black water tank!!!
7.  Eating lunch at my favorite Vegan restaurant in Tucson today.

It’s hard to believe that it was just last Monday that I left Twin Falls, ID for Tucson.  This place really has a hold on me and I find myself breathing a sigh of relief every time I return.  Too bad the summers are so hot. 

Last night I stayed at another truck stop in Tonopah, AZ.  It was way too hot for me.  It was so hot that my air conditioner couldn’t keep up with it.  I think I might have had something to do with that. 

Even with the new fan belt, whenever I started to go up an incline my temperature gauge would start creeping up towards the hot zone and that really worried me.  I figure towing the trailer with my Volvo might have had something to do with it.  I think that what might have also contributed to it being so hot in my motorhome was after I got on I-10.  I was going up an incline and the temperature gauge was rising.  I chose to turn off my air conditioner and generator and just turned the fans on inside my rig.  It got pretty hot inside but the temperature gauge didn’t go up too high, so I guess it might have been worth it. 

I just made an appointment to have my motorhome washed on Monday.  It got pretty dirty when I was in Idaho because the space where I parked was dirt and whenever it rained it was just enough to make everything look awful.  I asked if they wash motorhomes in this heat and he said they’re pretty used to it.  Yikes, better them than me.

Now that the excitement I experienced on the road is behind me, I'm feeling short on words.  I'm also wiped out.  This is just a quick update and I'll write more after I've recovered.

Safely in Tucson,


Thursday, August 9, 2012

On The Road Again

I’m sitting in my motorhome while two gentlemen are installing a new fan belt…

Look Mom...clean socks and no holes!

It’s 9:15 AM and already 92 degrees here in St. George, UT.  I thought I’d use this time to share some pictures I’ve taken and haven’t published.

My friend in Horse Heaven Hills…

has three dogs.   Winston likes to watch TV.  He’s a giant, and I mean GIANT, Schnauzer, two years old and pretty typical for a two year old…

Then there’s Skye.  She likes to play soccer…

Last but not least, Kaydon…

He and I hit it off from the start and if he weren’t so old (13) he could have been my next dog.   It’s hard to say how much time he has left and he has pretty severe arthritis that would make it difficult for him to get in and out of my motorhome.  I know where he lives and can go visit any time I want.

They’re great company when you live in the middle of 1400 acres and nobody else is around.

When I was at the Lazy J Ranch in Twin Falls, ID, a young man would show up to trim a neighbor’s yard.  He drove this 1974 Winnebago…

If I remember correctly, he said it had 5,000 miles on it when his father found it on somebody’s farm.  It cost him $500.  He said it was built on a Dodge Sprinter chassis, the same as my Winnebago View.  What a difference 38 years makes…

I was on the road by 11:00 AM.  Fortunately, a broken fan belt was the only problem.  Chris, the man who installed the new fan belt, checked all the fluids and said everything was fine.  What a relief.

Driving towards Las Vegas, shortly before another lane closure, I drove up an incline and noticed the temperature gauge going up.  Luckily, at the top of the grade there was truck parking so I drove in and sat for about half an hour.  I got back on the freeway and had no further problems.

I would like to thank Dick, Don, Darren, CJ and Chris.  They all had a part in helping me and fixing my motorhome and I’m most appreciative.

If you ever need help near St. George, UT, I recommend Bracken’s Auto Tech for towing and Southwest Diesel Service for diesel engine work. 

I knew this before but now I really know it…have all your electronic devices fully charged at all times!!!  Yesterday, when I really needed them my cell phone was low as was my MiFi.  My iPad was charged but without my MiFi it was worthless.  I chose to get an iPad without the internet feature because I already had MiFi from Verizon.  Now I can use the internet for my computer or my iPad.  Most of the time I’m using it on both at the same time. 

Speaking of my iPad…I love it!!  I have some great apps for finding RV parks and Love’s and Flying J truck stops.  Flying J is located as myPilot.  I couldn’t be an RVer without it.

I’m currently at Love’s outside of Las Vegas.  I’ve already spent a night at Flying J, tonight I’ll spend the night here at Love’s.  I would rather drive through Las Vegas early in the morning and miss the traffic.  I’m also trying to slow down and drive less per day. 

There’s an “Excessive Heat Warning” in Las Vegas and the current temperature is 110.  I know because I have an app for The Weather Channel and can check out weather anywhere I want.  I also have an app called MyRadar that shows active weather anywhere in the US.  It’s a good visual with cloud movement and is showing lots of clouds over Henderson, NV but none for Las Vegas.  Bummer.  Same with Tucson…no clouds.

I’ve allowed all my apps to mark my location so they know where I am when I open them up.  Pretty handy.

I just saw a Target (the store) bus with “$1 Billion for Education“ painted all over it, attached to a tow truck!!!  I wonder what happened to it.

I’m not sure I can explain it, but towing my Volvo through my fear of towing it has really helped me.  I feel like I’ve truly accomplished something huge and I’m proud of myself.  Since I left Twin Falls I’ve pulled my car, dry camped in truck stops and used my generator to stay cool.  Not to mention surviving a breakdown on the freeway…my motorhome, not me.  Can you think of anything else I haven’t covered?  Lay it on me because I don’t want to miss a thing.  I want to be an all around RVer!!

My next post will probably be from Tucson.

Feeling RV confident,


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This is Not Something I Wanted on My RV Learning Curve...GRRR

My euphoria from yesterday was wiped out today.  I’d driven through St. George, UT, passed an Arizona DPS car at the beginning of a lane closure on I-15 when a sign flashed on to turn my engine off!!!  Then a sign flashed on that the antifreeze was hot and turn my engine off!!!  I think I was in the area of the Virgin River Gorge, so in addition to one lane being closed, there wasn’t much shoulder to pull off onto.  Then a second sign came on to turn my engine off!!!  One picture of the engine was blue and the other one was red and I was really nervous.  Fortunately, things opened up a bit and I was able to pull off.  How come things like this don’t happen on the straight and narrow in the middle of the wide open? 

First thing I tried calling Good Sam and their menu wouldn’t work.  So I called 911 and explained what happened.  They sent out an AZ DOT man to help and he called Good Sam for me.   I got a serious run around from them with the end result being that I don’t have Good Sam Roadside Assistance.  I’m wondering what they did with the money they accepted for my payment.  I need to check into that when this is over with. 

Dick, the AZ DOT man, called a tow company in St. George that he was familiar with and got a quote of $750 to tow my motorhome and car to St. George.  Yikes.  It could have been $1200 but the fact that I have a diesel pusher wasn’t mentioned so they honored the estimate given to Dick and relayed to me.  Don, from Bracken’s Auto Tech and Tires was my hero.  First, he checked my fluids and everything was fine.  Then he checked the engine and found a broken fan belt.  AARGH.  It took forever to get my motorhome ready to tow and I felt sorry for Don outside in the 100+ degrees while I sat inside my generator cooled motorhome.  Speaking of generators, I wish mine was quieter, but I’ll take the noise to have some coolness.  Don got me and my vehicles to St. George in one piece and I’m very grateful to him. What a sorry sight...

I was worried about rattlesnakes so I didn't walk too far away which is why the picture is the way it is.

So I’m sitting inside my cool motorhome in 100+ degrees waiting for the verdict at Southwest Diesel Service in St. George, UT.  I was supposed to be through Las Vegas and part way into Arizona.   My car and auto transporter are inside their yard, I’m hooked up to water and my slides are out!!!  I have wine chilling in the refrigerator and it’s going to taste so good later.

I guess it’s a good thing I stayed at Flying J last night…maybe it will put a dent in what this is going to cost me.  Yeah, right.

I saw the fan belt after Darren pulled it out and it was broken.   Does rubber break?  Maybe I mean split.  Anyway, it isn’t in one piece.  Hopefully that’s all that’s wrong and nothing major caused it to tear.  That’s what I was looking for…the word tear.  I think. 

Reading the comments from yesterday’s post I was surprised that so many of you thought driving six hours was a lot.  Maybe I’ve driven so many hours in my car that I don’t know how to drive less.  I stopped around 1:00 PM yesterday and ended up having a lot of time to kill.  Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post…at least I had a lot of traffic to watch…on the freeway and in the Flying J parking lot.  Maybe I need to leave later instead of first thing in the morning…around 7:00 AM.

I wish I could have made it to Tucson before this happened especially since I’m going to park it and hit the road in my smaller motorhome.  Now I’m not sure I even want to get back on the road.  However, I looked at the future temps in Tucson and I don’t want to stay there so I will get back on the road and head for the cooler temps in Washington.

I have new followers and I apologize for not acknowledging you.  I’ve kept a list since I started my blog so that I can keep a record of who I’ve acknowledged and who I haven’t.  I’ve misplaced it and I don’t know where I left off.  Please bear with me because I’ll look for it when I’m settled and thank you individually for joining me on my journey.  In the meantime, thanks for joining me.

Feeling frazzled and probably broke,




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two More RV Accomplishments

I wrote this two days ago…

I’ve been in Twin Falls, ID for two months and it’s time to leave.  I took a quick trip to Sequim, WA for the Lavender Festival and then stopped on the way back to see my friend in Eastern WA.  I left my motorhome in Idaho.

Another RV milestone staring me in the face is towing my Volvo.  I imagine you might be wondering how I got my Volvo here without towing it.  I did an insane thing and took Greyhound to Tucson and it was awful.  Then I drove my Volvo here.  I could do that in reverse but I’d seriously need to have my head examined if I got back on Greyhound!!

I realized driving my Volvo from Tucson to Twin Falls and then Twin Falls to Seattle and back…I missed the conveniences of having a motorhome.  I’m so glad that I’m going to have all the conveniences with me on this trip to Tucson.

I originally reserved a tow dolly for the trip but decided a couple days ago to switch to a trailer and get all four tires off the ground.  Even though I’ve been assured that a tow dolly will work because my Volvo is front wheel drive, I never felt quite comfortable going that route.  As soon as I changed my reservation I felt relieved.  I’m still anxious though, about towing, simply because I haven’t done it before.  I thought 40 feet was long but with a trailer…yikes.  I know, I know, it’ll be fine.  This is just another step on the learning curve I’m on. 

It appears that I cannot stay in one place for too long…I’ve accumulated too much stuff.  Now I have to find a place for it.  I found a fantastic nursery on the way to Sun Valley in Bellevue, ID.  It seems like every time I stopped there they had another wrought iron stand that I just had to have.  I finally quit going there.  At least I have an SUV I can put it in, i.e, the wrought iron plant stands that I just had to have.  I hope I remember this when I spend the winter in Tucson.  I need to find some other way to fill my time rather than go shopping. 

This is today…

Yesterday I checked towing a vehicle off my RV learning curve.  Today it’s going to be dry camping!!!  I’m at the Flying J at exit 112 in Beaver, Utah and I’m tired.  I planned on going to St. George but I don’t think it’s going to happen because I’m pretty tired.  I drove about six hours and that’s enough. 

This is not a complaint, just an observation…driving Class A motorhomes is exhausting…at least it is for me.  I think it’s even more so this trip because I’m towing my Volvo.  I’ve talked to two other women recently who also drive Class A’s and they agree with me.  Is this just a female thing or do you men find it tiring too???

This is the second day towing my Volvo and everything is going quite well.  I turned on the generator to run the air conditioner for the first time yesterday.  I learned about that recently and was pretty glad since it was fairly hot. I made it to Ogden yesterday.   I stayed at the Century Park RV park and it was alright.  I parked in a 69’ pull through and just fit.  Wow, that’s pretty long.  The only problem was not having enough room to put my slides out.  I heard jets flying overhead and got my iPad out and asked if there were any military bases around and found out that Hill AFB was nearby.  I thought I recognized that sound.

Right now I’m sitting in the passenger’s seat with my feet up watching the freeway and typing this post.  It’s pretty interesting sitting here watching all the activity going on in the Flying J parking lot.  Granted it’s mostly trucks coming and going but it’s an ever changing scene and I’m enjoying it.  I’ve noticed that the guys pulling the three trailers drive through here the fastest.  I was hemmed in by two of them a bit ago but they’re gone now.  As long as I can see what’s going on I think this is going to be way more interesting than an RV park. 

At least while towing, I’ve learned that 60 mph is as fast as I want to go.  Even though I’m tired, I don’t think I’d be as tired if I were going faster.  I need to remind myself that I got a motorhome to relax, not race from place to place.  This trip is the first time I’m really practicing that and so far so good.  I have five days to get the trailer back to U-Haul and I’m thinking it might take that long, especially if I can spend a free night here and there at Flying J. 

I haven’t sold my Winnebago View yet.  So…when I get to Tucson I’m going to wash enough clothes for two weeks and then take off in it.  I’m going to compare motorhomes.  I’m still evaluating my Alfa and I love living in it.  Driving it in the wind is not fun.  When the wind isn’t blowing it’s fine.  But…a part of me is intimidated by it.  I don’t know which part. 

I’m starting to get a clearer picture of me as an RVer and it’s looking like this…live in my McMansion motorhome (the Alfa), and do short trips in my View.  I met a nice lady while in Twin Falls and she and her husband winter in Yuma.  I can go visit them in my View.  Another friend bought a house in Maricopa, AZ and I can take my View and go visit him.  I think you get the gist.  I think I’m getting comfortable enough with this and I’m realizing that short trips will probably work for me.  When I take off from Tucson I’m going back to Washington.  I’m hoping it will be a bit cooler there. 

One more thing...I realized that I had a 6 CD holder in my Alfa!!!  I figured out how to use it, checked some books on CD out of the Twin Falls library (I'll mail them back when I get to Tucson), and have books to entertain me going down the road.  I also got the very irritating noise in my dash repaired so this has been a good trip!!!!!!!

My learning continues,