Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Seems I often have to go back & make corrections to the  previous day's post.  Yesterday I posted about a possible problem with a Jeep brake line & all the way through the paragraph I kept referring to the problem as having to do with the gas line.  That was incorrect!!  It was the brake line I was talking about.  I have since made the corrections.  It's a good thing Kelly gets up enough courage to read the blog some mornings!!

We recently picked up a slight stone chip on the upper passenger windshield of the Motor Home.  Figured we had better get that fixed before it cracked further & sent long spidery cracks across the windshield.   The SPEEDY GLASS fellow was able to come right to our place & repair it in about half an hour.  Very interesting to see the whole process & Murray from GODERICH SPEEDY GLASS was happy to explain the various steps as he went along.  Murray has been with the company for over 30 years & certainly knew what he was doing.  Turns out he is also one of those western Cowboy enthusiasts like myself.  I was quick to notice a few western style logos on his van & that tipped me off:))
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THANKS MURRAY FOR A JOB WELL DONE......IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE:))  (click any photo to enlarge)

If there is any one thing I do not like about Motor Homes in general it is the sometimes problematic hydraulic leveling jacks.  We sure have had our fair share of leveling jack problems over the years.  About 6 weeks ago I figured I would fire up the hydraulic jacks to make sure they were working alright.  They weren't, & I wasn't surprised!!   Had the same problems last summer & actually ended up at the HWH Leveler place in Moscow Iowa on our way south.  Aside from replacing a fuse that time they didn't find any problem with the rear passenger side leveler either.  I tried replacing some fuses a month ago but that didn't seem to do anything so I just gave up on the problem.  This morning Kelly remembered the HWH bill from last November so we dug it out & noticed that it was a 15 amp fuse the guy had replaced.  I had replaced a 10 amp fuse a month ago.  So, out to the Motor Home I went with a bit more patience than usual & wedged myself between the driver's seat & the steering wheel where the fuse panel inconveniently lives on the firewall.  Noticed two 15 amp fuses in the hard to get at fuse panel so replaced them both.  Hauled myself up into the driver's seat & started up the Motor Home.  I wasn't too hopeful as I reached down & flipped on the hydraulic switch on a panel beside the seat.  What the heck!!!!!!!  Unbelievably the panel lights lit up which told me there was finally power to the the control box at last.  Will wonders ever cease, will Hippopotamus's fly.  But wait.......this was not the end of the hydraulic lift problem...Nosirreeeee!!

These hydraulic leveler problems first started with our Motor Home in the fall of 2008 while doing an overnighter in Oliver Lee State Park near Alamogordo, New Mexico.  The right passenger side lift would not retract & we could not move.  Luck was with us that time because we were parked on dirt.  I was able to dig a hole behind the lifter, place a scissor jack in the hole & then carefully back the Motor Home up about 3 inches centering the lift over the jack & then jack the lift up into place.  We had that lift looked at a few days later in Los Cruces but they could find nothing wrong with it.  The lift has never been trustworthy ever since.
Decided to try out the system today so lowered all the lifts to the ground & leveled the coach.  Figured if push came to shove I could always use my Oliver Lee method to retract that problem lift in case it didn't come up.  Well, push did come to shove!!!!  Three of the lifts came up with no problem but the problematic one did not.  So, there I was once again under the Motor Home digging a hole in the ground just like at Oliver Lee years ago.  Twenty minutes later I had the lift jacked back up into place.  I have left the scissors jack in the hole & will try the system again tomorrow.  My theory is that the problem lift may just need to be used & loosened up.  We'll see.................
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Looking ahead to this winter's travels in the Southwest we are hoping to do more traveling than sitting this time.  The past 3 years we have spent a fair bit of time in the Elfrida/McNeil area Ranch sitting & we have enjoyed our time there to the max.  Liked it so much we were very seriously thinking about buying some property there last winter.  But, things didn't work out & time marches on.  Haven't heard back from the Ranch folks yet but if time schedules work out we may spend a month or month & a half this time.  The last 3 years we stayed 2 & 3 months.  Depending on the ranch folks travel plans there may be a chance we won't make it to the Ranch at all this year.  We'll just have to wait & see how Jeannie & Rays travel plans shake out.
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Whether we stay awhile at the Ranch or not I would like to travel a little further afield this year to see new areas of the Southwest.  If Mexico wasn't in the bad state of affairs it is in we would head down there but no chance of that now.  Of course we will probably hit some of our old haunts like Yuma & Borrego Springs because it is always nice to touch base with old memories.  In our travels I have found that the first time visiting an area is generally the best time.  Everything is new & exciting & that to me is what traveling is all about.  For example, we love Borrego Springs California & have been there 5 years in a row.  It is just the greatest little place.  But, I found the last 3 years there were not as exciting as our first two times there.  After visiting the same place year after year everything just gets too predictably boring for me.  Subsequently, our stays in old familiar places are great for maybe a week but then it's same old, same old time again.  Not that these places are not beautiful areas, it's just that my mind constantly craves new challenges, new adventures & new memories. 

No ideas yet where we will go but I'm sure a plan will begin to formulate soon.  Many times those plans come from the minds of fellow RV Bloggers or RV folks we have met along the way.  I remember a couple years ago having breakfast at the Bisbee Breakfast Club in Bisbee Arizona with LAURIE & ODEL.  They mentioned a place in California they thought we would really like & that is how we ended up in LONE PINE the following year. 
RV friends Bea & Herb talked about Nevada's VALLEY OF FIRE one time when we first met them about 4 years ago in southern Arizona & that was how we ended up there this past March.  It was also Bea & Herb who thought we would really love CANYON DE CHELLY & wouldn't you know it, we ended up there last March as well. (click any of the above links for our blog about these places) 
RV friends Mike & Maureen talked about how much they loved the 4 Corners area when we first met them in CANNONVILLE UTAH back in November of 08.  Guess where we are hoping to be in about three & a half months from now:))  If it wasn't for the blasted megopolation of cities, traffic chaos & people I'm sure we would have made it to the California coast by now too.  Maybe this year if we can find an uncongested secret passage through the morass of humanity & find a quiet little beach front spot on the ocean for a few days.  Can Rhinosauceruses fly!!

It wasn't the American Health Program opinion that caught my attention in JANNA'S post this morning, it was the fact of Janna being on the phone speaking to the medical people on Mike's behalf.  Not being a phone person I can so identify with Mike maybe just not wanting to get on the phone.  It is simply having the best person for the task, do the task.  We all have our likes & dislikes & things we prefer to do or avoid.  If one lives or travels alone there is no option, you have to do everything yourself whether you like it or not.  I have experienced that & know it to be a good thing in the long run.  Living alone, a person is always better organized & in touch with everything.  It's just the way it has to be or your life quickly becomes unmanageable.  Living with another person is a whole different ball game.  Ideas, plans, chores & household tasks are generally shared, & for good reason.

Kelly likes to cook & I do not, so that one is a no brainer.  Kelly's not that interested in all the yard work so that is my department & I look after that.  I enjoy driving more than Kelly so I happily take on those responsibilities too whether it is driving the Motor Home or the cars.  I'm not as good at keeping things clean as Kelly is so she handles most of those chores.  Dust could be a foot & half deep on the TV & wouldn't notice it but if a wall picture is slightly askew I will catch that right away.  I am pretty good at sweeping floors & doing dishes though.  We both do our own laundry except when we are on the road & end up heading for a Laundromat together.  Kelly doesn't like the idea of having to dump the Motor Home's tanks so I have always done that.  I don't like talking on a telephone so Kelly handles that department simply because she is far better & more comfortable doing that.  If I am on the telephone talking to somebody about something important chances are good I am going to forget something in the conversation.  Kelly will ask me, "what did so & so say" & as often as not I won't remember.  Same thing if a call comes in to our answering machine & I am standing right there.  I don't pick up the phone because if the person on the other end has any info or whatever, chances are that I may forget to accurately relay that to Kelly.  By letting the answering machine take the call, Kelly is sure to get the intended & word for word message.  It boils down to whichever individual is best suited for whatever task & that is one of the great advantages of having a partner.  Only disadvantage I see with the sharing of tasks is one partner can eventually find themselves out of touch with some the tasks the other partner has taken over.  I look after bill payments like credit cards etc but Kelly looks after the payments regarding our park here so right now I could not accurately tell you what our lease payment is here, how much our last telephone bill was, our cost for electricity last month or when it's time to reactivate our Verizon program for travel again.  If I were living on my own I would know & be on top of all those things!!  And, if I were living on my own I would have to do all the telephone stuff too.  However, sometimes another person can speak far better for us than some of us can speak for ourselves.  It's just the way it is & is one of the advantages of sharing things with a partner!!  Anyway, just a few thoughts on likes, dislikes & some advantages of living alone or with someone.

GROANER'S CORNER:((  If aliens are smart enough
to travel through space, why do they keep abducting
the dumbest people on earth?

OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right
now...... AL


  1. I made it to the end!..whew.long post today Al!..your fingers were busy on the keyboard today!..I knew that was a rock chip!!..our jeep caught a rock at Christmas..now it is spread half way across..no point in spending the money until it makes it to the driver's side!!

  2. If you would really like to see Mexico, I think you should try it. I believe a lot depends on the border crossing and the place you enter Mexico - some places seem to be quite safe and lots of RVers go there, whereas I sure wouldn't enter at ElPaso/Juarez! So many Canadians spend lots of time in Mexico, you might consider contacting some of them to get their observations. I don't know if it matters when you are returning to the US what your citizenship is, but as I said, there seem to be lots of Canadians who spend time there. Since you don't like touristy places to begin with, you could find beautiful as well as inexpensive places to visit and camp. The Mexicans aren't as anal-retentive as some Americans when it comes to boondocking or parking overnight in towns and villages, or shopping areas, so you would have plenty of opportunities.

    When I had a 5th wheel I thought I would have given anything to have hydraulic levelers. After hearing all the troubles associated with them, I'm glad I didn't.

  3. Glad you got your windshield fixed. It is very interesting how they are able to fix those windshields (if caught before they spread too much).
    Hopes that the leveling jack gets worked out while you are at home and have the time to figure the fix.
    Good luck Al!

  4. Good thing to get that chip fixed prior to your next trip but too bad about that stubborn leveler. Hope you get the kinks out of it before October.

    Sounds like you are going to see some new places this winter and that's a good thing. I love to go back to my favorite haunts but a new vista is always exciting.

    Great portrait of little Cora.

  5. Seems like perhaps I provided some fodder for your post tonight. Maybe not.

    My thought is that it would be nice not to do everything, but what if you are suddenly in that position. Isn't it better to at least have a grip on what the other person does?

  6. Ya know, given the trouble you have had with that jack over the years, it might be worth all the aggravation to replace that bad jack and get it over with. It is obviously burning out fuses. Maybe if you get back in touch with the folks in Iowa, they can suggest a way to go forward.......

  7. Al,

    A few weeks ago you asked about the boiling waters of Hell's Gate, British Columbia. Well, I was there recently and posted several shots of the tram and waters on my blog.. http://rvvoyageur.blogspot.com/ for your viewing pleasure.


  8. Al, re. your problematic leveling jack: I see it's got springs on the side. Have you considered that those suckers could be sort of tired doing their job and need replacement? The fact that you are able to push the jack up with a scissor jack tells me that it is not a failing valve in the hydraulic system. May you should get them springs checked.

  9. Glad you got the chip fixed... Now onto the jack. Did you try a littl WD40??? It fixes everything that duck tape doesn't!
    Have fun

  10. Yes. Long post. Oy. Made it to the end though.
    I think I agree about the spring issue. Saw somewhere on the net where someone was able to replace the springs on their jacks. So that must mean that they wear out? You have to come up with a way to keep the springs extended in order to get them hooked into place. Bit of a challenge.
    Anyway, I was going to say, we had a similar issue with the HWH jacks on our motorhome. The back two were replaced under warranty when the coach was about a year old I think, but even then that right rear jack was problematic. To me it seemed like it was because it was the farthest from the hydraulic pump? Not sure. And it would TRY to come up, but would take for ever, so I always had along a honkin' big piece of oak that I would use to try and persuade it to go up. There was usually some prying and grunting, but it would eventually retract.
    So...go with the new springs and see if that works. Can't hurt.
    It's sure nice to have the stability of jacks.

  11. Al, that was easy - we knew it was a rock chip right away -- from previous sad experience. Yes, those quick fix guys can do a splendid job, as we have also learned.

    Good discussion (one-sided, perhaps, but still good) about traveling alone or with somebody. Having never traveled alone, except on some business trips in a different century, I cannot imagine the experience, and I don't have any desire to try. Definitely not organized enough!

  12. My wife does ALL my telephone and medical stuff too,,,,,and I'm not one that gives a hoot if someone else likes it or not. I personaly think it was a snotty remark...For sure!! My wife also fills out all my medical info when I go into a dr's office to,,,,and further she also carries both my medicare card and my supplimental card, FOR ME... So there Judy my dear......chew on that for a while...... Whats it to ya anyhow.... ???
    There I got that off my chest...sorry Al but I been stewing on that all day...
    Good Blog...

  13. I do my car maintenance at home by myself so I do not have to spend lot of money on car maintenenace. But I make sure to use the best floor jack guide since it ensures the safety.