Monday, September 28, 2015

What a Day!

It seems like Murphy was meddling in everything we did today.

We were up at 5:30 to get the coach ready for a service appointment at La Mesa RV. By the time we had our coffee and woke up (in that order), prepared and ate breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen, showered and dressed, packed up the motorhome, slides in, jacks up, ready to roll – 2 hours passed. Don drove the car (yes, he’s driving now, as of yesterday when he drove around the base a bit) and I drove the motorhome.

We’ve always had good service at La Mesa RV, and today was no different. However, of the 4 things on our list, only one actually got fixed. During recent heavy rains the seals on 2 of our Fantastic Vents allowed drips to come inside – one of them started dripping down Don’s back during dinner a few days ago! And it did more than drip – we had to keep mopping up as the storm continued. Resealing the vents on the roof was easy for the tech who climbed a really tall ladder (shudder) and didn’t take long.

But the big job was to fix the small slideout in the bedroom that broke in June. The diagnosis is that both motors are toast, as are the channels that drive the slide in and out. We knew that, as we had the same problem fixed 2 years ago in Green Bay, WI. But we still had to take the coach in for diagnosis and to identify which parts to order. La Mesa will call us when they’re ready to do the work.

The water pump isn’t shutting off, even with no taps open. But that problem may be related to the 4th one, a leak of water into the freezer compartment of the Kitchen Aid residential refrigerator/freezer. And that requires a Kitchen Aid repair. After 4 phone calls I finally reached the right service center and made an appointment for Oct. 19. In the meantime, I’m removing the sheet of ice from the bottom of the freezer about once a week. After we solve that problem, we’ll see if the water pump is still misbehaving.

We went to Losbeto’s for an early lunch of burritos while we were waiting at La Mesa, and they finished with us right after we returned, around noon. Don needed to leave by 12:30 for his blood draw appointment at 1:00, so we tried to get the motorhome parked back at the FamCamp at the AFB quickly. We should have known that wouldn’t work – when you’re in a hurry it almost guarantees that something will go wrong.

We parked in a new site, one that was vacated by the volunteer hosts Bob and Joan, who moved to the newer section of the FamCamp that was recently re-opened for the fall/winter/spring (it’s closed in summer). Our first try had the coach too close to the hookups, and our cargo doors wouldn’t open the whole way. So I sent Don on his way, and drove back to the office to get Bob to help me park. We managed to put the motorhome in the site just right, by getting as close to the patio on the other side as possible, and pulling forward so the cargo doors would clear the posts.


The site is really nice, with an expanded patio, on a corner, with some shade and a cactus garden.




You may have noticed that Don’s sitting on the patio. We spent almost 4 hours sitting outside because it was cooler there than inside the coach, as we couldn’t get electricity into it. We suspected the inverter which had to be reset during a rainstorm several weeks ago. When we checked the breaker and the reset button, we still had the problem. We then suspected the transfer switch. I called Ken Cameron (Cameron’s Reliable Mobile Repair), who was in Amado, about an hour south of Tucson. It took him 3.5 hours to actually finish the job he was on, drive to Tucson, register at the visitor center to get on base, and drive to our site.


It didn’t take him long to diagnose the problem, and it wasn’t anything we thought of. It’s the power cord roll-up reel that caused a short in the power, so the EMS did its job and prevented power from getting to the coach.


We’ve never had a problem with it before, but when Ken jiggled the reel, power went from 80-something to 120 volts – now we’re in business! As long as we don’t disturb the cable/reel, we’ll be fine. We were really happy to turn on all 3 air conditioners and start cooling down the inside of the motorhome. 98 degrees is way too hot! In the meantime, we authorized Ken to order a new reel and power cord that is more substantial and won’t cause this problem. The one we have now is an after-market one that we bought from the salvage supply at Tiffin.

I skipped over the first “oops” of the day. This morning when I packed up the sewer hose, I noticed it was full of pin holes. This is the new hose I bought while Don was in the hospital. Darn! No idea what caused the holes, but the hose had to be replaced yet again. A quick stop at Camping World and $40 solved that problem.


And the final straw, after Ken left and we were setting up the inside and cooling off, Don put up the satellite dish and it wouldn’t find the satellites. The dish went up and stopped in that position, without searching the sky. After several tries using all the tricks that have worked in the past, Don finally turned it off and we warmed up the remainder of our lunch burritos for a quick and easy supper. After about 1/2 hour of resting, Don turned the dish controller back on, and the dish went up and searched, found all the satellites, and did what it was supposed to do! That’s one of those “PFM” events – Pure F***ing Magic!

I’m glad this day is drawing to a close, and hope tomorrow is a lot less stressful!


  1. Sharon, we had the same problem with a sewer hose at the Pine County Fairgrounds in Tucson during Escapade. Turned out a darned roadrunner was pecking at the hose!

    1. I'll bet that's what happened to ours, too, Nick. Wonder how you keep roadrunners away? I guess the residual smell attracts them.

  2. I can't believe how far Don has progressed. Driving is a really big deal. I know when we left in May, I wanted to try and just didn't feel comfortable at first. Waited another couple of weeks before it felt normal. It's always something for repairs and always at the worse time. Good thing you have a reliable mobile service tech. Give him a big hug for fixing the satellite.

    1. Yes, driving is a really big deal. I was a little nervous at first, but he did well. He said it was like riding a bike, but he's NOT ready to ride a bike! And we were so grateful that Ken could come when he did, and we didn't have to spend another day or more without power. We couldn't even use the generator. Hugs given to Don!

  3. WOW, sometimes you just have one of "those" days. Hope all works out well. Good to hear Don is driving.

  4. We also use Cameron RV when we need a mobile tech in Tucson.

    I drug our sewer hose under the back of our coach to hook it up at a campsite where the connection was on the wrong side of the coach. Evidently dragging it on the concrete punched holes in one section of the hose. They aren't as well made as one would think.

    Great to hear that Don is doing so well that he is back to driving. Being able to drive again was a big boost for me when I had my knee operations. Like being free again.

  5. OMGosh, I'm exhausted just reading your post. There is no way that today can't be better! 👍

  6. OMGosh, I'm exhausted just reading your post. There is no way that today can't be better! 👍

  7. Boy oh Boy, some days it's not worth getting out of bed. Glad MOST of your issues were resolved. Happy for Don's progress and driving skills. Happy you have a cool coach (staying in Fresno in September is a real challenge for us). Thanks for a great post read even though challenging while experiencing it. Hugs to you both!

  8. Must be that blood moon we had that changed the energy field of your life. I hope all the bumps are gone and it will be smooth road from here on out.

  9. I don't think you have any bad luck left. You've used it all up! Based on your latest adventures you should have nothing but good luck left. Hope all goes well.


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