Nov 13, 2017

Hola from Lake Havasu City

Today we traveled from Las Vegas to Lake Havasu where we completed our final errands before crossing into Mexico on Wednesday.  One of our purchases was a metal box in which we will place our batteries and cameras when away from the RV.  We also spent several hours with a very special friend of mine.  Thank you for all your comments and supportive emails.  Yes I know that I have not caught you up to date but we have had limited internet.  Due to being behind schedule because of our various repairs and the fire we have limited time.  Hopefully over the next few days I will have you all caught up.  The RV has been repaired but there is a great story to that.
It has been a long day and tomorrow will be even longer starting with a windshield rock chip repair at 8AM.  After that we are driving just over 350 miles plus a few stops along the way.  Did you read one of the comments on my last post about wrapping me in bubble wrap?   The idea was to wrap me up and transport me to a beach chair on the Isla beach.  I am all for it.  Just let me know when you are ready to transport me.
I did say to Colin earlier today that lately I feel that I am living a life that I have no control over, that I feel like I am being pulled here and there.  At least I am now thinking about the Isla.  Only four more sleeps.  Saw a fabulous sunset tonight and yes I did get photos.  Will post those and others when I can.

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Nov 12, 2017

We almost lost the RV today ~ due to fire

We were supposed to be out but at the very last minute I decided to delay our outing and wash my hair first.  That saved our RV.  While I was in the RV having a shower Colin decided to stop all his rearranging of things for the trek south and take a guitar break.  Thank goodness!  As he was playing he heard a loud fizzing noise behind him.  He turned and looked and saw blue smoke coming out of the overhead cabinet.  He did not think but reacted and jumped up and opened the cabinet, the entire living room area filled with smoke.  He started pulling things out to discover where the smoke was coming from.  In his haste he broke a guitar nail while picking things up to throw out the door.  I had no idea of the unfolding drama as I was in the shower.

He found the source of the burning and threw it out the door.  Many other items are smoke damaged.

It appears that one of my camera batteries had exploded and was the cause of the problem.  The middle item is what exploded, it looked like the damaged battery on the left.  The battery charger in on the right. The battery had been left in the charger inside the plastic yellow bag.

That is my melted hard drive on the right.  We took it and my USB cable that charges my computer mouse and keyboard in to be checked.  I needed a new cable but the hard drive although no longer pretty still functions.  Apparently they are enclosed in some sort of metal compartment and then encapsulated in plastic.  It was only the plastic that has melted.

I had been charging a camera battery yesterday and it appeared to take a long time to charge.  As always when charged I take it off the charge and store it until needed.  I have no idea how we were so very lucky to be here when it exploded.  We changed our plans twice this morning, each time delaying our departure.  Had we left as originally planned, there is not doubt in our minds that the RV would have gone up in flames.  It was just pure luck and perhaps good karma that Colin was sitting so close to the incident.  I am still shaking my head at the enormity of what could have been.  Our entire lives would have changed in a flash but they didn’t.

Fortunately the charger for my new iPhone was not ruined, just blackened.

Of course I will be on the phone to Canon tomorrow to ask about this horrific incident.  We did pick up a new camera battery today.  Fortunately I had a second charger and for some unknown reason had brought it with me although I clearly recall thinking about leaving it home.  After all who needs two chargers?

All I have thought about today is what could have happened.  And then I worry about this happening again.  We also discussed what would have happened had we been driving down the highway.  We would not have beard the noise and things would have been much worse before we became of the smoke and fire.  The entire RV was filled with blue smoke and that horrible electrical burning smell.  Even now, 12 hours later, we still can smell smoke and many of our things will likely have to be thrown out due to the smell.

We were so very very fortunate, but still I can’t help thinking that we would have been homeless.  I have been somewhat paranoid today about smells and anything plugged in.  Which is loco as the battery was just in the cupboard, not plugged in.  It could have been in a bag in the car or in my purse where it usually is when it exploded.  Too many negative scenarios to visualize.  Not much online about exploding camera batteries other than one exploding in a camera  just 3 days ago in the Orlando airport.  It caused panic and the evacuation of the airport and several flight delays.

I still can’t believe that our timing today saved our RV.

Earlier in the day I tackled removing the Bitdefender  antivirus from my computer.  What a process!  It has taken me 2.5 days and I ended up being locked out of doing the uninstall.  I ended chatting with four various techs and believe it or not the last one was the winner and he turned out to be a Geek Squad dude.  I am finally free of this chain around my neck both slowing my computer and sucking my internet data dry.  I had never asked for it to be installed in the first place.  So I was rejoicing this freedom as it means that I am now able to resume posting on a regular basis…eventually, give me a chance to catch my breath.  And then less than thirty minutes later we have a fire.  We were more shocked than anything.  Reality has not set in.  We were fortunate this time.  I have however decided to keep a fire extinguisher at my feet as we travel so that I can combat such an issue should it arise again.  I wonder if I will sleep tonight.

……maybe we should get a metal box for all of our batteries 😯

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Nov 09, 2017

The day turned out better than we expected

Which is amazing considering that our alarm never went off and instead of driving at 6AM we were just waking up 🙁   Also the fact that it took us 55 minutes to drive 24 miles on I15 as we were in the middle of rush hour.

Too tired to do a post tonight but I am sure that many of you want to know the que pasa of it all.  For certain details will follow.

We first dropped the Jeep off at 9AM and it was able to be driven.  End of the day today, there is no damage showing on the computer diagnostics and we don’t know why the grinding problem even happened.

The RV is a different story.  Suffice to say that we are boondocking in the Freightliner parking lot.  Hope to get parts tomorrow but no guarantee that that will rectify the problem.

Fortunately the RV Park allowed us to cancel at 2:30PM ( which is when we found out the que pasa of it all for us ) without losing our deposit.  They transferred it to tomorrow.  Sadly there is someone in an even worse situation than us.  Tonight is their fourth night here.  Their problem does not seem to be an easy fix.  I hate to see their bill at $150.00 per hour.  Fortunately  I found a coupon for 10% off labor for us.

So we have the Jeep back but not the RV yet.  I will admit to a sinking feeling earlier when we had no wheels at all.

A new glitch has come up in that our Mail program will not let us send an email.  It says that we are offline and no matter what I try per my Google research I cannot get online.  We can receive emails but not send them.  Also I think that it might be Bitdefender for Mac that the Geeks installed on both computers that might be eating up my hotspot ATT data.  I have no idea how to delete it.  So on and so forth, problem after problem.

Meanwhile be happy to know that the wine is flowing and I blew my diet with a full pasta dinner 😎

Details when I have better internet and am not exhausted.

 

…just got this…..it appears that our gmail accounts do not exist…… i can’t deal with this…..help???  However we can receive emails , just not send emails.

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Nov 08, 2017

It has gone from bad to worse

We woke up to 26F/-3.3 C and back home it was -4C so we were doing okay.  All except for sitting on an ice cold toilet seat each  time 😯   Once again Colin went out to prepare the Jeep to be towed and again was gone a very long time.  I never anticipated the new problem.  First the good news – the braking device was working perfectly.  Perhaps it was because we had brought it inside to thaw overnight.  Now for the bad news, the Jeep has a very serious problem.  We are not sure what it is.  The car is in neutral to be towed but as per the instruction manual the last thing you do is put the Jeep in reverse to verify that the transmission is in neutral.  The car makes a grinding noise each time Colin does that and today there was a strong burning smell.  He was only able to stop the grinding noise by turning off the car.

There was no grinding noise the first two test tows nor when we hooked up on Monday.  Only yesterday morning the noise stopped on its own and today a huge amount continued until he shut the car off.  The instructions to prepare to tow are being followed to the letter.  It is still okay to tow as we are, so we continued on and were driving by 7:10AM.  Once it was 8AM I started a multitude of phone calls.  Long story short we have a Jeep dealership ( the other was very rude ) who will see us once we drive in tomorrow morning.  We plan to come in towing ( besides we have no idea it we can still drive the vehicle ) so they can see the problem themselves.  We also have an appointment with Las Vegas Freightliner to check out the A/C issue.  Because it is a chassis issue ( dash air ) we have to deal with them.  Thanks Carol for putting us in touch with Johnny Walker RV as they steered us to the right people to help us.

It was a very good thing that we decided to travel further today as we need to be arriving at 8AM tomorrow.  We spent hours discussing the right sequence of events but logic tells us that we need to start at the Jeep dealership because if the car can’t be driven we are already there.  Why have to have it towed?  Also it is likely that the Jeep repair will take longer than the RV repair.  Perhaps we can check into the RV park and rent a car or ???

We finally got to Nevada today. Let’s hope that we are not here longer than we planned.

We got a good deal for diesel in Wells @ 3.239 cash, the cheapest in town.  Still can’t get my head around the increased fuel prices this season.  I have to make this post short as we have been dealing with issues all day and are short on time.  I have so many little things that I know you like to read but I just can’t incorporate them into this post.

We have never seen snow so close to the highway before.

Our usual overnight in this area is Ely but two years ago we awoke to frost on the inside of our windows and -13.9C/6.9F.  Ely is at 6437′ elevation and tonight we are at 3449′.  Much better with a low of 40F/4.5C expected.  A quick note, I travel wearing a fleece sweatshirt or whatever you call it, covered with a fleece jacket and then a fleece shawl.  Then there are my fleece pants, cashmere ( for warmth ) socks and fleece slippers.  Oh and then I am covered by a very thick and heavy fleece blanket.  Colin travels in short sleeves and shorts.  The shawl comes off on and off during the day but I have only had the jacket off twice  in the last three days.  Tonight I am warm, I even had the socks and slippers off for a bit.  Now back to the slippers.  We only have the one heater running and are toasty at 72F.  Oops at proof reading, 74F  🙂

The light was wrong for photos as we went through the pass but I managed to catch the sun on this bit of rock.

We are actually about 4 or 5 miles south of Hiko in an area that over the past years we have said would be a great area to boondock and so here we are.  Sadly we got here just as the sun was setting and will be leaving before sunrise.  I have no photos of the RV being here.  Colin just told me that there are now 2 other RV’s beside us. We drove 474.2 miles today.  It took us 9.5 hours.  No stops other than fuel and BR breaks.  My Fitbit says I only moved 650 steps today.  But my bum is not sore.  Great airbags !!

It has been a long day and I do believe that tomorrow is going to be even longer and likely extremely stressful given the Vegas traffic which we are dealing with back and forth.  I will admit to not looking at how empty the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is tonight.  There may a second bottle involved.  Thank goodness I have an easy dinner planed for about 9:30PM.  We won’t be hungry in the early morning as we are driving about as we ate so late.

Yup I know this is a short post and I did have some goodies to share but life has interfered  :-(. I take notes as we travel and that is how my blog is constructed along with the photos of which there were few today.  I made a lot of to do lists as we drove today and we have been knocking them down.  We plan on 6.5 hours of sleep and want to be driving  by 6:00AM.  What a whirl the past three days have been but at least I am no longer freezing.

I am going thru data like lighting.  3 GB in 3 days.  Something must be running behind the scenes.  Steve???, any ideas on how to check.  I have 5GB ( cost 50.00 USD per month ) to last me until next Wednesday but this is what I consider an emergency.  For all I know I may use up the rest tomorrow.  Not sure I want to spend another $50.00 to post over the next few days.  I get free wifi once I get into Mexico 😛  Fingers crossed that the Jeep warranty will cover the repairs.

Full disclosure, that second bottle has been opened.  Ahh that first sip of Pinot Grigio  😆

The good thing about tomorrow is that the fleece comes off and the sandals come out.  Oh gosh I really hope that I can keep it together.  However we are both aware that these glitches are nothing  compared to what many other RVers go through.  Everyone has their turn at dealing with issues and many are worse than what we have to endure.  It is just that it has been a very long and very difficult year for us.

Stayed tuned for the rest of the story.

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Nov 07, 2017

It could have ruined our day, even our vacation

But to start at the beginning.  It was 36F inside the RV at 6:30AM and 25F/-4C outside.  Back home in Kelowna it was -8C so I guess that we were better off but it was still cold.  I even slept with socks on for the first time.  Perhaps it is because we don’t have the girls to cuddle that makes it seem extra frigid.  We were ready to leave and Colin went to prepare the Jeep for travel.  He was gone a long time and I knew that something was wrong.  Finally he came in and told me that bad news, the $1,800.00 Blue Ox Patriot Braking System was not working.  It has been used a total of 10 hours.  He went out to try again while I started to gather phone numbers off the internet and began making calls.  We were on the phone with a tech guy ( and you all know how much I love them  🙄 ) for over 30 minutes.  His solution was for us to ship the unit back to them and that they would look at it and send it back.  Umm, today we were driving Pendleton Pass and we needed this braking device by law and then we are off to Mexico.  Finally after a bit he decided to have us manually override the system.  The pedal engaged less than an inch but the tech said that is should be fine.  So we decided to go with it and will decide what to do once we get to Vegas.  We wonder if the cold has also affected this brake system.  So tonight we have it inside the RV.  Tomorrow may show us something else.  We got off to a very late start at 8:25AM. But we were underway.  For a while I had visions of us staying put.

We crossed the Columbia River twice before leaving Washington state. The old bridge on the right is being repaired so it was one lane each direction on the newer one.

Our second state of the day.

First time we have ever seen the foothills just entering Oregon covered in snow.  The cold and snow are going to be with us until we aren’t too far north of Las Vegas.

As we started our steep ascent we saw this RV in front of us.  It was a 5th wheel and they were towing a homemade trailer for their ATV.  Look at the two tiny and narrow tires keeping it rolling.

I would have to say that this fellow had a much worse day that we could even imagine.  As we drove we talked about our options with the brake assembly and what we might or might not do.  We no longer felt as badly as we had earlier in the morning.

We made it to the top with no issues. Colin was able to pull the heavy Jeep in 4th gear with no more effort than he had the HHR.  He also felt that the down hill portion was controlled with no feeling of the Jeep pushing the RV.  We only had to use the brakes twice and the device did kick in or so it said on the remote display.  Unless you are in the Jeep you have no idea what is actually happening.  FYI Colin is very light on his brakes and uses the engine brake as much as possible.  This is a 2001 RV with just over 130,000 miles and we have 70% left on the original brake shoes.

I missed getting a photo of the 49th parallel sign stating that we were halfway between the equator and the North Pole 😀   We stopped in Baker for fuel and lucked out at 2.999per gallon.  But even there Colin tried over and over to get the pump to work but he finally had to ask to the manager to come out and work some magic.  Once back on the interstate I kept hearing a strange noise.  Colin pulled over and discovered that the fuel access panel was open.  We think that because it was so cold and windy while fueling that he simply overlooked closing the panel.  He does remember replacing the gas cap and turning it.  Sadly it was missing.  The wind was very strong as we drove.  He came up with the brilliant idea of Gorilla taping the hole so that nothing would get into the fuel tank.  We stopped at Love’s in Ontario but they don’t sell gas caps.  We will have to add that to our Vegas to do list which is growing by leaps and bounds.

An oldie but a goodie to the owner. We chuckled as we know that in about 20 years others will be pointing to our old rig and snickering.  But look at those tiny tires, they are less than the width of the white line.

Finally our third and last state of the day.

Our car was filthy and almost black from all the snow and wet roads back home and the RV needed a bath as well.  We saw a sign advertising a hand wash truck and RV service about 36 miles into Idaho so we took that exit and sure enough it was legit.  I had been on the phone yesterday calling around Las Vegas to get someone to come to the RV park to wash our vehicles.  First off the park will only allow RV’s to be washed, you have to take your car or truck to a car wash.  Secondly you can only use the services that they allow to come into the park.  Two wanted $120.00 to wash the RV and the third one wanted $145.00.  No gracias.  These fellows did both vehicles for $75.00 and they look great.  Apparently they do on average of 30 RV’s or semis per day.  Good business.

We thought we got a great deal and were very happy.  At one point Colin was going to wash the RV himself but the RV park in Vegas wants $25.00 to use the water.  And he still would not be able to wash our very dirty car.  As there was no precipitation expected until we reach the Isla we decided that it was a well deserved treat.  These guys were done in 30 minutes!

Besides in addition to our already planned errands in Las Vegas we now have to deal with the A/C situation and the braking issue.  Tonight we are in Mountain Home, Idaho guests of Chez Walmart.  However I was able to lighten my wallet and get several things crossed off my shopping list, my favorite being 15 boxes of white fairy lights to decorate with on the Isla.  I think that 1500 lights will look just lovely 😎  Idaho is on MST but we are in PST so as we will be back to PST in Nevada tomorrow we are staying with PST.  We arrived here about 5:50PM and now it is getting close to 10:30 PM and we need to get to bed.  A wee change of plans for tomorrow has us on the road for a longer time.

A long day today at just over 400 miles, wait till you see what we are doing tomorrow.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and to comment.  I appreciate you all so much.  Hope that you are warm where ever you are.

 

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