Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We Shoulda Got When the Gettin' Was Good

We picked up the motorhome yesterday from Frank's Heavy Duty Truck Repair.  He did all he could do.  I asked him to check the furnace, but he couldn't get anything to work inside the RV.  We then dropped it off at Alpin Haus RV to have them go over it.  I don't need much, but I want heat, at least until we get to Florida.

The motorhome seems to run great, but it's a real bear to drive.  We had a bit of a breeze which blew it around on the highway pretty good.   I got it up to 50 MPH once, and it was white knuckles until we got to the bottom of the hill.

The only problem that I saw, which was a little unnerving, was when we stopped to drop $100 worth of gas in the tank.  That got us a half a tank, but that's really not it.  I put it in "park" and the "auto park" light came on.  I got up out of the driver's seat and Pamela started screaming "We're rolling.  David, we're rolling!   DAVID!!   WE'RE ROLLING!!!".

I jumped back in the driver's seat and stomped on the brake.   What the heck?  We were in park.  I took my foot off the brake and we started rolling again.  I put the parking brake on and that stopped it.

Dave at Alpin Haus was very nice and took all of our information.  I told him about the problem with autopark, but he informed me that the mechanic that knew about those things had retired and no one else knew how to work on them.  He then asked me questions like "does the generator work", "are the house batteries OK", "did Frank check the dates on the tires...".

I knew none of this, of course, and I explained that my experience with the RV consisted of driving it from Frank's to there...  dates on the tires?   What dates on the tires?   Dave explained that motorhome tires can't be older than seven years.  Great.  Just great.   I think I know the answer to this one.

I get an Intellicast email every morning with a five day forecast.   This was yesterday's.  Check out Friday.

Today: AM Clouds/PM Sun, High: 26 F, Low: 5 F

Tomorrow: Snow Showers, High: 22 F, Low: 7 F

Wednesday: Partly Cloudy, High: 16 F, Low: 8 F

Thursday: Snow, High: 10 F, Low: -1 F

Friday: Snow, High: 0 F, Low: -11 F

Not only will it be cold, but we're due for a major snow event on Thursday/Friday.

Next year, we head south right after Thanksgiving!

Meanwhile, I'm not an RV expert or a mechanic, but I'm pretty handy with google.  I learned that RVs over 16,000 pounds don't have a locking transmission like a car does.  It has a hydraulic drum brake that grabs the drive shaft.  The parking brake actuates the same brake.  Autopark was developed simply to allow folks to put the RV in park, just like a car, and not step on the parking brake.  The microswitch in the shift lever is probably bad, but no big deal as long as I remember to step on the parking brake.

Many of you know that I'm enjoying the lack of light pollution and am taking night time photos here in Bleecker.  On January 1st, there will be a "super moon", when the moon will be between the sun and the earth.  It will be a great time for taking milky way photos if there's no clouds.  Meanwhile, this is last night's view from Bleecker...


  1. Invest in a St. Christopher's medal. Quick. Add a plastic Jesus. If need be, have them sent overnight.

  2. Best of luck on your trip south. If you haven't found it yet, the folks on the RV.net forums can answer most RV questions with multiple opinions and a considerable amount of experience and expertise. The search function is pretty good too.

  3. See Bobs comment above! Good advice. If I can be of service to you guys, let me know. I have been RV''ing for a long time now and can probably help you along with any questions you may have. As far as the tires are concerned,you have received good info. The manufacturing date is on the side with month and year as in (1009) which would be Oct 2009. Any thing over six or seven years old is suspect,no matter how good the tread looks! Get new tires and stay safe!