Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If it's Not One Thing, it's Another...

The last time I posted about full-time traveling in our RV was before June 1st when I left to join my sister to tour Alaska, while John and Angel stayed with the RV in New Mexico. Before I left, we had located a Generac dealer in Albuquerque to work on our Generac generator. After submitting the invoice to the dealer who sold us the RV, they reimbursed us for the full amount of the repair. They thought they had repaired it, but could see from the invoice that it needed additional attention.

Campgrounds vary like the weather... 

A campground along Route 66 located in Edgewood, east of Albuquerque, appeared to be the most convenient to the airport and conveniently located near the interstate with a Walmart across the interstate.

Billboard sign for Route 66 campground
Their monthly rate also appeared to be the best rate. However, a KOA it was not! It turned out to be the worst experience we ever had at a campground. The water in the entire area, even the filtered water available from across the street at the Walmart, was terrible, but this was no fault of the park.

Full-time Traveling continues...

It was June 14! On this leg of our RV travels, we were on a mission with a deadline. Our vehicle plates needed to be renewed by July 7, and we had only three weeks left.

We had established our address with Escapees in Texas; therefore, Livingston, Texas, was our destination. We planned our route so we did not have to go through any major cities and could also miss any areas that had flooding due to the recent rains. Our first night we stayed in the Walmart Parking Lot in Roswell, New Mexico.

Over night stop at Walmart in Roswell, New Mexico
Continuing in a southerly direction, we went through Brownfield, Texas.

Loud Noise coming from the RV 

As we were driving along, the motorhome developed a very loud noise (and I do mean loud) coming from under the engine cover. After locating a Chevrolet dealer approximately 135 miles west of the outskirts of Fort Worth, we parked in a dirt lot adjacent to the Walmart parking lot that night in Breckenridge, Texas. The next morning, Carsten's Chevy in Breckenridge was very efficient and diagnosed the problem as an exhaust leak in the manifold, and replaced the exhaust donut for $108.80.

Continuing on across Texas

Earlier, the south had a lot of rain. There was still evidence of the flooding in Texas at Lake Whitney when we crossed the Corp of Engineers dam.

Evidence of flooding as we crossed Lake Whitney Corp of Engineers Dam
Our last night before arriving at the Escapees Park in Livingston, Texas, we boondocked in the Hillsboro, Texas, Walmart parking lot.

Rainbows End Escapees Park, Livingston, Texas
If it's not one thing, it's another! 

My, oh my! After checking in at the Escapees RV Park in Livingston, we found our screw-together chain links connecting our safety chains to the RV definitely needed to be replaced. We bought an extra set because with our low clearance, it would only be a matter of time until we had to replace them again.

Screw-together chain links that had to be replaced
Rub marks on links of safety chain 
Next, our air conditioner stopped working, so we made an appointment to get it in at West RV and Auto. Our appointment was set for mid week and the temps were reaching 100 degrees fahrenheit, with about that much humidity! We resorted to running fans to keep air moving, until we could get it in to be fixed.

More RV Repairs!

West RV repaired the air conditioner and while there, we also had them replace the front shock absorbers, so the front end would not bounce so much going over bumps. This all came to a total of $507.51. They also called our attention to inside wear, not good, on both front tires.

Cooks Tire Center in Livingston replaced both front tires, but they were not equipped to do an alignment on our Chevy P30 chassis. The bill for the tires came to $411.22.  Attempts to find a local facility equipped to do the alignment were futile. We would have to locate a facility to do the alignment after leaving Livingston.

The next item of business was the process of getting new license plates. When we went to the license branch, they told us we had to go across the street to get an inspection, then go downtown to pay taxes, and then come back. They asked if we had a trailer. The trailer, they said, could be done on another day. This was already turning out to be more trouble than we had anticipated, but we went across the street to get the motorhome inspected. Because the clearance lights did not work, they would not pass us on the inspection.

What should we do?

Wow! Could this be a red flag? We were not planning to do any night driving. The next day was the 25th, and it was still very hot -- too hot to troubleshoot why the clearance lights were not performing! The 25th was the day we had planned to leave, and we still had seven days before our plates expired. At this point, we decided seven days were enough time to head for America's Mailbox in Box Elder, South Dakota, and revert to our original plan of establishing residency there as our home base. One of the advantages of signing up with America's Mailbox is for a fee, they would do the leg work to get proper title work and license plates for us. Escapees do not offer this service. However, we did have to get our own driver's license, not a problem.

In my next post, we are headed for South Dakota. It's a pretty drive and I do manage to capture some interesting photos along the way. Thank you for reading my blog. If you'd like to be notified of the next post, enter your email in the appropriate box at the top right of this blog, and don't forget to go to your inbox and acknowledge that you have signed up to receive this notification. It is strictly for your convenience. We respect your privacy and do nothing with your information.

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