November 21, 2012 – Journey South for the Winter = A Hard Drive Ahead of a Big Winter Storm

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After a hard and disappointing week of Dr. visits for me, we left Seaside Thousand Trails on November 16th. The plan was to pull into Palm Desert Thousand Tails on the 19th. We were planning to stop and see my aunt on the way down, but the weather was reporting the possibly of snow and 75 MPH winds over the mountains starting mid day on the 17th. So we left Seaside, driving the legal speed, stopping only for fuel. We go up to about Mt Shasta just north of lake Shasta when the wind and rain kicked in with ill-intent, successfully ripping the passenger side windshield wiper off. Fortunately,  the wiper was still hanging on by the washer hose and we were able to retrieve it. Getting down the mountain required we wrap the windshield wiper arm in a dish towel so it would not scratch the windshield.  We secured the dishtowel with Sarah’s hunters Orange Duct tape. Yes, duct tape again saves the day. We traveled until we reached Red Bluff late in the evening on the 16th, pulled in between a couple trucks in the rest area and slept for 8 hours, woke up tired, but ready to leave.

Still raining but daylight, we filled up at three truck stops on our way to Bakersfield. Diesel was about 50 cents a gallon cheaper in central California than Oregon, so that made us happy, as we were burning diesel like we were being paid to burn it. We checked all the truck stops and found no one had a wiper large enough to replace the broken wiper.  By the time we got to Bakersfield, the rain was all but done anyway, so we did not pursue another wiper until we reached Palm Springs.  (We stayed at Bear Mountain RV Park in Bakersfield for $27.00 for the night. Go to the What to do where to stay page on the left hand menu to learn more). On November 18th, we arrived in Palm Springs, nearly 24 hours ahead of schedule. Being ahead made us so tired we could hardly be friendly humans, but saved us sleeping in rest areas, or paying rack rate at campgrounds on the way down, so in the end probably a good thing. For those reading this blog looking into diesel pusher RV’s and wondering what kind of mileage they get, the number seams to be between 7.7 and 8.3 mpg. We have logged 7000 miles over the last 11 months, and this 7.8 is our average MPG. we spoke with several other owners this year, and they seem to report the same number.

Once in Palm Springs we went to the local Holiday Rambler / Monoco dealer and asked about the wiper. They could not fit us with one, :( The good thing is our neighbor has the same make model and year of RV as ours. 2006 Holiday Rambler PLQ40. He knew the part number. True Vision TV8-28″ . So if you happen to own this RV we are selling your wiper through our Amazon affiliate. RV Motorhome Trailer 28 Inch J Hook Wiper Blade Assembly

 

When we pulled in to our site, the bedroom slide would not come out. We could only hear the motor spin. So the slide went out only about an inch. I got my camera up there and took this picture. If you notice the shaft on the left is angled, and spins freely. The California freeways caused the shaft to break away from the gear assembly. I am not flexible enough to climb in there to remove the assembly so I called my Mechanic.
When we pulled in to our site, the bedroom slide would not come out. We could only hear the motor spin. So the slide went out only about an inch. I got my camera up there and took this picture. If you notice the shaft on the left is angled, and spins freely. The California freeways caused the shaft to break away from the gear assembly. I am not flexible enough to climb in there to remove the assembly so I called my Mechanic.
My favorite mechanic climbed up in there and after 3 hours of hard work, returned with the gear assembly.  She took that up to Mc Mahanns RV just up the street. They ordered a new assembly, that should arrive mid next week. The whole assembly only cost $60.00. Makes those windshield wipers look like a rip off.  After we were done, the neighbor showed us that the panel with the holes in it above Athena hinges out, and we would not have even had to crawl under the rig. Why don’t they make Chilton’s Manual for Motor Homes. :( The good thing is, she will probably get that part in with no trouble now that we know how to remove the side of the RV. :)  When we got back in the house, we found the dinette table had stuck into the slot on the wall. The kids figuring it was possessed of Satan, decided it would take more than just a little friendly persuasion to place it in sleeping position.
My favorite mechanic climbed up in there and after 3 hours of hard work, returned with the gear assembly. She took that up to Mc Mahanns RV just up the street. They ordered a new assembly, that should arrive mid next week. The whole assembly only cost $60.00. Makes those windshield wipers look like a rip off. After we were done, the neighbor showed us that the panel with the holes in it above Athena hinges out, and we would not have even had to crawl under the rig. Why don’t they make Chilton’s Manual for Motor Homes. 🙁 The good thing is, she will probably get that part in with no trouble now that we know how to remove the side of the RV. 🙂
When we got back in the house, we found the dinette table had stuck into the slot on the wall. The kids figuring it was possessed of Satan, decided it would take more than just a little friendly persuasion to place it in sleeping position.
Wall hooks pulled out of the table
Wall hooks pulled out of the table
Closer look reveals no matter left to put new screws into
Closer look reveals no matter left to put new screws into
I filled the hole with gorilla glue, and placed the old wood back in place. That by itself would never hold, so I then picked up a 3′ x 2″ piece of aluminum from Home depot and made four short strips of metal out of it. The took the gorilla glue and glued the metal down, then screwed the metal down.
I filled the hole with gorilla glue, and placed the old wood back in place. That by itself would never hold, so I then picked up a 3′ x 2″ piece of aluminum from Home depot and made four short strips of metal out of it. The took the gorilla glue and glued the metal down, then screwed the metal down.
Now both straps of metal are in place, glued and screwed. The next step is to find the hinges and line them up with the old holes. I then drilled them out with a drill bit 1/4 the size of the sheet metal screws width. I went the full depth of the wood with the sheet metal screws at 3/4″. Drill these and screw everything down before the glue sets up. This will allow the glue to form around the screw threads where no material is present. Keep in mind that these metal strips are doing the lions share of the gripping for the hinge.First hinge going on
Now both straps of metal are in place, glued and screwed. The next step is to find the hinges and line them up with the old holes. I then drilled them out with a drill bit 1/4 the size of the sheet metal screws width. I went the full depth of the wood with the sheet metal screws at 3/4″. Drill these and screw everything down before the glue sets up. This will allow the glue to form around the screw threads where no material is present. Keep in mind that these metal strips are doing the lions share of the gripping for the hinge.First hinge going on
Using holding bar for the table to determine the best position for the next hing. The other end of this bar is in the hinge that we just installed.Second hinge now screwed in place.
Using holding bar for the table to determine the best position for the next hing. The other end of this bar is in the hinge that we just installed.Second hinge now screwed in place.
After 24 hours of letting the glue harden, we affixed the table back to the wall.
After 24 hours of letting the glue harden, we affixed the table back to the wall.
We are happy to have our table back, it is kind of like getting a long lost piece of home.
We are happy to have our table back, it is kind of like getting a long lost piece of home.
We did not come here to work on the RV. Sarah is taking advantage of the real reason we live on the road and is swimming with her friend Lauren.
We did not come here to work on the RV. Sarah is taking advantage of the real reason we live on the road and is swimming with her friend Lauren.
Alex- Steve and Shari Stone’s son- is showing us the value of sunshine, toys and dirt. Kind of makes one miss being a kid.
Alex- Steve and Shari Stone’s son- is showing us the value of sunshine, toys and dirt. Kind of makes one miss being a kid.
Holly takes a much needed study break and pushes the kids on the swing.
Holly takes a much needed study break and pushes the kids on the swing.
Well, that is the end of the day for us, and we are tired enough to be thankful that it is over.
Well, that is the end of the day for us, and we are tired enough to be thankful that it is over.
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