You all deserve an update on my harrowing move to California from North Carolina in my new used Newmar coach.
I write this story, bearing the risk of ridicule, so that readers can learn from my mistakes. I am not writing to fish for sympathy because I acknowledge that I did this all wrong. Believe me, I am paying for my mistakes.
Last you heard, I had turned around after the coach had major problems with the slides – they didn’t work. (If you missed that story, read it here before you continue on.) I was fortunate enough to land an appointment with Asheville RV Services, an independent shop whose owner is an angel. They worked for four hours trying to figure out the problems. It seemed to be electrical on the big slide because there was no power to the control board. The bedroom slide malfunction was all my fault. I apparently hit a tree while backing out of my driveway (I lived right under the Blue Ridge Parkway with lots of trees), and the slide topper was bent. We removed it and the slide worked fine.
The full-length slide was another matter. It seemed to be an electrical issue on the big slide because there was no power to the slide switch and the fuse kept blowing. It would take more time than RV Services and I had to trace an electrical short in the bowels of the rig. They called Newmar and found a workaround: The controller board (in a compartment below the slide) had manual override buttons. With a little twisting and turning, I could reach them and extend and retract the slide. This would work for now.
California or bust
First stop. The bedroom slide worked but the buttons on the controller board only half worked. I swear it worked at the shop. Only one of two motors was responding. Also, the water heater did not work. I ate my tacos and had a beer. Sigh.
It was tight, but I could manage with the one slide working. The cats and I got into a rhythm and had a relatively enjoyable trip. Several stops were delightful: Downtown Riverside RV Park in Little Rock is fantastic – right on the river and well managed.
I joined Harvest Hosts and stayed at Awesome Pacas and Pyrs just outside Oklahoma City, an alpaca farm with hosts that include grand champion Grand Pyrenees dogs. Alpacas are amazing animals and the hosts sell wonderful alpaca fur products. I made it to California and have settled down at Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert. I will be here for about two more months.
I hate to admit it, but this experience has discouraged me from going full-time in the RV. In fact, I am seriously considering selling the Newmar and licking my wounds. I am a hearty and stout person but some of my problems (the tree for instance) were because I did not have a partner helping me. Traveling alone may be beyond my fortitude.
I am trying to find a repair technician to fix the slide and the water heater. I discovered damage caused by rodents in one compartment – this may be the cause of the electrical problems. The outside TV fell off its mounting brackets, some drawer and cabinet latches have broken, and the toilet needs replacing. I am exhausted.
Next week I will give you the rundown of what I did wrong and what I did right. Most of you have figured that out already, but it’s worth a summary.
For now, tacos and beer are calling.