Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Travel Day to Fort Sam Houston

It was a beautiful day to travel from our campground site at Lake Lavon, near Wylie, Texas. Before I started with the disconnects, I wanted to make sure the sun was up and that I could see everything outside. No fun doing all that in the dark unless I have to. Everyone knows how to tear down and set up a motorhome if they have done it a few times. But we didn't quite get the idea before we became full-timers so I thought I'd briefly explain what we do. This is for those of you that haven't seen it.

Inside, we stow everything so nothing falls out of cupboards. Pam uses the no-slide cloth type of material between pots and pans and lids so nothing 'clangs'. I clear everything off the dining table/computer table. I usually leave the computer running so I can add a few 'Tweets' when we stop for a break.We clear off countertops, put bubble wrap in the pantry cupboards (and refrigerator if needed) and clean up the floor of the bedroom so the slides are not obstructed. We lock sliding doors and make sure all drawers and cupboards are closed. We close all windows too. We put away the computer printer and other things I can fit under the sofa.

Outside, we close the slides and lift the jacks. Our Tiffin Allegro Bus (the Roadrunner) came with a the metal rod to pull down three outside awnings. It also serves nicely to pull the orange plastic platforms I lower the jack onto.
I have to disconnect the 50 amp power cord, turn off the breaker, and remove the water hose. Once that is done I do a 'walk-around' to make sure all doors are closed and hoses are stowed. (The other day we saw a guy in the campground dragging his power cord when he went over to the dump station. I wish I had my camera!)

We don't hitch up usually until after we finish at the dump station. Once there, we take out and connect the sewer hose and connect the water hose which sprays the inside of the black tank to make sure no 'stuff' gets stuck inside.
We always empty the black tank first, then the gray tank. Once that is done we take the tow bar from its normal resting position on the back of the Roadrunner. Then we separate the arms into a fork which then attaches to the baseplate on the Honda for towing. We hook up the safety cables, the electric wire connection and put the lynch pins in place.

That is about all there is to it. If there is a problem with the sewer hose or an accident, a water hose is right their for clean up. I also carry a spray bottle full of Pine Sol and one with diluted bleach solution. Accidents happen...

It took us about a hour to get ready to roll and do our business at the dump station.

Once that was done, we hooked up the Honda and headed back toward Dallas and the Wednesday morning traffic. We went south toward Waco, Austin and San Antonio.

A few miles outside of Waco, my Pressure Pro tire pressure monitoring system showed the tires were a bit over the max air pressure, so I pulled over and let a few pounds out of each tire. It was easy and only took a few minutes. The readout we attached on the driver side of the cockpit beeps when the pressure gets above or below 12.5% of the programmed settings. It is a nice safety feature I am glad we purchased.

We successfully navigated through the busy San Antionio freeway traffic and found our exit to Fort Sam Houston. It was recommended to us by the camphosts (John and Maria) at Ellsworth AFB, SD (outside of Rapid City) when we there in August.

We arrived at Fort Sam Houston about 3:30 and ran over to the commissary to load up on groceries. We also had to get a smoke oomb to take care of some spiders and spiderlings we have seen in the Honda. Yikes! When did they join us?

The travel camp at Fort Sam Houston is really nice. All the sites have full hookups and drive-thru level pads.
We had a brief visit from Jim and Sandy who are fellow Tiffin owners. They spoke a bit about their new shades and their visit to the Tiffin factory in Red Bay, Alabama. We have an appointment there on December 3.

We also did a couple loads of wash at the laudromat 50 yards away. We heard from Linda, a relative of Pam's, who lives 40 miles away but we missed having dinner with her. We will have to get together next time we come through town. This is a place where we definitely want to spent some time. We have been to San Antonio before, but never in an RV.

That's it for today - we leave shortly for Mercedes/Progreso Texas for our dental appointments across the border on Friday. Thanks for checking out this post of the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Hi Randy, thanks for detailing your tear down/setup procedures, it's always nice to read how other rv'ers perform these tasks. I've been saving pieces of bubble wrap for years. I've got it packed in a big box in the garage - now, thanks to Pam, I have an idea on how to use it in our rv. I just knew this stuff would come in handy some day!

  2. Randy, I would be very careful about letting air out of your tires. The initial readings should be taken when cold. If good, then I wouldn't let any air out of the tires during travel. It is not unusual or harmful for the tire pressures to expand 12.5% especially on hot days, or long drives. Just a thought.

  3. Never thought I'd say this, but.....yes, bubble wrap is our friend!

    Safe travels!