Sunday, November 18, 2018

Stumbling Out of the Chute

We left Virginia Beach this morning for our Winter Travels 2018-2019 trip.  It didn’t quite go like we thought it would be we managed to get on the road by 7:00 AM.

I got up my normal time a little after 4:00 AM.  I love the morning time to get some reading and reflection time in before the day gets going.  Pam got up at 6:00 and we went a about our normal routine and had breakfast, got dressed and stowed things for travel.

I had already put away the sewer hose and water hoses, packed up the grill, and rolled up the front door mat.  I went outside, took the cover off the tow bar, rolled it up and put it away.  Next, I moved the car from in front of the Roadrunner and parked it across the street out of the way.

It was about 6:20 by now and time to fire up the coach.  Pam turned the key and the engine was barely turning over.  Oh no!  Maybe we weren’t going anywhere today!  She let it sit for a few minutes and tried it again.  It wasn’t happening.

Now what do we do?  (We seem to ask that question a lot at times like these.)

The engine was trying to turn over so I figured maybe the chassis batteries were dying.  I got the car and pulled it alongside the coach on the passenger side (PS).  Then I got out our extra long jump cables and connected the car batteries to the coach batteries.  We waited a couple of minutes and Pam turned the key on again, and the engine struggled once and caught.  It fired up and we were back in business!

I went around to the driver side (DS) and disconnected the electrical cord from the pedestal and reeled in into its bay.  It was about 6:35 AM and then the air horn went off!  Apparently over the last few weeks of being stationary, I pressed the horn button.  Now that the air bags were filling the air horn went off!

Yikes!  Not exactly the way to win friends at the campground on an early Saturday morning.  Not knowing that I had accidentally turned the air horn button on, Pam turned off the engine thinking it might affect the air horn.  Nope!  She then found the switch and turned the air horn off.

This is the same horn that gave us issues last summer while traveling to Watkins Glen NY.  It is on the list to get fixed at Red Bay when we get there right after Thanksgiving.

The air horn had been blasting loud and clear for about 15-20 seconds. It was long enough to completely wake up people in 20-30 rigs.  It finally went off. Oh man.  We felt terrible!  But what could we do?

I did a quick walk around and looked underneath the Roadrunner to see if we had left anything.  That looked good.  Pam opened the door and said the front DS jack would not entered raise.  This is not uncommon.  I got out two blocks of wood and my crowbar and pryied the jack all the way up into its cylinder.  It stowed correctly this time and we were set to pull out and connect our toad.

Pam lined up our Honda CRV, I connected the safety cables, lights, and Air Force One brake.  We did a signal and brake light check, prayed for protection and safe traveling and got underway.

Whew!  Looks like we will add two chassis batteries to our list at Red Bay but we are thankful to be on the road again.

We are heading to Maynardville, TN for Thanksgiving with a couple of nights in Denver, NC to see friends.  After driving for an hour and a half, Pam took over.  I got in a 20 minute nap and decided to get a jump on my blog post for the day.

We pulled into a rest stop to stretch or legs and use the facilities. When we returned a couple in a motorhome had pulled in next to us.  I waved, he walked around his coach and we ended up in a short conversation.  Their motorhome was new to them and they were on their way to Mississippi.  He had been to a 60 day school in the DC area and she flew in to join him on the return trip home.  It was fun to meet some new people.

While driving along a slight upgrade I noticed a slight hesitation in engine.  It wasn't chugging badly (we know what that is all about) but it was running less than smoothly.  Later, when Pam was driving again, it began acting up slightly.  In our experience, "slightly acting up" usually leads to "acting up" so we figured we need to get it looked at before we continue on to Maynardville.  We looked at a Cummins Coach Care which is 90 miles east of us in Greensboro.  We'll decide on that later since they are closed on the weekends.

We continued on and stopped for fuel a couple of hours later.  With news of falling gas prices around the country we were hoping fuel would also, but it hasn't happened yet in North Carolina.  We got to our campground near Lake Norman and found it to be congested.

We arrived at our campground about 2:30 PM and saw that our front HWH jacks would not fully extend.  They are only 2" off the ground but for some reason will not extend.  Hmmm.  Another item to address.  They are really adding up on this trip? 🙁

We passed by a Publix grocery store that was only 3 miles from the campground.  After getting set up, we went back to the store for some Key Lime pie.  We also picked up their own brand of Seafood mustard which we think is yummy.

Then we went over to D. and Jackie's place for the evening.  We had a great time catching up and seeing their new place again.  They moved to the area last July.  They are settled in now and have plans for more work on the house and property.  We had a terrific dinner and a great time of fellowship, topped off with some pie and coffee.

They are Oklahomans and we watching an excited end to the OSU - WVU football game.  OSU won a nail biter which made them pretty happy.  There is never enough time with good friends, but we bid them farewell and returned to the coach for the evening.

It was a long and eventful day and we were read for bed!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Not the best start for your journey. Hopefully all goes well til you get to Red Bay for the list of fixes. Sometimes things happen - like an air horn. Part of the life and if people can't handle that, then they shouldn't be in a campground. At least that's my opinion. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Sadly, I recognize all of those problems:) It is all part of the adventure but hard to look at that way until the problems go away.

  3. Another trip, another adventure. I can't wait until your book comes out!

  4. I know it's frustrating at the time, but I just couldn't keep from laughing. Especially as I thought of some of our misadventures.