January 26, 2015 Lorraine’s report
Hello, and thanks for stopping by. What a week it has been. Whew…what we have survived in all our travels in this motor home. Quartzsite was once more fun, loved seeing and catching up with all the people that showed up. Many thanks to all our Q friends for just being “you.”
So we left Q, on our way to Yuma, when Chuck smelled antifreeze, and the coach was starting to heat up. He pulled over and was on the phone right away. He arranged all the tow truck stuff. There was a long wait for the tow truck driver to show up. From 10:30 until 3:15. Maybe you can imagine what it felt like to sit and wait, hoping everything was okay with the rig.
And when the tow truck driver finally came from east of Yuma, another wait to load it up on the “low boy” trailer. The low boy was barely big enough for him to put the rig it; looked like 3 inches on each side. It was hard for me to watch the driver pull out. And the driver was going the speed limit-70 mph. Way to fast for me. With the wind blowing that day, the truck driver could feel how it was doing, so he slowed down. The rig bounced up and down, and every which way. When we stopped, the driver asked how I did with watching it being towed. Chuck had told him I closed my eyes, but I told him I prayed it would make it into the shop the entire way. I don’t know what that bill was, so grateful we didn’t have to pay for it.
Thank goodness the people at Rush Truck Stop were so kind and got us in so we didn’t have to spend another night. That road was on a major through fare for all the truck drivers, working for other companies, so it was very much traveled. Chuck slept very little that night. I took a sleeping pill and pretty much “passed out”.
So after surviving that crisis, we made it on into Yuma Lakes, where Linda/Mike and Brenda & Carl were parked. But on the second night here, there was noise that kept on all night long. It was a loud, cannon type noise that went off every minute or two the entire night. Another long night with nothing to stop it. They said they used the noise to keep the wild boars and such out of the fields. Some one forgot to turn it off, I think.
In spite of all of this, we still like to do what we are doing. Don’t know when or where we will be finished with RVing.
So yesterday was Ashley’s birthday, and the 29th is Carl’s. Want to wish each of them a nice birthday. Hope they have an awesome day… Hugs to all.
Until next time,
1/26/15 Chuck’s report
Last week at this time we were having a good time in Quartzsite, spending time with all the folks there. Sunday morning our friends from Minnesota, Dave and Sandy, were traveling through on their way to Los Angeles and stopped by for a quick visit. The last time we saw them was back in Minnesota early summer last year. Although another year has pasted by, they both seem to be younger, don’t know how they do that but whatever, it looks like it works for them. Thanks for stopping by, even for a short time.
Later I set up the outside television so we could watch the Seahawks game. Green Bay was visiting Seattle with the winner heading to the Super Bowl. I must admit, I lost hope for them to win in the third quarter even though Green Bay was only up 9 points. Seattle was playing as poor as I’ve seen them play in the past few years, nothing they did seem to work except for a fake field goal for their only score.
But with about 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Seattle turned it up a notch and everything they needed fell into place like writing a script. They scored, recovered an onside kick and then scored an unbelievable two point conversation for a three point lead. Green Bay marched downfield and scored a field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime. The rules for overtime state both teams get one possession unless the first team scores a touch down or gives up a safety on their first possession. Seattle won the coin toss and elected to receive the kick off to start the overtime, a few minutes later they scored a touchdown to end the game. A most improbable win considering the way they played for the first 3 1/2 quarters but they won and go on to play in the Super Bowl again this year.
That evening New England won their game against Indianapolis, sort of a blow out. So the Super Bowl game coming up this Sunday will be Seattle against New England, my prediction at the first of the year. Here’s hoping Seattle can get one more win this season and win back to back Super Bowls.
Sunday night was also “hat” night at our nightly get together. All the folks who have been camping with our group before are supposed to wear their Quartzsite hats and any people there for the first time are introduced and welcomed into the group. This year there was only one new couple, Ronnie and Kathie from Texas, nice folks who said they enjoyed themselves and will probably return next year.
Monday morning I had an appointment for a mobile tech to service our Hydro Hot diesel burner. This system supplies heat for our hot water and can be used to heat the coach using small, radiator type exchangers when needed. But because it burns diesel, the yearly service requires changing out the fuel nozzle and filter and cleaning the soot form the burn chamber. The tech is the same one that did repairs on our system when we were in Las Vegas back in early Nov. so this time all we needed was the annual service, everything else seems to be working fine.
Later we headed over to the “big tent” for the first time this year. This is a tent they set up each year for RV week and have vendors in and around it to attract all the RVers in the area. The tent opens on Saturday but we try to wait until after the weekend so the crowds might be down a bit but it’s still pretty crowded. After all, there are over 100,000 rigs parked in and around Quartzsite for RV week according to reports.
We returned to our rig after walking most of the vendor row and Lorraine got our contribution ready for the evening gathering. We got a call from our friends Jim and Annie, letting us know they were at one of the RV dealers and asked if we wanted to come over for a visit, so of course we did.
Jim and Annie were in the process of purchasing a new rig so we got to see it and had a good visit with them. We met these fine folks back in San Diego when Lorraine was having issues with her liver and have made it a point to see them whenever we are anywhere near them. I am still so grateful to them for helping me when Lorraine was in the hospital the first time I met them and they’ve been just as nice to us every time since, good people!
We made it back to our gathering a bit late but still had a good visit before it got cool and we headed to our rig.
Tuesday morning we picked up Richard and Patsy and drove into Blythe, California. I had to order some parts for our coach and didn’t want to fight the crowds at the Post Office in Quartzsite so had them shipped to Blythe. Richard had to make a Post Office and Fed Ex stop and the gals wanted to stop by a grocery store too.
After we got back, Lorraine and I walked over to the Big Tent again, we wanted to finish our tour of all the vendor areas. We knew our friends from Canada were in the area somewhere so I called and found they were at the Big Tent too so we made arrangements to meet with them. It was good to see Dennis/Barb, Rob/Norma and Steve/Sandy even though it was a short visit.
Later we drove over to see Jim and Annie again, this time we brought lunch for them but they had to do some paperwork for their new rig and had to leave so we told them we would see them later that afternoon after they got back. After they got back, we drove over to see them and had our lunch for dinner and wished them well as they transferred all their stuff from the old motor home to the new one. I would have volunteered to help move their stuff but we were leaving the next day, bummer.
Tonight was our last night with the group at Quartzsite so we stayed a bit longer at the gathering and had a great time.
Wednesday we got everything ready for travel, pulled out and hooked up our tow car. We went by and said our “so longs” to the folks who were left and headed out for Yuma, about 70 miles South. We got about 30 miles or so when I began to smell engine antifreeze and noticed the engine temperature start to rise so we found a wide spot and pulled over. Sure enough, we had antifreeze all over the back of the coach and all over the car, shoot.
I called our roadside service and discussed the issue with them and they suggested it would probably be best if they sent a tow truck and towed us to a service center in Yuma. They also called the service center and arranged for us to get service when we got there or as soon as possible. The tow truck was coming from a small town to the East of Yuma and would take almost an hour to get to us.
We pulled over somewhere around 10:30 and the tow truck showed up at 3:15, 45 minutes later we were loaded on the truck. I called our friends who would be traveling down the road later past and let them know we were OK and they didn’t need to stop as we were just waiting for the truck. I didn’t get in touch with Gerald and Pat and as they drove by us, he saw it was us and started to stop but I waved him on. Sorry I didn’t contact you before you went through but thanks for starting to stop and help. If we had needed help, any of these folks would have stopped I’m sure. I also called Richard who was still in Quartzsite and had recently been towed and asked him for advice and he offered to drive down to help if needed. A big thanks to all these fine folks, glad we didn’t need help but really nice to know it was there if needed!!
The roadside service wanted to send a big tow truck and I requested they send one with a trailer big enough to put us on it vs using the normal hook type but they said they had already ordered the tow truck. They did, however, give us the phone number of the towing company so I called them and explained our situation, told them how big (40”) and heavy (36,000#) we are so they sent the trailer (called a low boy) instead. I know lots of folks who have been towed using the normal hook type trucks and suffered damage to their rigs so we were happy to have the trailer instead.
This being the first time I’ve ever been towed (except with a rope and a buddy) I was interested in the process. His trailer tips and he puts some lumber down to help keep us from dragging the rear end as the front was pulled up. He asked me to stay in the rig and steer (with the engine off and no power steering of course) as needed to keep it straight. There was about 3” of room on either side of the tires but he really seem to know what he was doing so we got on with no problems. Like I said, I’ve never been towed but I thought he was really good at this.
Once we got loaded on the trailer, he pulled to a more level spot and measured the height of the coach, didn’t need to run into a low overpass along the way for sure. He decided to make a bit longer trip to avoid one possible low spot and away we went, we were following in our car. I was surprised to see how much the coach bounced on the trailer plus he was driving 70 mph. There are lots of dips and uneven road surfaces along this route and soon we noticed he slowed to to below 60 mph, a good idea we thought and the coach seem to ride more stable at a lower speed.
We turned off to go to the service center while he continued on the longer route. We were at the service desk when he pulled in and started to unhook the rig. The service writer said they might be able to get to us on Thursday but more than likely it would be Friday before they could fit us in their schedule. I went out to help unload the rig and once again had to get inside to steer as needed and once we were almost off the trailer, I had to start the coach and drive off the last little bit as it wasn’t just coasting down. At the end, the driver came out with the paperwork and all we had to do was sign, the charges were all being paid by our roadside assistance service. I don’t know what it cost but it probably was in the $700 – $1000 range, glad we didn’t have to pay for that.
We were positioned at the end of the lot so we were able to drop our jacks and put out our slides. We headed to Cracker Barrel for dinner then headed back. The road alongside us was a busy thoroughfare for a lot of the large trucks heading to the vegetable processing area down the road. These trucks ran until after midnight and they were noisy so we didn’t get our best sleep, what with wondering about the repairs and all the noise.
Next morning I was at the service desk about 5 minutes after they opened but the service writer I had been working with was on the phone. The other service writer asked if he could help so I told him our story and he got a repair tech right then and told him to check us out and get us back on the road ASAP, wow.
The service writer, tech and I walked out to the rig and I showed/explained our problem. The tech crawled under the rig and thought he could see a busted hose but couldn’t reach it without going through the floor in the coach. So I opened the access hole and could see it was a busted heater hose, yea, nothing real major to fix.
We got stuff put away and pulled in the slides then raised the jacks, ready to drive over to the repair stall. The tech drove it over and started repairs, said it would probably take two hours. I asked them to do some routine service and change out the large air filter for the engine while we were there so it took a bit over two hours. We went out for breakfast and made a stop at a RV supply store then came back and waited for them to finish.
We were sure glad it was nothing more than a busted heater hose that caused us to lose all the antifreeze but of course it was almost inaccessible so he had to work both from inside the coach as well as crawling under, better him than me I said.
After all the repairs were done we went back to the service writer to see how much it would cost. Lorraine was standing next to him watching and while talking/laughing with him saw that he lowered the price while we there. Guess it helps to be nice to the service writers, he lowered the hourly repair rate from $135/hr. to ONLY $90/hr. plus knocked off a couple items on the list as well. Still a healthy bill but it could have been worse for sure.
We were finished up by 1:30 then drove over to our planned campground, Yuma Lakes. Alright, only inconvenienced two days and back to a more normal life. While we were setting up we saw Carl, Brenda and Mike/Linda who were at Quartzsite with us and got here on time the day before while we were at the service center.
Friday morning I pulled our reverse osmosis filter elements and had them checked at the place we bought them years ago. They flushed and checked them and said they are still about 80% so no need to do a big day long back flush on them. I purchased a couple of the other filters we use and drove back to our place.
Later we headed out to visit the Arizona Marketplace, a big swap meet with lots of vendors. This is a big draw for the RVers who come to Yuma and we usually go at least once every year. Shortly after we got there I got a call from Richard, he and Patsy had driven down for the day and we met up with them at the swap meet. After walking the different isles and seeing everything we wanted, we had a late lunch/early dinner with them before they drove back to Quartzsite. Good to see you two, hope everything works out ok at your service in Phoenix this week.
After we got back to our rig, Brenda and Carl stopped by for a visit. We thought about watching a movie or playing games but just had a good, quiet visit, nice.
Saturday Lorraine and Brenda took off on a shopping trip, I had a couple items I needed to work on and was trying to get one of our vent fans to work when Carl stopped by to help. After checking everything I could with my limited electrical ability with no luck I decided to wait and tackle it another day. Carl and I walked to the office to check on dinner that night (nothing here) then walked back to our rigs. I was surprised to see that fan was running when we got back, I must have “fixed” it while moving wires and such.
After the gals got back from shopping, we decided to head over to one of the casinos for some slot play and have dinner. We ended up at at the Q and we all had their Saturday night prime rib dinner special. Lorraine was the only winner at the slots but everyone enjoyed the dinner and we had a good visit while eating too.
Normally we write and publish our blog on Sunday but I sort of forgot to do that yesterday morning. It was about noon when I called our friends who now live here, TJ and Sharon and suggested we drive to their house for a visit. They were home and told us to come on over. I’ve known TJ for years, used to work with him at the refinery back in Washington in fact. We were surprised when a mutual friend invited them to our rig to watch the Super Bowl a few years back. They have a lot here that supported two coaches and we’ve stayed at their lot while here three different years. They have since bought and moved into a house but still own their lot and told us we could stay there if we wanted again this year. Thanks for the offer but unless something happens and we need to be here longer than expected, we don’t think we will take you up on your kind offer this year.
After our nice visit with them, we stopped for dinner at the Golden Coral buffet. I don’t know if we’ve been to one of these before but it was a pretty good dinner, they had cooked to order steak at one station along with the normal salads and other foods and of course, the desert station too. I think we both got our fill while there for sure.
The weather has been really nice this past week once again, highs into the mid 70s and lows dropping to the high 40s, not bad for January. But it started raining last night, supposed to clear out today and get nice again this afternoon with only cloudy skies forecast for the next few days. I think we can take that. I have an icon on my laptop that shows temperature and weather conditions and have one for Kenai, Alaska, one for San Jose and one for Bellingham, Wash. Boy does it rain often in Bellingham, ha.
We still don’t have our travel plans set yet. We can only stay here for a week using our RPI membership and may need to stay for a few more days after our time is up on Thursday. We have a coupon good for three free days at a campground on the other side of town and may go there if needed, we’ll see. After that, we are thinking of heading to Lake Havasu or Bullhead City for most of the month of February but nothing set up yet.
I’ll add some pictures now and get this posted, Lorraine took a bunch of the rig being towed so I’m sure I’ll pick out some and add them here too.
Dave and Sandy stopped by for a quick visit. Ronnie and Kathie from Texas, the newbies at Quartzsite this year.
The sunset one evening. Lorraine and I standing in front of our coach.
Another gathering of the folks at Quartzsite.
Another evening sunset.
One of the two fire pits set up most nights.
Getting the coach on the trailer. I’m trying to get out without a ladder on the right.
All ready for travel.
On the road on the left, starting to unload on the right.
Back on firm ground once again and no damage from the tow, yea.
Some of the fields of vegetables grown here around Yuma.
Another evening sunset, this one from our site here at Yuma Lakes campground.