We have been back from our 25th Anniversary trip of a lifetime for just about a month and we are definitely back to reality! Once we landed back in the US we hit the ground running. We picked up the truck from fellow RV'ing friends and went over to Grand Design's new factory service center to pick up our rig. They took good care of our home while we were gone and checked off the repair list from our black water flush mishap earlier in the spring. The new facility is huge and so clean! It felt like we walked into a showroom, with our home on display! We spent 2 nights at the old service centers campground to get the coach put back together and then we were off!
From there we pointed the coach north towards WI. Our biggest to do's this summer was to get our boys moved into an apartment, Dr's appts and now, follow up on the wrist fracture. With all of this on our plate, we had to sadly decline a fourth year at Scout Camp in Rhinelander, WI.
We broke the trip to WI up with a night at Cliffside Campground in Racine, WI. Sites were spacious and paved. You can make reservations online and go directly to your site. What a gem of a county park near the bluffs of Lake Michigan! We will definitely be back there someday.
From there we headed to our old stomping grounds in Washington County, WI. We spent the first week at Pike Lake State Park. From here we had family over for some yummy smoked pulled pork and pork belly. We also weathered a big storm but we were prepared and had battened down the hatches.
We then moved over to our long term site at Lake Lenwood Campground in West Bend, where we have spent the last couple weeks working on finding an apartment for the boys, spending time with family and friends and taking in a good ol small town 4th of July parade! We even squeezed in a quick stop at Strawberry Festival in Cedarburg, WI, with everything from strawberry wine to strawberry brats!
But this last week has been all about taking care of things around the coach and truck. The saying, "When it rains, it pours" has certainly proved itself, several times over this last several days! It started with a smell in the RV and after ruling out sour food, dead rodents and smelly clothes in the rig, we moved to the storage compartments outside. Upon taking down the wall in the front bay we found some water dripping. If you've read our previous post about our black water flush mishap, you can understand that we are on high alert to anything water related! There was a leak somewhere but it was soo small that we couldn't readily see it and find the source. After a day of diagnosing, we discovered the water pump had a cracked seal. Amazon to the rescue! As if on queue, the plastic hot water heater check valve decided to give up the ghost too. Luckily we had a brass valve, just waiting for this very issue. But, that didn't seem to be where the smell was originating from. From there it was time to open up the underbelly and sure enough, we had water in the underbelly that, when pushing on the coroplast, came out in a gut-wrenching little waterfall! Long story short, Rick was able to finally diagnose that there was a crack in the gray tank, which related back to the black tank flush issue in spring. After frantic conversations with Progressive, Grand Design and a local mobile RV tech, we were able to have Progressive send out an adjuster, authorize the repair, order the tank from GD and get a mobile tech to install...mission complete in 5 days! A small miracle as RV parts are still in short supply...as we will soon find out.
While the tech installed the new tank, Rick was able to work on our entry handle. After time and the elements, the foam grip was starting to shred a bit on the ends. We decided to go with a self-fusing, waterproof bike handelbar tape to wrap it. We really like the way it stays in place and looks.
You would think that would have been the end of our issues, but we soon discovered that our awning was not functioning properly and, as before, we thought it was just readjusting the fabric a bit. Unfortunately, upon further inspection, we found one of the gas struts decided to also give up the ghost! This is where the rv parts woes really came into play. After exhaustive searches online and calling at least a dozen RV parts stores and dealerships, there was not another gas strut to be found! Our last hope was to go straight to the manufacturer and surprisingly found that you can order parts from them directly. We placed an order online and even paid for expedited shipping only to find out that due to the pandemic, they are still behind and it would be 4 to 6 weeks, and that may even be with expedited shipping. Well, at least we know we will get one some time. Unfortunately, we are starting to move again this week, so we are having it shipped to a family members home. This is one of the downfalls of this lifestyle, but hopefully we will have it within a month and be able to use our awning again.
Last but not least, we had the lock actuator go out on the drivers door of the truck. This means that the keyfob cannot lock and unlock the vehicle unless you manually lock or unlock that door. Gasp, oh the horror...we need to actually use the key to lock the door! Its just like having to get up and turn the channel on the TV in the old days!!! It is a minor inconvenience, but we were able to get an appointment at the local Ford dealer in early August to get it fixed. The good thing is, it is covered under warranty and bonus, they can get the part by then!
Rick's final task to cross of the "To Do" list while we were here was to clean and inspect the roof and AC units. It was pretty dirty and the AC units had their fair share of cottonwood tree puffy seed pods. Some days when the wind is blowing just right, those little guys make it look like its snowing!
Outside of that, we have completed most all of the Dr's appts and tests and xrays look really good on the wrist! No surgery and no physical therapy needed! The brace has come off and the only restriction is to ease into lifting things. And believe it or not, I am looking forward to getting back on the bike! Just as long as there is no sand anywhere nearby!!
We are excited for the boys, as we help them move into their next chapter and their first apartment this weekend! Then we are off to our next adventure for a couple weeks before we come back for some more family time at the beginning of August and wrap up things in WI. Even though we weren't able to volunteer for the summer up at scout camp, we were able to find an opportunity to volunteer for a week at one of our favorite venues. More on that next time...
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