Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Flat tire, Coach Net, and Pressure Pro

Wow, where to begin.

Yesterday we were just moving from Ocala to Cocoa and in the little Florida town of Astor (or just a few miles out), the Pressure Pro tire monitoring system started going off. Said tire was down to 98 pounds from about 112. We started looking for a place to pull over. . . none. The monitor quit (it does that. . . like it's just RESTING UP for the big beep) and when it started again, said tire was at 86 pounds. We were into the town now, so found a restaurant parking lot and pulled in. Restaurant was closed. . . lucky us. So we called Coach Net. That was at 2:30. No one showed up till 8:30. When we first called they said they would be able to patch it. Then they called back, said they couldn't patch the tire (it had a nail in it) and since our tires were obsolete and not made anymore, they would have to bring a new non-matching tire. Terry said no, find me a used one. Talk about mad! When he got off the phone, we called the Michelin Man. . . hmmmmm, seems the tires are not obsolete and are still made. And there is a Michelin truck tire center just 22 miles away from us in Deland, with 15 in stock. They even have a road service, but not 24 hour. . . and since it was 5, we were out of luck there. So we waited for the guy to bring and mount our really crummy used tire for which we paid waaaaay too much (but less than a new one which wouldn't match). We then drove the 22 miles to the tire dealer, and parked in his huge parking lot overnight. This morning at 7:30, they examined the tire, applied a patch, and we were on our way. CN did as advertised. . . found someone to help us get back on the road. But the long wait and the deceptive practices of the service caused much more stress than we needed. Plus, we are out $175 for a damaged tire. . . not just used, but damaged and not really usable even as a spare. Our tire was repairable. There was no need for us to buy a used or new tire. If I have another problem with a tire, instead of calling CN first, I will call my tire manufacturer and see if they have someone who can help.

But, the Pressure Pro saved Phaeton Place. Once the tire lost all air, it would have heated up (already getting hot) and would have started flailing, taking out fender skirting, etc. . .just like the coaches we see at Red Bay getting repaired. It's why we bought the system and thank goodness it did what it was supposed to.

Prior to the move yesterday/today, we spent some time in Ocala. We had gone there after the FMCA Southeast Rally. Terry had to have some blood work and needed some meds, so we got that done pronto.

Next we connected with Bill and Helen, friends from the Class of 2005. How great to catch up with those friends all over the country. Seems like there is always someone close by. It is such a great group of people and we are planning on getting together again this fall just prior to the Fall Gypsy Gathering in Celina, Ohio. What a great time we will have! It was pouring down rain when we saw Bill and Helen, but that didn't dampen our spirits. We met at Sonny's BBQ and had dinner. Afterwards we went back to their place. They have a lot in the Wilderness Estates in Ocala and have taken a lot of time and care in landscaping it.

Also while in Ocala, we got to see colleagues of mine with whom I worked for 27 years. Jim and Joy live in Indiana part of the year, but have bought a house in Summerfield, near the Villages. We met at their place and had a great time visiting with them and rescued kitty Jujube. What a nice place they have! Then we went out to eat at Sam St. Johns, a seafood restaurant which is really very good and then they took us on a tour of the Villages. It was so great just seeing them. I haven't seen them since we retired. We retired together and they are really special people.

We spent a week in Ocala at the Ocala RV Camp Resort, a former KOA. It was a very nice camp and the people are friendly and accommodating. We managed to drive to Clermont one day and have lunch with Brandon. My sister and her husband stopped by on their way to Daytona for the 500. They had gotten tickets and drove their motorhome down. The second night out, they were headed south on I-75 and the Ocala camp fit into their itinerary just fine. My sister, Nita, and I got a great visit in that night and the next morning. I took her to Wally World for a few supplies she needed and when we got back, they broke camp. We took them to a restaurant and we talked and ate till it was time for them to leave.

Now we are camped at Cocoa, Florida, at the Forest Village RV Resort. We are 12.5 miles from the Space Center and they say you can see the launches from here, but none are scheduled now. We missed the shuttle returning today. They said the sonics booms were heard here. We are here for a week. Tomorrow we are going back down to Melbourne to see Brandon and view another house he is considering making an offer on. Hopefully this will be the one.

Till next time. . .


Friday, February 15, 2008

Come on everybody. . . Let's do the swim!


I couldn't resist buying these critters. They are on fiberglass poles and "go with the wind." When the wind changes directions, they do too! It looks like a school of aquarium fishies. This day the park was having yard sales and we ended up taking them down and putting them away. We had so many people come around asking to buy them!

Great news! My sister and her husband just arrived! They are headed for the Daytona 500. They left northern Indiana yesterday at 4:30 p.m. and arrived in Ocala at our park about 9 p.m. We had scouted out the park and had a decent site picked out for them just 2 rows over from us. They can actually see our coach from their site. Nita and Jim both came over and talked for awhile. It was good to see them. They will be leaving tomorrow for their campsite close to the race, but we plan to hook up with them again before they leave the state.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hope no airplane wants to land!

We are parked on the east runway at the Hernando County Airport outside of Brooksville, Florida, for the Southeast Area FMCA rally. We arrived on Wednesday and it seems like we are parked five miles out, but I guess it's just really about 1 1/4 miles. We have been riding our bikes into the events and that is working well. We are in the generator section and that is not going so well. It should be a requirement at these events that everyone in the generator section must use a chimney on their generator exhaust. We do and our exhaust is directed out over the top of our coach. It is a little stinky here with all the fumes. We have to stay in at night and run the air. We are facing a field and we can step out into the field and the air is clear.

The seminars have not been very good. The presenters have been unprepared or even absent. These have been a big disappointment. We are going to the microwave/convection cooking one tomorrow morning because the presenter is very good. I have seen her seminars before and she always does a good job.

Last evening we saw the Rivoli RV Review. We have seen these performers before and they do an excellent show. We laughed and laughed at the funny songs they sang. Many of them are their original creations, but most are familiar tunes with lyrics adapted to fit the RV lifestyle. Very enjoyable.

We went back tonight for the next show. We were to hear a men's group singing and we were looking forward to it. While we were sitting in the tent waiting for the show to begin, the announcer asked us all to leave. It seems the power panel was sweating and the power was about to go out. It was a huge tent with probably a thousand people, so it was better to leave while we still had light. We caught the shuttle bus back to the rig and here I sit.

Tomorrow we will try some more seminars. If they don't get any better we may leave Saturday instead of Sunday. We shall see.

Till next time. . .