Monday, July 27, 2015

Freightliner Service Center, Gaffney, South Carolina

There was a time when I didn't think we would ever get anywhere. . . and here we are in Gaffney, South Carolina, at the Freightliner Service Center. We noticed last winter we were smelling diesel fuel in the undercarriage of the motorhome. It didn't affect the running of the rig, so we planned to get it looked at when we were in northern Indiana. Since that time, we have run about 5,000 miles and still have the fuel leak. But it has gotten progressively worse and we get fumes into the coach.

We did make one attempt at having it repaired in South Bend. Not only did they NOT fix it, but they kinked all the fuel hoses and disconnected the generator, so that had to be fixed. Once they fixed that, they left us with the "still not fixed" fuel leak and another very visible fuel leak. We figured we would decide later what to do because that outfit will not correct their mistakes anymore and we don't want to pay someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

So onward we went with other things we had planned. That stopped short when we developed an apparent problem with a sensor or a module, etc. We were getting a "low coolant" warning, but we were not low on coolant and, in fact, could not put anymore in as it was filled to the top. Grrrrr. We did manage to travel several hundred miles with those warnings because as soon as the engine warmed up, all the lights went out and we could run.

Eventually we made our way to the CAT dealer in Ft. Wayne who reprogrammed our computer to bypass that module to eliminate the warning lights and buzzers. That did the trick as far as running and we have been able to run since then without a problem. We have a Silverleaf Engine Monitoring System that keeps us apprised of the engine diagnostics, so we are comfortable watching that closely for engine activity.

We arrived today in Gaffney, thankful we made it here without a problem and anxious to get the fuel leak and the sensor module fixed. The people here are very nice and we are in a site with 50Amp in their service center parking lot. We have good company around us, other RVers including some fulltimers who are all here for service on their chassis. Our work starts at 8 a.m. tomorrow! Whoo hoo!

Till next time. . .


Saturday, July 25, 2015

A little R & R

We are camped at Pride RV Resort near Maggie Valley, North Carolina, just over the mountain from Cherokee, North Carolina. We are here to spend some down time before we get to Gaffney.

We are headed to Gaffney for chassis service and hopefully they will be able to find our fuel leak and get it fixed. It doesn't seem to be as bad as before, but it is really bad down in the basement.We have that pretty well unloaded so the techs can get in there and do their job. Hoping it will be a one day thing.

They also will have to change the module that goes with the coolant sensor that was putting us into limp mode all the time. We are sure that is a simple fix, since the CAT dealer in Ft. Wayne programmed it out of the system to keep us from getting hassled by it. That has worked and she's been running great with no alarms or errors. Once the work in Gaffney is done, we will be leaving and we aren't sure where we will be going at that point.

Yesterday we spent in Cherokee, looking at the various shops. I'm not sure why we bothered. Nothing but junk. Even the shops that boasted handmade Indian craft items just had junk for sale. Terry saw one sign that said, "Made in America" and on the bottom is said, "Made in China." We bought almost nothing, just one shirt, and that was it.

We had packed a picnic lunch, so we found a park on the river and sat down at a picnic table to eat. Everyone had the same idea and the park was really packed. The sun was out and the breeze was cool, so it was perfect. Afterwards we tried our luck at Harrah's Casino and I am happy to say that we did come out ahead. Not a lot, but enough!

Today we went into Waynesville, North Carolina, to the Farmer's Market. That was pretty cool. They had a lot of vendors set up and you could get fresh produce, baked goods, meat and fresh fish. We came away with quite a few vegetables. We also visited the Steeplechase Toffee shop right across the street. We bought a little bit, because after tasting it, I knew I would eat it till it was gone and I didn't need a lot!

Afterwards we shopped  in downtown Waynesville. There were many shops and the quality of the goods was much better than what we saw in Cherokee yesterday. We bought a few things there and felt like we got good value.

This area is very pretty with mountain views all around the campground. It's very relaxing and we are really enjoying our time here.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gaffney here we come!

It appears we may get to Gaffney. The motorhome has always run well, but now we aren't getting any error messages so we are rolling. After a week of eating out almost daily, we have settled into the routine of cooking our own meals and that is going well. The dogs are settling into their routine of eating and sleeping on the road with plenty of walks to keep them exercised.

We are spending the night in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, tonight after getting in all our extra doctor appointments and veterinarian appointments, etc. Hopefully the trip down south goes well and we will be able to get everything taken care of. We are now experiencing problems with our dish antenna, but Terry seems to have it under control now. He also had to replace a water pump yesterday but he still thinks we will have to change some relays which he hasn't been able to find. He will have to order those on line but we have to be some place to get them.

We do seem to have some problems of late, but we have now had Phaeton Place for 10 years. It's hard to believe we have been on the road for 10 years. We bought her new and have really had very few problems overall. We have driven her over 108,000 miles over rough roads and all kinds of weather. . . even snow, although that was a freak storm! That has never been the plan! She has served us well and we hope to get many more years of enjoyment out of her.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Heading South. . .

Last Thursday we left Elkhart Campground. We still have not had any satisfaction on having spent a bundle of money on getting our fuel leak fixed only to have TWO leaks now that must be fixed. Once we decided to head to Gaffney, South Carolina, where our Freightliner custom chassis was born, we had a new problem arise that might prevent that. We were getting a low coolant error, but the coolant is not low. We changed the sensor, but nothing has changed and the module causing the problem is sending the coach into limp mode. So we visited MacAllister CAT in Fort Wayne. Those guys seem to know what they are doing. They downloaded the info off the engine computer and in ten years, the coolant error is the only thing showing. Since the sensor is new and the coolant is full, they believe the module is the problem and reprogrammed the computer to remove that module from the mix. So we no longer are getting the red lights or beeps or warnings about the engine. Whew. It won't prevent other failures to display if something happens, but the errant module won't be causing a problem.

After leaving Fort Wayne, we drove south and stopped for a few nights in Amishville, USA, outside of Berne. We always enjoy this area. T
he Amish here are different than in our part of the country. We visited some of the Amish stores and particularly one shop where I learned the lady's family has some celiacs and she makes gluten free products. She remembered me from the last time we were here and she gave me a sample of her egg noodles, gluten free, of course. When I was here last time, she had not tried any and she has now perfected them so I am anxious to try them. We visited some of the brat shops and bought some things for the freezer.

Saturday evening we went to dinner at the Back40 Junction in Decatur. We had been there years ago, but we both were disappointed with the food this time. There was not much of a selection of vegetables and the prime rib was tough and chewy. Probably won't go back. And to top it off, we had 90 degree heat with more humidity and the A/C in the restaurant was on the blink. Ugh. It made it uncomfortable.

We arrived today in New Castle. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and Butterscotch has a doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon. Then Tuesday Terry will be in Indianapolis getting a pulmonary test since he is on the drug amiodorone. Over time, it can affect the lungs, so they want to check that and it may result in a change in his dose. We got in around 2 and after setting up went to Hagerstown to eat at Willie and Red's. This is the restaurant formerly known as Welliver's. It was good, but the food wasn't as outstanding as I remembered it. And now if you want shrimp or crab legs, you must pay extra for it. I understand that and they actually have cut the price of the buffet. The food was better than we had last night and we enjoy the nicely cooled restaurant!

Why are we eating out so much? Well, today was my birthday! I wanted to celebrate and. . . not cook! So that's what we did. Now we are not planning on eating for the next week. LOL

Till next time. . .


Friday, July 10, 2015

More family time. . .

Jocelyn and the kids left just before the 4th because they wanted to spend the 4th watching fireworks from their favorite site in Charlottesville. I got the house cleaned and ready for the next "wave" of kids to come.

After they left we were able to squeeze in a closing on another duplex! Whoo hoo! Three down, one to go. The fourth is actually under contract and we have a closing date of September 14, so life is good. We are keeping the "storage condo" for now because it provides a nice place for the kids and their families to stay when they come to visit other family.

Thursday, July 9, we picked up Brandon, Megan, and Brynlee at the Fort Wayne Airport in the evening. We had a cup of coffee while waiting for their plane and once we retrieved their luggage, we headed for Goshen. We got them all situated in the house and then we left for the campground.

We spent the next few days visiting with them and helping Brynlee celebrate her birthday. Since her birthday is later in the month and we won't be able to be there, we decided to give her our gifts so we could watch her unwrap them. I got her quite a few clothes because I found some really cute things on sale and we also got her a kids' Kindle. It is quite versatile. . . not quite a I-pad, but much cheaper and is able to hold a lot of kids' movies and books and things that they like to look at. She is also quite adept at "2" at maneuvering her way around an I-phone, so the Kindle will be a breeze. Aenea is good at that too. Brandon had made the suggestion because when they travel, Brynlee is always wanting to use their devices, so now she will have her very own. I think she really liked it. Brandon showed her how to do some things on it and it didn't take long before she was using it on her own. We enjoyed getting to see her open her gifts.

We really enjoy having the little ones in the house, but the dogs seem to enjoy the peace and quiet of the motorhome after we leave the house! In some cases, Butterscotch can be found on somebody's lap, safely out of reach of toddler hands. Most often, Duchess is hiding under the desk in the kitchen!

The kids are here because cousin Kellie married Tommy on May 8 and is having a reception on Saturday the 11th. We are taking our little motorhome down to the woods at Nita's and staying there with our dogs. The kids got a hotel room. This one picture is of Mom, Dad, Brandon and Brad. They are the only grandsons and are 10 months apart in age.

They got to spend some time with Mom and Dad before and after the event and we got some great pictures. The kids have always enjoyed spending time with Mom and Dad and my parents appreciate the time the grandkids make to visit with them.

Here are a couple of pix with Mom and Brynlee, ages 90 and 2 and Dad and Brynlee, ages almost 91 and 2.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Some of my favorites!

As I reminisce on the last week and look back over pictures, I am enjoying the love and comfort my family gives me. Surround yourselves with your loved ones while you can.

Ronan and Grandma Dale going for a ride. His one word he used multiple times to describe the ride was "AWESOME!"

My 90 year old Mom and Aenea at 3, her great grandaughter, 87 years difference in their ages.

My Dad, also 90.

Butterscotch and Duchess, both 9 years old.


The love of my life, Terry.

 Till next time. . .


Sunday, July 05, 2015

Alone again. . . naturally!

The grandkids left on Wednesday. Sniff, sniff. I miss them already. I so enjoyed having them here and getting to include them in my day. . . and me in theirs. They are both sweet kids and I love them dearly. They made the trip back to Virginia in two days, so that was a little easier on Jocelyn, I'm sure. I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house because son Brandon and his family are to arrive this next week. I am so glad I went ahead and got most of it done then because I don't have it hanging over my head now. I finished it up on Thursday and later in the day we went back over to the motorhome at Elkhart Campground. Our friends Tab and Deanna were due into the camp in the afternoon and they got in about 3:30. They wanted to spend some time relaxing this weekend and I have to say that we all did that rather well.

The camp was really full this weekend and still there was a lot of movement in and out. We had campfires twice. It was warm during the days and got chillier during the evenings, so it was perfect for having a fire. But we have had so much rain here, over 4 inches in June, that we now have a healthy population of hungry mosquitoes. So as soon as it started getting dark, they were out looking for food and we were looking to go inside.

I did try out my new Butterfinger Pie on them. Tab and Deanna are "dessert connoisseurs" and I thought they would like it. It was a big hit! One of the relatives brought one to the family reunion and we all liked it, so I made one. It was very easy and was very good. Not at all good FOR us, but delicious nonetheless.

Today Tab and Deanna left for home in Ohio and we are once alone again. . . naturally.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, July 02, 2015

Grandkids time!

We finished up some last minute cleaning and laundry because Jocelyn, Ronan and Aenea were due in on Tuesday or Wednesday. They actually got in very late Tuesday. We spent a lot of time visiting until we were all about dead from lack of sleep. We went to bed and we stayed there as well because I thought Jocelyn might need some help the next morning after such a long drive.

I can't remember what we did every day. . . they just blur one into the other, but I'm pretty sure Wednesday they just crashed and we enjoyed having them there and playing so we could be entertained! The kids got along great with the dogs but the dogs were seeking out the quiet corners before long. LOL

We all went down to Claypool one day, actually we went on two occasions, so my parents could see them. Jocelyn really wanted to see them as well. They are the only grandparents she has left and the only great-grandparents the kids have. Mom and Dad really enjoyed seeing them. My mom loves the little ones and she had a great time with Aenea. Nita and Kelly both came over too, so the kids got to see them as well. We had fun taking pictures and visiting.

One day Jocelyn, the kids and I went to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. It's really a museum of planes and aviation. It's not very big, but it is geared to kids, with a few rides and some planes and cockpits they could sit in. Ronan enjoyed those as did Aenea. it was a bit of a ride up there, but we had a good time and the kids enjoyed it.

My niece Michelle and her daughers, Kirstin and Kira came over one evening to visit. I had seen them at their garage sale a few weeks ago. Butterscotch really took a liking to Kirstin and insisted on sitting on her lap. At least Kirstin didn't seem to mind!

It's hard to believe they were here a week, but they are gone already. They left on Wednesday before the 4th, because Jocelyn wanted to spend the 4th in Charlottesville. They have a routine for the holiday and they wanted to be back for that. I can't blame them for that.

Till next time. . .