Tuesday, October 06, 2015

On down the road. . .

Can't believe we finally made it out of Gallipolis, Ohio. That's not a bad stop, so if you are ever traveling up 35 through Ohio, the camp is located at the fairgrounds. It is $20 for full hookup. The sites technically are not pull through, but if there aren't many in camp, you can drive through the back site into yours. We were also able to keep our toad behind us the entire time. There are over 100 campsites and there were just six of us there. All are FHU sites. There is a bathhouse which would be acceptable if it were ever cleaned. There used to always be a dozen campers when we would stop here, but not anymore. They did say that when the Bob Evans festival starts next week, just down the road, that they will be busy.

Now a word about the Campground Manager. There is and there isn't. Depends on what you expect in a campground manager. One would think they would take your money and give you a site. In an ideal world, that's what happens. The last time we were here, there were no cars at the manager's run down trailer and nothing to indicate it was open. We left. I later emailed the fairgrounds and they were mortified that we and another camper who had pulled in left because no manager was on site and NO rigs were in the camp. He assured me they were open all year and he would look into it.

So "Edna" was there when we arrived. We paid for one night, then parked. If you read my Facebook you know that we experienced a breakdown and could not move for several days. Each time I went to renew, there was a sign on the door to pick a site and someone would come to collect. I know that person would not be "Edna" because she can't really get around very well. One time when I went to renew, a young man whom I had seen there before went up to the door with what looked to be some food and he knocked on the door. Edna yelled from inside, "Go away, leave me alone." The young man talked with her and she opened the door, invited me in and wrote me a receipt, very cordially.

So, if you are ever there, my advice is to park and try later to pay or wait for someone to come around. If she's there and accepting visitors, no problem. And she was always very nice, never nasty. I'm not sure what her story is, but she is dealing with what appears to be an invalid family member as well.

I am glad to report that we have finally left the camp there and Phaeton Place is up and running. Very well in fact. There is so much that conspired to keep us there and to get us running. Too much to talk about. But we did get a mobile mechanic out who checked all the wiring front to back. He tested the voltage and for grounds. Tightened stuff down, etc. When he got to the front, he found a bad end on the main cable running power from the back to the front. It was on the firewall. He removed the wire and put a new end on it and crimped it good. Still, she wouldn't start, so he recommended a tow. A bit tricky because the jacks were down. Terry continued to ponder the dilemma. We stayed the weekend and Monday morning he started calling Tiffin again and waiting on call backs. He spent time on the phone with Chris Morrow at Bay Diesel going over the fuse block with him. Finally in the afternoon a chassis tech called back. He confirmed what Terry now concluded. The main problem we had was with the bad connection on the main power source coming from the back and terminating on the firewall. That's fixed. The second item was a fuse missing from the fuse block. If there was never a fuse there, why did it need one now? Turns out in digging around in the area under the dash, Terry found "the" green 30 amp fuse about 12 inches away from where it was supposed to be plugged in. How does a fuse that requires pliers to pull out jump out of it's socket? Strange but true. We're thinking that with all the service we have had this summer, perhaps someone in checking the fuses didn't get it plugged back in completely and when Terry popped off the cover, it got caught "just right" and flipped out. So we didn't know that there had ever been one there when in reality it had been there all the time. Fuse was still good, put it back in and all is well.

Tiffin, in reviewing everything Terry told them, felt confident that the major problem was the connection on the firewall stud and then secondary to that, the fuse missing which controls all the ignition, etc.

So we took off this morning, altered our route to not run down Sandstone Mountain, my arch nemesis, a 5 mile 7% grade with two 90 degree curves. Instead we drove south down I-77 into Virginia. There are some grades there almost as steep as on 64, but there are breaks in them and the drive was very nice with no scary moments on the descents. We arrived at our campground about 12:30, set up and had lunch. We had a great drive, beautiful scenery and Phaeton Place had nary a hiccup on the drive. She performed like the champ she is and we believe all those problems we had are behind us.

Our campground has hills all around it and there are cattle and sheep grazing on the hillside. The weather was warm this afternoon and has now cooled down. Beautiful weather. The campground was less than 50% filled when we got here, but has nearly filled up now with rigs continuing to come in after dark.

Tomorrow we get into Charlottesville and get to spend a week with the kids and grandkids. Can't wait!

Whoo hoo!

Till next time. . .


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