Failures, mostly small

This trip has been characterized more than any other by a collection of problems ranging from moderate to trivial.  I will detail them here for my own record and for my amusement as well.  Most of these were not caused by anything either of us did.

DVD player – would not work when we sat down to watch a movie.  Tried all the available alternatives and could not get it to play through the TV as it had the day before and we had not moved or anything.  Walked across the street to Frys Electronics and bought a cable to connect the computer to the TV and while there picked up a Blue Ray Disk player, works great.  Oh plugged the “broken” DVD Player into the rear TV directly and it worked there.  Maybe my problem lies elsewhere in the distribution circuit that came with the coach, but it passes though Cable and Antenna and Satellite – see next.

Satellite – bought a DVR to replace the simple receiver we had so I could skip commercials and record ahead.  Although it seems to work fine I have not been able to line up on a satellite since connecting it.  I did rebuild the antenna base but I could not get a satellite before I did that either.

Carol’s six year old Lumix Camera – the screen went black and the camera would only take pictures of black.  Tried everything to no avail and the camera is due to be replaced anyhow.  Ordered a Canon G 12 for delivery on Friday, the Lumix resumed working!

Reading Light Paul’s Chair – the switch broke, they do that.  Found and installed a replacement

Reading Light Carol’s bedside – the screws that secure it to the wall jiggled loose.  Inserted wooden toothpicks for filler and reinstalled

CPAP Machine – a show stopper! When I went to set it up after moving from Burbank to Dockweiler it would not work.  Asked Kathy to go into our house and pack up the house CPAP and ship it to me at great expense – next day Fed EX.

Tail lights on Car in tow mode – endless problem getting them to work after we connect the car to the coach.  Much fussing results in making it happen each time.  I have tried many approaches, but jiggling wires seems to resolve it.

Broken windshield – took a stone in the car windshield while driving on US 95 north of Yuma, it extended in to a crack that I have not called in yet.  It is not in the drivers line of sight.

Slow leak left front tire car – I kept adding air to the tire from Big Bend to Yuma, finally pulled into a BigO tire place where they pulled out a roofing nail and patched the tire.  They did the work gratis and the guy who did the work got a nice tip.  He saved an expensive new tire for us.

Car horn – stopped working in LA traffic one day.  Had a mechanic look at it and he reported both horns were burned out.  I began search for new horns and was about to buy at NAPA.  In frustration I leaned on the horn button one more time, it is working (was working yesterday – haven’t been in the car yet today)

Vent for Furnace (screw loose) – just nonsense and the screw was installed crooked from the factory.

Propane Detector – It is currently disconnected as it was sounding off every time we stopped to set up for camping.  Not sure what the cause, but it certainly was not propane leaking.  I thought it might be engine gasses, but it is not supposed to be a CO detector and I have one of those that it not in alarm status. 

Latch on drawer rear vanity – trivial issue.  Had to remove the part on the drawer and turn it over.  Works fine now.

All of this says that if you want the pleasure of RVing you had best be a bit of a mechanic and be prepared to either fix things yourself or  wait to find someone who will do it and be prepared to pay.

Please be aware I am not complaining.  I suspect that if I added up all the trivial and not so trivial things I fix while in our house in Rochester the list would not be any shorter, just different.

California on my Mind

Although we actually have been in California since we pulled into Senator Wash on February 1, we are in a very different place since we arrived on the coast on the 9th, 5 days ago.  Here is a recap of the situation in Los Angeles.  Our son, Yechiel, is in Massachusetts for training at his company’s home office.  Dan and family are headed to Los Angeles this week on Wednesday and Yechiel will return on Friday.  We came in to spend time with Miriam and the boys so she would not have a full week of coping alone.  We will all be together from Friday through Monday, Presidents Day.  We will disperse shortly thereafter. 

For the moment we are camping at Burbank Elks Lodge #1497 not far from Bob Hope Airport.  As I stare out the windshield I am looking at Yahoo headquarters just across the commuter rail tracks less than a block away.  This IS California and the lodge is nonsmoking, unlike the previous ones we have visited.  It also has a nice fitness room and decent showers so the lack of sanitary sewer where we are parked is not a problem.  I was concerned because they only have connections for three coaches and I assumed there would be a high demand for space.  Not so.  There is another coach that arrived after us and there has been an empty slot right along.  Who knew! 

We have spent much of our time with Miriam and the boys.  Sunday we all went to Santa Monica Pier to play in the sand and take in the activities on the pier.  As we got out of the car in the sunshine looking out at the Pacific a fog bank rolled in obscuring the ocean and the pier from view.  We ate our lunch on the sand, but the damp chill soon drove us and most of the beach goers to find an alternate place to play.  We went on to the pier.  I invited the boys to ride the Roller Coaster with me and Avtalyon agreed so off I went to buy tickets.  As we approached the line to board he decided the “brakes are too loud” and refused to take another step in the direction of the line.  Carol and I got to ride together, something that seldom happens as she generally finds the whipping motion too hard on her neck, this is a “gentle” coaster and we both enjoyed the ride.

Last night we went to dinner at the Hillcrest Country Club on Pico with our friends from the JDC Board Etty and Claude Arnall.  We are blessed to meet so many people in so many different ways and find wonderful friends along the way.

When we were at the Northeast Regional FMCA Rally in Vermont 18 months ago we met the Braunsteins and they gave us an audio book they were done with (12th Card – Deaver).  We sent along a thank you when we finished the book and now it looks like we may be joining them In Ashland Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival at the end of March.  The calendar fills even though we resist making plans too far ahead.  Somehow if you want to do some of these things it is necessary to actually commit way ahead.  Not real happy about having a schedule, but it it the only way we seem to get to some of things we want to do and some of the people we want to see.

To wrap up this post, today we went to the Huntington Library and Art Collection.  OMG!!!  We had four hours there and barely scratched the surface.  We will get back on future trips to the left coast.  Glad the kids are here so we HAVE to get here.

Elks to Elks to BLM to BLM with a WalMart Stop Too

This has been some journey across NM in a day and then to an SKP Coop to Two Elks Lodges and on to Quartzite and then Senator Wash, both of the latter are BLM, thank you US taxpayers.

From Sierra Vista we cruised through El Paso and made a stop at Camping World at milepost 0 on our way out of Texas.  There we had routine service and rolled out to Walmart in Las Cruces, NM for the night.  With an early start we crossed NM and rolled through eastern Arizona climbing the Dragoon Pass on I 10 (you really must do this drive and stop at the rest area at the top – it is gorgeous) and descending into Benson where the Escapee Saguaro Coop is located.  We stayed there a couple of days so we could pay a visit to the Pima Air and Space Museum which has been growing on the eastern edge of Tucson for the past 10 years.  Too many planes, too many pictures, egad what a collection.

Onward to Casa Grande and the Elks Lodge there.  The plan was to meet Bob and Pat Hogg who were staying near by in a Western Horizons resort.  The lodge parking lot was fine.  There were no utilities, but we had come in expecting none and that worked out fine.  We could not spend any time in the lodge as it was very smoky.  We met Pat and Bob and had a pleasant Happy Hour at their place.  The next day they picked up up and we went to Boyce Thompson Botanical Garden where we spent most of a very lovely day exploring the grounds.  That night we went out to dinner at Eva’s Mexican to celebrate Pat’s birthday, a big one they noted.  After fond farewells and we will see you soon, who knew how soon, we set off on our separate headings.  We all knew we were headed for Quartzite, but without plans who could tell when. 

We drove the short distance to Phoenix, actually Scottsdale, where we settled into another Elks Lodge that offered water and electric and had a sanitary dump on site.  Site 6, where we landed by default, did not have a functioning water spigot so I connected across to another site with a spare spigot using my new replacement 50 foot extension hose.  Promptly at 11 PM the power went off and we were on battery again for the night.  As I thought about firing up the generator for breakfast power came back on by magic.  This was repeated a couple of nights later, although by then I had learned the location of the submaster breaker that was taking down half the sites.  It was cold and we were all running electric heaters and water heaters, oops!

We located Lennie and Judie Gross, members of Chavurat Yehudim chapter of FMCA and had a fun lunch with them.  By now we had contacted other Rochester people we knew in the area and between gallery visits and other sight seeing we had dinner with Judy and Harold Samloff after a visit to their home in Happy Valley and went to dinner at Tom and Mary Markusen’s home in Cave Creek, beyond the northern end of Scottsdale.  The views from both of these homes are exquisite.  Mountains, valleys, plains are all visible from these wonderful sites.  Watching the sun set from Markusen’s was a wonderful experience and the birds enjoying their natural setting were also a joy to see.  The dinner was wonderful and the company even more so.  

Back to Scottsdale Elks Lodge and a different reality for the night and then a day of shopping in Scottsdale old town before setting out for Quartzite.  I won’t trouble you with the history of the place again.  Suffice it to say we found a BLM short term visitor’s area 3 mile north of town (if you can call it that) on US 95 called Hi Jolly.  It is named for an Arab camel herder who herded camels for the US Army in the area.  The routine is simple, pull off the road and stop to pick up a registration form that can be used to track your time on site, limit 14 days.  Drive in until you find a place you want to stay, off the road – hard to determine really – and stop there. 

A call to the Hoggs located them in Rose RV in the thick of the action.  We went over for Happy Hour and agreed to meet in the morning to check out the vendors in the Big Tent a couple of hundred yards or more long and half as wide.  After that we gathered at our coach in Hi Jolly for – you guessed it – Happy Hour.  I will not document all the “stuff” we acquired.  I do have much more solar capability now than I had going in and some other items that are almost as important .  The solar is great!  I only run the generator to support cooking in the convection/microwave or toasting English Muffins.  Those resistance heaters will eat a battery in nothing flat.  Everything else runs off the panels by day and the batteries they have charged by night.  It is very quiet and very fuel efficient.

Onward to Senator Wash one of our favorite desert places.  We will stay here until the 9th or so when we head for LA and our family reunion.

I will post some pictures for this period later.  I want to get this up and the pictures are on my phone which is supporting my online activity.  It is propped against the back TV set which is the only place I seem to get phone service in the coach today.