Well, we are off, chasing after another adventure. This is the reason we moved from our sailboat to a RV. We are just not ready to stop being nomads. We are not ready to join the “sane society” and settle down. There are just too many places to see, people to meet, new and exciting experiences to share.
With this in mind, this morning we finished bundling up LeuC and headed down the road. Our goal for this journey is to return to Karstner Caverns State Park, about 1.5 hours east of Tucson, Arizona. We plan on arriving in a week and, at that time, we will be joined by our daughter, Christina, her husband, Michael, and their three cute kids, Isaac (5), Stella (3) and Wyatt (1). They are renting a trailer and will be camping next to us for the three-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Whoo Hoo!
Our journey is about 1000 miles and since we have a week to get there, we plan on just dinging our way down the road. We do have a planned stop in Mesa, AZ on the 11th, where we hope to have the ceiling lighting issue we are having fixed. Over the 4 months we have had LeuC, we have lost over half of our 50+ ceiling lights. We are not sure if it is a voltage issue or if the LED lights are just bad. In discussing this problem with the parts department at La Mesa RV, we learned that most RV manufacturers that they service use the same LED light and there is a long history of failure with them. He shared a story of one Winnebago needing 30 lights replaced. I think we will give that bus a run for the trophy as it seems a new light fails each day. Grrrrr. Tiffin has a reputation of being a premier RV manufacturer and supposedly uses high quality products. When we arrive in Red Bay, Alabama, in March, to have them work on a number of little issues that we are dealing with, I will explore this reputation with them…
Right before we get there, I will post a list of the issues we have so you can get an idea of what we are facing. None of them, except for the ceiling lights, are what I would call a major issue, but when taken together, they are aggravating.
I realize that a RV bus does go through a lot of twisting and turning and pounding as it zooms down the road at 60 to 70 MPH. This generates a lot of variable stress and constant vibrations. Even though our air suspension system provides us a very smooth ride, the many parts and connections that make up a bus do go through a lot. Our bus is not like a house in that respect. With the exceptions of earthquakes, a house just sits on the ground, vibration free. A bus is more like a sailboat and we have a lot of experience with issues that occur on a sailboat. Thus, I should not be surprised that after 8000 miles of driving LeuC down all kinds of roads, we have our list of little issues that have cropped up.
Today, we stopped again at the Harris Ranch, off of the I-5 freeway, near Coalinga, California. They have a large dirt parking area for RVs and trucks. Plus, they have a great restaurant that we enjoy. For dinner I had their wonderful prime rib while Mary Margaret had their beef stew in a sour dough bread loaf. Yum! We also splurged and bought a boysenberry pie. While good, it was not like the pies Mary Margaret makes so we were a bit disappointed in that. Plus, it really needed a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it complete…
Tomorrow, we will drive down to Bakersfield and then turn left, to drive up and over the Tehachapi Mountains and then into the Mohave Desert. We plan on having a new experience when we stop for the night. The road between Bakersfield and Barstow is State Route 58. It is now mostly a freeway or, at least a separated 4 lane highway. However, there are still a few places where the highway ends and a two-lane road takes over. At one of these places, there is a huge area which, someday, will be made into a freeway. However, right now, it is a large, relatively flat area that can hold hundreds of trucks and/or RVs. Outside of a few trucks, we have never seen anyone spend the night there, even though we have read about it in a couple of RV campsite websites. We will let you know what we think about it, in our next blog.