Thursday, October 30, 2014

UNLOADING THE BIKE

Over the years there have been MANY pictures and even videos taken of me unloading my bike from the ‘garage’.  But never so many in a sequence !!

For those of you that know Ms. Barbara – well she NEVER is without her camera.

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The ramps I had made to ‘soften’ the slope really work well.  Yes, There’s more work with putting the bike in and taking it out, however, with these extra ramps it is much, much safer.

I don’t know what Newmar was thinking when they made such a STEEP ramp !!

Slow and steady is the key here.  My ‘girl’ is one heavy sucker so I’m always extra cautious.

OH,  For my Northern friends you will notice the GORGEOUS background and sunny skies !!

Checking to make sure I’m semi-centred.

Almost there….

And you will notice that I’m still flat footed – something that was NOT achievable with the existing ramp due to the sharp slope.

Just another few inches…..

And she’s off the ramp and on solid ground !  Another successful landing !!

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Oh Joy Oh Bliss !!

I’m really enjoying my time here at Leasburg Dam State Park.  It is quite beautiful.  Jeanne and Holly have gone on to explore other parts.  So it’s just Barbara and I.  Plus there’s Folks coming and going all the time.

Using this ‘wait’ time to get some maintenance items done but it’s still pretty hot here so if anything is going to get done it has to be done in the morning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DRIVING

Left Roswell, NM and drove 185 Miles to Wally’s in Las Cruces, NM.  This US 70 route is very comfortable driving and this part of it was far more scenic.  At least it wasn’t one complete straight line.  Some curves and even some climbing and descending.

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Doesn’t this look that awful “S” stuff.  Nope,  It’s that nice “S” stuff, meaning white SAND.

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Occasionally I need a little ‘motivation’ to keep me awake while driving so I put the divine Ms. TINA on BUST.  This 30 second video will show some scenery as I drive and my little Bennie at the end – who BTW is not fazed in the least by the volume !!!

With only less than 20 more miles to go that day I could have made it to the State Park but I looked and felt like something ‘da cat dragged in so I chose to start fresh the following morning.

I arrived at Leasburg Dam State Park later in the morning the following day.  I was warmly greeted by my good friend BARBARA and met two other solo, woman RV’ers – JEANNE and HOLLY.

First order of business was to get the lawn chairs out and DO NOTHING !!  Accomplished !!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO

My wiper blades arrived at the Pilot in Amarillo, TX yesterday afternoon and I went there immediately to get them and came back and put them on.  It was too late in the day though to get back on the road so I hooked up Ms. Daisy and had everything ready to pull out this morning.

BTW,  It sure was nice having Ms. Daisy to do my running around in while I was waiting for the wipers to arrive !!

Last Spring I took the TV out from the front area of the rig.  I wrote about that HERE.

I eventually found something to put there but just recently I thought a clock would go great there.  Found this one at Wal-Mart while hanging out in Amarillo and put it in that space.

Yes, I know, by looking at the picture it looks like it is totally NOT level.  But it is perfectly level.

Yup,  Set it to Arizona time right away.

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I know I’ve said this many times over the last years, but I am sooooo lucky with my little Bennie.  As soon as I turn the key he goes to his ‘driving’ bed and that’s where he stays until I stop.

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Changed my mind a gazillion times last night as to what route I was going to take.  There actually were several different options.  I was a bit apprehensive about getting off the main Interstate so I researched quite a bit about the distances between each Wal-Mart.

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I eventually decided on taking the I-27 South from Amarillo and knowing I was going to be on smaller Highways I made sure I had a full tank of gas before heading out.  I wasn’t on the I-27 long before I swung right on the US Highway 60 and then 70 all the way to Roswell, NM.

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I drove 220 Miles today – that’s a LOT for me.  Hadn’t planned on driving this far but the roads were good and the driving pleasant and relaxing.  However, not much in the way of scenery.

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Pulled into Wally’s at about 4:00PM to a sunny 79F/26C.  Love that !!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HANGING OUT IN AMARILLO, TEXAS

I’ve been on the road now 12 days and have been very lucky with the weather.  With the exception of only one day – every day has been bright and sunny and warm.

That one day exception was rain – and as Murphy’s Law would have it – that was the day my driver’s side wiper blade decided to DIE !!  And of course it was also the day AFTER I left the Newmar Factory !!

The rubber part came about 1/2 way off the track but again I was lucky enough to find a place to pull over and push it back on.  That got me through to the next stop where there was a Pilot, a large Auto Parts Store and a Wal-Mart – just to name a few.

Well my wipers blades must be unique in that they are 32” and NOT TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE.  The guy at the Auto Parts Store suggested putting on the 28” ones to get me through but oh no that didn’t work either.  Something was too big or too small and it would not fit on the arm.

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So I called Newmar and ordered them sent to the Pilot location in Amarillo, TX.  Did you know you can get your mail sent to  these large truck stops ??  I sure didn’t.  Sure handy when you’re on the road travelling long distances !!

Now again, these wiper blades are VERY SPECIAL as they were $78.84 (US Dollars) EACH plus I paid an extra $30 or so to have them delivered in 3 days.  Total Canadian for two wiper blades = $209.46 !!!  Ability to see out the windshield when it’s raining = PRICELESS !!  LOL

I had hoped the UPS package would perhaps arrive early (yesterday) but no such luck.  I checked their website and it says it’s guaranteed to arrive at Pilot today – by end of day.  Well it’s 2:00PM now and not arrived yet.

Took advantage of my downtime here yesterday and sent Bennie off to PetSmart to get groomed.  Poor little guy was so shabby looking it looked like he didn’t have a Mamma !!

While he was there I had several hours to kill.  What to do ?  What to do ??

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Ahhhhhh,  I could ‘browse’ through there for awhile I suppose.  HEY !!  I haven’t stopped at ONE HD on this entire trip !!!

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Found a few things…..

I do enjoy my stickers…..

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And like I really needed another T-Shirt !!

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But it’s not WHITE so Jo and Toune (folks I met over the Summer) would be proud of me !!

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REALLY needed another pair of jammie bottoms…..NOT !!  LOL

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But I did need a new mat for by the kitchen sink.

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Hopefully my wipers will arrive today and tomorrow I’ll be back on the road.

Decided to change my route and head South from here and stop for a week or so at Leasburg Dam State Park where my Friend BARBARA is presently staying.

That should work out well as it’s still too hot in Yuma and even in Quartzsite for me.

Also by going this route I can stop in Deming to see my Friend Lee.

Monday, October 20, 2014

THE BIKE ARRIVES

HOLY MACARONI !  Will this story ever end !!

OK, So now we’re into Tuesday morning, October 14th.

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Yes, ANOTHER 4:30AM morning for me as they came to get the rig at 6:00AM ON THE DOT to fix the bed lift in the toy hauler.  And off Bennie & I go to the Lounge area to wait.

I had received a call from the Driver the night before saying that he would be at the Newmar Factory with my bike by 8:00AM and that he would call me when he was 5 minutes away.  That was so he knew where to go – the place is so HUGE.

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The timing turned out to be perfect !  My rig was returned to me and while the driver was unloading the bike I was able to get the rig ready to ride the bike in.

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Yes, The bike was delivered safe and sound – albeit late – but overall I was NOT happy with this Company’s service.  I won’t bore you with all the details so I’ll just say that FORTY FOUR e-mails had to be exchanged to complete this simply process !!

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Now I’m not going to mention this Company’s name Winking smileWinking smileWinking smileWinking smile…….

But as you can see I’m one happy Sassy Rider re-united with her bike.

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Getting her safe and sound in her own home where she belongs.

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Everything was done – even Ms. T hooked up and it was still only 9:20AM !!!!  So on the road I get.

Newmar’s Customer Service is OUTSTANDING.  Everyone I spoke with there was very friendly and accommodating.  The person I dealt with most was Jason, who did the work on my rig.  He was awesome !!!

This story really has a very happy ending – yes, despite all of the stress it put me through over the entire Summer…..Newmar reimbursed me for my costs.  Yes, ALL of my costs !!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MY EXPERIENCE AT THE NEWMAR FACTORY

Only one word to describe it --- OUTSTANDING !

Now that is a word I use very seldom and certainly don’t use lightly !!

I arrived at their Factory in Nappanee, IN on Sunday afternoon in order to be ready for my appointment for the following morning – October 13th.

The place is HUGE and goes on for blocks and blocks and blocks with several HUGE building on each of these blocks.

They have about 30 or more parking spots for RV’s that are waiting for service work with full hook-ups.  Yup, water, electric (50 AMP) and sewer at each one.

I went to the over-flow lot a little further up the road and there was probably about another 20 spots with water and electric.  Got myself settled in.

They did tell me that they come get the rigs at 6:00AM – so knowing that I knew I had to be up by 4:30AM in order to be semi functional for 6:00AM.

And they were not kidding !!!  Six o’clock (and I saw lots of movement even earlier than that) they came to my door and took the rig.  Despite the fact that there were numerous e-mails and phone conversation with their Customer Service we discussed the problem in detail – particularly the fact of the potential danger of opening the door.

Off to the Lounge Bennie and I go to wait.  They said they would come talk to me once they had a look at it themselves.

About an hour later they came out to get me and brought me in to the shop.  YES, They had the door opened !

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The fact that they could open the door (I figured out later) was because Bella Vista RV had put those extra bolts in the hinge.  Now it looked like there wasn’t even a problem !!

The Service Manager said he figured it would take them about 10 hours ( at $118/Hr. ) to do the repair and I might have to get a Hotel for the night.  Nope, I said, not doin’ that !!  Worst case, if by end of day ( which for them btw is 2:30PM ) the door is still not back on, we could throw a tarp over it as I can lock the door between the hauler and the living area.

Not sure why they had to take off part of the fiberglass on the door.

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They said they would come get me shortly after lunch to update me as to where they were at at that point. I also mentioned the lift for the beds in the toy hauler.  You see there are four pins (one for each corner) that you can insert into the pre-drilled holes in the chain channel part and by doing that you can just bring the bottom bed down (which turns into a lovely sitting area) and the top bunk stays up.  Well the holes haven’t lined up for years and I have not been able to do that.

So off I went to have some breakfast.  This is Amish country and I was told about this restaurant just around the corner whereby the food was fabulous.

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And it was indeed.  There was so much in that portion that I took 1/2 of it away with me and now I also had lunch.

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Now Bennie and I head back to the Lounge area to wait.  After sniffing every inch of the place and greeting everyone who came in he finally found a quiet corner to go back to sleep.  Naturally I had to go out to the car when I saw him settled to get his blanket.

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Now this is a sign you don’t see posted at a Canadian RV place.

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Sure enough they came and got me again shortly after lunch to show me their progress.  Jason,  the guy who was actually doing the work, said he’d have no problem finishing it by end of day and he would also adjust the chain so the toy haulers bed could be operated as it was intended to.

And yes, as promised my rig was brought back to me by 2:30PM but unfortunately he didn’t have a chance to check out the bed but would definitely do that the next day.  That of course meant another 4:30AM for me !!!  G R O A N !!

We tested the door several times and everything looked great.  The hinge is basically a huge piano hinge with several pre-drilled holes.

Jason told me for each hole the hinge came with he drilled another one for extra strength PLUS used MUCH longer screws/bolts.  I doubt that baby will cause me any further trouble.

But it really didn’t matter as the bike still hadn’t arrived so I had to wait for that.

TO BE CONTINUED……………..

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MILES BEHIND–MILES AHEAD

I am currently residing in Bristow, OK where I am enjoying 78F/26C.  Gotta love that !!

I have now driven 1,304 Miles/2,098 KM’s.

I STILL have another 1,218 Miles/1,960 KM’s to go before I get to Yuma, Arizona.  G R O A N !!

But it’s still in the mid to high 90’s in Yuma so I’m in no rush to get there anytime soon.

Have to hang out in Amarillo, TX for a few days waiting for new wipers blades to arrive – oh yes, that’s another saga !!!  LOL

Friday, October 17, 2014

THE RAMP DOOR–CONTINUES

I was pretty much stranded where I was Camping because there was no way was I going to take the chance of putting the bike in the toy hauler.

E-mails to Newmar asking for advice and assistance started June 27th.

By July I drove the rig to THE HITCH HOUSE – a Newmar Authorized Dealership - and a 200 Miles round trip.

I won’t even bore you with the details of the terrible service – or better said – LACK OF SERVICE I received there.  They told me I need a whole new door !!!!

Some of you may remember I spent almost a month there a few years ago getting body/paint work done after the INFAMOUS DITCH INCIDENT. That time I received excellent service.  I believe they have a new service manager now……who is an IDIOT !

It was definitely determined that I did need a new hinge.  I ordered that from Newmar and had it sent to BELLA VISTA RV and once confirmed that the new hinge arrived there I drove the rig there in September – a 211 Miles round trip.

MONEY SMILEY

The Folks there were much better than at The Hitch House but still couldn’t solve the problem.  The problem now was that the door was so far gone they did not have the proper equipment to open the door safely.  The size and weight of the door could cause injury and if it dropped – which it would most likely do – then the rig would be further damaged.

They did their dangest though I’ll give them that.  They spoke directly with the Technical Support Team at Newmar.

I ended up returning to the Campground the same day – with the new hinge in the toy hauler – and a paid bill of $556.97 !!!  Now I know they spent time on this trying to solve the problem and were unsuccessful so I expected some sort of bill for their time – BUT almost $600 !!!!!

What they did do though – which we discovered when I arrived at Newmar was a GREAT thing – was put several extra ‘bolts’ up through the bottom of the door to secure it.

So it’s closing in on the end of September by now and I am supposed to be getting on the road by the middle of October to head South.  AND I wasn’t going anywhere without my bike.

So again, hours and days spend on the phone and e-mail trying to figure out a way (the least expensive way) to get my bike to Newmar in Nappanee, IN where I had an appointment for October 13th to have the ramp door fixed.

I found a trucking company that could deliver the bike to me in Nappanee, IN within the time frame I was going to be there…….for $650 !!

Jeeze,  My anxiety level is going through the roof again just reliving all of this !!  LOL

To be continued……

PICTURES FOR LAST POST

The ramp door on my rig has been nothing but trouble from Day One !  Serious ‘design’ flaws as far as I’m concerned.

A door of this size and weight should be electrically/hydraulically operated !!!

The first problem with this door is that it is TOO BIG and TOO HEAVY and I couldn’t close it by myself.  I blogged about all that HERE.

So I had a winch installed to solve that problem.

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The next challenge was that was that the ramp door is far too steep to safely back the bike out of it.  I blogged about that HERE and HERE and THE SOLUTION HERE.

More problems occurred this past Summer.  Actually it started last February.  The hinge is bolted to the floor of the rig on one side and the other side is ‘bolted’ to the bottom of the door.  That part started to come apart.

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By June it had gotten worse – a lot worse !!

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The ‘bolts’ holding it had started to come out….

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And look where it was by July !!!

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And by August two screws had completely fallen out…

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Yes, Those are the “bolts” that are supposed to be holding this massive door to the hinge !!