Monthly Archives: December 2018

Taking your house in for service

This is a Throwback Thursday post, first blogged in January 2018. We still find that getting service done on the motorhome is one of the more  logistically challenging aspects of fulltime RV living. Sometimes you can have a mobile RV guy come out to work on your systems, but some things just have to be done in a shop. We have had to adjust our itinerary several times to accommodate motorhome service needs. We actually planned our entire 2019 itinerary around our Entegra factory visit next summer. We will have our “post delivery inspection” and any warranty repairs completed before our 2 year bumper-to-bumper warranty expires.

First posted: Jan 2017

When your car needs service, you just drop it off at the local garage. If it is going to take a few days, you can borrow or rent a car. But when your car is also your house …. it’s a bit more complicated!

You may recall from a prior post, we experienced an issue with our rear engine hatch. Our particular bus has a motorized cover, not manual. At delivery, we noted that one of the two cover actuators were missing. The dealership replaced it, everything seemed to be working, and we set off on our way. Unbeknownst to us, the actuator was not identical, and opening/closing the cover caused it to torque and damage the cover and bracket. In fact, for a while, we were unable to open the engine cover at all.

Back home in South Florida, we identified a local authorized warranty repair center. They were able to remove the offending actuator which enables us to open / close the hatch (with some difficulty). However repairing the unit required pre-approval from Entegra and replacement parts, which they were unable to source before Thanksgiving, our launch date. So we had the parts held at Entegra in Indiana, until we could arrange for repairs at an alternate facility.

It should be noted that most repair facilities do not have hookups or even just a parking spot for you to stay with the motorhome. So, if you have a multi-day repair (like this one), you may have to go stay in a hotel for the duration (not a simple endeavor with a cat). If the repair facility isn’t attentive to your rig’s power needs, you can come back to find your house batteries drained and spoiled food in the fridge. We attempted to find a repair facility in the vicinity of our Gatlinburg cabin after the holidays. However, since it was winter, the facilities would not guarantee our rig wouldn’t freeze and recommended we winterize before dropping it off. Um, no. Not going to do that.

So, on to Plan C. Since we were coming back by Dixie RV anyway, perhaps they could work us in around that time. And they could! And they have parking sites with power hookups, and we can sleep in the bus every night! And Entegra can ship the parts to them in time!  Sold! Since they kinda broke it, it only seemed fair for them to fix it.

Dixie RV was great. They worked around our travel schedule and addressed everything we listed. We cleared out each morning and the bus was parked back in a hook up spot each evening by 5 pm. It all worked out. Rear engine cover fixed!

We had to make some accommodations to stay on site. We just left the slides in the whole time,  it’s a lot simpler to do so. You just have to plan ahead and take everything out that you may need from those cabinets that are blocked when the slides are in (mainly clothes and food). We only had electric hookup, so were in water conservation mode. No long showers or laundry. But hey, it was free camping! And at night when everyone cleared out, it was super quiet. We spent a total of three nights there.

It felt a bit surreal to come full circle from last summer when we picked up the bus. Six months ago we were such newbies. Now we feel seasoned, and comfortable handling and living in this rolling home. We are back where we started this adventure and will now encounter new territory!

Westward Ho!

Feeling at Home

047I really like this place. We’re staying at a KOA in Orlando, not too far from Sean’s place. We’ve stayed here a couple of times before, so the campground and the surrounding area already felt a bit familiar.

The constant movement this past year has sometimes left me feeling rather unsettled …. adrift. But, being here is like putting down mini-roots for a while. Just having familiar Florida surroundings and weather feels somehow “right”. My favorite market – Publix – is just down the road. We have family and friends nearby and we are having fun with them every weekend. All of that makes the place feel more like home.

Before I started this life on the road, I always had visions of being at an RV resort with lots of activities. But, for one reason or another, we just never were at anyplace that had much going on. Either it was out of season, or just not one of those places. But here, there’s lots to do! Aerobics class in the mornings, Bingo, line dancing, movie night, potlucks, dominos, craft classes, Bible study, food trucks – usually several activities scheduled every day! There’s a friendly group of seasonal folks that come here year after year, some of whom I met last year. I really like being part of a community – I’ve missed that.

In a way, I feel like I have my old “normal life” back. We’re not constantly moving and adjusting to new places. I can settle into a routine of working out, playing, socializing, chores, working, and holiday planning. It feels good.

I’m happy we’ll be here for a while.



Go Knights!

knights gameSaturday was a blast!

Since Sean is a University of Central Florida grad (as well as Marissa and her sibs), we have all been following the UCF football’s team success in achieving two successive undefeated seasons. As last weekend’s conference championship neared, he snagged tickets for all of us to the big game!

We met at their place and after a provision stop at Publix, we headed out to UCF. I hadn’t been there since graduation, and I’m always impressed by the size of the enormous campus. I think the student enrollment is up to 65,000 plus now and continuing to grow.

We arrived early enough to find a parking space at one of the surface parking lots and proceeded to tailgate. Normally the campus has a “no open alcoholic container” rule, but that rule is waived for game day. So we were able to tailgate with the adult beverages of our choice. And thanks to our grocery stop, we were quite amply supplied!

After relaxing, noshing, and imbibing for a while, we wandered toward the stadium, through the student union and other active tailgate areas. Sean had signed us up for the alumni tailgate zone and we stopped in – but it was sort of lame. No freebies, not much excitement. So we meandered on to the stadium and perused the vendor booths. We scored some Chick-Fil-A gift cards and picked up free leis.

Side note: for those who have not been following UCF, their star quarterback was injured during the previous game. His knee was blown out so severely, it may be a career-ending injury. As he is from Hawaii, the leis showed our support for the injured player. The substitute quarterback is a freshman, who had only started in two games. Would he be up to the challenge – could the team extend their undefeated streak? Only time would tell.

Nearing game time, we headed to our seats. 45,000 vocal UCF supporters, along with a few hundred outnumbered, blue-clad Memphis fans, filled the sold-out stadium. We were in the upper tier around the 30 yard line, offering perfect viewing of the entire field.

The game started off a bit rough, with Memphis scoring a couple of times right off the bat. The UCF knights made several turnovers. They exited the first half down 38 to 21. Things looked bad for our heroes. But the knights came out after half time and dominated! They made touchdown after touchdown! The energy in the stadium was incredible – it was so loud, I couldn’t even hear myself yelling. Everyone was on their feet in excitement. Memphis fought back valiantly, but at the end, UCF won 41-56! What a fantastic game. And UCF goes undefeated for two straight seasons!

Like most of the fans, we stayed after the game to watch the award ceremony and presentation of the conference championship trophy. Eventually, we filed out as 45,000 people worked their way back to their cars and off campus. It took a while! And then, we went out for sushi.

What a great day!