Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Time For A New Motorhome

Monday: (10/16) We got up early and were ready to roll but had some business to complete with our credit union for financing the new motorhome. Leftovers for breakfast and lunch. We finally departed about 1245. We stopped in Greenfield for a snack from the Rancho San Miguel Market. We were trying to get to Pismo by 1700 but our late departure assured we couldn’t possibly make it so we took our time and stopped for a break in Paso Robles. At the top of the long steep downhill run into San Luis Obispo we stopped to disconnect the Jeep. I had removed the tow brakes from the motorhome and we didn’t need to be pushed down the hill. We pulled into the campground in Oceana about 1800. For dinner, we went to the Country Kitchen restaurant.

Tuesday: (10/17) We started the day by moving out of the RV and placing everything into the Jeep. At 0830 we stopped by Sky River RV to see if we could get some paperwork that our credit union needed. The finance person wasn’t in so we went to breakfast returning about 1 hour later. We started the process of completing the paperwork. Nothing was going smoothly so we didn’t finish most of it and our walkthrough until about 1530. There was some work that wasn’t done to repair one of the compartments that was damaged by a blown tire. We went to a late lunch at Pismo Fish and Chips while the shop worked on it. After lunch, we returned. The shop had completed the structural repair and ordered a new floor pan so we moved into it and gave them our old motorhome and departed just about 1700. We thought we might have to spend the night in the RV store lot since the old one was no longer insured. We moved the new RV to our campsite and started cleaning it. It was actually much cleaner than our old one but we prefer to disinfect it so only our own cooties are present. About 1900 we stopped for the night and went to dinner at the Rock and Roll Diner. We enjoyed the best Nachos we’ve ever had. It was made with real cheeses and tri-tip beef. We share the nachos and a slice of cheesecake.  So now enjoying our first night in our new to us motorhome.

The motorhome is a 2006 National Surf Side 29 foot class A. Same length as our previous motorhome but this one is taller and has to slides. Mush roomier. It will take a little getting used too.

Wednesday: (10/18) We packed and prepared to go. Since the hitch receiver is higher on the new RV and because the skirt arms would bang against the rear of the coach, I remove the towbar and stowed it in a compartment. Ou will drive the Jeep home. Breakfast at the Station Cafe. We looked at a couple of thrift store for a rug for the new RV, none found. We looked several places n95 masks. They are in short supply due to all the fires. I ended up ordering them through Amazon. We stopped by the RV dealer and picked up a couple of refrigerator signs that had been forgotten in our move out. We parked the RV outside the RV park by a neighborhood park. The electric step bumped into the curb and wouldn’g go down all the way. When I left it retracted normally. When I returned to depart it again bumped into the curb but when i closed the door this time it didn't’ retract. It didn’t sound right so I opened the window to look out and sure enough it was out. It took about 10 minutes to get it up so i could leave. Interestingly, there is a switch that leaves the steps down when you're camped. But, it does nothing if the engine is running. I really don’t like this and will probably modify it so that there is a way to power off the steps such that the door switch has no effect and I can be more sure the steps stay up while we are on the road. I finally met Lou at the gas station. Filling the motorhome tank was interesting it only took about 53 gallons but it required using three credit card. Each one was limited to only $75. Usually Visa is $100 and MC is $125 and that is the card services limitation not the dealers. Not sure what happened but it sure makes more work because very few service stations bother to have working receipt printers any more. They want you to have to go inside their store to get the receipt hoping you’ll buy something from the store. We finally got on the road toward home. We stopped in Paso Robles for lunch. Nice Chinese buffet for me. Lou was off to enjoy the gardens at the Paso Robles Inn. Next stop was Gilroy for a visit to a thrift store and Walmart’s. Nice to stretch our legs. We got home about 1930. At Walmart we picked up a roasted chicken which was dinner.

The RV drove nicely. There are lots of things much nicer than the old one and a couple of things not as good. Nice ride up to 70 mph then gets rougher. The cruise control works much more smoothly and doesn’t search gears going uphill and nicely downshifts as needed going downhill. Handles well. Lots of new sounds. Low says it leans on the right side. We’ll have to have the suspension looked at when we have the front end aligned. We parked in our driveway in the same position as the old one and the two slides go nicely over the flower beds and down hit the fence. It is only a couple of inches longer but about 18 inches or more taller.

Thursday: (10/19) Leftover spaghetti for breakfast. First order of business was to mail off the pink slip for the old RV to the dealer. I got copies of the new RV keys made. We only had one set, needed four. The hinges on our dinette sets bases snag on the cushions when the cushions are removed. I cut cardboard sheets as a protective layer and tacked it down with upholstery tacks. Also got a good quality duct tape to patch the cushions which Lou installed. We spent some more time cleaning the front of the interior. Grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Lou made stew for dinner. After dinner Lou and I went out looking for blinds, storage containers, wire storage drawers and such. We want to make the storage efficient.

Friday: (10/20) I made corned beef hash with eggs for breakfast. Lou was busy completing the cleaning and disinfection of the RV. I was busy all day planning the solar installation and locating materials. I selected to battery and inverter location and cable routing.  We did take a trip to the Container Store to look at storage boxes and such. Bread custard for lunch. Split pea soup for dinner.

Saturday: (10/21) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I crawled under the RV looking at possible cable routing and checked out the route to the roof through the refrigerator venting. I collected actual lengths for my cables. Then I started work on the panels. I got the cabless off the panel that had the water leak on the terminal compartment and built a test setup with the solar controller and a battery so I can confirm all the panels are working. They didn’t seem to be working on the last day before we said goodbye to the old RV. I didn’t get any of the panels actually test because Lou reassigned me to  installing the drawer under the sink and building a storage compartment from hidden space in the bathroom. Leftover sauerkraut and pork for lunch. Leftover stew for dinner.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Moving out of the RV

Monday: (10/09) Lou made an open-faced ham and egg sandwich for breakfast. Busy all day moving out of the RV. Leftovers for lunch.  I made popcorn for Lou and Daw’s dinner. I picked up dinner from Los Altos Taqueria.

Tuesday: (10/10) Popcorn for breakfast. More RV move out this morning. Dawn took me to Costco at 1000 so I could get a new house battery for the RV. I pulled out the existing expensive AGM batteries. For lunch, I got some dim sum and did a little grocery shopping and storage box shopping. We used all the boxes we had. So much stuff was in the RV. In the afternoon I swapped out the inverter charger and batteries and removed the solar panels and system. Almost done. Lou made a corned beef sandwich for dinner.

Wednesday: (10/11) A wasted morning. I had an 0800 appointment to get the Jeep serviced at Stevens Creek Jeep. It is due for an oil change and has a problem with the start/stop feature. The dealer service line was empty. I pulled up and the service manager greeted me and said they had zero mechanics in today and evidently np service reps either. He said they can’t find any and when they get one they don’t stay. A similar though lesser problem was experienced at Normandin Jeep in San Jose for the last service. So nothing done today and tomorrow is very unlikely. The oil change can be anywhere, the start/stop problem can only be repaired by them under the lifetime service warranty. So we’re at their mercy. I still have lots of time on the oil per the onboard service adviser. I stopped for breakfast at the 85 bakery for a couple of breakfast savory pastries. At home, I collected the maintenance history for the motorhome. It was smoky outside from all the fires up North so possibly a good reason to stay inside. I got a call from the RV dealer and our pickup day is now set for next Tuesday. Lunch was leftover BBQ ribs. For dinner, we all went to Super Taqueria.

Thursday: (10/12) Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. In doing so she killed her food processor. Had to finish dicing by hand. I finally started the loan process for the new RV. I also sealed the roof from the solar removal and removed the Unified Tow Brake control box. I also fished out all the stuff that found it’s way from the “office” drawer in front of the passenger way back under the dash. I planned to remove my Link 10 battery monitor but decided to just leave it. It has a 500 amp shunt the provides the current sensing and it would have to remain. It would also leave a 2-inch hole in the wall that would have to be patched. Getting a new one seems like a better deal, all considered. In the afternoon we went to Kaiser in Mountain View to get our flu shots. On the way home, we stopped at the Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto libraries where Dawn returned books. Leftover macaroni and cheese with Portuguese sausage for lunch. For dinner, Lou made sauerbraten with baked potatoes.

Friday: (10/13) I had the pleasure of paying bills in the morning. Then outside and finished up the items on the RV. I removed the macerator and the driver and passenger sun shades. Swapped back one of the AGM batteries for the sealed battery. I forgot that the batteries were in a sealed space so can’t have a battery that vents. I also wired up one of the valve stem extensions. It was missing a nut which seems to be a 5/16” 28 thread nut which isn’t available anywhere I’ve looked. And finally, I removed the Datastorm dish from the roof. All ready to go now. We went out to dinner and over to IKEA for a walk. Lou made shrimp omelets for breakfast. Smoked pork chops and baked potatoes for lunch. Dinner at LUU Noodle House, Desert at IKEA.

Saturday: (10/14) Loaded the RV with the limited items we’ll need on our trip Monday. Otherwise relaxed. Pineapple upside down cake for breakfast. Wieners and cheese for lunch. Salmon with Spanish rice and broccoli for dinner.

Sunday: (10/15) A relaxing day of mostly watching TV. Granola for breakfast. Mexican spaghetti for lunch. Pork with potatoes and sauerkraut for dinner.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Code Camp

Saturday: (10/07) Up early and off toward San Jose. i stopped at A Good Morning for a breakfast burrito to go. I arrived at the Paypal campus in San Jose for the Silicon Valley Code Camp. I attended presentations on Go language, Map and Location API’s, IOT, Machine Learning, Cloud Functions, Lean Startup for Engineers, and Chrome Extensions. A sandwich for lunch was provided. It finished up about 1800 for the day. More tomorrow. Lou fixed BBQ ribs and baked beans for dinner.

Sunday: (10/08) Another burrito for breakfast from A Good Morning Cafe. I returned for the second day of Code Camp in San Jose.Presentations on  History of JavaScript, All About GIT, All About Bots, How To Raise A Robot, and Phone Password Security. Sandwich provided for lunch. Unfortunately, I didn’t win any of the door prizes. It finished up about 1600. At home, Lou made shrimp with peas and rice for dinner.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Road Trip

Sunday: (10/01) We packed the RV to go and were on the road a little after 1000. Looked around the San Benito County Fair. Nice bunch of animals, mostly pigs and sheep. We left the fair about 1600 and settled into site 91 at Pinnacles NP. Bread pudding for breakfast. Fair food for lunch. Meatballs, broccoli, and rice for dinner.

Monday: (10/02) Up early for a granola breakfast and a hike. I drove up to Bear Gulch and hiked up to the reservoir via the Rim trail and back via Moses Creek trail. Nice light for photos. We left the Pinnacles about 1015. A stop on Paso Robles at the thrift store was fruitful for Lou. Unfortunately, the Chinese Buffet was not open on Mondays. Had lunch at Paso Robles Inn instead. On to our campsite at North Campground in Pismo SB arriving about 1530. Relaxed the crest of the day. Lou made baked beans and sausage for dinner. We met a leash trained cat named Kitty that was out for a walk.

Tuesday: (10/03) We started with a walk on the beach. Along the way we found a common murre that had gotten some oil or tar on itself. Dawn picked it up wrapped it in her jacket and we checked the Internet for a bird rescue location. It was in Morro Bay. I walked back to cam and got the car and we headed off. Then it was time for our late breakfast at Carla’s in Morro Bay. We dropped off a box Dawn needed to ship at UPS and looked at some thrift stores. We also drove by a couple of houses we’d seen online. I called our agent to go see one of them tomorrow. Dinner at Pismo Fish and Chips. In the evening Lou and I visited Von’s market for a few things.

Wednesday: (10/04) Granola for breakfast. I tried to run the generator at 0800, the end of quiet hours here. The generator started but stopped after a minute or so. I knew we were low on gas and the generator veiny run off the tank is below ¼ full. So while Lou and Dawn were off to Oceana to get new passes for the state parks, I headed off in the motorhome for gas. It didn’t help, generator still died. So I figured it was low oil. We had to head off to Morro Bay to met our realtor to look at a house. Nice four bungalows. Perfect place for us as a family compound. Unfortunately we finally considered medical facilities and availabilities. No too good for our needs so likely won't be moving to this area. We had a nice lunch at the Taco Temple in Motto Bay. Wonderful. Once back at camp I added a little oil and the generator ran fine. The dipstick indicated oil was fine before I added oil. Dinner was leftovers from lunch.

Thursday: (10/05) We walked over to the Grover Beach train Station Cafe for breakfast. After breakfast, I walked to Miner’s Hardware and bought some Velcro straps for the RV. The ones I use to secure our awning arms have too much sun rot. On the way home I walked through the neighborhood looking at houses. I also looked around the Sky River RV sales lot that is across from our campground. They had a couple of nice used National RV’s,  Sea Breeze and a Surfside, both 28 foot 2006 models. They Also had a Thor 29M motor home that is pretty much identical to the Winnebago we’re looking at. I returned to camp and napped, had lunch and napped some more while Lou and Dawn we're out shopping. I told Lou about the RV’s when she returned. We went over to look at them. The Thor was a no go because they are asking list. The two 2006 Nationals we're both $29,000. The Sea Breeze looked good but had 95k miles. The Surfside looked good and had 32k miles. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any reason not to buy the Surfside, so we did, We’re trading our existing RV so we have to clean it out and I need to remove the solar system. We return next week to swap. We finished up at the dealer about 1830 so no Farmers Market In SLO tonight. We had dinner at the Pismo Fish and Chips.

Friday: (10/06) We took a walk on the beach and returned via the streets. On the way, we stopped at Old West Cinnamon Rolls and indulged. Lou and Dawn headed off to SLO to do some shopping. I emptied the tanks and drove up to Paso Robles and waited for them to catch up. Dawn and I had lunch at the Golden Dragon Chinese Buffet. Lou couldn’t eat there so dined at Paso Robles Inn. We then continued on to home. Along the way, we stopped in Salinas for a walk. Home a little before 8pm.