About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Open House

This post is a little late by about 2 weeks!! When we got home, we had an open house at our home, since we had been out of town for 5 of the previous 7 weeks, and had not seen very many of our friends. I also had an "Open Motorhome" to show off my new Bus. We set it for 1--5 on Sunday afternoon, and people spread their attendance out pretty well.

Here's a picture of the Bus in the driveway............ it sure takes up more room than the Airstream did!

I set up a couple of displays in the Bus. One was a picture of the sign that we usually put in the front windshield when we are parked at a campground. If you saw a previous post, you will remember that our friend, Sue Didelot, updated it with a picture of the Bus where the Airstream had been. I put a photograph of Sue with the sign, to give her credit for the upgrade.

Another display was the picture of our two previous motorhomes...... the '78 Itasca class 'C', and the '93 Airstream Landyacht. I put a rose in front of them, as they are 'departed' from our family and owned by someone else. I added a spread of 'parking tickets (that we found in cleaning out the old motorhome) that I have accumulated over the years....... including one from Cape Cod signed by an officer Kennedy!

One of our visitors was a young lady...... who I think had ideas about driving the Bus down the driveway............

Along with all the family and Christmas celebrations, we have been really busy during the last two weeks re-packing stuff that we took out of the old motorhome, and deciding if it needed to be in the Bus. If it did, we tried to find the right place for it. Additionally, we have been making small repairs to the "factory work" and making some modifications to customize the Bus to our lifestyle. I will report on that in the next post.

Also, within the next two weeks, after a lot of annual doctor's appointments, we will be heading off to Quartzsite with Mark and Sue Didelot. They are 'hot to trot' for this trip, and have told me that they will leave within the week to travel from Lake Charles, LA to Victoria to meet up with us for the drive to Q. They will take about 5 days to get here..... traveling via Galveston.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We're Home!!

We got home on Friday afternoon at about 5:00PM. We got into Victoria just in time to pick up the grandkids from dayschool...... so we picked them up in the Bus!

We left Mark and Sue's house in Lake Charles at about 9:30AM, and I stopped at the Texas Welcome station to use the WIFI to post yesterdays blog message. We also stopped at the Flying 'J' truck stop in Baytown to fill up on diesel and to dump and flush the waste water tanks. In Houston, I stopped at the Cummins repair shop on North Loop610 to buy some fuel filters, and then we stopped at the Papasito's Mexican Restaurant on Hwy 59 (west of town) to eat.

When we got to the Didelot's, we went to the artist shop where Sue was painting and managing the shop for the morning. We saw some of her paintings and picked our motorhome sign that she modified for us....... it used to have a picture of our Airstream motorhome on it. She did a great job! Here are some pictures of Patsy and Sue, and the sign:

Sue also did some artwork on the sidewalk in front of the shop, and it became the cover picture advertising the shop. The following is a re-creation of that photo:

When we got to Mark and Sue's house, we parked in our regular spot with full hookups...... we had a 50AMP plug, water, and he said we could dump our sewer wherever we wanted to! We also had WIFI, and it was like a real RV park.................. intermittent and poor service from the owner when we complained!! I did get an offer of double my money back, but I declined!! We appreciated it anyway and had a good visit. If you look closely, you will see that the motorhome and car were real dirty....... we drove in rain all the way from the RV dealer in Mississippi.

We Mark invited us to stay over, we did not know that he was having a Christmas dinner for some of his employees. We sort of imposed on it, but it was worth it. Sue fried catfish, and had some rice with a white gravy with fish in it, as well as a big pot of green beans. She also had an apple pie for dessert. Patsy said he invited me to provide entertainment for his guests and to make him look smarter!!!

Mark has become a good RV friend, and while we were in a Wal-Mart in Mississippi, I found a perfect gift for him.................... and not worrying about cost, I immediately purchased it. He opened it at the dinner and after several attempts, he got it to work well. Here he is with his Christmas "Pooping Penguin":

We were really glad to be home. It was somewhat stressful driving a new and bigger motorhome in the rain and in all the construction. At times, it looked like the trucks and the road barriers were targeting to get us!! Here are some pictures of the road from Patsy's vantage point:

There were some worse situations, but Patsy had her eyes shut or her head under a blanket during those times. There were some at night also! We were both exhausted when we got home. It was about an 800 mile drive in two days.

On the way home, I decided that since a lot of people had said to call when we got home so that they could see the Bus, I would have an "Open (motorhome} House" on Sunday. Patsy got mad at first, but then decided to have her own Christmas Open House in the 'other' house.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Heading Home

Tuesday, we got up early and drove to the factory at Red Bay. We wanted to get some parts that Sherman RV did not stock, and we wanted to find out what kind of wood stain that they used on our wood, so we can add some items to the Bus. We also wanted to shop at the RV store at the Allegro Campground. We also took the time to go by Bob Tiffin’s office and told him how pleased we were with the Bus. We found only a couple of things that needed to be fixed, and I could have fixed them at home. While enroute, I called Mike, the Diamond Shield installer and told him that we had a spot that was coming loose on the front of the Bus. He agreed to drive to Sherman after he got his crews started at 2:30PM at the Belmont factory, and fix the spot. That gave us plenty of time to complete what we wanted to do at Red Bay, and drive back to Sherman. We got back to Sherman early enough to take the Bus out for a drive………. Our first!! It seemed to drive and ride quite well, and we were happy.

Tuesday night, we ate out at Vanelli’s Italian Restaurant in Tupelo. We found it to be good, but not as good as Olive Garden!! We woke up Wednesday morning, and did a couple loads of wash to check the machine on water pump pressure………. And it was a good thing. It did not work at first, but I found the valves partly closed, and the switches did not see enough pressure. After I opened the valves, it worked just fine.

When Sherman RV opened at 8:30AM, we picked up our temporary license plate, got some parts that I asked the Service Manager, Benny Johnson, to put together for me. We then hooked up the Honda, said our goodbyes, and headed for Little Rock to show Deanne the new Bus. On the way, we stopped at a Flying ‘J’, and filled up the fuel tank (only took 10 gallons because Sherman filled it up). I also dumped the waste water tanks for the first time………. It was nice and easy.

We got to Little Rock about 2:00PM, and had lunch with Deanne in the Bus. We then left, and drove about 60% of the way to Lake Charles. We spent the night on a Wal-Mart parking lot in Ruston, LA.

Here is Patsy sitting in her new passenger seat. The first picture actually shows the seat foot rest, and the second is her 'normal' set up!

Here's a picture of Deanne and I in the Bus:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday..... An Exciting Day

We worked late into Saturday night working on the Bus, and watching a movie on a DVD. We got up early Sunday and watched our regular Sunday Morning Show on CBS, and then we started working on the Bus again.

About 11:00AM, we decided we would drive to Tupelo, about 12 miles away, to eat lunch at the Olive Garden Restaurant. We left early because we wanted to beat the church crowd on a Sunday morning. As we left the dealership, I saw what looked like a wrecked 2008 Phaeton motorhome parked on the opposite side of the building. As we drove past, it appeared more like someone had broken into it. A side window was smashed in, and the entry door was wide open. When we couldn't find an emergency phone number to call for the dealership, I dialed 911, and told the operator that it looked like someone had broken into a motorhome at the dealership. She took my name and number and asked us to stay there until the police arrived. We did, but it took nearly 30 --45 minutes, and I was getting hungry!!

The county sheriff showed up, and we told him what little we knew, and that we were staying in our motorhome at the dealership, and left it with him.

We ate lunch (we still beat the crowd by about 5 minutes), and it was really good. Then we went to Walmart, Lowes, Kohls, and a few other stores to shop for towels, shelf liner, storage containers and other things that we needed. We finally headed back to the dealership at about 3:30PM. We figured that by the time we got back, all the excitment would be over. Boy, were we wrong.

It turned out that at least 27 high dollar motorhomes and trailers had been broken into. Some by busted windows, and some be prying the doors open with a crowbar. They were mostly have flat screen TV's, and they left a lot of damage behind. Some were rigs for sale by the dealership, and some were owned by customers and in for service. We were lucky that they did not hit us. They must have figured that we were home!!!

When we got back, the Mississippe Bureau of Investigation was there with the Crime Investigation Unit. They even interviewed Patsy and I, as possible witnesses......... I think!!

I did not get pictures on Sunday, but they were back on Monday for more investigation, and they had the dealership blocked off with 'Crime Scene' tape. Here are some pictures from Monday morning. The first two of of the unit that we originally saw:

Our checkout is going well, so we are probably going to hit the road soon.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

We've Moved In!!

We closed at about 1:00PM yesterday, and within 15 minutes, we had our first guest. They were ghe Berry's, who we met in the Allegro Campground in Red Bay on Friday. They have a daughter and son-in-law in Victoria, and we got to know them.

We never left the motorhome yesterday after signing and unloading the stuff out of the car. Here are some pictures or our new Bus with some of our touchs. The first two pictures show the bedroom with the bedspread that came with the Bus, and then the 'star' quilt that we bought in Canton, Texas with our friends, Sue and Mark Didelot.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Picking Up The Bus

Well, things are not progressing as smoothly as we had hoped. We arrived at Sherman on Thursday at about 11:00AM, and the motorhome was parked there ........ all hooked up and looking good. When we had phoned them on Tuesday, they told us that the Diamond Shield was installed poorly, and that they had made arrangements to send it back to the factory for a 1-day turn around. We agreed and postponed leaving Victoria for one day.

When we met with the salesperson and the service manager, they pointed out that the Diamond Shield was still not well installed. I told them that I would not close on the deal until it was right. They made arrangements to have the factory pick it up and do it over. This time, Patsy and I went to Belmont with it. On Thursday night, we met with the Diamond Shield installer, and showed him what was wrong. He worked that night to remove the Diamond Shield, and it also pulled some paint..... which was anticipated. Since we were at the paint shop, we met with the Paint Supervisor, and made sure that the paint would be redone on Friday morning.

Patsy and I drove to nearest town with a decent motel, Russellville, AL, and got a room for the night. We got up early and drove back to Belmont, and checked on the paint. By 8:00AM, they were already working on it. We then tried to find out about a small repair to the tile floor grout that was supposed to be made, and nobody had been told about it. We found the tile foreman, Jose, and talked to him. He had a guy pick up some grout and walk over to the motorhome with us. He fixed it in about 10 minutes. The folks are great to work with....... the communications in the factory are lousy!!!!

We went back in the afternoon, and it was painted. We talked to the painter, and he said the clearcoat need to dry good before the Diamond Shield was applied. It put a note on the windshield that stated not to put the DS on until after 10:00PM. I took no chances, and I called the Diamond Shield supervisor (got his cell number in my directory!), and made sure that he understood that and that he could do it that late. He explained that they work nights, and would be there until about 2:30AM Saturday. No Problem!!!

We also had another problem. This delay meant closing on Saturday, and the dealer would not take a personal check for that amount when the banks are closed. We call our local Wells Fargo bank manager, and she said that maybe we could wire the money to a local bank and have them give us a cashiers check. To make it easy, we went to Bob Tiffin's office and had him phone his bank to be the one on this end! That went fairly smoothly, except that instead of a one hour transfer, it took from 9:30AM until 3:00PM for the local bank to get the wire! The explanation was something about a small bank here, and the feds had to get involved. Anyway, we got the cashiers check.

Next, Patsy and I drove to Tupelo and got a motel room for the night. Since we were nervous about the 'third' Diamond Shield application, we decided to eat early, catch a nap and wake up at 9:30PM to drive to Belmont (50 miles from Tupelo). That's what we did! And, we are happy with the Diamond Shield now! Here's Mike, the DS supervisor, who did the intall himself, looking it over before beginning:

The motorhome is supposed to be delivered back to Sherman today by noon. We expect to close on it, and spend the rest of the weekend in it trying "out all the buttons". Then, when the dealer opens on Monday, we will continue with the PDI and our learning curve. Here are some pictures of the Diamond Shield installation:

Starting to put in in place.....

Film in place and looking ugly!

Driver's side stretched and looking better....

Stretching and beginning on the passenger side:

.............. and almost finished:

The process took until about 1:30AM, and we got back to our hotel in Tupelo a little after 2:00AM.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We Are Motorhome-Less

The Airstream is sold and gone. It got a buyer the first day it was shown! We finished the transaction on Monday with the money in the bank (and ready to pay on the new one), and the title is transferred.

We are currently 'not motorhome owners' for the first time since April 1, 1978, when we purchased our first motorhome.

It was sad to see the motorhome and all the memories drive out of the driveway yesterday with the new owner at the wheel. We hope he and his wife have a great time with it:
Tomorrow morning, Patsy and I will be leaving for Tupelo, Mississippi to pick up our new Bus.

To get ready for it, our son, Rick, and I removed the old 30 amp power supply and installed a 50 amp supply to accomodate the Bus. We also relocated it, because I don't believe that I will be able to get the 40' Bus into my old motorhome slot behind the garage. To be clear, I dug the trench, and he did the electrical work!!! Our grandson, Matthew, helped by moving some of the rocks around while we worked: