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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Annual Maintenance on the Bus–6th Year

We originally  purchased the Bus on Dec 6, 2007, and since diesel vehicles require most of the preventive maintenance on a yearly basis, December is the month for it.

The normal list includes:

  1. Change oil and filter on main engine
  2. Change oil and filter on generator engine
  3. Grease MH chassis
  4. Change 2 Engine fuel filters on Engine
  5. Change air filter on generator
  6. Change fuel filter on generator

 The additional list for the 6th year

  1. Check belts and radiator hoses on Generator
  2. Change coolant on Engine
  3. Change differential gear oil
  4. Change drive belts on Engine
  5. Change coolant and cap on generator

The cost of the materials for the above cost more than $1000, and I decided to save the labor by doing it myself.  I started the Monday after we got home from the Lone Star Allegro Christmas rally, and finished on Christmas Eve!!

During the process, I noticed that the two(2) starting batteries were pretty weak, and so I changed them also.  That was another $300, but since we are traveling to the desert in Quartzsite in early January, I did not want to get stranded and have to change them in the desert……….. much less finding the correct batteries.

Another maintenance item that I noticed needing attention was a wind deflector on the front edge of the entry door.  The deflector keeps the wind from whistling due to the space between the door and the frame while driving down the road.  The original is a vinyl or plastic that deteriorates over time with exposure to the elements, and begins to crack. 

Another RV owner had one fabricated out of thin stainless steel at a machine shop in Little Rock, AR, and since we were heading there right after Christmas, I contacted him and got the necessary information to have on made for me and my friend, Mark Didelot.

As you will see in the next posting, Patsy and I left Victoria on Christmas afternoon (after lunch with Son, DIL and grandkids), and arrived in Little Rock around noon on Dec 26.

After getting set up in our normal RV park, North Little Rock Riverside RV Park, I headed over to the Bray Sheet Metal Co. and checked on the status of the deflectors.  They were ready, and the price was more than fair.  The only problem was finding the business!!!  The office was in an older home in a very nice neighborhood of historic homes, and the shop was in the backyards of a couple of adjacent homes.  Here are some pictures…..


I will get mine installed by a Technician in Red Bay on my next trip through Alabama.

More on our Little Rock visit later…………

Lone Star Allegro Christmas Rally

Right after the end of the Camping Friends Thanksgiving Rally, Patsy and I left the Bus at the Country Place RV Park, and drove the car home for 2 days to take care of some things there.

While at home, I finished the extra kitchen drawer (located under the stove), stained it, and got it ready to install when we got back to the Bus.

We left home on Wednesday morning, and drove to Conroe and the Country Place RV Park.  Once there, I finished the install of the drawer, and Patsy loaded it up.  The purpose was to get rid of the ‘bucket’ of kitchen tools on the counter, and to add space for other stuff!  Here are some pictures.

Showing original drawer installed by Chris Berry in Red Bay with new rails installed for the top drawer……….



The added upper drawer…………

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As the weekend approached, more members of the Lone Star Allegro group showed up for the rally.  On Friday night, we loaded up and drove to a local Saltgrass Steakhouse  for dinner.  Here are some pictures….


On Saturday morning, the guys prepared breakfast for the ladies……. and it turned out to be pretty good.  Here are some “breakfast” pictures………


The rally ended on Sunday, and we headed back to Victoria to have our own family Christmas, and attend a couple of parties.  It was also time to do annual maintenance on the Bus.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Camping Friends “Thanksgiving” Weekend Rally - 2

We had a good rally with the Camping Friends Club.  One day, the ladies had a craft hour, and decorated small Christmas trees that would fit in an RV.  Here is five (5) of them.  Patsy’s is the second from the left……..

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The rally was hosted by Marvin and Gail.  Below is Marvin working on a puzzle, and Gail just being her pleasant self…….

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We had meal on Saturday night where the hosts furnished baked potatoes and the attendees brought condiments and desserts.  Here are people setting up for the meal……..

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I also got a pictue of Patsy and Mark taking a break on the the swing in the rally room………

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and one of Patsy by herself……..

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On Sunday when the rally ended, Patsy and I left about 10:00AM to drive the car to Victoria.  We both had a doctor’s appointment on Monday, so we left early enough to get to our son’s (Rick) house for a late Thanksgiving dinner when him, Laura and our two grandchildren.

Since we had to be in Victoria, we had planned to continue to put our house back together after the foundation work a couple of weeks ago.  Patsy also wanted to complete the Christmas decorations in preparation for her annual Bunco Christmas Party to be held next Monday.

On Tuesday, the grandkids, Matthew and Aubrey, were at the house after school, and helped Patsy complete the decorating  of the tree.


While at home, I also completed building a drawer/tray for Patsy’s cooking tools to be installed under the stove in the Bus.  I got it assembled and stained, and ready to install when we get back to the campground and the Bus tomorrow around Noon in Conroe, TX. 

We will be attending the Lone Star Allegro Club Christmas Rally beginning on Friday and ending Sunday.

More later………….

Friday, November 29, 2013

Camping Friends “Thanksgiving” Weekend Rally

As stated in the last post, we arrived on Wednesday for the Camping Friends rally to celebrate Thanksgiving 2013. 

Here are some pictures of the park and our site from across the pond…………


The Didelot’s rig is parked on the other side of us.  Below is a picture of the rally hall from across the pond………


Some pictures of the office and the park entrance.  This is a really nice and quiet park out in the country, and they decorate it nicely each Christmas.  They also provided the Thanksgiving dinner for the park this year.


Here is a close-up picture of our site, and a picture of the new Honda parked behind the Bus.  It is better color coordinated than the gray Honda!!!


The view from our site….


More on the rally as time moves on………….

Foundation Work and Health Check-ups

After our 7 week trip, and our last rally with the Bluebonnet Allegro Club, we were at home for about 10 days and had a lot of activity. 

We had a visit with our Dermatology Doctor for a skin cancer checkup, and had a couple of ‘suspect’ areas ‘frozen’ off. 

After surviving that, we had to go home and remove all of the furniture and stuff off the walls and shelves in our master bedroom and living room so that the foundation company could dig a big hole in our floor to raise the fireplace in the middle of the house that had allowed the slab to sink….. after we had the perimeter shored up!!  We also had to seal off other areas of the house to keep the concrete dust from going everywhere from the jackhammer activity.  Here are some pictures, beginning with the material needed for the job…….


Digging in the living room….


The holes in the bedroom……


and in the living room…….


and the patch after the job.


When the concrete patch dried, we had to schedule a carpet guy in to re-install the carpet, and then a “Stanley Steemer” service to clean the carpet before we replaced the furniture.

We had removed the furniture on a Sunday, and put it all back on the following Sunday and Monday.

On that same second Sunday, I began my prep for a colonoscopy and and had the procedure on Monday afternoon.  Patsy began her prep on Monday, and had her procedure on Tuesday morning!!  Everything came out OK, but the whole 10-day process was hectic and busy.  Here is a picture of Patsy sleeping after her procedure……


After resting Tuesday night, we left town on Wednesday morning for a rally with the “Camping Friends” RV group at the Country Place RV Park in Cut N Shoot, TX.  Next weekend, we have a rally with the Lone Star Allegro Camping Club at this same RV Park!

Having two rallies at this campground on consecutive weekends caused us to re-think our mode of travel.  Instead of hooking up and towing our older Honda CRV, which has a tow bar and lights set up on it, we brought our newer Honda CRV, which is not set up yet.  This required Patsy to follow me in the car during the 150 mile trip.  We did this because we both have a doctor’s appointment on Monday that we did not want to re-schedule…….. and the newer will be nicer for the round trip drive as we leave the Bus at Country Place!!

We arrived at the RV park at about 2:30PM, got a good rate for an 11 day stay, and set up.  We plan to spend Thanksgiving and Black Friday safely right here in the park in our Bus!!

More later……