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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On To El Paso and Big Bend National Park

As planned, we got up on Monday morning and got the Bus readied for the trip back to Texas.  Not as planned, when I pulled forward to hookup the car, the entry door steps did not retract as they were supposed to do.

After hooking up the car, I got my 12volt test light out and checked all the wiring to make sure the steps had power to them.  Then did!  I checked all fuses to the steps, and they were OK! 

After 45 minutes of trying to get to the cause of the problem, I decided that since we were only two blocks from I-10 and that we would be on I-10 all the way to El Paso, I would just ‘get stupid’ and drive with the steps out!  We did it without any problems.  I thought about it during the 5 hour drive from Tucson to El Paso, and decided to call the Camping World in El Paso for an appointment to let them look at it.   They could not get us in until Wednesday or Thursday, so when we got to El Paso, we checked into the American RV Campground that is located right behind Camping World. 

If we could just get the steps to close, we could leave them closed until we got home.  Once at the campground, I went over all of the wiring to the steps once again, but still did not find any problem. 

I put my tools away, and closed the entry door with the key in the ignition in the “ON” position, and the damned steps closed.  I operated them for a couple of minutes, and then decided not to press my luck.  With the door closed and the steps in the closed position, I pulled all the fuses to the step system.  That will keep the steps closed and in a safe position to drive the Bus.  We are using a new step stool the Patsy purchased in Phoenix for accessing the upper cabinets in the kitchen.  It works well!!  Here’s our $20 entry step to a $200,000 motor coach!!!


Here’s our campsite at American RV Campground…………IMG_1475

With the step problem resolved for travel, we were ready to continue our trip on Tuesday morning for Big Bend National Park.  We have reservations at Big Bend at the Big Bend Resort RV Park for Wednesday through Friday nights.  We decided that we would spend Tuesday night in Alpine, TX at the Lost Alaskan RV Park…… which was the most decent RV park in the area.

On the way to Alpine, we passed through Marfa, TX, which has gained fame for having the “Marfa Lights” and more recently, for a lot of Eclectic artist populating the town,   Once we got settled into the  RV park, we waited until it was really dark, and we drove back to a rest area on the highway between Alpine and Marfa………. about 15 miles. 


That night, the lights were very active……. moving across the sky in a random pattern.  We could not catch it on a camera, even with it in a video mode.  With the naked eye, the lights appeared to move slowly across the sky, however, through binoculars, the lights made the zig zag pattern, looking a lot like when someone rapidly moves a sparkler in front of you.  It was really amazing and puzzling. Unlike a shooting star, the lights stayed in the sky, and did not disappear!  It is something to see!!


On Wednesday morning, before leaving for the Big Bend NP, we drove the car back to Marfa to tour the town.  The weather had turned overnight from sunny and cool on Tuesday, to foggy, misting, and very cold on Wednesday morning.  The mist froze onto windshields, and made the trees around the area look as if they had white blossoms on them.

Here’s an example outside a museum in Alpine on the campus of Sul Ross University…….


As far as the rest of Marfa, it was also a sight to see. It looks like a typical Texas town that almost shut down, and then a lot of people decided to move there, and make it “different”  Lots of nice old buildings, and many old homes and businesses being “recycled”!

Here are some pictures………..


We guessed that the following was a way to say “Christmas Tree” in desert language!!


The Paisano Hotel was the neatest building in the town.  It has been the seen of a lot of movies, one of the more famous was “Giant” starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean……


More on the Museum and our drive in the cold weather to Big Bend in the next post…………….


Steve and Karen said...

Well, I see that you have now entered the world of "steps work sometimes, sometimes not". We have suffered with this same problem for about 2 years now. I usually try them the night before we are due to move on and they work perfectly. The next morning, not working.
Richard I have no idea either what is causing the problem. I have found that by using a lubricant on all of the moving parts and spraying it directly onto the large gear at the motor, then gently tapping the motor with the wooden part of a hammer, that the step will work again.
I'm quite sure that one day this will not work for me and I'll be stuck. I guess, then, that I'll have to mechanically disconnect the steps and tie them in before finally getting them fixed.
If you ever find out what is causing the step problem please let me know.

Erin Erkun said...

We had a similar problem recently ... but in reverse. Ours refused to open after an overnight stop. By the time we were at our lunch stop some 2 hours later, they were working again. Who knows what gremlins get into all these moving parts that make up a motorhome.

By the way, be careful with that step stool ... the center piece cracks if you put too much pressure on it.