Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Visit to the Vet


Wesley Chapel, Florida (hot, humid, rainy)


Baxter seems to be feeling much better, but unfortunately Miss Kitty is not.  She is our old lady.  We picked her up as a stray years ago and we’re guessing she is nearing 20 years old.  She’s been getting pretty feeble lately, but as long as she’s eating, and we feel she has a reasonable quality of life, we’ll do what we can for her.  We have been thinking she might be at the end, but that is such a hard decision to make, as any of you pet owners know.  We decided we are not going to spend a fortune on vet bills and we are not going to put her through too much.  We decided to let the vet check her out.  We didn’t know if she would be coming home with us or not.  The vet checked her out and guessed she either had kidney failure, thyroid disease or cancer.  He said they could run some blood work and get a better idea.  I said, how about we treat her for what is the most likely problem (kidney) and go from there.   So that’s what we decided to do.

He gave her some subcutaneous fluids and suggested we continue to do that at home, a few times a week.  We hate to give fluids because it involves sticking a needle under the skin and pumping a saline solution into them.   We hate to do it, but we will. 

The fluids must have helped because she seemed to feel much better by the time we got home and she ate pretty well.  Getting her to eat has been an issue the past several days.

We decided to take Baxter along to the vet and just make sure he is okay.  The vet gave him a quick check and thought he was just fine.  Baxter hammed it up while there and showed his best personality.  He loves meeting new people, so he likes going to the vet.   Since he was doing well, the vet thought he could get his shots.  I was a little concerned about getting his shots when he had been sick, but the vet though he would be fine, and they didn’t seem to phase him.

After we dodged a few rain showers, we managed to get some time outside for wildlife watching.   Florida, and the entire southeast I guess,  is having above average rainfall this year.  We’re sick of rain.

Last night, this gopher tortoise was our first visitor.  He got scared off when he saw the neighbors dog.


Soon afterwards, a large deer appeared.  This is right behind our campsite.  You can see the water between us and the deer.  In the winter, this area was dry.  This is where we have seen the otters.


A little closer look.



Of course, there were the numerous two legged friends.

A Brown Thrasher.


A female Cardinal.  I think this is one of the many youngsters.


A Dove was not too happy sharing the feeder with the Blue Jay.


After the deer left, this beautiful gray fox came by.


Just look at that beautiful thick coat.


We have been a little down in the dumps lately from all the rain, the delays in being able to go back to Georgia, and the kitties being sick.   After a hour or so sitting outside watching the beautiful wildlife, we both felt so much better.  It might have had something to do with the drinks we had too.  :)


the end


Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Big Day For Al


Wesley Chapel, Florida

We awoke to heavy rain this morning.  Some people like to sleep during storms, but I’m not one of them.  Fortunately, so far, it hasn’t been too strong, so I haven’t had to break out the wine.   Yet.  

Yesterday, was a big day for Al.  It was his last day of work.  It’s official.  He is completely retired!  He came home about 1pm and we went out and did some shopping, and then off for a celebratory dinner.  It turns out Al had already been doing some celebrating and came home with a few presents…..for himself!  

We went to Outback Steakhouse for a nice “vegan” dinner.   He had steak and snow crab and I had a steak dinner.  We had a few drinks and had an enjoyable time.   We got home and enjoyed another drink out on the patio.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera because two deer came and posed nicely for the picture I couldn’t take. 

When we awoke to the hard rain this morning, we were sure glad that Al didn’t have to get up and drive in the bad weather.   Ahhhhh….retirement!

Now, we have to decide when we can leave for Georgia, and pray nothing changes our plan.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

He’s Back


Wesley Chapel, Florida


It’s back…..with a vengeance!   Baxter's appetite, I mean.

The vet told us to feed feed him small meals of meat baby food for 2 days and then a bland diet.  At the time she said that, I was thinking to myself that if his appetite came back, he would not be satisfied with small, bland meals. 

I was right.  We were gone for a few hours yesterday and when we got home Bax was hungry.  Normally, Baxter is always hungry and when he quit eating, we were extremely worried.

Early Tuesday morning, I got up to check on Baxter and he was starving. I finally gave in and gave him some dry cat foot and a small amount of canned food.  He inhaled the dry food  without even chewing and was begging for more.

Unfortunately, he begged and pleaded so much that I may have let him eat too much and later in the day he didn’t seem to be feeling too well again.  Oops.   No more vomiting though.

By last night, he was better and eating more normally, but not quite as ravenous as usual.  He played a little last night, so we’re hoping he’s on his way back to normal.




We’re trying to wrap up things here and get everything taken care with the business.  Al hopes to be finished with that today, so this should be his very last day!  He’s going to be real glad to be done with it all.  I might even take him our for a celebratory dinner tonight!

We’re still planning/hoping to leave Florida and go back to the Georgia mountains, but for now, everything is up in the air.   Now, there is a new player in our plans in the form of a tropical depression…..soon to be tropical storm/hurricane which is heading west from the African coast. 

I guess we’ll play it by ear for now.


Summer is rainy season in Florida and this year has been a particularly wet rainy season.  We haven’t had much opportunity to sit outside and watch wildlife.

Our site backs up to a beautiful wooded area that is teaming with wildlife.


We try to keep our birdfeeders full, and we have a lot of bird activity.

Last night,  for the first time in quite a while, it wasn’t raining and we got to sit outside and enjoy the wildlife.

Al snapped a photo of this pretty male Cardinal.


This next picture was taken a few months ago when the fox appeared just a few feet from us and was eating the seed that had fallen from the bird feeders.  The orange dish you see is a bird bath.



We’ve seen deer,foxes, birds, otters and most recently turkeys.




We understand there is a coyote around here, but so far we have not seen it. 

Last night I saw something brownish in color across the water on the edge of the woods.


I zoomed in with my camera for a closer look and was surprised to find these guys.



They seemed to be inseparable.  I thought they were youngsters, but our neighbor thinks they are a mating pair. 



They appeared to be munching on something in the grass and didn’t appear to be concerned with us watching them.

There is always a lot of wildlife in this area.


We sure enjoy sitting outside watching our wildlife, and despite the rain we haven’t been bothered too much with bugs.  Maybe they have all drowned!  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Visit to the ER


Wesley Chapel, Florida

We ended up back in the ER yesterday afternoon, but it was the animal hospital instead of the people hospital.

Baxter was not doing any better and was still refusing to eat.  He was acting like he was uncomfortable and it seemed like his tummy was hurting.   We were trying to wait until Monday to see the regular vet, but we knew the animal emergency room was an option.  An expensive option, but an option.

Finally, after watching him squirm as if in pain, and not being able to sleep, we decided we would bite the bullet, and run him over to the emergency veterinarian.  We’ve done that before with different kitties and it can be very, very expensive.  One nice thing about these emergency animal hospitals is that they have 24 hour nursing care.  If you bring a very sick animal to them that has to stay overnight, they are monitored all night long, just like in a human hospital.

We were concerned that he may have eaten something he shouldn’t have. Several months ago, Al dropped a rubber band and before he could pick it up, Baxter ate it.  He managed to pass the rubber band with no problems.  We are VERY careful about leaving things around like strings, thread, rubber bands, and anything kitties might ingest.  I don’t know what it is about cats, but they like rubber bands and they like to eat strings, tinsel, thread, that sort of thing.

The vet checked him out and when she palpated his abdomen, he didn’t seem to be hurting, and actually acted pretty normal while he was there. 

The vet did some x-rays and didn’t find anything visible that he might have eaten.  I was concerned we might find a twisted colon or something wrapped around it, and I was prepared for surgery.  She said certain things  may not show on an x-ray, so we aren’t 100% sure he didn’t eat something he shouldn’t have.

We opted to have some blood work done and that turned out fine.   He got an injection for pain, some subcutaneous fluids and was released. 

While we were there waiting for Baxter, a couple things happened that really bothered me.  This animal hospital works with animal rescue people, and if you find a baby bird, squirrel, raccoon, or anything like that, you can bring it there and they will  treat it and then release it to one of their local rescue people.  We brought them a baby bird a few weeks ago.  We like the place, despite what happened next.

In the main waiting room they have some cages where they have some kittens up for adoption.  We noticed their kitty pans were disgustingly dirty.  When the vet came back out to talk to me I mentioned it to her and shortly afterwards one of the two female receptionists came over to clean them out.  This was the same one that was a little snitty when we checked in.

She bitched the whole time she cleaned their cages, and kept saying how she was going to get all itchy handling the kittens.  These were not mangy kittens, but adorable and healthy looking babies. (I could easily have taken them home). I went over to help her (mostly to make sure she didn’t let the kittens get loose) and she commented that she didn’t know why they had to tip over their water.  I said, because they’re kittens, that’s why. They were just playing.  I was getting angry at her.  She kept complaining the whole time. Then before she put the water dishes back in the cage she tipped it over and had a mess to clean off the floor!  Served her right.  She had inch long plastic fingernails that really made it difficult to do anything.  Obviously, she was in the wrong job.  I didn’t want her anywhere near Baxter.

As upsetting as that was, what came next was even worse.

There was a lady that came in after we did. She was teary eyed, and appeared to be very upset.  I guess they were working on her kitty in the back.

A while later, one of the tech’s came over to her and gave her a box and told her she was sorry or something like that.  I knew what that meant and instantly started crying with her.  I’ve been there and done that, and in fact this was the final place that we had to take our little kitty Squeaky two years ago.  I was feeling a bit fragile just being in that place again.

As the lady proceeded to open up the box, I turned away, not wanting to see what she was seeing.  Then I heard her say, “this is not my cat.”   OH MY GOD!  They gave her the wrong dead animal.    I was really crying by this time and so was she.  Immediately after she said that, another lady that was in the waiting room, went right over to her, looked into the box and realized it was her hamster that apparently was their to be euthanized.  She took the box with her hamster and tried to calm the first lady down. She had been expecting a box containing her hamster.  A minute later,the technician who brought out the hamster and handed it to the wrong owner, came back and apologized.  Evidently, the first woman’s  cat was not dead, and was still being treated.  Can you imagine, sitting there waiting for news on your pet and to be handed a cardboard box?    The poor woman.  She was there all by herself and I felt so sorry for her.  I was certainly thankful I had Al with me.   I think her cat was in serious condition, but when we left at least it was not dead.  What a horrible thing to happen.  It was careless, and should not have happened, but I understand things happen, but man, was that a bad one!   They were extremely busy at the time and I guess a mistake was made.   I sure hope the woman’s cat is okay.

We brought Baxter home and following doctors orders gave him some broth a few hours later.  He ate some and didn’t throw up. I went to bed feeling he was doing better.  This morning, he didn’t look too good and at first refused any food, but finally he licked some turkey baby food off my finger.  No vomiting so far.  We’re hoping for the best since we really still have no idea what has caused this.  His appetite seems to be improving. 

We’re hoping for a quieter day today!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It’s Always Something


Wesley Chapel, Florida

I got a call yesterday morning from my Mom.  She and my brother were meeting some people who were going to take the new dog Steve had gotten.  The dog didn’t work out and he found a good home for it.  Mom called to tell us that Steve had another seizure and was being taken to the hospital by ambulance.  She wanted us to pick her up and take her to the hospital.

Off we ran to pick up Mom, who told us she was at the McDonalds near the hospital on Fletcher Avenue.  We get there and she was nowhere to be found.  We tried calling her cell.  No answer.   She has a problem accidently turning the ringer on the phone off.   You can’t explain it to her, you just have to fix it and hope for the best.

After driving around a while, Al remembered some things she told him about where she was, and he thought she was on Bearss Ave instead of Fletcher.  We finally found her!   I was sweating that out and just waiting for her to call us back.

Off we went to the hospital to find that Steve was checked out and being released with the suggestion he follow up with a neurologist.

We had planned on leaving Florida possibly next Wednesday, but now that’s up in the air.   I don’t know if I had a premonition, or if it us just that our plans usually get changed at the last minute for one reason or the other, but I had been having some doubts that we would be leaving when scheduled.

And to add insult to injury, our dear little Baxter is sick.  He started throwing up yesterday, but that’s not abnormal for a cat, and especially a furry one like Mr. Bax.


I figured it was a hairball or something and he’d be okay.  He threw up a couple of times last night and then again this morning, but the main thing that worries me is that he won’t eat.

Baxter is a big chow hound and never, ever, ever misses a meal.  He gets upset if his bowl of cat food gets put away, or even if it gets too low.   By too low, he considers anything short of half full, too low.   :)

I gave him a half of a 10 mg Pepcid AC to hopefully settle his stomach.   It’s one of the few things that you can safely give a cat, so I knew it was okay.

About an hour after the Pepcid, he threw up again, but a little later, I was able to tempt him with a bite or two of some canned kitty food.  I only let him have a couple small bites and for the most part he’s not interested in eating.  We’re going to the store to see what we can find that will tempt him.  He will be going to the Vet in the morning.   I hate when this kind of thing happens on a week-end.


So……we’re hanging around to see about my brother and Baxter. 

The mountains are calling us.



It’s always something.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Rv Lot in the Making


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 91, low 72)  thunderstorms

Florida certainly hasn’t been having any drought issues this summer.  We’re in our typical summer rainy season, which means thunderstorms every afternoon.  Some of these thunderstorms have brought 6000-7000 lightning strikes per hour….according to the weathermen.  We are the lightning capitol of the country, so this is normal, but it’s way too much lightning for me.  I have started drinking a glass of wine during these storms and that seems to help my nerves.  Most of these storm are in the afternoon, but if the winds shift, then we get morning storms….and yes, I drink my wine in the morning if there is a storm.  Hey, it’s for medicinal purposes!

Al is continuing to ride with the various technicians who will be taking over his pest control accounts.  They have assigned areas, so it’s not the same person for all of the accounts.  It’s been a bit of a hassle working around everybody's schedules, but little by little he’s getting it done.  We hope to be able to get out of town next week.

I have spent several days in the company of Tim and Ken from Stratton Mobile Rv Repair, with the leaking washing machine.   We finally determined that we not only had a leaking water pump in the washing machine, but we had a leaky hose.  We thought there was a bad cold water valve, but it appears to be okay now, so hopefully that ends the saga of the leaking washing machine.

We also had them look at our inverter.  Since we’re at a site with electricity and in the summer we travel with the generator on, it took us a while to realize our inverter wasn’t working properly. The batteries were kept charged, but it wouldn’t invert when we we had a power outage or if we were disconnected from the generator and shore power.  Tim checked it out and did a “hard reset” on it several times and for now at least, it’s working properly.   We tried the hard reset ourselves following the instructions in the manual, but it didn’t work.  He found no other issues with the inverter.


Now that those two projects are done, Al just needs to do his normal pre-trip check of the fluids and we’ll be good to go.


Thanks for all the comments from my previous post about how to avoid Atlanta.   Going straight through Atlanta would definitely be the most direct route, but most everyone seems to avoid it if at all possible, unless you can go through on a Sunday.  Jeff and Jan both suggested another route which will take us up on the east side of Atlanta, via highways 129, 441, and 76.  I was a little concerned about highway 76, but per Jeff, it’s easily do-able in a motor home. I also did some checking on Google Earth, and I didn’t see any issues.  Until recently, I had never done much route planning with Google Earth, because I didn’t really know how to use it.  I’ve learned more now, and it’s really a wonderful tool to check out both campgrounds and the roads you are planning on taking.   Thanks Google!   We may have no privacy anymore, but I still like the benefits of all this technology!


The excitement today around Quail Run Rv Park is a new concrete rv slab being poured.  Another one of my exciting posts was the day they removed a Park Model home from the site next door. 




The mobile home had been gone since late May, and they are just now getting the concrete laid for a RV site.  We have a birds eye view, since the site is next door.   I like seeing how things are made, so I’ve been watching the concrete pour through the living room window.


It’s interesting seeing how nicely they are able to smooth the blob of concrete.


So far, they have made two loads, but that wasn’t quite enough to finish, so they will be bringing another truck for the remaining section.


You can tell we haven’t done anything exciting lately, can’t you?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Atlanta Traffic and Never Wet


Wesley Chapel, Florida

Somehow, we have messed up our sleep schedule.  We’ve been waking up about 4 am every morning, ready to get up and start our day. Of course, when you get up that early, we have been having trouble staying awake until it gets dark in the evening!  Al might be breaking the pattern as it’s almost 7 am and he’s still in bed, but I was wide awake again this morning at 4 am.   I think it started when we were in Georgia because we were so excited to start our day there.

Things have been going a little better regarding the sale of the business.  The new company has quite a few tech’s and they all seem to be much better than the first one that rode with Al.   A guy named Miguel was with Al yesterday and Al really liked him because he did the jobs like Al would have.  He’s hoping he will get most of the accounts.  We’re going to put in a good word for him with George, the owner of the company. Most of the customers seem to be okay with the transition, so hopefully they will stick with the new company.

We’re hopeful that we might be able to get out of town by next week-end.

Speaking of getting out of town.  Does anyone have any advice for driving through Atlanta?  Other than, don’t do it!  I know Jeanne and Eldy go out of their way to avoid Atlanta, and since Eldy is a “driving machine” it has me a bit concerned.

We’ve been told to go through on a Sunday morning if possible, and that’s what we hope to do, but that really limits your travel days, doesn’t it?

I also did a little checking on Streets and Trips and our Truckers Atlas, and found a truckers route around the west side of Atlanta.  It will be further, which doesn’t bother us, but there are a lot of road changes and turns which always gives the possibility of missing a turn and ending up somewhere a big rig shouldn’t be.  

Any suggestions would sure be appreciated.


Rustoleum Never Wet

A few days ago I ran across an interesting video on Facebook.

It was about this new product being sold at Home Depot, called Never Wet, and made by Rust-Oleum.

The Home Depot


It’s a 2 step spray that will prevent water from adhering to surfaces.  Actually, it does much more than that, because it repels water.  Wow, what an amazing product (at least from the video).

You really need to click on the link and watch the video to see how cool this product is, but as Rv’ers, I’ll bet we can come up with some good uses for this type of product.  I wonder if it would keep your fiberglass roof from getting dirty?

One of the things in the video, showed them spraying a toilet brush with the product.  That way when you removed the brush from the toilet bowl, it is dry and not dripping on the floor or leaving water in the bottom of the brush container. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will.

Some of the things they suggested was on gloves and shoes to make them waterproof.  I am thinking it might be nice to use on my wood dish drain, and in the kitty pan to prevent any wet clumps from sticking to the bottom and sides.

At first glance, it looked like it would be the greatest product ever, but after reading a few reviews, there are a couple of issues.  One, unfortunately, is that it doesn’t dry clear, but to a frosty white.  Another is that is doesn’t have any UV protection, so I wonder how long it would last outside?   I  thought about using it on our canvas awning toppers, but I don’t think the frosty white color would look good.

Other than than those two things, I think this could be a really great product. 

Al picked some up at Home Depot the other day for under $20.  It’s a two step process.    In the video they sprayed an i-Phone and then submerged it in water.   Don’t think I’ll be doing that, but what about your camera bag?  How about your outdoor rug that always gets wet and gushy?

Any other ideas?

Go ahead….take a few minutes to watch the video.  It’s really cool the way liquids just run off surfaces after using the product.  Might be a good thing to do to the front of white shirts!   You know how you always spill something on a brand new white shirt!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Business Sold & Al is Officially Retired (almost)


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 93, low 72)


The past few days, I had been freaking out worrying about the possibility of a hurricane coming to Florida.  Tropical Storm Chantal was predicted to head this way with the possibility of it making landfall on the east coast of Florida, and  cutting across the state and back out into the Gulf of Mexico.  There were some computer models that were showing the possibility a Cat 2 hurricane.   Yes, we are on the west coast of Florida, but I know from experience that it would have still been strong once it went over the short distance from east coast to west coast.  We saw that time and time again in 2004 and 2005.

Our plan has been if a storm is coming, to head north and get out of Florida even if it’s just a tropical storm. Since Florida is a peninsula, there is only one way to go to escape, and that’s north.   The weather forecasters are pretty good about predicting where a storm will go, but not good about predicting the intensity.  We don’t want to be in a motor home in a hurricane.

Since we don’t have PDD  or Eldy DD, if we’re going to leave the state, we need to head out early.

This week was the worst timing for a storm because Al has to be here to wrap up the process of selling his pest control business.

I was literally making myself sick worrying about the possibilities.   I never used to be such a weather worrier, but then again, I used to live in a nice solid concrete block house, instead of a motor home.

I was very relieved when the NHC (National Hurricane Center) reported the storm had died out. Of course there are some remnants from the storm that will bring us some rain, and there is a possibility she will re-strengthen.  I’m trying not to borrow trouble.

Sigh of relief…..

Of course, it’s still hurricane season until the end of November, so our plan is to leave Florida as soon as possible, and we’re working on that.


On Tuesday, we signed the paperwork for the sale of the business.  Al is no longer the owner of the business, but one of the terms of the contract was that he would go with the new technicians to transition the customers over to the new company.

That is turning out to be a bit of a mess.  What the owner told us would happen is not what is actually happening.  One of the guys riding with Al was so sloppy spraying chemical that Al refused to have him go with him again.  You know how Harley Davison owners are with their motorcycles?   This guy actually sprayed chemical on the motorcycle, and the owner saw him do it.

The new technician shows up with no business cards, so the customers don’t have any idea who to call if they should have a problem.    The reason we care, beside the fact that these are long time customers and Al has a good relationship with them, is because we didn’t get all of our money up front.  We get paid for the next year for the accounts they do. so it’s to our advantage for the customers stay with the new company.

In the meantime, we’re trying not to stress about it.  We’ve done about all we can do and what happens, will happen.

Between the hurricane and the sale of the business, we have consumed a lot of beer and wine this week!   :)

The good news, is that we are working through the transition and we may be able to head back to the beautiful Georgia mountains pretty soon.

I really need to see some waterfalls, mountain streams and trails.

river tubing at Helen, GA





By the way.  My suspicion that my washing machine was still leaking turned out to be correct.

Some comments said that was the reason they didn’t have a washing machine in their Rv.  That’s your choice, but in my opinion is that it’s well worth having.  I’ve done it both ways.  With and without a machine and I much prefer having an onboard machine. I hate having dirty clothes around.

Washing machines break in a house too, and you have to have them repaired or replaced.  Granted, they are a little easier to work on in a house, but they still can malfunction. I’ve done a ton of laundry in this little machine and it’s worked just fine.  It’s 11 years old, so I should probably just get a new one, but after putting the new water pump on, I don’t want to do that.

I washed several loads of clothes and no leak.  I had about decided the leak was gone, but decided to check once more, when I found a small leak.  He came right back out and found water inside the foil dryer vent!   He found a water line that was loose and wondered if that was where the water got inside the dryer vent.   I don’t know, but nothing else makes sense.  It hasn’t rained in a few days so I know it didn’t come from outside.   I plan to do a search on some Rv forums today and maybe even call Splendide (the manufacturer).  I have heard they have great customer service.

I called the Splendide hotline and spoke to a tech.  He thinks our cold water valve is bad and they don’t make them anymore.  We will either have to buy a new machine, or switch the hot and cold lines and use only cold water.  I think that is what we’ll do for now.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blue Ox Base Plate Issues Resolved


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 93, low 72)


Blue Box Base Plate

When we had the Blue Ox Base Plate re-installed back on our truck, we paid the $400+ bill, not really expecting to get our money refunded from the company that originally  did the installation.

The bracket that was attached to our Nissan truck was coming loose, which could have caused us to lose the truck while towing it behind the motor home.  Thank God that Al found the problem.   In case you missed it, you can read about it here.

After we had the bracket properly installed at Rv Medic here in Tampa, Al called Rentz Trailers to tell them of the  problem.  They told us to bring the truck and receipt and they would take a look.  It’s about a 45 minute trip over there and we had a lot of other things on our plate.  We really didn’t have the time for a wasted trip (like we thought it would be), but we drove over there first thing Monday morning.

We spoke to Joe, who is the owner.  He is the one we had problems with before.  We had some problems with bad work and when we complained, he was rude.  We were not looking forward to dealing with him again.

Rv Medic gave us a receipt detailing the problems they found, along with the bolts that had no sign of having any of the required RED Lock tight on them.

Joe took a few minutes to read the receipt.  We reminded him of the other problems we had  last year, and that there was a trainee working on our truck.  The trainer was supposed to have been checking the trainee’s work.  Obviously, he didn’t.

Joe looked kind of sheepish, apologized and without question, proceeded to write us a check for the entire mount of the repair at Rv Medic.  He kept the bolts so that he could show to the guy who was doing the training last year.  I suggested they go back in their records and see who else had base plates installed, as they should probably be notified.

Score one for the good guys!

We asked Joe if they could do an inspection on the driveshaft disconnect that they also installed. He said sure, but he couldn’t get to it right now.  They were short two mechanics and already had cars on the two lifts they had.

Now, if it had of been my business, I would probably have taken one of those other vehicles off the lift and checked ours out.  He said we could bring it back another day and they would schedule an appointment.  No thanks.

So….would we use them again.  Probably not.   Now that we have used Rv Medic, we trust them and like the way they do business.


Washing Machine Repair

Tim  of Stratton Rv Service  called Monday afternoon to say he could come to fix our leaking washing machine in about 20 minutes. We had to rush to get the kitties in their cages, and empty the closet so he would have room to work. 

He ran an empty wash cycle to see where the leak was coming from, and don’t you know it, the machine didn’t leak a drop!  We told him where we thought the leak was coming from and he found a loose hose. He tightened that, thinking that would solve the problem.  Of course even that little job was very difficult given the small working area you have.

After he left, I put some clothes in to wash and guess what?  Yep….it leaked.

Tim came back again Tuesday afternoon.  Again, the kitties had to go in their cages and I had to take everything out of the closet so that he could work.  You Rv people know how much stuff we have in our closets, don’t you?  Yikes!

This time we put some clothes in the machine and that seemed to do the trick and we again had a leak.  He decided to change out the water pump.   You have to be a contortionist to do that job.

He left without payment again, because he’s waiting for the extended warranty company to authorize how much they will pay.

I think it still might have a small leak though.  I saw some water last night.  I’m hoping it is some leftover water that didn’t all drain out, but I suspect we still have a problem.

I will probably be seeing Tim again today….and emptying the closet out again!

When Tim removed the washer, and disconnected the dryer vent. It was full of lint.  I try to stick my hand in the outside vent to clean out the lint, but I could never my hand in far enough.  I guess we will need to do a better job of cleaning the dryer vent because that could sure be a fire hazard.   Either we will purchase a little hose that I can attach to the vacuum that will fit inside the vent, or Al will have to disconnect the vent occasionally to clean it out. 


More on our other news later, as this blog is already too wordy.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Blue Ox Baseplate Install Issues


Wesley Chapel, Florida 

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had a problem with one of the base plates on the truck coming loose. We tow our Nissan truck behind the motor home.  Base plates are installed onto the front of the tow car to connect with the Blue Ox tow bar, which is attached to the motor home.  It’s critical everything is connected and mounted properly.

When we were getting ready to leave Georgia, Al noticed one of the brackets mounted on the truck appeared to be loose.  Upon checking, he found a problem with two of the three bolts on the drivers side.  One was broken off, and one one was stripped so that it couldn’t be tightened.

We had the original face plates put on last August, at a place nearby in Clearwater, called  Rentz Trailer Hitches.   We had some issues with them, but ended up getting everything resolved and we were happy.  You can read about that here.  There was some sloppy work to be dealt with.

One of the problems was the owner was rude to us when we wanted some problems resolved.  I don’t like spending thousands and getting rude treatment just because I want the job done right.  They had a new tech working there and he was making mistakes.   When Tony, the shop manager got involved things improved.

Anyway, we have been traveling all this time thinking everything was okay.  Al checked the brackets and tow bar occasionally and all appeared to be fine until last week.

When we got back to Florida, we called Rentz to tell them about our problem and make an appointment to bring the Nissan in to have the base plate fixed.  Al was told by the owners son, that they no longer took appointments and it was first come, first serve. That’s nice in theory, but what if the technicians haven’t finished their work from the day before?  You could arrive first thing in the morning and have to wait all day while they finish up.   We chose not to do that, because it’s a long drive over there with no guarantee that anyone would be able to look at your vehicle. They also didn’t seem to be too concerned about our problem.

We decided to go to Rv Medic here in Tampa to have the work done.  They are where we should have had the work done in the first place.  In order to get at these bolts, the entire front bumper cover had to be removed.  Vaughn, the mechanic showed us what the problem was after he got it all torn down.

Apparently,  these bolts were put on without using “RED Lock tight.” They became loose, which was what caused them to eventually break.  Vaughn said in the instructions from Blue Ox, clearly state that RED Lock tight must be used on these bolts.  

Vaughn showed us the bolts and there was NO lock tight used at all.  Apparently, it would still be visible on the bolts.

Vaughn wanted to check the bolts on the other side as well and he found a broken bolt there as well and one that would break when he tried to remove it.   No Lock Tight there either!

$400 later,  we left with the problems resolved. Vaughn was very thorough and we trusted his work.  Sure wish we had used him in the first place!

Vaughn saved the bolts for us and they wrote up exactly what they did and the problems that were  found.  It was his opinion that not using Lock Tight was the cause of the entire problem.

My guess is the new technician at Rentz never read the instructions for the Blue Ox faceplate install and no one ever checked his work.

We are going to contact Rentz on Monday, but from our past dealings with the owner, we aren’t expecting much.  We will try to deal with the shop foreman Tony if we can.  

We feel they should cover the entire cost to repair their error, but we’re not too optimistic.  Now that it’s over, I’m glad we didn’t bring it to them.  I have no confidence in their work at this point.

If we don’t get any satisfaction from them, we will be spreading this story out all over the RV world and internet.  We will also be making a call to Blue Ox, since they were on their website of recommended shops. 

We can cover the $400.  That’s not the most important thing. The main issue, is that our lives (and others) were put at risk because they didn’t read the manual.  (RTFM is one of my favorite sayings).

Our recommendation to everyone that tows a vehicle behind your motor home is to check all the brackets before each trip.   Check tow bar itself and then also check the face plate brackets. 

We’ll see what happens when we call Rentz on Monday, but in the meantime….just in case, any recommendations of where to spread our story?

Stay tuned to part two!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away


Wesley Chapel, Florida


We are in the third day of a rain event that pretty much covers the entire state of Florida.   There is tropical moisture feeding up from as far down as below Cuba. 

It hasn’t been a continual rain, but it often rains hard enough that we choose not to get caught driving in  torrential rains.

We have a  DVD copy of the HB0 series, The Soprano’s and decided this would be a good time to get started watching it.  It’s helped pass the time and is keeping us from going stir crazy, and we are really enjoying the series.

Yesterday was a little less rainy in our area, so we did get out of the house for a while and did a little shopping and errand running.  We found a few cute little decorations  for the little cabin on our RV lot.

I can’t believe I’m buying knick knacks again, but I wanted a few little decorations for the front of the cabin.  We will wait until we get back to Georgia and get some more things from one of the many craft shows they will be having in the fall.

These decorations will leave when the current owners leave.


There isn’t much to buy for inside the cabin, but we’ll need a few things for the walls.

When we were up there, we went into some local shops that sold handmade and crafty items to furnish cabins.  There are a lot of mountain cabins there, and evidently big business to furnish them.

We want to have a bear theme, since it’s bear country up there.  We saw this cute bed with bear headboard.

Isn’t it cute?  Perfect for a cabin.  It’s a little hard to see with all the other furniture in the way, but it has a headboard and footboard.

bear bed at local  Amish shop
Of course, we don’t have room for, or need it, but I thought it was cute.


Al got his day started with a visit to the dentist and a 2 hour root canal.  Apparently, this tooth had the longest root the dentist had ever seen and he had trouble doing the root canal.  The dentist said the root was 29 1/2 mm long and went up to his brain? 

Not knowing exactly how long that was, I did the conversion and found it to be 1  5/32nd  of an inch.    Al had some discomfort yesterday, but refused to take the prescribed pain meds until bedtime.   He will be needing a new bridge that would cost $4900 if he didn’t have dental insurance. We're waiting to find out how much the insurance will pay.  He will wait until the fall to get that started. 

We are nearing our one year anniversary of going vegan, and I am now down 25 pounds.  It’s truly been the easiest time I have ever had losing weight.    We were really bad vegans while in Georgia and are now getting back on track.  That’s okay though.  We eat what we want, when we want, but try not to get carried away.

Kale is supposed to be one of the best foods to eat and we try to add kale to our green smoothies.  After reading up a little more on the nutritional value of kale, I decided we should try to eat even more kale.   That and the fact that Al bought a HUGE bunch of it and and it will go bad before we can use it up in the smoothies alone.

Last night, I made a kale salad that was a little unusual and that I thought turned out very good. I didn’t get any pictures, but I’ll probably make it tonight again and I’ll take a picture and tell you how I made it.  I think it’ll a regular for us.