Beginning and Ending – Awning Repair and “Sploding” Tires

Whew! Three weeks blew by in what seemed like a heartbeat. Preparing for this trip seemed like it took much longer than the time we spent away from home, although being in our RollingSilver2ndHome made it much easier than it might have been.

The first day was spent making our way to Springfield, MO, with Reliable RV as our destination. Our awning repair was scheduled, and we were hopeful it would go well so we could be on our way. The repair was made, and I was able to mark it as DONE. It was a happy moment for me when we could finally string our party lights on the extended awning, knowing I was done thinking about this to finally experience it instead. Once the lights were plugged in, my favorite 7 year old declared with hands on hips, “I like them.” Is it odd that I should feel happy to have his approval? It was most satisfying to know we felt the same way about the lights. Of course, the clips we used to string them turned out to be hangar clips for drying clothes. These were not what I originally intended to use, but instead worked out best for the lights so they were Dual Purpose. (If you do not know by now I love Dual Purpose items best, then someone hasn’t been paying attention.)

Owls – 1970’s Revisited!

We were 120 miles from home when someone pulled up beside us on the road and rolled down their window. “Your rear tire blew”, they mouthed. Thank You Good Samaritan! We pulled off the road, and sure enough, the tire had “sploded”, the sidewall tearing and tread falling to pieces. There was a quick tire change, and immediate Googling for the address of a tire store in the next town. Once we arrived, the tire was replaced and we were on our way. My Better Half does not believe in driving any distance without a spare. It’s a good thing, because three miles from home, the other tire on the same side of the trailer blew. It was timely I suppose, that we had several tire discussions with others about the problems with certain trailer tires. Personally, we’ve had issues now with three out of four. Obviously, it’s time for a change. Upgrades are completely necessary before we go another mile. Oh, and you know those repairs needed to the aluminum skin? When the second tire went, it took out the handle to the black water tank with it. It’s a good thing this happened before Repairs were made. Fortunately, the tank was empty, so it’s not needed soon. It will be nice to look forward to a time when we don’t end a trip needing to look forward to repairs. Even with all of this, we’re not discouraged. Not Yet. Stuff happens. Right?

Time for a new approach, wouldn’t you say?

The first year of Airstream ownership has been…um…revealing, about where the weak links are with our systems, whether they are routines, refreshing, repairs or revisiting that which has come before. The second long trip was much easier than the first, so things are getting better. In no way could I have declared we were having a “South Dakota Badlands Moment”, even though the end of our journey seemed like It’s Always Somethin’. After all, we did travel over 2200 miles. Did I mention I got sick the second day after we headed for home? At least I got to sleep in my own bed, even though I didn’t get to spend quite enough time in it. Will Our Third Long Trip Be The Charm? I’ll think about that tomorrow. For now, I’m going to bed.

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Plan B

It’s time for Plan B.  Awning Guy flaked on us.  After we scheduled a service call, it got complicated.  Suddenly he was swamped by other work, and needed us to do all the running around.  What?  Interesting, isn’t it, when an agreement to pay someone the fee they set, with the arrangements they made, suddenly becomes our problem?  Considering that another place wanted a similar arrangement (which we declined) and one wouldn’t even consider a repair, this feels a bit like a fiasco.  We were told by one dealer we should buy a new awning.  Seriously?  Even at 10 years old, our awning looks barely used.  How in the world does it make sense to buy a new awning instead of making a simple repair?  Oh, That’s Right.  I understand perfectly.  It only makes sense for the one selling me an awning!

 
Instead of spending precious energy on negative feelings for customer service “providers” who don’t provide customer service, it’s time to move on.  The thing I appreciate about research is once you’ve looked over the options, you realize you have some.  Do you know that expression?  “Put a pencil to it.”  I grew up hearing that, so guess what?  After putting a pencil to it, it made sense to detour our trip plans past Reliable RV in Springfield, Missouri to make the awning right again.  Once they told us the awning could be walked across the street to be re-sewn, the hassle of all this disappeared.  Plan B, you’re lookin’ pretty good right now!

This Too Shall Pass.

Tacky Party Lights Await!

Preplanning, Preparing and at Peace

I’m in Preparation Mode.  A long fall trip has been planned for quite some time to visit the best part of our family, and it won’t be long now!  In a series of small steps, I am attempting to change the…style of energy the last few trips have taken.  It’s much more pleasant to plan with purpose and intention!  While I look forward to our next adventure, I can’t help looking back at the same time.

One thing I’ve observed (often with amusement), is how many people like to travel with all their STUFF.  Now, I’m not a minimalist, but one of the reasons we chose an Airstream is because it’s low, aerodynamic, and “old school”.    (Oh, look what I found!  Dictionary.com has an example of using “aerodynamic”  in a sentence.  Airstreams are a lightweight, aerodynamic, aluminum original that conjures up visions of summer vacation.)  That’s what I’m talking about.  But not if you don’t keep your weight down, as mentioned to me by a favorite family member.

Most Airstreams don’t have slide-outs, pass-through storage bays, a flight of steps needed to climb inside, giant televisions, kitchen islands or four-door refrigerators.  There are fewer systems to break down (although I feel we’ve already experienced our fair share of that.)  We don’t have to tow our vehicle behind our home, and when we’re not pulling the Airstream, our truck gets surprisingly good gas mileage.  I’ve been known to call the RollingSilver2ndHome our little ranch house, in a campground full of Big Macs, a/k/a “McMansions”.   See what I mean?

Our awning is scheduled for repair this week.  After much research about how to best go about this, we found a guy who will travel to us, remove the awning, make the repair and put it back on.  All in our own driveway.   I bought some tacky party lights to celebrate, once we can unfurl the canvas without fear of flappage.  (OK, I made that word up, but in my own mind it describes the issue.)  While that is going on, I think I’ll just go ahead and pack everything for the next trip, even though I’m a few weeks ahead of schedule.  It will be refreshing to experience a different kind of energy when the time comes to go.  The Zen phase of Preplanned, Prepared and at Peace!

Remodeling the RollingSilver2ndHome

Mostly intact!

Well, it’s not much of a remodel really, but the carpet is coming out and an easy-care, vinyl floor is going in.  We’re waiting to hear when the floor is delivered, so we can take the Airstream in for the change.  Another repair needed is to the awning, which needs to come off so some stitching can be replaced.  It came undone in a 45 mph cross wind on our last trip to South Dakota.  Here is what happened to us on that trip, our third voyage in the Airstream.  As written in a postcard to a family member:

Dear ___,  Here is a picture of the Badlands, which were Bad for us.  We left home to spend the first night in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and our Garmin bounced us over every brick road and railroad track in town.  When we FINALLY found the place we were trying to go, it was only a short exit off the highway.  You know how some people name the ‘’voice’’ on their GPS?  Ours  has a new name; “Route Bitch”.  The next day we experienced 45 mph winds while cruising down the road.  When we arrived at the campground, our awning had come undone, along with around five feet of stitching.  We also noticed we had lost the cover on our air conditioner.  Who knows where that went?  After our tour through the Badlands, when we stopped in Wall, SD we found a wheel missing on the Airstream.  Not only the wheel, but all six bolts holding it on had sheared off.  Too bad that when the wheel came off, it dented the aluminum skin around the wheel-well.  The next morning we noticed the fans were barely running and realized the 12 volt system had died; a replacement was sent overnight to the next campground.  After driving back through the Badlands three times to find our wheel, we finally gave it up to the canyons.  It was sad to find Alcoa, who made the aluminum rim, no longer makes rims and our wheel is now considered a “collectible”.  The repairs to the Airstream can’t be made until the beginning of October, since there are only three places to take it:  Alabama, the factory in Ohio, or Oklahoma City.  :O   Whomever said “The Third Time’s The Charm” wasn’t on this trip.

Thinking of You, Be Glad You’re Not Here.

Time for a Drink!

I suppose you might say that everything happened to us all at once.  Surprises occur when you acquire a 10 year old Airstream.  Some TLC is in order, while we ready our Mother Ship for the next excursion. This trip might be known as “When It Rains It Pours” or rather, “When It’s Windy Outside, It Really Blows.” You decide.

POMEGRANATE MARTINI

1-1/2 cups pomegranate juice

2 oz. Absolute Citron vodka

1 oz. Cointreau liquor

Cup of ice

Splash of sparkling water (optional)

Squeeze of lemon (optional)
Shake ingredients in a shaker and pour into chilled martini glasses.

Serves 2