The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Surprise En Route to Surprise

We told the Boomers that the best way to enjoy the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta was to “come early, stay late, and see it all” and they certainly took our advice.  While the Fiesta ended Sunday morning, most of the Boomers stayed over until the Monday, 12:00 noon check out time.  As we prepped the motorhome for travel, we had a chance to give most everyone a farewell {{{ BOOMER HUG }}}. 

While the RVs scattered in all directions, our destination was just 16 miles away – Kirtland Air Force Base FamCamp.  We needed a couple of days to “re-boot” and my body was already warning me that sleep was a priority.  Actually, what I didn’t realize at the time was that the combination of stressing my voice (despite my buying a microphone system for use during Happy Hour announcements), a scratchy sore throat, a hacking cough and a sinus infection would put be down for at least a week.  A later trip to an Urgent Care would confirm I had bronchitis.  An antibiotic and codine cough syrup would provide some relief, but two weeks later I’m still not back to normal.


We decided it was still too early to head home to California so we set our sights on Surprise, Arizona on the west IMAG0661side of the Phoenix area.  We have friends who live in the RV and golf community called Happy Trails and called to see if they knew of any private lots we could rent for a week without having to pay the high prices of the local realtor listings.  Turns out their rental lot was available before their tenant arrives for the season starting Nov. 1, so we took them up on the offer to stay next door to them. 



We planned to make it a two-day drive with an overnight stop-over at Meteor Crater RV Park near Winslow, AZ.  I was still feeling miserable and for the first time in our travels, I moved from the co-pilot’s chair and curled up on the sofa while Luke drove.

We’re not sure where on I-40 we were exactly, but somewhere east of Winslow we heard a new noise.  Luke yelled back to me to check it out.  At first it sounded like it was either under our front sink or in the slide mechanism.  Did we have mice???  We also had the 12-volt ceiling fan on and it can make a noise if it is not level.  I flipped it off and the noise quit.  Hmmm, must have been the problem so I headed back to the couch. – NOT!

We reached our RV park and when Luke opened the front outside storage bay he realized what the real problem was – we had picked IMG_7867up a 28” piece of metal that had pierced through the floor of the compartment and it was still there!  We had a hole in the floor that measured 7” x 4”.





The culprit…. The results.


The bay was full of styrofoam insulation, our Weber BBQ handle and igniter were broken, bottles of juice and cleaning fluid had been pierced, and everything was a mess. 

Luke said he never heard the motorhome hit anything while he was driving – just the noise we heard when the rod was probably dragging on the road after it had already penetrated the bay.  It was purely coincidence that the noise stopped when I flipped off the fan and by that time the metal had worked its way inside. 

In retrospect, we were VERY LUCKY that the rod did not strike the windshield, puncture a tire, holding tank, propane tank, etc.  Whew….


As mentioned above, I was diagnosed with bronchitis and spent most of my time in Surprise recuperating.  We did, however, sneak outside one evening for a neighborhood pizza party with our hosts, Bonnie and Ken Martin (below on left).  We also got a lunch date in with the Martins at Zen’s Cafe, a local restaurant.IMAG0660IMAG0658 





We also had a “surprise” visit from SKP Boomers Gloria and Charlie Goss who also have a lot in Happy Trails.  We had emailed to see where they were in their travels and they were right there in the neighborhood.  We also enjoyed a breakfast date at Nick’s Diner on our departure day.


Luke likes the Freightliner Service Center in Tolleson, AZ near Phoenix.  We needed to have a filter changed so he called RV Service Writer Kirk Ault and booked a Friday morning appointment.

Like most RV service centers, we were provided free hook-ups so we arrived the night before and were ready when the tech arrived at 7:00 a.m.  The parking area at Freightliner is always interesting.  IMG_7888

This center also repairs and certifies emergency vehicles. Check out our neighbor.


In addition to changing the diesel engine filter, Luke asked the techs to do an undercarriage inspection to look for any hidden damages from our 12,000 mile trip to Alaska and back.  They found that the bushings on our Road King shocks were cracked.  These were installed by Henderson’s Lineup in Grants Pass, Oregon, so we’ll see if the warranty covers the repair. 


IMAG0663Our dog Star cannot stay in the motorhome when it goes into the service bay so after a breakfast stop we were off to the dog park at the Avondale Friendship Park.  There wasn’t much action, but Star did get a little socializing time in.



We wrapped up our visit to the Phoenix area by having dinner with our Albuquerque hot air balloon pilot, Mike and his wife/crew chief “T” Liberti.  They live in nearby Gilbert and we try to see them off the launch field whenever we are in the Phoenix area.  Friday night we met them at D'Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub in the Tempe Marketplace.  We always enjoy our time with them and our conversations included not only ballooning, but also RVing with their new travel trailer.



1 comment:

bloog101 said...

Did they fix your shock?