Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shakedown Cruise

We finally had the motorhome out for the first time in nearly a year. I don't ever want to go that long between trips again. Over the weekend, we drove to Florida's east coast to Palm Bay, where my brother, Rick, has a house. He comes down with some of his family and we get to see him for a few days.

WE decided to take them to dinner at "The Shack", a seafood restaurant right on the inter-coastal waterway. It was my and Helen's 44th wedding anniversary, so Ricky INSISTED on treating. However, I was his guest in Massachusetts for a week in August and I was treated like a king. The meals Rick's wife, Linda, and daughter, Tammy, cooked were awesome. I wanted to take Rick and Linda out for dinner but Rick was always working except for some of the nights that I was at my reunion. At any rate, Helen and I wanted to treat. We got to the restaurant before Rick and Linda. I made it amply clear to our waitress that I was to get the check. Rick balked, but I had my way. They more than made up for it with meatloaf one night and lasagna and eggplant Parmesan the next. Linda is quite the cook.

Rick has his usual run of luck working around the house. His irrigation system failed when the motor seized. He tried the breaker while I watched. In a few seconds there was smoke coming from the motor and it smelled like the windings got fried. We went to Lowe's and bought a replacement. When Helen and I returned for dinner the next night, Rick had just completed the installation of the new pump. He had the outside switch off and went inside to close the breaker. When he flipped the outside switch there was a sudden POP and then nothing. Rick and I both thought he ruined the motor somehow. Rick took off the back cover of the motor and found a wire broken. We cannot understand how it happened unless there was a fault in the wire, as the break was in a new piece of #10 wire and was not near a connection. Rick replaced the wire and we tried again. The pump started right up and water sprayed everywhere as the diversion valve had cracked. This is my one brother, so he is also the one who gets towed in about half the time he takes his boat out.

Helen is one of those women who never complains. How are you doing Helen? Fine. Well, Linda asked her how her new glasses were working out and Helen told her that she was again having a difficult time reading text on the TV. That was a shock to me as she said nothing. I could not see going to Mexico if she was developing a problem. Monday morning, first thing, I called our eye doctor and was able to get her an appointment for first thing Tuesday morning. We were soon headed home. As it turns out, the problem is cataracts. They are growing and will require attention in the future. New glasses will do her no good and the choice is hers. She is putting off making a decision until after Mexico.

The shakedown cruise brought our attention to two problems. The first one showed up when I connected the Jeep. I bought a brand new cable to run from the motorhome to the Jeep, activating the lights. With no lights on anything, I connected the cable and the Jeep brake lights went on. With Helen in the motorhome, I found that we had right and left directional lights and running lights, but no brake lights. The second problem is that the refrigerator will not run on LP gas.

With Helen's assistance again, I was able to find that the positive 12 v wire and the brake wire were crossed. I switched than around and all works well. The last harness worked perfectly and I can't believe that an off the shelf item would be defective.

The refrigerator problem was something else. I saw an article on Kevin and Ruth's blog about cleaning the burner, but my unit seemed much more complicated and had more insulation and wires due to two recent Norcold recalls. I contacted a local company authorized to do warranty work on Norcold. There was a great abundance of rust, but the burner itself had to be replaced as well as the ignighter. It was a bit more than I thought it should be, but now we are READY!!!! I hope!

Tomorrow morning I get my last hepatitis A & B shot. Friday morning the dogs visit the vet to get their health certificate and!!!!!!! The caravan to Celestino Resort never came to be. We will be meeting a couple from Canada in Nogales on the 12th and make the crossing early on the 13th. I sure hope all goes well.

Later. Oh...wait....Pictures!

My brother Rick!

Rick's wife, Linda, with Mya

My nephew, Todd.

Two hackers making a bad situation worse!

Now, Later.


  1. You'll do fine...just arrive at the border crossing early, and you'll probably be all set in less than an hour! Smart to be crossing on a Sunday too! Glad you got your fridge fixed.

  2. You two guys look like twins from the back.I was lucky like you and a a great brother named Rick too, He passed away two years ago from cancer. treasure the time you guys spend together.Have a safe departure on your trip we will be following you. Sam & Donna...