3K Adventure Part 3

Our hookup and departure went a bit more smoothly this time. We were learning how to work together to make sure no steps were missed. The previous owners of the motorhome had purchased a regular car rear-view mirror and had installed it such that a view out the back window was possible. I’d learned to glance up at that mirror, and could see the car with the canoe on top, and was reassured that things looked ok back there. I’d heard of RVs that had a rear-view camera and screen on the dashboard, and hoped an upgrade to that technology might be in our future.

One problem that had surfaced the day before was the passenger side mirror. There was an electric motor that allowed the center portion of the mirror to be adjusted. As we went down the road, though, the mirror slowly moved to the point that it was out of adjustment, and could no longer see the right lane. Fortunately, Alice could see just enough of the lane in the mirror to allow us to move over safely. In general, though, I tried to stay in the right lane. I hoped we’d be able to stop in a Walmart parking lot so I could look at the mirror and try to figure out how to tighten it.

We stopped regularly for gas. We calculated the economy a couple of times on the trip, and got a bit more than 10 mpg once, and around 8 mpg the next time. It seemed to fluctuate based on the terrain, which made sense to us. We were moving a lot of iron down the road when the towed car was taken into consideration.

Early afternoon we spied a likely looking exit and took it. We were happy to see a Walmart, which is well known for its large parking lots. We drove around until we found a secluded end, and parked for a while. I got out our folding table, which I carefully placed under the passenger side mirror and climbed up. After some looking around, I found what looked like a set screw that might tighten the swivel of the mirror. I couldn’t see it though. I asked Alice to look it over from inside, and sure enough, she could see the allen wrench head. I had no allen wrenches along, but I was pretty sure Walmart would have some. Armed with our shopping list, I headed inside while Alice and Franco held down the fort in the motorhome.

I had all the keys for the motorhome duplicated once inside, and purchased a nice set of allen wrenches, as well as staple foods for the trip. Once back to the RV I climbed back onto the table and with Alice sitting in the driver’s seat, was able to get the mirror pretty well adjusted. Unfortunately, the automatic adjustment no longer worked, probably as a result of my having taken it apart. One more thing to put on the list of things to get looked at.

We pulled out with a bit more confidence and headed back on the highway. As the day lengthened, we started looking for a place to spend the night, and settled on Elizabethtown, Kentucky. We got off at the right exit and followed the directions to a small privately owned RV park. The people there couldn’t have been nicer. I needed propane, so the owner took me through the process for the first time, and was very patient as he showed me how it all worked. We pulled into our parking spot, unhooked the car, loaded up the dog, and headed out to find a place to eat supper. The date was May 3; my 60th birthday as it happened.

We ate at the Cracker Barrel, and I happened to mention to our waitress that is was my birthday. She explained I got a free dessert with the meal, which was nice. What she didn’t explain was that all the available wait-staff would deliver my dessert with a round of “Happy Birthday.” Alice managed to get a picture. I was really touched by the whole thing.

We were up early the next morning, and drove out to the dump station to practice emptying our tanks. We probably didn’t need to dump yet, but the place was empty and we knew we would make some mistakes, and didn’t want an audience if we could help it. The sewer hose that came with the motorhome was in pretty bad shape. The end, which needs to fit smoothly into the socket in the ground, was so mangled that it was impossible to get a reasonable fit. And we had neglected to close the valve on the sewer tank, so the entire pipe was full of sewage. I had a 5 gallon pail along, so I unhooked the small hose fitting on the end of the pipe, and emptied that bucket by bucket (AFTER I closed the valve.) Once the pipe was empty, I could open the valve for real, and empty the rest of the tank. It was then we noticed another break in the sewer hose. We managed to turn it up in time to avoid too much of a spill. We then closed the sewer valve and opened the grey water valve, rinsed everything off, and were ready to hit the road. We added “sewer pipe” to our shopping list.

Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia are hilly! We were continuing to get a better feel for driving the rig. We made the trip from Elizabethtown to Elkins, West Virginia in good time, found the campsite we’d booked without too much trouble, checked in with the very helpful campground hosts, and located our campsite. We unhooked the car, put things away, and moved the motorhome to its new digs for the next 5 nights. It was a national forest campground in a lovely part of the Monongahila forest. We unhooked the car, hooked up the RV, and then went to town to search out some food. After a nice meal we heard from Steve that he was done with work, so we set the GPS for his place and headed out. (to be continued…)

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