Monday, June 30, 2014

The Rest of The Story

Well, Christopher sort of brought you up to date on our travels, but he left out a few significant details so I guess it's up to me to let you know "the rest of the story".

One day last week Vicki was turning around the motor home driver's seat which she uses as her dining chair and it got a little hung up. The solution to that sort of problem obviously is to apply more force. Worked like a charm. Of course it did make a rather disconcerting noise, but we don't worry about that sort of thing. The next morning we turned the chair back around and got everything packed up to head out. After getting the slides brought in I went to adjust the chair so I could drive and, what do you know?… it wouldn't move.
Dead driver's seat

This is something of a problem. Without the chair moved essentially all the way back, I can't stuff my stocky frame between the seat and the steering wheel. The seat is all electric with no manual release. If the electronics don't work, the seat does not move. The only one of us that could sit in the driver seat was Vicki, and even she was a might too close to the pedals for comfort. We were in a tiny piece of Wyoming known as Rock Springs with no likelihood of repair and no time to spare either, so for the next two days Vicki did all the driving scrunched up close to the steering wheel and that was our situation when we arrived in Sturgis.

I called an RV dealership in Rapid City to discuss the problem. They cheerfully informed me that they did not normally work on seats and had no spare parts. If one of the motors had burned out, we were out of luck until one could be ordered from Flexsteel, which might take a couple of weeks. The good news was that given the specifics of our story, there was a good chance that either a wire had pulled loose or a fuse had blown, and those things they could fix. The bad news was that they would not even schedule the attempt for several days. The desk clerk at the motor home park in Sturgis gave us the card of another traveling RV repair guy. For all I know, it's the same guy that fixed our malfunctioning steps with a hammer last year. In any case, he said he could come out and take a look at it the following day, so we signed him up.

After much poking around he determined that one of the power wires to the chair had gotten caught on a metal edge on the seat mount and forcing the chair around had stripped off some of the insulation and shorted out the power circuit. The damage was to a circuit board that dwells inside a storage compartment. The circuit breaker was fine but the short had burned out a component on the circuit board itself. Now I ask you, what good is a circuit breaker that does not trip before the circuit that it is allegedly protecting fries itself? In any event, he did not have a replacement circuit board and had no idea how to get one. But guess what? There was an identical circuit supplying power to the passenger's seat. So he wrapped up the damaged wire with electrical tape and connected it to the passenger's seat power. This, of course, means the passenger seat is no longer movable but we can live with that for a while.

The problem
If you were following this blog a year ago, you'll recall that when we left the house in Lead last year the garage was stuffed full of boxes of junk that we had not been able to fit inside the house. Excess clothing, office equipment and supplies, knickknacks, furniture odds and ends etc., etc. The main reason for our scheduling a week in Lead this year was to try and clear out some of this stuff.  Now my concept of this job is that you look at a box and say to yourself, "Whatever is in here, I've gotten along fine without it for the last year, will probably get along fine without it for the next year and by then I will have forgotten that I ever owned it." and into the bin it goes, unopened. Vicki, however, was having none of it. She insisted on opening every damned box and going through it to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. As you can imagine, this makes
The solution
the job go quite a bit slower. Bit by bit, however, we were able to get through it all and dispose of about a third of it. We are having a shed built next to the garage that will hopefully hold enough of the rest so that our renters will be able to actually park a couple of cars in there.

Yesterday morning (Saturday) we packed everything back into the motor home and resumed our journey east. Last night we stayed in a quite nice motor home park on the banks of the Missouri River in Oacoma, SD and had dinner at Al's Oasis, which is kind of like Wall Drug in that it is a so-so diner, general store and grocery outlet that has gone to the trouble of putting up signs along the freeway for 100 miles on each side to try to make it sound like a tourist destination, which it definitely is not. The food was okay, nothing
On the banks of the wide Missouri
spectacular. But the price was right and I didn't have to cook it, so I call that a win. Today we only drove about three hours to a municipal RV Park in Adrian, MN.  We were supposed to be staying at the Blue Mounds State Park north of Luverne, but they e-mailed us a few days ago letting us know they would be closed for two weeks due to flooding. This place is okay until the sun starts to go down at which point about 1 million mosquitoes arrive to encourage you to stay inside. The plan over the next few days is to make our way gradually to Midland, MI where we will be spending the Fourth of July with my sister's family.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you were able to make a compromise with the circuit board and now Vicki doesn't have to do all the driving. The place we're parked here in Helena actually belongs to my brother-in-law. His mother used to have her mobile home on it before she died. So we did some updating on the electric and we ended up with a place with full hookups. We pay him for the electric and water while we're here and we also try to find some other way to help him out since he refuses to take any money for us. It really is the perfect set up. It's right next door to my sister and BIL so for a couple of months everything works out great. Mosquitoes are bad here also. So we spend the evenings indoors.