We figured that we would spend some time with my son and the grandkids before heading back to Florida. We were close enough, just 180 miles after the wedding in Cincinnati, so we traveled a little west for a last visit this year.
My son Tony was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver just a couple months ago. We were just here in Indiana visiting with him and the kids 3 months ago so it was a shock for us when he was diagnosed. He didn’t look or really seem sick when we there last! So we are going for a visit to see if we can help out a little.
Tony is not working and it looks like he won’t be able to in at least the near future. They have applied for disability but that takes time to get. Sometimes it can take 6 months to a year to get! His mom started a Facebook fund me page to help out some for them. We did what we could with fixing their car and getting groceries and some with the grandkids clothing. We felt pretty good that they would be OK for a while and could focus on health.
We were in Crawfordsville for a whole of 3 days. We wanted to stay longer but the campground was full over the weekend due to the local Covered Bridge Festival 30 miles away. I had not been to the festival since I was in high school so I was looking forward to going. Oh well, not this time.
On our last day Patty decided to call our RV manufacturer, Prime Time, in Wakarusa Indiana for help with the shower pan. Wow, they came through for us! When Patty gave her name they right away had our information as well as the VIN number of our RV. They told us that they had a pan available and that we should give John’s RV Repair a call to put it in. Patty called John at John’s and he said he would get the pan and install it the next day!
|There is the big ugly crack on the right. It is covered by some of the flex seal stuff as seen on TV right now. I have been temporarily fixing this since we were in Las Vegas last summer.|
First, we can’t say enough about how well we have been treated over the years by Prime Time. All through the 2 year warranty we had a personal representative who bent over backwards to help us. And now, 4 years past warranty and they not only still keep information on us but go all out to help us again!
And then there is John of John’s RV Repair in Elkhart Indiana who was also great. John opened up his shop to do the shower pan replacement on Saturday with just a days’ notice! We arrived there at 7:30am and then we went for breakfast. By 11:30am he was done! What a difference from the way we were treated by RV Specialties last week!
|Not much to look at these RV repair facilities in Elkhart.|
|Our shower pan before it was installed.|
RV friends of ours from Canada, Steve and Dianne Colibaba were also in Elkhart for work on their 5th wheel. So then on Sunday after our RV work was done we met up with them for a long lunch and a couple drinks. We met them at a very cool restaurant bar called the Evil Czech Brewery in Mishawaka Indiana.
After a couple hours of swapping road stories we headed our separate ways. Steve and Dianne will be here for a week or two and we are heading out tomorrow for New Jersey.
|We knew Steve and Dianna were there. |
Their big rig was parked at the bank next door.
|The back of the Evil Czech|
|Cool catering van|
|Safe travels Steve and Dianne!|
While we were in Elkhart we got a message from a couple in New Jersey who were interested in purchasing our truck and RV. Actually they had contacted us a couple weeks ago and made an offer that we believed to be too low for us. Since we wanted more for our rig they wanted to see them.
We agreed to head back to NJ near them in north Jersey. We were already just off of I80 in north Indiana so all we had to do was travel the 700 miles across Ohio and Pennsylvania to a campground just inside NJ. It was a little out of our way but not a lot. From Indiana we still needed to head east about 150 miles anyway so what are another 550 miles and an extra 3 days to maybe sell the rig!
|Just never know what you may see traveling around the country. Looks like a homemade truck camper.|
We took our time making the trip from Indiana to New Jersey. We traveled our usual ~230 miles and stayed 2 nights. Traveling this way it would take us 5 days with 2 stops, one in Ohio and one in PA. The only thing was that the temperature has now dropped a lot! We had temps in the 80s while in Indiana and as we left the temps had dropped into the 40s for highs. Our nights in PA were near freezing so they turned off the water overnight. They did come around and warn us about turning off the water first. It was okay as we had water in our tanks for the night. We are way too far north for us this time of year!
Our first overnight in Ohio we had an electrical issue! We got all set up and Patty said that the microwave was not powered. After a little investigation we found that the refrigerator and the electric fireplace were not powered either. CRAP! We need that fireplace for heating at night. I checked the obvious stuff like the circuit breakers and I tried another outside receptacle with no change. So then for the first night we didn’t use the microwave and the fridge just continued to run on propane. I plugged the fireplace into another outlet with an extension cord. So we were good for the night.
|Our site at the Cleveland Fairgrounds. We stayed here about a month ago on our way to Indiana the first time for repair. We also stayed here a few years ago. It's a nice place to stay and see the area from. $35 full hook up 50A site.|
The next day I got busy troubleshooting the electrical issue. At first I thought it may have something to do with the slide that was common for the fridge and the microwave. However, the fireplace was in a different slide. Also, the display on our power management system showed that there was power on both legs of the 50 amp line coming into the RV.
The first thing I did was to take a look under the 2 slides and see if there was any issue there. I had had an issue in the past with an electrical cable bundle coming in contact with the tire during travel. I found this cable bundle with a large wear area a couple years ago and repaired it. This cable had again dropped down and there was wear on the cable insulation. After an hour of cutting wire ties and taking off cable hangers I was able to inspect the wear area closer. Yes the cables needed to be rearranged to hang higher and the cables needed to be repaired. But, this was not the answer to the problem.
Now I needed a new direction to look for the problem. I decided to check the wiring in the breaker panel in the RV next. A few years ago I had a problem with loose AC wires in the panel. After removing the breaker panel cover and inspecting the wiring it all seemed good. OK, now time for my volt meter! I found that there was no power on one leg of the 2 legs coming into the panel. The power management display showed that there was power at least coming to it in the RV. So the problem must be between the power management system and the panel.
|No power on one leg of the 2 50A legs coming into the RV|
Ok, now this is going to be a pain in the ass as this area is in the basement and it is loaded with stuff! There are 2 things in between the outside of the RV and the circuit breaker panel, the power management system itself and the changeover switch for the generator. Right here I could have saved myself a lot of time. I should have fired up the generator to see if the problem was still there. If it was then the problem would most likely be at the changeover switch. If it went away then it would be either the switch or at the power management system. Of course I didn’t run the generator because I like to be tortured! I went for the power management system first. It was the easiest place to go first.
|I had to remove our basement stuff from just one side to start with to get at the power management system|
|The power management system is the black box near the center of the picture.|
To get to the management system I had to take all of our stuff out of a small part of the basement so I could take off a small wall to the cables. Then I had to twist myself into this small hole I made to get the 6 small screws out of the management cover. Guess what, after an hour of this torture I found nothing wrong here! Now is when I thought about running the generator. With the generator running the problem was still there. This means that neither the generator nor the outside power was getting to the circuit breaker panel. And since the wiring was perfect at the breaker panel the problem must be in the changeover switch.
OK, so now I am getting closer to finding the problem. I now need to get closer to the changeover switch which is on the other side of the basement behind the larger wall.
|To get at the changeover switch I needed to take most everything out of the basement and then remove the large wall.|
|Now I have some access to the entire guts of the RV|
|The changeover switch is the black box with the 3 wires going into it near the center of the picture.|
|Inside the changeover switch. The wire that pulled out is the center black wire on the left side. That is the cable coming from the power management box.|
Now I have the basement mostly empty and the wall removed. The switch is next to the furnace with 6 flex heating ducts running directly on and over the cover to the switch. Luckily there are only 2 screws to remove to get inside the switch. After getting the cover off I can see the problem right away. One of the output wires had come out of the switch connection. It appeared that the 3 output wires were cut with one shorter than the other, the short one is the one coming out of the switch connection.
In order to get this wire back into the switch I had to remove the other 2 wires and cut them shorter to all be equal in length so I could push them into place and secure them. This was a pain to do as the wire is a large diameter and lightly stranded making it very stiff and hard to move. Couple this with the 6 flex heating ducts over the top, it was a real pain to do this but I got it done.
Now, after about 4 hours I have the electrical fixed but I have to put everything back together. I also need to fix the under slide cable that was coming in contact with the tire. Just another 2 hours and I was finally done and just in time as it was nearing dark! Just another day on the road with an RV!
After 5 days and 4 nights we finally arrived in NJ at the Triple Brook Campground near Blairstown on Friday the 19th of October. We are here for the next 3 nights, the last night, Sunday, the place is closed. They close for the season on the 21st but they agreed to let us stay the night. They gave us a nice space in the front in the back row. It is perfect to show the RV on Sunday.
|Our stopover for 2 nights in PA.|
|It got down to 30F overnight so we had frost on the picnic table and ground this morning.|
|Sign for the Triple Brook Campground in NJ|
We are only here in NJ to show the RV to a prospective buyer on Sunday. They made an initial offer to which we countered. They made an offer on the entire rig which included the truck. With our counter offer they wanted to see the truck and the RV so we set up this appointment for them to see it. Patty was pretty sure they would buy but me being the pessimistic one wasn’t so sure about that. We shall see on Sunday!
Saturday we spent the day getting the RV ready to show. It is a little hard to show an RV that you currently live in, basically because it is packed full of your stuff! We also had the stuff we had stored at my brother’s house in Indiana that we were taking to our new house in Florida. That was an extra 6 large bins that we had to put somewhere. We had already steam cleaned the carpet at our last stop in PA a couple days ago. We also wanted to lessen the clutter in the basement and the closets.
We utilized the under bed storage for most of our closet stuff. That way the walk-in closet was really a walk-in and you could actually see the second dresser in the back. This made the under bed storage completely full but it was better to have the closet uncluttered we felt. As for the extra 6 bins and basement stuff, they went under the RV mostly in the back. So that took care of the clutter issue.
I washed the windows of the RV as well as the front and rear caps. These are the things that show the most dirt and we get the most bang for our cleaning effort. After that I took the truck to a car wash and washed and waxed it. Now we are ready!
That night on Saturday we got together with my daughter Jennifer and Son-in-Law Christian for dinner. They live not too far from where we are in Blairstown. We had a nice dinner at the Walpack Inn after waiting for over 2 hours on a table. Seems everyone had the same idea to come out on a nice Saturday fall evening for dinner. The Walpack is only open Friday through Sundays and are closed in the winter. The restaurant is very secluded in the northwestern section of very rural New Jersey.
|We have never seen this place so full!|
|From l-r is son-in-law Christian, Daughter Jennifer, and Patty |
all at the bar waiting for a table.
Our prospective buyers showed up on time at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon. They first looked at the inside and then we headed outside to check the RV exterior. On the exterior walk around it became apparent to me that they were not ready to buy yet. They are also looking at an older 2009 Montana but with a much newer 2013 F350 truck. Ours is a 2013 Sanibel which is pulled by a 2008 F450. The Montana and the Sanibel are basically the same size units. They were still thinking about which they wanted, a newer truck or a newer 5th wheel. They just were not ready to make the leap at either one at this time. It sucks for us but it is what it is.
Now we will need to take the rig to Florida and store the Sanibel if we don’t get it sold before we get to Florida over the next week. Our plan is to leave on Monday and arrive back in Florida over the next weekend depending on how fast we decide to travel. We are a little over 1200 miles away from our house in Florida here in NJ.