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Some days you’re the bug…

Some days you’re the windshield…

I was finally on my way,  just easing along, taking my time and being easy on the equipment.  I had 3 good sized towns to negotiate with my 53 foot rig and I was being super, super cautious.

Several trips across Hwy 190 between Jasper and College Station have resulted in a practiced routine.  I have my special pit stops.    I stop at the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Store to buy cigarettes, next stop is Bubba’s just east of Huntsville.  Bubba’s is close to a job we did two years ago and was my beer store for that job. It also has huge fuel islands. The last stop is a peaceful picnic area just outside of Shiro, Tx.

When I pulled in to Bubba’s this is what I saw.Monaco Cayman being winched on to a rollback Looked to be a 38′ fo0t or thereabouts Monaco Cayman. An elderly couple was intently watching the process. I sat and watched as they loaded the big coach on to the rollback trailer. I have to say the tow truck guys knew what they were doing. They were meticulous and careful, checking and double checking as the large recreational vehicle slowly inched its’ way up the tilted deck of the trailer. I thought about going out and asking the couple if I could be of any help but decided that was sorta silly. What could I possibly do to be of any help? The owners were concentrating on the loading process and I felt my intrusion might be distracting and unwelcome as well. I have to say I felt just a tad bit guilty. Here I was in a near antique RV pulling a toad easily twice as big as theirs and I was buzzing down the highway with effortless ease — to all outward appearances. I can only hope the Cayman RV was still well within its’ warranty limits and they had a good road side assistance program.

To tell you the honest truth, my trip was pretty uneventful. Watching everything as I eased through the stoplights in the little towns and keeping my foot off the gas proved to be a good In the Gate!combination. I pulled in the gate here north of Hearne,TX at around 430pm. I was mentally exhausted since you don’t so much drive the Old Girl down the road as herd it. I was glad to be at destination and still all in one piece!  My brother and I had decided on a temporary RV parking area the previous day as it was the most level and fairly cleared spot.  This tract of only 70 acres is heavily wooded with mostly hardwoods and cedars.  We may find a more suitable spot as the dozers push through the woods but for right now, right this very minute, I was just looking for a spot to land.

I unhooked the Suburban at the gate because I did not want to negotiate the creek washout with it in tow.   I walked up the driveway and fired up the Deere 750C dozer to quickly prepare the likely parking area.  I was running out of daylight fast!

The RV parking area ready for the Old Girl

I divide up the homestead setup task into 3 categories. Hard Reality, Creature Comforts and the Givens

The Givens are a level bus, heat / Air Conditioning, power and water. Creature Comforts are internet, cell phone and DISH network. Understandably, the Creature Comforts and the Givens dictate my Hard Reality. Quickly, I set up finishing the Hard Reality tasks on the mental list.

I leveled the Old Girl. The parking area is sloping and higher in the back. I was hesitant to grade and fill a level area with the dozer even though it would have been easy enough to do. Past experience has proven newly graded dirt tends to turn into a hellacious quagmire when it rains and I have had quite enough of mud in the last year; thank you very much! I  used the dozer to just skin a bare inch of dirt off the parking area to get rid of all the weeds and bushes. I much prefer setting the jacks down on hard, “natural” ground. As such, I had to block up the front tires. The leveling jacks will pick the wheels right up off the ground on my motor home but that makes me uneasy. I set the jacks down and realized the front wheels were going to be off the ground. I retracted the jacks and went and got my wooden blocks which I carry everywhere. I drove the Old Girl up on 6″ of blocks and then set the jacks. Much better!

I had got the coordinates to set up my DISH dish before I departed East Texas — and I was in a hurry. I was hoping my DISH FU was strong today. I set up the DISH dish close to the electrical compartment and adjusted the skew and elevation. I had turned on the DISH receiver and the TV earlier and had it set to the alignment screen with the volume turned up loud! I have a “squealer” to help fine tune the dish but did I mention I was in a hurry? I took my time to level the tripod. I have done this SO many times and it is always easier when you have the dish absolutely level. I took a sighting with the compass along 206 degrees and then moved the dish. BINGO! Immediate change in tone from the TV. I figured since I was on a roll I would do a quick check switch and see if I had both the 110 and 119 satellites. I was feeling lucky and the sun was casting really long shadows by now. I ran the check switch and DOUBLE BINGO — both satellites were coming in strong.

Next task was the 3 external propane bottles. I would be SO dependent on them over the next few weeks. Bottle one was connected to Extend A Stay connection 1 that feeds the Generac propane generator. Bottle 2 was connected to Extend A Stay 2 that feeds the onboard propane needs like water heater, furnace and refrigerator. Bottle 3 was connected to the line that feeds my Little Buddy propane heater. Check, check and check.

The next job on the list was to connect the Camco Gen-Turi generator exhaust pipe.  You might call me anal or overly cautious but I absolutely and unequivocally refuse to run my generator without this exhaust system in place.  Carbon monoxide is an insidious killer and just scares the bejeezus out of me.

The sun sets on the Old Girl

That finished up the Hard Reality list.  I still had a Suburban full of everything from garbage cans to antenna poles to water pumps.  The Old Girl was in Travel Mode which meant everything was put up and stowed for travel.  I contemplated unloading the Suburban  as the sun set knowing that I had to transfigure the Fish Bus from Travel Mode to Living Mode.  To heck with the Suburban.  It could wait till tomorrow.  I was tired and thirsty and hungry.   I was imagining how good that cold Miller Lite was gonna taste as I closed the door behind me and entered the familiar confines of the Old Girl.   Another good day done.

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5 comments to Some days you’re the bug…

  • Congrats on the uneventful move. That’s usually a good thing. 🙂
    I finally saw an Extended Stay kit in person a couple of weeks ago. I think I’ll be browsing Craigslist for an inexpensive larger third bottle. I see your bottles standing beside your home. Do you ever have to tie them down because of winds?

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    • admin

      Ms. Tango,
      The bottles are all the same diameter regardless of size. They will fit upright sitting inside a plastic milk crate if you want to have an extra measure of safety.

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  • Great blog today! I liked going along on the journey to move from one job site to another. Step by Step, you explain it well. Glad you made it there in one piece!

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  • Thanks Andy 🙂

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