2013 Travels travel blog

Carpe back in "her spot" at Americas Campground

Carpe at Eddie's Truck Center
We spent the entire day getting a new...

South Dakota Aerospace Museum at Ellsworth AFB

Minuteman missile in silo

Our slide topper billowing in the high winds

Our Teddy Bear on display at Teddy Bear Town

Closeup of Ted

Fri, 07 Jun: Back to Box Elder and the Americas Mailbox Campground. We took our time getting ready for our daunting (26 mile) trek, and didn't roll wheels until after nine.

It was an uneventful (our favorite kind) trip and we pulled in at 0952. By the time Bob got Carpe backed into "her spot" it was a bit after ten. A quick run to Wal*Mart for some eggs & veggies and then a lunch stop at Quaker Steak & Lube for lunch. Then back home to enjoy a lovely day and evening.

Storms arrived around dusk as forecast so we buttoned things up and went to bed listening to the pitter-pat of rain on the roof. Tomorrow is forecast to be very windy (what else is new?).

Mon, 10 Jun: Wow, double digit June date already?!? Where is the month flying?

Yesterday (Sunday) was a gorgeous day. The wind was (relatively) light. "Relatively" means "calm" is in the single and low teen digits. It sure does blow around here.

We had absolutely nothing on our plates so it was a very relaxing day. We did chores around the house and Bob worked on his computer. Sandi, as usual, had her schnozz poked in her Kindle devouring yet another book. We never stirred from the campground.

This morning, alas, was one of those dreaded "alarm days". We set the infernal device for 0600 and, when it went off, we hit the floor running. Breakfast, make the bed, get the coach ready for the road, and start engine @ 0740. Once the suspension air bags huffed up and the leveling jacks retracted we rolled wheels at 0745.

It was a quick six miles or so from Americas Mailbox Campground to Eddie's Truck Service in Rapid City. We got Carpe checked in for her 0800 appointment and are penning this portion of the missive via their free (and quite quick) wireless in their very comfy driver's lounge.

We are here to have a cooling fan override module installed. As previously stated (see posts for "Houston" and "Dallas") we had an engine overheat issue driving from San Antonio to Houston. Freightliner has already replaced the engine cooling fan clutch and this module is a new part that (hopefully!) will eliminate the problem.

We shall see down the road. But, we must comment that Freightliner has been very, very fair with us as they are covering all the costs of the clutch and module despite the fact that we are two years out of warranty. This is what we call customer service and other RV manufacturers and component suppliers need to take a lesson from the folks at Freightliner Custom Chassis.


Well, we and Carpe sat, and sat, and sat some more. Despite our 0800 "appointment" Carpe didn't move until just before 1300. The module installation took several hours, many of which involved them deciding just how to access the engine.

As a result, we didn't get outta there until after five. We stopped at Sam's Club to top off the diesel tank and then back to our site at Americas Mailbox Campground. Once settled in we went to South of the Border for dinner and finally back home to put our feet up.

All in all a very long and somewhat disappointing day... BUT, the new module is now installed and time alone will reveal if that'll fix the overheating problem. Stay tuned.

Sat, 15 Jun: A busy week and it's Saturday already.

Carmen and Domingo Davila arrived at Americas Mailbox Campbround Wednesday afternoon. They made the 1,200+ mile run from Saginaw, MI to Box Elder in 2½ days! They're amazing. They were exhausted so we went to Quaker Steak & Lube for dinner and then back home so they could collapse.

On Thursday afternoon we drove to nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base to visit the South Dakota Aerospace Museum. They have an impressive collection of aircraft in static display. Aircraft include: B-29, B-52, B25 (that was Eisenhower's personal aircraft), B1B, F4 Phantom, F100, F86, etc., etc.

They also offer a tour of the base that includes a visit to a Minuteman missile silo. We'd taken the tour before but happily did so again with the Davilas. As before, it was very impressive (and sobering). See pix.

Yesterday (Friday) we spent a few hours catching up with our laundry. We bought lunch for the Americas Mailbox staff, pizza for all. We enjoy treating these hard-working folks to lunch every time we visit. They're the nicest people and work so hard so we can play hard.

Dinner was at the Texas Roadhouse with the Davilas. As always, their food is excellent and the portions enormous. We brought enough food home for two more meals.

Today we drove to Hill City to show Domingo & Carmen the Black Hills and Teddy Bear Town. We got to visit with our bear, which has been lovingly repaired and occupies a place of honor in the front reception area. See pix.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we'll head to Gillette and the FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) rally. There is no need to hurry as it is only 130 or so miles on I 90 and we don't have to be there any specific time.

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