Home Away from Home - Winter 2020 travel blog




Since repairs seem to be a constant topic this winter when I am not extolling the joy that the nature around here brings to us, it seems like it's time for an update:

• The GPS Ken uses had gotten Alzheimer's and no longer knew the time, date or duration of our drives. While I back him up with my Garmin which is designed for car use, his is essential because he can program it for our height and weight restrictions. We never want to be part of one of those videos so common on YouTube where large vehicles get stuck trying to drive under low bridges and overpasses. Ken sent it in for a free update from Rand McNally and it was here waiting for us after the cruise, intellect restored.

• The golf cart repair facility is so happy to finally be rid of us. They were sent the wrong part twice as the tried to get us back on the campground roads. It sounded like these parts were coming from China where our cart was made. With China under quarantine these days, we began to wonder if our cart would still be sitting in the repair bay long after we left TGO for the season. The third part was the charm and as we happily whizzed around on the campground roads, we noticed that the batteries were no longer charging. We bought this cart used and the owner said that he thought we would need new batteries soon. In retrospect, the charger was probably gradually failing for quite some time; we had no idea how it worked when it was new. So we quickly headed back to the "golf cart fix it" place for another repair before we were totally out of power. They had something on hand and could install it quickly without getting China involved, so we were back on the road again the same day with considerably lighter wallets. Hope that's it.

• Our all-electric coach has not been functioning well when we relied solely on batteries. After unplugging from the pedestal they quickly drained, so it was time to replace those. These batteries were the kind that need to have the water replaced periodically as part of the chemistry of the battery. Ken had a watering system, but guessed that it had not been totally filling the batteries and consequently they wore out more quickly than they should have. He got a deal when we met with a vendor at the Tampa RV show, which meant he had to go to Orlando to pick them up. Luckily, we have a dear friend here at TGO who loves projects like this and volunteered to give Ken a hand with taking eight 70 pound old batteries out of our bay, putting eight 70 pound new batteries back in and wiring them up in the correct order so that the electricity would flow. They were a great team and after less than two hours without a trip to the hardware store, the job was done.

What remains to be done and may be addressed when we stop at Freightliner on our way home:

Headlights still need to be repaired.

ABS warning light.

We have still not been able to find antifreeze that matches what is recommended according to the label pasted on the radiator. We may have to drain out all the old stuff and start over. More ka-ching, ka-ching.

There's probably all which I have convenient forgotten.

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