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Getting Ready to Roll - catlinye_maker [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Getting Ready to Roll [Nov. 14th, 2012|03:53 pm]
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I hope everyone's doing well and looking forward to happy holidays! We're in the process of changing over from chemo to radiation in J's treatment cycle, and thus moving from Gilroy to Turlock to be closer to the radiation center, since that will mean daily appointments M-F for an estimated seven weeks. Part of the process for us has been getting the rig and the truck ready to roll, which resulted in a number of ups-and-downs last week, no question about it.

We were getting ready to depart Gilroy for the Central Valley, so on Tuesday we took the fifthwheel to a local service center for a checkup. We asked them to check the brakes and the kingpin, replace the vent cover that had broken in a hailstorm a while back, and lube the leaf springs.

Packing up to roll out for the first time in months wasn’t too bad. We used the checklist which I put together years ago when we were just getting started. It needs revising but still served the purpose of keeping us from forgetting anything vital. I thought the cats would be harder to get into their carriers - they might have forgotten in the long stay here in Gilroy. But the packing routine let them know something was up, and they all went easily into their boxes. We decamped cats, computers, and all to the waiting room at the RV service center and let the service folks work. Three pm and the rig was ready. The brakes were fine, just needed a new fuse in the power line.

So we went to hitch back up and discovered that they’d torqued the landing gear (by working on the rig on a slope sans chocks) to the point that it bound up and wouldn’t retract. They fixed that, we got hitched, and just because we knew they’d worked on the brakes we did the little test where you get the rig rolling and use the manual lever on the brake controller to activate the trailer brakes and stop the whole equipage. Except… not. Lever hard over and nothing stopped. Nothing even slowed down. Thankfully we have the extra-heavy duty brakes on the truck (and we hadn’t done much more than get the wheels rolling) so stopping was not an issue.

We got stopped and got the service folks back out to hear one of them indignantly declare that the failure must be in our truck, because he was reading power to the brakes on his little tester gizmo. I asked if the gizmo supplied full power to the brakes and he nodded, so I listened at the wheels. When the brakes are applied, there’s a distinctive hum. Nothing. I pointed out that even if there was power to the brakes there was no actual braking occurring. They fussed over the system for a while and we noted that it was getting late and we needed our house back, so we made arrangements to return the following morning for actual brake repair.

We inched the rig back to Gilroy Garlic RV Park (thank goodness for that long-ago truck brake upgrade) and they very nicely let us use a pull-through site for the night so we wouldn’t have to unhitch before rolling back out early in the morning.

The next day the repairs went quickly; the brakes were out of alignment, was all. The quick test worked this time and we got ourselves back to the campground and parked in time to take a short nap and settle the cats before heading out for the evening.

We had tickets and dinner reservations for the Leonard Cohen concert, a much anticipated event we were really looking forward to. And it was great. I was very glad to get a chance to hear him in concert, and though his voice isn’t what it once was, it was still an excellent show. He featured other band members in some numbers, so there was a nice variety of music. We had a good dinner at the restaurant at the venue, making parking and logistics easy.

But for every up this past week, there’s been a down: on the way there, someone in a dark sedan flagged us over to tell us that a piece of plywood had fallen off our truck and damaged his car. Well, I don’t know what he expected but that was arrant nonsense; our truck is an F350 flatbed pickup, and we don’t carry anything on the flatbed other than the hitch, which is bolted down. J told him so and he blustered a bit and then got in his car and pulled away. I called the insurance company the next day and they affirmed what we’d thought, that it wasn’t really something to worry about. And thankfully, it didn’t make us late for our reservations.

On Thursday I had an appointment with the quilter who had finished my log cabin quilt earlier in the week. This was an extra-large quilt with a number of problems and she tackled it with verve and really did an awesome job. I’m delighted with the way it came out; it’s exactly as I’d hoped it would look. It looks beautiful and I am so glad to have it almost finished (just the binding and a label to go.)

I dropped off the Christmas Village quilt that I finished last week on this visit, and it was fun plotting the quilting for it with her. I’d brought some idea images for us to talk over and she was really taken with one of my favorites, so that went well.

And then on the way home the electrical service light came on in the truck. That made for a rather tense drive home, because if the electrical system went completely, that would mean little to no steering or braking. Fun times. I made it home without incident and immediately called the mechanic and took the truck right in. They gave me a lift home and fixed the truck the next day in good time; it needed a new alternator, as it turned out. I’m rather glad that the light came on last week, and not this week as we prepare to get back on the road.

So, ups and downs all week, but things are calm now. One day at a time, and all that jazz.