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On the way to Washington, DC

blog-0914073001405819933.jpgWe left our home in Readfield, Maine at 8 AM on July 7th. We made 2 rest and lunch stops and 2 fuel stops along the way. We were in a long rolling traffic jam on I-495 in Massacusetts, north of State Route 2. Traffic only stopped completely one brief time, but was just crawling for miles. I turned on the CB for a while. I got a bit of useful information from the truckers' chatter, especially about where the traffic opened up again. However, I could have done without the profanity. It was a construction lane closure that had everything messed up. It could have been worse. We arrived at Black Bear Campground in Florida, NY around 5:30 PM.

Black Bear is a very neat and well-maintained campground. I recommend it. It's a few miles off I-84, but worth the diversion. The campsites are up on a ridge and the pool is down near the store and office at the entrance. If you don't have a toad or a golf cart, plan on a good hike down the hill and back up again, if you want to use the pool.

On the 8th, we got going a little slow and rolled approximately 9 AM. We made 2 rest and lunch stops and one fuel stop along the way. We got to Cherry Hill Campground around 4:15 PM and were set up on our site by 4:45 PM

I learned some things about the MH on this trip:

While running both air conditioners at home before the trip, on a 20amp circuit, I forgot I was so overloaded and started the vacuum cleaner as well. That tripped the breaker in my garage. When I went to hook up the shore power on the trip, I found that I had melted the plug adapter. I had to pry it apart, then cut off some rubber remaining from the adapter, and clean one of the prongs of my 30 amp plug. Maybe there's a reason my manual says not to run both air conditioners on a 20 amp plug.

While plugging in a night light for my grandson, I discovered that the outlet under the table didn't work. I thought "that's funny - it always has worked." I then checked and reset most of the 120 volt breakers. No problems found there. I checked the outlet on my side of the bed and that was dead, too. Next, I checked the bathroom outlet, which is one of those GFCI units, with the Test and Reset buttons. It was dead also. I pressed the reset and it worked. It was then that I had an "Aha moment!" The other dead outlets are wired through that GFCI outlet! Sure enough, the other outlets worked fine after the GFCI was reset. Grandma was observing my frustration with the outlets and confessed that she "may have" blundered into the test button on the GFCI outlet earlier. I should have diagnosed the problem sooner. At home, we have several outlets wired through a GFCI outlet the same way.

This Spring, I paid a goodly sum to have the dash AC fixed in the motorhome. On this trip, I got some return on that investment! The temps were in the low to mid 90's. With the dash AC blowing on me, I was comfortable most of the time in the driver's seat. However, the rest of the coach was getting quite warm. During rest and lunch stops, I started the generator and ran the two rooftop AC units. On the last leg of the trip in the afternoon, I let the generator and the rooftop AC's run while driving down the highway. I have read in the forums that some other folks do this. It helped to keep us cooler, and it didn't seem to use a lot more gas. Besides, I understand that it's good for the generator to run it under a good load occasionally!

I'm not sure if it is due to a problem in the ductwork, or a problem with the AC unit itself, but the front rooftop AC (actually closer to mid-length) does not push much air to the front two sets of vents. The rear AC, over the bedroom, will freeze you out. Some day, I may take things apart enough to find out if there is an obstruction in the duct.

Other comments:

The EZ-Pass is fantastic for paying tolls! We have a lot of toll roads and bridges in the Northeast. All of them on this trip took the EZ-Pass. Several toll stations had high-speed lanes that read the EZ-Pass at full speed!

I am getting somewhat used to driving the MH in any lane, with traffic and big trucks all around me. It's still a little tense, but I can manage. The NJ Turnpike was the worst driving. I decided to take another route on the return trip.

It is my understanding that some of the diesel pushers handle much better than our 33 ft gasser. That would be nice - especially for the kinds of driving we have had on this trip!

As I am finishing up this entry, we are back home and I'm back at work (some day, I'll REALLY retire!) I plan to write a post about our time in Washington and another about our trip back.


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