We returned to our winter residence in Edinburg, Texas, in Mid-April after a three-week trip to Tahiti that included a two-week cruise in French Polynesia. Living the high life agrees with me but all that food seems to find a home somewhere around my waist. Nine days after our return we were headed north in the motor home with friends accompanying us on the trip.
The motor home had been in the shop for about six weeks during the winter, some repair, some upgrades and some maintenance. We also had the carpeting replaced. The upshot of this was that for the first time in thirteen years we had emptied the motor home almost completely. So we’re like newbees, having completely re-stocked the motor home we’re finding out what we forgot. The list isn’t short.
We travel all summer long, visiting relatives, touring and attending conventions. We didn’t have definite plans for this summer, mostly visiting our children and grandchildren. In early March the bucket list came up and our friends suggested the Kentucky Derby. We gave it about 5 minutes thought and decided we were going to sign up. I had just seen an advertisement for Fantasy Tours Kentucky Derby Tour in the e-mail that morning. I thought it was for 2018, but no, it was for this year. Several spots were available and we signed up.
From Edinburg to Louisville is about 1100 miles and we decided to make it a four-day trip. Doing about 300 miles a day would get us there on time. We planned to arrive on Sunday, a day before the tour started. At our first fuel stop our friends said their dash air wasn’t working. Consulting with the manufacturer, they checked the fuse and several other causes and then decided to run the generator and the roof air to try to combat the 90+ degree temperatures of south Texas.
Our goal for the first day was to get through Houston before stopping for the night. We pulled into the Houston East RV Park about an hour before sunset. Problem two cropped up at this point, the single slide-out on our friend’s motor home wouldn’t slide out. In the morning, they were on the phone with the manufacturer again. After checking several items, it was decided that if they did get it to work, they may not get it back in so they are going to have to live with this until they could get to a repair shop. Our schedule didn’t allow for a day or two in a repair shop so we continued our journey.
On the good side, departing Houston put us in lighter traffic on I-10 for the first hour or two. We stopped in Lake Charles, LA to refuel and it became a lunch stop. Departing I-10 to the north we headed for Hattiesburg, MS. That became our overnight stop, now about 800 miles behind us. In the morning, I followed the GPS and led us on an extended short cut on roads barely wide enough to allow two vehicles to pass. We all laughed about it later and it did cut off quite a few miles. Our trip continued through Nashville, TN and on to Louisville, KY.
The problems with the slide out were solved by a careful reading of an on-line version of the owner’s manual. When we parked for the tour their slide operated perfectly. The solution was to hold the activating switch for 10 seconds which re-synchronized the motors. Later we learned that the dash air conditioner failure was due to a loose connection. They are on their way to the east coast and we are with my daughter and her family in Missouri. The Kentucky Derby Tour, that is another story…