Archive for April, 2016


Sh …. Hopeful

Can you believe it, yesterday I decided to have the front tires swapped right to left and the tire shop spotted how my front brake pads were almost worn away!   Why no one noticed or told me???  I’m not one of those that likes to drive until they hear metal on metal…  I did that when I was young.  I did a lot of things when I was young, like driving all night and all day that I really have no intent of doing now. So I’ve decided that nothing else is going to go amiss. I’m ready to see something other than repair shops!

 

Here’s some bottom side photos of my RV…  getting know what’s down there!

No, I don't know what was leaking. Took this shot as Bruce was finishing the air spring repair.

No, I don’t know what was leaking. Took this shot as Bruce was finishing the air spring repair.

Visit to Tru-Line in VAn Nuys. Wish this place was closer!  Happy little RVs getting tender care.

Visit to Tru-Line in Van Nuys. Wish this place was closer! Happy little RVs getting tender care.

Look Ma, no tires!

Look Ma, no tires!

The line up at the park.

The line up at the park.

 

And for Earth DAy:  Remember Only You Can Protect Our Planet!!!

Climate Change Song

Inang Bayan Theme Song About Climate Change. Time To Act Now!

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Different But is it drivable?

If in my wildest fancy I might have believed that installing brand new tires (now 2 different sets) and new shocks to my very recalcitrant LT would have caused such motoring misery  I could have just left her shoeless. I surmise that it is tires and not the shocks, just like shoes that do not fit right, which are causing my vehicle to  spirit about so funny and odd. I get in my car and weep at how easily it follows the road but my recalcitrant one suffers. The air helper springs are repaired, and as of yesterday the steering gear box has been replaced and I think, the alignment was corrected (again) and the steering wheel trued, at least I think it has been done. I took the LT down to Tru-Line in Van Nuys twice; very long days with intense traffic there and back.  This morning I’m canceling another $125 appointment to have the alignment (and recently noticed intermittent brake pull) checked (again) at a local shop.  I’ve decided to just start driving Ms Recalcitrant around town and seeing if I can used to whatever it is my motorhome thinks is straight ahead driving  …  can I leave town with her or not? Still undetermined.

I am not feeling at all renewed. I do have inflamed mosquito bites….  I am quite allergic to them which are very itchy although my ankle is returning to normal; those came from my backyard but it doesn’t feel like I’m camping.  The First Lagotto Romagnolo National Specialty appears to have been a great success and a ton of fun with close to 50 Lagotti in attendance!  Bravo! So wish I could have been there.  Perhaps next year.  Perhaps later, perhaps another time.

Well, its early morning…. perhaps, maybe, possibly I might be able to go somewhere in the RV sometime soon …  inconclusive and unknown.

 

OK, one more thing to try…  swapping the 2 front tires…   will try that. Tru-Line suggested it in case there’s any tire pull. Of course if I was in Van Nuys they’d take care of it for me, they are a very nice shop; but it’s too hard to return.

I had a lot of fun planning this trip, had a lot of fun too modifying my RV and sprucing up my ride, getting the dogs ready for their Big Show but it seems I’m on one of those labyrinth type mazes with inner islands. I need to find something to leave on the path so I won’t keep getting stuck in dead-end loops. Need to find the path that doesn’t have the dead ends, but it’s not simple as the way I’m heading is hard to see and all too often virtually invisible until it’s behind me. Given enough time the route fuzzes into a distant memory that is almost forgotten until that untimely moment of recurrence. That’s where I am now, again.  My recalcitrant RV is not going anywhere, not just yet at least.  I had to cancel attending the Lagotto Romagnolo National Specialty. When I canceled of course I realized how much I was really looking forward to the experience; the event is not only a first for my breed but a first for me, or would have been. I love to be part of things, esp something special but I’ve been on this path before as well and it leads to an even larger dead-end, a sink hole with pangs of feeling bad and an inner voice that starts criticizing my own failings (real or imagined) and blaming unknown forces, so I have to get off and backtrack to the last non-dead end  , then turn and go in another direction, preferably one I’ve not traveled before.  So, what comes next?   Here’s Jeana thinking about this for me.

Flying Curls Jeana, Lagotto Romagnolo

Flying Curls Jeana on the bench after a muddy run in the rain.

 

However just for kicks or to indulge me ….  I want to do something with the plans I drafted even though this trip is cancelled. (This is the 1st time I’d done this complete with overnight spots and not just a general direction) Below is what part one of my roadtrip was to have been ….  remember the object was my renewal, finding the Specialty was a stop along the way. I wanted to be in places I’d never experienced and let the environment, the creatures, the people, whatever occurred wash over me. In case I never mention it again part two was a big loop around Florida, including the Everglades and down to Key West and part three was heading north from the Keys and eventually back to home.

There are a ton of planning tools out there including Map ‘N Go which a friend recommends.  I tried a lot of  the free ones and one available to me because I’m a member of different groups but finally settled on these main three…  all of which are free and can be assessed from both my desktop or laptop computer and my cellphone.

  1. Roadtrippers
  2. Free Campsites
  3. RV Parks Review

Part 1:  Santa Barbara to Perry, Georgia

Screenshot of Part 1 of my trip (Santa Barbara, CA to Perry Georgia) on Roadtrippers

Screenshot of Part 1 of my trip (Santa Barbara, CA to Perry Georgia) on Roadtrippers

OK, you get the idea, can’t seem to make this sharp or any larger. Roadtrippers allows the user to plug in stops …  what to see, where to camp, what kinds of attractions you’re interested in, points of interest, where to eat even; it also allows specific searches near your route, in my case dog parks.
I think this link will work to demonstrate Part 1   and the stops and sites to see including the Center of the World…  someday I’ll make it to that sign!. There is a limit on how many points you can save, so I found it best to make several separate trips or trip sections.
Here’s an overview of the day to day overnights with the use of the 2 campsite links provided above and Roadtrippers

Day 1
Leave from Santa Barbara and stop to visit with my Mom
Continue on I-5, to the 805 to CA 8. (I’d not been this way before)
I’d planned to fee camp at the Sycuan Casino in El Cajon. Just check in with security and park on the hill.

Day 2
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument …  kind of long drive but looked like a fun place with space to walk the dogs and a great deal with a Senior Federal Park Pass.

Day 3
Tour the Park, then AZ- 86 E to 10 to Butterfield RV Resort And Observatory

Day 4
I didn’t see anywhere in Las Cruces and definitely not El Paso that seemed safe to spend the night but I found a place half-way in between: El Paso West RV Park,  $28

Something to see of interest if you like history as I do, in the area: San Elizario, Texas  El Paso also has an art museum, actually several and a transportation museum I would have liked to visit … well, there seem to be a lot of interesting things there…  even a National Border Patrol Museum and the Hotel where Pancho Villa, President Taft, and “Blackjack Pershing stayed.  Of course I like Mexico and I think this town would be a fun hit of Mexico without crossing the border.

Day 5
Marathon Motel & RV Park  for bird and butterfly viewing, astronomy and their adobe courtyard. $35 minus discount.   If one planned far enough ahead they could stay at Seminole Canyon State Park …  seems you’d need to watch a video to stay here about not destroying the Indian rock Art, takes advanced reservations.  Maybe when I can do this kinda of trip I could do that, $20.

Day 6
Check out Lake Amistad..  then maybe Quiet Texas RV Park, in Hondo for the night…  shade, quiet and lots of songbirds.

Day 7 – 8
San Antonio and Austin
I had a few places in mind including some free boondocking, but likely I would have shopped around.
All kinds of things to see and adventures to be had and a great off leash area to run with the dogs.

Day 9
Check out Lake Charles, Louisiana …  another long drive boondock or stay in the  Pioneer Acadian Village Campground and RV Park $32 minus Good Sam Discount.

Day 10
Baton Rouge and Gulfport

Day 11
Montgomery, AL  another long day of driving
Sherling Lake Park   maybe or Montgomery South RV Park

Day 12
Arrive in Perry Georgia
Room reserved for one night at the host hotel and campgrounds in the area.

Interestingly there are lots of videos on Youtube of touring locations and driving on roads, those are fun to check out.  I did quite a bit of that looking at bridges and choices of smaller highways and scenic byways, those are the roads I prefer; take it easy and see what’s away from the interstates.

And that was it folks!  Originally I planned to take 14 days to arrive for the dog show but as time kept ticking and the RV kept snarling I had to shorten…    Thanks for briefly imagining this trip with me. When I go this way I will remember  this virtual trip but for now I don’t know what will be next.

 

Long Way From Georgia

I have a great family of dogs, they haven’t had much chance to show themselves lately: my girl Olympia is vacationing in Placerville; hiking, playing ball in a large grassy and wooded yard and going to an agility class. She’s set for breeding Sept, 2016 What a wonderful mother she has been, this will be her final breeding so we’re all excited.

Comes cordis Olympia the Lagotto Romagnolo

Olympia the Lagotto Romagnolo

Re the Lagotto Romagnolo National Specialty, can’t you just see us racing across the states?  Little Mason riding lookout, giving directions, me with a rope in my teeth pulling and pulling the van across the highways, my Lagotti peering out the windshield from the captains seats …. faster Mom faster! Pull! Pull! Pull! . . . only 2,400 miles to go. the pups are 2 years old now. Seriously, the airbags were shot on the Firestone ride-rites and won’t be in until Fri. It’s amazing they lasted so long, a good 21 years! Still seems everything happens when I’m pressed for time and eager to make something special.  Decision time upcoming.

the old airbag for Firestone Ride-Rite.

The old airbag for Firestone Ride-Rite Air Springs. Both will be replaced.

Well, the dogs don’t care, as long as we have fun they are super happy whatever we do.

Flying Curls Jeana

Flying Curls Jeana, Lagotto Romagnolo

Flying Curls Jackson

Flying Curls Jackson, Lagotto Romagnolo

My little Mason (Jamie Rosenthal, Flying Curls Lagotto Romagnolo)

My sweetheart Mason looking very serious.

Seems I’m always learning something new with my 1996 Freedom Wide Leisure Travel. Before it came to me in 2010 it was not well cared for, it was clean but neglected although well used with lots of miles;  perhaps this has had much to do with the care it’s needed in my hands. There is also living in Santa Barbara, CA. Our town does not have a local RV shop nor even a shop able to handle a small Class B on a lift. Having Bruce’s Auto is a lucky blessing and it’s back to Bruce we will go tomorrow this time as the Firestone Ride-Rite Motorhome Air Springs have sprung a leak! It’s likely a handy mechanical type could fix these themselves but given the age of the springs and my RV it could be a simple fitting or a new hose or the air shocks themselves could be failing.

The springs reduce suspension fatigue, improve the ride, reduce bottoming out by lifting the rear leveling the vehicle, soften contact between axle and frame, assist braking and handling and increases stability esp in cross winds. 

Without the springs it’s a hard ride. I generally keep them between 60 to 90 psi.

The Michelin XPS Ribs are installed and Costco completely refunded my purchase of the MS/2s.  With only a few test drives and the air springs failing results are still inconclusive. Next step is to reduce the air pressure in the tires; I’d tried a higher pressure of 80 in the rear and almost 60 in the front and will now lower this a few pounds in the rear to 50 or 55 in the front by experimentation. Also need to verify the alignment is still spot on; one step at a time.

It may be that I will not make the Lagotto Romagnolo 1st National Specialty on April 17th in Perry Georgia. It is  questionable if I will want to push to make the date.  (Planned departure was March 29th but now unknown.)  My prefered driving is leisurely and exploratory. Life has been mired in forced change and what I want is renewal. I am heavily disappointed with the struggle…  feeling it in aches and pains, short temper and mental exhaustion ….  yes, yes …..  another RV must be in my future and someday I will laugh at my adventures with the my little ’96.