We hit the road at 10 am on Monday and drove up I-75 through Atlanta at rush hour.
We stayed two nights at Fort Mountain State Park in GA. Some excitement getting the 5th wheel up a mountain through hairpin turns, especially because they were doing road work and the whole road was one lane for four miles up.(JT only tapped 3 cones.)
We met some really nice other RVers and Henry got to play with a toy poodle. Beautiful weather and gorgeous park. The second night we had 50 mph winds, lightning, and heavy rain, and a big branch fell about two feet from the 5th wheel.
We only took 50 minutes from waking to getting on the road this morning and dumped the black water tank easily for the first time.
Drove through Nashville and we plan to stop in Illinois tonight.
JT is driving like an expert and Henry is the perfect travel companion; he sleeps the whole time we’re in the truck.
Montana here we come, after some speed bumps over the past few weeks we are all ready to hit the road.
A few weeks back the power went out at the shed we had the 5th wheel connected to. When the power came on, it sent a surge with it and blew out the converter box inside of the 5th wheel. After troubleshooting for a few days and getting in touch with Coachmen (RV manufacturer) and going over what all the symptoms were, he informed me that it was in fact the converter box and it was all that needed to be replaced to get it back into working order. So a few days later the new converter came in , I took the old one out and put the new one in no problem. Everything worked like new for about an hour and then boom it’s back to being broken. So I admitted anything past the converter box was over my head and I’d prefer to take it to the professionals and get it checked to find the real problem. After searching for a few days I got into contact with Sky Meadows RV in the next town over that would allow me to shadow the electrician so I could learn for the future how to fix it myself.
Come the following Thursday I hook Elizabeth Back up to the 5th wheel and get her out of the lot without getting stuck in the sand again. And we make our way to the shop. I arrive to the shop and I am met by a gentleman named Charles who owns the RV supplies store in front and was told that Wade (the electrician) would be here any minute. He arrived right on time and immediately got to work with helping me get things figured out.
We plugged shore power in and everything came on like normal like it had no problems ever.
“Just as I thought, it is the place you are plugged into,” were his words. He checked everything just to be sure, come to find out it was in fact just bad wiring from where I was hooked up and luckily it hadn’t fried the new box . Everything was in working order with a clean bill of health. I went into the store front to purchase some of the last items that we needed for the road and a new shroud cover for the AC to replace the broken one. Upon checking out Wade comes in from the back to inform me my truck was leaking antifreeze, my immediate response was “oh no big deal I just put some in there and happened to spill a little, so I’m sure it’s just the drops from that.”
“No it’s leaking quite a bit,” he replied as I walked out to find a river of antifreeze coming from underneath my truck.
As I popped the hood to try to locate the leak “you might be out here a while and you’ll need this” Charles said as he handed me a cold drink. I took the wheel wells off to get more light on the situation and began scouring all of the hoses going into and out of the radiator and laid in antifreeze for a while. Having no luck locating the leak, I called the best mechanic I know. My father. He was there within the hour, upon his arrival I had purchased both upper and lower hoses for the radiator and a fresh jug of antifreeze to top it off. I ran him over the spots that I knew were fine and we went from there . Now I’m not going to pretend I had any idea what a freeze plug is ( I do now) but as he is laying on his back he said “most of these freeze plugs look new but the only place it could be leaking from now is the farthest most back freeze plug that is a bitch to get to, and I bet who did it last didn’t take everything off the replace it.” My response, “What the hell is a freeze plug?”
Long story short we go get some antifreeze leak stop from the auto parts store and hightail it back to his house in Jacksonville where my dad is ready and willing to take it all apart to find the leak and get it fixed. In the mean time Charles (the owner at Revels RV) was kind enough to let me park the 5th wheel in his back lot free of charge for as long as I needed in order to get the truck back into shape. My dad saved the day and our journey out to Montana, in a day after he replaced the exhaust manifold for good measure and found that it was in fact a freeze plug that had rusted out and sprung a leak. I can never thank him enough.
I went back to Revels RV in Starke FL to pick up the 5th wheel and take her back home but not until after thanking Charles for also helping me out in a time of need. There are still great people out there and I hope I can help people when they need it the most like both Charles and my dad did.
So originally the plan was to go back to the A.T. for another attempt at a thru hike. The plan is still to go to the trail between February 14-18 but it looks like we will only be out there for a month and a half or so. No real destination in mind to make it to and the only goal is just go out and really enjoy the splendor that the trail has to offer from the beautiful views to the awesome people. Life has really changed since I got off the trail in the spring as it tends to do, but that’s definitely okay.I have stayed busy with work to save money for the trail and put it towards “Life on the trail”(a commitment to living life) Me and my adventure/ life partner bought 5th wheel and truck and completely renovated it ourselves and made it perfect for us and it’s ready for us to live in full time after the trail now. And as of now it looks like we have a grand plan for once we get off the trail with an amazing job offer that allows me keep using my Captain’s License and fulfill one of my ultimate life goals . So at least for the next 3 months I should be posting on here fairly regularly at least to share photos of the trail and adventures to follow.