Fake News

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 172017

You all know what that is, right? That’s all the misinformation, innuendo, and BS that anybody associated with politics and the media puts out these days. Well, apparently I’m just as guilty as the rest of them. But in my defense, I really couldn’t help it. After all, besides publishing the Gypsy Journal for the last 18 years, before that I spent most of my working life running small town newspapers. I guess it’s in my blood.

I was spreading fake news in yesterday’s blog when I said that Thursday night was our last night in the motorhome, and that we would be back home in Edgewater, Florida yesterday afternoon. Really, that was the game plan. But you know that Plan A and B and C I am always telling you about? Apparently fate had a Plan B for us. And it wasn’t one we enjoyed!

We were up bright and early yesterday morning and left Eagle’s Landing RV Park in Holt, Florida before 8:30. That may be a new record for us. There was quite a bit of traffic on Interstate 10, but we rolled right along making very good time. Starting out, I had told Miss Terry that we would probably be home by 6 PM, but we were doing so well that according to my GPS we would be there a little before 5. That’s even better!

And then, exactly 150 miles from our front door, according to the GPS, the excrement hit the oscillating device. Suddenly buzzers and warning lights were going off, and when I looked at the Winnebago’s dashboard I could see the heat gauge pegging itself. The Shutdown Engine Light came on and I managed to ease it onto the very narrow shoulder of the highway and turn off the engine.

Walking back to the rear of the motorhome, Terry said she could smell coolant. I couldn’t, but I have very little sense of smell. I opened the engine cover and we immediately saw the problem, a broken serpentine belt. That’s not a good thing!

I called CoachNet and told them where we were and that we needed a tow truck, and I have to say that unlike our experience this past Sunday when we spent 12 hours stranded alongside the highway waiting for them to send help, this time they were very eager to do whatever it took to get us safely off the road. The person on the phone took our information and said she would get back to me ASAP, and she did. They dispatched a tow truck from Jacksonville and said he would get there as soon as possible and tow us into a repair shop. Then the tow company called with an estimated time of arrival.

It was 2:30 when I called CoachNet, and it seemed like every half hour or so they called me back with an update and to check on us. I sure wish we would have gotten that kind of service on Sunday! The towing company called and said their driver should be there by 5, and then a little later called and said he would be delayed by a few minutes because of traffic. It was actually 5:30 when he arrived on the scene, which was reasonable in our opinion. After all it takes a while to locate and dispatch something big enough to handle a 40 foot motorhome.

The driver and his helper got right to work getting the motorhome ready to tow, which involved crawling underneath the front to air up the system and connecting it to airlines in the tow truck, pulling the rear axle, lifting the front end up, and mounting emergency lights on the back end. That took almost two hours, and we were finally good to go.

Meanwhile, we had disconnected the Explorer and we followed them to Rush Truck Center in Jacksonville. It’s strange watching your RV go down the road without you.

I had already spoken to the folks at Rush and they said that they would be closed by the time the tow truck got us there, but we could park in their parking lot overnight. They told us they probably couldn’t do anything for us until Monday morning, but they are open on Saturdays, so we are hoping they will take pity on us and get a new belt on and send us on our way.

We are two hours from home, and it was tempting to just leave the motorhome here and go, but we have to have the generator running for the refrigerator and there is no after hours key drop. So we decided to spend the night, and if they can get things going and we can take off tomorrow, great. If not, we will go buy a cooler or two and some ice, put the food in it, pack our computers, clothes, a couple of guns I have with me, and whatever else we can fit into the Explorer and go home. Then, whenever the rig is fixed, we will drive back up here and pick it up.

It’s ironic that in over seven years of fulltime traveling in this motorhome, we have had very little mechanical difficulty. That’s partly due to good preventive maintenance, and I guess, partly due to luck. But now it seems to be giving us one problem after another. The folks I know who have homes and store RVs for months at a time tell me this is something they have all experienced to some extent. The good news for whoever gets it when we find something we want to trade the motorhome in on as we downsize, is that it’s darned near rebuilt after this past week!

Thought For The Day โ€“ Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s the day-to-day living that wears you out. – Anton Chekhov

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  16 Responses to “Fake News”

  1. Day!

  2. Dayum!

  3. Fake news is presenting as fact something you know to be false, not stating your intentions and then having unforeseen circumstances alter your plans. Life happens to all of us; as full-time RVers, we have had quite a few interrupions in our travels. Sometimes those changes case disapointment for us or people we hoped to be with, but life on the road goes on. Safe travels!

  4. Glad to hear that you are safe and secure for the night.

  5. So close but yet so far away
    I think that’s your RVs way of punishing you because it doesn’t want to go home and be banished to the back storage lot
    I think there’s a whole gypsy journal story right there in your weeks trip
    As for your coach net experience I think there is a different mindset between the weekend crew and a more professional attitude of the week day crew

    But on the same note :due to the harsh elements and it’s hot environment the Life expectancy of a serpentine belt is approximately four/ five years
    Unless there it was another underlining issue to cause that serpentine belt to part
    If you turn the belt over and it’s cracked or checked you were overdue for that replacement
    Most truckers will replace them after two maybe three years OR the first sign of checking

  6. When it rains it pours. When we spend the winter in Florida, it’s also the time we get all our checkups. JoSams in Orlando checks our chassis and air bags. Coastal RV in Cocoa checks little things and they just replaced our serpentine belt this winter. RVs hate to be stored. The RV gremlins get to work then and play havoc.

  7. Oh goodness. . .so very sorry to read about all your troubles.

    Reminds me of our 2015 West Coast trip where we seemed to make a tour of the Cummins Shops. . .your recent (good) experience with CoachNet is what we have experienced each time with our Progressive Roadside Service. . .we are glad for that.

    Never fun, but thankful you guys are safe. I like the path you are moving forward on. . .thinking we all will get there eventually. Always best to have a game plan in advance. Wishing you and Terry all the best!

  8. What a pain in the ass. Good thing this all happened when you were still relatively close to home. It’s always nice to have a “bailout option” even if you don’t use it.

    Perhaps it’s time to get yourselves another Airstream and enjoy a much simpler style of RV’ing? If you are no longer full timing, you won’t miss all the amenities of the 40 footer Class A. And compared to a motorhome a TT is a simple piece of equipment to maintain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I just wonder if your most recent experience with CoachNet had anything to do with the social media coverage that occurred after your previous contact with them. I know I saw it mentioned on more than one Facebook group. I would have thought that with all the years you were a customer and all the free publicity you have given them in those years that they would have had something in the computers telling everyone to treat you like gold! As with most companies it only takes one customer to be unhappy and it means lots of lost business.

    You two have fun shopping for your next RV. We will all be here waiting to hear what tripped your trigger. SKP Hugs, Karen

  10. Chris and Jim downsized to a 210 Roadtrek, but with 30″ aisle not sure Terry could get past you. Better days ahead for sure.

  11. One thing that we found in our favor when we sold our coach is that we had no secrets! After being active members of an owner’s webform, we had discussed in detail every issue, repair, solution and upgrade that concerned our coach. When we decided to sell, prospective buyers we well informed of every action we had taken to keep our rig running well. It is what it is … no pig in a poke! Of course … owning any compliceted machine like a motorcoach is a crap shoot. You just never know when something like a serpentine belt is gonna let go. Sometimes there is just no warning!We did have some sereration angst after we sold …. but we are more and more relieved and certain that we made the correct decision with every day that passes.

  12. I have been towed two times by Coach Net without any problems. I have a question. Did they disconnect the drive shaft and how far did they tow you?

  13. If you think all media spreads fake news I think we can tell what side of history you’re on….so, who cares about your RV or life when you’re pro ruining the rest of our lives via bigotry and negligence of the poor and elderly.

  14. Hope this latest round of problems is solved fairly easily.
    When you do downsize your RV maybe it will be small enough that you can park it in your driveway. As long as you used it even just going for groceries it would be considered an Everyday Vehicle.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  15. Marissa Walsh, look up the word satire, for goodness sake.

  16. Mister Ed: Their is no “weekend crew”, or “week day crew”. The shifts rotate so all work both week days and week nights.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.