Saturday, April 29, 2006

RoadAbode's Bath Day

Amy picked up RoadAbode and brought her home Friday during the day. On Saturday 9am, we got together our 'battle plan' and started RoadAbode's "Bath Day".
Amy started on her roof, scrubbing it nice and clean (while being really careful up there)
she swapped out the washwater often, and once again RoadAbode has a bright white roof. While up there, Amy inspected all the caulking and everything looks 'road worthy'.
While Amy was on the roof, I started washing down RoadAbode's sides, with some help from Emily - in between handing things up to Amy that she needed. Most of RoadAbode's ugly black streaks came off relatively easily - probably because we try to keep up on her waxings.
After She dried for a bit, we started on this Spring's wax application. I like using Nu-Finish (Orange bottle) because it is pretty easy to apply, removes easily also, and leaves a great long lasting shine. Another benefit is that any hint of blackstreaks are removed on application. To apply, I use old socks, worn as mitts, and swap them out as they get grimey. I use socks also to remove the wax as it dries. "Wax on - Wax off"....

Started on the Rear first, and moved up the topside of both driver and passenger sides, then the bottom parts of each side - with Kimberly's help - and then had a lunch break (Grilled Cheese!) Finished by doing the front cab over bunk area and the cab area itself. Amy did the final waxon-waxoff that I couldn't reach - the middle of the cab-over bunk, above the marker lights. While there, she washed the cabover window.
Did a few odd jobs, like greasing the Coach door locks and steps, and RoadAbode is all set for our Spring/Summer adventures! Here she is, all 'sparkly clean'!

Started at 9am, done by 3pm. Took a little nap on her couch 'til 4pm, and around 6pm took her back to storage - by myself - Kimberly was babysitting, and Amy stayed at home with Emily, who needed to get in her own "bath time". Was nice just lumbering along alone in RoadAbode - and the Storage place was nice and quiet, just a few birds. If not for other obligations, I would have "boondocked" right there for the night! I closed her up, and headed back. When I got home, started a fire in the backyard fireplace for Emily's enjoyment (Amy and I also) and then settled in to watch a movie, relax and wait for Kimberly to come home. Once Kimberly was home, finished the movie - and it was off to bed for the girls while I 'reported in'.

Just another good day that included family and RoadAbode.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

De-Winterizing and Getting Stuffed @ Shady Maple

A picture of our site @ Spring Gulch
Saturday morning it was lightly misting, so after a great breakfast of French toast and sausage, Amy and I worked on de-winterizing RoadAbode. This consisted of flushing the pink antifreeze from the water system, and filling RoadAbodes fresh tank with fresh water that we added some bleach to disinfect the tank. Then we ran this thru the pipes. After letting the bleach mix sit in the pipes for a short time, we flushed out with fresh water. We are going to let the mix slosh around the fresh tank (half full) until next week when we bring her home to wash & wax her. We also did some dusting and I cleaned RoadAbode's coach air-conditioning unit, atightenedned some loose bolts.
Last I switched the winterizing switch of the water heater and let that fill with fresh water also. After checking all the plumbing, I got a fresh coffee (my 3rd of the day) and took a walk around the upper sites. It was still misting, so I threw on my rain jacket. Most of the campground was quiet, with pockets of activity as people were waking and getting moving for the fishing tournament. While walking around on loop of campsites, I noticed an old hand pump. Reminded me of my younger days with my father, mother and brother when we would picnicking and berry picking at French Creek State Park, not to far from where we were camping now.

There are also a good bit of seasonals in the upper campground, but most were neat and tidy, not like some messes I've seen at other places.
Once I got back to RoadAbode, the girls decided it was their turn for a walk, and I decided to take a shower. By the time they got back it looked like they had taken a shower too! They got caught in a downpour. They were still having fun being together and checking out the campstore.
Once they got semi-dry, we got ready for Shady Maple. Shady Maple is an experience not to be missed! The food is great, the gift shop fun to look at (especially with girls as well behaved as ours!) and we had to stop at the Farmers Market - not for produce or meats - but for the peach bread Amy has fallen in love with, and my standard Lancaster dessert - ShooFly pie!
We also stopped at the Goods Store located there - kind of an old fashioned General Store - with great stuff- and great prices too.
Headed back was still messy outside - rainy and windy - but nice having RoadToad to tour around with!

Rainy Weekend @ Spring Gulch

Drove up to RoadAbode, packed her up, hitched up RoadToad – and pulled out. Kimberly and I showed Amy how to hook up RoadToad, and in what order to do things. This is the first real test of pulling RoadToad.
As we drove West on the PA Turnpike, it started to rain, and get dark. I don’t mind them each to their own, but rain and dark together is my least favorite combination. We drove up without incident, and got to the Spring Gulch office after 7pm. Amy checked in while I disconnected RoadToad. Amy drove RoadToad up to our site while I followed. We setup the basics, gas, electric and cable, and settled in. We planned on de-winterizing the plumbing first thing in the morning.
Amy readied our pizza in the oven, and we got the table ready. After dinner, we watched TV, and then got ready for bed.
The rain came down hard during the night – but sounded great on RoadAbode’s roof.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

We Did It! RoadToad's first tow

Towed RoadToad for the first time!
We've been chronicling the work we've been doing to get the RoadToad to be an actual TOAD
Kimberly & I went out to visit RoadAbode, and do the final piece of wiring. With Kimberly's help, I tested and noted each wire function at the 7 wire connector by RoadAbode's hitch. We attached the baseplate for the 4 pin connector to bottom of the 7 wire connector. I then 'pigtailed' into the connecter the 4 pin connector needed to connect the electrical umbilical. (Picking up some of that black plastic covering later to finish it off - for now it's functional)
After testing by connecting the umbilical and using the test light on it's far end, we verified it was working. Time to put the whole shebag together!
I pulled RoadAbode up in her spot, slipped RoadToad behind, then backed RoadAbode to about 4 feet away. (With Kimberly's directions) I was able to connect the Driver side, but the passenger side was just a wee bit back. So we pulled RoadToad up further. We connected, checked and rechecked the towbar pins, umbilical wiring, safety cables and the EvenBrake system. After Kimberly said we got a clean test on EvenBrake - we pulled out. For about 10 feet. Where we park RoadAbode, we have to swing about 90 degrees to get up the main driveway. With the additional length, we didn't make it. Did I mention you are NEVER suppose to backup with a car in tow? We had to disengage everything, Pull back RoadToad - and then Pull into the main driveway and get positioned and reset up - and tested. It was a good learning experience! After that slight fiasco, we did well! Kimberly kept a watch in the passenger side mirror and monitored the EvenBrake display.
It was strange - I hardley could feel Road Toad Back there! Except when I did some hard brake tests in the Borders Parking lot (It's 2 or 3 miles up the road). I did some figure 8's and Stops and turns; just basically got use to the fact that we were now about 40 foot long! (Like an Articulated City Bus)
We turned back toward RoadAbode's home, and had no issues at all. Really feel good about this short trial and adventure.
Next week - we get to really try her out when we go to Spring Gulch!