Bathsheba Update: 12.03.12
The trip to the mechanic ended better than I anticipated. Two new batteries, new belts, tune-up, fluids, new wiper blades, installation of my license plate (which coincidentally has three letters and three numbers…..wait for it…the letters are SHE. I love it when the cosmos conspires to support me!) All for less than $200. The downside is that the mechanic told me She has lots of things that were jerry-rigged and he is concerned about me driving long distances alone. Nothing specific…..just a bunch of little things. I decided not to worry about “maybes” and “what ifs”.
The day before Thanksgiving, I donned my wellies and clothing that could be trashed if required. I mixed in a dishpan a scoop of powdered laundry detergent, about 1 ½ cups of cheap chlorine bleach, and a kettleful of boiling water, adding just enough tap water to fill the pan. Then, I scrubbed every outside surface. After sitting so long, waiting for me to return, She deserved a good exfoliate to remove the leaf prints and yuck from her. I am still amazed at what some time, basic ingredients, and elbow grease can do. She looks like a different vehicle. YAY!! AGAIN!!
Thankfully, my sister and niece were willing to travel with me on the first “real trip” in Bathsheba. We went to visit our mother/granny approximately 120 miles south of where I live. If there had been a problem, I wanted company in my misery. The journey was all good…about 250 miles roundtrip.
I learned a lot from that trip – first-hand experience, rather than something I had read.
1. It is true that these little RVs dislike traveling at top speeds. I did finally reach 70mph, but it was going down a hill followed by a straight-away. The rest of the time it was 55mph-60mph.
2. Another eccentricity is that she HATES inclines, but does better on those that suddenly appear, rather than the long-drawn-out hills.
3. Every vehicle on the road will pass you….even Uncle Bud on his tractor.
4. Gas mileage is about what I expected. It is similar to my vintage Mercedes wagon or about 25-29 mpg. (That is so much better than family friends who get 4-7 mpg, but their RV is almost as large as my current living space.)
5. If “it” is not bungeed down or stashed under an item that is secured, it will end up on the floor.
Since then, many of the unknowns have been tested and proven. The furnace works. The water pump was faulty, but we replaced it and it is great now. The water holding tank had a minor problem of a dry rotted hose that needed replacing. The fridge runs on gas, too. The TV antennae works. (Good thing, since my Christmas present was a 19” TV with a DVD player.)
I still must fill my propane tank before departure - an expensive but small detail. I will be dry camping during much of the holiday, so it is important. AND, the problem with the insubstantial door lock is still rattling around in my head, but I have no solutions.
So…everything is “on go” for the Christmas trip.