Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Successful Paint Job

In my last post, I mentioned that we were taking our fifth wheel to Budget Truck and Auto in Janesville, Wisconsin to get the front and end caps painted. Both are dark brown and began oxidizing by the second year we owned it. It is a 2014 Jayco Pinnacle with a two year warranty, so Jayco agreed to pay for us to get it painted. It took quite some time to find someplace that would do a quality job in a time frame we could accept.

We were told they could do it in seven business days, but it actually took two weeks. Our dear friends allowed us to stay at their summer home across the road from the park we work at, so that worked out great. I don't know what we would have done without their generous offer. It was actually kind of nice walking over to the park to work our part-time hours and not be here all the time. A nice break for us.

We picked the fifth wheel up on Monday, and are very satisfied with the result. It looks 100% better. While I was coordinating this project with Jayco, they were being difficult about shipping the proper decals the the repair facility. I finally asked if we had to have the Jayco decals in order to have it paid for under warranty. They said no, so we decided we didn't need the Pinnacle decals on the front and back. The repair facility created a decal similar to the one that was on the front, only a little bigger as there wasn't going to be anything else on there. We think it turned out very nice.

Here are the before and afters. The first two pictures are before. You can really see the oxidation on the close up.

Here's the front after.

The decal is similar with the mountains, and we're fine not having the brand name up there.

Here's the before of the back. You can see there was oxidation on the top, along the ledge under the windows and on the flat surface under the windows. It actually looked worse than the pictures show.

Here's the back now. Again, we don't care that it doesn't say Pinnacle on it.

It's so shiny, everything is reflecting off of it. Can you tell we have a corn field behind us. Budget Truck and Auto were excellent to work with. They told us the reason so many brown trailers are having the oxidation problems has to do with the Gel Coat manufacturers are using. It is now coated with Clear Coat which is used on cars. Now we have to wax the sides so it is shiny all over.

The pictures really don't do justice to the amazing difference in how it looks. Although it was a pain, we're really glad we had it done. Especially since Jayco paid the nearly $4,000 bill.

While it was there, we had all four tires replaced from China bombs to the new Goodyear Endurance tires. We've heard good things about these tires, and hope we don't end up with more blow outs.

We have twelve days left here at the park in Wisconsin, and then we're out of here. Not like I'm counting down or anything. The weather the last week was insanely hot and humid for late September. We had temps in the 90s for several days, with many records being broken. As is typical for Wisconsin, we had a 30 degree temperature swing today with a current temperature of only 62. I'm not complaining. I like cool fall days. But, we went from air conditioner running all day the last few days to fireplace running today.

We're taking two weeks to get from Wisconsin to Yuma, Arizona; visiting friends and family along the way in Iowa and Nebraska. On October 26th, we're flying out of Phoenix to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for an all-inclusive five night vacation with our kids. That's our 40th anniversary trip, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Winding Down

It's been about three weeks since I posted a message. Since we spend six months in one location in the summer, I don't post as often because I don't want to bore all of you. We've been at this same park for seven years, and not that much excitement happens. That's probably a good thing.

I've been asking for new wood chips in our playground for the past few years. We were down to just dirt in there. It's shaded, so often damp. I'm sure kids were getting pretty dirty. Part of the reason it took so long to get them is because the mound system is next to the playground, and it was pretty much impossible to get a big truck in there to dump the wood chips.

This year the powers that be decided the huge truck would dump the chips on one of our least used sites. They brought over a tractor with a bucket on the front. They filled the box on the back of our Gator at the park, and brought buckets over with the tractor. There were five of us from the county working on this project, and we got it done in about five hours. It was forty yards of wood chips. That's a lot!! Thank goodness they brought over the tractor and extra help. If Kevin and I had to move all of them with a wheelbarrow, we would still be at it next year. Just look at that huge pile.

The campground has been very busy again this summer. We were full or nearly full all weekends between mid May and Labor Day. This weekend we only have eight sites in use. It was a beautiful weekend, so I'm a bit surprised by the low turnout. Next weekend is also supposed to be fantastic weather. We'll see how many campers show up.

I must say I'm happy for the slow down. We really have very few problems, but it's so nice and peaceful in the park when there is not much business. Of course, we wouldn't have a job if it was always empty. Darn!

A few weeks ago there was a group here that we recognized. We belonged to a Jayco camping club for over thirty years before becoming full timers. There are a few other Jayco clubs in the state, and the Central Rolling Jaybirds had their August outing at our park. We had met some of them in past years at state rallies. It was fun catching up.

We are going to be homeless for the next two weeks. Our Pinnacle fifth wheel began showing signs of oxidation on the front and back caps last fall. I contacted Jayco, and they said they would pay to have it repainted. The problem was finding someplace to do it in a timely manner. Most of the Jayco dealers I called either wouldn't do it at all or wanted us to bring it in winter and leave it for at least a month. That just wasn't going to work for us at all.

After much research, I found Budget Truck and Auto Repair in Janesville, about 1-1/2 hours from here. They specialize in truck, auto and camper accident repair and painting. We knew two people who had work done there and were very satisfied. It took some doing to get Jayco to allow us to get the work done at a non Jayco dealer, but I convinced them that the dealers just wouldn't work with us.
So, today we are packing it up and dropping it off at the repair facility.

While it's there, we are having all four tires replaced as well. We've had our current China bombs for two years, and don't trust them for another trip to Arizona. We are getting the new Goodyear Endurance tires. They are supposed to be much better for fifth wheels. We'll see how they do.

We have become friends over the past few years with a couple that own a lake home across the road from the park. They have very generously offered to let us stay at their home while our fifth wheel is getting repainted. They are going to be on vacation, so weren't planning to come to the lake during this time. Thanks so much Tim and Pam. They certainly are making it easier for us to be homeless. We will be able to walk across the road to the park to do our jobs.

I'll post pictures of our newly painted front and back caps when we get our fifth wheel back in a few weeks. Hopefully, it will look much better.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!