Tuesday, September 6, 2011

California & Back for this???

Drove from Lovington to Needles, Ca yesterday. Long 800+ miles. Found diesel as cheap as $3.60 in Kingman, Az. It’s $4.79 in Needles, Ca. Hopefully we won’t have to get much diesel in California.

Spent the night at the Days Inn in Needles. $49 night. Slept ok but not great. Patsi didn’t sleep too well until later this morning. We’ll leave for Sacramento as soon as she gets up. It should be about a 10 hour trip to Sacramento to pick up the Streamline. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the tires change out ok. It has split rim wheels. May have to buy some new wheels???

Got to Sacramento about 4pm and met with Paul & Caroline Lacitinola. They seemed like really nice people. Their place was a little bit outside of Sacramento near Elverta. They have 10 acres which is really a neat little place. Lots of old campers he has restored or is in the process of restoring. We did all the paper work for the Streamline and visited for awhile before we took off for the La Quinta North Sacramento. Was able to park it in their parking lot. 

Darita Stroup (an ex-employee we haven't seen in 20 years) and Tyler (her grand daughter) arrived about 6:30pm. We had a good visit and dinner at the Boston Market which was right next door to the motel. It was really great to see Darita. She looked like she was doing well.

Got up Tuesday morning and called around about getting tires put on the camper. Les Swabb Tire would do the split rims and had tubes also. Got there right at 8am and they got started on it pretty quickly. 3 of our tubes were good and the needed one more tube with long stem but they didn’t have one so they had to go get it. That took about 30 extra minutes but they did a good job and were really friendly. Cost about $103 to get them changed out. Good thing I did because the others only had about 25-30 lbs of air in them.

Finally got away 1:30pm after having a burger at In-N-Out Burger next to the motel. Good Burger. I had put grease in the wheel caps and hammered them back on to get a little new grease on the bearings. I was really worried about the bearings but not having any replacements and the bearing buddies that I had brought wouldn’t fit the old hubs, they were much larger in diameter. So hopefully the extra grease in the cap will help. Plus we’ll only travel 55 mph (California Law).

We stayed at the Orange Rv Park just outside of Bakersfield. RV park in an orange grove. You can pick your own oranges when the oranges are ripe, usually January thru March. Hooked up the electricity and I’ll be darned....the AC worked. The toilet stunk to high heaven. I figured out that the tank has not been emptied. When I tried to hook up the sewer hose I found out that the connection on the trailer is larger than the connection on the hose. Hmmmm....wonder if that is why Paul sold it??? Problem getting the tank emptied. I’m not so sure the valve even works. That’s the first real problem I found. 2nd problem is that none of the outlets work. Guess wiring is in order.

We put down our air mattresses in the front of the trailer and got a good nights sleep. Had to turn off the AC about 4 am because it was really getting cold. Then it even got colder after we turned it off. It was really cool in Bakersfield in the early morning.

We got up  and I put some more grease in the caps. I had thought about taking the hubs off and stuffing some grease in the rear bearing but considering the only jack I have is a drive on jack, I decided against it. I made some coffee outside by the electric hookup. When we got ready to leave I pulled the extension cord loose from the trailer and the ground wire shorted out against the metal box and started smoking. Problem #3.

We left Bakersfield Orange Grove RV park and went to Denny’s up the road to eat Breakfast. We headed to Williams about 9 am. We decided to stop in Tehachapi, Ca to get some chairs, tester, fire extinguisher, and power strip at Home Depot. Still driving 55. Before we got out of California, I think before Barstow, I looked in my passenger side rear view mirror and saw my awning flapping in the wind. We had to stop on the side of the freeway and try to get it back together and cinched up. When I got it sort of back together, I cut some electrical wire I had brought with us and tied it up so it couldn’t come loose again.

We were going to stay in Ash Fork, Az but when we got there the rv park didn't look too appealing, sooo...we decided not to stay there. Decided to go on to Williams which was 17 miles further on. I stopped on the side of the road before we got completely out of Ash Fork to check out the electric box and discovered the ground that had shorted out against the box. We must have a short somewhere so we don’t need to be trying to use the electricity. 

We got to Williams just about sundown and found the Grand Canyon Railroad RV park. Super nice place. $42/night. We got checked in and wondered how we were going to see anything without any power. We had an extension cord, power strip but no light. I took off and found a Family Dollar about 4 blocks from the campground and bought us a small lamp and some light bulbs. So we had lights, nice bathrooms and showers and a really nice rv spot.

I borrowed a ladder from a guy a few spots down from us to tape up the roof vents that were so rotten that they'd blown off. The vent cover for the refrigerator had vanished also so I used nearly all my red and pink duct tape to tape up the holes in the roof. I also wired up the awning some more to make sure it didn't come flying off while we were going down the highway. I didn't add any more grease to the hubs today. The wheels seemed to be doing good. I'm not quite as worried about them as I was when we first took off.  We only have about 150 miles to do today and it is really cool outside.

We arrived at Payson RV Campground & RV park about 4pm. Got our spot and went to plug in the extension cord only to find that the 110V outlet was taped up. That's just great, now we have to hook back up and get another spot and do everything all over again. But, I guess that's better than using flashlights all night.

Appointment with Dr. G. Lalman @ 11am. Everything checks out ok and we have about 2 hours for lunch before our massage with Margo & Kendra. We went back to the camper, hooked up, had lunch and had to check out. So we drove back to Dr. Lalman's office and parked to wait on our appointment @ 2:30pm. Patsi sees Margo & I see Kendra. Kendra worked a lot on my lower back and the rib that I had injured about 2 weeks prior.

Our plan was to drive to Pie Town or somewhere in that area, stop and sleep for 5 or 6 hours, get up and drive on home Saturday morning. But we decided to drive to Socorro and stay at the Walmart. We ended up parking in the back at the El Camino Motel & Restaurant in Socorro. We lay down for about an hour and I couldn't get to sleep. I got Patsi up and we went to the restaurant, had breakfast (their Juevos Rancheros are pretty good), and left for home. 

We left Socorro about 2:30am and finally got home about 7:30am. Boy was I tired. We went to bed and crashed.

I didn't get a lot of sleep today. Went to the races in Eunice but left early because I was so tired.

Went to the second day of the Kelly Sheen Memorial Race @ Eunice. Picked up Bill & Ellen Ort. Good races but I was still very tired from the trip.

Well, I went exploring today to find out what all I might be in for in this restoration project. I guess it will be more than I thought but I wasn’t really surprised. I tore up the carpet in the front room to check the corners where the wood was soft. On the driver’s side the wood was nearly gone. I pulled it out by hand. On the other side it was still sort of firm but still rotten.

Went to the bathroom to check it out. Pulled out the old water heater. It was full of water and it would probably still work but it isn’t a rv water heater. Just a 10 gal home style heater. It wasn’t even strapped down, so it was just banging around in the closet going down the road. Not good! I cut the carpet out of the closet and the wood was worse there than in the front. Next I tackled the toilet. I cut the rubber water lines and moved the toilet around a little to see where it was attached to the floor....and it wasn't even bolted down! I just lifted it out and carried it out the door. Got the flashlight and lit up the hole to the tank and sure enough the tank was standing full. Yuck!! No wonder it would stink a little while after we traveled all day. I’m sure it was sloshing out a little onto the carpet around the toilet as we bounced down the road. I’ll have to get a honey pot truck to come suck out the toilet tank so i can get it out of there. 

When I get that done I’ll start removing the panels on the inside so I can get all the floor out and replace the biggest portion of the floor. 

It's a big job, but someone has to do it.



  1. Ron, I bought my trailer from Paul in Feb 2010. Mine was a lot of work. The more you get into it the more you will appreciate it! I saw your trailer a while back before it was for sale. Remember that you got it from some good people, so the trailer has good ju ju from the start.

    Mike/ sacramento, CA

  2. Thanks, Mike. When I saw the trailer for sale and talked to Paul over the phone, I knew he was good people. When we got to his place and met him & Caroline, we hit it off right away. They have a really nice place and some nice trailers. I knew from the start that this would probably be a lot of work and it will be, but I'm enjoying every minute of it.