….Well we got off the ferry and headed south. The silence in the bus could be sliced with a knife. I kept replaying in my mind how the accident happened and how I might have prevented it. We stopped in Virginia and stayed over night at Cherry Stone Campground. Dry camping only but we had plenty of water on board and electric was available. They had these cool bouncing pillows there and we decided to purchase one for the campground. The kids and even the adults will enjoy it.
The next day we headed to Fayetteville RV resort, a nice park with good facilities. We walked the dogs, had our usual drink before dinner, watched TV, and off to bed; so far all quiet in the bus.
The following day we headed toward Savannah, GA. Maggy insisted on getting a new, and highly lauded device on the bus called a Tire Minder. This $700.00 product is supposed to keep track of the tire pressure in all six tires and send tire pressure from each tire to a monitoring device. I am on 95 doing about 65 when I notice the tire minder is blinking red. I stopped for fuel and read the monitor. It said my right rear inside tire was lower than the other three tires. I checked the tires but I did not have a pressure gauge. They looked OK to me. I really did not want to know we had a tire problem. We got to Creek Fire Campground outside of Savannah. It was Sunday and I thought about calling AAA but didn’t. It was lousy weather having rained for two days straight-heavy down pours.
Moving onto 95, I drove on 5 inflated tires and figured I could get to a Camping World in Florida. I kept wondering what we hit or what nail was in the tire to make it lose air. We got to a Camping World in St. Augustine. The first thing I found out is they had a body shop so I inquired about the body work near the steps and repair of the steps. I also mentioned the tire situation.
The body shop manager thought he could repair the steps and do the body work the following day. We made a decision to call Bill S., our manager, who was taking our car to Florida. He was only an hour behind us. He picked Maggy up and left me with the bus and the animals, two dogs and a cat.
Camping world has there own “campground” behind their facility. The general manager took me by golf cart to see the area, mentioning the site was complimentary. It had about 10 sites all with 50 AMP hook-ups. It seemed OK so I got the bus and moved on to the site. I put the dogs outside and tied them to the post holding the water line. I set up the camper, put my chair out, got a cocktail and thought all would be great. Suddenly I felt hot burning bites on my arms and legs! Oh damn! FIRE ANTS!! I quickly got the dogs off the water line that was holding the nest and threw them into the camper. I spent the next 20 minutes attacking my attackers!
I took my pants and shirt off and finished off the buggers. I grabbed my drink and chair and hunkered down in the motorhome. Once my blood pressured leveled off, I finished my drink, made dinner, watched TV and passed out.
The next morning I gingerly removed the dog leashes from the ant nest and walked the dogs as far away as possible. I loaded up the bus and moved to the repair area. Here I am stuck with two dogs and a cat in the repair area of Camping World! I had only a motor scooter as a dingy and that wouldn’t do. I found something to eat in the bus and moved the dogs into the Camping World showroom and settled in for the next two days!!! I just can’t tell you how much fun this was with a 4 month old puppy who has ADHD and a 10 year old German Pincher, Helga, who is badgered 24/7 by a crazy pup who just wants to play.
We stayed in a nearby campground for the second night which was far better than the first night. I went back on day three for the final repairs that did not get completed until 3 PM!!! When I got the invoice for the repairs, I contemplated starting my own Go Fund It to help pay the bill! If you go to Camping World, be sure to ask for an estimate before you approve the repairs. I wanted the work done so I paid the freight.
Meanwhile, they could not repair the steps and had to order new ones; I still have to go back to St. Augustine to finish the steps!! Ugh!!!
So what about the tire you ask? That wonderful Tire Minder was defective. Instead of monitoring the air in the tire it was letting it out mile after mile. They filled the tire up with air and checked the other tires. They said they were fine-famous last words!!
It was now late in the afternoon. I want to get to our home in Jupiter so badly I can taste it. The dogs, Nicki the cat and I pile into the bus and get on 95 South. Frankly, I am tired. I start the drive and as it began to get dark, I decided to play it safe by pulling into a rest stop for the evening. This turned out to be the highlight of my trip. I opened the slides, put the stabilizers down, generator on and settled into a peaceful evening with a lot full of truckers. The next morning at first light, I continued south with just two hours to go.
The tire now began to harass me with another red warning light!!! This time it is the opposite inside rear tire….Are You Kidding Me??!!. I am beginning to think keeping the boat was a much better idea after all. I said “homeward bound” and pushed the peddle to the metal.
When I arrived, we disgorged the bus of its countless objects and I parked it for the evening at the end of our street. Security came and wanted to know about the bus on the street—illegal in our community. I explained it would only be there a night as I had a tire issue I would resolve in the morning.
He said Ok and made a note in his log. In the morning, I was on the phone with Good Sam’s Road service. They told me that my dealer never registered the new bus with them and I would have to pay out of pocket for any repairs. I told them to pound sand and called AAA. Meanwhile security came and said one of my friendly neighbors had complained about the bus in the road. AAA arrived, filled the very flat tire with air and I was able to drive the bus to Stewart, Florida and the storage facility.
I can say that Tire Minder is an amazing product in its ability to warn of low pressure but totally sucks in the inability of the product to keep the air in the tires!! Camping World did a good job repairing and painting the bus but charged a huge amount to do the work. Finally, the Cape May Lewes Ferry advertised services and amenities for recreational vehicles but failed miserably at training their staff to stop warn their drivers and stop them before disaster strikes. And finally, we still love our motorhome.