Thursday, May 2, 2013

Detroit, Michigan

Odometer 31477
Trip Meter  64 miles

Tuesday April 30th, 2013

Mom's Birthday today! Mom called to thank us for the gifts we sent, and I got to wish her a Happy 92nd birthday!

Easy day today. We want to move closer to Detroit and stay for a few days while I get some maintenance done. I need to be somewhere that I can get parts if needed. We also would like to move to a park with full hook-ups so we can get some laundry done. Our first stop is Bassett's market in East Harbor to resupply our groceries and pick up some cold remedies for Joan, who has succumbed to a nasty bug from our stay in DC.
We took State Route 2 that would let us skirt along Lake Erie and scoot into Michigan just north of Toledo. We hadn't gone more than 10 miles on Route 2 before we came to road construction that has completely closed the part of Route 2 we wanted.   We got shuttled off on  Route 579- so much for the lakeside. We connected up with I-75 below Toledo, OH and headed straight north; our destination;  the town of Monroe, MI.  About 3 miles into Michigan the freeway becomes a parking lot.

We crawl along at 1/2 mph wondering what has happened.  After about 20 minutes we see that the choke point is a highway crew pouring a patch section in the concrete road bed. We stopped at the Welcome Center near milepost 10 and picked up a Michigan state map and a handful of brochures for the west coast and the Upper Peninsula.

A mile later, we exit I-75 for the Harbortown RV Park in Monroe, MI. This is another Passport America affiliate and will give us 1/2 price for two days.

Noticing that the park is quite empty this early in the spring, I try to wheedle a third day out of the nice gal at the front counter. My best smile wouldn't do it, and she let me know additional nights would be at the full rate.

We have some good friends who live and work at an RV campground in Wheatley, Ontario. We first met George and Shona in Rockport,TX and we hit it off right away. Detroit is only about an hour away from where they are, so I e-mailed them to see if we could get together for a few hours. Shona called to invite us to bring the RV over and stay for a couple of days- she would make us a reservation at the park. Joan and I readily agreed, so we settled on Friday and Saturday of this week.

Wednesday May 1, 2013

Jeff is a ball of fire. At 8 AM he is out toweling the dew off the car and decides to give it a wax while he's at it. Next he troubleshoots the hot water heater which has quit. The high limit has cooked another diode, but we have a stock of them on board, as this happens with some regularity. Our water heater has 3 heat source; electric, propane, and engine heat- so I still don't know which one tripped the limit, but it's working now.
Jeff needs either some butyl rubber caulking, or some Dicor lap sealant for the next project, and neither the local Ace Hardware or Trout's Marine Supply has any, so we drove to Camping World in Belleville, MI about 30 miles away. We got the caulking, and a drawer catch to replace the one in the kitchen that is broken, and an indoor cross bar for our screen door. For some reason there is no convenient place to reach out and grab the screen door to pull it closed from the inside. The door is at the bottom of 3 stairs, which means the flipper handle to open the door is at floor level for someone standing in the coach. Well this should remedy that problem.
Now for the last big project of the day. I have to find the VDC (vehicle data computer) and fix those pesky solder joints so our low air warning doesn't keep going off on us. After reading several posts online I crawled under our coach to see if I could get at it from there- no way. It's literally right on top of the engine, bolted to the wall of the access hatch under the bed.
This means; removing the bedding, removing everything stored under the bed, removing the gas struts holding up the bed, removing the bed and the panel the bed sits on, and unbolting the metal access cover closest to the rear of the bus to get at it.

Now I have to unplug from the pedestal, and disconnect the battery terminal before unplugging the VDC. (yes, Joan was protesting about now) There is never an opportune time to do something like this.

I unplugged the data cables to the unit, and then disconnected the 1/4" air lines (one from the front axle brake system and one from the back axle). VDC in hand, I pried it open and thanks to two fellow RV'ers who posted a very complete document on the web, found the pressure sensors and re-soldered the pins.

 It's now 7PM and I have to re-seal the unit with the caulking we bought, re-install it and put everything back together and make the bed.

Joan gave up on me and heated up some soup for dinner

All's well that ends well.

Now all I have to do is wait until a proper hour of the morning tomorrow and start up the RV to see if the VDU (dash display unit) works. After that it could be several days or weeks before we know we have it fixed.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I got a chance to talk to our neighbor in his Super C motorhome across from us. He and his wife are from Key West and they like to summer over in northern Michigan.  Just goes to show, RV'ers are nomads- no matter where we are,  we are always looking at where we could be!

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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