Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back on Track!

Well, it took two weeks, but our new Pleasure-way Pursuit was repaired and ready for us to continue our first trip. We drove our car back down to Eckenrod Ford in Cullman, where we loaded it back on the tow dolly and hitched up. The first few miles were nerve-wracking, as we listened for any suspicious noises from the new axle.  Happily, there were none!   Our vacation was back on track.

 Of course, all of our campground reservations had been lost and now that this was a big Spring Break week, we had to find alternate overnight accommodations. Though we had been able to spend a few nights in the RV, they were in the car lot.  Not the most scenic spot, unless one is shopping for a new Ford.  But our first stop at Gunter Hill, a Corps of Engineers park near Montgomery was much nicer. Next time we will stay more than one night.

 Notice the slight yellow tint?   Yellow pine pollen.  But we still give this park high marks for their nice level full hook-up sites that are well spaced.  It was probably the best campground of our week, just a little off the path for an over-night stop.

We weren't able to get our reservations back at Gulf State Park so we camped at Island Retreat RV Park instead.  Unfortunately I completely slacked off on photos this week and didn't even get a shot of our site here.  We had a fairly level pull thru with full hook-ups and the staff was very nice.  The park was full but there were also a lot of permanent looking trailers that could use a little sprucing up around them.

The Gulf Shores area is not lacking for restaurants with the majority of them serving seafood of some kind.  When we travel, we always like to rank our meals on the road.  This trip the prize went to King Neptunes.  It was D's crab legs that got his vote, and my boiled fresh shrimp were excellent too.  Last time we were in Gulf Shores, it was shortly after the oil spill and the seafood had been mostly brought in from other places. 

We decided to take a couple days and take the "scenic" route home.  The drive to our first stop was pretty tense as we drove through a major rain storm for most of the day.  The wind and rain gave our new RV a test for weather proofing.  No leaks!  We spent a night at  Lakepoint Resort State Park near Eufaula.  This park could be a really nice place, but with all the rain, we had trouble finding a site that wasn't half flooded and the sewer connections were too high for us to use with our low vehicle. And if I thought there were permanent trailers at the last park, there were even more here.  I don't begrudge folks from extended stays at a nice park, but when they set up canvas garages for boats and extra refrigerators, freezers and rabbit hutches, etc.  I think it's time for the park staff to step in.  Sorry.  My blog.  My opinions.  

We continued our scenic drive home by jumping over to Georgia and a quick stop in Pine Mountain.  Saturday was a long day of driving as we headed back up to Nashville and again battled a major head wind.  At least we only had some light rain and we made it to our overnight stop at Nashville Country RV Park with no problem.

Overall, we think we are going to be very happy with our new Pursuit.  We have to get used to "living" in a small space and making do without all the extra storage of the Simba.  We've made a few adjustments to our vacation lifestyle and are looking forward to many more adventures on the road.  Now if it would just warm up enough for the Harley!!  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vacation, Postponed

We were excited to head out for our first big trip in our new Pleasure-Way Pursuit last Friday.  It has been an adventure for sure! Our destination was Gulf Shores, Alabama.  After an overnight stop at a nice Walmart in Franklin, TN we looked forward to our final destination.  As we traveled down I 65 through Southern TN and Northern Alabama, we kept hearing some strange noises in the rear of the coach.  We stopped several times to rearrange and check for loose items. We couldn't find any reason for the sounds which would go away then come back. The noises became louder and more disconcerting, then a vague "hot" smell.  We pulled over near MM315 on I65 and saw a  poof of smoke coming from the right rear tires. This is where we would sit for the next 4 1/2 hours as we waited for Ford to send a tow truck/flat bed to take us to the nearest Ford dealer (actually only about 5 miles away!)  We were towing our car on a tow dolly, so we would need some way to get the trailer off of the road too.  Although it was scary to watch all the weekend traffic speed by, we had our orange road caution signs out and all the flashers on.  Not once did we see a highway patrol or sheriff pass by.  At least it was a beautiful day and we were in a fairly safe spot, with a great view out our back window as we watched for the tow truck. 

Unfortunately, by the time we made it to the Ford dealer, the service department had closed so no one would be able to look at the truck until Monday. But the sales staff found us a "camping" spot for the weekend in their new car lot and we spent a day and a half exploring the town of Cullman, Alabama. We were quite comfortable in our Pursuit, but the view was certainly not what we had expected for the first two nights of our vacation.  Monday morning came and they were able to check it out first thing. The worst news we could receive at this point, the whole rear axle assembly, bearings, gears etc. is shot. It looks as if someone forgot to put in the lubricant during assembly. The entire new axle will have to be manufactured, shipped and installed, before we can continue on our first vacation in our PW Pursuit.  

So we took our clothing and necessities and cleaned out the refrigerator into our little car and headed back home to Southern Indiana.  Our delay is undetermined and fortunately with only a little  more than 600 miles on the truck it will be covered by warranty.  Hopefully it won't be more than a week or two, but who knows.  

My husband placed a call to Dave Arbogast RV where we purchased our Pursuit to let them know the situation.  Within a few hours he received a supportive call back from Pleasure-Way, though it is a Ford warranty issue, I'm not sure what they can do.  We will certainly remember our first trip in our Pursuit!  And the story will be continued as we wait for repairs and the time when we can drive back down to Alabama to  pick up our motorhome.