Thursday, October 13, 2011

Little problems

Even under the best circumstances things are going to go wrong in an rv. It is absolutely inevitable. Often, those things are quite simple to fix, like when everybody panics for a few minutes that the stove isn't working, and it turns out that someone switched the gas detector off (which shuts off the gas and results in an inoperable stove). Sometimes they are somewhat less simple, as in the awning that got stuck in the extended position and had to be rolled back up by hand after all the wires were pulled loose. Occasionally, it is a simple problem whose answer is not instantly apparent.

 Friday, after we had come all the way across from Minnesota, through the Donner Pass (which although very high up and very covered in snow turned out to be beautiful, but uneventful)  we were greeted at the border of California by way of an agriculture inspection border station. Our apples and oranges were duly examined by a trained inspector, the pepper plant that the A.B. carries around was forbidden to leave the camper (Although his aloe, peace lily, and BABY APPLE TREES were scarcely looked at.) the dog was duly noted, and then the trained inspector handed us a yellow slip of paper and let us go on our way. We then encountered California traffic, probably the worst that we have seen in our travels so far. Exhausted and ready to crawl into our sleeping spaces, we drove to the campground only to find the dreaded sign "No Vacancies." Apparently there has been a sudden increase in jobs in Auburn, California, and the only campground in town is booked solid for months to come. There is one other park in town, but the very name of it kind of cuts our crew right out. Elder's Senior Citizens Park. Yeah. It doesn't exactly  call out our name. Overnight RVing in parking lots is generally frowned upon in Auburn, CA, so our hopes were dwindling as evening loomed. After calling half the stores in the town, our inverter quite suddenly failed us. With all computers rather close to shut down, we tried one last phone call, and wonder of wonders, K-mart declared that they welcomed rv's in their lot overnight. So to K-mart we went. We found a nice little place where it was not too bright, and somewhat less noisy (and actually, we wound up in the Rite-Aid lot). We parked, and were pleased to see that we even had the convenience of several restaurants within walking distance (as in, across the parking lot). After some discussion about whether or not it was proper etiquette, we decided that putting down the leveling jacks  was acceptable as long as we put down the weight distributing pads to avoid scarring the asphalt. Someone pushed the button on the control panel, and the horrible truth was revealed. The inverter had not died, it had blown a fuse. Now, fuses generally fall into the category of simple fixes. We carry a stash of them at all times. The most difficult part is figuring out which fuse is causing the trouble. So the Admiral began checking. He checked and checked. And checked. There are about five fuse boxes spaced around Tallulah. There was plenty of checking to be done. About three hours later, we went for dinner, without having found the fuse. None of the owners manuals held the answer of the fuse's location. The Admiral and the First Mate kept checking. The meter kept signalling the all well. The Commodore and the Admiral had work on Saturday. In the evening, we finally made it to our current location, a park in a tiny mountain town. Sunday, the Admiral checked again. Monday, the Commodore called a help line, just as she was put through to the correct person, the Admiral came through the door, holding (Tada!) a blown fuse. It was, of course, one that we did not have a replacement for. So, he decided to pull an identical fuse from another place and make sure that it was, indeed, the correct fuse. He did just that, and then we discovered that he had pulled a fuse necessary for starting Tallulah, and a running engine is necessary for the leveling jack control panel to work. Thus, a no go all around. He replaced the critical fuse, and we eventually made Tallulah operate again, but the blown fuse was not the one causing all of our troubles. So the First Mate and the Admiral resumed checking fuses. They continued on and on, through an hour, and in and out of days, checking every fuse that they could find. Whenever the Admiral was home from work the fuse checking began again. On and on.We began to fear that the problem was not a fuse but something else. And then, the Admiral had a scathingly brilliant idea. He declared the METER faulty, and suggested that it was giving false positives. The meter, naturally, was hastily replaced. The First Mate crawled back under the driver's seat to check the fuses there once again, and there, in the 38th slot, he found it. One pesky little mini ten amp fuse. Naturally, it was a fuse that we did not have a replacement for. (But we got one in less than thirty minutes, because the rv park is in the backyard of the town's lone gas station.)

And that pretty much sums up our first days in California.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously? You should have told me this. My friend has a farm in Auburn and her family TOTALY would have let y'all stay there.