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Author Topic: Bringing the coach home  (Read 1863 times)

GMascelli

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  • Posts: 91
    • Gary's  Flight Journal
Bringing the coach home
« on: February 18, 2012, 05:12:10 AM »
What an adventure!!!

The original plan was to fly up to Allentown,PA  with my friend and fellow pilot Mike, and Mary and I could drive the new "Sand Castle" home after our inspection and final closing,the handing over of the check, to the dealer. How plans can change in such a short time. The Saturday we had planned for was out, mother nature decided it would snow and the winds would blow. Trying to fly in that mess would be crazy and neither Mike nor I are nuts. Driving the rig for the first time  in that mess was even crazier. On to plan B, I always have a plan B.

Since I have the Presidents day holiday coming up I decided I would couple a Friday vacation day to make it a four day weekend. The wx was looking great so I hatched the plan with Mike.  After a call to Mike I find out he will be out of town on business so flying to Allentown is out. Mary is working so I called my friend John.  John has been my friend since childhood, 5th grade I think it was, at Saint Mary Magdalen school. Our adventures started out getting in trouble together way back then and paying the price when the nuns punished us. Needless to say but we spent many after school hours writing out pages of the history book and not the pages with pictures. I still get a chuckle when I think back. We have remained close over all these years and even if there's a gap between meet ups we always pick back up where we left off.

I sent John a text and he was up for the mission. We called and coordinated the departure time and the plan was set.  John was at the house this morning around 8:45 and I guess we hit the road shortly there after.The run to Allentown was an hour and thirty minutes, smooth sailing.

The walk through inspection flowed fairly welll with a few items that needed attention. I found a small hairline crack in the bathroom drain pipe that left a puddle the size of a dime after running the water. John caught the bad smoke detector and missing batteries in two others. Once the water systems were good we suspended the walk through and I had the chance to get a lesson in winterization. Hands on is the best and Bruce the mechanic was really easy to work with.

Brandon, my sales guy, and I went to take care of paper work since the few remaining "how to do" items needed to be checked when the rig is back outside. It's been a long day so far and we haven't taken a lunch break, but we continue on. With the exchange of paper completed I wanted to catch the second part of the winterization process. When I head back out to the garage I find John waist deep into a storage compartment hooking up the supply line to the pump. The water pump is just far enough into the compartment that Bruce had a tough time reaching it, I could never get close to reaching it since I couldn't get past my belly.  John on the other hand wiggled his way in and completed the hook up.

We were ready to test the new awning and restart the generator to run both rooftop a/c units. When hooked to shore power it is recommended that you only run one unit.  If it gets that hot out and you need both then it's best to disconnect shore power and use the on board 5kw generator. Everything checked out good and we were ready to head home.

After a quick stratgety meeting of the minds we decided to retrace our path in, through down town Allentown, it was the quickest way to I-476. John was my chase vehicle in my SUV and we had hands free phone connection if needed. My knees started shaking just like the day of my solo, it was an uncontrolled reaction to the adreniline rush and I could not stop it. I figured it would stop once I made it through town without hitting a parked car or passing car in the narrow streets, it didn't. We made our way towards RT22 and that would take us to I476, the blue route and home.

As we approached the blue route I got a message for a reroute on my GPS, it stated one of the roads on my route was closed, replan?  Of course not, I'm a man and I'll work it out, famous last words. As I approached 476 the turnpike was closed, that's right the main highway, my route home was closed.  Ok, is this some cruel joke? I squeezed my way down the ramp, having already commited my rig in that direction.  Bigger means people give way and that worked out as I wiggle in line with John tucking in behind running interference.  I had to make a U-turn in front of the toll booths with traffic coming from the opposite direction through the toll lanes, my knees had stopped shaking by then since all power was being routed to my brain to feed the power draw.

Ok missy GPS do your thing I trust you, find me a way back home. Of course recalculating seemed to take forever but I was silent, she needed her space and I now respected that. We managed to get rerouted back to RT309 SB towards Quakertown and I happily followed. I guess my punishment for not listening to the GPS the first time was a route filled with small back roads following RT100 that was a lane or two each direction and filled with twist and turns, hill climbs and long downhill runs with a traffic lights along the way through small town Pennsylvania.

John and I have been on the phone through out this misadventure. He informed me that I95 SB is now closed due to a truck accident so that route home is out. We continue on the scenic tour as we finally get to some familiar territory from our youth. One of the place I skated and played roller hockey was Kimberton, PA.  I was getting close and could navigate my way from here and somewhat remembered the roads. We were only single digit miles from the major highway, RT 202 was within reach. We joined the big road, I was relieved. From this point is was getting comfy and we made it to the house after dark but both vehicles intact.

I couldn't have done it without John's help. He was the perfect chase driver, grabbing lanes when I need to move over, stopping when I pulled over to plan and providing moral support. Another fun adventure added to our list of crazy things we've done over the years.

It will be a busy weekend of cleaning and making our new beach home on wheels our home away from home.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 05:57:52 AM by GMascelli »
Gary & Mary

Motorhome: (SOLD 1997 Fleetwood Storm 34S)  Looking for a Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40DST.
Aircraft: 1980 Beechcraft Sundowner
http://gmflightlog.blogspot.com/

jje1960

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  • Posts: 1531
  • Jim
Re: Bringing the coach home
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 12:37:44 PM »
Happy everything worked out.  Wondering though.... this was an 1.5hr trip.... waiting for your posts from future adventures, like 3000 mi trip! ::)  Enjoy that new RV!
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

ChiefM

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  • Posts: 523
Re: Bringing the coach home
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 09:31:08 AM »
That is awesome, reminds me of several army convoys I have done in the past. Congrats on the new MH, mine is a beach house too. I just love the beach
1986 27RT Winnebago Chieftain/Sold
Window Shopping for replacement

ArdraF

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  • Posts: 9779
Re: Bringing the coach home
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 01:11:08 PM »
Those small-town roads in Pennsylvania are really fun in a big RV!  My family is from the Pittsburgh area and we've had quite a few adventures in that area.  Have fun with your first "real" trip.  It looks like a nice motorhome.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

GMascelli

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  • Posts: 91
    • Gary's  Flight Journal
Re: Bringing the coach home
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 05:20:40 PM »
Happy everything worked out.  Wondering though.... this was an 1.5hr trip.... waiting for your posts from future adventures, like 3000 mi trip! ::)  Enjoy that new RV!

I keep a flight journal documenting all our trips so I guess I detail everything and do get a bit chatty.  :-[

Thanks Chief and Ardra.....

We just went through inspection today and got the rig tagged in Delaware.  Removed some kitchen and bathroom wallpaper border and replacing with more up to date style and something we like.  Tomorrow is curtain day, this should be fun, the Bride and MIL will be in charge, I'll just be the helper.  Time to start packing all our 'stuff' and organizing the shelf space.  We're almost ready to head to the beach.... ;D
Gary & Mary

Motorhome: (SOLD 1997 Fleetwood Storm 34S)  Looking for a Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40DST.
Aircraft: 1980 Beechcraft Sundowner
http://gmflightlog.blogspot.com/

 

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