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Author Topic: Shakedown Cruise up the East Coast  (Read 1309 times)


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Shakedown Cruise up the East Coast
« on: September 21, 2016, 03:04:14 PM »
I went over the 2006 29' Winnebago Chalet class C I recently bought and after changing engine oil, transmission fluid, headlight and taillight bulbs and topping off the tires I deemed it ready for the road. My wife Jovy and I along with our little dog Tikla headed out of Hawkinsville, Georgia with our sights set on Millsboro, Delaware to visit my Mom, daughter and brother for a few days. We spent our first night in the motor home along the way at Carolina Crossing and enjoyed a no frills but clean site for the night. The supper we cooked and the $20 we paid for the site more than paid for a tank of gas compared to eating in a restaurant and staying at a hotel.

The next stop was in Millsboro, Delaware to pick up a rental car. I wanted to stay at Trap Pond state park but it was full for Labor Day weekend so I booked a stay at Holy Lake in Long Neck. Whoops, I caught the scent of a hot brake on the right front while picking up the rental car! Holy Lake was only about 8 miles away so I drove there, checked in and planned the brake repair. I bought 2 front calipers, brake pads, 12 ton hydraulic jack, 3 ton jacks stands, a suction gun and a quart of brake fluid at the local Advance Auto parts. The next morning I suctioned all the old brake fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir and filled it with fresh fluid then changed the right front caliper and pads. Jovy pumped the brake pedal and I successfully bled the brake. The next morning I did the same with the left front so now I had new calipers, pads and fluid on the front of the Ford E450 and everything was good again. I enjoyed the week at Holy Lake. I must have driven past it a thousand times when I lived in Delaware but this was my first actual visit. It is huge, must be close to 1,000 camp sites and since it goes way back the sites are very roomy by todayís standards. Most of the sites are filled with travel trailers with Pennsylvania tags sitting on blocks that have been there for years. We were the only ones in our area until the weekend so it was great. Our site #461 was woodsy and filled with old time charm.

When we said goodbye to Holy Lake we headed west to Black Water Falls state park in West Virginia. My family is from W. Va. and we used to rent cabins and meet for reunions every summer at Black Water Falls, Lost River, Watoga and other state parks until Dad got too old to travel. We stayed 2 nights at Black Water Falls and thoroughly enjoyed it. The 3 of us did a lot of hiking and Tikla enjoyed it most of all.

We pulled out of Black Water Falls and stopped at Cass to ride one of the 100+ year old gear drive steam engines up the mountain and back. It's been a long time since I took that ride and I always enjoy it. Jovy doesn't understand coal fired steam engines so when we passed a diesel tank she mentioned that was probably fuel for the train. Before I could explain it to her we passed a huge pile of coal which I pointed to and told her that was the fuel that carried us up the mountain. We got off the train and pushed on South to Watoga state park, one of my favorites! I remember thinking how nice it was to have new brakes on the front when I see signs saying 9% or 10% Down Grade Next 3 1/2 Miles. I learned the best way to climb the steepest mountains was 40 mph at 3,500 rpms in whatever gear that is, probably 3rd. Watoga is deep in the mountains, no cell phone service, and 10 mph curves that mean 10 mph. Make sure no one is coming and cross the single lane little bridge over the Greenbrier river and you're there, almost. We ended up with site 36 which is on a loop and very private, no other campers were on the loop. Tikla was growling at something when a large buck deer stepped out of the forest near us. Later a doe came running across our camp site and Tikla went nuts. I took her for a walk and we jumped another doe, she sure pulls hard for a 20 lb. dog. The Greenbrier was low but Jovy still wanted to swim. She also wanted to stay another day and so did I but I had to start thinking about home so we left Watoga with a promise to return some day.

We stopped for the night in Charlotte, North Carolina at Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. It looks like a newer rv park. The sites are small and not very level. I put as many boards under my back wheels as I could and still had an uneven nightís sleep. Early the next morning we pulled out and headed for Georgia. This is when the last issue occurred. I pulled off the side of the highway at one point to answer the call and hit the 4-way flashers. Later I noticed the turn signals and brake lights weren't working. I pulled into a shopping center parking lot and began checking fuses but they were all good. After about an hour I remembered the 4-ways, I never turned them off! I hit the 4-way button and turn signals and brake lights are working again. It was the 4-ways that didn't work. When I got home I ordered a new flasher relay but that wasn't the fix. It turned out to be a dirty 4-way switch and turning it on and off a few times is what fixed the problem. We made it back home in good time after 12 glorious days and nights on the road. I will be retiring early next year and this was a very successful trial run with only a couple bumps in the road. If all trips are like this one Iím in and so are Tikla and Jovy. Tikla was a wild dog living in the forest until she adopted us and I met Jovy in the Philippines 10 years ago and she wants nothing but to explore every square inch of this magnificent country we live in.

Al Juby

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  • Al & Kathy
Re: Shakedown Cruise up the East Coast
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 05:57:05 AM »
Nice trip; thanks for sharing. 
99 Fleetwood Southwind Storm
2005 CR-V
Lyman S.C.

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
Franklin P. Jones


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Re: Shakedown Cruise up the East Coast
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 01:23:32 AM »
Sounds like you had a really good time.  Hope the next ones are just as good. :)

Robin & Charles
2008 30' Crossroads Cruiser Fifthwheel
2008 F250 Powerstroke