Thursday, June 14, 2012

To Answer Your Questions .....

YES ... it is VERY SCARY driving this rig!!  At least for the first 5 hours!  I know I'll get more comfortable the more I drive it.   And it's worse when towing!!!  One good thing ... no need for exercise.  I can run my heart rate up to 140 while seated in my comfy drivers seat, just getting on the freeway!!!!
First step ... motorhome
Second step ... buy toad (towed vehicle)
Third step ... get hitch so vehicle CAN be towed
Fourth step ... get brake system for toad

The first two steps were easy.  It was the last two that were more difficult.  The recommended hitch was the Roadmaster Sterling.  It was purchased and installed at Camping World, Rocklin California.

Since that time, I haven't been anywhere, afraid to travel over any passes without the required buddy brake system ... that and the accident!!!   Wednesday was the day to go to La Mesa RV in Davis California to have the SMI Air Force One brake system installed.  Upon arrival, I found out my service advisor had "moved on" ... that means fired in English ... and the only person who knew my name was Valeri the parts girl.  After several stressful minutes and an estimate $1000 more than I expected, I helped my NEW advisor unhook my jeep.  At that point he make the remark that the mechanic didn't need the jeep.  WAIT WAIT  .... it's a "Buddy" brake.  The brake system goes ON the jeep!!!  You can imagine how nervous I am getting now!!!!  With an estimated 7 hours installation time (really???) I head out with my friend Cyndae to check out the University town of Davis.

After some heavy shopping and no buying, we went to the Dumpling House for lunch.
It was the best homemade dumplings I've ever had and all this food plus drinks and an appetizer was $19.
As we drove around, we came across a cupcake house ... Let Them Eat Cake.  Sounded good to me, so we checked out their Paris themed bakery and ate a cupcake.
Best cupcake I've ever eaten.  I'm sure it weighed in at 2 pounds ... chocolate cake with caramel filling and caramel creme cheese frosting.  I could have eaten six of them!!!!!
By this time I'm really nervous about the RV, so I attempt to call and check in with them.  Big mistake .... BIG!!!  No one is there, no one answers the phones.  I finally call La Mesa RV in San Diego, who transfers me to the main Davis number.  A secretary tells me everyone has gone home, but she will try to find the remaining service manager and have him call me back.  Oh My!!!!  But good news ... he does, and the RV is ready to pick up.   I asked if the mechanic could explain how it was installed, where it was, how it worked, does it need maintenance, etc ... stuff my Dad taught me was important ... and was met with some resistance from the "men" ... now four of them standing around my jeep.  Thankfully, the guy that installed it didn't have a problem with that and explained everything.  The small coil is a breakaway safety (if the hitch fails, it will break and apply the jeep brakes so it won't pass me on the road).  The larger coil is hooked from the RV air brake system to the jeep brake system, allowing pressure to be applied to the jeep brakes every time the RV brakes are applied.  There is also a fuse under the hood of the jeep.  Had I not asked about the entire system, I might have had to drive all the way back to Davis just to have a fuse replaced.  Everyone that saw or heard about this system, came out to tell me it was the neatest thing ever!!!  I just told them it was DAN's idea!!!!  Dan knows!!!!
A rough California road ride home, I unhooked everything, parked the RV and collapsed on the couch.  A two gallon marguerita would probably help lower my heart rate, but instead I sit down with my puppies to plan my next trip.

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