End of 2017 (Recap and plans)

2017 has been a very exciting and different year for us. It was the first time in over 45 years that I have not been gainfully employed. Thankfully, due to CalPERS, we have a consistent income. It took us 4 full months before both the house and trailer were ready. In May we hit the road for 4 straight months, returning back to California for Atlas’ birthday. We turned around and headed to Eureka for over one month. We have been back in Visalia staying next to our son’s rental until hitting the road again in 2018.

A few numbers. 240 nights in the trailer. $15.59 average nightly cost. Just over 10K miles on the trailer. Over 22K on the truck.

While back in Visalia I addressed my rib and tailbone issue. Just over a year ago, after Thanksgiving, I injured my ribs and tailbone from a ladder fall. It was still hurting and not getting better. The doctors tried a few procedures on both. The tailbone and ribs are a bit better but I will still have to wait a bit longer.

Throughout our travels this year we have been having a problem with odor in the trailer after traveling, black tank odor. I tried changing the vent tops in Washington DC. I found that by setting a Fantastic Fan to suck air INTO the trailer when traveling it would create a positive air pressure inside the trailer and we had less smell. This was a clue.

While at our son’s house I let the black tank get a bit more full than normal. I usually dump it, if I can, before it gets half full. By using the tank a longer period it reached a point where ‘material’ started to leak out of the pan that surrounds the black tank on the underside of the trailer. It was pretty gross and stopped after I emptied the tank. We now know where the smell was coming from. I made an appointment to have the trailer fixed and have since dropped it off for repair. Toscano’s (Airstream dealer in Los Banos, CA) came back and said the tank is broken and the pan was full of sewage. Now we get to wait for the repair.

The repair has taken a few interesting turns. We found out that Airstream does not have the tank and their tank vendor does not make the tank anymore. Nor does the vendor have the MOLD for the tank! We will have to pay for creating the mold as our extended warranty does not cover it. Our extended warranty will also only cover a specific number of hours for removal and replacement of the tank and pan. I am not quite sure how good this extended warranty is and it is the most expensive level they had. On the other side of the coin, anything they cover we don’t have to pay.

The latest update is the tank should be delivered to Airstream on 1/23 and then it needs to be shipped to California.

After we get the trailer back we will do a few things that I need to do then get back on the road. We have plans to go to Canada with some friends this summer and take our granddaughter but other than that who knows where we will go? But that is the whole idea about retirement.

Launch delay…

Years ago when I was still working (that still sounds weird) we had two employees, in a different department, that always complained about things going on in the office. When they retired we thought they would be happy then. Nope. They came back to work with the office on a contract basis! We could never figure out, other than monetary reasons, why someone that hated their work so much would do such a thing.

When people knew about my retirement, about 3 years ago, they would ask if I was going to come back and contract with the office also (which new CalPERS rules don’t allow now)? My joke in return was, “The day of retirement, I will have the trailer hooked up and we will be taking off!”

Well, that didn’t work out, yet. Since there was so much for us to do to get the trailer and truck ready and so much to get rid of at home we shot for the end of January.

This got further delayed due to:

  • Me falling off the ladder and being limited in my activities
  • Ripping out the master shower at home and building a new one from scratch (never having done this before)
  • Waiting for the Snugtop shell for my truck

It turns out that I had 3 fractured ribs not just two and my tailbone is broken/displaced. There is still pain at certain times but nothing like right after I fell!

As mentioned in a previous post, we will not be returning to California to live but we still have our house. Our son, Aaron, will be renting the house from us until he decides he can buy it. If he doesn’t buy it then we will sell it. Either way, the house will be sold so we are looking at it from a resale aspect. Hence the shower redo. Here are two current pictures:

Since I got a new model year truck I have been having to wait for my shell. I ordered it in October! Every time I call for a status it is two more weeks. Sigh.

During the month of January, I was hoping for the end of February. As I write this on the last day of February it is obvious we are going to be delayed again. I have pushed the date back to the end of March.

Maybe… (Don’t hold your breath)