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.

Back to Eureka

We were able to spend a couple of weeks visiting our son at his house but Roxie’s cousin (Jim) ended up dying and we had to head back to Eureka for the funeral. We were also going to give Jim’s daughter, Angelique, support through this time and assist her in cleaning out a house that has accumulated around 40 years of ‘stuff’. We again stopped at the Sonoma County RV Fairgrounds park for the night.

We made it to Jim’s house around 5 pm and had to negotiate a difficult back in off the road through a narrowish opening. With assistance, it was relatively easy and we parked on the front lawn of the house. We have 15amp power, water and a sewer hookup with the septic cleanout. I have also hooked up cable TV there. We are planning on staying for almost a month to help out.

Here is a picture of Roxie, Jim’s daughter Angelique and Jim’s other daughter Tami:

As I write this we have completed 5 days of cleaning and took 2 runs to the dump and disposed of 2 tons! I know we have more to go.

We are unsure where we might be going after here, the weather has been good so far and that will dictate our future plans.