Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Post

[From Craig] The second night of our trip was in a Walmart parking lot in the Phoenix area. At 3:30 AM I woke up to an amazing noise that sounded like a machine grinding up rocks. Got up and looked out to see a machine that looked like a small truck modified with a pickup head on the bottom and a shredder on the back.

There was another man with a blower who led this contraption to debris that it consumed. The whole operation struck me as about the least efficient way to clean up a parking lot that anyone could imagine. But maybe the objective wasn't to clean the lot -- maybe it was to wake up and annoy people sleeping in the lot, so that they would go away? Is this too paranoid? 

After at least 20 minutes of horrible noise, it moved on to other lots.

[From Merikay] The noise didn't wake me. Free parking is free parking. I consider Walmart allowing RVers to overnight a service to travelers. I don't think they are trying to annoy people, they are just cleaning their property. 

The rest of this post is mostly about RV things, hopefully interesting to other RVers, maybe not so much to non-RVers.

We arrived and checked into the Alfa National Rally with only one problem.

On I-10 before Casa Grande we were hit by a good size rock in the middle of the windshield that left a ding about the size of a half dollar. We had a glass man look at it last night, called the insurance company and will have a new windshield before we leave here. $250 deductible. We have been in touch with Allstate and a glass man and should have a new windshield by the end of the week.

One of our goals for the Rally was to get the Alfa weighed because when we bought new front tires last fall she was weighed, but Craig was not happy with the numbers. We were able to get it done Monday afternoon shortly after we arrived. The weights on the individual wheels were similar to what we got last fall. We are not overweight and have plenty of cargo capacity available, but we are very unbalanced from side to side. I'm not sure what we can do about it. The heavy side has two slides, the couch, the clothes closet, the large cabinet in the bedroom and the large pantry drawers and cabinet. 

We have some serious shifting to do, but I'm not sure we will ever achieve a good balance, but we need to be mindful about where we put heavier things. We managed to shift about 90 pounds from one side to another, but we would need a 500 pound shift to balance.  This is impossible at this point. There is not much else in the heavy side that we can move! 
Four of the crew of five guys washing the Alfa

As I type this, Tuesday morning, there are men on the roof cleaning it. We have had the Alfa for 19 months, and except for a few free washes at Alfateers after repair work, she has not had a bath. We are having her washed, paste waxed, buffed, and given a roof treatment. Some people say buffing is not good, but because she is white, any swirls will be less noticeable. It has been a long winter, and a lot of pine tar has accumulated on the roof and slide topper from being parked under the trees.

This is one job Craig is OK with paying for. He will go up on the roof if he has to, but cleaning pine tar is not a fun job.

It is now a couple of hours later, the Alfa looks great! No swirls. The windows are sparkling, and the roof and slide topper no longer have black gorm on them. They also washed the awning. We are satisfied with the work and cost. About $7 per foot plus the roof treatment.

We were just feeling good about the washing service when the refrigerator started beeping an alarm. We got ahold of the Alfateers Norcold tech, they have a service group here at the Rally,  and he tried to reset it. It seems the Norcold recall fix has failed. After going around with Norcold on the phone, he did a temporary fix and we will be trying to find another recall kit from a dealer in the area tomorrow! The refrigerator is cooling, but we were advised to not run it on propane until it gets fixed.

What a couple of days! On the plus side, although we had to skip the introduction to Pickle Ball lesson this morning, we managed to get over to the pool for an hour or so this afternoon. We also enjoyed a nice happy hour get together with a small group of Alfa Owners from our local club, and a nice welcome dinner with the entire rally group on Monday night. There are almost 100 Alfas here.

We went out to dinner tonight after the happy hour gathering. There was a "paid for separately" Prime Rib dinner tonight, but because I try not to eat much beef we chose to skip it.

Dinner was fantastic. 
Bed time now...


  1. I hope you enjoy pickleball as much as Joe does. He just got home from playing pickle ball tonight. They play in the gym of the Oregon City Nazarene Chruch close by here.

  2. I'm with Craig, some things are worth paying for. We've played pickle ball and really enjoyed it. Have fun at the rally!

  3. If it isn't one thing, it is something else. We sure didn't get into rving to save money...

    At least it sounds like you are having a fun time at the rally! We are going to a Titanium rally at the end of May, but I'm not as good at getting involved as you are. I'll just have to think of you and get right into it :-) Merikay the Mentor!

  4. We usually avoid big crowds and rally's...but might just have to give it a try now.

    Joe says he used to say....a dollar here, a dollar there...that has been changed to a hundred dollar here, a hundred dollar there! RVing can be expensive! But I would still rather RV than be in a sticks and bricks!

    Have a great day!

  5. At least you were in a place for someone to look at the windshield and the refrigerator. Hope all gets fixed up fast for you.

  6. 7 a foot is worth it! just to get the RV washed, nothing else is $200.00 out here, add detailing like you got and you're over $500.00.

    We need to move, seriously. :)

    Have fun at the rally, wish we could make some of them for the Holiday Rambler clubs. Maybe some day.


  7. Oh my all those problems to damper your trip. But when traveling it is always something seems like. I hope the rest goes well and with the Alfa all shiny and clean maybe it will :)


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