This past weekend, we attended the October Texas Travelers Rally at a private ranch just outside Ingram. Coach ran great, the latest tweeks helped on some of the steep hills between New Braunsfels and there. Once there, the turnout was quite good. There were somewhere around 17 rigs set up. The deer and turkeys were out in force in the field in front of the parking area and clubhouse. Saturday night brought lightning and heavy rains to finally break the months of no appreciable rain to Central Texas.

- Ken H.

Written on October 11th, 2011 , Misc, Safari, Texas Travelers' Rallys, Trips

Saturday we are supposed to be in Hondo, TX at Doug’s — aka DDP or Doug’s Diesel Palace.

Looking to get the boost… well ‘boosted’ (maybe another 3-5 psi), new water pump and two new Battery Tender chargers, tending on the coach. Walking out to it and having to slave the batterys or use the generator to top them off before getting underway is getting old.

It’s been in the low hundreds all week long. We hope it’s a little cooler down there, but we’re not holding our breath.

- Ken

Written on July 28th, 2011 , Safari

Looking back at what developed into a rather grueling trip for me, I have some perspective. I find it rather telling that not one time, once he was in the coach, did Dad complain about being uncomfortable, about being cold. Something he always had problems with because of the neuropathy from the chemo. He was fully in his element once he walked up those steps.

Dad went with me on two very short trips the week after we returned from Tucson. Once to get the wiper blade replaced at Evergreen RV in New Braunfels and another for a State Inspection as we readied the coach for the Texas Travelers’ Johnson City Rally April 16-18th.

35 days, after returning to Texas with his new Cummins, (heck, his NEW Cummins, in his NEW RV) Dad succombed to cancer after a three-year struggle…

I would give anything to do it again.

Safari
Mom continues to live with cancer.  She still rv’s as Dad wanted her to continue to do.

Written on July 5th, 2010 , Our Rigs, Safari

Dad, Entertaining his first guests in Kerrville
After a restful (and comfortable) night in Kerrville, Mom’s and Dad’s Texas Travelers friends that live locally dropped in to see the ‘new’ wheels. Dad was in his element. We visited for awhile and just made an easy morning of it before heading out.

Around noon, we pulled over for lunch. Dad napped in the coach while Mom and I went inside to eat. Once back on the road, an hour more put us parked in the driveway in San Marcos. I hooked it up, left it in the driveway and headed home for the first time in over 2 weeks.  At least my cough was letting up.

Written on February 24th, 2010 , Our Rigs, Safari

Heading Out
Loaded Dad up and we took this pic before heading East.

We picked up the ‘working’ Safari from the shop that was doing the cruise control and Dad insisted we get out of town. So late this afternoon, Dad sitting in the passenger seat, doing our best to beat the snow that was slated to hit El Paso by midnight, we turned on the propane furnace and headed off, away from the setting sun. By 6:30pm we were crossing New Mexico with Mom behind the wheel.

Somewhere around the New Mexico/Texas border, the propane furnace starts blowing cold air. Uh-Oh. 8:45 p.m. we pull into a Target in El Paso to pick up a couple of space heaters and they are out of them. Only fans. Guy says something about it being the summer season. ??? As I walk away, I mention they’re getting 2″ of snow tonight so who was the brain child that thought that through (I was cold and wet and in no mood). I get outside and the digital readout on the mall sign across the street says 8:56 p.m. It’s still raining, and I rush for the Sears over there. It’s 9:02 by the time I get the coach parked and make my way to the door. I cajole my way past the lady blocking the door and get two heaters, on sale for half price. Woo Hoo!

So back on the road we go, genny running and a fan plugged in on the kitchen counter. By the time we hit the other side of El Paso, not even 10 minutes later I smell something burning. Yep, the fan didn’t like the (modified sine wave) power the generator was putting out. It wasn’t allowing the fan in the heater to turn and consequently it was in the early stages of melting away. We push on leaving El Paso behind hoping to get to Ft Stockton before stopping. Of course Murphy was really putting it to us and about this time the sleet starts and the driver’s wiper decides to maim itself. It’s a two arm setup, one on the gear, one to stabilize itself. The stabilizer sheared the pivot point at the top and the arm went horizontal with the rest of it flopping around down lower. It’s after 10 and we’re in the middle of nowhere, with no tools… We push for the next service center.

When we arrive in Van Horn at the Loves/Pilot, I top off with fuel, and peruse the tool section for a Phillips and Regular screwdriver. I manage to get the loose arm off and now just have a blade that wants to be horizontal on my hands and no ladder to get up to where I need to fix it. The gas pump clicks full, and as I tighten the gas cap, the snow starts falling. <groan> Damn you Murphy!

We pull around back, shut things down and hunker in for the night. It’s midnight, no heat, and only the one lightweight blanket that was on the bed when we bought it and the one I’d gladly taken when my Aunt offered. Thank heaven for that blanket!

Written on February 23rd, 2010 , Our Rigs, Safari

The whole next week : Between the cough and low grade fever I was walking around with, shuffling the coach back and forth between a shop to look at the cruise control, the RV place that did the Grab Rail install and unsuccessfully tried to fix the back up camera and yet another shop (a local heavy truck shop) having to install a fuel cutoff solenoid to prevent the 8.3L from stalling (a new thing that started while working on the cruise) I kind of lost track here. I do remember coaxing mom into driving it to the cruise control shop one of the days. That first trip intimidated her, but I knew if she did it just once, the next time, after her brain adjusted to it, that she’d be fine. This pict was her first time driving the Safari.
Mom's First Drive

The rest of the time in Arizona I pretty much rode the couch and Dad was next to it in the La-z-boy during the day. I just loaded up on codeine to fight the cough so I could relax into a stupor when it got dark out. Dad wasn’t eating much and we had missed his self-imposed mid-week departure that he wanted because the cruise wasn’t working. Frankly I wasn’t in shape to travel anyway.

Bill and his wife, Jaimie, stopped by and visited with us during this time. It was nice to hear some of their stories of where they had taken the coach.

While this all is going on I’ve been in & out of the coach enough to see a few things that need updating. See, I know Mom enjoys her TV. Dad? He’s always going on about how she’s become a night owl watching her shows on the Tivo since they retired. Dad had pretty much given up watching TV over the past year so it just didn’t interest him much. Every once in awhile he’d tune in a Nascar race or I could get him to watch some Top Gear. He loved the bits that Clarkson and company would do. So I also was working on him to upgrade the TV in the coach from the dinky little 15″ CRT to a flat panel when we returned home, thinking this also was part of the back-up camera issue. It wasn’t going to receive anything with that setup now that everything is digital, and no way Mom was going to be able to watch a set that small. Over a week I just kept it ‘out there’.

Towards the end of the week we started seeing light at the end of the tunnel. A new Dana-Rostra cruise control was ordered and we just had to wait a few more days…. Somewhere in here I felt up to going to the Air Museum (16th) I’d been wanting to see for a few years. Myself, Mom, Uncle Vic and his grandson Elliott went together. Lots to see …

A couple of evenings later and Uncle Vic asked for my help. He was enlisting me to help pick out his “coach warming” gift for his twin sister. A brand new HD flat panel! After some research on Amazon and such to get dimensions we went the next day (21st) to Costco and brought back a 37″ Panasonic 720P flat panel. We were going to go smaller but with some measuring with the cabinets that were there I thought this was just right. Now, in retrospect we could’ve gone bigger. We also ordered a WDTV HD Media player to play DVDs and shows from a USB drive so Mom & Dad would always have something to watch. And that afternoon I stood out on the back porch and watched it hail. What’s next, swarms of Locusts?

Written on February 22nd, 2010 , Our Rigs, Safari

Today Uncle Vic and I worked on picking up a grab rail at Lowes and finding a place to install it. We also fueled up to find the filler neck leaking a little when the foam hit it. Bill returned this evening with the wheel covers that had been left in his garage and together we tried to tighten the clamp down.

 

Edit: Months later I finally was able to source a hose and replace the entire dry rotted hose (all 7 feet 1″ of it).

Written on February 12th, 2010 , Our Rigs, Safari

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