This time, however, there was no blinking red light, no clicks... no nuthin!
When the slides are retracted they need to be locked before travel. Each slide has its own extend/retract & lock/unlock buttons. After about forty five minutes of trouble shooting I figured out that Suzanne (I'll blame it on her) had inadvertently locked the slide in the out position. When the lock is engaged, and the slide is in the out position, it apparently renders that slide completely unresponsive - not even triggering a fault light. To further complicate matters, the slide lock seems to react badly to being engaged when the slide is in the out position. It wouldn't unlock. I had Suzanne pushing the lock/unlock button back and forth while I walked around outside and inside the coach, with my ear against the walls, trying to find exactly where the mechanism was located. I finally found it behind a removable panel inside one of the upper interior cabinets. With a pair of vice grips I worked the motor's shaft back and forth a few times, tapped the shaft shear pin in a bit (it looked like it had worked its way out a little) and asked Suzanne to push the retract button and... Voila! The slide retracted!
By this time it was 11am, thirty minutes past our Russell Truck Repair appointment time. I called Russell and was told that they had the part, I should come at 2pm and they'd get 'er done. We were in their parking lot at 1:55pm. I watched as the mechanic installed the air chamber, asking a few questions along the way so that I can do the job myself next time (hopefully there won't be a next time). $560.00 later we were exiting the parking lot and motoring down the road. It was only 3:30pm, still relatively early in the day - and even though we had ponied up $31 for an other night at The Woods, we decided to put a couple hundred miles behind us and head for Fort Valley, Georgia.
Wednesday morning we left Fort Valley making our way northeast on SR49, crossing the South Carolina state line after passing through Augusta. Ironically, we ended our day at The Barnyard RV Park in Columbia, South Carolina. I say ironically because this is where we had planned to see the total solar eclipse last August before having to abandon that plan due to an improperly installed engine seal.
But let's not go there.
For supper, our first night in town, we sampled some local Mexican fare at San Jose. The food was delicious. Their margaritas were served in large, frosted terracotta mugs and were equally delicious! Thursday I worked around the coach on a few odd jobs while Suzanne worked at her desk. I took a late afternoon run and a shower then we sat outside and watched a little TV until it got too chilly. I cooked supper in the coach, mixed up a batch of margaritas and that was about it for Thursday.
There is no dog park here at The Barnyard but, this morning Travis and I found a perfect spot to play ball on a grassy area just outside the park fence. Afterward, I did a little light grocery shopping at the IGA around the corner. Suzanne finished up work at around 1pm and we took a ride into Lexington to visit the Lexington County Museum, a collection of buildings and artifacts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - then to lunch at Hudson's Smoke House for some South Carolina BBQ. Suzanne had barbecue pork and I had the catfish. Both were very tasty - as was my side of collard greens! I have to find a good recipe.
One of the cool things about traveling around the country is getting to sample the regional cuisine. Every part of the country has its unique foods, recipes, combinations of foods and flavors for which they're famous. We've really enjoyed all the different dining experiences we've had over the past four months on the road.
We have a reservation at Fort Chiswell RV Park in Wytheville, VA for tomorrow night then three nights at one of our favorite spots in the Shenandoah Valley, Outlander River Camp in Luray, VA before arriving home on Wednesday.
We're both feeling a little sad knowing our journey will soon be coming to an end. The next several months will be spent downsizing and preparing the townhouse for lease or sale. We've taken extended trips in the coach before but this was by far our longest outing. Spending four very enjoyable months on the road has convinced us that we want to try the full-time-nomadic lifestyle for a few years. We'll probably, in a couple years, end up buying a small place, maybe somewhere in the Shenandoah, to land from time to time - but we really enjoy traveling around the country in this thing - and all the wonderful experiences we have along the way.
It feels like home.
Thanks for reading the blog!